On the other side of the ocean, in a City in Massachusetts*.
(T/N: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand this part: 马塞州的邦戈洛城. I translated this ‘马塞州’ to be Massachusetts. As for the other part, ‘邦戈洛城’ = ‘Bangolo City’ but as far as I know, it doesn’t exist in America. I’m not even sure if I translated most of the places correctly so pardon me if I just say that it’s a city somewhere in Massachusetts. Works well enough for me.)
Knee-deep snow covers the lawn, and snowflakes solidified in midair, showing a strange scene.
Here is the Abandoned World, a copy of reality, and also hell.
The air is filled with a bloody smell. The man wearing goggles cut two pieces of meat from the monster’s legs with a knife. He just wrapped it in brown paper when there was a blurry shadow in the wind and snow.
The man responded agilely.
The snowflakes in the air got on his coat——the Abandoned World maintains this bad weather, so it’s difficult for people to hide their trail. The footsteps in the snow can be covered, but the still snowflakes in the air are gone.
The shadow’s attack just now is not an exception.
The trail can be followed to a high altitude, just like someone using an eraser to wipe out a blank space in a paper painted with a graffiti of snowflakes. Seeing the end of this trajectory, a black-toothed bird parked on the corpse.
It bows its head to the dead monster’s wound, followed by its wings, uttering sharp howls of excitement.
The man is stunned and took two steps backward. Waving a hand, his whole person disappeared without a trace.
The bird squinted its eyes. It lost another source of the bloody smell, but such a big food is enough for a meal. The Corpse Crow continues burying its head and bites the fresh meat.
More black birds soon flew in succession. After a time, there are seven or eight perched on the body, snatching and eating, then a fight occurred. They show the claws on their wings and show their blood-stained teeth while calling out threats.
The smaller Corpse Crow consciously hangs its wings, giving up, and turning to bite the less meaty part.
If they are evenly matched, the two birds will fight directly with feathers flying, and sharp screams. Corpse Crow is a social creature gathering together as a family unit. When looking for food, they will often encounter similar groups with different ethnicity, and conflicts often occur.
When the other group is fierce, they will fight to the death, until one of the wings is broken, or unable to stand up.
At this time, the “dinner and onlooker” Corpse Crow that was at the side will stop eating. The ones on the same ethnic group as the loser will flap their wings and fly to the side, giving up the right to eat.
The winner howled twice, and with its sharp claws, directly punctures the loser’s neck. Dark red blood emerged, and with the ripped feathers, it divides the loser into food.
Abandoned World has a lot of monsters, but the species that will eat their same kind is only a few.
The stronger Corpse Crows left with satisfaction, while the loser’s companions continue to fly down to eat, not even looking at the tragic end of their relative.
Waiting for the surroundings to calm down again, the “snowflake sky” has been smeared by the Corpse Crow.
A group of mole rats* drilled from the snow, pouncing on the leftover food.
(T/N: Changing ‘hole-digging rats’ to ‘mole rats’. It’s easier to type and has the same concept.)
Among them, only one hit an invisible obstacle, and fall into the snow, punching out a deep pit. It crawled and tried to walk two steps out of there, with furs shivering and desperately smelling the air.
The cold city makes the rat’s movements clumsy and dull.
Their nose is frozen, leaving only the feeling of coldness, so the mole rats ate and went back to the same hole they dug. At this time, there was suddenly a strong force behind it, accurately hitting the rat’s spine.
When it was going to scream, its body followed the force and fell into the snow, so opening its mouth will only meet snow. Its screams were muffled.
The mole rats still heard, but when they turned their heads, they only saw their own kind in the snow. It seems to be the same as before, so they turn their heads, uninterested, and continuing to tear out food.
Each mole rat is as big as a domesticated cat. The Corpse Crow’s wreckage and leftover monster body were cleanly swept away by them. When preparing for evacuation, only the rat stupidly “playing in the snow” disappeared, leaving just a deep pit and a few drops of solidified dark red blood.
——there’s a hidden enemy nearby!
The mole rats squeaked, warily looking around, and searching.
But the killer they’re looking for has already run away with his “trophy”.
Federico Morenza walks to his doorstep. Looking around and seeing no danger, he went to the small door next to the garage and knocked a few times according to a rhythm.
He looked down and took the key, opening the door.
He did not remove his space ability during the whole process, so in the eyes of others, a row of shoe prints is on the thin snow moving to the door, and the snow in the air is also blank. Finally, the “invisible person” enters the door.
——The nasty weather is the biggest weakness to space ability holders who want to hide.
But, Federico does not worry that these traces will attract the attention of other ability holders. That’s because, in his garage, there is also a 14-year-old boy waiting for him to come back.
This is the future American protagonist, savior of the world……removing these titles, Johnson Brown is merely the snow blower at the home of the superstar Morenza.
When the small door was knocked, Johnson shrinks behind a box.
He didn’t move until the “invisible man” walks in, remove the space ability on his body, and remove his goggles and hat. Seeing blond, blue eyes, and a rugged face with wild charm, Johnson came out from the dark.
“Good evening, little John.”
The rat that Federico carried in his hand was thrown to the floor.
The teenager looked a little scared and glanced up. Then his large sheep boots that are larger than his feet went to the garage door, staring at the footprints outside, and the area where the snowflakes disappeared in midair.
An invisible wind rolled up the snow, gently erasing the footprints.
The wind also scattered the falling snowflakes, stirring them again, and evenly spreading them in front. The blank areas have been filled, all the way to a few hundred meters. If someone is chasing the blank traces left by Federico, they will only arrive at this block full of rich and famous people, then lost the blank marks.
The ones who can leave a mark on the scattered snow, more than the ability holders, there are also monsters.
Mole rats dig holes, Corpse Crows can fly, monkeys climbs trees and walks on the roofs, so blank traces are reasonable, and not surprising.
Johnson feels like it’s a maze game while making a few blank traces on the roof, or next to the drain covers.
Clearly, no one is chasing. He is imagining the scene of several monsters running around the block. “Smearing” does not matter. With the wind’s power, he could erase or change it.
Johnson also imagines a group of people “running in the maze”. With careful analysis of the monster trail, they would finally be disappointed and leave the “dead end”, while making a frustrated look.
The sound came from behind, making Johnson scared and his ability to shake. A clear trace on the roof draws a parabola and falls on a big tree.
The ability of this monkey to jump is a little amazing!
Federico stands behind the boy, and patted Johnson’s shoulder, “Close the door, you’ll catch a cold.”
“Soon enough,” Johnson said.
He shakes the big tree with the power of wind, making a lot of snow fall. It was soon replaced by another one, letting the imaginary monkey jump from tree to tree. Only then did Johnson reluctantly close the door, saying goodbye to his own “paintings”.
Federico rubbed the teenager’s head, “Come over, we should have dinner.”
“Every meal we eat is dinner,” Johnson whispers.
“Because the time in this world will not move, it’s always in the afternoon nearing evening.”
Johnson hesitated for a while, still repeating the “but” word, and not knowing what to say. He and Mr. Morenza had been in this strange world, the place called the Abandoned World for a long time.
Five days, or a week?
Johnson could not tell, because their life has been to eat when you’re hungry, and to rest when you’re sleepy.
Mr. Morenza’s space ability is safe. Every time they sleep, they both enter the transparent cover. It was very warm, and monsters can’t come in too.
Sometimes, Morenza will take him out to look closely at the ferocious monsters, see their physical characteristics, and the way they attack. But this is very dangerous. Even inside the space, monsters can still touch the outline of the “space”, they just can’t see and can’t smell.
If surrounded by monsters, after the ability is exhausted, the space ability would collapse.
“Mr. Morenza, can we still go back?” Johnson hesitated for a long time and finally asked.
He wants to go back to the city where there are many people and watch a TV show, a world filled with Christmas music. Even if every door on the street doesn’t open to him, even if the talk show host on the TV screen likes to mock the poor, even if he won’t get a gift after the Christmas carol is over, Johnson still misses the world without monsters.
The teenager has seen the ferocity of those monsters with his eyes. Every time Federico goes out, Johnson waited in the garage and slowly become worried that he can’t sit still.
Federico pauses for a second, replying, “A person who strives to survive can go back.”
“This is called the Abandoned World……are we sinners exiled by God?” Johnson is distraught.
“Listen, Johnson, there is no God in this world.” Federico looks straight into the eyes of the teenager, speaking in a contemptuous tone, “Even if there is, he can’t see us either.”
Johnson who is from the slums is not devout to God. It’s just that the nuns from the Church have always been very good to him, and believed that those who bully someone who believes in God will be punished after death, making him feel comforted.
Gradually growing up, and after the age of self-deception, Johnson is no longer convinced of this. However, the profound impact of his environment let the teenager still be shocked by Federico’s rude words.
“No, it’s nothing!” Federico felt his own gaffe.
If there’s a god in this world, who is this God?
“Nania Kaya*? Oh, don’t make jokes.” Federico talks to himself. He took off his coat, taking the two pieces of meat wrapped in brown paper, and washing the blood in a basin with snow.
(T/N: This is ‘纳尼雅凯亚’ in the raws. Pinyin would be ‘Nà ní yǎ kǎi yà’ which doesn’t really make sense. I can only infer this as the name of the author and make it an English name.)
Johnson consciously stood next to him.
“This is the meat of a wild boar. We had good luck today, it fell into the trap I dug. The meat on the thigh is sprinkled with black pepper, and the raw taste is good.”
Federico is not in the mood to continue telling that this is delicious. The Corpse Crows’ early appearance made him feel the danger. Federico picks up a paper and pencil, drawing a picture for Johnson.
“Today, we will talk about this monster. It’s a kind of bird……”