Chapter 45.2 – Sudoku Game
Shi Yuan took the green tram home.
Gleaning City, which served as a granary, had fallen, and everyone could only eat emergency food. He ate nutrients and compressed biscuits with water, and continued to explore the things in Lu Tinghan’s room.
He found a few insect specimens, a few leaf bookmarks that had been preserved, as well as pens, empty ink flasks, and a pair of old children’s boots, as well as other sundries.
Shi Yuan had never seen most of the things before, and he worked on them carefully for a long time. He guessed that Lu Tinghan should be the same as him when he was a child, and would study these with interest.
Shi Yuan also found a Sudoku game.
Lu Tinghan finished the first page, and the rest was all blank.
Shi Yuan thought, maybe Lu Tinghan thought it was too difficult and time-consuming, so he didn’t continue to write.
He decided to continue Lu Tinghan’s unfinished business, took out his pencil to write the second page, and only wrote for 5 minutes, his tail was almost tangled to a knot.
This night, Lu Tinghan came back very early.
As soon as he entered, Shi Yuan jumped into his arms with his tail up and purred with satisfaction.
He said, “Lu Tinghan, I found a job! I’m working as an operator at the counseling center in Tower 4. Purr purr purr!”
Lu Tinghan raised his eyebrows: “How come you went there?”
Shi Yuan replied: “Because I tell people that I’m so happy every day.”
This was a good reason.
Lu Tinghan touched Shi Yuan’s head: “You can definitely do it well.”
Shi Yuan took out Sudoku: “Let me tell you, I was doing this just now, and I have been doing it for a long time.”
His eyes were full of begging for praise.
Lu Tinghan took it and took a look. It was a sudoku game he had played when he was 9 years old – Shi Yuan continued to write it down. The crooked pencil characters had three rows wrong. He obviously didn’t finish the sudoku on the second page, and jumped to the third page, with six wrong rows.
Lu Tinghan looked at Shi Yuan’s expectant eyes and said, “Well, the level is still relatively stable.”
He turned to page four, and five rows were wrong.
Lu Tinghan said, “Good, it’s steadily improving.”
He turned to the fifth page, and there were six wrong rows.
Lu Tinghan said, “Well, don’t forget your original intention.”
Shi Yuan was very happy, and asked again: “By the way, why did you only make the first page? Do you find it too difficult?”
This question made Lu Tinghan silent for a while.
—Even in the most anxious moments of the war, he never hesitated so much, and even felt a bit like a battle between heaven and man.
In the end, honesty prevailed, and he said, “…No, Shi Yuan, it’s because it’s too simple.”
Shi Yuan: “……”
Shi Yuan: QAQ
The 9-year-old Lu Tinghan was smarter than him, and the 15-year-old Lu Tinghan was taller than him. He was more powerful than other humans, even more powerful than monsters… So angry, his tail was going to burst!
After that, Lu Tinghan sat on the sofa reading a book, and Shi Yuan, who was unwilling, nestled beside him and continued to play Sudoku.
Shi Yuan also told Lu Tinghan that he studied his insect specimen today and especially liked the praying mantis specimen.
Lu Tinghan turned the book over a page: “Why are you so interested in my things?”
“Because I want to know more about you,” Shi Yuan said, “You rarely talk to me about yourself.”
Lu Tinghan paused for a moment and looked at Shi Yuan: “If there is a chance, I will.”
Shi Yuan’s tail swayed: “When will it be?”
Lu Tinghan said, “When you get the first Sudoku right.”
This was a difficult request.
Shi Yuan thought hard.
Mathematics was too abstract for him, and various numbers and laws gave him a headache. For the next half of the month, he studied alone every day, on the tram, during breaks at work, and before going to bed.
The Sudoku game that Lu Tinghan bought was very complicated, with many blanks, interlocking, and extremely difficult.
Until Shi Yuan won the “Monthly Outstanding Employee Award”, he didn’t finish any sudoku correctly.
The psychological assistance center was brightly lit, and Lin Yeran held a paper certificate and said, “This month’s outstanding employee award, I decided to give it to a newcomer. He has only been in the job for a month, and it is not easy to achieve such an achievement. He is very efficient, very patient, and maintains a positive attitude under high-intensity work. This is a valuable trait – Shi Yuan, please come up to receive the award.”
There was a faint applause in the audience, and everyone was listless.
Lin Yeran also said: “To express my gratitude, the prize for the best employee of the month is – a voucher of 5 yuan off for buying a house of 30,000 yuan in Fengyang City!”
There was a hush in the audience.
Someone shouted loudly: “That’s great, I just happen to be short of such 5 yuan! I can’t live without this voucher!”
Shi Yuan took the stage and got the certificate and voucher.
He didn’t know why he won the award, after all, he was just listening to other people’s stories.
All he knew was that he would never be able to use this voucher for the rest of his life.
In the afternoon, as he continued to work, the phone rang endlessly: a woman sobbed that there was really no one to take care of the children at home, that eating compressed food all the time was not good for development, and that she had to go out to work again; a young man whispered that he really missed the streets and wheat fields of Gleaning City and wondered when he could go back; a muffled male voice said that he could not see the road to tomorrow.
Different reasons, the same suffering.
They were responsible for speaking, and he was responsible for listening.
The surrounding voices were noisy, and the operators were all talking. Daisy said to him: “Shi Yuan, I really envy you. You don’t take these things to heart.”
“Not really.” Shi Yuan put down the phone and said seriously, “I will remember them all. I won’t forget these stories.”
He buried his head and continued to study Sudoku.
Half a minute later, another call came.
This day after work, Shi Yuan didn’t even forget to fill out the Sudoku in the elevator.
There was still a small piece of the last place, and victory was at hand. He was so serious that he forgot to go out when he got to the 1st floor, took the elevator to the 21st floor, and only found out that it was wrong when he went out.
After working here for a month, Shi Yuan had never been to other floors, and he didn’t know what the others in the tower were doing.
The 21st floor was very quiet, so quiet that it looked like no one was there.
He was looking at the Sudoku while waiting for the elevator, and there was a voice behind him: “Do you like to play sudoku?”
Shi Yuan turned around and saw an old man with white hair. His back was hunched as if a large mountain was pressing down on his spine, his face was wrinkled, and there was a rather interested light in his small eyes.
He had scales on his neck and was a mutant.
“I don’t like it, I promised others to finish it,” Shi Yuan said, “How about you? Do you like sudoku?”
“Just a bit.” The old man smiled. “I prefer the universe – do you know what the universe is, there are many stars and planets there.”
Shi Yuan shook his head: “I don’t know much about it.”
The old man was still smiling: “If you are interested, you can find me, I have been—”
“How did you get there?” An explosive shout interrupted their conversation. The white-clothed employee hurried over and grabbed the old man: “Why are you running around again? Didn’t I say not to approach the elevator and stairs?”
The old man strained his neck and glared: “I just wandered here!”
“Come back with me.” The employee grabbed him, turned his head and glanced at Shi Yuan, and whispered to Shi Yuan, “You go quickly, don’t come here later, this person – this person has an abnormal brain, he is crazy.”
The employee pulled the old man, who was so angry that he was red in the face, and left.
Shi Yuan took the tram home, filled out the last line of sudoku on the tram, and handed it to Lu Tinghan when he went home.
Lu Tinghan checked it again: “Well, it’s all correct this time.”
Shi Yuan’s eyes lit up and smiled: “Then tell me more about you!”
Lu Tinghan agreed.
Three days later in the evening, he took Shi Yuan to the city wall of Fengyang City.
The defense of Fengyang City was much more complete than that of Gleaning City, and the city walls alone were more than twice as heavy and tall. In addition, the city was on a high ground, the moon and stars were sparse tonight, and the view from the city wall was so good that even the dead trees dozens of kilometers away could be seen clearly.
The soldiers were stationed at their posts, and their uniforms were blown by the wind.
Shi Yuan and Lu Tinghan stood side by side on the city wall and saw a large number of jellyfish floating in the air far away.
The translucent, shiny, light blue jellyfish swayed gently with the wind, like a strange ocean.
Lu Tinghan said, “That direction is the ruins of Iron City.”
Shi Yuan asked, “What is Iron City?”
Lu Tinghan replied: “The Alliance’s military industrial base, in the past, most guns and ammunition, aircraft and helicopters, and large robots were manufactured there. We lost it 16 years ago, under the attack of the infected group of plankton, the guards were annihilated, including my father, Lu Zhun.” He paused. “They tried their best and fought to the very end.”
Shi Yuan’s eyes widened slightly.
He suddenly realized something intuitively: “Could it be that these jellyfish are…”
“Yes.” Lu Tinghan said, “They are infected and are still floating in that land, and you can see them every time the weather is good.”
A team of soldiers passed by Shi Yuan’s side, and more than a dozen lantern-shaped lights were hung on the wall outside the city wall.
“Infected jellyfish like this kind of light,” Lu Tinghan said, “Most of the time they will float towards the light, only this group will not. The attraction of light to them is very limited, and the reason is not clear. We have lost Iron City for 16 years, and these lights have been hanging for 16 years.”
In the distance, Jellyfish were floating, a large group of dreamy and mysterious, in this clear night, the sky was their ocean.
The soldiers in the city stood silently, looking at the wasteland. Lights hung outside the wall, hazy clouds of halos in the night. The night was long, and the heroes still hadn’t returned home.