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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
All brawls ceased to exist. Everybody was frozen stiff the moment Time fell into the pool.
When Time descended into the pool with a mighty splash, all the swimmers soon realized what it was as the light ripple gleamed over the water. They turned their heads and swam out like crazies.
A few seconds ago, everybody was fighting. The runners were trying to get onto the backs of the swimmers, while the latter struggled with all their worth to prevent them from mounting them. The water rolled madly like a tsunami, and profanities that hurt the ears were hurled into the air.
However, the appearance of Time had put a stop to all of these. They realized that if they did not compromise and work together, everybody would be dead. Soon, everyone snapped out of the effect of the fatty’s Special Item before he could even dispel it. All the swimmers brought out their own secret weapons and propelled themselves forward with the runners on their backs.
Of course, not only did Lin Sanjiu have to endure the waves, which kept hitting her face, but she also had to tolerate the cursing that the other contenders showered at her.
Time was within a stone’s throw away from a contender when it entered the pool. At that moment, everybody was shocked when they returned to their senses. When they turned around, they saw that Lin Sanjiu, the culprit who put them in danger, had already gone far ahead.
The silver lining was that those who chose to participate in the swimming contest were excellent swimmers. Not only could they swim as fast as trouts, but they also had tons of Special Items at their disposal that could aid them in swimming. In the end, everybody was able to escape safely, though they were not entirely out of danger yet since Time was still keeping a very close distance from them. If it were not for the friction that held the light ripples back, there should have been casualties.
Right now, whenever the swimmers resurfaced, they would bash Lin Sanjiu and the fatty with every obscenity they knew.
Lin Sanjiu and the fatty both knew it was their fault for putting everybody in danger. Plagued with guilt, Lin Sanjiu buried her face in the young man’s back while the fatty took cover on Lin Sanjiu’s shoulder, not wanting to meet the other contenders’ eyes. Soulsqn was the only one amongst the trio who knew no shame. She fought back every one of them, yelling imperiously as if she had done nothing wrong, “How dare you talk to me like that?! You, over there! Yes, I’m talking about you! Come over here. I’m going to wear you as my human pouch!”
“Can you please shut the hell up?!” Lin Sanjiu could not help shouting back at her. “I’ll kick you into the water if you don’t shut your mouth!”
“Hmph! What a wuss!” Soulsqn harrumphed indignantly. She turned her body around and shifted her target. “Hey, what’s your name?”
With the back of the young man’s head facing them, they could not see his face. All they could see was his well-toned and powerful back muscles, which contracted and relaxed with every stroke he made.
Perhaps he was still a little bit angry about what they had put him through, so he did not reply promptly. His muffled response only came after a few minutes. “Didn’t you say you’re going to help? Well, I don’t expect you to swim, but can you at least try to take some weight off me? I’m squashed!”
The fatty and Soulsqn looked at Lin Sanjiu in unison since she was the heaviest among them.
Lin Sanjiu had been running madly for a long time. Right now, she finally had a chance to take a breather. Her limbs were shaking spasmodically. With mixed feelings of guilt and shame for hitchhiking, she replied in a shaky voice, “I’m… not a swimmer. I can’t use my rocket underwater either. Why don’t you tell us what we can do to help you? ”
“Get down from my back.”
Lin Sanjiu somehow heard the young man sighed, but she could not be sure because the splash of water drowned out every other sound. It appeared to Lin Sanjiu that the young man had some sort of device strapped to his legs. With a kick, he would bound a considerable distance forward. It seemed like all fun and games to him, and he did not look like he was drowning. After a few more strokes, the young man began to speak again, this time asking a question, “How strong are you?”
“I can fare for myself pretty well,” Lin Sanjiu answered. She took a glance at the fatty, who was standing on her shoulder. Sensing her gaze, the latter shook his head profusely, and his entire body quivered like white Jello. Then, she threw a furtive glance at Soulsqn and added, “This… girl and I are pretty strong.”
Although Soulsqn was eccentric and hard to control, Lin Sanjiu had to admit that her abilities were pretty tricky.
“That’s good then,” the young man replied without turning his head, “Time will keep chasing you guys who participated in the foot race until you get ashore. I can carry you three for the time being, but we are closing in to the most difficult part of the swimming competition. Since you guys said you’re pretty confident in your combat skills, I’ll be counting on you.”
“Hold on a sec.” Smelling something fishy, Soulsqn asked while exchanging glances with Lin Sanjiu, “The most difficult part? What are we up to?”
Soulsqn had almost lost her skin in the footrace. Her skin was now on the verge of falling off her face, so she felt that she had to be more careful.
The young man’s breathing became heavier. He did not answer Soulsqn’s question, but asked another question of his own instead, “Where is Time now?”
Hearing this, the fatty turned to look over his shoulder. “You’re leading now. There are a few more people in between us and Time.”
“The wave will be here soon,” the young man said, huffing. It seemed that the burden of carrying three people on his back was beginning to take its toll on him. “The wave… It will be huge.”
The trio fell silent.
“However, that isn’t the most fearful aspect of the wave,” the young man continued to say, “It’s an artificial wave. Not only will it try to push us back towards Time, but it will push us towards any dangerous spots.”
“T-then, what do you want us to do?” Soulsqn stammered, “There’s no way we can fight Time!”
“We can’t do anything to Time, so our only way out is to break through the wave,” the young man said, his voice almost drowned by the beating of the water, “But we are now entering another zone.”
Lin Sanjiu sighed deeply.
Water was splashing around on all sides. The wind, which had a very high moisture content, assaulted Lin Sanjiu, soaking her body from head to toe. Every gust of the wind would steal some of her body heat away, causing her skin to burst into gooseflesh from the chill. Coupled with the bone-deep fatigue that had built up within her ever since the footrace, Lin Sanjiu wished that everything would end soon.
“What’s the next zone?”
As she asked her question, she gripped the young man’s shoulder with her right hand tightly. She used her left hand to wipe her face. Before she could return her left hand to its original place, through her wet eyelashes, she saw something appear in front of the stream. Water gushed down from them, hammering the water below, and giving rise to a thin layer of humid mist. It took quite a while for the mist to dissipate. Then, they finally saw the real features of what had emerged from the water below.
A dozen divers stood on top of the row of cement columns, preparing to plunge into the water below.
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