But this time, no flames appeared on the air hostess’ body.
Did I miss the opportunity? The chubby air hostess thought to herself.
At this time, a row of words appeared within the light: [Don’t hit me, if you do, I’ll fall out with you!]
The chubby air hostess got a really huge scare—she was so startled she jumped back, almost knocking Tubo, who was standing behind her, to the ground.
About two minutes later, the heavy and enormous metal gate started to go up slowly.
However, the gate did not fully open but stopped after creating a two-meter-tall gap beneath it.
That was enough to let everyone through… though when they were passing through the city gate, it made them feel kinda scared. With such an enormous metal gate suspended above their heads, they couldn’t help but feel that there was a possibility of it dropping on them by accident. If it dropped… wouldn’t the people beneath it get squashed into human paste?
Hence, the passengers took quick steps to get under the gate, afraid of getting squashed to a pulp in the event it did drop.
After safely passing through, everyone secretly heaved a sigh of relief. Next, they curiously sized up the view on the other side of the city gate.
What they saw was an extremely wide path that led straight into the inner city. There were ancient trees planted neatly on both sides of the path that were at least ten meters tall, and a clear river…
And on the side, there was an elderly man wearing ancient clothes. It seemed as though he had been waiting for them.
Behind the elderly man, there were fifteen herculean men.
"Heroes who have come from afar, welcome to our place!" The elderly man in ancient attire welcomed them cordially, shaking each and every one of their hands, starting from Joseph who was at the front.
Such cordiality was hard for the passengers to accept in such a short period of time.
But finally, when the elderly man shook Song Shuhang’s hand, Song Shuhang slightly furrowed his brows—he had opened his Eye Aperture and could see everything in detail.
Thus, he had closely observed the way the elderly man smiled, his posture, and his tone when he was shaking hands with each person, they were all the same.
Especially when he said, "Welcome, welcome", the tempo of his speech scarcely changed.
It made Song Shuhang instinctively think of the voice that was played from the speakers from above the wall—the elderly man was exactly like that, as if his whole person was on a loop!
After shaking Song Shuhang’s hand, the elderly man said excitedly, "Thank you heroes, thanks to you, we successfully defended against the eagles’ attack!"
After finishing his sentence, he clapped as hard as he could.
Behind him, the fifteen herculean men followed suit and started clapping with all their might.
Song Shuhang’s feelings of doubt became more apparent—when the fifteen men clapped, their movements were perfectly in sync, as if they were robots manufactured in the exact same way.
"There is no need to stand on ceremony, it was only self-defense." Song Shuhang was testing waters—he kept suspecting that this huge ‘mysterious island’ could be similar to an ‘illusory reality’. Hence, he wanted to test if the elderly man could hold a conversation with himself.
If his reply did not make sense, that it was most likely an illusory reality.
"Regardless, you are all heroes, we are extremely grateful!" The elderly man was able to reply readily. Thereafter, he continued, "If it is ok with you guys, can we carry the bodies of the beasts into the city? Even though they always bring us a lot of problems, they are a delicacy. All of you must be exhausted—what you guys need is some nourishment to relieve your fatigue."
"You can make all the decisions here, and as you have said, our stomachs are rumbling with hunger. Also, is it possible for you to arrange a place for us to rest for a moment?" Song Shuhang asked.
"No problem, although we do not have anything else in the city, we do have a lot of vacant places for you to rest at." The elderly man laughed—even though the ancient city was vast, most of it was empty land.
As they were speaking, the elderly man lightly gestured and the fifteen herculean men walked out in an orderly fashion. Ten of them split into two groups that carried the carcasses of the two enormous eagles that Song Shuhang killed. The remaining five men walked along the wall towards the left, as they wanted to bring back the first eagle that Song Shuhang killed.
"Follow me, I will bring all of you somewhere you can rest," said the elderly man in ancient clothes before turning around and leading the way.
The passengers looked doubtfully at Song Shuhang.
Song Shuhang answered, "Go ahead, we entered the city with much difficulty, we naturally gotta take a look."
On their way, the elderly man was very cordial and enthusiastic as he kept introducing the majestic ancient city to Song Shuhang.
He was very detailed in his explanations—even a stone tablet itself was explained clearly and logically, allowing people to fully immerse themselves in its history... the passengers felt as though they couldn’t interrupt his speech.
Song Shuhang and the elderly man talked and laughed, nodding their heads in agreement.
Thereafter… as they continued talking, suddenly Song Shuhang smiled and said, "Mister, have you taken a dump?"
"Haha, indeed little friend, you think so too." The elderly man laughed.
The conversation… doesn’t flow!
Song Shuhang pondered and tried asking a more impolite question, "Mister, is your mom a monkey?"
For that question, Song Shuhang’s enunciation was indistinct and he spoke at a faster speed—in case something went wrong, he could explain that he got tongue-tied and what he meant to say was ‘Mister, do you have monkeys here?’.
The surrounding passengers were dumbfounded, they didn’t know what Shuhang was up to.
However, the elderly man seemed not to have heard what Song Shuhang said, he merely maintained the smile on his face.
He even cordially held onto Song Shuhang’s hand and continued to introduce the willow trees in front of them to Song Shuhang in a friendly way. "Come here, hero. Look at how healthy the willow trees are. Don’t look down on them, they have a long history of about one hundred years. It is said that by picking their new buds every year and mixing them with some medicinal herbs, you’d be able to concoct a great tea that helps to strengthen one’s body."
My question got ignored? But the conversation… still doesn’t flow.
Song Shuhang felt somewhat apologetic, but cordially tested waters again. "Your dad is a gorilla."
"Hahah, you think this willow tree is not bad too, right?" The elderly man in ancient clothes touched his beard while admiring the tree.
Song Shuhang nodded his head with a face full of admiration. "You’re an African monkey."
"Hahaha, what you said makes sense!" The elderly man laughed.
The rest of the passengers were dumbfounded. They kept pulling at their ears, wondering if Song Shuhang’s ears had problems. Or could it be the elderly man’s ears instead? Or was it simply both? Perhaps everyone in the world was having problems?
Indeed, the entire conversation went downhill.
Song Shuhang used all his strength to rub his face. There was indeed something wrong with the elderly man before his eyes… He was obviously operating according to some sort of pre-arranged script.
At the entrance of the city gate, the elderly man’s replies were coherent. It was apparent that he was the same as ‘chatbot AIs’, picking up keywords and the other party’s facial expression to choose the appropriate reply.
After entering the city, the elderly man activated the next mode—‘introducing the city’. He continuously introduced everything in the city, such that everyone else had no chance to interrupt.
Even if it wasn’t an illusory reality, the elderly man was most likely the host of an AI or something similar.
Forget it, bullying a chatbot AI doesn’t make me feel accomplished.
I should just directly ask what I want to know the most.
"Old man, I have a question. Earlier on, did the passengers who chose the ‘YES’ option on the city gate really get sent home?" asked Song Shuhang.
"The option on the city gate? What’s that?" The elderly man in ancient clothes turned his head and asked curiously in reply.
This question… isn’t in the sphere of the elderly man’s knowledge?
Song Shuhang asked once again, "Then old man, how can we leave this place?"
At this moment, all the passengers shot anticipating gazes in his direction.
"Leave this place?" The elderly man pointed at the tallest tower within the city and said, "See that tall tower? There is a huge transaction place in there. No matter who you are, you can use an item on your body to enter and exchange it for something you want. It’s a very honest transaction, you can definitely transact at an equal value!"
"You can exchange for an opportunity to leave this place?" Song Shuhang asked immediately.
The elderly man shook his head. "I already said that it is an honest and fair transaction, so how can we use the opportunity to leave to coerce people? As long as you complete one transaction, regardless of what kind of transaction it is, upon completion, you can leave this place."
Song Shuhang stared blankly.
Since it’s that simple… then why did the seniors in the Nine Provinces Number One Group face all kinds of difficulties on the mysterious island? Even though they did not suffer from any major injuries, they did go through a couple of grueling experiences.
Lastly, didn’t they also end up losing their memories? Could it be that the seniors went to a different place? Or perhaps the did they enter a different zone?
"We’re here, this place is under my jurisdiction. The house is pretty big, everyone please feel free to make yourselves comfortable. In a while, when the young men are done carrying the beasts, I will show you my skills." The elderly man laughed and performed some cooking gestures.
"Sorry to trouble you," replied Song Shuhang.
Even though he was an AI person, he did indeed help him and everyone else a great deal by telling them how to leave that place… after resting for a bit and recovering his strength and mental energy, he would be able to search for Zhuge Yue and Zhuge Zhongyang before heading to the tall tower and return home.
"In that case, please take a good rest. I won’t impose on all of you any further," the elderly man said warmly.
Everyone hurriedly greeted the elderly man politely.
The elderly man turned around and left. But… after walking two steps, he suddenly froze.
Thereafter, for no apparent reason, he went to Song Shuhang and warmly shook Song Shuhang’s hand.
At the same time, he said in a voice that only Song Shuhang could hear, "Welcome to the Heavenly Island, Song—Shu—Hang. I hope you have a great time."
Upon hearing that, Song Shuhang stiffened. The elderly man in front of him wasn’t an AI? And also, why did he say his name with pauses?
F*ck, wait a moment, if he wasn’t an AI, then the couple of things he said earlier were too much! The elderly man would definitely remember it!