Chapter 3: Misty Track (3)

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    “The countdown has begun, please gather near the starting line!”





    Mo Xiaoyao found that a red barrier was slowly rising near the starting line, and the blue barrier around the small stage where she was standing was gone.
In the place where people climb up, several metal fences slowly rose, and stopped at about her waist, enclosing the entire small stage.

    Yue Yin held the drumstick in a standard way.
Jiang Yan also put two slender and powerful hands on the keyboard.
Mo Xiaoyao pursed her lips, put the bass strap around her neck and pressed it against her black and white plaid cotton shirt.

    Tentatively, the music beat a most basic rhythm, and the three felt their feet move.
The small stage began to slide to the left front at a speed of no more than 5 miles per hour.

    Yue Yin said the truth: “This speed…
I'm afraid we're finished.”

    Mo Xiaoyao lowered her head and fiddled with the bass in her hand, pressing her fingers on the four thick cold strings, feeling a little dazed.
She hadn't touched this thing for about 6 years, and since her parents said that she was 18 years old and should be responsible for her future life, she never returned to that so-called home.

    Of course, she never touched the bass that had long since become her younger brother and sister's new toy.

    After trying to play the first part of “Let's Swing the Oars”, Mo Xiaoyao found that the front of the small stage, where the microphone was, turned to the direction of her bass position.

    Turning around, the bass position was facing to the right, and the stage rotates with it.
Apparently this was how the so-called bass/guitar player controls the direction.


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    There was already a noisy roar on the track, and all those who could drive, those who couldn't drive, those with vehicles, and those without vehicles gathered near the starting line.

    With Yue Yin and Jiang Yan's attempts, the small stage also floated past, but it didn't get a good position and stopped in the middle of the outer ring.

    Behind the more than 20 cars, there were a group of people walking by on their own two legs.
They either cursed in resentment or cried in despair.
Only a few people still try to climb into the cars that didn't seem to be full.

    A woman was squeezed beside Mo Xiaoyao, holding a child who looked only 3 or 4 years old in her arms.
At this time, the small stage floated up a certain distance because there was no restraint.
It was around the position of the woman's shoulders.
She obviously couldn't climb up by her own strength.

    “Please, help me.” The woman begged, holding the child over her shoulders, hoping that the people above could help.

    The closest person was Jiang Yan, but the man just stared intently at the keyboard in front of him, not even looking at the woman.
Yue Yin's position was troublesome, he had to bypass Jiang Yan to get close to the woman, so he turned his attention to Mo Xiaoyao for help.

    Mo Xiaoyao couldn't bear the pleading eyes of the Golden Retriever warm man* for a long time.
She stepped on the large cartoon slippers given to her by Yue Yin, and hung a heavy bass (on her).
With a little effort, she walked to the woman's side and stretched out her hand to the lifted child, and then stopped after her fingertips touched an invisible barrier.

*Golden Retriever is docile, well-behaved, and caring, often called '暖男' aka warm man

    The woman looked at Mo Xiaoyao in puzzlement, and then pushed the child up with all her might, her tone was full of anxious pleading: “Sister, help me, pick up the child first, the time is drawing near.”

    Mo Xiaoyao half bent over and looked at the woman.
The bass was still affected by the gravitational pull of the earth, which no longer existed, and swayed back and forth in front of her chest: “There is something blocking me, I can't take this child.
You can try it yourself.” After speaking, she straightened up and walked back to her original position, ignoring the stunned and panic-stricken woman and her child.

    If Yue Yin hadn't lent her the comfortable shoes first, Mo Xiaoyao would have ignored Yue Yin's request for help, let alone approached the woman, even if she looked pitiful.

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    When Mo Xiaoyao was still full of blood*, she helped a person who had nothing to do with her out of sympathy, but as a result, Mo Xiaoyao lost her most important friend and suffered from mild PTSD, the post-traumatic stress disorder.

*passionate, full of spirit, enthusiastic

    To put it simply, after that, her interest in participating in important activities decreased significantly, she distanced herself from the relationship with unfamiliar people, and did not even look forward to her future life.

    She was fine with her former friends and colleagues, she could still communicate with others normally, and she looked no different from normal people.
But outside, especially on commuting vehicles, she was completely against communicating with a stranger.

    Fortunately, the society was developing rapidly.
There were many restaurants that had mobile phone ordering.
Mo Xiaoyao could complete her eating schedule without talking to anyone.

    She also went to see a psychiatrist for this, and received several courses of treatment, but the results were minimal.
The biggest gain was that Mo Xiaoyao realized something.

    If she was sick, then she was sick, she wouldn't die.
Wasn't it just that she didn't take the initiative to talk to strangers? It couldn't even reach the level of social anxiety.
It was not that she was afraid of talking to strangers, but she had no interest in talking to strangers at all.
Though, as long as the other party showed her kindness first, she could accept it without any burden, and no longer put them in the range of strangers.

    Such as Yue Yin, who had let her wear his own shoes before.

    Mo Xiaoyao's voice was not loud, but everyone heard what she said just now.
Jiang Yan immediately raised his head and walked to the edge of the small stage to try, while Yueyin had a tangled face – he never thought about the possibility of Mo Xiaoyao lying to him, but he felt pity for the mother and son underneath.





    As the countdown approached, the woman frantically wanted to bring the child up, but no matter how much she tossed, the invisible barrier kept blocking her behavior, and anything she did was useless.

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    Jiang Yan, after testing the existence of the barrier, had already walked back to his position, waiting for the final start.


    Jiang Yan put his hands on the keyboard.


    Yue Yin clenched the drumstick.

    “The game begins!”

    With a piercing whistle, the red barrier on the starting line instantly shattered into particles and dissipated in the air.
All kinds of strange-shaped cars rushed forward, lest they be squeezed by someone and accidentally pushed behind.

    Mo Xiaoyao's small stage was the one that fell behind, only a little better than the person who runs forward on two legs.
She even saw that the woman with the child also ran past them and looked back.
There was undisguised happiness in her eyes.

    …Is it fortunate that the barrier blocked her, so she didn't get on this classic snail car?

    Mo Xiaoyao didn't know what the woman was thinking, but she knew that they should hurry up.

    Fortunately, this embarrassing situation only lasted for more than 10 seconds, and Yue Yin and Jiang Yan found a way to cooperate and move forward.
The speed of the small stage suddenly accelerated, quickly outpacing those doomed to be eliminated.

    The original track was flat and wide, with some ups and downs at most.
As the cooperation between the two became more and more proficient, the speed of the small stage also reached a new level.

    She estimated that it was around 120 miles per hour.
Mo Xiaoyao thought while staring at the road ahead.
She could be said to be the most leisurely among the three now.
The flat road seems to have no boundaries.
If it continued like this, she felt that this thing did not need a bass player that could control direction at all.

    “Don't be careless.” Jiang Yan said suddenly, his fingers mechanically playing the song “Let's Swing the Oars” on the keyboard, but his eyes were fixed on the front.

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We should practice more.” Mo Xiaoyao replied and also reminded.
Her fingers skillfully fiddled with the strings, and the rhythm and melody of the keyboard and drums echoed with the bass caused people's souls to tremble.

    Even without Jiang Yan's reminder, Mo Xiaoyao also knew that in this game, it would not be so easy to outpace others.
After she was too lazy to communicate with others, she spent almost all her spare time on watching dramas and playing stand-alone games.

    Mo Xiaoyao had enough reasons to suspect that this flat road was similar to the novice teaching level in the game, in order to allow the racers to better familiarize themselves with their cars in order to deal with the subsequent official levels.

    So she tried it just now.
If she stopped after a song part, she could control the direction for about 20 seconds.
But if she kept playing uninterrupted, in addition to being in control all the time, she would feel very flexible.

    Flexible enough to even play with the brakes to drift.

    Mo Xiaoyao thought about it.
Anyway, these two people took the initiative to talk to her, and they were grasshoppers on a rope*.
According to this relationship, they should be regarded as colleagues, not strangers.

*A Chinese proverb.
The meaning of it is that they are all on the same side and tied to each other.
If one failed, the other would also fail.
If the rope breaks, both grasshoppers will die. 

    Yue Yin's eyes lit up immediately: “Try it!”

    In his heart, Jiang Yan calculated the distance with the team at front and the team behind them, and agreed with this proposal (to practice).

    Then, in a strange way, the little stage began its performance practice on the flat road.

    After four minutes, Jiang Yan called off the practice, and when he looked back, he could already see that people who were good at running were already catching up.
Fortunately, at this time, the three of them had already figured out the way and had a standard code for cooperation.
Later, they could use it if they really needed to.

    Then, Yue Yin and Jiang Yan buried their heads in time to hurry, and once again put away some distance to the team behind them.
Just as they could see the end of the line of cars ahead, a screeching sound that caused goosebumps all over suddenly came from the fog beside the road.

    Immediately afterwards, a monster about one meter tall unexpectedly sprang out from the left rear of the small stage.

    Its skin shone with a metallic sheen, and its head was triangular.
They couldn't see where the eyes were, only a mouthpart full of sharp teeth which opened and closed with a hissing sound.

    After the monster came out, it immediately locked on the small stage closest to it as the first target, and then landed on all fours, running in an extremely fast zigzag way.
After a triple jump, it then caught up with Mo Xiaoyao and the others.

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