48 Hours a Day
Chapter 82 - PTSD
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
This time, the game ended in the early hours of the morning. Only a few people were still partying in the bar downstairs when Zhang Heng stepped out of the lounge.
Instead of summarizing his experience right away as he did in the past, he returned to the university, showered, and went straight to bed. Right now, all he wanted was to clear his mind of any thoughts. He genuinely did not want to think about anything.
In the middle of his slumber, the door suddenly creaked open, rousing him from his sleep. Zhang Heng instantly rolled off his bed and reached for a gun, but obviously, there was nothing for him to grab.
Wei Jiangyang who had just walked into the room was startled at his friend’s reaction. He stood at the door, too stunned to react for a moment before muttering, “Bro… brother, are you alright?”
Zhang Heng cringed at the slightly awkward situation. Even though his body was physically the same, that two month war experience had scarred him in a whole different way.
Compared to before, he was a much lighter sleeper – even the slightest of movements would wake him. This was his body’s self-defense mechanism kicking into high gear, in response to the complex and harsh environment he had been put into. Now and then, whenever he was walking down the street, he would subconsciously look around, keeping an eye out for bunkers.
Zhang Heng knew very well about a mental condition called PTSD, which stood for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was common among veterans who had fought in wars. Mostly, symptoms varied from a complete reeenaction of the battle experience, reclusiveness, and hypervigilance.
Currently, Zhang Heng was more prone to the third symptom. Although able to recover from most of the war’s trauma in his final month in Sweden, it was going to be really difficult for him to return to the mental state he was in prior to the war.
Since he was already awake, Zhang Heng decided to not continue sleeping. He found himself something to eat in the cafeteria, then proceeded to the library with his laptop.
After spending an entire afternoon completing the game’s summary, Zhang Heng found himself thinking about the necklace in his pocket, so he looked up Finnish folklores on the internet.
Finnish and Ugrian folklore were around even before the 10th Century and were very similar to those of the Samoyedic people and the Altai tribe. As time passed, the neighboring tribes had slowly influenced their lore.
Iranian myths, Turkic myths, and Baltic myths had, in their own way, been incorporated into Finnish folklore. Later on, influence of Islamic and Christian cultures was apparent as well. It was a very complicated subject, involving numerous deities. Considering these tales were not the most popular, only few records were left of them.
Zhang Heng had no choice but to breach the Great Firewall of China to access Google for the information he wanted. He had been combing through the web until 10 pm that night when he finally found a picture of a necklace that looked identical to the one he had.
Zhang Heng’s drowsiness suddenly vanished! He clicked onto the webpage and found the deity in the picture–Tapio, the god of the forest. He was an ancient Finnish God, depicted as a fir tree. It was said that he could help in making hunts more fruitful for those who worshiped him. Religious reformist leader Mikael Agricola had preserved precious genealogical materials in a ‘list of gods’ which he had written in 1551. This included Tapio.
Simone was born into a family of hunters and had grown up in the mountains with her grandfather. So, it was no surprise that she too worshipped Tapio.
Except for the wood carving he obtained from Tokyo Drift, which he still found no information about, the Lucky Rabbit’s Foot, Moresby, and the necklace from this round all had their connections to folklore. This was especially true for Moresby’s appearance in the real world. Zhang Heng realized that things might not be as simple as they seemed.
Unfortunately, the old man in the Tang suit had already left for Europe, and Zhang Heng had no one else he could ask about these things . Apparently, it was because of some old covenant that he could not reveal too much information to him. At least that was what the old man said before he left.
Zhang Heng closed his laptop and remained seated for a while as he tried to piece the puzzle in his mind. However, not long after that, he heard the sounds of people giggling.
Three girls had occupied the table to his left. Two hours ago, Zhang Heng noticed that one of them, a lanky girl with glasses, had been stealing glances at him. He thought that there was something on his face. Now, there were another two girls giggling too as they peeked at him in secrecy.
When they saw that Zhang Heng was looking over to them, the two girls nudged the lanky girl. The latter got up from her seat and walked towards Zhang Heng, eyes on the ground. She stuttered, “Fri… friend… Can I ask you a question?”
Zhang Heng was a little surprised, but he knew why she had approached him. Even then, he still took the Advanced Mathematics workbook from her. Then, he very patiently wrote down a derivation process in great detail. After that, he looked at his mobile phone and told her, “I’m sorry. My girlfriend is looking for me.”
A flash of disappointment flickered in the girl’s eyes. She forced a smile, fumbled a thank you, before plodding back to her seat, crestfallen.
Now that he had sown the seed, he had to see this lie he fabricated out of kindness to the end. Zhang Heng packed up his things and left.
To his greatest surprise, however, it turned out that he really did receive a message on his phone. It was the bartender lady.
Zhang Heng opened the pdf file she sent him as he walked towards the elevator with his bag. It turned out to be the long-overdue game-points service form that he had asked her ages ago.
He briefly scanned the document. In addition to an identification service, there was also a list of items for sale – these were not game items, but a collection of bizarre things. When compared to these items, the tulewood box that contained them would easily be considered as ordinary.
These peculiar objects included blood from a cow’s first birth and the 45th feather of a crow, a bunch of things that made no sense. Amongst these were other normal items but seemed unusual because of their inclusion in the list.
Zhang Heng texted the bartender lady just to be sure.
She replied after a moment.
[Why? Are you trying to hit on me?]
Zhang Heng continued,
[No, I’m not talking about QQ. I just saw that ‘penguin’ is on the list of things for sale!]
Business must have been slow because the bartender lady replied to him almost instantly.
[Oh, why? Do you plan on buying one? They’re relatively cheap. One game point for two. You’ll even get a freezer for free!]
[No need for that. Thanks.]
Zhang Heng just wanted confirmation. There was no point in keeping two penguins in the dorm, having no knowledge whatsoever about the creatures. Besides, the school had refused to install air conditioners for the dorms even after everyone had repeatedly demanded for them. The dorms were like furnaces during the summer. Not everyone could take the stifling heat, let alone the poor penguins.
He continued to scroll down the list before something caught his eye.
[What does ‘extra game’ mean?]
[It means precisely what it says it is, but you’ll need to have 500 game points, and you can only choose from the previous game script. Its duration is also fixed at 60 days.]