editors: apricot & juurensha
The short, quiet interlude passed, and they reluctantly left the space and took in the scenery outside. Xiao Sa was startled; the once lush mountain forest was now desolate, the land blackened, the hills bare. The birds and animals had all disappeared – what had happened to Phoenix Mountain?
Bai Jing’s lips twitched. He didn’t feel guilty at all, but he would never tell Xiao Sa that this was the result of his anger. Besides, in this kind of world, protecting the mountains and the forests was really unnecessary. He brought out a Hummer straightaway, turned his head, and called out to Xiao Sa, “Hey, get in the car, let’s go.”
Xiao Sa wasn’t given any time to sigh over the desolation of Phoenix Mountain. He heard Bai Jing’s shout and very consciously got into the driver’s seat. Bai Jing quickly followed him into the car.
The mountain road was winding, and the ground uneven. Phoenix Mountain was silent except for the rattle of the Hummer as it made its way along the road. Their journey went smoothly, and they didn’t meet any zombies, mutant animals, or human beings. It was as though they were the only two left in this vast land, and there was even no trace of greenery.
Xiao Sa’s heart grew heavier and heavier as they travelled, his expression serious, and his thin lips pressed tightly together. His gaze was dark as it remained focused outside of the car, seemingly waiting for the storm that came after the calm. He didn’t dare relax his vigilance and remained on guard for a big fight.
It was unknown how much time had passed before the radio in the car suddenly stuttered with noise. Bai Jing’s eyes brightened, and he rushed forward to turn up the radio, “There’s signal.”
Xiao Sa’s expression also relaxed. Being able to obtain news on the radio was a good thing; their journey had been far too quiet, to the point of being disturbing.
“… Emergency Notice! Emergency Notice! Please note that our base was attacked by zombies at ten minutes past midnight yesterday. So far, it’s already the twelfth day in a row that the base has been attacked. If there are any fortunate survivors out there, please take note and gather with us at K City after hearing this radio broadcast…”
“Pa!” Bai Jing was totally unconcerned as he changed the radio channel. There was nothing to say about the attack. There was another burst of static, and a sweet female voice rang out.
“… To all surviving people, we are XXX Base. We have excellent and powerful teams, as well as outstanding mercenary corps. We are the largest survivor base in the region and have excellent ability users that have come from all over. We are currently facing a crisis of zombie attacks, and welcome all ability users to come work together to resist the crisis, and join us so that we can continue to work hard for the future…”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“… We are ZZZ Base, we have strong supply search teams, tight defensive patrols, and abundant supplies. We can offer favourable conditions to survivors seeking refuge…”
Despite switching between several different radio stations, the passionate speeches were all pretty much the same, trying to recruit survivors to their bases. The words they spoke all made it sound as though it was raining flowers, but only the devil knew what the reality was actually like. After listening to several broadcasts, Xiao Sa remained silent for a moment before saying shortly, “We’re going to K City.”
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As darkness fell and night approached, the sky began to drizzle, and rain pitter-pattered as it fell to the ground. Only the wobbling beams of light from the car’s headlights could be seen. There was no sign of human habitation on the road, and broken walls and buildings were scattered everywhere. Seeing the deserted villages, Bai Jing’s brows wrinkled into a frown; his originally indifferent and careless mentality gradually grew heavy.
Xiao Sa turned his head to glance at his lover and comforted him quietly. They had travelled all day and night, and there was a trace of tiredness between his brows, “Don’t think about it too much, it’s none of your business. We’ll probably reach K City the day after tomorrow.”
After hearing this, Bai Jing sneered and gave Xiao Sa a strange look. He didn’t know how Xiao Sa had reached the conclusion that he would feel guilty. He, Bai Jing, had never been a good man. Even if he hadn’t set fire to the mountains, how long could these villages and bases hold on for? Now, what would’ve happened eventually had merely occurred ahead of time. What he was worried about were the zombies and mutant animals that had been driven out by the fire. Where were they now? Were they now hiding somewhere, waiting for an opportunity?
Xiao Sa was choked and said awkwardly, “Don’t frown. We’ll find a place to rest up ahead.”
Bai Jing snorted, “That’s what you said earlier.” There were no signs of human habitation anywhere, and there was nothing left in the villages they’d passed. He was really angry that Xiao Sa didn’t know how to take care of himself. Was it really necessary for them to push forward like this?
Xiao Sa was speechless. No matter what, Bai Jing was right. Those who were afraid of their wives were truly vulnerable; he thought about it for a while and finally came up with, “Little Jing, be good. Listen to me, it’s not safe here.”
“Then we’ll go back to the space.” Bai Jing rolled his eyes. Wasn’t he just treating him like a child?
Xiao Sa was silent for a moment, then explained, “The space is our last resort. We haven’t found a safe way to shield it from psychic ability users, and I don’t want you to become too reliant on it. Your safety is the most important thing. This ability must not be leaked out.” Xiao Sa’s tone had turned harsh by the time he finished speaking.
“But isn’t there nobody around here?” Bai Jing pouted. Although he was still dissatisfied, his attitude softened a lot.
“Just in case. I don’t want you to encounter any danger, and I don’t want any accidents to happen.”
“Hmph!” The corners of Bai Jing’s pout curved upwards. His expression showed that he was touched, but his attitude continued to express dissatisfaction. When the two contradictory expressions appeared on his face, it was incredibly cute.
Xiao Sa glanced at the rearview mirror and laughed in his heart. The kitten whose hackles had been raised really needed to be petted the right way!
Bai Jing thought about it, then raised his chin and arrogantly ordered, “I’ll drive, or we’ll find a place to rest. You pick one.”
Xiao Sa sighed. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in Little Jing’s driving ability, but the road was rough, and broken bridges and deep pits were everywhere. He was able to travel unimpeded by using his powers. It was better not to have Little Jing drive, and besides, it was raining. “Be good, don’t argue. We’ll rest when we find a suitable place up ahead. I’ve upgraded my abilities, and I’m full of energy. Don’t blindly worry.”
Bai Jing’s little face turned dark, wondering if he’d worried for nothing. Xiao Sa secretly thought, ‘not good’. He quickly laughed and added, “I know you’re concerned about me, but I’m not tired, truly. If you’re idle and bored, help me prepare something to eat, okay, wife?”
“Who’s your wife?” Bai Jing spat out even as he blushed slightly.
Xiao Sa struck quickly and gave him a kiss, then said sadly, “Wife, you can’t not acknowledge me.”
Bai Jing gave him a cold, disgusted look, his expression thunderous. This piece of trash was definitely not Xiao Sa! “Get lost. Stop putting on airs.”
Xiao Sa smiled and said nothing more. He drove on leisurely, waiting for Little Jing to prepare food. Coaxing his wife really was a demanding, highly technical job, but he was happy to do it.
The rain became heavier and heavier as it poured down, and the puddles on the damaged highway grew deep. The two of them shook and rattled through the journey, and after travelling for a day and a night, they finally saw smoke from human fires!
The gray sky was somewhat depressing. There was a search team of more than twenty people at the three-forked road not far ahead. They were on stand-by and prepared to meet any challenge; it seemed that they had discovered the two of them long ago.
At this time, this moment, this place, any search team that could explore outside had all gone through a hundred wars without exception. Even the peasants who used to only take up hoes had trained themselves to be sharp. The beast-like eyes that gazed at the Hummer that was approaching from up front gleamed with predatory intent. No matter how concealed, the malice, greed, and temptation in the depths of these people’s eyes, as well as their eagerness to take advantage of all possible opportunities could not be hidden. They were like hungry wolves who had suddenly discovered a big, fat sheep. The delicacy was right in front of their eyes; how could the hungry wolves stay calm and hide their intentions?
“There’s someone up ahead.” Bai Jing spoke lazily. He felt no pressure.
Xiao Sa’s expression did not change as he replied, “I know.” Their lock on their target was too obvious, their gazes too forceful; even blind people would be able to discover them.
Bai Jing raised his eyebrows and was quite upset. “Say, do we really look like fat sheep?”
Xiao Sa smiled indifferently and did not comment on Bai Jing’s words. In his opinion, they didn’t only look like fat sheep, they were genuine fat sheep. However, the premise was that people could beat him. Who told Little Jing to be so luxurious? If they didn’t claim to be fat sheep, that would simply be letting their stockpile down. Not to mention food, clothing, and other necessities, just take a look at the Hummer they were using. Even if it was currently dirty, having such a high-performance modified car during the end of the world meant that they wanted for nothing. It was the best possible vehicle for touring, collecting supplies, and robbing places – not only did it have high defense, it was also fully equipped – who wouldn’t be envious when they saw it?
Bai Jing looked at the people with ill intentions up ahead with an ugly expression. Psychic ability users and the like were the worst! Obviously, he and Xiao Sa had been exposed for a long time, and that group was simply waiting here for the rabbit to approach. A young man ran forward and greeted them from afar, shouting in their direction, “Hello! Brothers, where did you guys come from?”
His tone was very cordial, and his words very familiar. It was common to meet people like that before the apocalypse, but now, Bai Jing didn’t believe that in a situation where the other side had more people and could win by numbers, they would still be able to meet such enthusiastic people. Only, he was a little surprised that this group of people didn’t immediately surround them and actually knew how to first show courtesy before using force.
The drizzling rain did not hinder anyone. Xiao Sa drove up smoothly and carelessly, looking straight ahead. The group of mercenaries stood in the rain like sculptures, ignoring the rain dripping onto them. Everyone was on guard against the enemy, their postures showing their readiness to take action.
Xiao Sa glanced at them, then laughed lightly and praised, “These people are very cautious.” Even though their gazes were fierce and vicious, giving off the feeling of hungering, slavering wolves rushing towards food, in this situation where they were unclear about the other party, the leader of their group was still very clever and strict.
“I hope they’ll know what’s best for them.” Bai Jing’s laugh was extremely disdainful. He just needed to think a little to understand the reason behind their actions. He and Xiao Sa had too few people, were too leisurely, and it had put this group on alert. However, that made sense – the world now was too chaotic, and anyone who still had some brains in their heads who saw two people travelling alone outside would probably think twice before taking action.