Dominion’s End Volume 4: Battle for Lan City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 10: The Ice Spears—translated by Miaka_Mei (proofread by EvlNabiki & Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
I climbed up the bell tower that had been transformed into a sentry and looked into the distance. There really was a crowd of people coming toward Old Town, and there were at least one or two hundred of them. Plus, their direction was very clear. It’s definitely Old Town!
But how is this possible? Lan City is right behind Old Town. In our current phase, everyone wants to escape from the city, so why would a large group of people head over here?
Is this a mere coincidence, or are they aiming for us? But how did they find out that there are people here… Startled, I suddenly thought of something. Could it be that…
By this time, Yunqian and Shujun had climbed up after me. Once beside me, Yunqian handed over a pair of binoculars and explained, “Cain has already gone to inform Boss. The situation is very bad. The enemy has weapons, and some are dressed in military uniforms. Although we don’t know if they are real soldiers or not, those weapons are definitely genuine.”
I held the binoculars up and looked through them. It wasn’t hard to locate my target within the crowd—a tall and unusually conspicuous guy.
“They’re real soldiers.”
Ceng Yunqian was stunned, and doubtfully asked, “How do you know that? They do look like it, but it wouldn’t be hard for us, the mercs, to dress like soldiers, too. There’s basically not much of a difference.”
Putting the binoculars down, I was so furious that I could kill someone.
“Because I know the two morons among them!”
I roared, then jumped straight down from the bell tower, running toward the outside of the town. Once I ran to an empty street, I formed ice blades for gliding and reached the outskirts of the town in less than ten minutes. I’d be able to catch sight of the crowd right after the next turn.
Putting away the ice blades, I walked, step by step, toward the crowd of people. The opposite side seemed to have noticed me, but they didn’t appear very agitated since I was alone.
While walking over, I couldn’t help but think of how to settle things afterward. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. All I feel like doing is freezing to death a certain duo among them.
A guy rushed out from the crowd, excitedly running toward me, and had the gall to shout, “Xiao Yu!”
I tightly clenched my fists, suppressing the strong urge to give him a good beating on the spot. I furiously roared, “You. And that guy at the back—Get over here!”
Another guy from the rear slowly walked over. Unlike the happy one at the front, he was fairly calm and sterner than when we had first met. Still, he wore a smile on his face. He was greatly resisting becoming emotional, as if finally getting rescued after countless days of suffering.
Calm down, calm down. I still need to hide my strength. If I beat these two up in front of hundreds of people, then I can kiss hiding my strength goodbye… The fuck, most of these soldiers might already know about my strength!
I could feel my blood pressure rising. I brought both of them to the side, then turned to face them. One of them had a joyful look on his face, making me want to thrash him with a kick, just like how Guan Weijun said—stick him to the wall!
He jumped in fright, then stood straight in reply, “Yes!”
I bellowed, “So just because I let you bring a few people over, you think it’s fucking okay to bring a few hundred?”
Flustered, Chen Yanqing stammered, “T-They are just civilians. Most of them are from the previous shelter, and some were rescued along the way.”
”Some were even rescued along the way?” I want to freeze this idiot to death. “Have you thought of how you’re going to support these people?”
Chen Yanqing’s face flushed red, and he shook his head, seemingly discouraged.
The other tall guy, Ah Nuo remarked, “We are soldiers. We can’t abandon the civilians.”
I’m almost going crazy from frustration. I want to take them in exactly because they’re the type of good soldier who wouldn’t abandon civilians. Yet because of this great conduct of theirs, they’ve gone and brought over several hundred civilians. What kind of joke is this!?
Guan Weijun is my mom’s daughter and the Ice Emperor’s little brother. I had to think long and hard before accepting the sixty civilians that they brought along, much less the several hundred people who were a mix of civilians and soldiers—now that’s what I call ”chaos.” Why should I take in all of them?
Ah Nuo explained, “We have quite a few soldiers and weapons. We can go to the city to find supplies and support the civilians. All we need is a safe place to stay.”
I raged, “Do you really think every soldier is good at heart and believes in self-sacrifice? Someone as smart as you should know why you could order them around and even get them to support four or five civilians! It’s so they could reach the ‘safety’ that you spoke of!”
Ah Nuo was silent for a while, then said, “They’re my old comrades-in-arms. They won’t mess around.”
I coldly said, “The apocalypse is best at screwing people up. Forget about your old comrades. Do you really think that I trust you?”
Ah Nuo lifted his head and looked over, his smile fading away completely. “So you won’t take us in?”
“How do I take you in?” I said through gritted teeth, “I really can’t take in this many people. Even if I will, the other troop members won’t!”
Chen Yanqing appeared depressed.
Unexpectedly, Ah Nuo didn’t get angry. This slightly improved my impression of him. He contemplated momentarily with a deep frown, then said, “Our people are too many. We won’t make things difficult for you. Just let us station at the outskirts of the town. Right over here, just one street is good enough.”
I tightly clenched my fists, and flatly refused, “Not possible.”
This time, Ah Nuo said, clearly getting a little angry, “We came all the way over here, running for our lives. Do you have any idea how many people died along the way? Now that we finally made it and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, you won’t even let us settle down at the edge of town?”
I know. I understand all too well. In my previous life, were my days of fleeing any less? It was a dead world without any hope, where death was just a matter of time. I thought of killing myself every day. It might have been better than being eaten up alive, but I had always been afraid to die…
That sort of nightmare would remain vivid in one’s memories even after a long time had passed, so vivid that it would make people tremble.
That’s why I’m so obsessed with getting stronger. I will never, ever let anyone in the Jiang Dominion fall into such a predicament!
Seeing that I didn’t waver, Ah Nuo furiously said, “This is the country’s territory. You can’t occupy it!”
I snapped, “Who doesn’t occupy territories nowadays?! Cut that crap about the country’s territory. The whole world has become the aberrants’ nation, and there’s only one law—eat or be eaten!”
Ah Nuo’s face sank and appeared very unsightly. If he wasn’t wary of my strength, he would have long since turned hostile.
Chen Yanqing looked at Ah Nuo, then at me. In a quiet voice, he pleaded, “Shuyu, we really are exhausted. Throughout the whole journey, we needed to protect these civilians while sneaking around. We couldn’t travel far each day, so it wasn’t easy getting here. Our ammunition and food are also low. At least let us stay a few days before making a decision.”
Having heard what was said, the look on Ah Nuo’s face changed, and he glared severely at him.
I can’t be soft-hearted, can’t be soft… I’m a man now, so I have to harden my heart! But, to not even give them a few days… Fuck, I’m probably gonna be a wimp this entire life!
“You have three days to rest and reorganize.” Clenching my teeth, I said, “Once the three days are up, get lost!”
In response, Chen Yanqing let out a big sigh of relief, while Ah Nuo’s expression lightened. He even shot a glance toward Chen Yanqing, hinting that he did well.
Exchanging flirty looks right in front of me, what do you take me for? You think I can’t tell that your expressions mean “let’s decide three days later?”
The two turned around and called out to their group. Looking at the huge crowd of people coming into the town, I struggled to keep my composure and tried counting the number of soldiers. One, two… eight… fifteen… The more I counted, the more worried I became. Is it too late to change my mind and tell them to get lost?
Stunned, I turned and saw that Dàgē and the others had come over.
I was suddenly struck with guilt. We had taken in sixty people when I accidentally ran into Guan Weijun, and now there were another several hundreds of people. I really don’t know how to face Dàgē. I’m just like a magnet for trouble, and a fucking big one at that!
Dàgē was leading all the members of the JDT, with his oppressive aura released in full force. The members of the JDT didn’t even number ten, but they were so intimidating that the several hundred people fell completely silent; whereas Chen Yanqing, Wen Jianuo, and the other soldiers had raised their weapons as if confronted by a formidable enemy.
“Put your weapons down! That’s my big brother!” I furiously snarled.
When the two lowered their muzzles, the other soldiers then followed their example, gradually lowering their weapons. However, their hands were still clutching onto them, giving me the urge to beat them all up into a pulp. Daring to point a gun at Dàgē? Careful, or I’ll make shaved ice out of you all!
Dàgē came over to my side, his eyes slowly sweeping across the crowd. The crowd of people at the opposite side had already been so overwhelmed that they didn’t dare to let out a single breath, and now seeing Dàgē’s “calm yet intimidating” look, the crowd trembled even harder.
He asked me, “Who are these guys?”
I pointed at Wen Jianuo and Chen Yanqing and said, “I was on the way home when I got to know these two. We teamed up at the guard tower.” As for the others, just ignore them!
Dàgē coolly glanced at Ah Nuo and Chen Yanqing. “Soldiers?”
As if facing a senior officer, both of them respectfully replied, “Yes.”
“You’re the leader?” Dàgē decisively judged Ah Nuo as the person in charge.
Ah Nuo hesitated for a moment, and said, “Yes.”
Dàgē looked at the crowd and asked, “Estimate the number of people.”
Ah Nuo paused momentarily, but he quickly got hold of the current situation, and dutifully reported, “Forty-two soldiers, and approximately two hundred civilians.”
Upon hearing this amount, my expression darkened. Forty-two soldiers, more than four times the total number of the JDT.
Dàgē indifferently said, “Hand your weapons and supplies over, then you may stay. If you don’t wish to hand them over, then leave.”
Ah Nuo forced himself to stay calm and attempted to negotiate, “This is a bit too demanding. There are too many aberrants. We need weapons to—”
“Or defy me, and—”
Dàgē raised his hand at a nearby building and sent out a blast of energy—the sidewalk bench, the glass window display, the goods inside, and even the entire first floor of the building—everything that his powers touched was completely demolished. Specks of fragments wafted through the air, but were ultimately obliterated completely, until there wasn’t even a smidgen of dust left.
The expression on all their faces suddenly changed to one of horror, and they tightly grasped their guns, but none of them dared to point their gun at Dàgē.
“You can stay anywhere beyond this point.”
Dàgē pointed at the wrecked house and said, “Anyone who wants to enter must hand over their weapons and supplies. You have three days to consider it. If you won’t hand them over, then beat it. After three days, the only people left here will be dead people.”
Hearing this, the look on every soldier’s face didn’t seem to be very pleasant, and many civilians at the back were clutching their bags tightly.
At this time, a guy suddenly walked toward me. He casually handed a gun over to me and even pulled out a knife from his military boots, intending to hand it over.
I rolled my eyes at him. Who would want that knife from his stinky boots?
“Keep it to yourself.”
Chen Yanqing “Oh”-ed, and happily put the knife away, looking extremely grateful for being able to still keep it. This guy really has no ambitions in life.
Ah Nuo looked completely helpless, but he didn’t say anything in the end.
Chen Yanqing said with slight awkwardness, “We were gonna stay anyway. It’s not a big deal whether or not we have guns.”
Ah Nuo sighed. “The Heaven wishes it to rain, my mate wants to remarry, what else am I supposed to do?”
Upon hearing this, Dàgē shot a glance at Chen Yanqing. Luckily, he didn’t say anything that would damage his image.
“No, you guys got the wrong idea!” Chen Yanqing anxiously said, “Ah Nuo, you guys should come over, too. What do a few guns even matter? Have you forgotten? At the guard tower, Xiao Yu, he—”
I gave his head a vicious slap. It caught him completely off guard, and he was almost thrown into the ground to eat dirt.
Chen Yanqing touched the back of his head and looked at me with pure confusion.
“You should stay here and help Ah Nuo out.”
I couldn’t bear it any longer. At the other side, the look on their faces upon seeing Ah Qing’s quick betrayal—each and every one of them wasn’t surprised, yet they looked exceedingly gloomy.
But the truth was, Chen Yanqing wasn’t putting hoes before bros. He had been with me longer, so he was much clearer about my abilities than the others. He didn’t resist at all in regards to giving his weapons up because he knew that those guns were obviously nothing compared to staying here and properly training his abilities. Moreover, they were quickly running out of ammunition. These soldiers were just too accustomed to using their guns, so they hadn’t changed their way of thinking and weren’t as flexible as Ah Qing.
That is to say, since those guys have already misunderstood, and because of me leaving him behind, would he get ganged up and beaten up by everyone?
Chen Yanqing didn’t seem worried about it. He excitedly said, “Thanks, Xiao Yu. You’re a really good person.” Then, he turned around and went back.
Damn it! Lately, I’ve been getting so many brownie points for being such a great person that I could be a millionaire.
“Shuyu, come with me.” Dàgē said in discontent, “You’re young and soft-hearted. Others could easily take advantage of you.”
“Okay, Dàgē.” I obediently followed behind Dàgē, making use of his domineering influence to hide my true strength and pretend to be weak.
So far, it seemed to be quite effective. I got a bit overshadowed by Dàgē’s presence the instant he appeared. I had finally found a way to successfully hide my true strength—When standing beside Dàgē, all living things are weeds beneath his feet!
Dàgē then led us away. After walking some distance away, everyone started to chatter among themselves.
Cain gave a sigh of praise. “Shuyu, you’re taking in little brothers and sisters as fast as riding a plane. You got yourself hundreds of people in the blink of an eye. Absolutely incredible!”
I think I’m incredible, too. How did I bring back a few hundred people with a single sentence? I feel like crying right now.
“Dàgē, how are we supposed to take all of those people in? This is just too much! You don’t have to worry about me. If you want to kick them out, then just do it. I’m okay with just having Chen Yanqing.”
If Ah Nuo were willing to stay, then I wanted him, too. He seemed to be a talented guy even more capable than Ah Qing. But it was precisely because of his capabilities that he became the leader of this group, so just getting him to stay might be an impossible task.
“There aren’t that many people.” Contrarily, Dàgē said, “Xiao Sha has already told me about the Shangguan family. If we want to conquer Lan City, then we would need a lot of manpower to defend this territory and stop others from pillaging it. These hundreds don’t amount to much.”
I was startled. That’s right. Compared to the military district in the south, our numbers were so small that they could be overlooked. Dàgē and I might be able to block a few dozens, but that was only under the condition that we weren’t getting raked by bullets from dozens of guns. Plus, the other troop members weren’t as strong. Even if we were lucky enough to defeat hundreds of soldiers, the military district might not amount to only that much.
“You could say it’s good timing that these people turned up on our doorstep. At the start of the apocalypse, they were thrown from a peaceful life to becoming homeless vagabonds chased by aberrants. Providing shelter to these people living in fear of being devoured will easily foster a sense of belonging. In order to keep the JDT’s protection, they’ll become very obedient and won’t rebel easily.”
I contemplated for a while and realized it was true. If I had found a reliable troop and safe haven at the early stage of the apocalypse in my previous life, forget about a gun, I could have even thrown my boyfriend away, no doubt! Anyway, by that time, he had already more or less started to have affairs with other women. His reliability had slipped down as fast as going down a slide.
I said with a bitter smile, “I was lacking foresight and too hasty.”
Looking far ahead, taking people in at this time was the right thing to do. I had started to panic when I saw the horde of people, and to make things worse, they had come because of me. After talking with Dàgē, it finally came to me that these soldiers at least gave me the sense that they’re good-hearted people. Later on, finding even forty soldiers with personal integrity would be a harder task than finding a diamond on the street.
“No, you were just anxious because there are too few of us.” Dàgē patted my shoulder. “If it was in the past, I too would never have taken in so many people. But now, the might of our abilities is so overwhelming. If we wanted to obliterate those two hundred people, would it be that hard? Shuyu, you’re not actually that weak, right?”
Everyone in the JDT was stunned upon hearing Dàgē’s words. They were looking at me in utter disbelief.
I fell silent. I thought about the butterfly and caterpillar colony that I had wiped out. A soldier with a gun might be able to block two caterpillars, but not necessarily turn out victorious. An ordinary person without guns only had the fate of getting trampled by the caterpillars, let alone the more powerful butterfly. Actually, these two hundred people only had forty soldiers, so their combat capabilities were inferior to the butterfly and caterpillars.
I even had Dàgē and the JDT at my back. This fear seems to be a bit unreasonable.
“I’m not weak, just a little timid.”
My past life’s experiences had scared the wits out of me, so much that I didn’t even consider myself an elite. I still remembered the strength of those aberrants and elites in the latter half of the apocalypse. I had almost been scared to death. I would always feel that I wasn’t strong enough, that I could never catch up to those elites. But I had actually forgotten that it had only been half a year since the apocalypse, where most people hadn’t even seen an evolution crystal while I was already at the peak of tier two, and had even finished off an aberrant who had almost risen to tier three.
Encountering an almost tier three butterfly so early on, I wasn’t sure if this was the Jiang family’s bad luck, or whether the butterfly was more unlucky. If Ah Nuo and his crowd of two hundred had encountered the butterfly and the caterpillar colony, they’d have quickly taken a detour, while I had obliterated the butterfly and the caterpillar colony with just Xiaorong and the shard-like ice dagger.
Just what was I afraid of?
I’m just… lacking an elite’s self-confidence.
Dàgē said unhappily, “When you’re all alone, you’re extremely gutsy. I’m afraid that you’d rush over no matter what kind of aberrants you met. But if matters were to involve the people around you, you wouldn’t even have any guts left! You need to fix that part. It should be the other way around. Don’t go messing around all alone and have the troop miss out on training opportunities. They’re starting to feel dissatisfied. Xiao Sha said that he didn’t feel any danger entering the city with you and has decided to enter alone.”
I shot a glance at Xiao Sha, and explained, “I’m just worried that there will be casualties. We can’t afford any loss since our numbers are so small.”
Dàgē chuckled, and blandly said, “If they’re going to keep missing training, then losing them wouldn’t hurt us much. After all, they would just be leeching off of us, and my JDT doesn’t take in parasites.”
Such cruel words! I stared at Dàgē in shock. These guys are your comrade-in-arms that have faced life and death together with you. You actually said these words right in front of them. Is this really okay?!
“Shuyu. The scariest thing to my troop members isn’t dying. It’s becoming someone useless.”
Zheng-shū sighed. “Boss is right. I’ve never been skilled, and I’m also getting old. I can’t compare to you youngsters. Thankfully, my ability is somewhat useful. You can leave it to this old man to build the base. Don’t think that I can’t do it.”
That’s right. In the apocalypse, dying was such an easy matter. Being useless and struggling on at death’s door was actually the scariest torture. Hadn’t I experienced enough of that in the past life?
After figuring things out, I comforted Zheng-shū, “Don’t worry. People will get younger as they eat more evolution crystals. Zheng-shū will soon become Zheng-gē.”
“Seriously?” Everyone had a “what the heck?!” look on their face.
I nodded. “It’s true.”
Everyone’s expression turned slightly odd.
“So, we may live long and never grow old?”
“I don’t know.” I truthfully replied, “I only know about things up to ten years. That’s still far from living a long life.”
Besides, the mortality rate in the apocalypse is too high. Don’t mention a long life, not dying early is already very difficult. Even the Ice Emperor, one of the top twelve elites, had not personally experienced immortality because of all kinds of reasons, let alone anyone else.
And ten years later, it seems like something big is gonna happen… At that time, what will happen to the world…
“Ah?” I lifted my head, confusedly looking at Dàgē.
“Go back to your room to think. Don’t stop in the middle of the road.”
“Oh.” I silently went back to my room to play with Xiaorong. Still feeling apprehensive, I decided to train with Xiaorong on getting better coordinated. In the case that a problem arose from the two hundred people, I would be able to instantly seize control over them.
Returning to my room, I quickly took off my jacket and shirt to investigate the ice pattern on my bare torso in the mirror. Sure enough, the ice patterns on both of my arms had been completely restored to their silvery blue color, looking pretty much the same as in the past.
Raising my left hand, I called out for the ice dagger, and ice power immediately condensed into the form of a dagger. If I was not mistaken, it was much thicker than the last time, and the shape was more solid.
I carefully called out to the Ice Emperor’s spear. But this time, nothing happened. There was not even the slightest hint of the spear.
These two weapons don’t just depend on strength, but also on mood? However, I had no complaints. After all, they were things that shouldn’t have been mine in the first place. Right now, I ought to kneel down and give my thanks to the Ice Emperor for the opportunity to use the shard-like ice dagger.
If it wasn’t for how sharp this dagger was, and for how the Ice Emperor had somehow transformed Xiaorong into something like my summoned beast, I would never have been able to single-handedly get rid of the butterfly and caterpillar colony.
I beckoned my hand. Xiaorong pulled two roots out from the pot in the corner, then strode over with his short, plump, and leg-like roots. This tree could actually mimic a human walk. He was swaying and wobbling like a toddler just learning to take his first steps.
I picked Xiaorong up. He appeared very beautiful, like an ornament due to his semi-transparency, although he didn’t resemble an actual plant.
“Xiaorong. Be good, and your èrgē will let you have your fill of crystals! Can you try this…”
I had shut myself up in my room, playing with Xiaorong. Three days later, Chen Yanqing, Ah Nuo, and the two hundred people that they had brought along had chosen to stay behind, as expected.
Based on the words that had slipped out of Chen Yanqing’s mouth while he was earnestly pleading, I had guessed that they would most likely stay behind. They were lacking in food supplies and ammunition. A gun with no bullets was not much different from a piece of metal, so it hadn’t really been such a pity to hand it over. They just hadn’t been able to wrap their minds around it in such a short time.
By taking the two groups of people in, the Jiang Dominion had taken in three hundred fatties at once. Our supplies would sustain us for a while, but with so many people, I was afraid we’d have a critical shortage of food if we didn’t start looking for supplies soon.
In terms of farming, there were many seeds and plants in our supplies. They were safe to eat if planted now, but two years later, the plants might eat us instead. Furthermore, the third year of the apocalypse had been named as “the year of the death” because of the famine and a winter with a new record in low temperatures. You could freeze to death even while you were bundled up in a quilt inside a house.
Back then, everyone was going crazy from starvation and ate anything in sight, to the point that even cannibalism was no longer an uncommon occurrence. In the end, hunger had won over the fear of death, and humans had started to arm themselves against aberrants. During those dire times, we had managed to seize many edible aberrants; plants, animals, and even other unidentified things…
If I could search out those aberrants at an earlier time, and also sow plants or raise livestock in pens, we would have no problem with food supplies when we took more people in.
But searching for a particular aberrant was no easy matter. This wasn’t something that I could do all alone. It was also impractical to have everyone look for it, since others could easily notice that something was fishy.
As the Jiang Dominion took in more and more people, there’d surely be a lot of untrustworthy people among them. If the news of us looking for a particular aberrant were to reach the ears of some powerful person, such as the MORC, we would definitely arouse suspicion. And by the time the usefulness of those aberrants was discovered, these prophetic acts would cause the Jiang Dominion to be pushed to the very forefront of scrutiny.
If outsiders were to find out about my reincarnation, would I also get stuffed into a glass cylinder for experiments, like Thirteen was?
Upon thinking of this, I was struck by fear. If I were to get stuffed into a glass cylinder, I’m afraid that such a protective and doting Dàgē and Mèimei would have already…
Veins started throbbing in my forehead; I should stop envisioning these kinds of situations, or I might end up killing somebody.
I wanted to take advantage of my rebirth to do stuff, yet I had misgivings one after another. If I had enough strength to triumph over the MORC, would there be a need to be so apprehensive?
I roared, “Jiang Xiaorong! Come on, let’s try one more time!”
The transparent branches were like an overarching web, swooping down upon me.
W-We did it…
The experiment was a success, and I couldn’t help bursting into laughter. My body relaxed completely and collapsed onto the bed. The next time I come across the butterfly again, I won’t end up getting beaten black and blue!
Lying on the bed left me feeling groggy. Exhaustion swept over me in waves, and I closed my eyes and sank into a deep sleep… Who would have thought that the next time my eyes opened again, it would be due to nearly getting suffocated.
Ripping away the tree on my face and tossing it to the ground, I snapped, “Jiang Xiaorong, what are you doing, clinging onto my face? Sticking so tightly too. Are you trying to murder your èrgē!?”
“…” I must be really hungry. I was actually hearing voices, as if I heard the tree say “hungry.” Not out loud, but directly in my head. That was really strange.
Jiang Xiaorong curled up his branches while lying on the ground. That pitiful look of his really did make him appear like he had passed out from hunger. I picked up the silver flask from the desk and poured a crystal out. A lump of tree instantly leaped over, moving so fast it was as if that tree at death’s door from earlier was a completely different tree.
After feeding him an entire handful of crystals, I suddenly felt slightly guilty. I hadn’t given these crystals to a human, but a tree instead. However, I don’t think there are many humans who are as useful as my family’s Xiaorong. In the apocalypse, humans can’t even compare to trees. They might even be inferior to ants in the future!
Xiaorong clung to my body after eating his fill. He obediently wrapped around me in a “tank top” shape, just like a semitransparent vest. After thinking it through, I stretched my hand out and put on a coat, heading out to check on how the arrangements were going for the three hundred plus people.
The door of the meeting room on the third floor wasn’t closed. Everyone was coming and going, looking awfully busy. Upon seeing this, I suddenly felt a little embarrassed. Upon coming up with some ideas, I had gone straight to hiding inside my room to play with Xiaorong. Even my meals had been delivered by Junjun. I had completely disregarded the matter of handling this huge group. What’s more, I was the one who had attracted them!
Everyone lifted their heads and glanced at me, then resumed busying themselves. The desk was piled high with blueprints. Uncle and Zheng Xing were holding the blueprints, having a heated discussion. Ding Jun was occupied with jotting down the details of their discussion and occasionally drawing designs for them to see. Upon seeing me, his face stiffened up, then he lowered his head to draw designs.
Lily seemed to be the person in charge of organizing the manpower, with Junjun, Su Ying, and Auntie assisting her. From time to time, the three people would rush off their feet with work after receiving orders.
Yunqian, Xiao Sha, and Cain weren’t here. They had probably gone to stand guard at the sentry point and main gateway. There were three hundred strangers outside, but the JDT had only dispatched three people to stand guard at the door. This was not because of arrogance, but because we were greatly understaffed.
The whole meeting room was filled with a sense of “busyness.” Seated at the head of the table was Dàgē, the only person who wasn’t working. He was tapping on the desk surface with his index finger at almost regular intervals, while staring at a box of crystals and thinking about something.
They were the crystals from defeating the caterpillars, although I’d had to brace myself when I handed them over. Back then, Xiao Sha’s expression had turned dark upon seeing the large amount of crystals. His glare seemed to accuse me of leaving him out, of sneaking out alone to have a great meal.
Dàgē glanced over, and smilingly said, “So you’re finally willing to come out? It’s been more than ten days. I was thinking that we would have to at least drag you out for dinner on Christmas.”
Eh? More than ten days have already passed? I figured that it’s been seven to eight days at most. It seems that I’ve been training so much that I lost all sense of time. Who knows how many days I fell asleep for at the end, causing Xiaorong to be so hungry that he had to beg for food.
Dàgē asked with raised eyebrows, “So, what made you come out?”
“Oh, yeah, I want to form my own squad. I need some of your men.”
“Who do you need? Xiao Sha? Yunqian?”
I shook my head, and said, “The JDT has too few people. All of them should be leading their own team. They can’t be squad members. At most…”
I looked around, and easily skipped over Ding Jun; I had zero interest in having a sour-faced guy beside me. Su Ying! That’s right, she has psychic powers. Compared to combat abilities, this ability would be more useful for me to carry out my plans!
“It will be Su Ying.”
She jumped up in fright, and her rosy face turned pale. Her gaze was filled with intense fear, as if she had just been chosen to be the devil’s wife.
Am I really that terrifying? You better take a closer look at this face! Tilting my head slightly, I cast a smile in her direction.
After showing a stunned expression, Su Ying became even more panicked. I could even see the thought “it’s the devil’s charm” from her face.
Dàgē looked at me, then at Su Ying, and said, “Shuyu, if you have to pick so many, then leave Xiao Sha out. That would prevent awkwardness after a break-up.”
Break up, my ass! Who’s dating Xiao Sha!? On hearing your claim, Su Ying has gone hiding behind Lily while covering her chest, like I’m some sex fiend who goes after everyone!
I glared furiously at Dàgē. “I have higher moral standards than you, Dàgē! I won’t go picking so many!”
Dàgē calmly asked in reply, “Weren’t you going to pick Chen Yanqing?”
No, I… All right, I was going to pick him, but I’m picking him to be my squad member!
Dàgē shook his head. “It’s up to you. If it is Xiao Sha’s choice, then it’s not my place to say anything about you guys. Just remember to separate your work from your love life.”
W-wait a minute! Dàgē, Xiao Sha hasn’t decided on any of this, don’t just marry him off like this.
“It’s a good thing for you to pick Su Ying, too.” Dàgē said approvingly, “There’s hope for a nephew or niece.”
Should I beat up Dàgē? Or beat up Dàgē? Let’s just beat up Dàgē!
Dàgē suddenly changed the topic, and sternly said, “Lily is arranging everyone’s living quarters. It’s best that you make an early pick of your members, and remember to report back after you’re done choosing. That would help facilitate her work. If you’re free, help me find Guan Weijun and her right-hand men.”
“Why are you looking for her?” My gossipy heart was instantly lit aflame. Only ten days have passed, but Guan Weijun has already gotten her hands on Dàgē? Based on Dàgē’s lack of shame, this might even be possible!
“We have too few people. It’s really not enough. Let’s take her in and make her a troop member.”
I was stunned. I hadn’t expected that Dàgē would trust her so quickly. Truly deserving to be… his past lifetime’s biological dìdi.
I suddenly felt a bit sick at heart, but soon after, felt like slapping myself. I snatched away the body, yet I won’t even let Dàgē treat the other person slightly better? Is there a need to be so petty?!
Dàgē stroked his chin and said, “There shouldn’t be any issues regarding faithfulness after I take her into my bed in a few days. Maybe I’ll feed her some crystals too, to make sure she can put people in their places.”
…Dàgē, can’t you have a few morals?!
“Dàgē, are you selling your body?” I said through gritted teeth, “It’s still acceptable for other women to climb into your bed, but she’s not the same. If you don’t like the person, then don’t go messing around!”
Dàgē looked at me, and asked, somewhat helplessly, “You even like Guan Weijun as well?”
…This is seriously out of sync.
Rather than talking to Dàgē, whose brain was currently not functioning, it was more useful for me to go and sort out my squad. I turned around and left, not forgetting to take Su Ying from behind Lily.
“You’re actually angry? Boss is just teasing you.”
“Dàgē, y-you’re bullying Èrgē again… Heh!” Junjun, when you’re giving me support, could you hold back your laughter?
“Hahaha—Aiyo, so funny. It’s such a pity that Xiao Sha isn’t here. I’m definitely gonna tell him!”
Sounds of laughter came from behind, and even Dàgē was chuckling quietly. These guys… It’s already the end of the world. Can’t you take it more seriously?
“Shuyu, have you thought of a name for your squad?” Lily, the only serious person, asked, “If you have, I’ll help you note it down.”
Pausing in my footsteps, I was about to say that I hadn’t, but when I turned around, the name automatically popped into my head.
“My squad will be called ‘the Ice Spears.’”