Dominion’s End Volume 4: Battle for Lan City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 6: Brute Strength is Life—translated by Miaka_Mei (proofread by EvlNabiki; C/E edited by lucathia)
The shopping mall entrance seemed empty, but the glass panes of the display windows to both sides were shattered all over the floor, and even the items on display inside the windows had fallen every which way. Obviously, something had broken in.
Upon seeing this, Guan Weijun turned to look at Xiao Sha and asked, “How many monsters can you kill?”
Naturally, Xiao Sha wouldn’t expose his hand right at the start. He prudently said, “You speak first.”
Guan Weijun took a deep breath and quickly explained, “Three if they’re not fast. One or two if they’re a bit faster. But some are particularly strong. I’m not very sure about those.”
She then pointed at Zhang Jing and said, “He’s the opposite of me. He could deal with two of the fast monsters. But for those with thick skin and high strength, he wouldn’t even be able to kill off a single one. As for the rest, two people could probably cope with one. Not getting killed right away, and being able to finish off a monster would have to depend on their luck. In normal circumstances, that is. If there’s a disparity in strength with the monsters, just a single one of them could make us break into a run. That happens a lot, too.”
They’re pretty strong. I was slightly taken aback. This Guan Weijun can actually deal with three aberrants? At this phase of the previous life, I was still at the sidelines, using a kitchen knife tied to a broom stick like some small fry!
Xiao Sha nodded and said indifferently, “I can handle six normal monsters, four or five if they’re slightly stronger. But it’s hard to say for even stronger ones.”
The moment those words were spoken, everyone’s face changed—as one, they all wore an expression of revering a great expert. They were just short of “calling their wives to come out and get a glimpse of god.”1
Actually, Xiao Sha was still hiding his real strength. My guess was that he should be able to comfortably handle eight. If he wasn’t expected to be unharmed, he could probably even handle a dozen or more. Although he hadn’t reached tier one, he was pretty close already. The formless and colorless wind ability was truly too suited for combat.
Xiao Sha maintained a cold expression as he faced everyone. “We’re heading in. I’ll join the fight, but only under one condition. Ten of your people must carry the things I want. And no matter what it is, there can be no objection.”
This was a very good move. After all, the things that I wanted weren’t actually everyday living necessities. In the event that these people refused to cooperate, we would waste a lot of time if they started making a fuss inside.
Guan Weijun instantly nodded in agreement, without even a hint of hesitation. This was very understandable. Without Xiao Sha, forget searching for supplies, a lot more of them would have died. It wouldn’t have been strange either if they had all perished. They should be content that they were all still alive and even had stuff to grab.
Xiao Sha commanded in a low voice and took the lead to charge through the shattered display window. Guan Weijun and the others followed closely behind him. I chose the end, so as to avoid carelessly losing any members.
Although I was somewhat on guard against this group of people and Guan Weijun, so far, my impression of them was fairly good. For an average person to have this kind of discipline was truly exceptional. I did feel uneasy about Guan Weijun because of it, but in the end, it was merely a suspicion. A person of talent warranted careful protection. Even if we didn’t have her join the JDT, at the very least, the human race would have another bargaining chip.
A faint noise caught my attention. It actually sounded like a fist smashing onto flesh. I was a bit mystified. Xiao Sha wouldn’t be using his fists, since his strength wasn’t very high.
I hastily climbed over the display window. Inside, they had already started fighting. The pouncing aberrants looked rather familiar. Each and every one of them looked like rotting corpses. At first glance, it looked just like a zombie apocalypse!
However, with a careful look, you’d noticed that they weren’t actually rotting. They just had reddened and wrinkled flesh oozing with fluids, crooked limbs, and also a rotting stench. But the eyes were exceptionally clear, evidently not the eyes of a dead being. This kind of aberrant was blatantly named “zombie”—a common aberrant.
By the time they evolved to the next tier, their limbs would no longer be this crooked, and their wrinkled flesh would form a thick and hard layer of outer shell. The fluid all over their body would evolve into mucus, making them slippery and difficult to strike at, and they were quick to scamper away, too. Along with their overwhelming stench, they were considered quite the unwelcome aberrant. Even humans who hunted for evolution crystals wouldn’t be very pleased to see this kind of aberrant.
But for humans at the initial phase of the apocalypse, it was evident that this kind of aberrant wasn’t a common sight. Their faces turned pale out of fright, and the women and several young men seemed to be on the verge of vomiting.
Xiao Sha had rushed to the forefront, blocking five aberrants by himself. However, the aberrants weren’t flocking around him. Six of them were charging toward the others. Even with Xiao Sha shooting out formless wind, he only managed to attract one of them to himself.
He threw a glance at me, and I blinked in response, but who knew what kind of information I had transmitted, as he went back to finish off the six aberrants on his side, no longer caring about the five aberrants rushing over. Actually, I was merely playing innocent, and hadn’t agreed to help out. Seriously, there wasn’t even the least bit of mutual understanding between us.
I grudgingly formed ice knives inside my grasp, dallying as I planned to send them flying when these people were dealing with the aberrants, letting them think that they had killed it themselves. Alas, they were just blankly standing there, unable to even move.
I had overestimated this group of people. Even that Zhang Jing had turned pale from fright. What happened to being able to handle two? Xiao Sha underplayed his abilities, but you guys actually overplayed yours?
As death was just around the corner, I couldn’t keep concealing my abilities. Right when I was about to take action, a figure suddenly rushed out.
“Cut the daydreaming!”
Guan Weijun angrily shouted and harshly hauled away a woman who was nearly pounced on. Following that, her right hand smashed into the zombie, sending it flying. After it fell to the ground, it kept rolling around with a miserable shriek. I fell silent after taking a closer look. That thing’s eyes had popped out from the punch and were hanging from its face, nearly about to fall.
Turning my head, I saw Guan Weijun extending her hand to grab onto another zombie’s head, not expecting that the secretions would be too sticky and cause her hand to slip. The aberrant leaped onto her and opened its mouth, intending to bite down.
Upon seeing this, I formed knives into needles, shooting out all five at once, separately striking at the aberrant’s elbow and abdomen. The thin and small ice needles didn’t have much ability to injure, only able to hinder the aberrant’s movement, allowing Guan Weijun enough time to react.
Once again, she reached out and grabbed onto the enemy’s head. But this time, she directly thrust her fingers into the eye socket, so any secretions were useless. Then, her fist smashed into its face—one punch, two punches, three punches—ultimately smashing the head into pulp. White brain matter mixed with flesh and blood spurted all over the ground.
Now, I finally understood how she had convinced the masses. It was probably—”Unconvinced? Then, come fight me!”
Another zombie pounced over. She turned around and grasped onto its head with one hand, while punching with her other hand, only needing a few punches to burst open the head. Unfortunately, the remaining zombies no longer voluntarily delivered themselves, very carefully attempting to attack from a distance, or simply switching targets.
This seemed to be quite the difficult problem for Guan Weijun, as she could easily burst the enemy’s head open, but the problem was that she could no longer grab onto any heads. No wonder she had said she could only handle one or two of the fast aberrants. In truth, she had plenty of unused strength but not the combat ability to back it up. “Capturing” was much harder than “smashing.”
To be able to smash open an aberrant’s head while unarmed was impossible even for Xiao Sha, okay? This was undoubtedly the power of strength, not the power of far-sight. Even her ability isn’t the same! This “Guan Weijun” really isn’t me.
Then, just who is she?
Xiao Sha was slashing heads at the front, while Guan Weijun was smashing heads at the rear. This horrifying scene finally woke everyone up. Zhang Jing bent both of his legs and forcefully leaped over, like a kangaroo hopping all over the place. The zombies at this stage couldn’t move very fast, so they couldn’t catch him at all.
Sometimes, Zhang Jing would spring over to the side of a zombie, making a slice before it could react. However, it wasn’t very effective. Although current zombies hadn’t evolved to form actual outer shells yet, simple cuts weren’t enough to finish them off. Compared to Xiao Sha who ended a life with each slice, Zhang Jing was simply treating the zombies with gua sha.2 The cuts only produced red marks, but yielded no blood.
Nevertheless, he was at least able to stall for time. When someone else was in danger, he’d pass by and attract the zombie’s attention, then arduously attempt to finish off the enemy. But, he was mostly waiting for Guan Weijun to sort out her own target and then come over to bust heads open.
Over twenty people were stalling for time with their monsters, waiting for Guan Weijun to come take their heads. I can’t help but be impressed!
Seeing that they were fine, I turned toward Xiao Sha. However, I was only in time to see him knock a zombie down with a kick and stab down with a dagger. Then, without even turning his head, he sent out a blade of wind, striking the last zombie directly in the face, slicing the right half of the head off. As the head wasn’t completely destroyed, the zombie didn’t instantly die, but instead fell to the ground on his butt, twisted and crooked while struggling to climb back up. But soon after, he was crushed by Xiao Sha’s wind blade.
He had been about to stab him with his dagger, and had only changed to striking with his wind blade after I glared at him. It seems that in order to change these mercenaries’ fighting habits, you can’t even leave them with a utility knife.
After settling the six zombies, Xiao Sha charged over and finished off the two leftovers. This time, he obediently used wind blades to deal with the zombies. Two wind blades shot out and cut into each aberrant’s face at the same time. His control was pretty good, but shooting out two blades at the same time seemed to have weakened their might. Those two zombies didn’t instantly get killed, but simply lost half of their head. They twitched on the ground, waiting for Xiao Sha to cut them down.
Aberrants covered the ground. Even though there were no tier ones, it would still be too wasteful to simply leave the crystals behind. However, I didn’t want to dig out the crystals right in front of this group of people. I still wanted to find out whether they knew about the existence of the crystals or not.
“You’re so strong!” Guan Weijun’s eyes shone, her face filled with worship while she gazed at Xiao Sha.
Xiao Sha reflexively shook his head and said, “Not strong enough at all. The one who’s stronger is…” He paused, stiffly resisted not looking at me, and said, “There’s a lot.”
Everyone was in disbelief but didn’t dare to refute Xiao Sha’s words. Only Guan Weijun spoke with a foolish smile, “Great benefactor is really too modest, although your appearance doesn’t suggest that you’re a humble guy!”
Is this a compliment? Look to your side. Your companions are about to burst into tears!
Xiao Sha didn’t bother to argue over her words. He merely looked at Guan Weijun’s hands. White brain matter, red blood, and a foul stench—it was like the pair of hands of a homicidal devil.
“I don’t know what’s up with this either. I just ended up with a lot of strength.” Guan Weijun swung her arms while frankly explaining, “Zhang Jing is very good at jumping. The others have a lot of small abilities, but they’re all useless.”
The useless “others” silently shed tears.
What about that Tai Wen’s ability? I stared at Guan Weijun. This fella actually had a bit of a brain to her and didn’t turn out to be the silly big sis that she appeared to be.
Xiao Sha simply said, “I can use wind to cut objects.”
Guan Weijun had most likely guessed it. Nodding her head, she asked while feeling puzzled, “But your power is clearly much stronger than ours. Is there a way to strengthen one’s power?”
My face twitched. Wait a second, you actually haven’t eaten any crystals? You have so much strength without eating any crystals? I would rather believe that you’re lying!
Xiao Sha indifferently shot her a glance. He didn’t say anything, nor did he go to dig out the crystals.
Guan Weijun rubbed her nose and said, “Let’s go to the supermarket and grab some stuff!”
“Xiao Sha, I want to go to the second floor.” I tugged at Xiao Sha’s sleeve.
Guan Weijun asked in doubt, “Is there anything on the second floor to take? Isn’t the supermarket on the basement level?”
You don’t even know what’s on the second floor? As a woman, even if you couldn’t go from the stores of the underground floor, all the way to the top floor of the shopping mall, you should at least know that the first floor sells cosmetics products, the second floor sells premium and quality goods, and the third floor and up sells clothes!
I naturally said, “It’s the quality goods departments. There are clothes that I like which I couldn’t afford buying in the past, but now that it can be taken for free, obviously taking it is a must.”
Everyone looked at me in bafflement. Even the easy-going Guan Weijun seemed taken aback. But for some unknown reason, she looked at me suspiciously after shaking herself out of her shock. Just what are you suspicious about? Has she seen through my “frail and pretty boy” act?
“Hurry up! I have a lot of things I want to take. I want jackets, clothes, and pants!”
I hid behind Xiao Sha, and thoroughly acted willful, arrogant, and unreasonable. Evidently, this time, my acting passed inspection. No one’s expression looked pleasant, but no one dared to speak up because of their consideration of Xiao Sha.
Xiao Sha coldly said, “You can choose to come with me first, then go to the supermarket downstairs. Or ten people can follow me, while the rest can go to the supermarket by themselves.”
Everyone’s face darkened.
Guan Weijun looked at Xiao Sha, then looked at me. She immediately and resolutely said, “No matter where our great benefactor wishes to go, we will definitely follow!”
Brash, scatterbrained, willing to rescue companions and protect the old and weak, and even unexpectedly good at adapting to circumstances. If this person wasn’t Guan Weijun, but merely an irrelevant person, I would have long ago decided to bring her back to the Jiang Dominion without further deliberation.
We headed up to the second floor. There were no aberrants. It was vacant and desolate, with little damage. Upon thinking about it, it was quite logical, since the first and second floors were too close to each other. You could nearly see the whole first floor from the second floor. Even the most brainless aberrants wouldn’t let other groups of aberrants linger on the ground above its head. After all, feeling extreme hunger yet not being able to find any unevolved flesh, the food of an aberrant would naturally be another aberrant. They would eat up the different ones first. With no other option, then eating their own kind was quite feasible.
After briefly looking around the second floor, I soon found my main objective. In the past, I had nearly clenched my teeth and bought a jacket for Xia Zhengu with two months of my salary. It was a good thing that I hadn’t bought it. Otherwise, I would have given myself a big slap in the face to the point that my teeth would’ve fallen out.
Rushing into the luxurious store, I waved my hand like a nouveau riche and said, “I’ll take it all!”
Everyone’s face darkened further.
It was an entire row of long, military-styled windbreakers. The price marked on them had a bunch of zeros. At the initial stage of the apocalypse, these windbreakers were free for the taking; however, they were items that no one wanted. The winters in the apocalypse were too cold. So the thicker the coat, the higher its demand. Windbreakers, this kind of autumn apparel, was something that no one cared about.
Only after two years would people start searching for these clothes. Having discovered the function of crystals, people who ate a lot of crystals would gradually become fearless of the cold. At that time, there would be no small amount of people wearing windbreakers. Some were experts, while some were pretending to be experts.
It was just the right time for the members of JDT to wear this. The military-style jacket looked cool and handsome. As long as we modified it a bit and added a matching emblem of the JDT forces, then our invincible troop would have matching uniforms! They might be clowns on the inside, but at least on the outside, they would look imposing enough to scare people to death!
“Are you sure you really want this?” Guan Weijun’s face was clouded with doubt again. “Don’t you feel cold wearing this? Nowadays, wanting to appear beautiful won’t just end with getting a running nose. It could really mean freezing to death!”
I stilled, then unreasonably argued, “It can be worn when it gets warm!”
“Why are you so sure that the weather will turn warm?” She asked with increased doubt. “The winter this year has gotten too cold. Tai Wen kept on blabbering about how something’s fishy. He was really worried that the weather will keep on getting colder and won’t be warming any time soon. It’s probably because of some ‘mini ice age.’ I don’t really understand it much, but it really is strange that it’s gotten so cold.”
I can’t keep up my act if you keep seeing through me! I feigned shock and disbelief, and snapped, “How could it keep getting colder? It will surely get warmer! Don’t talk nonsense.”
The others vehemently repressed the dissatisfaction in their eyes. But they were all merely youngsters, whose acting skills were subpar, so unhappiness could more or less be seen. Only Guan Weijun was different. She just gazed at me, as if scrutinizing the quality of a commodity. She suddenly smiled, and said, “I humbly accept your blessed words and hope it will come true. It will get warmer!”
I really can’t understand this woman’s way of thinking…
“All right. All right. Let’s take the clothes.” Seeing that everyone was very slow and unwilling, Guan Weijun rolled her eyes at them and urged, “We already promised that ten people would carry his things. It’s up to him to take whatever he wanted. It won’t even be ours. Move quickly, or are you asking for a beating? Wanna fly and get stuck to the wall?”
Everybody finally set in motion. Windbreakers, pants, dress shirts, and such were all cleanly swept away. Even the sizes were unchecked. In any case, as long as everything was taken away, it’d surely become useful in the future.
I thought about the female members within the troop. My family’s cute Junjun would naturally wear pleated skirts; Auntie will have graceful, long dresses; the sexy and hot Lily must have a miniskirt; as for Ceng Yunqian, er, shorts, I guess.
Eh, they actually have flip-flops! Silvery white, simple yet nice looking—this is the one. Junjun would surely let me wear this. I’m taking this!
Take, take, take… until my shoulder was patted. I turned to look. Xiao Sha was holding a towering mountain of clothes. I looked beyond him. Everyone had a suitcase placed beside them and their hands were also carrying a mountain of clothes. Their number seemed to exceed ten…
“There are twelve now.” Xiao Sha calmly said. “I agreed to see them out of the city, in exchange for two more people to carry things. But we can’t take anymore, or we won’t be able to walk.”
Realization dawned upon me. Losing myself from a moment of carelessness, I had gotten overjoyed since I could just take things without needing to pay money and what not. Lastly, I grabbed a pair of long boots, and hugged them in my arms.
Xiao Sha glanced over and cautioned me, “The size is too big.”
“It’s for Dàgē.”
Hearing this, Xiao Sha took a particularly close look at the boots, and nodded. “It suits Boss.”
Of course. These kinds of powerful military boots which could kill someone with just a single kick would best suit Dàgē!
Guan Weijun stuck her head in, looking at us with shining eyes—a look of “I wanna listen to gossip, too.”
Xiao Sha turned his head away. “Downstairs to the supermarket.”
Guan Weijun “oh”-ed while looking a little disappointed.
While passing through the hallway, I snuck a look at the floor directory. The sewing workshop was on the ninth floor—this was rather troublesome. Bringing so many people up to the ninth floor, just for the sake of a few sewing machines would be too laborious. It wasn’t quite worth it.
After thinking it through, I decided to give up for now. We might find several sewing machines after searching around Old Town. After all, it was a town, so it was bound to have had some good wives and loving mothers that were good at tailoring, right? If we really couldn’t find any, then when it was Cain’s turn to come next time, I’d have him bring some home.
“Let’s go to the supermarket.” I turned around and smiled. “Restock some chocolates.”
Everyone wore an expression of looking at a patient who was suffering from “prince syndrome.” Even looking at this face of mine didn’t help them keep a pleasant expression on their faces.
Only Guan Weijun looked at me with a grin, without the slightest hint of scorn. “I don’t eat chocolates very often. I’ll look forward to getting some recommendations from you.”
I smiled and agreed with an “all right.” It’s really hard to hate this kind of woman.
Following that, going to the supermarket was contrarily neither alarming nor dangerous. There were just a lot of armored cockroaches. However, current herds of cockroaches weren’t anything terrifying. Xiao Sha flipped over a bunch of them with just his wind blade. And with Guan Weijun’s fist smashing, the whole floor was filled with cockroach paste.
After that, everyone just happily took things without paying up. Most of them took food which could be preserved for long periods. Even those twelve people carrying the clothes couldn’t resist putting some food into their pockets, looking like they were itching to throw away all the clothes on their hands.
Guan Weijun rolled her eyes several times at them, and tilted her head toward Xiao Sha as if asking “You sure you wanna throw them?”
The twelve depressed people were forced to look on helplessly as their companions wantonly plundered. I threw a few chocolates to the top of the piles of clothes that they were carrying and advised them, “You can use the clothes to wrap small food items. Look for high calorie foodstuffs. Chocolate candies are the best. High calorie food could save one’s life in this cold weather.”
Everyone stared at me with a relieved look, as if I hadn’t reached the final phase of “prince syndrome” and had a chance for recovery.
After snatching all the chocolates, I took a few bags of milk candy. Shujun loved them. Although we had already heaped up a bunch of them from back then, it was always good to acquire more. No one would be able to make these kinds of milk candy in the future. After all, minotaurs were not to be trifled with. You want cow’s milk? Puh-lease, trade for it with your life!
It was just that I hadn’t thought that the danger of entering Lan City this time would be so low, far lower than my expectations. Granted that it was due to my advantage in reincarnation, allowing me to be able to cope with most situations, but a first class city should still be a place where danger lurked on every side.
It should be because of that huge cocoon, which must have thoroughly wiped out all the nearby aberrants. Otherwise, that almost-tier-three aberrant wouldn’t have felt secure enough to wrap itself into a cocoon, and only depend on its subordinates for protection.
Arriving at the first floor, I asked, “Chen Sha, do we take the crystals now?”
Xiao Sha glanced over, and I blinked at him. He then said, “Yeah. Come help me scoop them out.”
I frowned and reluctantly said, “… It’s disgusting, but okay.”
Guan Weijun seemed curious, but she didn’t ask, only staring intently as Xiao Sha walked up to a zombie. He squatted down and stabbed downwards into the center of the heart with a dagger, skillfully excavating the chest. That skill was so practiced that it didn’t lose out to mine. It seemed like the journey that the JDT had undertaken to get here really wasn’t like the understatement that Dàgē had claimed.
I stepped forward, holding a throwing knife to dig into the chest, but intentionally acted slightly clumsy.
Everyone stared in stupefaction, but no one took the lead to start talking. At this moment, Guan Weijun moved one step forward, staring with wide-opened eyes as Xiao Sha dug out a crystal from the zombie’s chest.
Xiao Sha simply tossed the crystal into her hand and said, “You smashed three dead, so you get three pieces. That Zhang Jing gets one piece. Come and dig it out yourself.”
Guan Weijun quickly held the crystal up for inspection, and smilingly said, “Is this what makes you so strong? How do you use it? Is it edible? It smells nice. I feel like eating it.”
“Yes.” Xiao Sha said while scooping out crystals, “A few pieces of them are of little use. It takes about five or more to make a difference.”
I secretly paid attention to Guan Weijun, very interested to know what she’d do. Her three pieces with one from Zhang Jing only came to four pieces. So how would she distribute them?
“Great benefactor, could you give us another piece?” Guan Weijun said, smiling, “See here, my hand can carry some more. I’ll quickly go upstairs and help you get more stuff. Your little boyfriend seemed very fond of those military boots. I have a lot of strength, so carrying ten or even twenty pairs wouldn’t be a problem.”
Xiao Sha looked at me and asked, “Shuyu, you wanna take some more?”
I looked toward the second floor, a thought hitting me. “Ten pairs of boots are enough. I want sewing machines. Xiao Sha, can you jump up to the ninth floor and help me grab some?”
“…” Everyone’s face darkened. There was a look of “your prince syndrome has reached the critical stage. It’s beyond help” on everyone’s face.
This is called the “good wife and loving mother” complex, okay? What prince would wish for sewing machines?
Xiao Sha stood up and lifted his head. The center of the shopping mall was the empty interior between floors. By looking up, you could see to the ceiling of the topmost part.
He ran to the side of an escalator, hopped onto the handrail, and reached the second floor after a step and a leap. Flipping out into the open area in the middle, he grabbed onto the railing of a balcony with one hand, and climbed all the way up.
Although his wind powers hadn’t reached tier one yet, and was thus insufficient for Xiao Sha to learn how to fly, he was more agile, so leaping higher was of no problem. That smooth and easy climbing was like the qinggong in martial arts films.
Everyone watched with their mouth agape, looking up at Xiao Sha’s figure which was leaping higher and higher…
“Seriously, we should have called Tai Wen over to come and see god.” Guan Weijun exclaimed in admiration.
1 “calling their wives to come out and get a glimpse of god”: This expression of marveling at something extraordinary originated from the Hong Kong comedy film, A Chinese Odyssey, which is based on Journey to the West. In the film, the time-traveling reincarnation of Monkey gets seen by Pigsy, who tells his wife and the Bull King to come out from the cave and get a glimpse of god.