Dominion’s End Volume 4: Battle for Lan City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Extra 1: Ominous Number—translated by Miaka_Mei (proofread by EvlNabiki & Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
“Ah Yan! Run! Take Xiao Ya and run!”
There was a crying woman in front of him with tears streaming down her face and a little child held in her embrace. Upon hearing his words, she was about to turn around and run, but her eyes suddenly widened. Throwing the child to the side, she rushed over and knocked him away. A mournful, shrill scream sounded, until her body suddenly shook violently—a hand pierced out of her body through her heart, and the scream stopped.
Turning around, he saw his daughter running toward him. But a monster was pouncing on her from behind, and she ran up to him as fast as possible. Barely in time, he moved her under him to protect her, but it was a waste of effort, as his body was also pierced. Pressed to the floor, unable to move, he helplessly watched as the girl was dragged away by another monster and torn into, never to cry again.
His heart was already dead. After that, there was only numbing unconsciousness.
Looks like everybody here is dead…
Huh? It seems like this one is still breathing. Oh, so it wasn’t a fatal wound. Take these two back. Perfect, see if there are any differences between the fatally and non-fatally wounded transforming into monsters.
Register the dead one as 012. The one that’s still alive is 013.
There was nothing sadder than a withered heart. Upon waking up, 013 passed his days in a muddled-headed daze. In the beginning, there were all kinds of experiments, which were unbearable even for aberrants. His body was cut over and over again, and getting burnt and frozen were common occurrences. But no matter how much it hurt, no pain hurt more than the numbness of his heart. So, he simply bore them. Moreover, his complete lack of response caused him to lose experimental value. He spent most of his time in a deep slumber inside the circular cylinder.
013 looked coldly upon the researchers who were coming and going. They were opening their mouths and making all kinds of complicated sounds. After listening for a long time, he suddenly came to a realization that this was “talking” and gradually understood more of what they were saying. But he kept quiet, instinctively knowing that he shouldn’t attract too much attention.
That was until a strange voice transmitted into his mind. He looked at the other party—a very tall guy. 013 felt that this guy was very resentful, and was on the verge of going on a rampage. He could even feel the guy’s killing intent toward the person in front of him.
Don’t attack. Things will get worse.
The guy suddenly stiffened, lowered his head, and looked everywhere for the source of the voice.
“Why is 042 suddenly not moving?” Puzzled, the researcher in front circled around 042 to examine him.
“Don’t get too close to him!” The other one hurriedly pulled him back, all the way to a great distance before finally breathing a sigh of relief. “This guy’s strength is very high, and he evolves every day, so you can’t take it easy.”
Keep going. Don’t stop there.
013 remained indifferent, as the tall guy walked further and further away.
Through this experience, 013 exhibited abilities which were neither too great nor too small and no longer went back to slumber inside the cylinder. Rather, he waited for the daily inspection in a small room. He heard more and more voices, and attempted talking to these voices several times. He often succeeded, but each response was different. Some were just furious and irritable, seemingly not understanding what he meant, while some could somewhat respond.
The tall guy from that first time was the best at receiving his thoughts, although he was originally a little confused. But 013 was idle and had nothing to do, so he talked to the tall guy. He told him the best way to survive, so that he wouldn’t frequently get cut and sliced up. Gradually, the tall guy could mostly understand what he meant, and he was very obedient.
013 gradually controlled all of the experimental subjects in this place. Some were obedient, while some could be forced to obey. A few were completely unresponsive, and he used them to do a variety of trials, but all of this was just to pass the time. 013 didn’t have any goals.
Until the day that he was taken to a routine examination and saw that thing—an aberrant with a very grotesque body. Thin limbs and a disproportionately large stomach, which totally violated the definition of strength. Even walking should be difficult.
Yet, 013 was mesmerized. Staring at that stomach, he felt that something should come out of there, and that thing… He wanted to see it.
However, he didn’t see anything breaking out of the stomach. 013 first watched her get taken to the laboratory. Then, a miserable shriek could be heard, making him feel extremely irritated. Ever since waking up, he had never felt this kind of emotion.
After listening for a while, 013 decided to take her away from here. Just stop screaming already…
“There’s Asura and Maternibaby. As for you, you’re just called Thirteen.”
Thirteen opened his eyes and his whole body sprang awake. He looked around and heard a whimper. He looked down. A little girl had fallen to the ground, sobbing and crying.
Thirteen picked her up from the ground and took her back into his arms. The little girl couldn’t stand the cold weather, and it wasn’t warm enough even with a bonfire. Fortunately, Thirteen’s body was very warm. Although he was afraid of the cold, he was much stronger than the little girl.
The girl was still crying.
“Beibei, don’t cry.” Thirteen clumsily coaxed the girl, “Won’t drop you again.”
But, Beibei cried even louder. “I want Mommy, Mommy—”
Thirteen frowned and blurted out, “Mommy is dead.”
Beibei finally stopped crying, shocked to the point of stupefaction. The girl was still young. She was, in fact still ignorant of the meaning of the word “dead,” but she also knew that it was a terrifying pronouncement. And now that it was placed on her most important mommy, the little girl was dumbfounded.
But after that moment of sluggishness, she burst into an even louder wailing.
Thirteen could do nothing but watch the little girl cry. Fortunately, his injuries had mostly healed, since countless things would be drawn over to them with the way she was crying. Right now, there weren’t many aberrants or humans who could so much touch a hair on Thirteen.
A tall figure slowly came out of the shadows, dragging a carcass which seemed like some kind of an animal. He looked at the crying little girl. The look in his eyes was ill-natured, but he did not strike.
“Asura, can Maternibaby still move?”
Asura shook his head, then threw the meat in front of Thirteen.
Thirteen furrowed his eyebrows. Before, he would have hated that “Jiang Shuyu” and would probably have tried every possible means to kill him. But after getting Beibei, he seemed to be a little less concerned about Maternibaby.
Maternibaby and Asura were different. Thirteen had “chosen” Asura as an important companion, but only “put up” with Maternibaby. Although he didn’t know why he needed to tolerate her, he had still done so, even if the thing breaking out of Maternibaby’s belly didn’t match with what he wished for.
But now that he had Beibei, Thirteen knew that he didn’t necessarily need Maternibaby. So, there was not much resentment toward Jiang Shuyu, especially after the other party had let him go. Thirteen felt that he didn’t really want to kill him.
“Roast it well.”
Asura did so with a sour look on his face. He didn’t like to be near fire, but Thirteen often ordered him to make a fire and even roast the food before feeding the little girl. Plus, it couldn’t be human flesh. It was burdensome work, one after another. But he had to admit that the noisy little girl was at least slightly better than Maternibaby. When the latter went crazy, even comrades weren’t spared from getting killed. Her food intake was also too much. It had been troublesome just to get her food.
Upon thinking of this, Asura looked at the little girl. She ate so little, so was actually quite easy to raise. Thus, he would generously accept the other party replacing Maternibaby.
“Eat.” Thirteen pushed the cooked meat to the side of the girl’s mouth.
Beibei was crying so much that she was almost out of breath. There was no way for her to eat.
“Mommy! Dad, Daddy…”
“Find Mommy, I wanna find Mommy…”
Thirteen looked at Beibei. He too felt that something was missing. Maybe the little girl was right. They might really be lacking “mommy.” He nodded in agreement.
“All right, find Mommy.”
Beibei no longer cried. She looked up at Thirteen. He had a tail, and the little girl knew that humans didn’t have tails, but owing to the fact that Thirteen still maintained a mostly human form, she was not too afraid of him. If he were swapped with Asura or Maternibaby, the little girl would definitely cry herself to death.
She bit into the meat he held, ate and drank her fill, then nestled in Thirteen’s arms to sleep, feeling very warm.
Walking back along the road, Thirteen held the little girl and observed the shelter from afar. It was already a purgatory on Earth.
Humans who were unwilling to evacuate had taken the army’s food and weapons. Thinking that they had gotten lucky, they had intended to continue staying in the military area. They were just like fish raised in a pond, waiting for aberrants to come and “fish” them.
The aberrants of the present were very hungry. It hadn’t taken them long before they had come searching to “harvest” this delicious food.
Beibei was shocked silly.
“Mommy is dead,” Thirteen said indifferently.
The hellish scene caused Beibei to tightly hug Thirteen, just like a drowning person grabbing hold of a floating piece of wood, as she urged, “So many monsters… come on, Daddy, let’s go!”
Thirteen moved as he was told, and said, “I’m Thirteen, not Daddy.”
“Daddy, Daddy…” The little girl was so frightened that she could only repeat this word, no longer calling out for her mommy. It was as if she was trying to hypnotize herself—Daddy was this person in front of her.
Thirteen turned silent. He patted Beibei on the back, then looked at his own hand in doubt, unsure of why he had done such a thing.
Following this, the little girl had a fever for several days. The cold weather and frozen ground, along with having received frights again and again, made it so that the illness almost took her life.
Thirteen felt very irritated, even more irritated than when he heard Maternibaby’s scream. But he was helpless, so he ordered Asura to catch a few humans—living ones.
The humans, trembling and kneeling at the feet of Asura, suddenly saw Thirteen walk out and did not fear him as they feared Asura.
“Please save us—”
Their cries for help instantly stopped when Thirteen raised the large tail behind him.
Thirteen glanced around and picked the person who appeared the most passable and posed the least threat. He wrapped his tail around her and walked away while she shrieked.
The scene immediately turned silent. The monster… was actually speaking?
The others, can I eat them? Asura felt a little hungry. He had eaten just a while ago, but he was always hungry.
Thirteen nonchalantly nodded. “Leave behind the part that I want to eat.”
Asura complied. Thirteen liked to eat the thing in the middle of the trunk. He called it the “heart.” Unless he was compelled with no other choice, he wouldn’t eat the other parts at all. He was extremely picky about food. Fortunately, Thirteen didn’t eat much. Generally speaking, one or two a day would be enough, except if he had just finished fighting or was seriously injured.
The people all over the ground began to scream, Asura’s claw swept over them, and the world turned quiet again—Time to eat.
With the human wrapped up in his tail, Thirteen came to the tree cave where the little girl was staying.
“Wake her up. If she doesn’t move anymore, I’ll eat you up.”
The woman trembled all over, never expecting that such a thing could happen. Monsters can actually talk? Is this little girl a monster, too? Her mind filled with fear as she began to take care of the sick girl. But in a situation where nothing was available, she could not do much. On the contrary, she was only thinking of escaping.
Fortunately, it was the end of the world, where people died from all sorts of reasons, but seldom of illness. In the end, the little girl slowly got better.
Once, the woman seized the opportunity when Thirteen left to eat something, leaving her to take care of the little girl. The woman looked down at the little girl, feeling somewhat distressed. At this time, she had already determined that the girl was human. But it was hard to even protect herself, so she couldn’t go out of her way for this girl.
Thirteen turned his head in the direction of the tree cave. He was only afraid that Beibei would see him eating humans and be scared to tears again. So he stayed away while eating, but still kept a tight control of the situation there. If that woman were to do anything harmful to Beibei, Thirteen could incapacitate her even at such a distance.
“Asura, eat that one.”
Anyway, she was of no use. He had originally wanted to wait for Beibei to wake up, and ask if she was “Mommy,” but since the other party didn’t want to stay with Beibei, then so be it.
Thirteen went back to the tree cave just in time to see the little girl open her eyes. He felt like his heart was exploding, but it was not painful at all. On the contrary, it was a very comfortable feeling. Thirteen liked it very much.
The little girl was fed water and meat while in a muddled state. She said in a spoiled manner, “Daddy, I want candy.”
Thirteen tilted his head. “What’s candy?”
“Daddy is so silly!” Beibei grinned, as if she didn’t see the big tail behind Thirteen. She told him in detail, “It’s something transparent, sweet, and also very tasty!”
Thirteen was a little distressed. He went out to ask if Asura had seen anything similar.
Asura contemplated, then took out a transparent object.
Thirteen frowned and asked, “What’s this?” He understood that Asura wouldn’t carry something useless on him.
Don’t know. Maternibaby dropped it.
Asura hadn’t given much thought to it. Back then, he had picked it up and forgotten about it soon after. Only until Thirteen asked about it did he finally remember there was such a thing.
Maternibaby? Thirteen didn’t mind much. He brought the “candy” over to Beibei.
“This candy smells really nice!” Beibei was instinctively drawn to it, and instantly ate it. She seemed to be in high spirits.
Seeing that Beibei was happy, Thirteen felt happy as well. He decided to get hold of more “candy” for Beibei. Since Maternibaby dropped it, then the others might drop it, too?
Two aberrants and a little child began to wipe out everything, with no distinction between human and aberrant, no matter where they went.
I’m Jiang Shuyu, the jiang from jiāngyù, dominion.
Beibei opened her eyes and rubbed them. Looking up, she saw that Thirteen wasn’t sleeping. He was staring blankly at the fire. It was now Asura’s turn to sleep. Even though the two rarely encountered enemies, they took turns sleeping, lest something make a surprise attack. Unless the numbers were too many, then they would make a detour completely, as he did not want to clash head on. Thirteen didn’t want to endanger Beibei.
Noticing that Beibei had woken up, Thirteen looked down at her.
Beibei played with the tip of his tail, while asking, “Daddy, who is Jiang Shuyu? Beibei always hears this name in her sleep.”
After the fever, Beibei couldn’t remember a lot of things. She was always asking questions, but Thirteen couldn’t answer most of them.
Having not heard the name for a long time, Thirteen pondered for a while and answered, “He’s the same as you.”
Beibei was surprised and hurriedly asked, “Just like me, he is also Daddy’s child? He’s my big brother?”
“…Mm.” Thirteen didn’t understand very well. But for matters that he didn’t understand, he would directly give a firm response. Because if he gave a negative answer, Beibei would keep asking more questions, and most of the time, he couldn’t give an answer. She would likely not ask again if he gave a definite answer.
“Then, where did Gēge go?”
Thirteen was a little depressed. This time, the definite answer turned out to be useless.
“I don’t know. He’s gone.”
Beibei was in utter disbelief and cried out, “Daddy! You’re too careless! I can’t believe you lost Gēge!”
“You have to find Gēge. Do you remember what he looks like?“
“Mm.” Thirteen remembered the chilly air around him. It had been even colder than the winter, and it felt very uncomfortable to be near him.
“Then, let’s go find Gēge and bring him back.”
In response to the little girl’s request, Thirteen frowned a rare frown and did not readily agree. Jiang Shuyu was very strong, and he was not very good at dealing with that kind of icy energy. Thirteen was unsure of his chances at winning.
“Daddy?” Beibei was angry. “If you want to be a good daddy, you can’t lose track of your children. You have to find him!”
Thirteen was silent for a long time, before he finally answered, “Mm.”
Beibei was satisfied. Although it was only a word of “Mm,” this was just how her family’s daddy was like. If he agreed to do something, then he’d really fulfill it. So there was no need to worry about not being able to find her gēge.
I wonder what Gēge looks like? Beibei was so happy that she rolled around in her daddy’s arms. She was really lonely. Although she wasn’t alone, whether it was Daddy or Asura, she had always felt that she was very different from them, while Daddy said that Gēge was the same as her! I can’t wait!
Thirteen called Asura over. The other party was even taller than before. But their disparity was not too large, only about a meter. He had also learned to speak a little.
“Asura, find more companions who are capable of following orders. The more the better.”
Beibei wanted “Jiang Shuyu.” Thirteen predicted that he may not be able to win. Then, we’ll just have to get some help.
Asura left to carry out the order. Since Thirteen had said “the more the better,” then according to his understanding, this meant he had to look without stopping. After all, the more the better!
A certain aberrant army, under successive misunderstandings, was gradually established. The trajectory had twisted but now returned to the path of the previous life. But this time, there was no Maternibaby, and Thirteen was not renowned for his brutality of killing humans on sight. On the contrary, the aberrants under his rule needed to ascertain that it wasn’t “Jiang Shuyu” before killing.
Everyone around the world knew that Thirteen of the twelve elites had “Knife Blade” Asura, his strongest war general, by his side. While his Achilles’ heel was Beibei, the enchantress.