Dominion’s End Volume 6: The Unknown Elite
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Tier Three—translated by Simone (proofread by Minthe & elisa; C/E edited by lucathia)
I hadn’t expected that the Ice Spears would be willing to follow me and mount a sneak attack on the enemy.
At first, I didn’t even dare to think about it, scared that these soldiers would think the Jiang Dominion was just using them as cannon fodder. I’d already been afraid that the moment they heard of the 400 enemies that they would want to flee. If I still ordered them to go out on a raid, most likely we wouldn’t need to wait until the enemy arrived, there’d be civil war here.
But Wen Jianuo suggested himself to come with me, and the other squad members agreed to come too.
These are the kinds of companions who live and die together. If we get through this crisis safely, I’ll definitely regard them as my own people, equal to the people of the Jiang Dominion—no, they will be a part of the Jiang Dominion themselves!
Now that I had secured more troops, it seemed I could come up with even bigger plans, rather than just going on my own to lie in wait and mount an ambush, counting just on my luck to see if I could kill a few enemies at night—especially when I usually don’t have any luck.
Even if the Ice Spears are prepared for it, I don’t want to lose even one of them. Such disciplined and determined soldiers are hard to come by; losing even one would be such a loss!
For the majority of the time, I’d still only rely on myself, because I could be sure to retreat safely. At the very end, I’d use Wen Jianuo and the others to cause a bit of major trouble, like ambushing the enemy and gunning them down. That seemed like a pretty good choice.
I left it up to Wen Jianuo to work out the details of my simple plan, and spent an hour observing Tai Wen’s ability. He’d perfected it quite well. That he was able to master his skills like this, without the help of crystals, could only be the result of hard work. He must have contributed a lot to Guan Weijun successfully escaping from Lan City with all of them in tow.
I took out a crystal and said, “This is a tier two crystal.”
Tai Wen stared at the crystal with a longing look, but he lifted his eyes immediately to look at me and did not fixate on the crystal. I was quite satisfied with this reaction.
“Because your ability happens to be useful, I’m planning to give this crystal to you. But this doesn’t mean you can take it and run.”
I paused for a moment, glancing at the others from the corner of my eye. Very good, most of them were watching curiously to see what a tier two crystal looked like. None of them were actually bothered by the fact they couldn’t eat it.
Up till now, a tier three crystal would even be regarded as unique.
I said sternly, “Either you leave the Zhanjiang Garrison now, or you eat this crystal. If you eat it, the only way you leave the Jiang Dominion is by dying! Even if you flee to the other side of the world, don’t doubt that I will catch up with you.”
Though saying this made me feel like I was forcing him, I actually had no other choice. There was no time to build up trust or mutual understanding; I could only use the lure of benefits on top of threats.
Hearing this, Tai Wen frowned at first, but it wasn’t long before he relaxed and calmly said, “I don’t have a choice anyway. Weijun has fallen for Leader and won’t leave. If I dare to tell her I’ll leave her behind and flee, not even considering how my wife would react, I probably wouldn’t live it down myself. Weijun has saved us several times. If it wasn’t for her, we would never have escaped Lan City.”
My mouth twitched.
I can give you crystals, but I can’t give Dàgē to Guan Weijun. If she wants to get married, she’ll have to chase him herself!
With a careful and respectful manner, Tai Wen took the crystal from the palm of my hand.
“Thank you, I know this is very valuable. Don’t worry, I won’t leave the Jiang Dominion. I’m very happy we were able to find a shelter that treats ordinary people so well. I will definitely give my all to protect it!”
I’m glad you know it!
It was true that not all troops were as decent as the Jiang Dominion. Many were corrupted forces that would use the men as cannon fodder and the women as slaves. Having lived through ten years of the apocalypse, I was experienced enough to say this. If I had found an excellent group like the Jiang Dominion in my previous life, I would rather have fought to the death than leave!
I turned to Cain and said, “Cain, I understand abilities, but not the rest. What I can do is use tonight to train everyone’s ability a bit. Then, you can take a look at arranging their positions.”
Cain nodded repeatedly and replied, “No problem, you’ve done enough, Xiao Yu. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be possible to hold on for three days, but after what you said about these abilities, I almost think we can win.”
I watched the bustling group of people, some designing armor and some trying out their abilities, while others were eating crystals and absorbing them right away…
I gripped the remaining tier two crystal in my pocket. My original plan was to use both of the tier two crystals myself, but I hadn’t thought Tai Wen’s ability would turn out to be that useful. In order to protect the base, I had no choice but to let one of the crystals go.
With the single remaining tier two crystal, would I be able to… move up to tier three?
The final answer is—yes!
I was looking down the barrels of over forty guns. If I hadn’t managed to break through to tier three, it would have been impossible to keep up my ice shield. The difference in power between tier two and three was extremely high, even more so than tier one and two.
In my previous life, people had compared moving from tier two to three to a blockage being removed, allowing their blood to flow more easily. Their whole body changed completely. At tier two, bullets were still deadly, but after leveling up to tier three… I’ve already been shot four times, so the answer to that is obvious enough.
If I could have anticipated the existence of these two crystal energy guns, I wouldn’t have wasted so much power. Right now, my energy was much lower than I had planned for when we moved out, and I wasn’t sure if we could go on as planned. This mess would of course be counted against the MORC as always!
I half knelt on the ground, appearing as if I was too exhausted to escape, barely able to support myself, and about to be shot up like a honeycomb. But in reality, I was touching the ground with my hand, taking the chance to gather energy.
As I lifted my head, the soldier closest to me sensed something was wrong right away. He opened his mouth to shout, but it was already too late. A huge amount of frost surged forward like an ice wave, spreading rapidly across the soldiers’ feet. Unfortunately, the number of soldiers was high, and they stood spread out over a large area, making it impossible for me to directly freeze them all to death.
Originally, I had wanted to freeze the first row to death and only freeze the legs of the ones behind them so they couldn’t even run away, handing them over to Wen Jianuo and the others to gun down. But now my energy was nearly gone. If I froze those in the front to death, even freezing just the feet of the others might be difficult, so I had no other choice but to freeze the feet of all of them, leaving the rest to Wen Jianuo.
The frozen ground was the signal. I waited for Wen Jianuo and the others to rise from the underbrush not too far off and to start firing their guns like crazy, but instead, the enemy reacted first. They began a new round of gunfire, not slowing down to wait for Wen Jianuo and the others to make their move.
Alarmed, I thought, did Wen Jianuo and the others betray us?
There are so many soldiers at the base now, and Dàgē isn’t there; if these people are really starting a rebellion…
The faces of Wen Jianuo and Chen Yanqing flashed through my mind, as well as the other members of the Ice Spears impatiently yelling about how they wanted to follow me to see the might of the vice-captain. Are these soldiers treacherous enough to put up an act while planning their betrayal behind my back?
They don’t seem like that sort at all!
The real world isn’t like a novel full of scheming court officials. Where would all these elite actors come from? The attack on the base happened so suddenly. Wen Jianuo never even had the chance to conspire with others.
It can’t be a rebellion; something must have happened!
I flung my ice shield away, smashing it into a few people standing at the front. My energy would soon be depleted. If I couldn’t run, I really would be turned into a honeycomb. Those on tier three were able to resist bullets, but they couldn’t ward off shot after shot, with the attacks of the crystal energy guns on top of that!
We’re still made of flesh and blood; we haven’t evolved into tanks, all right?!
I went straight for the spot where Wen Jianuo and the others should be hiding in the underbrush. Just as I was about to burst through the thicket, I suddenly sensed something unpleasant. There was an unfamiliar kind of energy there, much stronger than Wen Jianuo and the others. The way it was distributed was quite strange, as most of it was close to the ground.
I took another step and sent out an ice wave. Because my energy level was so low, I couldn’t keep up my ice shield while freezing the ground. I had no choice but to use my ice armor to take on the next ten bullets. With a lot of effort, I created another ice shield before another round of attacks from the crystal energy guns charged my way.
Although I could sense the oncoming energy of the crystal energy gun, getting out of the way wasn’t an option, because at long last, Wen Jianuo and the others stood up. They were all covered in dirt, grass, and leaves, looking like they had just crawled out of the ground—which they might actually have done.
The ice shield was too weak to ward off the attack. I was hit directly in the back. Blood sprayed from my mouth onto Wen Jianuo’s face, making him look even more like “something that had crawled out of the abyss.”
His eyes widened, but he acted fast. He rushed forward to get a few steps past me and started frantically firing his gun.
Next, to my delight, I was dragged into a protective circle.
The two troops stood opposite each other. The other side had forty people, while our side had seven plus one, and that one was injured and had barely any energy left. It was a pitiful display, to be honest, but our success lay in the fact that more than half of the enemy troops were frozen to the ground and stuck for a while. They could only take the bullets of Wen Jianuo and the others head on, while our troops could use the trees as shelter as they advanced.
Although the forest wasn’t happy about it, it wasn’t as strong as a “person.” The trees actually didn’t dare to move too much. Like any young soldier stuck in such a mess, they could only pray the artillery shells wouldn’t hit them straight in the head.
I glanced at the ground. Several roots and leaves were struggling to break through the ice covering the ground. One root had even successfully dug a small hole, trying hard to escape…
I thought for a bit. Judging by the shape of this leaf, it has to be a sweet potato?
I stamped down with my foot, letting cold air freeze its way down the little hole, finally using the tip of my foot to vent my anger and smash the frozen sweet potato plant.
The luck of the Jiang family really isn’t good, if we can even get attacked by a sweet potato during an ambush!
It had probably waited for me to leave, and after Xiaorong and Chen Yanqing had taken the guns back to the base, this sweet potato then had the guts to attack Wen Jianuo and the others. If I or Xiaorong had been present, this sweet potato wouldn’t have dared to act so rashly.
Wen Jianuo led the other six soldiers as they opened fire, but the key moment had already passed. They only swept down the first few soldiers at the front, while the ones behind them had time to deal with the ice on their feet. With bullets flying everywhere, they freed their legs and one by one ducked behind trees to shoot back.
Seeing that our situation wasn’t good, our troops had no choice but to hide behind the trees as well. This hadn’t been part of the plan. We’d only brought seven squad members to fight against dozens of enemies, while the other side even had crystal energy guns. We couldn’t afford to waste soldiers like this, throwing them into this hail of bullets.
I swallowed the last handful of crystals, and before I had enough time to digest them fully, I roared at everyone,
After my shout, I shot out countless little frozen knives. They weren’t intended as an attack, as the blades exploded while still in mid-air, the countless fragments hurtling in all directions. They forced all of the enemy soldiers to draw back behind the trees. The ice dust would also block their line of sight, similar to the effect of a smoke bomb.
Seeing this, everyone immediately stopped fighting, turned, and ran, without any need for further instructions.
One person quickly grabbed me, carrying me over his shoulder with one hand. He still ran ahead of the other squad members, like I was as light as a feather, my weight something to be completely ignored.
After the apocalypse, though, everyone improved their physique and even gained weight. However, many people didn’t even notice the change in weight at first, since their strength had increased at the same time. It wasn’t until some women who cared about beauty had found a scale, and their terrible screams made everyone realize the truth.
The person holding me was incredibly strong. I struggled a bit at first, wanting to get down and run myself. I would be a burden to the person carrying me and slow him down for sure. But to my surprise, I couldn’t struggle free. This person’s ability had to be strength. I remembered his name was something like…
His name was Gao Yun, gāo from tall, and yún from cloud. He wasn’t tall, but he was so lean that he was like a cloud about to float away. For a soldier, he really was a bit too thin, even frailer than Chen Yanqing, and his lack of height was a huge setback. Standing among the squad, he would look particularly tiny. It couldn’t be that this was why he’d wanted to be strong?
Strength was a very common ability, but it was also indispensable. Having a team member with this ability was a good thing.
Everyone was running like crazy. From time to time, I shot out more exploding ice blades to obstruct our pursuers. Even so, they were in hot pursuit, and we had to use the trees as cover against the bullets to avoid getting hit. The enemy didn’t have to worry about that, though, and they simply chased and shot at us at the same time.
Through the sounds of gunfire, I suddenly sensed something was wrong. Immediately, I shouted, “Everyone, roll to the side!”
Two energy beams came toward us. After smashing through two trees, they hit the spot where the Ice Spears were—if we had all still been in our original spots. The Ice Spears were well trained, and as soon as I shouted, all of them had rolled aside. No one was hit.
We got up and continued to run away frantically, escaping from the forest with difficulty. On the way, we couldn’t avoid getting hit. I’d noticed a big shock going through Gao Yun’s body, which was probably because he had been hit or grazed by bullets. Fortunately, everyone was in peak physical condition. As long as the bullets didn’t hit any crucial spots or affect their movements, they were most likely able to continue running. It did hurt, but these soldiers were clearly not afraid of pain.
After rushing out of the forest, Wen Jianuo took a big step forward and tore a large cluster of thorny bushes away, revealing an impressive Hummer. There had been two cars, but Chen Yanqing had taken the other.
The apocalypse meant comfort was our last priority. Through the open roof we crammed ourselves onto the back seat. Stuffing in seven big men wasn’t a problem!
That moment, Lin Zuojun suddenly appeared in the driver’s seat and immediately started the car. I hadn’t thought he was able to teleport so accurately. However, as he sat down, his whole body bent over, and he vomited all over the steering wheel. It hadn’t been long since he had discovered his powers; to be able to control them to this extent within such a short time was definitely not easy. To think that during the special training the night before we set out, he hadn’t been able to at all!
As expected, actual combat is the real training. If not doing it means you’ll die, you can do anything!
After everyone had jumped in through the open roof, Gao Yun wanted to stuff me into the passenger seat, but when I saw our situation wasn’t looking good, I flung myself off of him. Using the bar on the side of the car as a foothold, I jumped toward the backside of the car and instantly created an ice shield.
There wasn’t enough time. I couldn’t even compress five layers, but only had time to create two. When the beam of the crystal energy gun hit the shield, it took all of my efforts to create another layer in time. Three layers weren’t enough to block a hit at all, but this attack had to be stopped!
We were already out of the cover of the trees. If the car was blown up, we’d have no choice but to turn back and fight. The difference in numbers was too much. Even if we were lucky enough to escape, I was afraid there’d still be heavy losses. Though the Ice Spears had quite some members, we couldn’t afford to lose even one!
The shield didn’t hold, and I had to use my ice armor to take on the blast of the energy gun. A few large cracks appeared in the armor. The force of the impact was so big I was blown backwards. I fell directly through the open roof on the back seat, without knowing who I was lying on. I heard a stifled hum in my ears.
My consciousness began to fade a bit, which wasn’t good. I immediately created a layer of ice in the air and let it fall in small chunks directly on my face. The ice-cold fragments cleared my head in a flash, but right away my face distorted from the pain shooting through my entire body. It would have been better to faint after all. I couldn’t do anything because of the pain anyway!
I finally regained my senses through the pain and immediately saw that Wen Jianuo was gnashing his teeth, so angry he couldn’t speak. His expression was grim like he’d seen a huge invasion of aberrants.
My ears were ringing with the bangs of gunshots, but I could still clearly hear him roar, “Do you think life is a joke? You child!”
Even though I wasn’t a child, I couldn’t help but smile wryly. If you don’t risk your life in this world, you die, so what else can I do?
Wen Jianuo obviously understood this as well. He didn’t scold me again. He directly stuffed me into the seat closest to the front of the car, then crouched down like the others, the muzzle of his gun pointed behind the car.
Fortunately, the enemy clearly didn’t expect us to have a car, and they had no way to keep chasing us. Once they went back to get their cars and continued the chase, we’d be long gone. We had pretty much cleared the stage.
“Who brought bandages?”
Wen Jianuo put his gun away and turned around, lowering his head to look at my injuries. His frown was so tense that he could have pinched a mosquito to death between his brows, the post-apocalypse kind that was as big as a fist.
“No need for bandages…”
Before I could finish, Wen Jianuo frowned in a way that could have killed a mosquito the size of a pot. I hurriedly explained, “Whenever I’m injured, I automatically freeze my wounds. As long as it’s not fatal and I still have a bit of energy left, you don’t need to bandage them.”
As I spoke, Wen Jianuo’s frown finally relaxed a bit. The guy was already as big as a mountain; with a frown that seemed chiseled into stone on top of that, anyone would be scared to death!
With the danger behind us, I relaxed, and my entire body immediately felt terrible; perhaps the only thing that didn’t hurt was my hair. Everywhere else, the pain was enough to make me see stars. I could only keep breathing deeply to ease the pain.
Out of breath, I said, “I’m going to take a nap. Wake me when we’re back at the base.”
“Wait… Shuyu? Hey, hey! That’s not napping, that’s fainting!”
No no no, I’m really just sleeping off the exhaustion. If I was fainting, I would have immediately lost consciousness, but I could still hear the squad members talk to each other. The sounds seemed to come from very far away.
“Does anyone have crystals?”
“Didn’t we turn them all in before?”
“Did you secretly hide any?”
“Would I admit it if I did?”
“I, I actually kept two. You think I can get away with it if I hand them over now?”
“Fuck, bro, you dared to hide them, and now you dare to take them out?”
Two sweet-tasting things were suddenly stuffed in my mouth, and I reflexively chewed and swallowed them.
“We let this young kid protect us soldiers. If I keep hiding these crystals, how can I still consider myself human?”
If we leave like this, how can we still consider ourselves human?
I opened my eyes, lowered my head, and looked down. Before the apocalypse, the sight of a mutilated body with dark, stinking bloodstains would have been terrifying enough to make people run and throw up in a corner. But how long has it been since the apocalypse began? Has it been a year?
The days we spent on the run all muddled together. I actually didn’t know how long it had been. It just felt like every day was endless. Without realizing it, such terrible sights had already become the norm and didn’t scare anyone anymore.
As we maneuvered between the bodies, I tried to find some useful things, but we were already too late. Those who were bold enough to go first had already swept everything clean. Weapons and food were the first things that were taken. I wasn’t hopeful we’d find anything much.
There were only some scattered supplies left, but it was better than nothing, much better than going into the city to look for supplies. We’d finally managed to escape from the city. I didn’t want to go back, not even for a mouthful of food, since I’d probably die before I was lucky enough to eat my fill.
But this place really was picked clean. There weren’t even any bulletproof vests left. I had no choice but to crouch down and turn over a corpse. Luckily, it hadn’t been dead for long. The body didn’t stink of decay yet. Oh, this corpse still had its hands and feet. It was rare to see one that still had all of its limbs—
The corpse made a sound, startling me. I immediately drew my knife to stab it in the head, but at the last moment, he turned his head. The knife drew a long line of blood on his cheek.
He glanced at me, his eyes dull and hopeless.
This guy is still alive!
As realization struck me, I had no idea what to do next. After glancing at me, he actually didn’t move much anymore. He didn’t beg for mercy, he didn’t even look at me, just quietly lowered his gaze and looked at the ground, as if he was waiting for something.
“Are you badly hurt?” I asked calmly, “Bad enough you’ll die?”
He looked at me somewhat surprised.
When the apocalypse had just started, a lot of people died from small wounds because of infections. This was happening less and less, and I guessed this change had something to do with people gradually getting stronger. I thought back to the time before the apocalypse, when I had to make an effort to even turn the cap of a water bottle. Right now I wasn’t just able to turn the cap, I could twist the whole bottle in half.
While on the run, I couldn’t avoid getting injured, but I didn’t die of infection. This guy in front of me was a soldier. He was definitely more fit than me. If he wasn’t hurt that badly, perhaps he could survive.
Besides, just now he looked like someone waiting for death. He wouldn’t lie about his injuries just to survive a bit longer, right?
“Come on, where are you hurt?”
I urgently asked, wiping the blood off his face at the same time. If his face was clean, I’d be able see from a glance how he was doing. When someone had lost too much blood or was close to dying, they couldn’t keep it from their expression.
“A lot of places…”
As I wiped his face, I didn’t expect to actually uncover a young, flustered kid. He was twenty years old at most?
If it hadn’t been for his uniform, I would have guessed that he wasn’t even eighteen. Such a young soldier must have been dug up from the military academy.
“Weijun, let’s go.”
I looked up and saw Xia Zhengu and Xiao Qi. The latter wasn’t sticking as close to Xia Zhengu as she used to, instead acting like she’d done at the very beginning when she had kept some distance between herself and someone else’s boyfriend to avoid suspicion.
Unexpectedly, Xiao Qi now liked to stick to me and had also properly re-introduced herself. Her full name was Lai Yueqi, and her hobby was to write stories. She had been somewhat of a celebrity online for it, and she’d been a screenwriter for a TV series.
On the day of the apocalypse, she’d been completely focused on her manuscript. When she’d finally finished and looked up to see the black fog outside her window, she had thought it was a fire. She had wanted to warn her family right away, until she remembered her mother was working a night shift at the hospital and hadn’t come back yet.
She was just about to go and find the only other person at home, her father, who always went to bed early, but before she could leave the room, her feet came into contact with the black fog. After that, she couldn’t get back up, of course.
After sharing that much, she kept berating herself with reddened eyes for her lack of courage. She had never dared to go to the hospital to look for her mother.
I could actually understand that. There were a lot of people at the hospital, and the chances of survival were almost non-existent. To go and “look for her mother” would lead to almost a 100% chance of dying. How brave would you need to be before you dared to go looking? If it was my mother at the hospital, even I wasn’t sure whether I had the guts to go and search for her.
As for her father, he turned into an aberrant that night. Luckily, she had the habit of locking her door at night, and in the end, her father jumped out of the window to run away and chase some noises outside, which gave her a glimmer of hope for survival.
I truly wasn’t interested in the whole life story of Miss Lai Yueqi. She was trying to steal my boyfriend and now she’s acting like we’re best friends. What the hell is going on?
At first, I’d listened impatiently, but after reaching the military shelter, and we were finally no longer in immediate danger, there wasn’t actually anything to do. There was a lot of free time, and she willingly told me and stayed away from my boyfriend. It felt like listening to some kind of broadcast show.
“Weijun, what’s wrong, did you find something?” Xia Zhengu worriedly asked. “If not, just leave it, don’t take any risks. Although these corpses are all mostly eaten and shouldn’t turn into monsters, we don’t know if there’s one that escaped. I don’t want you to get injured.”
I looked up at him. He looked worried. During this period of time, he had returned to behaving like he had before the apocalypse, always smiling, a bit carefree and foolish, even keeping his distance from Yueqi, not sticking close to her like before. The only thing missing was confessing they were having an affair.
As for what happened with my mother, he apologized over and over again. He simply said it wasn’t intentional. He had just automatically saved Xiao Qi who’d been beside him. When I rebuked him later, he claimed that he had made up random excuses because he had a hard time admitting he was wrong.
If he was able to change, I didn’t want to keep up my cold demeanor. Being on the run was already exhausting, but if I also had to fight with a mistress and act coldly toward my boyfriend every day, that would really be too tiring.
I couldn’t help but drop the spiteful, ice-cold tone and say softly, “Zhengu, this guy is still alive.”
Hearing this, Xia Zhengu looked over in surprise. He probably noticed my change in attitude and smiled, but then he pulled me to my feet and said somewhat anxiously, “He won’t survive long. We should go now. If we wait until he dies and turns into a monster, we’d be in trouble.”
As soon as the young soldier heard Xia Zhengu’s words, his expression darkened. He lowered his head and didn’t even utter so much as a word to ask for help.
I suddenly realized that this place had been completely stripped of supplies. It was likely that a lot of people had been here already, so perhaps this soldier had asked for help before. Maybe everyone ignored him, or maybe worse, they took his stuff yet abandoned him. He was probably about to give up all hope as a result.
I quickly said, “All these people who sacrificed themselves were soldiers, and this one even looks younger than us. We can’t just leave.”
“So what if they’re soldiers—” Xia Zhengu started to say impatiently, but he suddenly stopped. It seemed he’d realized his tone was wrong, so he quickly changed tune and said earnestly, “Weijun, I don’t want to get mad at you, but have you already forgotten how these bastards treated us? Those high officials of the Shangguan family live in luxury while we have to eat garbage. We never have enough food or enough clothes to keep warm!”
Xia Zhengu had been bad-tempered and foulmouthed our entire stay, but I didn’t feel the same resentment. After all, compared to our life on the run, life at the shelter wasn’t so bad. Perhaps we didn’t have as much food as we had while on the run, but at least we could sleep well.
If we had to go through days like that again, in which we couldn’t lie down to sleep, I wasn’t sure if I wouldn’t simply choose to go to sleep and never wake up.
I said quietly, “At least we have a safe place to sleep, and something to eat. We’re relying on these soldiers to guard the shelter. Their bosses living in luxury has nothing to do with them.”
In truth, I really wasn’t goodhearted enough to think that even a seriously injured stranger had to be saved. Such good intentions had already completely vanished shortly after the apocalypse started.
But this young soldier in front of me was different. He and the mutilated, mangled soldiers that littered the ground were the soldiers of this district. When the army of aberrants attacked, many high officials and soldiers fled. But these soldiers lying on the ground hadn’t run. They’d still formed the front line of defense, giving us ordinary people a chance to survive and escape using another exit.
But Xia Zhengu snapped, “They don’t live in luxury? Which of these soldiers didn’t eat better than us?”
So you’re just going to ignore that these people gave their lives to defend the entrance of the shelter?
I took a deep breath. I didn’t want to get caught up again discussing the issues of rank with Xia Zhengu. I just wanted to try and see if we could save the life of this young soldier.
“Zhengu, look at his face, how old can he be? He still stood at the front line to guard the entrance. If we just abandon him and leave, how can we still consider ourselves human?”
Perhaps I had become more determined, or Xia Zhengu had recently softened a bit, because he couldn’t persuade me. Helplessly, he said, “If you want to bring him, bring him. Remember to tie his hands. If that guy dies—”
“I’ll blow his head off myself!” I interrupted him. I watched as he unhappily turned away and went to look for more supplies. I crouched down and patted the young soldier’s head. I tried to help him up, but I heard him stifle a few groans after even the slightest of movements. It seemed he was in a lot of pain, so I quickly started talking to him to distract him a bit.
“I say, why don’t you come with us?”
The young soldier’s body went rigid, and he lifted his head to cast a quick glance at me. He didn’t respond, though, and his eyes were still very dull. He really didn’t look like he had been saved.
I patted his head and said with a smile, “Don’t be afraid, Jiějie will look after you. If you really can’t walk, I can carry you. Anyhow, I’m not going to leave you here alone.”
He lowered his head and still didn’t reply, but I noticed his body was slightly trembling. He was crying. Even though he was a soldier, he was still so young. How could he have really been waiting quietly for death? He must have been so scared.
It was almost impossible to see, but he nodded.
“Little brother, what’s your name?”
The young soldier startled. He lifted his head to answer, and I took the chance to lift him to his feet.
He just cried out, and any other sounds stuck in his throat. His entire face turned white from pain. Luckily, he was able to stand, though just barely. He was a bit weak, and his right foot was injured, so he could only drag his leg and needed someone to support him on his right side to be able to walk.
But he was able to walk.
I let out a sigh of relief. If the young soldier really hadn’t been able to even walk, I was afraid the only thing I could do was to send him to his next life.
With his head drooping down, the tiniest whisper of thanks could be heard from his direction.
“My name is Wei Mingyun.”