Dominion’s End Volume 2: Aberrant City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 4: The Jin Family—translated by Elkin (proofread by Arcedemius & Trespasserby; C/E edited by lucathia)
My eyes flew open and I sucked in a deep, sharp breath. The air surging into my lungs triggered a coughing fit, and I started coughing like I was hacking up my lungs. It was only when I finally caught my breath that I had the energy to look around to figure out what had happened.
Every part of me was in absolute agony, proof that I wasn’t dead yet. However, the darkness threatening to swallow my vision was a sign that I was injured very, very seriously. The pain had been bad enough before I had passed out, but the dial was now cranked up a few more notches. My chest had even lost all sensation.
I blinked quickly, clearing the blood that had trickled into my eye. It didn’t help much. I was still looking at a sea of red, but I could just about make out my surroundings.
The first things that came into sight were high-rise buildings. I was surrounded by abandoned cars, and the majority of shops lining either side of the road had broken windows. Garbage littered the road. The city was a picture of desolation.
This is the city? A chill crept into my heart as I realized that I was lying by the roadside, drenched in blood. If I just lay out in the open, a tasty tier one morsel in this city where aberrants roamed freely, wasn’t I just asking to be eaten? Move!
Rolling over took all the energy I could muster. The moment my chest hit the pavement, agony ripped through me, almost sending me back to unconsciousness. Something didn’t feel right. Then, the memory of being crushed by the bird and the sound of something shattering rushed back to me. I touched my chest. The ice shard had been smashed to smithereens, leaving behind fragmented bits stuck to my skin. When I also remembered that my new ice spear had snapped, I wanted to cry. Why is making a weapon so hard?
But right now, survival was my top priority. Where’s that bird? I looked around. There were a few crimson feathers and scales on the ground, but luckily for me, there was no sign of the bird.
No, this isn’t lucky. In my current condition, I’d probably die even at the claws of normal aberrants, so the presence or absence of the bird hardly makes a difference…
The voice sent a shock of adrenaline rushing through me. I looked up to see a woman walking out from behind a car, her gaze on me full of astonishment. She had a gun in one hand and the other… was on fire.
She was way cooler than Cain.
We had Lily, Yunqian, Shujun and now, a few months into the apocalypse, a woman so hot that she literally caught fire. Don’t tell me that all the people in this world are so powerful? What happened to the tragic fates of women in the apocalypse?
A million thoughts flashed to my mind that boiled down to one word:
The woman watched me in silence, showing no reaction whatsoever.
“P-please, help me…” I begged in the most pitiful way possible, thinking back to the various poses and expressions I had made in front of the mirror and trying to adopt the most handsome look that would best garner people’s sympathy. I could only hope that my face wasn’t too hopelessly disfigured, and that the waves of pain running through my body weren’t causing my face to twitch in time.
The woman lowered her gun. As she strode over, the flame in her other hand extinguished as well.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Although I didn’t know what kind of person she was, I had to get myself out of my current situation where I could be eaten by an aberrant at any moment.
“Where are you hurt?” The woman knelt down.
“Everywhere.” The moment I said that, she frowned, and I hastily added, “The worst is my chest. The rest isn’t too bad.”
Just that I couldn’t move my left leg, and my right leg was so leaden that I almost couldn’t lift it. Both my hands hurt so much that I felt like they had been flayed open by the bird’s scales. And let’s not forgot the periodic stabbing pain in my back. Frankly, it was easier to say where it didn’t hurt—probably just my hair.
The woman frowned as she said, “Don’t tell me you’re the guy that the bird was holding onto?”
“…Yes, the red bird.” To dispel her suspicions, I added a little detail.
So I’ve been carried into the city by the carrion-bloom bird that made his late appearance. T-this should be Zhongguan City, right? Don’t tell me he took me even farther away?
When she heard my words, she sighed in admiration. “You sure cheated death! You aren’t dead even though you got caught by that bird and dropped from the sky.”
Believe me, Jiang Shuyu cheats death even more than you think. If it were Guan Weijun in my place, all my encounters in this life would have killed her at least thirty times over!
“Feng-jiě, what’re you doing over there?”
The woman turned around and called out, “The person the bird was holding onto fell here, and he’s still alive.”
There’s someone else? I turned to look, but the abandoned cars around me blocked most of my line of sight, not to mention that the numbness in my chest was starting to fade. The pain ballooned, growing more and more agonizing until it became difficult to even breathe.
“Hey, you okay?” asked the woman as she looked back at me, her voice tinged with a hint of worry.
“Y-yeah.” Her question yanked my slipping consciousness back, and I struggled to stay awake. If I fainted now, I’d probably get left here. I can’t afford to faint!
“As if. Your face is white as paper.”
A few silhouettes came over, but I could no longer make out their features. To be honest, I hadn’t paid much attention to the woman’s looks either; my body ached so much that I couldn’t concentrate at all.
Suddenly, someone lifted me up in an embrace. The huge action made the pain in my chest explode, and I couldn’t help but keen in pain.
“Hey, don’t pass out! Stick with us!”
“With injuries like this, this guy’s a goner for sure. You really want to take him back?”
“Shut your trap!” the woman growled.
When I heard that, I finally relaxed. This woman definitely won’t abandon me to my fate.
That was why I kept saying that it was good to be born with good looks. Thanks to Jiang Shuyu’s awesome looks, I could happily pass out.
There was a sudden change in scenery. I was in some kind of… backyard? I wanted to crane my head to look around, but my body refused to listen, moving toward some destination under its own volition. I panicked, but just as I was about to struggle, the sight of a certain person put my mind completely at ease.
It was Dàgē, except he looked to be around twenty.
I was dreaming about Jiang Shuyu’s past again, so I was probably unconscious.
Dàgē beamed happily at me. Although he looked young, he had grown quite tall, and he purposely crouched down to speak to me. “Xiao Yu, I’m thinking of setting up a mercenary troop. What do you think?”
The Dàgē before me might have been even younger than I’d thought. He didn’t possess the same gravity, and the moment he spoke about setting up a mercenary troop, his eyes sparkled with excitement. This was weirding me out a little, but at the same time, this was quite novel. Then, “I” spoke up in an angry, boyish voice.
Dàgē looked like he had had cold water dumped on him, and he said with a frown, “Why? Do you think I can’t do it?”
I suddenly started bouncing around crazily, and my pubescent voice forcefully roared like a lion cub’s, “Last time, you said that you were going to join the mercenaries. And then what happened? In the past three years, have you even spent three months at home? Once you set up a mercenary troop, will you even remember that you have a dìdi and mèimei? Forget about me, I don’t care about you, but Junjun will miss you!”
Dàgē explained, a guilty look on his face, “The missions aren’t short, you know. I’ve just started my career, so I need to go on more missions and accumulate more experience.”
I waved my hand dismissively and exclaimed, “Dàgē, you joined the mercenaries the moment you graduated from high school. Now that we don’t have any more money problems at home, you should go to university!”
Dàgē replied in a troubled tone of voice, “I’m not really interested in studying. It’s enough if you do the studying.”
“Knowledge is power! Gē, if you want to set up a mercenary troop, that’s fine by me. But first, get through university!”
He said helplessly, “I need to do mercenary work, so where can I find time to study?”
I nodded, knowing that there was no way that he would abandon his budding mercenary career to go to university. So I compromised, “You can study at the National Open University. You only have to attend classes every few months. I’ve already researched it for you.”
Dàgē finally started to frown and made a rare expression of discontent to his dìdi. “Xiao Yu, this is my life. I can make my own decisions about what I want to do.”
I ignored him and whipped out an application form. “The United Command and Staff College. I managed to sign you up to some intermediary Command and Staff courses through Dad’s friends. If you score well, I’ll think of something. We should be able to get you promoted into the advanced courses.”
I thought hard, the long list of Dad’s friends and contacts flashing through my mind. Then, I went through Mom’s friends and contacts as well and concluded that there weren’t any issues in that respect. So the only question was whether Dàgē’s scores were good enough. After all, I couldn’t turn a zero into one hundred through back doors. Mom and Dad had some really good friends, so it wouldn’t be hard to get him a score of a hundred if we really needed to. But if some other people purposely wanted to make life hard for us, we’d run into a lot of problems, so I couldn’t do that.
Dàgē gripped the application information, glaring at me.
I declared triumphantly, “If you want to set up a mercenary troop, you’ll need to command it, right? If you want to lead a mercenary troop, it’s not enough to just rely on individual combat ability!”
Dàgē continued scowling at me, and managed through ground teeth, “How old are you?”
“Nine years your junior,” I replied in a matter-of-fact voice.
“I seem to be twenty this year.”
I nodded gravely, saying, “So if you don’t study now, you’ll never make it in time.”
“Make it in time for what?”
I tilted my head to one side, unable to reply to that, so I ended up saying, “You can make a lot of useful connections at the Command and Staff College. The earlier you meet them, the earlier they’ll come in handy.”
“You’re almost scary in how bright you are,” Dàgē said, clutching his head. “Mom had hoped that you’d be more like an innocent, carefree child.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “If I was innocent and carefree, do you think you’d have been able to run around the world as a mercenary three years ago, Dàgē? Don’t be greedy and wish for the world, too.”
“Fair enough.” Dàgē gave a wry laugh and said helplessly, “All right, if it’s this kind of college, then I’ll go. But this way, I’ll spend even less time at home. Is that fine with you?”
I nodded. We didn’t have a choice. He had Jiang blood running through his veins, which meant he was always on the hunt for danger. He took to mercenary work like a fish to water, and if not for me and Shujun, he’d probably never come back home.
I’d known for some time that he’d want his own mercenary troop; otherwise, I wouldn’t have picked this subject for him to study. The more powerful Dàgē and his troop became, the less likelihood of any incidents happening.
I had this nagging feeling that something was going to happen, some big trouble. I frowned. Ever since I was little, I’d never quite understood why I became frightened whenever I thought about the future.
Dàgē sighed. “Then, help me take care of Shujun.”
“Like you need to tell me! Junjun’s much more important than you. I’ve already picked which middle and high school she will attend. As for university, I’ll have to wait to see what her interests are before deciding where she should go.”
“Haha!” Dàgē burst into a bout of laughter, then shook his head helplessly. “Shuyu, honestly. You don’t have to worry about everything, you know?”
“If you just stayed at home, went to a normal university and became a normal office drone who worked from nine to five, I wouldn’t have to worry as much.”
“…Then please, worry more.”
I sighed and said, “Fine, it’s not like I have a choice. You’re my dàgē, after all!”
“Like hell I’m your dàgē.”
“Are you actually awake or are you sleep talking?”
I slowly turned my head to the speaker. She was sitting next to the bed and leaning over to look down at me. But I couldn’t quite make out her face because… Miss, your boobs are in the way!
She was wearing a sleeveless leather vest and had a belt made out of the same leather wrapped around her waist, complete with gun holsters. She looked to be a very awe-inspiring woman, and in her current get-up, she could star in an action film. A kick-ass heroine with huge boobs is just perfect!
Wait a sec, this isn’t a movie, right? It’s not that farfetched for me to have died again and traveled to another world, or even to a world inside a movie, going by my crazy experiences so far. But please, no! I don’t want to leave Dàgē and Shujun!
I tried to get up, wanting to check whether or not I was still Jiang Shuyu.
“Don’t move, you’re injured real bad,” the woman said with a frown. “If we didn’t have medical facilities in this house and a family doc who can do surgeries, you’d be dead.”
How can you possibly have such good medical facilities, to the point where your family doctor can perform surgeries? Just who are you?
“Is this Zhongguan City?” I prayed hard. I had to be in my original world. No matter how good a new world could be, it still wouldn’t beat Dàgē and Shujun!
Thankfully, the woman gave an affirmative “mm.” I breathed a huge sigh of relief and immediately lay back in bed, because my chest was on fire and I didn’t have any more energy to prop myself up.
The woman snapped angrily, “You’ve broken eight ribs, and even the ones that aren’t broken have cracks. And you still wanna move around recklessly? You have a death wish? If you wanna die, just let me know. I’ll send you off with a bullet.”
I froze, not daring to move an inch.
The woman sat back down on the edge of the bed, and now I could finally see her face free from the ”orbstacles.”
She had long hair, tied back into an extremely neat, high ponytail. The first things that leaped out from her face were her thick, straight eyebrows, making her look handsome, and below her eyes were a long nose and thin, red lips. What a handsome woman!
Strange as it was to describe a woman as handsome, no other word was more appropriate. She was both handsome and cool, and if you went by just her face, people would believe it even if you said she was a man with slightly more refined and elegant features! But when coupled with her huge breasts, there was no way she could be a man. That chest of hers was even bigger than Lily’s. Is it size G or an even bigger cup?
The woman whacked my head hard, growling, “What’re you staring at my chest for? You asking to get shot?”
Ow, ow! My head was going to explode. This woman had quite the arm strength. My eyes were filling with tears. I hadn’t meant to stare. But they were so in my face, and for some reason, my eyes kept drifting there. This had to be Jiang Shuyu’s fault. He’s a real eighteen year-old guy!
“They’re just two lumps of flesh. What’s so special?” the woman grumbled a little, but at least she stopped trying to bust my brains and asked in a relatively friendly manner, “So, what’s your name?”
“Jiang…” I stopped, then changed what I was going to say, “Call me Xiao Yu. Everyone calls me that.”
Previously, that invading mercenary troop only had to hear the surname “Jiang” to guess that I was Jiang Shutian’s dìdi, and they even used me as a hostage. Now that I was injured so badly, I had to be extra careful. I couldn’t let anyone bring harm to Dàgē and the others.
“I’m Jin Feng,” the woman said simply, then looked me up and down and nodded. “Xiao Yu suits you quite well. You look just like a guy who’s as soft as a ‘feather.’”
“…It’s the Yu from ‘universe.’”1
Jin Feng gave a careless nod and just stared at me. I didn’t bother asking her what she was staring at, either—come on, she’s looking at Jiang Shuyu’s face. Does that even need to be asked?
With her two eyes boring into me unrelentingly, I thanked her while feeling a little awkward, “Um, thanks for saving me.”
Jin Feng tilted her head as she continued staring at me, then smiled and remarked, “Thank your face.”
Done that already.
“With your looks, why haven’t you become a celebrity?” She paused, then asked suspiciously, “You haven’t gone down that path yet, right? I don’t really know the small-time celebrities.”
“No, I just got into university. I never imagined the world would become like this.”
I tried my best to look like I was depressed and close to tears. I tried to imagine how an eighteen year-old young man would behave in the face of an apocalypse but drew a blank. Young men from ten years later were hardly comparable, and I hadn’t seen any normal young men since my reincarnation. Yes, there was a Lu Renjie, but too bad, he wasn’t normal either.
Jin Feng ruffled my hair, reminding me of Dàgē. They had to be out of their minds with worry about me. I wondered how far this place was from home. Carrion-bloom birds flew very quickly, so Dàgē and the others wouldn’t have been able to keep up. They were probably frantically looking everywhere for me, but the way things were, I couldn’t even get out of bed and had no way of recovering my combat power quickly. Not to mention this was Zhongguan City, the most dangerous area, the urban district…
A strange feeling struck me, and I looked around hurriedly. This room was massive, even bigger than ours, but the decor was extremely simple. The color scheme was predominantly black and white, the style quite similar to Dàgē’s room. More importantly, it didn’t have the ragged look that a room in the apocalypse should have—it was just an extremely simple, spacious room.
“Where is this?” I was dazed. Just who on earth is this rescuer of mine?
“My room,” Jin Feng replied simply.
I was a little surprised. This room is like my dàgē’s, but it’s actually yours? All right, you’re so handsome and cool that it actually isn’t that strange for this room to be yours.
“And what about more generally?”
“The office building my family owns.”
“…” I could only ask with additional ”precision” and “exactness,” “Where in Zhongguan City are we?”
“North Avenue district.”
I frowned. North Avenue district? Shit, it doesn’t ring any bells. Before, I hadn’t planned on venturing that far, so I’d only studied the maps around our home area and hadn’t started looking through the roads in Zhongguan City.
I looked at Jin Feng, to see her gazing at me with a relishing look in her eyes. I started, and quickly spoke in a fearful tone of voice, “Is there a map I can look at? I want to see how far the bird carried me.”
Jin Feng didn’t seem to mind as she nodded.
Throughout the entire conversation, she had been staring at my face the whole time. But she did so openly and without a trace of ill will, as though she were just admiring a model in a magazine. Besides, since she was only looking without touching, I was much more at ease about the whole thing.
“I’ll grab the map and get you something to eat and drink while I’m at it.” With that, she once again leaned in close, and murmured by my ear, “You’re pretty good at pretending to be a helpless little boy, but you went and spoiled it by asking for a map first instead of food. Tell me, why would a helpless little boy like you want a map more than food after waking from such terrible injuries?”
Once again, I was reminded that my acting skills were zero. But with injuries all over and being stuck in a strange place, I’m hardly in a position to leap up and be the big Man, so what else can I do aside from pretend to be a helpless little boy?
I could only look innocently at Jin Feng. Even if I couldn’t act, at least I had this face of mine – at least I can be a pretty face, right?
She gave a laugh and stopped critiquing my acting. She just patted my cheek, then stood up and headed to the door.
I almost wanted to touch this overpowered face of mine, in absolute disbelief that this face hadn’t gotten all scratched and ripped up from the battle to the point where it was no longer presentable. It had even saved my life, so it seemed the Jiang family’s luck really wasn’t that bad… Ugh, my hand hurt. I had better not touch it after all.
I turned to watch Jin Feng. It was only when she was a little distance away that I could see her full body clearly. She really was tall and slender, probably reaching over 170 centimeters in height. She was wearing riding breeches and long, leather boots, which showed off her incredibly long legs. Without noticing, my eyes had drifted to her butt. Her butt wasn’t as full as her breasts but rather was quite petite, yet at the same time, firm and perky. And her long pony tail even brushed back and forth across that area with every move she made…
Jin Feng suddenly spun around, and I froze, quickly averting my eyes. She gave a smile that was not quite a smile as she looked at me. Did she find out that I was peeking at her butt?
“If someone says you’re my man, just go with it. With a face like yours, if you don’t have someone to protect you… Yeah, I think you get it, too.”
I nodded, grimacing.
Jin Feng walked out of the room, and just as the door was closing, I snuck a look outside. No one was standing watch, so it seemed like I wasn’t being kept prisoner… Or they simply thought that my injuries were so bad that they didn’t need to have someone watching over me. Rather, if they just let me be, I might just snuff it.
Seizing the chance, I looked over my injuries and my face darkened. That explained why no one was on guard outside. If an ordinary person had gotten these injuries, they’d be confined to bed rest for at least a month, so how could I possibly run away? That also explained why Jin Feng didn’t think of me as a helpless little boy. I should have just moaned in pain three times for every sentence I spoke to match my pitiful image of a helpless little boy.
Even for me, I’d need at least five days before I could leave the bed. But it wasn’t enough to just climb out of it. This was the city, which was much more dangerous than the suburbs, and there was also the fact that I was even a Jiang, which meant the danger levels probably tripled. If I didn’t recover to seventy or eighty percent of my full strength, I probably wouldn’t make it out of the city.
Although I really wanted to rush back to Shujun and Dàgē, I’d just be dooming myself if I left prematurely.
If only Dàgē were here. With his healing abilities, my recovery time would at least be halved, but then again, if Dàgē were here, all I’d need to do is just lie back and relax. As if I’d even need to worry about recovery time!
Sigh, whatever. They had Dàgē, Shujun with her godly lightning abilities, a group of superb mercenaries who had progressed pretty well in training their powers, and a whole bunch of weapons, so they should be fine. The problem was more me, so I was better off worrying about my own injuries. Dàgē and the others would be fine.
I thought hard about what to do. Right, if I have evolution crystals, I would be able to recover quicker.
I touched my chest. As expected, the ice crystal bottle used to hold the crystals was gone, but I didn’t think for a moment that it had been taken away from me. That intense battle had even shattered the ice shard that protected my heart, and the ice crystal bottle was nowhere near as hard as my ice spear, so it would have been strange if it had survived the fight.
Gazing at the ceiling, I thought back to what had happened before I had fainted the second time. I had seen Jin Feng’s hand aflame, and that was in no way an oversized lighter. I could sense that that power was strong enough to kill. Although it wasn’t quite first tier, she could trump our mercenaries any time.
So, do these people know about evolution crystals?
As I was thinking, someone entered the room. It wasn’t Jin Feng, but a man. He placed a tray next to the bed, looking over my face with a rather ambiguous look on his face, or perhaps even with a little… scorn?
I didn’t dare to bring out my zero-point acting skills, and so simply watched him with a little wariness.
“Hmph, boy toy,” he muttered to himself then left.
I remained silent, then, hearing no sounds coming from outside the door, I immediately snatched up the map.
The moment I looked at it, my brows knitted tight enough to kill a mosquito. As the name itself indicated, North Avenue district was in the northern part of Zhongguan City, but our home was in the east side, close to the south. It was better than if we were in exact opposite directions. After fully experiencing the luck of the Jiang family, I had been fully prepared for the possibility that I’d have to trek from one end of the city to the other to get home. Although things looked to be much better than that, I still needed to travel through a third of Zhongguan City.
If I could drive through the city without any traffic, it would probably take an hour, but when this was a city filled with aberrants, it was possible that I wouldn’t be able to get home even within a lifetime. Worse still, Dàgē had said that they had had no way of leaving the city by car back then because the roads were clogged with traffic, so the road conditions had to be even worse by now.
The other route was to leave the city and go around from the outside. While that would make the traveling distance a lot longer, it was the safer route by far.
I silently committed the two routes to memory, then I returned the map and sipped some water using the straw. I didn’t touch any of the food, however. Going from my current condition, I shouldn’t be able to eat stuff by myself. Although Jin Feng had said I was pretending to be sad and helpless, I was pretty sure she didn’t know exactly how strong I was. Then again, I couldn’t possibly be strong with these kinds of injuries.
Suddenly, loud voices came from outside, though muffled by the door. After all, the door was shut and the sound-proofing wasn’t too shabby either, so I had to listen hard to make out what was being said.
Although I hadn’t chosen the evolution path of strengthening my body, after experiencing the black fog, humanity… no, all living creatures had become better and stronger. The more you experienced the black fog, the stronger you became. But as you became stronger, so did everyone and everything else, so you’d be eliminated by the competition if you didn’t strengthen yourself quickly enough. And this was a true elimination where you wouldn’t even leave a corpse behind, because it would be picked clean.
Aside from that, as you ate more evolution crystals, not only would you grow taller and more beautiful, you’d even become smart enough to score full marks—just kidding. In any case, even if I hadn’t chosen to strengthen myself physically with my powers, my body would still improve in all aspects. Otherwise, how could I have developed better combat moves than mercenaries who had experienced the same black fog, after just a few months of training? Even if I had the knowledge, my body wouldn’t be able to catch up otherwise.
Anyway, enough BS. In short, I could hear what was being “discussed” by the people shouting outside by concentrating on my hearing. No one should have reached the stage of realizing that “everyone had become stronger,” so the girls probably thought that I couldn’t hear a thing from inside the room. If I hadn’t eaten so many evolution crystals, I really wouldn’t have been able to make out the words. Unfortunately for them, I had been eating evolution crystals like rice since the beginning of the apocalypse.
“Sis, don’t tell me you’ve really fallen for that boy toy?”
Boy toy probably means me? I’d directly skipped over from a helpless little boy to a boy toy. But that was fine by me. People might not necessarily want a helpless little boy, but a boy toy had its fans.
“He’s called Xiao Yu.” This was probably Jin Feng speaking.
“Who cares what he’s called?! He’s just a useless boy toy!”
“Xiaoyue, you’re becoming wilder and wilder.” Despite the meaning in Jin Feng’s words, she didn’t sound unhappy. “Even someone who’s hardly at home like Gē says you’ve changed a lot.”
“I-I was just…” Xiaoyue’s voice softened, and I almost couldn’t catch her words. I focused even more of my energy on eavesdropping. “I’m just worried about you, Sis.”
Jin Feng spoke with amusement, “I never said that it was a bad thing. Ever since you were little, you’ve had poor health. Mom treated you preciously, so you grew up like a dainty white flower. I couldn’t even be bothered to talk to you. But I didn’t think that you’d turn so wild after that fog came. Quite the unexpected bonus.”
“I just lost my memories. I don’t remember my past, so forget that past me. The me right now is the real me!”
…Since when did losing your memories become so commonplace? I’ve never heard of the black fog making people amnesic!
“Cool,” Jin Feng said carelessly. “Anyway, I prefer this you as well, but remember to put on an act in front of Mom. You know she’s not used to your current personality, and she keeps insisting that you’re not you.”
“Like it matters!” Xiaoyue snapped back impatiently, “Sis, throw out that boy toy already! Didn’t I tell you, you absolutely have to get together with Jiang Shutian?!”
It was strange to hear Dàgē’s name unexpectedly pop up in the conversation. Don’t tell me this Xiaoyue knows my dàgē, and is even planning on introducing her sister to my dàgē? But I have to say, good taste!
But I’m not that bad either. I suddenly felt a little jealous.
Jin Feng said with irritation, “How can I get together with that Jiang Shutian if I’ve never even met him before?”
Jin Xiaoyue quickly said, “You’ll definitely meet him in the future. Brother already said he lives nearby. Sis, you know, that’s the Ice Emperor, Jiang Shutian!”
I felt like I’d been struck by lightning.
Jin Feng sighed and said helplessly, “Another one of your dreams?”
“Yes!” Xiaoyue exclaimed excitedly, “We already have the Thunder God, Jin Zhan, so once we have the Ice Emperor, Jiang Shutian, we can rule the world! So remember that boy toy of yours is for playing only, okay? Don’t think of something stupid like getting together for real with him. That kind of freeloading moocher’s useless.”
Thunder God… Jin Zhan… is it now? “Jin” was indeed a very rare surname, and although I still couldn’t remember the name, it sounded vaguely familiar. So it might be that.
“Xiao Yu doesn’t seem that weak. He doesn’t even complain despite all those injuries—he’s definitely stronger than most people.” Jin Feng remarked breezily, “And even if he’s a moocher, so what? I have the ability to let him mooch off me.”
If I were a man, I’d probably explode with fury after hearing this Xiaoyue continually insult me with “moocher” and “boy toy.” Thankfully, I was a woman on the inside. No woman would object to being called pretty. To be a boy toy, I’d have to have an attractive face!
“Sis, Jiang Shutian’s definitely a hundred times better than him! Since Gē actually knows the Ice Emperor, you have to seize this chance!”
When you need him the most, even if you walk until your feet fell off, there won’t be any sign of Ice Emperor Jiang Shutian. But then he’ll pop up in the most unexpected of places when you aren’t even looking!
But wait, Dàgē is a healer! I frowned. What’s going on with this Xiaoyue? Don’t tell me this is another kind of ability?
Abilities had always come in all shapes and forms, so it wasn’t impossible to have the ability to have prophetic dreams. But Dàgē is a healer, so just how accurate are her predictions? Then again, she was able to come up with the Thunder God and Ice Emperor…
“How am I supposed to seize the chance when I don’t even know where he is? Besides, based on what Gē said, he likes calling all the shots. I’ve got zero interest in guys like that.”
No wonder I’m lying on your bed. You don’t like a man who’s a real man, but meek little guys like me?
“Of course he calls all the shots,” Jin Xiaoyue grated through ground teeth. “He’s the Ice Emperor, Jiang Shutian!”
“Speaking of the Ice Emperor, didn’t you say that you dreamed he was in Glacia? But as it turns out, Gē said he’s in Meisia. So maybe your dreams aren’t that accurate.”
I couldn’t help but nod in agreement. That’s right. Dàgē’s a healer, so how can he become the Ice Emperor?
Jin Xiaoyue actually growled deeply in a girl’s voice, “There’s no mistake. Ice Emperor Jiang Shutian, Thunder God Jin Zhan, Flame King Debert. These are the three elites of humanity!”
She knows about the elites? And she even knows the name of the Flame King. I wasn’t aware that prophetic dreams are so comprehensive? And this is just the start of the apocalypse. If she can learn so much through her abilities already, this is more than just talent, she can directly ascend to godhood!
This Xiaoyue, the “amnesic” Xiaoyue. Perhaps… she’s the same as me?
“But Jiang Shutian is in Meisia. Gē already told us that Jiang Shutian personally came to buy firearms from him on the day of the black fog.”
Calm down and think. Dàgē is indeed here, but if not for the fact that the reincarnated me had forced him to come back, he’d probably be in Glacia, like Xiaoyue said.
But Dàgē’s ability isn’t ice, but healing—wait, Dàgē probably gained healing abilities because he wanted to heal his own dìdi too much. If he didn’t come back to Meisia, he wouldn’t need to heal me, so he might’ve gained ice powers instead?
This was a huge revelation.
Yes, this Jin Xiaoyue doesn’t have prophetic dreams. She had probably reincarnated, like me, but I didn’t know if she was an original resident in this world or a resident of my world. This whole “parallel universe” thing was too complex for me.
Xiaoyue enunciated every word with firm decisiveness, “It doesn’t matter which continent Jiang Shutian is on. What matters is that he will become the Ice Emperor in the future, and we have to get hold of him!”
Hearing her words, my head started hurting even more than my chest.
Of the three elites of humanity, one of them has been knocked out by butterfly effect little old me created?
Suddenly, I felt a huge pressure crushing me. I had to become strong enough to fill in the shoes left by the missing Ice Emperor; otherwise, I’d be the ultimate criminal of all history for making humanity only have two elites left—no, I’d be the future ultimate criminal.
Jin Feng said coolly, “If Gē and Jiang Shutian are the Thunder God and Ice Emperor respectively, then they’d never be able to ally together. You can only have one leader in a team.”
“That won’t be a problem once you become Jiang Shutian’s woman!”
I frowned. I felt like there was something off about this, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what it was.
There was some silence before Jin Feng finally spoke. “Xiaoyue, it’s good that you’ve become more unrestrained, but it’s not nice to be so pushy. You’re treating your own sister like a pawn.”
“… Sorry, I-I was just worried about the future.”
Jin Feng responded with “mm,” then reminded her anxiously, “Remember to act like a good girl in front of Mom, okay? Otherwise she’ll start crying when she sees you, and Gē won’t be happy.”
“Fine,” Xiaoyue said reluctantly.
It became quiet outside again, but soon enough, Jin Feng pushed open the door and entered.
“I thought you were planning to chat all day outside.” I gave her puppy eyes, then looked at the food on the table. “I’m so hungry.”
Jin Feng chuckled and came by the bed. She picked up the bowl and started spoon-feeding me the rice porridge, which had bits of minced meat inside. After being left in the open for so long, it had cooled down to the perfect temperature for eating.
After eating and drinking my fill, I gave a content sigh, then looked at Jin Feng next to me and asked in puzzlement, “Why are you so nice to me?”
Even with this face of mine, there’s no need to personally spoon-feed me, you know. You’re the younger sister of Thunder God Jin Zhan! I can’t bear such a heavy responsibility!
Jin Feng chuckled. “You’re my man. Who else should I be taking care of apart from you?”
Um, don’t tell me you have a thing for making moves on the heavily injured?
Probably because I was glaring at her, Jin Feng laughed again and gave me another ruffle of my hair. Seriously, please stop doing that. You’ll make me miss Dàgē and the others. I’m very worried, you know!
“Don’t worry, I will woo you the proper way.”
Okay, with a face like Jiang Shuyu’s, it wasn’t exactly the first time that the girl was chasing after the guy. I mean, I’d been chased by the school Madonna! But Madonna completely had nothing on the Thunder God’s younger sister. Jiang Shuyu, your face is too amazing!
Jin Feng methodically picked up the fruit that served as dessert: an apple. Then, she pulled out a palm-sized knife and started peeling it. The peeled skin was so thin that it was translucent, and she peeled it in one go, creating a complete ribbon of unbroken apple skin.
But compared to the skin, I was more concerned about the apple itself. Why do you still have apples? Does your family run an apple orchard or something?
Slowly and deliberately, she said, “I won’t force you to marry me.”
M-Marry? Shit, Miss, we’ve known each other for just a day. What kind of shotgun wedding is this?
But I did feel better when I heard her say “marry.” She really had to have very strong morals to still think of marriage in the apocalypse. It seemed I wouldn’t have to worry that I would be XXX’ed, which was good news for me… I think?
I couldn’t help but steal a look at Jin Feng’s chest, but she noticed it and immediately whacked me on the head again.
I protested, “Don’t hit my head, I’ll become stupid!”
“Fine. Your broken ribs, broken hands, broken legs. Pick what you want me to hit.”
“…Okay, go for my head.”
Jin Feng laughed and raised her hand. Just as I was bracing myself for the next hit, she rubbed my head, saying, “If you agree to marriage and become my husband, then you can look all you want, anywhere you want. I won’t hit you. How about it?”
Wait, it should be that I agree to date you, right? How did we jump straight to marriage?
I looked at Jin Feng. She looked serious, without any hint that she was joking at all, so I had no choice but to reply, “This is too fast. Can we discuss this after we’ve gotten to know each other better?”
Thankfully, she gave an amiable nod of her head.
As I watched, Jin Feng quietly cut the apple into pieces, not the slightest bit angry at all. Only when I saw that she wasn’t upset did I dare to ask, “Miss Jin Feng, can I ask you a question?”
“Call me Feng. Shoot.”
“Oh, okay.” I smoothly changed my way of addressing her. “Feng, you saw me being dropped by the bird. Did you see where that red bird went?”
I was worried that the carrion-bloom bird would circle back to find Dàgē and the others. Although the bird didn’t have the help of his flock, so Dàgē and the others should be able to manage the lone tier one carrion-bloom bird, I still couldn’t help but worry about them.
Jin Feng sliced the apple into tiny pieces and fed me one piece before responding, “It didn’t go anywhere. We took it down.”
“With what?” I was astonished. Did the Thunder God already learn how to fly? He can’t be that powerful, right?
…There’s really no point in comparisons.
I became a bit depressed. It seemed like the Thunder God was faring better than the Ice Emperor at this stage of the apocalypse. Then, I abruptly became upset. My dàgē should be the strongest!
Wait, if Dàgē had stayed in Glacia instead of coming back, he’d probably have kept his entire mercenary troop and could use Barretts like they were handguns, so how can he possibly lose to the Thunder God?!
But because I called him back, we don’t have any Barretts, and we even lost an Ice Emperor.
I became even more depressed.
“What are you thinking about? You’re frowning real hard,” Jin Feng reached out to smooth out my brow, but she frowned along with me.
I was imagining the scene where I would be scorned by the whole of humanity after the truth came to light.
Ten years after the apocalypse, humanity was already struggling so much even with three elites. Now that we’re down to two, can humanity even survive?
Can I really replace Dàgē and become the Ice Emperor?
I couldn’t help but touch my chest. My hands hurt, my chest hurt even more, and there was nothing there. The ice shard had long shattered and disappeared. I had failed over and over again in creating a weapon. Feeling like the distance between the Ice Emperor and me was as far as the center of Earth and outer space, I couldn’t help but sink into depression.
I looked at Jin Feng.
She rubbed my head, saying, “Sleep. Your injuries are too severe. Don’t think too much right now. The more you think, the worse it’ll get. So just go to bed.”
I looked at her and said seriously, “I need a long time to recover.”
Nowadays, people would be abandoned even if they didn’t have a scratch on them, much less someone with severe injuries.
“Yeah, the doc says you need a month of bed rest, and almost three months before you can make a full recovery. But I don’t think you’ll need that long.”
Shit! I’d completely forgotten about the doctor. I was screwed. They would definitely find out how quickly I recovered. My original plan of lying in for two weeks then running away had gone out of the window. The doctor would definitely realize something was up with just a check up!
“Open your mouth.”
More food? Am I a pig being fattened? I looked at Jin Feng with a frown, only to see a single clear crystal in her hand.
An evolution crystal.
1 “Xiao Yu”: Shuyu’s “yu” uses the character 宇 from yǔzhòu (宇宙), which means “universe.” The “yu” sounds exactly the same as the yu (羽) from yǔmáo (羽毛), which means “feather.”