Dominion’s End Volume 2: Aberrant City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Prologue: Behind the Door—translated by Elkin (proofread by EvlNabiki & Arcedemius; C/E edited by lucathia)
Dog-shaped aberrants like those five that had transmuted from humans had actually been quite common. Of course, that was in reference to my previous life. The reason so many people turned into dog-type aberrants was probably because the animal many people were most familiar with was the domestic dog.
Later, those aberrants would evolve into a tribe known as the Dog People. They were widely feared, not for their strength, but for their tendency to move in packs. Whenever you encountered them, there was never just one or two, nor was it even a matter of one or two dozen. There would be at least one or two hundred!
But I only knew about the Dog People from hearsay. If I’d encountered them back then, I would probably have become Jiang Shuyu much earlier. Then again, if this world’s Jiang Shuyu hadn’t been hit on the head by a tile, would he still have woken up one day as Guan Weijun?
If there was a Jiang Shuyu in my original world, did he ever wake up from his head injury…?
I snapped out of my reverie at Dàgē’s furious shout. Before I had the chance to turn and apologize, five shadows had already leapt right at me.
I blanched and slammed the ice staff to the floor. With a twist and somersault through the air, I dodged past the five streaks pouncing at me. I even managed to kick one of the aberrants, eliciting a sharp yelp.
Just when I was about to counterattack, gunshots suddenly rang out. I only had time to kick down one aberrant before the others slumped to the ground by themselves. Upon closer inspection, the aberrants either had spattered brains or knives stuck deep in the back of their skulls.
I turned around. Lily was looking embarrassed, still in firing position. She quickly hid the gun behind her, as if that would help hide the fact that she’d been the shooter.
To one side was the silent Xiao Sha. In contrast to Lily, he was extremely calm and had no intention whatsoever to try and cover up. Besides, there weren’t any excuses he could have made—the knives were already embedded in the aberrants’ heads, conclusive evidence of the culprit, so there was no point in arguing otherwise.
Dàgē glared daggers at the two.
“All right, I’m guilty.” Lily raised her hands helplessly in surrender. “I thought Shuyu was in danger. I never expected him to dodge so easily.”
“I owe him one,” Xiao Sha said simply.
After Dàgē finished glaring at those two, he narrowed his eyes even more dangerously as he turned them on me.
I stabbed the ice staff downward, busting open the head of the still-quivering aberrant, then mimicked Lily in raising my hands in surrender. “I was thinking about ‘the dream,’ so I spaced out accidentally.”
Dàgē growled, “You dare to space out when confronting aberrants? You’re never going out by yourself in the future! If you ever dare sneak out, then you can expect to be chained up for the rest of your life!”
I lowered my head in apology. Even without Dàgē’s scolding, I felt I’d been too careless. If Guan Weijun had dared to space out like that back then, forget surviving ten years, she’d have died a thousand times in just one!
“Do you hear me?”
“Yes!” I replied quickly. I’d nearly forgotten that the Dàgē right now wouldn’t be appeased by playing coy.
Dàgē’s expression was dark and stormy and unbearable to look at. My gaze darted around in every direction, and I almost didn’t dare to look him in the eye anymore. I had no idea how to apologize to make his expression look less intimidating. Dàgē, you’re scaring your dìdi to death!
Zheng Xing tried to smooth things over as he said, “Shuyu’s not a merc. He’s just eighteen, and he’s done well as it is. Boss, don’t be too hard on him.”
At that, Dàgē’s expression clouded up. Although he still looked extremely discontent, at least it wasn’t as terrifying as before.
“Although you’re not a merc, Xiao Yu, you don’t move like a normal civ either.” Cain asked in puzzlement, “Boss never mentioned you having any training, but I think even within our troop, only Xiao Sha can pull off those kinds of moves.”
I picked the first piece of bullshit I could think of and said, “I lived for ten years in the apocalypse in my dreams, so I have a lot of battle experience. I just have to train up my body again. Before, when I was out hunting by myself, I was already slowly training myself.”
“Didn’t you say you were an ordinary woman in your dreams?”
I snapped back indignantly, “An ordinary woman who’s lived for ten years in the apocalypse can flatten you with one hand tied behind her back.”
Cain started in surprise and exclaimed in complete disbelief, “No way!”
“Yes way.” I nodded as I spoke, “Except those who were protected from beginning to end, every single person who survived the apocalypse is stronger than any of us now.”
Survival of the fittest. That was the only law in the apocalyptic world.
Cain grinned, showing off his white teeth, then declared, “Then, that’s easy. I’ll survive ten years as well, and by then, I’ll be able to beat everyone here with just one hand!”
Immediately, he was almost knocked to the ground after getting whacked upside the head by Ceng Yunqian.
Just when I was about to shoot a few sarcastic barbs at Cain, I found I couldn’t think of anything at all. On the advice of a reincarnated person like me, these guys had started eating evolution crystals soon after the apocalypse began. Adding on the fact that they were already mercenaries who excelled at combat, if they really did survive ten years, becoming strong was a given!
Don’t tell me, I accidentally created a super team? That’s… the best thing in the world!
In the coming few years, the word “pitiful” wouldn’t be enough when describing the situation of us humans. In order to fight against the aberrants and even defend against the originally harmless plants and animals, it was best that everyone become as strong as possible!
Speaking of which, should I tell more people about the evolution crystals? If I can make humans stronger earlier on, maybe things won’t get so tragic in the next few years.
“Xiao Yu! Why are you spacing out again?”
I lifted my head to see Dàgē’s terrifying look of doom and hastily told him everything that had just occurred to me to divert his attention. Please don’t remember locking me up for a lifetime, please?
Dàgē frowned a little, turned things over in his mind, then said, “Don’t worry about that right now. When you meet the right people, you can bring it up. For anyone who’s not qualified…”
…I needn’t bother telling them. It was a pretty good way of doing things. As expected of Dàgē, he was much more decisive than I was.
“…depending on the situation, they might need to be eliminated.”
Wait, wait, wait! Dàgē, you’re moving too fast. Your dìdi can’t catch up!
I turned to look at the others. Amazingly, no one looked the slightest bit astonished. Now just who’s survived ten years in the apocalypse?
For the sake of humanity’s survival, I had no choice but to try to persuade him, “Dàgē, we’ve lost half of all humans in one go. And going forward, there’ll be fewer and fewer of us. Let’s try to avoid killing when we can.”
Even if extinction is inevitable, at least don’t make us guilty of that crime! I still want to go to heaven!
Dàgē clarified, “When I said anyone who was not qualified, I was referring to people like those mercenaries who strung you up.”
Then I’d immediately kill them without a word! With those kinds of people, you’d save many lives just by killing one of them. You’d even be praised when facing judgment before Yama, the King of Hell!
“Stop wasting time. Pair up and search. If you see an aberrant by itself, kill it immediately. If there are too many, come back and report it,” Dàgē ordered everyone.
Just when I was about to obey and start looking for someone to pair up with, he said coldly, “What’re you doing? Do you want to be chained up for the rest of your life? Stay here and dig out the evolution crystals.”
For the sake of my continued freedom, I had no choice but to crouch down and start searching in the corpses. By now, my autopsy skills were pretty good, and I could dig out the evolution crystals with two or three strokes without getting even a fleck of blood or flesh on me. In ancient times, Chef Pao Ding could butcher an ox1 easily because he knew its anatomy like the back of his hand. Well, now there was Xiao Yu who could dissect corpses easily too.
The problem with being skilled was that, after five minutes, I had nothing to do. I had a moment to think and ended up examining my ice staff—no wait, my ice spear—no, ice staff, after all. The temporary spearhead that I had tacked on had turned into a pile of shattered ice after the fight just then.
I knew it. I really should’ve reinforced a dagger. A spear’s head had to be stronger than its shaft, since spears were often used for piercing attacks. There was no small number of aberrants with skulls as hard as rock, so if the spearhead kept shattering all the time, it was useless.
I looked up to see almost everyone had returned.
Zheng Xing was the first to report. “Boss, we’ve swept the entire first floor, but the firearms storage isn’t here. We think it’s in the basement.”
Dàgē didn’t look surprised in the slightest. He just nodded and asked, “Any movement in the basement?”
“The door is closed, and we can’t open it.”
With that, Dàgē and the others exchanged a few looks like they were all in the know. I looked on in utter confusion, with no clue what was going on, and instantly felt a little down as the outsider.
Xiao Sha explained quietly, “Yunqian can pick locks. The locks in this kind of police station aren’t a challenge for her. So if we still can’t open the door, it’s not a problem with the lock. It’s likely that there are heavy things being used to block off the door.”
I see. I glanced at Xiao Sha. The feeling of having him owe me a favor was pretty good. In the future, I had to teach him how to use his powers more. I had to make sure that Xiao Sha could never fully repay the favors he owed me!
“Is there anyone inside?” Cain asked with interest.
“Unlikely.” Lily shook her head as she responded, “It’s now three months into the apocalypse. How many supplies do you think there’d be in the basement of a police station? With so many aberrants wandering around on the first floor, it’s obvious that the people shut away inside didn’t make it out. So they’ve probably starved to death.”
Starved to death, they would’ve turned into aberrants.
Everyone lifted their guns into position, preparing for the next phase of attack.
We moved to the basement, where the door was. Given that we did not want to create too big a commotion, I had no choice but to push as hard as I could. I hadn’t realized just how many things might be piled behind the door. It was really heavy. After pushing at it for what felt like half a day, I only managed to open the door a crack. God, it’s so heavy I could die.
Yes, that was right, I was the one pushing at the door. Just now, when I had stepped up to help, Cain had given me a look of disdain as he flexed his biceps. That got me majorly pissed off. Don’t think Jiang Shuyu is a frail and delicate pretty boy just because he looks like one. With enough evolution crystals, even a pretty boy can turn into Superman!
I had immediately sent Cain, who was showing off his abs, flying with a kick. Then, the task of opening the door fell squarely on my shoulders. Because the door was not wide, we could not squeeze in a lot of people to help push. So Dàgē had said, “Since you’re so strong, you push it open.”
Dàgē, actually, your dìdi really is just a frail and delicate pretty boy. I’ll never ruin my image again!
“Can’t push it open?” Dàgē shot me a look. “Don’t pretend to be weak. This is serious work.”
“I really can’t get it to open,” I replied with a grimace. “It’s stuck.”
Dàgē marched forward, and with one shove, the door that had refused to budge opened by another five centimeters. Dàgē, your power is healing, right? Right?
Dàgē observed through the crack for a while. It was only after he confirmed that there was no movement beyond the door that he looked over his shoulder and called out, “Lily, come take a look.”
Lily walked up and reported as she peered inside, “There are a few metal shelves. They’ve warped and gotten stuck together. We’ll need to dismantle the door frame if we want to open the door now. Aside from that, the metal shelves are full of boxes blocking the view, so I can’t see inside.”
Dàgē frowned as he stared at the door frame. It was a door in a police station, and was therefore pretty stern stuff. Dismantling it would be very troublesome, especially since we didn’t have the right equipment on hand.
Cain said without much hope, “Boss, if there were guns inside, nobody would have starved to death in there. No matter what, they’d have rushed out with the guns for a fight. So it’s likely the guns were gone a long time ago.”
“Even if there are no guns, there will still be ammo.”
That was true. It was a police station, so they should have no small supply of ammunition. It was unlikely that all the ammunition would have been taken away, and what the troop desperately needed was not guns, but ammunition.
Dàgē had brought a number of guns to begin with, and we had also wiped out a mercenary troop recently as well. We were not short on guns, and we didn’t have that many people who could shoot anyway. But every bullet we fired was a bullet that was not coming back. If we didn’t stock up, it was likely our guns could only be used as metal sticks very soon.
“Take it apart!” Dàgē made a prompt decision and ordered, “Now that we’ve swept the first floor clean, we have plenty of spare time.”
This time, I was definitely the frail, delicate pretty boy. I sat in the corner, pretending to be exhausted from pushing at the door and being completely useless when it came to dismantling it.
In the apocalypse, dismantling things was a skill needed in everyday life. Dismantling doors, windows, and lockers was beginner’s stuff, dismantling cars and fridges for spare parts was advanced, and combining the various spare parts into all sorts of weaponry was the ultimate skill.
But now, I had decided that my job was being a frail, delicate pretty boy. My role was the deadweight dìdi in the mercenary troop, so forget about beginners’ skills, I couldn’t even push open the door!
“Don’t take it apart. We’re coming out.”
Everyone immediately raised their guns and pointed them at the door, their expressions like they’d seen ghosts.
From behind the door came the eerie question, “Are you humans?”
We’re the ones who want to ask if you are humans!
Everyone exchanged looks, then turned their gazes to Dàgē. The troop leader said calmly, “Aberrants can’t talk.”
Dàgē was right. Aberrants couldn’t talk. Yet.
There was a moment of silence before the same voice from behind the door said submissively, “I-if we come out, you won’t hurt us, right?”
Seriously, are you guys idiots?! You think anyone out there will answer, “No, we’re gonna hurt you. Come out quickly to get hurt”?
Evidently, I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Everyone else looked like they didn’t know whether they wanted to laugh or cry, though they didn’t look as tense as before. It was better to have idiots than mercenaries inside.
“As long as you people don’t attack us, we won’t hurt you.”
As Dàgē said “you people,” he gave the others a meaningful look. True, they did in fact say “us” just now, so there was more than one of them.
There was a moment of silence behind the door, then some hushed chatter, so quiet that we couldn’t hear what they were saying. But they spoke very quickly, a sign that someone was very agitated. Soon after came the banging and crashing of moving objects.
So it seems they’ve decided to come out. I glanced at Dàgē. Is he planning to leave once he’s got the ammo, or is he going to take these people in?
Soon enough, the door was pulled open slowly. Out came two guys and three girls—they all looked around the same age, twenty or so, and every one of them looked like they were university students. The moment we saw how young they were and their general appearance, we immediately relaxed.
Initially, I was still quite alert. After all, ten years into the apocalypse, you couldn’t afford to ignore even a young boy standing by the roadside. He might not be human at all!
Then again, given that this was still the first year of the apocalypse, forget little boys, even big muscle men weren’t anything to be afraid of. Aberrants still looked like mutants, and there was still quite some way to go before they would evolve into human forms. So these university students were definitely just university students.
What was more, the moment they saw how decked out we were, their faces turned as white as sheets and they looked like they wanted to leg it and hide again. There was just no way anyone could take them seriously as a threat.
“Eh? Jiang Shuyu?” One of the girls suddenly shrieked. Is it just me, or did she sound a little happy?
Everyone looked toward me.
I stared at the girl. She looked quite pretty, and although the filth and dirt deducted a fair number of points from her appearance, all she needed to do was tidy up a little, and she’d turn into a beauty.
The girl asked in confusion, “W-why are you staring at me like that?”
I had no choice but to confess, “Sorry, I lost my memories after getting hit on the head by a tile. I don’t remember who you are.”
Please please please don’t be Jiang Shuyu’s girlfriend. Dàgē already said I didn’t have one. I trust him more than I trust you. And even if we were a thing, we’re breaking up right now!
The girl started and asked in disbelief, “You lost your memories? I’m your classmate from high school! I’m Chen Qianru! When everyone found out you got into an accident, we even got together to fold a thousand origami cranes.”
Ohhhh, so we were high school classmates? Okay, that’s still acceptable. So what about the others?
I looked at the two guys and the other two girls. Chen Qianru immediately explained, “These are some friends who got into the same university as me. They were in different classes from us during high school, so you wouldn’t know them.”
The others looked a little panicked and started stuttering one after the other.
“I-I know Jiang Shuyu too. Even though we weren’t in the same class, we still went to the same school!”
One of the guys said, “No shit, he was the Prince Charming at our high school, and he even got the top grades of our entire year! Everyone knows Jiang Shuyu!”
Well, with Jiang Shuyu’s face, being crowned Prince Charming wasn’t unusual. But the top grades of the entire year? Jiang Shuyu, could you not be so awesome? I suddenly felt under a lot of pressure—I can’t take up your mantle!
Dàgē suddenly interjected, “Shuyu, do you remember anything?”
“Nothing,” I replied honestly. I mean, even memories of my blood siblings were things I only saw in dreams, so there simply wasn’t a trace of anything like high school classmates.
“I really am your classmate!” Chen Qianru became desperate.
Before I could answer, Dàgē waved to stop her. “I’ve seen the origami cranes, so you don’t need to explain. Is there any ammunition inside?”
The university students exchanged looks, then they all turned to look at Chen Qianru. The girl had no choice but to speak up. “I saw some boxes of what looked like bullets, but there aren’t any guns.”
Dàgē nodded and immediately ordered the others to go search inside. He headed inside as well—except, before stepping through the door, his eyes drifted past Xiao Sha. Xiao Sha immediately came to a halt beside me and stopped following the group. Then, Dàgē glanced at me, then at that Chen Qianru, before he finally disappeared inside to join the search.
Dàgē, your eyes sure are expressive. I understood everything! Don’t worry, I’ll definitely use this high school classmate of mine to find out how on earth these people managed to survive three months inside.
The moment the mercenaries left, the two guys and three girls all dashed at me and started chattering like magpies.
“Jiang Shuyu, how’d you end up with those people?” The guy who had spoken beforehand asked in deep suspicion, “Don’t tell me you got captured by them?”
I shot him a look and snapped, “Do I look like I’m captured?”
What idiots! Even though I don’t have as many weapons as the mercenaries, I’m still holding onto a staff and wandering around freely. So just how exactly do I look like I’m under capture? Besides, shouldn’t you guys be asking about what the hell is with this ice staff in my hand? Do you guys even know what the key topics are in an exam? No wonder you couldn’t get better grades than Jiang Shuyu!
“Nah,” he replied honestly, then even gave a self-introduction. “Oh yeah, I’m Lu Renjie,2 the vice-captain of the basketball team. Have you heard of me before?”
I lost my memories, idiot!
When they heard him introducing himself, the others quickly told me their names as well.
The tall girl said, “I’m called Li Yarong, Ya from youya—elegance—and rong, written like a lotus.”
“Su Ying.” The girl was so scared, her voice came out tinny like a mosquito’s. If not for the fact that I had eaten a lot of evolution crystals and developed very acute hearing, I wouldn’t have been able to catch her name.
The last guy seemed to be a man of few words, simply reporting, “I am Ding Jun.”
Then, as one, the five of them looked at the last fellow who hadn’t introduced himself—Xiao Sha.
Xiao Sha was silent for a moment before he said, “Shangguan Chensha.”
I was bamboozled for a moment, before realizing that this was Xiao Sha’s real name. How unusual, his surname was made up of two words. It even sounded like something out of a Wuxia3 novel. Almost every Wuxia novel had some kind of Shangguan character, and more often than not, they were elegant nobles. I looked hard at Xiao Sha to check that he really was a mercenary, and concluded that calling him Xiao Sha was way better.
The five seemed very curious about Xiao Sha. Probably because he was closer to them in age, they didn’t seem to hold the same fear toward him as compared to the other mercenaries. But now wasn’t the time for them to dig up Xiao Sha’s secrets. Dàgē had given me a mission, so I couldn’t come out empty-handed.
“How did you guys end up here?” This should be a pretty good conversation starter. It was really weird that five university students would get locked up in the basement of a police station in the apocalypse.
Unexpectedly, the girls seemed reluctant to talk as they nudged at each other to speak. In the end, Lu Renjie spoke up as he rubbed his head in embarrassment. “We came here to meet up. We figured, since we got into the same uni and all, we might as well come out and get to know each other better.”
Meeting up in a police station? Isn’t this place a little too unique? I stared at them dubiously.
Chen Qianru sighed. “We originally weren’t just five people, but one of the boys got hit by a car when we were crossing the road. He got sent to the hospital, and we were dragged in for questioning. Originally, we were supposed to be able to go home after the questioning was over, but by then, it was very dark outside. We couldn’t go out and the police were so busy, they didn’t have time to care about us. So…”
So they ended up passing the apocalypse in a police station. That sounded as tragic as Jiang Shuyu’s story.
“So you’ve been hiding here like this for three months?” I asked with deep suspicion, showing my incredulity for the world to see.
What was even more unbelievable for me was that not a single one of them had turned into an aberrant. Even in Dàgē’s almighty troop, they had lost two people out of a group of eight. So how could a group of five not have a single person missing?
“Three months?” Chen Qianru looked at me strangely. “It’s not been that long. Jiang Shuyu, when did you wake up? Did you mix up the dates or something?”
What? Xiao Sha and I exchanged looks. I could tell from his expression that I definitely hadn’t mixed up any dates. There was something deeply wrong with these people. The timing of their appearance, the location they were in, and even their emotions were all wrong!
They were far too calm.
After being locked up in a place full of aberrants for three months, these people could still introduce themselves in such a calm fashion. If nothing was wrong with them, then they were even mentally stronger than Dàgē’s mercenary troop, and I didn’t believe that any university students in this world were that much stronger than my previous world’s!
Suddenly, we heard Dàgē’s loud roar from behind the door.
Then, the door slammed shut.
I immediately dashed forward and kicked hard at the door. But the damned door refused to budge, so it was obvious there was more going on than just the door being shut.
I looked behind me, to see Xiao Sha holding onto Chen Qianru and threatening them with a knife at her neck.
Chen Qianru screamed, “I don’t know why it did that! I don’t know anything—“
I swung hard with my staff, but my opponent dodged past it. That agility of yours is downright ridiculous; are you sure you’re just the vice-captain of the basketball team…? Bah! Then is Michael Jordan the captain?
Lu Renjie was holding onto the steel frame of a window single-handedly and dangling easily in mid-air. He smiled as he asked, “How’d you find out it was me?”
“I could feel the energy waves coming from you just now!” If I hadn’t left my original position to kick the door, what he would have grabbed was probably not the window frame but me.
“Is this guy an aberrant?” Xiao Sha asked as he pulled Chen Qianru with him, creating some distance from Lu Renjie.
“No, he’s human. He’s a person who’s got evolved powers like us.”
My expression was grim. Times of disaster, like the apocalypse, really did forge men of strong will. Seriously, what the hell’s with this guy? Just three months into the apocalypse, and he can already use his powers this well? This is still a time when fire powers are used as lighters, you know?
“Aberrant? That’s a pretty interesting way of calling them.” Lu Renjie asked with curiosity, “So your power is ice? Looks pretty useful. Why don’t you join us?”
I glanced at the door. Unbelievably, I couldn’t hear anything at all. Don’t tell me Dàgē and the others were neutralized in an instant? Impossible! I desperately wanted to do something, but I was tied up here, so I had no choice but to grit my teeth and bear with it. I calmly spoke to the enemy to find out more, “So what’s going on in there?”
Lu Renjie made a six with his hand. “He’s in there.”
“Wasn’t he hit by a car?” I gave a derisive look at Chen Qianru. Contrary to my expectations, however, her eyes were full of fear. She didn’t look like she knew what was going on at all. Don’t tell me, she really has nothing to do with this?
When he noticed me looking at Chen Qianru, Lu Renjie started chuckling. “Actually, strictly speaking, it’s not wrong to say he was hit by a car. Aw, don’t glare at them like that. These people are just rations. If they can’t catch anyone else, then they’d have to offer up themselves.”
Rations? My expression grew colder. Three months in and they’ve already resorted to cannibalism? But right now, the one thing we have too much of is food, so no one should need to fall to cannibalism. What’s going on with this guy?
“All right, I’ll join you guys,” I said simply, then jabbed a thumb at Xiao Sha. “His ability is speed, so he should just about make the cut. He can join you guys too.” Actually, Xiao Sha’s ability was wind, but at times like this, the less you revealed about your strength, the better.
Xiao Sha glanced at me and released Chen Qianru. But she was so terrified that she had no power in her legs. The moment she was let go, she just dropped to the floor, unable to get up. In the end, the scaredy-cat Su Ying dragged her into the corner, and the three girls huddled together. Ding Jun also stood in the corner in utter silence. They didn’t seem like they were on the same side as Lu Renjie, so they probably really were just “rations.”
Lu Renjie shrugged and said, “Be my guest. You can go in together.”
I gave Xiao Sha a look, and he gave me a small nod. Actually, it was better to leave someone on guard outside. But we didn’t know what the situation was like inside, so one person wouldn’t be enough if we got into a situation where we had to fight and rescue people at the same time.
I walked up to the door, and this time, the door opened with a twist of the handle and a gentle push.
“Don’t go in!”
A sudden shout rang out from behind—the first time that voice had ever spoken so loudly.
I turned to look at Su Ying. She screamed at the top of her voice like there was no tomorrow, “Idiot! If you can win against this guy, then don’t go in! It’ll be all over once you’re inside!”
It’ll be all over? Then Dàgē—No! Never. If my guess is right, the thing behind the door is probably…
That kind of thing will never win against my dàgē!
“Stop!” I shouted at Lu Renjie. He was just about to stomp hard on Su Ying, and given the extent of his powers, one stomp and Su Ying would likely bid this apocalyptic world farewell.
I glanced at Su Ying. She was incredibly agitated, her cheeks flushed red and her eyes brimming with tears, looking much livelier than when she was a scaredy-cat. But more importantly, I could feel energy waves coming from her.
I really couldn’t leave Xiao Sha outside. Perhaps one Lu Renjie wouldn’t pose much danger to him—I suspected his power to be an increase in his physical abilities—but I had no idea what this Su Ying’s powers were, or whether she was friend or foe. It was too risky, so I might as well bring Xiao Sha along. I’d feel better.
I threw Xiao Sha a look, asking him to follow me.
Xiao Sha nodded, then suddenly, the corner of his mouth quirked up. I blinked. What’s so funny in this situation? Don’t tell me you have anti-social tendencies where you get more excited the more danger you’re in?
Then again, in the apocalyptic world, those who were more cold-hearted were the craziest. I better have a word with Dàgē to always keep an eye on Xiao Sha, to prevent him from turning from a cool-faced guy into a pervert.
He walked over, and as he passed by me, he murmured, “You really are like our boss.”
I didn’t have time to worry about how on earth the almighty Dàgē and the pretty Xiaodi were similar in the slightest. Xiao Sha, where the hell do you think you’re going, walking ahead of me? We don’t even know what’s going on behind that door, so stop running around so disobediently!
Xiao Sha shrugged off my hand and reached out to grab the door handle, speaking firmly, “I’m the one in charge of scouting in the troop.”
I batted away his hand and dashed forward first, tossing behind me, “I’m the new generation of scouts. You’re old now, so just take it easy in your retirement at the back!”
1 “Chief Pao Ding could butcher an ox”: Pao Ding, also known as Cook Ting in certain translations, is so good at cutting up an ox that he doesn’t even need to look at it to carve it up and has been able to use the same knife for nineteen years. You can find out more about his story by searching “Cook Ting.”
2 “Lu Renjie”: Lu Renjie (陸仁傑) sounds very similar to lù rěn jiǎ (路人甲), which means passerby A.
3 “Wuxia”: A genre of Chinese fiction featuring martial arts in ancient China. The protagonist is usually some sort of chivalrous martial artist, often a swordsman, from a lower social class.
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