T/N: For those of you are reading this chapter as a continuation from the chapters by the previous translator, I’ll like to suggest that you may want to re-read our version of the first 14 chapters, as there are some differences between the two translations with regards to small details.
“In this vehicle, the one with the least probability of finding an Omega is you,” Chun Cao commented.
The armoured vehicle roared across the streets, and the zombies on both sides of the road turned towards it. However by the time the dust had settled, the vehicle had long gone in the direction towards B City.
“When you said ‘least’, did you also consider our temp staff Comrade Xiaosi?” Zhou Rong asked.
Zhang Yingjie who was sitting next to the driver’s seat scanning the road conditions turned his head, laughing, “Rong-ge, you don’t know? Good looking Betas are the most popular amongst Omegas, they’re apparently gentle and considerate, and would be mutually respectful of each other…”
Zhou Rong pointed at Si Nan unhappily. “Which part of him is gentle? How is he respectful?!”
In Si Nan’s arms was a Uzi submachine gun. He was dozing with his eyes closed, his head leaning against the wall of the vehicle, and did not have even a sign of wanting to say anything in return.
“Si Xiaonan might also be a little hard to take in,” Chun Cao appraised impartially. “The best choice would either be Yan Hao or Xiangzi. There’s no need to go into details for Yan Hao, his good looking face would win over everyone, and he has a natural melancholic air of a school idol. It’s definitely enough to fulfil the little Os’ request for gentleness and respect.”
Holding onto the steering wheel, Yan Hao replied courteously, “I thank the organisation for its recognition.”
“It’s even simpler for Xiangzi, with his background he can bully and pressure anyone he wants. If it doesn’t work, he can also just shower them with money.” Chun Cao continued, “Right, Xiangzi? One day you should bring our Rong-ge and everyone else…”
Zhou Rong, Yan Hao and Zhang Yingjie kept laughing, while the expression of the silent Ding Shi suddenly changed abruptly. “Don’t mention—!”
But it was too late.
Guo Weixiang turned his head, speaking slowly, “I knew this was the reason why you guys accepted me…”
“He’s descending into his illness again,” Zhou Rong was resigned.
In B City, the empty street stretched ahead in front of them, and the roads were piled high with black, rotting corpses, the stench causing nausea for everyone. Houseflies covered about the bodies and sewers, and buzzed up in a group when the vehicle drove past.
The windows of the shops along the both sides of the street were completely shattered, the shelves toppled onto the ground. Items were scattered everywhere, as though havoc had slammed through them.
“Tell me, how have I ever been a burden on the team?”
Guo Weixiang was very emotional, he was filled with sorrow. He pointed at every single person in the vehicle. Si Nan who was originally seated next to him had already quietly moved three feet away, and was now sitting next to Ding Shi. His position was exactly the same, still dozing, and even the angle of his head had not shifted a bit.
“That year that I joined the team, I had an inkling. Out of more than a thousand applications, why was I selected? Was there something going on? Why wasn’t I kicked out the first time I failed the appraisal, was it really because you guys wanted me to find partners for you?”
“Tell me, other that my first failed appraisal, how else I have not met the requirements of Unit 118? Hasn’t my performance over the years been there for everyone to judge? I feel that no matter which angle I look at it from, I’m qualified to remain in 118, but why is it that ever since I was a child, everyone has only noticed my background, and never acknowledged my own capability and worth?!”
“Has he been emotionally traumatised before…” Chun Cao asked quietly.
The entire team shook their heads at her simultaneously. Zhou Rong replied softly, “He was probably born like this.”
“Then this has happened previously as well?”
“This is the fourth time since he entered the team. The first two times, you weren’t with us yet, and the third time, you were on leave.”
“You guys never saw me as a proper warrior.” Guo Weixiang concluded resolutely, “You’ve always seen me through tinted lenses, thinking that with my family background, I won’t be able to endure this hardship, and sooner or later I would hand in my resignation myself. You guys think that by accepting me, you’ll be giving the higher-ups some face, and with my family background, you’ll be able to meet Omegas through me, and it’ll be best if I can help the whole team find partners. You guys deny my worth as a member of 118, although I…”
Young Master Guo was impassioned, while the entire vehicle was silent.
“But,” Si Nan suddenly opened his eyes, and spoke earnestly, “You’re unable to find a partner yourself either.”
A death like silence.
Si Nan continued, “You even want to be a rooster.”
Zhou Rong was unable to stop him in time, and closed his eyes in hopelessness.
Yan Hao looked back from the driver’s compartment, stretching his neck out to see Guo Weixiang’s expression, then slowly raised the metal barrier between the rear and driver’s compartments..
B City was like a humongous, bloody, savage beast. The streets and paths were its intricate and complex blood vessels, winding their way deep within the city, slowly approaching the beast’s terrifying heart.
The main road out of the city was obstructed firmly by vehicles, and groups of zombies mingled amongst the chaos. Vehicle owners who did not have time to escape were bitten to death in their seats, their bodies still trapped by their seatbelts and their rotting faces twisting blankly.
The road into the city was slightly better. Although cars heading in the wrong direction of traffic were all over the place, with Yan Hao’s superb driving skills, they were either crushed or pushed away. Only until they left the expressway were they blocked by the collapsed flyover.
“What to do?” Yan Hao asked. “Turn around and look for another way in?”
“The GPS is dead, at this critical point we still need to rely on BeiDou1…” Zhang Yingjie sighed as he turned on the military-issued tablet, then shook his head. “No, we’ll need two hours to get to the closest branch in the road, and there’s no assurance that it hasn’t been occupied by the zombie army — Yan Hao, you’re the local. Come take a look to see if BeiDou is still accurate?”
Yan Hao oriented himself for a long time, then marvelled, “This works! It seems like there’s still a functioning monitoring station, it’s worth lighting up some fireworks in celebration!”
Yan Hao cautiously glanced towards the back. Xiangzi was finally done with his soliloquy, and Zhou Rong was sitting next to him, an arm around his shoulders, doing his best to convince, persuade and educate him.
Everyone else was asleep. Yan Hao lowered the metal barrier and asked, “Who’s willing to celebrate the survival of the monitoring station of the BeiDou navigation system, and fire a bomb in front to destroy the ruins in front of us?”
As though receiving an edict, Zhou Rong instantly raised his hand. “Me me me!”
Everyone else stared at him, and quickly averted their eyes. Now, with everyone’s focus on him, Si Nan who had been pretended to sleep after lighting a fire could pretend no longer. He gave a cough and stood up, grabbing his tactical bag and getting off the vehicle.
Blowing up explosives was a very precise skill. Si Nan took out his nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, soap, rubber, and a chewed chewing gum to create a plastic explosive. He carefully filled in the cracks between the tiles and bricks, used gunpowder as the initiator, then leapt off the ruins, lighting up an army matchstick.
He walked back to the armoured vehicle, tossing the lit matchstick behind him.
The flame left a beautiful arc in the air, accurately landing in the ruins.
In the next moment, an earth-shattering explosion shook the sky, and raging winds caused Si Nan’s clothes to billow out!
His bag hung off one shoulder, a hand in his pocket. His handsome face was expressionless, and he was walking towards the door with the towering flames behind him. Zhou Rong laughed, “Look at him, acting so cool…”
He abruptly stood up, and even the pitch of his yell changed. “Si Nan! Quick, run—!”
Before the echoes faded, a huge scream accompanied by a violent tremor came from the midst of an explosion!
The air currents shot Si Nan through the air. With a loud bang, he landed on the windshield of the armoured vehicle more than ten feet away, his limbs spread out!
Si Nan only felt that the world was spinning, his vision darkening, and blood gushing out from his nose.
However, he had no time to feel any pain at the moment. When his sight recovered, through the blurry windshield, he could see Yan Hao’s and Zhang Yingjie’s dumbfounded expressions in the driver’s compartment — Both of them were staring behind him, as if they saw something completely unbelievable.
Holding onto his nose, Si Nan turned his head back.
A two-storey high black shadow was rising up with countless rubble cascading off him. Its body was on fire, and its pained roars echoed down the road. Each time it pounded its chest, chunks of rotting flesh would fall off, spattering across the ground.
Bang bang bang bang bang bang!!!
Zhou Rong leapt on top of the vehicle, dragging the Type 89 heavy machine gun and brazenly shot at it!
The artillery belt was rapidly fed into the gun, and shells scattered all over. The black shadow, under the torrent of bullets, roared out in rage, lifted up a foot, and took a step forward!
Yan Hao rushed into the rear compartment, grabbing an armour-piercing round and tossing it up to the roof. Without looking, Zhou Rong caught it firmly, and loaded the gun.
Yan Hao next ran towards the front of the vehicle, wanting to grab Si Nan. In the chaos, he saw Si Nan throwing himself to the side of the road, rolling into the greenery with his head tucked into his body.
Yan Hao did not have time to run over. Just in the nick of time, he managed to crouch and cover his head.
The next moment, Zhou Rong pressed the trigger, and the armour-piercing round whistled through the air, slamming into that beast!
Before the beast could even make a sound, it toppled onto the ground, finally laying there, motionless.
The flames on the rotting corpse burnt brightly, crackling away. The ruins had been razed completely. Still badly shaken, the special force soldiers all jumped off the vehicle.
Yan Hao stood up, swaying. Shaking his head that had been jolted painfully with the shockwave of the explosion, he wanted to go help Si Nan up.
Who knew that just as he took a step, he heard Si Nan instructing him sharply, “Stop there!”
Si Nan retreated a step back, holding onto his nose. “Don’t come over!”
Yan Hao hesitated.
“He just completely failed at acting cool in front of everyone, he needs a few minutes to calm down…” Chun Cao patted his shoulder from behind, speaking softly. “Let him be shamed to anger by himself for a bit.”
Yan Hao, “…”
The flames gradually died off, and the rotting stench, mingling with the smoke from the gunpowder, pervaded the entire road. The zombies within a hundred metres of the area were all swept away with the impact of the explosion.
The asphalt road was riddled with potholes, and terrifying cracks spread across it, to a distance of dozens of metres.
Si Nan had finally washed the blood off his nose with mineral water, and as he sniffed, he walked over. The rest of the people were crowding around that gigantic rotting corpse, and Zhou Rong prodded at the remnants of the beast’s head with the barrel of his assault rifle. He spoke lightly, “Gorilla.”
Chun Cao was astounded. “King Kong?!”
Yan Hao was full of doubt. “How is that possible? It’s clear that it had been infected.”
This huge black gorilla had a decomposing body, its fur falling off, and the bones of its limbs were exposed. It gave off a rotting stench that was unique to the zombies — that odour was actually very overwhelming, but no one had the time to bother about that currently.
Everyone was in disbelief, and a horrifying guess appeared in their minds at the same time.
“If the zombie virus has started to infect the animals…” Yan Hao mumbled, “No, it shouldn’t be. We haven’t seen any other infected animals along the way. Rats, insects, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs… They’ve all been avoiding the zombies, and we haven’t heard about any attacks by zombified animals too.”
Zhang Yingjie’s forehead was tightly knitted. “Also, how could the virus cause the carrier to become King Kong? Could it be that the virus has caused the entire body to mutate its shape? No, that’s not possible, the mutation does not work like that.”
“Rong-ge, are you sure you saw correctly? Is it really a black gorilla?”
“Black gorillas share a very high percentage of similarity with human DNA, maybe, with regards to the virus infection…”
Zhou Rong ignored the discussion, and walked towards the front paw of the gorilla corpse.
Pulling on a black leather glove, he crouched down and started rummaging through the pungent, rotting fur of the beast, looking for something. Si Nan walked over and crouched down beside him, watching without making a single noise. Soon, Zhou Rong finally found what he was looking for.
— On the right forelimb of the gorilla, in its fur was a thin metal chain. As the chain was now very tight, it was embedded deeply within the gorilla’s flesh.
Hooking up the chain with two fingers, Zhou Rong nodded at Si Nan.
Si Nan pulled out the military knife from his thigh holster, slicing the chain. A stainless steel nameplate that was stained with flesh and blood fell with a clink onto the ground.
“Group E, number 91998,” Zhou Rong read softly.
Si Nan asked, “What does that mean?”
Zhou Rong gripped the embossed plate in his hand, replying lowly, “It’s a laboratory code. Someone was researching on the antiviral vaccine, using the black gorilla as a test subject. In the end, the virus mutated, and it went haywire…”
He slowly stood up, gazing towards the north.
The smoke from the explosion was still rolling across the road. Beyond the city of ruins, it was the rubble-buried B Military Zone.