Edited by Beth
“Si Nan.” Zhou Rong’s voice trembled. He promptly shot a glance at Abbas, catching sight of him enduring the pain and moving towards them, his leg dragging behind him. Doing his utmost best to reach his gun, Zhou Rong yelled, “Run! Quick, run away!”
— He was holding Romuller down, but he had no gun in his hand. In this critical moment, he could only ask Si Nan to run away quickly. Even if Zhou Rong had to spend another three days and three nights searching for him in this city fraught with danger, he could not just let Si Nan stand there blankly and be gunned down!
However, Si Nan continued staring straight at Zhou Rong, as though he did not recognise him. He neither ran away, nor did he even move.
“… It’s you.” Romuller spat suddenly, gritting his teeth.
Zhou Rong frowned. Romuller sat up, swinging his fists and flipping Zhou Rong over. The two people rolled across the ground, fighting, their fists slamming into the other person’s body. Almost every punch landed accurately at their weak points, and in an instant, the situation was now a deadlock.
“Fucking hell, why is it you again?!” Romuller shouted. He reached out, grabbing Zhou Rong’s throat!
Romuller’s fighting style was surprisingly the same as Si Nan’s — cunning, swift, and a strong emphasis on skill and technique. However, as an Alpha, he had much more muscle than Si Nan, and it could be seen that he was in a different weight category than the other female and male Alphas. This was slightly beyond Zhou Rong’s expectations.
With two hands, Zhou Rong gripped Romuller’s hand that was around his throat. Twisting it deftly, at the same time, he raised his knee and gave him a flying kick, throwing the man off his body—
There was half a ton’s worth of strength in Zhou Rong’s lower body, and Romuller flew backwards, over a distance of ten metres. With a loud crash, the brick wall crumbled behind him, and Romuller spat out a mouthful of blood!
Bang bang bang!
Gunshots rang in his ears. Instantly, Zhou Rong’s blood ran cold. He had no time to pay attention to Romuller, who was still lying on the ground, choking up blood, but immediately rolled across the ground and picked up his gun, the tip of his brow twitching violently.
He saw that Si Nan had actually not run away at all, but was now entangled in a fight with Abbas. Compared to this Alpha that towered over two metres, Si Nan looked just like a thin and fragile youth. However, despite his current confused mental state, he was still able to release unimaginably explosive strength, and grabbing Abbas’ hand that was holding the gun, he pulled the trigger. Bullets sprayed out like a storm, shattering and pulverising the windows, and the branches of the trees shook wildly in the aftermath.
Hiding behind the corner of the wall, the female Alpha cursed. Struggling, she lifted her gun, the barrel aimed at Si Nan.
From behind the wall, she had only exposed a tiny bit of herself, a target that was no bigger than the size of a housefly. However, with Zhou Rong’s insane accuracy, a bullet was shot at her wrist, and the female Alpha yelled in pain!
There was only one bullet left. Zhou Rong was well aware of that.
He aimed his gun at Abbas, but through the sight, Si Nan’s raging figure kept flashing past. For a while, he dared not pull the trigger, and suddenly felt a movement behind him. Twisting, he dodged, and simultaneously, bullets kicked up dirt on the ground from where he was previously standing!
It was Romuller!
Zhou Rong swore at him loudly. While falling onto the ground, at the same time, he pulled the trigger.
The last bullet shot out from the chamber, creating a beautiful arc through the barrage of bullets from the AK47. Like a poisonous tooth, it pierced Romuller’s stomach, and a spray of blood appeared!
Pressing his hands to his gunshot wound, Romuller dropped to the ground.
Zhou Rong roared, “Si Nan!”
The moment the fury of the bullets stopped, Si Nan forcefully grabbed Abbas’ machine gun from his hands. The latter kicked him flat onto the ground, his fist the size of an enormous bowl slamming into Si Nan, causing foamy blood to spray out from his mouth. Before a second punch could land, Zhou Rong was already there. Yanking at Abbas’ hair, he threw him to the ground, and swung at him with his fists!
The muscular man yelled out, covering his head and struggling non-stop. However, Zhou Rong did not give him any moment of respite at all. With fists that were like steel cannonballs, his first punch broke Abbas’ nose, his second shattered Abbas’ teeth, and his third had actually caused his chest to cave in!
Zhou Rong stood up, kicking Abbas over with one foot. His handsome face was filled with a savage fury, and in his eyes were the murderous, icy gaze of an Alpha wolf.
Exhaling, he tried his best to change his expression, then turned around.
Si Nan had already stood up. Withdrawing a few steps, his back was plastered right up against the wall around the yard, and his body seemed slightly bowed – Zhou Rong immediately recognised the cause.
It was not the result of a long period of starvation and the injuries after a fight, causing him to be unable to stand straight.
But a trapped beast, gathering its last shreds of energy just before attacking, filled with vigilance and hate.
Zhou Rong shook his head slowly, spreading his palms apart, gesturing for Si Nan to look at his empty hands. “Si Nan.”
Si Nan did not make a sound, narrowing his eyes warily.
“Come here, Si Nan. I won’t harm you.” Zhou Rong took half a step forward, his voice vibrating in the air. “Rong-ge did not abandon you. Look, I’m here to pick you up.”
The zombie has taken a step forward, Si Nan thought.
He tried his best to close his eyes, then opened them again. The madness overwhelming his brain, caused by the overdose of the truth serum, had caused the scene in front of him to appear bizarre and grotesque.
– It was as though he had returned to a time when he was very young, and he was in a training simulation, where he could not leave if he did not kill all the zombies.
Behind the wall was a zombie, on the ground was a zombie, in the ruins a distance away was a zombie. Here, this blurry face, holding its hands out to him… was also a zombie.
Kill them all, a voice in his brain urged him anxiously, causing a headache to split through him.
Kill them all, or you’ll be electrocuted.
Kill them all.
Behind them, a chuckle mingled with a cough, suddenly sounded. “It… it’s no use. Just look at him…”
“When he’s out of control, he doesn’t recognise anyone. In his eyes, we’re all zombies… get it?” Leaning against the ruins of the wall, Romuller gasped out, mocking them, “It’s a reflexive hallucination caused by severe stimulation to his brain. Even if his mother comes, there’s no use. He will only kill everyone… every zombie…”
His words ended in a fit of coughs.
Zhou Rong shouted, “What did you guys do to him?!”
Romuller did not answer. He adjusted his position, exhaling painfully, his breath tinged with blood. “Your last name is Zhou, right?”
“… Who are you?” Zhou Rong narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
Without responding, Romuller turned his eyes towards Si Nan, as he started to laugh maliciously.
“You’re overestimating yourself.” Coughing and panting, Romuller sneered. “Go, go there. In his eyes, you’re the most dangerous zombie here… he will personally kill you. If you don’t believe me, just go there and see for yourself.”
Panting, Si Nan retreated again. However, he was already tucked into the corner of the wall, and if he were to withdraw any further, he could only press his back even tighter against it.
It really hurts, he murmured to himself.
… I’m really in a lot of pain.
The extreme hunger had already transformed into pain, tearing through his internal organs. The injuries caused by the electrocution and beating were like needles and thorns, torturing every nerve ending in his body.
Still, that robotic, icy, emotionless voice he had heard countless times since he was a child did not let him off. Like maggots, it scurried through his bones, emitting a terrifying light from every crack and joint, whipping him to the point where his body was covered with lashes.
Kill them all.
Or you’ll be punished.
Kill them all.
From Si Nan’s chest, a sharp hissing sound, as though something was leaking, could be heard. He hurried to cover his ears, but to no avail.
From a distance not far away, that zombie took another step forward. It seemed to be shouting something, and it was going to come up and eat it.
But I’m really in a lot of pain, Si Nan thought groggily.
Please, I beg all of you… I really can’t fight anymore…
“… Si… Nan…”
In his subconscious, another voice appeared. Faint, it seemed as though it was right by his ear, but suddenly, it was again far away, drifting along with the wind. Unknowingly, Si Nan put his hands down, his brain completely blank, and he stood there, right where he was.
A zombie, whose face could not be seen clearly, had already made its way right up to him.
“… Rong-ge is here… to pick you up… Si Nan…”
Si Nan shook his head, not knowing what the words meant.
His mind was in chaos, and he used all of what was left of his strength to push that zombie away. In his struggle, the back of his head, along with his elbows, collided harshly into the cement wall behind him. Painful thuds could be heard, but Si Nan could not feel any pain at all.
There was not a single bit of pain. He could not feel anything at all.
– It was as though in this pain-riddled body, at the very last moment, fate was finally willing to show it a little shred of kindness, sparing him from the heartrending pain.
Si Nan sank down to his knees, trying his best to move backwards. Even he himself knew how tragic he looked at this moment.
However, that persistent zombie in front of him would not let him go despite so. It grabbed his shoulders, bowing its head down.
In a trance, Si Nan knew he was about to be bitten. He would be torn apart alive by those rotting teeth, watch as his skin split apart, his flesh rendered, his blood spilling forth, his muscles and veins ripped through like rotten meat, and he could even see his own bone marrow burst out from the breaking of his bones.
Next, he would be electrocuted, or perhaps he would die.
He would rise above the collapsed spire of the church, and through the murky sky, he would rise up to the heavens, where there would no longer be any hunger, loneliness and pain.
Si Nan’s body convulsed, and he curled up his body. The zombie was already leaning into his ear. However, the expected warmth and iciness from blood spilling out of his body did not come, and in his confused mind, that soft, dreamy voice gradually became clearer. “Look at… Look at me…”
“Si xiao-Nan, do you not recognise Rong-ge anymore? …”
Everything Si Nan saw was in double. Distorted lines and disorganised shadows switched around, as though his brain was on heroin, and everything was transformed into a pulsing light.
Still, in the drowning confusion and clamour, something seemed to be revealed, gradually becoming clearly.
“… Rong-ge did not abandon you…”
“Look at me…”
— In the haziness, Si Nan felt a heat upon his hand.
It was like a boiling drop of water, hitting his palm, so painful that he shrank into himself.
“… Rong-ge has come to pick you up. Look at me, Si xiao-Nan…”
In the serene forest night, the bonfire was blazing and glowing. There was someone by his ear, whispering softly, “Call Rong-ge, and no matter how far I am, I’ll come and save you.”
“I’m Zhou Rong, the Rong from armed forces and horses.”
“Si– xiao– Nan–! Rong-ge has come to pick all of you up!”
“Sorry, Rong-ge shouldn’t have yelled at you… Here, I brought you chocolate.”
Countless scenes and images spun around in Si Nan’s head, scattering down like snow, smoothing out the disorder and chaos in his mind.
Exhausted, Si Nan panted tiredly. His gaze was unfocused and blank, and he stared at the “zombie” kneeling in front of him.
The two people were so very close, close enough to see each other’s faces clearly.
“…” Si Nan murmured, “Rong-ge.”
He did not know what he was saying, nor could he recognise this familiar face that was crying in front of him.
However, from this two short syllables, he gained a warm and powerful sort of comfort, as well as a calming strength.
“Rong-ge,” he repeated quietly.
Under all the disbelieving eyes, Si Nan reached out, holding out his soft and unguarded palm, which was caught tightly by Zhou Rong.
The next instant, like hiding into a safe place in his dreams, Si Nan buried his face and tucked his exhausted body into Zhou Rong’s embrace.
Romuller’s eyes widened swiftly in disbelief, and his face could be described as ashen – this was impossible!
How could this be possible?!
Once Noah entered such a reflexive hallucinating state, he would only treat every moving thing around him as zombies, and attack them without any differentiation, to the point where one party would be completely annihilated. This was an instinct that had been developed through thousands and thousands of electric shocks since he was six years old. Even if he forgot how to breathe, he would never forget this. This instinct was something that could not be rid of even when his mother died in front of his eyes!
Then what about now?! Why was he not attacking?!
In his hallucinating stage, was he willing to be bitten to death by this “Zombie” Zhou?!
Romuller shook his head in horror, only able to watch as Zhou Rong wrapped Si Nan within his arms. The man kissed a corner of the forehead that was smeared with blood and grime, patting his skinny back, quietly consoling him. A moment later, Si Nan’s convulsions and tremors gradually stopped, and Zhou Rong kissed his ear, lifting him up with just one arm.
Romuller pressed a hand against the gunshot wound on his abdomen, his other hand clenched tightly in a trembling fist.
Zhou Rong did not even give them a glance. He walked out of the yard, kicking away a zombie that had been making its way towards them. Carrying Si Nan into a blue and white SUV, he turned and wanted to get into the driver seat from the other door.
However, Si Nan was unwilling to part from Zhou Rong, grabbing onto his sleeve tightly and refusing to let go. Zhou Rong softly coaxed him a few times, but seeing how Si Nan was shaking his head, refusing to listen, he gave up. The man carried Si Nan out from the passenger seat, and instead the two of them moved into the driver seat together.
Zombies were slowly moving towards them. In the distance, the alleys seemed to be heaving, and they were all filled with the living dead. The SUV made a turn, driving into the yard, and the window wound down. From his height, Zhou Rong stared down at Romuller, asking, “Who exactly are you guys?”
Romuller answered darkly, “You’re Zhou Rong, right?”
“Yo~ when did I become this popular?” Zhou Rong chuckled carelessly. “Why, do you want an autograph?”
The unique shuffling sounds of the zombie were gradually drawing closer, but Romuller did not have a trace of fear about his impending death. His body, covered in blood, leant against the ruins of the brick wall. Through the window, he could see Si Nan huddling into Zhou Rong, his head buried into the crook of Zhou Rong’s neck.
He looked just like an exhausted little animal, covered in blood and a murderous air, who had finally found its den after enduring all this while.
An acrid hate swelled up within Romuller’s heart, and he gave a small sneer.
“No, Zhou Rong,” he said indifferently, “it’s good to see that you’re still alive. Take good care of this life of yours… Soon, we’ll meet again.”
“Is that so?” Zhou Rong mocked him. “I don’t think so.”
More and more zombies were gathering, obstructing the entire alley. Zhou Rong no longer spoke to a person that was about to die. The SUV reversed, turned, and the wheels shrieked loudly on the ground. He threw out his final words, “Thank you for your supplies!”
Zhou Rong slammed his foot down on the accelerator. The engine roared, and the SUV flew out.
Romuller stared at the trail of dust left by the SUV, narrowing his eyes slightly.
With his high brow bones and his deep-set eyes, along with his tall and straight nose, he looked like the ideal Aryan. Due to his elite military training, his body was powerful and muscular, and Alphas with such appearances were very popular in the western world.
However, right now, his expression was so peculiar that it made one tremble with fear.
The zombies were swarming over, slowly pressing closer to the yard. Romuller coughed out a mouthful of blood, then from his shirt, he pulled out a sealed syringe. Yanking the cap off with his teeth, he injected all of the light red fluid into his arm.
Then he tossed it away.
The syringe drew an arc in the air, shattering at the feet of the first zombie who managed to squeeze into the yard.
The SUV jolted continuously as it progressed forward, crushing the zombies in front on its way. Finally, as a hand grenade exploded, spewing smoke in the air, the SUV sped along an endless road.
Zhou Rong had a hand on the steering wheel, and his other arm was wrapped around Si Nan’s groggy body. Gently, he patted his shoulder. “Si xiao Nan?”
Curling into himself, Si Nan did not respond.
Zhou Rong stepped on the brakes. He then turned around and rummaged through the backseat, casually tossing away the random personal belongings of the three Alphas out of the window, then found a jar of maple syrup tucked in a corner.
There should be more medical supplies in the trunk, but right now, Zhou Rong had no way of searching through it carefully. He twisted the jar open, then rubbed Si Nan’s pale face with his thumb, softly asking, “Drink some, alright?”
Si Nan did not even have the energy to open his eyes. Smelling the scent of the maple syrup, he turned his head away with great difficulty.
His refusal could not be anymore obvious, but at this moment, Zhou Rong could not allow him his inexplicable pickiness with food. Kissing his hair, Zhou Rong coaxed him, “Be good.”
He then drank a mouthful of the maple syrup himself, and pressed his mouth against Si Nan’s. With coaxing licks of his tongue, he tried to persuade him to part his tightly sealed lips.
For some reason, Si Nan was extremely resistant towards the taste of the maple syrup. However, a moment later, his cold lips and tongue seemed to gradually warm up with the aid of Zhou Rong’s breath. His jaws relaxed slightly, and a tiny, soft slit parted between his lips.
48 hours after landing in the city of zombies.
Zhou Rong’s eyes turned slightly bloodshot. Staring at Si Nan’s calm and sleeping side profile, he again gave him another gentle, cloying, honey sweet kiss.