Undead

Chapter 38
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Chapter 38

TLC: AlexPT

Editor: Beth

The descent of a heavenly warrior was not enough to describe the shock of that moment. Guo Weixiang was dumbfounded, petrified in place.

It happened in a blink of an eye. Si Nan aggressively rushed forward, basically stepping on zombie’s shoulders as he leaped and bounded to the front, his movements so quick that only faint traces, like afterimages, were left behind.

Countless rotten and withered hands reached out to grab the leg of his trousers, but were all ruthlessly trampled into paste before they could even touch him. But like lightning flashing in the lower atmosphere, he jumped off the zombie’s body, landing on the ground at the furthest end, rolling over and dashing off without looking back.

“Growl——”

Most of the zombies were drawn towards the strong Omega pheromones. One after another, they changed directions and swarmed behind him in a large crowd!

Si Nan was very strong. He didn’t lose out to any of the carefully-selected Special-Forces soldiers of Squad 118. This, Guo Weixiang had always known.

However, this was still the first time he was personally experiencing the strength of this person— that he was actually so strong.

Right before his eyes, with nothing blocking his vision, he witnessed for himself Si Nan’s explosive power, comparable to a wild cheetah, thoroughly jolting a person’s heart. It all became engraved on his retina for a long time, almost making him doubt his own sense of smell.

That definitely could not be an Omega.

But what was drifting in the air was definitely the scent of an Omega’s pheromones.

The rumbling of a descending helicopter came from above his head. Guo Weixiang jolted alertedly, pulling the trigger on the numerous zombies still left around him. The machine gun instantaneously poured out bullets and before he could reload it, several more bullets from a shotgun shot past him from a higher altitude; the heads of the zombies around him exploded.

“Rong-ge!”

Two dark green helicopters landed on top of the hospital. Before it completely touched down, Zhou Rong had already forcefully broken free from Ding Shi’s hold, leaping down from the cabin, his coat flapping wildly in the turbulence of the propellers.

Dr. Zheng stumbled towards him, his limbs weak. “C-captain Zhou, I d-don’t know what’s with Si- Si- Si Nan, he w-went—”

Wordlessly, Zhou Rong grabbed the climbing rope at the edge of the roof and slid down to the ground. He hastily cleared out the zombies with a few shots, and then was stopped by Guo Weixiang. “R-R-Rong-ge, quickly, that way, Si Nan went that way—”

“You alright?”

Guo Weixiang’s tongue had knotted up, so he could only frantically nod his head.

Zhou Rong nodded. About to chase after Si Nan in the direction where he disappeared, his footsteps faltered abruptly. “What’s that smell?”

Yan Hao, who was not too far behind, stopped in place in disbelief as he seemed to have realised something.

Judging by Guo Weixiang’s expression, he probably didn’t even believe the words he was saying either. However, in this time-sensitive situation, there was no time to cushion nor hide the truth, and so the deception which hid the bare-naked truth was torn to shreds in front of everyone in one swift go.

“O... Omega.”

Guo Weixiang’s voice trembled. “He... he’s an Omega.”

***

Looking down from far above, zombies from several blocks away had caught wind of the situation and had begun moving. Slowly, their numbers increased as they relentlessly chased after the speedy black dot out front, gradually forming a terrifying torrent.

Cold air poured into his lungs, slicing at his internal organs like knives, but Si Nan knew he couldn’t stop.

Zombies emerged from the corners of the streets, the alleys, behind dumpsters and all other kinds of unimaginable places. On several occasions, he could feel the back of his jacket being caught by the zombies sharp nails. If he paused for even a moment, he would be immediately torn to bloody pieces of flesh right then and there.

The buildings on both sides of the street turned into a blur. Suddenly, something catching the corner of his eye, Si Nan turned his head to see large words painted in red on the side of a wall— to be demolished.

The old city was being demolished, and so behind the fence on the other side of the street was a construction site.

Within the construction site stood a lone crane which towered up into the sky. With densely-packed steel bars and half-stacked cement slabs, as well as dried concrete which had not been poured in time, it looked quite odd at first glance.

Si Nan had no time to even wonder if his luck today was in opposition with construction sites. He spun on his feet, grazing past the arms of the zombies closest to him as he ran onto the pavement. Flipping sideways and over the guardrails, he dashed onto the construction site, and after grabbing the scaffolding, took a couple of tries before he started climbing up.

A large portion of the zombie hoard had tripped over the waist-high guardrails, while the rest stepped over the bodies of their companions and flooded onto the construction site, growling and chasing as they clumsily climbed up the scaffolding.

However, as the zombies joints were stiff, and they completely lacked the consciousness to work together, they often managed to only get two steps up before stumbling back down to the ground. The enormous pack of zombies clambered up, one after another, swarming forward with extraordinarily liveliness.

Si Nan climbed up the scaffolding to a height of more than ten metres. He stumbled into the building, finally stopping on a piece of concrete slab before exhaling convulsively.

The seven to eight cuts on his left arm had dried up, as the blood had coagulated and left scars that overlapped which looked terrifyingly hideous. Si Nan folded down his sleeves with trembling hands, and only then did he feel the needle-like stabbing pain on his arm that throbbed with the slightest exertion of strength.

The excessive blood loss made him slightly dizzy, and so his originally pale complexion had now become frighteningly pallid.

Truthfully, he hadn’t needed to scratch himself up so ruthlessly, and it would be troublesome if he accidentally damaged any ligaments or arteries. However, if he had sliced open his abdomen, thighs or any other part of his body instead, it would have affected his running speed, and he would be filled with grievances if he had gotten caught by the zombies because of that.

Si Nan knelt on the suspended concrete slab. After letting his mind wander for a moment, he finally came to the wild conclusion that he could only slice his face next time.

He gave a self-deprecating smile. But suddenly hearing something, he raised his head and looked out onto the street.

The rumbling of an engine drew closer. A motorcycle sped out from the corner of the street, drifting into the turn with a harsh screech of the brakes, before accelerating towards the construction site — two riders sat, one behind the other, and even from such a distance, Si Nan recognised Zhou Rong from a single glance.

Zhou Rong and Yan Hao!

“You two...” The corner of Si Nan’s lip curved upwards, despite not realising that it was a smile. “Exactly what sort of love affair do you share between the two of you.”

Si Nan quickly stood up and waved his arm vigorously, only to see the bike soar up into the air, leaping over the guardrails beautifully, and then the machine gun opened fire!

The bullets caused the zombie hoard to stagger. Finding a new target, they roared as they turned around. Zhou Rong stopped the bike, and the excessive inertia forced the body of the bike sideways, instantly knocking a few zombies flying. With tacit understanding, Yan Hao cooperated without a word and fired the machine gun frantically. Bullets rained like a thunderstorm, ripping through the first wave of zombies rushing forward, breaking their arms and legs, and leaving them convulsing on the floor.

Zhou Rong dismounted the bike and took out an assault rifle, opening fire while heading towards the tide of zombies. His roar was broken up in the rain of bullets, “Si Xiao... Nan, you...”

The amusement in Si Nan’s eyes gradually faded, and he began to realise a problem — they knew.

They definitely knew already.

What would Zhou Rong, that idiot, say?

What would other people think about it?

The thought flashed across his mind, but before he had the time to even think about it, his internal danger alarm suddenly blared, and his conditioned reflexes kicked in. Tilting his head, he avoided the sharp nails that were reaching towards the back of his head.

— A zombie!

The large rotting body attacked, accompanied by a gust of wind that smelled raw and bloody. Si Nan tumbled out of the way, avoiding the sharp teeth of the zombie by the skin of his teeth.

However, the concrete slab fixed between the steel bars of the building was very narrow, and there was absolutely nowhere to run. The zombie turned and lunged towards him, crashing down right onto his chest. The air was knocked out of him, Si Nan barely managed to avoid coughing out his own lungs!

The zombie was wearing a yellow hard-hat, he must have been a contractor before death. Perhaps he was even the kind of contractor who owed a lot of migrant worker’s wages. Possessing a thick head and a fat belly, the zombie was gigantic— weighing at least three hundred kilograms. If it stood up straight, it was likely to be as tall as Zhou Rong and Yan Hao.

Si Nan grabbed the zombie’s neck with all his might in order to try and keep it from chomping down on him. It was so fat that he couldn’t imagine how it even managed to climb more than ten metres off the ground— but maybe he had desperately climbed when the virus broke out and just couldn’t get back down after turning into a zombie since he was too fat. This was a logical explanation for why he was stranded atop the scaffolding made up of reinforced concrete.

“Glurgh...” The sound gurgled out loudly from the zombie’s clenched throat, and the large, fat and grey face inched closer and closer.

Si Nan grabbed the submachine gun shoulder-strap and tugged twice, but he was unable to tug it free. Drawing out a dagger with a backhanded movement, he intended to give the zombie a full face of blossoming cuts. However, right at that moment, a sudden crack sounded around him.

Si Nan did not immediately realize what it was, but in an instant, his body sank downwards.

——Crack!

The cement slab!

Boom——

Si Nan didn’t even have time to curse the tofu-level of engineering in his heart. The cement slab broke into pieces, and his whole body fell off the scaffolding that was more than ten meters high!

Actually, if you break it down in slow motion, Si Nan’s reflexes at that moment could be considered textbook-level, a model example: tucking of the head, arching the body, protecting the heart and lungs and doing his best to curl himself up into a ball. Crashing and rebounding against the mess of steel bars, he successfully avoided hitting all his potentially fatal regions.

However, the zombie who was a few sizes larger than him was not so lucky. He was subsequently pierced directly through the chest by one of the steel bars that stuck out vertically, stopping him mid-air.

Thump!

The recoil made Si Nan bounce, and mouthful of blood instantly spurted from his lips, as the back of his head crashed heavily into the concrete ground!

For the first few seconds he struggled to keep his eyes wide open, seemingly wanting to stay conscious, and even trying to get up.

But it was all in vain.

Dizziness, nausea, the pain of his internal organs being violently knocked around, the thick and sticky fresh blood... everything, including the entire bustling world, gradually grew distant, as though he was separated from the world, the surface of the river above him.

It seemed like he had fallen like this before, not too long ago, but he couldn’t remember anything no matter how he tried.

A black fog rose from the flat ground, gathering from all four directions, slowly enveloping his sight and silencing all of his five senses.

***

“... Hurry up and start searching...”

“Damn, can you still survive if you jump down from so high up...”

“Fuck this kid, hurry up and grab him! ...”

The distant city was brightly lit, but the wind under the cliff bitterly cold enough to seep into the bones. In the dark night came footsteps and barking, the cursing of soldiers coming and going, and the light of countless flashlights sweeping around.

Suddenly someone shouted, “Over there!”

Si Nan’s entire face was covered with blood. He got up from the grass under the cliff, stumbling forward and running a few steps, before being pushed down by several military dogs at the same time.

“We got him, quickly—”

“Bite him, teach him a lesson!”

Who am I? Where am I?

What is this place?

...

The severe pain and struggles were blurred in the chaos. In a daze, he found that he had become very small. Even his hands and feet were also small, and he was completely unable to push away the ferocious giant dogs in a single move.

“Hahaha, just look at him...”

Harsh laughter, blinding flashlights, the hot and humid panting of the beasts, the cold and wet grass; the innumerable scenes were bright and bizarre, turning into blades in the void, cutting severely into the core of his brain, turning them into a bleeding mess.

The last trace of his human consciousness shattered.

Blood, burning with hatred, seeped into his pupils. In the moment before he fell into darkness, he could only hear an inhuman roar come from his throat.

“Four military dogs and two soldiers were unfortunately killed in their duties. Six people were wounded and two were seriously injured...”

Si Nan opened his eyes in the stark white laboratory.

The hexagonal space was surrounded by mirrored walls. He raised his head, and countless familiar and young faces locked eyes with him from all sides. Blood-stained bandages were tangled in his black hair, and handcuffs and several wires had restrained him to a chair similar to a dentist’s chair.

......What happened?

He closed his eyes, but could not recall anything no matter what. In his mind, there was only exhaustion left over from his burnt out despair, resentment, and agony.

“Shock him,” someone said coldly.

Defenseless, the electric current tore through his whole body in a flash. Caught off guard, Si Nan let out devastating screams. His small body trembled violently, and he continued to struggle desperately!

The shock ended after a few seconds.

Tiny Si Nan convulsed constantly. He opened his eyes with difficulty, then saw that the laboratory mirror to the front had changed, and several researchers wearing white masks had appeared.

“What’s your name?”

“...” Si Nan panted roughly as he gritted his teeth tightly.

“Shock him.”

“Ah... Aah—!”

The electric shock stopped. Si Nan’s whole body twitched and his eyes lost focus. He was unable to regain consciousness from the painful aftermath, and it took a long time before he could slowly begin to see the surrounding scene clearly again.

The researcher appeared behind the screen, not far away, looking at him coldly. “What’s your name?”

Si Nan turned his head away, his chest heaving vigorously as though he was on the brink of death.

“Shock him.”

“Ahhhhh—”

“Shock him.”

“Ah, ah... Ah...!”

“Shock him.”

Time stretched out, becoming extraordinarily long under the endless torture, and after countless rounds, Si Nan’s body looked as though he had just been fished out of cold water. His black hair was dripping wet, clinging to his pale forehead, his lips were blue, he was shivering, and the exposed skin of his bare hands and feet were completely marred with tiny scars from the electroshock torture.

“What’s your name?”

“...” Si Nan gasped for a long time, and finally opened his mouth. The six year old’s voice was as hoarse as if it had been rubbed with sandpaper:

“Noah.”

The researcher noted it down.

The screen changed after a few seconds, turning into an image of a row of test tubes. Solutions of different colours were lined up from left to right: light blue, light red, turquoise, crimson, leading up to the disturbing deep black to the far right.

The researcher’s mechanically-changed voice sounded again without any inflection.

“The one your mother injected into the test subject daily, and the one injected into you.”

“Which two serums are they?”

Young Si Nan’s pupils dilated. He stared straight at the test tubes, and a sort of savagery gradually spilled out from within his eyes after some time—

The little beast at the end of his rope had been forced into dire straits, and he burned with a flare of rage and madness.

The wires creaked and the handcuffs clattered from being pulled taut. The researcher turned the screen off, and the next moment, a voice rang out, “Shock him.”

Heart-rending screams resounded through the laboratory, until Si Nan lost his voice.

After an unknown period of time, Si Nan woke up from unconsciousness again, his mind in chaos and his memory fragmented. He stared blankly at the snow-white metal ceiling, as well as looking dazedly at the countless reflections of himself.

The door silently slid open.

He moved, barely managing to look over.

A middle-aged man in a suit and leather shoes with blond hair and blue eyes steadily approached. He had a face that looked very familiar because of his several appearances on the TV and newspapers.

—however, this face was not as enthusiastic and kind as when he was speaking to the people, nor as solemn and dignified as when speaking on TV; he looked cold and stoic, and due to him standing up and looking down at him, he even gave off a neurotic sense of dismality.

Standing still in front of Si Nan, he swept his eyes across the six-year-old’s body that was twitching constantly due to the electric shocks. He narrowed his eyes slightly, suddenly taking out a knife on his key ring to cut the wires, then unlocked the handcuffs with two clicks.

“Do you recognise me?” Standing up, he asked indifferently.

“...”

“Do you know who I am?”

“...”

The silence lasted for a long time, but the man did not throw out the icy command to shock him like the researcher. On the contrary, his patience was abnormal. Staring at Si Nan’s eyes that were vigilant like a wild beast cub, he said slowly, word for word, “I’m your new father.”

Slap! The sound rang out clearly, and Si Nan’s swift punch came to an abrupt stop. The man tightly gripped his wrist, forcing him to lower his hand, inch by inch.

“You’re not my father...” Si Nan replied with a hoarse voice as he fixed his eyes on the man.

“My father is sick and he’s sleeping in a wooden box...he’s only sick...”

“Sick, like this?” The man sneered. With no effort, he dragged Si Nan to the corner of the laboratory, swiping his card and opening a metal door.

Several skeleton-like people in ragged clothing wandered back and forth on the empty floor, staggering and dragging their feet. They reached forward with all their strength, letting out harrowing roars without a hint of awareness. It was probably the breath of the living that alerted them, and the few living dead slowly turned around. Looking right at them, they started to move towards the door.

Si Nan took half a step back in fear, and was immediately caught and pushed back into the room by the man.

“Break their necks, or you will die.”

The man’s voice rang out from behind, sounding like the devil. From then on, it pierced through his memories, taking root and sprouting in his subconscious, madly growing into a lifelong nightmare.

“Kill them, destroy their brains.”

“Or you will die.”

Changsha, the construction site.

“... Si Nan...”

“Si Nan, wake up...”

“Si Nan!”

The bullets kicked up the hot sand. In the vague haziness, there was someone running, while another was shouting. The sounds were muffled, as though he was submerged deep underwater.

Si Nan opened his eyes slightly. The blood clouding over his pupils suddenly pooled out, he raised his hand as he trembled.

Kill them all...

Kill them all......

“He’s awake! Si Nan, Si Nan, how do you feel?” Yan Hao turned around and shouted, “Captain, quickly! Break through and we’ll retreat—!”

At the end of the sentence, his tone suddenly changed. Yan Hao’s voice abruptly stopped. He felt a hand, cold due to excessive blood-loss, accurately gripping his wrist.

Crack!

A lightning-like sense of pain struck. Yan Hao turned his head in shock, almost unable to believe his eyes—

His wrist was bent at a weird angle, snapped broken right before his eyes.

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