Chapter 149 - Raising a Big Cat in the Apocalypse (28)
His first reaction was to use his wrist to send Bearded Man’s gun flying.
The gun and dagger both shot away at the same time, and both of them lost their weapons.
After that came the pain. What people called tearing of the heart and lungs was really nothing extraordinary.
Gu Xinzhi had always thought that he wasn’t afraid of pain, but the severe pain that shot through his internal organs caused his entire body to bend over. The pain made him sweat, the droplets sliding down his chin.
He mercilessly pressed down on the wound, feeling the blood gush out against his palm. It couldn’t be stopped at all.
The vitality of new humans was staggering. It had only been a short while since he failed to cut off his head, but the wound was already slowly healing.
Gu Xinzhi’s dagger had a blood groove on the side, and the blade had been specifically ground into an irregular serrated shape. Even if it was a new human, they would still suffer a lot if the wound wasn’t fatal.
Bearded Man covered his leaking, bloody throat, his veins burning with pain. When he stared at Gu Xinzhi, with his were filled with blood vessels, his gaze was fierce enough to make people’s backs go cold.
He managed a broken word. “You…”
Gu Xinzhi didn’t wait for him to finish.
The dagger had flown out over ten meters away. There wasn’t enough time to go and pick it up. Gu Xinzhi rushed up and pressed on Bearded Man’s head, wanting to tear it open directly!
Even if Bearded Man knew that this person was a vengeful one, he hadn’t expected him to be so bloodthirsty. He roared when Gu Xinzhi grabbed his unhealed neck, controlling Gu Xinzhi’s right hand with one of his as he dug his other hand into Gu Xinzhi’s wound, pressing into it fiercely with his fingers curled into claws. Blood gushed out of the wound!
Gu Xinzhi didn’t make a sound. He gritted his teeth against the blood that surged up, his bloody left hand holding Bearded Man’s chin as he poked his fingertips into the wound at his throat.
This was how wild animals fought. One a lion, the other a tiger, focusing all their wisdom, bravery, and brutality on taking each other’s life.
However, Gu Xinzhi was losing power bit by bit, while Bearded Man’s strength was recovering bit by bit.
Physically speaking, at the end of the day, old humans were still one step weaker than new humans.
Gu Xinzhi was overwhelmed by Bearded Man, his wound turning into a fountain of blood that gurgled and gushed.
He coughed violently, choking on blood as his strength gradually weakened.
There was the sound of movement from afar. The faint sound of gunshots rang out like exploding beans, followed by screams and the sound of fighting. After a while, there were bursts of whispers, followed by hurried footsteps and the sound of people murmuring to each other.
From the sound of it, there was at least one team of people approaching.
Bearded Man’s attitude changed abruptly. He was both in pain and angry, and right now, he guessed that his backup was on its way. When looking at this face that he used to love, he squeezed out a smile, then used a bloody hand to grab Gu Xinzhi’s hair, clenching the strands tight.
His hands were almost completely covered in Gu Xinzhi’s blood. The greasy feeling of the blood gave him a distorted sense of pleasure. “… My people are coming. You’re dead for sure.”
Gu Xinzhi had heard the same sounds that he had.
But he followed suit and also started smiling.
How could Bearded Man not understand that he’d been used? He now felt that any expression that Gu Xinzhi was an affront to his eyes. He reached out, wanting to dig out these two eyes that didn’t seem to know what was good for them.
While his mind was agitated, Gu Xinzhi made use of this opportunity to open his mouth, biting down on Bearded Man’s exposed neck!
The cartilage in Bearded Man’s throat which had just started to recover, was bitten through with that one bite. He roared with pain and was about to lift Gu Xinzhi up to smash him down onto the ground when a crisp clicking sound rang out behind him. It was the sound of an old-fashioned gun bolt being loaded up.
Bearded Man knew that Gu Xinzhi was powerful, and he didn’t dare to be careless. He couldn’t even afford to turn his head back and could only roar, “Shoot! Shoot!”
The gun rang out at the next moment, but it was Bearded Man’s heart that was torn open by the old-fashioned bullet.
Bearded Man’s body stiffened abruptly. He toppled from the impact of the gun.
Gu Xinzhi shouted, “Dagger!”
As soon as he spoke, a dagger slid through the air, rotating crosswise before coming to a stop at a gap in the ground to his right side.
Gu Xinzhi picked up the blade, and with a flash of white light, red blood splattered out like rain.
Bearded Man fell on top of Gu Xinzhi, thoroughly silenced.
Gu Xinzhi didn’t push him away and instead fell down with the dead body. He was panting slightly, and the sound of the air as it slid through his mouth was a bit strange.
Yan Lanlan held onto the gun that was still smoking, standing as if she’d never heard any requests previously.
She raised up a single hand and waved, sending the bells ringing. The soldiers they’d hired from Shu Wenqing continued to spread out on their own accord, eliminating the remnants of Bearded Man’s team. Only the two strongest guards remained by her side.
Sun Bin, who’d been surrounded and was protected from all sides, was sweating profusely. He quickly ran over to the main computer, sorted out his thoughts, and began working to restore the base security system that had been temporarily disabled, mouthing words to himself as he went.
Sun Yan stepped forward quickly as well, not wasting time on recovering the dagger that he’d just thrown and focusing on first pulling away the bearded man whose corpse was pressing down on Gu Xinzhi.
Gu Xinzhi lay on his back, and it was as though he’d been completely exhausted. He couldn’t open his eyes, and his mouth seemed to be murmuring something quietly.
Sun Yan took it as him asking why they would show up here.
He wasn’t in a hurry to pull Gu Xinzhi back up and just thought that he was too tired. He sat down beside him, crossing his legs. “Captain Ding asked us to come.”
Ding Qiuyun had asked them to fight a battle of ‘the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the sparrow behind’.
After the attack on the arsenal began, smaller organizations had formed alliances with each other while secretly competing, stalling, and deliberately causing delays, hoping to profit from the situation; how could larger organizations sit back and watch on as their own forces were used up? So, they would deliberately leave reserve teams to drive away these small organizations that purposely took their time as they watched the tigers fight. If they couldn’t drive them away, then they would rely on force.
No one had expected that when the results of the overall situation had already been determined and each group had started to relax, a huge number of unrecognized troops would suddenly emerge from nowhere.
These old humans hadn’t been on the list of people they had expected to be on guard against at all.
As a result, the new humans, who were already exhausted by all the infighting amongst themselves, collapsed with a single blow.
… This coveted arsenal was ultimately taken over by the old humans.
Gu Xinzhi couldn’t process anything he was hearing.
He felt like his life was like water, rippling and dripping away from the broken hole in his body. It felt like sand ants had drilled out thousands of holes in his viscera, causing him so much pain that living seemed to be worse than death.
When he thought of this word, Gu Xinzhi sucked in a breath of cold air and suddenly felt fear.
Death meant that he would never see Qiuyun again even with his eyes open; death meant that he would never hear Qiuyun say a single word of forgiveness to him; death was…
There were no dreams in death.
He wouldn’t even have the chance to see Qiuyun in his dreams.
Only those who died of cancer could be transformed into new humans.
He wasn’t even qualified to become a new human––
When he became conscious of this point, Gu Xinzhi felt like he’d been shot through the heart all over again. The pain made him double over.
Driven by a strong desire to survive, he was finally able to make himself heard clearly. “Syringe…”
Sun Yan was still gushing about Ding Qiuyun’s decision-making. He was stunned when he heard this. “…… What?”
Gu Xinzhi struggled against the ground twice and was actually able to sit up. “Syringe!”
By the time Yan Lanlan sensed that something was wrong and ran over, her bells jingling the whole way, Gu Xinzhi had turned his head and thrown up a big mouthful of blood. There were other things mixed in with the blood, and Yan Lanlan didn’t dare to think about what they were.
Only then did Sun Yan notice the bloody hole in his body. His face changed color abruptly, and he turned to scramble up. “Vice-captain Gu?! … Doctor! Where’s Doctor Lin!”
Sun Yan stumbled as he ran outside, while Gu Xinzhi was still in such a bad state that he couldn’t even breathe. His voice changed even more, and it was as though there was a bellow in his chest leaking out air. His voice trembled. “Give me a syringe!”
Yan Lanlan knelt beside Gu Xinzhi, tears dripping down her face. She didn’t dare to ask more about what had happened, and there was no time to ask him what he wanted to do with the needle. She took out a spare syringe from her small bag with shaking hands.
In the next second, something that shocked her terribly happened––
Gu Xinzhi pounced on Bearded Man’s still-warm body and stabbed it several times with the needle. He found a vein and extracted a full syringe of blood before raising his hand and injecting it into his wrist.
His attitude was humble and low as he quipped nervously, “….. I can’t die, I can’t die, I can’t die.”
If he died, there would be no more Qiuyun. He would be gone forever.
That man had appeared in his gray life like an illusory bubble of goodness.
So, he’d plotted against him to try and figure out whether his feelings towards him were true or false.
… In fact, he would rather they were false.
Because if it was true, then his life would transform for his sake.
Inside the dilapidated tube building, he’d quietly broken the mechanical soldier’s control system. After successfully letting himself get surrounded by attackers, he’d picked up the communicator and spoken to Ding Qiuyun, who was on the other end, telling him not to come. My side has met a dead end.
Ding Qiuyun had only said two words: Wait for me.
A few minutes later, the obstacles he’d created himself were forcibly torn away.
Ding Qiuyun used the butt of his gun to knock a mechanical soldier’s head askew, grabbed his hand, shouted ‘go’, and ran out without another word.
Until this day, Gu Xinzhi still remembered the temperature of his palm. It had been very cold, a little sweaty, with strong muscles and bones. Holding it had felt very good.
He was a very narrow-minded person. In such a big world, he only wanted this pair of hands to hold him. Other than that, he didn’t care about anything else, and didn’t think that anything else was very important.
He’d waited for him in the supermarket for two years because of the injustices from his previous life.
However, he was unable to wait until he received Ding Qiuyun’s forgiveness.
He couldn’t die.
Gu Xinzhi lay there on the ground. His ears were already unable to hear anything clearly.
Hot tears fell from his eyes. He repeated hoarsely, stubbornly, “I can’t die, I can’t––”
Yan Lanlan grabbed the communication and managed to connect. A trembling cry came from her mouth, “Sister Jing, can you find a way to contact Captain Ding? … No, no, the plan was very successful, and we’re all okay. It’s just that something unexpected happened here… what? Captain Ding has already left?”
Twelve hours later, the motorcycle that had spanned over 1,000 kilometers during that time period came to a stop at a rest point in the arsenal and shut off.
Yan Lanlan hurried outside as soon as she heard the familiar sound of the motorcycle.
When she saw that face, which was so familiar and reassuring, Yan Lanlan was almost in tears as she cried out: “Captain Ding, Vice-captain Gu is suffering too much… Can you think of a way, did you bring medicine…”
Ding Qiuyun didn’t say a word as he took off his helmet, throwing it directly into the crying Yan Lanlan’s arms as he strode into the rest point.
Boss Coal jumped down from the back seat of Ding Qiuyun’s motorcycle and walked slowly to the entrance of the rest point, sitting down as though keeping guard.
Ding Qiuyun opened up the wind-proof cotton quilt that covered the entrance.
The man who was lying on the bed was triggered by the cold wind that blew in from outside. He coughed twice, violently, before immediately burying his face into the quilt and drawing a bit of warmth from it.
Just from looking at his hands and the upper half of his face that was exposed from beneath the quilt, his skin looked entirely bloodless. It made people feel a sense of grim sorrow in their hearts.
The blood in his body had almost drained out completely, and his thin and frail body was being pressed down by the inch-thick quilt, leaving him with no way to move.
Right now, a quilt was as heavy as a five-peak mountain to him.
No one had ever seen such a terrifying level of vitality.
A normal person could live on for up to half an hour after being shot in the lung.
Gu Xinzhi wanted to breathe, but his lung injury meant that he couldn’t maintain normal breathing functions. He endured unbearable chest pain, tightness of breath, and exhaustion––all of it.
Relying on his half-wrecked lungs and the new human blood, he’d struggled to survive for a full 12 hours.
He relied on drawing on power from who knew where, holding on for so long in order to wait for a certain someone.
Gu Xinzhi could hear that person’s footsteps, but he couldn’t even open his eyes.
He gently shifted his chapped lips and spoke vaguely into the void, “… Within shooting range, I’m here.”
When Chi Xiaochi saw this situation, he lowered his gaze slightly.
The last thing Chi Xiaochi wanted to do was to use sincerity to plan against sincerity.
However, Gu Xinzhi’s death had always been within the scope of his calculations. It had been the black trump card that he’d always kept in his hand.
He understood Gu Xinzhi very well, and because of this, Chi Xiaochi knew that the cruelest thing for Gu Xinzhi wasn’t that he couldn’t be forgiven, nor was it a repeating dream that he’d relived for two consecutive years, but that he wouldn’t be forgiven even after he died.
… This was the nightmare that he didn’t even dare dream of.
If Gu Xinzhi had threatened anyone in Ding Qiuyun’s team, Chi Xiaochi wouldn’t have hesitated to play out this card. Sending him to take over the arsenal had also been done while considering that it could provide a reason for him to ‘die a reasonable death’, in case something unexpected happened.
However, he’d received the letter that Gu Xinzhi wrote in the cigarette box today.
“To Qiuyun: Today, a team member died. I guarded his body for a long time, and it seems that I now understand why you hate me.”
“Is it a feeling like this: Feeling like a part of yourself is lost forever, even though you know that that part isn’t actually a part of you.”
“I used to think, why do you always have others in your heart? Why would you die for other people? But I always want to leave my heart with you and to have you pay more attention to me.”
“I’ve thought about this a lot these few days. I wonder, is it because my heart is too heavy and you’re too tired carrying it?”
“In the future, I’ll try my best to be a person who causes you less worry so that you won’t think that my heart is too heavy and carrying won’t be so uncomfortable.”
These beautiful and firm words were written plainly, yet each word also seemed to carry promises within them.
After reading the letter, Chi Xiaochi had folded it up and put it into his coat pocket. He’d thought to himself that he would just take his time slowly.
That black trump card…it seemed that it wouldn’t need to be used.
However, he soon saw that regret value surge and soar explosively.
… Apart from facing death, nothing would make the cold hearted Gu Xinzhi change like this.
On the way here, Chi Xiaochi had cashed in 398 dream control cards from Gu Xinzhi. Not a single one more and not a one single less.
His accounts had been settled cleanly, but Chi Xiaochi wasn’t qualified to claim Gu Xinzhi’s accounts with Ding Qiuyun for him.
Or in other words, even he didn’t know how he was supposed to clear the bill.
Chi Xiaochi took a deep breath and walked over to the bed. He pressed down gently on Gu Xinzhi’s arm and spoke to the silent person who resided in his body. “Ding Qiuyun, listen well. I’m handing his life or death over to you.”
“I’ve used his regret value to trade for a card that is enough to bring him back to life. He can survive and get better. If you want me to use it on him, there’s no need to talk, you just need to hold his hand. … You should be able to do such a simple action.”