“Pata” The sound of a lighter, and the cigarette lit up.
Lou Yan, holding the cigarette close to his lips, took a deep drag.
The reflection of his current state was cast on the bedroom’s floor-to-ceiling window—sweat-drenched, disheveled black hair, parched lips turned bluish. The once confident and handsome face now appeared pale.
Exhaling a puff of smoke, Lou Yan’s nervously shaking fingers flicked off the ash.
He leaned to the side, facing his own reflection with bloodshot eyes. He tugged at his lips, and the reflected image in the sleepwear also tugged at its lips. The scent of the cigarette soothingly calmed his rapid heartbeat. Lou Yan’s gaze left his own reflection and looked outside the window at the city with newly lit lights.
Houses in the neighborhood sporadically lit up, vehicles on the road forming long queues, horns composing a symphony; the dazzling lights in the dense commercial area flickered like a dancing human.
Elementary school students, having finished their homework, joyfully ran around downstairs, cheering and shouting. Several elderly couples walked beside them, discussing discounted products in the supermarket.
No one knew that, in a few hours, this peaceful and quiet world would face a terrifying resurgence of monsters.
Starting tonight, various horrifying and bizarre creatures would awaken all around the world, bringing calamity to humanity.
In the early stages of the monster resurgence, the strength of these creatures was weak, and their numbers were limited. This information was tightly sealed by the authorities, and ordinary people were unaware of the world’s changes. Even if rumors circulated on the internet, they were treated as urban legends meant to catch attention, and no one believed that ghosts and monsters truly existed on the land they lived on.
Until the resurgence became more frequent, and the death toll rose, the harsh reality was exposed to everyone.
Unfortunately, Lou Yan knew that tonight, a monster would resurrect in their neighborhood.
Fortunately, humans affected by the monstrous power had a certain chance of awakening innate abilities. Lou Yan would awaken his talent tonight, named “Crisis Perception.” It was a decent talent that helped him avoid many life-threatening dangers in the future.
And the reason Lou Yan knew all this was that he was a reborn person who died in despair just hours ago.
An expressionless punch landed on the window, and anger burned on Lou Yan’s face. His calm demeanor suddenly turned extraordinarily ferocious. Coupled with the red bloodshot eyes after waking from the nightmare, he looked like an evil spirit crawling out of h*ll.
Teeth were about to be crushed, veins bulging on the back of his hand, Lou Yan wished to sink his teeth into someone’s flesh, enveloped in intense hatred and bloodthirstiness. With a chilling and angry tone, he spoke each word deliberately, “Fu… Xue… Zhou, I will kill you.”
“I will definitely kill you!!!”
Blood dripped from the intersection of his fist and the window, drawing a chilling long scar.
In the previous life, after awakening the talent “Crisis Perception,” Lou Yan narrowly escaped danger and left the neighborhood to find his good friend Li Sanxin. The two were among the first to glimpse the truth of this world, closely monitoring various sources of information to confirm the facts about the monster resurgence.
The world turned increasingly dangerous in the dark, and no one knew when the monsters would suddenly appear. Although Lou Yan and his friend raised their vigilance, they still faced numerous perils, with their lives hanging by a thread several times.
Recurring life-and-death crises exhausted the two, until, by a stroke of luck, they encountered Fu Xuezhou, hailed as the strongest savior.
The moment Lou Yan laid eyes on Fu Xuezhou, his “Crisis Perception” issued a never-before-seen sharp warning. The perception trembled, emitting a frantic vibration that wanted to escape from Fu Xuezhou, causing Lou Yan’s heart to feel as if it were being crushed by a hand. The panic and fear of that emotion even made Lou Yan wake up from nightmares for several consecutive days.
Lou Yan has a strong personality, accustomed to the role of a superior. Even though the challenges after the resurgence of monsters have worn down some of his sharpness, he has never stooped to being subordinate. However, Fu Xuezhou was just too powerful, with an unfathomable strength. Even though Lou Yan dislikes being inferior to others, he wisely lowered his head to Fu Xuezhou. He and his friend followed this strongest individual, finding temporary stability in doing so.
Lou Yan trusted the warning of his innate talent, maintaining a distant subordinate relationship with Fu Xuezhou. Despite harboring caution, Lou Yan had once admired this man.
No one is immune to the allure of strength. Lou Yan acknowledged Fu Xuezhou’s toughness, like everyone else believing that Fu Xuezhou would lead them to end the monster resurgence. But in the end, on the brink of defeating the monsters, Fu Xuezhou destroyed the world, shattering the hopes of everyone!
Lou Yan still remembered the final scene of his death in the previous life. The intense red flames radiated explosively from Fu Xuezhou, spreading in all directions. The scorching flames consumed everything; trees, buildings, and even human bodies turned to ashes within seconds. The temperature, surpassing human understanding, made Lou Yan almost lose consciousness in an instant. He didn’t even have time to let “Crisis Perception” take effect.
What lingered in Lou Yan’s mind was a vague thought: Is this flame almost comparable to the sun?
This thought remained unanswered. In the last moment before closing his eyelids, Lou Yan saw Fu Xuezhou standing in the midst of the fire.
The man slightly lowered his head, looking at the palm of his hand. Silver hair, like a demon, fluttered in the surging flames, and his figure, amidst the dazzling fire, was a silhouette, appearing and disappearing.
But he was smiling.
That guy was actually smiling.
After waking up from a deep dream, Lou Yan was reborn before the resurgence of monsters.
The fear, despair, and anger before death transformed into a strong hatred for Fu Xuezhou. Especially when Lou Yan dreamed that this wasn’t the first time Fu Xuezhou betrayed humanity and destroyed the world at the last moment.
This was the third time, d*mn it, the third time!
Lou Yan’s chest rose and fell violently, breaths exhaling onto the glass, creating a frosty mist.
The mist blurred the reflection, making it indistinct.
Pain surged from his left fist, and Lou Yan closed his eyes.
Fu Xuezhou, Fu Xuezhou…
He had to find a way.
Find a way to kill this monster.
When he opened his eyes again, Lou Yan had regained his composure. He took off the sleepwear soaked in cold sweat, walked into the bathroom, and took a shower.
Under the warm water, Lou Yan’s black hair curled slightly. His hands smoothed the scattered strands to the back of his head. The rising steam, coupled with a powerful heartbeat, reminded him that he was now undeniably alive.
Such a wonderful word.
Ten minutes later, Lou Yan, wrapped in a towel, walked to the bedroom closet. The majority of the closet was filled with high-end suits. Lou Yan pulled out a more convenient casual suit from a corner and threw it on the bed.
With the shirt on, the suit pants sharp, Lou Yan opened the drawer next to the closet, pulling out the most durable watch from a row.
The man in the mirror had a slender figure, expressionless, fastening the black leather strap firmly. Every bone in Lou Yan seemed to be made of knives, exuding danger and sharpness like an unsheathed cold blade.
Having prepared himself, Lou Yan picked up the backpack, gathering everything useful in the house. A change of clothes, a lighter and flashlight, first aid supplies, compressed biscuits, charger and phone, wallet, and any practical tools he could find at home. He didn’t bring too much; excessive weight would impact his speed in escaping. However, essential items couldn’t be left behind.
After packing, Lou Yan lifted the bag to test the weight, estimating it to be around twenty kilograms.
Fortunately, he had always been a regular at the gym, so this weight was easily manageable.
At eight in the evening, the road outside was no longer congested.
The moon hung coldly in the sky.
Lou Yan hid two fruit knives on his person. After everything was ready, he sat on the sofa, eating freshly cooked instant dumplings, quietly waiting for the arrival of the monster resurgence.
If he just wanted to escape, Lou Yan could leave the neighborhood now. But after escaping for so long in the previous life, what he wanted now was to become stronger.
“Crisis Perception” was not an offensive talent, making Lou Yan always feel helpless in the face of certain dangers. To survive in the world after the monster resurgence without relying on anyone, “Crisis Perception” alone was not enough.
Especially when, in the previous life, he died from the large fire caused by Fu Xuezhou, Lou Yan realized that when the crisis came too fast and too strong, even the talent might not have time to react.
“There’s only one way.” Lou Yan thought.
In the previous life, he had heard of a forbidden legend.
This forbidden legend had appeared from who knows when and from whose mouth. Only a very small number of people had heard it, and Lou Yan happened to learn about it from a pursuer.
It was said that someone had fused with the monsters, gaining the power of these bizarre creatures.
It was said… that Fu Xuezhou had also fused with a monster.
Lou Yan didn’t know if this legend was true or false, but out of curiosity, he had inquired about how one could “fuse” with a monster.
In the previous life, this legend had not been confirmed true or false when Lou Yan died. Still, he wanted to try it out for himself.
If successful, he could become stronger than he was now, with the possibility of killing Fu Xuezhou. If unsuccessful, it would just mean death. After all, Fu Xuezhou would destroy the world in the end, and what difference did it make whether he died sooner or later?
Thinking of this, Lou Yan gave a cold smile, having no fear in his heart.
“At the beginning of the monster resurgence, the resurrected monsters are not very powerful. This is my greatest reliance besides ‘Crisis Perception,'” Lou Yan leaned back on the sofa, contemplating the next plan. “If I can’t find a monster to fuse with in the early stages of the monster resurgence, as their power grows stronger, I will have even less chance of getting close to them alive, let alone fusing with them.”
But this was not entirely advantageous for him.
Even if, due to certain factors, these resurrected bizarre creatures were initially restricted in their power, not all of them were suitable for fusion, and not all of them had equal strength.
Lou Yan’s goal was clear: he needed to find a bizarre creature that was currently limited in power but would become immensely strong in the future. This creature also had to be an extreme existence he could get close to while staying alive. He had to at least preserve his life to have a chance to fuse with the creature. If the fusion failed, he had to ensure he retained the last shred of sanity to end his own life, preventing himself from turning into a bizarre creature and harming humanity.
The first two points were not easy to achieve, but fortunately, Lou Yan possessed the innate talent of “Crisis Perception.” He could judge the strength of bizarre creatures based on the intensity of his crisis perception.
And the third point…
Lou Yan felt the two fruit knives on his body.
This was the reason he carried two knives.
One for the bizarre creature, and one for himself.
Even in death, Lou Yan didn’t want a knife stained with the blood of a bizarre creature to stab into his own body. This was his last dignity as a human.
“Hum, hum, hum.”
The phone alarm vibrated.
Ten o’clock, the time had come.
At the same time, a thin layer of mist suddenly floated outside the French windows, enveloping the entire neighborhood.
Lou Yan walked to the window to look outside, and the lights of the distant national highway and commercial center became blurred.
This was the 16th floor, but the height of the 16th floor couldn’t stop the eerie mist from covering everything, spreading rapidly.
Lou Yan’s heartbeat became slightly faster. He didn’t know if he was nervous or excited. Patiently, he stood, waiting for the awakening of his innate talent.
Soon, Lou Yan felt a wave of dizziness.
His head throbbed like needles piercing through. Lou Yan sat on the floor, supporting himself against the French window. After a full minute of continuous headache, the familiar talent ability appeared in his mind again.
Crisis Perception awakened!
Reiterating the reading guide:
- The entire story is fictional, not based on the real world.
- Don’t believe in superstitions or metaphysics; some settings in the story related to the resurgence of the bizarre are common, and the story adopts some universal settings.