Chapter 73.1 Savage Expansion (6)
Xiao Yu took the broom that her companion handed over and joined in the cleaning.
“What does that mean?” asked Yun Yuzi. “You said people would almost be dead after eight months. How come there are still over twenty here? Did people from other places come to replace them?”
Xiao Yu shrugged and said, “If you don’t mind staying here a little longer, you’ll probably find out by tomorrow morning.”
Yun Yuzi’s brow furrowed, unsure of what to say.
Because of the monster’s attacks, almost half of the twenty or thirty people had died, and some were seriously injured. The remaining unharmed individuals didn’t seem inclined to help the injured ones. They left them lying in a corner, quietly losing their strength. Meanwhile, the others had already finished cleaning the rooms and started fixing the damaged walls. They worked with ease, as if they had done it countless times before.
“It’s dawn,” a faint light broke through the thick fog. Lin Zhaohe had been awake all night and felt a bit tired. They found a corner to rest in.
Yun Yuzi cautiously observed the remaining people. She felt that something about this group was abnormal. They gave off an eerie vibe beneath their calm facade.
“Someone is coming,” Lin Zhaohe suddenly sat up. In the distance, faint figures emerged from the fog. “Wait, are those monsters?” As the figures drew nearer, Lin Zhaohe noticed they were taller than regular folks and seemed to have two heads.
Lin Zhaohe quickly became alert, pulling out his gun and getting ready for anything.
Yun Yuzi joined in, staying on guard. Only Zhuang Lao squinted his eyes, waved his hand, and said, “They’re not monsters.”
“Then what are they?” Yun Yuzi asked.
“It’s Mr. Li.”
To be precise, it was Mr. Li with Lin Yan perched on his shoulder.
Since becoming a girl, Lin Yan had become quite dainty. At this moment, he confidently sat on Mr. Li’s shoulder, while Mr. Li carefully supported him, afraid he might fall.
It wasn’t that Lin Yan insisted on riding there. It was mainly because the grass around was too tall. Standing on the ground, the less-than-one-meter-sixty-centimeter-tall Lin Yan would be left with just his head visible. Seeing how uncomfortable it made Mr. Li, he decided to make himself more comfortable and settled on Mr. Li’s shoulder.
Lin Yan had slender arms and legs, weighing less than ninety pounds. He held onto Lin Zhaohe like a doll. Ever since they entered the fusion zone, they had been searching for Zhuang Lao and the others. However, due to the unreliable communication device, it wasn’t until just before daybreak when they heard a loud noise that they followed the sound and finally found the building before them.
“Mr. Li!” Lin Zhaohe exclaimed in relief upon realizing they weren’t monsters.
“Finally, we found you,” Mr. Li said. “Damn, can this fusion zone get any worse? Flies and mosquitoes the size of fists. A few more and they could bite me to death.”
Lin Yan asked, “What’s the situation with you guys? You look all bloody but seemingly unharmed.”
“We’re fine,” Lin Zhaohe replied. “No injuries.”
Lin Yan: “So, these few are the survivors?”
Lin Zhaohe glanced at the people who were still cleaning, momentarily unsure how to explain. Calling them survivors seemed inadequate, as they appeared to be more than just survivors. Describing them as some other creatures would also be misleading, as they seemed to be humans.
The house was once again cleaned, with the remains of those humans all disposed of in the trash.
Xiao Yu grew tired from sweeping and rested beside Lin Zhaohe, setting the broom aside.
Lin Zhaohe asked how old Xiao Yu was. After some thought, she replied that she would turn 27 next month.
“You look quite young. I thought you were barely twenty.”
Xiao Yu smiled and said it was probably because time froze at twenty years old. The days that followed were no longer lived by oneself. She looked towards the fog and softly said, “They’re back.”
They had returned.
Figures moved in the fog, gradually becoming clear as they approached from afar. They reached the entrance of the iron gate and, one after another, entered the house.
The leader had a thin face, short hair, and a long coat. In his hand, he held a black □□, none other than Brother Dong, who had died under the monster’s feet last night. He spotted Xiao Yu and smiled, waving his hand towards her.
Xiao Yu got up and walked over. Brother Dong reached into his pocket and took out a candy, unwrapping it and placing it in her mouth. “Hmm, it’s been a long time since you tasted this flavor.”
It was the taste of mint. Xiao Yu grinned with her mouth open, her eyes filled with a hint of moisture. “Brother Dong, come inside quickly. The house has been cleaned.”
“No rush,” Brother Dong looked at Zhuang Lao and Lin Zhaohe, his gaze vigilant.
“I have no intention of getting involved in your lives,” Zhuang Lao’s tone was cold and indifferent, just like when facing the monsters. “Don’t bother me, and I won’t bother you.”
Brother Dong looked into Zhuang Lao’s dark eyes, as if he wanted to say something. In the end, he didn’t say it, waved his hand, and turned away.
Xiao Yu followed behind him, casually saying, “Brother Dong, I’m hungry and craving meat.”
Brother Dong replied, “Then tonight, let’s have a good meal.”
The extremely thin man appeared in the crowd again, seemingly unaware that he was about to become everyone’s food.
“Back then, the eighth floor was actually sealed off,” Xiao Yu sighed as she explained. “Some annoying ghosts, for their own selfish desires, let that thing in. We didn’t have any abilities, just ordinary people. What could we do?” She smiled. “But to survive until now, I have to thank him.”
Lin Zhaohe’s group remained silent. Zhuang Lao couldn’t be bothered to speak, while Lin Zhaohe and Yun Yuzi didn’t quite understand.
These people had clearly died last night, yet today they appeared unharmed in front of them, and it seemed it wasn’t the first time.
Yun Yuzi frowned and suddenly mentioned that she had seen this plot somewhere before.
Lin Zhaohe looked at her, using his eyes to ask where she had seen it.
“In a subscribed magazine,” Yun Yuzi’s expression became somewhat distant as she recalled something. “Back when I was in high school, there were a few well-known horror magazines. They talked about the sudden arrival of the apocalypse, with people unable to defeat the monsters that emerged at night. They hid in the building and resisted. Later, some accidents happened, and the building was breached, but the residents inside didn’t die. They would die today but return tomorrow. The female protagonist was very curious and wanted to investigate what was happening but ended up being killed by a monster…” She couldn’t remember the exact details of the plot, but she vaguely remembered the gist because she liked the story a lot.
“After dying, the female protagonist also came back,” Yun Yuzi said. “She discovered the secret belonging to them… It seems there was some special power that could resurrect all dead things.” People would come back to life, and monsters would also come back. The world had become an inescapable maze.
“You remember all of that?” Lin Zhaohe admired.
“Hmm,” Yun Yuzi laughed bitterly. “I remember because the female protagonist was named Xiao Yu, and it sounded a bit like my name.”
Xiao Yu, Xiao Yu, there are so many Xiao Yus in the world. Yun Yuzi thought it was just a coincidence, not realizing that the two of them had once crossed paths in their youth, one within the pages of a book and the other outside of it.
Yun Yuzi, lost in thought, gazed at Xiao Yu’s figure as countless memories slowly surfaced from the depths of her mind.
Back then, she was just a high school student, reading captivating novels and fantasizing about going on adventures with the protagonists.
Now, her fantasies had come true, but there was no longer an ounce of joy when she looked at the characters from those novels. The worlds constructed by those words had become real, the pleasures were real, and so were the pains.
“Should we take them out?” Lin Yan, who hadn’t read the novel and didn’t know what had happened, furrowed his brow and hesitated. “Even if they’re resurrected, they’re still part of humanity. I can take them outside.”
“Do you want to leave this place?” Lin Zhaohe asked loudly.
The people in the room were busy with their own tasks, either repairing walls or tidying chairs. Xiao Yu squatted beside Brother Dong, watching him diligently fix a broken chair. When she heard Lin Zhaohe’s voice, she showed no reaction, not even turning her head.
“The outside world is normal,” Yun Yuzi continued Lin Zhaohe’s words, raising her voice. “Once we’re out, we won’t be trapped here anymore! There won’t be any of those monsters…”
Xiao Yu finally turned her head and said, “Are you sure?”
Yun Yuzi: “I’m sure!”
Xiao Yu: “Then the ghost in the red dress, wasn’t she brought in from outside by you all?”
Yun Yuzi was suddenly at a loss for words, realizing that she couldn’t refute it. Joining her in silence was Lin Zhaohe, who had the pale face of the ghost and the terrifying little wooden tower flashing before his eyes. Their confidence was instantly shattered, and Lin Zhaohe even decided to go back and have a proper discussion with A’Yao. If he was willing to take care of this as well, that would be great.
“She didn’t cause any substantial harm to me,” Yun Yuzi said with a faltering voice.
Hearing this, Xiao Yu shook her head vigorously, resembling a tambourine. She said that she had been here for eight years, and she knew the appearance of the monsters around her very well. She wouldn’t be scared by them. However, the red-dressed ghost was something completely beyond her limits. Just the thought of it made her whole body weak, her scalp tingling. It was only a matter of time before she was scared to death with a heart paralyzed. Besides, there was nothing wrong with being here. She didn’t have to worry about anything. As long as she followed the routine every day, she could live a relaxed life.
After listening, Yun Yuzi fell silent for a moment, glanced at Lin Zhaohe, and then asked Xiao Yu, “Do you still accept newcomers here?”
Zhuang Lao & Lin Zhaohe: “?”
Yun Yuzi said, “I was joking…” It was fine not to mention the ghost, but once she brought it up, it was mentally exhausting.
Lin Zhaohe forced a smile and comforted Yun Yuzi, telling her not to be afraid. He had used his frail body to seal the ghost. Yun Yuzi glanced at him and said, “I know. Didn’t I see her riding on your shoulder?”
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