Chapter 75 Savage Expansion (8)
“Don’t want to be a good person, huh?” Lin Zhaohe was wearing a yellow dress. He glared fiercely at the person in front of him. He raised the magic wand in his hand and pointed it at Lin Yan. “There are more capable people in the world than just you!”
Lin Yan endured the intense pain in his body and struggled to get up from the ground. Refusing to admit defeat, he sneered, “You’re nothing more than a yellow banana that only knew how to sneak attack…”
Lin Zhaohe, struck in a sore spot, erupted in anger instantly. Suddenly, countless dots appeared in the narrow space, growing and spinning, transforming into the large bananas that had just sent Lin Yan flying.
Seeing this, Lin Yan swiftly swiped his right hand through the air, creating a black fissure. He reached into the fissure and grabbed a pale blue longsword.
This sword was Lin Yan’s iconic weapon, and Lin Zhaohe naturally knew it. Not only did he know, but he had also personally participated in its design.
At that time, Lu Feihe and he argued about which weapon would be more suitable for Lin Yan: a gun, a sword, or something else.
In the end, Lin Zhaohe persuaded Lu Feihe. He said that since A’Yan was a noble hero who embraced the world, he should wield the weapon of a king, and nothing was better than a sword.
Thus, the ice-blue sword blade in front of him became A’Yan’s iconic weapon.
However, it was this deadly weapon that was about to be used against him.
The cold and brutal gaze of Lin Yan triggered Lin Zhaohe’s terrible memories. He recalled the pitiful state in which Lu Feihe had died. He felt a spark igniting deep in his mind, growing stronger and stronger, until it consumed his sanity completely.
Lin Yan unsheathed the sword and swiftly slashed all the bananas flying towards him into fragments. The icy and sharp sword attacked without mercy wherever he looked. He didn’t originally intend to kill Lin Zhaohe, but Lin Zhaohe’s actions had infuriated him completely. Since one of Lin Yan’s creators, Lu Feihe, was already dead, killing another seemed like an acceptable course of action.
Lin Yan’s gaze turned icy as he watched his sword aura hurtling toward Lin Zhaohe like an unstoppable force. He thought that in the next moment, Lin Zhaohe would be shattered just like the bananas he had sliced.
However, the scene that Lin Yan had envisioned did not unfold.
The indestructible ice-blue sword intent did not hack the fragile body of Yellow Banana Girl into pieces. Instead, it produced the sound of clashing metal and tinkling jade. Through the chaotic flying rocks, Lin Yan surprisingly glimpsed a rabbit mask on Lin Zhaohe’s face, who was dressed in a magical girl’s short skirt.
That mask was familiar to Lin Yan. It was the very item he had been attempting to acquire from the game “Boundary”.
Even though he already knew that Lin Zhaohe had become the owner of this item, Lin Yan’s expression uncontrollably contorted. He looked at Lin Zhaohe’s gorgeous yellow dress, with two furry dog ears on top of his head and a sharp axe in his hand, stained with fresh blood. Those red eyes faintly peeked out from the mask, resembling a monster synthesized from a two-dimensional creation.
Faced with this version of Lin Zhaohe, Lin Yan displayed a hint of hesitation. This hesitation, like the scent emanating from a wounded and ruptured wound, allowed the predator to detect his uncertainty.
In the next moment, Lin Zhaohe leaped up abruptly. The three-meter distance in front of him became as close as a single step. Soaring high, the axe in his hand emitted a horrifying chill. Descending from above with all his strength, he struck fiercely towards Lin Yan.
Lin Yan instinctively blocked this strike with his sword, but he didn’t anticipate the immense strength of Lin Zhaohe. He was forcefully pushed back several steps.
The current Lin Zhaohe, compared to the person Lin Yan had seen on the cruise ship, was a completely different entity. The surge of momentum and ferocious power made Lin Yan hesitate and retreat.
Forced back several meters by Lin Zhaohe’s axe, Lin Yan gritted his teeth and swung his sword, attempting to evade backward. However, with a stomp of his foot, Lin Zhaohe caused several meters of yellow ribbons to burst forth from the ground, tightly entangling Lin Yan.
Lin Yan recognized these ribbons as the Fruit Magical Team’s ultimate move, “Never Let the Enemy Escape Uncleansed.” But as he looked at Yellow Banana Girl wearing the rabbit mask before him, Lin Yan clearly realized that if he continued to be entangled, he would truly be physically cleansed by Lin Zhaohe–
Lin Yan shouted loudly and exerted all his strength to fly away from this situation. However, the resilient yellow ribbons were incredibly strong. He managed to jump back half a meter with all his might, luckily it was enough. Lin Zhaohe’s axe heavily struck the ground, creating a dramatic gash.
“Damn it!” Lin Yan couldn’t help but curse, uttering a line he never expected to say, “Lin Zhaohe, wake the hell up!”
It would have been fine if he had transformed into Joseph, but why did it have to happen in a situation like this? What was the person in front of him now? A magical girl named Joseph?
Lin Zhaohe paid no attention to what Lin Yan was shouting. His vision was filled with red, devoid of rationality. Someone kept whispering in his mind: Kill him, kill him, kill him.
Another missed swing of the axe followed by another one. The heavy axe nearly grazed Lin Yan’s cheek. If his reaction had been even a fraction slower, it would have cleaved his head in half.
Not only was Lin Yan bound by the magical restraints of Yellow Banana Girl, but he also had to dodge Joseph’s axe. His sword blade severed a portion of the ribbons, but new ones immediately replaced them. Countless strips coiled around him like inexhaustible serpents, tightening their grip. Lin Yan had never been in such a wretched state before. He had known the Joseph mask from the “Boundary” was formidable, but now he had a clear understanding. His eyes burned with hatred, and he cursed Lu Feihe, that useless fool. If it weren’t for his incompetence, the mask would be on his face instead of becoming a weapon in Lin Zhaohe’s hands.
Lin Yan was furious and had no effective way to deal with Lin Zhaohe. One evaded while the other struck. In the blink of an eye, the classroom behind them turned into a pile of rubble, and the floor was shattered into pieces, exposing thick steel reinforcements. If they continued like this, the entire floor might collapse.
Lin Yan, cornered and reaching his limit, couldn’t endure it any longer. He stopped evading, standing still, gathering his enery and focus. He tightly gripped the hilt with both hands, the sword’s translucent blade emanating a dazzling blue glow. The black pupils of his eyes sparkled like stars. The surrounding sky suddenly turned black, as if drawing everything in sight into his domain.
The axe, accompanied by a gust of force, swung once again, but this time Lin Yan’s sword skillfully intercepted the strike.
Flames burst forth at the point of contact between the axe and the sword. Lin Zhaohe’s body slightly retreated, seemingly at a disadvantage. However, he suddenly roared, and a yellow banana floated above his head. The two furry ears stood up in anger. Against all odds, he forcefully pushed Lin Yan into a corner. The stars in Lin Yan’s eyes grew brighter, dark clouds gathered in the sky, with flashes of blue lightning swirling within. The imminent and fierce intent to strike was about to unleash itself.
“Lin Yan.” Amidst a daze, Lin Yan suddenly heard someone calling his name. The voice belonged to himself, emanating from the depths of his soul. But it seemed different, as if it were another existence. The voice spoke with a gentle tone tinged with sorrow, attempting to awaken him from the terrifying nightmare.
Lin Yan didn’t want to wake up. He preferred to continue sinking in the horrifying dream.
This momentary distraction caused Lin Yan to instantly fall behind. Radiant red lights gleamed in Lin Zhaohe’s eyes, and crimson blood flowed from his eye sockets. His hand gripping the axe handle bulged with strained veins, exerting all the strength in his body.
Clenching his teeth, Lin Yan forced himself to ignore that eerie voice. He focused his mind and prepared to fight again. However, the sword blade in his hand suddenly loosened, accompanied by a spine-chilling sound that reverberated through Lin Yan’s hand. He lowered his head, eyes widening in astonishment.
The supposedly indestructible divine weapon gradually cracked under Lin Zhaohe’s axe strikes, revealing spreading fractures from bottom to top.
“No!” Lin Yan roared, “It’s impossible!”
Nothing was impossible. The sword blade, like shattered glass, made a soft sound and fragmented into several pieces in the blink of an eye.
Lin Yan stared blankly at the broken sword blade in his hand, without any intention of dodging the axe coming down from Lin Zhaohe.
ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ꜱᴘʟᴜᴛᴛᴇʀɪɴɢ ꜱᴏᴜɴᴅ, ᴛʜᴇ ꜱʜᴀʀᴘ ʙʟᴀᴅᴇ ᴘɪᴇʀᴄᴇᴅ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ ʟɪɴ ʏᴀɴ’ꜱ ʙᴏᴅʏ. ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴏʀᴍᴏᴜꜱ ᴀxᴇ ꜱᴛʀᴜᴄᴋ ʜɪꜱ ᴄʜᴇꜱᴛ, ᴇᴍᴇʀɢɪɴɢ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ʜɪꜱ ʙᴀᴄᴋ, ᴘɪᴇʀᴄɪɴɢ ʜɪᴍ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ. ᴀ ɢᴜꜱʜ ᴏꜰ ᴄʀɪᴍꜱᴏɴ ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ᴇʀᴜᴘᴛᴇᴅ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀꜰᴀʟʟ, ꜱᴛᴀɪɴɪɴɢ ʟɪɴ ᴢʜᴀᴏʜᴇ’ꜱ ᴄʜᴇᴇᴋꜱ.
Lin Yan’s face turned pale. His gaze, filled with complex emotions, fixed upon Lin Zhaohe and the shattered pieces of the sword blade scattered on the ground.
In the instant the blood stained him, Lin Zhaohe snapped out of his frenzied state. He stared blankly at Lin Yan, whose body was impaled by his axe, and at the debris around them, unsure of how to react.
After hesitating for a moment, Lin Zhaohe pulled the axe out of Lin Yan’s body. Without support, Lin Yan instantly collapsed to the ground. He struggled to stay half-kneeling in place, using the last of his strength.
“Are… are you okay?” Lin Zhaohe was slightly panicked. He was angered by Lin Yan’s words and reactions but didn’t truly intend to kill him.
Lin Yan forced a bitter smile, opening his mouth and spitting out a mouthful of blood, as if trying to say, “Look at me, do I seem fine?”
Lin Zhaohe said, “Wait, I’ll get you out…” He regained his senses, the rabbit mask no longer on his face. He hurriedly approached Lin Yan, intending to lift him up from the ground. However, Lin Yan’s wounds were too severe. The axe had nearly split him in half, creating a massive hole that could be seen through from the front to the back. He now resembled a disintegrating ragdoll. Lin Zhaohe didn’t dare touch him.
“Don’t touch me.” With all his strength exhausted, Lin Yan managed to say those three words.
Upon hearing Lin Yan’s words, Lin Zhaohe withdrew his outstretched hand, thinking that this person truly had principles, even in the face of death, he wouldn’t allow any contact. Carefully rummaging in his pocket, Lin Zhaohe hoped to find something like a bandage to help stop Lin Yan’s bleeding. However, due to the recent fight, he had lost everything in his pocket. After searching for a while, he pulled out a band-aid… Lin Zhaohe gestured to Lin Yan and silently tore open the band-aid. He placed it on a small cut on Lin Yan’s face caused by a stone. As for the wound on Lin Yan’s chest—applying a band-aid there would be like pouring a cup of water into a burning house.
Lin Yan couldn’t help but chuckle at Lin Zhaohe’s cautious and pitiful appearance. He coughed up a few more mouthfuls of blood and said resentfully, “I don’t need your pity!”
Lin Zhaohe awkwardly laughed and said, “Big Brother, you’re so fierce. I really didn’t mean it. I haven’t used my full strength, and yet you’ve already fallen. It seems that the popularity of children’s anime and Lu Feihe’s character is slightly higher. Please don’t spit up blood. I truly didn’t mean to provoke you.”
Lin Yan suspected that Lin Zhaohe was intentionally doing this. Apologizing for the jab, he was just thinking of annoying himself to death. He took a deep breath, suppressing the churning emotions within him, and tremblingly said, “Help me pick it up… the fragments.” He pointed to the side.
Following his finger, Lin Zhaohe looked at the scattered fragments of the sword blade on the ground. His breath hitched, his reaction similar to Lin Yan’s upon seeing the shattered blade. The blood drained from his face as he murmured, “How… how did it break?”
“Yes,” Lin Yan whispered softly, “How did it break?”
According to the original work’s setting, this was a weapon constructed by Lin Yan’s soul, forged by his very essence. It was the most resilient weapon in that world, invincible and capable of vanquishing any evil.
However, now it had effortlessly shattered before them. The fragments still emitted a faint glow. Lin Zhaohe held them in his hand but couldn’t help feeling that they weren’t like blade edges but fragile, easily breakable shards of glass.
Following Lin Yan’s instructions, Lin Zhaohe carefully collected the scattered pieces from the ground. Unfortunately, the sword blade had shattered completely, leaving only a few large fragments. Trying to piece them back together to their original form seemed utterly impossible.
Despite defeating Lin Yan, Lin Zhaohe didn’t feel much satisfaction as he looked at the sword that Lu Feihe cherished, now in its current state. He pursed his lips, the more he picked up the broken pieces, the more unpleasant his expression became. Finally, when he presented the fragments to Lin Yan, tears had welled up in his eyes.
“How did it break?” he murmured incessantly, wiping his face with his hand. “I’ve gathered them all for you.”
Lin Yan pressed his lips together and reached out, embracing the fragments that Lin Zhaohe had collected. His actions and expression were so cautious, as if he was cradling not a blade, but something fragile and dear. He paid no attention to the cuts on his palm.
Blood continued to flow from the massive wound, pooling on the ground, filling the air with the scent of death.
Lin Yan held the blade in his hand and laughed self-mockingly, saying that he deserved this.
“Don’t say such things,” Lin Zhaohe said in a dry tone. Although he knew that the person before him wasn’t the good Lin Yan, since they were both facing death, he didn’t want to be so harsh.
“Indeed, I deserve it,” Lin Yan sighed. He extended his hand and embedded the broken pieces of the blade into his own body. His expression was indifferent, as if he no longer felt any pain. One piece after another, the blade pierced into his body, but there wasn’t much blood flowing out. It seemed that he was nourishing the shattered blade in this manner.
It didn’t hurt him, but Lin Zhaohe watched in pain. He reached out, wanting to intervene, but was rejected by Lin Yan. Lin Yan looked up at him, the blue stars still shimmering in his black eyes, breathtakingly beautiful. In his pupils, reflected the youthful face of Lin Zhaohe. Lin Zhaohe, I know you don’t believe me, but I have some advice to give you.”
Lin Zhaohe smiled bitterly, “In your current condition, I suggest you just say the advice outright.” His appearance seemed as if he would pass away if he spoke a few more words.
Lin Yan, in a disheveled state, laughed self-mockingly and said, “Don’t trust Zhuang Lao.”
Lin Zhaohe was taken aback.
Lin Yan continued, “He is the source of calamity, the most untrustworthy person.”
Lin Zhaohe recalled the memories of Lin Yan he saw at the witch’s, where Zhuang Lao’s face did indeed appear. However, it seemed like only he could see it, while others couldn’t. He furrowed his brow and asked, “What did he do? Have you encountered him somewhere?”
Lin Yan shook his head, “I can’t explain it clearly.”
“If you can’t explain clearly, how can I believe your words? I shouldn’t trust him, but should I trust you?”
Lin Yan pondered for a moment and replied, “That’s true.”
“But words from someone on the verge of death often carry wisdom,” Lin Zhaohe said. “If you have anything else to say, say it all together. I’ll try not to interrupt you.”
Lin Yan was puzzled and asked, “Who told you I’m on the verge of death?”
Lin Zhaohe looked at the massive gash on his body. With a wound that large, where he could even put his hand inside, how could he not die?
Through Lin Zhaohe’s expression, Lin Yan roughly understood what this guy was thinking. Sometimes, he found people like him the most infuriating—never concealing their thoughts. Just now, he had a face full of gentle sorrow, like a father bidding farewell to his son. And now, he was already contemplating whether his hand could reach inside the wound. Judging by his fidgeting fingers, he seemed eager to give it a try.
Lin Yan took a deep, deep breath, telling himself not to bother with someone like Lin Zhaohe, to spare both him and himself—
Lin Zhaohe was still fixated on examining Lin Yan’s wound, wondering how he would go about sealing that hole. Suddenly, he saw Lin Yan produce a black sphere from somewhere. The shape of that sphere was familiar to Lin Zhaohe—it was the thing that had turned him into a little dog before.
Seeing this object, Lin Zhaohe reacted swiftly. He immediately jumped away, cautiously watching Lin Yan, thinking he didn’t want to experience another adventure as a little dog.
But Lin Yan didn’t even spare him a glance. He casually crushed the black sphere in his hand, creating a burst of black smoke.
After the smoke dissipated, his figure, which was sitting on the ground, disappeared without a trace.
Lin Zhaohe stared at the empty ground, pounding his chest and stamping his feet, cursing loudly.
Sure enough, someone who was accustomed to doing good deeds couldn’t do something evil. Lin Yan had killed so many people and even wanted to kill him. After he had severely injured him, he thought Lin Yan was as good as dead, but he never expected him to strike back.
Honestly, even if he knew in advance that Lin Yan would escape, Lin Zhaohe might not have been able to bring himself to act. In all the years of the apocalypse, he had never truly killed someone similar to himself. If he truly wanted to take action, he would probably hesitate for a long time.
It took Lin Zhaohe a while to recover from this situation. He thought that since Lin Yan had left, he would go find Zhuang Lao and the others. But when he looked around, he stood frozen in place.
The previously lively and nostalgically soothing memories of the beautiful campus were gone, replaced by a gloomy and terrifying building. There were no lights, no students, only dilapidated structures and sticky blood underfoot.
Lin Zhaohe was frightened by this atmosphere. He abruptly stepped back a few steps, nearly colliding with the glass behind him. However, when he turned around and looked at himself in the reflection, he was on the verge of crying from fright.
On his shoulders, one on the left and one on the right, sat two women in red robes, like door gods guarding Lin Zhaohe’s head—exactly as Yun Yuzi described them earlier.
Hearing about something from others and witnessing it with one’s own eyes were quite different. Lin Zhaohe was so scared that his whole body went numb. It took him a while before he tremblingly waved at his own reflection in the glass, “Hi, how are you?”
The two door gods on his shoulders also waved back at him.
Lin Zhaohe: “……” Woohoohoo. Mom, I want to go home.
The assertiveness he had shown when facing Lin Yan just a moment ago vanished instantly. Lin Zhaohe hunched his shoulders, drooped the plush ears on his head, resembling a little dog with its scruff grasped, wishing he could find a safe hole nearby to hide in.
Unfortunately, there were no holes or anything to burrow into. He still carried the weight of two imposing deities on his shoulders. His consciousness began to drift towards the distance, feeling that he was not far from being startled into madness.
Lin Zhaohe reached into his pocket and took out his communicator, dialing Zhuang Lao’s number. He didn’t really expect to get through, but to his surprise, after a moment, he heard Zhuang Lao’s voice on the other end of the communicator.
“Hello,” Zhuang Lao said, “Is that Lin Zhaohe?”
Upon hearing his voice, Lin Zhaohe couldn’t contain the grievances hidden in his heart any longer. In a trembling voice, he called out, “Boss!”
“What’s wrong? Where are you now? Are you injured?” He tried to maintain a calm tone, but the underlying anxiety was unmistakable.
Lin Zhaohe said, “I don’t know where I am.” He looked around and saw the pitch-black building. This place seemed to be a separate part, detached from the fusion area where Zhuang Lao and the others were. He continued, “I saw Lin Yan… the one who did something bad.”
Zhuang Lao: “He’s there too? Are you okay?”
Lin Zhaohe felt wronged and explained how viciously Lin Yan had attacked him, even leaving a cut on his neck, which had turned red.
Upon hearing this, Zhuang Lao furrowed his brow tightly, his tone becoming somber. “Is he still with you? Did you manage to hide? Are you safe?”
Lin Zhaohe: “I scared him away…”
Zhuang Lao: “?”
Lin Zhaohe honestly said, “I hit him with an axe.”
Such a casually described act reminded Zhuang Lao of a scene of someone carrying an axe and indiscriminately attacking people on a cruise ship during a trip. He didn’t really care about Lin Yan’s well-being. If he managed to escape, it was just his luck. If Lin Zhaohe had killed him with the axe, it would be a deserved punishment. Zhuang Lao reassured him, “As long as you’re safe, don’t worry about him. It seems you’ve entered a different fusion area. Turn on the locator on your communicator and find an open space. I’ll try to locate and find you as soon as possible.”
As Zhuang Lao heard Lin Zhaohe’s response, he initially intended to give him some advice. However, his communicator suddenly emitted electronic interference, as if something was interfering with the signal. Soon after, he heard a beep, indicating that the communication had been cut off from Lin Zhaohe’s end.
“Is Xiao He alright?” Yun Yuzi asked, filled with concern.
“He’s fine for now,” Zhuang Lao replied, observing Lin Zhaohe’s location on his communicator. His brow furrowed even deeper.
Glancing at the screen of Zhuang Lao’s communicator, Yun Yuzi exclaimed in astonishment, “How did Xiao He run so fast? He’s already inside Min’an Street!” Judging from the displayed location, Lin Zhaohe was now two kilometers away from them, right in the core area of Min’an District. Under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but with the current high fusion level, it was practically impossible to reach the depths of Min’an Street through the dense forest within half an hour.
“Let’s go,” Zhuang Lao said. “We have to hurry and catch up.”
On the other end, Lin Zhaohe felt disheartened as he listened to the incessant beeping from his communicator. He was genuinely afraid of the two creatures perched on his shoulder. Although he had grown accustomed to being frightened by them, it didn’t mean he willingly sought intimate encounters with them.
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