|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
“Let’s go help out at the bridge as well.” As I said that, I turned around wistfully to look at the mangled human corpses around me, a pang of guilt running through me once more…
The girls seemed to have noticed my silence as well, their eyes staring at the dozen or so dead survivors before us, a mix of armored and unarmored…
We should have been more careful… this wasn’t an unavoidable situation…
“Let’s not dwell on this too much, all we can do right now is look after ourselves, as for the others… we will do our best.” I said to the girls with a sigh, though in all likelihood, that comforting was meant for my upset self. But even if we cried ourselves to death now, they weren’t coming back.
“Ke, you want to get into an exosuit first? I still have some spare exosuits over here.” Said Bitong, voice gloomy, though one could see she was trying to cheer up. “I’m sure the air outside smells really bad right now.”
In the battle just now, I had abandoned my exosuit midway, and though I did not get hurt or even touch anything unclean, the smell of blood was still strong on me. With so much death hanging in the air, her offer honestly sounded tempting.
As she suggested, I hopped into one of the exosuits she had been remotely controlling – the air immediately felt cleaner thanks to the built-in purification systems. Yet just barely a second after stepping into the machine, I heard Bitong muttering to herself.
“If I had just given those three spare exosuits to the survivors…”
Hearing that, I felt my heart wrench once more. “It’s not your fault, even if you had given them the suits, it would have caused more trouble in the end.”
The girls fell silent again.
If Bitong had really given the survivors those exosuits then, how were we to even apportion them? Everyone was a little selfish at the end of the day, especially when it came to their lives. There would have been no way to fairly give out the suits, and it would have sparked a conflict amongst the contingent. Rather than sow the seeds of envy and hatred, it would be better just to use those exosuits to fight off any potential foes.
Besides, I would feel a lot safer if there were three more exosuits guarding the girls – that was my little bit of selfishness.
Just like that, we solemnly walked up to the bridge, a pall of silence hanging over us all the while. Together with the survivors, we started helping out with the clean up.
“You have my thanks.” Seeing us volunteer to help, 3739 did his best to liven up his voice as he greeted us, though we all knew he was feeling the loss too. “Had it not been for you guys… we might not have even survived long enough for Captain to help us…”
Captain? That mysterious sniper and his detachable bits?
“It’s okay, everyone here is just trying their best to survive.”
“No need to be modest, I saw your performance just now. It was awe-inspiring, like a goddess of war from the legends.” One of the police officers, whose number was 5514, suddenly chimed in. “To be honest, I was really sweating buckets just now when I saw you leap out of your exosuit… Truly heart-pounding! If there is truly a goddess in this world, I’m sure it would be you with your amazing skills and perfect looks.”
“Ahem. I think there’s been some misunderstanding here. I’m a guy.” I immediately rebutted, head pounding a little at this point from annoyance. “Please do not twist my gender around like that, thank you very much.”
“No way! I’ve seen you in the photos before!” 5514 clearly had no intention of giving up on that delusion, it seemed. “You’re a waitress in that maid cafe in Phoenix City, right? My friend has your photo, he was taking part in some War for the Goddess, or something… I think it was some kind of money spending competition…”
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As he said that, he only got more excited by the second, and I only got more uneasy. “I think you’ve got the wrong person.”
“Impossible. There can’t be another girl in this world as dazzling as you!” As if to prove his point, he whipped out a photo. “See. That’s you, isn’t it?”
Within that photo was me sitting on a throne, prepared especially by Aunty Qiao during that scam of a competition. Sister Qingshui was our hostess then…
(TL: ****. I’ve been spelling Qiaoqiao as Jiaojiao all this while… Also, I’m sure all these names are supposed to be Japanese… too late to change now… They function as Chinese names as well so…)
Essentially, whoever threw the most money my way would have the opportunity to hang out with me… A battle of the wallets, so to speak… Honestly, it felt a little wrong to me, but Auntie Qiao had already spent so much money for my sake, so I had to pay her back somehow…
Seeing the look of surprise on my face, 5514 smiled and said, “Besides, I’ve already checked your details – your gender is listed as female.”
Listed as female… I silently turned around to look at Bitong. Even through her exosuit, and even though she was remotely controlling a couple of exosuits right now, I could tell that her eyes were burning with murder right now as they stared holes into me…
“Hey, 5514, stop dawdling over there and do your work.” Another police officer, 8931 chimed in then. He was the exosuit that was wielding that beam sword just now. From his mature voice, he was probably the oldest here, and most likely the squad leader.
“Alright, whatever you say, leader.” Since his squad leader had already given the word, even he did not dare to linger any longer.
“I’m sorry for that… 5514 is a little off in the head. He can’t really feel much emotion… one of the deceased just now was his best friend who often visited him in the hospital…” 8931 explained apologetically. “He was supposed to be recovering in the hospital, but this mission was too urgent, so he was recalled as well…”
So he’s emotionally deficient then, no wonder he seemed a little weird just now. Who else would rattle on about some silly competition while standing in a pile of his dead comrades… Makes sense now…
Ever the inquisitive little girl, Qiaoqiao couldn’t help but ask in an innocent voice, “But if he’s crazy, why is he on the battlefield then?”
“Because this crisis came too suddenly. There weren’t enough policemen around. So as long as they were in Southern Plains, they were all called back…” As 8931 said that, I could hear the tiredness in his voice. “Not only 5514, as long as that policeman was able to move, he came back to report for duty…”
“Oh right, there’s been a question I’ve been meaning to ask.” I suddenly quipped, having thought of something. “Those twenty or so policemen just now, why didn’t they have an exosuit? Does the police force not have enough suits?”
“No. The police force has always maintained sufficient exosuits for its official members. As for those policemen you saw just now… they were all backup service members, administrative officers, and retired officers… They all volunteered to help out… even though they knew that there wouldn’t be enough exosuits…”
“Don’t be. This is a premeditated terrorist attack, there is no one in the city who is spared. As police officers, we have the duty to protect the citizens, even if that officer is no longer in service, or isn’t a frontline officer…” He said through gritted teeth. I had no doubt that if the perpetrator were to ever appear before him, he would immediately slice that person up into pieces.
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“In that case, I salute you. You are all brave warriors.” There really wasn’t much else I could think of to say at this moment. Those officers who paid the ultimate price were all heroes deserving of our respect!
“At this rate, it shouldn’t take long before Northern Waters Bridge is cleared. You guys can cross over at that point, but…” 8931 paused at that point…
“What?” A sense of foreboding crept into me.
After some deliberation, he finally asked, “Are you planning to leave Northern Plains?”
“That’s right, it should only be another ten kilometers or so to the outskirts after crossing this bridge. As long as we keep heading south, we should be able to leave the city.”
“I’m afraid that last part might be difficult. The civilian net has been shut off, so you guys don’t know yet… The military lines are still open, and all I can tell you is that the exits have all been sealed off…”
“Sealed off? By who? The monsters?”
If it was just zombies blocking the way, we could just steamroll right through them. Those scorpion-tailed skeletons might prove difficult…
“Not monsters, it’s…” 8931 deliberately stopped at that point.
Not the monsters? That only leaves the humans then.
“In order to prevent the virus from spreading outside?” Bitong was the first to pick up on the answer. “That serum was extremely popular, but most of its customers were all in Northern Plains. In other words, there are barely any zombies in the other cities. Seeing as they can’t cause too much of a problem, the enemy’s main target should be this city!”
“You are right… Based on the information I’ve been given, the only city to have suffered is Northern Plains…”
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