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Vigilance was paramount for survival.
As the elevator doors opened, Lin Feng’s hand eased off the weapon at his waist, recognizing his comrade with a mix of relief and concern. He couldn’t help but notice the black blood staining Liu Mengqi’s clothing.
“You guys took longer than expected. Did you run into trouble?”
Song Zhe emerged, flicking black blood from his hand axe. “We were ambushed by about a dozen zombies underground.”
“Sounds like everyone could use a shower. Men and women will use separate rooms. Choose the double rooms near the fire escape. I’ll stay here and guard the elevator entrance; you all go ahead.”
Lin Feng directed them towards the rooms, searching through their mall-sourced supplies. Meanwhile, Song Zhe, Hao Jian, Anna, and Liu Mengqi dispersed to their respective rooms.
Lin Feng quickly set up his defense system, tying small, delicate bells with hemp rope above the elevator and repeating the setup near the fire escape. The faint sound of these bells would be enough to alert him to any danger, without drawing the attention of distant zombies.
Once he checked his handgun’s ammunition, Lin Feng approached the girls’ room. The sound of water splashing was audible even through the door. It was probably Liu Mengqi who was showering right now while Anna waited outside.
“Anna?” he called out, noticing her unusual silence since he had disclosed his true gender in a car conversation.
“Make sure to secure this room once I leave. Wedge a chair between the door and the wall. We’ll be on guard outside. If you need anything, just call out for me. And help her get rid of the alcohol smell with a towel.”
Anna nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation.
Lin Feng then turned to Anna. “How’s your wound? It looked serious.”
“Don’t worry about me, Lil– Lin Feng,” she said with evident pride. “A small injury like this is nothing for someone from the E country’s warrior nation.”
Satisfied, Lin Feng prepared to leave. But Anna’s voice halted him.
“Wait! Are you really a boy?”
“Yes. Look, I’m sorry about what happened in the bathroom, but you were…”
Just then, Liu Mengqi emerged from the bathroom, retreating in a flurry of embarrassment upon seeing Lin Feng.
“I’ll leave you two,” he said, pointing to a chair Anna could use to secure the door, and left, closing it behind him.
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Back in his room, Lin Feng donned fresh, comfortable hotel pajamas he’d found in a drawer. Dressed in the pajamas and a down jacket, he started his vigil, gazing at the starry sky through the hotel’s glass ceiling.
Suddenly, a shadow darted across the glass. Lin Feng rubbed his eyes, wondering if he’d imagined it. Had something large just flown overhead on the fortieth floor? It was hard to be certain – all he saw was a fleeting, dark shape against the night sky.