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“Damn, these zombies are relentless!” The brilliant morning sun roused a certain cat boy from his slumber atop a tree branch.
Lin Feng stretched his tail and, with a deft combination of hand and tail, used a slender twig to secure his long hair into a ponytail. From his elevated vantage point, he assessed the mass of zombies congregated below.
Last night’s memory flashed before him. He recalled his audacious plunge into the heart of the zombie horde, his glowing phone acting as a beacon that drew hundreds of ravenous undead towards him. Relief had surged through him when he’d seen Anna find safety on the other side of the corridor.
After leading the relentless swarm on an exhaustive chase, Lin Feng had finally scaled a tall tree, using his tattered clothing as make-shift bindings to anchor himself. Ensconced in his hair blanket and warmed by his tail, he had endured the night’s challenges.
His clothing had further deteriorated due to his curling sleep motions, now resembling a patchwork quilt of wear and tear. However, the anticipation of fresh clothes, waiting for him back in his classroom, stirred a ray of hope amidst the chaos.
A distant growl jolted Lin Feng back to the present. The sight of the tree surrounded by dozens of zombies and the pain from his injured leg made him realize the gravity of his predicament. But for his evasive maneuvers the previous night, the mob below would have surely been more daunting.
Feeling the pangs of hunger, he foraged what he could, settling on some bird eggs. Drained from the previous night’s adventures and his mysterious abilities, he even momentarily considered the tree leaves edible.
Experimentally, he brought a leaf close:
This is meat~
Juicy, succulent meat~
Tender, delectable fish~
And crispy dried fish~
Bleh! Bleh! Bleh!
Suspended from the sturdy branch, Lin Feng watched the zombies below with amusement, their outstretched hands trying in vain to grab his tantalizingly close feet. He chuckled, drawing his foot back and playfully swinging his tail. However, the grumbling in his stomach reminded him that his situation was far from humorous.
Time drifted on, with Lin Feng lounging languidly against the comforting embrace of the tree.
Beneath the tree, the zombies persisted, their hands grasping ever upwards. To Lin Feng, they resembled zealous fans, ceaselessly devoted and tireless. Yet their presence didn’t sate Lin Feng’s craving for food, and he lamented his longing for simple delights like tiny fish and barbecued meats.
In a moment of hunger-driven desperation, Lin Feng gnawed on a piece of tree bark, laboriously grinding and swallowing it down. Boredom then drove him to fashion his ponytail and tail into an unsophisticated bowtie. With ears drooping and eyes distant, he fixated on the insatiable swarm below.
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Suddenly, the twang of an arrow cut through his reverie. Lin Feng, instantly alert, peered about to identify the source.
Whoosh! Snap! Snap! Snap!
Within half an hour, the grounds below were littered with fallen zombies. Among them stood a confident figure, striking a dynamic pose, clearly basking in his triumph.
“It appears you needed some assistance, milady” the man remarked with a playful smirk.
“Hao Jian, the Archery Club president, is that you?” Lin Feng asked, his tone a blend of recognition and curiosity.
A flicker of surprise crossed Hao Jian’s eyes. “Do you know me?”
“Lady– Ahem. I’ve read tons about your archery exploits on the uni forum,” Lin Feng remarked with a grin. “Your skills have practically reached legendary status among the students.” In reality, Lin Feng seldom visited the school’s forum. He had once encountered Hao Jian at the Archery Club. And though his appearance had evolved since then, making him somewhat of a stranger to Hao Jian, he remembered the man’s name for a whimsical reason: “Hao Jian”, when played with words, sounded amusingly like “good arrow” and “mischievously cheap”.
Laughing, Hao Jian replied, “I never imagined a beauty like you would follow my achievements.” He stepped forward, evidently preparing to aid Lin Feng down from his perch. But upon seeing Lin Feng’s injured foot, he appeared poised to lift him gently from the tree.
Lin Feng waved off the offer with a casual smile, using a branch for balance. Inside, he couldn’t help but think how weird it’d be getting scooped up by such a big dude. One thing’s for certain, his “little brother” would never let him live it down.
“Thanks for the save,” Lin Feng remarked with a casual nod. “But I’ve got to head out now. Let’s hope our paths cross again sometime.” Thinking back to his past run-ins with the principal and Zhu Hanfang, he figured it was smart to tread carefully, even around familiar faces like Hao Jian. Especially in his injured state.
However, a hand rose to block his path.
Lin Feng’s tail twitched, irritation evident in his narrowed eyes. “What’s your game?” he challenged, staring intently at the Archery Club’s president.
“A true gentleman doesn’t abandon an injured woman. Let me assist you,” Hao Jian replied, offering support to Lin Feng as they moved towards the archery hall.
Lin Feng, fatigued, held back any further protests. He observed Hao Jian’s attire— the precise uniform of the archers, a machete strapped to his waist, and a prominent longbow slung on his back. While Lin Feng remembered him as a man of honor, the calamity had changed many. Even the once-respected principal hadn’t escaped its malevolent grip.
Stepping into the archery hall, nostalgia washed over Lin Feng. The immaculate setting, with its meticulously arranged bows and arrows, seemed a sanctuary, insulated from the chaos outside.
Navigating the hall’s corridors, Hao Jian, sensing Lin Feng’s inquisitiveness, ushered him into a room radiating Japanese elegance, complete with a designated area for a hearth. With a wry smile, Hao Jian remarked, “You’re probably puzzled by the pristine condition. Between sweeping, mopping, and the occasional waxing, I’ve ensured our floors remain impeccable. It’s no small task.”
Taken aback, Lin Feng tried to gauge Hao Jian’s intent. Was he sidestepping the looming question— the conspicuous absence of any zombies?
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However, Lin Feng’s growling stomach interrupted his contemplation. Hao Jian, with an understanding smirk, declared, “I’ll fetch some food. Remain here,” before swiftly departing.
But Lin Feng wasn’t one to simply obey. Once certain of Hao Jian’s distance, he delved into his surroundings. The room’s meticulous state and Hao Jian’s eerie calmness raised alarms. The conspicuous absence of other people added to his unease.
But then, his gaze settled on an odd assortment— anime DVDs and whimsical, cat-themed games. A surge of apprehension engulfed him.
Then, a sly voice chided, “Snooping around isn’t courteous, you know. Milady.”
Caught off guard, Lin Feng let the DVD slip from his fingers, turning to face a smiling Hao Jian.