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Mutated zombies presented a daunting challenge with their formidable strength, relentless stamina, and reckless fighting style—a combination Lin Feng found difficult to match.
However, this recklessness also suggested a potential vulnerability. Armed with something as powerful as an electric saw, Lin Feng might have easily turned these haphazard creatures into a gruesome spectacle. Instead, he was restricted to a handgun loaded with a scant 17 bullets—barely enough to secure a hallway. At best, he could use these rounds as a last resort against a single mutated zombie.
Complicating matters was his lack of firearms training. Unlike using a bow, where Lin Feng had some expertise, operating a real gun wasn’t as straightforward as video games made it seem. There, aiming was as simple as positioning a crosshair and hitting a button. In reality, each shot had to be carefully aimed and calibrated—skills he hadn’t yet mastered. And any shot, whether hit or miss, would reverberate with a loud bang, likely attracting even more zombies to his location.
“As though the apocalypse wasn’t challenging enough,” Lin Feng thought bitterly to himself, wishing he were like the invincible protagonists in novels who seemed immune to zombie bites.
Liu Mengqi, noticing Lin Feng’s pensive mood, pulled up a stool beside him. “So, how much longer will we bask in the sun?” she queried, shading her eyes from the glare.
“In a couple of days, we should be ready,” Lin Feng replied, then shifted the conversation. “How has your group been managing against the zombies?”
“We’re not as afraid as we used to be. But there’s a girl, Yan Jie; she’s not handling the stress well,” Liu Mengqi responded.
“Yan Jie? Is she the one who got into it with Anna?” Lin Feng inquired, puzzled. He’d heard stories about that incident, apparently their self-acclaimed warrior girl got into a fight with Yan Jie, and was even beaten up.
Warrior lineage ahead, that little tigress wasn’t as invulnerable as she made herself to be. At just 1.5 meters tall, she was clearly pushing herself. He already had his suspicions about her past trauma when she encountered her in that toilet, but given Anna’s headstrong nature, it was highly unlikely that the little girl would ever open up to him about them.
Her only show of emotions was when she thought he died that day. Other than that, she was a right thorn. Anyone who dared offend her immediately felt the sting of her barbed tongue, all except for Yan Aoxue, who she was curiously docile to.
Liu Mengqi nodded. “Anna gave as good as she got later, but it seems Yan Jie’s been affected. She mutters to herself and has become increasingly withdrawn, even shunning Dr. Hu’s attempts to help her.”
“That’s Anna—always settling scores,” Lin Feng chuckled.
Just then, Anna stormed over, brandishing a bulky medical textbook. “Hey, Lily Girl, I heard you. Are you badmouthing me?”
“If I had something bad to say, you’d hear it straight from me, squirt,” Lin Feng retorted.
“Squirt?! I– hmph!” Anna huffed and stormed off.
Liu Mengqi sighed, watching her leave. “You know, Anna isn’t a bad person. And why does she keep calling you ‘Lily Girl’?”
“Who knows? Maybe she’s jealous of my good looks,” Lin Feng jested.
“You haven’t told her you’re a guy yet, have you? Want me to spill the beans?” Liu Mengqi offered, raising an eyebrow.
(End of Chapter 43)
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“Don’t even go there,” Lin Feng warned, his tone light but serious. Stealing Anna’s first kiss was one thing; letting her find out he wasn’t actually a girl would open a whole new can of worms.
“Why’s that?” Liu Mengqi asked, a hint of melancholy coloring her voice. She couldn’t help but notice how tight Lin Feng and Anna seemed to be, despite Anna being the newbie of the group. Watching their easy banter unfold, Liu Mengqi sometimes felt like she was on the outside looking in, like she was watching a pair of siblings in their own little world.
Lin Feng let out a light chuckle, skillfully sidestepping the tricky topic. “So, ever think about your post-apocalypse plans?” He adjusted his position, giving the rest of himself a turn to soak up some sun.
“The apocalypse ending, huh?” Liu Mengqi mused, her eyebrows lifting in curiosity. “You actually think it’s going to end?”
“Oh, for sure!” Lin Feng grinned, radiating optimism. “So… any plans for those post-apocalypse times?”
Liu Mengqi looked thoughtful for a moment before answering, “Well, if zombies hadn’t become the latest pest problem, I’d probably be donning a cap and gown about now. Then snagging a nine-to-five job, likely with you as my annoyingly close coworker. And somewhere down the line, I’d be growing old with someone who puts up with me.”
Caught off guard, Lin Feng found himself speechless for a beat.
Quick to fill the silence, Liu Mengqi added, “You know, I’d actually pictured myself as a teacher somewhere, handing out detentions and life lessons to the next generation. Now, I’m just hoping classrooms are a thing in the future. You think we’ll get back to some sort of normal?”
“We will,” Lin Feng replied with certainty. “We have to.”
As twilight surrendered to the dark of night, the sprawling campus became a landscape of shadow, its features dimly illuminated by the celestial light overhead.
“Time to move,” Lin Feng instructed, nodding toward his assembled team. Leading the way were their seasoned warriors, tasked with clearing a path for Anna and Song Zhe, who brought up the rear. Under the cover of night, the small platoon cautiously advanced toward the archery hall.
Navigating a route laden with dangers, Chen De and Liu Tao moved through the dark with the silence and stealth of seasoned operatives. Thanks to weeks of rigorous training, they effortlessly neutralized wandering zombies, all while avoiding the notice of additional lurking threats. Following their lead, the rest of the group kept up, maintaining a quiet but swift pace, their backpacks heavy with essential gear and foldable beds.
“As much as I’d love to keep this nocturnal hike going, let’s call it a night and pick up again tomorrow,” Lin Feng suggested, spotting the school’s medical ward nearby. Taking note of the visibly fatigued women in his group, he felt the decision was a necessary one.
“In here? Are you sure about this?” Dr. Hu whispered, pulling Lin Feng aside to speak into his ear.
“We’re low on options, Doc” Lin Feng responded apologetically, ears twitching from the closeness. “The girls are already on their last leg.”
Conceding with a reluctant sigh, Dr. Hu agreed. “Fine, but—”
“Don’t worry,” Lin Feng interjected, “your concern will remain our secret, sealed away forever.” He patted Dr. Hu’s trembling hand reassuringly with his tail, his own hands full with supplies.
“Thank you,” Dr. Hu replied softly.
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Inside their makeshift stronghold, the team quickly united to secure the door, jamming it with a weighty cabinet. A collective exhale of relief swept through the room once they felt safely barricaded. Lin Feng sprang into action, organizing the essential supplies and drawing the curtains for added privacy. Next, he made his way upstairs to quietly deal with a few lingering zombies, stashing their now lifeless bodies out of sight in a corner.
As he returned, Lin Feng raised his hand to halt the women who were about to ascend the stairs. “Let’s keep this room for storing the bodies,” he said gently but firmly. “I’ll take care of moving the zombies up there later. For now, let’s focus on making the ground floor as comfortable as possible.”
Catching Dr. Hu’s eye, they shared a moment of silent understanding. Lin Feng then busied himself with clearing away the clutter in their chosen resting area, before retrieving several clean medical mattresses from upstairs. Given the constraints of their situation, they had no choice but to crowd together on a floor thoughtfully padded with two layers of mats for added comfort.
(End of Chapter 44)
After a bit of room Tetris, the group got themselves sorted for the night. Six boys staked out the window corner—better safe than sorry, right? The ten girls set up camp in the room’s cozier interior.
As for Lin Feng, he landed in a social limbo, sandwiched between the boys and girls. On his left was Song Zhe, and on his right, his sister Liu Mengqi. Anna, who was originally slotted to be Lin Feng’s sleeping buddy, had other plans. Declaring him a “Lily girl,” she dashed off to the far end of the room. That left a seat open next to Liu Mengqi, and with a bit of blushing and some nods of agreement, it was decided: sibling sleepover it was.
Lin Feng? He wasn’t sweating it. He and his childhood friend had bunked together loads of times when they were kids. Though they hadn’t shared a bed in years, was it really a problem when the two of them looked practically alike, except for that one or maybe two differences?
The sleeping situation was something straight out of a cozy yet packed anime sleepover—personal space was basically theoretical at this point. A few of the girls couldn’t stand the chill and ditched their jackets to huddle up. Liu Tao and Song Zhe watched, green with envy, while Anna just couldn’t even. Rolling her eyes, she moved to a spot that was Lily-free
Thanks to their headcount, they had the whole night watch thing down to a science. The combat team rotated on the hour, making sure nobody’s beauty sleep was compromised. Lin Feng drew the last shift at 7 a.m, and Anna was in charge of waking him up to take over her shift.
As for Lin Feng, his eyes fell on his flushed childhood friend Liu Mengqi and found a surprise bonus: Yan Ao Xue was snoozing right next to her.
“Hmph!” Catching his glance, Liu Mengqi turned away with an audible snort and surrendered to sleep.
Though momentarily nettled, Lin Feng set aside his mild irritation. They had been traveling since 10 p.m., and it was now 2 a.m. With his arrival at the medical room, a heavy curtain of exhaustion descended on him, and he too drifted off to sleep.
Once assured of his deep slumber, Liu Mengqi cautiously turned back. The boy was huddled up awkwardly due to her back facing his – you could tell by his scrunched up brows and mild look of discomfort. Her fingers lightly brushed his peaceful face as she let out a sigh.
The next morning, Lin Feng was unceremoniously jolted awake by Anna’s sharp voice. “Lin Feng, wake up! Your turn.” In his groggy state, he made an ill-tempered attempt to bite the slapping hand.
Now fully awake, Lin Feng shot Anna a glare as she disdainfully wiped his saliva from her hand. The noise had stirred a few of the girls, who exchanged puzzled glances before resuming their slumber.
“Seriously? That’s your idea of a wake-up call?” Lin Feng hissed, trying to keep his voice down but clearly annoyed.
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“Hey, you were the one acting all weird. I just went with my gut,” Anna shot back, before making a beeline for her cozy little sleeping corner.
With a sigh of resignation, Lin Feng got up and straightened his sleep area. Carefully, he pulled down Liu Mengqi’s bunched-up shirt and tucked her in cozily.
Pink bunny pajamas, really? he mused, fighting back a chuckle. He then made his way to the washbasin outside the room. That’s where he stumbled upon a book. As he casually flipped through a couple of pages, his grip loosened, and the towel he was holding fell to the ground.
“What the heck is this?!”
(End of Chapter 45)