Under the downpouring rain, Blair was carrying his new weapon under his raincoat, standing beside the street, humming a small tune while he gazed at the rain.
Blair was not too concerned about his mission.
He was stationed there for a week plus going into two.
From the initial nervousness to the current casual behavior, Blair believed that his target would not appear to open the door into the room behind him and take the spoils of war inside.
After all, anyone could tell the place was rigged with traps.
Almost out of instinct, Blair took a glimpse at the other guy hiding in the shadows across from him.
No doubt the guy was also a veteran and it took Blair a few seconds of utmost focus to notice his existence.
The guy in the shadows was also one of the players in charge of Blair’s group.
As for Blair, he was just one of many collaborators in the group.
Although his position was of the utmost importance, it wasn’t that high either.
A simple look at the position he was standing proved as such. At the spot where he was standing, other than being treated as a signal to warn the others during an ambush, there was no other function.
Blair was perfectly clear about his own use, he was there to allow the “target” to attack him but he didn’t rant or complain about the arrangement because of how sizable the reward was.
Blair unconsciously looked at the spear on his shoulder and the leather armor under his raincoat.
The spear was a Magic rank weapon with Average attack rank together with the Lvl 1 Piercing attribute, it had more attacking power than a common gun.
His leather armor’s defense even reached the Strong level and with the Lvl 1 Tenacity attribute, it allowed Blair to ignore most of the gunshots fired at him.
He lifted his finger and touched wooden spear pole and his leather armor.
Even if it wasn’t his first time feeling his equipment, Blair was still full of praise at the meticulous craftsmanship.
He wasn’t a boorish fellow who knew nothing at all. He might not be an expert in leather armor but Blair had quite the experience in crafting simple weapons, and other than the slightly complicated bows and crossbows, he had some attainments in crafting also.
So, Blair was clear how exquisite the skill of the player who crafted this Magic rank spear was.
“They might be at least Master rank, or… no, no, Pro rank in crafting weapons!” Blair commented on the crafter’s technique.
Then, he thought of his own skill which had only reached Entry level, he couldn’t help but sigh.
Especially when he knew the player with the exquisite crafting skills was one of his employer’s men, Blair who ranged between a rookie and a newbie felt instant depression because he didn’t even have the qualifications to be an official subordinate of his employer.
Though Blair clenched his fist right away.
“I will surely catch up to those veterans’ progress! I will definitely earn enough money with this game!” Blair made a vow in his heart.
Then, he started to perfect his future plans.
“Before the next dungeon starts, I’ll need to level up [Sharp Weapon, Polearms] to Master level to bring out the potential power of this Magic rank spear. [Evading] and [Adaptive Armor] will need to be in Entry as well, and also [Weapon Crafting, Simple Weapons]!”
“I think the Points and Skill Points are not quite enough…”
Points and Skill Points will forever be a pain in the neck for every player, Blair was no exception.
Blair frowned as he went into deep thought. His attention was all focused on his own matters, so he didn’t even notice the veteran in the shadows across from him being sliced open by the throat and falling to the ground, disintegrating into light particles. Neither did he notice the rest of the collaborators who took up the other watchpoints vanishing without a sound.
The rain stopped finally and the sun hung up high once again.
Blair took off his raincoat and stuffed it inside his backpack before he stretched his body.
Compared to the watery scene, Blair liked the charming sun better.
Most of the people shared the same thought, especially after standing in the rain for two to three hours.
So, Blair turned his eyes towards the other positions where the collaborators were.
When he saw the first position was empty, he couldn’t help but criticize the player being irresponsible in his heart.
When he saw that the second position was empty, he frowned, feeling something wasn’t right.
Then the third, the fourth and the fifth, Blair shockingly realized all of the other collaborators’ positions were empty!
Not only the collaborators, but even the veteran in the shadow was also missing!
Even though the hired players would occasionally sneak off, they wouldn’t be absent altogether like the current situation, let alone the veteran player.
Something went south!
The thought appeared in Blair’s heart.
Then, Blair who was still quite calm ran towards the place where he assumed was safe while pulling up his PM tab to message the temporary leader of the team.
It wasn’t the veteran in the shadows but a higher rank player who ran the operation.
However, when the message was sent off, the notification that Blair received made him freeze on the spot.
[The player you are messaging is dead!]
Spine freezing coldness rose up in an instant.
Even standing under the sun, Blair couldn’t feel a bit of warmth.
A Prince Motorbike was pushed out from the back door of the building. Under the cover fire of 20 rifles from the roof, Three brought a few men and used explosives on the perimeter wall.
“BANG….” A cloud of dust soared to the sky, countless brick pieces struck the metal doors and made ‘clank’ sounds. Two robust men rushed from the doors to the collapsed wall and cleared the debris all over. Upon returning back to the building, a red shadow charged out towards the opening.
The journey to and from the base and the coalfield was three hours. When the informer returned to the base after one and a half hours later, Zhang Xiao Qiang brought 160 combat team members and stood on a small sand dune 2 km away from the coalfield.
Gunshots from rifles and machine guns could be heard from the coalfields as the sea of zombies that extended over the horizon like an ocean but had yet to enter into the coalfield. Seeing the endless horde, Zhang Xiao Qiang hesitated.
The horde was half an hour away from the coalfields, but how was Zhang Xiao Qiang going to clear over 10 S2s in the same time and bring the survivors out? The answer was impossible. Zhang Xiao Qiang knew how powerful the S2s were, ordinary members did not even have the power to retaliate against them, and the coalfield was filled with over a hundred vehicles that distorted and complicated the terrain, narrowing their field of fire. Additionally, the S2s enjoyed sneaking about.
Thinking about the 60 veterans and 100 odd new members behind him, the complicated terrain in the coalfield, and the scene whereby the S2s appeared from above and the side to slaughter his combat team, Zhang Xiao Qiang dispelled the silly and absurd idea.
“Order, Type-92 mortar team will bombard the zombies 2km away, stop them from approaching the coalfield.”
Zhang Xiao Qiang then shouted, “Zhang Huai An!”
“Yes!” The usually mischievous Zhang Huai An stood out solemnly and looked at Zhang Xiao Qiang with a never-before-seen seriousness. Facing the zombie horde, Zhang Huai An was impatient once again, eager to get on with his new mission.
“Take 50 members and protect the infantry mortars, I’ll give you another three machine gun teams and two mortar groups, you don’t have to kill zombies, just ensure that the two mortar teams are safe. Remember, always maintain a 2km distance from the horde.”
“Yes. Even if I have to die, I will not let the mortar team die or lose any mortars.” With that said, Zhang Huai An chose his members and infantry mortar teams and moved towards their designated location.
Seeing the large truck holding ammunition for the Type-92 Mortars drive towards the right of the zombie horde, Zhang Huai An led his subordinates and sat in the off-road vehicle and drove off. Zhang Xiao Qiang then turned to the fully armed He Wen Bin.
After breaking his arm, the cheerful and easy He Wen Bin changed. He became much calmer, unlike his proud and loud past and became more reserved. Unlike his unsophisticated self in the past, he became impossible to predict, became a perfectionist that completed all kinds of taskings given to him down to the smallest detail. That was how Zhang Xiao Qiang was able to become free, as He Wen Bin assisted him 80% of the time.
Aside from the people from the chicken farm, those that joined later did not know of He Wen Bin’s past personality. In their eyes, he was a swift and decisive man with a horror second only to Zhang Xiao Qiang. He held the authority to punish others and was never softhearted towards those who erred, regardless of them being robust men or frail women. He viewed them all as equals.
In other people’s eyes, he was emotionless and stuck to the book. Even when the people from the chicken farm made a mistake, he would punish them equally. If Zhang Xiao Qiang did not have the habit of throwing people to the zombies, who knows? Others might even feel that Zhang Xiao Qiang was much kinder than He Wen Bin.
On this day, He Wen Bin was different from his usual solemn and calculative look. Completely dressed in military uniform, glossy weapons hung around his waist, and a black Type-92 pistol holstered on the pistol belt emitted killing intent.
He Wen Bin raised his head and looked at Zhang Xiao Qiang. He was excited, excited about the fact that he was able to fight the zombies. He was born to be restless, if not for his old man’s deathbed advice, he would have never appeared on the highway. After sustaining his injury, he felt that he owed Zhang Xiao Qiang his life, and was willing to do all sorts of taskings to repay the debt.
Now, finally, it was his day of battle. He looked towards Zhang Xiao Qiang with fervent in his eyes.
“Take the remaining men and clear out the zombies on the circumference, do your best to deal the most severe wounds and if possible, kill as many as you can. Pay attention to communicate with Zhang Huai An,
Zhang Xiao Qiang stopped and thought for a moment, “Don’t think of sniping them. You guys cannot stand on the same spot and wait for the zombies to come, take initiative to engage and move, constantly maintaining a distance with the zombies and at the same time gaining time for me. Don’t put too much risk on yourself. If we can’t get out, don’t keep holding ground and just retreat.”
With that said, Zhang Xiao Qiang turned towards the moving sea of zombies with a frustrated look.
He Wen Bin nodded then looked at him, “Brother Cockroach, are you prepping to personally enter the coalfield?”
After asking, he looked at Yang Ke’er, Shangguan Qiao Yun, and Guo Fei, who were standing beside Zhang Xiao Qiang. On this day, Yang Ke’er had abandoned her loved mace and changed it to the large scimitar that was used previously by Yuan Yi, along with a composite steel shield. The shield was covered with a black skin that belonged to the porcupine rat. It was tanned by Wang Le and riveted onto the shield.
Yang Ke’er was unwilling to hold a new weapon, but under Zhang Xiao Qiang’s threat, she finally relented. She knew it for herself, even before she could swing her mace, the rat-like zombies would sneak up on her and prevent her from hitting them.
Shangguan Qiao Yun had tied her Lara Croft braid at the back of her head and left a neat fringe at the front. She exuded a natural grace and maturity even though her long sideburns were slightly messy. She gave off a sweet sense and adding the sniper rifle on her back and the M1911A1 on her waist, she was a mix of being wild and seductive.
As for Guo Fei? He was still the same, squatted and having the anxious look as though he was looking to die. When he saw the endless sea of zombies, his eyes lit up with a strange light. The knife that he used to poke the ground in impatience started to tremble along with him as more and more small holes appeared on the ground.
Looking at the few people by Zhang Xiao Qiang’s side, He Wen Bin did not dare believe it. Three had over 20 members with Type-56 AR and four HMGs but was still surrounded and trapped by the 10 odd S2s. Where did Zhang Xiao Qiang’s confidence come from?
Truthfully speaking, Hymin was the person who had the closest relationship with Barran. Although he had a tall and burly physique, but he always played the younger brother figure to her in the academy, and he held a special place within her heart; with his foolish and simple-minded smile, he gave her a feeling of intimacy that couldn’t be described with words.
Upon Barran regaining consciousness, she was the first one to rush over. “You stupid idiot! How could you listen to Ma Dong? That fellow’s absolutely inhuman!”
Standing at the edge of their group, Ma Dong rubbed his nose in response. He had already admitted everything to everyone. Nonetheless, he had already been given the title of a vile human being. This was a victory that Barran had exchanged his life to obtain.
“That’s something I asked senior Ma Dong to get for me.” replied Barran as he shook his head. “Senior sis Hymin, I, can I be willful for once?”
“How can you be willful if you don’t have any life left! You foolish idiot! Stupid fool!”
“That’s right! What’s more, you better not help exonerate this bastard!” Milami shouted out in a loud voice.
“I don’t mean that. The willfulness I’m speaking about is…” Barran shook his head once again. In the next instant, a smile appeared on his face as he said, “Senior sis Hymin, you’re really beautiful. I, … I like you!”
After confessing, Barran felt completely calm and relaxed. He knew that his “life” had, in fact, come to an end here. Nonetheless, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
A blank expression appeared on Hymin’s face. This not only happened to Hymin, as the entire squadron was also dumbfounded.
This ever so shy and embarrassed Barran had never, ever given anyone the feeling that he fancied Hymin at all. In fact, with his nice guy character, he treated everyone exceptionally well. Therefore, Hymin had never once felt that Barran held such feelings for her. However, now…
Everyone turned silent, all of them understanding exactly why Barran had suddenly become that bold.
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Hymin appeared to have something stuck in her eyes. Nonetheless, in the next second, she held Barran’s hand without the slightest bit of hesitation while replying, “From now onwards, you belong to this elder sis!”
Barran shook his head once again, putting effort into removing his hand from her grasp.
Seeing this, everyone understood his intentions. He already knew that he had become a useless and handicapped person. In fact, it was likely that he would die from the overstimulation of his potential. He had chosen to use the final moments of his life to pamper his cowardly self. However, he absolutely didn’t want to become a burden for Hymin. Furthermore, he did not need any pity or sympathy, as this was his final act of dignity as a man.
“Why the pulling! Why are you shaking your head for!” a domineering expression appeared on Hymin’s face as he growled out, “Are you a bobblehead! This sis has fallen for you, and fallen for the man you are! I don’t care about anything else!”
Hearing that, Barran smiled, before shaking his head.
Clap Clap Clap Clap!
Ma Dong’s ardent applause rang out at this moment. Jutting his cheeky grin into the group, he said, “Fuck, what a spectacular duel! Coupled with this heartwarming confession coming from the bottom of his heart! This is absolutely just like those romantic movies! Cough cough! Don’t punch me! Let your leader finish his words!”
The few brothers in the group already had unhappiness present in their eyes, while Hymin appeared as though she wanted to choke him to death.
Hastily, he pulled out the already empty bottle from his pocket, with the little bit of yellowish liquid remaining at the bottom appearing exceedingly eye-catching. “Like I’m saying, the liquid inside is a mix of fresh orange juice and cola! There’s nothing else in there! I swear, do you think that I’ll carry such a thing around with me?”
As he explained, he opened the lid, and tossed the remnants of the contents into his mouth. Gulping it down, he opened his mouth wide let everyone see, before saying, “Hmm, it tastes slightly weird… fuck! Oh Skylink, please forgive me! This motherfucking thing’s absolutely not nice to drink!”
“Whoosh…” everyone was stunned once again. In fact, Barran and even Hymin who was holding his hand had gawked in dumbfoundedness.
A satisfied grin appeared on his face. Placing his hands on his hips, he continued his speech. “You people huh, always overlook this brother! I’m your leader, you know! Do you all really think that I don’t know that Barran is full of potential? This is a tactic, and is basically the most perfect of tactics, created especially to stimulate his potential! There’s no side effects at all! Can’t you all see? Fuck! I suddenly feel that I really am fucking awesome! Why aren’t you all worshipping me!”
In the next second Ma Dong was pushed to the ground by Hymin and the others while they rubbed his face fiercely. Nonetheless, smiles filled with happiness were plastered all over their faces. This indeed was the definition of a silver lining behind every cloud. There was no better outcome. Even Barran was dumbstruck by everything. Was this even possible?
Under the downpouring rain, Blair was carrying his new weapon under his raincoat, standing beside the street, humming a small tune while he gazed at the rain.