When Zhang Zhiyin woke up in <Tomorrow>’s world, the car had stopped. They stopped at the highway, and Old Zhu informed them that if they drove for another two kilometres forward, they would be able to enter the urban areas of the Fallen City.
There was a thick smell of zombies here permeating the air, but unexpectedly, the density of zombies was actually very small. In any case, there must be something special about this place that attracted both the father and son of the Yun Family, so this couldn’t be considered to be beyond their expectations.
There was a gas station nearby. Zhang Zhiyin and the six people did not dare to reckless rush into the city, so they had chosen this place as their temporary safepoint. There were seven to eight zombies lurking within the gas station, but none of them were beyond Level 4, so they were quickly taken care of.
In the epic grade instance, Xiao Jin with his psychic ability was assigned to the assistant group. He had been carrying out support by providing psychic interference in the rear, hence his injuries weren’t grave. This time, Zhang Zhiyin had chosen and brought him along to this task.
This big bear child had never been keen at ordinary times, but ever since he had received training, he had almost never dropped the chain during critical moments. Having battled through so many fights, he could also be called a psychic ability user with rich experience and sharp reaction. His innate talent was good and at present, he had reached Level 7. After the team had settled down, Xiao Jin sensibly went to one side and sat down. He began to scan the city with his ability without waiting for Zhang Zhiyin to instruct him.
For high-level psychic users, mental power was their most sensitive and reliable sense, and this was most apparent in Meng Kali. Although Xiao Jin’s level was far lower than Meng Kali’s, he could easily utilise his ability to understand the general situation in unfamiliar territories.
Roughly half an hour later, Xiao Jin opened his eyes, his forehead was brimming with sweat. He took two breaths to calm his breathing.
“Captain, most of the areas are similar to other abandoned cities, I can’t see anything unusual. But there is something strange in the southwest corner of the city. A large part of that area has been surrounded. It feels like the forbidden areas in the TV shows that ordinary people are restricted from entering. It’s surrounded by metal walls reaching up to two meters high. I can’t detect what’s inside. I think there’s a barrier blocking psychic interference.”
Old Zhu narrowed his eyes and pursed his lips when he heard this. “This isn’t right. No one should have come here ever since it got abandoned after the last surviving population has escaped the city. How could someone build such a large-scale forbidden area that can shield psychic ability?” Before the end of the world, there wasn’t any concept of human having abilities. No one knew what psychic ability was, let alone the methods to block it.
Zhang Zhiyin nodded. “There are only two explanations. First, this place has something to do with abilities and other related things before the start of the apocalypse, and it is likely to be one of the sources of the apocalypse. The second possible reason might be that there are indeed people who have the leisure time and power to build a base here after the start of the apocalypse. Both E Laboratory and Y have this ability. But the alliance should not want to fight against these two forces, and according to Xiao Jin, it’s still the first one that is more likely.”
Xiao Jin looked at Zhang Zhiyin with widened eyes. “Captain… a place that has a connection with the apocalypse before it even began… Does it mean that it has something to do with Dr. Y?” Based on the relationship between Yin Nian and Zhang Zhiyin, he had long inferred that Captain and the man who created the beginning of the legendary horror were also somehow related, and it was likely that their relationship was complicated. But he didn’t know the captain’s attitude and reaction towards that man. Although it seemed that Captain and Dr. Yin came together to oppose what Y did in the end.
Zhang Zhiyin shook his head. “I have nothing to do with him.”
He lowered his voice and murmured another sentence, “Even if I had something to do with him, I don’t right now…”
He was disheartened about the relationship between himself and Yin Nian at present. When these words entered Xiao Jin’s ears, the relationship became “ah, so there are hidden affairs after all”. Xiao Jin sensed that the captain was not in a good mood when he mentioned Y, so he didn’t continue the conversation. No matter who the captain knew or who he was on good terms with, he was still the reliable captain he knew.
They were now in the northwest. Xiao Jin said there was a problem in the southwest. Zhang Zhiyin deliberately refused to approach that area, and only explored the northern part of the city. He guessed that that area was most likely to be Yun Chu’s objective, but it was Zhang Zhiyin’s nature to be restrained and cautious, and he was used to keeping everything under his control. If it wasn’t necessary for him to partake any risks, he thought it would be better to wait for the deployment of larger forces to come and made investigation and then take action together.
In these four days, Zhang Zhiyin and the rest gradually eliminated the zombies in the northern side of the city. Everything was in order. On the fifth day, Zhang Zhiyin speculated that the troops should be arriving soon, so he decided to spend the day resting at the gas station. He would wait for them and at the same time, he also kept up his strength for the following activities.
In the curtain of darkness hanging around the surroundings, there was no car, no city activities, and no traffic, the night looked even more empty and quiet. Zhang Zhiyin woke up after sleeping for three hours and was ready to replace Old Zhu and Xiao E who were taking guard. There were seven of them, and they were divided into two and three, taking different shifts to guard in turn.
Old Zhu was surprised to see that he had woken up. “Captain has already woken up? Why don’t you rest longer?”
Zhang Zhiyin smiled. “I can’t sleep. So I got up first to substitute you. Don’t call Xiao Jin. Let him sleep a little longer. I can handle it.” Zhang Zhiyin and Xiao Jin were in the same shift.
Just as they were conversing, Xiao E, who was watching the night with Old Zhu, cut in, “Captain, Brother Zhu, there is someone over there… It seems to be… Dr. Yin.”
Zhang Zhiyin looked up along the direction of Xiao E’s eyes and saw a familiar slender figure, wearing a conspicuous white coat, standing in the distance away amidst the darkness.
His mood went astray for a second, and there was no need for a second glance for Zhang Zhiyin to tell that that figure was a fake. But if the person came dressed as such, his goal was obviously himself.
And the other party dared to look for him while dressed as Yin Nian, even if he knew that the other party had hidden motives, Zhang Zhiyin would still be lured. Otherwise, he would not be Zhang Zhiyin who had brushed a virtual character for 363 days. His insistence on Yin Nian was beyond ordinary people’s imagination.
Zhang Zhiyin said softly, “It’s a fake. I’ll go and take a look. Get everyone up and stand by for orders. We will get in touch through the communicator.” A year and a half ago, through the efforts of Bai Mang Association, the alliance’s advanced communicators now had the function of locating each other within a short distance.
After that, Zhang Zhiyin went toward the figure.
The man left in a flash, but then stopped not far away, as if he was waiting for Zhang Zhiyin.
At Dr. Y’s base, Meng Kali nervously stopped Lei Dun.
Lei Dun was expressionless. “What’s the matter?”
Meng Kali’s sounded weak. “Boss told me to make up for my mistakes and kill someone within one month, but now it has been one month, I still haven’t killed the person yet.”
Lei Dun was unhesitating. “You’re dead meat.”
Meng Kali: “That person is Zhang Zhiyin.”
Lei Dun patted her shoulder. “Well done.”
Meng Kali: En?
Lei Dun: “You kids don’t understand. Boss doesn’t really want him to die. If you kill him, you will really get into trouble.”
Meng Kali: Although she didn’t seem to understand, but it sounded like she was fine.
Lei Dun thought for a moment, and then added, “By the way, prepare yourself. Boss is going to Jiya city in person.”
Jiya… Meng Kali was stunned for a moment, and used her psychic power to stop Lei Dun who wanted to leave. “The forbidden area has a restricted space transmission, which was set by Boss in person at that time. I have no authority to start the transmission.” It was not like they could personally ask the boss to use his space ability to teleport them over there.
Lei Dun had expected this and threw a cream-colored pentagram to her. “Use this, it’s a space access card.”
Zhang Zhiyin chased the person all the way to the south. He had a vague guess that the man wanted to lure him into the black forbidden area mentioned by Xiao Jin. He used Freedom of the Last Age to fly there, and the most impressive thing were the dark metal walls on all sides and the dark gray fog covering it when he looked down from the sky. It made one felt oppressed, like there was a cold and gloomy atmosphere encircling them and refusing to disperse. In the sky, Zhang Zhiyin could clearly sense that even though the roof of the forbidden area was closed, there was a huge energy network circulating around. It contained high-voltage electricity that could turn people into powder in an instant. Even mutants couldn’t be able to withstand this high-energy attack.
They passed the dead streets and bore through the night. There was a fog tonight, and it made his surrounding looked dim. That person’s speed was very fast. He should have used some kind of space ability because he was always gone to a distance in a flash. As Zhang Zhiyin had no location to pinpoint, he couldn’t use a space talisman to locate that person. He could only follow him passively.
He chased him all the way. This high concentration made his perception of time less sensitive, just like he was a nervous student in the exam room and unawaredly, it was time for him to hand in the exam paper.
After a long time, the person finally halted. With the help of his precision ability, Zhang Zhiyin could clearly see the dark metal wall of the forbidden area in the distance.
Zhang Zhiyin was three hundred meters away from that person. He quietly watched the man in white took off his disguise and become a person he was familiar with. “Captain Zhang, I trust you have been well since we last met.”
Zhang Zhiyin narrowed his eyes. “Li Shuifeng, you made the efforts to impersonate Yin Nian to deceive me just because you want to bring me here?”
A smile graced on Li Shuifeng’s lips. “But you came, didn’t you? Then my goal is achieved. Captain Zhang, why don’t you take a look behind you?”
Zhang Zhiyin looked back with vigilance, only to be met with dark metal wall just like what he had seen in the distance just now.
Li Shuifeng stared at him with a little resentment and mockery. “Zhang Zhiyin, as long as it involves Yin Nian, he will blind your eyes and make you lose your judgment. As long as Yin Nian’s figure appears, whether it is genuine or not, you will only look at him. Captain Zhang, your weakness is way too obvious, and it made things less fun for me. Didn’t you realise? You are trapped in the psychic illusion since a long time ago. You’ve already stepped into the forbidden area when you were warning yourself not to go in.”
Zhang Zhiyin smiled. “It seems that you have a good time in E Lab.” Li Shuifeng didn’t come alone. He disguised himself as Yin Nian using high-level disguise items. At least one Level 10 psychic ability user was hiding here. The person belonged to E Lab, and was not a low ranker in their organization.
Li Shuifeng smiled as he shook his head, intentionally pointing out, “Slightly better than you.
“I know that Dr. Yin has made many advanced space teleportation symbols for you, which probably makes Captain Zhang fearless. But this time it’s different.” Li Shuifeng smiled and turned a cream-colored pentagram card in his hand. “You probably don’t know. The original name of this city is called Jiya. This forbidden area is Dr. Y’s last experimental field. As for what he has done, you can experience it in person in a moment. Y had personally set a space restriction here. No one will be able to use any space skills without obtaining his permission, and there are only two space permission cards left. One was unfortunately obtained by us; the other is still in Dr. Y’s hands.
“The door you just entered will only be opened for 15 minutes from 5:45 to 6 a.m. every day, and now it’s 6:05.” The smile on Li Shuifeng’s face became more and more deep, with a hint of triumph. “In the next moment, please enjoy Dr. Y’s final zombie army — the Dark Guards. They are specifically made for you, and I have specially lured them here for you, I will not accompany you anymore.”
Li Shuifeng smiled, shook the white pentagram card in his hand and disappeared in front of Zhang Zhiyin.
Zhang Zhiyin cursed inwardly. He couldn’t help raising his alertness as he paid attention to his surroundings.
The sky was getting brighter, but the fog was getting thicker. The color (of the fog) was gradually changing from the gloomy ash grey to rusty black like those metal door. Just like this, rows of zombies appeared in the fog, moving uniformly like a real army. Every zombie had the strength of at least a Level 8 or 9. What was worse was that their eyes were black, and a dark flame was burning within them.
The even more conspicuous sight was that they were followed by a zombie with a height of more than two meters tall. The flame in its eyes blazed fiercer and were darker in color. In its left hand, it carried a huge half meter long dark metal axe, wearing the same metal protective clothing as a general commanding thousands of troops.
Its level was higher than Zhang Zhiyin, it should have reached Level 10. This was the first genuine Level 10 zombie he had seen in <Tomorrow>’s world.
Zhang Zhiyin activated Freedom of the Last Age. He flew up and looked down on the zombie army from the top. However, the energy shield on the top of the forbidden area restricted him from flying too high. He remembered the words Li Shuifeng had used to describe this group of zombies, “the Dark Guards”.
The biggest advantage of precision ability was that it had a long range. At this height, his other ice skills were beyond their range, except for his Ice Bullet which could still be used. According to his experience, it was estimated that the zombie monsters that were comparable to ordinary boss should not be able to attack him, but it was hard to say for that zombie boss with that axe.
The flight skill that came with the Redemption of the Last Age would only be active for 2 hours, while the cooldown time was actually 2 hours and 15 minutes. That was to say, if he couldn’t solve the problem within two hours, he would be forced to land for 15 minutes. If he was surrounded or had to fight with the zombie boss who looked like an all-rounder, it would be very disadvantageous or even fatal for him.
Zhang Zhiyin thought for a moment, rushed forward a short distance, swept over the approaching zombie boss, then turned back and shot first.
The zombie boss was shocked and immediately waved its axe and released a black energy bomb.
Zhang Zhiyin dodged to one side, the energy bomb hit the building behind him, instantly creating a big hole in the wall.
This was an effect that no ability had ever achieved.
Dark Guards… Zhang Zhiyin looked up and suddenly understood. All these zombies that belonged to the <Tomorrow> game had only appeared in rumors, no one was sure whether there was a special ability called dark elemental.
In the morning light, everything in the world was becoming clear and bright.
A line of well protected and orderly motorcade drove along the high speed to Jiya City. They should have arrived yesterday, but they were ambushed by Yu Huo Base, which caused a delay in their route.
Two cars impatiently stopped at a roadside gas station and two people came down. It was Dadao and Ah Kong.
When Xiao E saw them, he hurriedly ran over, shouting, “Vice Captain!”
Dadao’s injuries had all recovered, when he saw the situation, he said calmly, “Don’t worry, speak slowly. What happened?”
Xiao E nodded and swallowed. “Last night, Captain woke up on his night watch. He saw a person disguised as Dr. Yin and ran after him. Later, Brother Zhu, Xiao Jin, and my brother followed him, leaving the three of us here to receive the bigger force. According to the latest message, Captain is trapped in the forbidden area facing hundreds of advanced-level zombies alone. Brother Zhu couldn’t get in. The situation is very urgent.”
Dadao, with a grave face, glanced at Ah Kong and said to Chen Guang who had followed them, “You stay here to coordinate with the alliance leaders and seek for support. I will take our people over there first.”
Chen Guang agreed, and Dadao immediately organized Thunder Unit to get in the car. He took Xiao E and drove straight to the inside of the Fallen City.
In front of the metal walls of the forbidden area, Ah Kong saw his brother, who was red-eyed.
When they looked up, they could see the sky over the forbidden area. Their captain, relying on his flexibility, narrowly dodged the attack of the zombie boss’s dark energy ball, and timely hit back with bullets and ice bombs.
But the level of power imbalance was obvious, let alone the opponent who was such a purposely-made powerful boss, Zhang Zhiyin’s damage to it was very minute.
“Captain has been inside for nearly two hours. None of us can get in. The air over the restricted area is covered by an energy shield,” Xiao Jin said hoarsely.
Ah Kong also tried to use space talisman but failed repeatedly.
“Damn it,” she said, “there’s a restriction.”
When Dadao took out his metal blade and hit the metal door, only a row of sparks splashed out, the metal door continued to stand upright without receiving any damage.
Old Zhu leaned on the front cover of the car and kept muttering, “Calm down, calm down, there must be a way.”
Dadao his metal blade and turned back to shout, “Give Chen Guang all the information! There must be a lot of information about this place that Yun Chu wants. All of it, no matter what way you use, you must get it right away!”
At this time, a sudden change occurred.
There was a huge space vortex on the ground of the forbidden area where all space powers should be forbidden. Zhang Zhiyin couldn’t help but get distracted. A dark energy ball was flying over his shoulder, as he had the defense function of the redemption suit, he was not seriously damaged, but the clothes on his left shoulder had all corroded.
The vortex converged, and a black car appeared.
The wind ability user in the unit flew over the metal wall and looked in, then froze on the spot. He gasped. “Lei Dun, Meng Kali… and Dr. Yin, no, it’s Y…”
They looked at Zhang Zhiyin in the middle of the sky, and their faces grew even more worried.
Fortunately, Dr. Y’s and his people seemed to be just waiting and observing the situation. They did not take any other action.
Dadao and other people were thinking of various solutions outside, while Zhang Zhiyin had lost his mind when he peeped into the car and saw the side profile of the man. He hated his precision ability. He was so far away, so fuzzy, but the man was still so clear to him.
What’s worse, the Freedom of the Last Age didn’t wait for him anymore, Two hours later, the effect of its flight skill would be automatically removed.
Zhang Zhiyin gnawed his teeth, aimed at a row of two-story buildings in the forbidden area, and jumped there directly using the last flying effect before it was depleted.
However, at this height, many zombie monsters’ long ranged skills could reach him, likewise, the zombie boss could use more skills to chase and intercept him. He was in an inconvenient circumstance and it was very exhausting for him.
Zhang Zhiyin silently counted the time in his heart. If he could persist for another 15 minutes, he could continue to fly to the sky for another two hours.
But the zombie boss didn’t do as he wanted. He saw the two meter tall zombie did a sudden leap. It jumped up very flexibly even though it had the rigidity of a zombie!
Yin Nian altered it too good.
Zhang Zhiyin smiled bitterly, changed his attacks into defense, and began to dodge and run. But the space on the roof was limited, and the speed of the big zombie wasn’t slow. In less than three rounds of back and fro, he was blocked by it at the edge of the roof and had to fight in close range with the zombie boss.
Zhang Zhiyin raised his gun and shot. The zombie boss didn’t dodge. Obviously, it didn’t pay any importance to this attack. It directly wielded its axe to cut him. There was a faint silver-black halo flickering on the axe, it was obvious that it was refined from the essence of the dark element. It would be worse to be cut than to be hit by its energy ball.
Zhang Zhiyin did not dare to forcibly take this blow. He turned to dodge, but he was held on the shoulder by the zombie’s left hand.
He had been hit by the dark energy ball before. After several wars in a row and two hours of consumption, Zhang Zhiyin had no time to repair his equipment. The redemption armor, which had been in a state of invisibility, could no longer withstand any attacks. The claws of the zombie were deeply embedded in his flesh and almost broke his shoulder blades. On the other side, the zombie boss raised the axe in its right hand with the intention to split Zhang Zhiyin from the top to the bottom.
The zombie’s claws were poisonous. Zhang Zhiyin felt a blur of consciousness amidst the sharp pain. He raised his head with difficulty and looked down. He saw the familiar cold face behind the window.
As if it were instinct, he would ask for help from his closest people when he was hopeless and helpless. Zhang Zhiyin looked straight at him, stretched out his right hand to him powerlessly, and muttered to himself, “Yin Nian, It hurts…”
The zombie boss’s axe fell in a flash. Ah Kong looked up at the scene. Her mouth was wide open, but she couldn’t make a sound. Her fingernails were digging deep into her flesh, but she didn’t feel anything.
Time seemed to be still in this moment.
The next second, a silver-purple lightning burst rapidly, setting off a tremendous momentum, sweeping the entire forbidden area.
TN: See ya on Monday! Ciao