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TDRA Chapter 13

Alone on the road

“Gu Ning, what are you doing?” As soon as Fang Fa returned to the car, he saw Gu Ning dumping all the supplies inside her backpack onto the seat, piling them up into a small mountain. Although the backpack did not look particularly large, it had a surprisingly huge capacity.

She randomly picked out some food, and left the medicine which Zhuang Chen needed, then packed the remaining before saying to Fang Fa and Zhuang Chen: “I’m tracing back my road, so I’ll leave these supplies to both of you.”

“What do you mean? You’re going alone?” Fang Fa asked in surprise.

Zhuang Chen hugged her chest and leaned against the car silently.

“Yes.” Gu Ning nodded.

Fang Fa said: “I promised to find your parents with you.”

“I don’t know how long it will take for me to track them, one month? Two months? I’ll keep looking until I find them. If you were alone now, I would be happy for you to come along with me, but you still have your parents waiting for you at home.” Gu Ning replied and turned to Zhuang Chen: “Fang Fa is very trustworthy which means he’ll never stab you in the back. You have a long way to go to the capital and a trustworthy companion is important.”

Zhuang Chen glanced at Fang Fa and nodded, then said: “I promised you before to search for three days, and today is still the first day. I’ll wait for you for two days at Times City in Nanning, and after two days if you still haven’t returned, we won’t wait anymore.”

Gu Ning smiled and replied: “Thank you.”

“As you said, a trustworthy companion is important. Compared to this policeman here, I think you’re more worthy of my trust.” Zhuang Chen said with a shrug.

Fang Fa was left speechless by the side.

Gu Ning said sincerely: “I hope we can travel together next time.”

Zhuang Chen nodded and said: “Have a safe trip.” Although she had spent less than a day with Gu Ning, both had not exchanged more than a hundred words, and her background was unknown. Yet unexpectedly in her subconscious, she felt that Gu Ning was a person in who she could place her trust.

“Be careful and have a safe trip.” Fang Fa said. As much as he wanted to tag along with Gu Ning, she was right, his parents were still waiting for him at home.

Gu Ning carried her backpack, brought her knife, and waved to them before striding off in the direction where they had come from. Her pace was quick and soon she disappeared into the dreary night.

Zhuang Chen and Fang Fa watched Gu Ning walk into the darkness until she completely disappeared before they returned to the car. Looking at the sizable pile of supplies, both were relatively speechless.

Gu Ning’s steps were quick, she had a bumpy ride in the car but she did not feel tired at all. Now she was just hungry, although she had eaten a large bowl of noodles just less than half an hour ago. She tore open the bread, eating it as she walked, and continued devouring four of it before she felt a little bit satisfied.

However, Gu Ning vaguely felt her craving for meat, and she could not help but feel a little worried if this was the aftermath of a zombie bite. Would she one day become like a zombie and pounce on living things if this went on?

Gu Ning shuddered a little just from thinking about it.

Right now there was no known solution, there was nothing Gu Ning could do. So she could only put away this terrible idea for the time being and consider the situation happening in reality.

They said that Father Gu and Mother Gu had gone back to look for her, so they must have returned by the same route. Moreover, Father Gu’s leg injury would have delayed them quite a bit. This journey was not safe, Gu Ning could not imagine at all how her mother would travel with her injured father, probably they travelled with the wish to die together with her… Gu Ning did not dare to think further, she took a deep breath and once again quickened her pace.

It was 6:30 am, a ray of light appeared in the sky. Even though it was in the post-apocalyptic world, the sun continued to rise in the east without change.

At a time like this, if it were back in the peaceful era, most people in the world would probably still be asleep.

Yet this was the post-apocalyptic world, and one scream after another shattered the quiet peace in the early morning.

“Run, run, run! They’re catching up!” With shrieks following after each other, a large group of people with absolutely no coherence to speak of ran desperately and frantically through the cold morning air. Hundreds of zombies could be seen following behind them, and what made it even more terrifying was that among the hundreds of zombies, some seemed to be particularly fast which ran instead of taking one step at a time! Running zombies are a little slower than humans, but the scary thing was that they would never get tired, and there was nothing more horrifying than that!

The hundreds of people running away were several times more than the zombies but none of them stopped to try and fight them. Everyone was running forward with only one belief in their mind, run! Run! Run! Once they got to the safer area, they would be safe! From time to time, people in the back of the line would be grabbed and pounced upon by the zombies. Several zombies would stop to feed together, causing screams to become worse than the last! The screams travelled far and wide on the night breeze, sending chills down the spine!

“Ah!!! Cheng Ming! Help me!” A sharp female voice could be heard from behind the group. Cheng Ming heard his name and subconsciously turned around to look, he saw Huang MengYao’s very soft and beautiful long hair was being grabbed by a short-sized zombie. She was unable to break free for a while and could only struggle to keep the zombie from biting her. People kept running past her, but no one reached out to help.

Cheng Ming only hesitated for a moment and gritted his teeth before turning back to save her, but he had not taken two steps when he was violently yanked back by the man running beside him. Jia DaoZhang yelled in a low voice: “You want to die, if you go there now you’ll die with her!”

“Cheng Ming!!! Help!!!” Over there Huang MengYao was still screaming, but it drew more zombies towards her instead. She looked over and saw Cheng Ming was being held back by Jia DaoZhang. Probably thinking that Cheng Ming would not go over to save her, her teary eyes were filled with extreme terror and endless despair.

And by this time, there was nothing more Cheng Ming could do if he went over there.

Just when Huang MengYao’s hand had completely run out of strength and the zombie’s mouth was already next to her flesh, when suddenly! The zombie that had opened its mouth wide for a full meal, let out a mournful hiss! Then its whole body was sent flying off by a huge force from the stick that seemed to have fallen from the sky and straight through its chest!

Huang MengYao was still in a daze, not knowing what happened when she was pulled up from the ground by a strong hand and a cold voice rang out in her ears: “Kill them if you don’t want to die.”

She subconsciously clutched the knife that was shoved into her hand and turned her head. Only to see the slim girl with blonde hair under the sunlight, casually slashed the neck of the zombie that had a stick through its chest but was still trying to get up from the floor. Then rushed towards several zombies that were surrounding her——

Watching the slender and slightly weak figure rushed towards those horrible zombies, a sudden inexplicable surge of courage came over her without any reason. It prompted her to lift the knife in her hand and with her eyes closed, she screamed and raised it high towards the head of the nearest zombie and slashed it!

Pfft —— a sound.

The foul-smelling mucus spurted out, and Huang MengYao trembled as she opened her eyes to see the head of the zombie in front of her, whose entire face had begun to rot, get sliced into half. There was no trace of living light in those grey and blue eyes, but at that moment it was as if she saw the shock in those eyes. Only to hear a thud as the zombie fell backward, falling heavily on the floor and remained motionlessly.

Cheng Ming’s movement came to a hard halt two meters away from Huang MengYao as he watched in amazement when the zombie whose head had been split into half fell to the ground with a thud.

Huang MengYao held the knife and looked at the zombie she had just killed on the ground, and stood there stiffly, her eyes completely blanked out as if she had not realised what she had done.

Until a malevolent voice rang out around her:  “Start running! Do you want to die?!”

It took her a moment to snap back into reality and subconsciously gripped the knife in her hand to follow the blonde-hair girl in front of her.

“Hurry hurry! Run over here!” Only to see around a hundred metres ahead of them, Jia DaoZhang was waving at them frantically.

The few that were left behind also ran that way.

Over there was an area of cottages and a pathway that can only fit three people at a time with an iron gate blocking it.

“Gu Ning?!” When Jia DaoZhang saw Gu Ning, his jaw even dropped: “Where did you burst out from again?!”

When the last person also rushed in, Jia DaoZhang hurried to lower the latch, but in less than three seconds, a zombie that could run rushed over and slammed vigorously against the barred gate.

Jia DaoZhang was so frightened that he took a few steps backward, almost tripping and falling to the ground. He hastily said to the few people: “Hurry run!”

Instead, Gu Ning suddenly turned around and amid several people’s shocked gazes, she stabbed in the face of the zombie that kept banging on the iron gate with the knife in her hand viciously! She stabbed the zombie straight through the head without blinking as well as the next few that came crashing through in quick succession and were all dealt with in the same way.

The gazes of those few people turned from astonishment to shock and Cheng Ming felt the most impact.

Gu Ning pulled the knife out of the zombie’s head and turned away without looking at it as the corpse fell on its back.

“If you kill one more zombie now, you’ll increase chances of safety later.” Gu Ning dropped that sentence curtly then led the way along the pathway.

Several people looked at each other with different thoughts in mind, then they all followed.

Jia DaoZheng had seen Gu Ning kill a zombie, but it was at night, Gu Ning stabbed the knife directly into the zombie’s head and he did not see how she struck it. But this time, he saw it clearly and his gaze changed a little when he looked at Gu Ning’s back view.

In contrast, Cheng Ming was the most shocked among them. In his impression, Gu Ning had always been a gentle girl who was very mild in her speech and behaviour. He still remembered her smiling face when he first met her at the train station. It was really difficult for Cheng Ming to connect the image of Gu Ning in his mind with the one in front of him who carried an inexplicable aura of sharpness even from her back view.

Huang MengYao stared at Gu Ning’s back with mixed feelings.

The other few were the ones who had been grouped with Cheng Ming before and they were all silently following behind Gu Ning.

Compared to their complicated thinking and feeling, Gu Ning right now felt more frustrated instead.

She had rushed all night and found no trace of her parents along the way. When it was almost dawn, she accidentally ran into a herd of zombies and was chased by dozens of them before she managed to shake them off with the advantage of her speed. Yet in the end, she still ran into this swarm of zombies instead.

She did not even get a good look at Huang MengYao’s face when she saved her.

Her saving people was not out of the spirit of helping others but rather she thought that in a world like this, saving one more person and killing one more zombie would mean increasing the chances of safety in the future.

On the premise of ensuring her safety, Gu Ning was not all that “stingy”.

But after that betrayal, Gu Ning was no longer so full of goodwill, she withdrew her kindness and affable disposition and replaced it with a distant and indifferent demeanour to others.

All she could think of was that maybe one day, the hope where all the zombies would be killed and the world would return to the way it was before.

It was a psychological comfort in another way, but it was only with such expectations that one had more courage to live in this world.

Beyond this narrow lane was a courtyard, a three-storey house with two rows of cast concrete flower beds with some flowers and two osmanthus trees. It was at this time of the year where the osmanthus trees were in bloom and full of tiny golden flowers. The fragrance of the flowers from these two trees was particularly strong, causing the whole courtyard to be filled with the rich scent of osmanthus, which overshadowed the putrid stench of the corpses.

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(T/N: Back to a chapter per update as I’ll be busy with moving house these few weeks. Sorry about that but I’ll make sure that the update will continue. Thank you for your kind understanding. =) Cheers!)

(Editor: De Vile)

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