“NingNing, how come it’s Xiao Fang who sent you back?” Mother Gu asked curiously, having only met Fang Fa twice, she was already calling him Xiao Fang straight away.
Gu Ning was in a hurry to get back to the post-apocalyptic world and didn’t have much patience to explain to Mother Gu, so she casually gave a passing remark that Fang Fa was kind and helped her in bringing back all the things when he saw her carrying them. Then she changed the topic and said: “By the way, I’ve just been out and seen that there’s a job for the home-based tutor, and the pay is very good, so I’m going to apply for it.”
Mother Gu was surprised for a moment: “Really?” Then she was a little worried: “You’ve only been home for a couple of days, are you able to cope with it?”
“No problem. It just so happens that I’ll have more free time as a home-based tutor, which I can spend the time to learn self-defence.” Gu Ning replied. This was something she had thought of saying when she was in the car, on one hand, to give herself a plausible excuse for her frequent disappearances, and on the other hand, she hoped to take on some of the family burdens.
“It’s pretty good then. Dad supports you.” Gu SiYuan said as he sipped his tea. He felt that a fuller life for Gu Ning would help her to come out of that shadow more quickly. Although they had not asked Gu Ning about what had happened during the three months when she was missing, the wretched appearance of Gu Ning as she returned and the subtle changes which she couldn’t conceal despite her best efforts, proved that her life during that period was certainly not a pleasant experience. Both he and Mother Gu tried to act as if it was as usual, but in their hearts, they were worried that Gu Ning would have some traumatic experience that haunted her.
“Then I’ll go in first and do a bit of preparation. Revise for a bit, so that I can get ready for the interview tomorrow. If there’s nothing important, it’s best not to call me, I’ll need to concentrate on my preparation and I’ll come out to eat on my own if I’m hungry.” Gu Ning informed and then went back to her bedroom.
Without delay, she took out a large checker patterned bag like the one which they used to carry quilts in school and packed it all up, also tossed the plastic bag out from under the bed and stuffed it in, then with a thought, she travelled back to the space. The first thing Gu Ning does whenever she returned to the space, was to shift the golden pointer on the compass in the opposite direction.
Then Gu Ning looked at the bottle of anesthetic laying quietly next to the plush quilt and smiled faintly.
Back in the post-apocalyptic world.
The familiar air mixed with the stench of decay rushed into her nose.
Gu Ning carefully walked out of the small restaurant.
Due to the colony, the area around this school has been cleared of zombies, and some people are responsible for daily clearing out the zombie that wander in from other places.
Gu Ning effortlessly carried the big bag with her as she walked towards the entrance of the colony.
There were already many people lined up at the entrance of the colony.
Before entering, they have to go through the security room at the side entrance for inspection.
Gu Ning was just about to get into the queue when she was called out.
“Gu Ning?!” A twenty-three or twenty-four years old guard ran towards her excitedly.
Gu Ning looked at him suspiciously, realizing that she didn’t know this man, and immediately became cautious.
“I’m under Brother San! My name is Zhang ZhanXing!” His dark face was cracked with big white teeth and he looked very simple and honest, he was inexplicably very excited and with some nervousness, he continued: “Brother San already told us that you are his niece and asked us to keep you safe. You don’t have to queue, just come in with me!”
Then Gu Ning was led straight in by Zhang ZhanXing amidst a sea of envious gazes.
“Thank you.” Gu Ning thanked Zhang ZhanXing.
Zhang ZhanXing waved his hands violently and looked at Gu Ning with glowing eyes and replied: “No need to thanks me! I heard Zhang Yang said that if it wasn’t for you, they wouldn’t have made it back! You saved the lives of my comrades, so I should be the one thanking you! Zhang Yang said you’re a particularly good shooter! You can kill a zombie with each shot!” His eyes were full of admiration, not at all belittling Gu Ning just because she looked younger than him.
Gu Ning was a little overwhelmed by being viewed with such adoration and said with a smile: “It’s not as exaggerated as he said.”
Zhang ZhanXing replied: “You don’t have to be modest! You killed those b*stards, the whole colony knows about it, they’re all talking about you! That Mr Wang was so angry that his face was crooked! His gang of thugs often disturb us and bullied the commoners. They’re so hateful! You killed them, that’s a big relief!”
This was the effect Gu Ning wanted.
If people don’t offend me, I won’t offend them.
Yet if one messes with her, or even tries to kill her, one will have to pay a terrible price.
She had to have such means to ensure that even in her absence, no one would dare to touch her parents and family.
Gu Ning bid farewell to Zhang ZhanXing and walked straight to the school infirmary.
Gu Ning walked down the road with such a big bag that it caught the attention of the rest. Those fiery gazes fell on that very bulging big bag, but when they landed on Gu Ning’s very dazzling and iconic short blonde hair, the fire in those eyes instantly quenched.
The news that a short-haired blonde girl had killed three people in a row, seriously wounded five others, and sent five others fleeing in terror had spread through the colony, with people describing in vivid detail how terrifying the blonde girl was.
No one dared to covet what was in her hands.
When Gu Ning visited the school infirmary Doctor Gao looked at her with some surprise.
Then as she checked at those things on the list which Gu Ning brought to her, she fell into silence. It was only less than an hour, even driving a round trip to Lishui Hospital would have taken such a long duration……
She opened her mouth but held back her question as she was just a doctor and all she needed was to treat people, the rest, it was not her place to ask.
She tidied up a bit and followed Gu Ning towards the student dormitory.
Along the way, countless glances were cast from both sides of the road and the buildings too.
Yet none of them dared to come close.
A little girl of four or five years old looked at Gu Ning curiously on the roadside and was hastily picked up and left by a young woman as if Gu Ning was some kind of fierce and evil person who would kill anyone who bumped into her at the slightest. It was just that Gu Ning had killed four people in a row in less than half a day after entering the colony, which was indeed a bit appalling. It would have been acceptable if it had been a big, fierce man, but it was a young girl who looked innocent and harmless, and whose body was even a little weak. The contrast was unacceptable thus it was a little more frightening.
Some people who had just entered the colony and did not know the cause and effect and were a little baffled, because Gu Ning’s image just looked too harmless, how could they linked her with the image of her wielding a knife and killing people.
What made Gu Ning slightly surprised was the Brother San had sent Zhang Yang and Luo Long to guard the dormitory to protect Father Gu and Mother Gu. This was also in consideration of the fact that Gu Ning had now offended Wang JiZhong so much that Brother San was worried that he would not be able to swallow down the anger and took it out on Gu Ning’s parents when he couldn’t deal with her.
Gu Ning was very grateful for the arrangement made by Brother San.
Once Gu Ning returned, Cheng Ming and the others were relieved. They all knew about Gu Ning’s siege and attack, after that they only heard that Gu Ning went out of the colony alone and was nowhere to be found. They were really worried for a while, but now when they saw that Gu Ning had returned safely, they all felt reassured.
At the same time, they were shocked that Gu Ning managed to find all Gao Yue’s listed items in such a short period.
Mother Gu was still in a deep sleep. Gu SiYuan had woken up instead.
He had already learned through the mouths of Cheng Ming and the others that Gu Ning was still alive.
However at that moment, when he saw Gu Ning being alive and stood in front of him, he couldn’t help but burst into tears.
He just patted on Gu Ning’s back repeatedly and soundlessly.
After a few moments, Gu Ning and Gu SiYuan both calmed down and the two of them exchanged their experiences after the separation.
Gu SiYuan lamented: “It was thanks to your Auntie Li on this journey. If she hadn’t accompanied us, your mother and I wouldn’t have been able to find this place, let alone find you.”
Gu Ning was still a bit surprised, their family had never had any dealings with Li HongJuan’s family before the apocalypse started and Mother Gu had also said frequently that Li HongJuan was too vulgar, and there had been many bad rumours about her in the neighbourhood. Thus when they bumped into each other in the neighbourhood, they would just nod and smiled. Nevertheless, after Gu Ning saved her twice during the apocalypse, she had been close to Mother Gu since then. However at that time, because Gu Ning was daring enough to kill the zombies, so everyone on the bus was fawning over Gu Ning’s parents so Li HongJuan didn’t look too special either.
Yet unexpectedly, at a time like this, she was the only one who stood up and suffered together with Father Gu and Mother Gu.
Gu Ning felt emotional in her heart, then asked: “Where is she?”
“She’s sleeping next door.” Huang MengYao replied.
Gu Ning asked again: “Dad, have you eaten yet?”
“Already eaten.” Father Gu replied.
As soon as he woke up, he was fed with food and water under the care of several people. At this point, he was still being alive and get to see his daughter, he felt that God had been kind to him and didn’t feel any bits of resentment at all.
Gu Ning squatted on the ground and said to Gu SiYuan: “The injury on your leg needs to be operated on. This is Gao Yue, she will do the operation.”
Although Gu SiYuan was a little scared, he still nodded his head.
Huang MengYao volunteered to stay and gave Gao Yue a lending hand. Everyone else was kicked out of the dormitory by Gao Yue.
Therefore, a clean-up surgery began in this small girls’ dormitory.
“After my hand injury healed up, I’m going to make a trip to Lishui Hospital.” Gu Ning said to Cheng Ming and the others as she stood in the corridor.
Cheng Ming and Jia DaoZhang were both stunned and Cheng Ming asked: “Didn’t you get everything that Gao Yue wanted? Why did you still have to take the risk of going to Lishui Hospital? There’s usually a lot of people visiting there, and I’m afraid there’ll be even more zombies. Also, the wave of zombies that we met this morning was near there, we don’t even know if it had dispersed yet.”
“We’ll have more people getting injured in the future. That bit of medicine is not enough.” Gu Ning replied. If she was a wealthy girl in the other world, then perhaps it could all be solved with money, but in reality, she was very poor and poor as hell. Going to Lishui Hospital and transporting it directly could save a large amount of money instantly.
“I agree with Gu Ning.” Jia DaoZhang replied, stroking the small tuft of goatee: “Just now when you were away, Cheng Ming and I went out for a spin and got some information. If we go to Lishui Hospital, just a few of us as the *luo luo bing will not be enough, but we can recruit a bit more manpower at the colony, just give out some supplies and there will be people willing to sell their lives for you.”
(T/N: 啰啰兵 Luō luō bīng: Foot soldiers as in the cannon fodder that is expendable or exploitable.)
Jia DaoZhang continued: “I wandered around with Cheng Ming and got a clear picture of this colony. The person who is in charge of this colony now is that Bai Lang. He used to be a mafia leader, with a bunch of gangsters working for him and guns in their hands. The main thing about him is that the group of people under him are all fierce and aggressive, killing zombies without mercy, and he has almost a hundred or so such people under him. A man with glasses often follows him is called Yin Yu. It is said that he is his military advisor.”
“Brother San used to be a company commander in the army. It seems that many of their troops turned into zombies at that time, and then he was the only few who rushed out with about three dozen people and brought a lot of guns and ammo with him. After arriving here, he stayed for the time being, but he was not under Bai Lang’s control either, so he formed his faction. As for Mr Wang, used to be the owner of a supermarket chain. When the apocalypse started, he united all the dozens of employees of the supermarket, and then he got a few cars filled with supplies and fled to join as Bai Lang’s underling. It is said that he has a secret warehouse full of supplies and he is the only one who knows where it is, so many people in the colony hated him to death, but no one dares to touch him. This is because the main source of supplies for the colony now comes from him. The dozen or so jerks today were all his underling.”
Gu Ning watched Jia DaoZhang spoke so eloquently and was astonished as she had gone for just over an hour and he had pried out this information so clearly?
As if he could see what Gu Ning had in mind, Jia DaoZhang said with a small smile: “The poor old me doesn’t have other skills, but I can still spy on for information.”
Gu Ning was unaware that even though Jia DaoZhang seemed to be making light of the situation, he had put in a lot of effort to make it seem light, just to showcase his abilities in front of Gu Ning, so that she would look up to him and that he wasn’t useless.
Obviously, he had succeeded.