In a scene where the wind carried the scent of decaying flesh, when suddenly, a hand was placed on her shoulder!
Gu Ning’s skin crawled, immediately she grabbed the wrist of the hand that was resting on her shoulder. With a turn, she twisted the hand over and just when she was about to deal a larger attack, a series of yelps could be heard: “Ouch ouch ouch hey!”
Gu Ning released the hand subconsciously.
Then she took a closer look, the owner of the hand was a middle-aged man in his forties with a goatee. He was wearing a grey-cyan dirty robe, his hair was oily and smooth like he had poured over a whole bottle of hair gel. He was holding his right wrist and kept hissing while taking in deep breaths.
Gu Ning stood aside, feeling slightly awkward and a little strange at the same time, did she use that much force?
“You little girl, so young yet so merciless? Huh?” The man growled in a low voice.
“Sorry, I thought it was a zombie.” Gu Ning replied honestly.
“If I were a zombie, would I still rest my hand on your shoulder? I would‘ve just opened my mouth and bit you…”Just when his voice fell! He saw the expression of the little girl in front of him change, then snatched the knife from his hand and thrust it into the darkness behind him!
Only to hear a loud roar from behind!
He turned his head tremblingly, and almost got frightened to death as he vaguely saw a hideous face in the darkness which was less than a meter away from him. If the knife had been thrusted a little bit later, he would’ve been bitten.
Before he could thank her, he heard the little girl’s voice tense: “Run, a lot is coming from behind.“
A lot, a lot are coming?!
How many is a lot?!
He did not bother to entertain that line of thought, and quickly followed after the steps of the little girl in front of him while lifting his robe to knee-high length and ran into the darkness. He didn’t have the time to process about how she was able to see the zombies coming over within the darkness.
He just ran a short distance, then saw Gu Ning’s golden hair disappear into the dark. He was anxious and wanted to catch up quickly, but there were no street lights on the road and only the ray of moonlight above his head functioned as light source. Feeling nervous, he stumbled on something and threw himself down unto the floor. When he looked up, there was no sight of the little girl or even her shadow. While listening to the sound of the zombie’s footsteps dragging on the ground getting closer. An eerie feeling crawled up his whole body and quickly got up from the ground then ran for a while before recollecting himself. His hands were empty and then he cursed in a low voice: “F*ck! She took my knife!”
Gu Ning ran on the messy road in her pyjamas and barefooted while carrying a knife. At full speed, she ran two streets away and did not stop until she reached a relatively safe place.
When she stopped, she belatedly realized that she had thrown the goatee guy off and she was still holding onto his knife in her hand.
However, Gu Ning did not think of going back to him, in this point of time, he could only pray for his own blessings. After all, she had saved his life, and this knife was regarded as his gratitude.
Gu Ning thought along this line, then she scanned her surroundings, looking for a safe place to spend the first night.
All of the sudden, there seemed to be the sound of a car drifting over, and then a van stopped on the road less than five meters away from her. Before she could react, a bright light shone and focused on Gu Ning’s body.
“What are you doing in a daze? Get into the van!” A girl in the van poked her head out and spoke to Gu Ning impatiently.
Gu Ning hesitated for a while.
A guy came out from the other side of the van and shouted in surprise: “Sister Gu Ning?!”
Then a 22 or 23 year old guy jumped out from the driver’s seat and ran over.
“Sister Gu Ning, how can it be you?! Why are you alone in such a dangerous place?…” His surprised voice faded and looked weirdly at Gu Ning.
Gu Ning realized that she was still wearing the cartoon pyjamas she had put on that she slept in and she was barefooted. Her hand carrying a knife. The first thought that crossed Gu Ning’s mind was that, luckily, she had the bad habit of sleeping with underwear. After she froze for a while, an extremely ridiculous thought suddenly flashed in her mind.
“Sister Gu Ning?” Seeing Gu Ning being lost in thought, Cheng Ming could not help but whisper.
Gu Ning shook her head and looked at the concerned boy in front of her.
“Excuse me, but you are?”
Cheng Ming could not help being disappointed, but he still said cheerfully: “I am Cheng Ming. A junior at Linchuan University. You picked me up at the train station when I entered Linchuan University.”
“Oh, really. Hello there.” Obviously, Gu Ning’s reaction was that she did not recognise him at all.
However, this environment right now is obviously not a good time for catch up. The people on the bread van had already waited impatiently: “Cheng Ming! Can you catch up later?! Get into the van first!”
Cheng Ming said: “Sister Gu Ning, let’s get into the van then chat? My classmates are all in the car! It’s safe!”
Gu Ning stopped hesitating and decided to get into the van. After all, this place was not entirely safe.
Just as Gu Ning got into the van, she heard a gloomy voice from behind: “Little girl, we meet again…”
Gu Ning was stunned for a moment, and then looked behind, it turned out that it was the middle-aged man in the robe, looking at her quietly.
Gu Ning laughed dryly: “Uh, yeah.”
The middle-aged man said: “You can return my knife to me now.”
Gu Ning handed the knife back angrily.
“Everyone, let me introduce, Gu Ning, she is our senior who is a year above us. She will be with us from now on.”Cheng Ming said while driving.
There were three men and two women in the car, all of them greeted to get familiarise with each other.
“You guys just call me Jia *DaoZhang. I used to worship Daoism in Guanyun. Temple.” said the middle-aged man.
(T/N: *道长 Dào Zhǎng means Daoist, the priest for Daoism. Used DaoZhang to differentiate the names.)
No wonder he was wearing the grey-cyan robe, he was actually a Daoist.
The guy in sportswear with a flat head is called Yang Wei, the guy in checkered clothes with black-rimmed glasses is Zhang Chao, and the guy with bangs covering half of his eyes was named Xie YuHong. Both girls were pretty, one was called Huang MengYao and the other was Xiao YunYun. However Gu Ning stiffled a laugh when she looked at their hair, One had black, long straight hair, and the other had long and curly hair, both did not even bother to tie it up. These two hairstyles would’ve made them look like Goddesses in the past but it was cumbersome to maintain these hairstyles especially during apocalypse days.
After hearing Cheng Ming’s introduction, Yang Wei smiled maliciously and said: “Cheng Ming, you even knew such a beautiful senior sister, why haven’t we heard about it from you before.”
In fact, Gu Ning was not really that pretty. She looks more like her mother. Although she has graceful eyebrows and beautiful bright eyes, and looks attractive upon closer inspection, she would not stand out if placed among others. But after her messy black hair turned into a soft shiny blonde hair, it was dazzling enough. Her hair was a short shoulder-length which she cut it by herself with scissors. It was a little jagged but on the contrary, it gave off the vibe of a casual looking beauty.
Suddenly, Huang MengYao with long black straight hair asked strangely: “Have you washed your hair?”
“Oh yes, it smells so nice.” Xiao YunYun moved closer to Gu Ning and smelled it, then looked at her with a weird look: “Where did you get the shampoo and water?”
“It shouldn’t be? The water shortage is so severe now, and you still use water to wash your hair?” Xie YuHong unable to resist the urge and chimed in.
Gu Ning was speechless.
Still Cheng Ming could not help but to stand up for Gu Ning: “Enough, she is not using your water, why do you all mind her business?”
Huang MengYao sneered: “Cheng Ming, what does it mean not using our water? Now the whole world is shortage of water. If she uses some, we will have less water to use. How is it not related to us?”
This saying was a bit irrational now.
Gu Ning was too lazy to argue with her and rested her eyes.
Huang MengYao wanted to argue some more, but was pulled back by Xiao YunYun next to her: “Stop saying it.” Then she sneered and kept quiet.
The atmosphere in the van got a little awkward.
The whole journey was silent.
The van stopped smoothly outside a small hidden garage, then gathered the goods which they had scavenged out of the trunk.
Cheng Ming stepped forward and tapped rhythmically on the iron door of the garage.
Huang MengYao suddenly sarcastically said to Gu Ning beside her: “By the way, Sister Gu Ning, we don’t have much to eat. Originally, I was worried that you would take a share when you joined us in the van. But since you were able to have water to wash your hair, I doubt you will be worried about food right?”
Gu Ning’s body was clearly thin at a glance, and it was obvious that there was nothing on her to eat. Huang MengYao’s words could be said as harsh.
Gu Ning seemed not to hear her, and *seemed oblivious to it.
(T/N: *眼观鼻, 鼻观心 yǎn guān bí ，bí guān xīn means eyes looked at the nose, nose looked at the heart. This have a wide range of meanings, it usually means to concentrate and focus but in this context being oblivious is more suitable.)
That Jia DaoZhang had been shunning at the side of the team all along and kept quiet.
Inside the iron gate, a voice came out: “Who?”
Only then did the iron gate slowly rose till waist-high and stopped. Gu Ning followed Cheng Ming, crouching low and went in.
It was a small parking lot that can hold up to a dozen cars, but there was not a single car in sight, just a house full of people. Gu Ning glanced around and estimated that there were about two hundred people. They were from all ages, every one of them only used simple tools to spread a layer on the floor and slept on it.
Many people were awakened when they heard the shutter gate open, silently glancing this way.
After the gate was lowered down, the 27 or 28 year old man who opened the gate, rudely took a flashlight and scanned them up and down. He purposely took a closer look at Jia DaoZhang and Gu Ning then said: “New people?”
Huang MengYao smiled meaningfully and said: “Brother Xiao Chen, this is a senior sister from one of our schools. How is it, doesn’t look bad right?”
The man addressed as Xiao Chen, changed his gaze slightly as his eyes landed on Gu Ning, and he nodded implicitly: “Rather pretty.”
“Brother Xiao Chen. These are the goods we have scavenged for today.” Cheng Ming directly inserted himself in front of Gu Ning, shielding her completely with his tall body.
“That’s it?” Brother Xiao Chen said with dissatisfaction. There were only five large bottles of mineral water in the sack, plus a few packets of potato chips, a dozen small breads, and some opened biscuits.
“Brother Xiao Chen, zombies are increasing out there more and more, there are also a lot of people scavenging for supplies. Most of the shopping malls have been ransacked, and we can only pick up some on the ground that the others didn’t have much time to pick up… Really can’t find anything more.” Cheng Ming explained.
“Forget it forget it, follow the old rules then.” After Brother Xiao Chen finished speaking, he gestured to the group of youngsters next to him.
The youngsters came forward to search their bodies. Huang MengYao and Xiao YunYun being both girls were touched and sexual harassed the most, but they looked calm as they were already used to this way obviously.
Jia DaoZhang also stretched out his hand willingly, allowing them to search all over him.
“Hey, Brother Xiao Chen.” Huang MengYao suddenly asked with a look of confusion: “Sister Gu Ning doesn’t need to be searched?”
Gu Ning on the other side was wearing a thin pyjamas, and it could be easily told if she was hiding something at a glance, so no one thought of searching her body. After being reminded by Huang MengYao, everyone immediately looked at Gu Ning, who was standing there expressionless.
Cheng Ming glanced at Huang MengYao in disbelief, then immediately stared at Gu Ning.
Jia DaoZhang also glanced at Huang MengYao in astonish.
Brother Xiao Chen was stunned for a moment, and looked at Huang MengYao with a little surprise and then he cracked a laughter and said to Gu Ning: “I’m sorry, miss, this is our rule here…” He then went forward to try and search Gu Ning’s body.
Cheng Ming and Jia DaoZhang wanted to step forward at the same time to stop them, when they saw Gu Ning take a step back and looked at that Brother Xiao Chen while saying: “Excuse me.” Then asked: “Does everyone who wants to join here must go through body search?”
Brother Xiao Chen nodded: “Of course!”
“That’s fine then.” Gu Ning gave a relieved expression: “I don’t want to join here, so I don’t need to be searched.”