(T/N: This chapter is dedicated to Ellie! Thank you for your kind support. But please don’t follow the first sentence of this chapter hahaha XD )
With Xiang Xu’s horrified cry, Gu Ning reacted almost instantly as the sentences ended. She picked up Xiang Xu and pinned her into the crook of her arms before she began to run crazily.
The others hadn’t reacted, but their subconscious mind was to follow Gu Ning closely, so once they saw Gu Ning running, the others immediately followed suit.
Zhang XiaoBai glanced back as he ran.
He saw a dozen or so people suddenly rushed out from the corner of the road behind them, and then frantically running towards their direction. He saw that the one running at the front was none other than Bai Lang! Following this, an uncountable number of zombies burst out from the corner turn behind those people, surging like a wave and was about to drown all of them.
“Quick! Run! The zombie swarm is coming! ! ! !” Zhang XiaoBai shouted then sprang forward and gritted his teeth as he finally began to run crazily with desperation.
Although Gu Ning was carrying Xiang Xu, she was still the fastest runner. Xiang Xu weighted at least several dozen pounds, but to Gu Ning, it wasn’t much of a burden. Xiang Xu was pinned in the crook of Gu Ning’s arm, tugging at Gu Ning’s clothes with a deadly grip, and her face paled when her spiritual energy sensed that those people were still following closely behind them.
As they ran, Jia DaoZhang cursed: “Those sons of the b*tch! Why can’t we get rid of them like some d*mn plaster?!”
Bai Lang, Pei Jing, and their party, who were a hundred metres away, were running towards them. They followed wherever Gu Ning turned, and even the zombies that were tagging behind were still chasing after them. It seem that they were determined to follow Gu Ning and the others till the end.
Gu Ning knew that this was not the solution, even if her stamina was strong enough to run all the way back to the colony, the others would not last much longer. After running for less than a kilometre, Jia DaoZhang was already turning pale as these weren’t brisk walking and jogging but were a flight for his dear life. Cheng Ming, Xie YuHong, and Huang MengYao were also gritting their teeth as they hold on. The soldiers who have usually done cross-country training and weight running practices were still able to hold on for a while. However, once it dragged and they had reached their limit, they could only lie on the ground and let the zombies feed on them.
At this time, Gu Ning inevitably thought that if she was alone, she could just find a place to hide and entered her space. Then returned after the zombie swarm had dispersed so that she would be able to safely survive this crisis. Yet right now, she couldn’t do anything nor leave them alone and ran away for her life. Even though she wanted to do so, she just couldn’t bear it.
Gu Ning could only run while thinking of a better solution.
Out of the blue, Gu Ning suddenly heard a sound, and then she saw several ropes falling from the sky.
“Quick, grab those ropes!”
It was from a building and the voices came from the second floor, where the ropes were hanging out from the second floor window sill. Several young men and women were standing by the window, shouting at them. It was them that had thrown those ropes down.
Gu Ning rushed closer and hesitated for only a split second before handing it to Xiang Xu and ordered: “Climb up!”
Xiang Xu hurriedly grabbed the thick rope and started climbing up with her arms and legs. The rope was tied with many knots in between which helped one to climb easier. In addition that now was in a life-and-death situation, Xiang Xu climbed very fast with her slender arms and legs.
Gu Ning glanced at Bai Lang and his group that was two hundred meters away, and the wave of zombies that were closely following them. Without hesitation, she grabbed the rope next to her then climbed upwards.
Following closely behind were several soldiers and all of them scrambled up the ropes. They were well trained in this area and they had overtaken Xiang Xu who had climbed first. They climbed into the ledge in ten seconds or so and then reached out to pull Xiang Xu and Gu Ning in.
Gu Ning flipped in through the window sill, Xiang Yi tumbled in next, and then Cheng Ming, Xie YuHong, and even Huang MengYao managed to climb up while clenching their teeth. Only Jia DaoZhang was left. Gu Ning stretched out of the window sill to check out, only to see Jia DaoZhang struggling to climb up the rope. He had run for nearly 2km yet with his old age and lack of exercise, he had long stretched his physical endurance beyond the limits. His hands were shaking and his legs went weak, plus he was so exhausted that he couldn’t exert any more strength after climbed to the middle of the rope. Seeing that Bai Lang and the rest were about to reach him, Jia DaoZhang was in a burst of fear. He thought about those plots written in the novel that stimulating ones’ great potential amidst crisis, was all a lie. All he felt right now was weakness in his hands and legs, his heart was beating so fast like it was about to explode. Also, he was so nervous as if he was about to develop asthma, yet none of his potentials was pushed out.
When Cheng Ming saw that Jia DaoZhang was stopped climbing, he shouted in anxiety: “Jia DaoZhang! Hurry up! The zombie swarm is coming!”
Xiang Yi also shouted to the bottom: “Get up here, god*mmit! It’s useless for you to stop there and chant Amitabha!”
Yet no matter how they shouted, Jia DaoZhang just remained there without moving.
If I could climb, wouldn’t I already climb?! Jia DaoZhang thought with sadness and anger in his heart, moreover, Amitabha Buddha was recited by a monk not him! However, he couldn’t utter a single word as his chest hurt so badly, and he had no time to argue with them. All the strength he had left for now was to hold onto the rope and prevent himself from falling.
Bai Lang and the others, who were still a hundred metres away, burst out their potential as if they had seen the hope of life. They rushed over in the blink of an eye, grabbing the other ropes and climbing upwards. As he watched each one of them climb up past him, Jia DaoZhang glanced back and saw that the zombies were about to reach him. Yet whenever he tried to exert some strength, his arms went numb and he couldn’t move a single bit. If it wasn’t for the fact that Jia DaoZhang wanted to leave a good impression in front of Gu Ning and the others, he was so afraid of death right now that he would have burst into tears.
As he listened to the urgent urging shouts from above, Jia DaoZhang thought sadly, was he going to die here today? If he had known that he was going to be torn apart by the zombies, he might as well have taken some medicine and passed away peacefully during the start of the apocalypse. At least he could still preserve his body as a whole.
Should he let them know, that if he falls down, they should give him a few shots to end his suffering from being bitten alive? Just when Jia DaoZhang was rambling on with his thoughts, a sudden calm voice came from overhead: “Hold on tight to the rope.”
Jia DaoZhang muttered in his heart that he had grabbed the rope as tight as possible, but his subconscious mind squeezed out the last bit of strength he had to grab hold the rope again.
Afterward, he felt that he was rising ——
Jia DaoZhang couldn’t help but open his eyes in awe and glanced upwards, only to see Gu Ning tugging the rope upwards with both hands!
There was a sudden burst of joy in his heart!
The gush of joy didn’t even last for two seconds! Suddenly his whole body plunged downwards!
There was a shout of surprise from overhead!
He was so startled that the rope in his hand nearly slipped off, and he was so shocked that he couldn’t help but glanced downward. It was a frightening sight, which almost scared the hell out of Jia DaoZhang. He saw that the end of the rope was being pulled by one of the zombies, and it was being jerked downward with such a great force. Next to him, some zombies were already trying to reach out and grab his feet.
Jia DaoZhang was so frightened that he hastily retracted his feet upwards and glanced up to see that Gu Ning who had just been holding onto the rope was being dragged down by the strong force unexpectedly. Her whole body was almost dragged out! Half of her body was jerked out of the window sill. Xiang Yi and Cheng Ming hurriedly came over and held onto Gu Ning by her waist to prevent her from being dragged out.
Gu Ning was tugging at this end and the zombie was tugging at the other end. Both of them refused to let go. What was even more horrifying was that the strength of that zombie seem to be even greater than the strength-type zombie which Gu Ning had encountered previously, and this was even vaguely overpowering her. As she watched the rope slowly slipped out of her hands, a little sweat seeped out of Gu Ning’s forehead, and Jia DaoZhang’s expression became more and more frightened. He was saving his strength to grab onto the rope tightly or else he would have been screaming. Gu Ning suddenly shouted at Jia DaoZhang: “Use all your strength to cling on the rope!”
Jia DaoZhang didn’t know what Gu Ning was trying to do but he subconsciously obeyed Gu Ning’s order and held on to the rope for his dear life. Fortunately, there were knots on the rope and his hand was gripping on top of the knots so that he won’t fall off. Just as he had gotten a firm grip, he suddenly felt himself plunging downwards! Jia DaoZhang shrieked violently in fright, and when he looked up, it was Gu Ning who had loosened the rope. With this, he instantly fell back to where he had originally crawled to, only a few dozen centimetres away from those zombies’ outstretched hands! If he had fallen any lower, his legs would have been caught by the zombies! He felt the urge to pee and almost wet his trousers, which would have ruined his reputation.
Gu Ning turned around and sat on top of the window sill, then shouted to the two sturdiest soldiers: “Shi Lei! Cai Yong! Hold on to my calves!”
Shi Lei and Cai Yong didn’t know what Gu Ning was intending to do, but they obediently came forward and hugged Gu Ning’s calves.
“Hold on tight! Don’t ever let go!” After Gu Ning solemnly instructed again, she took a deep breath before her entire body tumbled backward and out of the window sill! In one swift fall, her whole body was hanging upside down against the wall, outside of the window sill except her calves.
Everyone else was so shocked by Gu Ning’s dangerous move that they were speechless and hurriedly leaned over to the window sill to check.
Cheng Ming, however, helped Shi Lei and Cai Yong to hold onto Gu Ning’s legs, afraid that they might not hold firm enough, and caused Gu Ning to fall, as his face turned pale with that thought.
After Gu Ning hung out upside down, she reached out her hands and shouted at Jia DaoZhang: “Quick! Grab onto me!”
Jia DaoZhang was looking nervously at the zombie below in fear that they would jump up and grab his legs. When he heard the shout, he glanced up and saw Gu Ning hanging upside down on the window sill, stretching out her hands towards him. He was so shocked that he didn’t know what to do. Yet when staring into those eager eyes, Jia DaoZhang couldn’t tell what he felt in his heart, then he tried to reach out a hand to grab her hand, and the distance was just right! Gu Ning’s hand instantly grabbed Jia DaoZhang’s wrist, and his hand also clasped onto Gu Ning’s wrist. Feeling the strength of Gu Ning’s hand, Jia DaoZhang’s heart calmed a little before he tried to reach his other hand to Gu Ning as well.
Both hands clasped together smoothly, and Jia DaoZhang’s heart burst with joy as Gu Ning exerted force in her abdomen and actually managed to yank Jia DaoZhang upward!
However, in his happiness, he had forgotten that there were still dozens of zombies reaching out for his legs underneath him. The moment he was yanked up by Gu Ning, he subconsciously relaxed his originally coiled legs down…… When his foot stood on a hard object, Jia DaoZhang even froze for a moment and subconsciously looked down and saw that the hard object under his foot was the top of a zombie’s head! He shrieked in terror and then quickly retracted his leg. However, he couldn’t move halfway, as a pair of hands were grabbing firmly on his calves!
Gu Ning’s body, which had already started to lift from the wall, was suddenly yanked by a force coming from her hands! She was caught off guard, as her back slammed back hard into the wall, and the moment her arched spine hit the hard wall, a muffled grunt of pain escaped Gu Ning’s lips.
The muffled grunt travelled into the window sill.
This startled everyone and shocked them.
Cheng Ming’s heart even trembled.
“Gu Ning, are you alright?” Zhang XiaoBai asked anxiously. The others had worried expressions written on their face.
Although Gu Ning’s spine was in severe pain, she didn’t loosen her grip on Jia DaoZhang’s hand, nor did she respond to Zhang XiaoBai’s anxious questioning. She only increased her strength and fought against the zombies below who were dragging Jia DaoZhang’s legs.
Jia DaoZhang couldn’t help but tremble, not from fear, but some other kind of emotion.
He looked up at Gu Ning and with guiltiness, emotions, and pleadings as his voice trembled slightly: “Gu Ning, let go of my hand.”
Gu Ning did not answer him, nor did she have any intention of letting go of her hand at this point. If she was going to let go of his hands, then she wouldn’t have tried and hang out of the window sill.
Since she had already grabbed Jia DaoZhang’s hand, she would never let go of them unless those zombies yanked him out of her.
The zombies hissed with excitement and hunger, if only they could yank Jia DaoZhang off, they could eat fresh blood and flesh. The warm blood would nourish their parched throats, the fresh flesh would strengthen their bodies——
No one on the window ledge said anything as they looked at the hissing zombies below and felt a chill ran down their spines. Shi Lei and Cai Yong pursed their lips and hugged Gu Ning’s little calves even tighter.
Gu Ning’s sweat ran down her forehead, dampening her golden hair, her body swaying as Jia DaoZhang was pulled from side to side while her back rubbed against the wall with burning friction. Her hands remained firmly clasped to Jia DaoZhang’s wrist as if it was embedded.
Suddenly, the sound of a gun handle being pulled rang out.
This was followed by a gunshot——
A bullet hole appeared in the head of the zombie that was tugging at Jia DaoZhang, and then it just fell back silently while being swamped by the zombies crowding behind it.
Gu Ning looked at the window sill in surprise, Bai Lang was poking out and it was him who had fired the shot.
Sensing Gu Ning’s gaze, a malicious smile crossed Bai Lang’s eyes before the gun shifted slightly and was aimed at Gu Ning. Gu Ning’s heart tightened, and then she noticed the malicious smile that crossed Bai Lang’s slanting eyes. Thus, she calmed down slightly and just stared at him quietly without feeling any annoyance.
Seemingly a little bored by Gu Ning’s staring gaze, Bai Lang skimmed his lips and shifted his gun.
Several gunshots followed.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
One by one, those zombies who had grabbed Jia DaoZhang’s legs fell. Without thinking about anything else, Jia DaoZhang tried his best and kicked away the zombie who had grabbed his ankle despite being dead. Immediately, he curled his legs up quickly which caused the zombies who were crowding behind him could only angrily stretched out their hands in mid-air waving.
Gu Ning felt the tugging force loosened, and let out a low bellow before exerting force on her abdomen once again. She sat up like doing a normal sit-up, except she was still pulling a hundred-plus pound person in her hand. The moment Gu Ning sat up, the rest of them poked out of the window sill from both sides. They grabbed onto Jia DaoZhang’s arms with force while helping Gu Ning to pull Jia DaoZhang upward.
Jia DaoZhang tumbled off the window ledge as if he was like a fish being thrown on the land and fell to the ground panting heavily.
Gu Ning was also helped by Zhang XiaoBai and Zhang Yang to rest against the wall on the ground. Previously, she didn’t feel the thrill, but right now when she was out of danger, her heart was beating strongly.
While she was resting, she couldn’t help but glance at Bai Lang, nodding slightly in gratitude to the shots made by him. Thanking him for those shots, otherwise, she would still be dangling out there.
He was surrounded by Yin Sang and the man in the white shirt, as well as Pei Jing and the special abilities user Yan Yu, were also with them. There were only twelve or thirteen of them left in their group and Gu Ning didn’t even need to ask to understand that the others had been swamped by the zombies.
On the contrary, the few soldiers were a bit ashamed, as they were in a state of shock and panic and had not thought of a way to help Gu Ning. At this moment, they had mixed emotions towards Bai Lang.
The paralyzed Jia DaoZhang suddenly jumped up from the ground and stomped down towards the stairs.
It took everyone by surprise.
It was a while later before he came back up slowly, holding onto the railing, and said with a shameful look on his face: “Need to answer to the call of nature, the call of nature……” His legs were still trembling as he walked, but the previous energetic movement as he had gotten up from the ground had disappeared in a flash.
Gu Ning also stood up after she had rested enough.
They listened to the constant banging on the door of the zombies below and frowned slightly.
“Don’t worry, we’ve blocked the door below, they’ll never be able to break in. They’ll go away once we climbed higher as they can’t smell us.” One of the girls who had thrown down the ropes smiled, and when she smiled, two shallow dimples shown on her cheek and made her look much more approachable.
“Well, all of you are safe for now, let’s go up.” One of the men replied, silently glanced at the guns they were holding. The other three looked at them with smiles, all looking very friendly and welcoming.
Gu Ning and Bai Lang glanced at each other before following those five people up the stairs.
“Thank you guys for earlier.” The soldier said to the man in the lead.
“You’re welcome. It’s the post-apocalyptic world, so of course, humans should help each other.” The man replied.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve newcomers.” The girl with dimples said and naturally took Gu Ning by her arm and said: “You were awesome just now!”
Gu Ning smelled a sour odour, most likely it came from these people that had been trapped in here for too long and unable to wash up. Although Gu Ning didn’t like to be clung to by the arm, they were saved by them previously. Thus, Gu Ning didn’t want to be rude and just smiled while answering her question.
In between, they took small breaks as they walked.
It took more than ten minutes to get to where the hideout was.
The top seventh floor.
To their surprise, the group had quite a few companions.
At a cursory glance, there were 50 to 60 men, women, elderly and children were in this large house.
The floor was littered with things to keep warm, and in some places, there were only a few thin quilts.
Some were standing or sitting while the rest were still lying on the floor. Yet all eyes were staring at the twenty or so people on Gu Ning’s group. It was unable to tell if they were alarmed by seeing a group of strangers or any other reason, but all of them were so quiet that it gave chills to Gu Ning’s group.
Gu Ning glanced around the room, looking at those people, without any reason she felt that something was off somewhere. However, she couldn’t pinpoint out what was wrong, yet there was strange hunch she had in her heart and an inexplicable chill……