At that very moment.
Bai Yue stayed in the villa, fidgety and anxiously pacing back and forth while looking outside of the villa from time to time. He tried to rush out several times, but he was forcibly pulled back by Wu Qingfeng. Bai Yue’s plan was thwarted and he became frustrated. He only felt that he was extremely incompetent at the moment. Something was happening to his brother, yet he could only stay here and be protected.
Finally, noises were heard outside the villa.
Nie Xiao and the others walked in through the door with gloomy, heavy expressions. Bai Yue hurriedly went to meet them, but he couldn’t find his brother after looking around. “Where’s my brother?”
Hearing his younger brother’s voice, Bai Mei shrank and hid himself behind Luo Yunhai in fear. He lowered his head deeply, unwilling to expose his appearance.
Bai Yue seemed to sense something. He raised his eyes and looked towards Luo Yunhai. He saw the familiar hem of clothes peeking out behind the latter and walked over. He finally let out a sigh of relief in his heart and chided, “Brother, you finally came back. Why did you run around all of a sudden…”
His words abruptly came to a halt. Under the moonlight, Bai Yue eventually saw his brother’s appearance. He was completely rooted in place, and the rims of his eyes immediately flushed red.
“Don’t look at me!” Bai Mei covered his head in panic. With cheeks smeared with tears and nowhere to hide, he curled up and squatted on the ground. The fact that such a proud and beautiful person had become so vulnerable and so self-abased made Luo Yunhai’s heart squeeze in distress, and he also squatted down to hold Bai Mei in his arms.
“It’s okay, don’t be afraid, don’t cry!”
Seeing his elder brother’s appearance, Bai Yue also broke down and shed tears. He turned to look at Nie Xiao and the others. While clutching at his hair, his lips trembling, he roared, “What the hell is going on? Didn’t you guys protect my brother just now! Why did he become a zombie when he came back ahhh!”
Confronted with Bai Yue’s accusation, Nie Xiao and their hearts felt heavy and filled with grief. Bai Yue couldn’t be blamed for misunderstanding. After all, no one could look on unfeelingly and keep calm after seeing their loved ones change.
Bai Yue turned back, pushed Luo Yunhai away, and rushed to hug Bai Mei’s shaking body. A warm white light instantly enveloped Bai Mei as he tried to cure his brother with his healing ability. Bai Yue stroked Bai Mei’s face with his slightly trembling hands, lightly tracing it as if he were treating a rare treasure.
“Brother, don’t be afraid. No matter what you become, I will not turn my back on you. I will definitely cure you!” Bai Yue pressed his warm cheek against Bai Mei’s palm that was void of temperature, tears streaming down his face.
Bai Mei stared at his younger brother in a daze, with tears continuously falling as if there were no end to it, his lips slightly trembling. “Little Yue…”
Two very similar faces showed an extreme sense of contradiction at that moment. They were totally different from each other, yet both so beautiful, carrying the utmost intense sorrow. The dark night was illuminated by the light of Bai Yue’s healing ability, almost resembling daylight.
Seeing this scene, everyone in the room felt sad and couldn’t bear to look again a second time; their eyes were moist and red. Luo Yunhai also shed bottled-up tears in distress. He clenched his jaw and let out a stifled sad groan.
But then at that moment, a miracle happened.
As Bai Yue’s healing ability was depleted, Bai Mei’s appearance eventually changed: all his skin and teeth began to regain vitality once more. It was like divine magic.
“Oh my god!!!”
Everyone was shocked and ecstatic at this scene. Even Bai Mei himself was stunned by the change and bewilderedly looked at his hands. If it weren’t for the crystal nuclei in his brain, he might’ve really thought that he would no longer be a zombie.
The light of the ability faded, and Bai Yue fell into Bai Mei’s arms, exhausted. He looked up and saw that his brother’s face had become beautiful and radiant once again. He smiled and gasped for breath as he said, “Brother, I told you I would cure you!”
Bai Mei’s tears dripped again. He hugged his younger brother’s head and kept sobbing loudly while kissing Bai Yue’s forehead. “Thank you, Little Yue!”
However, before his words came to an end, the short-lived results lost their effect. Like a night-blooming cactus1I copy-pasted from wikipedia for you guys~ Night-blooming cereus is the common name referring to a large number of flowering ceroid cacti that bloom at night. The flowers are short lived, and some of these species, such as Selenicereus grandiflorus, bloom only once a year, for a single night., Bai Mei reverted back to his original appearance, making everyone’s hearts tighten again.
“How can this be?!!”
Seeing such an unforeseen event, Bai Yue frantically straightened up and lifted his hand to exert his ability towards Bai Mei once again. However, the receiving party grabbed his hand.
Bai Mei smiled, with tears still glistening in his eyes, and shook his head. For him, even this fleeting change akin to a firework was sufficient enough to make him thoroughly see hope for survival and cheer up again.
He really was glad right now to have such a precious group of family and comrades.
“…It’s enough already. Little Yue, don’t worry. I… am different from other zombies. I was not bitten and infected by other zombies, nor would I lose my sanity. I am a zombie that spontaneously mutated at the very beginning of the apocalypse.., a self-conscious zombie king.”
Bai Yue stared at his elder brother in a trance, shedding tears in anguish. He put his hands to his eyes and cried. “How can this be… Why does my elder brother have to suffer these hardships….”
“I’m fine now.” Bai Mei stroked the top of Bai Yue’s head, took a deep breath, tried hard to calm his mood, and mustered the courage to tearfully gaze at everyone.
In the case that everyone wasn’t afraid or disgusted of him, he had no reason to be immersed in his sensitive and demeaning emotions and not be arrogant.
Bai Mei pulled Bai Yue to stand and wiped the tears on his face. As if he were back to his original elegant and gentle appearance, he bowed to everyone, the corners of his mouth curving up, and said hoarsely, “I’m sorry. I’ve forgotten my manners. Everyone, please sit down. I will now tell you everything I know.”
Looking at Bai Mei’s uplifted appearance, everyone also cheered up and put away their distressed minds. This was the greatest respect for Bai Mei. Luo Yunhai also took Bai Yue’s2Idk if this is supposed to be Bai Mei. The author put it as Bai Yue, but Luo Yunhai can’t possibly be paddling his boat in two rivers. hand and silently gave him the biggest encouragement and comfort.
This night was destined to be an inevitable night.
Sitting in the living room, everyone learned about everything that had happened to Bai Mei through his narration– including the existence of the man in black as well as the tasks that the man in black had commanded Bai Mei to do.
“I cannot go against that person’s summons and will involuntarily surrender when I hear his voice. I feel an overwhelming pressure and threat from him. I am currently guessing that he might also be a zombie—a zombie king who’s stronger and higher-ranked than me, so he is ordering me to collect ability cores.” Bai Mei’s countenance was calm as he continued, “If not, then I do not know what his purpose is for gathering ability cores.
“In fact, I stayed next to Jiang Qiu for these ability cores at first. It was just that after getting along with you all for some time, I became more and more unable to put my hand into motion.” Bai Mei, who was sitting on the sofa, smiled sadly. “I followed with an impure purpose, but then I began to feel reluctant to part with this temporary life that was like that of a normal person.”
Everyone went slightly silent as they listened to Bai Mei’s words. Bai Yue couldn’t help squeezing his elder brother’s hand, as if he could feel the suffering and struggles the other had endured before. His heart ached so much that he could hardly breathe.
Bai Mei also held Bai Yue’s hand to appease him and continued to sketch his story in light shades. “Later on, he came to find me twice, but I didn’t have any ability cores to report back, so he almost killed me. But before he could do so, he seemed to have received some good news, and his attention was diverted at the last moment.
“The communication device he had at the time was very high-end, something I had never seen before, and it looked like a holographic projector,” Bai Mei carefully recalled, then he continued, “In short, he let me go immediately after receiving the news and left me three potions before leaving. Now, this is the last one. I’m relying on it to restore my appearance and disguise myself.”
With that said, Bai Mei took out a dark-green reagent tube from his space, and the fluorescent liquid inside attracted everyone’s attention.
At this time, MoYan, Possier, and their comrades, who were watching this scene, were even more convinced that all these disasters on Earth were caused by aliens. The holographic communicator in Bai Yue’s description was, without a doubt, the quantum brain in their hands, and the appearance and material of the reagent tube in front of them was clearly no different from the shape of the interstellar’s best-selling nutrient-solution container. If someone said that all this was a coincidence, they definitely wouldn’t believe it. Thinking up to this point, MoYan and the others couldn’t help grinding their teeth together in resentment.
Bai Yue cautiously picked up the reagent tube, looked at the liquid inside, and keenly felt a trace of something strange. He said, “Brother, it seems that there’s also healing ability integrated inside.”
Bai Mei smiled and rubbed Bai Yue’s head. “En, I also sensed it from your abilities just now. The effects of the two are somewhat similar, only that the effects of pure ability do not last. Now, I’ll leave it to you all to study, and I hope it can help you to some extent. Whether your brother can get better is all up to you.”
Bai Yue’s eyes were red again. He held the reagent tube in his hand with care and nodded seriously. “Brother, I will definitely cure you.”
Nie Xiao looked at Bai Mei at this time and said, “When will the man in black come to find you?”
Through Bai Mei’s words, everyone could more or less conclude that the current apocalypse was inseparable from the man in black whom Bai Mei talked about. The hatred in his heart at this time was like it could overturn rivers and seas.
Bai Mei also became serious at this time and said carefully, “He usually comes over when my reagents are almost used up, and he collects my ability cores in passing, but you shouldn’t think about killing him for the time being. I can feel it. He is very strong, awfully strong—none of you are his opponent.
“At present, I can only fuse two ability cores within my body, but I don’t know how many he has in his body.” Having said that, Bai Mei showed the variant ability he acquired not long ago, “needle rain.” “Ordinary zombies, at most, can fuse only one ability core. Currently, I have reached my limit by fusing two.
“He still has methods we don’t know of. He also understands the transformations of ability users very clearly. He patently told me that the changes of ability cores were divided into three stages: solid state, semi-solid state, and the blended third stage. After the awakening, the ability core would be arduous to collect,” Bai Mei explained as his brows furrowed.
Jiang Qiu suddenly saw the light at that time. “So it turns out you actually know that. Nie Xiao and I saw you leak this information about awakening and noticed your abnormality.”
Bai Mei was slightly astonished and then admiringly said, “Sure enough, you mercenaries are more insightful. I simply told you how you discovered it.”
At this moment, Ning Feng scratched his head somewhat irately and depressedly, his teeth itching with hatred. “Then how can we kill this behind-the-scenes boss! Aahhh, I want to go and kill him right now!!! Our lives have been messed up by him, and he’s definitely the one who spread the zombie virus!”
“Calm down first.” Duan Wenyu held Ning Feng’s hand, wrinkling his eyebrows in contemplation before appeasing him, “We know too little information at the moment, and we can’t just beat the grass and alarm the snake3Alert the enemy by doing half-hearted attacks. From now on, we might have to rely on Bai Mei to get more information from that person and not fight unprepared battles.”
Bai Mei nodded affirmatively. “I will try my best to gain his trust and obtain further information about him. It doesn’t seem like his purpose of gathering ability cores is solely to strengthen himself.”
“Then I will have to request this of you from now on.” Nie Xiao looked at Bai Mei. He now regarded Bai Mei as a comrade in the same trench4The trench where soldiers stay during trench warfare. from the bottom of his heart, and there was no more suspicion.
Luo Yunhai looked at Bai Mei with a bit of unease, with worry oozing from his eyes. “Then when he sees you next time and you haven’t collected enough ability cores, will he want to kill you again?”
After hearing this, everyone’s hearts were on tenterhooks.
Bai Mei suddenly soothingly smiled at everyone. “Don’t worry, I’ve already found a way. Previously, on the way to Haicheng, I accidentally discovered a method to collect ability cores that will not hurt people. I ordered low-level zombies to find some ability cores from dead bodies. Many ability users have died at the beginning of the apocalypse before they could become strong.
“All my ability cores came from this method, including the ability core of Meng Guangyao whom you all mentioned before. I dug it out from his corpse. I still couldn’t kill a person, after all. It’s impossible for me, but fortunately, when I was at the end of my rope, God let me find another way.” Bai Mei smiled with tears falling. “Otherwise, I really wouldn’t know what to do.
“I almost wanted to start with your group.”
Hearing this, Luo Yunhai distressedly hugged Bai Mei. None of them could imagine the torment and pain that Bai Mei had been enduring from these days.
Jiang Qiu’s opinion of Bai Mei had also changed at this time. He rarely said sappy words, and his eyes were slightly moist. “You really did a good job. You’re probably both the stupidest and the best person I have ever seen.”
In other words, he had become a zombie, and he couldn’t guarantee that he would stick to his heart. He’d become a zombie with his memory intact and was ordered to attack his compatriots. The bitterness in it was hard to imagine. It was really too difficult for him to control himself, and it was a huge ordeal.
“We all owe you a thank you.” Nie Xiao’s chest was also a little uncomfortable while his eyes were full of sincerity and gratitude as he spoke. Thinking of their smooth journey along the way, one could well imagine how much effort Bai Mei had put in silently. Even the smooth sail during the day was probably inseparable from Bai Mei as well.
Bai Mei smiled with reddened eyes. It was undoubtedly a very joyous and satisfying thing to be able to invest time and energy in friendship. Everyone didn’t turn vigilant, nor were they on guard against him just because he was a zombie.
The little hamster jumped onto Bai Mei’s body and affectionately rubbed against Bai Mei’s neck. Besides Nie Xiao and MoYan, he was the third person to receive this honor.
The little hamster stickily chi-ed and looked at Bai Mei with concern. Hearing all the things Bai Mei had gone through made his tears nearly run dry.
Nie Xiao looked at the little hamster and translated with a smile, “Xiao WuYi said that you are the most beautiful and outstanding person in the world. He likes you very much!!!”
Even if Bai Mei’s appearance was that of a zombie at this moment, his mind was cleaner and more beautiful than a vast majority of human beings. Having seen all sorts of people in the apocalypse, Bai Mei was really very, very good.
Bai Mei cupped the little hamster and smiled with reddened eyes as he gently touched the little hamster’s head. He said warmly, “Thank you.”
After telling all of the secrets in his heart, the heavy load Bai Mei had carried was finally lifted.
- 1I copy-pasted from wikipedia for you guys~ Night-blooming cereus is the common name referring to a large number of flowering ceroid cacti that bloom at night. The flowers are short lived, and some of these species, such as Selenicereus grandiflorus, bloom only once a year, for a single night.
- 2Idk if this is supposed to be Bai Mei. The author put it as Bai Yue, but Luo Yunhai can’t possibly be paddling his boat in two rivers.
- 3Alert the enemy by doing half-hearted attacks
- 4The trench where soldiers stay during trench warfare.