Chapter 12: News
The smoke cleared, leaving only a severely disfigured zombie corpse on the ground.
Though the soldiers successfully dealt with the zombie, they were not happy. The group fell silent for a moment. Some organized the survivors who had scattered in fear, while others silently carried Captain Jin’s mutilated body.
The platoon leader, a man in his forties with red eyes, closed Captain Jin’s eyes with his own hands.
Mo Chu watched and sighed, then turned away. After six years in the apocalypse, she had become accustomed to life and death situations, but even now, she couldn’t help feeling melancholic.
Li Chen stood beside her and suddenly asked, “Does it hurt?”
Mo Chu was puzzled and turned her head, asking, “What?” She hadn’t used her hands for anything; how could she be in pain?
Li Chen glanced at her hands.
After firing the first shot, Mo Chu immediately switched to holding the gun with her other hand, subconsciously rubbing her palm. By now, her palm was red and slightly swollen.
Gun recoil was no joke, even with a handgun. If the gun was not held properly, the recoil could cause hand fractures. Moreover, the gun Mo Chu casually picked up was not suitable for female users.
Mo Chu didn’t pay much attention, but Li Chen noticed it immediately.
Mo Chu looked down at her hand for a moment, shook her head, and said, “It’s fine, not too painful.”
Li Chen’s fingers moved subconsciously but quickly pulled back, tightening into a fist.
After a pause, he whispered, “Next time, don’t do this.”
Mo Chu smiled and said nothing.
For her, whether she got injured or not wasn’t important. As long as it didn’t threaten her life, it wasn’t a severe injury. Pain was easier to accept than death.
她 was even less concerned about her wound than Li Chen. She hesitated for a moment, glancing at him, with only one question in her mind—why didn’t Li Chen show any curiosity or ask her about her proficient gun skills? Even last time, he didn’t ask any questions before agreeing to go to Hai City with her.
It seemed like he automatically chose to overlook any doubts or questions about her.
Was this really the big demon king she had in her mind?
But just because Li Chen chose to overlook it didn’t mean others did as well.
During their conversation, the platoon leader had arranged Captain Jin’s body, and he walked over to Mo Chu.
He first thanked Mo Chu and Li Chen.
Li Chen didn’t react much and didn’t seem interested in engaging in conversation. Mo Chu had to step in as the spokesperson for both of them and said, “You’re welcome.”
The platoon leader looked at Li Chen and asked, “Is this gentleman also an esper?”
Li Chen still didn’t seem inclined to speak, so Mo Chu nodded on his behalf and said, “Yes, he’s a fire-type esper.”
“Esper, huh…” The platoon leader sighed with complex emotions.
If there were enough espers among his soldiers, they wouldn’t have lost so many people on the way here.
Feeling sorrowful, the platoon leader didn’t speak further, and Mo Chu didn’t interrupt him.
After a moment, the platoon leader regained his composure and praised Mo Chu, saying, “Miss, your marksmanship is excellent.”
Mo Chu used the excuse she had prepared long ago, “I used to be in a shooting club.”
The platoon leader nodded, saying, “That explains it.”
However, in his heart, he didn’t quite believe the “shooting club” excuse. They were all experienced in firearms; how could they not differentiate between the skill level of a club and a professional?
The girl’s demonstrated skills, while not that of a sharpshooter, were definitely at an experienced level.
If everyone at the shooting club had this level of skill, then those soldiers who spent all day holding guns might as well retire.
However, the captain didn’t voice these thoughts and instead asked for the names of the two individuals before him.
Both the man and the woman didn’t seem like ordinary people, especially considering the man’s ability to instantly engage the zombie, giving them a chance.
The girl seemed approachable, and she kindly provided their names.
Being easy to talk to was a good thing.
The captain was thinking about how to get them to join his team, but he said, “I want to thank both of you on behalf of myself and my brothers. If you hadn’t stepped in just now, Xiaoshen might not have made it. If you have any requests, feel free to ask. As long as we can do it, we will do our best to meet your needs.”
As his words fell, the man named Lichen still had no extra reaction, but the girl tilted her head and said, “Well, there is one thing I’d like to trouble you, Captain.”
Hearing her say this, the captain felt relieved; as long as they had requests, there was a chance of getting them to join.
So, with a smile, the captain nodded and said, “Go ahead, tell me.”
“I would like to ask for something from you, Captain,” said Mo Chu.
The captain instinctively glanced at the gun in her hand, guessing that she wanted a gun. If that was the case, then the chance of getting them to join their ranks would be even higher. There was a scarcity of supplies in the military, but they had plenty of guns. As long as they were willing to join, he could get them any type of gun they wanted.
With a smile, he asked, “What do you need?”
However, Mo Chu didn’t ask for a gun as he had assumed. Instead, she extended her hand towards the man beside her, and he pulled out a dagger from his waist and handed it to her.
The girl held a dagger and walked up to the mutated zombie, its face unrecognizable.
He didn’t know what she was going to do, so he widened his eyes to see. However, he saw the dagger swiftly turn in the girl’s hand. In an instant, she plucked a sparkling and translucent crystal from the mutated zombie’s head. The crystal fell into the girl’s palm, still stained with a dark green, unknown liquid. The girl showed no disgust and casually grabbed a torn piece of cloth from the zombie’s body to wipe it off.
Then she held up the crystal in front of him and said, “I want this. Although it’s our common spoils of war, I’d like to ask the platoon leader for a favor.”
The platoon leader’s face was full of astonishment. “This is…”
Mo Chu looked at the crystal nucleus in her hand, a faint smile appearing on her lips.
This was undoubtedly a second-order crystal nucleus.
Less than ten days into the apocalypse, she obtained a second-order crystal nucleus. In her previous life, she wouldn’t even dare to dream of such a thing.
She was confident that she would get it, and she was sure that even if she told the platoon leader about it, he would give it to her.
Because the value of the information she provided far exceeded that of the crystal nucleus.
She held the crystal nucleus up to her eyes, squinting at the sun, and said softly, “This is a crystal nucleus.” It was the source of power and also the root of all evil in the apocalypse.
The platoon leader took a recording pen and hurriedly left, getting onto a nearby tank and even forgetting to say goodbye to Mo Chu and the others.
That recording pen held everything Mo Chu had just said.
To make a battle-hardened platoon leader lose his composure to this extent showed how much he valued the information Mo Chu had revealed. He understood the importance of that information.
Li Chen watched the platoon leader’s departing figure, narrowed his eyes, and asked in a low voice, “Is it appropriate to tell them such an important thing?”
Mo Chu sat against the wall, propping her cheek, and gazed into the distance, shaking her head slightly. “There’s nothing inappropriate about it.”
She knew all too well what exposing her rebirth meant. She never intended to reveal this secret in any form, not even to Li Chen.
Yet, she chose to take the risk and speak about the crystal nucleus.
In her previous life, half a month after the apocalypse, the zombies living in the city collectively evolved to the second order. Second-order zombies were incomparable to first-order zombies. They were more agile, aggressive, and intelligent.
These zombies entered the human survival zones to find food. The first-order ability users, who hadn’t mastered any abilities or upgraded yet, suffered heavy losses when confronting the second-order zombies.
Mo Chu was one of the victims during that disaster, one of the survivors. She knew how many people, both ability users and ordinary humans, died that day.
After that, humans discovered the function of the crystal nucleus found in the zombies’ brains. However, before that disaster, some people had noticed the presence of a crystal nucleus in zombie brains, but they had no idea what it was. Without a clear understanding, who would dare to attempt extracting something from a zombie’s brain?
While scientists were researching the crystal nucleus’s effects, zombies started their evolution ahead of humans.
And this time, Mo Chu just wanted to expedite the process so that when the zombies started to evolve, humanity wouldn’t be at a disadvantage. When that disaster came, humanity wouldn’t be reduced to helpless lambs waiting to be slaughtered.
She took a deep breath and looked into the distance.
In truth, she wasn’t as noble or kind as it seemed. After dying once, she valued her life more than anyone else. Everything she did was based on the premise of ensuring her own safety.
However, observing her reaction, Li Chen seemed to have misunderstood something.
He looked at Mo Chu and said, “Do whatever you want to do. I promise, as long as I’m alive, no one will harm you.”
Mo Chu raised her head abruptly, looking at Li Chen. “You…”
But before she could say anything, Little Gold, who had been lying by Mo Chu’s feet, suddenly stood up and barked. Mo Chu and Li Chen turned to look, and they saw the platoon leader, who had just boarded the tank not long ago, rushing towards them.
Mo Chu immediately forgot what she wanted to say earlier.
Li Chen pursed his lips and glanced at Little Gold but remained silent.
The platoon leader approached them in a hurry, sweating on his forehead, and apologized to Mo Chu, “I’m sorry, Miss Mo. The information you just provided was very valuable, and I got carried away.”
Mo Chu smiled, “It’s alright. I understand how you felt. I’d probably be the same in your position.”
The platoon leader continued, “I’ll report the recording immediately and have the scientists conduct exper*ments. If it turns out that everyone can advance by absorbing abilities…”
Mo Chu interjected, “I think it’s best if you find a way to spread this news among other ability users first before deciding on other plans.”
The platoon leader hesitated, “But what if not all ability users are suitable for absorbing it…”
Mo Chu shook her head, saying, “Platoon leader, have you ever considered the possibility that if human ability users can advance through absorbing nuclei, then zombies might also be capable of evolving?”
She glanced at the horribly mutated zombie corpse in the corner, “This zombie is entirely different from the ones we’re familiar with.”
The platoon leader was taken aback.
After a moment of contemplation, he replied, “I’ll take this into account, Miss Mo. Thank you for the reminder.”
Mo Chu pursed her lips and remained silent.
She had done everything she could.
She understood the military’s cautious arrangements for the sake of everyone’s well-being, but the process of evolution wouldn’t wait for humanity. It was much faster than they could imagine.
However, Mo Chu believed that there were no secrets that could be kept forever, especially since she had already shared the same information with that group of students. The power of word-of-mouth among people was equally terrifying.
Lost in her thoughts, a soldier suddenly rushed over, his face filled with excitement, and said to the platoon leader, “Platoon leader, Professor Xie Jinyuan has been found!”
Professor Xie Jinyuan?
Mo Chu suddenly raised her head.