Pei Zhaozhou who was laying on the barren sandy ground refused. He turned over to his side, wearily closing his eyes by half. His long, slightly-upturned eyelashes fluttered slightly, while his pessimistic golden amber pupils indifferent. He was like an indolent ginger cat sprawling on the ground, lazily sun-bathing without a care in the world.
Toward this suddenly appearing handsome man who said he’d bring him back to that whatever base, he was not the least bit interested.
He just thought that the sun was rather dazzling. After going without food or water for almost five days, his skin had turned as dry as this barren ground. Yet, his heart was still throbbing in the same chaotic frenzy.
The effect of the pheromone disorder left his body in a complete mess. Burning fever, nausea, and unclear, irritating noises by his ears... he just never felt it quieted for even a moment.
He was wholeheartedly waiting for death, while sparing no care for anything else around.
Although this handsome stranger had saved him from the zombie bird, he wouldn’t feel grateful. At most it was just him not dying from the beak of that zombie bird.
And that had also made him entangled for a moment more.
His end was to either be starved to death, or this crazily throbbing heart from the pheromone disorder would finally burst, his blood choking him to death.
It was all death, anyway. What’s still there to care about?
Yet, to just leave this way… –Not like he had any other choices, though.
A hardly detectable unwillingness flashed inside Pei Zhaozhou’s eyes. He seemed to have abandoned himself to despair, yet his lips subconsciously pursed tight. He hugged his arms and curled into himself, to hide his unease, his vulnerability, and his loneliness.
When someone wanted to give up on themselves, what could others have left to persuade?
The ones that died in the doomsday weren’t only humans, there were also their hearts.
Was there still a lack of people who lived as numb as moving corpses?
No one in the doomsday could guarantee whether the hope would come first or would the zombies have wiped out mankind before that.
Still, the mankind who seemed so insignificant would do whatever it takes to survive. They were tenacious, just like someone who had had his limbs all broken and was hanging on the precipice of a cliff, yet still stubbornly biting on a tottering weed that grew from the stones, just to do their utmost to survive.
To live, even if their limbs were broken, even if they’re in their last breath, even if it was to push another innocent person to the zombies' bloody maws, they still wanted to be the one that survived.
As a zombie wave approached a base, the orphans that were raised by the base were forced to go out toward the surging zombie wave. Their lives for the safety of the base. The uncles and aunties that had cared for them in the past filled their eyes with tears and guilt, yet anxious still they urged them to go on forward.
The blank, puerile ocean blue eyes reflected these scenes after scenes of cruelty.
The uncles and aunts back at the base who were pushing these children out as baits.
The traps set in advance outside the base’s sturdy gate, ones that used the children’s flesh to lure the horde of zombies, just so they could save most of the lives within the base.
The sinister, howling horde of zombies, and the equally sinister uncles and aunts.
The children who cried and fussed, each like a tasty little lamb awaiting for the wolves to arrive.
The weak and timid children who had stayed in place not daring to budge, for they’re still hoping their uncles and aunts to save them, were the first ones to be wiped out clean.
The ones who were panickedly shouting and escaping attracted the zombies with their cries. Them, together with those that couldn’t flee fast enough or not well-built enough, died the second.
There were a lot of zombies, yet around the bodies of those children who had failed to escape, they’d paused somewhat.
The remaining children seemed to have temporarily survived. When they looked at their companions, they had then realized that they needed more of their companions’ bodies for themselves to stay alive.
Thus, the children who had finally realized the cruelness of the doomsday turned their red eyes toward their own companions, each turning into their own wolves.
Pushing each other, scolding and beating, the one who ran fast was pulled back by the one behind. Those remaining losers were then devoured by the horde of zombies that surged up, buying them the time to survive.
The young Si Huaixi strode off with his small legs, his brain buzzing while he did utmost to run. He didn’t dare to look behind, didn’t dare to look at the zombies, didn’t dare to look at those companions of his who had fallen behind, and didn't he stop dodging those malicious pushes.
Because of his strange ocean blue eyes that were different from the dark-eyed children of the base. Because the odd ones were to be singled out.
In this flight of pursuit from the zombie wave, he had been the target of those pushes for several times. Yet he gritted his teeth tightly, knocking down those who pushed him and continuing to run...
He ran regardless of everything…..
His brain was numbed, he didn’t think of anything, he only wanted to survive…
The fierce running caused his own breath to fill his nose with the smell of blood. He ran until he exhausted all his strength and collapsed to the ground. He had originally thought the zombie wave would take this chance to pounce on him.
When he, at last, turned his head to directly face this wave of zombies, he saw that those zombies had long stopped in their steps.
—Why did they only stop now?
The puerile ocean blue eyes were flooded with redness. Those that had bullied him, those that had helped him, those that had singled him out… all had turned into those cold, mangled bodies.
Only he survived. From the entire 47 children, only he alone was left to survive.
The uncles and aunts above the sturdy walls of the base happily carried him away. They said he was a hard-to-found genius, a psychic superpower who was directly a third-rank on awakening.
Psychic power users were extremely rare. One could gather ten fire users but not one psychic user. The ability of psychic users, however, were very valiant, for they could even control the horde of zombies. A more powerful psychic superpower could even materialize their consciousness to generate all kinds of abilities.
He was the only psychic user in the whole base. So despite being a child, he was protected.
Even when the base was later destroyed by an unprecedented zombie wave, as a psychic user, as one of the hopes for mankind, he was still protected and sent to another safe base.
Those uncles and aunts that had pushed him and the other children out of the base’s gate at that time, for protecting these tinders of hope of theirs, were either voluntary or were forced to welcome the surging zombie waves. In the end, they had all died quite thoroughly.
It was like a karmic cycle, one that Si Huaixi couldn’t bring himself to hate.
Because in this doomsday, to survive, mankind could be selfish, could be self-important.
That’s the reason why…
When Si Huaixi first saw how Pei Zhaozhou just lay down there and waited for death, his chilly ocean blue eyes were filled with disgust, like it was an eyesore.
This was his territory.
Although after the destroyed base was once again rebuilt, one base’s chief had betrayed him, while the new one dreaded him, and although he could basically go anywhere with his current strength, he still chose to remain at this land where he had grown up from a young age.
He had unfairly and unreasonably caged this piece of land, rearing it together with the surviving humans inside.
Supposedly, in this chaotic doomsday with its scarcity of supplies, the people of this base had it the most easy.
Ordinary people had very little need to go out of the base and fight zombies, they just needed to stay at the base and do work for their living. Only superpower users needed to go a bit farther. They had to leave the territory and go to the nearby areas to hunt zombies, to get the crystals in the zombie’s skulls needed to upgrade their superpowers. But as long as they were in the vicinity of the base, it was basically very safe, and there was no need to be too worried about meeting any zombies.
Due to the surprisingly low chance of meeting zombies in the vicinity of the base, those ignorant would call it fortunate. Yet they didn't know just how many zombies had been cleared by the people behind the scenes, so that they could maintain this easy fortune of theirs.
Even other bases had heard about this fortunate base which rarely had to face a zombie wave. On the other hand, for their own bases to survive, they had to unceasingly use human lives to block the zombie waves, dancing with death just to live for an extra year. Seeing this always so fortunate base, they would uncontrollably be red eyed with envy, cursing how God was being unfair.
In Si Huaixi’s heart, he wouldn't mind if, for staying alive, people would have no compromise, would betray him, or would fool him. This was the law of the doomsday –Survival above all else.
Of course Si Huaixi wouldn't mind, he was almost arrogant regarding his own strength, and had the manner of one. Those chilly ocean blue eyes could tore straight into people’s hidden intentions, yet be indifferent to them all.
This rearing ground of his wasn't meant to raise a flock of sheep. Not to mention this kind of sheep who would wait for death with no struggle.
Si Huaixi should be disgusted and should drive this man who was looking for his own death away from his land, yet he hesitated.
Maybe it was because of his eyes, which were glistening brightly unlike anyone from the doomsday. Those beautiful golden amber eyes which weren't what a local would have.
Perhaps because for some reason, it had made Si Huaixi recall his childhood, where had been singled out by the other orphaned children because of his unusual ocean blue eyes. Those eyes were said to be inherited from his Russian maternal lineage–yet being orphaned not long after he was born with not a relative left, this to him was no more than a hearsay.
Si Huaixi became more patient. Looking at Pei Zhaozhou who laid on the ground while stubbornly refusing him, he was not angry. Instead, it was as if he was looking at a cat in a tantrum. Besides, it was a sick homeless cat with bruises all over its body.
The dirtied soft black hair laid on the barren land. The originally pretty cat was as if having rolled on the dirt, its glossy, supple fur became covered in dust, and its claws were just as dirty.
–Feeling like picking it up for a wash.
As for the cat's depressed and despairing words, Si Huaixi only listened and didn't take them seriously. Just like listening to a fussily meowing cat. That is, he didn’t understand cat language. Even if he did, he’d still just as rudely and unreasonably acted as if he didn’t hear the words from the start.
The cat didn’t really want to die. If he really did want to die, that pair of golden amber pupils wouldn’t still be glistening so brightly, hazy with frailty and grievance. Rather, he appeared to be throwing tantrums in a lively way.
–It was sick …… quite normal to be a little cranky.
Si Huaixi had never raised a cat, nor had he ever raised any other pets.
Even though he had watched documentaries or read books left from before the doomsday era which had mentioned how to raise a cat, and there were also some upper-class superpowers who would raise grumpy cats together with their wives, and even though someone had sent him one in the past, he had never been interested and only thought of them as trouble.
Si Huaixi squatted down. His gaze which stayed at Pei Zhaozhou’s back was as if watching a sick and somewhat pitiful cat who was licking its wounds in loneliness.
“It’ll be uncomfortable if your illness is not treated,” said Si Huaixi.
Pei Zhaozhou was having his back at him. There’s suddenly someone who was concerned about himself, and although it was a stranger, it still made his nose feel a bit sour. He mumbled, “Thank you, but no need. I know what I should do.”
Si Huaixi slightly knitted his brows, saying, “If I leave, the zombies might come.”
Pei Zhaozhou was listening.
“The zombies will bite your neck, and it will hurt so much,” added Si Huaixi.
Pei Zhaozhou was still unmoved. He knew this world’s monster was a bit like the Zergs, just more brutal and without the intelligence.
Si Huaixi pressed down his brows, deliberately frightening him, “If you were bitten, you’d be infected and turned into a zombie. You’d be very ugly.”
Pei Zhaozhou’s eyelashes trembled. He was imagining the scene of himself turning into a zombie, then he recalled that very ugly appearance of the zombie bird. He silently wished to either be starved to death sooner or for his cardiac failure to come sooner.
Si Huaixi purposefully slowed down his voice, using a chilly tone to speak, “If you’re infected and turned into a zombie, you’d run to eat people. No one bathes in the doomsday. If you did eat them, your mouth would be full of filth.”
Pei Zhaozhou’s back shuddered. He wasn’t mysophobic, but imagining that scene of turning into a zombie and eating those unbathed people, his goosebumps broke out in a flash.
A smile dashed across Si Huaixi’s eyes. So, apparently, it was a cat who loves cleanliness.
“If infected and turned into a zombie, there are those unusual ones who still retained their thought from when they were alive. Yet they can’t control their instinct to eat people. Who knows if zombies still have sensation, will they still feel pain if they’re hurt, or will they feel like vomiting after eating dirty things…”
Pei Zhaozhou shivered. He suddenly said, “I won’t be eaten by zombies.”
Si Huaixi grinned, just like a bad owner who had scared their cat into a frizzy ball of fur with a toy snake, then very pretentiously soothed the scared-silly cat in their hug. “Then will you go back to the base with me? There are no zombies over there. And if you’re sick, there are doctors to cure you.”
Pei Zhaozhou was left with no other choices, or perhaps his heart was moved by the kindness this unknown man had shown to himself. He mumbled, “...m-hum.”
In fact, it didn’t matter where to go.
Pei Zhaozhou turned his body to have a look at this kind man. Cool white skin that resembled jade under the light. High nose bridge and deep set eyes. Clear ocean blue eyes that seemed like ice, cold and filled with deterrence that made people dare not to look straight. Yet when the sight was upon him, he didn’t feel the cold. It was instead like a melting ice, refreshing cleanliness that penetrated the heart.
A very good-looking man. M-hum… it was a man. There’s no such thing as Alpha, Omega, or Beta in this world.
If he had met this kind of good-looking omegas or betas in the past, his heart would be moved and then started to pursue them… Not to say that he was not moved right now.
It was just that….
Pei Zhaozhou’s thoughts went everywhere, yet his golden amber pupils stayed on Si Huaixi, unable to move away. He couldn’t help himself from asking, “What’s…your name?”
“Si. Huai. Xi.”
Each word was slowed down. Si Huaixi’s clean magnetic voice and clear pronunciation was as nice to hear as the trickle of clear spring water.
Pei Zhaozhou hadn’t really wanted to tell him. It was like telling his name would create a connection between himself and this world. He didn’t even think he'd meet this handsome man before himself for a second time.
Going to his said base would also be no more than a change in place where he'd quietly wait for his end. His pheromones disorder was incurable. Not even the advanced interstellar medical treatment could save him, let alone this backward and barren doomsday.
Although that was what he thought, Pei Zhaozhou still ended up defeated by that pair of clear, charming ocean blue eyes. His face continued to heat up, either from the worsening fever or the lure of the stunning handsome face. Lowering his head, he said: