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Chapter 25: Surprise encounter with zombies
Although he spent two whole months sitting in his space, meditating away and cultivating, Huo Zaiyuan still cannot refrain from going out for a breather. Men were animals made to live in groups. Even if he now possesses spiritual powers, his heart becoming as tranquil as water, his state of mind calm and not volatile, he still has a desire to go outside and walk for a little.
Closer to the awaited date, Huo Zaiyuan’s stockpile of food is enough to feed him alone for several decades. Now, he goes to a pharmacy with the intention of spending his remaining money on common medications like vitamin supplements, penicillin, medical gauze, cotton wools, etc…after all, his remaining cash most probably wouldn’t be any use after the world ends.
Carrying various bags big and small, he turns the corner into an alleyway, then places all the goods into his space. Just as Huo Zaiyuan prepares to turn and leave the alley, an outburst of strange faint noises travelled to his ears from deeper into the alley.
The sounds may be indistinct, but when he strains his ears to listen with rapt attention, he can vaguely make out this noise is similar to someone – or something – chewing on flesh and bone.
If this was the Huo Zaiyuan before his rebirth, he would have dismissed this sound as a wild dog chewing on a discarded piece of bone in the alley. Now, however, he dares not say it is a hundred percent certainty. The apocalypse is not far away. This kind of back alleys where no one treads has become a danger zone.
Taking care to muffle his footfalls, Huo Zaiyuan slowly walks further into the alley. As he draws closer, the sound of chewing becomes increasingly clearer, to the point where he is able to make out the low bestial growling beneath the sound of teeth scraping against bone.
Finally nearing the small alley’s bend, he makes sure to keep a distance from the wall with the curved-in corner. Rather, he keeps close to the opposite side, peeking around the bend to see what was in the alley. As soon as he takes in the scene before him, both eyes go wide with astonishment, those dark pupils shrinking in shock.
For residing in the dim, dark alley, a male figure covered from head to toe in blood has his back towards Huo Zaiyuan. With a decidedly strange posture, the unknown person half-kneels, half-lies on their stomach, body moving up and down at high speed. Before the bloody male lies another man, this one on their back. A shoe is missing from the second man’s feet, exposing a grey sock. The most eye-catching thing is the second male’s body continuous leaked a stream of scarlet.
If he hadn’t experienced the apocalypse before, having witnessed this scene, he would definitely have screeched first and think later. Nonetheless, even if he has seen things like this countless times, he still cannot help but move back one step.
The sound of the sole of his shoe rubbing across rough ground is loud and clear in the relative quiet within the alley. The male currently half-kneeling half-lying to gorge on dead flesh abruptly pauses, then slowly twists his body around to look at Huo Zaiyuan.
Greenish-blue, pale skin, muddy greyish eyeballs, mouth stuffed full of raw minced meat still dripping blood, the undead stiffly moves into an upright position, beastly growls emitting from deep within its throat. If this isn’t a zombie, then what else can it be?
The zombie who discovered Huo Zaiyuan rises unsteadily, body swaying as it advances towards him, two stiff hands extending with the intention of grabbing him. Despite feeling rather flabbergasted at the appearance of a zombie here in Z City – which is pretty far from H City –, Huo Zaiyuan’s reaction speed is extremely fast. A flick of his left hand and a wooden coin carved with runes to drive away devils appears between two fingers.
This particular spell is one of the few Taoist spells written within the manual for those practising the first level. Besides that one time creating a barrier in the mountain village, this will be his first time using it in a real combat situation, against a real-life undead.
A first generation zombie appearing before Judgement Day is the best subject he can find to test his talisman on. If it proves effective against undead, then these talismans will be his lifesaver during the apocalypse.
In the moment the undead pounces forward, Huo Zaiyuan’s left hand slashes horizontally through the air. The talisman clutched between his fingers is enveloped in silver light for a split-second before he sends it flying. Shooting forth, it accurately pierces the space between the zombie’s eyebrows, entering and exiting like a bullet. A powerful force exploding from the talisman even throws the undead backwards, eventually falling back to the ground, motionless.
Seeing that it remains unmoving, a mixture of red and yellow substance leaking out the hole at the back of its head, he exhales a low relieved breath inwardly. Wow, the spell to expel devils is really effective ah…
Just a small peach wood talisman is unexpectedly able to achieve the same results as a bullet to the head. It seems he needs to carve a few more of these talismans and store it in his space for the near future.