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Chapter 29: The Apocalypse approaches
How did the Apocalypse come to be?
An immeasurable amount of people never had the time to take note of the strange serenity settling over the world deep into the night. In that moment when almost everyone is dead to the world, fast asleep, a sudden burst of thunder roars, breaking the tranquil moment. It was a sound eerie enough to cause one's hair to stand on end. Instantly, small handfuls of people originally deep in Morpheus' hold abruptly open their eyes. Their bodies start to twitch, frothing at the mouth, complexion gradually turning blue. This event occurred continuously for more than an hour, in random locations and affecting random people. By the time their family members were roused by the commotion and arrive at the afflicted being's side, they are greeted by their kin's teeth and jaws ruthlessly biting into their flesh…
Following that, everything begins spiralling beyond anyone's control. First, entire households became infected and turned into zombies, then it quickly spread into the neighbourhood. Before long, entire building blocks are filled with undead. The infected shuffle stiffly along, gradually overtaking block after block, until the entire city fell…
Although Huo Zaiyuan spends every day hiding in the house and creating talismans, when the apocalypse approaches, he immediately feels a slight something calling for his attention.
Early in the morning, on the 25th of March, the Huo Zaiyuan who had been cultivating for an entire night exits his space, preparing to cook breakfast before returning to draw more talisman, only to be startled by a loud beast-like yell that came through the window.
The voice of zombies, he had listened to it for half a year. How would he be unable to distinguish it from other unnatural noises? Pondering a course of action for a second, he walks over to the window overlooking the main street and peers out.
As the unit he is staying in is not on a high floor, one can see whatever occurs on the main street outside very clearly. A look out the window and he is treated to the sight of numerous vehicle collisions, dark smoke rising up into the air, the unidentifiable scraps of metal strewn haphazardly all over still dripping with blood. Broken bodies lay unmoving on the asphalt ground, and several people covered from head to toe in blood are running for their lives, screaming in fear, only to fall victim to zombies pouncing out of who knows where.
Damned cries and mournful wailings ring through the air constantly. Countless living beings become lifeless corpses in every passing moment. Huo Zaiyuan silently takes in this scene reeking of blood and death. His eyes cool to an icy chill, then he turns away from the window.
Today is only the 21st of March 2012, so there should be at least twenty more days until Judgement Day. But now, zombies already rampage through the streets, unrestrained and unopposed.
Just what in the world is going on?
Could the reason for the apocalypse starting early this time be due to his rebirth?
That should be right. From the moment of his rebirth, everything has already changed, from the contract to split the inheritance to him acquiring this mystical space and stockpiling necessities…everything has altered from the way it was during his former life.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Just when Huo Zaiyuan is deeply contemplating the situation, loud banging sounds can be heard from outside the tightly closed door. Strike after strike, each one causing mini vibrations throughout the building. If it wasn't Judgement Day, this kind of noise would let people think a lot of people are simultaneously knocking on the door. But at present…
Huo Zaiyuan is not so naïve to think there is someone knocking the door. Hands moving slightly, a large steel knife appears in his palm instantly. Don't judge that he for an entire year, has only gone shopping, running here and there stockpiling goods, creating talisman and cultivating, and did little else. For you might not know, but the spiritual energy in his body has changed him for the better. The current him is a lot stronger than the Huo Zaiyuan of a year ago.
Also, based on the amount of food he has stored in his space, he can avoid all the chaos that spawns from the apocalypse and the zombies and the devil ants by hiding away in an isolated location, making sure his body is not vulnerable to the elements and remain in his space for a very long time. However, this sort of life is not one he wishes to live. Then there is also the fact that the devil ants' crystals he needs to produce ink for his talismans lie within the skulls of the undead.
One hand clutching the knife, he peeks through the peephole. Outside, a greyish-pale, blood-covered zombie is knocking incessantly on the house's door, eyes staring dazedly ahead, devoid of life, a large chunk of flesh missing from its neck. Fortunately, there is a steel gate outside the wooden door. Or else, this tightly shut door might not be able to withstand the continuous hammering of the undead.
Right hand holding a large steel knife, his left hand flicks. The silver dragon marking around the wrist flashes and the Holy Dragon Bone brush appears. Tossing two talismans on both sides of the door, his left hand focuses a stream of energy into the brush before proceeding to draw a Taoist spell on the floor. With a final stroke, the runes on the floor written with water from the Holy Nine Dragon Spring Pool links with the talismans by the door, forming a Demon Restraining Array.
Then Huo Zaiyuan opens the door, pushing the steel gate wide. Seeing a living person before it, the undead's movement immediately becomes more animated, pouncing forward the moment the steel gate opens wide enough.
Who would have imagined the moment its leg crosses the doorway, it steps directly on the Demon Restraining Array, its entire body swaying back and forth as though blown by an invisible wind. Huo Zaiyuan's mouth curves into an evil smile, standing to the side and raises the knife up before swinging it in a horizontal chop at the zombie's neck.
As the headless body collapses, he removes a wooden tile from his space and ignites it in golden flames, dropping it on the corpse, watching as it is instantly engulfed in fire.
Side notes: For ease of reading, the author changes from using "round talisman" for the smaller ones to "coin talisman". Thus, I'll translate it to "coin talisman" as well. It’s a very minor change, pretty unnoticeable, so don’t let it bother you.