Chapter 141: Desperation

Cornered, Zu An had no choice but to raise his sword to deal with the incoming attack. Swords weren’t built to collide directly with blunt weapons, and the black lump of a weapon wielded by the attacking zombie seemed to pack quite a punch. So, he chose to use the ‘flick’ form of the Elementary Swordplay in order to redirect the attack to the side.

Despite so, he still felt a powerful rebound numbing his arm. The zombie’s strength was on par with him, and it had the advantage in terms of weapon too. While he had managed to hold on for the time being, things weren’t looking good for him.

He rolled on the ground to dodge the next few follow-up attacks from that zombie. When he turned around and saw the holes left on the ground, he belatedly realized just what kind of weapon the zombie was wielding.

It was actually a hoe!

Now that he thought about it, most of the zombies he encountered along the way wielded wooden bats, carrying poles, choppers, axes, and that sort of weapons. Only a small number of them wielded swords, sabers, spears, and the more typical type of weapons.

Why do they look like refugees?

Zu An had noticed earlier that these people wore tattered clothes, and he thought that they had simply decomposed from having stayed underground for too long. But right now, he couldn’t help but wonder if their clothes had been so tattered right from the start.

The sight before him really resembled the army of refugees he had seen in historical dramas in his previous life.

Regardless of whether they were refugees or whatever, it was still a fact that they had turned into zombies. Not daring to let his mind wander, he placed his focus back on the battle and used Sunflower Phantasm to dodge the attacks coming from all around.

His initial intention was to run out of the valley. Those Goldenfur Monstrous Rats that had made out with their life proved it to be a viable escape route, and there were grounds to believe that the activity of these zombies was limited to the valley.

Unfortunately for him, the rats had lured far too many zombies to the entrance of the valley while they were escaping earlier, resulting in a huge crowd there. He had attempted to make his way through a couple of times, only to be forced back in the end. 

Left with no choice, he could only head deeper into the valley.

He knew that given that he was only placing himself in greater danger by heading deeper into the valley, but he had no other choice. The zombies with hoes were all roughly as powerful as him, and those wielding sabers and swords were even stronger.

In a one-to-one, he could still hold his ground using Sunflower Phantasm, but he was faced with a huge army right now. Just remaining alive on this battlefield was tough enough for him, let alone attempting a counterattack.

In fact, it was thanks to Sunflower Phantasm that he was still managing to hold on thus far. Even if another even more powerful cultivator from the academy had been in his place, it was likely that he would have already been swamped down by the hordes of zombies by now.

“Whatcha staring at? Whatcha staring at? Why aren’t you staring at me?!”

Zu An’s furious curses echoed through the mountain valley. He tried to use his ‘Whatcha Staring At’ skill to distract the zombies, but the latter simply stared at him as if he was a fool, not reacting in the least.

It turned out that ‘Whatcha Staring At’ only worked on intelligent lifeforms capable of speech, so these undead zombies were unfazed by it.

After running for a very long time, Zu An finally found himself cornered. Sunflower Phantasm might be a powerful skill, but there were limits to what he could do with it. Space was limited in this mountain valley, and the terrain was tough to navigate. There was just so much he could do to dodge the zombies.

With his back faced against the cliff, he found himself faced with a crowd of zombies that had gathered in a semicircle before him. He gulped nervously, wondering if he might just meet his end here.

Damnit! I haven’t even released my seal yet. Am I not going to be a real man even before I die?

Zu An found himself empathizing with the eunuchs he had seen in dramas in his previous life. No matter how dangerous it was for them, they still insisted on taking their ‘treasure’ back so that they could be buried with it.

What the hell am I even thinking about?

While Zu An was shuddering in disgust at that thought, the zombies had already darted impatiently at him. He immediately summoned Grandgale, and the bird avatar manifested in front of him. With a step, he leaped onto a tree growing off the cliff face and hugged tightly onto it.

The zombies were confused for a moment due to his sudden disappearance, but one of the zombies swiftly spotted him, pointed in his direction, and released a piercing screech to inform its comrades.

The other zombies raised their heads, and upon spotting him, they immediately began climbing the cliff face. Their movements were astonishingly agile, almost as if monkeys.

Zu An was horrified. Hold on for a moment! Aren’t these zombies supposed to be slow? Why the hell are they so good at climbing? If this was a game, that would definitely be a bloody bug!!

He quickly scanned his surroundings, hoping to find another place to leap toward. With the rise in his cultivation, he was now able to summon Grandgale twice, which meant that he could make another escape attempt. However, the entire area was flooded with zombies, such that even if he leaped elsewhere, it wouldn’t take long before he was cornered once more.

I probably should save it up when I’m in a really desperate situation.

In this short moment, the zombies had already reached the root of the tree and were starting to climb onto the tree trunk to head for him.

With a cold harrumph, Zu An thrust his sword forward and knocked the incoming zombies down to the ground. It was a desperate attempt, but it was unexpectedly successful. It dawned on him that he was actually in an advantageous position here.

The tree trunk hadn’t been nibbled through by the Goldenfur Monstrous Rats, so it was still quite resilient. On top of that, this tree was hanging off the cliff face, making it hard for the zombies to approach and knock it down. There were only so few zombies who could approach him at once, and he could easily knock them down.

In other words, he was currently standing on a fortress that he could guard to the end of time!

Knowing that he could finally catch a breather, Zu An heaved a sigh of relief.

However, he knew that he wasn’t out of danger yet. His circumstances hadn’t really gotten much better. He wasn’t in a game, where killing the zombies would give him experience points and equipment for him to gear up and make a comeback. He merely found a foothold for himself for the time being.

The zombies tried a few more charges, but Zu An was able to knock them down by exploiting the advantageous terrain. Eventually, the zombies gave up on climbing the cliff face altogether.

Finally having some time to rest, Zu An exhaled deeply. Are the zombies giving up now? If so, as long as I can last till daybreak, I’d be able to reunite with Ji Xiaoxi. I did sacrifice myself to save her this time around, so even if she doesn’t betroth herself to me, at the very least, her affection meter toward me should have hit the max, right?

A commotion suddenly broke out beneath him. The horde of zombies suddenly parted to open up a path, and dozens of new zombies walked over.

“Hm? These zombies look much cleaner.” Compared to the other ugly zombies whose flesh was decomposing and had pus flowing out, these newly arriving zombies looked far more pleasant to his eyes.

However, the smile on his face swiftly froze up. These zombies were retrieving a bow from their backs, nocking an arrow and aiming it toward him.

“%^(@#” Zu An.

He felt like cursing right now. How in the world could zombies be able to shoot arrows?

How are these refugees? They’re practically an army!

By then, the archers had already released their arrows. Over a hundred arrows swooshed across the air, leaving Zu An so frightened that he quickly hid behind the tree.

Pu!

Zu An’s body jolted. He inched forward a little before glancing back to look at the arrow tips that had pierced through the tree. They were stained with bits of crimson blood.

Holy shit! 

He realized that he had gotten careless. He was in the world of cultivation right now! Regardless of whether they were zombies or not, how could the arrows they fired possibly be stopped by a mere tree? 

It was all those dumb dramas I watched! Somehow people are able to magically survive bullets just by hiding behind a car. They’re really imparting the wrong image to the viewers here!

Damn it!

Does this world have the concept of ‘tetanus’ too? Those zombies have rotting flesh and pus on them. Eek, who knows how much bacteria was on those arrows? Shit!

Goosebumps rose on Zu An’s skin, but with another new barrage of arrows coming up, this was no time for his thoughts to be wandering. Not daring to use the trees to hide from the arrows anymore, he raised his sword and prepared himself to deflect the incoming arrows.

Due to him suffering quite some injuries from the arrows that had pierced through the tree earlier, his strength and speed were enhanced by a fair bit. Nevertheless, he still found himself struggling to cope amidst the arrow rain.

He could deflect those arrows that were aimed directly at him, but he couldn’t deal with those that were aimed toward the tree. On top of that, the arrows also carried great force behind them, jolting his arm numb. It probably wouldn’t take long before the arrows shot the tree down, and by then, he would be a goner.

While his mind was wandering about, he failed to stop one of the arrows, resulting in it piercing right into his shoulder. The sheer force nearly knocked him out of the tree, but fortunately, he managed to grab onto one of the tree branches in the nick of time.

Am I really going to die here today?

An old but majestic horn sounded at this moment. It seemed to carry some sort of mysterious power that left one’s blood pumping furiously.

However, Zu An could hardly raise his mood at all. Having watched so many historical drama series, he knew that such horns were used for military signaling in wars. 

He was still uncertain at the start, but the horn verified his doubts that these zombies were indeed an army!

It’s all over. I can’t even deal with these zombies, and they’re still bringing reinforcement in! Hm? Wait a moment. Why aren’t they firing anymore?

Zu An looked downward, and to his surprise, he saw the zombies staring toward the other end of the valley. These zombies were incapable of speech, but Zu An could still sense the nervousness on their half-decomposed faces.

What’s going on?

Zu An was taken aback by the anomalous behavior of these zombies. Nevertheless, he still made use of this opportunity to take out some medicines to rub on his wounds.

He didn’t use ‘Faith in Brother Spring’, which he had drawn from the keyboard. It would be a waste to use that miraculous medicine that could heal even the most severe of injuries here. Now that he thought about it, it was really a huge waste for him to use it on the injuries from the Wailing Whip.

The medicines he was using now were those Ji Xiaoxi had given to him. To be more exact, it was the medicines the male students had given to Ji Xiaoxi, only for her to pass it to him.

“Is it possible for some of them to secretly place poison in these medicine bottles in order to harm me?” murmured Zu An contemplatively. If they had predicted that Ji Xiaoxi would pass their medicines to him, there was a good chance that they would try to tamper with them.

However, he quickly dispelled those thoughts from his mind. He didn’t think that those male students were that smart, and he trusted in Ji Xiaoxi’s judgment too. She had taken a look at these medicines herself, and given her astute sense for medicine, she would have been able to tell that they had been tampered with or not.

Tok! Tok! Tok!

A series of coordinated footsteps sounded from afar, causing Zu An’s face to darken. It made his heart thump nervously as a heavy atmosphere loomed in the air.

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