Chapter 142: Luck and Risk

Zu An turned in the direction where the zombies were staring at. The depths of the mountain valley had been cloaked in grayish mist initially, making it impossible to make out anything at all. However, he could now make out some silhouettes.

As the footsteps came closer, the silhouettes became clearer too.

Rows of zombies orderly marched out from the mist, only stopping around tens of meters away. Unlike the other zombies he had been dealing with all this while, these zombies looked far cleaner. Their bodies weren’t decomposed, and they were dressed in armor. They had long spears and sharp swords in their hands, and those in the frontlines even had shields on their arms.

“Holy shit, are they elite monsters?” Zu An widened his eyes in horror. While the earlier zombies were refugees, the ones who had just appeared were indubitably soldiers.

Do zombies form armies too?

Zu An felt that things were getting far too ridiculous for his common sense to process.

It was already tough enough for him to deal with those refugees, and he actually had to fight with a bloody army now? That was definitely a one-way ticket to hell!

While Zu An was feeling despaired, he noticed some abnormalities occurring beneath. The zombies camping right beneath him were currently grabbing their weapons tightly as they eyed the army before them warily. They didn’t seem to be on the same side as one another despite being zombies.

It was then that the formation of the army suddenly opened up, and a knight squad slowly made its way forward. These knights were riding on zombie horses that were shrouded in black mist, looking quite similar to the dullahans he had seen in animations in terms of character design.

These knights were dressed in armor that was clearly a tier higher than the footsoldiers around them. 

The one standing at the forefront of this knight squad wore exquisitely-designed armor that stood out from the rest. It donned a black cloak that made it look as if it was embraced by darkness, and its head was completely covered by the helmet. The only facial feature one could see on it was two bundles of two flames glowing amidst the helmet, presumably its eyes. 

Without a doubt, it was the captain of the squad. 

As soon as it drew its sword, the other soldiers followed suit that drew their weapons too.

The knight captain pulled on the reins of his steed, and the latter rose up imposingly. That was the signal for the charge. Under his lead, the knights under his command charged toward the enemies. The footsoldiers behind also began charging forth while maintaining their formations.

“What’s going on? Is this Zombies VS Zombies?” Zu An was baffled. At this point, he felt like he wouldn’t be surprised even if he saw flying pigs in this world of cultivation.

He thought that the refugee zombies would immediately turn tail and run—it was obvious that both sides were on different levels in terms of equipment and strength—but to his surprise, the refugee zombies didn’t back down from the battle. Instead, they roared furiously as they charged forward to meet the soldiers with the shabby weapons they had in hand.

Somehow, it looked as if the commoners were rising up in arms to start a revolution against the royal court or something.

It was then that the sky suddenly darkened. Zu An raised his head and saw a massive rain of arrows flying forth from the army’s backline. Compared to that, the barrage of arrows Zu An faced earlier couldn’t even be considered as a drizzle.

Under the arrows, quite a number of the refugee zombies were immediately pinned down to the ground, unable to rise back up anymore.

Zu An examined the arrows curiously. He had clashed with quite a few zombies now, but despite his attempts, he hadn’t been able to cut down a single one of them. Yet, these arrows were actually able to claim their lives?

Are their archers too strong, or is there some sort of special enchantment on these arrows?

Soon, the zombies of both sides started clashing with one another. The momentum of the knights’ charge was simply too powerful. The refugee zombies, armed with shabby weapons, couldn’t possibly hope to stop them. In the blink of an eye, the knights had already sliced a huge opening through their formation.

The footsoldiers marched in right after and sliced down the refugee zombies with ease.

“It’s a one-sided slaughter!” Zu An was appalled. The refugee zombies that had cornered him earlier were actually completely helpless against the army!

The refugee zombies were tenacious in their assaults, attempting to make use of their numerical advantage to swarm down the enemies standing in their path. Even when their bodies were sliced into halves, they continued to bite down on the soldiers, not giving up until their final breath. Unfortunately, their tenacity wasn’t enough to bridge the huge gap in their strength and equipment.

Soon, there was no longer any living soul amidst the refugee army—oh, it should be standing corpses instead. Their bodies had been minced into pieces, scattered all over the battlefield.

The captain of the knight squad scanned the battlefield before finally coming to a halt under the tree Zu An was on.

Zu An slowed his breathing so far that it almost came to a halt. He was afraid to make the slightest noise out of fear that the knight captain would notice him. He had nearly lost his life just dealing with those refugee zombies; against this organized army of zombies, he stood no chance at all.

It was fortunate that the tree was pretty high up, and the knight captain hadn’t raised its head to take a look.

On top of that, the refugee zombies had chomped down on quite a few Goldenfur Monstrous Rats earlier, causing the stench of blood and flesh to overwhelm the area. Otherwise, his scent as a living person would have surely caught the attention of the zombies no matter how he tried to hide.

The knight captain was scanning the battlefield for survivors, whom he stomped down without any mercy. After ensuring that there were no more survivors, the captain waved his hand, and the sharp clanging sound of a gong echoed. The soldiers swiftly got back into formation before marching their way back to the depths of the mountain valley.

“Woah, they even have gongs to signal for retreat!” Zu An’s eyes were nearly bulging out of his eyes. These zombies were far more professional than he had expected.

After the soldiers were finally a far distance away, Zu An finally leaped down from the tree. Looking at the broken limbs filling the area, his cheeks began twitching uncontrollably. If Ji Xiaoxi was here, she would have probably vomited everything out by now.

“It sure was a wasted trip!” Zu An gritted his teeth in frustration. 

I nearly lost my life multiple times, but I didn’t gain anything at all. Even in games, trash monsters like zombies would still drop some gold coins and weapons!

Hm? Wait a moment. Even though there aren’t any gold coins here, there are quite a few weapons here though.

Zu An quickly scanned the battlefield. He automatically ignored those hoes, carrying poles, and those sort of unconventional weapons. To him, a weapon’s value lay not in its prowess but its coolness. Only the suavest weapon could match his noble disposition.

He recalled how a few of the zombies were wielding swords and sabers earlier, so he started scouring around. However, his efforts ended up disappointing him. He was actually unable to find a single proper weapon at all. The swords and sabers the refugee weapons had been wielding had broken from clashing against the stronger weapons of the zombie army.

If only I could find some weapons from the zombie army.

Unfortunately, the zombie army had already taken the ‘corpses’ and weapons of their comrades while they were sweeping the battlefield earlier.

Speaking of which, since those fellows are already dead, what would happen if they ‘die’ again?

Zu An suddenly tripped over something, causing him to stagger forward. He quickly steadied his balance before turning around to take a look—it was a pitch black arrow. It wasn’t the arrows which the refugee zombies had shot at him earlier.

“It’s from the zombie army!”

Zu An thought about how the rain of arrows from the zombie army had decimated the refugee zombies, which he hadn’t even been able to kill a single one of thus far. Clearly, these arrows weren’t ordinary either.

The zombie army had recollected most of their arrows while sweeping the battlefield, but they had simply shot too many of them earlier that it was inevitable that they would miss out some.

Zu An quickly continued scavenging the battlefield, and he eventually found seven of them.

Just by holding these arrows in his hand, he could feel an eerie, chilling sensation gripping his heart. There was definitely something extraordinary about them. 

“I wonder how powerful these things are when used against humans.” Zu An picked up a quiver and tossed the arrows into it. He was unskilled in archery, but he didn’t think that it was a huge problem. With his current strength, he could simply toss them like javelins.

After confirming that there was nothing worthy of note, Zu An quickly headed back to where he had come from. He was worried about how Ji Xiaoxi was faring at the moment.

He rushed back to the tree where the two of them had parted ways, but the latter was nowhere to be seen. Alarmed, he quickly searched the area. To his relief, he couldn’t find any of her possessions in the area, which meant that she likely got out of the mountain valley safely.

His first thought was to rush out of the mountain valley to find her, but thinking about how much time had passed since they parted ways, it didn't seem likely for him to be able to catch up with her anymore. Besides, the dungeon was going to be opened only for ten days. He needed to find the Evanescent Lotus, so time was precious to him. 

It would be a huge waste of time for him to go about looking for Ji Xiaoxi right now. Most likely, she would return to the mountain valley to look for him.

After a brief moment of hesitation, he decided to venture deeper into the mountain valley.

He knew that there were great dangers lurking there, but based on the knowledge he had acquired from reading plenty of fantasy novels in his previous life, he knew that powerful guardians usually came hand-in-hand with great treasures. Given how powerful the zombie army was, could they be possibly protecting some sort of amazing artifact?

For the sake of ‘little Zu An’, he was determined to brave through danger this once!

So, he gritted his teeth and began flitting toward the depths of the mountain valley warily. He was prepared to summon Grandgale to flee if any danger came his way.

To his surprise, perhaps it was due to the earlier rampage of the zombie army, the mountain valley was oddly peaceful. There were no ferocious beasts or zombies along the way.

The zombie army was nowhere in sight, but Zu An wasn’t worried about losing track of them. He could feel an eerily chilling sensation lingering in the air, the remnant of the zombie army’s aura.

As long as he traced this aura, he should be able to find their base without worrying about getting too close to them.

He continued chasing for around an hour’s time before suddenly coming to a halt. He could hear heavy footsteps vaguely sounding just ahead of him. So, he slowed his footsteps and carefully proceeded forward. Soon, he caught sight of the zombie army.

However, the current situation was a little baffling. The zombie soldiers were marching forward orderly, disappearing amidst a hill.

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