Chapter 34: Murder

“I’ll go grab a zombie to test,” Zhang Dingtian left immediately, returning in a flash and throwing a zombie to the ground. He stuffed an energy crystal into the creature’s mouth, but even as everyone stared for a while, the creature had no reaction. Both he and Bai Xue heaved sighs of relief.

Lu Yin was unconvinced, “We can’t base our judgment on a single one, go catch a few more.”

Zhang Dingtian nodded, ordering his subordinates to capture some more zombies. More than fifty were bound and sent over within half an hour, and he placed an energy crystal into the mouths of each one. Most didn’t react as expected, but one suddenly growled and revealed a pained expression, its scarlet eyes staring daggers at the Bladesage as surging energy heated and ripped apart its skin. A loud explosion rang out as its body splattered all over the place.

President Lian watched this scene in astonishment, “Different zombies react differently after being given the crystals, that means this type of evolution is feasible.”

As Lu Yin looked at the mangled flesh on the ground, an image of Yin and that head suddenly appeared in his mind, sending a chill down his spine. He didn’t dare take it out to examine it right now.

“This has to be kept strictly confidential, it cannot leak out to certain individuals.” Bai Xue said coldly, throwing a dirty look Lu Yin’s way.

He replied calmly, “It seems like the planetary evolution isn’t as easy as it seems. If the zombies can evolve, are they considered trainees in the trials too?”

“Zombies possess no intellect.” Bai Xue snapped.

Lu Yin laughed, “No intellect? That may not be the case.”

Zhang Dingtian immediately issued an order for anyone outside the city to return, deciding to use the ballistics he had left to bomb the zombies. There seemed to be no way to make them human again, so if their threat was significant, allowing them to remain was risky. That risk multiplied tenfold if they could obtain great power by ingesting elemental crystals.

President Lian approved of this; there were just too many zombies. All it took was the evolution of one in ten thousand for things to become catastrophic; that sort of supernatural energy was not something that an original human being could withstand. A good example was Bai Xue. Realistically speaking, she would not have been a match for Borise if not for her gift of Frost.

Earth-shattering explosions rang outside the city that night, and Lu Yin watched as salvo after salvo of guided missiles swept across the zombie hordes. These creatures were only frightening out of sheer volume, and ballistic missiles were thus the best way to deal with them. However, the bombings only lasted two minutes, leaving him rather surprised; he felt almost certain that there had to be more missiles in Beijing’s arsenal.

His attention diverted to the sky, he saw a distant figure dashing towards his residence through the air. Focusing closely, he was surprised to see that it was Bai Xue. What could this hostile beauty want from him so late at night? Watching the gorgeous woman approach under the pale moonlight, he felt like he wouldn’t have any qualms with making a cuckold of Liu Shaoge.

However, Bai Xue landed in his courtyard and looked around, not growing less agitated as she stared at him. A puzzled expression came over Lu Yin’s face as he asked, “Is anything the matter?”

Jeraldine walked out from her room as well, sending a glance of confusion towards the Water Sage.

“Nothing, I was just passing through,” Bai Xue said dully. 

“Err… Are you sure?”

After a momentary pause, Bai Xue answered, “The personnel in charge of firing the missions are all dead, and the ballistics have been damaged beyond usability.”

“What? Who did that?!” Lu Yin asked in shock, but a bemused smile filled his face as Bai Xue stared at him in silence, “Oh, so you rushed hoping I was absent and you could use it as evidence against me.”

“I hope you had nothing to do with this; we wouldn’t be forgiving,” Bai Xue said menacingly.

Lu Yin was baffled by it all, “You seem to be so guarded against me, why?”

Bai Xue didn’t respond, instead turning around and preparing to leave.

“Wait, you can’t just leave like that; you owe me an explanation!” he gently walked over to her side, stretching a hand forward to touch her hair. Bai Xue sent an icy glare his way, the surface of her body starting to radiate cold air which swept towards him. When he swept it away with his right palm and made to grab her hair again, her body was suddenly covered in a layer of ice that reflected the moonlight.

Lu Yin’s palm smacked against the ice and shattered it, prompting Bai Xue to take a few steps back as she glared at him warily. Only then did he shrug, “I was just horsing around.”

“It wasn’t funny,” she replied coldly.

“Barging into my home to threaten me this late in the night wasn’t funny either,” he responded with a slight chill of his own.

Bai Xue’s eyes twinkled, and she left behind a “Sorry” and her signature fragrance as she took to the sky. Watching her fly away, Lu Yin wondered just what kind of person would want the ballistics destroyed. Was there anyone who’d want the zombies kept alive?

Jeraldine squeaked in admiration as she watched Bai Xue leave, “I’m always so enthralled whenever I see her. Zhou Shan was right; this woman really does seem like a water goddess. Even in terms of looks alone, she’s definitely worthy of comparison to Starsibyl.”

“Starsibyl?” Lu Yin asked in confusion.

Jeraldine looked towards the sky and spoke with a longing tone, “She’s the most beautiful woman in the universe, rumored to be at least an explorer. She visits trials quite often, supposedly to look for those who are destined to meet her. She’s said to have the power of divination, and can also look into the past; she’s the fantasy of countless people.”

Lu Yin was speechless, “Yours too?”

Jeraldine rolled her eyes, “For me, she’s my idol. She comes from a powerful, mysterious sect in the Innerverse; any random disciple of that sect can destroy any youth from the Great Yu Empire. She’s a legend on the battlefield, too, she… Nevermind, you wouldn’t understand even if I explained. I’m going to bed.”

Indeed, Lu Yin dismissed Jeraldine’s words. The universe was beyond vast, and things often got grossly exaggerated as stories spread around. He fully believed that this Starsibyl’s supposed divination abilities were one such thing; it simply made no sense.

While he considered what he’d just heard, Lu Yin stared into the stars once more, as two stars spun on his own right palm with a third starting to manifest. The eradication of the zombie horde was put on hold and he didn’t really care about how Zhang Dingtian would handle it, but he was concerned that the second batch of students would be arriving in only about forty more days. He was running out of time.

Meanwhile, Zhang Dingtian ordered ten thousand cultivators to leave the city in batches to head out and eliminate all the zombies. They were told they could ignore all mutant beasts, which made the task fairly easy. He and Bai Xue oversaw the departures from atop the city walls, the latter commenting, “Even if we destroy all the zombies around the capital, there are still more everywhere else.”

“This is still better than nothing,” the Bladesage said with a grave tone, “I’ve also ordered troops to travel to Jinlin, Hubei, and elsewhere to deliver an update on the situations. We’re trying to minimize the risk.”

Bai Xue’s eyes lit up when Hubei was mentioned, “How is Shaoge doing?”

Zhang Dingtian looked at her and responded monotonously, “I don’t know.”

Bai Xue fell silent. 

The zombie purge was accomplished quite successfully. Ten thousand cultivators were able to kill and burn nearly two million zombies each day, so after only a few days, the area surrounding the capital had been emptied. Now, all that filled the vicinity was pungent smoke. Zhang Dingtian personally investigated westwards where the ballistics team had been stationed, but even after several days, he couldn’t find any clues about the identity of their killer. The only thing he knew was that the assassin was swift and brutal, massacring more than 500 people within a minute.

“Do you think Lu Yin could have done it?” Bai Xue asked from a distance.

“Did you see it with your own eyes?” he asked in a grave tone, his eyes sweeping through the ground. 

She pursed her lips, “We’d better connect with Jinlin as soon as possible. This Lu Yin guy is suspicious, I have a feeling he’s a student from outer space.”

“And what if he is? With our current world, we should only draw a line between allies and enemies; we don’t have the option to segregate ourselves based on race or origin any longer.”

Bai Xue had a melancholy face, but remained silent. 

Zhang Dingtian turned to walk back inside, but a white flash blurred past him as he opened the door. The flash was headed straight for his throat, but he was barely fast enough to dodge most of the attack. Still, a thin wound appeared on his neck and started leaking blood. A silver-haired youth with a twisted smile thrust his butterfly sword forward once more in attack, forcing him to draw his longsword in a defensive stance as the blade swung down towards his eyes. The Bladesage braced himself for impact as the weapon drew close, star energy bursting forth to slow the attack as his own forward thrust split the earth nearby.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Neshi/Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA