Everyone turned around and looked towards the speaker, including Leng Lin and Li Su.
Qin Mo calmly accepted everyone’s attention.
In this squad, although his fighting strength was the lowest, Leng Lin was the team’s core. Not to mention the fact that he had the detector, everyone was already accustomed to obeying his orders.
Li Su was the leader of the soldiers. There had been a leader for the mercenaries, but she was killed during one of the skirmishes. Only three mercenaries remained, and while their skills were good, they rarely expressed their views.
Qin Mo’s temporary host had always been silent, and he had no real sense of presence. At least before this last fight, few people noticed him. However, since he was still alive, it was a good indication that his abilities were top-notch.
Leng Lin fixed him with a stare for a while, then asked, “Why?”
Everyone shared doubts because during the zombie frenzy, the experimental subject had taken the opportunity to escape. There was no longer a signal from the detector, indicating that within a one kilometer radius there were no experimental subjects.
Their supplies were running out, and this short break to rest was already a luxury. They had to seize this time to quickly search and strive to find the experimental subject within three days…
Despite that, the mercenary said that they should stay here. If they were to stay, what were the chances that the experimental subject would just deliver itself to them?
None of them believed that was possible, but Qin Mo spoke confidently, “It will come to us.”
He spoke in a calm and steady manner. He did not come across as stupid, and his attitude gave the impression that he had absolute confidence he was right. Everyone, including those who were skeptical, fell silent and began to consider his words.
After all, the individuals in their group survived countless hardships through their own hard work. They were not only extraordinary at martial arts, their IQ was also superior when compared to the average person. After a little thought, there were some faint signs of acceptance, but many still harboured uncertainties.
Qin Mo did not give them any more time to think. He looked straight at Leng Lin and spoke to him—his arresting eyes did not blink the entire time.
“In the last five days, we have suffered 34 zombie raids in total. Of those, 25 were small-scale raids; we killed 2121 zombies and lost three members. Eight raids were medium-sized, and while we killed 6381 zombies, we also lost nine people.” He paused for a moment, and then emphasized his next words, “There was only one large-scale zombie frenzy just now, with a total of 21,250 zombies. Our personnel loss totalled eleven people.”
When they heard such a detailed and exhaustive accounting of their recent battles listed off, the others were astonished by Qin Mo’s memory. However, Li Su responded to him immediately. He stared at Qin Mo, then asked in an imposing manner, “You are saying…Something is here?”
Qin Mo thought men like Li Su were hard to come by. Although all of the people present were elites, it was still difficult to respond swiftly like Li Su and grasp the important points so quickly.
Li Su’s simple sentence was enough to anoint the group’s heads with the purest cream1, and all of a sudden the meaning was clear.
Qin Mo withdrew his line of sight from Leng Lin. One-by-one, he moved his eyes across the faces of the other people. With a rapid, but very clear tone, he continued to pour out powerful words of persuasion. This allowed the seeds planted by his advice to take root and germinate.
“From when the zombies appeared ten years ago until now, all of our research and data has shown that only a small minority of zombies possess some level of consciousness. They are slow and they do not know how to cooperate towards any kind of goal; they only know how to blindly attack while they are searching for food. This particular city has long been a dead city—it has probably not had any human beings for most of the ten years. Based on their instinct-driven behaviour, there should not be more than 20,000 zombies gathered together in such a small area. It only makes sense if there is something here that needs to be guarded.”
Qin Mo paused for a moment to give everyone time to think, then summarized the matter concisely, “This time the zombie frenzy was not a special attack on us; we walked into their guard circle.”
He spoke more and more quietly until he was done. Those present looked at him fiercely; they were not stupid. Qin Mo provided all of the information they needed, and they were fully capable of understanding the subsequent meaning. If his supposition was true, then it was quite certain that their target had not left. Starting from where the zombies have been cleaned up, they just need to continue on and search for the area that was protected. Then the experimental subject would certainly take the initiative to find them.
Leng Lin, who had just been sitting on the sidelines until now, suddenly spoke up, “This is just your guess, there is no real basis. Our supplies have been greatly reduced. Staying here blind and using them all up is a very risky act.”
Qin Mo looked at him, suddenly sneered, and asked, “Going out to search is not a risk then?”
Leng Lin frowned, and no longer spoke out loud.
The others had been concerned in their hearts that they had only three days left to search outside like headless flies. It would be far more appropriate to stay in this area, narrow down their search a bit, and likely consume less food. Zombies move slowly, and it would be difficult to gather again on a large-scale. For this reason, this place was safer for a short time, and a good amount of ammunition could be saved. They could undoubtedly squeeze out a bit more time.
Moreover, Qin Mo’s analysis was based on solid rationale. Without this moment of calm to seriously consider his words, they would never have been able to think everything over calmly. The longer everyone contemplated, the more convinced they became with Qin Mo’s point of view.
There was definitely something here!
Before, when the experimental subject escaped, they had thought perhaps the zombie was exterminated. It had left in order to escape, but armed with their new knowledge they considered that perhaps it was deliberately trying to lead them away from the area!
The other two soldiers looked to Li Su to make a decision. Li Su considered the options for a moment, nodded back at the soldiers, then looked at Leng Lin and informed him, “Doctor, I agree with staying here.”
Although Qin Mo was not the mercenary leader, the other two mercenaries were his teammates, and they naturally supported the views of Qin Mo. However, they were employed by Leng Lin. For this reason, they still had to listen to Leng Lin’s orders.
Leng Lin looked deeply at Qin Mo’s face for a few moments, and then finally retracted his gaze. He sat down, then quietly said, “Since Colonel Lee and Mr. Qin are so confident, let’s stay here.”
The next course of action was much simpler; the seven people were to be divided into three teams and start a careful search of the surrounding 1500 meter radius. They started from the freezer compartment that contained all of their provisions. Their goal was to find ‘something’ that was heavily guarded by zombies.
However, there was a small disagreement on the distribution of the teams, mainly due to the importance of Leng Lin.
Finally, Qin Mo stated straightforwardly, “I can operate alone.”
After he spoke, Li Su was not far behind and said, “I can also be responsible for a direction.”
This allowed the remaining two soldiers and two mercenaries to rotate through guarding Leng Lin, protecting their supplies, and searching the other two directions.
Just like that, the three teams were established.
Qin Mo gathered his own share of the supplies, and was the first one to head towards his search area.
Once he had left the larger group, Shi Qing, who had been choking back his words to the point of internal injury, was finally liberated from his silence.
“I thought you didn’t like to talk,” complained Shi Qing. In the last world Qin Mo had cherished his words as if they were gold, yet in this world he immediately went shooting his mouth off. This was too great of a discrepancy, ah, I cannot understand you!
Qin Mo was in a good mood, and he displayed it by gently stroking the dagger in his hand.
Shi Qing could not comprehend Qin Mo’s behavior. When he was the jade pendant it could be explained; the white jade was smooth and delicate, so it was fairly normal to enjoy touching it. However, this time he was a dagger sharp enough to easily draw blood. Was he really not afraid of seeing red when he ran his hand over that edge? Cough cough, see, there’s blood!
Just when Shi Qing thought Qin Mo would not answer, he actually spoke.
“I really don’t like talking much,” He answered with a smile, “But that does not mean I cannot speak.”
His remark was quite interesting, especially since Qin Mo also revealed a rare smile. Shi Qing could not help being deeply moved. His host did not seem like the type to ramble on like an idiot…but his words were actually quite eloquent.
In other words, if Qin Mo had not been tossed about by his two trash fathers, he would have grown to be very charming and charismatic, right?
What a pity…that little goblin, fate, had always been mischievous and unruly.
Shi Qing sighed softly, then suddenly remembered that just after they had entered this world, Qin Mo had saved him from his unfortunate circumstances. He immediately chirped up, “Thank you for helping me before.” A simple thank you seemed like it was inadequate, so Shi Qing added warmly, “You can come to me any time, I will try my best to help you!”
Qin Mo’s smile did not disperse. He gently traced the dagger blade with his finger, and slowly asked, “What can you do?”
Shi Qing was a little stuck.
“Will you stab into the zombies’ brains?” He gently flipped the knife over in his hand, “Are you not afraid?”
Shi Qing…QAQ, don’t burst my bubble ah!
Shi Qing racked his brain for a way to decline, but still save his domineering image. Qin Mo suddenly moved, quickly sweeping back and to his left. Shi Qing immediately collected his thoughts. With his sharp eyes, he could vaguely see that a shadow had flitted by in that direction.
This was an authentic dead city. Other than the living people on their team, every other entity should be a zombie. Zombies could not move swiftly like that shadow; it was absolutely impossible to have such speed, so just what was that?
It was certainly not a zombie, but it could not be one of their companions. If it was a companion, why would it flee the moment they approached?
Qin Mo was travelling at a high-speed, but it seemed that he was always the same distance from the shadow. He pursued, but was unable to close the distance between them, even after a bit of time had passed.
Shi Qing had many thoughts running through his head. He deeply doubted that the shadow was anything other than an experimental subject!
How could an experimental subject appear here? Did you not escape before? Leng Lin’s sensor did not pick anything up nearby, so how did it suddenly appear? Did it intentionally allow Qin Mo to discover it…?
That can’t be right! The situation suddenly clicked for Shi Qing, and he immediately warned, “Qin Mo, there may be a trap ahead.” The experimental subject must have used its body as bait, clearly revealing itself to draw them into pursuit!
Who could imagine that Qin Mo would not slow down, and instead continued trailing at an unforgiving pace.
With the cold wind whistling in his ear, his calm and steady voice came through, “It is a trap, but it is also an opportunity.”
His answer caused Shi Qing to ponder the situation. Qin Mo was perfectly aware of the looming danger, but for this rare chance he was willing to take the risk.
Shi Qing did not oppose his approach. Although he was taking a big risk, this really was a rare opportunity. After all, there would be no success if they were not willing to do what was necessary. Shi Qing understood this very well.
At this time, his advantage as a dagger was revealed. His perspective was very wide; he could see 360 degrees and had no blind spots. He could help Qin Mo by keeping an eye out for any movements in their surroundings.
He solemnly said, “Feel free to put all your energy into pursuing it, you can leave watching your back to me!”
Qin Mo replied without hesitating, “Good.”
Although Qin Mo only spoke one word, it ignited the passion within Shi Qing. He wholeheartedly dove into his role and carefully scanned the surrounding area, refusing to miss any little sign of trouble.
They found themselves inside an abandoned old workshop with an old freezer compartment inside. The building looked like a place where nuts had possibly been processed.
It was now completely abandoned, and its breakdown and decay were very noticeable. When the zombie plague first spread ten years ago, this place was definitely a temporary gathering place for people. It was a good site for resources; nuts were high in nutrition and fat. Eating them could quickly boost a person’s strength, they were easy to carry, and simple to store. They were a must-have food item for those who were fleeing for their lives.
Therefore, to a large extent, the damage here was not caused by zombies. It was likely that, as a result of competition over food, various skirmishes and raids by humans had caused such tremendous damage.
At present, everything was covered in dust, the machinery was broken, and the steel was corroded. There was dust and mud mixed together on the ground, and it emitted a strong stench that stimulated the senses.
Fortunately, the moment Shi Qing became a dagger, his sense of smell was significantly reduced—just like when he was a jade pendant. This prevented the harsh environment from affecting his judgment.
The chase continued, and the shadow in front of them always kept a certain distance from Qin Mo. It was extremely familiar with the terrain and made use of various twists and turns to suddenly disappear then reappear. The pursuers dared not relax their vigilance in the slightest.
Shi Qing continued to monitor their surroundings intently. He was somewhat concerned about Qin Mo and asked, “Will you be able to sustain pushing your body this hard?”
Qin Mo did not spend any points on improving his body before. So, although the physical fitness he inherited from the mercenary was very good, after fighting zombies for so long, his energy had been greatly depleted. Due to the short rest-time, his body was not completely restored. After chasing down the shadow for such a long time, he was afraid that Qin Mo may not be able to hold up. How could they deal with this possibly dangerous situation?
Qin Mo kept his attention tightly focused on the shadow, moved at the same pace, and then whispered, “It won’t be long.” Since it was leading him into a trap, it would not drag things out for too long.
As Shi Qing pondered that, he was shocked by the sudden appearance of the scene in front of them.
He had been watching everything behind Qin Mo when the originally dark wall nearby suddenly cracked open. A gray-black hand reached through; the nails were sharp and pointed, and it gripped the sturdy white bricks, crushing them to dust.
The next part that came into view was a terrifying face. It was incomplete; the skin was rotten and peeling, pieces of meat were dangling down, and the appalling red eyes were protruding—their lids long gone. Last of all, gleaming in the gloomy darkness, its white teeth looked like they belonged to some kind of rodent. It gave the feeling that it could easily tear open a prey’s throat.
It stared at Qin Mo, ready to advance.
At that moment, Shi Qing shouted out a warning, “Qin Mo! Behind you!”
Even though Shi Qing was so loud, Qin Mo did not react in the slightest. He did not move forward or turn around; he just stood where he was, motionless.
Shi Qing was as anxious as ants on a hot pan, and he wanted to scream at Qin Mo again. He soon learned the reason behind his behaviour.
Crap! Not only behind him, he actually had such a monster in front of him!!
Just as Shi Qing was cursing, the two monsters even attacked at the same time, brandishing their claws toward Qin Mo.
In this way, it unexpectedly turned into a pincer attack.
Shi Qing was a bit panicked. He was very clear on Qin Mo’s current situation. Although the mercenary’s body that he had taken over was a skilled soldier, he could not use this body’s skills so easily. He only had the memory of the moves to go on.
During the zombie frenzy, Qin Mo was able to give an outstanding performance, showing off the strength of his adaptability. That, coupled with a strong learning ability, allowed him to quickly master the use of the gun. Those qualities, along with his previously honed battle skills, allowed him to take the vanguard2 against the slow-thinking zombies they faced.
The zombies they had previously faced were nothing compared to these two monsters.
Both their IQ and strength were many times higher.
Qin Mo had already exhausted a great deal of physical strength. Could he really confront these two zombies?
Shi Qing only had a moment to be concerned. The next second, Qin Mo took action.
He fearlessly charged forward and rapidly closed the distance that separated him from the zombie in front. In an instant he took off, using his momentum to push off an old dryer that littered the road, and propelled himself into the air. He jumped so high it was almost like he was taking flight.
He took advantage of the speed and power he had built up, and viciously kicked his hard leather boots into the zombie’s forehead—right in between that pair of red eyes. At that moment, Shi Qing felt that he heard something shatter…
The blow actually passed through the eyeballs and shattered the skull!
His attack did not end there. Qin Mo used the remainder of the zombie’s skull as the launch pad, rotated the body in the air, raised his hand, and turned his attention to the zombie behind him. There was only half a meter distance remaining between them. He swiftly reloaded his gun with bullets from his belt, took aim, and shot a bullet precisely through the center of the zombie’s forehead.
Then, bang, there was a huge explosion. Unexpectedly, Qin Mo had loaded an exploding bullet.
Shi Qing sucked in a deep breath. This had all happened too quickly—in just a few seconds, the two horrifying monsters had unexpectedly lost their heads!
He looked up at Qin Mo’s calm face, and could not stop the cold feeling in his heart. At that moment, he was even stuck in a little trance; those zombies may have looked terrifying, but who was actually the scariest…
The next second, Shi Qing tossed those thoughts out of his mind. Now was not the time to indulge in flights of fancy3.
Shi Qing’s perspective was very wide, so he was able to gain a comprehensive view of their current environment. Just when he was about to relax, he discovered with a sharp eye that the headless zombies were actually moving…
His heart started thumping loudly, and he quickly shouted, “Qin Mo! They’re not dead!”
Just as Shi Qing’s last words fell, Qin Mo immediately moved his body. He dodged to the left, and just managed to escape the zombie’s wicked looking claws.
Then he quickly glanced around his current environment, jumped onto a metal box, and fired several shots at a point diagonally above him. Ten meters up in the air, he had shot through the chain of a crane. A loud rumbling sound filled the air, and moment later a two-meter wide metal shipping container crashed to the ground, landing on the zombies below.
This noise was so loud that Shi Qing was shocked for a moment, but he quickly followed up with a cheer. Perhaps without a head you can still move, but this young master does not believe that your body that has now become minced meat can move!
Unfortunately, the zombie with its head kicked in was only lightly damaged. The instant the container fell, it managed to dodge. It only lost one leg, and managed to keep its life.
However, the zombie was still injured in this exchange, while Qin Mo was unscathed and on higher ground.
At this moment, there was a loud noise in front of the two. Qin Mo and Shi Qing both immediately looked over and were filled with apprehension. Was it another zombie?
They did not expect that it would actually be a familiar face.
Lin Leng came onto the scene to see the uninjured mercenary standing tall in front of him. The eyes behind his glasses flashed slightly, followed by an anxious shout, “How are things? Do you have any injuries? I just received a signal for an experimental subject here!”
It was at this moment that the remaining five people in their group caught up. When they saw Qin Mo was safe, they were greatly relieved..
Due to the interruption, Qin Mo missed the chance to deal with the last zombie. Within those few seconds it had disappeared.
At that moment, Shi Qing received a message alert. He was slightly distracted for a moment, then surrounded by happiness. He hurried to confirm that he had managed to use the system’s internal call for the first time.
“First experimental subject exterminated, sub-task triggered: destroy all the experimental subjects. Task is one-third complete.”
The battle has been fought, and I have emerged triumphant. Although this chapter put up a great fight.
On another note, I have to admit. When I read Kez’s note at the end of QWFOTD, I cried like a little girl.