Chapter 54: Complete Evacuation
Only the sound of bullets crackling into the wall could be heard, nearly shattering their eardrums.
The smoke of gunpowder dispersed as a figure nonchalantly walked out from within.
“Damn it!” Li Qian saw this and immediately wanted to seal the passageway between the special combat team and the night spirit, but he was too late.
It quickly took down the captain, broke his neck, and drank from him.
The others all pulled out their guns and rained a flurry of bullets upon it.
But it moved in a flash, and through the bullets, it knocked down a second person, then a third, a fourth, and so on, so fast that it surpassed a human being’s speed of reaction. The entire team was completely taken out in the span of a few seconds.
It lazily sucked up their blood. Then it opened its wings, already more than twice the size of when it had first rushed out of the hallway.
“W-What do we do…?” Li Qian had never been witness to such a scene before and he was scared to death.
“Block all channels! Don’t let it touch anyone! It will treat them as food! The more it sucks in, the faster it evolves!”
Song Zhi’s order brought Li Qian back to his senses.
All the passageways were closed, but Li Qian was just a tad late. The night spirit was able to keep a special combat team member behind. He cowered in a corner and watched as it ate until it was satisfied. It slowly walked up to him and indicated “that way” with its head, meaning for him to open the passageway with his access privileges.
Li Qian wanted to shut down his authorized access, but he momentarily could not find his name. The second Li Qian hesitated, he already opened the door!
The night spirit revealed an evil smile as it went inside the field workers’ resting area!
“Fuck.” Song Zhi clenched his teeth and banged his fist on the table.
Zhou Yu, who was sleeping, felt Mo Ye suddenly sit up in his arms. He opened his eyes and touched Mo Ye’s front paw. “What’s the matter?”
Mo Ye turned to the side, as if he was listening for something.
At the same time, the alarm sounded in Zhou Yu’s room. Zhou Yu got up quickly and was about to turn on the light, but Mo Ye held back Zhou Yu’s hand.
Then Song Zhi’s voice rang out in each room. “All field workers, stand on alert, you are not allowed to open your doors! Do not open the door!”
Just outside in the corridor, the night spirit forced the special combat team member to knock on the room opposite Zhou Yu.
Zhou Yu pricked up his ears.
“Amo, it’s me, Mikey… Could you open the door for me?” Mikey’s voice trembled.
Li Qian and Song Zhi watched them through the surveillance camera in the corridor.
“You heard the announcement too… I didn’t make it back to the dormitories in time, so please let me in!” Mikey was pushed by the night spirit behind him. He was so scared that he could only continue to lie.
“It’s not relying on instinct to hunt; it’s very cunning, as intelligent as a human being or even more so.” Song Zhi’s expression turned grim.
Li Qian connected to Amo’s room and instructed him not to open the door no matter what.
The night spirit was very patient. It pushed Mikey from behind and made him knock on the other rooms, but no one opened their door.
Then they came to the innermost bedroom, which belonged to Wu Yun.
Zhou Yu tensed as they went up to his door, ready to rush out at any time.
Mikey called out Wu Yun’s name, but there was no response. They walked past his door.
Zhou Yu sighed out in relief.
This was all a game to the night spirit, but as no one was responding, it soon grew boring.
They came next door to Zhou Yu’s room and Mikey knocked again. He was afraid that if no one opened their door, then the night spirit would kill him!
No one came to open the door. The night spirit put its claws up to the door, then with a sharp slash, a deep scar marred the surface.
“Can it push the door open?” Li Qian, looking at the monitor, asked in a trembling voice.
“Mo Ye can travel through storms. They’re both night spirits… What do you think?” Song Zhi shot back.
Li Qian said, “But Mo Ye has never killed anyone, and he doesn’t drink anything except for Zhou Yu’s blood… And he prioritizes protecting Zhou Yu at all costs. It’s not similar to Mo Ye at all… Maybe Mo Ye can beat it?”
“Watch its growth rate… It’s already bigger than Mo Ye! The situation isn’t so clear right now… Mo Ye shouldn’t recklessly confront it…”
By this time, the night spirit had pushed open the bedroom door. Then came a terrified shriek.
Zhou Yu heard it clearly in his room. The only thing he was worried about then was where Zhou Qing was. Was he safe?
Zhou Yu had already taken out his pistol and loaded it, waiting for Mikey to knock on his door.
Mo Ye lowered himself to the ground. When the night spirit tries to come in, he’ll rush out before Zhou Yu.
The night spirit slowly walked out of the room and threw down Mikey, who had tried to escape.
“Please, let me go! Let me go!” Mikey panicked and begged for mercy. In order to survive, there was nothing else in his brain.
It merely looked at him with a smile, those apathetic and malevolent blood-red eyes causing Mikey to almost forget how to breathe.
It lifted up one wing, signaling for Mikey to continue their game.
Zhou Yu’s expression turned cold. He closed his eyes and sensed the vibrations of their approaching footsteps. His thoughts grew calm and he became more clear-headed than before. Even his heart, which had sped up because he was worried about Zhou Qing, quieted down.
At that moment, he was a hunter lying in ambush. His surroundings were crystal-clear in his mind’s eye.
Just as Mikey was about to knock on Zhou Yu’s door, the night spirit shook its head and motioned for him to knock on another room.
The game continued. If it was later in a good mood, then it would skip that door, but if it was feeling playful, then it would rush in and eat its fill.
“We have to get them out of there…” Li Qian said.
“That will also depend on their courage to leave. Zhou Yu and Mo Ye are there, aren’t they?” Song Zhi said.
“I don’t understand. Why didn’t they knock on Zhou Yu’s door?”
“Because Zhou Yu wasn’t afraid.” Song Zhi answered.
“But I… don’t understand, Zhou Yu’s head is fine, so why isn’t he afraid?”
“Because there was a time when his anger overwhelmed his fear. It was just once, but that was enough for him to learn how to be fearless. He has forgotten death, and death has forgotten him.”
The field workers who were in the resting area had not injected fear inhibitors. If they were scared, then the night spirit would be able to feel their presence from the outside.
“Only Zhou Yu and Mo Ye can save them now. Where’s Professor Zhou? And the other researchers too, while the night spirit is still wandering in that area, have them evacuate and come here!” Song Zhi said calmly.
“Are you ordering an evacuation?” Li Qian asked.
“Yes, using the shuttle, we can get them all out of here. We’ll have to abandon this base temporarily.” Song Zhi replied. “Where there is life, there is hope.”
“Yes!” Li Qian immediately began calculating evacuation routes for researchers in each area.
Zhou Qing, who was in his lab and didn’t know what had happened, was very nervous. He tightly gripped the fruit of Elpis in his hand until news of the evacuation was announced.
All the researchers left quickly. Zhou Qing took advantage of the chaos to take the liquid sample of Elpis brought back by team alpha before leaving with everyone else.
His heart was pounding. He wanted to see the seeds of Elpis sprout more than anyone, but he was worried about being caught taking the samples.
When all the researchers were safely evacuated to Song Zhi’s side, Song Zhi set out arranging for them to enter the shuttle cabin.
“Professor Zhou, please…”
“I’m not leaving. Where’s my brother?” Zhou Qing noticed that there wasn’t a single field worker taking part in the evacuation. He realized that things were more serious than he’d thought.
“Professor Zhou, please…” Song Zhi tried to persuade him, but he was interrupted by Zhou Qing.
“Mr. Song, he’s my older brother. I don’t want to waste everyone’s time arguing about this with you so please respect my choice. Dr. Shen, you go first! ” Zhou Qing looked directly into Song Zhi’s eyes, unexpectedly imposing.
Dr. Shen looked at Song Zhi, who nodded.
The first group of researchers entered the shuttle, then the magnetic field.
At this time, Zhou Yu, who was by the door, was listening for sounds of movement in the corridor. The night spirit seemed to have taken Mikey to the other end of the hallway.
Just then, the PA system in the corridor and in each room sounded, making sounds that varied in length.
Zhou Yu instantly recognized it as Morse code!
Mo Ye could understand human language, so Song Zhi and Li Qian were not sure if that night spirit could also understand. What if he’d been taught it by Carlos? They could only send out instructions using a different method.
The contents of the coded message directed them to evacuate the area as soon as possible, and asked Mo Ye to cover for them. Li Qian gave them five seconds, tops. If they didn’t have the courage to open the door and run or if they weren’t fast enough to escape the hallway, then they would be locked in the area.
Zhou Yu stared blankly, then he looked down at Mo Ye.
They didn’t know how strong the monster outside was… What if Mo Ye couldn’t overpower it?
Mo Ye suddenly stood up and patted Zhou Yu on the shoulder with his right wing, as if to say: I will protect you.
Zhou Yu breathed out. He put his palm on top of Mo Ye’s head and said, “The point is not to protect me, but to survive.”
Mo Ye nodded, then stretched out his back and pushed it to Zhou Yu’s face.
His temperature and touch further reassured Zhou Yu that they would not die.
He and Mo Ye must live on till the end!
Zhou Yu put his fingers on the door lock, waiting for Li Qian’s signal.
When there came a “ding—”, Zhou Yu opened the door, and without a single glance at the night spirit, he made a dash for the channel Li Qian had opened up.
Other than him and Wu Yun, no one else dared to open the door and run!
The night spirit at the end of the corridor suddenly turned around and looked after Zhou Yu’s back. Its blood-red eyes glinted with bloodthirsty excitement!
Wu Yun was closest to the passageway. He stepped into the channel but did not leave immediately. Instead, he turned around and aimed his gun at the night spirit that was charging at him.
In the past, Zhou Yu had given up everything to save him. This time, he wouldn’t give up on Zhou Yu!
In less than a second, he’d emptied out his magazine on the night spirit that whirled through the passageway like a black tornado. It swept in close and avoided each shot, aiming at Zhou Yu’s back.
The speed of a human being was incomparable to that of a night spirit.
At the moment Wu Yun’s heart was about to split open, Mo Ye came rushing out and knocked the night spirit flying! It fell in the middle of the corridor, splitting the floor open beneath it. Mo Ye was exceedingly strong; the night spirit slid back to the end of the hallway, and with a “bang—”, it crashed. Even the door at the end of the hallway caved in on impact.
Its bones seemed to crack and its wings were broken.
Looking at the scene, Li Qian was dumbstruck. “Is that really Mo Ye? He’s so strong…”
If it played out like this, then they wouldn’t need to evacuate at all. Mo Ye could definitely handle that night spirit!
“What are you gawking at?!” Song Zhi pressed a key on Li Qian’s keyboard and the access doors immediately closed.
Mo Ye turned around and spread open his wings. Wu Yun only felt the force of a strong gale as he and Zhou Yu were carried by Mo Ye’s wings until they glided over to the other end of the hallway.
Li Qian quickly opened the passageway to let Mo Ye take Wu Yun and Zhou Yu through, unhindered.
At this time, the injured night spirit slowly raised its head.
Mikey ran to the entranceway and pounded on the door. “Let me out! Please, let me leave! “
Li Qian was about to open the access door, but he was stopped by Song Zhi.
“Mr. Song?” Li Qian wanted to ask why they weren’t going to save him when Mikey screamed.
In the blink of an eye, the injured night spirit appeared behind Mikey and bit down on him.
Li Qian was so frightened that he almost fell off his seat.
“It grows and evolves every time it eats. Mo Ye just showed it his strength so now it sees Mo Ye as its opponent. Zhou Yu and the others will need to hurry! We can’t save everyone. When you sent out the Morse code, only Zhou Yu and Wu Yun left, meaning we can only save the two of them. If we hesitate, we may lose even them.” Song Zhi answered.
Song Zhi’s expression wasn’t cold, but resolute.
Standing behind Song Zhi, Zhou Qing was worried sick. He thought that what he’d been through when he first came to Nibelungen had been cruel enough, but he hadn’t expected Zhou Yu to experience even crueler battles.
Mo Ye was very fast. Within a minute, he’d sped through the periphery of the base and come to its core.
Meanwhile, the night spirit cleaned out everyone that had not been evacuated. Soon, a dozen bodies were piled up under the security camera. It was truly a ghastly sight.
Li Qian didn’t want to watch any of it, but he had to monitor the movements of the night spirit.
It looked up as if it had sensed something. Its body was still expanding, and its wings stabbed into the metal walls of the passageway.
“It… It evolved again!”
“Where are Zhou Yu and the others?” Song Zhi asked.
“They’re almost here…”
At that moment, the night spirit hurtled forward violently. With a loud crash, it rammed open the passageway door in front of it. Without any intention of slowing down, it broke through several layers of closed access nodes in pursuit of Mo Ye.
“Oh shit oh shit! Hurry, Mo Ye! Hurry!”
Li Qian opened up each channel, one by one, then closed them, one by one. The night spirit was getting closer to Mo Ye.
Suddenly, Mo Ye threw Zhou Yu and Wu Yun to the ground, then turned around and shielded in front of them. He opened his wings, completely blocking out Zhou Yu and Wu Yun.
“Mo Ye! What are you doing?!”
Zhou Yu went forward, but the sound of the night spirit breaking through each access door got closer and closer.
Li Qian opened up the last door behind Zhou Yu and Wu Yun.
Mo Ye did not turn back, instead, with a flap of his wings, he flung Zhou Yu and Wu Yun back.
Zhou Yu and Wu Yun fell before the shuttle cabin. Zhou Yu wanted to go forward but was grabbed by Wu Yun.
“Listen, Zhou Yu. This is not a fight we can intervene in!”
Song Zhi opened the shuttle hatch and said, “Zhou Yu, if you stay here, you will become nourishment for the night spirit to evolve. Are you going to help it defeat Mo Ye?”
“Brother, I know what you’re thinking, but we have to evacuate!” Zhou Qing also grabbed Zhou Yu’s arm.
At this time, the night spirit had caught up to Mo Ye.
Mo Ye’s amber eyes darkened. He opened his mouth to emit a sound, the invisible force reverberating through the air, powerful and unshakable.
The night spirit’s claws were tightly sunken into the ground, but it was almost overturned by that force.
Song Zhi said coldly, “You are the last group of evacuees. Zhou Yu, believe me, that night spirit isn’t Mo Ye’s opponent. Or would you rather that Wu Yun, Li Qian and Professor Zhou be buried with you?”
Zhou Yu clenched his jaw. Just then, Mo Ye’s cry came again.
It wasn’t a sound of resistance or suffering, but one to have Zhou Yu believe that he could handle the night spirit.
It penetrated deep into Zhou Yu’s brain and smashed apart his doubts.
At that moment, Zhou Yu found that his body was completely out of his control. He went forward, step by step, into the shuttle cabin.
This situation led Zhou Yu to remember when he had been controlled by that S rank organism.
Is that you? Are you controlling everything?
If so, save Mo Ye! He can’t die!
Zhou Yu wanted to resist the force that was controlling him, but he was too weak in the face of that power.
“Goodbye, Zhou Yu. Next time you see me, please don’t be so stingy with your kisses.”
This is the first time that the young man, who had always appeared languid as if he didn’t have a care in the world, carried a trace of fond attachment in his voice.
Meanwhile, Zhou Yu was already seated in his position.
Zhou Qing and Wu Yun also stepped in.
Song Zhi came to Li Qian, patted him on the shoulder, and said, “I’ll execute the command instead.”
“What, Mr. Song…? You…” Li Qian looked surprised.
“The base’s self-destruct command is set for half an hour from now. That should be enough time for Mo Ye and the night spirit to end their battle. If Mo Ye wins, I will terminate the self-destruct command. If Mo Ye fails, then, tough luck.”
“Li Qian, you aren’t staying behind out of loyalty to Juli Corp, but to your friends. You are the last one to stay for Zhou Yu and the others. I admire you, but I don’t like to have the people I admire die. That’s why you should board the shuttle, now. I built up this base up single-handedly, so it should also be my hand that destroys it.” Song Zhi spoke calmly.
Li Qian clenched his teeth and went to the hatch.
He looked back at Song Zhi, who waved and said, “Have a safe journey.”
The hatch closed and the safety system was activated. Just like how they’d arrived, their bodies were first suspended before the shuttle module zipped into the magnetic field.
At this time, the door was blown open, and the night spirit pressing down on Mo Ye rushed in.
Song Zhi acted as if he hadn’t seen the intense scene before him. He leaned down, picked up a pack of smokes that had been lying on the ground, and shook out a cigarette that he placed between his lips. He lit it up and sucked in a breath.
Each second of the battle between them was a moment of life and death. The space around them was on the verge of collapsing.
Song Zhi sat in a chair and, like he had nothing to do with them, remarked, “How long are you going to put on your act for? Zhou Yu isn’t here anymore. Or are you going to let that night spirit destroy all the computer equipment here? I must remind you that these installations are very important; Zhou Yu hasn’t reached the other side safely yet.”
Suddenly, Mo Ye flipped over and stepped on the other night spirit with the clear, overwhelming advantage. Despite the ferocious expression it showed, Mo Ye remained lofty and unperturbed.
He looked down at the other night spirit as if heaven and earth were crumbling in his gaze. That night spirit’s arrogant expression dropped away, finally realizing something before fear rushed in.
Mo Ye’s wings slowly unfurled, and from his head to all the way to the tip of his wings, he was slowly plated with a layer of transparent silver. He resembled a beautiful illusion.
Song Zhi puffed out a ring of smoke and seemed to gaze through Mo Ye at something in the distance.
Mo Ye was like a formless yet constantly shifting cloud; he swooped down, and with unstoppable momentum, completely disintegrated the other night spirit into dust, like the explosion of a ticking time bomb.
That invisible force blasted through the air in all directions.
The computers made a buzzing sound, Song Zhi’s cigarette started to crackle, and his hair was tossed into the air.
Then, a young man slowly emerged from the rubble.
He had short black hair like Zhou Yu, with well-defined facial features. His handsome appearance was enough to take one’s breath away. Each step he took was like the fall of an entire century.
Song Zhi casually grabbed a researcher’s white lab coat and threw it to him.
The young man easily caught the long garment and draped it over his shoulders, the hemline drawing out a semicircle in the air. There was a leisurely sense of omniscience to his elegance.
“How should I address you?” Song Zhi put out the remaining half of the cigarette. He remained sitting in the same place, looking at him.
The young man’s legs were straight and slender outside his long gown. He carelessly sat down opposite Song Zhi and grabbed the potato chips that were left behind on Li Qian’s desk.
“My name is Mo Ye, didn’t you know?” Mo Ye answered.
“It sounds like you really took the name Zhou Yu gave you seriously.” Song Zhi showed a half-ironic smile.