QZ Chapter 27
First Published on Ainushi.
“Actually, I also heard quite a few rumors about the principal.” The doctor was having a chat with the instructor as they both waited outside the cave. “If he’s really as strong as you all said, why did he lose in the Adult Ceremony?”
“That’s because…” The alarm on the monitoring device in the instructor’s hand suddenly went off. He picked it up, glanced at it, and his face immediately drained of color. “Oh god!”
One of the blips on the map, each of which represented the location of a student, suddenly went out. Another spot next to it turned from pure white to bright orange.
There were only three possible causes for a blip to disappear. First, the person turned off the communicator of their own accord. Second, the terminal was destroyed. Third and worst of all, the owner of the terminal had died.
Orange, on the other hand, indicated that the person’s heart rate had peaked. If it was not because of something particularly exciting, then there must be a life-threatening danger.
In a mine that was only inhabited by creatures below Level A, what could terrify them to such an extent?
The instructor quickly reacted: “Immediately request a rescue! Tell all students to come back!”
After leaving the doctor with such instructions, he dashed straight into the mine where the danger was located. Only after he went in did he realize how badly it was shaking inside. Large piles of sand sprinkled down from the cracks in the wall, while the stones above his head trembled restlessly, foreshadowing a dangerous cave-in that could happen at any moment.
The structure of the mine was very complicated. The instructor couldn’t determine exactly which road those two people had taken. He could only try approaching in that direction as much as possible according to their current locations.
Of course, “two people” would be the most ideal situation…
Ling Xiao’s nerves was jarred by a sharp pain. He was always known for his fast reflexes, yet he was blown to the wall powerlessly without even seeing what his enemy looked like.
Pain came from his chest and his back. Just by breathing in, he could already feel the sharp prick in his chest. The blow just now probably broke some of his ribs.
The sand and floating dust produced by the impact blinded him for a second. Only after the dust had settled was he finally able to painstakingly open his eyes into slits. After he managed to refocus, he was instantly shocked by what he saw.
A few meters away from him was a Kui, an ultra-rare species that was said to appear only once every hundred years. This kind of creature preferred darkness over light. They liked to hibernate in places without sunlight and had extremely long dormancy. Therefore, not only were they scarce in number, even the remaining few were not easily spotted due to their long-term hibernations.
Not even the author of their biology textbook had personally seen such legendary creatures. There were only a few sketches in the book, along with some brief descriptions of their living habits. No further details could be found.
In terms of danger level, not only did the Kui surpass giant-tailed lizards, which were ranked Level A, it was more dangerous than Level S or even Level SS — They were a legendary existence at Level SSS. Only 12 species on the entire planet fit into this category with a total number of less than a hundred. Most people would not have the chance to see a living one in their whole life.
As for its lethality, even elites from the army might not be its match, not to mention Ling Xiao and Ying Feng, who were still Nestlings.
It was an unexpected misfortune for the two Nestlings who had not gone through the Adult Ceremony to run into a Kui at this place.
There was so much tension inside the cave that the movement of every single speck of dust was slowed down exponentially. Ying Feng could hear his own breath sounding steadily next to his ears. Every subtle movement the other creature made would cause his nerves to tense up.
The Kui’s giant figure prevented itself from standing up straight in the narrow space inside the cave, so it had to walk on all fours like other beasts. It first took a glance at Ling Xiao, who was close by, but its gaze settled on Ying Feng, who was standing right in front of it.
Ying Feng’s back stiffened. This was the first time he had personally tasted fear ever since he woke up from hibernation. He could hardy even breathe in front of the Kui. There had never been a person or a creature so threatening to him.
When a person was facing an enemy too powerful for them, they would instinctively lose the will to fight. At this moment, the only thing that came to Ying Feng’s mind was to ask for help.
His right hand was moving at an almost indiscernible speed toward the terminal on his left wrist. He was trying his best not to make any large movements that would alarm the other creature.
However, the Kui didn’t miss any of its opponent’s actions. Just as Ying Feng was about to trigger the alarm on his terminal, the Kui’s powerful attack was already coming straight at Ying Feng’s wrist.
Learning from Ling Xiao’s mistake, Ying Feng focused as hard as he could on the Kui and barely managed to dodge its first punch, but the second one followed immediately afterwards.
With the Kui’s strength, the attack was strong enough to knock Ying Feng into the air. At such as critical moment, Ying Feng could only throw himself on the ground and roll chaotically a few times while taking advantage of this gap to trigger the alarm system on his terminal. Along with an extremely jarring bell, the tracking dot on the tablet immediately turned from orange to red.
After receiving the alarm, countless guesses flashed across the instructor’s mind. Could there really be Level S creatures wandering around?
No. He immediately refuted his own conjecture, because the two students who were in danger were precisely the two Nestlings whom he admired. As long as they stayed together, even if the enemy was a Level S creature, the situation should not have changed so drastically.
He dared not even think about other possibilities.
Students in the same mine were hurrying out and happened to bump into the instructor who was heading their way.
“Sir!” They turned to the instructor for help as soon as they saw him.
“Have you seen Ling Xiao and Ying Feng?” The instructor asked every student he came across.
The students all shook their heads nervously. “They rushed to the very front as soon as we came in. We don’t know where they are.”
“Sir, what happened? Is there an earthquake?”
“Will the cave collapse?”
Everyone was talking at the same time, but there was no useful information. The instructor’s expression became nervous at once, “Everyone, retreat from here as soon as possible. The doctor is outside. Be sure to protect yourselves, got it?”
The students could only nod, then rush towards the exit.
The instructor increased his pace. All he could hope for right now was that those two powerful Nestlings could hold on just a little longer…
At the same time, the doctor outside the mine was surprised to find out that the rescue team he had been waiting anxiously for was actually a military troop. Staring at the short officer who jump out first after the device’s cabin door slowly opened, he almost thought his eyes had deceived him.
After Fuyao, the youngest and most renowned major general in Tianxiu, appeared, his tall and powerful lieutenant followed immediately after. Bringing up the rear, a team of well-trained soldiers neatly jumped off the flying device and quickly set up the launching device of some destructive weapon.
“Download the target’s location.” Fu Yao commanded.
“Sir, the most recent location has been downloaded!”
“Very good. Prepare to aim…”
“Wait!” The doctor recklessly rushed to the weapon and spreaded his arms in front of it. “Can you tell me what’s happening? Why did they even send the army?”
Fu Yao had just noticed his existence. “Who’re you? Why’re you here?”
“I’m the doctor of the field training team from Bikong Institute.”
“Bikong?” Fu Yao’s expression changed. This familiar name was also his alma mater. “Are you saying that there are students from an elementary institution here doing field practice?”
The doctor’s face changed as well. “Didn’t you come because you received our rescue request?”
“We are here because the satellite detected abnormal energy waves in this area. We suspect that there are rare, highly dangerous creatures appearing around here.”
“Rare and highly dangerous creatures? But the instructor said no creatures of Level S have been spotted here for the past hundred years.”
“What about something above Level S that only appears once every hundred years?”
The doctor’s face was now ghastly white. “Oh dear.”
“Where are the students?”
As soon as he finished asking, students started to run out of the cave entrances one after another. Some of them had received the emergency signal to retreat. The students exiting from the mine where the accident was located all looked battered and exhausted, their faces covered in dirt.
“What happened in there?” The doctor immediately stepped forward and asked.
“We don’t know either. Likely a cave-in.” The students who just escaped answered in a rush, “We ran into the instructor on our way out. He let us retreat first, but he went deeper into the mine himself.”
“Are there still students inside?” Before the doctor said anything, Fu Yao had already asked.
“Yes, there are many.” They looked at each other, “Many of our friends are still inside. We were separated from them after the accident happened.”
“About how many?”
The doctor quickly counted the students who were already outside. “About ten.”
“Any other useful information?”
The doctor tried his best to calm down and reported to Fu Yao what he knew, “We already lost one student’s signal before the instructor went in, and another student had an orange warning.”
The students were all terrified after hearing the news. They didn’t know the actual meaning of an orange warning, but they knew it was definitely not a good sign.
It only took Fu Yao a moment of thought to give the new order:
“Cancel the bombing mission. Everyone, follow me into the cave for emergency rescue.”
“Roger!” The soldiers answered in unison.
“Remember, protecting the students is the number one priority. Should danger arise, try to save the Nestlings’ lives even if we have to sacrifice ourselves. We must not risk the life of any Nestling!”
With a loud noise, the Kui’s heavy punch smashed onto the ground. Ying Feng, who had already stopped moving, had to roll himself a few more times in order to avoid this fatal blow.
Ying Feng had never fought so passively that he could hardly put up a basic defense, let alone organize an effective counterattack. The disparity in strength had made it impossible for him to fight back. There was no chance of winning this one-sided battle.
Just then, a black shadow leaped from the ground into the air and threw itself straight at the Kui’s head. Unprepared, the Kui took the blow head-on. It waved its palm in reflex, and the bold attacker Ling Xiao was once again blown away and fell not far from Ying Feng.
Ying Feng saw clearly in the dark that Ling Xiao had attacked with a dagger and he had certainly hit it. However, the Kui looked unscathed while Ling Xiao’s dagger was lying on the ground in two halves.
This thing was not only terrifying in power, even its body was invulnerable. Before it realized what had happened, Ying Feng jumped up from the ground, dragged Ling Xiao together with him, and started to run in the direction the giant-tailed lizards had fled.
“Run!” Ying Feng grabbed Ling Xiao’s wrist and dashed out. Dizzy and light-headed, Ling Xiao couldn’t understand the situation and only subconsciously stumbled along behind him. The two of them rushed madly in the narrow tunnel, while sand and large rocks kept falling from above. Ying Feng tried to dodge as much as possible, but they were still unavoidably affected.
Ying Feng knew he was injured in many places and that Ling Xiao’s wounds were even more serious than his, but he couldn’t consider that much. He could only try to escape from the Kui’s attack range as quickly as possible. If they could escape from the mine, at least they would get help from the instructor.
The Kui had just been attacked, and this moment was when its anger was at its peak. Seeing that its prey had escaped, it roared and immediately chased after them. Because the mine was narrow and its body huge, it soon fell behind.
Dragging Ling Xiao with him, Ying Feng ran farther and farther away, and the distance between the two parties gradually increased. Just as he started rejoicing inside at their luck, a boulder fell in front of them and blocked their way mercilessly. Ying Feng managed to halt immediately, but Ling Xiao wasn’t as lucky. He dashed out from inertia and was forcibly pulled back by Ying Feng’s right hand, and his whole body collapsed into Ying Feng’s arms.
The heavy footsteps grew closer and closer, whereas Ying Feng and Ling Xiao had already reached a dead end. In front of them was a ferocious beast, and behind them was a huge rock. There was no way to advance and nowhere to fall back. Even god refused to spare them a chance.
The Kui gave a final growl at the desperate duo, and the rumbling bellow was about to shatter Ying Feng’s eardrum.
Never have I expected that my life would end like this, together with this person…
He reached up to his chest and rubbed the peach pit through uniform’s fabric. Unfortunately, his unfulfilled wish could never come to a satisfactory ending.
It was over. Ying Feng used all of his strength to throw Ling Xiao as far as possible, while he himself took out his dagger and charged desperately at the undefeatable enemy.
–There is one kind of person. Their death signifies that they are unfit to survive in society and therefore should be washed out by the mechanism of survival of the fittest.
–Once this kind of person dies, their soul will scatter, and they will no longer exist in this world.
–That’s you, all Nestlings who haven’t gone through the Adult Ceremony yet.