The attack had come too suddenly and even Su Jin couldn’t react in time, so he got pushed to the floor. Kano Mai was the closest to him, so she flung the simple weapon that Su Jin had made towards the thing that attacked Su Jin.
The creature went flying out, landed on the floor and scampered off. It was so fast that nobody saw what it was clearly.
“Jin! Are you alright?” Kano Mai helped Su Jin to his feet.
Su Jin shook his head. Kano Mai had reacted too quickly. He had intended to catch the creature alive, but the creature moved very quickly, then she sent it flying, so there was no chance to catch it at all.
“I reacted too quickly.” Kano Mai’s face reddened in embarrassment. Given how strong Su Jin’s body was, it would have been impossible for that creature to hurt him, since he was like a walking tank in this Challenge. Perhaps only a Level 4 mutant could hurt him. She didn’t have to worry about an attack like that and if he managed to catch it, they would have known what it was.
“It’s alright, it’s just a mutant,” said Su Jin with a smile. He didn’t think there would be any other strange creatures in this world.
“That thing just now…looked like a monkey,” said Chen Duo in a soft voice. Everyone turned to look at her and she said, “I’ve got very sharp vision. From the size of that thing and its behavior, I think it’s a monkey.”
Su Jin thought about this possibility but shook his head. “I don’t think so. Mutants were created after they were injected with the Key to Immortality, and I don’t think the humans in this world were crazy enough to administer it to monkeys. Besides, we haven’t come across any animal mutants thus far. Perhaps animals are immune to this substance, since their immune systems work differently from humans.”
Chen Duo nodded and looked down again. “I guess I saw wrongly.”
“Don’t worry about it. If you see anything or if you have any opinions on anything, just tell me,” said Su Jin in a gentle voice. As long as they were willing to help, even newbies could be useful in increasing a team’s prowess.
Chen Duo nodded immediately. Su Jin pushed the glass door of the supermarket open again, then carefully checked the hidden corners of the place. He wasn’t afraid of being attacked, but everyone else with him was.
Just then, Ju Xinlan suddenly said, “If it’s so dangerous inside, can’t you go in by yourself? We’ll wait for you outside.”
Chu Yi glared at her. He was very annoyed with how difficult this woman was. He snorted and said, “And why should my boss take the risk all by himself?”
Su Jin gave Chu Yi a glance to calm down, then patiently explained, “I did not ask all of you to follow me because I wanted to drag others down with me in times of trouble. I wanted all of you to stay close so that I can get to you quickly if anything happens.”
“We’ve got the two of them.” Ju Xinlan was still indignant about it. The supermarket was so dark and seemed so dangerous. If a zombie appeared in there, she was doomed for sure.
“Firstly, the three of us don’t have any trouble protecting ourselves, but having to protect you and ourselves will take more effort. Secondly, if something does happen, I can tell you right now that you’d definitely be the last person we save,” said Kano Mai in a frosty voice. She did not like Ju Xinlan at all.
“Why, you!” Ju Xinlan was furious and felt like she had been discriminated against. She yelled, “How could you behave like this?”
“Very simple. I just don’t like you. Since you think we’re hypocrites, we might as well be the nasty, petty people you think we really are. So, let me repeat myself. If we run into any danger where all of our lives are endangered, you’re definitely the last one we’ll save.” Kano Mai decided that it wasn’t worth trying to be nice to Ju Xinlan at all, and felt that Ju Xinlan was a character who would get the team into trouble.
Ju Xinlan was so angry that she started shaking, but she didn’t dare to fall out with Kano Mai either. She had seen how dangerous the zombies in this world were. If Su Jin’s team abandoned her, she might not even last ten minutes.
“Alright now, let’s not quibble over small matters like this. Reserve your strength for the journey ahead, okay? We don’t even know how long this Challenge will last.” Su Jin’s head hurt. Kano Mai was usually a reserved and gentle person, who was only frosty and nasty to those she thought deserved it. If Ju Xinlan hadn’t been so uncooperative and demanding, Kano Mai wouldn’t treat her like this either.
Su Jin got the rest to keep within a certain distance of him as he started knocking on the shelves inside the supermarket, using the noise to lure out any zombies hiding in the darkness. This method proved very useful as zombies kept trying to pounce on Su Jin. None of them succeeded in taking him down, but he was still very unsettled by the fact that the smaller thing that attacked him when he first entered seemed to have disappeared.
The shelves in this supermarket looked just like the ones he was familiar with, but there was a protective transparent layer over each shelf. Su Jin broke one of them and took a loaf of bread out. There was no expiry date on the package, but the bread looked fresh, so the protective layer was probably able to preserve these items.
The supermarket had clearly been abandoned for decades, yet the protective layer still worked. Su Jin had no idea how that was possible.
This supermarket sold everything, so he found where the backpacks were, grabbed a few, then packed them with food, water, toilet paper, batteries and some other essential items. Like he said earlier, nobody knew how long this Challenge would take, so it was better to take more now while they could.
Besides these items, they also found some things they could use as weapons, including axes and knives. They took a few of these items each so that they had something to defend themselves with. To Su Jin’s dismay, there were no guns in this supermarket.
Once the bags were full, Su Jin passed the lighter ones to the two male newbies, while the three in his team took at least two backpacks each. Their bodies were way stronger than regular humans, so this weight meant nothing to them. But Ju Xinlan had a foul expression on her face.
When they were ready to leave, they found that a huge number of zombies had gathered outside the supermarket. Ju Xinlan’s yelling at Kano Mai earlier had clearly attracted these zombies over.
“Do we kill our way out?” asked Kano Mai.
Su Jin observed the zombies for a while and shook his head, because he had seen some mutants that were obviously much larger in size than the rest, so he figured that those were probably the higher level mutants. Charging out like this might turn out to be dangerous.
The team quietly moved further into the supermarket. If Su Jin dashed out by himself, it might not be too difficult for him to handle the zombies. But the supermarket wasn’t safe either. If that tiny thing that attacked Su Jin earlier suddenly reappeared, the rest of them would be in trouble.
“This is a very difficult situation!” Su Jin frowned and took some food out to eat so that he could recover some of his energy.
“You don’t have to worry about us. With Sister Mai and myself around, that little thing is doomed for sure.” Chu Yi swung the axe in his hand to assure Su Jin, while Kano Mai nodded at Su Jin as well.
Su Jin swallowed the last bit of food he was holding, then said to everyone, “Alright, everyone, watch out and stay safe. I’ll try to clear the zombies out there as soon as possible.” He wrapped some steak knives with a cloth, then hooked some larger ones on his belt. He couldn’t use his Boning Knife now, so the larger knives would have to do for now. The steak knives could replace Rumor, since he was very adept at using such hidden weapons now.
He walked out of the supermarket by himself and it didn’t take long for the sound of fighting to reach their ears. Everyone in the supermarket immediately tensed up and looked out for any potential attackers.
At this point, Zhang Lei said, “Miss Ju, could you…could you try to hold your temper back a little? If you attract so many zombies our way again, it’ll put all of us in danger.”
Ju Xinlan was surprised by these words and scoffed. “Wow, Mr. Zhang, I didn’t know you enjoyed being a lackey so much. So, if these people told you to die, you’d really kill yourself?”
Her words made Zhang Lei very unhappy. “How could you say such things? I think that Team Boning Knife has been very kind to us so far and they’ve even allowed us to walk in the middle. Also, Mr. Su has been working very hard to clear the zombies all this time. Why can’t you see their kindness?”
“Kindness? I don’t think they’re kind at all. Just look at the way they’ve distributed the bags of food and resources. There are so many of us – don’t you think the way they’ve done it is problematic?” She scoffed as though she had seen through Su Jin and his team.
The other newbies blinked in silence and Ju Xinlan sniggered again. “You’re all a bunch of fools. Look, you two might think you can fool others with your fake kindness, but you can’t fool me. Out of all of us, the three of you have taken the most number of things, followed by the presumably more useful two men. As for Chen Duo and myself…we’re just two frail young women who are of no use to you, so you’ve not given us a single thing.”
Chu Yi was so angry that he burst out laughing. He laughed and nodded at the same time while saying, “Ha! HA! What an ingrate!” He threw one of the backpacks on the floor and said, “If that’s what you think, then you can have this bag!”
Ju Xinlan immediately dragged the bag nearer to her but stared at it in shock when she tried to carry it. The bag was full of food and water, so it was too heavy for her and she could only drag it along the floor.
“I hope that you’d still be able to keep up with the team while carrying this stuff,” said Chu Yi with a sneer.
Ju Xinlan looked embarrassed for a moment, then she flew into a rage and started shrieking, “You hypocrite! You insincere, disgusting…”
Pak! Kano Mai suddenly slapped Ju Xinlan so hard across the face that she fell to the floor. Kano Mai had taken one body strengthening elixir before, so the fact that Ju Xinlan hadn’t lost consciousness meant that Kano Mai hadn’t used all her strength.
“You…How dare you slap me! How DARE you slap me! Do you know who I am?! I’m someone who can make your life hell with just one word! I’m going to sue you! I’m going to sue you!” Ju Xinlan shrieked uncontrollably.
Kano Mai didn’t bother arguing with her. She picked up Ju Xinlan by the collar and dragged her all the way to the entrance to the supermarket. The entrance was now covered in zombie remnants left behind in the wake of Su Jin’s zombie massacre.
Without any hesitation, Kano Mai threw Ju Xinlan out of the supermarket and said, “If you want to scream and shout like that, you can do that outside the supermarket. Don’t implicate us.” Kano Mai went back inside, blocked the door with some heavy items, and returned to where the group was.
Ju Xinlan’s miserably wailing and shrieking could be heard from inside. Chu Yi gave Kano Mai a thumbs up and said, “Sister Mai, you’re the best!”
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