Ep.172: One More Time

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The city was quiet and deserted. Su Jin walked for an entire afternoon and didn’t run into a single person. But just because he didn’t see anyone didn’t mean no one was there. He had returned to the same world as the Zombie Frenzy Challenge, but his Spirit Power was not curbed this time, which reduced the danger he was in tremendously. In fact, he had already noticed someone was following him about an hour ago.

The city had clearly been cleaned up and the bodies all over the road had disappeared. The random vehicles had all been neatly parked by the side, which meant that someone had taken the trouble to restore order around here.

“I don’t see anybody only because there are just too few humans left, I suppose. There aren’t enough of them to proliferate the entire city,” muttered Su Jin to himself. He wasn’t sure about the timeline he had entered into, but based on how clear the city was, he figured it wasn’t too long after he left.

“You! You’ve been discovered by us, so stop walking and let us inspect you!” a voice resounded from above.

Su Jin stopped walking and looked up to see more than ten people standing along a corridor at the top of a tall building. A lady among them was yelling at him through a loudspeaker.

“That’s all the humans there are?” Su Jin stuffed his hands into his pockets. When the people in the building saw that he had stopped, they got onto a flying platform that resembled a magic carpet and descended to the first floor.

The leader of this group was the lady who had spoken earlier. Her expression was grim and she was dressed in a tracksuit. She had a glass rifle on her back and there was a green liquid inside the rifle.

“Oh, it’s that so-called vaccine.” Su Jin recognized it immediately. He was the one who gave the surviving humans here this liquid, after all.

“Who are you? Why are you wandering about here?” asked the woman sternly.

Su Jin replied, “When the disaster happened, my family hid ourselves underground. We’ve run out of supplies so I had no choice but to come back to the surface again, only to find that…”

“… to find that all the zombies are gone.” The lady smiled, a sign that she believed him. After all, many people went hiding underground when the apocalypse hit, so it sounded about right.

“Yep,” said Su Jin with a nod.

She held out a hand and said, “My name is Katrina and I’m in charge of safeguarding this city as well as clearing this place of any remaining zombies. Welcome back to human civilization.”

“My name’s Kane!” “My name’s Lawrence!” “Oscar here!” The people standing behind Katrina introduced themselves as well.

“Hello! I’m Su Jin!” Su Jin smiled and nodded at them.

Katrina said to him, “You can come back with us for now. We need to run a small test on you first.”

“A test?” Su Jin looked at her puzzledly.

“Don’t worry, we just need to confirm if you’ve been given the Key to Immortality before, since that’s what started this disaster in the first place. Based on what I can see, I don’t think you’ve had it before, so we just need to go through the formalities to confirm this. You don’t have to worry too much about it,” Katrina quickly explained things to Su Jin to ease his fears.

Su Jin nodded, but he still looked a little doubtful as he asked, “Such a long time has passed, though. Anyone who’s taken the Key to Immortality should be dead by now, right?”

“I suppose so. Those who’ve taken the Key to Immortality have all turned into zombies and most of them don’t exist anymore, but we still have to be careful, in case there are others besides that generation who’ve taken it,” said Katrina with a smile.

Su Jin nodded and got onto the flying platform with the rest. They flew together to the middle of the city, talking and laughing merrily along the way. Now that the worst of the apocalypse was over, they no longer felt so pressured and were much more relaxed.

“The Key to Immortality shouldn’t exist anymore, right? If nobody has made more during this long period of crisis, shouldn’t the supply have dried up?” said Su Jin rather flippantly.

But Katrina shook her head and said, “I can’t say for sure. We’ve already discovered the Key to Immortality in at least three places. The ones we found in two of the places have been destroyed, but the last batch should be getting destroyed in a few days.”

“Oh? Why aren’t they destroyed immediately after being discovered?” asked Su Jin with an innocent and clueless expression on his face.

“Hoho, I’m not surprised that you have no idea. This new generation of humans understand very little about the characteristics of the Key to Immortality. That thing is a drug that can grant humans longevity, so it contains an extremely powerful energy inside and you need to be really careful when you destroy any of it. If you’re not careful, the energy from a few tubes of it could blast an entire city to pieces,” said Lawrence with a hearty laugh.

“Gosh! Which city is this last batch of Key to Immortality in? Where is it? Is everything going to be okay?” Su Jin purposely put on an anxious expression.

Katrina smiled and said, “You don’t have to worry about that. Sunshine City is an A-tier city, so their defense mechanisms and all that are top notch. Even if something happens, they’ll be able to handle it. It’s very safe over there.”

Su Jin had a look of amazement as he said, “That sounds really good! If only I could live there. Then I wouldn’t have to worry all day.”

“Haha! That’s not difficult. There are too few humans right now and we’re all gathered within a few major cities. If you want to go there, you can work with us for a while and clean up the garbage in the cities. Once you’ve accumulated enough contribution points, you’d be allowed to migrate there,” said Oscar with a smile.

“I need contribution points?” murmured Su Jin to himself. He then smiled at Oscar and asked, “Is Sunshine City very far from here?”

“Not really. If you go 500 kilometers south, you’d see a majestic city. That’s Sunshine City,” said Oscar.

Su Jin nodded. The Badge of the Fools had not sent him to this place randomly after all. The reward for completing this Challenge perfectly ought to have something to do with the Key to Immortality.

“As long as it’s not too far.” Su Jin nodded, then walked to the edge of the flying platform and looked down. Katrina and the rest got a shock.

“What are you doing? Don’t do anything silly!” Katrina shouted at him. The rest started shouting at him as well, thinking that Su Jin was trying to kill himself.

Su Jin smiled and leaped off without saying anything, falling rapidly from a height that was more than a hundred meters above ground. This move stunned Katrina and the rest. They never thought that a fellow human would suddenly choose to commit suicide.

All of them had puzzled and shocked looks on their faces, but since Su Jin had already made the jump, there was no way to save him. Katrina sighed and said, “Maybe he’s spent too long hiding underground and that took its toll on him mentally.”

The rest nodded in agreement, since there was no other way to explain what just happened. After the apocalypse ended, they had rescued several humans who had gone into hiding alone. So many of them suffered from all sorts of mental illnesses from hiding in fear for such a prolonged period of time, so they were not surprised if it was the same for Su Jin.

Meanwhile, Su Jin did not turn into a pile of minced meat like they imagined. He crashed into a building, which collapsed dramatically as if a bomb had exploded inside it.

He stretched his limbs for a bit and was fine to keep walking. His physical body was very strong now, so falling from a height of more than a hundred meters or even a few hundred meters wasn’t a problem to him.

He walked out of the rubble, confirmed which direction he should be headed in and began running. He wanted the Key to Immortality within Sunshine City. He wasn’t worried about whether this world would notice that he wasn’t an ordinary human. A Challenge activated by a Level D guiding object wasn’t dangerous to begin with, so Su Jin was more than able to overcome any dangers that came his way.

Five hundred odd kilometers wasn’t far to Su Jin. Before long, he saw a huge city ahead that was surrounded by a similarly huge outer wall. If one looked down from the sky, it would indeed look like a sun embedded into the ground.

He walked closer to the city and touched the outer wall. It was made from a special sort of metal and was very strong. It was probably built to keep out any zombies and mutants back then.

After he estimated how much strength he would need, he punched the wall hard. A large section of the metal wall sank in. He gave it two more punches and made a hole in the wall.

Through the hole, he could see that the other side was a dim corner of the city. Nobody discovered him after he snuck in, and he figured that this hole in the wall was going to remain there for a long time to come if he didn’t tell anybody about it.

He continued walking aimlessly on the streets. Compared to the empty city he first landed in, this one was way more well developed. In fact, it was comparable to some major cities in the real world.

However, based on the things he saw on the streets and what the people were holding, he guessed that the level of technology here was more advanced than the real world. At the very least, his world wasn’t filled with cleaner androids yet.

Su Jin quickly found his target. Sunshine City had plans to destroy that Key to Immortality they had that very night and made announcements about it in every corner of the city. It was purposely done in such a way as to strike terror in the hearts of people so that they never forgot the time when this Key to Immortality brought great calamity to mankind.

He did not waste any time and headed straight for where the city was going to destroy the Key. He had to get it before it was destroyed; otherwise, he wouldn’t get another chance to.

The venue was the Summer Plaza, and when he got there, he saw that many government officials were already setting up the place. None of them looked like they wanted the Key to Immortality, probably because this disaster had helped them understand how truly terrifying this Key was. But Su Jin merely scoffed. This disaster had been brought upon this world by humans. There was no problem with the Key to Immortality at all.

Su Jin was about to sneak into the venue when he noticed that there was a group that had gotten here ahead of him. There were seven men in total, and they moved stealthily toward the venue.

“Oho, looks like there are still some who can’t resist the temptation of living forever,” thought Su Jin with a grin. People who disregarded the safety of others and only cared about themselves existed in every world, after all.

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