Chapter 39.1 – God
The soldiers surrounded the scrapped off-road vehicle.
Xing Yifeng reported to the command center.
The command center told him that Lieutenant Xie Qianming suddenly offered to leave his post in February last year, and then disappeared. There was no consumption record and no travel record. He seemed to have disappeared into the world… What disappeared with him was his beloved car.
So everyone knew that he was out of the city.
Xie Qianming’s friend also asked Lu Tinghan if he knew where his old boss had gone.
“I don’t know,” Lu Tinghan replied like this, “But he won’t come back.”
As he said, Xie Qianming did not come back.
But no one could have imagined that he would appear like this today.
The off-road vehicle was badly damaged, the glass was all broken, and infected plants crawled all over the frame of the car, pressing the metal to the point of deformation. Antlers took out the flamethrower he’d been thinking about and burned the plants clean.
They saw the off-road vehicle clearly.
The entire body was split in half. It was a masterpiece of the empress bee’s tail needle, which made people shudder.
They saw Xie Qianming.
Xie Qianming was buried under a pile of rubble, and several vines crawled into the gap, gnawing him into a bone before he mutated.
Xing Yifeng put on thick gloves and poked the gravel away.
Zhang Geyuan, the expert who came, glanced at him and said with great certainty: “He has been parasitized by the purple light bug.” He squatted down and pointed to the little potholes on the bones. “These are the traces left by the eggs of the purple light bug, which have rooted in the bones.”
Wolf Claw shivered and touched his arm: “It hurts just thinking about it.”
Xing Yifeng asked, “What about this skin on the tree?”
“It was indeed left by the empress bee.” Zhang Geyuan replied. “It looks like its wings are fully developed. It is not like shedding during growth, but shedding after being seriously injured.” He took out the detector and pointed it at the bottom of the dry skin to monitor. There was red data on the screen. “This was left not long ago, and the infection rate is still very high, so high that it is terrifying. Give me 10 minutes, and I will identify the infection characteristics of which abyss it is.”
Seven or eight researchers surrounded him to assist him in the identification, and the convoy was waiting in line during the period.
After 10 minutes, the result came out.
Zhang Geyuan looked at the dense data on the detector and said, “…This is an infected creature from Abyss No.0.”
For a moment, everyone was terrified.
“Abyss No.0—!” Xing Yifeng’s eyes widened slightly, “Hasn’t it never infected other creatures?!”
“It’s just that we have never observed its infection, it doesn’t mean that it has never infected before.” In just a few seconds, fine sweat appeared in front of Zhang Geyuan’s forehead. “This is, this is the first infection sample we found, we must take it back, and we must take it back at all costs!”
“What can we do if we take it back? Can you study it?” Antlers murmured. “It’s peak of infection period, do we really have that much time…”
The research of each abyss was based on decades. From studying samples to confirming the wavelength of infection, studying the characteristics of infection, identifying high-frequency signals, and developing specific inhibitors, the links were so intertwined that it couldn’t allow any half-hearted negligence.
Even to this day, no one dares to say which abyss has been thoroughly studied, they all have a smattering of knowledge, and relying on countless people groping in blood and fire, they can get a glimpse of the truth.
They didn’t even know the infection characteristics of Abyss No.0, they only knew that its value was overwhelmingly high.
If it started to infect on a large scale, no one would be able to defend against it.
“No, no, no.” Zhang Geyuan stared at the monster wreckage. “No, no, you are wrong, we don’t need that much time, we really don’t need it. Professor Yu Qingmei had been engaged in the research of Abyss No.0 for nearly 20 years. Coupled with the information collected by General Lu Tinghan over the past 10 years, our understanding of it is actually just one step away from the door.”
He continued: “Can you understand? We have mastered too much of it, it’s like building a gorgeous door, every inch of detail is carefully crafted, without any omission. What are we missing? What is missing is the ‘key’ that opens the door.” He looked at the skin shed by the empress bee and whispered, “And we have found it now.”
A gust of wind blew, and the frighteningly large dry skin fluttered.
It had a peculiar texture, and Xing Yifeng couldn’t help but think that some primitive tribes would make drums out of human skin, and probably they had the same feel.
In the dead silence, he said slowly: “Then let’s take it back. Let’s see how sacred it is.”
The researchers moved, preparing to cut its tissue.
“‘Rainbow Sword’…” Snake Scales murmured, “It really looks like the injury left by the ‘Rainbow Sword’.”
“Why are you still dwelling on this?” Wolf Claw still didn’t believe it: “One shot of the “Rainbow Sword” was enough to destroy the city. And when the “horn” received a shot, it died immediately without any chance of resurrection at all. Old Zhang, don’t you think so? If Abyss No.0 could create such a monster, there was no need for us to fight at all!”
Zhang Geyuan did not agree with him, but stared at the dry skin: “This requires cutting the tissue and taking it back for identification before we can know if it is a wound left by a laser weapon.”
Wolf Claw was stunned: “No way! Do you believe this too?!” He looked around but found that everyone looked solemn. “Do you really think there are creatures who can eat a space-based weapon and still be alive?”
“I find it unbelievable too,” Zhang Geyuan murmured. “But this is Abyss No.0. Abyss No.0 whose infection value is countless times that of other abysses, everything is possible. Don’t you think it’s beautiful when you look at its creation?”
“Huh? What’s so beautiful?” Wolf Claw followed his gaze and saw…black crystals attached to the dry skin?
He narrowed his eyes and looked carefully, but his vision wavered.
He was in an endless wasteland.
There was no grass, no trees, no wind, the sky was dim, and the earth was lonely.
Where did the others go?
Why did he come to this place?
Wolf Claw wanted to call out to his teammates, but his throat seemed to be stuck and he couldn’t make the slightest sound. The whole world was silent, he clapped his hands, stomped his feet, and shouted desperately, but he couldn’t break the silence.
There was no sun and no stars in the sky, and the direction couldn’t be distinguished at all, and no response from the communication terminal. Standing still was not an option, so Wolf Claw picked a direction and walked towards the vast front.
He didn’t know how long it took, but the dark gray sky went completely black.
Even if Wolf Claw was experienced, he still panicked – people are prone to anxiety in an absolutely quiet environment, this is called “sensory deprivation”, a longer period of time can lead to extreme fear. What’s more, this place was endless, there were no landmarks and no life, and it made him collapse.
‘Am I dead?’ he thought so more than once.
‘Is everyone else dead?’
After an unknown amount of time, time and thoughts froze, he just kept walking, walking, and walking.
Until a dazzling light shot out from the horizon.
The light was extremely bright, it was blue, as if someone had suddenly shone a bright flashlight on his face.
Wolf Claw was so stimulated that he instinctively closed his eyes and forced them open again, ignoring the tears stirred up in the corners of his eyes, he struggled to shout: “Anyone?! I’m here! I’m here!!!”
Once again, the wasteland swallowed his voice.
The light shone straight at him and there was no response.
Wolf Claw ran towards it desperately. The light was too strong, and his face was full of tears. He fell, got up, and fell again and again, for fear that it would be too late, and the man would leave.
“I’m here!” He said hoarsely, “Can you hear me, I’m here!!”
There was a bloodstain on his hand, his knee had broken the skin, and blood kept flowing out. He fell again, crawled forward with his hands and feet on the ground, stood up, and ran again. He ran faster and faster, but his right foot suddenly hurt. He tripped severely and rolled on the ground in embarrassment for a few laps.
The fall was very heavy, and it took him several seconds to react and look back.
The thing that tripped him was illuminated by the light. It was a military helmet with the xuejian flower flag of the Alliance printed on it.
The helmet was inexplicably familiar, Wolf Claw subconsciously pulled it, and the helmet rolled away, revealing a half-rotted face.
Half dried up and half-withered bones, but it was indeed himself!
Wolf Claw was so frightened that he desperately dug up the soil next to the corpse, revealing the upper body of the corpse. The clothes, dog tag, and epaulettes were all his. The corpse’s black eyes looked at Wolf Claw, as if to say: ‘This is you in the future.’
‘You are destined to die like this.’
Wolf Claw held the corpse, stunned, as the light grew brighter and brighter behind him.
He turned his head blankly.
He saw a huge star.
It was a blue giant star.
Its brightness was 10,000 times higher than the sun, burning and obscuring the entire sky.
The light just now was not a flashlight, but the glare of the blue giant star as it slowly rose.
So close, the gravity of the blue giant was enough to bring the planet closer and engulf it, and the heat was enough to destroy everything. And Wolf Claw, who was holding his corpse and under the stars that were enough to destroy the planet, could actually look directly at it and see its graceful blue color, almost beautiful.
Then, the blue giant began to collapse.
—A bright and colorful planetary nebula surrounded it. It burned up the hydrogen and helium in its core and spewed out a stream of matter at a speed of 6 million kilometers per hour. The nuclear reaction fused the iron elements. The collapse of iron caused a supernova explosion. Within a few seconds, it released the sum of the energy released by the sun in a lifetime. Its mass was so large that the electron degeneracy pressure was not enough to resist gravity, so the collapse continued, ending in a black hole from which even light could not escape.
A huge, lightless, black hole that distorted time and space.
Wolf Claw couldn’t see anything.
He was in the event horizon of a black hole, as if he was in an eternal death.
One second, two seconds, or one year, two years, or a million years later.
He saw the light.
It was a molecular cloud composed of gas and dust particles.
The high-density area of the molecular cloud was gravitationally unstable and split into fragments. Its internal pressure continued to intensify, the compression of gravity triggered a thermonuclear reaction, the plasma began to expand, and finally, the expansion was offset by its own gravity, so another star was born.
It shone brightly.
It came to “life”.
As the light descended, Wolf Claw gradually came to his senses.
He remembered what Xing Yifeng once said. That day, Xing Yifeng touched the black crystals on the body of the purple light bug and said dreamily: ‘Time that never ends, where death and rebirth are connected. All the stars surround me, and they burn eternally.’
He was right. Time was never-ending here. Even if a star collapsed into a black hole, it could still become a molecular cloud and be born again.
Wolf Claw looked down, and the corpse in his arms had somehow turned into a baby – he exhaled his first breath into the world, crying loudly, but black crystals appeared in the corners of his eyes! He was suddenly taken aback and threw the baby out. The baby opened his mouth, and the layers of sharp teeth in his mouth bit his arm fiercely.
The bone was instantly broken and blood spurted wildly.
The baby jumped up like a monster and bit his throat. They were supposed to be one, but he was about to die. The price of going from death to rebirth was being infected. He looked at the stars for the last time before he died—
The blue giant continued to burn.
It burned with black crystals.
It was an infected star.
Looking far away, the stars were shining, all of them shining with an eerie light.
Dear readers, I will replace snowdrop with xuejian flower instead, it’s a mistranslation on my part, I honestly thought it was snowdrop cause they had the same flower meaning “new beginnings, hope, rebirth, and the ability to overcome challenges“, and cause it was translated as snowdrop when I tried to find the eng trans for it. Really sorry for that. Xuejian flower doesn’t exist, I think. (no flower came up when I looked for it again, just a bunch of people) I should’ve thought of that when it was described as a flower with shimmering light. Stubborn me thought, hey, that’s probably cause it mutated or something. But later on, Lu Tinghan described it as a flower ‘with layers’, so I think this flower looked like a camellia or a rose.
I sighed for a very, very long time after that. LOL