Volume 1: Chapter 2 – Monsters Descend From the Heavens
Zhang Mu racked his brain trying to remember. He took out his cellphone to make a call. Not long after, the echo of an extremely mellow and soft voice could be heard.
“Hey, big brother. I’ve missed you to death! Do you have anything new to tell me about?”
Zhang Mu was cursed with a very unfortunate childhood. When he was young, his parents died in a car accident. After that, he was forced to stay at an orphanage and was not adopted until he was ten years old. Since he was already ten, his surname did not change. He also had a new sister named Chen Ting Ting who wasn’t related to him by blood.
“Ting Ting.” As Zhang Mu heard the voice of his younger sister, his tone shifted to a gentle and warm whisper . “What I’m about to say is going to sound crazy. No one else will believe it, but you’ll believe your brother won’t you?”
“Of course, Ting Ting will absolutely believe brother.” She replied
“I am very serious. I haven’t gone crazy. What I am going to say is very important. Promise me that you will remember this.” Zhang Mu repeatedly stressed.
From the beginning, Chen Ting Ting looked up to her mature and earnest brother. For him to say these words, something big must have happened. The gentle atmosphere quickly faded.
“Brother, what happened?” Chen Ting Ting asked
“In two hours, the world will undergo a huge change. Countless horrifying monsters will drop from the sky. Don’t ask me why because I can’t explain it myself. These monsters will kill any human in their sight. The human race is in danger. Find a reason to bring mother and father to the police station. It will be safer there. Also, prepare something to defend yourself with as well as food and water. Remember, I am being serious here. Don’t be afraid, some monsters are small and weak. Kill those if you find any. Once you kill one of them you’ll get used to it.” Zhang Mu desperately told her
“What?, This is too unimaginable!” The young Chen Ting Ting, who always listened to brother, was a little doubtful. She couldn’t help but ask, “Big brother, are you…..” Chen Ting Ting doubted his words.
“I said it before, I’m not insane! There’s no time. Don’t interrupt me!” Zhang Mu knew what Ting Ting wanted to ask. “After the calamity strikes, tons of tiny spheres of light will fall down from the sky. These are the gift of skills. They will disappear after 24 hours. Each person is restricted to absorbing only one. However, 99% of the time, the skill is not at all powerful. Don’t immediately use the first one you see as most of the good ones are guarded by the monsters.”
Zhang Mu spent ten minutes explaining a bunch of useful information, and afterwards said, “Do you remember what I just said?”
Chen Ting Ting carefully asked, “Ah, I understand, but this is too …..”
Zhang Mu took a deep breath. “After all these years, has big brother ever deceived you? Promise me that you will bring mother and father to the police station. Whether this is true or not, in two hours time you can see it for yourself. I can only do this much. If the calamity strikes, you must protect yourself. Stay alive until the day we meet.”
Zhang Mu proceeded to call several of his friends who he was on good terms with. They were friends from the same orphanage. For the most part, adoption resulted them living in different cities. However the passing of a decade was unable to break the bonds they had formed, their relationships with each other were still strong.
After withdrawing several thousand dollars, he bought a large rucksack and a large travel chest. He stuffed the rucksack full of chocolate and candy. Afterwards, he stuffed his chest with various cutting tools, a hammer, a large fireman’s axe, two canisters of gasoline and several lengths of rope. Fully prepared, he waved a cab headed for Bi Jiang.
In the suburban district of Bi Jiang, a five hundred meter long bridge could be seen – the Jiangcheng Bridge.. During the calamity, an extremely strong skill sphere would appear on the bridge. If one could obtain its skill, one would be far ahead of the other players.
23 hours and 32 minutes have passed. 28 minutes remain.
Even after going through two months worth of training, life and death experiences allowed a person to grow the fastest, but this period of training was limited. These kinds of growth were also limited. Zhang Mu was mentally prepared, but his physical ability didn’t differ that much from a normal soldier’s. There would be a relatively larger amount of danger if he were to fight a higher leveled monster alone. If he were to be surrounded by monsters, that danger would only increase.
The flowing water of Bi river crashed, hualala. Some days, the buzzing of insects could elegantly intermingle with the flowing sounds of moving water. The road was pitch black, not a single soul in sight. Occasionally, a bus or a truck would pass by.
After waiting for ages, sounds could be heard echoing in the distance. A large eight wheeled truck was coming this way.
Zhang Mu stood on the road with both his arms wide open.
The big truck continuously sounded the horn, but Zhang Mu refused to move, standing right in the middle of the road.
Zhang Mu, holding his suitcase, began walking towards the truck.
A fat head squeezed out from the window of the truck, it was a fatty of around 30 years old. He was around 250 pounds; his neck seemed almost nonexistent. The fatty had a shaved hairstyle with a broad strip of hair remaining, with a round and fat head. The fat made his eyes seem to be all but narrow slits. His body was even bigger than putting two Zhang Mu’s together.
The fat man had a cheap cigarette in his mouth. Slapping the edge of the window with force. The sound of his voice was like a roar, “Smelly kid, are you tired of living?”
Zhang Mu quickly apologized: “ Big brother, I am truly sorry. I am a Jian university student. However I have an urgent matter at the moment. Can you give me a ride to the university?” He took out some money from his pocket, “Please.”
The fat man’s eyes widened when he saw the red, folded bill of grandpa Mao. Immediately opening the door with a greedy smile, he said, “Kid, you’re in luck. Eh, that is, since it’s the middle of the night, finding a car would’ve been difficult. Well it’s fine……it’s a pleasure to help others, anyway. This fat gentleman will give you a ride. It’s on the way anyway.”
The driver seat was very high. Zhang Mu handed over his suitcase and bag as the fatty stretch out his hand to help him up.
Once Zhang Mu got on the truck, he threw the paper bill at the fatty, causing the fatty to close his eyes on reflex. Zhang Mu took a step, his fist dancing into the red bill and colliding with the fatty straight in his face.
If it was said that fat had the ability to lessen blows, then that ability was undoubtedly limited.
After being hit like that, the fatty saw stars. , The fatty swore out loud. However, before he could strike back, Zhang Mu kicked him backwards and followed it up with a swift elbow attack. The fatty’s nose bled as he collapsed on the driver seat.
Zhang Mu took out a knife from his lower back. Holding down fatty, he pressed the knife to his neck. “Honestly, stop moving you fatty!” he threatened.
The point of the knife started to pierce the skin.
“AH——！” As soon as fatty felt the ice-cold tip of the knife gradually begin to pierce his skin, he let out a sound similar to that of a pig being slaughtered: “Big, big brother, d-d-don’t! I really don’t have money; my cigarette isn’t high quality, and I only have one! I haven’t even found a wife yet, please don’t kill me!” He shamelessly begged.
“To see you this terrified! Wait you’re already this old, and you still don’t have a wife?” Zhang Mu said surprised
“I….I want to find one!”, Fatty’s nose was dripping wet as he reached out his hand to identify the wetness on his nose. Shocked, he exclaimed, “Ah, mommy, look it’s blood! Blood! I’m going to die, call an ambulance!”
“It’s just a small wound.”Zhang Mu casually replied
Zhang Mu stooped down to open his suitcase. He took out a large fireman’s axe.
Fatty shouted as tears began to flow from his eyes: “Murder! Save me!”
Zhang Mu positioned the blade of the fireman’s axe towards fatty’s mouth, “Shut your mouth, or I will make sure it will never shut again.”
“B-b-b-big brother, let’s talk about this, let’s talk about this.” Fatty stuttered.
Zhang Mu coldly replied: “No bullshit, get up and turn the truck around. ”
“Alright, alright!”, Fatty, like a paper tiger, quickly turned the car around, “Big brother, w-weren’t you going to the university?”
“I have to say, is your brain also full of fat?” Zhang Mu sneered.
The fireman axe swayed in front of fatty, he was about to cry. “I’m turning, I’m turning, I’ll listen to anything you say!”
The truck turned and went towards the direction of Jiangcheng bridge, stopping several hundred meters from the bridge. The time was now 11:57, only three minutes remained.
Since it was now the middle of the night, there were no other vehicles on the bridge. Under the bridge was just the flowing water of the river. It was definitely a good place to kill a person and abandon their corpse.
Fatty realized this and was ten times more afraid, he trembled as he began to plead: “There must be a mistake, I have done you no wrong.”
Zhang Mu took a towel that was hanging from inside the truck, “Wipe your blood, keep your hands on the wheel. If you dare to move even an inch, I’ll stab a hole in your stomach.”
Wiping up his blood, fatty eagerly put his hands on the steering wheel.
This youngster was about 20 years old He seemed to be difficult to deal with. His speech wasn’t fast nor was it slow. It was something fatty had never experienced before, from the start to finish the youngster was cool headed. He didn’t seem like a robber, but a cold blooded killer! No doubt fatty’s future wasn’t certain with him in charge.
Zhang Mu’s bright eyes watched ahead. Under the tangerine yellow lighting, there was not a single thing on the bridge. In his heart he quietly counted down.
“Fatty, what’s your name?” Zhang Mu asked
“I….I’m called Pang Ren (龐仁)” Pang Ren replied nervously
“Pang Ren(胖人 fat person)? Ah, it really is a fitting name!” Zhang Mu remarked.
“Not fat person, it’s Pang Ren. Pang as in huge and Ren as in kind/humane.”
‘Yi, this name seems a bit familiar?’
Zhang Mu’s heart started to move.
It was as if he had seen a ghost.
Thinking back, wasn’t the first berserker also called Pang Ren?
It was fate that Zhang Mu met him, the first berserker was also a fatty!
This chicken-hearted and stupid fatty really was the first warrior!
Zhang Mu unenthusiastically said, “I’m called Zhang Mu, nicknamed Mu Tou. You can stick with me.”
Fatty beat his chest to make a vow, “Yes, yes, I was already thinking about it. Big boss, if you tell me go to the east I absolutely will not go to the west. If you tell me to roll, I absolutely will not crawl.”
“There’s approximately ten seconds left.” Zhang Mu said.
Fatty couldn’t get it through his head, “Ten seconds for what?”
It seemed as the sky was collapsing. The heavens let out a sound that caused tremendous pain, shaking the eardrums of anyone in the vicinity. Shortly after, a blinding ray of light appeared, one that seemed to bathe Heaven and Hell in a pure and pristine white aura. No matter how dark an area was, it was now flooded by that radiance. There was no source for that light at all. It was a wonder to how it was produced.
Not long after, the luminance started to lessen..
As fatty was trying to recover from what just happened, he simultaneously saw the scene right before his eyes as well, crying out in terror. “Mother, the sky turned red!”
The sky once full of stars had faded away, leaving behind a thick and dark red heavenly dome of heaven hanging over them. The surrounding environment also underwent a huge change. Tall trees emerged from both sides of the road. Moreover, another even more astonishing thing appeared. Millions of light rays shone on the ground, each leaving behind a monster as it faded.
Jiang City’s bridge had over twenty rays of light land ontop of it. Each of them were now ugly looking monsters. The monsters had brownish red fur, sinisterly fierce fangs exposed with saliva dripping from the corner of their mouths, and bloodshot eyes. They looked as if they were a pack of dogs, yet they were walking like a human. With a height of about six meters, some were without clothing, some wore leather armor, some were equipped with clubs, and some were even equipped with machetes. Their ferocity struck fear in the hearts of humans.
Fatty screamed. “Monsters!”
Zhang Mu hurriedly covered fatty’s mouth, “Don’t make a sound.”
Numerous droplets of light appeared covering the sky. These spheres of light resembled a vast meteor shower as they streaked across the horizon. Like raindrops they fell to the ground with vigor and life. They were floating on the ground, up on the branches of a tree, and even on the surface of the river. The spheres of light were everywhere.
Just as predicted, the game had begun.