Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Zhang Song let out a sigh, picked up the coins, and looked at them. “Is this what the organizing committee wants us to find?”
Li Han’er: “It seems to be. Take it over and ask the captain.”
Suddenly, Watanabe’s body twitched.
Before he could open his eyes, Zhang Song had raised his sword and lopped off Watanabe’s head.
There was no doubt that he was already dead. If there was a sudden movement, it was probably because he was infected with corpse poison, so Zhang Song wouldn’t be so merciful.
On Dong Zhi’s side, one of the invisible zombies ran away while he killed three second-level zombies. It wasn’t easy, but everyone was fine.
“This is indeed the silver coins. The rules of the competition say that if you can’t find the golden apple, the number of silver coins will be taken into account.”
He took a closer look at the silver coins in Zhang Song’s hand, which were printed with the English abbreviation of the Exchange Conference, as well as the patterns of the four islands, each with its corresponding English name under it.
“Diana Island. Look, this is where we are now.” Dong Zhi found that this silver coin could also be used as a simple orientation map; at least from the map, he could see the location of their island and the others.
“Diana Island is surrounded by three other islands. When we leave, we can head to Full Moon Island first, and then from there to Rose Island.”
Liu Qingbo couldn’t help complaining. “Why do these islands have such nice names? Are these Americans psychopaths? What Rose Island, Full Moon Island, Diana Island? There are zombies running everywhere here!”
Dong Zhi: “It’s quite romantic!”
Liu Qingbo: “Be serious!”
Yoshida looked at them with some envy. In her own team, there were always strict and distinct ranks. She was the lowest among the four, so she could only obey the captain unconditionally. It was impossible to have a joking and harmonious atmosphere like Dong Zhi’s team. If she were in such a team, even with the dangerous environment, the pressure wouldn’t be so great.
“Mr. Watanabe is our leader,” Yoshida said suddenly.
“Him?” Dong Zhi pointed to the body that had just been decapitated.
Yoshida nodded and said sadly, “After we got ashore, Mr. Watanabe wanted to enter the forest to find the golden apple, but he encountered a group of zombies, and the four of us dispersed. I was with Mr. Watanabe, but I didn’t expect…”
Dong Zhi asked, “Did you have a good relationship?”
Yoshida said, “Mr. Watanabe was the priest of the Ise Shrine. We’ve only met once, so we’re not familiar with each other. I heard that no one came forward to organize this exchange conference, so Mr. Watanabe approached my master, who recommended me. I heard that one of the requirements to participate in the conference was that each team must have four or more people. When our team reached the minimum count, Mr. Watanabe applied to the higher authorities, and then the government came forward to facilitate our trip. Among the four, my qualification is actually the lowest, so I only need to obey orders.”
Her Chinese wasn’t bad, but since she wasn’t speaking her native tongue, she spoke slowly.
Dong Zhi praised, “You speak Chinese fluently.”
Yoshida was a little embarrassed. “I studied Chinese as my foreign language in college. When I was a junior, I entered the shrine by chance and became a miko.”
Dong Zhi handed one of the silver coins over.
“Without your companion, we might not have found these silver coins so quickly. This is what he traded for his life. Take it.”
Yoshida was stunned and didn’t react for a moment.
Liu Qingbo curled his lips and thought that Dong Zhi didn’t need to be so polite to little Japan, but he also knew to give his captain face in front of outsiders. Besides, there were grievances and debts, but their feud was with Otowa Yasuhiko. It was impossible to be angry at every Japanese person, but it was inevitable that there would be some animosity.
“Are you aligned with Otowa Yasuhiko?”
Just as Yoshida stretched out her hand to take the silver coin, Dong Zhi asked coldly.
He deliberately chose to do so at such a time because, when people were caught off guard, it would be difficult for them to fake their expressions unless the other party had the psychological quality level of an actor. This was what he picked up from Long Shen.
Yoshida’s strength wasn’t top tier. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be crying for help when she was chased by the zombies. It stood to reason that her psychological quality wasn’t as good either, and that it would be hard for her to quickly calm down and lie on the spot.
“Who is this Otowa Yasuhiko you’re talking about?” Yoshida’s face showed obvious confusion. “Are you referring to the president of the Otowa Consortium?”
The Otowa Consortium was well-known in Japan, so it was impossible for Yoshida to have never heard of Otowa Yasuhiko’s name. But in the eyes of ordinary people, the president of the Otowa Consortium was just a business mogul. Adding the prefix of a profound background, at most, would not connect him with the practitioner world.
Dong Zhi: “Yes.”
Yoshida shook her head. “I don’t know him.”
Dong Zhi looked into Yoshida’s eyes. The latter didn’t avoid his gaze.
It seemed that she wasn’t aligned with Otowa Yasuhiko and had nothing to do with Fujikawa Aoi’s affairs.
Otowa Yasuhiko had hidden his identity deeply and pushed Fujikawa Aoi to the front of the stage. While it seemed that Fujikawa was capable, in reality he was just a puppet for Otowa. Although the old man was released last time, given his serious injuries and the fact that he was almost on the brink of death, it was unlikely he would have the strength to come out and cause trouble for the time being.
“Sorry, I’m just asking.” Dong Zhi apologized.
“It’s okay.” Yoshida smiled and held the silver coin in her hand.
Her appearance could be considered delicate, but she had a childish cuteness when she smiled.
“Mr. Dong…” Yoshida hesitated to speak, but before she could say anything, another voice grabbed everyone’s attention.
“There are also silver coins here.”
Li Han’er bent over and picked up a silver coin not far from Watanabe’s corpse. The ground was covered with a thick layer of dead branches and fallen leaves. The silver coin fell directly into the gaps of the debris just now. If she hadn’t been careful, they would’ve probably missed them.
With such a discovery, everyone followed the direction of the silver coins and found two more, which were scattered in different positions in the same direction.
Searching in that direction, they walked another few meters and saw a small sack the size of a palm on the ground. There was a big opening, and several coins were scattered around it. Judging from the traces, the sack was probably thrown at a high altitude.
Yoshida exhaled. “I didn’t find this sack before Mr. Watanabe and I were separated.”
In other words, this sack was discovered by Watanabe after they got separated. He was probably surprised when he picked up these silver coins and lost his vigilance to the surrounding environment. As a result, he was ambushed and killed by the zombies.
The praying mantis hunts the cicada while the oriole stalks behind*, but ultimately it was them who became the beneficiaries.
*Idiom refers to pursuing a narrow gain while neglecting the greater danger.
Yoshida was smart. Before Dong Zhi could speak, she said, “Mr. Dong, Mr. Watanabe is dead, and I don’t know where my other two companions are. I can’t go to the end alone, so these silver coins are useless to me. Since you found them, it should be yours.”
In fact, even if she hadn’t said it, Liu Qingbo and the others wouldn’t have given her those silver coins, but since she took the initiative to make a statement, it undoubtedly added a touch of goodwill.
Dong Zhi said, “What are your plans next?”
Yoshida asked cautiously, “Can I go with you first?”
With her alone, it was impossible to search for the whereabouts of her other two companions. As long as she was alone, it would be less than ten minutes before she would be besieged by zombies.
Dong Zhi: “What about your two companions?”
Yoshida said, “I want to get out of the forest and then wait for them outside. If they appear, I’ll persuade them to leave early and withdraw from the competition. After all, with the three of us alone, the possibility of getting through is almost non-existent. The other three islands are surely more dangerous.”
This was a wise choice. The girl didn’t have any kind of hostility towards them, unlike the Japanese Dong Zhi had encountered. Her temperament was calm and harmless, like Li Han’er’s. She was indeed not suitable for staying in this kind of environment.
Although Dong Zhi was the captain, it wasn’t a dictatorship. This kind of thing naturally required the opinions of his teammates. Li Han’er, who was also a woman, had a better attitude towards Yoshida and agreed to her request.
Liu Qingbo also agreed, but his motives were because, rather than leaving her behind and letting her scheme something secretly where he couldn’t see, it was better to keep her under his nose.
Since the captain and the deputy captain agreed, the others had no opinions.
Watanabe died here. Most likely, his body wouldn’t be taken back for burial. Since Yoshida was a miko, she performed a simple funeral ceremony and then burned his body to purify it with flames. Yoshida put her hands together and recited a prayer in a low voice.
After all this, Dong Zhi and the others searched around the area and picked up all the silver coins they could. They now had a total of eleven silver coins, which seemed like a lot, but at present, without knowing how much other teams would get, it was impossible to estimate their own chances of winning.
Yoshida temporarily gained everyone’s trust, but they wouldn’t completely let go of their vigilance. She was very conscious and took the initiative to walk in front of the team without waiting for others to speak.
They didn’t encounter any danger along the way.
Presumably, the ordinary zombies were wiped out, leaving sporadic second-level and third-level zombies. These zombies possessed preliminary intelligence, while the third-level zombies even had a deep understanding of cunning hunting habits. Now that it was broad daylight and this group of people was quite strong after the previous lesson, these zombies would definitely lie in ambush in the dark and wait for an opportunity to attack rather than rushing out to their deaths.
However, this didn’t relax anyone’s vigilance. After walking for most of the afternoon, the sky gradually darkened. Seeing the long road ahead, it was likely there was still a considerable distance before they reached the other end of the forest. Dong Zhi proposed to find a slightly flat and empty area to spend the night first, then hit the road in the morning.
Everyone brought enough dry food, but that wasn’t as good as eating hot rice that could warm their stomachs. Just as Liu Qingbo looked at the compressed biscuit he took out of his bag in disgust, he saw Dong Zhi take out a small bag of rice from his backpack and a jar of dried pickled radish.
“When did you put rice in? Why didn’t I know about this?” Liu Qingbo showed an incredulous look.
Dong Zhi: “Just before going abroad. Didn’t I ask if you wanted to bring rice?”
The corner of Liu Qingbo’s mouth twitched. “Didn’t I say no?!”
Dong Zhi said innocently, “But I want to eat it. Don’t you want to?”
Liu Qingbo: ……
He couldn’t say that he wanted to eat it but didn’t want to bring it.
In order to save water resources, Dong Zhi didn’t bother washing the rice. He directly added some water and cooked it over a pot on the fire. When the sky was completely darkened, the aroma of rice floated out of the pot. Accompanied by the woody fragrance of the firewood, even Yoshida Noriko couldn’t help swallowing her saliva.
White rice with pickled dried radishes was regarded as the most rudimentary and ordinary food outside, but on a deserted island like this where there were only zombies and no game, it was a rare delicacy. Everyone didn’t eat anything delicious while they were here, so at this moment, seeing the fragrant and soft rice awakened their sleeping Chinese stomachs. Even if the rice was barely enough to feed everyone and they wouldn’t get full with such an amount, it was still enough to comfort their stomachs after a long journey.
Yoshida didn’t expect to get a small bowl herself. When she was holding the rice, she was so moved that she was about to cry. She thanked Dong Zhi repeatedly. It wasn’t just this bowl of rice that hurt, but also the death of her companion and the uncertainty of her own future.
The small jar of dried pickled radish was decreasing at a rate visible to the naked eye and was about to bottom out. Dong Zhi then pulled a small jar of pickled cucumbers out of his backpack.
“Come on, if you don’t have enough to eat, there’s more here.”
Everyone carried a backpack but only brought daily necessities. Naturally, water was essential. The organizers have put freshwater tanks on each island, so as long as they got out of the forest, there was no need to worry about a lack of fresh water. In addition to daily drinking water, they only packed a sleeping bag and dry food.
Who would have thought that the leader of their team would be so capable? While his backpack didn’t look big, it was stuffed full of things.
Compared to other people’s admiration, Liu Qingbo was already numb. After all, Dong Zhi brought heating pads when they went to chase the Wuzhiqi, so it was strange if he didn’t bring a jar of pickled radish.
Liu Qingbo couldn’t help but rub his forehead. “To be honest, apart from these, what else did you bring?”
Dong Zhi took out a bag of noodles. “This is our food for tomorrow.”
Liu Qingbo: You really brought it?!
Liu Si couldn’t help laughing. “Just noodles with a plain broth?”
Dong Zhi smiled. “I also brought salt, as well as dehydrated vegetable buns and a dried egg drop soup pack.”
Yang Shouyi couldn’t help but cast a respectful glance at Dong Zhi.
Looking at the captain of the team, even everyone’s eating habits had been taken into account. If it was him, would he really think of all these details? Yang Shouyi felt that he probably couldn’t, so this only made him more convinced of Dong Zhi.
Li Han’er was a little reserved and didn’t speak, but she did have a great change of outlook on Dong Zhi. From the start, she felt that he wasn’t worthy of being Long Shen’s disciple. Now, although she didn’t say it, she followed what Dong Zhi said and did without questioning it. She may still not like him, but she couldn’t deny his ability.
Dong Zhi didn’t notice Li Han’er’s subtle mood, but even if he did, he wouldn’t pay too much attention.
“There are ten more days left. According to my expectations, this forest covers almost half the island. If we want to cross over, it’ll take at least one or two days. During this time, we’ll definitely run out of drinking water, so when we get out of the forest, we’ll divide into two groups. One group will look for fresh water, while the other will look for speedboats to leave here.”
This arrangement was thorough, so everyone nodded.
Liu Qingbo said, “I don’t think the golden apple is here. It’s better to leave early. It’s quite annoying to face these zombies all day long.”
Dong Zhi nodded in agreement. “The silver coins we picked up just now; the sack was broken. Most likely, it was airdropped directly by the organizers. They probably didn’t even land on this island. Even if the golden apple is here, it’s most likely been airdropped like the silver coins. Whether we can find it will depend on fate. We can’t spend all our time on this island. If we leave the forest, we’ll go directly to the next island.”
In this place, the usual dried pickled radishes and pickled cucumbers became rare delicacies. Everyone ate until there wasn’t a single grain of rice left. The campfire conveyed warmth, giving off a toasty and lax atmosphere. Tonight was Dong Zhi’s turn to watch the first half of the night. Liu Qingbo was responsible for the other half. Everyone took out their sleeping bags and slept in a circle around the campfire, trying not to stay too far away in case of trouble.
Yoshida brought a sleeping bag, but after she laid down, she didn’t feel sleepy. Looking at Dong Zhi’s figure sitting by the campfire, she bit her lip and struggled for a moment, but finally got up.
Dong Zhi immediately noticed and looked back at her. Yoshida was afraid of waking the others, so she gestured if she could sit down next to him, to which Dong Zhi nodded.
“Mr. Dong, there’s something that I have hesitated for a while, and I think I should tell you,” Yoshida whispered. “In addition to the head of the team, Mr. Watanabe, who came with me, there are two other onmyojis, Tomo Nakai and Tomomi Eguchi.”
When he heard the names, Dong Zhi couldn’t help being taken aback.
He remembered the four members of the Japanese team—one woman and three men. The other three must be men, but the name Tomomi Eguchi, no matter how it sounded, was a girl’s name.
But then he remembered another past event.
He Yu once told him that the Aoi in Fujikawa’s name was common for women. He was ridiculed for it before he became famous, but after he established his position in the Japanese practitioner world, this ridicule became praise, and even fanatics, in order to curry favor, changed their names to a female name.
Thinking of this, Dong Zhi blurted out, “Is that Tomomi Eguchi a disciple of Fujikawa Aoi?”
Yoshida was a little surprised. “You know?”
Dong Zhi smiled bitterly. “When you said the name, I guessed it. The Japanese team’s roster was released last. We didn’t know when we set off. Later, I saw that the surname wasn’t Fujikawa, so I didn’t pay much attention.”
Yoshida nodded. “I see. I’m not familiar with Tomomi Eguchi. I heard that his original name was Takashi Eguchi, but he changed it to a woman’s name later. It can be seen that he admires Mr. Fujikawa very much. When I was with them, I also heard Eguchi say that Mr. Fujikawa was seriously injured because of Long, and since you are Long Shen’s disciple, he wanted to seek revenge against you. An eye for an eye, was what he said.”
She looked worried. “Mr. Watanabe said before that we should focus on the overall situation and not mess around. Now that Mr. Watanabe is dead, no one will stop him, and we’re also separated. If he’s still wandering around the island, it may not be good for you. You have to be careful.”
In fact, even if Yoshida hadn’t said this, Dong Zhi wasn’t too worried. First, they had more people and weren’t afraid of a single Eguchi, and second, Dong Zhi didn’t think Eguchi was that powerful. Otherwise, he would be the captain of the Japanese team. He could tell that Yoshida struggled to tell him this for a long time.
Dong Zhi said sincerely, “Thank you. I know you must be under a lot of pressure for telling me.”
Yoshida smiled bitterly. “In fact, I hesitated for quite some time. If I told you, I would undoubtedly become a traitor, but you have treated me so well and didn’t leave me behind. If I didn’t say it, I’m afraid my conscience would be condemned.”
Dong Zhi said, “I won’t tell anyone what you told me. You don’t have to tell the others either. When you leave the forest, just take a speedboat and go back to your hometown.”
Yoshida mustered up some courage. “Then, can I come to China and find you in the future?”
Dong Zhi blinked. “If you come with a delegation for a visit, I’ll certainly entertain you.”
This wasn’t the answer Yoshida wanted. She felt a little disappointed hearing the polite response of the other party, but she still nodded with a smile. “Okay. Our shrine will be doing foreign exchange visits every year. After I go back, I’ll apply with my master. He likes me very much, so he’ll definitely agree.”
Dong Zhi said, “Won’t you be punished if you come back empty-handed?”
Yoshida sighed in a low voice. “No way. There are only four of us. Our numbers were originally small, and with Mr. Watanabe passing away, leaving only three people, we can’t possibly complete the task no matter what. In fact, this is good. I didn’t want to fight other people. If Eguchi is still here, most likely he will find a way to take revenge on you.”
Dong Zhi: “It’s fine. Since he’s brooding, even if it’s not this time, there will be another time sooner or later.”
Yoshida opened her mouth and was about to say something but found Dong Zhi getting closer. The distance between the two had exceeded the boundaries of ordinary friends.
“Dong—Mr. Dong?” She stammered. She could even feel Dong Zhi’s lips only a few feet away from her cheek, as if he wanted to kiss her.
“Don’t move.” She heard him whisper. “Don’t look back. There seems to be an invisible zombie not far behind you.”
Yoshida didn’t look back, but her hair stood on end and her body suddenly froze.
The author has something to say:
Dong*Doraemon*Zhi* makes his grand debut.
*Referencing the Doraemon 4D pocket that it uses to pull out random things.
Liu Qingbo: I still remember that day under the Huai River, the fear of being dominated by the heating pads…
Dong Zhi: Are you moved?
Liu Qingbo: (expressionless) Dare not be moved.
Dong Zhi, master of deflection, breaking little girls’ hearts left and right (see arc 1).
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One thought on “Bu Tian Gang Ch129”
thank you for the chapter! can’t wait to find out what else dong zhi has hidden in his bag