Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 12: Tip of the Iceberg
The idea of one-on-one combat was pretty bold. However, Shu Jun was lying on the ground face-to-face with a mutant beast’s leg in his mouth, being pulled backwards by a column of liquid attached to his ankle. This scene was more like an angry shepherd dragging a wolf who stole his sheep.
Shu Jun felt a wave of sadness in his heart. If he had a full stomach and his weapon was still by his side, he wouldn’t have ended up like this.
In his current situation, it only allowed him to be distracted for half a second. The wind blade swooped down and cut off the column of liquid. Shu Jun rolled over, and the beast leg he had in his mouth was now in his right hand. The leg still had some warmth, and the coarse fur felt rough on his hand, but it had some weight to it, which helped him regain his fighting spirit.
The column of liquid was severed, causing the Erosion Swamp to emit a low groan. The edges of the column twisted together and lashed out like a whip towards Shu Jun. He swung the leg like a sword and avoided the first few attacks with ease, but finally took a hit from the last lash. His clothes split open, leaving only a faint red mark on his skin.
Unlike the past, he didn’t have his weapon, but he also wasn’t wearing the heavy and cumbersome mechanical armor. The most threatening erosion substance was ineffective against him, so the Erosion Swamp in front of him wasn’t much different from any other mutant beast.
Rather, compared to monsters with sharp claws and teeth, the slippery Erosion Swamp was less of a threat.
There was only one problem; he only knew how to kill the mutant beasts brought by the Erosion Swamp, and the swamp itself could only be dispersed by purifiers. No one knew how to kill this thing in front of him—the Erosion Swamp wasn’t that big; only about 20 square meters—and wasn’t much different from the other Erosion Swamps.
This slimy liquid opponent was truly annoying.
The beast leg cut through several columns of liquid, making a harsh hissing sound. The flesh and blood on the leg melted and dripped, and finally even the bone was corroded to the point where a touch of a finger could break it. Shu Jun reluctantly threw away the remains of the leg, propped himself up with both hands, spun beautifully, and dodged another strike from the Erosion Swamp.
The situation was somewhat embarrassing—the Erosion Swamp couldn’t catch him, and he couldn’t do anything to the swamp. If they continued like this, they could fight for three days and nights without any problems—as long as he didn’t get hungry.
His stomach growled loudly, and his legs gradually lost strength. Shu Jun clicked his tongue and glanced back.
They had been fighting for more than ten minutes. If only Zhu Yanchen had taken the opportunity to run away.
Unexpectedly, Zhu Yanchen was still within his field of vision. Lao Wei had been tied up like a dumpling with a metal rope, lying at Zhu Yanchen’s feet. Looking at the distance, Zhu Yanchen hadn’t gone far.
“Find its ‘brain’,” Zhu Yanchen shouted loudly as Shu Jun turned his head. “When it attacked you just now, the erosion in a particular area didn’t move. Go to its southwest direction!”
“This thing has a brain?!” Shu Jun’s response was mixed with fear.
“Theoretically, it has a special erosion-made neural center.” Zhu Yanchen shouted; the long sentence made it difficult for Shu Jun to understand in his battle state.
“I have never heard of such a thing!” he shouted back.
“It’s my personal research.” Zhu Yanchen’s tone was sincere. “It’s not easy to explain right now. Let’s talk after the fight—”
… Did this guy even consider explaining it just now?
He only knew that A’Yan was serious, but he didn’t expect the real person to be this serious. Shu Jun couldn’t help but smirk, bounced up, and landed on a roof near the Erosion Swamp to observe the location pointed out by Zhu Yanchen.
It was indeed difficult to find during battle. He needed to concentrate and carefully observe the differences between the boiling and wriggling liquid surface. Zhu Yanchen could judge from a distance, indicating that this marshal was exceptionally familiar with the Erosion Swamp.
The soles of his shoe had been eroded by the Erosion Swamp. Shu Jun pulled up the waterproof plastic board on the flat roof and threw it straight towards the swamp, then immediately jumped out. The rate of erosion of the plastic board was relatively slow, giving him some time.
With the impact of an adult man’s weight, the plastic board began to sink into the Erosion Swamp. Meanwhile, Shu Jun completed his movement adjustment—at the moment before the plastic board sank into the swamp, Shu Jun’s hand had already reached into the abnormal area of the Erosion Swamp and grabbed something.
Indeed, there was a problem.
He was sure that he had touched something beyond the sticky and eroded substance—something slightly tough, like the soft tendons of an animal. But the moment he touched it, it suddenly shrunk and disappeared. The swamp showed clear fear, like a wild animal captured in a trap and started to shrink entirely.
The intimidation worked, and the creature’s hostility turned into panic and a desire to kill. As long as Shu Jun pulled his hand back, he didn’t think it would continue to entangle him. However, the premise was if he could pull his hand back. His physical strength was depleted, and he couldn’t summon the strength to pull back, and his hand was starting to hurt from the erosion.
Out of the corner of his eye, Zhu Yanchen seemed to want to come forward, and Shu Jun quickly took a deep breath and said, “I’m okay, don’t come over!”
Even if Zhu Yanchen had a thousand means, it was a fact that his arm was injured. Being close to the Erosion Swamp at this time would only aggravate his injury—and it wasn’t time for support yet.
Being stuck in the final step of the battle was truly frustrating. The monitoring device on his wrist was vibrating so hard that his hand was numb while Shu Jun felt as if his eyes would pop out. “Since you know you’re afraid, you might as well just leave.”
Shu Jun’s mind was in a state of chaos, whether it was due to hunger or not. Regardless of whether the Erosion Swamp could understand him or not, he spoke out directly.
“…Let go of me.”
The Erosion Swamp continued to bite, squeezing his hand like a clamshell.
Wind-based skills could cut things, but they weren’t very good at digging. Shu Jun himself didn’t have a built-in wind sail, nor could he rely on wind power to pull himself out. Seeing that he couldn’t get away, Shu Jun followed his instincts and simply probed deeper into the slime.
You’re afraid, huh? Then let’s make you more afraid.
The Erosion Swamp screech may have reached its maximum, and Shu Jun felt like his ears were bleeding. He scrambled inside the extremely viscous Erosion Swamp. The Erosion Swamp finally came to its senses. Ignoring everything, it sliced itself into countless liquid columns, fiercely stabbing at Shu Jun.
Shu Jun always kept his attention on the Erosion Swamp texture—erosion substance couldn’t appear out of thin air, and the more liquid columns there were, the thinner the place he probed would naturally become. As long as he watched the timing carefully, breaking the restraint wouldn’t be a problem.
His judgment was correct. The Erosion Swamp columns surged, and his arm immediately became slightly loose.
But he didn’t leave.
Just as he had just withdrawn his arm and was about to escape, a nearly instinctive anger erupted from inside his body. His feet stubbornly stuck to the remaining plastic board, unwilling to leave. And his hands, which had been dripping with erosion substance, were now completely black, and the black naturally transitioned to his forearms as if it were always like this.
The detection device that Zhu Yanchen had just given him emitted a wisp of smoke and finally stopped vibrating.
Shu Jun didn’t know what expression he had on his face now, but the anger was still swirling inside him. His past experience screamed at him to run, while his instincts rebelled in a rare manner.
The liquid column extended by the small Erosion Swamp all stopped in mid-air, and there was a momentary gap in its emotions, as if it had been scared silly.
Is the Erosion Swamp inside his body protesting? Shu Jun instinctively reached out and fiddled with the extended liquid column. This time, his hand didn’t pass through the erosion substance but simply held onto it.
Then he easily tore it apart, like tearing a loaf of bread.
The Erosion Swamp under his feet was completely panicked. It suddenly retracted all the liquid columns, further shrinking into a soft ball, and fled with a bit of a scared look. Shu Jun continued to act with his black hands, leaving a few deep claw marks before the Erosion Swamp escaped.
Unfortunately, he didn’t catch its brain.
The Erosion Swamp left, leaving only the gray-black soil under his feet. The black on his hands didn’t disappear, and the hunger became even more intense. Shu Jun didn’t have time to greet Zhu Yanchen. He rushed into the room where he had just fought with Lao Wei at the fastest speed and kicked layer upon layer of corpses on the ground, then he grabbed the only thing that looked relatively normal, and gnawed on it raw.
…As expected, it tasted terrible.
But he felt a panic as if he would starve to death the next moment, so he tore at the meat with great crispness. The beast’s meat entered his belly like stones entering a lake. In terms of the amount of meat, he ate the weight of a whole cow leg, but he was only barely three-thirds full.
“The relationship between the Erosion Swamps is like that of a wolf pack,” said Zhu Yanchen, who had returned to the door at some point. He leaned against the door frame with his injured arm wrapped in layers of protective gauze. “Of course, they are not as smart as wolves, but from a class perspective, they are very similar.”
He glanced at the discarded detection device on Shu Jun’s wrist and sighed. “Now I can be sure that you did absorb the giant Erosion Swamp from the championship. It is undoubtedly an alpha Erosion Swamp. The one you just fought couldn’t even be considered an adult.”
“Why does it sound like I’m bullying a child?” Shu Jun swallowed the meat in his mouth and freed up his mouth. “I still think it’s a bit far-fetched. One person being able to swallow such a large Erosion Swamp?”
“Over 99.9% of the Erosion Swamp is water. If it is willing to give up that water and recombine with your flesh, it is theoretically possible,” Zhu Yanchen said.
…What does it want to achieve? It’s too much to go through all this trouble just to grow two legs. Shu Jun bit down on a piece of meat with a somewhat dazed expression.
He not only absorbed the Erosion Swamp but also an ultra-concentrated one. That surge of instinctive anger just now might have been the Erosion Swamp in his body, hating that it was not strong enough—as an alpha, he was beaten up by a child and even thought about running away.
“With such an excellent observation subject like me by your side, why did you come to see the child specifically?” Shu Jun wiped the blood and meat foam from his mouth and added, “A’Yan?”
Zhu Yanchen’s mood seemed to have improved a bit. “Your situation is too special. Your flesh and the Erosion Swamp are highly compatible, which makes the Erosion Swamp think that mixing with you will give it greater survival advantages. Simply put, it doesn’t have much brain, and it wants something ready-made—even if it’s not its own brain.”
Shu Jun frowned, no longer in the mood to joke. Based on what had just happened, he vaguely guessed something.
“That ‘child’ is collecting information? …It also wants to perfect its own brain?” These Erosion Swamps weren’t unchanging; they were trying to evolve.
“Then the Erosion Swamp at the corpse disposal site…”
“I cultivated that one from scratch. It hasn’t come into contact with other Erosion Swamps, does not recognize the hierarchy, and only knows how to eat.” Zhu Yanchen shook his head. “That’s the situation. You’ve experienced it for yourself since pure theory is not very convincing. Now throw the broken detector over here. I’ll fix it. You can continue to replenish your energy.”
Shu Jun looked at his blackened hands, then at Zhu Yanchen, and then back at his own black claws. As if sensing his thoughts, the blackness receded considerately. Shu Jun breathed a sigh of relief, stood up, and handed over the detector.
“Let me see your injury.” As he pulled closer, Shu Jun took the opportunity to make a request. “I’m more experienced in this area than you are.”
“I’ve already taken care of it.”
“The Grand Marshal never leaves the city. Were you injured by a mutant beast before? I don’t believe it.”
“…” Zhu Yanchen sighed and extended his arm, unable to resist Shu Jun’s insistence.
The wound was tinged with a dull gray color from erosion, but it was well taken care of. Shu Jun was quite surprised—Zhu Yanchen was a strategist and shouldn’t need to engage in battlefield combat, but he seemed to be accustomed to dealing with injuries.
Shu Jun carefully inspected it. “The sutures are a bit rough. I’ll help you take care of it later.”
“Oh, and one more thing. Your handcuffs…” Shu Jun shook the part that remained on his wrist. It wasn’t damaged much, showing it had clearly been treated to prevent erosion. It may have been broken earlier because he had lost control and the erosion was too concentrated.
Zhu Yanchen was unusually perplexed by this problem.
Well, Shu Jun thought, his questions were being answered one by one, but new problems followed. According to Zhu Yanchen, he certainly wouldn’t have killed his “personal doctor” immediately for his own survival. But his situation was slowly stabilizing, and there would come a day when he would no longer need Zhu Yanchen. If he became even more insane, it wouldn’t be impossible for him to turn back and slaughter the city. As a leader, Zhu Yanchen should take advantage of his unstable condition and resolve this problem as soon as possible, rather than saving him.
Where did this person’s trust in him come from?
Shu Jun shook his head and seemed to have made a decision.
He picked up the chain of the handcuffs on his side, then grabbed the one on Zhu Yanchen’s wrist and tied the two chains together.
“I can’t proficiently use the power of the Erosion Swamp yet. You know I can’t break it for now,” he said.
“If we agreed on three days, then it’s three days. I’m almost done eating. Let’s go… Oh wait, let me grab a leg.”
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One thought on “Access Denied Ch12”
Thank you for the update ❤️💯