Access Denied Ch23

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 23: The First Generation Players

For a city where no human had set foot in for 200 years, Shu Jun’s speculation was quite simple.

There were no green plants in the erosion zone. At most, some gray-white mutated plants grew sparsely. In the worst case, the city was crowded with mutant beasts. After so many years of fighting, Shu Jun had seen many city ruins on the edge of the erosion zone, and the situation was similar.

But he had never seen the scene in front of him.

It was a good thing that people couldn’t reach here. Even though Shu Jun could fight through the beasts and create a bloody rain, he was still briefly absent-minded for a few seconds when he saw the scene in front of him.

The city was still there, not reduced to ruins, but all the buildings were twisted and deformed, like a child’s playdough creation. There were black threads sticking in the gaps between buildings like dense spider webs that covered most of the sky. The streets were only black, white, and gray, but they were tidy. Four-legged monsters with human organs strolled leisurely on the streets, neither too many nor too few.

That was the relatively normal part.

There was no smog inside the city. Even standing at the entrance of the city, they could clearly see the appearance of the four-legged monsters—there were also soft threads like honey sticking behind them; countless threads swayed and mixed with the buildings, leading to the sky.

Shu Jun could see the end of those threads.

The soft threads led to the center of the city, where a half-hill-sized head laid.

Its skin texture was similar to that of the four-legged monsters, with human skin patterns but had a corroded luster. The head laid quietly on its side in the center of the city, with no obvious separation between the neck and the ground, like a pile of melted ice cream. The erosion seeped in all directions, pulling out countless sticky and soft black threads.

If this place was a weird insect nest, then it was the core of that nest.

The facial features of the head were much more regular than those of the four-legged monsters, but from a human perspective, the face was twisted and terrifying, as if it had been severely burned. Its eyes were slightly open, occasionally blinking, revealing a hint of murky white under the eyelids. Perhaps because the difference in strength was too great that Shu Jun couldn’t feel the breath or emotions coming from that head.

They can’t win.

That was Shu Jun’s first reaction.

Compared to it, whether it was himself, Zhu Yanchen, or the four-legged monsters around them, they were just ants. Even if it lay still and let him attack, he might not be able to destroy its brain with one fell swoop.

Is this a real alpha-level Erosion Swamp?

Zhu Yanchen raised his head and looked at the head from a distance. His face was covered, and Shu Jun couldn’t see his expression. The four-legged monsters around them were still busy and in high spirits. On the other side, the four-legged monsters that were originally in the city deliberately avoided them, and whispers could be heard from the surroundings.

“A’Yan,” Shu Jun reminded, lest the person observe too intently.

To be honest, Shu Jun didn’t know if the concentration of the erosion substance here could be measured. The air had become thick and viscous. Even with protective gear and medication, there were limits to human resistance. When dealing with ordinary storms, the waterproof function of raincoats and umbrellas still worked. But now their situation was more like falling into a pool, with the erosion substance surging from all sides and almost seeping into their bones.

Zhu Yanchen couldn’t hold on for long in this situation.

Fortunately, Marshal Zhu was aware of this too. He fiddled with the instrument in his hand and took the initiative to hug Shu Jun. “Let’s go.”

Shu Jun had already packed the supplies in his hands and was ready to flee at a moment’s notice since the illusion was lifted—they were currently at the door and still had a chance to escape. Once they got close to the head, it would be difficult to say.

He didn’t hold back, and the high concentration of the erosion substance actually helped him. A violent storm swept around, several times stronger than usual, and the four-legged monsters were blown away instantly. Shu Jun let Zhu Yanchen hug him, holding two bags of supplies in his hands, and flew hastily towards the path they came from.

However, things didn’t go so smoothly.

The sticky black silk wrapped around and condensed into a strangely shaped giant that was created out of thin air. It looked like it came out of a child’s crude drawing, with an extremely twisted body structure that completely defied biology—not long after it was created, it couldn’t support its weight. The flesh on the giant’s body burst open in clumps and fell to the ground along with its bones.

But it could still move.

Ignoring its splattering black blood, the giant opened its arms towards Shu Jun, trying to embrace the two escapees. Shu Jun narrowly avoided it, almost being hit head-on. The giant was just too big, with the thickness of its arms comparable to that of a lighthouse. Shu Jun didn’t want to imagine the consequences of being hit by it.

The most troublesome thing was not its size.

The sticky silk was wrapped around the giant’s body, and several strands stuck to Shu Jun. He could feel the freezing hostility that was transmitted through the silk, causing him to shudder as he tried to break free, but the spider-like silk stuck tighter and tighter, making it impossible for him to escape.

The four-legged monsters let out sharp cries, and more and more silk began drifting towards them.

Once caught, it would be over.

The dying giant was still flailing at the city gate. Shu Jun held his breath, flying nimbly in the air, doing his best to prevent more silk from wrapping around him. Zhu Yanchen freed up one hand and continuously fired purification shots at the few strands of silk that stuck to them. However, there was just too much erosion substance in the air, and the purification bullets were consumed near the muzzle before they touched the soft silk.

Shu Jun tried to assist with wind blades, but the effect was still pitiful—they looked like two fools insisting on washing their clothes in a mud pit.

Zhu Yanchen stopped moving and fell into deep thought.

“This is the first time I’m kiting in the literal sense. Any suggestions? I really need some advice now.”

Sweat dripped down Shu Jun’s cheeks as he used all his strength to control the wind. The soft silk threads that wrapped around him were becoming more and more difficult to dodge. On the other side, the giant started self-destructing in a bloody mess as soon as it appeared. Shu Jun didn’t even know where to start. It no longer had a human form and was now just a bloody skeleton, screaming in agony and struggling like a mad dog. Every time it struggled; it was a dangerous attack.

“Suppress your erosion substance,” Zhu Yanchen said. “It’s been tracking you, not me. Your previous guess was correct. Like those four-legged Erosion Swamps, it also identifies things based on their erosion substance.”

Even if those small Erosion Swamps were stupid, the one in the center of the city didn’t seem to be. Shu Jun didn’t think he could get past it with just substitutes created from blood and mud. He couldn’t control the concentration of erosion substance by frantically sucking up and spitting out water like Monday did either.

Shu Jun was at a loss.

“To give an analogy, the higher the concentration of erosion substance, the brighter the ‘light’ that activates. You’re the most noticeable light, and it just needs to follow your light.”

As if sensing Shu Jun’s confusion, Zhu Yanchen further explained. Despite being on such a fierce battlefield, his voice was calm and steady.

“Using a bloody bandage as a substitute is like creating a small bulb with equivalent brightness to impersonate yourself; diluting the erosion substance with water, is like directly reducing the brightness of the bulb. Now I suggest you turn off the light voluntarily.”

“How do I turn it off? By pretending to be dead?” Shu Jun tasted a hint of bitterness, barely dodging a bunch of silk threads aimed at his face.

“Let your erosion substance play dead.”

Here it comes again. Shu Jun felt bitter once again as Marshal Zhu started to assign him another impossible task.

“This is too abstract, Grand Marshal!” Shu Jun let out a cry of despair, barely dodging a cluster of silk threads coming towards his face.

“You’ve done it before.” Zhu Yanchen hugged his arm with some force. “Do you remember a few days ago when you carried me to the inn?”

“I remember.”

“I don’t know what you did, but you made the erosion substance in my body much calmer. Think back to what you were thinking at the time and try to do it more thoroughly.”

His thoughts?

His thoughts at that time were simple—Zhu Yanchen wasn’t feeling well and needed to rest, so he needed to stay as quiet as possible. If the surroundings could be quieter too, then that would be even better.

Could such an ordinary thought really work?

However, Zhu Yanchen was an expert in not wasting time with meaningless talk. Shu Jun didn’t continue to question and closed his eyes. The horrifying city was left behind his eyelids, and only darkness lay in front of him.

Don’t panic. Stay focused.

Everything had to remain quiet.

No, take it a step further. Everything around him must remain completely quiet, preferably without making a sound. The situation was a matter of life and death, and Shu Jun didn’t care where the outside noises were coming from. He didn’t know if this was considered staying focused, but he could confirm one thing—the desire was strong and genuine.

Suddenly, there was a soft snap next to him.

He didn’t know when, but the threads were snapped one by one. They floated aimlessly in the air, like snakes without a target. Shu Jun dared not breathe or make any unnecessary movements. He circled around the giant, still screaming in pain, and flew towards the outskirts of the city at his fastest speed ever.

Shu Jun could feel Zhu Yanchen’s tense body gradually relax as the air cleared.

“Go southwest,” Marshal Zhu whispered hoarsely. “You can’t maintain a suppressive state throughout the journey. There’s an old stronghold in the southwest where we can hide.”

“Okay.” Shu Jun finally breathed a sigh of relief. “What about you? The situation in X city is beyond expectations, and it’s probably a waste of time to investigate there.”

“I’ve taken a lot of pictures, and I need to send the chips out as soon as possible. The erosion here is too severe, and the chips will soon be obsolete. Then… I can help you test some data and stabilize your new skills.”

Zhu Yanchen’s tone was a little vague.

“There will also be some information in the base, and providing some supplementary data would be helpful… The situation in X City is beyond my expectations, and the trip to the seaside may have to be canceled.”

“I hope you mean going home early instead of camping here,” Shu Jun muttered. “Wait, are you talking about that stronghold?”

Flying at an extremely fast speed, it didn’t take long for the horrifying city to disappear from their sight. At first, there were some four-legged monsters wandering in the suburbs, but as they walked farther away, they could only see common mutant beasts wandering around the Erosion Swamps. Although the nearby erosion level was still frighteningly high, at least it was a familiar sight.

In the wilderness, the man-made buildings were particularly eye-catching.

Although it was a stronghold 200 years ago, it didn’t look much different from the present. Shu Jun slowly landed, not sensing any abnormal energy around him—to avoid being deceived by illusions again, he had circled around the stronghold in various patterns for a long time, even asking for Monday’s opinion.

Scared by the situation in X City, Monday’s mood was quite bad. “Get lost!”

“It seems there is no problem.” Shu Jun twisted his greatsword and finally ended his patrol. “I wonder if the rooms here are still usable.”

The answer was no.

The purifiers here had long stopped working. Strange mutant plants emerged from the cracks in the walls, and the bed sheets were covered in round, bulging mold that was black and white, like piles of eyeballs. Cups and jars were scattered all over the floor, covered in thick dust that completely covered the traces of human existence.

Shu Jun and Zhu Yanchen exchanged glances and started to descend underground.

The condition underground was better. The rooms deep underground still maintained their original state, without too many strange invasive creatures.

Shu Jun opened each door one by one and soon discovered the player storage area. Rows of hibernation pods lay quietly, like coffins. Shu Jun hesitated for a moment, then walked in first. The atmosphere between the two was a bit awkward for a moment.

This was the place where the first batch of “players” logged into the “game”.

Shu Jun originally thought he would see a lot of corpses, but when he looked at each hibernation pod, there were no bones or even a speck of dust inside.

Something was off.

As they walked along, they hadn’t seen any corpses. Although the erosion ability of the erosion substance was strong, it shouldn’t have been able to consume bodies to the point where not even bones were left.

“…Was this base shut down before the Erosion Swamp attacked?” Shu Jun searched around but found nothing. 200 years had passed, and even ordinary light bulbs couldn’t function properly, let alone precision instruments.

“This was Zhu Rong’s stronghold, and it must have been in use at the time.” Zhu Yanchen’s tone was a bit solemn. “It shouldn’t be this clean here. Let’s keep looking.”

Shu Jun nodded and searched each room with Zhu Yanchen, collecting dead rats, insect shells, and curled-up spiders. They even stumbled upon a dried-up fish tank, where a gray-white lump of flesh wriggled and filled the tank to the brim. With a numb expression, Shu Jun threw it out the door.

They had seen almost everything on their way down, but conspicuously absent were the skeletal remains of humans.

Until they reached the deepest part underground.

“If there’s still nothing here. Let’s cook dinner and take a break first.” Shu Jun waved the flashlight around. “I’m a bit tired. If we keep looking, I probably won’t be able to suppress the erosion substance anymore.”

“Okay.” Zhu Yanchen held another flashlight. The concentration of erosion substance wasn’t high here, and he seemed to have recovered a bit.

“I haven’t been to the deepest part of a stronghold before.” Seeing the other party’s condition improve, Shu Jun relaxed a little and began to find topics to chat about. “What’s usually in the deepest level?”

Zhu Yanchen was silent for a few seconds. “Synthetic human breeding equipment.”

…Okay, the atmosphere just got even more awkward. Shu Jun took a deep breath and went to push the door in front of him.

The door didn’t budge.

Shu Jun tried to use his erosion to form a hook so he could break the lock from the inside, but the strand of erosion substance flailed around for a while without making any sound of metal cracking. He frowned and swung Monday, but only got a scream from Monday, leaving no scratch on the door.

“Zhu Rong was the top biological expert at that time, and he did quite a bit of research on erosion. This used to be his laboratory, and the anti-erosion ability here shouldn’t be underestimated.” Zhu Yanchen touched the door panel. “As long as the erosion material is completely blocked, another alpha won’t be able to find you. It’s very suitable as a practice field for you to freely use.”

After speaking, he pulled out his gun. “But if there are no bodies even here…we can’t stay here for long unless we find a reason.”

“Don’t you have any guesses?”

“No.” Zhu Yanchen squatted down, took out a set of surgical tools from his briefcase-like bag, and began to pick the lock.

“…You really know everything. Seriously, why does a marshal need to learn how to pick locks?”

Zhu Yanchen didn’t answer. He fiddled with it for five or six minutes, inputted a few electrical currents, and the door slowly opened. A foul and wet smell instantly hit them, and Shu Jun covered his nose as he followed Zhu Yanchen into the room.

There were sluggish, sizzling sounds in the room. Shu Jun only heard a snap, and the large room was instantly lit up.

“There’s the sound of a motor here.” Zhu Yanchen stood in front of the switch. “The lights can still barely work.”

“It seems we don’t have to leave.” Shu Jun answered with a nasal voice.

A dry corpse sat silently in front of the table, with withered flesh tightly attached to the bones, and the white clothes on its body had become a decayed brown color. It had lowered its head slightly, and its hollow eye sockets faced the empty tabletop. There was a gun at the foot of the corpse, and the bloodstain on it wasn’t covered by the accumulated dust.

A name tag was hanging on the corpse’s clothes with the words “Zhu Rong” that was very striking.

“…Zhu Rong committed suicide?” Shu Jun looked at the state of the corpse for a while. “He shot himself in the mouth.”

“Our records here say ‘sacrificed in the disaster in X City’. Many people went missing during the evacuation process in X City at that time, and no one could go back to the erosion zone to search, so they were all declared dead.” Faced with his supposed ancestor, Zhu Yanchen didn’t show any extra emotions.

Shu Jun didn’t answer.

Behind the corpse was a glass observation window, from which he could see the tightly arranged breeding tanks inside. As a device that required a lot of electricity, the power to the breeding tanks had long been cut off, and the liquid inside was so murky that only the outlines of the contents could barely be seen.

They looked like swollen people, but not quite like people—rows of small bodies floated in the breeding tanks like a scene from a nightmare. Zhu Yanchen hesitated for a few seconds before going forward and pulling down the curtain. “…Don’t look.”

Shu Jun lowered his gaze and then quickly closed the still open door. “We’ll eat here and talk it out. <Erosion> barely mentioned anything about Zhu Rong. What’s his story?”

“Over two hundred years ago, purification in the surrounding area could only be done by humans themselves, leading to a large number of severely ill patients with erosion. The hibernation pod was for patients with severe erosion. At that time, medicine couldn’t relieve their pain, so it was better to put their minds into the virtual world—that was Zhu Rong’s original proposal.”

Zhu Yanchen glanced at the corpse.

“Later, some patients began to resist reality, subconsciously regarding ‘over there’ as the real world. It was just self-deception in despair.”

“But Zhu Rong was inspired,” Shu Jun said while crossing his arms.

“Zhu Rong had been researching highly tolerant experimental animals to replace humans in purifying the surrounding area. He started with mice, then dogs. But their intelligence was too low, and their lifespan was too short.”

As Zhu Yanchen spoke, he flipped through the items on the corpse. Shu Jun looked at his back and suspected that he was deliberately avoiding eye contact.

“After being inspired, he started using humans as materials. He fragmented the genes of highly tolerant humans, randomly selected and recombined them, and selectively supplemented them with gene fragments from other species—these hybrids had enough tolerance and intelligence. Except for their short lifespan, they had no other defects.”

So it turned out that they didn’t even have a template. It was just a random product of a jigsaw puzzle. No wonder Zhu Yanchen had said before that “the composite of each synthetic person is different”. Shu Jun snorted.

“As long as the hibernation pod is reasonably modified, allowing the synth to mistake the purification project for a game, they won’t have much resentment. Zhu Rong successfully used synthetic humans to replace ordinary humans, and the human death rate greatly decreased. Over the years, the player system has also been continuously improved, and the result is what you see.”

Shu Jun grunted.

For himself, this person was the originator of all nightmares, but for humanity, Zhu Rong was likely to be hailed as a hero. Thinking about it this way, the situation in front of him seemed even more strange. Could it be he found that synthetic humans had serious problems and committed suicide out of fear of punishment? After so many years, humanity still insisted that the tragedy in X City was a natural disaster and continued to use synthetic humans without any signs of exposing the problem.

“So what’s going on in this scene?”

“I don’t know.” Zhu Yanchen lowered his gaze. “The Zhu family records of Zhu Rong are also scarce. But this person was very clever. Since he chose to commit suicide here, there must be clues he left behind.”

However, it seemed that Marshal Zhu didn’t find anything—he stopped his search and took out a recording chip from the device to install it onto the messenger mutant beast. But before he finished, a device without a memory chip emitted a sound.

[Synthetic human personalities cannot be controlled and should not be mass-produced. We were supposed to produce a minimum to ensure the normal operation of the purification work. The current number of synthetic humans has seriously exceeded the limit… This is a dangerous and uncontrollable project that can only be used as a transitional means. Once humans have escaped the survival crisis, the player system must be abolished immediately.]

[My research on possible vulnerabilities and risks of the player system was forcibly terminated, but I have handed over my interim results to the people I trust.]

[I do not accept any further research on improving the player program, nor do I accept any threats against my parents on this basis. I cannot leave the Zhu family, but I can withdraw from the project in this way.]

[When you find my body, I am probably already decomposing. I do not need any appearance repair. Just let me leave like this.]

[I’m sorry.]

The voice was young and unfamiliar, calm but with suppressed pain. The message continued to repeat without any new information.

Suddenly, Shu Jun realized a problem, and a chill crawled up his spine. He was sure that Zhu Yanchen had also thought of the same thing.

According to the message, Zhu Rong deliberately closed the door and delayed the time for the discovery of the body so that he could leave with the most embarrassing appearance. But the premise of the plan was that people would eventually come to find him when they discovered something was wrong.

This only meant one thing—Zhu Rong had already died before the attack of the Erosion Swamp. People hadn’t had the chance to discover this and were driven out of the city.

Shu Jun thought Zhu Rong’s last words could solve some problems, but it only made the disaster in X City more mysterious. He lost his appetite and said, “Let’s go.”


“The practice of suppressing the erosion substance, the sooner I can master it, the sooner we can leave here, right?” Shu Jun couldn’t help but look at the glass window. “The things you saw in the city, my blood sample, plus Zhu Rong’s last words. If you want to prove that the player system has problems, these should be enough, right?”

“…I’ll send out the data from this period first, and then we’ll start when we get back.” Zhu Yanchen stood up. “But there is still some missing data. I promise you that I won’t rashly approach X City until we figure out the current situation.”

“Okay.” Shu Jun watched Zhu Yanchen open the door. “Wait, I’ll take… A’Yan!!!”

It was no longer an empty corridor on the other side of the door, but a murky eye. It squeezed into the entire door frame and looked inside.

Zhu Yanchen reacted quickly. He tried to avoid it as soon as possible and threw the mutant beast and chip in his hand to Shu Jun. However, it was a room with no way out, and he was too close to the door. A strand of filament twisted into a long spear and directly pierced his abdomen.

“Keep it safe!” This was the first time Shu Jun had heard Zhu Yanchen shout so loudly. “Don’t worry, it didn’t try to kill me…urgh.”

Before he finished speaking, the eye retreated and pulled Zhu Yanchen out of the door. Shu Jun grabbed the chip in one hand and the sword in the other, then immediately swung forward. But before his sword could land, the eye disappeared.

What went wrong? Did he not hide his breath well enough?

Why did the alpha-level Erosion Swamp from X City personally chase after them?

Shu Jun didn’t take the stairs; he simply hacked open the concrete floor with his sword and rushed straight up. When he reached the outside, Shu Jun immediately threw the damn chip into the sky and watched the small mutant beast fly away. Then he turned to the giant skull not far away.

That thing was too big. Earlier, it had only stretched its eye like a snail into the corridor and stuffed it in, but now it was retracting it. Zhu Yanchen was strung up next to the eye, but he didn’t give up resistance as the sound of a purification gun was constant in Shu Jun’s ears.

But the opponent was like a mountain.

The eye of the skull retracted, and its terrifying human face took shape again. It didn’t open its mouth, but Shu Jun heard its voice. Unlike those four-legged monsters, the voice entered his brain and was as intense as piercing his heart, twisting his internal organs into a knot.

“Is he your friend?”

It wasn’t a thought that came through, but an actual human voice. The voice belonged to a young woman, and her tone was somewhat strange, as if she hadn’t spoken in a long time.

“He’s your friend, isn’t he?” Seeing that Shu Jun didn’t respond, she began to answer her own question.

Shu Jun’s hand holding the sword became cold. No matter how he looked at it, he was not her opponent.

But he had to rescue Zhu Yanchen. Aside from their cooperative relationship, if Zhu Yanchen had come alone to investigate as a human, he would only need to make a record and wouldn’t be targeted by these chaotic things. Since this thing had asked out loud, the target was obviously him.

“What do you want? Intelligence?” Shu Jun chose to answer directly with words, his eyes constantly searching for a loophole in the direction of Zhu Yanchen. “Let him go, and we can talk.”

The lips of the skull didn’t move, but a string of laughter smashed into his brain.

“I want you to be more serious,” she said. “You clearly have some ability, but as soon as you saw me, you ran away. That won’t do.”

She provocatively extended her soft threads and waved them in front of Zhu Yanchen’s face. Shu Jun drew his sword immediately, and Zhu Yanchen took the opportunity to fire several shots. However, those soft threads quickly swelled and turned into a large mass of pulsing flesh, and both the sword and the bullets felt like they were hitting cotton. Shu Jun watched helplessly as the other party was pulled away again and warm blood was flung onto his face.

It was like a cat playing with two mice.

“If you want information, come and take it. It’s just a little bit of flesh, and I’m not someone who can’t bear pain,” Shu Jun gritted his teeth.

“Show some respect for your elders.” Countless threads surrounded Shu Jun, each one glaring menacingly. “You’re a ‘player’ too—you should know that’s not what I want.”

The erosion matter piled up layer upon layer beside her head, emitting a disgusting, sticky sound.

“If you had asked me a hundred years ago, I would have wanted to go home.”

She said, her voice barely fluctuating.

“Now, I need you to kill me… What’s your ranking before death?”

“First,” Shu Jun dryly answered, and now that “first” was just a joke.

“How coincidental. I was first too.” The laughter in the voice of the erosion swamp grew even stronger. “You better put in your maximum effort—otherwise, I’ll just devour you and turn your friends into a snack.”

…This time, he might have bumped into his true kind.

They had underestimated the Erosion Swamp in X City. As a peak warrior from 200 years ago, she was definitely more familiar with the surrounding terrain than they were. If they fled directly, they would probably be discovered by her, as Zhu Yanchen had guessed. But if they disappeared completely, she might be able to guess where they were going to escape to.

From the moment she had locked onto them, they were destined to be unable to escape.

“Since you want to die so badly, you can work harder on your own. No need to go through all this trouble,” Shu Jun said, while delaying time and quickly thinking about tactics.

“It seems like the Erosion Swamp hasn’t affected you yet.” The laughter in the woman’s voice disappeared slightly. “It’s not that easy to deal with. If you want to live, that’s fine. If you want to die, that’s even better. The latter requires you to find stronger opponents—even if I don’t want to resist, it will take over my brain and fight with all its might. Unfortunately, I have encountered dozens of alpha-level Erosion Swamps, but I still won.”

She slightly widened her eyes, and her cloudy eyes were filled with longing.

“But you’re different. You have a mature brain and interesting abilities. You can even escape from my hands once.”

Yes, that’s it, keep talking. Shu Jun kept his gaze fixed on Zhu Yanchen and continued to consider possible solutions.

There it is.

“You…” Before the next words could come out, Shu Jun gathered the wind under his feet, becoming a blur as he charged towards the silk that trapped Zhu Yanchen.

[Be quiet.] He focused all his energy and stared at the silk that pierced through Zhu Yanchen, then swung his sword down fiercely.

This time the silk didn’t expand and was cleanly cut by the sword.

Without hesitation, Shu Jun grabbed Zhu Yanchen’s arm and immediately ran in the opposite direction. The remaining silks madly attacked, and Shu Jun dodged each one at his fastest speed. But he hadn’t run far when a soft, erosion wall suddenly appeared in front of him.

This time, it was Zhu Yanchen who made the move.

Taking advantage of the distance from the flesh wall, Zhu Yanchen took out two marble-sized objects and threw them out. Immediately, two large holes were blown into the erosion wall, and the explosion almost singed Shu Jun’s hair.

“Lead it to the ground.” Despite being seriously injured, Zhu Yanchen’s voice wasn’t weak or panicked. “That way, I can fight with you.”

“I can fly—”

“You can’t use the same move twice. If I’m not mistaken, we should be trapped under at least three layers of erosion nets. If you turn to deal with those nets, it can take the opportunity to attack you.” Zhu Yanchen took off his gas mask and stuffed a handful of medicine into his mouth.

Then he didn’t put it back on.

“I’ll make sure you’ll live.” Zhu Yanchen’s voice was quite firm. “Shu Jun, first draw its attention to the ground.”

“’Suppressing erosion’… Your ability is really interesting.” The voice sounded in his mind again, with a chilling joy. “I haven’t destroyed an alpha with this kind of ability before. You still have a chance, so please do your best.”

“This is our first on-site tactical cooperation, worth commemorating.” Shu Jun shook his head vigorously and charged towards the ground.

Zhu Yanchen didn’t answer. He took out several canister from his briefcase and put then put it aside carefully.

“We have three advantages. First, it seems to want to fight with you. I won’t ask why. The good thing about fighting between alpha Erosion Swamps is that there won’t be any mutant beasts involved in this level of battle. Your opponent is only it. At most, it can create temporary things.”

“Second, so far, it hasn’t taken me seriously.”

“Third, you’re stronger than it.”

“Are you serious?” Looking at the head the size of a small hill in front of him, Shu Jun couldn’t laugh or cry, and his voice changed a little.

Zhu Yanchen smiled instead, which was the second time Shu Jun had seen him smile. This time, his smile was more natural, with a subtle sense of satisfaction.

“The Erosion Swamp that you merged with is even larger than this. I adjusted your condition every day, and you are very solidly fused with it,” he said softly. “Although there are differences in fusion degree and experience, theoretically, you are stronger than it. Be more confident.”

Shu Jun scratched his gray hair and almost scratched off his scalp. “Forget it. At this point, it has to work—I can’t really drag you down. Even if I lose, I don’t want to lose so miserably.”

The erosion filaments suddenly shook, and the giant Erosion Swamp began to turn towards the ground to attack. Shu Jun and Zhu Yanchen jumped left and right, agilely dodging. Shu Jun couldn’t help but glance at Zhu Yanchen.

This man was clearly seriously injured, but he moved around as if nothing was wrong.

Zhu Yanchen’s movements were standard, but his trajectory was quite interesting. He used the terrain to move through the ruins like a ghost. Many filaments were trapped in the building gaps by him causing the giant head to have a slight deflection. The horrifying face tilted slightly downward.

Shu Jun instantly understood Zhu Yanchen’s intentions.

People couldn’t change their own physiological structural information. This Erosion Swamp retained the appearance of a human head, so the information must also come from a real human head.

There was a high probability that the location of its vulnerability was consistent with the location of the brain.

If he could use “suppression” properly, he might be able to break through that layer of defense and touch its brain. At present, they didn’t have many choices. Although it was unclear whether he could really defeat it after touching it, this was still a tactic worth trying.

Shu Jun immediately soared into the air, cooperating with Zhu Yanchen on the ground. He deliberately circled a few more times, flew high enough, and pretended to be looking for the erosion filament network in the sky, trying to distract the Erosion Swamp’s attention from Zhu Yanchen.

However, as a former warrior, the Erosion Swamp wasn’t easy to deceive. It quickly discovered its posture problem and began to adjust slowly. Shu Jun seized this gap, rushed down from a high altitude, and sprinted towards the temple of the head.

Over-concentrated mental energy made his head throb faintly. He rushed too fast, so the Erosion Swamp didn’t react in time, and it was too late to build up many defenses—

At least that was what it looked like on the surface.

The next second, the annoying laughter appeared again. Just as Shu Jun was about to swing his sword down, a liquid column pierced horizontally, directly piercing his right shoulder. Shu Jun suddenly lost his balance and was heavily impaled onto the nearby ruins, smashing up a large cloud of dust.

“Too direct.” The Erosion Swamp murmured, and more liquid columns followed, with the momentum of piercing Shu Jun into minced meat.

“Really?” Shu Jun propped himself up with his sword, stood up from the ground, and cut off the liquid columns that followed.

Then he slid down one of the liquid columns and once again rushed straight towards the temple.

And Zhu Yanchen was already waiting there.

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2 thoughts on “Access Denied Ch23

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