Access Denied Ch24

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 24: Dead End

With such a threat like Shu Jun jumping up and down, the Erosion Swamp really didn’t bother to pay attention to Zhu Yanchen—he was just a human who was close to exhaustion and at the end of his life, so he wasn’t a threat at all.

However, Zhu Yanchen threw out a grappling hook, taking advantage of when the Erosion Swamp’s face was leaning down, and jumped all the way to its temple. His clothes were covered in blood, but he stood firmly and steadily, without any sense of weakness.

Several canisters slipped from his hands, and a milky white smoke rose up creating an irritating sizzling sound that followed immediately.

Like acid on flesh, the smoke not only didn’t rise with the wind but also burned against the Erosion Swamp. The erosion material on the surface of the head quickly squirmed, trying to fill the gap, but suddenly stopped halfway and hesitated.

A ten-square-meter hole opened up in the temple, and it couldn’t be closed for a while.

The head stared with its muddy eyes. This was far from a fatal injury, and the effect of the smoke was similar to that of a purifier. It purified the erosion within a certain range and forced the Erosion Swamp to change. Compared to a purifier that worked continuously, this smoke was more disposable—as long as there was enough time, the erosion would eventually be repaired.

Provided there was enough time.

Countless soft filaments stretched out, trying to protect the wound. However, the Erosion Swamp was a conglomerate of erosion substance, and when faced with an obvious threat, the material instinctively avoided it. Shu Jun naturally wouldn’t wait for them to finish dawdling. He took advantage of the momentum and thrust the tip of his sword forward, smashing into the wound with his entire body.

Just as the white smoke dissipated from the central area, Shu Jun’s sword touched the Erosion Swamp.

The timing was seamless.

Zhu Yanchen didn’t stay on the surface of Erosion Swamp for long. The grappling hook shot out again, and he swung over to the ruins of the nearby stronghold, climbing all the way to the roof. This time he took off his outermost protective suit, removed the parts on his back, and assembled a small sniper rifle.

Shu Jun focused all his energy on the Erosion Swamp. The erosion substance at the wound stopped wriggling and became gelatinous. The greatsword smoothly cleaved through the Erosion Swamp, revealing the gray-white brain. He reached out his hand, and the sharp claws plunged into the brain tissue—but this Erosion Swamp’s brain was too large for him to take out, so he could only destroy it bit by bit.

The Erosion Swamp slowly rolled over, trying to forcibly cover the wound with the erosion substance piled up below. Shu Jun closed his eyes and took a deep breath—


Zhu Yanchen had just assembled the sniper rifle and paused when he heard the sound.

“I’m going to jump again—if you agree, shoot once—”

Zhu Yanchen laughed. The Erosion Swamp probably couldn’t understand, but he could instantly guess Shu Jun’s tactics. Now that he had “suppressed” it, Shu Jun would be fine. And…

And Shu Jun would soon have to fight alone, so he had to familiarize himself with his own physical condition as soon as possible.

Zhu Yanchen raised his gun and fired a shot into the sky. A cold feeling began to spread from his wound in his abdomen. The painkillers were wearing off, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to control his muscles.

Shu Jun heard the gunshot and drew his sword. “Monday, the information you want has arrived.”

At this moment, the sword only trembled in fear. Shu Jun didn’t wait for its agreement and immediately plunged it into the Erosion Swamp’s brain while the tissue was still regenerating.

In the next second, the Erosion Swamp summoned countless bloody creatures. They desperately tried to pull Shu Jun out of the wound, but he had already sunk deep inside.

This was literally sinking into the mind. Shu Jun held his breath and pushed aside the soft white texture. He continued to activate his “suppression” without stopping, squeezing the Erosion Swamp in his body frantically.

The Erosion Swamp’s instincts were simple: survival and evolution. Since Shu Jun’s swamp was theoretically stronger than this head, it would want to give it a try.

In the darkness, countless erosion tissues emerged from his spine and stirred the suppressed brain tissue together with the sword. Shu Jun couldn’t see the readings on the detection device on his wrist.

[Fusion degree: 28%]

[Fusion degree: 32%]

[Fusion degree: 45%]


Shu Jun no longer focused on destruction. He passed over Monday and tried his best to suppress the Erosion Swamp. He could feel the activity of the Erosion Swamp in his body. Around him, the erosion tissues froze and solidified layer by layer, with him at the center.

Human brain activity couldn’t stop for too long, and as a “student”, the Erosion Swamp must have inherited this trait.

His previously fluctuating suppression ability gradually became familiar, like limbs growing on his own body. Finally, the breath of the other Erosion Swamp gradually weakened. Like submitting, the fragmented information of the external erosion flowed into his mind.

…However, the process wasn’t pleasant. The information was extremely messy, without any order, and the despair it contained suffocated him.

These were the memories of this ancient player.

Shu Jun saw Zhu Rong again. The Zhu Rong in the “Erosion Swamp’s” memory was quite similar to Zhu Yanchen, but he was abnormally thin.

[You need to rest and not go to the battlefield in the near future.] Zhu Rong said to the owner of the memory. [You’re pushing yourself too hard.]

[I want to finish the test earlier so that everyone can experience this world.] Unlike now, the female voice at that time was clear and cheerful.

[Zhu Rong, why don’t we chat? Today, my cat…]

[Sorry, I have other plans.] Zhu Rong lowered his head.

[Huh? What?]


Still in the same room, faint arguing could be heard from outside the door.

[I won’t change the research direction.] Zhu Rong’s voice was easily recognizable.

[Your affection is putting everyone’s lives at risk.] Another male voice was extremely cold. [Now is a special time, and nobody cares about humanity. People are willing to support you because you saved their loved ones and friends. If they knew what you are doing now…]

[I see.] Zhu Rong’s response was particularly difficult. [Captain, I have no intention of stopping the system immediately. It’s just that the technology isn’t perfected, and I have to take all risks into account.]

[Can you guarantee the results? Resources are not for you to burn. The system has been running for five years without any issues. As a matter of family affection, this is my last warning to you. If you still do not start optimizing the system, what happens next will be beyond my control.]

Zhu Rong opened the door and walked into the room; his face gray and defeated.

[What’s wrong?] The female voice asked. [Things are not going well?]

[It’s nothing. Why are you hurt so badly again?]

[I was a little impatient. Sorry. But I believe in Dr. Zhu. No matter how serious it is, you can heal it—] The female voice was still light and happy, full of sunshine. [Although, haa, if there’s anything troubling you, it’s okay to talk about it. Or think about something good…]

The memory of the warrior turned her gaze to the injured players around her.

[So many people believe in you.] She said.

[Uh… Why are you crying? Are you feeling uncomfortable?]


[Happy birthday!] The female voice sounded again, and there was other laughter in the background. [Everyone, come and let’s toast to our Dr. Zhu Rong!]

[Happy birthday. You’re my favorite person in ‘this world’.]

It was still a very carefree and innocent voice.

Finally, the image that Shu Jun least wanted to see squeezed into his mind. This player was similar to himself. She also fell into the Erosion Swamp, but when she woke up, she was no longer human-shaped. She repeatedly checked her hands, and the bones in that hand were exposed, and a black erosion substance crawled on them.

She could no longer hold her sword, and her vision was blurred. Perhaps she was crying, Shu Jun thought. Her body kept convulsing as she struggled to crawl towards the stronghold. Shu Jun knew that feeling—in the midst of darkness and agony, one had to rely solely on faith to persevere.

Unfortunately, they were ultimately different.

The assimilated Erosion Swamp didn’t listen. People had never seen such a monster before, and the workers ran away in all directions while players tried to attack, only to be killed one by one by the liquid columns. Yet she still moved forward in a daze, continuing to devour and search aimlessly.

She used food to make up for what was purified by the purifiers, and she also knew how to avoid it with skills. People had only seen an Erosion Swamp attack on instinct, so they were completely powerless to fight back.

Although people had disappeared, the machines inside the stronghold didn’t stop immediately. The broadcast was still working, and intermittent voices crossed the erosion walls, echoing through the corridors.

[…Yesterday, we lost a hero. The top-ranked warrior “Sweet Edge” sacrificed herself in contact with the giant Erosion Swamp in O City… Today, Marshal Zhu announced the optimization of the existing system. Mr. Zhu Rong said he would retreat for research and didn’t attend…]

[I didn’t sacrifice myself. I am still alive.] She stopped in front of the door at the deepest part of the underground, which was exceptionally sturdy. There was a layer of wall between her and the door, so she couldn’t get in. [Dr. Zhu, are you there?]

She could smell the scent of people, mixed with some strange blood. There must be someone inside, and Zhu Rong may be injured, she thought. He would never leave without his soldiers. All she had to do was wait.

[You can heal me. You’ve always been able to heal me.]

[I’m waiting for you here.]

[Please, I want to go home.]

There was still silence inside the door. She continued to wait, from day to night, until she could no longer stand.

In the end, she gave up, dragging her huge body away from the stronghold and turning towards X City, just like what Shu Jun had done, to search for the non-existent “officials.”


Finally, the Erosion Swamp’s brain was completely suppressed. The white erosion masses stopped moving one after another and gradually turned black. The black erosion mass that originally formed the head began to flow and slowly turned into the appearance of a common Erosion Swamp.

In the center of the Erosion Swamp laid a human head. It was composed of erosion substance and was incomplete, with a few vertebrae attached below the neck. Shu Jun propped himself up with his sword and walked towards it with difficulty.

He knew it was bait, but…

As expected, several liquid columns suddenly rose and launched their final attack. Before Shu Jun could draw his sword, several gunshots were heard from a distance, and white smoke filled the air once again. The liquid columns collapsed after their last ditched attack and the Erosion Swamp returned to its calm state.

Shu Jun gestured his gratitude to Zhu Yanchen on the rooftop and continued to move forward.

“Sweet Edge,” he called softly. “It’s over.”

“Ah…” Upon hearing that name, the black head let out a sigh. She opened her mouth, sounding a bit dazed. “Is it the officials? You finally came… It feels like it’s been a long time…”

Then, as if suddenly coming to her senses, she widened her eyes and spoke sharply, “Hurry up and kill me, please—wait, who are you? Why can’t I get up…”

Perhaps due to her brain being messed up, she had fallen into complete confusion.

“Zhu Rong notified us.” Shu Jun tried to lower his voice. “It’s over. This is just a…”

He gritted his teeth. “This is just a bug.”

“Mm,” she replied softly, then closed her eyes again. “I don’t know how my cat is doing.”

“It’ll be fine.”

Shu Jun reached out and placed his hand on the head. “…Good night.”

This was the final “suppression”.

The head disintegrated into erosion substance, and the huge Erosion Swamp calmed down. In terms of size, it still counted as an alpha-level, but it was the kind that Shu Jun was familiar with—it only had instinct left and would only slowly move towards food.

It’s over.

Shu Jun had no desire to continue fighting. At present, there were insufficient combat resources, so there was no need to continue fighting it to the death. Zhu Yanchen was seriously injured, and he had to take him out of here quickly. In addition, he had obtained some intelligence, which might be useful for Marshal Zhu’s research.

Not to mention that his own mind was also in chaos, and Sweet Edge’s despair was still pressing on his nerves.

‘We both need a good rest,’ Shu Jun thought.

Zhu Yanchen was waiting for him on the rooftop. He leaned his body against the sniper rifle, and his protective clothing fluttered in the wind, giving off a sharp aura. It was no wonder that since they had been working together, this person had always stood steadily, like a drawn sword.

“You did well,” Zhu Yanchen said.

“Don’t worry about that. Just put on your mask quickly.”

Shu Jun habitually grabbed Zhu Yanchen, but the other party didn’t cooperate.

“Where’s your mask? Is there emergency medicine in your briefcase? Your wound must be treated as soon as possible. I’ll take you back to the gathering area now. I have information to tell you about the fight just now…”

Zhu Yanchen reached out and pressed Shu Jun’s lips, stopping his words. His fingers under the white gloves were as cold as ice.

“Sorry,” he said. “It’s over.”

“What are you talking about?!” Aren’t you still standing here?

“I just transmitted the last data earlier. It seems like I can only go this far.” Zhu Yanchen’s voice was very soft. “Remember my words, go to Y City and find Ai Xiaoxiao.”

“I told you before, if you keep doing this, I’ll…” Shu Jun’s words were cut off.

He saw the wound on Zhu Yanchen’s abdomen. A deformed organ was exposed from the wound; its color was dull gray black. The amount of bleeding was unusually small. Perhaps due to the lighting, the blood also looked black.

This can’t be real.

They had just won a battle in perfect harmony, and there were still many things Shu Jun hadn’t had the chance to say.

“I know. I really meant it when I said I would listen to your advice before. If you hadn’t saved me when the four-legged Erosion Swamp appeared, I wouldn’t have been able to fight with you in this last battle,” Zhu Yanchen’s tone became even gentler, but Shu Jun wished he was still the cold and indifferent person before.

He shouldn’t have listened to him nagging. Even if he had to use force, he had to take Zhu Yanchen away from this dangerous place. Shu Jun took two steps forward, carefully observing the condition of Zhu Yanchen’s wound, ready to take action at any moment.

“…Can I hug you?”

Seeing this, Zhu Yanchen was silent for a moment before he asked this with a voice that was softer than a sigh.

“Don’t talk. Save your strength,” Shu Jun gently held him. Zhu Yanchen was slightly taller than him, so the action was a bit difficult. “You can hug for as long as you want. I’ll take you away now.”

‘Zhu Yanchen will be fine.’ Shu Jun convinced himself with effort. Everything he tried hard to do would always succeed. He wouldn’t lose; he had never lost.

The wind gathered at his feet as the Erosion Swamp still quietly boiled beside them. The night returned to silence, without a single trace of light in the sky and earth.

The heartbeat of the person in his arms disappeared.

Kinky Thoughts:

Ah, I always cry reading Nian Zhong’s work. 

For those who like this kind of morality/theme, I suggest reading Happy Doomsday from her (which I also worked on). I don’t want to talk too much about it, so I don’t give away any spoilers.

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