Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 25: Broken Cocoon
Perhaps the intelligence from Sweet Edge had disturbed him, or perhaps the deep despair truly belonged to himself. Logically, he shouldn’t have collapsed because of losing a “net friend” who was both an enemy and a friend, but Shu Jun didn’t have time to think about these things.
Emotions didn’t lie.
Shu Jun stood still, hugged Zhu Yanchen in confusion while his mind was blank. Intense pain gripped his lungs, making it difficult for him to breathe, and he couldn’t even make a sound.
Not yet. It’s not time to give up. He couldn’t waste a minute now.
He frantically used his power to push himself forward, crossed the passage where the greatsword had swung before, and rushed into the deepest room of the stronghold. The lights in the room were still flickering dimly, and the purifier that Zhu Yanchen had installed earlier was still working.
This was the cleanest place nearby.
There were still some small items that Zhu Yanchen had been tinkering with on the table. Just a few hours ago, that person was fine here. The vivid images in his memory made Shu Jun’s spine tingle. He bit himself hard, and his sharp canine teeth almost pierced through his lips.
The pain and blood made him a little calmer.
Shu Jun picked up Zhu Yanchen and gently placed him on the ground. Zhu Yanchen’s expression was quite calm, even his sleep had never been so peaceful. The wound on his abdomen was still slowly oozing dark blood, and there was no sign of his breath or heartbeat returning.
Shu Jun tore open Zhu Yanchen’s collar and placed his palm on the layers of scars, starting to perform CPR.
Zhu Yanchen had no response, and his skin looked as if it was getting paler. Every passing second felt like a sharp blade, scraping against Shu Jun’s nerves. It wasn’t until his tears wet the other person’s chest that Shu Jun realized he was crying.
He had to come up with another way.
He didn’t have any medicine or equipment on hand, and there were no follow-up medical means. Within these short few minutes, he had to find another way out of nothingness.
Just after the bloody battle, his brain was still a bit sluggish, and he even had the feeling of imminent collapse. But Shu Jun didn’t dare stop moving. He repeatedly kissed those cold lips, and infused air into them.
His own ability was suppression, but even if he suppressed the erosion in Zhu Yanchen’s body, his body was already riddled with holes.
He had to find a way to treat Zhu Yanchen—at least to prevent his wounds from getting worse and get his organs to function normally.
…Speaking of which, how did he survive? It seemed that Zhu Yanchen had let him come into contact with the Erosion Swamp and the swamp in his body learned how to coexist with human bodies and tissues.
But Zhu Yanchen was a normal human being. He couldn’t withstand an entire Erosion Swamp. Before the Erosion Swamp could learn to coexist with human tissues, Zhu Yanchen’s flesh would be eroded to death—at most, leaving some fragments of information for the Erosion Swamp. Monday was a ready-made example.
This way wouldn’t work.
‘If only I could make the erosion in Zhu Yanchen’s body obedient,’ he thought desperately. ‘Let them spontaneously simulate human tissues, just like… just like those bloody creations of Sweet Edge.’
Wait a minute.
He defeated the Erosion Swamp in Sweet Edge and lingered in her mind for a while. Countless pieces of information flooded into his head, but what he could immediately recognize was only the “part that humans could understand”. What if his Erosion Swamp had access to relevant information? Could he already do similar things?
He didn’t need to construct a puppet giant, nor did he need to raise four-legged monsters. He just needed those scattered erosion to obediently stop destroying and instead simulate normal human tissues.
Fragmented erosion wasn’t the same as an Erosion Swamp. Shu Jun didn’t know if this whimsical plan could work. The only person who could answer him was right in front of him, with his body gradually growing colder.
There was no time left, and the only way was to experiment.
Shu Jun decisively raised his hand and fiercely grabbed his neck. His sharp nails broke through his skin, and blood immediately splattered out. This injury wasn’t serious enough to make him too weak to continue rescuing, but it wasn’t light either. If left unattended, he would undoubtedly die from blood loss.
The instinct of the Erosion Swamp was to survive, so now was the time to survive. If that skill really existed inside him, his instincts would force it out.
And he would remember that feeling.
This time, Shu Jun’s intuition wasn’t wrong. His weakened state actually helped him, as a lot of blood loss caused a hot and itchy sensation to gradually emerge on the side of his neck. Shu Jun quickly touched it with his fingertips—in less than half a minute, new flesh had already protruded from the deep wound.
Very good. But it was not enough yet; he wasn’t familiar enough with this feeling.
He raised his hand again, scratching his own neck, then mechanically continued with CPR. A large amount of blood splattered onto Zhu Yanchen’s tattered shirt, turning the white fabric into pure black.
Shu Jun’s vision gradually began to blur. The previous battle and blood loss made him both tired and hungry. He felt dizzy and wanted to fall asleep on the spot.
But he couldn’t fall down yet.
Shu Jun tore open the wound again, this time catching the tail of that inspiration.
One command after another kept looping, and Shu Jun tried to command the erosion in Zhu Yanchen’s body. Suppress, imitate. Suppress, imitate. Suppress again, and then imitate again.
Throughout the process, Shu Jun didn’t dare to breathe while his blood-covered hand always covered Zhu Yanchen’s chest. It was a mystical feeling, like trying to grip a lump of slippery mud and working hard to shape it into a delicate statue. The mud had no consciousness of its own; he could only try again and again.
Finally, the changes quietly appeared.
The blood that had splattered onto Zhu Yanchen’s body slowly disappeared, as if absorbed by his pale skin. The wound on Zhu Yanchen’s abdomen slowly healed at an extremely slow speed, and his exposed internal organs gradually gained blood color.
But it wasn’t enough yet.
When a person became weak to a certain degree, their spirit would seem to detach from their body. Shu Jun could no longer feel the sensation from his fingertips. He just kept repeating the rescue movements, focusing entirely on Zhu Yanchen.
Even if it hadn’t reached the level of forming an Erosion Swamp, the erosion substance had to obey. Shu Jun couldn’t afford to fail—although he didn’t know why, Shu Jun was quite certain that he couldn’t bear the consequences of failure.
Suppress, imitate, and finally dominate.
A slight vibration came from Zhu Yanchen’s dormant chest, and that pale body finally began to breathe again. Although the breath was weak and cold, it was indeed there.
He had brought him back.
Shu Jun stopped the cardiopulmonary resuscitation action, but he didn’t stop the mental command—to rescue until the end. He wasn’t sure if he could successfully return to this special mental state after this.
Zhu Yanchen, who had started breathing again, didn’t wake up, and Shu Jun still kept his hand on his chest. The restored heartbeat was like a shot of adrenaline, and Shu Jun remained motionless, sinking into a kind of almost fanatical state.
Repair it. Everything must be repaired. Shu Jun kept repeating to himself as he battled the erosion substance inside Zhu Yanchen’s body. Perhaps it was an illusion, but Shu Jun could even hear the Erosion Swamp inside his body screaming.
…You absolutely cannot harm this body.
After an unknown amount of time, a new change appeared.
The wound on Zhu Yanchen’s abdomen had long since disappeared, and black erosion gradually oozed out of his skin, connecting into patches, and then pulling into threads, slowly enveloping Zhu Yanchen’s body. Shu Jun’s brain was already unable to process the scene in front of him, he only knew that he seemed unable to touch Zhu Yanchen’s skin anymore.
So he got a little closer.
He opened his arms and hugged the black cocoon in front of him while continuing to repeat those commands.
Shu Jun didn’t know how much time had passed. His lips were cracked, his clothes were stuck to his skin by half-dried sweat, and his body was as heavy as lead. Everything around him became blurry, and he vaguely heard Monday screaming and shouting “hungry”.
Eventually, the cocoon made of erosion substance finally dried up, and the thin shell collapsed inch by inch, revealing the person inside.
Zhu Yanchen’s clothes had long been eroded away by the erosion substance, and so had his scars. Now his skin was smooth and intact, with a healthy flush. His once weak breath became steady and long, and his heartbeat was strong and powerful.
Shu Jun looked up and saw the other person opening his eyes.
It was probably over now. Shu Jun turned his numb brain and did one last thing.
“You…cover up…with this.” Shu Jun’s voice was hoarse and scary. He threw down his blood-soaked jacket and pushed it onto Zhu Yanchen. “Don’t run around naked…”
Zhu Yanchen’s gaze wandered around the room, finally stopping on Shu Jun, looking shocked and confused. “You—”
“Don’t ask, Grand Marshal.” Shu Jun smiled at him with effort. “I’m not doing so well. Anyway… Good morning.”
Before he finished speaking, he fell forward and slammed into Zhu Yanchen, who had just planned to get up, back onto the ground.
Zhu Yanchen: “…”
He hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he didn’t move and allowed Shu Jun to rest his head on his chest. After a few minutes, he embraced Shu Jun tightly, lowered his head very carefully, and kissed the other’s forehead.
“Sleep well.” He looked at his own arm, which was stained with erosion, and whispered softly. “I’ll go get some medicine and come back soon.”
However, Zhu Yanchen hadn’t stood up yet and frowned, stopping his movements.
The erosion didn’t spread over his flesh and blood as usual and slowly eroded his body. Instead, this time, it was like mercury, forming a standard sphere on his skin, then rolling off the ground like raindrops splashing on lotus leaves.
Zhu Yanchen followed the rolling erosion with his eyes and finally noticed something strange about his body—the horrific eroded wounds on his hands had disappeared, his skin was extremely healthy, and not even a callus could be found.
This time, he remained silent for a long time.
He stiffened for more than ten minutes before lying down again and holding Shu Jun in his arms, who had fallen asleep.
“You’ve done something amazing again.” He closed his eyes.
“…Something quite amazing.”
Shu Jun had a dream.
Perhaps he had received too much strange information from Sweet Edge, but he dreamed of a scene he had never seen before.
He dreamed of wandering around the city on the “other side” when he was still young. It was late at night, and the stars were shining in the sky. Standing in front of him was another child, with delicate features and not too short hair softly hanging down his collarbone. He was half a head shorter than himself and had the thinness typical of a rich family child.
He—or she—looked a little frightened, shrank his shoulders, and moved awkwardly, like a fledgling bird that had just stepped out of its cage.
He heard himself asking with a smiling face, [It’s so late. Are you lost?]
The child was startled by someone speaking to him and didn’t answer.
[Hey, do you want to come with me?] Shu Jun naturally moved closer and said, [I know this place well. I can take you home…What’s your name?]
[…Yanchen.] The child seemed to have said two words, but his voice was too soft that Shu Jun only heard the last word.
*Clarity: The child says (延辰) but Shu Jun misheard it as (烟尘) which means smoke.
He habitually scratched his hair.
[Then I’ll call you A’Yan.]
The author has something to say:
Yes, they are childhood sweethearts*!
*Bamboo horses (竹 马) Term used to refer to childhood friends who have grown up together.
Finally, I wrote it! I’m so happy! Why would I make a mistake and let the protagonist drop offline in the early stages? I wouldn’t—!
Shu Jun: I don’t believe it. The gap is too big. Someone must have eaten chemical fertilizer to grow taller!
Ah, so this is why Zhu Yanchen uses Smoke as his alias. I love childhood sweethearts stories!
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