Access Denied Ch27

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 27: Hunting

To maintain the image of a “gentle ex-girlfriend”, Xia Liang had put on crying makeup with red circles around her eyes. During Elder Zhu’s eulogy, she pretended to be in a state of grief and confusion. Xia Liang’s performance was successful as no one came up to question her.

Her mind wandered eight hundred miles away while her face was sobbing…

Even though she knew that Zhu Yanchen wouldn’t come back, she didn’t feel anything at the moment; only a bit regretful.

According to Ai Xiaoxiao, Zhu Yanchen was terminally ill and had only two months left to live. But if it were up to Xia Liang, she wouldn’t have pushed the plan forward so quickly. At least she would have stayed in the city for another month. The erosion zone had a harsh environment, and even healthy people would find it difficult to endure. Even if Zhu Yanchen wanted to investigate something, he didn’t have to rush to his death.

As a result, although Zhu Yanchen had secretly transferred part of his command to her, his connections were still severed.

Xia Liang sighed. She could guess the topic the reporters were discussing—the Xia and Zhu families had always been friendly. If they dug deeper, Zhu Yanchen’s deceased mother was the adopted daughter of the elder of the Xia family. Even though there was no blood relationship, they were still half-inlaws.

She understood the Zhu family’s affairs better than anyone else.

When Elder Zhu was young, the Zhu family was at the pinnacle of power. Perhaps it was God’s plan to balance things out; Zhu Sheng married twice and had two sons, but now neither of them survived.

Zhu Sheng’s first wife died during childbirth, leaving behind the eldest son. Seven or eight years later, Zhu Sheng remarried and had Zhu Yanchen.

The eldest son was a carbon copy of Zhu Sheng, and Zhu Sheng loved him dearly. Unfortunately, the eldest son hadn’t even become a marshal yet when he died in a very suspicious “accident”. A year after his death, the second wife also passed away due to illness.

If it weren’t for the death of the eldest son, no one would have noticed Zhu Yanchen. The young master of the Zhu family had never had much presence, and he was introverted and quiet with no leadership qualities. When the eldest son died, people thought that Zhu Sheng’s family line would end. Who would have thought that after his mother’s death, Zhu Yanchen would change his nature and follow in his father’s footsteps?

Unfortunately, the good times didn’t last.

Xia Liang was lost in thought when the overly sweet smell of coffee wafted into her nose. She turned her gaze and saw Ai Xiaoxiao rushing out of the door. It seemed that the captain of the Fourth Squadron wasn’t as cold-blooded as she had imagined.

She hoped that the following events would go smoothly and reached into her bag to fiddle with the chip that Zhu Yanchen had left behind.

Facing the storm ahead, they still had a lot of things to do.

However, facts proved that even a brilliant strategist like Marshal Zhu couldn’t foresee the real storm. When the press conference ended and everyone in the city had their own thoughts, Shu Jun in the erosion zone woke up again.

He woke up hungry. His body’s weakness was gone, leaving only an indescribable hunger that made him look at Zhu Yanchen with eyes full of green.

“Pack up. We’re going to the ruins in X City.” Zhu Yanchen saw the look in Shu Jun’s eyes and tidied up his collar solemnly. “The mud sled should still be there, with plenty of food on it.”

“Wait, if I eat all that, what about you?”

“Hunt with you.” Zhu Yanchen’s tone was quite natural. “With my current condition, mutant beast meat is edible.”

Thinking of the dried meat and salted butter in the package, Shu Jun couldn’t help but swallow his saliva. He was so hungry that even Monday looked quite appetizing. However, despite being hungry, he wasn’t driven by desire.

“I have something important to tell you.” Shu Jun looked at Zhu Yanchen’s body. “…Something very important.”

Shu Jun told him about Sweet Edge and Zhu Rong, as they just flew to X City. The mud sled was still in its original location. Shu Jun jumped onto the cargo platform eagerly and tore open a pack of butter. He didn’t mind the greasiness and ate it by itself.

Before leaving, Zhu Yanchen retrieved his briefcase and was now rummaging through it on the cargo platform, equipping himself with one weapon after another. Shu Jun ate the jerky slowly and looked at Zhu Yanchen’s attire, unable to help but smile.

Now that he was immune to corrosion, even in this heavily eroded area, Zhu Yanchen was dressed in lightweight clothes that were convenient for movement. He had a close-fitting weapon belt on his thighs, ankles, and waist and was loaded with various types of thermal weapons, but it was organized and not messy.

“You really know everything… What’s next, Grand Marshal? You’re not hanging by a death sentence now.” Shu Jun threw a bag of jerky over, and Zhu Yanchen caught it steadily.

With the jerky in hand, Marshal Zhu politely chewed a strand of meat and said, “Investigate X City. One is to check the alpha’s…Sweet Edge survival situation, and two is to look for clues from that year.”

Shu Jun scoffed, propping up his big sword and leaping to Zhu Yanchen’s side. “That’s not what I’m asking.”

Zhu Yanchen swallowed the food in his mouth and frowned.

“Based on the results, you saved me. I’ve repaid this favor now, so our conditions have stabilized. Why not take the opportunity to talk?” Shu Jun got very close, with a smile on his face, but his eyes were sharp. “…After all, I’m also in a hurry.”

His team was still living in a lie. Fortunately, there weren’t any matches recently. When the rest period ended, his comrades would face the Erosion Swamp again without knowing anything. The thought of this made Shu Jun’s stomach boil.

Previously, Zhu Yanchen had the deadline hanging over him, and he had to rely on stabilizing his physical condition. In a collaboration, there had to be some bargaining chips, so Shu Jun couldn’t act rashly. But now things were different. From the very beginning of telling Shu Jun the truth, to investigating Zhu Rong’s affairs, Zhu Yanchen’s position gradually became clear—Marshal Zhu clearly didn’t like the player system.

Since they both had time and similar goals, it was better to talk early to avoid delaying the opportunity.

“Okay.” Zhu Yanchen looked at Shu Jun seriously and answered quickly without even exhaling a single breath. “But I have a condition.”

Shu Jun raised his eyebrows.

“You haven’t eaten enough, have you?”

“…Ah?” Shu Jun thought the other party was going to say something big and important and was a little confused for a moment.

“I want to talk while hunting.” Zhu Yanchen also approached, using his height advantage that forced Shu Jun to look up irritatingly. “Come with me.”

What kind of condition is this? Shu Jun’s mind was full of question marks. However, a pack of butter really couldn’t fill him up, and he didn’t have any other ideas.

It wasn’t until they really started fighting that Shu Jun realized that this person wasn’t in a hurry to hunt at all. Zhu Yanchen seemed more like he was testing his new body, compensating for a long illness, or doing some kind of demonstration—if he didn’t use his ability and went directly against Zhu Yanchen, he could probably win, but it wouldn’t be easy.

“The player system can’t continue anymore.” When he said this, Zhu Yanchen was using his boots to step on a mutant giant snake—it was originally lurking in the mud, preparing to ambush Marshal Zhu, but was shot in the head.

“What did you plan to do before?”

Shu Jun swung his greatsword and cut a mutant beast beside him into two pieces. Dark purple blood spurted out, most of which was absorbed by Monday.

“If the player system is shut down immediately, all the outer defenses of the entire United Government will be reduced to zero. Even if you have become the leader, this will be your downfall. What’s more, you… uh, are already technically dead.”

Shu Jun desperately wished that the player system could be shut down immediately and all synths could know the truth. However, as a leader of a team, he also knew the consequences of acting rashly and emotionally. He knew that if he did this, the synths would undoubtedly launch a fierce rebellion, and the outcome would be disastrous to both sides that could potentially lead to mutual destruction.

However, things hadn’t reached such a desperate point yet. If Zhu Yanchen could be saved in this situation, Shu Jun hoped that his fellow synths could fight on the premise of  “obtaining a better life”.

They had to be prepared.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect the player system to be stopped smoothly in this generation.”

Zhu Yanchen turned around and directly hugged another mutated beast that pounced on him. He slammed it to the ground, then added two more shots. Blood splattered on his pale face, making it even more striking.

“I just wanted to take the first step and prove the possible loopholes in this system. You also saw that humans can only exert a certain level of influence on the Erosion Swamp, like Monday, and they don’t pose too much of a threat. But synths are different. They are ‘designed’ to resonate more with erosion. Relatively speaking, it’s also easier for the Erosion Swamp to obtain information from you.”

“Not to mention you, the exception among exceptions, Sweet Edge survived under the control of the Erosion Swamp because she was strong enough to retain a bit of consciousness and forcibly stay in X City… Shu Jun, if you were the Erosion Swamp and had complete human intelligence, what would you do?”


As soon as Shu Jun spoke, he felt a chill down his back.

It was simple. If it were him, he would hide far away and let the most ordinary Erosion Swamp collect intelligence on the front lines to deceive humans. Then, when the intelligence was enough, he would strike and wipe out humans and synths in one fell swoop.

“Exactly.” Zhu Yanchen emptied his gun and quickly changed the magazine.

No wonder this person went deep into the erosion zone before he died. Shu Jun glanced at Zhu Yanchen. As long as there was no evidence, these would always be “speculations”, and people wouldn’t give up their safe lives for speculations.

Even if Zhu Yanchen returned with Shu Jun as evidence, his situation was too special. Compared with “Erosion Swamp obtaining a human brain,” he might be judged as “a synth obtaining an Erosion Swamp”, further stimulating the development of the player’s plan.

Behind two hundred years of peace lay the unknown, which could strike at any time. Shu Jun originally thought the situation was bad enough, but now it seemed that in order for his compatriots to survive, the situation was far more complicated than he thought.

Is this an unprecedented battle?

On the other side, the corpses of mutant beasts gradually piled up, enough for them to make a week’s worth of dry food. Zhu Yanchen stopped and wiped the sweat from his forehead; his face showing a bit of liveliness. Seeing that Shu Jun didn’t respond for a long time, he looked at him with some concern but saw a smile on his face.

“Interesting.” Shu Jun shook off the blood on his hand. “Grand Marshal, instead of thinking about the first step or not, let’s just solve it all at once. We’ll cooperate as usual. You help me adjust my body, and I’ll go meet with those hidden Erosion Swamp friends—”

“And you’ll help me take over the leadership position?” Zhu Yanchen took over the conversation.

“…And solve the synth problem at the same time. How about it? Can you do it, Chief Strategist?” Shu Jun bared his sharp canine teeth and reached out his hand.

This wasn’t a very formal declaration. He was originally waiting for a formal handshake or a challenge to this arrogant statement. However, Zhu Yanchen didn’t shake his hand. He leaned closer, extended his thumb, and wiped the bloodstains from Shu Jun’s face with it.

That finger was warm, and as its tip rolled over Shu Jun’s skin it caused him to tense his back.

“Of course,” Zhu Yanchen said softly.

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