Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 29: Special Mission
After having a satisfying meal, people tend to feel sleepy.
Nowadays, Zhu Yanchen was very healthy, so Shu Jun was no longer polite with him. He circled around the bed and said, “I have terrible sleeping habits so I’ll sleep on the outside.”
Anyway, he didn’t need to hold onto Monday anymore. It was wrapped in a cloth strip and lying on the sofa near the purifier, blowing and sucking air in dissatisfaction into the cloth strip that covered it.
“Call me at six sharp tomorrow morning,” Shu Jun instructed it.
The two had been investigating the erosion zone for more than a week, and Shu Jun had figured out Monday’s temper. Monday didn’t like him, but it had also tasted the sweetness of victory against Sweet Edge. Its brain capacity was limited, and it couldn’t understand too much intelligence, and since the obvious benefits were right in front of it, at least it wouldn’t want to run away anymore.
Shu Jun crawled into the bed and felt the soft mattress behind him. Tears welled up in his eyes.
Zhu Yanchen was more particular and didn’t sleep topless. He used his last shirt as pajamas and lay steadily on the side against the wall. The two had to share a bed, but it was spacious enough that there was more than an arm’s length from each other, and they even had extra space.
Shu Jun murmured “goodnight”, then happily wrapped himself in the blanket and fell asleep almost as fast as fainting.
…Things were still normal at this point.
Around four in the morning, Zhu Yanchen opened his eyes and felt cold all over. He touched his chest and only felt the thin shirt.
Zhu Yanchen: “…”
When they were in the erosion zone before, they had to take turns keeping watch, so Mr. Shu didn’t have a chance to fully display his skills. Now he finally found the opportunity to “steal” the covers—this bad habit of his hadn’t changed in more than ten years.
Marshal Zhu sighed in his heart, turned from lying flat to lying on his side, and prepared to drag back his own blanket. Who knew that the other party hadn’t revealed any flaws—Shu Jun had no cover on him at all, as both blankets were rolled into a ball, with his arms tightly wrapped around it. Moreover, he would occasionally wrinkle his brows, obviously not sleeping soundly.
“…Don’t die…” Shu Jun muttered intermittently.
After a moment of silence in the darkness, Zhu Yanchen quietly reached out and stroked Shu Jun’s wrinkled brow. When he saw the shadow disappear between his eyebrows and his body stretch a bit, Zhu Yanchen grabbed a corner of the quilt, carefully and cautiously pulled it outward.
It was a close call, as Shu Jun rolled over and narrowly stopped at the edge of the bed, with his back facing Zhu Yanchen.
This was quite nostalgic. Zhu Yanchen propped himself up, took a deep breath, and was about to continue, but his arm stiffened in mid-air.
Shu Jun wasn’t wearing a shirt when he slept. Now his entire back was exposed, and his skin shone with a glossy light in the dim light. He had no excess fat on his body, and the contours smoothly glided through the night, tightly wrapped in the fabric that hugged his narrow waist. The lines of his muscles were light and beautiful—not too thin or too heavy—and didn’t give off any sense of clumsiness or bulkiness.
At this moment, his waist and back were slightly arched, like a beautiful wild beast.
Zhu Yanchen’s palm was hovering about one centimeter away from Shu Jun’s shoulder, allowing their body temperatures to mix together. Maintaining that distance, his palm followed Shu Jun’s shoulder down and slowly moved to his wrist. In the end, without touching him, he withdrew his hand.
‘My state is really not right,’ Zhu Yanchen thought to himself. ‘I’ll just not cover myself with the blanket.’
But before he could close his eyes, there was a loud bang as Shu Jun had rolled off the bed. After two or three seconds, there were a few unhappy grunts from under the bed. Shu Jun climbed back onto the bed, facing Zhu Yanchen’s questioning gaze.
“Huh?” Shu Jun’s voice was puzzled as he was used to sleeping alone. He looked at Zhu Yanchen for a moment, then relaxed. “Oh… it’s A’Yan.”
Then he suddenly exclaimed, “Why do you look like a big clump!… Oh, you took a shower… so that’s why…”
Zhu Yanchen touched his still damp hair speechlessly. This person was probably half-asleep, talking nonsense. While Shu Jun was busy climbing onto the bed, he stretched out his arm and salvaged the blanket under the bed for the two of them.
Then he was tackled by Shu Jun.
Shu Jun hugged him recklessly, with a momentum that replaced the pile of blankets with Zhu Yanchen himself. He was no longer as friendly and cheerful as before, and his tone was obviously dissatisfied. “A’Yan, where’s my goodnight?”
Zhu Yanchen froze in place. A mixture of shock and sadness swept over him. The scene from more than ten years ago gradually overlapped with the present. He embraced Shu Jun with some uncertainty and kissed the top of his head.
Shu Jun hummed contentedly and fell asleep again. This time, he slept quite soundly.
Zhu Yanchen didn’t close his eyes; he kept holding onto the other person and stared at the void in the darkness. He was familiar with this side of Shu Jun, which he had thought was a period that had been completely erased. Now it seemed that perhaps things could still be salvaged.
Originally, he just wanted to silently live through this life, but he didn’t expect to really save Shu Jun, and even more unexpectedly, Shu Jun turned around and saved him. Things had developed far beyond his expectations, and now he still wanted more.
Perhaps this was the side effect of being too close. At this moment, Zhu Yanchen, for the first time, understood the feeling of “greed”.
And it felt pretty good.
Zhu Yanchen reached out his hand again and caressed Shu Jun’s cheek. Shu Jun was quite handsome, but his eyebrows and eyes didn’t look sharp. Instead, they gave off a comfortable sense of closeness. His mutated hair color added a touch of wildness to him, but when he closed his eyes, that hint of danger turned into a peaceful trust.
Shu Jun clearly still had impressions of that period of time. Even if only a few fragments of those impressions remained, they could piece together the possibility of recovery.
He had to seize the support of the people and the position of leader through a non-violent outcome. Since that was the case, why not grab everything he wanted… like the memories that had been crushed.
“Goodnight.” He whispered to Shu Jun.
Unfortunately, an hour later, the sound of a thud and the sound of flesh hitting the ground once again echoed through the room, and the warm embrace was gone forever. Zhu Yanchen pulled the covers back onto the bed and rolled Shu Jun into a ball inside them.
At six in the morning, a mournful cry from Monday was heard.
Shu Jun had a good sleep, feeling refreshed and clear-headed. The bed was still the same bed, and he hadn’t kicked the covers off during the night. Zhu Yanchen’s side, on the other hand, was rather strange—Marshal Zhu had wrapped himself up like a mummy, lying stiffly on his back and pressing his body against the corners of the bed.
Did he have this habit before? Shu Jun yawned and got out of bed. The mattress shook, and Zhu Yanchen woke up immediately.
“Let’s go, let’s go. To the morning market.” Shu Jun put on his coat, and his tone was light and cheerful after a refreshing sleep.
Zhu Yanchen sat there for a few seconds, then nodded slowly. Shu Jun put on his mask and handed one to Zhu Yanchen, who put it on quickly.
“Are you two awake?” Just as they were leaving, there was a knock on the door, and Uncle Pan’s voice came from the other side.
Shu Jun handed the mask to Zhu Yanchen and quickly put his own on.
Somehow, Uncle Pan had sobered up despite drinking into the early hours of the morning and even managed to take care of the mutant animal skin early this morning. He glanced at the two people wearing masks, puit the electronic wallet that was the size of a lighter on the table, and rubbed his hands.
“You wouldn’t believe it, but early this morning I heard they’re recruiting NPCs. I really don’t know what those big wigs are in a rush for.”
“What kind of work?”
“I heard about it when I went to sell the skins. Someone will be coming tomorrow to recruit people. If you’re interested, you can go to the ‘Longevity’ Tavern later to check it out and avoid being taken advantage of. Brother Gray Claw, listen to me. With your skills, you can make a good living just by selling pelts…”
“Thanks, brother. We’ll go check it out.” Shu Jun smiled. “Did they say which team the mission is for?”
“The Blackbirds.” Uncle Pan pursed his lips. “The strangeness lies here. It’s only been a few days, and they’ve been sent on another mission. I say it must be Yi Ning’s idea to merge teams. Look, Blackbirds is the strongest team, but now the captain and the manager, Zhu Yanchen, are both gone. They’re so eager to make Blackbirds suffer, so they can find a replacement manager later…”
Shu Jun secretly clenched his fists, causing his sharp nails to cut into his palm. He kept his smile behind his mask, so his voice sounded cheerful. “Anyway, it has nothing to do with us. It’s good to have a bigger team. More reliable that way.”
Uncle Pan didn’t notice anything unusual. “Okay, that’s how it is. Oh, about your anti-erosion remedy…”
“We’ll be in the city in a while. We’ll definitely ask for you when we see them.”
The morning for the other captain wasn’t very pleasant either.
Luo Duan knelt on one knee as dark red blood continuously poured out of his wound, almost dripping in a line.
“Stop!” the doctor outside the training room shouted. “He can’t fight anymore and must be treated as soon as possible!”
Luo Duan hung his head, smiling to himself in the shadows. As he had expected, after challenging for more than a week in a row, he finally suffered a serious injury as a matter of course.
The medical team sent him to the treatment room. As the emergency bed slid past the corridor, Luo Duan turned his head and looked towards the road leading to the underground.
All the game-related information explained that the lowest level of a stronghold was always the storage level used by the NPCs. No one had cared about this before. However, the command center was located in the material-rich Y City, yet they specifically constructed a storage level below the training level where dangerous mutant beasts were kept. No matter how one thought about it, this seemed quite unnatural.
He had succeeded in sneaking in and he just needed to be patient.
Luo Duan withdrew his gaze, closed his eyes, and began to silently plan his invasion route.
Until the nurses sent him to the special ward, he remained calm with his eyes closed. To be fair, the layout of the special ward was quite good. It even had vases decorated with brightly artificial flowers.
A TV was hanging on the wall opposite the hospital bed, tuned to the intelligence channel that players often watched, playing the morning news. When he confirmed that everyone had left the ward, Luo Duan lifted his eyelids and glanced at the screen.
“…At 5 this morning, a large Erosion Swamp appeared 300 kilometers northwest of X City. The results of the blurry scan are quite strange, and experts are doing their best to interpret the data…”
“…We have decided to send the strongest team to investigate. The Blackbirds will depart in five days…”
In the past, Luo Duan might have envied the Blackbirds—that was a “special mission” only accessible to the team that won the championship, which allowed the Blackbirds to get a lot of contribution points and unique field experience. Moreover, the task sounded more like a test than actual combat, so their combat power loss wouldn’t be too great.
Now, it seemed that the enemy on the other side may not have been arranged by humans in advance. It was unclear what the Blackbirds, which had lost Shu Jun, would encounter on such a mission.
Luo Duan sneered.
Beside the sickbed, there suddenly came a rustling sound, somewhat like a mouse nibbling on paper. Luo Duan turned his head and was taken aback by the sight before him.
The flowers in the vase were melting.
The colors of the flowers gradually melted away, dripping stickily down the vase. Afterwards, they spread in all directions like fungi, leaving thin veins on the walls. After a while, the color of the veins gradually turned black and gray, contrasting with the pale walls like dead capillaries.
Something was condensing on the ceiling, slowly dripping down into an apple-sized globule hanging in front of Luo Duan.
The falling object kept wriggling and made a hoarse sound. Its movements were strange and stiff, like a legless spider.
Luo Duan didn’t scream, but his eyes were cold. Everything in front of him was too bizarre. Perhaps his illness was too severe, and he was having hallucinations.
That thing sighed again.
“I…will help you… I’ll help…you…”
Unexpectedly, the thing could actually speak. Luo Duan was taken aback. Before he could react, the door was roughly pushed open. The globule quickly shrank back into the ceiling, and the veins seeped into the wall as if they had never existed.
“You’re Luo Duan of the Groundwater, right?”
Ai Xiaoxiao walked into the ward and glanced at Luo Duan. “Hmm, your injuries aren’t too bad. You won’t die, so don’t mess around.”
“Are you my doctor?”
“No, just passing by.” Ai Xiaoxiao blew a bubble from her gum and shrugged indifferently. “I heard there was a seriously injured patient here, so I came to take a look.”
Luo Duan: “…”
Ai Xiaoxiao ignored Luo Duan’s complicated expression and frowned, touching the nearest wall. However, the wall was cold and smooth, and there seemed to be nothing unusual.
“If you feel uncomfortable, remember to call the doctor at any time.”
She muttered to herself and wiped her hands.
“Also, why is there an empty vase in the special ward?”
The author has something to say:
Marshal: There’s no need to sleep in separate beds anymore.
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One thought on “Access Denied Ch29”
Thank you for the update ❤️💯