When the phone rang, Shen Shian was shocked and immediately opened his eyes. He found that it was an alarm clock and once he turned off the ringtone, he slapped the butt of the small child beside him. “How many times have I told you not to mess with things on my phone?”
Shen Xun had learned almost everything in pinyin and he could read the entire recipe. In order to let him apply what he learnt, Shen Shian started to teach him to type with the phonetic input method on the phone and chat with the QQ robot.
He didn’t expect this dog child to play well and also show a great interest in the phone. Every time he didn’t pay attention, Shen Xun would steal the phone. The confusion of his ringtone and alarm ringtone was a small problem. The day before yesterday, he had sent an ‘I like you’ followed by a series of garbled characters to a male student in a group chat. It was fortunate it was April Fool’s Day or he wouldn’t know how to explain it.
The child’ butt was attacked and the confused child reached out to rub it twice. He subconsciously drilled into Shen Shian’s chest. “An An…” After calling out this name, he fell asleep again.
Shen Shian pulled the child’s arm away from his neck and gently got out of bed. He headed into the bathroom, closed the door and turned on the light. He stood at the sink and poured some cold water on his face.
He hadn’t slept very well last night. He experienced a long and chaotic dream in the middle of the night. He was pulled back and forth by the strange scenes in the dream and couldn’t sleep well or wake up. His entire body was exhausted and he couldn’t rely on his biological clock to wake him up before the alarm.
The young man in the mirror was holding the sink, black hair wet by the cold water and stuck to his forehead in a mess. The water drops gradually rolled down the thick eyelashes, across the tall nose, over the red lips stimulated by the cold water and finally disappeared along the lower jaw and into the neckline.
He vaguely remembered bad things happening in the dream but every time he tried to recall it, he felt there was a thick fog barrier. No matter how hard, he couldn’t think of any details.
Shen Shian stared at the dark, ink-coloured eyes in the mirror for a long time. Then he took a deep breath and smoothed back his wet hair, revealing a bright jade-like forehead. Even if he couldn’t think of it, he had the space in his body and could protect his body. If the dream really indicated something, he would block it with water.
Shen Shian headed downstairs and took two laps around the community. He came back to eat breakfast and Yun Feiyang had already woken up. He pulled on his slippers and yawned. “My god, why do I have to go to school half an hour in advance? This time is for us to sleep and I lack resistance to sleepiness.”
He and Shen Shian had a full morning of classes. The first two sessions were attended together. According to the course time of H University, the first class started at 8:30. However, the recent influenza infection had become more widespread and the school required every major to arrive half an hour before class for the preventive reminder meeting that the counselors of every class organized.
Shen Xun also woke up. His soft hair was a bird’s nest and he followed the fragrance to Shen Shian and the food bag he was carrying.
“The school is doing this for safety reasons. This year’s fly is indeed different from previous years. It is lasting too long and the scope of transmission is too great. It isn’t only in China, there are cases all over the world. I talked to Mr Gu on the phone yesterday and he said that this flu is very serious. The National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a level three warning. Led by our school’s professors, a national team has been formed to conduct a special study on the influenza virus. I’m afraid this is the second SARS.” Shen Shian spoke while turning his head in Shen Xun’s direction.”Brush your teeth and wash your face before eating.”
Yun Feiyang held his breakfast above the height of the child and went to the dining room while muttering, “What is so serious? You are just scaring yourself. SARS directly caused death while it has been almost a month and a half since the flu began. Have you heard of a death case?” It was hard to be affected by the virus but it would probably go away in a matter of time.
Shen Xun was pushed to the bedroom door by Shen Shian but he still insisted on staring at the breakfast bag. “Shrimp dumplings, mine…”
Yun Feiyang heard this and nodded. “It is yours.” The moment the child entered, he immediately found a shrimp dumpling inside the bag and placed it inside his bag. ‘Hmm, a small sample.’
The morning meeting started at 8 o’clock. Shen Shian and Yun Feiyang finished eating and left at 7:30. Shen Xun once again hugged Shen Shian’s calves and asked to go to school with him.
The ‘separation battle’ every day had almost become routine between them. As long as Shen Shian patiently coaxed him and ensured there were several delicious dishes after returning, the two people would be able to successfully reconcile. However, today’s child seemed particularly stubborn. No matter how Shen Shian coaxed him, the child held him tightly and didn’t let go. “An An… An An…”
Shen Shian completely lost patience. “It is useless to call me Father.”
Shen Xun’s cheeks bulged. After a while, he seemed to be slapped in the face as he blushed and shouted, “Father!”
Shen Shian was helpless. He thought of the confused and inexplicable dream last night and after thinking about it, he bent over and placed the child into the master bedroom. “I can put you in the space but you have to make sure you don’t make any noise and wait for me to finish my class.”
The space was portable and went wherever Shen Shian was. Shen Xun’s eyes brightened and he immediately nodded.
Shen Shian placed the child into the space where he obediently stayed in the study. Then Shen Shian walked out of the master bedroom and closed the door.
Yun Feiyang moved behind him and asked, “How was it?”
Shen Shian nodded. “Let’s go.”
The two people had just left when Mo Feng and Fan Guoping emerged from the opposite house. Fan Guoping’s expression wasn’t very good and his eyes were dark and sad. Shen Shian asked, “Mrs Fan’s cold still isn’t better?”
Fan Guoping shook his head and his thick eyebrows wrinkled more tightly. “It’s been more than a week and she is still coughing badly.”
“It is better to go back and look.” Shen Shian told him. “I am doing nothing here and it is enough to have Mr Mo alone.”
Mo Feng nodded but Fan Guoping couldn’t agree. The salary he received from Mr Gu was several times higher than the same-level bodyguard. When he signed the employment program, he said it was fine if there were no holidays during the contract period and that he would protect Shen Shian’s life for 24 hours. During the Spring Festival, he got a three day holiday and this was already generous for an employer. He couldn’t say that he wanted to leave because his wife had a cold.
Shen Shian told him, “You are worried and your heart will be restless if you stay. It is better to go back to see. Flying is fast and it will only take two hours. Once you’re sure she is okay, you can come back. You can rest assured that I’ll explain it to Mr Gu.”
Fan Guoping thought about it and decided, “She said yesterday that she would go to the hospital to try a new drug. I will wait to see if it has a good effect today. If she is still the same in the evening, I will rush back overnight to see and try to come back the next day.” Now that a solution had been set, a big stone fell in his heart and he sincerely told Shen Shian, “Thank you for understanding.”
Shen Shian’s hook his head. “It is human nature to be concerned about your family. You don’t have to be too polite.”
The location for the morning meeting was a large and temporarily idle classroom, held by two counselors of three classrooms. Shen Shian and Yun Feiyang arrived at 7:50 and many people were already sitting in the classroom. Nearly half of them had signs of a cold and there were coughing sounds one after another. Each one was red-faced, white-skinned and more seriously, their feet seemed unstable.
Shen Shian’s heart sank slightly. The clinical symptoms caused by the influenza virus seemed to be getting worse.
He and Yun Feiyang found seats close to the aisle and sat down. Class Monitor Lu Xiuyuan stood on the podium and patted the table. “Students in the 4th Clinical Class, pay attention! The school has updated the information on the school records and sent a message last night reminding everyone to bring their student ID card. Have you brought it? I will trouble you to take it out. Please tell the class committee to collect them and hand them over to me.”
Shen Shian took his student ID card out of the bag. After a while, Lu Xiuyuan took it away while holding a registration book in his hand. “Our class has the hospital duty. Classmate Shen, you will be from 6 in the evening to 4 the next morning.” He didn’t look at Shen Shian after talking. He just raised his chin and walked away.
Yun Feiyang grinded his teeth together., “Fu*k, what person is this? He deliberately is making it difficult for you.”
From the beginning of their sophomore year, students in the clinical university had to attend the affiliated hospital. First, it would accumulate experience for the trainee and more importantly, it allowed them to get used to miscellaneous things. The duty schedule was usually arranged by the class committee according to the specific course conditions of the students. The night shift from 6 p.m to 4 a.m.was the most unpopular one. Not only was it longer than the day shift, it was also very difficult. The person was usually tired the next days it was usually only arranged for students who didn’t have class in the morning.
“Don’t you still have class tomorrow morning? That fu*king class monitor, he really takes himself seriously.” Yun Feiyang was angry and secretly decided, ‘It is better to choose a day and cover him with the sack.’
Shen Shian didn’t react. “It is all the same. In any case, I have to be on duty and there are fewer people at night.” He had practiced the exercises and it was more spiritual to exercise at night than to sleep a lot. He didn’t care if Lu Xiuyuan did it intentionally or unintentionally. He calculated his schedule, took out his phone and set an alarm clock for 5:30.
At 8 o’clock, the two counselors arrived and started the meeting early. The contents had been repeated many times before. Keep warm, strengthen themselves with exercises, diligently clean the dormitory and ensure they were hygienic.
At the end, they spoke to the students who had already caught a cold. “If you have signs of a cold, you must go to the hospital to take medicine in time. If you feel that you can’t endure it, you don’t have to go to class. Head back to the dormitory, have a good rest and drink hot water. You can ask me for a leave of absence on the medical records. First, let me know. If you are really sick then there are no problems going back to your bedroom. If you aren’t sick and only fooling around, you will be finished when I catch you.”
Shen Shian and Yun Feiyang’s first two classes were anatomy classes in the North Science Building. It wasn’t close to the meeting hall and it was approaching class time. The moment the counselors ended the meeting, they quickly stood up and went outside. On the road, Shen Shian noticed that most of the students with a cold headed in the direction of the dormitory. They should’ve followed the counselor’s advice to go back to rest. Some sniffling people scattered between the teaching buildings. It seemed they were unwilling to delay the learning process because of a cold.
The anatomy classroom was located in the northernmost part of the second floor of the Science Building. The teacher was an associate professor of the medical university. His surname was Li, he was in his 50s with white hair and a pair of reading glasses. His teaching attitude was extremely strict and he was fascinated by human research. It was said he often fought for donated remains with several other professors in the school and ultimately won or lost on the mahjong table.
The professor had come early and was waiting at the door of the classroom. He saw there were several students with red eyes who were coughing incessantly and stopped them. “Hey, stop! Everyone with colds should go back. Don’t you know how many viruses and bacteria are in your sneezes? What should I do if you pollute the tools and specimens? Go away, I will go you a holiday so go back quickly. Once you are better then you can come back to class.”
The sick students who originally planned to attend class were helpless and could only go back.
The anatomy classroom was very large and neatly arranged with silver-white metal dissection tables. The surrounding shelves and glass cabinets contained human specimens such as hands, feet and various internal organs. They were immersed in formalin in large and small transparent containers and illuminated with some bright lights, giving off a cold and white light.
It might be frightening the first time a person entered but everyone here had dealt with the anatomy room for a year and were long accustomed to it. Yun Feiyang didn’t even glance at them and directly focused his attention on the largest anatomy table in the centre. “My god! Today’s teacher is so fresh!”
The clinical school was in a situation where demand exceeded supply. The corpses used for anatomical research were more precious than endangered species. It was in short supply and most students who only deal with specimens that had been long immersed in formalin. They couldn’t even see the shadow of fresh corpses. Even if they were fortunate enough to see them, most of them had been studied many times and hot even a piece of complete skin could be seen.
The current corpse on the dissection table had apparently passed away a few days ago. It wasn’t soaked in formalin and had been divided from head to toe into dozens of pieces. It was no wonder that the professor personally blocked the door and didn’t allow any students with signs of a cold to enter.
Some students couldn’t help cheering. “Long live the professor! Professor is excellent in winning!”
The professor was unmoved. “Quickly change your clothes and put on gloves. I will give you five minutes to divide into 20 groups.”
The usual class had seven or eight people in a group. Today, some people didn’t come because of the cold while others were rushed away. The number of students was less than half and there were three or four people to a group.
Shen Shian and Yun Feiyang stood in front of an anatomy table as usual. The other two group members were girls, one was Shen Shian’s classmate and the other was Yun Feiyang’s classmate. After saying hello to each other, they didn’t speak much.
The two people mainly didn’t speak because of Shen Shian. They blushed just looking at him and couldn’t take the initiative to speak. Shen Shian had the habit of being indifferent to unfamiliar people. Meanwhile, the talkative Yun Feiyang was looking at the teaching material. Once the professor said, “You can freely choose the anatomical area.” Before he finished, Yun Feiyang had rushed forward like an arrow, trying to squeeze out his enemies and bringing back a leg.
He placed the leg on the group dissection table and couldn’t help touching it. “Hey, look how elastic this skin is and how clear the blood vessels are. These muscles are beautiful like a picture…”
Shen Shian, “…”
The tone was too feverish.
The leg was brought back by Yun Feiyang and he was naturally the first to get started. He had the scalpel in the palm of his hand, joined his hands together and bowed to the leg. “General teacher, please advise me.”
Everyone was startled when there was a burst of loud noise.
Yun Feiyang shook and the scalpel almost cut his hand. He looked around at the other people before focusing on Shen Shian. “Hey, is someone fighting?”
Shen Shian didn’t have time to speak when there was a second cry, followed by a third sound and fourth sound.
The screams were mixed with chaotic running, heartbreaking cries for help and some type of bitter chewing.
The classroom was suddenly restless. People turned their heads and fear of the unknown gradually appeared on confused faces.
Shen Shian started sniffing and his heart sank. It was a bloody scent.
Their classroom was located in the innermost part of the corridor furthest from the stairway. No one would pass by even if something happened so apart from the chaotic sounds, they had no clue about what was happening outside.
“Quiet, everyone be quiet!” The professor hit the table. “I’ll see what is going on.”
He hadn’t walked to the door yet when the half-hidden classroom door was pushed open and two tall figures quickly flashed in. They slammed the door closed and locked it. “Quickly, close the back door as well!”
Shen Shian had already been tense and alert. He quickly rushed to lock the back door and turned to look at Fan Guoping and Mo Feng who just rushed in. “What happened? What is going on outside?”
Fan Guoping and Mo Feng’s faces were pale. This paleness increased after seeing the messy corpses on the dissection tables. It triggered some extremely terrible memories and they immediately turned away.
Their Adam’s Apples moved up and down for a moment before Mo Feng spoke in a hoarse voice. “We can’t go out. Don’t go out…”
“We can’t go out? Why can’t we go out? What exactly happened?” The classroom became more and more turbulent and confused. Before everyone could get specific information about the outside world from Mo Fan, there was a muffled bang and a flesh and blood body crashed into the classroom door.
The classroom doors of the Science Building were uniform and divided into two parts. It was a wood material wrapped in metal and the top was a piece of clear glass that wasn’t stained. Therefore, the human body suddenly hit the door and reflected the light in the room, clearly showing it to everyone with no omissions.
It was a girl with her hair brushed into two braids and wearing a beige sweater skirt. The fresh and cute sweater dress embroidered with a flower pattern was already soaked in blood.
Most of the blood should be her own because there was a huge wound on the girl’s cheek. The entire flesh of the right side of her face was torn off, with obvious teeth marks on the edge of the wound. It was as if an animal had bitter the whole right side of her face. Bloody gums and a turbid and bloody eye that could fall out of the socket at any time was seen.
Combined with the exposed white bones of her neck, she didn’t look like a living person.
Sharp screams rang through the classroom and the group retreated frantically in horror, creating a large empty space near the front door.
The high screams seemed to stimulate the human body outside the door. The turbid eyeballs turned and she slowly raised her hand to slam it against the glass. Bang, bang, bang, bang!
The ordinary glass soon had cracks forming under such persistent banging. Behind the girl with braids, several strange and stiff figures appeared one after another.
Mo Feng cried out to Fan Guoping, “Push a few cabinets against the door!
Shen Shian’s reaction speed was a bit faster than them. He turned around and pushed an iron cabinet containing visceral species against the back door. While pushing, he whispered to the people around him. “Stop screaming. Be quiet!”
Yun Feiyang’s senses also returned. Together with several male students who had a strong psychological endurance, they split into two groups and rushed to help Mo Fan and Shen Shian push. The iron cabinets in the classroom were specifically made and were big, heavy and almost as high as the ceiling. IT wasn’t difficult with Shen Shian’s physical fitness but once others came over to help, he reduced his strength.
A cabinet could tightly block the door but people didn’t feel relieved and added another one. Two iron cabinets were stacked on top of each other, weakening the chilling sounds coming from outside the door. The screams inside the classroom finally stopped.
Once the classroom became quiet, the screams, cries for help and some vaguely sticky sound that made people feel psychologically uncomfortable became clearer and more audible.
Huge panic swept over the people in the classroom and some of them couldn’t help crying. However, they covered their mouths and didn’t dare make too much noise. The deliberate blockage of their cries made the atmosphere of the classroom more depressed.
Yun Feiyang gulped and his palm was covered with sweat. “…Are there zombies outside the door?”
Shen Shian took a bag of wet wipes from his bag and handed them to Mo Feng and Fan Guoping, indicating that they should wipe the blood on their faces and hands. “What the hell happened?”
The psychological capacity o the two bodyguards far exceeded ordinary people. The incident was sudden and they witnessed some terrible scenes. They were confused for a while but had already regained their composure.
Fan Guoping opened his mouth first. “I was walking with Old Mo on the stairs between the second and third floor. 20 minutes after the class bell rang, a student came downstairs and his face was particularly ugly. His lips were purple and his eyes were red. He was coughing while walking and his posture wasn’t stable. He almost fell off the stairs so I reached out and asked if he needed help.”
He took a deep breath after saying this. “It was fine and the student also waved me off and thanked me. I don’t know why things suddenly went wrong but he suddenly stopped breathing and had no heartbeat.”
Someone sucked in a breath. “D-Died?”
Mo Feng shook his head. “He wasn’t dead.”
“If only he died.” Fan Guoping smiled bitterly. His hand entered his trouser pockets before he remembered that he promised his wife that he would give up cigarettes. His thumb and forefinger pinched together as he snorted and added, “The student had no breathing or heartbeat but he hadn’t fallen down. He grunted a few times before suddenly pouncing at me. I kicked his legs bu it was useless. He continued to rush over and while trying to bite me, his arms were bent. The other person seemed indifferent to the pain. He continued to pounce at us and tried to bite off our flesh. At this time, there were screams from upstairs and downstairs.”
Mo Feng went on, “Brother Fan and I perceived something was wrong and tried to run here. Along the way, we encountered a female student.” His eyes swept towards the iron cabinet. “It was the one who was just banging against the door. She was on the ground and being bitten by two students who weren’t breathing. Brother Fan kicked them over and bent down to give first air to the female student. However, she also lost her breathing and heartbeat and became exactly the same as before.”
“Oh my god!” Yun Feiyang exclaimed. “This is really fu*king zombies!”
The classroom became restless again due to the information brought by Mo and Fan. The students of this age weren’t unfamiliar with zombie movies and knew how terrible a zombie world was. Some people expressed scared questions and there were instant noise and chaos.
Before a result came from the chaos, several students standing by the window suddenly exclaimed, “Look outside!”
There were three windows in the classroom facing the campus boulevard. Due to the storage requirements of the specimens, the windows were closed year round and the curtains shaded. It was only when someone opened them halfway that people finally saw what was happening in the outside world.
There was chaos, screaming and countless people fleeing. No one dared to stop because as long as they were slightly slow, they would be surrounded by stiff students with muddy and dull eyes. They were no longer living and would tear people into pieces. After a while, those with pulled out organs or bitten flesh would become one of the zombies.
There were scenes of blood and death everywhere.
Some people in the classroom turned pale like they were struck by lightning. Some people shivered and cried and some couldn’t hold it. They rushed to a corner and vomited.
“Doomsday.” An indescribable fear accompanied by some speculation spread rapidly through the crowd. “Is this the end?”
Shen Shian rushed over and pulled the curtains together. His palms trembled for a while before returning to normal. The delicate and beautiful face reflected a cold white light under the fluorescent lights. However, due to the unusual composure, it had a strange and calming power.
“Don’t look,” he said. “Don’t look outside.”
The professor’s face was somewhat bad. He helped several students to the platform and then stood up. “What are you afraid of? Even if they are zombies, they are just moving bodies. Are there any students of our clinical university who are afraid of corpses? Let’s call them teaching materials. If we cooperate then we can catch all the pieces!”
“Pfft.” In this environment, someone let out a rare laugh. “Professor, you also know about zombies.”
The professor glared. “How can I not know? I’m just old, not stupid!”
“Hahahaha…” This time, more people laughed and the atmosphere in the classroom wasn’t so depressed and desperate.
The professor gathered everyone together, pointed to Mo Fan and asked Shen Shian, “Are these two gentlemen with you? I’m afraid they’re not ordinary people.”
Shen Shian nodded. “I had an accident before. These two were hired by Mr Gu… by my father and their abilities are extremely outstanding.”
His expression suddenly changed and he took two steps back from the crowd.
It was unknown how but Shen Xun in the space detected something wrong. He was making noise in the empty space next to the spiritual spring. “An An, how are you? Did you have an accident? An An? Let me out. If you don’t let me out then I will suck up all your spiritual spring. An An, answer me…”
Shen Shian felt helpless and amused. The professor was asking Mo Feng and Fan Guoping for details and no one noticed as he took his phone out of his pocket and typed a line in it. Then he put the phone in his schoolbag and it fell into the space with the child.
Shen Xun picked up the phone and a line on the memo page of the display read: I’m fine. There was an accident outside and you should eat something by yourself first. I’ll let you out when things are resolved.
Shen Xun’s mouth thinned and he started to shout again, “What happened? Tell me, An An. An An, do you hear me? An An, An An, An An…”
Shen Shian was distressed by the child while the professor analyzed the current situation based on the information obtained. “According to Mr Fan and Mr Mo’s words, there are two ways to become a ‘zombie.’ One is to be bitten by a zombie and the other is to suddenly turn into zombies. We will call the latter type the source zombies for the time being. Mr Fan witnessed a source zombie before the transformation. Did he should symptoms of a severe cold before the change?”
“Yes, he was coughing very badly, his face was pale and he couldn’t stand…” Fan Guoping’s voice stopped abruptly as he realized a certain possibility. This possibility made him feel like he had been hit by a heavy blow in an instant.
The professor bowed his head and didn’t notice the change in Fan Gouping’s appearance. The professor nodded and concluded, “In other words, it is highly probable that a person infected by the flu during this time will be transformed into a source zombie. The influenza virus is exactly the source of this.”
This conclusion immediately received the support of many students. “I just saw some students in the zombie group outside the window. They all had the flu and they had no visible wounds on themselves.”
There being no wounds seemed to be the biggest difference between the source zombies and the infected zombies who were bitten.
Fan Guoping’s expression became more desperate and he staggered back two steps. Shen Shian stood just behind him and reached out to help him. “Mr Fan, don’t worry. The professor just put forward a hypothesis and he isn’t absolutely sure that all people with the flu will turn into zombies.”
It wasn’t only Fan Guoping. Every student in the classroom who had a loved one or friend with the flu was frightened by this bad news. The anxiety and panic that couldn’t be relieved ate the heart and the crying started again.
“Don’t worry,” the professor raised his voice slightly. “Student Shen is right. I just put forward a hypothesis and I’m not sure that all people with the flu would become zombies. There are many reasons for the fly and even if it is really caused by this fly, the influenza virus can mutate into many different types of strains during the course of transmission. The type of influenza virus that has led to the current situation still needs comprehensive and thorough research to determine. To tell you the truth, my wife and grandchild had also caught a cold.”
The professor’s words calmed the mood a bit, including Fan Guoping. This led to another question. “If the zombies outside are related to the flu, it means that the zombie virus has broken out all over the country, not just here?” It was important to know that the influenza patients were found everywhere.
If there was a terrible disaster in only one location then they could wait for rescue. However, what if such a disaster involved the entire country or even the entire world? If the entire country was in a tragic situation, who would come to save them?
Someone took the plastic gloves off their hands and used their phones to try and call their friends, relatives, the police station, the fire station and all those they could call but there were no answers. There was only the busy tone. Similarly, the network signal was close to zero and they couldn’t send or search messages. Was the destructive power of this disaster so strong that the communication network was destroyed in such a short period of time?
An overwhelming shadow and heavy despair that couldn’t be resisted once again hit everyone’s heart.
“It’s over,” someone muttered. “We are all finished, we’re dead…”
“Everyone is too pessimistic.” Shen Shian’s voice was like a jade and contained an excellent penetration power. “In the current situation, it is estimated that all survivors will be trying to call. It is normal for the sudden burst of data to cause a temporary collapse of the communication network. In addition, you shouldn’t forget that H City’s Medical University is the highest-level medical institution with top medical research and the most powerful teachers in China. There are research talents like the professors, tens of thousands of outstanding students and even a special expert group to study the influenza virus. If the disaster was really nationwide or worldwide and there are survivors like us, what do they need most?”
Yun Feiyang’s reaction came first. “A vaccine! A vaccine against the virus!”
Shen Shian nodded. “The number of people with a cold in our school is around half the total number. In the worst case scenario, this half have become zombies and there are still a considerable number of survivors. As long as there are survivors, a vaccine to protect against and treat the virus is needed. While this need exists, the medical university will definitely by the country’s first rescue target.”
Everyone’s eyes lit up and they let out sighs of relief. This was the truth!
Someone asked, “Then what should we do? Wait here for rescue?”
“No.” This time it was Mo Feng who spoke. “The rescue will come but the timing is unknown. The doors might be currently blocked but we don’t know if these zombies will change further. If the doors here can’t be blocked, the terrain doesn’t allow us to defend it. We will be too passive.”
In other words, the space was too limited. If they were attacked by zombies, there was a 99% chance of death.
“Shall we find a way back to the dormitories? There are food and drinks in the dormitories and we can sleep after reaching.”
“No!” Yun Feiyang’s eyes widened and he gazed at the person who offered the suggestion. “Did you forget that the counselor rushed all the people who caught a cold back to the dormitory? The dormitory building is currently a zombie lair. We will die if we go back!”
Shen Shian’s brow furrowed and he pondered on it. The reason why these people could stand here and think about countermeasures, rather than face the cruelty of the virus outbreak outside, was because their luck was good. The professor had stopped the people with colds and persuaded them to leave. Other places wouldn’t have such good luck. The proportion of people with colds was close to one-half. Even if more than half of them was resting in the dormitory, the rest were mixed through every corner of the campus, in addition to those who were bitten. It was estimated that the number and distribution of zombies had increased to a terrible degree.
“Where…” he looked around and slowly asked, “can we isolate the dead, have the commanding heights to observe the surrounding environment, have plenty of drinking water, can rest and would have the least people present before the zombie virus?”
“The small water auditorium.”
Shen Shian followed the sound and saw Class Monitor Lu Xiuyuan. “There is no one in the small water auditorium today?”
The Water Auditorium was a landmark building of H City’s Medical University. It was called small but it actually wasn’t small. It could accommodate up to 2,000 people at the same time. There was a large artificial bridge that was covered with wooden bridges. The design was chic and beautiful so there were usually reports about it and a large number of parties were held there.
There were doors to the lake to isolate the zombies and the commanding height to observe the surrounding environment. The auditorium had running water and water dispensers. The lake could also be used to cut off the corpses and save lives. If there really was no one inside then it was a good place to wait for rescue.
Lu Xiuyuan was frightened to death because of the zombies and his body was still trembling. He saw Shen Shian look over and subconsciously straightened his back and raised his chin, trying to keep calm. “…Yes, you should know that our school took the lead in organizing a team of experts, inviting experts and scholars from all over the country to come and hold a research exchange on the influenza virus. The time was set for tonight so yesterday, several freshmen were organized to clean the Water Auditorium according to the instructions of the school leaders. In order to prevent others from going in and destroying the venue, the small auditorium didn’t accept any event research today and the door was closed last night. The key…”
He pulled out a string of items from his bag. “Here it is.”
The other class committee members supported his words and the atmosphere of the classroom came alive in an instant.
Yun Feiyang’s face was full of joy as he spoke bluntly, “If I didn’t hate you then I would like to kiss you right now.”
Lu Xiuyuan’s face reddened and he scoffed.
The location of the retreat was determined and the next question was how to arrive there. The Water Auditorium was located in the northernmost part of the school. It wasn’t the furthest building away from the research building but it wasn’t very close. In addition, there were zombies everywhere outside and moving even one metre was dangerous.
The professor went to Shen Shian, looking at him before shifting his gaze to Mo Feng and Fan Guoping. “Shen Shian, my next words are really difficult but I have to say them. I know these two gentlemen are your bodyguards. With their protection, you can leave the school safely. I also know that you live outside the South Gate and the small auditorium in the north is exactly the furthest away. I know you have no obligation to ensure the safety of others. After all, you only have one life. In the final analysis, the most precious thing in the world is your own life. However, as a teacher, I have to worry about the safety of all students. I know this request is very hard but I still have to ask. Can I bother you and your two bodyguards to escort the others to the water auditorium?”
The professor pointed to the others. “We have more than 70 people besides me. They are young and strong, allowing them to run quickly. If you are willing to take care of them, at the very least, most people can safely arrive at the small auditorium. As for this old man with inconvenient legs, you don’t have to worry about me. I will wait here. These cabinets are very heavy and the zombies probably can’t access the room.”
The other students had assumed that Shen Shian and the two bodyguards would go with them to the small auditorium. It wasn’t until they listened to the professor’s words that they realized a possibility. Yes, Shen Shian lived near the school and he didn’t need to hide in the small auditorium. The two bodyguards protecting him alone would increase the chances of survival. Why bother running to the small auditorium that was the furthest from home?
After witnessing the tragic scenes of zombies eating others, the reason why everyone could remain calm and not collapsed was because they were dependent on the sense of security brought about by the two bodyguards Mo Feng and Fan Guoping. Therefore, once they realized their lives weren’t within the scope of consideration, many people’s faces changed colour.
Shen Shian wasn’t paying attention to the faces of other people at this time. He looked back at Mo Fan and Fan Guoping immediately said, “We are loyal people and also signed the contract and took a salary. Mr Shen’s will is my will. I will listen to Mr Shen.”
Mo Feng didn’t say anything and nodded, clearly expressing the same meaning.
Shen Shian looked back at the professor. “Mr Li, you can rest assured that I will go to the small auditorium. It isn’t just other people, you have to go as well.” He deliberately slowed down his voice. “After all, researchers like you are the rescue team’s primary rescue goal.”
In other words, the rescue team was most likely to go to Professor Li’s location.
Unlike his mother, he wasn’t shy about speculating on the worst in people. No matter whether this sentence was redundant or not, as long as people were aware of this, Professor Li’s life would be more protected.
The thoughts of some people in the crowd changed.
It was determined they would go the Water Auditorium together and now they needed a plan. The first thing was how to get out of the classroom. It definitely wasn’t through the door since the previous girl was still slamming against it.
“Go through the window.” Fan Guoping circled the three windows and chose the middle one. “Use the curtains to tie a knotted rope, with one end tied to a dissection table.” Other dissection tables could be moved but the largest one in the middle was fixed to the ground. This was more than enough to hold one or two people. In addition, the classroom was on the second floor and the length of the curtains was just enough. Others can go down on their own while I will carry the professor.”
The way out was resolved and the second point was the route planning. They had to choose a route that had the shortest distance, an open space, was unobstructed and suitable for fast running. The best case was that they could get supplies along the way.
Other than that, there was the most important security issue. There were zombies outside and they couldn’t fight with bare hands. Shen Shian observed the classroom. After turning off the power, he pulled the steel tube hanging above the dissection table and swung it. It was easy to use.
The others learnt from him. In addition to removing the steel pipes, they obtained sharp stool legs, tied anatomical knives to the rod of a mop, used the metal brackets for glassware in the cabinet, grabbed the medical scissors or even the curved faucets. The scalpel was short but it was better than being weaponless.
“First, attack the head. Mr Wan said that attacking the body is useless. The zombies don’t feel pain and can attack normally. Thus, be sure to aim at the head, preferably the eye socket and the brainstem behind the head. We have learned that these two parts are the softest and easiest method to destroy the brain. Don’t panic. We have all seen it., The zombies are very slow and stiff. Just keep calm and don’t panic. We have the advantage of possessing weapons.”
Shen Shian stood on the podium and used Yun Feiyang as an example to demonstrate. His dark eyes were terrible and he was completely composed. At such a time, this calm was the best stabilizer for everyone.
“Second, try to ensure there is a distance between yourself and the zombies. Don’t get hurt. Be sure that no body parts are unnecessarily exposed to zombie attacks. Pull up your collar and your zipper to the highest point. Wear goggles and masks and several layers of plastic gloves. All in all, try to avoid direct contact with the zombies and don’t touch them.”
Fan Guoping interjected, “We can see that only those who are bitten can become zombies. Will it be dangerous if you are scratched?”
“Of course!” Yun Feiyang immediately replied. “The zombies are full of the viruses. One wound from them will cause you to die. It is the same in the movies, tv shows and games!”
The professor nodded., “We have no way to determine how the zombie virus of the source zombies spread. There are probably more transmission methods than saliva. So, be careful.”
Fan Guoping didn’t speak.
After that, Mo Feng introduced the marching formation. There were currently 76 people in the classroom. If they weren’t sure of the formation then they could be easily dispersed by the zombies. In general, everyone would advance in a long and thin diamond-shaped formation. The position of the two vertices was the most important. Therefore, Yun Feiyang and Mo Feng would open the road ahead while Shen Shian and Fan Guoping would be in the rear. The rest were arranged according to their physical strength. The strong were on the outside to inside. Those with low courage or the shortest weapons were standing in the innermost area while those with high psychological strength, physical strength or were holding the longest weapons were standing outside.
“In order to save energy, we will attack in batches.” Mo Feng used chalk to draw a simple diagram on the blackboard. “The first batch will fight until they are exhausted or there are too many zombies. The second batch must act immediately, followed by the third and fourth batch… as long as you have the strength to swing the weapon, you can’t take a step back. Don’t hide in the innermost circle and do nothing while enjoying the protection of others. Everyone must die together.”
“The last point,” Shen Shian lowered his voice and summed it up. “Our goal is to send the most people safely to the Water Auditorium. In other words, I can’t guarantee that everyone here will be safe. If someone is bitten along the way or someone is left behind, I’m sorry but we can’t stop for you alone.”
He looked at all the young people showing trepidation and fear on their faces. “Are you afraid?”
Some people sobbed, some shook and some replied, “…I’m afraid.”
Less than two hours ago, they were a group of carefree students in anatomy class. They were ecstatic because of a fresh teaching material and had countless expectations and good dreams for the future. If there were no accidents then a few years later, they would become the best group of doctors and shine in their respective positions.
Then the accident happened. They were surrounded by countless zombies and the corridors were filled with limbs and blood. There were still faint screams in the distance. They didn’t know if their relatives and friends were alive or dead and they couldn’t guarantee their own safety.
The warmth and calm of the normal world were this fragile and vulnerable.
“I’m also afraid.” Shen Shian slowly looked at each person. His jade-like eyes were gentle and quiet, shining in the sunlight coming in through the window.
“I’m afraid as well,” he whispered. “So, we have to try our best to live.”
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