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“Ah……” Xiao Ziling shouted, his whole body covered in cold sweat; that heart which has been pierced through, that acute pain caused by the zombies eating his flesh, were both making his mind somewhat unclear.
Was he dying yet? Xiao Lingling’s right hand touched his chest wound, where he was afraid to say, had early on already become a blood hole. The shattered pieces of the protective jade charm should still be inside there, right? It was fine, even if the jade had shattered, the protective jade charm his parents had left him was still here, still guarding him, as if they had never left him. Xiao Zi Ling had clearly felt that before, when he was pierced in the heart, the protective jade pendant in front of his chest had been first crushed, then was struck into his own heart.
Huh? Throughout his hand’s sense of touch was a plane of smoothness. Xiao Ziling then felt that his body didn’t seem to be feeling any pain – a dream? Opening his eyes, entering his vision was a bedroom, familiar furniture as well as that big family portrait……
What happened? Didn’t I die already? Why is it that I woke up but returned to my home before the end of the world?
Xiao Ziling sat up and shook his head, wanting to toss away the doubts filling his brain. It was only at this moment that he realized he was lying on a bed, wearing work-out clothes, as if he had just woken up.
Sword? The vigilance developed by the end of the world had long allowed Xiao Ziling to find his weapon the instant he extended his right hand.
Hand? White in color, moist skin texture, was his own hand? During the apocalypse he had fretted over water resources, fretted over food resources, causing his skin to become black and dry and rough. He had already forgotten his original appearance……What is this?
Out of habit, he reached under the pillow and dug out a cell phone. It was the 2nd Generation Xiaomi* pre-apocalypse Xiao Ziling had always been using, with its screen clearly displaying in front of him, ‘Dragon Year* Year 2012 Month 4 Day 5 22:30’.
This was before the apocalypse, at the time when he was 24 years old. He still remembered that on the day of the Qingming Festival*, after praying to his parents in the cemetery, the heart-wrenching pain had been unbearable, so he drank away his sorrows until he became drunk. Xiao Ziling thought to this point and smelled the scent of wine. Sure enough, his sportswear was stained by the remains of the alcohol he had spat out when drunk.
Xiao Ziling froze, unconsciously wiping away the stain. He had only rubbed it a few times before the look in his eyes turned from confusion into shock. Suddenly jumping from the bed, he dashed towards the washroom. At the center of the bathroom mirror was a dewy and tender face, and a pair of widened eyes currently staring at himself in astonishment.
This was a face so familiar that it felt a little strange – fresh, immature face that appeared only 15, similar to a 6-year-old’s*. Currently, on this cute face hung a shocked expression. Was this not that pre-apocalypse perpetual burden, which had let his job finding journey become a singularly miserable one, eternally causing people to mistake this face of his as a minor’s?
Yes, after the age of fifteen, Xiao Ziling’s face seemed to have stopped in time, as if eternally unable to grow up, causing him to become incomparably frustrated. Yet, it was only after the end of the world that out of unbearable hunger, he ate infected meat, resulting in abscesses growing and covering his whole face, while the insufficient water also made him transform into a dusty, scrawny kid. Ever since the apocalypse, he has said farewell to that whole period of youthfulness. And so, he had almost forgotten his original appearance.
What in the world is this? Xiao Ziling patted his own face, trying to wake himself up.
Rebirth? ! Or is it Zhuang Zhou’s Butterfly Dream*?
Xiao Ziling stared warily at the self in the mirror. That pink, lively, and tender little face was also using vigilant eyes to look at him. A sort of meng* to the extreme feeling bounded out! Xiao Ziling could not help but wail once, his forehead inevitably possessing three black lines*. It was all because of this face that he could not find a job, so he could only stay at home to be an online writer, struggling to acquire rice to eat.
So there’s truly an apocalypse? Xiao Ziling was no longer uncertain, his last 10 years of experience in the apocalypse was truly too real, he was incapable of imagining that it had all been a dream, but the advent of the end was really too ridiculous, there was really no way to let people believe it ah.
Right, his protective jade pendant? Ever since his parents passed away in the airplane crash three years ago, the protective jade pendant they gifted him as his 16th birthday’s coming-of-age present had always been worn, never leaving his side. Why is it that now he doesn’t have it?
He tore open his clothes, the place at his chest where he originally wore the pendant was currently empty of anything. Huh? What’s this? Xiao Ziling discovered that the area above his heart had a pale cyan mark, and he could carefully discern that the pattern of the mark was actually in the overall shape of the jade pendant. So the mark was an impression that had been pressed out while he was asleep? If that’s the case, where had his jade pendant gone?
Xiao Ziling’s hand rubbed the seal. To his surprise, he felt that his heart was a little hot, so out of curiosity he continued rubbing the mark, feeling the mark become hotter and hotter – it was warm and extremely comfortable.
Suddenly, there was an abrupt flash and his eyes were momentarily blinded. After his vision cleared, he discovered that he was, in fact, not in the bedroom, but in a gray area, where he was unable to clearly distinguish anything. Xiao Ziling alertly observed his surroundings but did not find any noise. This place had only silence and seemed as if it had neither any object nor any living thing. He carefully explored the place and felt that it was approximately 10 meters in length square space. As for the height, he had no way of finding out. At one corner there was also a small metal box, which Xiao Ziling went to pick up and carry between hands, starting to wonder whether or not this was a space.
Throughout the last ten years of the apocalypse, he had seen a wide variety of abilities. Although he had never seen a space ability before, the legends say that they do exist, just that this kind of ability was far too heaven-defying, and the people who possess space abilities generally carefully hide it, so those who have genuinely seen it are fewer than few.
Inside Xiao Ziling’s heart was a bit of worry, he did not know how to get out. Just as he was thinking about this issue of exiting, suddenly there was yet another flash – his eyes were temporarily blinded – and just like that, he had returned to the bedroom. Furthermore, his hands were holding that small metal box.
Xiao Ziling looked at the box between his hands, feeling amazement and joy a thousand times over. So it was a space; since it’s like this, perhaps the end of the world may really be approaching, and he has been indeed reborn.
Restraining his emotional heart, Xiao Ziling cautiously placed the small metal box on the floorboard, removed a clothes hanging-rod from the balcony, then headed inside the kitchen and took a large metal pot meant for cooking vegetables. After hiding behind the sofa, he poked out his head. Clothes rod in one hand, a wok in one hand, he slowly positioned the rod before the box on the ground and used the rod to suddenly uncover the box. He swiftly shrunk behind the sofa, with the pot covering his head. His pair of eyes slid out from behind the sofa and anxiously alighted on the box; after the box had been opened, nothing had flown out from inside it.
Xiao Ziling very patiently still waited for a period of time. Seeing there was still no movement nor noise, only then did he slowly reach out his head, with the pot still on top.
All he could see was that the box had been opened; inside it appeared to be a book and some small object which couldn’t be seen quite clearly as the distance was too far.
Alright, Xiao Ziling was being too cautious by a bit. He can’t be blamed for this either, a variety of things will appear during the end of the world, a small box with mutated insects flying out had become no longer a rarity, how many people had been careless and died to those little things initially? Those 10 years, Xiao Ziling may not have grown in any other way, but his caution had already become bone-marrow deep. This was his strength – despite being small and weak – and the reason behind why he could survive for 10 years against the odds.
Xiao Ziling found and wore a pair of leather gloves; only then did he take out the objects inside the metal box for a careful look through.
The End of the World’s Reborn Cannon Fodder Counter-attacks Chapter 1 by TerribleTranslation
*Xiaomi: a Chinese phone brand.
*Dragon Year: Chinese have a zodiac calendar, where one of the twelve zodiac animals represents each year. After twelve years the cycle will start again at the first animal.
*Qingming Festival: AKA ‘Tombsweeping day’; a Chinese festival where you honor your dead ancestors.
*6-year-old’s: Basically implying that his skin is as good/soft/tender/moist as a child’s.
*Zhuang Zhou’s Butterfly Dream: A Chinese philosopher called Zhuang Zhou once dreamed that he was a butterfly. When he woke up, he wondered if he was Zhuang Zhou dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuang Zhou.
*meng: meaning cute. The Chinese version of ‘moe.’
*three black lines:
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