Chapter 6: I Must Live On
“Help! Help me!” The glasses player shouted in agony at Liu Gan, who was already seven to eight meters high off the ground and clinging onto the iron pillar.
Liu Gan warily looked below. In this type of situation, he wasn’t sure if he could save him. Even if he wanted to save him, he didn’t have the ability to.
There were a few more zombies which came charging to the base of the iron pillar, pushing the glasses player to the floor. Some were gnawing on his head, some were chewing on his leg, while others were able to chew through his stomach and started clawing out his intestines. Yet, the glasses player didn’t die yet, he was still resisting even with all the pain he was feeling. He could only watch helplessly as his limbs and body parts were being eaten. One could only imagine how painful it must be.
Liu Gan witnessed what was going on. The stench of intestines and blood reached his nose. He heard the screams of misery. Uncontrollably, his body trembled. A feeling of death lingered throughout him. Not considering that whether dying here would mean dying in real life, it was just the simple fact that everything which he had witnessed so far seemed so real. The brutal way of dying was enough to create a fear of dying.
The pain was real – not to mention the amount of stress the players must go through psychologically and physically. Even if upon dying, they would return to the real world, the post-traumatic stress had already left its’ scar.
Luckily, these zombies didn’t know how to climb. Otherwise, he would meet the same fate as the glasses player.
The situation for Liu Gan wasn’t that great either. The iron pillar was extremely slippery, and its height was at least fourteen or fifteen meters. He had to climb up and squeeze tightly in order to prevent himself from sliding down. It was a really exhausting activity.
Liu Gan squeezed his arms tightly around the pillar to catch his breath, and took the opportunity to look around the plaza during that time….
The colossal zombie had been severely wounded from the grenades and molotovs of the players. Its movement was severely limited, and it couldn’t catch up to the players anymore. There were still zombies spread throughout every possible escape, and the players who were still alive were desperately struggling. There were two players who reached the outer rim but shortly after they were surrounded by the zombies. The zombies tugged and ripped off the human flesh, and the two players were unable to escape their fate as meat for the zombies.
The green-skinned player had three others near him, all of whom had chosen weapons for close-range combat. Unsure of what the green-skinned player had said to the three players, they split apart, attacking wildly at every zombie that got too close. Doing so they were buying time for the green-skinned player to move some of the corpses on the ground revealing a sewer drainage lid. The green-skinned player knelt down, and with his iron rod in hand he pried on the lid at an angle like a lever, attempting to force it to lift up.
Before the swarm of zombies closed in, the green-skinned player was lucky enough to wiggle the lid up just in time. He moved the lid and then immediately jumped inside. The three players that helped him buy time came over to follow him into the sewer. This was what the green-skinned player must have said to the three other players earlier.
Unexpectedly when the three players got to the lid, it was shut tight by the green-skinned player, who had moved it back, tightly closing it.
The three other players tried to pry open the lid again, but with very little time left, they were soon surrounded by the swarm of zombies. They resisted, but were no match for the endless tide of zombies.
The large plaza soon had no players left standing with the exception of Liu Gan on the iron pillar and the green-skinned player in the sewage drain. The other eight players had perished in the corpse-tide.
Liu Gan hugged the iron pillar tightly. Meanwhile, his whole body was shaking. He was unsure of how the green-skinned player was faring underground, but Liu Gan’s situation wasn’t any better. If he didn’t continue climbing towards the top of the pillar and onto the billboard, then he would exhaust all his strength and slide down. Underneath him a large crowd of zombies had gathered.
Even if he wanted to climb all the way to the top, Liu Gan had given up a little inside. The advertisement billboard support beams would allowed him to stay up there, but he couldn’t stay there forever. According to his alloy watch, the player properties screen showed values for hunger and thirst. If he stayed trapped on the billboard, he would end up dying to either hunger or thirst.
Like just now, if he continued this exhausting activity of climbing, Liu Gan started to feel how dry his mouth was. A person without food can survive 10 days, but without water, that person could only live for around 3 days.
Although climbing to the top of the advertisement billboard may not help him to survive in the long run, not climbing up would mean the end for Liu Gan. This whole time he was propping himself up on the pillar and not moving, and the energy wasted in doing so was a lot. After a short break, Liu Gan continued working hard to climb upward.
Using his arms to climb, his thighs were at the pinnacle of stressing out the muscle. Liu Gan was using only his mental concentration to keep going. He clenched his jaw and persevered while watching the distance gap close.
The distance closed up as the advertisement support frames came closer into view. Every time Liu Gan climbed up half a meter, it became increasingly more difficult. He felt that he could just slip away any moment back down to the base of the pillar where he would be gnawed upon and torn apart by the zombies.
“The last meter! I must survive!”
Liu Gan let out a loud scream, then clenched the iron pillar once again and wiped his palms on his clothes to dry them. Afterwards, he attempted to climb upwards a few more times.
Finally, right before Liu Gan exhausted all his strength. He grabbed onto the support structure of the ad. He pulled his exhausted body up using the structure as leverage. Using his fist to create a large hole in the billboard under the support structure, he was able to make a “seat”. It was a tight fit for a seat.
As Liu Gan looked at the sky above the billboard, he saw clouds forming and rolling around, giving him the feeling of being oppressed. On the horizon, he was able to see lightning, shortly after hearing the thunder that accompanied it. Any moment now, the thunderstorm would reach the plaza.
The plaza at this point had gathered around over a thousand zombies. Densely packed together on the plaza, the zombies by the base of the iron pillar all stared up at Liu Gan sitting there awkwardly, their eyes revealing a desire to devour him. There were some zombies which attempted to climb the iron pillar, but luckily the pillar was smooth, and they were unable to do so.
There were some zombies which climbed over the others to reach higher up. Unfortunately for them, the human ladder wasn’t steady enough, and by the time it was three stories high, it collapsed. They persistently kept on repeating it. Perhaps, they had lost the ability to think with their cerebrum, so they didn’t know how to do anything constructively meaningful enough to reach Liu Gan.
[Translator’s Note: Happy Lunar New Years! Sorry, I haven’t forgotten you guys! It’s just that new years is a big deal to me! Too many fun activities and red envelopes!]