“What did you say, Li Jin? Can you repeat?”

Li Jin’s eyes started to shake, and his hands started trembling. 

“To-d-a-y… m-e-t-e-o-r… z-o-mmm…” 

Tang Rong’s eyes flashed when he heard the word meteor. Li Jin’s voice was getting lower and lower. 

‘He is resisting.’ Fang Bai thought. 

“Ah Rong, start the car.” Tang Rong quickly started the car, and Rong Qing started talking about the motels available on this highway and their ratings. Duan Wei plugged in his earphones and pretended to listen to music.

Fang Bai stopped clicking his fingers and pressed on a point on the right side of Li Jin’s head. Just when he did that, Li Jin’s eyes rolled back for two seconds and soon gained clarity. By then Fang Bai had taken back his hands and was clutching his fingers. 

“Ouch!” Fang Bai exclaimed. “No worries, I am fine. The pain just lasted for a moment and is gone now. How was your sleep, Li Jin? I think you should have some food and then take a rest again. You seem to be very tired.” Fang Bai had learned this trick in one of the missions. After doing this, Li Jin just remembers the first sentence he said after touching him, and forgets everything else.

Li Jin sighed when he heard Fang Bai say he was fine. Fang Bai was such a humble person; he did not even blame him after getting hurt. He rubbed his eyes and looked out of the window, “Hmm… where are we? What time is it?” 

Right then, Tang Rong slowed down the car and turned right. They entered the parking lot of a motel. It seemed to be a famous spot as it took a while for him to find a place where they could park three big cars together.

“It is 9:15 AM” Fang Bai sat back properly on his seat, “We are staying here for some time to have some snacks.”

“Huh, I slept for so long?” Li Jin was having a mild headache. He thought that the fatigue of the last two days had not cleared. He was a bit ashamed to realize that he had been sleeping the whole time while others were awake. He must have looked like an unwanted burden to them.

“Ah, don’t worry my friend, we were also sleeping since we had nothing to do.” Duan Wei saw the small blush on Li Jin’s face and casually lied. Then he remembered that he had to act like he was listening to songs, so he guiltily removed the earphones showing an uninterested face. 

“Really?” Li Jin asked.

Fang Bai nodded. He motioned Tang Rong to contact the ‘bodyguards’ about their decision to rest for some time, and the latter nodded. 

Li Jin’s eyes lit up when he realized that the others were bored. He felt like he finally found the chance to show his worth. “Then, I got some interesting books that you all might like to read.” 

“Really? What types of books did you bring?” Fang Bai curiously looked back at the happy rabbit who suddenly got excited like a puppy.

“All genres.” Li Jin’s face had a winning smirk.

“Huh? You carried all the books?” Duan Wei looked back with interest. Rong Qing, who was checking the online website of the motel, and Tang Rong, who was fiddling with his phone, also looked back. They were naturally curious about the things that Li Jin brought, that could even fill the whole car.

“N-no… they’re downloaded. The pen drive is in my other bag in Li Muyang’s car.” The young man stuttered when he suddenly became the center of attention of everyone.

A collective “Oh…” sounded. 

Soon, everyone got out of the car. Li Muyang, the head bodyguard, was already standing outside, waiting for them.

“You want to stop for some time sir?” Li Muyang asked.

“Yes, we were thinking of taking a break. You all can also take a break.” Tang Rong spoke to him.

“Sure sir.”

Since everyone was a grown up, they didn’t need to go to school early in the morning. They usually had their breakfast around this time, so they felt some psychological hunger even though they had eaten before. Everyone gathered together to have a light breakfast and they decided to roam around the place before again getting on the road. 

Li Jin went to the other cars to get some things from his bag, under the weird shiny eyes of Rong Qing. Rong Qing and Duan Wei went to get some ice creams for everyone. 

Fang Bai quietly walked with Tang Rong to an empty place. 

“Rong Rong, what do you think about the things that Li Jin said?”

“To be honest, I am a bit speechless. Xiao Bai, I never thought that Li Jin was a trained fighter. How do you know him?” The morning sun was very bright in summer and they were already sweaty. Tang Rong was waiting for Duan Wei to return with ice cream.

“Two years ago, we rescued him from his so-called master.” Fang Bai squinted his eyes; he should have got his goggles with him. “He was being trained to be a human puppet.”

“Huh? Rescued? Human puppet?… Damn!” Tang Rong knew that Fang Bai often went on missions after his devil training was completed. He was not sure if the missions were for the army, or for other organizations since he had distanced himself from the military after leaving the orphanage. He subconsciously looked for the person who was the topic of their conversation and remembered that the other had gone to the parking lot, “So, does he also know you?” 

If Fang Bai and Li Jin knew each other, the little guy’s eagerness to go with them does make sense.

“No, he does not know me. He was wounded and unconscious at that time. That man wanted to train Li Jin into a human puppet with no emotions, like his personal machine to do dirty work. We gave Li Jin all the property and funds of the old man after he died and also got him into a school. Everything happened through our indirect contacts, so he definitely does not know our face.”

Fang Bai looked into the distance, remembering the young Li Jin.

“He was a very intelligent young man, and easily scored good in exams. It seemed that the old man, his ‘master’, had schooled during his captivity, though strangely, he still had no knowledge of the outside world. His EQ was comparable to a kindergarten child. It was a very twisted way of education.”

“He seems to have social anxiety.” Tang Rong commented.

Fang Bai nodded, “Ultimately, we distanced from him after a few months, but we gave him a method to contact us. Recently, he seems to be doing some suspicious activities, and also tried to contact our team, but we were busy. But since he met us in university, and we got acquainted, I decided to keep an eye on him while keeping him close.”

Tang Rong nodded at the words and silently digested this shocking information. 

“‘Today’, ‘meteor’, and ‘zombie’… he spoke these three words. What do you think about these words that Li Jin said today, Rong Rong?”  

Fang Bai looked at Duan Wei and Rong Qing, who had returned with the ice-creams and seemed to be looking for others. They did not find Fang Bai and Tang Rong who were standing in a relatively hidden place, so they walked into the parking lot.

Remembering the meteor, Tang Rong swallowed his saliva and hesitantly spoke, “I just know one thing that today, there is going to be a meteor shower all over the world at night. Those meteorites are actually broken pieces of an asteroid that the american space center blasted recently using a nuclear missile. Zombies… I don’t know, is it a movie?” Zombie apocalypse just existed in fictional stories and movies. Tang Rong just found the thought of an apocalypse absurd. Maybe Li Jin was talking about any survival game?

Fang Bai was stunned by such big news. He naturally trusted Tang Rong’s sources. Was the earth so close to destruction? So the world is slowly turning into a sci-fi movie, and they are blowing away asteroids with missiles. He chuckled at this thought.

As for the zombies, he was equally clueless. The world suddenly getting destroyed, and then zombies rising from the ashes, and remaining people running for life… this story itself was so cringey for him. But Li Jin seemed to be really hoarding things, and he still remembered the bank statement he investigated. Li Jin had withdrawn all his funds!

So was an apocalypse really coming? And where did Li Jin get this information from?

It’s such a sunny, regular sunny day. Are you saying that the sky will suddenly get gloomy tomorrow? And the people nearby won’t look the same, and instead become hungry monsters who crave for his flesh?

Is this a joke? Maybe he should save his time and get some ice-cream instead of wasting it on useless things. He was feeling really thirsty.

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