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Su Shi closed his eyes.

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The pain that he was expecting did not come. He was suddenly enveloped in a familiar warm embrace, and it forcibly pulled him away from the frigid darkness.

There was a very low muffled sound in his ears, but the arm that wrapped around his upper back did not loosen at all. It firmly protected him as they rolled out a few meters away from the original spot before finally letting go.

Su Shi raised his head to meet with a gaze filled with tenderness and anguish. His breathing stagnated slightly.

“I’m sorry…”

Yuan Zheng’s expression was filled with tiredness that could not be concealed after the high-intensity rushing attack, but there was still a very gentle light in his eyes.

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After forcibly setting the warehouse on fire, he and the other team members were finally able to escape and rushed to the Bloodthirsty Forest nonstop.

But they still arrived too late.

The palm of his hand was covered with something hot and wet. Su Shi’s heart sank. Half kneeling on the ground, he turned Yuan Zheng’s body over. The crossbow arrow had sunk into his shoulder.

Yuan Zheng’s expression was still very calm and gentle, and he even showed some indulgence. He let Su Shi turn him this way and that with a small smile. Then he raised his hands to wrap them around the youth’s frail looking arms and pressed Su Shi against his chest.

“I’m sorry, not all humans are like this…”

Yuan Zheng could not explain why the Son of Hell looked different right now, but he could still definitely feel that the person in his embrace was the person who had once handed him daisies representing hope. This was the person who had tried hard to integrate with them, only to receive sporadic bits of warmth, yet he would still reciprocate by giving everything to them without hesitation.

Yuan Zheng firmly squeezed the body within his embrace once more. Then he braced himself and stood up. He put Su Shi behind him to protect him and faced the mighty coalition army head on.

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“Base B’s patrol team was not destroyed. We are all still alive.”

The drug was already starting to take effect. Due to the intense pain, he was having a hard time remaining steady on his feet, but his tone was still firm and calm: “He is not some Son of Hell. He is just an innocent victim who survived the destruction of the central base. With no compensation and no shelter, he could only depend on himself to survive. There is no reason to obliterate him…”

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“Captain Yuan, you should be aware of your position—based on your current attitude I can finally understand why your team has been tracking the Son of Hell for so long, but have no reasons to show.”

Sun Shuo’s gaze quickly cooled down. He looked at the promising ability user across from him. A trace of jealousy flashed in his eyes.

People with fire and light element abilities practically represented hope in this post-apocalyptic world. When Yuan Zheng grew stronger, he would definitely replace Sun Shuo and become the core expert cultivated by Base B.

“Of course I know that he has been treated unfairly, but it is precisely because of that that he can only hold hatred for humankind. If you let him continue to grow powerful, how can you guarantee—right now you guys are not dead by his hands, but what if one day he massacres even more people to vent his anger?”

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It was necessary to keep the rest of the bases panicking against the Son of Hell. Sun Shuo’s tone was gloomy and cold, and the look in his eyes became more and more sinister: “If you must be a traitor to all of humanity, then I can only kill my comrade in the name of justice…”

“I regret to inform you that I will likely die even without your input.”

Yuan Zheng coughed twice, spraying out blood. His body swayed unsteadily before he was firmly embraced by the arms behind him.

The strength of those arms wrapped around him was so strong that Yuan Zheng’s consciousness was turning a little blurry. He apologetically turned his head to look at those eyes, his body could no longer support itself against the corrosion of the drug, and he fell down completely boneless.

Su Shi could not support Yuan Zheng’s slumped form, so he fell to his knees on the ground with the person in his arms, his chest heaving rapidly.

Translations by Vanilla Muse.

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The drug worked quickly. Blood would not stop gushing out from the corners of Yuan Zheng’s lips. Yuan Zheng could not form words anymore. His gaze was dim and unfocused, but he still insisted on raising his hand to caress Su Shi’s cheek comfortingly, and the corners of his lips curved up with warmth and relief.

“You won’t die.”

Su Shi held Yuan Zheng’s hand tightly. The light green aura of life poured continuously into Yuan Zheng’s body. He raised his eyes calmly and met the look of pleasure and cruelty in Sun Shuo’s eyes: “If you people save him, I will surrender.”

“Stop dreaming! You have already reached this stage, are you still delusional enough to think about negotiating conditions with us?”

Sun Shuo sneered as he spoke with an unyielding voice. He strode towards Su Shi with long strides. A wind blade was already condensing into shape beside him.

“I only have one thought in my head right now, and that is to kill you, you-”

Then his voice abruptly cut off.

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