Chapter 8: Shockwave
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
When the Zombie King knocked the group of people to the ground earlier, Xiao Lin was reminded of the Zombie King’s Shockwave skill. It dealt weak shock damage to targets within a three-meter radius and was able to inflict a brief stun. Most importantly, it was a Level F skill, which was within his scope of replication.
[Academic Genius skill activated; target of replication: Zombie King; skill: shock wave; skill level, F; replication, successful!]
“Three minutes! We only have three minutes!” Xiao Lin summed up. “Remember to aim at its vital point: the head!”
He did not explain his reasoning and rushed up with his dagger.
Of the girls who were still hesitating near the school building, only four were still alive at that moment, but that number immediately went down to three. The Zombie King chased down another girl, and its huge arm split the girl’s stomach open, leaving a big hole. Various organs and flesh were strewn all over the place.
Despite being well aware that everything was fake—that he would not actually die nor lose his life—Xiao Lin still felt a little sick witnessing everything up close. Fortunately, the girl’s body soon disappeared.
Xiao Lin’s appearance allowed the Zombie King to immediately set its sights on him. Its meter-long arm swept from left to right with a considerably wide attack range of attack. Xiao Lin had already consciously distanced himself, but the fact that this was the first time he had ever faced such a situation still remained. Slightly nervous, he misjudged his distance and found the dark red arm sweeping toward him like two steel pipes.
Xiao Lin’s instinct was to raise his dagger and protect his chest. The next second, he felt as though he had struck an iron wall. The walloping force sent him flying three or four meters back before falling to the ground. He struggled hard to get up. Their power differentials were wider than expected, and a head-on fight would only result in his death.
Blood bubbled in Xiao Lin’s chest and he spat out several mouthfuls of the scarlet fluid. As he looked up, he noticed that the Zombie King was raising its arms high instead of chasing after him. He had observed that same action several times already and was very familiar with it. Xiao Lin ignored the blood at the corners of his mouth and raised his dagger at almost the same time.
In fact, Xiao Lin had some thought as to how to use the skills he replicated. The moment his mind thought of how to release those skills, his arms lifted up on their own, as if he was being manipulated like a puppet. It was different from executing his Slashing skill since it was a skill that he learned and there were clear instructions to use it.
The Zombie King’s Shockwave used both hands, while Xiao Lin’s replicated Shockwave was triggered by the blade of the dagger hitting the ground.
The process did not matter; the results were the most important.
Since the appearance of the Zombie King, Xiao Lin has been observing it almost without blinking, so he has mastered many details. For example, every time the Zombie King used Shockwave, it would stand still before raising its hands. The process of releasing that skill took about one to two seconds, and its range was three to four meters.
Xiao Lin happened to be on the border of that range. He was in a prime position to turn around and escape, but doing so would be meaningless. In terms of power and speed, he was no match for the Zombie King.
Since it was a skill, it could surely be thwarted! Crucially, the height difference meant that Xiao Lin had to execute his Shockwave faster than the Zombie King!
The dagger touched the ground, only half a second faster than the Zombie King. An invisible wave rippled out in an instant, and the ground vibrated for a brief moment. Judging from the magnitude of the vibration, the force was not as powerful as the Zombie King’s, but it did not matter to him. Xiao Lin did not count on it being lethal. All he hoped was that it took effect!
Although the shock was short-lived, it successfully played its role of being an interference. The Zombie King’s body shuddered for a while before it fell over, and it was unable to release its own Shockwave as everyone anticipated.
“Awesome!” Xiao Lin pumped his fist excitedly, though the plan did not guarantee absolute success. The Zombie King might have had mechanisms that made it immune to such attacks, or that Xiao Lin’s own execution of the technique was not as fast as the Zombie King’s. Fortunately, there was none of that. After all, it was an admissions test for freshmen, so although the Zombie King was very strong, its power was not imbalanced.
“Hurry! Attack its head!” Xiao Lin shouted back.
Gu Xiaoyue did not need his reminder. She blasted her energy bombs almost immediately. When it came to stationary targets, her hit rate was at least 80%, if not 100%.
Two consecutive white energy bombs sailed in a graceful arc and connected precisely with the Zombie King’s head. Successive explosions blew up the Zombie King’s right ear, causing it to roar mutedly.
“Awesome! This is going great!” Xiao Lin keenly noticed a green viscous substance flowing from the Zombie King’s head. Whatever it was, the earlier attack had caused it a lot of damage.
The Shockwave’s short-lived stun effect ended and the Zombie King stood up again. It seemed to have increased its speed a notch, but it no longer targeted Xiao Lin. Instead, it went after the other three surviving girls.
Xiao Lin did not just remain idle. He took the opportunity to keep his distance and made it a point to not be too close to it. He admitted that it was very mean of him to use other people to buy time, but there was really no better plan than that. The Shockwave was also impossible to use in quick succession, and if the recharge duration was the same as that of the Zombie King, it would take at least 30 seconds before it could be used again.
“What do you think? Can you strike its head now?” Xiao Lin asked.
Gu Xiaoyue pushed up the frame of her glasses, then hesitated and shook her head. “It seems to be speeding up again. There’s no guarantee that I can hit the target.”
Xiao Lin let out a sigh. It was to be expected. Compared to a slower, ordinary zombie, the quicker Zombie King would definitely be more difficult to target.
“You. How did you do that just now?” Gu Xiaoyue asked with a rare look of confusion on her face.
With all her cold stoicism, Xiao Lin found it surprisingly refreshing to see such a confused expression on her face. He kept quiet though, and after estimating that the time was almost up, he raised his dagger again and rushed forward. The raging Zombie King had just killed a girl who was frantically running away, so its focus once again shifted to Xiao Lin.
Following a set pattern, Xiao Lin and the Zombie King executed a Shockwave at almost the same time. However, Xiao Lin was one step ahead and managed to intercept the Zombie King’s attack yet again. The stun effect the Shockwave produced caused the Zombie King to fall heavily to the ground.
Then, without Xiao Lin’s order, Gu Xiaoyue shot out her energy bombs at exactly the same time. Since she had time to prepare, she released three energy bombs in a row, all aimed toward the zombie lying still on the ground. The energy bombs struck just like before, hitting the Zombie King’s forehead, eyes, and nose.
After the smoke and dust of the explosion cleared, Xiao Lin was pleasantly surprised to find that half of the Zombie King’s face had been blasted off by the explosion. In particular, the bloody red glow in its entire right eyeball had completely extinguished, and half of its vision was lost. It was good news for the two of them.
To their surprise, however, the Zombie King was extremely tenacious. Gu Xiaoyue’s combination of extraordinary intelligence and lethal magical skills could kill ordinary zombies in one shot, but the Zombie King still stood strong despite five energy bombs to the head. In addition, it survived the sum of all the slashes that were inflicted upon it, both large and small.
The Zombie King’s strength was spent. Its speed had dropped drastically after getting up and its body swayed; it looked like it could fall at any time.
However, Xiao Lin’s situation was not that good either. Although he could execute the Shockwave technique that he replicated, it was a physical damage technique that consumed his physical strength too. As a slacker with only three points in his physique, two consecutive uses of the technique made Xiao Lin feel as though his body was about to fall apart. He felt like he had just finished a marathon.
Looking back at Gu Xiaoyue, the girl’s face was as pale as paper. She continued to use her energy bombs, but her mental energy was nearly drained. Xiao Lin had experienced that feeling before. Losing mental faculties and with nausea spreading throughout her entire being, she was no better off than he was.
Gu Xiaoyue previously said that she could use up to seven energy bombs. After the five she had already used, they only had two opportunities left.
Fortunately, the two girls who were still alive finally gained their last burst of courage in a moment of despair. Instead of seizing the Zombie King’s slowing down to escape, they clenched their novice weapons and charged up, roaring.
The badly-injured Zombie King seemed to have weakened considerably and was temporarily held back by the two girls. There was not much time, but a handful of seconds was enough for Xiao Lin and Gu Xiaoyue to get a short rest. The Zombie King’s Shockwave predictably killed the last two girls in seconds. By then, there were no other people whom Xiao Lin could use to stall time. They were the Zombie King’s final targets.
Xiao Lin and Gu Xiaoyue glanced at each other silently. Both of them understood the look in each other’s eyes. It was a deciding moment for victory or defeat—if they failed, they would have failed with pride.
The two chose to stand together and stay where they were in order to give themselves more time to rest.
“The frequency in which the Zombie King can use the Shockwave is about twenty seconds. It used it once when it killed those two girls, so in a while, I’ll immediately send it falling down. It’s all in your hands after that. We have one chance.” Xiao Lin found the girl’s face a little scary, as though the bright eyes behind her black glasses could just close completely at any time. It prompted him to ask, “Are you alright?”
“Just mind yourself!” The girl’s tone was still frigid, but in the iciness was intense fatigue that could not be concealed. Gu Xiaoyue bit her lip so hard until blood flowed down her delicate chin. She did not seem to mind it at all.
Gu Xiaoyue intended on using the pain to keep herself awake. Xiao Lin swallowed back whatever words of concern that were going to come out of his mouth. She was a stubborn girl and he decided to put all his trust in her.
Within ten seconds, the Zombie King was less than five meters away from Xiao Lin. The stench of blood and decay rushed toward his face as Xiao Lin slowly raised his dagger.