Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 144: The Apocalyptic Volume
Warning: Anything that comes in the apocalyptic genre (mentions of death, violence, blood, rape, etc.)
It was a complete wasteland outside.
A blood red moon was perched up high overhead, tainting everything below with a bloody red tint and making it hard to distinguish between day and night.
The scent of blood was slowly wafting through the air and tugged at the tense and fragile nerves of the mind that were already worn out from the constant state of vigilance.
An aura of death permeated the roads where there would still be the occasional car or two passing by but none would stop for even a second.
In front of an emptied out supermarket, two women were walking back and forth with their backs hunched and their steps very slow.
Any exposed flesh of theirs had already rotted away and when their mouths opened, releasing sharp shrieks, their sharp teeth glimmered with a dangerous sheen and their pale lifeless eyeballs could not hide their desire for flesh and blood.
This was a catastrophe created by humans.
The storage area of the supermarket was on the first basement floor.
This area was so dark that there was no light beyond the glow from the piercing blood red sky filtered through the slits of a vent.
The remaining survivors here did not dare to head out lightly.
This kind of strange situation has been going on for so long that no one could dare promise that they would not turn into those monsters outside.
Inside the storage area, there was a couple, a middle aged married woman, three students still in their school uniforms and a wealthy looking young man with his bodyguard.
In addition to these individuals, there was also one other strong and healthy looking man wearing glasses who looked to be more than he seemed.
As for the other people in the group, the couple looked close but they each held their own thoughts.
The middle aged woman looked numb on the inside and outside.
Of the three students, two had their hair dyed in vibrant colors, and combined with their postures and their hair, they looked like delinquents.
The last one was a black haired boy with pale skin, looking gloomy and silent, just hugging onto his backpack and sitting silently in the darkest corner.
With his head lowered, his face couldn’t be seen but his aura felt clean, a poster child of a teacher’s pet.
The wealthy looking young man had his head down and was playing on his phone.
Wearing a black blouse and a Bordeaux wine red silk tie paired with a limited edition diamond watch, he was the cleanest out of the group.
From a slight distance, there was even the faintest scent of cologne.
With the glow of the screen gently illuminating the side of his face, he looked very warm and gentlemanly, a face that was extremely deceiving at a glance.
The bodyguard beside him was watchful and wary, remaining alert as he slowly and methodically wiped at his glinting weapon, his muscles flexed.
No one in the group was talking until the man in glasses came back from outside.
Holding back his agitation, he threw out words that were as if he dropped a bomb,
“All the shelves are emptied outside.
Not a single crumb of food left.
If we want to eat, we will have to go to the nearby gas station.”
He was the bravest person in the group, daring to venture out on his own.
This, combined with the fact that he had some skill in self defense and the fact that the bodyguard of the wealthy young man was not willing to participate, he was pretty much standing at the top of the food chain.
So when his words registered in their ears, everyone’s faces became frantic and lost.
Even Pei Ran who had been silently playing on his phone lifted his head at that, and when his fingers paused, the phone immediately turned off.
His brain flew to break down the words of the man in glasses before finally coming out with an equation:
No food to eat = must head out to find food = kill zombies or be killed by zombies.
As a body that was useless in battle, this was the most life threatening situation to be in.
Especially when this useless body was scared of death, lazy, and a coward.
Pei Ran’s face was as steady as an old tiger out to hunt, but his heart and mind could be described otherwise.
He had lost interest in playing with his phone and his gaze slowly rested beside him before settling onto the weapon of his bodyguard.
I wonder with one stab, how long will it hurt before I die……
The bodyguard sensed his gaze and raised his head to ask,
“Young Master Pei Ran?”
Whatever, he’s scared of pain.
Pei Ran hid his emotions well and without changing his expression, he retracted his gaze,
The storage floor was very simple with nothing much in it.
The floor beneath their feet wasn’t even covered in concrete and none of the bricks were aligned properly.
Next to the storage area were the employee dorms and a bathroom.
Beside that was space for some more storage.
They had actually come too late as the supermarket had already been emptied out by other citizens, not leaving much food behind.
And it had all been cleaned out by yesterday.
Pei Ran bumped his head against the wall, one after another.
How could he be so unlucky, why was he this unlucky.
Did he perhaps commit too many wrong doings in his past life as otherwise why would he be transmigrated into the apocalypse.
He was used to using his brain, not his body.
For him to go fight zombies, that was absolutely not a thing he could do.
Pei Ran had transmigrated here two days ago and he was just about to lose control of his emotions now, not to speak of this group of people who have been stuck in this situation for half a month.
With both stress and pressure affecting them mentally and physically, there must be a point of eruption.
Pei Ran closed his eyes and didn’t speak, only feeling despair and hopelessness for the future.
But it was at this time that the sound of something heavy being dragged suddenly rang out, breaking his contemplation.
He opened his eyes and saw the man with glasses dragging the quiet student, who was now struggling for his life, towards the bathroom with his hand across the other’s mouth.
The other two delinquent looking students did not go to help the struggling student but instead held onto his sides, taking part in the crime themselves.
The man with glasses removed a hand to unbutton his shirt collar,
“I’m going first.
You guys can use him after.”
The delinquent with red hair said with distaste in his tone,
“I don’t like men.”
The other delinquent with the mohawk said,
“What are you scared of? It’s the same if you use the mouth.
I’m about to explode after holding it in for so long.”
Everyone immediately understood what they wanted to do with these words.
The veins on the restrained student looked like they would pop as he struggled and struggled.
His throat rasped as he hoarsely yelled for help, both of his hands waving wildly in the air.
He tightly grabbed onto anything he could touch like a criminal about to face his death sentence, like a fish flopping for survival on a sandy beach.
His black eyes were filled with a frightening despair which no one dared to meet.
That hand randomly grabbed onto the bottom of the lone woman’s shirt, as if it were grabbing onto a life saving buoy, but the latter shrunk back, fiercely tugging her clothes back and choosing to be ignorant.
The girl from the couple paled at the sight of this and stood up with a clang,
“You people are crazy! This is against the law!”
She shot forward like an arrow to try and save the young boy but her boyfriend immediately covered her mouth and dragged her back in a tight grip,
“Zhi Zhi, don’t mind their business!”
“Impossible! It can’t be like this! Save him! He will die, he will die wu wu wu——“
The girl was immobilized even though it looked like she was fighting for her life.
One shoe was flung far away and her eyes were full of tears.
The boy closed his eyes, holding onto her in his embrace with a deathly grip, unwilling to let go even half an inch.
When that hand that was already marred with scars couldn’t grab onto anything, its fingers tried their hardest to dig into the ground, leaving fleeting trails of blood.
Just when the man with glasses was about to drag him into the bathroom, the young man caught hold of a scrap piece of rock and then to the shock of everyone looking upon the scene—-
He ruthlessly smashed it onto his own face.
The man with glasses let go in his shock yet that young man did not stop.
Using the sharp jagged edges, one motion after another, he drew on his own face with the rock until it was overcome with blood, blood that now poured down freely without stopping as if he felt no pain, as if he had gone crazy.
That face was very beautiful, but in these circumstances, it could only bring catastrophe.
The young man was half kneeling on the floor, viciously, ruthlessly and with a lot of strength, puncturing his own face until half of it could no longer be recognized.
Letting out a low crazed laugh, tears mixed with blood overflowed from his eyes darkened by shadows.
There was no light to be seen in them.
For however long after, he finally stopped and his right hand powerlessly slumped to the ground.
The rock coated in blood fell with the motion, falling all the way down and rolling until it finally stopped by Pei Ran’s feet.
The man in glasses was a bit peeved as he felt that this was a challenge to his authority.
But he was emotionless, releasing the tie from his neck and tying it around the young man before beginning to drag him back.
This time the young man did not struggle anymore, as if he was dead.
His hands were pale white and scarred in numerous places, with their nails fallen off, the price of causing such unspeakable pain, yet he was still unable to grasp onto a life saving buoy and that pair of black eyes could no longer show any kind of human emotion.
Pei Ran quietly thought to himself that this has already gone through and beyond his bottom line.
This kind of thing can’t happen as, once it does, it would be as if a beast was released from its cage and whatever happens next would be unstoppable.
Today it was that young man, tomorrow it could be that girl, and the next day after that, perhaps it would be him.
After a bit of consideration, he took out something hidden in his bag by his waist and then rose up.
With a pair of eyes that were defined so cleanly and holding an undeniable power, he blocked the door that the man with glasses wanted to enter.
Seeing who was cutting him off, the man with glasses paused his movements, his expression unhappy.
With a low, heavy voice, he said,
“Pei Ran, don’t mind business that is not yours.
Water from a well does not trespass the water from a river; we can go our separate ways and not cross boundaries.”1
Pei Ran held onto the door, lowering his head and not speaking a word.
After a while, he lifted his hand to loosen up his tie.
His long lean fingers paired with the deep blood red of the pattern was an impactful visual yet it did not have as much impact as the gun revealed by his waist.
Seeing this, the pupils of the man in glasses dilated and he imperceptibly narrowed his eyes.
Pei Ran lifted his head and smiled,
“Zhou Cang Ming, there is a standard order to everything, starting from first to last.
For me, I’ve been pampered terribly by my mom and dad at home and I don’t like others stealing my stuff.”
His bodyguard was not far away.
As if to support his words, he stood up and the weapon in his hands was shimmering with an icy glimmer.
The expression of the man in glasses became a bit frozen in place as he coldly moved his lips,
“I didn’t know young master Pei Ran had such tastes.”
And then slowly nodded his head, looking deep into Pei Ran’s eyes.
He waved his hands in the air and said,
“Fine, I’ll let you go first.”
The young man was lying on the ground, or perhaps it couldn’t be said that he was a young man anymore; he was more like an evil demon that crawled out of hell with the way his black hair stuck to the sides of his face, interlaced with blood and tears.
His eyes were open and his gaze slid down, staring at a spot on the floor without a hint of emotion.
The evil devil was deep asleep but once it woke, the entire human plane would become its practicing hell.
Pei Ran was not interested in someone whose face was ruined, especially this young man who made him feel as if he was not a kind man.
He was just going to turn around and leave but just as he did, he glanced over and spotted a mole by the young man’s eyes and his feet forcibly stopped.
At that particular moment, no one knew what flashed through Pei Ran’s heart.
The others could only see him bend down, lift that young man up into his arms, and bring him into the washroom, closing the door behind him.
Zhou Cang Ming pushed up his glasses at that, laughing mockingly.
The apocalypse had just begun half a month ago and so the water and electricity hadn’t completely stopped yet.
Using one hand to hold onto the young man, the other hand was used to untie his tie and wet it at the sink.
Then he began to wipe the blood stains off the other’s face.
A mole under the other’s eye appeared brightly before his eyes.
Pei Ran stomped down on the emotions burgeoning in his heart and asked him quietly,
“What is your name?”
The young man didn’t speak.
Half of his face was still a mix of blood and flesh, and even after wiping it clean, fresh blood was still pouring out.
Seeing this, Pei Ran leaned against the sink and slowly unbuttoned his shirt cuffs,
“Do you think, is it better to be raped by four or is it better to only have one?”
The teen finally had a reaction to that.
He lifted his head to look up at Pei Ran, his eyes so empty yet as one looked even closer, one could find something slowly shattering, breaking apart.
And then he slowly lowered his head, his spine so skinny that even the slightest curve showed a hunch to his back. He knelt onto the ground, reaching out to loosen Pei Ran’s belt.
Pei Ran thought that this bloody face was truly so terrifying.
He backed up a step, avoiding the teen’s reaction and then washed his face in front of the mirror.
He then swiped his slightly wet hair up towards the back of his head and looked at the other young man with his peripheral vision.
He asked again,
“What’s your name?”
He moved his cracked, dry lips, robotically repeating his words,
What feelings Pei Ran had could probably be described as, just when he thought it was the end of his world, he found the light at the end of the tunnel2, and the feeling of 300 kg of melodrama washed all over him.
He was wondering why he kept feeling that this apocalyptic setting was so familiar and it was because he had transmigrated into a book—-!!!
A book based on the apocalypse setting with the main character levelling up by fighting monsters and increasing the size of his harem, that kind of genre.
The plot was super bad and so cliche that Pei Ran had only given it a few pages before ditching it.
The only thing he remembered was probably the protagonist’s name.
A mole under his eye……
At the beginning of the apocalypse, he suffered all sorts of bullying and abuse because of how weak he was, and then he snapped, killed off his kindness and naivety and exploded with limitless potential, developing an ability that controlled all elements, becoming a nigh unbeatable existence for the rest of the novel.
Has a storage space outside of physical existence, has girls throwing themselves at him, and his spiritual element ability was so well practiced and honed to a point where he was even able to control zombies.
This could not even be covered by the trope of “Person Who Will Win Everything In Life” anymore.
Another expression successfully popped into Pei Ran’s brain.
Qu Yan = protagonist = absolutely perfect undeniable golden leg, character shield, plot immunity.
Who doesn’t hug around him, who is sb.3
There weren’t any towels on hand, so Pei Ran could only use his tie to lift up Qu Yan’s chin and start patiently wiping the dirt off from the side of his face.
After doing this for a while, he opened the door and brought him out.
There were nine people here on the storage floor and now it seemed to have split into invisible fractions: a couple, a woman, two delinquents and Zhou Cang Ming, Pei Ran and Qu Yan plus his bodyguard.
Hearing the sound of a door opening, Zhou Cang Ming lifted his eyes up and the sight of Qu Yan walking normally greeted him, a sight that showed no struggle on his body.
He said in a provoking manner,
“Pei Ran, if you can’t do it then give it to someone else.
Don’t just block the washroom and not poo.”4
Pei Ran let go, signalling for Qu Yan to sit back in his original spot and then casually set that half wet tie back on his neck.
With his black collar shirt giving the side of his face a cool handsomeness, he walked over to grab Qu Yan’s school backpack and said,
“Do I have to let you watch me go take a dump hmm?”
Zhou Cang Ming coldly laughed in response, not speaking a word.
Corpses still lay on the employee beds where they have not been moved since death took them, large swabs of rotten flesh that no one dared to sleep on.
As Pei Ran sat between his bodyguard, Feng Tang, and Qu Yan, a sense of safety suddenly wafted over him.
Feng Tang was not a talkative man and he couldn’t be considered bad nor could he be considered good.
But at least for now, on the surface, he still kept up the most basic level of respect he should have towards Pei Ran.
Although, who knows what will happen in the future? In the apocalypse, this kind of contracted servant and master relationship was thinner than a piece of paper.
Feng Tang’s parents were still down south and he wouldn’t keep protecting Pei Ran forever.
Once the situation was a bit better, he would head out to go find his family, so Pei Ran’s heart never felt settled.
But now, as long as he’s got Qu Yan, this kind of golden commodity, he will never have to worry for the future.
# All of a sudden the confidence to live on has appeared again #
Pei Ran’s mind was focused on what he was thinking so he never noticed that beside him, Qu Yan did not seem to be doing very well.
It was only after the girl called Zhi Zhi who hesitantly pointed it out to him did he realize,
“He…… looks like he has a fever.”
Pei Ran looked over to Qu Yan at that, and unsurprisingly found him curled up in a corner and burning hot all over.
He did not panic and reached over to scoop the other up, letting the young man rest on his legs.
Then he pulled open the backpack beside him, grabbing medicine for reducing fevers.
There was almost no food left inside: only half a bag of deflated cookies, a single piece of candy, and three bottles of water, which of course were only Pei Ran’s food.
The only other items were a handful of over-the-counter-medicine brought from home.
As for how much bodyguard Feng Tang had, he was not sure and he would also not ask.
Holding onto the back of Qu Yan’s head, he pried open his tightly gritted teeth and fed him the fever reducing pill before grabbing two medicinal packets for treating inflammation and sprinkled it all over the injuries on Qu Yan’s face.
The higher the risk, the better the rewards would be.
In Pei Ran’s mind, Qu Yan was like a safety charm, one who cannot die and absolutely will not die.
Feng Tang slightly furrowed his eyebrows at the sight of Pei Ran giving Qu Yan medicine but he didn’t say anything.
The entire situation had shortly been pacified for now because of Qu Yan’s self harm and Pei Ran’s intervention.
The storage floor received no signal and the wifi was half dead.
After playing on his phone for the entire morning, Pei Ran had no more power and he had nothing else to do.
He stared at Qu Yan for a long while, thinking about what kind of person this main character that will kick ass in the future will be like.
The school uniform worn on his body was one that looked to be maintained very well but he could still faintly see pen marks, handwritten words of humiliation, and large patches of faint blue ink which did not look to be caused by accident and more likely from acts of maliciousness.
Pei Ran thought, so this was a little pitiful boy that was bullied in school.
He lit up a cigarette, blowing out a breath of smoke, and then opened up Qu Yan’s school bag to find a few books, test papers and some pens and pencils inside.
The inside pocket had a chain of keys that looked to be corroded and a glass water bottle with a cockroach that was probably purposely thrown in by someone.
Pei Ran was not interested in math so he passed by test papers containing full marks and flipped over the Chinese literature books, where some words were written very beautifully.
High School Year Three Class (6)
There were some weird marks written in crooked columns, words that were swearing and cursing at Qu Yan.
Pei Ran kept flipping and the notebook looked to have been written on and torn up, successfully killing off the idea of curing his boredom by reading.
Of course, the unbeatable main character of a novel must have a tragic past.
If Pei Ran had not intervened today, Qu Yan would have been dragged into the washroom by Zhou Cang Ming and his lackeys; those three people xx and then xx.
Looking at how hard he just used a rock to ruthlessly mutilate his own face, it was not hard to see how he would have snapped and changed so drastically.
As for Pei Ran who could not stand to suffer a single bit of pain nor endure any suffering, he probably had the life of a normal, average person.
Time was slowly passing by and Qu Yan’s breathing was getting heavier and heavier as he burned like a fire basin.
His body was locking up and it did not look like he had a regular fever.
Pei Ran, who had just found a notebook in the school bag and was just getting into it, freed up his hand and pressed his palm against Qu Yan’s forehead after noticing his condition.
Pei Ran had a naturally cold body, a body where even his hands were cold.
So after pressing his hand on the other’s forehead, Qu Yan strangely calmed down.
A remnant of the scent of Pei Ran’s London rain cologne, where the first scent was of mint, then jasmine and then a faint maté tea, still remained, and the fragrance was gentle as like the sprinkling of light rain, refreshing and cold.
As some of you might have seen… we had a little bit of a mishap by posting instead of saving (” ▔□▔) but here it is now! We tried to rush to get the chapter ready because of this, so there may be a few issues like formatting here and there.
We’ll try and fix any that we see, but please let us know if you spot any (ฅ´ω`ฅ)
In any case, I hope you are intrigued by Volume 7 (the rest of the details will be uploaded once I am back to my original setup as I’m currently limited to my phone which is a bit of a pain to do anything like this), and I hope to see you soon for the next chapter!
Thank you for all your kind words and support (if I haven’t replied to your comment yet, I will soon I promise!) since last chapter release and I’m glad you are all here on this journey with me (。’▽’。)♡ Your support (whether comments or likes or just reading) has been really helpful for me to get back on my feet haha (Plum also thanks you all for your kind words to them too!).
Before this gets away from me and make this even longer, I wish you all Galactic Judges a very happy, safe, and healthy rest of the week (and also for months and years (๑•̀ω•́ ๑) to come) and see you soon for next chapter : )
*1 Like I mentioned after as an explanation, this saying (came from “Dream of the Red Chamber”) basically means we draw our own boundaries where you keep to your side, I to mine; you do your thing, I do mine (or in other words mind your own business).
*2 The actual line from the poem is from “Roaming in Mountain West Villages”, by Lu You, and it came about because he was saying that he was lost, walking in the mountains for a long time, and he spotted no villages or anything.
So he thought he was going to die but then a few huts were revealed (basically what the poem line is in a quick summary).
You can think of it like he stumbled across an oasis in the desert after wandering for many days and was almost unable to keep going, that kind of feeling (or as I used in the chapter, light at the end of the tunnel).
*3 The “golden leg” is basically slang(?) for a character who is essential to the plot and/or hits it big later on in the plot and hugging onto this “golden leg” would mean to cling onto/stick around that character and suck up to them to get into their good graces so you can get a part of the rewards/live (especially in relation to transmigration into novels where if you got the role of a side character or a character just used to advance the plot).
sb: Please refer back to Volume 3, https://wintereetranslations.wordpress.com/2021/01/20/dont-be-a-kept-man-chapter-69/#note4
*4 Adage that sounds like what it means: don’t hog something and not “use” it.
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