At 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening, the winter sky darkened right after the hallway blacked out. A person cautiously stepped towards the last floor with a weapon in hand.
“Are there apartments upstairs?”
“Doesn’t matter we’ll take a look anyway.”
“There are some empty apartments, it could be the people are dead or…”
The man in front snapped at the one who complained, “It doesn’t matter if he’s dead, he had a gun!”
“Plus if there are people upstairs, we could score some food.”
The two climbed in the dark, silent with no signs of zombies. Without entering, they looked through the peephole – the light inside was brighter than in the stairwell, not a soul in sight.
They ate the loss, the first area was empty but now they worried about a sudden zombie appearance through a half opened door. After confirming the three closest homes were empty, they were about to head deeper when a dog suddenly started barking.
The two jumped back and bumped into each other while staying quiet. The noise made the dog bark more furiously – it seemed like there was more than one!
“Retreat! Let’s get out of here!”
They could barely deal with a zombie, let alone a bunch of rabid dogs like the ones outside. As for searching, the doors were closed and one could not enter without a key.
Luo Xun confirmed from the balcony that the people had left before he turned off the recording. The puppy was barking and wagging her tail leaving afterimages.
Frenzied dog barking, zombie roars, door scratching, impact noises, these sounds had been downloaded before the apocalypse to be used in such a situation. Luo Xun opened the cage, put on spare slippers and went upstairs. The heavy curtains blocked outside light with a lamp on the nearby nightstand to be used instead.
The man slept on the double bed with closed eyes. His elegant face could not be hidden behind paleness, injury and blood loss with a cloth on his forehead. It was difficult to look away from the thin pale lips and fevered teary eyes.
Luo Xun felt like a coroner standing next to the bed. The man could only be described as ‘beautiful’ or a ‘fairy’. If Luo Xun had known that such a face was under the mask he would have never grabbed him.
From living a decade during the apocalypse, Luo Xun had become bent like a wire to his misfortune. He was not originally homosexual but the cruel reality crumpled his integrity. No doubt, there were too few women and one could not see any young or old in the civilian area. There was no way to find wives or daughter in laws. Of course some women were powerful ability users on teams, but Luo Xun could not reach those people’s levels.
Any beauties had long been ushered away with no chance to see. There were also average ones like Xi Feng but due to scarcity had outrageous minimum requirements. Luo Xun would not able to talk to one as a normal person.
Little girls? Even less! Households were strict, under normal circumstances they were not allowed outside. Many infants and young girls were lost on the road during the initial escape. Patriarchal ideology even persisted during doomsday.
How would the bases react when women became much scarcer than men?
Luo Xun met an eventual close friend while escaping. The two were of similar age, ordinary and not straight. They met when M-city was over run and had to escape northward. For half a month, the two journeyed north, encouraging each other and talking of future plans.
Luo Xun still recalled that person saying, “If we can’t find companions in A-city, why not live together instead?” Luo Xun had been ambivalent.
In fact, there were many others with similar thoughts. After all, humans were social creatures, even Robinson Crusoe had Friday as a companion.
Two men living together was not difficult, there was mutual aid and going out with teammates. A normal life without children, not too different from a married couple with warm affection and reliance over passion.
After his rebirth, Luo Xun had never thought of bringing a girlfriend home before the apocalypse started. Since the future was unpredictable, who knew if she would betray him upon when she realized her increased value. The truth was that Luo Xun could not gamble, even more not bet on his future.
As for a boyfriend? Luo Xun did not really think about it, but was willing if he met a suitable candidate. If not then as long as no one turned into a zombie, Luo Xun thought Puppy was enough.
However Luo Xun now had an unexpected beauty lying in his bed. He had only previously seen one similarly beautiful man, a powerful wind user near a burning house. Luo Xun remembered the peach eyes as well as a ring of blood from those cut down by wind blades.
The man was not ordinary and there was no way to guarantee his anonymity. Luo Xun could only stupidly hide in his home. However that was impossible since the handsome man also had powers. So Luo Xun was conflicted, should he bring him back next door as soon as possible?
The troublemakers had fled, he fed him anti-inflammatory drugs. If his constitution was decent he would survive. If not then he would not have much time, Luo Xun would have to let him go…
Luo Xun bent next to the bed, trying to pick the injured man up – he should have known the guy was more trouble than he was worth and should not be in his bedroom!
When he moved, he heard a hum from his side. Luo Xun turned and saw a pair of narrowed eyes. In the dim light, the man’s misty eyes struck his heart.
*Badump, badump, badump* Luo Xun’s heart almost jumped out from his throat. Asleep, the man was like a fairy, awake he seemed more sinful than a demon. Perhaps it had been a trick of the light?
Luo Xun’s brain ran in circles, unsure of what to do. Yan Fei’s eyes were still blurry, he saw a somewhat familiar young man.
He whispered, “Water…”
Luo Xun recovered, thankfully the lamp covered his embarrassed flush. He handed the cup over but due to the chest injury Luo Xun ended up feeding him the water. Some it dripped, Luo Xun averted his eyes and cursed his heart.
Although motivated in his previous life, Luo Xun was an honest and innocent man. He did not want to engage in *cough* activities in places with poor conditions and hygiene or that required payment. He relied on his left hand for that decade post-apocalypse.
Now he had been reborn, his mind was mature enough but he had no real life experience. He could not be blamed for not being calm.