Doomsday Wonderland Chapter 651
As it fluttered its wings, a small paper crane flew into the fog and soon vanished from their sight.
Following Puppeteer's instruction, it summoned Rize and Old Hag to their side. Aside from those two, all surviving posthumans—both foes and allies alike—and puppets had gathered around Puppeteer, making their final preparations for the forthcoming fight.
The carpet had spread out across the sea, keeping the waves at bay. It was wide enough to accommodate four football fields. Fearing that Puppeteer might plant a trap on the carpet, all of the Zeus stopped beside it. They twisted their necks and inspected it meticulously. Silence befell them while the momentum of the war came to a sudden halt.
Maxin wondered if his heartbeat was the loudest there.
He calmed himself down and relaxed his muscles as he usually did when facing a fight. Meanwhile, the flesh worm was fearless. She raised her head in a striking position as she hissed menacingly at the group of Zeus, baring her layers of mandibles. There were four puppets standing at the four corners of the carpet while Hegel took the rearmost spot of the team. He craned his neck and looked around, waiting for his chance to make his move.
Puppeteer was the only one amongst them who seemed the most relaxed. He kept a serene look on his expression as if he was taking a stroll in a garden. He was still holding Ji Shanqing at his side, having strapped a rope around his neck. Nobody knew why Ji Shanqing did not try to resist. He just kept both his hands clasped tightly in front of his chest and followed wherever Puppeteer went.
"Stay beside me. We're going to attack Lin Sanjiu now," ordered Puppeteer. Then, without turning his head, he barked out his next orders, "The rest of you, scatter out and strike them down one by one."
They had only nine people on their side, including four puppets and the two white camp members that were on their way. In contrast, they were going up against 20 or so Zeus. However, among the nine, Hegel could not be considered as a force due to his volatility. If they were all put in the wilderness, Puppeteer would be the alpha of a wolf pack while Hegel would be a vulture. He would not join the bloodshed, but instead wait on the sidelines for his chance to feast on the dead bodies.
Just as Maxin was analyzing their situation, a soft chuckle wafted through the air and slid into his ears.
"I'm happy to see my old friend." Zeus Lin fingered the bandage around his neck as a huge grin blossomed on his face. "But it's too bad I have something more important to tend to, so…" Then, he turned around and left without finishing his sentence.
Puppeteer was the first to react. He immediately launched himself towards Zeus Lin with a powerful thrust of his legs, vanishing into the horizon along with the latter. As if they were a bunch of snakes that had regained their activity after winter hibernation was over, the group of Zeus turned their heads in unison toward the direction where Puppeteer was heading as if they wanted to go after him. However, before they had the chance to do anything more, Soulsqn squawked loudly, releasing a battle cry and throwing herself into the group of disorganized Zeus.
Thus, the fight began.
Just as Maxin dashed towards a Zeus in a tracksuit, he saw Hegel moving toward the opposite direction. Although the Zeus were a bunch of wretched creatures, they were steadfast in keeping their word. They would never attack a player as long as the player did not attack them, so nobody was stopping Hegel. Gritting his teeth, Maxin swerved and followed his example.
When Hegel realized it was Maxin behind him, he roared, "I'll go this way. You go that way. They won't be able to catch up to us like that."
"Don't worry." Maxin picked up his speed again, his face bereft of any emotion. "They can hardly look after themselves."
If Hegel did not look for Maxin and come up with this retreat plan, perhaps he would never have let his guard down when Maxin got close to him. Without giving him time to retaliate, Maxin immediately stretched his arm and reached out for Hegel's back the second he finished his sentence.
It was already too late when Hegel realized that something was amiss. After Maxin had a firm hold of Hegel's shirt, Maxin yanked his arm free and pushed him off the carpet. A spout of water was sent high into the air. Seizing his golden opportunity, Maxin put on the mermaid's tail, conjured up a water vortex, and sent it towards the mayhem in the distance along with Hegel in it. His movement was so smooth and fluid as if he had done this countless times in his brain. Then, as he expected, Hegel flew through the air and landed in front of a Zeus.
The Zeus wheeled around and locked gazes with Hegel. A grin erupted across the Zeus's face, which was shrouded under the shadow of a large straw hat.
"Here comes another one," he greeted Hegel with merriment. "Hello, nice to meet you. Please don't run away from me."
Maxin dove into the water to hide from the Zeus. After waiting for several seconds underwater and confirming that there were no movements around, he kicked the water and propelled himself towards the heart of the battlefield.
As long as a player attacked a Zeus, all the other Zeus would begin to overwhelm the player. Maxin peered around to study the battlefield. Right now, Soulsqn was having a hard time dealing with three to four Zeus while the four puppets had locked horns with five to six Zeus. He could not find the rest of the Zeus around. 'Perhaps they've gone for Puppeteer?'
The tide of the battle was tilting in Zeus's favor. Considering the fact that he could not do much above water and that most of his Special Items were more suitable for use in water, after a short rumination, he took a deep breath and went underwater once again.
The second he dove into the grayish-blue water and opened his eyes, he saw Zeus's face right in front of him.
Like the other Zeus, a grin broke across this Zeus's face. Then, three holes that were as black as the night and as dark as the deep blue sea below appeared on his arctic white face, replacing his eyes and mouth.
Without wasting a second, Maxin brandished his mermaid's tail and sent a jet of water at the Zeus, pushing him away. After that, he realized something.
'Was this Zeus going to ambush somebody? Am I a deer who sent itself into the jaws of a tiger?'
Much to his chagrin, Maxin realized that he was now blocking the space between Hegel and the Zeus before him.
Maxin was confident that the Zeus in front of him would not go after Hegel now. The spray of water he sent at the Zeus did not push him very far away. Wearing a bright red bikini, the Zeus lunged at Maxin once more, and Maxin seemingly caught a faint shriek of excitement from the water around him.
All of a sudden, Maxin realized how powerful these Zeus were.
It occurred to him that they had been fighting with one hand tied behind their backs all this time. Even Zen, who had transformed into a Zeus, was holding himself back while being tormented by Puppeteer's power because he had to announce the new rules.
Even though Maxin had a lot of confidence when he was in the water, he lost all his edge facing this particular opponent in front of him. All his Special Items, which he took pride in, that could manipulate water to his will had lost their function. Right now, he felt like he was an insect that had fallen into a pool of resin. No matter how hard he struggled, he could not paddle himself free from the pool of sticky and heavy liquid substance. All he could do was watch in despair as more and more air left his lungs and his heartbeat slowed down.
Zeus was not affected.
The streak of crimson red became clearer until it became a strangely styled bikini in Maxin's eyes. He flailed his limbs weakly, trying to get out of Zeus's reach but to no avail. Eventually, Zeus grabbed his face in between his fingers.
A chain of silvery bubbles tumbled out of Zeus's lips and into the deep blue ocean. Maxin knew Zeus was saying something, but he could not hear it well. It was a minor problem for him to be robbed of his ability to breathe since he could hold his breath underwater for a long time. The only thing that left him on the edge of the seat was Zeus's erratic movement. Just when he was rummaging his brain for a solution, he suddenly felt dizzy.
Three holes once again appeared on the oxygen-deprived face.
This time, the series of bubbles were closer to Maxin, and he finally heard what Zeus was trying to say. "Farewell."
As soon as Maxin realized that something was not right, another wave of dizziness washed over him. At the same time, he felt all the energy leave his limbs as if he had been starving for days. His consciousness was fading away, and he was losing it. He tried to activate the wisdom of bluffing, but as he was unable to move or speak, the effect was halved. Zeus was merely stupefied for half a second, but he did not release his grip and the smile on his face grew wider.
Maxin's vision got foggier. He laboriously raised his arm, only to see that his skin was now as pale as death. His blood vessels bulged and become darker, screaming for more blood like a toddler who did not get enough milk. Compared to him, Zeus had a radiant, blooming complexion.
He realized that like the ocean, his blood flow had slowed down and was getting thicker.
Maxin wanted to laugh. This was not what he had imagined he would get in the end after following his heart once and helping others. He was robbed of his mobility even before he could do anything. He had seen countless powerful posthumans who lost their lives to their opponents due to bad luck. Alas, now it seemed that he was going to end up like them as well.
He only lived to survive, and he was already thankful for being able to stay alive in this cruel world for such a long time. Even though he was about to die, Maxin found that he had no regrets. Looking at it from this angle, he seemed to be more fortunate than the posthuman that had turned into the Zeus wearing a red bikini in front of him. Be that as it may, he still felt a bit aggrieved for dying like this.
'Hold on a sec.'
A bikini was typically a woman's two-piece swimsuit. His thoughts began to blur, but a weird melody and a strange scene began playing in the depths of his mind. It was a woman walking around in a bikini in the perilous apocalyptic world.
He tried to pull his thoughts back, but his oxygen-deprived brain refused to work. Lowering his guard, Zeus swam closer to Maxin. He peeled open Maxin's eyelids and began to inspect his dilated pupils.
The scene of Ji Shanqing clutching tightly to his clothes slowly surfaced in his mind.
'She's protecting herself… Doesn't the woman wearing a bikini want to protect herself too? How's she going to protect herself if she leaves herself bare? That's too dangerous…
Maxin's dilated pupils shifted slightly.