3 Four Well Village

What he sees is not the desolate world he knew but a place with a group of people. In the background there was noisy sounds of chickens and dogs and even more people. The more he stared the more dazed he felt.

As if he had just resurfaced from the depths of the ocean, Jia Hyson could slowly hear and smell his unfamiliar yet familiar surroundings. Like colour slowly seeping in, the world around him burst into life and realism.

"Hey, are you okay?"

"Damn, this newbie is so shocked he went into a coma."

"It's better than the others honestly, I would take silly and silent over screams of denial any day ah."

"So true."

Slowly, Jia Hyson's attention refocuses on the humans in front of him and blinks, even his blinking felt a little off, as if he was slightly lagging. The man who had asked if he was okay felt a little strange when he saw it, but he quickly dismissed it as himself being hypersensitive. The instance hadn't even started and he was already jumpy.

Jia Hyson stares at him and the group of others before silently swallowing the excess of saliva down his throat.

It had been so long since he had tasted fresh food.

They all looked so… healthy and full of vitality.

He swallows again.

Still, even if he was sorely tempted, he could sense the situation was very strange. It wasn't the people, but what was below him that really made him understand this was not his world.

Jia Hyson was a zombie emperor who has the plant and earth ability. Because of this he was very aware that the soil beneath him was not the same dying earth he was used to.

During the apocalypse, the presence of plant and earth ability users was naturally considered a boon.

Zombies with the same ability like himself used it almost solely to attack and defend, but humans were different. They wanted to take advantage of this power to provide a food source.

It was a good idea. To produce vegetation with just a seed or to manipulate the surrounding plants to move and grow at will in a world that had no food security at all anymore, was incredibly vital to their survival. Didn't all the novels do this too? Not to mention, the plants produced grow much quicker than normal and can become even bigger and more delicious.

However, in the face of these magical abilities and short term gains, people forgot the science of agriculture and the long-term problems.

The plants couldn't actually grow on nothing after all.

When Jia Hyson's mental functions were nearly fully restored and his brain was capable of more complex thinking he quickly understood the situation.

Plants need nutrients from the soil. By growing the plants rapidly and increasing their size, the plants are also taking in the nearby nutrients around them at a rapid pace. Many animals are either hunted and eaten by humans and fellow animals, eaten by zombies, or zombified. The same with humans.

Therefore the nutrition that comes from decaying organic matter introduced to the soil is also much lower than before. Even if there was more organic matter re-introduced though, it would still take much longer to nourish the earth than to suck it dry.

This led to a vicious cycle where the earth became more and more abused at a frightening speed until humans finally started to realise their mistakes when more and more plant ability user's produced noticeably weaker plants.

That was truly the end of humanity.

Jia Hyson as a plant user was also affected. However he had regained his sanity and intellect before that point and had planned accordingly. After all, his original job was a successful author, but before making it big in writing he original studied zoology which touched on various biological subjects.

Collecting various seeds and plant matter, from basic quick growing vegetable seeds to mutated plant roots, Jia Hyson quickly became what was probably the most valuable zombie in the end of days. Unfortunately for humankind, they were completely unaware of it.

Because of the problem with storing seeds without a nifty little space ability Jia Hyson, after some thought, decided to make himself a storage space.

Yes. Himself.

He still recalls with some fondness the first time he did it. At that point of time his emotional quotient was very slow, but seeing the decaying seeds in his hand he had his once again re-experienced a sense of panic. If the seed was dormant it could be saved but a rotting seed or a dying one could not salvaged, especially in the conditions that was the apocalypse.

In this anxiety, inspiration had come.

With cold-hearted and faintly curious eyes he used his sharp nail and pierced the flesh of his upper arm. His nerves and muscles, instinctively seized up and twitched as he dug further into the meat of his arm, widening the hole as dark teal coloured, murky blood dripped out. He could see the inside of him, still pink and red meat, but duller in shade, rotting still albeit slower, and the strange colour of whatever his blood had changed into only made it even more gruesome to look at.

Fortunately, during that period, Jia Hyson did not have a strong sense of aesthetic and even if he did, the visual uncomfortableness would not be enough to stop him.

Once the gaping wound was wide enough he carefully but clumsily pushed in some poppy seeds into it, rubbing the insides of his flesh with the small black objects like he was rubbing spices into a chunk of pork.

Even though Jia Hyson felt little to no pain, there was still some sensory perception and he couldn't help but grunt and clench his jaw at the itchy and ticklish feeling, like someone was lightly scraping inside his arm with a facial scrub.

After coating the inside of his arm with these small black seeds, producing an unnerving image that would make anyone feel cold the more they looked at it. Jia Hyson stared with some fascination, as if it wasn't his own arm he had so grossly mutilated.

Then after a minute, he forcefully closed the open wound with his sticky blood and seed covered fingers, pinching the meat together like it was a dumpling.

The feeling of the little seeds scraping together and against his muscles made his toes curl slightly and his teeth subconsciously clench harder. But he didn't waver in his action at all. If one didn't look so closely all they'll see would be his blank expression on his face like he held no thoughts whatsoever as he clutched his arm.

Jia Hyson had stayed in such an uncomfortable position for a day and a night.

Finally as if sensing it was okay, he released his tight grip on his arm tentatively. The wound on his arm remained closed, albeit not completely, but you could see that the inside was pink, a sign of new flesh regrown.

He could still feel the seeds inside his arm, nestled in between the meat of his arm. If he tensed the muscles he could feel the itchiness of them scratching underneath his skin.

Focusing on a few seeds, he urged them mentally with his powers. Quickly a few green shoots burst through the wound, reopening it partially. If it wasn't for the roots of the plant acting to stabilise and keep the flesh of his arm intact, the self inflicted injury would've definitely been ripped open completely.

Even then, just making the seeds grow a little caused his muscles to contract and twitch rapidly in panic and stress. The information of pain could not be fully sent to the brain, but the body was more or less redeveloped back. All the nerve endings, muscles and bone had regrown and even been improved under the evolution of zombification. Maybe because he was a plant ability user, he even had regeneration abilities, though they were quite slow during his current level at the time.

But as he collected more and more, and became more and more powerful, his body had begun to adapt and change. Jia Hyson had became a walking seed and root bag. Traveling around he had cut his skin and sprinkled all sorts of things inside himself, relying on his increasingly effective regenerative growth to recover and grow flesh over his plant riddled wounds.

As he evolved he was also pleasantly surprised to find the plants inside him also evolved along side him, and his body became progressively more compatible in storing plant matter and even partially fusing into his body. It would not be wrong to call him half plant near the end of his evolution.

This also led to him even learning to absorb solar energy via photosynthesis through his body. While the energy wasn't really filling, it was enough to stave off his hunger and allowed him to survive longer than others. However as compensation, if he only relied on photosynthesis to survive further, his body would be in, on some level, a somewhat dormant state and many bodily reactions will be much slower including reaction time, speed and even brain power.

Jia Hyson hates the idea of losing the capability of his mind, but he hates the idea of dying even more so. He lived through life as a disgusting zombie, but even when he gained a sense of consciousness and awareness of what he became and what he did he continued to pursue life if nothing else but for spite alone.

Just thinking about it makes him feel so suffocated, and his eyes flash with murderous hatred.

The man who ruined him wanted him to suffer and die? Then he will fucking live!

Such a bastard who could inject him with the zombie virus must have some means to live well confidently in the apocalypse, and even if he died, Jia Hyson still wanted to live until the day he found the corpse. And then he intends to desecrate it until even the most perverted of villains and astute of detectives would not recognised what it was until they did DNA testing on it.

And if the man was still alive… heh.

"This… is he a fool?" A young timid looking girl softly asks, a few meters away from the small group of three surrounding Jia Hyson who had barely moved since waking up. If it wasn't for the slow blinks, they would've thought he was a very realistic statue.

Silently the timid girl couldn't help but stare at the other with wide eyes. She couldn't help it, she was an art student who was naturally attracted to visuals, and this man's appearance was not only beautiful but unnerving and strange.

If one could describe it, it was somewhere between a natural and an unnatural beauty. Entrancing and hard to look away from, but at the same time it sent shivers down one's spine, like there was just something wrong and disturbing about the other, yet if pressed, one couldn't explain where or why exactly.

Her friend, a short haired girl with vibrant red lipstick clicks her tongue before calling out to the trio.

"Hey! This is isn't funny anymore. Such a sick prank, you even brought some sort of poor mental illness patient in, are you guys insane?"

One of the trio, the tallest man, glances at the short haired girl with visible annoyance. "Shut up!" He snaps, "You saw the holographic screen. Do you really think a reality show would be capable of such things? And even if it was why would they bring uglies like you in ah! The sooner you accept the reality the better!"

The short haired girl pales and bites her lip angrily before shouting back, "Do you have to be so rude?!"

"Jing Jing…" The timid looking girl grabs her friend's shirt and tugs in warning, "Don't be angry, he's right, the situation… isn't it so strange?"

"I don't believe it! This is clearly an elaborate kidnapping!" A businessman who was holding his briefcase in his arms anxiously like it was an emotional support briefcase burst out, "Look, I have a lot of money, if you just let me go back I have a meeting-"

"Forget the money," A punk with shaved hair and many piercings drawls while another more muscled delinquent crosses his arms and sneers, "If you don't let us go we'll beat you up ah!"

"Yeah!" The muscled delinquent echoes supportively.

"Please.. my child… where is my child…" A haggard looking middle aged woman sobs into her hands. It seems she had been crying and tugging at her hair for a while now.

A young, sunny looking teenager wearing a high school uniform awkwardly pats her on the back. Unlike the others he seemed to have calmed down and was watching the trio expectantly. "So, what happens now?"

The trio exchange glances and sighs emotionally. A strange fool, two delicate girls, a haughty businessman, two punks, an emotionally distraught mother and a high schooler. And to top it off, it seems only the high schooler had any potential to help.

With such pig teammates, they didn't know if this instance was going to be easy or not at all.

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