In the gloom, Tang Yu slowly opened his eyes, his body aching all over.
He propped himself up, dust and small rock fragments rustling off his body.
"I'm… still alive?"
He recalled the demonized beasts breaking through the shelter's defensive line, countless survivors screaming as they died and the world turned blood-red.
This was the apocalypse! And it had come one month ago.
He had been about to graduate and had even found a job. He had just been waiting for an official offer when calamity struck.
Red mist had flowed over the world, and giant cracks had appeared in the earth. The creatures dubbed 'demonized beasts' crawled out of the cracks and began to slaughter humanity.
These were abyssal fissures, symbols that the apocalypse had come!
On that day, Tang Yu happened to be in school. With his own eyes, he had seen the earth open up and swallow an entire building. The surrounding teachers and students had all been scared out of their wits, and they went down screaming as the demonized beasts tore them to pieces. He had been farther from the abyssal fissure, so he had avoided the demonized beasts' first massacre. He had been blessed with incredible luck and ran into a group of survivors while fleeing, and after wandering about, he finally arrived at this place, a small shelter.
The demonized beasts were endless in number, and not even the army at its full strength was any match. Humanity was pushed back again and again, only barely managing to hold on to some important locations.
And shelters were humanity's last life of defense.
This small shelter had been built on top of a vacation villa and had contained several thousand survivors. It was the safest area within the surrounding five to ten kilometers. Though it wasn't as safe as the large shelters that were protected by the military, this sort of shelter had guns and ammo and strong humans. It had also been set up far away from an abyssal fissure region, and the occasional demonized beast that attacked the shelter would be quickly taken care of.
At least, that was what he had thought. Now that he knew that the shelter had been overrun by a flood of demons, he realized that in this apocalypse, this sort of shelter was so… fragile.
Tang Yu looked at his surroundings.
The collapsed walls on his sides had formed a triangle that had saved him rather than burying him. Reaching out his hand, he saw that it was covered in blood. This wasn't his blood, but the blood of some poor fellow whose head had been rammed through by a metal pipe, their blood drenching the ground.
This was not the only one.
Through a crack, Tang Yu could see that the ground outside was littered with corpses, and compared to this poor fellow who had been pierced through by a metal pipe, those people had died even more painful and miserable deaths.
Tang Yu was filled with sorrow.
He had managed to survive, but there seemed to be little point. He was just an ordinary person without a weapon, not even an Awakened. Even an encounter with the weakest demonized beast would be enough to end his life.
"If only I was an Awakened…"
People with good aptitude would naturally awaken, and those with slightly less aptitude would awaken upon encountering some adversity and pressure. These would become the Awakened—those who had the ability to keep themselves alive in the apocalypse.
There were also people with barely passable aptitude who could not awaken on their own. But that was fine, as the shelter had special equipment that could assist in awakening. However, Tang Yu was in a very awkward situation, as he had the worst aptitude and didn't have the qualities to awaken.
People like him were not in the minority. Any encounter with danger was essentially the death penalty for them.
"So, I can only stick around and wait for my death?" Tang Yu muttered to himself. Though he was somewhat reluctant, he had seemingly accepted his fate.
Suddenly, he shivered.
"Ding dong! The Apocalypse Overlord System has been activated. Overlord, please erect your Overlord Castle and establish the boundaries of your domain as quickly as possible."
What was this?!
He had heard something just now. Had he been discovered by a demonized beast, or was he just hallucinating?
"Ding dong! Overlord, please quickly erect your Overlord Castle…"
The voice was coming from his mind. This time, Tang Yu was certain that this mysterious voice really existed.
It was a very robotic voice, constantly repeating itself in his mind. He soon realized that he could block the voice and also ask the voice questions. Though the information he could obtain was very limited, at least he knew what this thing was.
Tang Yu pondered the name 'Apocalypse Overlord'. This was a game he had played before the apocalypse to while away the time. He was excited now, as systems were not anything he was entirely unfamiliar with. One could even call him an old hand when it came to such things. He could immediately recall the titles of several hundred novels that had a system.
He instantly thought about the plot of these novels, thought about philosophy, and then thought about this game.
Apocalypse Overlord was a third-rate strategy game. It had a western fantasy apocalyptic setting where the world had been destroyed and humanity was on the verge of extinction. The castle built by the player would be the last ember for humanity. The player needed to…
Tang Yu shook his head. His life was in mortal danger, but he still had the time to think about a game's plot!
"System, since you're a system, you should be able to awaken me, right?"
"Give me a few bodyguards, or summon some subordinates?"
"Then at least you should give me a solution to my current danger!"
"Ding… Ding dong. When the construction of the Overlord Castle is completed, two bonus automaton guards will be provided to resolve any dangers facing the Overlord."
"Then I guess I've got no choice. Immediately start constructing the castle!"
"Ding dong! Construction of the Overlord Castle requires the Overlord to choose a location and pay one hundred units of Origin Crystal. No Origin Crystals have been found on the Overlord, so construction of the Overlord Castle cannot proceed."
He wanted to say something, but he didn't know if it was allowed!
Other people got systems that offered new player gifts, but this awful system didn't give him anything. He even had to set up his own base, and it wasn't even free! After playing so many years of strategy games, he had never run into one like this!
He was in a pretty pickle now. Where was he going to find one hundred units of Origin Crystal?
Origin Crystals were extremely valuable strategic assets. They had a very small chance of forming in the bodies of demonized beasts, and there were also apparently Origin Crystal veins out in the wilderness. None of these were easy to find, and only elite fighters and Awakened could possibly have any. Tang Yu was just a low-class survivor, so let alone own an Origin Crystal, he had never even seen one.
In normal circumstances, he would never be able to get one.
Tang Yu thought it over and realized that there was a faint sliver of hope… the shelter had fallen, so the area where the Awakened used to live would probably have some Origin Crystals.
He didn't know if his conjecture was right, nor did he know if there would be one hundred units of Origin Crystal left. But he had to take the chance!
He took in a deep breath and organized his thoughts. "The Awakened and the upper echelons of the shelter lived in the villa area halfway up the mountain, which is the middle zone of the shelter. When I was fleeing from the attack, I wanted to hide there. Right now, I'm near the central region of the shelter, which isn't far from the villa area. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage."
Tang Yu bitterly chuckled. His body was extremely weak, and he had no weapon on him. These were the worst starting conditions. All he could rely on was that useless system.
He slapped his cheeks, his eyes growing determined.
The area he had been buried in was not completely sealed off. After searching around and observing the environment outside, he finally found a large gap that he could use to get out.
In front of him was a clearing where many tents and simple huts had been built. Of course, it was now a scene of total chaos that was littered with the remnants of corpses. A thick scent of blood assailed his nose.
The bodies of demonized beasts were few and far between. Tang Yu knew that the shelter had barely been able to fight back against the demon horde before it had fallen.
Holding his breath, he cautiously advanced. After moving forward a little, he would always inspect the area several times.
A blazing sun hung high above, and sweat rolled down the tip of his nose and onto the ground, where it quickly evaporated. Tang Yu tried to silence his breathing, and fortunately, the demonized beasts were much fewer than he had imagined. He had seen only one or two demonized beasts, and they had their heads lowered as they ate.
Working his way around the ruins and hiding in the bushes, Tang Yu did his utmost to avoid demonized beasts. Moreover, the shelter had just been through a massacre, so the thick scent of blood concealed his scent, depriving the demonized beasts of their greatest pursuit tool.
Slowly and surely, he neared the villa area.
Around the villa area, the situation was even worse, and destroyed buildings could be seen wherever he looked.
The black scorch marks from explosions, emptied ammo magazines, and shattered walls all proved that a fierce battle had taken place.
Tang Yu saw many corpses, both of human Awakened and of demonized beasts, mixed together in a hellish scene.
He cautiously walked over and began to search the corpses.
A pungent scent assailed his nose and his hands were drenched in blood, but Tang Yu didn't care.
One Type 54 Pistol.
And two ammo magazines.
Together with the dagger he had found making his way here, these constituted the usable weapons he had been able to find. He also knew that these weapons wouldn't be very effective against demonized beasts, but the cold sensation of the pistol still made Tang Yu feel safer.
From a distance, he could see a few other guns in good condition, but they were in a rather open area, so getting them would be more dangerous. Prioritizing caution and the Origin Crystals, Tang Yu didn't want to take too many risks.