September 6, 2017 2:48 am 1 Comment
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Translated by: La Phong
Edited by: Saverath, TheGoodSheep
Book 3 Chapter 20: Unexpected Discovery
The 24th Hour
Fifth Avenue was located in New York’s Manhattan.
It was on a small island at the center of the city, between the Hudson River and the East River. Despite it occupying the smallest area, it was one of New York’s richest regions.
If the United States was the center of the world, then New York was the center of the United States, and Manhattan the center of New York.
Broadway, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, Central Park, the United Nations Headquarters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Opera, and the bustling cityscape they represented was all concentrated in Manhattan. Even the United Nations headquarters was located on East River’s West Bank.
Here stood what was once the most desirable sanctuary, where every move, even a sneeze, could send shock through the world’s financial markets.
Some people spoke rhetorically that, to destroy the world, one only needs to destroy Wall Street.
Taking into account the subprime mortgage crisis that had once swept the world into financial turmoil, this was a reasonable assumption.
However, “Wall Street”, in fact, was only a microcosm of Manhattan’s financial strength.
A Mercedes-Benz ran along the road. Manhattan once was a city where pedestrians hurried across the streets, as if every minute was worth millions to the big businesses. Girls were always beautiful and dressed colorfully, looking for a rich husband. Everywhere there stood skyscrapers, together forming a curtain wall of shiny glass.
But with the American Civil War, Manhattan’s bustle faded away.
The United Nations Headquarters building at the junction of First Avenue and 44th Street had been relocated. The Empire State Building on 34th Street had long since collapsed. The Statue of Liberty had been reduced to ruins, and Wall Street had ceased to exist.
St. Paul Cathedral, St. Patrick Cathedral, Broadway, and the Wall Street St. Thomas Cathedral – these representatives of the cities rich cultural and religious power had been destroyed in the battle. Religious beliefs fell into chaos, for not even God could save his believers. Salvation could only be found at the end of a gun.
The racial civil war that plagued the United States led to serious losses; the economy was greatly damaged and the once thriving scene was no more.
When the car arrived on Fifth Avenue, Shen Yi viewed the golden land, where each square was worth ten thousand dollars in annual rent. Now it had depreciated to the point where nobody could care less.
Once, Fifth Avenue, the Manhattan region’s Central Avenue, was the world’s largest gold mine. It showcased top-brand consumer luxuries, which were a symbol of wealth and elegance. It led the fashion scene and it was synonymous with the highest quality.
Every woman dreamed of shopping on Fifth Avenue, wished to taste the feeling of money burning away in a flash, imagined that one day she could enjoy a relaxing breakfast at a store meant for nobility.
But now it was all just rubble and ruins.
The most prosperous economic region is always the highest priority attack target.
People were eager to flock to those bustling metropoles. It never occurred to them that once the war started, those economic centers were destined to be the first to suffer.
Ancient wars were fought with armies, modern wars are fought through resources – through the economy.
The more prosperous the land, the more likely it is to be struck first. So the Manhattan region had become the scene of some of the fiercest mutant attacks in New York. The attacks were powerful, varied greatly, and were often chaotic in nature.
The organization of the gang, the self-defense of the public, and the community formed here was cut from that chaos; that fact was reflected in its complex distribution of forces. Such was this dog-eat-dog world
The distress signal was sent from here – that was not surprising.
Through the windows, Shen Yi saw a distant building collapse in a huge explosion.
Fire and dust flew everywhere, army and police rushed from all directions, but no one could control the spread of chaos.
Residents had to take up arms: they had no confidence in the government.
This was the sorrowful state of the modern United States, a republic where every disaster, whether natural or artificial, would, in the eyes of people, be blamed on the government. Just think: whether it was a hurricane or a volcanic eruption, the first thing the army would do was direct their hostility against the people. Now you understand why the country fell into such a situation.
Of course, nothing could deny the possibility the Bloody City’s secret interference.
There were always adventurers whom, after entering the dismissed list, became anxious, and were willing to risk their lives to come to Manhattan and try their luck. Thus this land became an abyss of chaos inside New York.
Shen Yi arrived at the Fifth Avenue and looked around for a moment. What he found was a shootout in progress.
He could not tell who was fighting whom. Everywhere he looked, gunfire formed violent masterpieces.
Shen Yi opened his phone. “Lille, I’m at Fifth Avenue, where are you?”
Lille was the soldier who had found the distress signal; Frost ordered him to stay here to await Shen Yi’s arrival.
“Sir, I’m watching the battle. It’s engulfed everything. There are human beings, there are mutants, there are gangs – this mess has driven them mad, they shoot on sight, regardless of friend or foe! My God, I never thought that sixty years later New York would become so bad! It was the Third World War!”
“Where can I find the one who sent the distress signal?”
“I saw them head toward Central Park, sir.”
“Got it.” Shen Yi ended the call, turned to the car owner, and said, “To Central Park!”
The owner was a middle-aged white man. He shouted at the battlefield, which was blazing as bright as the sun. “Are you crazy? That’s a living hell out there, and we’re standing on the edge of it. You want me and my car to leap into the fire! No, you better kill me now!”
Shen Yi put Spirit Flame Gun’s muzzle to the owner’s head and said, “I accept.”
The car owner screamed.
Shen Yi coldly said, “I give you two choices. One: I kill you. Two: I drive this car. You can get off, or you can accompany me to the destination and then be on your way away. Which will it be?”
The owner shuddered for a moment, then thought to give Shen Yi a surprising answer. “Okay, you can drive. I want to stay in the car.”
“You’re not timid as you seem.” Shen Yi laughed.
“Because this car contains all of my possessions.”
“Hope you bought insurance.”
“Yes, I did, but the insurance company is fucking bankrupt and my own company is finished.” The car owner burst into tears.
At this time, a signal flare rose into the sky.
That was the type issued to the adventurers. Judging by the color of the flare, it was an urgent request.
Shen Yi’s face quickly darkened as he threw the owner into the rear seat and stepped on the throttle, speeding toward Central Park.
Central Park, once the world’s most beautiful city park, was located on the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Central Park West Road. The 349 acres Central Park occupied was once the most desirable location for Chinese artists. Many street artists made their fortune here selling their works to obtain fame.
But war didn’t spare these scenic green pastures. A Mercedes-Benz roared through the hail of bullets raining on Fifth Avenue and sped into the west side of Central Park. It ran onto the light green grass surrounding the artificial lakes, frantically looking for the location of the signal.
When Shen Yi reached Central Park’s zoo, he finally found the adventurers.
About ten people or more were a part of a confrontation in the tropical rain forest area.
Only four people stood against another group with as many as seven individuals. Among the eleven people there were ten adventurers. What surprised Shen Yi was that the four Western adventurers who raced him yesterday were here. They belonged to the group of seven. The other three were also adventurers. Judging by their appearance, the one with the beard was clearly Indian, the other two were Asians, one was short-statured and may have been Vietnamese, and the last looked like a bandit so Shen Yi couldn’t identify his nationality.
The Western Region and the Southern Region had joined forces.
They were confronting the Eastern adventurers who had sent the distress signal: three Chinese adventurers and a bald white youth – who was a mutant.
Surprisingly, despite the small number of Eastern Region adventurers, the adventurers on the other side were helpless.
The three adventurers of the Eastern Region cornered the young mutant, and one of them, a fine young lady, was pointing her gun at the head of the young man while directing a cold look at the others. Behind them was a paddock. Some monkeys were roaring inside; a few were observing the human confrontation. From time to time they would issue a creaky call, face the outside, and offer a troll face.
Shen Yi’s thoughts raced.
He did not rush directly onto the stage, but put up his coat’s collar in order to block off the side of his face. He pretended to be a bystander in a vehicle as he rapidly withdrew, and circled around the enclosure to enter from the artificial rain forest. Then, he quietly observed.
It appeared that the mutant was the cause of this fight.
Shen Yi guessed that this was likely due to the Southern and Western sides finding the mutant and scrambling over each other. The result was that the mutant fell into the hands of the Eastern adventurers. Seeing this, the Western and Southern adventurers banded together to deal with the Eastern Region; however, the Chinese people are known for their cunning, so immediately, someone took the mutant as hostage. That was why, despite the fact that they were outnumbered, the situation had become a stalemate. Even so, they couldn’t get away, either, so they were forced to send out a distress signal and call for help.
Shen Yi was puzzled. For just a mutant, these people were willing to maintain a stalemate for so long. Was it worth it?
Curious, he used Appraisal on the bald white youth.
The result of the Appraisal astonished him.
“James Daniel, Level 4 mutant, Psychic Power: Negation.”
“Level 4 mutant?” Shen Yi couldn’t contain his surprise and exclaimed aloud.