“Si Nan!” Yan Hao knocked on the window and asked, “Are you free? Do you want to go out and take a walk?”
Si Nan had somehow found a whisk inside the empty factory building. He was currently grinding a basin full of dark ointment-like substance, filling the place with a strong smell of kerosene. Once he heard Yan Hao’s voice, he stopped his work and waved the man in.
This was the first time an outsider was allowed to enter his studio. Yan Hao couldn’t help but feel flattered: “You are…”
Si Nan handed him the whisk and the iron basin, then gave him a short command: “Work hard.”
Confused, Yan Hao stood still holding the basin for quite a long time until both of his arms were too sour to be lifted. Seeing this, Si Nan was finally satisfied: “Alright, go out now, don’t talk nonsense.”
“What is this?”
Yan Hao: “…”
Yan Hao had wanted to discuss with Si Nan whether he would go to the B-City Military District with the special forces squad. However, Si Nan was obviously indifferent to his own whereabouts. Yan Hao had to leave and talked with Zhou Rong on his own.
Under the autumn’s fast blue sky, Si Nan was mixing the gunpowder. The powder was laid inside the factory shade. He was waiting for the kerosene to dry naturally when, suddenly, he heard the sound of light and rapid footsteps, prompting him to look out the back window.
Behind the factory building was a secluded path. The east side led to an anhydrous ammonia storage ten minutes away from the factory, while the west side led to the canteen. A young girl in an apron was scrambling around the corner of the path, looking a little pale and frightened. Her frantic footsteps slowed when her sight fell on Si Nan.
“?” Si Nan stared at her, recognizing her as Wu Xinyan.
Wu Xinyan ran towards him.
Probably Si Nan’s words when they first arrived at the factory: “Six months, too late to abort“, had left a deep impression on Wu Xinyan. This girl had always disliked him, often taking a detour when they crossed path. Si Nan didn’t know what happened, but she didn’t seem to have been bitten by the zombies. He opened the window from the inside and held his hand out, offering it to the girl.
Wu Xinyan climbed inside, then squatted down with her back against the window, pulling Si Nan down with her.
“Oh…” she said softly.
Si Nan frowned and was about to speak when he heard another sound of footsteps from outside the window. This time the footsteps were much heavier, followed by a man’s gruff voice saying, “Hey!” The voice cried out, “She was just here, where did she go?”
Another male voice with an accent answered, “Where is she?” Then he stepped closer and glanced at the back window of the factory. He didn’t see Si Nan and Wu Xinyan hiding in the shadow under the window sill and said, “There is nobody here.”
“Damn, that girl is too fast.”
“You also don’t make trouble, Feng said not to make a move on those people, did you forget?”
These two were part of Feng Wentai’s bodyguards. Si Nan’s eyes darkened upon realizing this.
They rustled about for a while, probably to smoke. The first person then voiced out his dissatisfaction, “If Laozi found her beautiful, why shouldn’t Laozi chase her? It’s true we are not allowed to do so, but Feng had always been lenient with us.”
The man with an accent said, “Right”.
“Say,” the man then lowered his voice and asked in disbelief: “do you think those people are really members of the special force?”
“Why, you don’t think so?”
“They are all betas, it seems wrong. Nowadays, don’t they only choose alphas to be special forces? I suspect they’re Guo’s local men, they took an opportunity in this time of chaos to spread lies, fooling even Feng.”
“It doesn’t matter, as long as they can get us into the refuge.”
The two complained for a bit. Hiding in the small space under the window sill, Si Nan’s eyes narrowed a little.
“Right,” the man with the gruff voice seemed to have remembered something, “Boss Feng asked Lu Hui to apologize before, and as a result, Lu Hui was kicked by the angry girly boy. He seemed to really avoid looking for trouble during these two days.”
“Is that true?”
“Yeah. If you ask me, he must be feeling shameful, he couldn’t even handle such a weak chicken! Someone needs to teach that kid a lesson…With such fine skin and tender appearance, he looks like an omega, he shouldn’t pretend to be a fighter…”
“Why, you still want to enter his back door?” 
The two laughed obscenely. After exchanging a few more words, their footsteps finally drifted away.
Wu Xinyan paled. With a trembling gaze, she glanced to her side. Si Nan’s eyebrows were drawn extremely tight, his eyes narrowed, slanting into such a fierce look.
Before she could finish her words, Si Nan had lifted his index finger in a ‘stop’ gesture, then pulled her out of the door.
“This is the car key. If there is something wrong, please evacuate everyone. The spare materials have been placed in the minibus in advance. I also have to trouble you with the pregnant woman. We will come back from the military district in one week at the latest…”
Zhou Rong carefully gave out instructions to Dr. Zheng. However, at this time Si Nan suddenly walked in through the door, his hand still pulling the trotting Wu Xinyan behind him. The young man did not say anything and directly pulled out the type-64 handgun from Zhou Rong’s waist pack.
“Hey!” Zhou Wei was furious, “What are you doing? Come back here!”
Si Nan really did turn back, but only to put his hand into Zhou Rong’s trouser pocket and took out a large string of warehouse keys. Then, he walked away once again.
Fortunately, Zhou Rong grabbed his wrist in time, “What’s the matter? Where are you going? Are you planning a robbery?”
Si Nan said coldly, “Don’t worry about it, it’s none of your business.”
He broke away from Zhou Rong’s grip and turned around in the direction of the garage, still pulling Wu Xinyan behind him.
Zhou Rong chased after him. He was about to shout but seemed to realize something as his eyes fell on Wu Xinyan’s stumbling figure, and fell silent.
“…Ugh, this kid.” Zhou Hao murmured, “He still likes that girl.”
He stood there for a while, feeling as if his throat was blocked by something, making him unable to swallow or talk. After a while, he pinched hard between his eyebrows, as if trying to cover what he was feeling with the sting, and smiled: “You may laugh.”
Dr. Zheng was hesitant and merely nodded to show his understanding.
“Get on the car,” said Si Nan.
Wu Xinyan climbed onto the armored car and asked with a frightened voice, “Where are we going?”
Si Nan slammed the door shut and started the car, saying, “Nowhere.”
The armored car rushed out of the garage then turned around in the open space, bypassing the factory’s canteen and continue driving towards the inaccessible anhydrous ammonia storage. After a few minutes on the gravel road, Wu Xinyan was so car-sick she almost fainted, but luckily they stopped just in time in front of a run-down brick building.
“I found this place when cleaning up the zombies last week.” Si Nan got off the car and asked, “How long has he been disturbing you?”
Wu Xinyan gathered her courage and answered in a shaky voice: “Since those men arrived, only a few days…”
This garage was filled with broken transportation trucks. The surrounding area was filled with the unpleasant smell of ammonia. The green iron door was rusty, who knew how long it had been abandoned. Si Nan stepped on the rubbish bin and broke in through the dusty and cobwebs-filled back window. He then opened the front door and motioned for Wu Xinyan to come inside.
“The garage door is battery-controlled, the switch is here. It’s not very clean inside, but once it’s cleaned it’ll be fine to live in.”
Wu Xinyan hugged her arms, looking around with fear and curiosity.
There were damp and moldy large patches on the garage wall, the corners were full of debris, and the ground was covered with thick dust. Si Nan moved two boxes of mineral water, instant noodles, blankets, and other things from the armored car, then took out the type-64 handgun and placed it in Wu Xinyan’s hand.
“After we left, if anything happens, take your pregnant friend to hide here.”
Wu Xinyan’s breath hitched, feeling as if she was holding a piece of hot charcoal in her hand. “I, I, I don’t dare to use this…”
Si Nan turned, patted her arm, then raised her hand holding the gun towards the sky. ‘BANG!’ a loud sound filled the place!
The force of the shot pushed Wu Xinyan back a few steps. She fell to the ground, staring unbelievingly at Si Nan who only said: “Now you dare.”
Wu Xinyan’s brain turned blank, a chaotic mess. Her lips trembled as she nodded hard.
“Don’t tell anyone about that place, including your pregnant woman friend.” Warned Si Nan once they were back driving on the gravel road. He continued, “Avoid those people for these few days, don’t make any frontal conflict. I’ll prepare some supplies for you before leaving.”
Wu Xinyan turned her head, looking at Si Nan’s long and curled eyelashes. His eyes were always cold and focused, sometimes giving people the illusion that he had no emotions.
“You…” Wu Xinyan opened her mouth to ask, “You are not afraid of them…?”
Wu Xinyan changed to a more direct question, but her voice was lighter: “…Is what they said about you true?”
This time, Si Nan glanced at her from the corner of his eye without giving an answer.
Wu Xinyan felt like hundreds of claws were scratching at her heart, the hidden-villain inside her wanted to grasp Si Nan’s shoulders and shake him countless times.
The silence lasted until they returned to the factory. Si Nan parked the armored car, locked the door after they got off, and then beckoned her closer.
Wu Xinyan: “?”
She followed Si Nan’s pointed finger to the brick wall and, suddenly, felt the wind swept across her face– BANG!
Wu Xinyan’s whole body freeze in shock. She saw Si Nan standing with a punching posture aimed towards the wall, the red brick in front of them cracked before silently breaking apart, leaving a half-a-meter diameter hole in its place.
“What do you think?” Si Nan asked calmly.
He then walked away while throwing the key in his hand up and down, leaving Wu Xinyan to worry about the big hole on the wall.
After sending away Dr.Zheng with plenty of instructions, Zhou Rong sat alone in the director’s office, sinking deeply in the armchair.
The view outside the window showed the afternoon’s calm blue sky. The sound of people training and talking in the front yard could be heart faintly, carried by the blowing wind. Zhou Rong habitually touched the cigarette box in his hand, the last of his stock. He put it against his nose and took a careful sniff for a while.
Zhou Rong was about to pull out his lighter when the office door was pushed open. Si Nan’s figure appeared on the doorstep, throwing a string of keys at him.
“Oh!” Fortunately, Zhou Rong’s reaction was fast and he successfully caught it in midair: “—— Done with your matter?”
Si Nan didn’t bother to explain and merely answered, “Yeah.”
Zhou Rong observed him, looking deeply in thought for a while before finally asking, “Are you coming with us to the military district?”
Si Nan answered, “Yes.”
“…” Zhou Rong couldn’t hold himself back from asking, “Do you like that girl?”
Si Nan, who was going to leave, stopped upon hearing his question. He questioned incredulously, “I don’t like her, why?”
Zhou Rong had so many questions in his mind, yet he didn’t know where to start. His forehead wrinkled, “Then do you still…”
“That girl,” Si Nan looked around the corridor and suddenly lowered his voice, saying very seriously: “she likes Yan Hao. Take note of it.”
– At that moment, Si Nan’s tone could be described as friendly, prompting Zhou Rong to stare at him with a stunned look. Suddenly, his intuition was blaring alarm signals at him.
However, he had no time to think about what was wrong. Si Nan had already turned back toward the factory to continue mixing his gunpowder.
Three days later, Zhou Rong personally put the last box of bullets into the car, slammed the rear door close, and said: “Depart!”
The armored car slowly drove out of the factory under the gazes of the men, women, and children in the front yard. From the rearview mirror, they could see mixed expressions of gratefulness, anticipation, fear and worry on the people’s faces, growing more and more unnoticeable the farther they went.
Six special force members and one extra-combatant were sitting in the car, each of them armed, wearing kevlar body armor, and carrying a miniature handgun. Zhou Rong wanted to say something to lighten the atmosphere, but saw Si Nan suddenly stand up, pushed the rear door open, and jumped down the armored car.
Zhou Rong cursed, “Little fucker, what do you want to do now!”
Si Nan rushed towards Wu Xinyan at the front of the crowd. He took out a bottle with pitted-surface from the layered cushion of his tactical one-shoulder sling bag and handed it to her, instructing shortly, “Avoid bumps and throw it as far as possible.”
Like a soldier who was about to go to the battlefield, Wu Xinyan clutched the bottle of nitroglycerin in her hand and asked nervously: “What if it’s not thrown far enough?”
Si Nan answered after a moment of silent, “Then pray.”
“…” Helpless, Wu Xinyan had to say, “Then I will practice using stones first.”
Not far away from them, Zhou Rong retracted his head from the window. He let out a sigh, reaching out a hand to pat Chun Cao’s hair: “Cao er…”
The young lady was in the middle of wiping the barrel of her gun with a soft cloth, she answered without raising her head: “Yeah?”
“Do you think Dad should just go and find an omega? Settle down with them?”
All the people in the car looked up at the same time, staring in shock at Zhou Rong. Yan Hao even drove the armored car into a big ‘S’ shape.
Soon, Si Nan ran back to the car. He grabbed the iron ladder and jumped up, returning to the rear compartment neatly. Upon seeing the shocked looks on the soldiers’ faces, he raised his eyebrow in question. However, this time no one took notice of his confusion.
Chun Cao put down her gun, clutched her cheap father’s hand, and said: “Even if you said that, is there an omega out there that will want to be with you?”
 I’m assuming ‘entering his back door’ here means to uh you know, papapa
Also, in case you are a noob like me who have no idea what the hell is kevlar body armor, it’s basically a bulletproof vest