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The Final Apostle

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In a desolate world, she exists nameless and genderless, stripped of hair and eyebrows, bearing only a designated number. For a decade, she has lived a life devoid of agency, trapped in a cycle of killing and being killed, day in and day out. She is an apostle of the divine, sustained by the ability to take lives in exchange for abundant food, secure shelter, and decent clothing. Her victims? Mostly ordinary individuals—poor, lonely, filthy, cruel, and short-lived. It's the brutal reality of the food chain, stark and rational.  On the isolated Western Isle, plagued by natural disasters, severe cold, and epidemic for over two decades, people are born into starkly different circumstances. That is, until a vessel from the east breaks through the impassable waters and descends like a god on the eastern coastline.  Deciding to spare lives, she lets her hair grow, renouncing her role as an executioner. Yet, beneath the perpetual light of the polar day, horrors more grotesque and absurd than wanton slaughter emerge. Life, inherently bound to death, compels her and others to rebel against an unbearable fate.  This novel delves into themes of identity, morality, and survival against an unforgiving backdrop. As she navigates a world that challenges her every notion of purpose and existence, she must confront the specter of violence and the darkness within herself. Can she break free from her past and forge a new path, or is the cycle of bloodshed destined to continue?

Chapter 1 "The Apostle Lord has endless nightmares."

Sizzle... Sss...

Subtle sounds of water echoed in the darkness, mingling with the scent of chemicals and decay in the air.

"How did I lose consciousness again? Did the plan fail? This time, I must be truly dying..."

Painful screams pierced through her ears, causing her pupils to contract and every hair on her body to stand on end. The white corridors were filled with eerie electrical buzzing, and blinding lights converged on her naked body from all directions.

"Subject No. 76, Bacterial Injection Experiment #341... Electrical stimulation complete, preparing to record shock count..."

A mechanical voice emanated from the speaker grille as technicians in orange vacuum suits inside a massive glass enclosure relayed data.

A sharp needle penetrated No. 76's cervical vertebrae amidst the announcements, injecting RH neurotoxin into her spine. As the toxin seeped into her marrow, her body ignited with pain, as if countless thorny vines crawled through her bloodstream, tearing at her brain's neurons. Flesh, consciousness, and sanity were repeatedly punctured and shredded.

Veins bulged on No. 76's forehead as she gritted her teeth, biting through her own lips. Tissues and dissolved flesh swelled under her skin, turning her body into a bloated balloon oozing blood from every pore, leaving her sprawled like a lifeless corpse.

"You're still alive? How fortunate."

Hot hands brushed against her cheek as No. 76 gasped desperately for air. Electromagnetic currents coiled around her body like venomous serpents, tightening around her neck. In the lonely darkness, giant glass enclosures lit up one by one, each revealing a different scene of nakedness, screams, and blood, resembling their own infernal hells.

A devilish voice sneered in her ear, "But you're alive just to die, aren't you?"

The white lights dimmed, submerging No. 76 in a pool of blood among disfigured corpses. Faces with hollow eye sockets stared blankly towards the sky, their rotting lips muttering, "Living is just to die... Living is just to die..."

No. 76 recognized them, and abruptly held her breath, trembling all over.

Splashing...

A deluge of cold water crashed down, knocking off the cap covering No. 76's head. Her porcelain-like face was exposed, bald and eyebrowless, neither distinctly male nor female. The cold water shattered the nightmare, gradually bringing back sounds of the real world.

Din, rain, strange bird calls? Not a prison, nor a basement... where am I?

Footsteps on wooden floors... no, harder than shoes... military boots, someone from the army? Who is it?

In that moment of clarity, No. 76 felt her body convulsing uncontrollably. "This is an allergic reaction. Someone drugged me? How long was I unconscious? Did I say anything?" Her temples throbbed with pain with every breath. Her raised hands flailed in the air, trying to grasp anything that could help her sit up, inadvertently clawing her own face.

Splash...

Another deluge of water poured down, causing No. 76 to shudder violently, emitting a strange whimper. A warm stream trickled from beneath her, losing control. She lay motionless on the ground, her face pallid, as if life had left her. The red mole at the corner of her left eye was now dull, with only the rise and fall of her chest proving she was alive.

"What a mess, utterly disgraceful."

A young man's voice sounded through the water, filled with disdain.

"Thinking Lady Ya is coming to interrogate, I gave her a shot of consciousness-restoring nerve injection, but didn't expect the Apostle to be so fragile." Another rough voice chimed in, sycophantic with a hint of a smile. "Also didn't expect the lady to arrive so quickly, still haven't cleaned up properly."

Lady Ya?

In Feiji City, only the secretary of the official residence and the head of the secret information bureau—the council of secret agents—Yashuk.

No. 76 weakly opened her eyes, revealing dark pupils. In that moment of clarity, she understood her predicament. "Second-floor suite of a small building? Why am I here? Why are there so many officers?"

Sheriff Peter Pan saw that the person on the ground had awakened, his gaze darkened, saying nothing, gesturing for the officers holding water buckets to leave and stepping aside to give a clear view.

"Insidious insects, truly disgusting." Yashuk donned a purple handkerchief from his coat pocket, covering his nose and mouth. "A waste of reputation."

On the mahogany floor, the bodies of black-clothed individuals lined up like copies, each similar in stature and attire, like cut-and-paste duplicates. One by one, the cloaks were lifted, revealing a chilling sight.

All the corpses shared the same face!

"The Apostles of the Abyss, twelve individuals summoned by the gods, transformed by divine drugs. Faces like porcelain, bald and eyebrowless, nameless and genderless."

Yashuk strolled slowly among the corpses, the carved leather soles of his shoes creaking on the wooden floor. "Emotionless, unafraid of life or death, obedient only to the commands of the gods. A sword hanging high over Feiji City, guardians of balance and order."

"Tsk... How lofty." Yashuk sighed meaningfully, looking up. "Truly admirable."

Outside the window, the storm raged, lightning flashing, leaving a stark boundary between the dead and No. 76. Yashuk stood there, straddling the line between life and death.

No. 76 was lifted by someone, sitting dazedly on the ground, still recovering from the effects of the drugs.

Her last memory was in the rain.

Dark clouds loomed over the city, casting an ominous shadow. A plump myna bird flew from the direction of Heze Plain, passing over a two-story small building at the end of Daguxiang. No. 76 leaned against the shadow behind the chimney on the roof, absentmindedly folding a piece of tin foil she picked up into stars.

"It's going to rain." She sighed softly, her gaze sharp as she looked a kilometer away towards the entrance of Daguxiang. The dark clouds settled heavily, connecting with the vast, overcast Penna River right bank, enveloping the entire immigrant district like a barrel.

Another dark figure leaped onto the roof, and seeing No. 76 momentarily stunned, turned and descended.

"The eleventh one, how peculiar." No. 76's mouth twitched imperceptibly, shifting her gaze back towards the entrance of Daguxiang. The crowd there grew larger, dark and brooding. She wiped her rain-soaked face, watching the gray hat enter the building.

Like everyone else on the Western Ze Continent, No. 76 hated the rain.

Ever since the global catastrophe twenty-one years ago, rain in the Western Ze Continent carried toxins. While not lethal, it caused rashes when it touched clothes and unbearable itching when it landed on skin. Even the rats in the gutters knew to find shelter when it rained.

The rain intensified, curtains of water cascading from the sky.

No. 76 heard the footsteps of the gray-hatted man climbing the wooden stairs step by step to the second floor, the sliding door of the suite opening as the person entered.

The commotion at the entrance of Daguxiang reached the roof of the small building. No. 76 swiftly descended, her figure moving like a low-flying swallow, disappearing into the complex labyrinth of alleys.

Bam! Bam!

Two gunshots rang out amidst the thunder. Torrential rain poured down. The crowd gathered at the entrance of Daguxiang fell silent for a moment before erupting into screams, scattering in all directions like headless flies. A man with a scarred brow emerged from a crevice in the wall near the immigration office gate, cast a glance at the hastily arriving officers through the deep curtain of rain, and disappeared into the chaotic crowd.

Chapter 2 "The Apostle's life hangs by a thread."

"Everyone else is dead, only you are alive. Why?"

Number 76 stared at the floor, eyes vacant, and did not respond. Rain lashed against the windows, causing them to rattle. A small puddle formed on the floor by the window, reflecting the wall lamp with a gentle flicker.

Yashuk lowered his gaze, smirking darkly at the Apostle. "Are you a traitor? Or are you the one who issued the mission? Who is the mastermind behind this? Speak up, it'll save everyone some trouble."

Number 76's bloodied lips trembled slightly as she slowly swallowed, her voice hoarse. "No... it's not... no one."

"You ignorant fool, daring to attempt deceit!" Yashuk scoffed, leaning back in his chair, calmly adjusting his handkerchief. "Since the Cataclysm split the mountains and the ash still looms above our heads, it's been twenty-one years. The land is contaminated by toxic rain, and the water sources are contaminated by seawater. The continent's resources have lo

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