One wave after another. The Otaku team shot crossbows for a whole day – an organized team effort. It was not until nightfall that the fortifications were done, there was a long trail of zombies.
Bright red mushroom liquid flowed into the moat. The leading zombies wailed their death cries. After that round of zombies was killed with mushroom juice, the zombies fell into another trap – ferocious blazing flames…
Luo Xun and team sat in their cars, away from the fiery metal walls. The trench traps surrounded the entire fortifications, there were no other defenses to rely on.
They were in the midst of a circle of fire. If not for Song Lingling using her water powers to cool the area and Zhang Yi bringing in fresh area, they would have been roasted alive or suffocated.
Several of the students were reading novels in the firelight. Yu Xinran was in Xu Mei's lap, her body covered with a blanket. She slept soundly while clutching several picture books to her chest.
These books were found inadvertently scattered around a building. It was definitely not a bookstore or newsstand but they did not recognize the original building. They suspected it was likely a warehouse, or a shipment center. Anyway, they found a lot of books, although they could not find formal teaching materials, the books would solve people’s boredom. Yu Xinran would become more well read.
The computer in Luo Xun's home still had some online novels and literature. Li Tie and the others knew how to get Wifi and shared, they usually used their mobile phone to download various novels to pass the time. These things could wait until Yu Xinran was older…these books were more suitable for her.
Outside, wind and fire fluttered through the night. After a night, everything outside around them was charred.
Luo Xun climbed a metal rack and looked around, determined that there were no traces of zombies, all were burned to death in the ditch. He climbed down with relief. "Open! Pack your things!"
The harvest this time was still good, not only were there more than 7,000 crystal nuclei, half of them were level two cores!
The current base price of a level two nuclei was ten times that of a level one. They would not replace the second level nuclei with first level since the benefit was more than two times.
A group of people divided the spoils in the car, leaving part of it for team income. The rest was distributed accordingly with a discussion afterwards.
"Do you want to stay for a while? Or go straight back?"
The harvest was good, everyone's mood was elevated as well. Although there were quite a few level two zombies outside, since they had mushroom enhanced weapons – two times the mushroom juice from last time! Plus, they did not leave base last month.
Luo Xun looked at the crowd and then looked to the sun. "Let's return." He laughed. "Everyone's harvest is rich and it's almost noon. When we go back, if we don't want to submit to the blood tests, we'll have to wait a while in the waiting area."
Indeed, continuing could score them some more crystal nuclei but who knew when they would get home. If they were surrounded by zombies like last time, they might not be able to return until night time. Even if they had a day off tomorrow, it might be better to have a day's rest then work hard outside.
Looking at each other, the team made a rational, unanimous decision – go straight home!
Each person began to pack their things. Yan Fei used a metal folding bar to load the vehicles. They were in a place where some of the trees had been knocked down. Luo Xun added a few pieces of relatively intact wood and drove back towards base.
The rest of the metal was "hidden" inside an older trap. Of course, the trap was sealed with a lid and well-covered. Zhang Yi deliberately created a pile of gravel and rotten wood on top, there was little difference compared to the other ruins.
Once this was done the team returned to the road. Although it was a tad far from base, they wanted to hurry back to eat lunch and wait for re-entry.
The dust had settled as a result of the filled cars, but while they were driving along a main road, they saw dust and smoke.
"Zombie, and a car." Yan Fei put down his telescope and reported to Luo Xun.
Luo Xun nodded, his expression shifted as he ordered, "Keep your eyes open as we pass by."
The cars continued forwards, the road had a lot more zombies than when they passed by yesterday. It was not hard to realize why with the cars parked in the distance – the monsters were attracted by the vehicles, or other cars coming through.
This road was one of several main roads through the city. From the south, one could reach several other cities. It was said that in early June, at least half of the broken bases passed through aiming for city!
For Luo Xun and company, this was the only way back to base after the bombing – they did not have any SUVs and the roads were full of debris. The number of zombies on the road was quite large, but nothing difficult for experienced teams to handle.
Luo Xun's team did not run out of weapons, ammunition, mushroom juice or petrol. They had enough left over in case of extra zombies they had not intended on fighting.
As they approached the cars, the group could see that a lorry had been overturned and a group of zombies was tearing and grabbing at a man. The other car was blocking the road while some people holding sticks, iron pipes and other weapons attacked the zombies. All their faces were filled with despair until they saw Luo Xun's car!
"Kill." Luo Xun grabbed his crossbow and shot the nearest zombie.
The zombies and the two cars completely blocked the road. There was no shelter unless they turned back, and to get through, they could only kill the zombies.
Yan Fei was also ready to take action, along with the people in the other cars. After seeing him, everyone immediately launched attacks.
A zombie dodged the arrow and jumped over Luo Xun's car! The leap was three meters high! While in midair, the falling zombie hit a plate. As if the metal was alive, it twisted and constricted, turning the zombie into meat paste.
After killing the zombie outside the car, Luo Xun opened the door and the gathered the team. Yu Xinran quickly turned the roadside into sand, Zhang Yi raised a gravel storm and with Xu Mei's added fire, the combined attack shot out.
The people in the two cars experienced a sharp desire to survive when these new people stopped to help.
One man loudly shouted, "Everyone keep strong! Hold on!"
Some of the younger and stronger members put their full effort into fighting since the chance of survival had increased substantially
With their weapons and equipment, the Otaku team quickly cleared away the zombies. Unfortunately a lot of the people in the two cars had been injured. With little chance of survival, they desperately covered their faces on the roadside.
Luo Xun glanced at those men on the roadside, turned to the other wounded and walked over. "Where did you come from?"
Their situation could be deduced from the state of their clothes and car. Definitely not a city team out on a mission. Tattered clothes, sallow faces, obviously different from the living conditions on base. The main reason for his opinions was that these people did not have proper weapons.
Some people had an axe at their side, the remainder had grabbed metal from who knew where.
Everyone rushed to explain. "We came from C-city."
"We're from M-city."
One middle aged, forty year old explained. "Our team has people from several bases. Once the base was broken, they were heading towards city but then everyone's means of transportation was broken…"
Luo Xun nodded while pointing at the car in front of him. "Your team only had two cars?"
The person's face became ugly, others looked unhappy as well. "Our team originally had twenty cars, everyone on the road together. Even if we came across zombies there were ways to defend. But when the car broke down today, and since there were more zombies on the road…usually we would stop and wait for a while, to fight against the zombies or save as many people as possible, but today…"
This location was not far from city but they did not expect to meet so many level two zombies, Since the southwest base was not far, the cars in front did not want to delay and were afraid their car would also be attacked.
Although the last two cars had a lot of people, they were all regular people, no ability users. In the apocalypse, they were commonly used as cannon fodder, so the last two cars were simply abandoned as the others continued onwards.
Luo Xun understood their situation and turned to the group behind him. Li Tie and the others had dug out the crystal nuclei from the zombies and placed them into a bag. They handed the spoils over to Luo Xun. "Sixty-four."
Luo Xun took that bag and gave half to the forty year old man. "Half is yours. Southwest base is not far, do you want to come with us or go alone?"
The man froze then looked towards the others. One young man suddenly asked, "Are you going anywhere else?"
Luo Xun looked at, vaguely thought he looked familiar before shaking his head. "We are heading directly back to base."
The group looked at Luo Xun's cars that were carrying a lot of stuff and guessed they were in a team out on missions.
After a short discussion, the older man laughed. "It's best to go with you, as you can see, the people in the car…are ordinary people with no special abilities…"
Luo Xun shook his head with a laugh. "No problem, the southwest base has a reward system. If we rescue and return with survivors, we also get a reward. A win-win result."
After the talk, Yan Fei stepped forward and removed the metal from the damaged car. He moved it to a truck and fixed the hole and reinforced the body. As for the rest of the car? Thrown straight onto the roadside.
Those who had been bitten, half had already turned into zombies but the group could not bear to leave them. The rest of the wounded sat in a corner with longing in their eyes, but unable to suggest following the convoy.
It was not that they did not want to live or seek help, but in these short six months in the escape to city, they had seen the eventual fate of those infected by zombies.
One of the men obviously had a ruthless character, after his arm was bitten, he decisively cut off his arm. He just did not know if the wound was contaminated, or if the virus spread really fast. It was not long before he too turned into a zombie.
Once the people had climbed into the truck, Luo Xun spoke to the ones on the road side and pointed, "Follow this road for 30 minutes and you will be able to see the base wall. If you get there without turning into a zombie, you can get treatment to check if you are infected." If they were zombies, they get gunned down by the guards.
The car drove all the way back to base. After registering and reporting that the car behind them had rescued survivors, Luo Xun and company entered the waiting area.
While sitting in the area, waiting for time to pass, Luo Xun silently chewed the dumplings from Xu Mei.
Yan Fei suddenly grabbed Luo Xun's hands. "What's wrong? You're in a mood today."
Luo Xun's mood had been off since June. It had not been obvious before and today was more pronounced when he saw people surrounded by zombies.
Luo Xun's actions today were more than usual – especially for strangers. Most importantly – Yan Fei could feel that something was off.
Luo Xun froze and looked up with surprise. He could notice? Then again…the two had lived together for so long, they could gauge each other's emotions. If there was something wrong, Yan Fei would be the first to notice.
"…I'll tell you when we get back home." Luo Xun had tired eyes.
He did not know how to explain his situation. He did not intend to tell anyone about his rebirth, but keeping things a secret for too long would cause mental, unbearable fatigue.
Especially when the experience of two life times are echoed.
After his rebirth, Luo Xun did not clearly remember his time on the road, did not know the exact day of entry into base. But he had experienced the fall of M-city base, after that…
Perhaps because the experience was too traumatic, the human brain would subconsciously block a person's memories. So Luo Xun did not remember until he was driving back. Those two trucks that had been stuck on the road – he had almost died there. He and other companions were desperately fleeing towards city southwest base.
At that time, they had the bad luck of meeting a team out on a mission, a number of his companions were killed. He and a few other people managed to escape, but had no courage to look back.
Luo Xun knew the forty year old man because he had been one of the companions who escaped to base with him. He was the first to decide to grow a garden at home while looking for base work. At the start Luo Xun had tried to find a team – after all he had been out of base in M-city and could use his homemade crossbow to shoot zombies.
But Luo Xun was hit with a brutal reality – he was an ordinary, low level person. He could deal with a few basic zombies, but higher levels were not something a regular person could deal with.
When Luo Xun went back to base to find a job, the man at the time had farming experience. Luo Xun was introduced to the planting division and thus he became an otaku that stayed on base.
As for the other people…although a few people in the truck looked familiar, Luo Xun could not think of anyone…wait a minute!
Luo Xun's eyes suddenly lit up and he raised his head.
Yan Fei raised an eyebrow. "What? Does something hurt?" He raised a hand to touch his forehead.
"Uh…no, everything is fine…" Luo Xun suddenly turned red and bowed his head. He obediently let Yan Fei rub his head.
He remembered why he thought the young men who had spoken up before looked familiar. Luo Xun had a base friend on his way to city. At the time, they had decided to live together if they had no partners despite not having known each other for long.
That person's appearance was ordinary, hard to pick out from a crowd. When that person died a few years later, the person's impression faded in Luo Xun's mind. Today, there had only been a sense of familiarity.
Yan Fei tilted his head, he felt that Luo Xun seemed guilty, but what would he be guilty of? Even when he asked Luo Xun about his mood, there had not been emotion. It looked like…he was suddenly remembering something he had done.
Yan Fei did not say anything, he pressed down the doubt and waited for their talk at home. He embraced Luo Xun as they waited.
Yan Fei's intimate actions would have been noticed two months ago, but now…the men had begun to accept that there were no women around. So two men showing affection was more common. On the other hand, since the Otaku Squad had two young women, from time to time people would glance over.
Luckily, both Xu Mei and Song Lingling were very careful. They dressed very neutrally, even Song Lingling cut her hair short. They both dressed inconspicuously and covered their faces as much as possible.