Chapter 129: The Parcel
Translator: Letty Editor: DarkGem
"Qing Shui, you need to make a wise decision, we can't be humanity's executioner, we just don't have the right to do this." Chang pressed his palm against his chest, sighing.
"I don't want people to die either," Qing Shui said in a soft voice, "but I have no other choices."
"Qing Shui,"-Chang grabbed on Qing Shui's shoulder-"now you have their genetic information, and I can tell you their shelter's location anytime. I would do anything for you, but please don't ever let me know your true intentions. I can't bear a heartbreak from betrayal, small or big."
"Chang, I won't hurt you in any way, trust me. Before you go, I spared some hardtacks from the storage, you should take some with you." Qing Shui's voice returned to a state of calm. "I know what we're facing ahead; even those who choose to cultivate the seeds that we just distributed, their crops will likely be destroyed by those rioters. The food shortage will come again, the riot may last for a long time, perhaps peace won't come until the Willow arrives."
"Thanks, Qing Shui. I'll take all the food and medication that you have prepared for me. I'll guard the little bar I have and won't come out until you ask." Chang looked up at the ceiling. "Your goal is the possession of the world, but mine is only to keep my family safe in these turbulent days. As long as I can protect Jing and Zhizhi under my wing, I am happy."
"Off you go, brother. I got you some weapons as well." Qing Shui pointed at the door, and from that Chang knew it was time to leave.
The supply was nicely wrapped in a parcel and placed in a backpack. Chang swung it on his back, then sneaked out of the institute at a quiet corner of the wall. He flipped over the wall without anyone noticing, leaving this place behind.
The rioters were still occupying the street. It seemed like they had learned their lesson from four years ago as Chang saw something different from last time. Then, besides some chaos, most of the people rioted due to fear, but this time was different.
Today, most of the people had an ulterior motive.
They were robbing, robbing for food and anything that could help to survive.
If the first riot was a complete disorder, then this one was an organized chaos. Most people were robbing other for food and weapons, while meaningless conflicts and fearful protesters were rarely seen.
It wasn't easy for Chang to make his way back to his bar. Since he was carrying a backpack, as well as walking alone on the street, those with evil intentions targeted him even though he avoided most of the crowd.
A lone man with a backpack couldn't be a more ideal target for robbery.
A backpack openly implied resources; walking alone entailed minimum risk. This was how a normal human thought, and it was also the way robbers saw it.
But sometimes luck was the last judge to determine if the logic worked.
So even though three gangs attempted to steal Chang's backpack, all of them ended up either fallen under his gunfire or badly wounded. The situation was totally against odds of success as those robbers gained nothing just lost.
Returning to the bar was a jumpy adventure, but fortunately, peace resided inside the building. Perhaps the troop sent by Qing Shui guarded the bar well for there were fewer rioters around this area.
Before Chang fished out his key for the iron door, someone from the inside quickly slid the door open and he glided into his home.
"Chang, welcome back!"
Jing, Zhizhi, and Sanpang had waited for him since a long time ago, and Zhizhi and Jing's abilities informed them of his presence from a good distance away.
"Good to see you guys again. It's dangerous out there, we'll stay indoor temporarily, until the riot calms," Chang said. "Most of the fights involve armed fighting, and any stray bullet can seriously injure all of you. So please stay indoors."
"What, what about me?" Sangpang's chubby finger pointed at himself.
After all, the reason for his stay was that he was in debt to Chang, and now that the fragile peace was broken, the inflation made money into a meaningless pile of paper. However, he felt it inappropriate to leave barehanded without paying back; but as an outsider of the family, he didn't think he belonged here either.
Sanpang found himself in a dilemma.
"Okay. Tell me, do you want to leave and find a way to reunite with your friends, or to stay here?" Chang tilted his head, thinking upon Sangpang's query. "I'll let you go if you want to leave, but you're also welcome to stay and I will make sure you have food as well. Choose wisely."
"Thank you, Chang." Sanpang was delighted by the offer. "There isn't really any choice to make. If you don't mind me staying, I want to stay.
"I am not as dumb as I look. You have connections with the higher ups of Zhengzhou and I know you are skillful. I certainly can't survive by myself out there. Nobody will complain for living longer."
"Alright, then stay and don't cause trouble for me. When I am away, please take care of Jing for me." Chang turned to Jing, messing her hair. "Please stay in the bar no matter what, please."
"..." Jing nodded, without affirming.
In this way, they came to a mutual agreement that they would stay in the bar regardless of how chaotic the world became.
Time flew past this tranquil place bit by bit.
On the first week of the riot, the rioters looted all available resources. On the second week, those who were short in food fell into complete craziness, desperately attacking places where they thought there was food stored.
And when the third week hit, some of the rioters thought about cultivating the new crop, but they refrained because of the long growth cycle.
The riot didn't stop until the fourth week.
An unconventional migration wave swept across the city, starting from the jungle. It was a bizarre migration wave, originating from the south of the jungle. They blotted out the sky and the land, and the pioneers were those with wings-grasshoppers, beetles, flies, mosquitoes, dragonflies, birds, and some mutated mammals with wings. They were all unique and none of them shared high similarities with each other.
The tremendous amount of organisms migrated together. Some of them were natural enemies but they traveled together from the south to the north.
The flocks covered the sky like dark clouds.
Chang had heard about the plague of the grasshoppers back in the 70s, it was said that they formed an opaque dome wherever they passed.
However, the current migration wave was immense, the story of the 70s was incomparable to today's madness.
Not to mention the varieties of species seen here.
Zhengzhou was in complete darkness. Acres and acres of flocks shuttled over Zhengzhou, buzzing, squeaking, whistling, igniting the chaotic vibe to its highest.
"What is this! How magnificent!" Sanpang stood on the rooftop. "How many are there traveling!"
"Can you see any of them up there?" Chang was puzzled. "Even I can't make out many of them, so how is that possible for you?"
"Oh for god's sake, of course I can't see any of them. But listen to the wings flapping and vibrating! Quacks and squeaks... And the daylight hasn't reached us in three days! This is the real doomsday!" Sanpang exclaimed. Then the next moment, a bird slapped him in the face.
"Watch out!" Chang made a prompt decision by chopping the bird in a half with his hand. He dragged Sanpang before the blood attracted other predators.
Following the death of that bird, as well as the bloom of blood, a brief disorder was brought to this area. Some of the fatigued organisms dived down for the corpse so that they could have a quick refill to their energy supply-but more of the bloodthirsty animals choose to ignore, continuing to flee to the north.
"Are they crazy?" Sangpang staggered along from the rooftop with a lingering fear. "If they're aiming to attack Zhengzhou, I promise that humanity will die under thirty minutes.
"But they seemed fearful, they flew by us without giving any notice."
Sanpang and Chang returned to the ground level.
"Exactly, they are fearful. Seems like something is happening in the south" Chang heaved a long sigh. "This is the worst possible situation for us."
"What situation?" Sanpang asked.
"The Willow is coming."
Chang closed his eyes, and a great scenario begun playing in his mind-A monumental willow rooted in Wuhan, from where it drained all of the city's energy, and its ambition growing beyond its home city...
Soon its branches become alive as individual wriggling serpents. They move out from Wuhan, heading north their priority. Wherever the branches voyage, the land is exhausted and all organisms become preys without any chance of escape. Lives seem meaningless and intelligence useless. Organisms unite as one and continue to live in other forms.
The Willow proceeds as it gnaws for energy, flooding toward the north, unstoppable.
Eventually, animals are shocked, intimated, scared. They run in the opposite direction of where the the Willow is coming from, endeavoring to distance themselves from the death.
The speediest winged organisms are the first in this life-and-death contest. The land animals will perhaps catch up in a day or two.
"This is THE apocalypse..." Chang almost couldn't tell the difference between closing and opening his eyes as the world was at its darkest now. "What does the Willow want to do, is it trying to wrap the whole planet?"
The buzzing and chirping echoed loudly in this dark void, so Sanpang shouted his query in Chang's ear, "Chang, what should we do now?
"Hey! What should we do? The Willow is coming!"