Chapter 346 - Crossing The River!
[Book 3: The South]
A huge number of the evolved Zombies pounced over, knocking those Vietnamese survivors who were trying to escape, onto the ground. They opened their gruesome mouths and viciously bit down on those survivors, biting huge chunks of meat off. The battlefield was filled with the agonized screams and wails of the Vietnamese survivors, as blood and innards started to splatter everywhere. The entire place was engulfed in a mirage of hell, full of blood and terror.
Originally, if Lei Kewang could mobilise and lead the team of experts to take down the 3 remaining Type 2 Hunters, then the battlefront on the east side could still withstand the zombies for quite a while. It definitely wouldn't have collapsed so easily. However, with the harassment of Yue Zhong, the entire team was wiped out, and they could not support the frontline anymore, resulting in the current carnage and hell-like scene.
The sea-like horde of shambling, rotten corpses was swallowing up the east side, survivors and all, as they followed the bridge towards the west side.
Hong! An explosion rang out, and the huge bridge was blasted into pieces. Thousands of zombies on the bridge fell into the water, and the Mutant Beasts in the water opened their jaws as they devoured the falling meal with gusto. *1
"Go!" Yue Zhong eyed the huge horde in the distance, as he jumped atop Lightning's back, and issued the order to leave. There was nothing much he could do now. Losing the positions on the east side now was a huge blow to Li Guangyi's troops, and it was going to be three or four times harder to deal with the horde now that he had lost a number of troops and equipment.
Upon receiving Yue Zhong's command, Lightning swiftly brought Yue Zhong out of the place.
Within Gaoping City, a middle-aged man looked at the huge zombie horde overruning the east of the city with a steely expression. THis man was precisely the leader of the Vietnamese Revival Army, Li Guangyi.
Li Guangyi turned his attention to Lei Kewang standing beside him and asked in a low voice: "That man was Chinese?"
"Yes! He was speaking in Chinese, therefore he must be Chinese." Lei Kewang had an exhausted look as he nodded. He had expended a huge portion of his Stamina in his previous battles.
Li Guangyi's expression turned ugly, the fury in his eyes were unmasked as he gritted his teeth and cursed: "Damn Chinese dogs, they can't see the big picture at all. They're going to forsake 400,000 lives, and help the zombies to raid us humans, what a bunch of animals!!"
A staff officer, Lǚ Sunwang standing behind Li Guangyi had a strange look in his eyes upon hearing those words. Li Guangyi was not as brazen as Wuyan Hong who had committed open genocide, but he wasn't a decent man himself. Under the leadership of Li Guangyi, the Chinese and foreigners all led a slave-like existence, and were lower caste members who were humiliated and tormented by the any Vietnamese. Numerous Chinese and foreigners from the European and American countries had killed themselves as a result.
Lei Kewang looked at Li Guangyi and asked directly: "Leader, what do we now?"
The eastern regions of Gaoping City had been overrun, and Li Guangyi's losses were amounting to about 4 battalions, a total of 1,600 or so fighters. At the same time, the equipment, ammunition and rations there were considered lost as well.
Currently, the western regions had the support of the elite troops and the 400,000 survivors could still withstand, however, without the support of reinforcements, Gaoping City would most likely fall to the zombies.
Li Guangyi's eyes flashed, as he assured Lei Kewang: "Don't worry!! Wuyan Hong had promised to send some help!! As long as the reinforcements come, we'll be fine!"
If the troops from Li Guangyi and Wuyan Hong were to combined their strength, they would have so hope of withstanding the onslaught of the zombie horde.
Lǚ Sunwang quipped in with a reminder: "Leader!! Wuyan Hong is a vicious man. If we're weak, it's hard to guarantee that he won't swallow us up."
When he heard that, Li Guangyi instantly turned silent. In this post-apocalyptic world, stronger factions absorbed weaker ones all the time. If Li Guangyi spent all his strength to defend agaisnt this crisis, Wuyan Hong would most likely turn around and subjugate them.
Li Guangyi eyed Lǚ Sunwang and asked: "What good idea might you have?"
Lǚ Sunwang walked to Li Guangyi and in a small voice, suggested an extremely cruel idea: "Let's leave a battalion to snipe the advance of the zombies. We will bring the rest of the soldiers and brothers towards Tuyên Quang Province. Since the zombies around the area have been gathered here, there must be less zombies elsewhere. It would therefore be relatively easier for us to breakout of this encirclement. As long as we have our firearms, finding a new base to establish shouldn't be an issue."
If it wasn't for the need to protect the 400,000 survivors, Li Guangyi could absolutely bring his men to slaughter their way out. Although the gathering of the horde was huge under the control of the Z-Types, they could not compare to the craftiness and adaptability of humans.
Li Guangyi's eyes retracted, as his sharp gaze remained fixed on Lǚ Sunwang, causing the latter to panic.
After a long while, Li Guangyi retracted his gaze as he slowly said: "Those 400,000 survivors are all our countrymen and brothers. How can we just abandon them just to escape on our own? If you're to mention this again, don't blame me for being merciless!"
Lǚ Sunwang's back broke out in cold sweat, as he immediately said: "Yes! Yes!!"
Li Guangyi could become a leader in the post-apocalyptic world was precisely because he wasn't a benevolent man. Lǚ Sunwang was extremely clear that he could lose his life if he were to mention such a preposition again.
After warning Lǚ Sunwang, Li Guangyi then issued out an order solemnly: "Go gather all the Chinese, and issue them weapons, get them to fight at the frontlines. Those who dare to retaliate, execute them on the spot. Let the 2 battalions from Wuyan Hong guard the forefront. Gather the survivors and prepare them to breakaway. Tell them the moment they break free from the encirclement of zombies, escape in all directions, and not to move together. 2nd and 3rd Battalions to prepare and cover the escape of the survivors!"
Li Guangyi was extremely clear on the dire circumstances, and maintaining the defence of Gaoping City could last at most one or two more days. Breaking out of the siege was their best choice. As long as he brought enough troops to cover, the large majority of the survivors would be able to succeed. However, if they went through with this, they would have to abandon a lot of resources and items. At the same time, they could not move together, otherwise the huge source of humans would attract the zombies, and wipe them out.
Lǚ Sunwang replied respectfully, and dismissed himself: "Yes!"
Li Guangyi looked to the distance and cursed under his breath: "Damn Chinese dog!!!"
If it wasn't for Yue Zhong's meddling, Li Guangyi could still withstand longer, and could even kill a larger number of zombies, and hold out until Wuyan Hong's forces come. However, because of Yue Zhong, Li Guangyi's plans were thrown into disarray, and he was filled with fury towards Yue Zhong.
Zheng Minghe was extremely familiar with the layout and surrounding of Gaoping City and Lang Son City. Under his guidance, Wei Ningguo brought the 1,000+ survivors and the vehicles towards the west, where they arrived at the river that was in their way to Guangxi.
The river was about 6m wide, and it was just this 6m distance that was currently blocking the advance of this group of people.
"What do we do?" Wei Ningguo looked at the river helplessly. He was an Enhancer that reached Level 34, and had plenty of battle experience, but he lacked resourcefulness and the ability to adapt to the situation. It could be said that he had talent in combat, but as a leader, he truly was lacking!
Yue Zhong had selected Wei Ningguo as the temporary leader because he valued his performance and growing loyalty, and hence felt that he could be trusted. However, he didn't expect Wei Ningguo to be that indecisive.
As he hesitated, the 1,000+ survivors halted near the river, not knowing what to do.
Upon seeing this, Ming Jiajia went up to Wei Ningguo's side and asked: "Uncle Wei! Didn't Master ordered for us to cross the river? Why aren't we moving?"
Wei Ningguo looked at Ming Jiajia and dared not underestimate her, as he laughed bitterly: "Ming Jiajia, you can see for yourself. There're no boats here, I've no idea how to cross."
Ming Jiajia frowned, as she looked at the river before suggesting: "We can construct a makeshift pontoon*2 to cross. First we can get some people to cross over, before making use of the steel cables of the vehicles to create a paved way for the rest of the people to cross."
Wei Ningguo's eyes brightened up, as he praised: "Great idea! However, this can only transport the people over. The vehicles can't be moved! Without the resources, it would be hard for us to survive."
Yue Zhong had brought along several trucks, carrying loads of fuel, food, and weapons. These 3 were the most basic resources of a faction, and if they were to be abandoned, the 1,000+ people would not be able to survive past a few days.
Wei Ningguo had no ideas, and he did not mind seeking the advice of someone much younger than him like Ming JIajia.
Ming Jiajia pondered a while as she frowned, before saying: "Let's get the people across first!! As for the vehicles, I'll think about it more!"
"Ok!" Wei Ningguo immediately replied, before assigning people to begin the operation.
Zheng Minghe tied a rope to an arrow, before aiming and firing it proficiently across and hitting a tree. He then made use of the rope as he brought along the metal cable to climb across. When he reached the opposite shore, he hammered the metal cable to the ground.
After nailing 6 metal cables to the ground, he then climbed atop those metal cables, and secured pieces of planks on them, and the simple pontoon soon took shape.
Yue Zhong had prepared beforehand, in case they had to cross a water body, and had prepared ample supplied. In one of his transport truck, there were plenty of cables, ropes, wooden planks, and were fully utilized in this operation.
After the simple pontoon was constructed, the survivors started to make their way across.
When Yue Zhong rode Lightning and arrived, he saw that most of the survivors had crossed, and there were only a hundred or so left, with the vehicles still on this side of the shore.
*1 Ulamog: Cloudy with a Chance of Zombie Meatballs
2 - ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontoon_(boat)