Chapter 70.1 Savage expansion (3)
She didn’t say anything, which was fine. But once she spoke, Lin Zhaohe suddenly felt an uncanny familiarity with the person in the photo. His face turned pale. “We can’t be that unlucky, right?”
The plot of “Ghost Grudge” was very simple. If you happened to come into contact with anything related to the female ghost, you would die. It was the most typical senseless horror film. At that time, they even joked about how if this thing merged with them and appeared on the big screen, wouldn’t everyone who had seen it die, turning it into a biochemical weapon? But afterwards, they never heard any news about its merging. They never expected it to show up here.
“What should we do?” Yun Yuzi wasn’t afraid of those concrete monsters, but she was really scared of this kind of thing. She felt like shrinking her neck into her shoulders.
“Let’s get out of here first,” Lin Zhaohe thought for a moment and believed that the best plan was to leave quickly to avoid any unexpected incidents.
“Okay,” Yun Yuzi was a bit scared, so she quickly went downstairs to the backyard.
There was a small door in the backyard that led to the outside road. They just needed to follow the road straight ahead, and they would reach Min’an Street.
Lin Zhaohe walked at the back, watching Zhuang Lao and Yun Yuzi walk out. Just as he was about to catch up, he felt a tap on his shoulder.
There was no one behind him anymore. Lin Zhaohe’s hair stood on end. He slightly turned his head and glanced behind him out of the corner of his eye. And with that look, he almost let out a scream.
Yun Yuzi who should have already left the yard unexpectedly appeared behind him, her hand lightly pressing on his shoulder. “Lin Zhaohe, what are you looking at?”
Lin Zhaohe was dumbfounded. He looked at her, then looked at the person outside the door and said, “Why are there two of you?”
“Lin Zhaohe, why are you just standing there? Come out quickly!” Yun Yuzi outside the door urged.
Lin Zhaohe’s scalp went numb, and he said, “I saw two of you…”
Yun Yuzi beside him said, “Two of me? What do you mean? The path is blocked, how are you going to cross?”
Lin Zhaohe paused, looked down, and found an exaggerated trench inexplicably appearing on the previously flat ground. It was pitch black inside. He didn’t know how deep it went. If he stepped into it… The height of it frightened Lin Zhaohe, causing him to involuntarily take a step back.
The Yun Yuzi outside the door became anxious and said, “Lin Zhaohe, why are you dragging your feet? What do you mean by two of me? Come out quickly!”
After a moment of silence, Lin Zhaohe suddenly pulled out his gun and pulled the trigger at both Yun Yuzis, firing a shot at each of them.
The Yun Yuzi beside him let out a miserable scream and fell to the ground after being shot. At the same time, the other Yun Yuzi managed to dodge. She didn’t expect Lin Zhaohe’s action and stared at him wide-eyed. “Are you crazy? Why did you suddenly shoot?”
The one who was shot and lying on the ground moaned in pain and choked, “Lin Zhaohe, what are you doing…”
Lin Zhaohe leaned over to look at her wound. Blood was flowing profusely from the wound, making it look quite realistic. “Sister Yun, if I had hit you, the boss would definitely deduct your salary.”
The expression of pain on Yun Yuzi’s face instantly changed, and she glared at Lin Zhaohe with a fierce look in her eyes.
Lin Zhaohe had already anticipated this and wasn’t surprised by her expression. He turned around and headed towards the door. From her perspective, it seemed like Lin Zhaohe was talking to himself the whole time and inexplicably shot at her.
“What are you up to?” Yun Yuzi cautiously asked, “Are you possessed by a ghost or something?”
Zhuang Lao, who had been observing everything from the side, looked at Lin Zhaohe with a half-smile and said, “You’re quite clever.”
Lin Zhaohe laughed in response.
Seeing the interaction between the two, Yun Yuzi finally felt relieved. She wanted to get as far away from this place as possible.
Returning to the familiar road, the three of them continued forward, struggling through the overgrown grass in the meadow.
The tall buildings around were covered in vines and various plants. In the dense fog, it was easy to lose the way. Fortunately, Lin Zhaohe was very familiar with this place. Even without a compass, he could roughly determine the direction. “This used to be a large warehouse supermarket, and there’s a zoo nearby.”
“Zoo? Doesn’t that mean there are many mutated animals?”
“Probably. We have to be careful.”
But it seemed that their fears attracted exactly what they were afraid of. They hadn’t walked far when they heard rustling sounds from their surroundings. Lin Zhaohe immediately became alert, fearing that dangerous animals were approaching.
To their surprise, after a moment, several people emerged from the dense jungle. They were wearing ill-fitting clothes, their cautious eyes carrying a hint of nervousness, and they held weapons in their hands. When the two groups met, the atmosphere immediately became incredibly tense.
“Where did you come from?” one of the strangers shouted at them.
Lin Zhaohe said, “We came in for a rescue mission.”
“Rescue? Don’t deceive us. The world has been destroyed. There can’t be any rescue teams.” The leader, a tall man, looked at Lin Zhaohe with vigilance. “Don’t spread such foolish lies, or I will really take action!”
Yun Yuzi: “Why would we lie? Where are you all from?” These people, from their appearance, didn’t seem like residents of this place.
The group of people didn’t answer and continued to remain vigilant.
It was Zhuang Lao who, after observing for a while, softly asked, “How long have you been living here?”
How long have they been living here? Wasn’t the fusion supposed to have started just over ten days ago? Yun Yuzi was puzzled when she heard the group of people say, “It’s been almost eight years.”
Both Yun Yuzi and Lin Zhaohe were taken aback. They didn’t expect this kind of answer. At the same time, they also realized that the people in front of them were not survivors from the three-dimensional world. It was highly probable that they had fused from some disaster movie. According to their description, they had been struggling to survive in the disaster movie for eight long years…
Lin Zhaohe felt that they had been through a lot.
“We are sent by the people outside,” Zhuang Lao chose a more acceptable approach, “Life outside has returned to normal. If you’re willing, we can escort you out.”
“No, I don’t believe your words,” the tall leader said cautiously. “We have heard too many lies like this! It’s all a scam!”
Lin Zhaohe said, “But this is true. Look at our equipment. It doesn’t seem like we’re here to deceive you, right?”
The three of them were fully armed, presenting a sharp contrast to the few individuals wielding firearms.
These words made the leader hesitate, as if he found Lin Zhaohe’s reasoning somewhat valid.
“Why not take them back and ask Brother Xiao and the others? After all… it wouldn’t do any harm,” someone suggested in a low voice.
“Fine,” the leader agreed to the proposal.
So they led the way, preparing to return to their residence. Along the way, Lin Zhaohe engaged in conversation with them, getting a general understanding of their current situation.
It turned out that their world had already experienced an apocalypse for eight years, and as they recounted their experiences, their faces were filled with sorrow.
“Later, we organized the survivors around us in a building, managing to survive somehow,” the leader said with a numb expression. “We would go out during the day to hunt and return at night. But recently, strange fog emerged, and the prey disappeared.”
“What kind of creatures did you encounter?” Lin Zhaohe asked.
“Monsters,” the leader glanced at them. “These monsters only appear at night, so we have to hide inside the buildings and never step outside.”
Lin Zhaohe listened carefully.
However, something felt off to him. The atmosphere among these people seemed strange. Their attention wasn’t focused on the few outsiders, but rather, their eyes kept darting towards a thin, insignificant-looking man in the corner. The thin man seemed to blend in, hunching his head and walking at the very back of the group. Observantly, Lin Zhaohe noticed that they appeared extremely afraid of the man lagging behind. Whenever he walked slower, someone would go over and hold onto him, guiding him closer to the rest of the group.
Zhuang Lao also noticed this phenomenon and exchanged a glance with Lin Zhaohe. Understanding the message, Lin Zhaohe said, “Is he feeling unwell? I have some medicine with me.”
“Him? Oh, no, he’s fine,” the leader showed momentary panic but quickly recovered. “That’s just his personality. Nothing serious.”
Upon hearing that, the thin man looked up at the leader for a moment, then fell silent.
After walking for a while, taking numerous twists and turns to avoid various obstacles, they finally arrived at their mentioned base. It was a tall residential building with a reinforced iron door at the entrance of the staircase. The door was marked with numerous brown stains, appearing to be coagulated blood. Aside from the blood, there were also dents from impacts.
“The dents happened in the past few days,” Pan Guo explained, grinning. “After the fog appeared, there were more mutated animals around, but it’s not so bad. At least we won’t run out of food.”
Lin Zhaohe asked, “What did you eat before?”
“Stuff from the supermarkets,” Pan Guo replied vaguely. “There are a few large supermarkets nearby, and we often went inside to find things. But after so many years, the warehouses must be empty by now.” He pressed the doorbell and shouted loudly, “I’m back!”
The door rumbled and someone opened it from the inside.
Lin Zhaohe caught sight of the scene inside the residential building. There were eight or nine men armed with weapons, alertly watching the outside. After confirming the identities of the people outside the door, they breathed a sigh of relief and gestured for them to come in quickly.
“You’re finally back. It’s getting dark, we were worried about you,” someone came to greet them. Naturally, they noticed the unfamiliar faces of Lin Zhaohe and the others. Lin Zhaohe had expected them to inquire about their backgrounds, but the person who welcomed them didn’t even spare him a glance. Instead, their gaze fell upon the thin and frail man standing in the corner. Their expression was complex, a mixture of fear, hesitation, and surprise.
“You brought Xiao Zhu back?” they asked Pan Guo.
Pan Guo nodded, “Yeah, we found him up in that subdistrict. You should take him downstairs to rest for a while. He’s been outside for so many days. He’s probably exhausted.”
Upon hearing this, the person waved his hand, signaling a few others to take the young man known as Xiao Zhu and lead him downstairs.
The staircase of this floor in the residential building led to a large hall. The windows around were all reinforced and welded shut. The room was dimly lit. After briefly scanning the surroundings, Lin Zhaohe noticed that both men and women were present. There was even a woman holding a sleeping baby in her arms, seemingly nothing amiss.
“Brother Xiao, they said they’re from the outside,” Pan Guo pointed at Lin Zhaohe and the others. “They said the outside has returned to normal.”
“Returned to normal? Then why did you come in?” Brother Xiao looked at Lin Zhaohe and the others, clearly skeptical.
“We came in specifically for search and rescue, hoping to find any survivors,” Lin Zhaohe explained. He knew it wasn’t the right time to talk about fusion in this situation, so he followed Zhuang Lao’s lead and continued, “If there are any, we can take you out.”
Brother Xiao asked, “Oh? Do you have a way to contact the outside?”
Lin Zhaohe raised his communicator and said, “Let me try. The signal isn’t great in here.”
He opened the communicator and dialed Lin Yan’s number, surprisingly getting through.
On the other end of the communicator, Lin Yan was panting while saying, “Li Yu, be more gentle, it hurts like hell.”
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