Chapter 74.1 Savage Expansion (7)
Lin Yan was furious when Mr. Li bit his face. He immediately punched back. Despite his small fist, it packed a powerful punch. It landed on Mr. Li’s face, causing several teeth to fall out. Mr. Li didn’t mind and grinned like a fool.
“Don’t touch me!” Lin Yan angrily wiped his face.
Mr. Li didn’t care about the missing teeth. He often broke them while eating, but they would grow back in a few days. He considered it a small loss compared to the advantage he gained.
Lin Yan, who had never been in a relationship, acted like a bullied young girl—no, he was the bullied young girl now. He clenched his teeth in anger, wishing he could devour Mr. Li alive.
Seeing that Lin Yan was still angry, Mr. Li quickly apologized, his voice full of pity, “Please don’t be angry. You’ve knocked out a few of my teeth. Next time, I promise…”
Lin Yan was surprised by his own strength. Seeing Mr. Li’s teeth falling to the ground, he felt a twinge of guilt, realizing he had gone a bit too far. Besides his fondness for joking around, Mr. Li had no other flaws. He had been protective of Lin Yan since they arrived and even let him ride on his shoulders. Thinking about this, as Lin Yan listened to his apology, he somehow felt that he had crossed a line and said, “Well, next time…”
Mr. Li, the shameless guy, said, “I’ll dare to do it next time.”
Lin Yan threw another punch, nearly knocking Mr. Li’s nose crooked.
Zhuang Lao and Yun Yuzi saw their interaction as playful banter. Yun Yuzi, with a touch of jealousy, expressed her desire for a sweet romance. After speaking, she looked at Zhuang Lao, planning to mock his boss, the lonely king. But then she saw Zhuang Lao reach out and embrace the sleeping Lin Zhaohe, gently covering his ears with his palm to block out the noise.
Lin Zhaohe seemed used to Zhuang Lao’s embrace. He murmured softly in his arms, finding a comfortable position to continue sleeping.
Zhuang Lao planted a gentle kiss on the top of Lin Zhaohe’s head, his expression filled with tenderness, leaving Yun Yuzi almost mesmerized.
“Hasn’t everyone been in a romantic relationship?” Zhuang Lao’s words cut deep.
Yun Yuzi’s eyes turned red, not with tears but with anger. She spat and said she didn’t envy the love of these unworthy men!
Zhuang Lao: “Is that so?”
Yun Yuzi: “Of course! I’m focused on my career!”
Zhuang Lao: “Xiao Ci mentioned that you borrowed several romance novels from the company…”
Yun Yuzi: “……”
Zhuang Lao: “Also, let me ask when you’ll repay it.”
Yun Yuzi remained expressionless, determined to do better next time.
Over there, Mr. Li was still nibbling on corn with his few remaining teeth. He asked if this place used to be a school and wondered where all the students had gone.
“Still students,” muttered Yun Yuzi. “These days, more deaths and fewer births. I believe humans will eventually become extinct, and the world will be left to you 2D people.”
Mr. Li: “Well, that’s embarrassing.”
Yun Yuzi: “I see you have no shame at all.”
After chatting for a while, everyone rested. The tiny Lin Yan fell asleep quickly and didn’t notice himself being carried into Mr. Li’s arms, adopting the same posture as Zhuang Lao holding Lin Zhaohe.
In the end, Yun Yuzi and Zhuang Lao stayed awake on watch. Zhuang Lao didn’t need much sleep, while Yun Yuzi couldn’t sleep due to anger. Ignoring Mr. Li’s suggestion to take turns on watch, she firmly insisted on moving them to a corner where they would be out of sight and out of mind.
This school used to be so lively, but in just a few short days, it had become desolate. Many buildings had collapsed, and the dense vegetation had turned it into something resembling a primordial forest. In some time, there would likely be no trace of human habitation left here.
Yun Yuzi poked the bonfire with a stick in her hand while remaining vigilant of her surroundings.
It was daytime, but the dense fog obscured the environment, making it dimly lit. The surroundings were eerily quiet, unlike a bustling jungle. Apart from the crackling sound of damp wood in the bonfire before them, there was no other movement.
Zhuang Lao’s partially lowered eyes suddenly lifted, and he exchanged a glance with Yun Yuzi. They both knew that they had heard something.
“Something’s approaching!” Yun Yuzi stood up, picked up her gun, and cautiously watched the source of the sound. From the treetops above their heads, there came a strange noise, as if something was swiftly moving within the canopy.
Whatever was coming, it clearly wasn’t anything good. Zhuang Lao quickly woke up Lin Zhaohe and Lin Yan, and the group immediately grabbed their weapons, alert and ready.
Lin Zhaohe was a bit groggy from sleep, but he quickly regained his senses. He pulled out his gun and asked, “What is it?”
“Is… is it… human?” Mr. Li also stood up. His vision was average, but he possessed a sensory ability that humans didn’t have—an ability to detect sound waves that could reach far distances. By now, he had roughly perceived the approaching creatures through the sound waves. Those creatures had the same appearance as humans, even wearing clothing exclusive to humans, which puzzled him. “Could it be another group sent from the other side?”
“That’s unlikely,” Yun Yuzi doubted. “The people they send, can they fly in the sky?”
As she spoke, those human-like things had already reached above the group’s heads. Through the lush treetop foliage, Lin Zhaohe caught a glimpse of their appearance.
Mr. Li was right. They were indeed a group of humans, or rather, other beings wearing human disguises. They numbered in great quantity, all crouched on the treetops, their eyes emitting a green color reminiscent of feline creatures. They stared down at the group from their elevated position.
Mr. Li raised his gun, preparing to attack the creatures, but Lin Zhaohe stopped him. “Wait.”
Mr. Li: “Why?”
Lin Zhaohe: “They’re wearing school uniforms.”
Indeed, the group of people perched in the trees were wearing the uniforms of this school. Despite their dirty faces, their youthful aura could still be vaguely seen, making it hard not to speculate.
“Could these people be students from the school?” Yun Yuzi exclaimed in disbelief. “Were they unable to evacuate in time and encountered some unexpected situation?”
“It’s possible,” Lin Yan said. “Let’s not attack them for now.” He knew that his companions were quite heavy-handed, and in a direct confrontation, they would undoubtedly emerge victorious. However, these people on the treetops would definitely not survive. If they truly were transformed students, it would be troublesome.
However, while they had no intention of initiating the fight, the people in the trees couldn’t restrain themselves any longer. They leaped down from the treetops and launched their attack.
Their bodies had undergone some changes compared to regular humans. Their limbs were longer, their teeth and nails sharper, and their hair was thick and almost covered half of their faces. This level of attack posed no threat to Lin Zhaohe and the others, as evading it wasn’t difficult, although it became somewhat vexing.
Lin Zhaohe easily dodged the attacks and subdued one of them. He planned to take out a rope from his backpack to restrain the person when something suddenly struck his head.
The impact wasn’t strong, almost like a greeting from the person who hit him. He looked up and saw someone standing among the crowd. That person was also wearing a school uniform, with shimmering green eyes fixed on Lin Zhaohe. In the instant their gazes met, Lin Zhaohe’s expression underwent a sudden change.
The person didn’t attack him. Instead, he turned around and ran. In the blink of an eye, he disappeared into the dense jungle.
“Catch up to him!” Lin Zhaohe roared, disregarding the reactions of those around him. He sprinted after the person, never realizing he could move so fast. The sound of the rushing wind echoed in his ears.
Lin Zhaohe’s actions left everyone present in a state of disbelief. In the briefest moment of distraction, he vanished into the depths of the dense forest.
Zhuang Lao hurriedly rushed over but couldn’t find any trace of Lin Zhaohe. There were no signs of human presence nearby. It was as if Lin Zhaohe had suddenly evaporated from the face of the earth.
“Where is Lin Zhaohe?” Lin Yan arrived in a rush.
“He was taken away.” Zhuang Lao’s face turned grim.
“Taken away? What took him?” Lin Yan couldn’t fathom how someone managed to take Lin Zhaohe from under Zhuang Lao’s watch.
“He went willingly.” Zhuang Lao took a deep breath. “Otherwise, no one could have taken him.”
Mr. Li also joined them and asked what Lin Zhaohe saw before disappearing.
“I don’t know. It seemed like he saw someone,” Yun Yuzi didn’t anticipate this turn of events. She looked at the securely bound students on the ground and wondered, “Could there be someone he knows among them?”
Yun Yuzi’s speculation was correct. Among the students, there was indeed a face familiar to Lin Zhaohe.
Even after many years, Lin Zhaohe could never forget that face, the face of his once best friend, Lu Feihe.
Wearing the familiar school uniform and displaying that familiar expression, Lin Zhaohe spotted him on the treetop.
Rationality exploded in an instant. Lin Zhaohe had no time to consider anything else. He chased after that figure, sprinting through the jungle. He never gave up, even after countless falls. His protective suit was torn in multiple places, blood seeping from the broken skin, but he remained oblivious. Gritting his teeth, he mustered his strength and followed closely behind.
It seemed like Lu Feihe was deliberately teasing Lin Zhaohe. Whenever Lin Zhaohe fell behind, Lu Feihe would intentionally slow down until Lin Zhaohe picked himself up from the ground, only to accelerate once again.
The surroundings grew increasingly unfamiliar and cold. Lin Zhaohe’s rationality gradually returned. He gasped for breath and came to a halt.
Lu Feihe also stopped, standing not far away, silently observing Lin Zhaohe.
Lin Zhaohe stared at him, forcing a bitter smile. He muttered under his breath, “Damn it.” How could he have forgotten? Lu Feihe had passed away during their college years. Why was he wearing the high school uniform? But they looked so alike, almost identical to his memory of his dear friend, except for a slightly youthful appearance.
Lin Zhaohe recalled the memories of Lu Feihe’s death that he saw at Lin Yan’s memories. He couldn’t help but rub his reddened eyes and asked, “Who are you, and why did you bring me here?”
Glancing at the time, he noticed that the seconds on his watch had stopped. He had no idea how long he had been running. When he regained his senses, the environment around him had completely changed from before.
The dense jungle had vanished without a trace, replaced by towering concrete structures and bright streetlights. Lu Feihe was no longer dirty. He appeared clean from head to toe and carried a backpack, just like the high school student in Lin Zhaohe’s memory.
He glanced at Lin Zhaohe and turned around to leave.
Lin Zhaohe hurriedly tried to catch up, but after turning a corner, the person in front of him suddenly vanished. The street was empty and desolate, leaving only Lin Zhaohe. He looked around in confusion, unsure of his whereabouts. The communicator was also unusable.
It was the nighttime campus, devoid of any signs of fusion or integration, with not a soul in sight.
The academic buildings stood in rows, illuminated by bright streetlights, devoid of any horror but instead exuding a tranquil atmosphere. It was exactly like the high school in Lin Zhaohe’s memory.
In fact, after the incident, Lin Zhaohe had secretly returned to his high school. However, by that time, the high school had already undergone some changes. It was said that several academic buildings had been demolished due to the fusion of the two dimensions, resulting in significant alterations to the campus environment.
Even the classrooms where Lin Zhaohe attended classes had vanished without a trace.
And now, that academic building had reappeared.
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