Global Evolution - Chapter 57
Chapter 57 Skinnier
It was a thick forest that seemed impenetrable. Although none of them were able to get full view, from the appearance of the sturdy tree in front of them and the countless vines wrapped on the trunk, as well as the unique scent in the air, there must have been a huge jungle ahead of them.
The tinges of the jungle were stronger than any of the jungles on this planet prior to the red fog, and the vast vitality of this massive forest made everyone feel the urge to explore.
As the one who had the best vision of the troop, Chang could see the furthest. It was a grand feast interwoven by numerous lives
The towering trees were tightened by a variety of vines;below the trees and vines, there were shrubs that no one had seen before. If the fungi and moss were to be counted, the plethora of life consisted of three layers with clear boundaries.
’’A hymn of life, isn't it? This world isn't contained in concrete and steel.’’ Qing shui plucked some grass from the ground and put them under his nose.
’’Is is possible for us to get through the jungle?’’ The fog was fused with the freshness of the sunshine in the early morning, and the croak from inside of the jungle raised one after another, as if the hosts were inviting them to step into the great feast. The jungle was so dangerously tempting that even Ming Yi, the strongest one in the troop, had raised doubt.
’’I...I don't see a path at all!’’ The soldiers at the front was searching around, but failed to locate where Zhengkai Avenue should be.
’’There should be traces;try to look for broken concrete blocks;those remnants will be our guide to Zheng zhou.’’ The leader Zhao hunkered down and spread apart the grass with caution. Sure enough, he found some concrete pieces with obvious traces of artifacts.
Zhao raised his hand and shouted to the troop behind his back, ’’The Zhengkai Avenue has been shattered by these plants and their roots;what we have now are the remnants. But fortunately, it hasn't been too long and we can still follow these concrete sediments to Zhengzhou.’’
’’Look at the plants around! There are places that have less plants growing;that must be where the Zhengkai Avenue was.’’ Qing shui stepped forward to the front of the troop;he carefully examined the way these plants were growing. ’’Therefore, this is a method for us to find our way back as well.’’
’’He's right.’’ Zhao was stunned by Qing shui that he was able to sort out a second way to locate the avenue. Zhao had known that Qing shui was an EM, so he recovered from his shock quite soon.
’’Captain Zhao...’’ staring at the dense jungle ahead, Qing shui asked with his brows tightened together. ’’Can I ask you a question?’’
’’How many times have we had contact with Zhengzhou since the red fog?’’
’’Three times,’’ Zhao answered. ’’At least, from what I know it's been three times.’’
’’How did the base get in contact with Zhengzhou?’’
’’They set up an emergency communication troop that was dedicated to sending out documents and orders from central to the cities around,’’ Zhao said. ’’Its seems like there were quite a lot of these troops;they were probably from reconnaissance or the field army. Each of them consisted of 100 people, and their one and only mission was to deliver documents and orders. We have to use this primitive method, as the radio and cable communication have been cut off.’’
’’Three times...’’ Qing shui rubbed his jaw and asked, ’’what about the casualties?’’
’’The first troop came in 10 days ago and there were more than 10 deaths;the second one had more than 20 deaths, and the third time happened 6 days ago, only a day later than the second one that happened 7 days ago. More than 30 died in the third troop.’’ Zhao recalled and he frowned, ’’many soldiers died.’’
’’No...that's not high at all;can 100 ordinary people really make it through this jungle?’’ Qing shui stepped forward and pressed on the trunk of a tree;he seemed scared.
Sensing the fear from Qing shui's tone, one of the soldiers stepped out and asked with a half-joking tone, ’’What now, an EM is afraid of death too?’’
’’Of course.’’ Qing shui didn't look back but carefully observed the textures of the tree in front of his eyes, as if that could tell him the growth cycle of this tree.
’’Let me tell you something more terrifying. I heard there is a rumor flying around in the base - there was a troop that came from Zhengzhou three days ago. It was still a 100-person troop, but only 20 arrived to the base, and most of them were heavily injured.’’ The solider joked and patted on Qing shui's shoulder. ’’What about this? There is an almost 100 percent casualty rate.’’
The soldier didn't speak aloud, but it was still heard by the Captain. Zhao turned around and slapped on the soldier's face heavily, ’’Bullshit! What are you thinking about? You really can make jokes of everything, can't you? If the colonel heard you instead of me, you would be imprisoned for spreading rumors! Shut your mouth and go back to your position!’’
That young soldier twitched his mouth and return to the line with a sulking expression.
’’I'm sorry, Mr. Li. Don't listen to him;he's still young and knows nothing about what happened in the base.’’ Zhao also curled his lips. Apparently, that soldier was one of his favorites, otherwise he wouldn't let him joke around in the first place.
’’I know his intent wasn't to cause any chaos;it was just a way to vent his fear. I can tell he's the most scared out of all of us.’’ Qing shui glanced at that young soldier, but he was still worried. ’’But, I don't think he was talking nonsense;the jungle must be more dangerous than ever.’’
’’It's just a jungle, and we have firearms. Even though there are more mutated organisms than in the urban area, the 20 of us are the best warriors in the base, so we should be fine.’’ Zhao was affected by Qing shui's worry, but after all he was experienced and knowledgeable, so he wasn't stopped by the obstruction ahead of him. ’’We'll just be extra careful.’’
’’Yeah.’’ Qing shui nodded as he agreed, and then he went back into the center of the line.
’’Let's go.’’ Zhao waved the flashlight a few more times to signal the troop to go forward. As the leader, he was the first one to step into this lush jungle.
The whole troop entered the mysterious jungle one by one, and Chang felt that the fog had become thicker than outside. Due to the massive amount of plants in the jungle and most of them covering a large area, even Chang had a hard time looking further.
Jing was lying on Chang's back;he put Jing's arms around his neck and whispered to her, ’’Just tell me whenever danger comes.’’
’’I know,’’ Jing trembled of fear. Those hanging vines from the unseen branches above their head made her scared. She huddled her head and hunched her body as if she was trying to hide herself from the surrounding. Her entire face was buried into Chang's back.
The group of people just walked in the jungle. The people at the front carefully traced the gravel forward and the people at the back followed tightly one by one. They were extremely alerted and had to keep up with their pace at the same time. The soldier who was joking around clenched his rifle, and his face had already turned pale before Chang noticed.
After moving forward a few kilometers, there wasn't any visible danger that could be seen, no one could relax at this point. Nervousness and fear had been written all over their faces, and they had been looking around to make sure no one went missing. The atmosphere was even more depressing than the air in the jungle.
’’Hey bro, do you want to talk? I feel dizzy;the atmosphere is too depressing here.’’ The young soldier lightly poked Chang with his elbow, and he turned his head to try to start a conversation with Chang.
’’Oh.’’ Chang was alarmed by his contact, so he also turned his head around, but he frowned immediately and asked, ’’Hey, why do you look skinnier than before?’’
’’Skinnier?’’ The soldier touched his face, and wherever his fingers went, all he touched was his leathery cheeks and prominent cheekbones.
’’What's wrong?’’ The soldier shivered suddenly.