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Global Evolution - Chapter 81

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Chapter 81: Wisdom of ordinary people

’’I see,’’ Chang replied, showing his understanding. ’’I'll be heading out then. It's better to do it
sooner rather than later.’’
’’I agree.’’
Qing Shui sent them away with a wave of his hand, and Chang left his office with Jing.
In the suite, Chang rinsed his crossbow with water to ensure the trigger mechanism could eject
the bolts smoothly without having dry blood hindering it. Once cleaned, he checked the
crossbow again and unfolded a piece of cloth. Two daggers were wrapped within it. He'd asked
asked them from the military.
Before leaving, Chang tenderly explained the situation to Jing, ’’So... Jing, you don't need to go
out with me this time. I'll just wander around the city and get back before sunset. No... it is not
because I don't want to take you with me. Instead, taking you with me could raise eyebrows as
you always stay with me. People like Zhuo are extremely sensitive and suspicious about
anything unusual, and I don't want them to know about your ability.’’
’’But it is still quite dangerous even if we are in the city now. Your safety is not guaranteed,’’ Jing
said, deeply concerned.
’’Don't be worried, I promise that I will be back before sunset, allright?’’ Chang's palm gently
stroked her soft hair. ’’If they ever find out that you are an EM, it'll become dangerous to
continue staying in the institute. That's why I said you should remain here while I am out.
Hopefully this way they won't suspect you.’’
Jing spoke nothing, although her mouth opened. In the end, she only nodded with lingering
unwillingness; her eyes clearly betrayed her inward unease. ’’You promise to come back before
sunset, right?’’
’’Pinky promise?’’ Chang put out his little finger.
’’It's a promise!’’ she declared. Her slim pinky finger tightly knotted with Chang's and relief
lightened her features.
Chang patted her back before parting. He stood up with the crossbow strapped to his back, and
both daggers secured in sheaths on his waist. He left the institute quietly, without catching too
much attention.
The outside was still bathed in the red fog. It was the first time in a while for Chang to leave the
institute where the red fog was extracted through the ventilation system.
The guards at the gate didn't block him from going out as they were familiar with his face.
He returned to the world where ordinary people lived.
Everything he had used in the recent days belonged to the new upper class of the society, the
researchers and ranked military officers. But in the city, there was nothing; this was a normal
place where ordinary people struggled to survive.

The taste of the air was also familiar to Chang.
To be honest, although he was fortunate enough to live in the institute where safety and food
were guaranteed, he didn't feel like he fit in that well. He neither understood politics nor was he
knowledgeable enough to be a researcher. And without those two skills, he was no different
from an ordinary person. So even though the world out here was more intimidating and
threatening, he felt more comfortable walking on the broken pathway than through the
institute's corridors.
Humans were born as social animals, and this instinct was never dropped regardless of the
circumstances. Although the red fog made conflicts more frequent, the majority of ordinary
humans chose to band into small groups to elevate their chances of survival.
These small groups aimlessly wandered through the streets, searching for something edible.
Just as Chang was doing.
He had made a solemn vow to Qing Shui that he would return with a reproducible plant, but in
fact, he had no idea where to find it. Chang was merely a high school student. Even if he were to
utilize everything he knew about plants, he doubted if he could ever tell if a plant was edible or
not.
Therefore, he did nothing in the morning but ambled around. He witnessed the chaos among
the vulnerable crowds, and this was the only thing he learned about the outside world.
Until he noticed a man - a man who carried a wired cage with him.
This man looked like to be in his mid 50s, and was closely followed by his wife and two kids.
The family roamed around the streets with iron bars and kitchen knives in hands. They were no
different from the others who spent day and night to searching for food.
Chang had noticed them from far away quite a while ago, but he didn't pay attention to them as
they were just as ordinary as the other small groups in Zhengzhou. However, the man's actions
intrigued Chang. He was feeding the bug in the cage intermittently. The cage was held in his
right hand, while he used the left to collect small pieces of plants that he saw and give them to
the little bug inside the cage. The man seemed in rapt attention, none of his family members
saying anything against it.
Chang tailed them for almost a kilometer as he dwelled on how he should approach them. He
eliminated a few possibilities and then threw all his considerations away. Giving up on it, he
simply went up to them instead.
Slowly he made himself appear in their vision. The family became extremely alarmed as they
saw him.
’’Who are you?’’ the man asked, raising his weapon at the same time as his children. It
frightened them even more that his face was an unfamiliar one. The man shouted out loud, ’’I
don't care who you are but I would not recommend you to come forward. You know the rules,
no one should enter another's three meter zone. And if you're thinking of robbing us for food,
just forget it. We don't have any, either.’’
’’Don't be nervous, I am not coming to do harm,’’ Chang said, raising his bare hands to prove his
words. He completely understood their tension. It was obvious the tragic fights among groups
would never stop as long as the world remained as undisciplined as it was now. Law
reinforcement had lost its power since they were not privileged in having better vision than

others. The best that the military could do was to prevent a serious riot, but they were poweless
to refrain the public from scuffling here and there. But at least the society was still functioning,
even if with an agitated undercurrent.
Chang straightened his arms and raised them up high to show the family that he had no
intentions to do harm.
’’I don't want to fight you all. I just came to ask a few questions.’’
’’Alright, alright. Then stay where you are, don't come any closer.’’ The family loosened their
guard but still wished to keep distance.
’’Thanks, I was just curious about the bug that you hold in the cage. What is it?’’
’’I am afraid you will be disappointed... I don't know it either, man. It is just a ordinary evolved
bug I guess.’’
’’Then why do you keep feeding it?’’ Chang asked his second question from the family.
’’You have been following us?’’ They became fretful again.
’’No... I did not, I just happened to see it. How about this...’’ As Chang spoke, he removed one of
the sheaths that were tied to his belt and pulled out a dagger. ’’I know your weapons are mostly
homemade. They were kitchenware originally. So they are not very handy for defending, are
they? My dagger was made from steel in the armory, and is as sharp as you can imagine. I
believe it is more useful than those knives in your hands.’’ Chang waved the dagger to show its
fineness. He then pointed at the man's cage, ’’If you can tell me what it can do for you, I'll
return the favor by giving you this dagger. What do you think?’’
’’Deal!’’ the man agreed to the exchange without a second thought. ’’I can even give you the cage
with the bug, but you have to slide your dagger to me first.’’
Neither of them spent anymore time on bargaining.
Chang could have just stolen the cage shamelessly but that would have crossed his bottom line.
Plus, he was much more powerful than the whole family. There was no need for him to worry
that they would take the dagger and run away.
’’Neat!’’ The dagger stopped beside the man's right foot, and he became assured of its quality
after grabbing it in hand. ’’We found the bugs by accident. They are omnivorous with preference
to plants, and seem to have a keen sense of smell. Maybe because of it they can distinguish
between edible plants and not. Thus, we caged one and used it to look for edible plants.
Surprisingly, it is quite picky about food. If something smells bad or toxic, it won't eat it; but
whatever is edible to it, humans are safe to consume it too.
’’When I found out this unique characteristic of the bug, I thought it'd be helpful to us in this
world. After all, the plants are all evolved and mutated, the edible ones might have become
inedible, while the inedible might have turned edible. I think there is generally a sufficient
amount of food in this world, it's just that most of the humans don't have the guts to test them
out.’’
As the man explained, the small cage was rolled to Chang. It sent up small cloud of dust as it
came toward him.
’’There you go. We have a lot of these bugs living in the water pipe, so we'll just catch another
one.’’

’’Thank you!’’ Chang expressed his gratitude, and picked up the cage, scanning the bug.
It was an ordinary looking bug as the man had said, its appearance similar to a longhorn beetle.
Everything seemed normal except for those extra-long antennae which implied its
extraordinary sense of smell.
Both parties in this trade were happy about what they got, but they never put full trust in the
other at the same time.
A troop of soldiers patrolled past them. They were all well-armed, and the soldier at the very
front made repeated announcement through a megaphone, ’’Attention, attention please! We are
here to inform you that a new crop has been developed in the institute. We will start
distributing its seeds to the general public in three days! This crop can solve the food crisis
completely and we are kindly asking you to endure the remaining three days patiently.’’
Sheets of flyers were handed out by the leading soldier. He made sure that he didn't miss out
anyone he saw.
The family and Chang received two pieces of coarse paper.
Chang quickly glanced through the flyer and learned its content - it was promoting the Crystal
Pea and praising its creator. The flyers obviously exaggerated the benefits of the Crystal Pea. It
was even amplifying its effects, making the information seem more convincing and tempting
to the hungry.
’’We can cultivate this crop? This is so exciting! We won't be starving anymore,’’ the wife
exclaimed with her face painted with ecstasy.
’’Oh, come on. Do you really believe that? It's transgene! I won't eat it, you won't eat it, and our
kids won't eat it either. Who knows what this pea can do to us?’’ The man tore the paper
immediately since Zhuo's smile on the flyer seemed suspicious to him.
’’What are you talking about? It says edible and nutrient-rich!’’ The wife was clearly upset.
’’I won't risk our kids' lives to test out this pea! Perhaps the institute is treating us as lab rats!’’
the man shouted back.



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