Chapter 40 Deadly evolution
This was the first time Chang saw Qing shui show such strong emotions and speak in such a forceful tone. The Qing shui he knew was exactly like the meaning of his name – calm as still water. Expressing such emotions, Chang felt that those words weren’t only for him, but also to numb Qing shui himself.
“It seems like he’s also feeling the pressure of his morality.” Chang sighed and threw away the cigarette butt.
He opened the door slowly and walked to his own bed. The door was opened again – it was two soldiers and the mother of the family of four.
When the woman showed up with two soldiers behind her, she started yelling, “See, I told you someone died in our dorm. It’s been more than 2 hours and she still hasn’t decided to bury her mother. How can she do that? I can bear the stench, but what if it spreads a disease? Who else would be willing to live in here?”
Chang glanced between the woman and the daughter; her body showed a sign of shock and eventually she started talking.
“I just want to stay with my mom longer.” She said as she looked at the bloated corpse again.
“Miss.” One of the soldiers frowned, “We completely understand why you want to accompany your mother, but right now the situation is urgent; please hand over the body to us. As you know, a large epidemic is usually followed by a disaster, and leaving the body here can easily spread the plague.”
“We also received a command from our captain – dead bodies are to be forcibly cremated. I hope you understand the policy and cooperate with us.” As they said, they stood there quietly to wait for the daughter’s reaction.
However, the soldiers waited more than two minutes and the daughter still didn’t move an inch, so one of the soldiers helped her up and the other came up and dragged her mother’s body away.
Oddly, the daughter didn’t struggle at all, but she began to sob. She didn’t cry loudly; streams of tears ran down her shallow eyes.
The other soldier didn’t look at her too much, nor did he speak. He wore two layers of rubber gloves and grabbed on the body’s ankle, pulling the body to the edge of the bed. He did it professionally – apparently, he had handle quite a lot of corpses these days.
But just as he was going to lift the body into the body bag, the old man on the bed suddenly moved.
He started to tremble and turned his face to the soldier who was going to carry away his wife’s body. The old man stared at her body and shed tears. After he stared at the body for a while, he opened his mouth widely, and a loud “Ahhhh—” sound came from his throat.
Hearing this heartbreaking mourning, Chang knew that the old man was dying too. This was his last breath, and it quieted down as he approached death.
Sure enough, the old man uttered a burp-like sound as his last syllable. Then, he lost all signs of life.
The soldiers were stunned by his death for a good minute. The one who was holding the daughter went up to the bed to examine his pupils and pulse. A moment after, he shook his head to the young woman, and then helped his partner lift up the body to the body bag.
“So this is what the apocalypse looks like…” The scene reminded Chang of his father; he was afraid to look at the daughter’s face. He dropped onto his bed, and clutching his father’s finger bone, he let his mind wander as far as it could.
He was afraid to look at the young woman’s face because he felt that it could be him in the future – as he got to know more about this world, he clearly knew that the chance that his parents were still alive was extremely low. However, he didn’t want to believe it, so he didn’t look at her face.
Unfortunately, humans have exceptional imagination, the more he repressed his thoughts, the more likely those thoughts would appear in his mind; they harassed his mind in the most uncomfortable way. From the death of this old couple, he thought of the death of his own parents. From the word “death”, he thought of corpses, and then zombies, the walking dead.
He used to read a lot of zombie fiction in the past, and he sometimes wondered why people would be scared by such creatures. In this cruel moment, he understood the reality that he never wanted to face – the reason why humans feared zombie more than tigers was probably due to the fear of seeing how they would look after they die.
Carrying these chaotic thoughts, Chang didn’t know when and how he fell asleep. A day full of danger and complicated emotions had passed in this way.
Today, he starved… he wondered… he almost died and cried, but he also laughed and ate until he was full… it seemed like the emotions he experienced in one day in the apocalypse was more than what he ever felt in the past ten years. Chang never knew that all these strong emotions could burst out altogether when he witnessed death. He felt that these feelings would continue to linger on for many days.
During the next few days, Chang went out for hunting in the daytime and when he came back, he always saw bodies being thrown into a large temporary cremation furnace in the courtyard. Within a few days, more than half of the humans in this base had died – hunger and disease finally struck this area coldheartedly.
The first two days, the elderly and the children were the first group to die; the former was weak from aging and the latter was weak due to undeveloped immune systems. Their bodies were thrown into the flames and turned into ashes accompanied with the cries of their loved ones.
And in the following three or four days, the grim reaper’s scythe visited adults and adolescents. Those who were not strong enough also died at this time. For survivors in this game with death, they gradually adapted to the environment, and some of the lucky ones even acquired abilities. Firstly, their digestive systems improved significantly so that they could eat plants that were not normally edible before, including those with slight toxins, hard stems and nutrients that were not easily absorbed.
Therefore, even though the survivors were still struggling to get food and were starving, they already had a better chance of survival compared to a week before.
Naturally, their immune systems also evolved along with their digestive systems, and the survivors barely got sick anymore and became more accustomed to the environment.
Everyone had evolved to different degrees, some people’s bones were thicker, while other’s muscles were firmer. As mentioned before, a very small amount of people acquired special abilities.
In the week of the “deadly evolution”, Chang’s body also showed improvements. He became more robust and his special abilities in perception slightly improved as well. As he planned, he went out hunting everyday, but he only succeeded twice. He had caught a water snake and a chicken – indeed, it was a chicken which used to live in a chicken farm, but now it was half the size of a human adult.
Chang came to the kitchen with the poor chicken in his hand and found the personnel responsible for food in the military – Yixuan Mao.