Chapter 9: First Night
It was common knowledge that wound infections often led to fevers. In fact, most organisms died of diseases regardless of whether they were human or animal. Even carnivores who lived in the jungle—unless they were starving—seldom picked aggressive animals as their prey, even if they were much weaker than them. This was because they feared being injured. An injury meant a high chance of a wound becoming infected, and the infection could take their life. Hence, having a wound was basically equivalent to death, since they didn’t have antibiotics to fight off bacteria and microbes.
This was what Chang was facing.
Although he took anti-inflammatory pills, it seemed to be ineffective in controlling the mutated bacteria. He felt himself getting colder, and his headache became worse; everything in the room became blurry.
Another hour passed, and the people in the room started to look for food for themselves. Chang gritted his teeth and scrambled up to a shelf to take some canned beef, forcing himself to eat it.
Chang knew that no one in this world would or was willing to take care of him. If he wanted to survive, he had to eat something, even if he had no appetite at all.
Chang curled himself up against the wall after he finished the canned food, but he still felt coldness surrounding him.
“Bro, are you okay?” seeing Chang crouched in a corner, Pangzi and the others hunched over.
“Ah! Your foot stinks!” Tao also came over with his nose covered.
“Hey, you know people rarely die from diseases in the apocalypse, right?” Glasses said jokingly, hoping that his joke would ease the tension.
“Come on…most people die of diseases regardless of what circumstance is.” Chang leaned against the wall and sighed.
“You have a fever?” They finally noticed Chang’s pale complexion when they sat right beside him.
“Have some Advil.” Pangzi took out the pills from his backpack and handed them to Chang.
Chang took the bitter pills along with some bottled water, then he frailly nodded to show his appreciation to his friends.
Just as Chang was about to rest, a sudden shriek came from the direction of the washroom. The person’s scream sounded like she was in anguish, as if her vocal cords was torn and she was choking on viscous blood.
“Mom!” Pangzi’s face immediately turned pale as he heard the cry. His rotund body bounced up from the ground as agile as an elk and he rushed to the washroom.
Some other people followed Pangzi out of curiosity.
Chang managed to stand up with some effort, and following the others, he staggered towards the washroom.
Someone had lit a candle in the corridor already.
Under the candlelight, Chang smelled a strong odor of blood as soon as he stepped into the washroom corridor. Some people in the front started to throw up against the wall; the smell of gastric juices and digested food filled the air in the corridor immediately.
Through the gaps between the onlookers, Chang saw something extremely unpleasant that made him nauseous.
A broken body.
The torso and limbs were severely damaged while the head remained intact. She died lying on her stomach, and an adult fist-sized hole on her lower back indicated a brutal penetration. Her organs flowed out from the hole and coated the floor of the washroom. Despite this opening, there was another smaller one on the chest, but not as wide as the previous one.
Perhaps it was because Pangzi’s mother was too obese, but it was even more disgusting since there was a large amount of fat mixed with the flesh. Anyone who saw this mixture of yellow fat, blood and organs would seriously feel unwell.
Fortunately, Chang was too weak and his senses had dulled, so he somehow managed to suppress the nauseating feeling.
Chang turned his head away to avoid seeing the bloody scene, and then his gaze drifted onto Pangzi’s face–distraught and hideously angry.
He knew that any comforting words at this moment would be useless.
Therefore, he took a few steps back and leaned back against the wall.
“Whew!” Chang sighed heavily and slowly slid onto the ground.
However, at this time, no one cared enough to pay attention to him. Their attention was attracted to the bloodier scene; except for Pangzi, everyone was in serious fear and trepidation.
“WHAT attacked her?” Someone in the crowd whispered.
However, there was no response to that person’s question. The only person who might’ve seen the attacker was Pangzi, but obviously he wasn’t going to talk to anyone about it right now.
Even so, people still paid attention to that question. When someone in the crowd asked, people in the room began to pay attention to everything around them.
However, the surrounding was too dark, and under the flickers of the candle flame they could only hazily observe their surroundings. If the corridor wasn’t dim enough, there’d probably be even more people vomiting right now.
They carefully moved back to the store; no one wanted to die tragically in the corridor. Some smarter individuals had already pulled their families away and quietly left the place. They were afraid that the smell of blood would attract more strange organisms.
For a while, the situation was growing increasingly tenser.
It seemed like no one would ever notice Chang huddled in the corner.
Chang felt his body temperature continuously rising and he was gradually losing consciousness. He went into a semi-comatose state.
The situation continued until someone found him at midnight–he was once again discovered by the biology teacher, Qingshui Li.
He saw Chang crouched against the wall, then he touched Chang’s forehead.
“It must be more than 40 degrees Celsius!” Qingshui lightly exclaimed.
He put a thermometer that he found somewhere into Chang’s mouth.
Five minutes later, Qingshui removed the thermometer, placed it in front of the candlelight and carefully read the temperature. The highest temperature that the thermometer could detect was 42 degrees Celsius, which was exactly Chang’s reading.
“How hasn’t he died already?” To be honest, there were almost no thermometers that read temperatures above 42 degrees Celsius. This was because humans could easily die from heart failure if their body temperature ever reached 42 degrees Celsius.
And obviously, Chang’s body temperature might’ve exceeded this number already.
“How is he?” Chang vaguely heard another voice approach; it was probably Tao.
“I don’t know, he should be dead, but he’s still alive for now.” He once again heard Qingshui’s voice.
“Is there any chance that we can save him?”
“If his fever continues, he’ll be dead for sure. The infection caused the severe fever, so if we can’t subdue the festering wound, even if he’s in a relatively stable stage, he will still die from this fever.”
“What can we do?”
“If we can find antibiotics, then there’s hope!”