Chapter 22 Plague-Breeders’ Nest (III)
“You’re right, they’re most likely the plague-breeders that have ‘burrowing’ superpowers. And its body already mutated into that… Viral rampage sure is surprising.”
Wang Sheng replied Wu Qi, then suddenly wondered why he spoke to Wu Qi with such formality. He didn’t even do anything, or, he only analyzed something that he identified, plus he once talked back to him before and almost got killed by one of his men.
Wang Sheng was annoyed by his strange reaction. He said, “Kid, it sounds like you have heightened hearing abilities?”
“I have first-level enhanced hearing.” Wu Qi didn’t refute. In fact, he never came in contact with any gene-enhancing drugs, he only knew some background information from Ruorong. His sharp hearing only came from training. Wu Qi was a little unclear about how the levels work but he chose to answer in a way that was acceptable to Wang Sheng.
Wang Sheng nodded slightly. This kid wasn’t completely useless.
“Anyway, if a plague-breeder can burrow in the ground, then other individuals of the same size could do it as well. We’re only so far inside and I feel like the entire tunnel is exposed to the damp and airy soil layer. It seems to me that the entire high-speed railway tunnel is already the nest for plague-breeders.”
Wu Qi expressed his thoughts. He said those because he didn’t want Wang Sheng to only focus on the surface of things and wanted him to be even more alert. Wang Sheng had helped An Yi generously, which made Wu Qi’s bad impressions towards him go away and even started to like him.
But what he just said made Wang Sheng shudder. The coldness from the bottom of his feet went straight to the top of his head and chilled him to the bone.
Wu Qi looked at the endless tunnel. The other end of the tunnel was ten thousand meters away. He didn’t know what was inside the darkness, but he had a strange feeling. This feeling was like looking into a bottomless black fog that floated in front of his eyes, and ice-cold blue tentacles shot out from the fog that could give him frostbites if he came close to them, yet he had no other choice but to enter the black fog.
The smartest choice was to give up right now and leave the tunnel.
It was also a form of danger-sensing. Hunters who survived countless hunting trips all possessed this special ability. Wu Qi didn’t develop the “dark sensory realm” with the help of gene-enhancing drugs which Zhou Qing used, but a hunter’s intuition was a hunter’s best friend and it never failed Wu Qi.
“The exploration mission must go on no matter what. We’re only eight hundred meters in and only caught one specimen, we wouldn’t be able to get our reward.” Wang Sheng wouldn’t be so scared by just this encounter.
He climbed to the passenger seat of the armored truck and ordered, “All aboard, we’re going in further to explore. Everyone, get in the car and get your guns ready.”
The Black Blunderbuss mercenaries got in the truck. Members of the mercenary squad carried An Yi and climbed in the back of the truck. Wu Qi also got in, and this time he chose to sit at the corner so he could have a broader field of vision and enough room to use his long blade on the monsters.
Old Hu already got into position with the machine gun, preparing for a sudden attack from herds of monsters. Other mercenaries all had their rifles in their hands, steady as rocks.
Frantic movements came from Wu Qi’s backpack. July was panicking. Wu Qi patted the left side of the backpack and said in a gentle, soothing voice, “It’s okay, don’t be nervous.”
The armored truck started again and drove deeper into the dark tunnel. Wu Qi deliberately looked at the three-meter-wide hole on the right as they drove by. He didn’t see anything useful other than the cross-section of the broken concrete walls and a layer of collapsed soil behind that hole.
Wu Qi stopped looking. His energy slowly heightened to an ultra-sensitive state, and at the same time, he watched Zhou Qing closely. Zhou Qing lost his cool when he was attacked, and now, from his anxious eyes and shuddering shoulders, it was easy to tell that he was still losing it. Zhou Qing’s gaze shifted to An Yi every now and then, and Wu Qi could sense his self-blame.
Zhou Qing was still the most important advance guard.
Thus, Wu Qi unprecedentedly took the initiative and patted Zhou Qing’s shoulders. Zhou Qing’s shoulders were quite slender, and when Wu Qi patted him he could tell that Zhou Qing did not have many pounds of flesh on his body. Wu Qi tilted his head, his bright and calm gaze looked into Zhou Qing’s eyes.
“Your powers are very important.”
He didn’t need to be comforted; what he needed was approval from others. That was the most effective way for a man to regain his confidence.
“Hmm.” Zhou Qing’s lips moved and responded quietly.
The armored truck drove deeper into the tunnel as everyone’s alertness heightened. As they were 1200 meters in, everyone saw another three-meter-wide hole on the left side of the tunnel. And as they drove 1200 to 2000 meters in, huge areas of breakage were found inside the tunnel. The concrete walls were covered with dug-open caves. They weren’t natural rock caves because the surfaces of natural rock caves were pretty even with some marks of water or wind erosion. The tunnel in front of them had its walls completely broken down, exposing the dark brown soil layer. It seemed like the result of countless plague-breeders traveling to and fro between and behind the wall.
The ground, too, was uneven and covered in holes. There were mounds of soil everywhere, which made the cave look like a road work construction site. The four railway tracks were heavily distorted and broken, and the sharklizard they ran into earlier obviously did not possess such incredible strength.
“So now we’re deep into the plague-breeders’ nest,” Wang Sheng thought. Just as he was about to make an announcement to everyone to look out for surprise attacks, Zhou Qing shouted from the top of his lungs from the back of the truck.
The patch dark brown soil layer that was ten meters in front of them suddenly raised up and cracked, an emerald green ellipsoid bursted out from underground with a loud bang. Chunks of soil flew out everywhere, then, two emerald-green hands reached out from the soil to pull its entire body up and out.
It was a humanoid creature that stood on two feet, and it was about 1.6 meters tall and had nude-beige colored skin. The length of its arms reached to its waist; it had only three fingers that were oddly shaped. Its feet were slender and bent, like the way a leopard arched its back. The muscles on its thighs were bulging out from its skin, they looked like they were as powerful as a leopard’s thighs.
And its head. Beige colored skin covered the ellipsoid emerald green skull in the center, making its face look like an inlaid gemstone. The bottom half of its face was its mouth that still showed the sharp teeth even though it was closed.