Chapter 27 The Finale of The Barrel
Wang Sheng understood. As the sad ambiance corroded the team’s morale, ammo shortage was the real issue here. They could not continue on the exploration mission.
“Son of a b*tch corporation, what kind of f**king irresponsible mission is this! C-level exploration-kind? More like B-level annihilation-kind! Our brothers are dead because of this damned mission!” A Black Blunderbuss blew an angry punch on the armored truck. Old Hu was his best buddy. Old Hu’s death made him fall into a whirlpool of misery and self-blame. He was extremely furious, extremely sad.
“There, there. Old Hu won’t come back to life no matter how much you complain. Exploration-kind missions have additional risks anyway. We stirred up a hornets’ nest this time.”
“Get the specimens in the car and return.”
Then, Wang Sheng quickly climbed into the passenger’s seat, Assistant Liu entered the driver’s seat. Everyone else climbed into the back of the truck one after one. Inside the storage area in the armored truck, besides the specimen boxes of the sharklizard and virus-infected blood, there were also specimen boxes of the humanoid beast, the jighead giraffe, and the green head.
This exploration mission had come to an end.
“Oh, right. The boy who uses a knife, what was your name again?” Wang Sheng asked as he greedily smoked a cigarette on the passenger seat.
“Wu Qi,” Wu Qi said calmly.
“Ah, Wu Qi. You will be the main guard force on our way back.” Wang Sheng gave the order while turning his back to Wu Qi.
Wu Qi’s face was expressionless, but other people’s faces were quite expressive, especially the Black Blunderbuss mercenaries. Even though they were mentally and physically exhausted, they were still shocked by how Captain Wang Sheng appointed Wu Qi.
But there was nothing wrong with that upon closer consideration. Wu Qi had exhibited stellar fighting skills, bravery, and decisiveness. When the jighead giraffe caught Old Hu, he threw himself into the breach and slew the monster to rescue Old Hu. Even though Old Hu didn’t make it, if he knew that Wu Qi rescued him despite the danger, he would rest in peace.
Wu Qi had the skills, and he was dependable as well.
Wu Qi didn’t think much other than simply wanted to rescue a person. Old Hu had told him important information, which kind of counted owing him a favor. Besides, Wu Qi who was great at surviving and analyzing the situation didn’t believe it was a good idea to abandon an important teammate and let the “special plague-breeder” get away.
Wu Qi thought about Old Hu and was naturally associated with the jighead giraffe. He realized that the two big round holes he saw earlier that were three meters wide were made by the jighead giraffe as a result of running from one side of the tunnel wall to the other side. That ginormous body could dash through the “soil layers” at such impressive speed, or, could the soil layer behind the concrete walls be just an empty shell?
The only sound echoing through the tunnels in the silent atmosphere of self-examination was the vrooming truck motors. The armored truck was speeding its way back via the same route. Nobody dared to spend one more second in a tunnel that had plague-breeders lurking around at almost every corner.
Like that, the armored truck arrived at the first huge hole they saw. It stopped about ten meters away from the hole.
“What’s wrong? Why did you stop.” The cigarette between Wang Sheng’s lips was down to its last one-fourth. He took the cigarette out of his mouth and threw it out of the truck window. He asked Assistant Liu because all he saw in front of his eyes was pitch-black.
Assistant Liu wore an explosion-proof helmet that had night vision goggles. His eyeballs behind the face shield were shaking in fear.
Similarly, Wu Qi, the only person who still had the vim to stay alert, also kept his eyes fixated on the area in front of them.
Pitch black. What a normal person saw was pitch black darkness. But beneath the darkness, the tunnel ground had cracks and bulges that could not be ignored. There were plenty of cracks on the ground, spreading on the grey concrete floor like knife scratches. The cross-sections were rough, and they didn’t look like they were broken off by brute force. The cracks, in conjunction with the bulges on the ground, looked like they were extruded by a force that came from the inside. What’s more, these cracks definitely weren’t there when they first entered the tunnel.
All of a sudden, hot wind blew towards them from the tunnel entrance and onto everyone’s skin. So searing it was like the hot air around a fireplace. Wu Qi saw something before everyone else had an idea of what was going on; his expression changed drastically and shouted:
“Jump off the truck now!”
Wu Qi carried his backpack and jumped off before he even finished shouting. The Black Blunderbuss mercenaries were stunned, but the sniper, Gao Yuan, who was calm and silent the entire time, shot up from his seat and grabbed onto the edge of the back trunk, then jumped off of the truck.
A second later, a white-hot beam appeared at the tunnel entrance. It started off as a small dot and quickly expanded into a white-and-orange halo that covered their entire visual field! It was a one-meter-wide light ray that flowed like hot lava, the minute it appeared, the hot air that it emitted was thirty degrees higher than the wind temperature!
The blinding beam lit up the dark tunnel immediately. It came towards the armored truck with an immensely destructive force!
Boom! The scorching hot ray hit the armored truck’s head, the damaging sparks that flew out covered almost half the tunnel. In a flash, the high-temperature radiation burned a hole through the head of the armored truck, the entire driver cabin could not escape from the destructive high temperature and went up in white fog. The white fog was the gaseous state of the materials that were sublimated by the high heat.
The destructive impact force and high temperature made the components of the armored truck blow up like fireworks, and charred and orangey-red shrapnels fell from the air like falling leaves. The right-half of the steering wheel in the driver’s cabin was completely molten, its cross-section was orange and red, and the molten material dripped down on the ground. The bulletproof glass, the center of the driver’s cabin, and the steel partition that separated the back trunk with the driver’s cabinet all had a one-meter-wide molten hole. The parts that were not hit by the radiation also had dark burn marks as well.
Assistant Liu and Wang Sheng managed to hop off the truck right before the high-temperature rays hit them and didn’t get hit by the damaging radiation. But some of the mercenaries sitting in the back weren’t so fast; many injured mercenaries who already had difficulties moving around and couldn’t dodge completely ended up getting severely burned. The three mercenaries that laid on the ground around the armored truck had their face wincing in agonizing pain.