Chapter 34    Recovery (II)

Wu Qi quickly finished the two bowls of food and exhaled deeply. The hungry feeling still didn’t disappear completely, but he had acquired enough energy for normal functions.

But just as he was about to get out of bed, Zhou Qing stopped him relentlessly.

“Don’t even think about it. Your vital signs were very unstable for the past four days, you were only pronounced out of danger last night. And don’t forget that you are badly burned, you have to change fresh dressing until you are completely healed.” Zhou Qing was not going to allow a patient that he devoted his time and effort to neglect his own health.

Wu Qi knew it came from Zhou Qing’s good heart so he did not insist either.

Wu Qi rested in bed for three days, but he did not let the three days idle by. He carefully reviewed the battle in the plague-breeders’ nest and every detail of his own combat tactic. He ruminated over and over every step he took, every time he swung the blade,  and wondered if he could have taken a much more effective strike and maximize his attacks and defenses. Rumination was Wu Qi’s habit, for the past nine years, every single time he fought a stronger mutated animal, it didn’t matter whether he won or fled, he would always ruminate. Sister Ruorong used to help him before and now he did it all on his own. This made sure his skills would still improve even if he wasn’t fighting. Besides, he had a pretty good memory.

Three days later, Zhou Qing came over to change Wu Qi’s wound dressing. He also brought someone, a member of the Black Blunderbuss Mercenary Team.

“Hello. I am Yang Dongchen, medic of the Black Blunderbuss Mercenary Team.” A deeply tanned, 1.9 meters tall, heavily muscled man with a big smile on his face reached out his hand to Wu Qi to greet him.

“Wu Qi, you ought to be grateful to Dr. Yang and Black Blunderbuss’ colonel. He was the one who asked Dr. Yang to stay here and treat you. If it weren’t for Dr. Yang’s skills and the advanced medical instruments, us people from the safe zone would be helpless at treating your wounds,” Zhou Qing added.

“It’s nothing. I just happen to know a little more medical techniques than my teammates, plus I have a set of medical instruments left from the civilized era.” Yang Dongchen was very humble. Wu Qi realized how easygoing Yang Dongchen was and felt his personality did not match his super-masculine and alpha appearance.

If Wu Qi did not see Yang Dongchen’s adept medical skills with his own eyes or heard the professional medical terms, Wu Qi still would’ve assumed Yang Dongchen as a fully-armed tough mercenary who used assault rifles and military knives.

But Yang Dongchen and Zhou Qing were the ones who were shocked after they peeled away the last layer of gauze that wrapped around Wu Qi’s skin. There was no dead skin or bumpy burn marks anywhere on Wu Qi’s body, only a layer of smooth skin as delicate as white jade, with hard muscles hid under the flawless skin,

Yang Dongchen, who was one of the few members of the Black Blunderbuss Mercenary Team that survived, had heard of Wu Qi from Wang Sheng. Wu Qi had at least second-level enhanced strength, second-level enhanced agility, first-level enhanced hearing. Plus, he was the first to notice danger before the high-temperature radiation attacked, which meant his vision was probably just as good as Gao Yuan, which was about second-level.

But by the looks of it, Wu Qi’s cellular activity and defense systems were most likely also enhanced to at least second-level, and that was a conservative estimate. Because no individual without enhanced cellular activity and defense systems could ever endure the terrible burns and recover with no scars at all.

Was he genetically-enhanced in all aspects? Yang Dongchen began to suspect how many abilities Wu Qi had not told them yet. But the truth about their abilities was the biggest secret for every single warrior during the Era of Dawn no matter if they were noble and strong harbingers or hustling mercenaries who paid for their enhancements. Therefore, Yang Dongchen was hesitant to ask Wu Qi and try to get to the bottom of the question.

It was obvious from the beginning what Wang Sheng wanted when he ordered him to stay——he was going to recruit Wu Qi to the Black Blunderbuss Mercenary Team. It had been seven days since Wang Sheng left, which was close to the time they set for him to return to the safe zone.

Heavy grey clouds covered the skies like giant blocks of lead, squishing together so tightly that water was about to precipitate down. The gloomy skies looked and felt suffocating. Only a few rays of golden sunlight barely spilled through the gaps, adding some bright hues to the grey world.

The wilderness was vast and barren, filled with brown dirt and some gravel and a few trees that had been dead for a long time. A rough old motor noise suddenly came up in the lonesome and quiet world. A light yellow old pickup truck appeared from the horizon, its four wheels quickly rolled over the dried dirt on the ground, the dirt clung to the wheels for half a revolution then became flying dust at the back of the pickup.

The bed of the pickup truck was covered by a large and rough grey canvas. There was a circular metal ring at each corner of the grey canvas. A rope looped through the rings and tied the grey canvas that danced in the wind securely above the bed of the truck.

A rugged and muscular man sat on the driver’s seat and held the steering wheel with one hand. The man was tall and broad, wearing a coffee colored leather jacket with the sleeves rolled up, revealing two sinewy, hairy arms. He wore a clean, casual white tank top underneath, his curly chest hair between his muscular pecs peeped through the front of the tank top. Two brawny thighs filled up the pair of dark blue denim jeans he wore. His legs still looked long despite being bent under the console.

Wang Sheng held the steering wheel in his right hand and a half-burnt cigarette in his left hand. He exhaled a puff of smoke while keeping his eyes fixed on the dirt road ahead. He hadn’t shaved for a while, so a layer of stubbles grew from his square jaw. Exhaustion was written in his eyes, but there was still a glimmer of anticipation in the midst of his gaze.

After the pickup truck drove on the dirt road for a long time, the silhouette of a small town finally emerged in the center of the horizon. There was a name for the small town: safe zone SW0304.

A trail of dust flew into the air as the pickup truck slowed down and braked in front of the town’s entrance. Wang Sheng stopped the truck and grabbed the assault rifle that sat on the passenger seat with his right hand. He opened the truck door and extended his long legs to jump off the truck.

The western wind blew and made the ends of Wang Sheng’s jacket rattle. Wang Sheng glanced at the black iron door and slammed the truck door shut. The sentinel on the watchtower rushed down and opened the iron door for Wang Sheng and led him into the town.

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