The sky is no longer lit. Under the night, the wind brought the distant roar of monsters.
Even the small pickup car doesn’t even dare turn on the lights as it carefully traveled on the road.
Several thick canvases layered the top of the car, manually welded metal railings on both sides. There’s an unpleasant smell on the car. The source was coming from a stack of kraft paper bags in the corner. Blood slowly oozed from the inside.
A young ability holder stared at the paper bag in disgust. He touched his empty stomach, tangled and then asked, “Uncle Ma, the news you got is correct? Can we really eat cooked food in the base?”
“What are you saying? Aren’t there just fewer people in this country? Don’t worry, if there’s really no fire ability holder……”
His name is Uncle Ma, a dark-skinned middle-aged man. His rough palms have thick calluses, apparent signs of doing physical work, and he seemed to be the leader of this group. He had a smile on his face, and he’s in the safest position in the pickup truck.
Those ability holders who can’t stand the bumps sat near the vents and back of the car.
They more or less have clothes on them. Even the girls are unkempt, with a few having mud marks on their cheeks. Everyone looks like a startled bird, holding a sharp object in hand.
Some are knives; some are small half-steel bars, and there’s even someone who held a bottle opener.
They are separated from each other by a distance. It is the Abandoned World’s way of teaching them how to survive the hard way, stay close with others, so if there’s an attack, two people can defend.
Abandoned World is dangerous. People are forced to rely on the power of a group to survive, but people are scarier than monsters making the ability holders alert to each other. They want to sleep but still have to keep an eye open.
For most ability holders, there are no relatives in this world, no friends, and no acquaintances they can trust——they survive alone and drank blood like a primitive man.
“There are not only fire ability holders in the army, but there’s also water ability holders!”
Cooked food, clean drinking water, and can lie in a soft bed without worrying about being attacked by monsters. It’s no different from heaven on earth.
The ability holders in the pickup truck all show longing eyes, hoping that the rumors are true, but also afraid that the facts don’t match.
“When we left with Uncle Ma, isn’t there someone who doesn’t believe it, and said that there are guns in the military. They have enough resources stocked up and when the soldier’s rations are not enough, why would they care about our lives?”
Uncle Ma snorted, “Do you think I’ll dare to travel through the highway for a long time, and run the risk of being eaten by monsters to reach Haicheng if there’s no conclusive news?”
“Put away your scholarly words. Being far-sighted or something, I just saw the group of ability holders who went to Haicheng……you’ve seen them, the guys wearing black badges.”
“Black Abyss?” Everyone was surprised.
Abandoned World has been around for a long time, and groups of all kinds have emerged. The groups helped each other grow, but these organizations are only a little more prominent before meeting someone who would “drop in and recommend themselves”. Black badge with a golden rim. They have different ages, but what they all have in common is that they knew the monsters well. They also got some confidential information, so they’re very popular with small groups of ability holders.
There are also people who pretend to be “Black Abyss” but they’ll usually be exposed soon, In the tightly organized Black Abyss, any ability holder who wants to enter the Black Abyss must have a referral, and also pass an assessment. Even after joining the Black Abyss, it’s only at the lowest rank with no qualification for wearing a badge, so it’s hard to find out secrets.
There are also rumors saying that Black Abyss has a deep background.
“I hope that after the Abandoned World is over, the army will not arrest us.”
It is what the ability holders are most afraid of, to go back to reality and go to jail. How could they face their parents and friends?
Uncle Ma has a small cigarette butt in his mouth. He heaved a long sigh, “You didn’t hear it? A few days ago, someone entered the Abandoned World and stayed in this damned place a whole month. Haicheng is full of monsters. We are weak. Can we defend for a few days?”
At this moment, the tires seemed to have crashed into something as it suddenly jumped up.
The ability holders in the car became extremely tense, watching the dark sky outside with trepidation.
“What happened, didn’t I tell you not to drive into the mushrooms?”
“Yes……but, Uncle Ma, look at both sides of the road.”
Of course, on both sides of the road are trees. Because of a monster attack, there’s damage on the railing along the highway, and the streetlights seem to be gone. With very low visibility, the trunks seem connected through the shadows.
Uncle Ma can’t drive. In the middle of the night, he can’t see the surroundings. His heart thumped, this is like the feeling of being eyed by monsters——
“That’s not a tree!” One of the ability holders in the pickup truck screamed.
How can there be more than ten-meter tall trees on both sides of the highway? If you run across a curve, won’t it block your line of sight?
The panicked driver turned on the lights, illuminating the road ahead, and standing silently on the side of the road——mushroom!
Everyone’s face is white, stunned.
They don’t know when they drove into the mushroom headquarters. This road runs through the mushroom jungle. It’s like a safe passage that someone has deliberately opened up. The large caps on both sides of the highway reached up to five floors.
On top of some of these mushrooms hang the withered arm of a monster, and seeing this at night gave people goosebumps.
As if stimulated by the lights, the front cap slowly turned sideways — the hyphae that came out gradually extended toward the pickup truck. The hyphae of a giant mushroom is roughly like a rope. The oncoming attack is like a whip that can tear the car apart.
“Aaahhhh!” The driver stepped on the gas pedal with his eyes closed.
“Calm down, you fool!”
The hyphae turned into several “roadblocks”, forcing the car to slow down. The lasso “ropes” were thrown one by one to the car. Finally, the pickup truck suspended in the air, the wheels madly turning.
The ability holders grabbed the compartment board in horror, their bodies involuntarily following the tilt.
The mycelium bluntly took off the covering on top of the truck and went into the car like snakes. It overbearingly “searched” the car, carefully “sniffed” the blood-covered paper bag, and found that these are the dregs of what they ate “themselves”. The mushroom immediately wasn’t interested and transferred their focus on the ability holders.
Even though they have been in close contact with the mushrooms and also suffered binds from the hyphae, the difference in size is enormous! If it’s thinner than a human hair, it can be ignored. If it’s as thick as noodles, people’s heart will thump, but if the size reached the point of what they see right now, those with poor mentality would have weak knees.
Good thing they’re all people who came out of a monster heap, so they did not faint on the spot.
Between being horrified, a car honk sounded from behind.
“What happened, how is the front blocked?”
“……don’t come. There are mushrooms!” A trembling voice came out of the car.
“Of course there are mushrooms, a few kilometers near here is the site of the mushrooms!” The person in the car behind said snappily.
Otherwise, with the Red Dragon gathering so many ability holders, isn’t it a table full of fragrant food in the eyes of monsters?
“Ah? Haicheng license plates, who are you, what are you doing here?”
The modified roof of the pickup truck was turned over, revealing several ability holders with pale faces and woodenly looking at the SUV behind them tied up by the mushroom too, and hanged up parallel with them.
There is no difference with the hyphae “searching” them.
Compared to this side, the people in the SUV are much more relaxed, leaning in their seats and letting the hyphae rake them, looking like they’re used to it.
“B-black badge.” The female ability holder next to Uncle Ma noticed the sign that they’re Black Abyss.
The one wearing the badge is a little young, a smile showing teeth, and the general appearance is more than ordinary people, but what Uncle Ma is more concerned about is that they’re all wearing camouflage clothes.
“We want to go……we heard that there’s a base nearby, with army stationed.”
Looking at those hopeful eyes, the young man from Black Abyss nodded, and asked in a drawled out tone, “Have you registered your identity information?”
“I mean, you are ability holders. Have you registered your identity with the country?”
“……” They’re doing their all to hide it, but they still have to report it?
“It’s troublesome without information because the identity household registry information can only be queried in the real world. The information about registered ability holders is especially handwritten on each base. If you aren’t registered, you can’t enter the base, and can only live in the periphery. Oh, the so-called periphery is a temporary tent built by mushrooms.”
Several ability holders in the pickup truck were speechless.
The mushroom search ended, and hyphae slowly loosened, putting the two cars back on the road. They’re holding several dead bodies of monsters on the SUV, as it excitedly left.
“It’s really a crime to feed this guy. If it’s not fresh, they won’t eat.” The young man from Black Abyss whispered.
The mushroom extracts the power from the monsters, not consuming the flesh. The energy from a corpse that has been dead for a long time has dissipated, so of course, they won’t take another look.
“Aren’t you specifically responsible for this job?” The Red Dragon member driving ridiculed, “Flame Demon has spoken.”
“Haven’t I fed a few kilometers of mushrooms ah. There’s enough food out there, why is it still hungry!”
This young man from Black Abyss is Yang Chao. He kept one thing in his heart. Li Fei recently hinted that he’d control the range and quantity of mushrooms.
Saying it is easy but doing it is somewhat hard. Take the mushroom forest near the Red Dragon base. Only the edges have food to eat. Those hyphae inside will naturally run out of energy and disappear. The mycelium that has consumed their fill on the outer edges will be called back, so there is a reasonable cycle. The problem is that the mushrooms are running around, and showed no signs of stopping. To make the mushrooms not open a new site, it’s more difficult that detoxifying an addict.
Yang Chao went past the pickup truck and said.
Surrounded by mushrooms, this group of ability holders has no choice. The driver holding the steering wheel shivered as he carefully kept up with the SUV.
The road gradually disappeared, becoming bumpier, and sometimes bending and swirling like a maze.
Following the bright lights that appeared ahead, none of the ability holders in the car can tell where the Red Dragon base is located. They have been unable to distinguish which direction is which.
The warm lights and the smell of barbecue floated in the wind, lifting their spirits.
Waiting until they’re near the base, Uncle Ma and the others are surprised that there are many cars parked here. Some are roughed up, and at least dozens of ability holders are gathered here. Some people queue up for registration; some people surrounded pots cooking something, and there’s also some sleeping in hammocks using tall mushrooms. It was very lively.
The SUV drove straight, driving into the heavily guarded base gate.
A two-person high bronze sculpture with a strange shape resembling an hourglass is erected at the door. The newly arrived ability holders don’t understand, and the others whispered in confusion.
“It’s for measuring time……”
The mechanical pendulum arm emits a low impact sound. Everyone became silent, stopped their eating action, and even those who are arguing shut up immediately with a look of melancholy and loss.
The people in camouflage uniforms climbed the two-person high structure using mushrooms and changed the hanging iron card from 7 to 8.
——it’s the eighth day of the entire Haicheng entering the Abandoned World.
At the gate of the base, people are coming over every once in a while. Some are like Uncle Ma who heard the news, and some are Red Dragon members who have sent messages from other cities.
These cars are severely damaged, and seriously wounded people lifted from the vehicle. They rushed for several days before arriving at Haicheng, encountering countless dangers along the way, and fully prepared to go out again even when the ammunition is used up. Moreover, accidents are everywhere.
In the map hanging on the wall of Major Zhang’s office, the range of red circles are getting bigger and bigger.
“The current policy is to hold the base, protect as many ordinary people as possible, and keep in touch with the outside……” Zhang YaoJin paused for a moment, looking at the people in the conference room, “This time the entire planet has entered the Abandoned World. The duration in the book lasted one year. Who is going to tell the news to the Devourer and Flame Demon?”
Everyone turned their heads and looked at the skinny man in uniform with the code word Albatross.
Zhao Wen: ……