The next day, everyone got up before dawn with dark circles around their eyes. The atmosphere in the living room was depressed and everyone quietly packed their things. In actuality, most people were not willing to migrate- especially Huo Dong. He was approaching his middle age years and his physical strength as well as energy were not comparable to the younger people in the group. He will most likely die halfway through the journey, however, he did not have many options. He was certain that he would die sooner without Luo Yuan as he had no superpower. He then put his backpack on his back and firmly gripped a knife in his hand.
"I can help carry some of the things." Wang Xiaguang said embarrassingly as she was empty-handed while everyone was busy packing.
"It’s alright, you just recovered… we will help you with these." Huang Jiahui said with a smile.
"It will be good enough if you can catch up with our speed ." Wang Shishi also joined the conversation.
Luo Yuan stared at Wang Shishi for a second and spoke to Wang Xiaguang, "Don’t worry, we will go slower on the first day. You should eat more meat so that your energy can be restored faster."
After consuming mutated meats for two nights, Wang Xiaguang seemed to be much better but she probably needed a few more days to fully recover.
Wang Xiaguang smiled happily as she felt Luo Yuan treated her as nicely as he did in the early days. She replied, "My physique is good, I used to exercise every morning. Do you have an extra knife?"
"These knives are very sharp and you might hurt yourself." Luo Yuan hesitated a moment and as he wanted to protect her as a form of compensation.
"I’ve practiced a lot in college, it shouldn’t be a problem for me." Wang Xiaguang was shy after saying that to him.
"Well, there should be a few more left in the basement. Let me check." Luo Yuan did not reject her request anymore as he thought it was good for her to have a weapon to at least protect herself if he is too busy fighting mutated beasts. He found a samurai sword and brought it up.
Wang Xiaguang took the sword and began to familiarise with it. She tried to practice the routines which Luo Yuan showed to the others. Surprisingly, she could do it better than all of them, even though it might not be as fast or accurate as what Luo Yuan had requested. Everyone was amazed.
No one could imagine that a weak woman like her could be so skillful. Lin Xiaoji looked as though he had just met Superwoman!
Wang Xiaguang stopped practicing after a while and asked Luo Yuan, “What do you think?”
“Acceptable.” Luo Yuan replied.
Wang Xiaguang frowned her nose tenderly and said, "I haven’t practiced for a long time. I’ll certainly beat you in the future."
Wang Shishi twitched her lower lip to show her dissatisfaction. Brother Luo is the most powerful man in her heart and no one could ever compete with him.
"Well, you have always been the most powerful." Luo Yuan smiled and said to Wang Xiaguang. Luo Yuan loaded most of their things on the back of the lizard. He also wrapped some stuff in a canvas and tied it to the back of his loyal pet.
Luo Yuan returned to the living room to take his backpack and Zhanmadao. As he noticed everyone was already ready, he said, "Please carry some meat with you in your backpack as we might need to leave everything else behind if it is too dangerous. Also, it is not too late to change your mind now if you want to stay here. There is a lot more food in the basement which can ensure you a worry-free life for a few months."
Luo Yuan did not hear any objections and then said, “Let’s go then!”
It was a cloudless day which was a good sign. As the huge body of the lizard slowly stood up, the group immediately followed from the back. The road was destroyed and only tanks could travel on it. Other than Luo Yuan, none of them had come out to the district in the last 10 days. They were shocked when they saw the condition of the roads and the collapsed buildings.
Plenty of green filled their eyes. Weeds, mosses, and vines had engulfed the entire city. The sun was shining on them but they did not feel warm at all as they were too distracted by what they were seeing. Wang Xiaguang could not believe the city had changed so much because it was still a beautiful one when she first entered. She did not expect it to be destroyed to this state in such a short time.
Everyone walked at a slow pace to avoid the territories of mutated beasts. They had just completed 10 km of their journey right before noon. Luo Yuan spread out a cloth on the floor and everyone had their lunch there but Lin Xiaoji naturally ate his lunch somewhere further away as he did not want to affect their appetites.
"We are here now." Luo Yuan nodded while pointing on the map and then drew a line and continued speaking, "We are less than fifteen kilometers from the nearest highway. It will be great if we can get there before the sunset."
"Why are we going to the highway? It is mostly farmland there and I’m afraid it would have become a forest by now. It’s too dangerous." Huang Jiahui said.
"The highway is higher than normal land and is equipped with civilian as well as military facilities. Most importantly it is built with concrete that even heavy tanks cannot destroy. Furthermore, the highways are now wider thanks to the reinforcements that took place before the outbreak- both sides of the highway should have at least one hundred-meter-wide isolation zones and every section of the road has additional fortifications. Moreover, we can rest inside the outposts.” Luo Yuan responded in detail.
“My guesses are that it should still be in good condition. If I’m right, we can even use a car to travel along the highway if we can find a vehicle. We wouldn’t get lost if we used the highway.” Luo Yuan continued.
“Though I am worried about the cross-sea bridge. If the bridge is broken, we might need to take the long way up." Luo Yuan added.
"I used to travel on the cross-sea bridge. The water had dried up more than six months ago. Furthermore, now is not high-tide season so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?" Cao Lin spoke.
"I hope so." Luo Yuan replied.
Three-quarters of the Earth is occupied by water and many marine organisms are very dangerous. Fortunately they only live in the ocean, otherwise, the human race would be extinct.
"However, this road also passes Meishan Park, right?" Cao Lin asked.
"It’s fine, my family used to stay there. The whole mountain had been sealed with cement before the outbreak." Ning Xiaoran said.
They talked a while more to finalize the route they were going to take. After resting for another ten minutes, everyone was back on the road. They met a lot of ants on their journey. Those ants appeared black and shiny and were about the size of a human fist. There were a lot of them and even their lizard could not do anything about it.
Luo Yuan had no choice but to avoid them as he definitely could not handle a million big ants alone. A lot of fresh blood and bones appeared on the road after the ants were gone. Luo Yuan was grateful that they managed to escape from the ants when he saw the bones on the road. He could never forget the time when numerous green mutated bugs attacked Donghu City. It was as if The God of Death came down from the sky and destroyed the entire Donghu City in one or two days.
Fortunately, those ants were not as dangerous or destructive as the green bugs and it was just a small episode of their journey. When the sky was completely dark, the group was close to the highway’s intersection. It was close to the suburbs but not far from the countryside. Suddenly, everyone subconsciously stopped. They were shocked when they looked ahead and noticed a giant tree standing firm and tall about seven or eight kilometers away. It was surrounded by a white fog, which reminded them of the scenes in Wonderland.
A large plot of land was shaded by its huge canopy but the giant tree looked as though it had been struggling to live for a few hundred years as the scars on its trunk were visible even though they were looking at it from a distance. It must be a very strong and powerful tree as it was still standing there at the end of the world despite enduring numerous lightning strikes over the years.
"I always thought only the banyan tree could form a forest, but compared to this giant tree, the rest are just plants." Huo Dong said.
"Is that the biggest tree in the world?" Wang Shishi asked in a dreamy tone.
Luo Yuan did not oppose her question as it was really considered legendary that a tree can grow to be that big in size. Luo Yuan could not identify the ranking of the giant tree but it definitely should not be compared to the Haunted Locust Tree in Hedong City. He hoped that the giant tree had simply grown to a huge size without undergoing any mutation as they needed to pass by the highway beneath its canopy.
"Don’t sigh. Find a safe place to rest tonight and tomorrow we will continue our journey." Luo Yuan said.
There were many abandoned buildings everywhere so it was very easy to get an empty room. However, a little more effort was needed if they wanted to get a safer place. After some searching, they finally found a four-star hotel with a basement. The basement used to be the hotel’s office with computers and printers. A thick layer of dust was covering the carpet with many dried blood stains and skeletons scattered everywhere. They also found a few rifles on the floor with a bunch of bullets. Unfortunately, all the bullets were just empty shells.
Luo Yuan suspected that there was a terrible battle here not long ago with some mutated beasts. The place was really dark to the point that their torchlights did not help much. Luo Yuan decided to check the place alone to ensure it was safe enough to stay as he did not want the rest to take the risk.
The group decided to stay in the large office space while Luo Yuan inspected the place. None of them felt comfortable as there were too many bones around the place, however, they immediately felt grateful and relaxed when Luo Yuan returned.