Luo Yuan already knew from the map that Jia Ping City was a submerged area. It could be said that the whole Jiangnan Province had almost no non-submerged areas. Judging by what he had seen with his own eyes, the city had obviously been submerged way earlier than he had imagined.
From the entrance of the highway to the city, the original road was no longer visible. A layer of thirty to forty centimeters of mutated moss had firmly blocked the road.
On top of the moss, were fully-grown spores about the size of strawberries. While Luo Yuan and others were passing by, those spores seemed to get scared and cracked one after the other, bursting into yellowish clouds of smoke.
Fortunately, although the moss was sticky and irritating, it was not poisonous. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to step into any part of the city.
This place had almost become a heritage of what civilization used to be. In only half a year, a great quantity of plants had taken over the city, and the few remaining buildings had been packed with numerous, closely arranged vines. These vines were like huge anacondas, coiling around the whole building and gathered at the rooftop, forming a purple ball of fifty to sixty meters in diameter. It looked majestic but gave everyone the chills.
As Luo Yuan and the others went forward, they heard the sound of water all around them. Everywhere they passed there were innumerable, weird mutated creatures popping out from the moss and running to escape. There were some small bugs too, but they also kept their distance from them.
One had to see it with their own eyes to get a sense of the danger lurking there. In between the moss, there was almost an independent community of creatures. Luo Yuan estimated that each square was inhabited by no less than ten different species. Some of them were ferocious and colourful – clearly not harmless.
There were very few survivors. Even evolved humans would have trouble surviving there. They wouldn’t even be able to go hunting without dying within a few steps of walking distance.
“I’ve been here before. Wu Mei Supermarket is located just down the road. Maybe we can go and have a look,” Wang Xiaguang suddenly said.
“This is supposed to be Tian Ping road. There is indeed a supermarket,” Cao Lin said.
They all almost came to a stop.
No matter how strong their Will was, they were still human. Looking at the countless escaping creatures under their feet, they could not help but feel itchy. They dared not travel further in. Although they had not encountered any danger or strong creatures along the way, this city seemed very gloomy. It felt like it was cursed. Even Luo Yuan did not feel comfortable there.
He took a glance at the Giant Lizard and realized it did not look uneasy at all. He felt slightly relieved.
They were standing before a four-storey tall building, or, as it would be more appropriate to call it, a ten-meter tall botanical garden. Its original look had changed long ago. If Huang Xiaguang had not told them so, they would never have guessed that it used to be a supermarket.
“Go and have a look,” Luo Yuan nodded. There was only one purpose for coming to the city this time, and that was to get supplies.
Since the attack from the beast on the highway, almost all their supplies had been gone. They were very close to becoming savages. They had no sleeping bags, toothpaste, or clothes to change into. The few ragged clothes they had were their only important resource. They treated them with care and used them in a variety of ways.
The previous night, when Cao Lin had gotted her period, the ragged cloths had provided a new function.
The women did not like living in such poverty. Even Luo Yuan could barely stand it anymore.
Fortunately, the clothes they were wearing were synthesized, and they could not break. Otherwise, they would have already been walking around naked like savages.
After walking more than ten meters, Luo Yuan reached a dense plant. He had estimated that that was where the doorway should be. He pulled out his sword and cleaved the thick plant. What he found behind it though was not the doorway, but a corroded wall.
Luo Yuan was too lazy to look for the real door. Instead, he just dug a small, one-meter diameter hole into the wall. He let the others wait outside and asked them to be careful as he went in.
As soon as he entered, a strong mouldy smell hit his nose, and he held his breath.
It was completely dark inside. The floor was greasy, making him feel like he was standing in mud, and his feet made squeaking noises as he walked. Through the dim light of the hole in the wall, Luo Yuan scanned the whole place once quickly.
There were no mutated beasts. Just countless shelves lying in a mess on the floor. Most of them were empty, but some of them still had some goods on them. There were also more discarded goods on the floor.
Luo Yuan noticed that there were more than ten sets of human bones on the floor. This meant that a fight must have taken place there.
He did not rush. He found a staircase and went up to the second floor.
The first floor had stored food, but the second floor stored daily use goods. Obviously, living goods did not have as much value as food. The resources there were way more than on the first floor, yet the human skeletons were more as well. There was almost one hundred of them.
Luo Yuan noticed that there were bullet-shaped holes in them. He shook his head, unable to imagine what had happened.
Jia Ping City was an unremarkable city. Its strategic location was nothing compared to Donghu City. The government’s limited armed forces obviously could not afford to protect such a small city. Maybe when the mutation had started, the city had already been submerged. That’s what he could tell from the state of the supermarket and the goods in it.
After Hedong City had fallen, the supermarket must have run a temporary warfare rationing system. The supermarket, as a large cargo trading platform, must have closed due to lack of supplies and been turned into a military workshop. It must have only functioned as a supermarket during the early phases of the mutation outbreak.
All these thoughts passed through his mind in just a second. Then, he found an almost broken, corroded trolley, and started putting daily use goods in it. Toothpaste, towels, shampoo, bras, panties… He just took everything he saw. Anything without a package had already rotted, and anything in metallic packaging was full of rust.
Luo Yuan wanted to find a steel pan, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not find the perfect one. In the end, he just gave up. They would continue to use the stone pan.
Very soon, the trolley was full. Luo Yuan found a second one and started filling it to the brim.
He had loaded three trolleys before he walked to third floor. He found clothes and sports equipment there. Several cotton and wool based clothes had already decomposed, but nylon and chemical fibre remained in perfect condition. Luo Yuan had no interest in choosing. He just stuffed everything that looked intact into the trolley. At the sports equipment section, he finally found a field camp tent.
Luo Yuan was over the moon.
Squeezing and sleeping together was too uncomfortable. Not only did they not have any personal space, but the exposure outside also made them extremely insecure. In his opinion, those tiny, insignificant bugs were more threatening than mutated beasts.
At least mutated beasts were large in size, and they were able to spot their movement. Tiny bugs, on the other hand, came unnoticed and made it impossible for him to stop them.
Although the sword could prevent tiny bugs from coming near, the world was big and mysterious. He wasn’t confident that the sword could frighten all kinds of bugs. On the other hand, a field camp tent could protect them from all bugs, provided that it underwent some synthesizing.
However, there weren’t much leftover tents left. Luo Yuan searched some more, but he only found two.
Two tents would definitely not be enough. Especially considering one of them was for kids. Even Wang Shishi could not sleep in it. It was totally useless.
Luo Yuan noticed that there was also a fourth floor, and he walked up to it.
The metal gate on the fourth floor was closed tightly. Based on the mottled writing on it, it would be safe to say that this was a store. The door lock had been broken by others and left on the door. Luo Yuan pushed the door, but it seemed like there was something blocking it from the inside, because it would not move at all.
Luo Yuan cut the door into many pieces using his sword. He realized it was being blocked by more than ten sandbags stacked together in front of it. No wonder it could not be pushed open.
Luo Yuan patiently tossed the sandbags away one by one.
His 13-point Strength was terrifying. The one-hundred-kilogram sandbags felt like nothing in his hand. They were all effortlessly tossed more than ten meters away, producing a dull bang sound.
Suddenly, the sound of shelves falling down came from afar.
Luo Yuan stopped what he was doing and vigorously looked toward the direction the sound had come from. He saw several pairs of oily green eyes in the dark.