The truck soon stopped at the opening of a huge cave approximately sixty to seventy meters wide.
All the passengers got off and followed the group into the cave. Inside it was a huge hall with dozens of heavy-duty trucks on the side, like soldiers arranged into two rows. In front of them were twelve more medium-sized tanks. The hall was roughly several thousand square meters. It felt almost as if they had arrived at a town square.
Luo Yuan noticed that at the end of the square was a huge iron gate, but he had no idea what was behind it.
In addition to this hall, there were five or six passageways nearby; obviously, there were other rooms in the area. The construction of the site was undoubtedly a vast project.
Everyone looked around in interest, sizing up everything with a shocked expression.
Truthfully, compared to the current power of the country, this was nothing. The modern machinery was highly efficient. If this had been before the apocalypse, the prefecture-level administration could have built several similar military bases in a year without affecting the local community. However, the mutation outbreak and the infiltration of the enemy deep within the community had made it really difficult to guard against the beasts. The high efficacy of modern weapons, though, would not allow mankind to be so easily defeated.
A group of soldiers led the group into one of the passageways. After several twists and turns, they finally stopped before a door guarded by a sentry.
One of the soldiers went forward to negotiate with the man before he turned around and told Zhou Yicheng, “Battalion Commander, our leader has woken up. He would like to see you, please."
Zhou Yicheng nodded and then took a glance at Luo Yuan. When he knocked on the door, he heard a low voice say, “Come in.” He went into the room, and the door closed once again.
“Army comrades, follow me. I will make arrangements for your food and lodging,” said one of the lieutenants before leading the soldiers away.
“The rest of you, follow me,” said a second lieutenant.
They all followed a few military men to an office. Several soldiers were lined up against the walls in single file. Even though they were not moving at all, they exuded a deadly aura that terrified the men.
This was undeniably to intimidate them. Except for Luo Yuan, everybody else had turned pale. Even Wang Shishi looked frightened.
The lieutenant sized up the group before he said solemnly, “The country regrets that we were not able to come to your rescue. I know you are harboring anger and resentment. Surely, many terrible things must have happened to you. Nevertheless, this was unavoidable as the country’s resources are limited. Too many cities have been destroyed, so there was no way that we could have protected every inch of the country.”
“Everyone that has been able to get here must consider themselves extremely lucky. Given the circumstances, we are preparing to withdraw in a few days’ time.”
Luo Yuan’s expression changed slightly. He could not help but think of the numbers of days remaining for his mission. The coincidence had him thinking.
The eagle-eyed lieutenant swept through the crowd as he went on, "Now I will talk about some things that you need to pay attention to. There have previously been some unpleasant incidents that have critically endangered the military base, causing major damages and delayed our rescuing efforts, which is why these instructions need to be followed strictly.”
“Number one, you must abide by all military regulations. You shall not fight. Offenders will be expelled and those who resist will be executed.”
“Number two, you shall not wander around the base, except for the designated areas. There will be a warning the first time, but you will be expelled if it occurs more than once.”
“Number three, on special occasions, the military has the authority to enlist anyone.”
“These are our only requests for civilians. I hope that everyone can obey them. I know that some of you here must have evolved." He glanced at the people among the survivors who looked conspicuous. Any survivors that were not as thin as skeletons were usually covered in sores and dressed in shabby clothes, their faces looking fatigued. Nevertheless, everyone in this group apart from the children had a rosy complexion and was neatly dressed. Compared to other survivors, they stood out like fireflies in the darkness.
“To be able to survive up till this moment, I am sure the lot of you must have some special abilities. You are acting like you are the boss here. Maybe you believe that with your skills and powers, you can do anything you want without any consequences.” The lieutenant’s voice grew gradually harsher as a sneer formed on the corner of his mouth. “I have seen a lot of people like that, people looking to cause trouble. They all have either gotten expelled or executed. Consider yourselves warned. I hope that you are not like them, so behave accordingly. "
The officer evidently was not fond of evolved people or evolved civilians, even to the point of disgust. One could easily tell by his facial expression.
Several of them cast a furtive glance at Luo Yuan while Huang Jiahui tightened her grip on his hand.
Luo Yuan knew what she was thinking; he felt like laughing. Perhaps his prolonged time in a position of authority had accidentally given the wrong impression to the others. After all, he was no longer the hot-blooded youth he used to be, who had taken offense at even the smallest of insults. He still wanted to hitch a ride with the military back to the reconstruction area, so he could not afford to offend the officer over such a trivial matter. If there was a need to be tough, he would be tough, and if he needed to be soft, he would be soft too.
Plus, what the officer had said was right. People had been living in total disorder and desperation for a long time. Morally deprived as they were, a lot of people’s mind and spirit had gotten twisted, especially those of evolved humans. They had lost themselves in their powers and felt that they were superior to others. They regarded the rules and regulations as constraints and people as mere straws. Even Luo Yuan himself had more of less felt that way, but that had been the result of making an effort to restrain and control his powers.
After intimidating them, the lieutenant didn’t try to stimulate them any further. He just led them to the dormitories and gave them two keys, one for the women’s and one for the men’s dormitories. As soon as he told them about the activity area, he quickly departed with his soldiers. He didn’t even confiscate their weapons or luggage.
This made Luo Yuan realize that even though the reconstructed area was theoretically a restoration of the old community, it certainly was not the same community as before.
The dormitory was styled like a workers dormitory, except it was a lot bigger in size. Inside it there were 24 upper and lower bunk beds, all bare and unembellished. A lot of the beds were unoccupied; Luo Yuan looked around and noticed that approximately fifteen or sixteen people were already staying in the room.
Through the glass window on the door, Luo Yuan looked into the rooms one after the other. Besides the women’s dormitory on the left side, all the other rooms were empty. There was not a single person in them.
No wonder that the military base had been so lenient in accepting survivors. It was because survivors in the fallen cities were becoming less and less. The ability to stay alive was small to begin with, and the people who had the courage to travel all the way there were even fewer. Considering that any free space in the huge transporting vehicles was filled with equipment, taking on survivors as passengers was merely en passant.
After the soldiers had left, a few of the men exhaled a sigh of relief.
“Did you notice that their guns looked unusual? The guns’ calibers looked larger, very different from the 95 style.” Huo Dong had noticed because he was frequently in contact with guns, and thus naturally more sensitive to picking up such changes.
“I caught a glimpse of them just now. The calibers had to be around 15 to 17 mm, the military must have modified them.” Huang Jiahui looked grim; she used to use firearms, and was more knowledgeable on the subject than Huo Dong. "The gun’s recoil force must be large; a normal person wouldn’t be able to use it. The force of the previous guns had probably been too small because the enemies had been humans. Regardless of the bullet size or the type of the handgun, as long as it could shoot to kill, there was no point in worrying about the bullet force. However, a 95-type diameter only has 5.8 mm and an effective range of four hundred meters. If they didn’t use special bullets, they would not have much of a chance against blue level mutated beasts.”
“It would be great if I could get one,” Huo Dong exclaimed. He thought that kind of gun would be fun to use.
“You keep dreaming. You should consider yourself lucky that they didn’t confiscate your weapon,” said Lin Xiaoji.
“F*ck you! You guys are so loud! Would you just let us rest?” a loud, angry voice called out from inside the dormitory.
Everyone was surprised for a moment, their faces turning sour as they consciously turned to Luo Yuan.
Luo Yuan chuckled and waved them off. "Talking so loud would definitely affect anyone trying to rest. I think we’re all tired after a whole day of traveling. Let’s go to sleep. If there’s anything to talk about, we’ll discuss it tomorrow.”