Along the way, Luo Yuan saw groups of people gathered together every now and then, walking off into the wild.
This place was the border of the Reconstruction Area. Although regular search had been conducted to remove any potential dangers, there was always fish that escaped the net.
To a certain extent, these people worked to keep the threats at bay. Therefore, in the Reconstruction Area people were allowed to be free and do as they pleased, although that was neither encouraged nor prohibited.
Luo Yuan walked alone, but along the way many people approached him and asked him to team up. Luo Yuan smiled and refused politely.
These people were ordinary people, and most of them only hunted for smaller, low-level mutated beasts to improve their lives. Naturally, this kind of thing was beneath him, but he had not gone there to hunt anyway.
After walking five to six kilometers away, the number of people gradually became smaller. Luo Yuan walked in long strides, his speed became faster.
That place had originally been a desert, but the air did not seem to be arid. Sparse yellowed leaves covered the soft sand, exuding the slight smell of a chemical. Luo Yuan knew they had been recently sprayed with herbicide.
Still, he noticed that buds had begun to sprout from the ground, the dewdrops on top of them fluttering slightly as they faced the morning sun and extended their soft foliage. Mankind and nature were bound to have a long-lasting war.
In the distance, a heap of dead insects was gathered on a small hill near a lighthouse. Not all of them were dead, though. Some of their blackened bodies were still struggling, crawling around as if trying to distance themselves from the charnel ground that extended a few kilometers around the area.
Heavy boots stomped heavily on the insects, making their colorful fluids burst out of their bodies. Luo Yuan furrowed his brows in disgust as he walked away.
Suddenly, a gunshot was heard from afar. It sounded like it had been more than one gun.
"You fucking coward, you have the guts to become a deserter? Put the guns down and follow me back to the base! Follow me before the Disciplinary Committee finds out!" An angry voice could be heard shouting from a distance.
"Let me go, I still have children! Just pretend that you haven’t seen me! Please, I’m begging you!" A distressed, trembling voice answered.
"You know how they treat deserters, you will be executed immediately! Stop being so stubborn and come with me! I will act like nothing happened!" The first man was getting increasingly furious, but then he said earnestly, "You know, these days none of the deserters survive. Unless you want to become a meal for the wild beasts, there is no place for you to escape to!"
"Sir, I know you mean well, and that you have been taking care of me. But if I go to war, my death will be pointless. I’d rather flee. You should all flee too. The Desert City will not hold this time. Why would you want to die in vain?" The other man countered.
After hearing that, Luo Yuan’s heart gave a thud and his face darkened. How could the situation have gotten so serious that even the garrison would not be able to deal with it? How could this be, when their defense was so strong and their fortress so sturdy? Even cannons could not easily destroy it.
The atmosphere had suddenly gotten quiet. After a while, the man trying to persuade the deserter said loudly, "What kind of nonsense is that? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Where did you get this news?"
"You don’t need to know that. It just did, without even meaning to. The swarm of insects will soon spread to this place. Even if you don’t believe it, you should have guessed it. There has been an increase in ammunition and fuel supply in the warehouse recently. War will break out very soon, so listen to me and let us flee from this place!"
"It’s not like we have not experienced an insect plague before. When has it ever broken our defense? Stop that nonsense, and just answer my question. Will you follow me back to the camp or not?" The squad leader growled quietly in a deadly tone, trying to suppress his anger.
"What if it’s a super plague?" the man tried to persuade him, noticing the squad leader’s unyielding will.
"Is this your decision?" The squad leader said in a low growl. "Stop this nonsense, and stop giving excuses, it’s useless! Either you go back with me, or you die!"
They both went silent. Suddenly, after a long moment, a gunshot rang out.
Luo Yuan heard the distant gunshot, even though he was deep in thought. Anxiety flashed across his eyes. Was what the deserter had said true?
If there was really an insect plague, it would be terrible. That kind of plague was the worst kind of beast plague. Not only did the insects move at great speed, but because most of them could fly, they were difficult to defend oneself against. Once they were near the defense line, the Desert City would be inevitably surrounded. If it was a super plague, then it would be a nightmare.
Luo Yuan’s heart gleamed with frustration as he gradually quickened his pace.
When he passed by the defense area, he observed his surroundings carefully. There were many transport trucks occasionally coming and going on the road, stirring up sandy dust. Even the few cannon barrels on the fort were given a few test runs. Perhaps it was his mind playing tricks on him, but the whole defense area gave off a tense vibe.
Luo Yuan stopped observing and headed to the checkpoint. After he showed his pass, he walked out of the line-of-defense and turned in the direction of a valley located tens of kilometers away.
Although people called it a valley, it was, in fact, the Gobi Desert and it comprised of dozens of huge stones.
All the stones were hundreds of meters tall. From a distance, they looked like a series of mountain peaks. After the dawn of the apocalypse, large numbers of plants had started growing rapidly on them. Their original color was invisible from afar, and exuberant green hues could be seen instead.
Both the giant lizard and King Kong had been placed in that area. Huge dangerous beasts like them could not be kept inside the safety region, so the Gobi Desert had become the beasts’ territory.
Luo Yuan took out a cell phone and switched on the satellite tracking system. Two green dots seemed to be around the area.
Before the two beasts had been placed there, microchips had been implanted into their bodies so that they could be tracked.
Luo Yuan had been given the cell phone after the implantation of the chips. Compared to the popular high-end cell phones before the apocalypse, this one was significantly heavier and slower. Its touch-screen function had been removed and replaced by an old-fashioned keypad, similar to the Nokia phones of seven or eight years earlier. The collapse of global trade, as well as the fall of most industrial areas, had slowed down and even reversed technological advancement.
Luo Yuan looked in the distance and let out a sigh of relief. The two beasts were not too far away.
It was actually his first time in the area after they had been moved there.
His heart could not help but beat fast. This place was far away from the line-of-defense, so he could finally let go and run.
A strong wind blew against his face. The ability of his clothes to balance and alter the wind currents turned the wind into a gentle breeze. It was the first time he was running to his heart’s content ever since he had set foot in the Reconstruction Area. Unlike the villa’s courtyard, there were no obstacles there.
As his speed became faster and faster, his surroundings disappeared behind him swiftly.
These days, his body was still transforming. The large amount of food he consumed had increased his Strength beyond the 15-point mark.
Every time he placed his foot on the ground, it was as if the ground caved in and a small pit was formed. The strong force had improved his speed, so now he was simply running at lightning speed. His body felt as if it was floating, and every step he took felt like he was striding eight to nine meters forward. To maintain his balance and prevent himself from being swept away by the wind, he had to lower his body.
In a matter of seconds, he had reached the Gobi Desert.