the north of town were already in a state of disarray. Before the group left with Wang Fugui, Ren Xiaosu jumped atop a roof and looked north. He was shocked to see a dense, dark cloud of bugs were currently overwhelming the town.
That sight made it look like the town had suddenly been dyed black with an inkpot. The originally colorful town was getting taken over by the invading swarm of insects.
The wild animals were further out and running over. Ren Xiaosu did not spot the wolf pack or the Experimentals, so the face bugs were probably the first wave of creatures to reach the town. But he thought that it wouldn’t take too long before an even greater danger arrived.
The refugees were all fleeing to the stronghold’s gate and crying as they begged outside the walls for those in the stronghold to save them.
“Open the gate, quick!”
“Please, open the gate and save us! Don’t you all see those bugs?!”
“Please, just let my child in!”
The refugees outside the walls were all begging on their knees, but the private troops guarding the walls only gave some token fire with their automatic rifles at the dense cloud of bugs. At no time did they ever think of opening the gate to let the refugees through.
Besides, their action of firing at the bugs was no different from trying to put out a forest fire with a bucket of water.
Seeing that the bugs were about to arrive and the gate was still firmly shut, some of the refugees started cursing. But before they could swear much, they were forced to leave. Otherwise, the bugs would be here!
Ren Xiaosu had never had expectations of anyone, so his initial reaction was not to go to the stronghold to bargain but to leave immediately.
He didn’t care if other people lived or died. All he wanted was to take care of Yan Liuyuan and the others first.
At the beginning, Ren Xiaosu was worried that Wang Fugui would bring along many cumbersome items. But then he discovered that Wang Fugui and Wang Dalong were only carrying one backpack each. Although Wang Dalong looked a little stupid, he was very strong. He did not look careless at all carrying his belongings.
There was even a moment when Ren Xiaosu wondered if Wang Dalong was a supernatural being himself. Ren Xiaosu opened Wang Dalong’s backpack and took a look inside. He found it was filled with hardtack that had circulated from the stronghold, while Wang Fugui’s backpack was filled with medicinal supplies.
The medicinal supplies had been taken out of their packaging and stored into plastic bottles according to their function to make them easy to carry around.
Curious, Ren Xiaosu asked Wang Fugui as he led everyone in their escape to the southwest, “I thought you would bring gold or something similar.”
“I would have liked to, but I don’t have the strength to carry them. If my stamina doesn’t last, I’ll end up dead,” Wang Fugui said with a bitter expression. “But I did bring quite a bit of money with me. However, they’re all issued by the Qing Consortium. When we get to Stronghold 109 and exchange them for the Li Consortium’s currency, they’re probably going to be devalued by half.”
Wang Fugui was panting as he ran. As he usually didn’t exercise, he ended up being the most tired as they were making their escape.
Ren Xiaosu glanced at him. “Quit complaining. The medicine you’ve brought with you is valuable stuff. Those thousands of anti-inflammatory pills you have are worth 200 yuan each.”
There was also another thing. Now that they were escaping, money was useless when compared to medicine.
Zhang Jinglin had once said that gold was a hard currency. However, he didn’t mention another hard currency, medicine.
In fact, Wang Fugui had made the smartest decision this time.
Not every refugee in town was foolish enough to cry for help at the stronghold walls. Some also understood the important people in the stronghold did not care about the lives of the refugees. As such, they decided to escape straight into the wilderness.
When Ren Xiaosu and company left, they could still hear the cries of the refugees who stayed behind and gunshots fired from the top of the walls. Soon after, an even more thunderous sound rang out. Ren Xiaosu turned back to look and saw that the private troops atop the wall had started throwing grenades and bombs down!
There were still a lot of alive people below the walls!
Some of the smarter refugees were running frantically for the wilderness. When some of them tripped, they just rolled over and got up again in one swift motion. No one dared lay on the ground for even one second.
It wasn’t only Ren Xiaosu and company who were escaping southwest. Several hundred others were doing the same as well.
As Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu were unable to run as fast, Ren Xiaosu had to run together in a group with those few hundred others.
Fortunately, Ren Xiaosu was able to carry all of their luggage by himself, so that made it easier for Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu.
After running for a while, everyone started to slow down when they realized the face bugs did not come chasing after them. Everyone other than Ren Xiaosu was exhausted from the running.
Some of them turned around to have a look and saw that the town had now become a purgatory of sorts. Their shacks were all burning up in flames.
“Our home is gone,” someone muttered.
Some of those who had just lost their families couldn’t hold it in any longer and started crying. Ren Xiaosu witnessed earlier that some of these people had even abandoned their young children so they could run a little faster.
But there were also others who held onto their children protectively before eventually getting killed by the swarm of face bugs. The back shells of those face bugs seemed to become clearer, and the sound of their mandibles chewing on their victims was a nightmare many would find hard to forget.
By this time, their group had reached a relatively safe zone having left the town earlier. The face bugs seemed like they were more interested in the stronghold, so they did not bother to catch up to the humans who had escaped into the wilderness.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly had a feeling that the stronghold would help attract attention from the humans who were escaping. After all, those wild animals and face bugs would go to wherever there was more “food.”
At that time, when the Qing Consortium’s combat troops joined the battle with their firearms and heavy weapons, they shouldn’t have a problem holding off the wild animals and monsters with the help of the stronghold.
If it weren’t for the fact that he needed to avoid the Qing Consortium, Ren Xiaosu might just have waited for a while here in the wilderness until the Qing Consortium finished off those monsters. Then he would bring Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu back to the stronghold’s town.
But right now, he needed to steer clear of any Qing Consortium-controlled areas.
But it was at this time that Ren Xiaosu started frowning as he looked out into the area. Everyone could feel it as well. “It’s another earthquake!”
This earthquake was even more violent than the previous one, and some people who were unprepared for it fell to the ground!
“Look, what’s that!” someone said as they pointed north.
They saw a giant, dark line quickly approaching southwards from the direction of the Jing Mountains, which then went straight into the stronghold like a knife!
The grand and curved wall made a loud crackling sound like an iceberg breaking off. There were even thin cracks appearing from the bottom and going up on the sturdy walls.
Ren Xiaosu was so absolutely stunned by this scene that he could not speak. The giant fissure did not form a trench but broke the entire stronghold up into two semicircles. In addition, the ground on the west side was suddenly raised by over ten meters!
It was as if someone had suddenly pulled up an entire piece of the plain to form a stair!
It was here that two tectonic plates converged, and it only took an instant to break the stronghold’s walls into two halves!
The walls had collapsed!