Before the wolves arrived, almost everyone felt that Ren Xiaosu was being too cautious. The danger had already passed, so why did he still insist on continuing on?
But when the wolves arrived, they finally understood how Ren Xiaosu managed to survive all those years in the wilderness.
“Those who don’t want to die, hurry and run. Don’t fall behind!”
The majority of the people picked themselves up and ran in the direction of where Ren Xiaosu had gone. They finally recalled the fear they felt when they first saw the face bugs!
It had been less than a month since the wolf pack destroyed the factory and the stronghold’s overseers had issued an order for the refugees to go and bury the dead there. Many of these refugees puked when they saw the bloody scenes at the factory.
Even these refugees, who were used to seeing death, couldn’t stand the sights at the factory. Of the bodies that were cleared out from the factory that day, none of them were intact. Every single one had been torn apart by the wolves.
Ren Xiaosu was away from town at the time, so he didn’t know this happened. But for the refugee, they got a fear of wolves.
But the faster these refugees wanted to run at this moment, the more they found it difficult to do so.
Far away, Ren Xiaosu was sitting beside a campfire and adding firewood to it. As they were too distant, they did not hear the howls of the wolves.
There was steam emitting from a small pot hanging over the campfire. Ren Xiaosu had cut off two pieces of the smoked meat Xiaoyu had prepared, and thrown it into the pot. The instant he did so, the aroma of the meat drifted out from the clear porridge that was being cooked while Wang Dalong looked at it hungrily.
Ren Xiaosu looked at everyone else and said, “Don’t just sit there and wait. Use this time to massage your muscles. We still have to run tomorrow.”
“Smells good.” Yan Liuyuan sniffed the food.
“I even saw some wild coriander along the road. Let’s crush it later and throw it into the porridge to make it even better,” Ren Xiaosu said with a smile.
The coriander found in town were usually just saplings. However, coriander could grow up to half the height of a human being. In fact, a lot of people wouldn’t even recognize it once it grew beyond the sapling stage.
“Coriander?” Wang Dalong squirmed and pouted, “I don’t eat coriander!”
“You don’t eat coriander?” Ren Xiaosu was taken aback. “But it’s such a fragrant herb. Why don’t you eat it?”
“Don’t you find that coriander has a bedbug-like smell? It makes me want to vomit whenever I smell it.” Wang Dalong said, “How can you guys even eat it?”
Ren Xiaosu looked at the coriander in his hand and mused, “Maybe because I’ve never eaten bedbugs before?”
Wang Dalong was confused. ‘I’ve also never freaking eaten it before, alright!’
Wang Fugui was peeved as he ladled out a tiny bowl of porridge for his son. Then he said to Ren Xiaosu, “If you want to put in coriander, just put it in. But can you not gross out my dear son?”
Ren Xiaosu chuckled at that. However, he realized Wang Fugui had taken too little porridge for Wang Dalong. He purposely didn’t take a single piece of smoked meat for him and left it for everyone else.
“Old Wang,” Ren Xiaosu said in seriousness, “I’m very grateful that you stood up for Yan Liuyuan and Big Sister Xiaoyu that night. Also, you were always great to me whenever I sold my catch in town. I remember all of that, so you don’t have to be so polite since we’re all trying to escape together.” Ren Xiaosu took Wang Dalong’s small metal bowl and ladled out some more porridge for him. He also added a piece of smoked meat for him.
Xiaoyu had brought several metal bowls along. In the early winter, every one of them was holding the metal bowls as they waited for the porridge to cool down while it warmed their hands.
Ren Xiaosu often sold his sparrow catches to Old Wang and often mentioned he could also sell it to Old Li’s grocery store as an excuse to raise Old Wang’s offers. But in fact, Ren Xiaosu had been to Old Li’s shop before and knew that he only bought sparrows for 900 yuan. Meanwhile, Wang Fugui sometimes paid him up to 1200 yuan.
Whenever winter arrived, Wang Fugui’s offer to buy the sparrows would go up by a few hundred yuan, and those few hundred yuan was often enough to afford a new coat.
Sometimes, Ren Xiaosu felt that even in such difficult times like now, there were still some people who glowed with kindness. It was like a charcoal fire burning in snowy weather.
Wang Fugui looked at the smoked meat in Wang Dalong’s bowl and said with a sigh, “I’m glad I didn’t misjudge the two of you brothers.”
Although Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan could be very annoying, Wang Fugui knew well that these two brothers were both very sentimental.
“Uncle Fugui, don’t worry.” Yan Liuyuan smiled and said, “Once we get to Stronghold 109, we’ll help you rebuild the grocery store!”
“We’re in such a desperate state. There’s no need to talk about the past.” Wang Fugui waved it off with a smile.
Actually, Wang Fugui was more open-minded than Ren Xiaosu imagined. It was as though he wasn’t particularly attached to the family business he operated at Stronghold 113.
But right at this time, Ren Xiaosu and the others heard footsteps in the distance. There seemed to be several hundred people running here towards them. Ren Xiaosu drew his gun and looked at the others. “Hurry up and finish your porridge.”
Yan Liuyuan and the others did not care about how hot it was anymore. They gulped down the porridge in one go per Ren Xiaosu’s instructions. It was fortunate that it had already cooled down a little, or else everyone would have scalded their tongues.
Ren Xiaosu frowned as he watched the crowd of several hundred people running over. “Something’s wrong. These people are fleeing for their lives. We’ve got to hurry and leave too!”
At the beginning, Ren Xiaosu was quite curious as to why this mob was suddenly on the move again. Didn’t they say they were going to rest at the sand farm for the night? But he immediately figured it out. The only thing that could get these people moving again was danger!
Ren Xiaosu and the others were also decisively quick. Before this crowd of people could get close to them, they had already continued to escape.
The mob behind them were all achy and hungry, while Ren Xiaosu and company had massaged themselves for some time and even ate hot porridge. Although everyone was trying to escape, the circumstances of their situations were entirely different.
And in times of real danger, Ren Xiaosu could carry the luggage of everyone, so his group had it easier.
Suddenly, Ren Xiaosu turned around and looked at the top of a hill in the distance. The silvery Wolf King he had seen before was currently overlooking the escaping crowd in the wilderness. It was quietly watching its prey.
Wolves usually followed behind their prey and waited until they get exhausted before launching their final attack on them.
If the mob kept running away in fear, soon they would probably lose all strength to keep escaping. When that happened, it would be time for the wolf pack to capture their prey.
Ren Xiaosu frowned. “We have to get as far away from those people as we can. Although it may sound bad if I say they’re our shield, we don’t have a choice here.”
Wang Fugui hurriedly said, “It’s not too bad to use others as our shield….”
But just as he finished his sentence, Ren Xiaosu heard the roaring of engines and was stunned. Why were there vehicles out here?
The sound of the engines was very abrupt in the wilderness. It sounded like the roar of a wild animal.
Before long, Ren Xiaosu realized what had happened. It was the sound of the people who had escaped from the stronghold!
From the looks of it, their escape route was also in this direction. However, he didn’t know just how many people had managed to make it out of the stronghold.