Old Mo drove the bus in the wind and the snow. They went all the way east according to the map. It was nearly midnight when they finally reached the easternmost part of the city.
It was full of low-rise factories and warehouses. Many of the street lights were broken and the light was dim. The geographical location was remote and there were almost no shopping malls or residential areas. It looked particularly desolate at night.
Yu Hanjiang had been looking out the window. He found a low factor building on the large open space in front and whispered, “Old Mo, stop.”
Old Mo found a place to slowly stop the bus. He looked through the driver’s window outside and asked, “Group Leader Yu, are you planning to use this space as the base?”
Yu Hanjiang let go of Xiao Lou’s hand, glanced at Xiao Lou and got up. “You stay on the bus. I will go down and see.”
He got off the back door, took out a lantern for light and flew to the top of the factory with the copied light footwork card to look around. The ground was covered with snow. There were no footprints in the whiteness, no footprints left by any living creatures.
Even if the bugs crawled quickly, they would definitely leave traces on the ground. There were no traces which proved that it should be safe. Yu Hanjiang returned to the bus and explained softly, “We have reached the most remote area of the city. This factory building should be a logistics company or the warehouse of a farmer’s market. There are no footprints nearby. It is obvious that no one has been here since it started snowing tonight.”
The team gathered by the window to look out. The factory area was very large. It was a flat building and this flat building was more convenient for them to stay in and escape. After all, they would suffer due to the bugs’ climbing ability. It was easy to be attacked from the air if there were high-rise buildings.
Yu Hanjiang simply made a decision. “We will stay here. It is late. We will settle down to rest and talk tomorrow.”
No one had any objections to Group Leader Yu’s decision and immediately got off the bus with their school bags.
Old Mo locked the door and everyone lined up to follow Yu Hanjiang to the factory door.
The door was locked and it was from the inside.
Yu Hanjiang lowered his voice. “There are people inside. Everyone, be careful.”
He waved his hand to signal for his teammates to retreat. He followed up by having Xiao Lou cut a slender ring into a wire. He inserted the wire into the door slot and moved it a few times before the door actually opened.
The team members stared at Group Leader Yu with disbelief. They hadn’t expected him to actually use a wire to unlock a door!
Yu Hanjiang made a ‘shh’ gesture and opened the door. He carried the lantern in front to illuminate the way for everyone. Everyone consciously arranged themselves in rows of two. They paid attention to the air, the sides and behind them.
In the empty factory building, everyone’s footsteps were heard. The door was locked from the inside so there must be someone in here. This made everyone unable to relax their vigilance.
The eight people were keenly observing their surroundings as they walked deeper into the factory. They walked for a long time but didn’t even find a ghost in the factory. How was the door locked? Everyone was puzzled. As a result, Yu Hanjiang’s eyes narrowed and he suddenly kicked over a box next to him. He glared sharply at the back of the box and called out, “Who is it? Come out!”
His low voice echoed in the warehouse. Behind the box, a figure shook with fear. Under the light of the lantern, the dark shadow seemed to be trembling. Ye Qi instantly pulled out his flute, prepared to play the flute if the man attacked everyone.
To their surprise, the man didn’t intend to attack. He came out from behind the box with his hands raised in the air in a ‘surrender’ gesture. He shook as he cried out, “D-Don’t kill me! I’m just the security guard on duty!”
Yu Hanjiang frowned at him.
This person was around 45 years old and was wearing a very old green army cotton jacket. His beard hadn’t been shaved for a few days and he looked a bit decadent. He raised his arms and moved slowly toward the crows. “This warehouse contains fresh vegetables and fruits shipped from other places. There are no valuables. Take them if you want them. Just don’t kill me. I didn’t see anything!”
It seemed that the security guard was treating them as robbers.
This security guard might not look suspicious on the surface but after all, the bugs could disguise themselves and a wary heart was indispensable. Yu Hanjiang’s eyes swept over the area and he found a hemp rope tied to a box. He tightly tied up the man’s hands and feet and whispered, “We won’t kill you but please answer some questions.”
The man nodded constantly. “I will say it! You ask.”
“Are you usually alone in this warehouse? How many people will come up to pick up the goods? Which company does it belong to?”
The man shivered in fear because of Yu Hanjiang and hurriedly replied, “This is the warehouse of the Hua’an Logistics Company. It stores fresh fruit and vegetables. Every morning at 6 o’clock, someone will arrive to get the goods from the warehouse and sell them to major supermarkets and farmer’s markets in the city. At night, someone will deliver goods from other places and store them here.”
It was no wonder why the temperature of the warehouse was low. They seemed to be afraid of the vegetables and fruits rotting so there was no heating.
The man continued. “I-I am a security guard here and I am only responsible for guarding the warehouse. I open the door on time every morning and lock the door at night. My salary is very low. You can take anything you want. Just don’t kill me…”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at Xiao Lou and the other person nodded. He obviously felt that this person’s words were credible.
Xiao Lou went to Yu Hanjiang’s side and spoke warmly to the security guard. “Don’t be afraid, we aren’t thieves. There was just too much snow and we wanted to find a place to avoid it. Do you know what happened in the city centre today?”
The man was confused. “What’s wrong with the city centre? I’ve been sleeping in the duty room since this afternoon…”
Xiao Lou told him, “Someone in the city centre went crazy and is biting people everywhere. Is there no such biting madman on the east side of the city?”
The man shook his head. “No, there were several trucks that came to the warehouse this morning to pick up goods. Everyone was still talking and laughing. They were talking about the recent price increase for fruit. If they have no money in the future then they might not be able to eat apples… right, normally there will be a few vehicles delivering goods to the warehouse at 8 p.m. but they haven’t been here tonight. I was surprised.”
Yu Hanjiang speculated. “It seems that the outbreak hasn’t affected the east district yet?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “It might be because there are too few people here. The infected people on the first day are all in the city centre. The delivery drivers are either stuck on the road or infected.”
The security guard stared blankly at everyone. “What infection?”
Yu Hanjiang didn’t intend to explain this matter to the security guard in detail. Besides, the guard might not understand even if he explained it. Yu Hanjiang said, “You continue to sleep. We are going to stay here for a few days.”
“Stay?” The security guard’s eyes widened. “Take things and go away! Someone will come tomorrow to pick up the goods and you will be found. They will definitely call the police and none of you will be able to run away. Then you will be sentenced for robbery!”
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was calm. “I am the police.”
The security guard, “……”
On closer examination, the man in front of him was indeed wearing a police uniform.
The security guard was suddenly speechless.
Yu Hanjiang took the tied up security guard to the duty room.
In fact, the security guard had been sleeping in the duty room after locking the door. As a result, the door was opened and a group of people walked in with lanterns. He thought he had encountered robbers and immediately ran behind a box to hide.
However, Yu Hanjiang was experienced. Even if this man hid behind a box without moving, Yu Hanjiang could still find him. After all, humans needed to breathe. The breathing sound he tried to control was obvious to Yu Hanjiang.
Yu Hanjiang put the security guard in the duty room and warned him, “If you want to live, don’t ask too much and just be obedient.”
The duty room was very narrow and had only one bed. The security guard nodded and sat on the bed in a state of shock.
Yu Hanjiang closed the door and returned to his teammates.
“Is he really not infected?” Ye Qi asked in a whisper. “Perhaps he is a very powerful bug?”
Xiao Lou told him, “It shouldn’t be. The door is locked from the inside. If the bug wanted to attract people then it wouldn’t lock the door from the inside. Moreover, his eyes didn’t turn red and he didn’t want to attack us. His first reaction when seeing us was to raise his hands and surrender. We are regarded as a group that is breaking in to steal. I think his words are quite credible.”
Ye Qi thought about it and nodded. “Yes, if he is infected then he should go outside and find more humans to bite instead of locking himself in the warehouse alone. It seems that he is just a lazy security guard sleeping. He doesn’t know anything about what’s happening outside.”
Liu Qiao stated, “Lazily staying in the warehouse indirectly saved his life. He might not have survived if he went out.”
Yu Hanjiang patrolled the warehouse. No traces of other people were found. He was relieved and turned to lock the warehouse door.
There were many boxes in the warehouse that were all sealed. They had names like ‘mango’ and ‘Fuji apples’. Ye Qi took out a knife and poked it into a box. There were many fresh mangoes. He was very excited and exclaimed, “It is an unexpected harvest. There are so many fruits and we don’t have to eat biscuits every day.”
Shao Qingge picked up a mango to check it. “There seems to be no problem. Can we eat it?”
Xiao Lou warned them, “Don’t eat them. What if food is also a source of infection? We can’t eat things indiscriminately. Don’t forget Endless Seas…”
Shao Qingge reluctantly put back the mango. “Yes, I spent a lot of money to buy a lesson. Don’t eat it first. In the morning, we will check it carefully.”
Xiao Lou checked the door. It was almost midnight.
Once the clock reached 24:00, the floating box in front of everyone refreshed.
[8 of Spades Doomsday Escape, the next day, 00:00 in the morning]
[Number of challengers remaining: 344]
Xiao Lou was surprised. “There are so many challengers in this secret room? It is almost the same as the last World Weekly.”
Yu Hanjiang replied, “After all, there are also a lot of bugs.”
A senior contract could accommodate up to 15 people. There were more than 300 challenges so if it was 8-10 people like Xiao Lou’s team, the total number might exceed 30 teams.
Today, they only met two teams in the city centre. The team from Luoying Pavilion and the one from the Eternal Kingdom. What about the other challengers? Everyone thought about this question and Old Mo suggested, “Perhaps the place where we appeared is different and they appeared in another urban area?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “The outbreak in the central area seems to be the most dangerous. If a challenger team appeared in the east or north of the city on the first day, it wouldn’t be so dangerous. They will be able to find a base but they won’t have as much information as us. Each one has its own pros and cons.’
Dangerous areas had a lot of information. Appearing in the suburbs meant there was no need to avoid a large number of bugs but these teams might not know the characteristics of the bug or even know that this was a parasitic infection.
Yu Hanjiang stated, “It seems there are other teams in the east district apart from us.”
The team was silent before Yu Hanjiang told them, “Everyone is tired from the day. Rest and we will talk tomorrow.”
The warehouse had no heating due to the fruits and vegetables. It was a snowy day during winter. Could they lie down directly on the floor?
Xiao Lou checked his card pack and suggested, “The two person tent card I got earlier can be used. The tent comes with a blanket and pillows and it is much better than sleeping on the ground. Let’s clean up and two people will share a tent.”
Liu Qiao asked, “Sister Wanyue, can we sleep in one?”
They were the only two girls on the team and Qu Wanyue naturally had to take care of Liu Qiao. Long Sen found Old Mo to be his companion.
Ye Qi smiled and walked to Xiao Lou. “Professor Xiao, we…”
He hadn’t finished when Yu Hanjiang interrupted, “Ye Qi, you and Chief Shao will sleep in a tent.”
Shao Qingge smiled at him. “Why? Are you unhappy?”
Ye Qi scratched his head. “It isn’t that I’m unhappy…”
Shao Qingge rubbed his head. “Then don’t talk nonsense. Go and make the bed.”
Ye Qi turned to organize the tent. “Yes, you are the biggest gold master. Who told me to eat and drink your things!”
The two people went into the tent while bickering. Xiao Lou handed his tent card to Yu Hanjiang and Yu Hanjiang cleaned the area to set up the tent.
The fruits in this warehouse had been transported away in large quantities this morning. There was no replenishment at night so the interior of the warehouse was quite empty. There was more than enough room to accommodate four tents.
The tent card was very convenient to use and four tents were soon set up. Everyone was very tired. They simply got into the tent and went to sleep.
Yu Hanjiang used the Night Pearl card to illuminate the tent. Xiao Lou entered the tent. The double tent originally had two blankets and two pillows. However, once he entered, he found that Yu Hanjiang had spread one blanket on the ground as a mattress and the other was used as a cover.
Yu Hanjiang explained, “In winter, the ground is too icy. It will be better to lay down a layer.”
This was true but… didn’t it mean the two people would have to share a blanket?
Yu Hanjiang saw Xiao Lou standing still and told him, “It has been a tiring day. Go to sleep.”
Xiao Lou had to take off his shoes and coat. He wore a shirt and a sweater and lay down.
Yu Hanjiang lay down next to him in a natural manner and put away the night pearl.
It was dark around them and Xiao Lou’s heart was thumping.
The two of them had been husband and wife for half a month in Beacon in Troubled Times. They shared the same bed every night but at that time, the two people didn’t dare relax. They lay down every day and slept like two statues.
Xiao Lou continued to pose as a statue. His hands were on his abdomen and he lay motionless in the tent.
He thought Yu Hanjiang would do the same. Unexpectedly, Yu Hanjiang reached out and gently held his hand.
Xiao Lou, “…”
Yu Hanjiang interlocked his fingers with XIao Lou and glanced at Xiao Lou. His voice was low and gentle. “The temperature outside should be 10 degrees below zero. Be careful not to catch a cold. If it is cold, lean on me.”
Xiao Lou was red as he nodded. “Yes, I’m not very cold.”
Yu Hanjiang smiled slightly and gripped XIao Lou’s hand. “Then go to sleep.”
Holding hands to sleep. It felt like they would soon become a real couple. Xiao Lou’s heartbeat accelerated but he was tired from the day. He soon felt drowsy and fell asleep. Since he was a child, he had been most afraid of the cold. If there was no heating in winter then he had to turn on an electric blanket. The bed had to be warm before he could sleep well.
It was snowing outside. The floor of the warehouse might be covered with a blanket but it was difficult to reduce the cold temperature of the cement floor. In the middle of the night, Xiao Lou shivered with cold. He automatically looked for a heat source and unknowingly leaned against Yu Hanjiang.
Yu Hanjiang noticed that Xiao Lou had slowly moved to his side, his body curled up because of the cold. Yu Hanjiang’s heart softened and he took the initiative to reach out and gently hug Xiao Lou.
Xiao Lou felt the heat of this man. He was surrounded by warmth and felt extremely comfortable. He simply lay quietly in Yu Hanjiang’s arms. He even took the initiative to hug Yu Hanjiang’s waist, completely regarding Yu Hanjiang as a ‘heated pillow.’ His head was also leaning on this man’s chest.
Yu Hanjiang couldn’t help smiling.
Xiao Lou looked for heat and automatically moved to his arms. This was very cute to Yu Hanjiang. Unexpectedly, Professor Xiao’s body was soft to hold and it felt so good. He didn’t want to let go.
Yu Hanjiang adjusted the posture of his arms so Xiao Lou could sleep more comfortably in them.
He should thank this snowy day for letting him discover a secret. It turned out that Xiao Lou was afraid of the cold.
It didn’t matter if Xiao Lou was afraid of the cold. His embrace was open to Xiao Lou at any time.