Chapter 555 – End of the First Day
Shao Qingge was helpless. He always felt that the keepers were deliberately opposing him. Initially, he teleported his teammates to an oasis but the oasis turned out to be an illusion. It was actually the lair of desert scorpions.
The second time, he pulled everyone to a sand dune with a wide view but the moment his teammates arrived, there was wide-range quicksand.
Shao Qingge didn’t understand the principle of quicksand formation at all but he realized the danger the moment he saw Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang being instantly engulfed by sand and dust under their feet. He hurriedly shouted to his teammates, “Everyone, be careful. I will find another place to teleport!”
The moment he finished speaking, Long Sen and Qu Wanyue also disappeared in front of his eyes.
This was immediately followed by Gui Yuanzhang and Chu Huaying. The feet of the two people seemed to step in mud and they instantly sank. The surrounding sand quickly covered them. Shao Qingge wanted to rescue them but the heads of Gui Yuanzhang and Chu Huaying had already been completely submerged.
Only Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci escaped in time.
They had arrived the latest. The moment they received the teleportation, they saw the scene where Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang were swallowed up by the quicksand. Lu Jiuchuan realized that the situation of the ground wasn’t good and immediately summoned the vermilion bird. He jumped forward and rode on the vermilion bird’s back. At the same time, he held Tang Ci’s waist with one arm and took Tang Ci into the air with him.
In just a few seconds, six teammates were engulfed in quicksand.
Shao Qingge’s expression was very ugly and Ye Qi stared nervously at his feet. The desert in front of him had returned to its calm appearance. Who would’ve imagined that this vast desert would be a monster that ate people? Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang, the Long Qu couple, Senior Gui and Sister Ying were all completely swallowed up by the desert.
“What should we do? Can they climb out?” The more Ye Qi thought about it, the more worried he became. He clenched his fists and said, “I’ve heard of quicksand. It is like throwing a person into a warehouse full of sand. No matter how hard you struggle, the sand around you keeps flowing and surrounds you tightly. It is impossible to survive in quicksand without the help of outsiders.”
Shao Qingge simply said, “I’ll go find them. I’m not afraid of sand.”
He was about to drill into the desert but Tang Ci stopped him in a low voice. “Chief Shao, don’t be in a hurry. The formation of quicksand is because the foundation at the bottom of the desert is unstable. This makes the desert seem to be hollow. The surface looks normal but the sand inside is actually flowing all the time. Xiao Lou and the others were just swallowed in this position. If you go down there, you might not be able to find them.”
Shao Qingge was stunned before frowning. “In other words, they are likely to be washed away by the flowing sand somewhere else?”
Tang Ci nodded. “Yes, the best thing to do is to find a safe place as soon as possible and open the mark to teleport.”
Lu Jiuchuan rode on the vermilion bird and held out his hand. “Chief Shao, give me the Li Qingzhao card. I will go with Xiao Tang to find a safe place. The vermilion bird can fly faster. You and Ye Qi can stay here to observe. If there are teammates calling for help, you can rescue them in time.”
Shao Qingge nodded and threw the card to Lu Jiuchuan.
Lu Jiuchuan caught it steadily and rode the vermilion bird to fly into the air with Tang Ci.
The flaming red bird opened its wings and disappeared into the sky in the blink of an eye. Shao Qingge pressed down on the voice headset and asked in a low voice, “Xiao Lou, can you hear me?”
There was no response from the headset.
He was just about to ask again when a familiar figure jumped out from the ground beside him.
It was Chu Huaying!
Her black clothes and hair were covered with sand while her face was pale and cold. She was holding something in her hands… Shao Qingge stared at it and found it was a small rat that was close to the color of the sand.
Ye Qi hurriedly asked, “Sister Ying, are you okay?”
Chu Huaying shook her head while holding the rat’s tail. “I just suddenly fell into the pit and sand poured down from all directions, burying me in an instant. The sand below me was constantly shifting and it was hard to climb out. There were many gerbils below.”
She was tightly surrounded by floating sand while being bitten by gerbils. Ye Qi thought about it and felt there was no way to live under this desert! Chu Huaying was able to come out because her physical qualities were enhanced by the cards. She had a speed faster than lightning and a body that was more agile and flexible than the wind.
It wouldn’t have been possible for someone else.
Even if Professor Xiao and Group Leader Yu could hold their breath for half a minute, it would be extremely dangerous to be bitten by the gerbils that they couldn’t see. Ye Qi couldn’t help them and could only wait impatiently for Brother Jiu to open the teleportation.
Fortunately, Lu Jiuchuan was riding the vermilion bird and was very fast. Within half a minute, he sent a team teleportation invitation.
Ye Qi was relieved and hurriedly pressed to accept.
A moment later, several familiar faces appeared at the teleportation point. They were Xiao Lou, Yu Hanjiang, Gui Yuanzhang, Chu Huaying, Shao Qingge, Ye Qi, Lu Jiuchuan and Tang Ci.
Tang Ci quickly realized that Long Sen and Qu Wanyue hadn’t reacted to the summoning and immediately stepped forward to ask, “Have you seen Long Sen and Qu Wanyue?”
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang looked at each other and shook their heads.
Gui Yuanzhang opened his mouth. “After I was submerged by quicksand, I was surrounded by sand and couldn’t see anything.”
Chu Huaying frowned and looked around. “They didn’t accept the teleportation?”
Lu Jiuchuan said, “I opened the team teleportation. The Long Qu couple didn’t agree and Liu Qiao and Old Mo, who disappeared before, also didn’t agree. It seems that the four of them have either lost consciousness and didn’t receive the invitation or…”
Xiao Lou hurriedly opened the contract book. “Their names are still there. They are alive.”
However, Long Sen had been attacked by the poisonous scorpion and one leg was numb. Qu Wanyue’s cards didn’t have any attack ability. The two of them might be alive now but it was still unknown if they could survive…
Xiao Lou looked at his teammates around him with a pale face.
12 people entered the final challenge and less than an hour later, there were only eight people left.
The inability to find his missing teammates made him anxious.
However, how could they find them in this vast desert?
Yu Hanjiang gently patted Xiao Lou’s shoulder. “The best move at present is to find a safe foothold first and then summon them. As long as they regain consciousness, they can be teleported to Li Qingzhao’s mark as well as Tao Yuanming’s team summoning.”
It was easy to get lost in the endless desert if they sent people to find their teammates. Therefore, Yu Hanjiang’s method was indeed the most rational course of action.
Xiao Lou said helplessly, “Yes, this is the only way at present. I hope we can survive this crisis.”
He looked over at Yu Hanjiang and found there was a blood stain on the other person’s arm. Xiao Lou’s expression changed and he hurriedly pulled Yu Hanjiang’s arm. His voice trembled in a slightly nervous manner. “Are you injured?”
Yu Hanjiang was very calm. “It’s fine. It is just a flesh wound because I was bitten by a gerbil.”
Xiao Lou’s eyes showed somewhat complicated emotions, as he recalled the previous situation. Yu Hanjiang had just instinctively saved him and grabbed his hand. As a result, both of them were engulfed by quicksand. Sand and dust constantly poured in and their bodies fell down quickly. Struggling was useless. He couldn’t see clearly in front of him and even breathing became difficult.
The suffocating feeling of ‘death is near’ made people instinctively panic.
Yet at the moment of life or death, a pair of familiar arms suddenly hugged him tightly. The familiar strength and body temperature from Yu Hanjiang’s body made Xiao Lou feel inexplicably at ease in the darkness.
Their hands clasped together and Xiao Lou gradually stopped struggling.
He noticed that there were some animals around them moving rapidly. In the darkness, the furry bodies of the small animals rubbed against their skin. This made people feel terrified. It was just that Yu Hanjiang was holding him so these animals didn’t bite Xiao Lou.
Unexpectedly, the small animals they encountered were gerbils.
Ye Qi saw Yu Hanjiang’s wound and asked with concern, “Is it poisonous? Do you want to let Chief Shao help you treat it?”
Shao Qingge took the initiative to put his finger on Yu Hanjiang’s wound. “This injury will be healed quickly.”
Sure enough, the wound on Yu Hanjiang’s arm healed at a speed visible to the naked eye. Even the skin was recovered to its previous state. Xiao Lou was relieved and asked in a soft voice, “Is everyone okay?”
Chu Huaying had been bitten by a gerbil just now and there was a small wound on the back of her hand.
Shao Qingge smiled. “Do you want to be treated?”
He thought she would refuse. Unexpectedly, Chu Huaying answered casually, “Okay. In any case, it doesn’t require money so I can get free healing.”
Shao Qingge, “……”
The bug king didn’t use money and the healing ability was indeed first class. The bug king had only 18 hours left on the transformation and Shao Qingge had to make the best use of it.
He helped Chu Huaying heal her injuries. Then Xiao Lou walked up to Lu Jiuchuan and asked, “Brother Jiu, did you look at the surroundings when you found this place? Don’t stray into an animal’s nest by mistake.”
Lu Jiuchuan patted his chest and assured him, “Don’t worry, I rode the vermilion bird to scout several kilometers in all directions. Xiao Tang also sent a drone to shoot the surrounding landscape. We didn’t find any desert animals.”
Tang Ci added, “This is flat land. The surrounding area is very desolate and there are no animals. We haven’t found any plants that have grown in the desert. We can temporarily settle here.”
Lu Jiuchuan raised his eyes to look at the sky. “It is getting dark. It is better to camp here and talk about it after tonight.”
They encountered a sandstorm along the way, followed by poisonous scorpions, quicksand and gerbils. They were now really exhausted and the desert climate was too dry. They hadn’t drunk any water until now and their lips had cracked.
It was time to adjust.
Yu Hanjiang started to allocate resources. “Everyone’s supply pack has a bottle of water, a bottle of milk, a piece of chocolate and a pack of instant noodles. Tonight, we will split into groups of two. First eat one person’s chocolate and drink half a bottle of water. The rest will be put into the backpack to be carried and eaten when your physical strength can’t keep up.”
Everyone had limited resources and they had to survive in the desert for three days. They had to save enough food and drinks.
At the same time, everyone took out the reward cards they had obtained in the World weekly and set up five tents. Chu Huaying and Senior Gui slept in a solo tent while the remaining groups of two slept in double tents. The five tents were set up together to look after each other.
Once the tents were set up, they took out their supply cards according to Yu Hanjiang’s words and prepared to have a simple meal.
It was called a meal but in fact, everyone only had a quarter of a bottle of water and half a bar of chocolate.
The sky gradually darkened and a huge bright moon appeared in the sky. The moon in the desert seemed extraordinarily large and round. The vast desert and bright moon on the edge of the sky reflected each other and the spectacular sight made everyone silent for a moment.
How nice would it be if it wasn’t a survival mode but a few friends traveling together, camping in the desert, having a barbecue and enjoying a lively party around a campfire?
Unfortunately, they had no barbecue, no campfire, no warm camping equipment…
There were just simple plastic tents that didn’t keep them warm and they were limited to half a bottle of water and half a bar of chocolate.
Xiao Lou ate half a bar of chocolate and handed the other half to Yu Hanjiang.
Just then, a light wind blew. Ye Qi suddenly sneezed and wondered, “Why do I feel a bit cold?”
He wasn’t the only one who thought so. They all felt it.
The team members silently complained in their hearts.
Tang Ci solemnly said, “My drone has detected that the temperature is dropping rapidly. It is now close to 0 degrees and it looks like it will continue to cool down. Tonight’s minimum temperature is likely to be lower than -20 degrees.”
Xiao Lou smiled bitterly. “The temperature difference between day and night in the desert is very large. It can almost roast people during the day while it will freeze people to death at night.”
The group looked at each other.
They had to endure three days of survival mode and there were pits everywhere!
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality