Chapter 556 – Night
Xiao Lou had long heard that the temperature difference between day and night in the desert was very large. He just hadn’t expected the temperature at night to be so low. It was similar to the heavy snow in the cold winter months in the north. They had been wearing summer clothes when they entered the final part of the Two Jokers secret room. It was really possible to freeze to death at a low temperature of -20 degrees.
Yu Hanjiang looked at Xiao Lou. “Can Bai Juyi’s charcoal fire be used?”
Xiao Lou felt helpless. “The charcoal fire can only last for 3 hours. Moreover, my compass card is already destroyed and I can’t make a stove to put the charcoal fire in the tent. It can’t keep us warm if it is placed in the sand in the open.”
Tang Ci thought of an idea. “My mecha card might be useful.”
He summoned five mechas. In the Headless General’s Tomb World Weekly, Tang Ci had used these mechas to cover his teammate to resist the high temperature of the hell of steaming. This mecha was made of special metals and naturally wasn’t afraid of charcoal.
Tang Ci took off the head of a mecha and handed it to Xiao Lou. “Put the charcoal fire inside and you can use it as a heater temporarily.”
Xiao Lou happily took the mecha and placed the charcoal fire into it to make five heaters and distributed it to his teammates. These stoves meant they didn’t need to worry about freezing to death at night. Shao Qingge also suggested, “Didn’t we receive a set of clothing from the ancient secret room? We can add that layer of clothing if it is cold at night.”
These ancient clothing had several layers inside and out. It might be troublesome to wear but the protection against cold was indeed much stronger than the short-sleeved shirts.
Ye Qi didn’t care about wearing a long red dress. He had been sneezing in the cold. The moment he heard Shao Qingge’s words, he quickly took out the card, conjured the clothing and put it on his body.
Lu Jiuchuan looked him up and down with a smile. “Xiao Ye in female clothing is still quite beautiful.”
Ye Qi coughed lightly and said with a red face, “It is important to save my life. Image can be ignored.”
The others also put on their clothes. Yu Hanjiang said, “Let’s keep vigil in groups tonight so that no animals will surprise us during the night. Xiao Lou and I will keep watch from now until 4 a.m.”
Lu Jiuchuan added, “Then Xiao Tang I will will go from 4 to 7 o’clock.”
Shao Qingge was about to join in when Yu Hanjiang stopped him. “The others should have a good rest. We will rotate again tomorrow night.”
The others couldn’t say anything else and went to their tents to get ready for bed.
It was already early morning. After midnight, the same notification appeared on everyone’s floating box: [The second day of the desert survival has begun.]
The teammates slept separately while Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang sat on the sand to keep vigil. There was Tang Ci’s drone surveillance terminal on hand and the temporary stove at their feet.
The wind at night wasn’t strong but the temperature was getting lower. Xiao Lou wrapped his cloak tightly around him and stretched his hand out towards the fire. He whispered to Yu Hanjiang, “We have teleported three times but Liu Qiao and Old Mo still haven’t responded. Are they still unconscious?”
Yu Hanjiang replied back in a soft voice, “It is likely that they are unconscious in a safe place. If they had been blown into the nest of a wild animal by the sandstorm, they would’ve been dead by now.”
The names on the contract book were still there. At least they were all alive.
Xiao Lou was very worried about the situation of his four other teammates. Unfortunately, there was no rescue method at present. It was impossible to go search for them in the vast desert. He thought about it and said, “After an hour, I will try the team summoning. Maybe Liu Qiao and the others have woken up in the middle of the night. I don’t know what will happen the next day so it is best to let everyone gather as soon as possible.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, Li Qingzhao’s mark can be modified two more times. We still have two more chances.”
The night wind blew in and raised dust. The fire only illuminated the surrounding area of little more than 10 meters. The fog in the distance was cloudy and their five fingers couldn’t be seen in the darkness. However, the stars in the sky were particularly brilliant.
Xiao Lou looked up at the sky and smiled bitterly. “This is my first time in the desert.”
Yu Hanjiang gently held his hand and whispered, “Me too.”
The temperature was getting lower and Xiao Lou was so cold that he was shivering. Yu Hanjiang sat down next to him and reached out to hug Xiao Lou. He said softly, “It is too cold at night. If you can’t stand it, go into the tent, cover yourself with the quilt and sleep for a while.”
Xiao Lou shook his head. “It’s fine. I’ll accompany you to keep vigil.”
Yu Hanjiang saw his firm expression and didn’t say anything else. He just silently tightened his arms.
Perhaps it was because they could warm each other up but Xiao Lou felt his body getting hotter and hotter. It was as if he was surrounded by a stove but the stove was obviously a bit further away from him. Was this the heat emitted from Yu Hanjiang’s body?”
Xiao Lou suddenly realized that something was wrong. He reached out and tested Yu Hanjiang’s forehead with the back of his hand. Then he asked with surprise, “Do you have a fever?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned slightly. His body sometimes seemed like it was roasting in a fire while other times it felt like he had fallen in an ice cellar. His head gradually became groggy and he couldn’t hear Xiao Lou’s voice clearly. Yu Hanjiang said in a hoarse voice, “I seem to have a fever…”
Xiao Lou put his finger on Yu Hanjiang’s wrist and touched it. The pulse was so fast that it was frightening. Yu Hanjiang’s face also had an unnatural flush. How could he suddenly become sick? Xiao Lou’s mind spun rapidly as he carefully thought about what happened today.
They first encountered a sandstorm and he protected his teammates with the compass’ invincibility circle. Then he was pulled by Chief Shao to the mirage and encountered the attack of the desert scorpions. After that, they were unlucky enough to encounter a sandstorm. In order to save him, Yu Hanjiang was swallowed by the quicksand and bitten by the gerbils moving under the desert.
Yes, the gerbils!
Xiao Lou suddenly started sweating as he recalled the small wound that was healed by Shao Qingge. “After you were bitten by the gerbil, did the wound bleed?”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, but the wound was very small. Why? Is it a problem with the gerbils?”
Xiao Lou’s face gradually turned pale. “It is likely to be the plague.”
Yu Hanjiang, “……”
At that time, Yu Hanjiang was bitten by a gerbil. Shao Qingge dealt with the wound in time so it healed quickly. There wasn’t even a trace left so Xiao Lou hadn’t been worried.
Now it seemed that Xiao Lou had been too careless!
How could the two jokers be so kind as to let the rats add small wounds to their bodies?
There were so many animals in the desert such as wild wolves, poisonous snakes, spiders or centipedes. Sending a group of them randomly was enough to give everyone a headache but it was just the small and difficult gerbils that bit?
It was like 3×7= ? suddenly appearing in a university examination test.
Now it seemed that the pits dug by the two jokers simply exceeded Xiao Lou’s expectations.
Rats carried the plague.
In real life, the plague had almost disappeared due to the availability of vaccines and antibiotics to deal with the plague in hospitals everywhere. Yet historically, the plague was a highly infectious disease that caused a large number of human deaths!
Once infected with the plague in the desert, they simply didn’t have the medical means to save the lives of their teammates.
Moreover, the plague was very contagious.
The consequences would be unimaginable if Yu Hanjiang passed on this disease to Xiao Lou or their other teammates.
Yu Hanjiang also realized the seriousness of the problem when he saw Xiao Lou’s pale face. He consciously withdrew his arm, let go of Xiao Lou and walked a few steps away. “Is it difficult to treat?”
Xiao Lou’s eyes were red and his voice trembled slightly. “We have no antibiotics, no vaccines and no hospitals in the desert. Chief Shao’s bug king can heal wounds but there is no way to know about the bacteria and viruses in the body…”
Yu Hanjiang stood up. “I see.”
He turned and walked away. Xiao Lou hurriedly stopped him. “Hanjiang, where are you going?”
Yu Hanjiang looked back at him. “The plague is contagious. What if I affect you?”
Xiao Lou gritted his teeth and didn’t know what to say.
Yu Hanjiang continued, “Once I have an accident…”
Xiao Lou immediately interrupted him. “Don’t say the words ‘take everyone out once I have an accident’. I’m not Superman. If you’re not here, I don’t have the ability to take everyone through the instance. Come back, I’m not afraid of being contaminated.”
As a medical-related worker, Xiao Lou knew it was taboo to actively approach patients who carried pathogens.
Besides, he wasn’t vaccinated at all.
However, the man in front of him wasn’t a patient but Yu Hanjiang, his Hanjiang.
How could he bear to let Yu Hanjiang fend for himself alone in the desert?
Leave Yu Hanjiang alone just because there were no vaccines or antibiotics? Then what was the point of Xiao Lou walking out alone?
Yu Hanjiang stood where he was and watched Xiao Lou walk toward him step by step.
In the moonlight, Xiao Lou’s face was pale but his gaze was very gentle. He held a bottle of water in his hand and half a piece of uneaten chocolate. He walked over to Yu Hanjiang and stuffed the water and chocolate into Yu Hanjiang’s hands. “You need to drink water and eat something to replenish your strength. If you do catch the plague, you might get a high fever, swelling and pain all over your body. In severe cases, there might be bleeding.”
Xiao Lou took a deep breath and gently held Yu Hanjiang’s hand, saying seriously, “Before finding the medicine to cure you, I will take care of you… trust me, okay?”
Yu Hanjiang was stunned and his mood was extremely complicated for a while.
This was the first time someone said to him, ‘I’ll take care of you’.
From childhood to adulthood, his parents were busy with work and he took care of himself. In university, he received the harshest training at the police academy and developed the ability to handle any difficult situation independently. After he started work, he faced danger countless times and walked on the blade of a knife every day. He was the most trusted group leader of his colleagues in the police force.
Now listening to Xiao Lou’s words, he suddenly felt that his heart was being held gently and in a cherished manner by a pair of hands.
He was so cherished that someone would try their best to take care of him and not let him suffer a single bit of damage.
This person was Xiao Lou.
Sure enough, the person he liked never let him down.
Yu Hanjiang resisted the urge to hug Xiao Lou and whispered, “Okay, then the next step is up to you.”
Xiao Lou nodded. “You go back to the tent to rest. I’ll keep watch. You are sick so don’t be reckless, lest your illness worsen.”
Yu Hanjiang had a terrible headache and the high fever made him feel dizzy. He had to listen to Xiao Lou and turn around to walk into the tent. Xiao Lou woke up Lu Jiuchuan and told him that Yu Hanjiang might be infected with the plague.
Lu Jiuchuan cursed in a low voice, “At that time, I saw he was bitten by a gerbil and felt that something wasn’t quite right. The two jokers wouldn’t be so easy! What’s next? Hanjiang is sick and four of our teammates are missing…”
Xiao Lou said calmly, “I’ll try the teleportation mark again to see if we can summon any teammates back.”
He modified Li Qingzhao’s mark to the vicinity and initiated the team teleportation.
Liu Qiao and Old Mo still didn’t react but Long Sen and Qu Wanyue suddenly appeared in front of them.
The thing that shocked Xiao Lou was that Long Sen was unconscious. He had been forcibly pulled by Qu Wanyue to teleport together.
The skin of his body was covered with blue-purple patches formed from bleeding. Qu Wanyue’s eyes were red with urgency and her voice trembled slightly. “Professor Xiao, we finally met! I don’t know what is going on. Long Sen is suddenly like this…”
Xiao Lou carefully examined the bruises on Long Sen’s body and asked with an ugly expression. “Was he bitten by a gerbil?”
Qu Wanyue quickly answered, “At that time, we encountered quicksand. After we were engulfed by the sand, Long Sen’s leg was bitten by a few gerbils. We were swept far away and by the time I took him out, I couldn’t see anyone.”
Lu Jiuchuan looked at the unconscious Long Sen and wondered in a low voice, “Is he also infected with the plague?”
Xiao Lou had a serious expression. “It is likely to be an infection-type plague.”
Qu Wanyue and Lu Jiuchuan obviously didn’t understand this type of professional vocabulary and looked at each other.
In order to avoid Yu Hanjiang hearing, Xiao Lou deliberately lowered his voice and explained, “This plague is also known as an outbreak plague. The disease develops extremely rapidly. In a short period of time. There will be symptoms of general bleeding and delirium. Death usually occurs within three days. Due to excessive bleeding, the body after death will turn black-purple…”
He took a deep breath as he looked at Lu Jiuchuan and Qu Wanyue. “Have you ever heard of the Black Death, which swept across Europe during the Middle Ages and caused the death of more than 25 million people?”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality