Wang Xiaguang had lived a good life so far. She never actually encountered any mutated beasts above light blue rank and had never starved like this before. Her body was clearly the weakest among all of them- unable to adapt even though she only inhaled very little volcanic dust.
Luo Yuan was terrified by the fact that she kept puking blood but he became enraged when he noticed all of them using dry cloths to cover their mouths. “What’s going on? Didn’t I say to soak the cloth with water? Even if you don’t have water, you should still have urine! Just look at the situation now!”
Everyone regretted not listening to Luo Yuan earlier.
“Forget it. It’s too late. Just use blood! We can’t stay here anymore, we need to leave as soon as possible,” Luo Yuan ordered.
The place lacked everything but blood and bodies now. Everyone soaked their cloth with blood and covered their noses and mouths with them. The strong stench of copper was nauseating yet no one dared to let go of the cloth in order to survive. Luo Yuan did the same, tying the ends of the cloth into a knot at the back of his head.
Wang Xiaguang gradually looked worse. Her coughs got more erratic and she could no longer stand up straight. Luo Yuan was worried beyond words! He quickly ran towards to the defeated mutated fish and gathered a few catties of blood from its wound.
Its blood is immensely nourishing and drinking large amounts of it could hopefully save someone from death. Luo Yuan ignored Wang Xiaguang’s protest and made her gulp down the liquid. Her cheeks finally regained some color.
He then carried her, withstanding the agony of his barely recovered bones, and walked towards the lizard.
After about ten minutes of rest, the lizard had gotten better. It stood up shakily upon seeing Luo Yuan. Luo Yuan made it stay down again and got up to its back with much difficulty. He then asked everyone to get on it as well.
While all of them were initially terrified of the lizard, they did not care too much about it now. Volcanic debris rained like snow on them- each as large as a basketball. They knew that only death awaited them if they stayed.
It was extremely difficult for a normal person to get up on the giant lizard’s back. It was about 6 meters tall when standing and even when lying down it was still about 3 meters! Its body is also smooth and slippery. If Luo Yuan did not pull them up to the lizard’s back, it was possible that none of them could get on there on their own.
The lizard’s back had gotten much wider after evolving but it was still crowded after so many people had gotten on it. Plus, it was actually very slippery for them. All of them held onto each other, afraid that they would fall off.
“We’re missing one person. Huo Dong is still at the collapsed area,” Huang Jiahui pulled Luo Yuan’s elbow and said anxiously.
Luo Yuan had the intention to leave him behind as Wang Xiaguang’s condition was getting worse by the second. But he could not ignore his conscience and let someone die just like that. He looked at the semis-conscious Wang Xiaguang and stroked her cheek before saying, “Wait for me for another minute.”
“Return quick!” Huang Jiahui said worriedly.
Luo Yuan nodded and sprinted towards Huo Dong.
Huo Dong covered his nose and mouth with his sleeve and paced back and forth in the pit like a trapped beast.
The highway was elevated by large cement pillars which were about 5 meters tall but other than a few crumbled pillars, he had nowhere to climb. He had tried to climb up one of the pillars near to the surface but each time he got to the top, there was no place else to climb as the pillar was at least 2 meters away from the road.
He looked at Ning Xiaoran’s body and felt anxious, “Will anyone come to save me?”
Realizing that the wave of beasts had disappeared for a while and there were no other significant dangers, he felt abandoned by his team. He wanted to scream but he physically could not due to the volcanic ashes that entered his lungs and the trauma he was enduring.
Hopeless, alone, anxious, and restless!
All sorts of negativities were driving him nuts. He had not foreseen a day when he would be this weak and hopeless. Not even when we witnessed the incidents that happened earlier today.
“Maybe they all died…maybe they…already left,” Huo Dong spoke to himself with a pathetic smile on his face.
He laughed and cried as tears of despair ran down his face. Just then, hurried footsteps could be heard from above. Huo Dong listened in shock and raised his head to see a familiar face greeting his eyes, “Grab on to this. I’ll pull you up. Hurry!”
One end of a long colorful snake was thrown down by Luo Yuan.
Huo Dong nodded his head and could feel moisture in his eyes. He grabbed on to the snake’s tail tightly, ignoring the goosebumps he felt holding it.
With some effort, Huo Dong was pulled out of the pit by Luo Yuan.
Before the apocalypse, Huo Dong was a very successful man. He was very diplomatic in social relationships but rarely experienced being touched by someone even with all his life experience. Yet this time, his heart was genuinely touched.
It was an era of information explosion before the apocalypse, and loyalty had been an unfamiliar word to most people. Huo Dong had always been respectful towards Luo Yuan but all that had been for selfish reasons. If Luo Yuan died or if he met someone stronger than Luo Yuan, he would probably leave without hesitation and guilt.
But this time, he was ready to give his life for him.
The lizard moved slowly due its gigantic body but its speed was still around 10 meters per second if the distance of each of its steps were taken into account. They gradually moved further and further away from the volcano.
Luo Yuan was inspecting something about 30 centimeters wide while sitting on the lizard’s back. This was from the bark of the Heaven’s Pillar Tree. He found it on the way to save Huo Dong. The bark was about 20 centimeters thick and appeared to have a rough texture on its surface.
It looked rough but was actually very smooth when touched. This small piece of wood weighed about 40 catties and was probably heavier than ordinary metal of the same size. What was even more surprising was the item’s level.
It was not blue nor light green. It was of a green rank!
Luo Yuan did not expect the mutation to be this fast. He thought light green was already the highest level at the moment but the piece of bark he retrieved caused him to rethink.
It was fortunate that this was just a piece of the Heaven’s Pillar Tree and was not the Ghost Locust Tree. If that had been the case, they would not be alive right now.
He started to look for the tree again. The lava had almost completely engulfed it with only some branches still visible. It was unbelievable that the branches were not on fire. They were just shrinking rapidly from the effect of the lava.
The shriveled branches were even redder than heated metal as they got smaller and smaller under the high temperature. The weird phenomena of the tree shriveling gave Luo Yuan the feeling that the tree did not actually die yet but was gathering all its essence to fight the lava’s high temperature. Perhaps not too long later, a new Heaven’s Pillar Tree would reappear at the very same spot.
He did not bother to think too much because he would be long gone by then. Luo Yuan had one last look and turned back to his team to ask, “How’s Xiaguang?”
“Quite stable now that she’s drank some of the fish’s blood. But the volcanic debris that she inhaled earlier would probably give her breathing difficulties later since we can’t cleanse her lungs with our situation right now,” Huang Jiahui said with Wang Xiaguang in her embrace.
“Maybe she’ll get better as her physique gets stronger,” Luo Yuan said grimly.
The body’s natural defense is stronger for people with stronger physiques. This was why the giant lizard could breathe normally even when it inhaled more debris than anyone else. Luo Yuan and Lin Xiaoji were in the same position. They only felt itchiness in their lungs but it did not make them feel like coughing.
“The ashes are everywhere! When will they be gone!?” Wang Shishi asked weakly as she laid in Luo Yuan’s embrace.
She really performed beyond Luo Yuan’s expectation this time. Wounds were everywhere on her body as her power was completely exhausted from the fight. She also had a splitting headache.
Luo Yuan stroked her head dearly and comforted her in a soft voice, “It’ll all be okay when we enter the forest. Leaves have strong cleansing properties. They will suck all the dust including the volcano debris. We can breathe normally once we’re inside.”
Wang Shishi could feel the obvious shift of Luo Yuan’s attitude. She smiled weakly and a sweet feeling filled her heart.
Luo Yuan looked towards the front and saw an endless forest with seas of leaves that had formed an intricate web of green. It seemed unusually quiet as most of the mutated beasts had left the place from the volcanic eruption.
The forest rustled as wind blew around the area. The giant lizard growled valiantly and raised its head to announce its arrival when it stepped foot into the forest.