Back to the Apocalypse, Chapter 132
editors: apricot & juurensha
When everyone saw Jing Sa City in the distance at last, they all felt a surge of emotion in their hearts that swept away all the exhaustion of the past few days. They recovered enough to speed up and only wished that they could arrive instantly.
These days, everyone had become tired to the bone. Having enough to eat and drink wasn’t a problem, but the environment was getting worse and worse. It was now more than two years after the apocalypse, and the sun they had looked forward to for so long had come out, but it did not bring hope to mankind. The pale blue sunlight emitted hot rays that covered the earth like a food steamer. It was so hot that people found it difficult to breathe, and the ground dried up and mercilessly began to crack. The rivers were constantly shrinking, and they had already encountered countless dried out riverbeds. They were met with barren land everywhere they looked, and it only made the atmosphere seem more depressing.
Many plants wilted and became extinct under the blue sunlight. Most of the land was now barren, and the remaining plants were beginning to mutate and become even more tenacious, but that also meant they were growing more dangerous. Even a tiny, tiny flower was capable of making people bleed. Ability users were better off and would only feel slightly uncomfortable under the scorching sun, but ordinary people would end up covered in red spots all over after being exposed to the sun. The more serious cases would end up crying out pitifully.
People became increasingly aware that the world had really changed! Even if the world no longer had zombies, it would be impossible for them to return to the world of the past. Human beings could only adapt themselves to the present environment as fast as possible; they knew very well that the laws of survival were just a matter of natural selection and survival of the fittest. Otherwise, what was waiting for them was nothing but elimination.
Throughout the entire journey, they had encountered no other settlements. It wasn’t until they came closer to Jing Sa City that it got better, and they would occasionally encounter a mercenary team that was out on a mission. Bai Jing and Xiao Sa gave out instructions, and Wu Guoan would step up and go out to chat with each party for a short while.
Regardless of whether they were friendly, or if they presented an intimidating presence, Bai Jing and Xiao Sa’s group of powerful troops were undoubtedly noticeable. In a situation where there was a clear distinction between the strong and the weak, nobody dared to make trouble, and Wu Guoan was soon able to ask about the current situation of Jing Sa City. They picked up more tails on the way back as others began to follow behind the convoy, their curious gazes sweeping over the team in front of them as they whispered in private and tried to guess what this huge team was up to.
Jing Sa City was still a speck in the distance, but Wang Xuebing, Cao Lei, and the others had already been waiting for them on the road leading up to the city for a long time. The people following behind the team saw the top leaders of the base and suddenly burst into an uproar at the sight – these were all the movers and shakers of Jing Sa City! Who could actually make them come out and treat them so politely?!
Upon reuniting after such a long time, Bai Jing cried tears of joy and acted like a child for once as he threw himself into Wang Xuebing’s arms. It wasn’t until both Xiao Sa and Cao Lei had dark expressions on their faces that the two of them finally separated.
For Bai Jing, Wang Xuebing had saved him in his previous life and was his family in this life. After not seeing him for a long time, his heart was naturally full of excitement.
For Wang Xuebing, Bai Jing was not only his young master, but also his close brother and relative. After finally reuniting, the care he felt burst out like water through a gap in a dam and went out of control. He wanted to beat him up for having left for so long, but was also reluctant to make a move and could only hug Bai Jing tightly and speak in a low voice, “As long as you’re back, it’s good.”
“Brother Sa, Young Master Jing.” Han Yan’s face was flushed as he stepped up to give an awkward hello.
Bai Jing raised his eyebrows, then looked at Wang Xuebing, clearly asking him what was going on. He was very clear about Han Yan’s character – his mouth was poisonous, and his eyes were sharp and stubborn. Why was he acting like a woman today?
Wang Xuebing twisted his lips, glanced at Han Yan and Zhou Ji, then leaned close to Bai Jing’s ear and whispered, “He’s shy. The two of them got together a few months ago.”
“Pft!” Bai Jing laughed out loud. Using the word ‘shy’ to describe Han Yan was amusing no matter how one looked at it.
Bai Jing was happy for them from the bottom of his heart. Don’t think he hadn’t known that Han Yan had always been a die-hard fan of Xiao Sa. He’d even had a crush on him for a long time, and although Bai Jing was very confident about Xiao Sa’s feelings, he was still extremely delighted that a potential rival had been dealt with.
Han Yan found himself the target of Bai Jing’s laughter and immediately became angry, glaring fiercely at Bai Jing. Although he hadn’t heard what Wang Xuebing had said, he had a feeling that Bai Jing was laughing at him.
“Enough, let’s stop standing here in a daze. It’s so hot, we should hurry back.” Xiao Sa skillfully shifted the topic, then pointed to the teammates behind him, “I don’t need to introduce Wu Guoan and Xu Feng to you guys, but you can get to know the rest of them after we get back. You will all be working together in the future and should help each other more.”
Han Yan suddenly lost his anger. It was clear whose side Brother Sa was on, and he grumpily ran back to Zhou Ji to seek comfort. Zhou Ji smiled lightly, and it was unknown what he said, but Han Yan soon began to smile, too.
Bai Jing pouted disdainfully. He hadn’t expected that Zhou Ji would also have ways to coax people despite being so prim and proper normally. Bai Jing firmly refused to admit that he’d been blinded by Zhou Ji’s reputation.
Xiao Sa laughed quietly and was happy to see that his two subordinates had gotten together. However, Little Jing and Han Yan were really at odds with each other – the days ahead would definitely be lively.
Xiao Sa was indulgent towards Bai Jing. Zhou Ji could only feel helpless for Han Yan’s sake and hope that his lover wouldn’t be too depressed whenever he suffered a loss. It would be bad if his mood affected his body. However, other than that, Xiao Sa and Zhou Ji would only watch the show for this harmless fight. In any case, while the two of them might argue and fight, they were still able to separate personal matters from business, and it wouldn’t harm their feelings too much. Previously, Han Yan would grow braver the more frustrated he became, and he would become more capable when he dealt with matters. Generally speaking, this was a good thing.
Furthermore, Bai Jing wasn’t using this kind of provocation to regulate anything. The mood in the world after the apocalypse was too sombre. Life must have contrast in order to be delightful; seeing that others were unhappy, Bai Jing would feel great. This was a character flaw of all human beings.
The group of them soon returned to Jing Sa City. Bai Jing kept looking around during the entire journey; although he had already heard about Jing Sa City’s development, he felt that it would only be real once he saw it with his own eyes.
Jing Sa City had changed a lot. The outer area had more than doubled, and in the open space around Jing Sa City, rows of shacks had been packed closely together and it looked like a slum. Not far away from Jing Sa City, many tents had been set up, and most of the people living there were ordinary people. Despite the hot weather, they were covered up severely to protect themselves from the severe sunlight, and this made it very easy to differentiate between the ability users and ordinary humans. Everyone was busy with their own thing. There was a very, very long line in front of the entrance to the base, and while Bai Jing couldn’t see much else, it was obvious that the city was now overcrowded.
Bai Jing’s heart sank, and he frowned slightly. Obviously, the situation in Jing Sa City hadn’t gotten better. On the contrary, it had become more barren because of the large number of people around. Based on the thin and sallow faces that were filled with traces of suffering, it was evident that life hadn’t been easy for them.
Zhou Ji sighed and summed it up in a few short words. His tone was filled with helplessness, “The nearby bases were completely destroyed. The ability users are better off, but we can’t just leave the ordinary people here and do nothing about them. The city simply isn’t big enough for them to live in, and we can only have them stay here temporarily. If they can survive the scorching sun, we’ll figure something out.”
Bai Jing was left speechless. Zhou Ji hadn’t gone into much detail, but he was very clear on how many supplies he had left behind before he left. As time went on, the amount of food that could be found during the end of the world became more and more scarce while the population of the base continued to increase. They didn’t have enough food at all, and it had really been difficult for them to hold up until now.
Bai Jing smiled slightly, then swept his gaze across Zhou Ji, Cao Lei, Qin Yi, and the others. He was very happy to have these teammates with him.
Xiao Sa slowly got out of the car and stood there arrogantly. He patted Bai Jing’s hand, then looked towards the city they had built. He spoke as though everything was under control, and his voice carried the soothing power it always did, “It will be alright.”
Bai Jing smiled but didn’t speak, and his mood gradually settled down. Indeed, everything would be alright. Jing Sa City had zombies guarding it, and his space was full of weapons. They had brought back a lot of high level researchers from the Capital, and everything would go well and continue to develop. As the masters of Jing Sa City, they had been idle for too long, and it was now time for them to start doing their duty.
Bai Jing started calculating with the abacus in his heart and patted the little zombie’s head. He would definitely make the best use of everything.
The people on patrol included several old acquaintances. They were full of surprise when they saw Xiao Sa and Bai Jing, shouting out, “Brother Sa, Young Master Jing, you guys are back?” They would never forget the miracles that these two had brought about.
Others stretched out their necks and looked over. It was obvious that they had heard about these two city owners a long time ago as they began to gossip amongst each other, “That’s the city lord and his wife!”
“The madam is really beautiful.”
“They’re dressed so smartly.”
“Look at their faces. Everyone’s face is bright and tender, and it doesn’t look like they’ve gone hungry at all.” Those who didn’t know Xiao Sa and Bai Jing admired them one after another.
The people who knew them raised their heads, lifted their chins and looked proud as they spoke confidently, “Of course. You should consider who the madam is!”
Ability users’ hearing was definitely very good. Bai Jing was dumbfounded when he heard their conversation, his forehead covered in dark lines as he pulled a 囧 face. Screw them and their ‘madam’!
A flash of a smile flashed across Xiao Sa’s eyes. He was very satisfied with their call of ‘madam’. He nodded at everyone, then walked towards the main hall with a confident stride, leaving the excited crowds behind to continue chattering, “Did you see? Did you see? The city lord greeted me!”
“The way the city lord walks is so impressive.”
“What do you understand? That’s called presence.”
“Say, what do you think the level of the city lord’s power is?”
“No matter what, it’s definitely higher than all of us. When the city lord left, he was already the most powerful man in our base.”
When speaking of Xiao Sa and Bai Jing, the earliest group of people who had come to the base with them began to speak up with increased excitement as they retold that wonderful story. Many people gathered around them to listen; some thought it was an exaggerated tale, some admired them, and others regretted that they hadn’t been there as they stood there full of enthusiasm. In any case, as the story was retold and excitement built up that day, the news of Xiao Sa and Bai Jing’s return spread to every corner of the base.
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