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HFA Chapter 42.1

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Chapter 42.1 – Departure

Su Enqi asked slowly: “Why do you say that?”

At the moment when there were only three cities left in the Alliance, Lu Tinghan’s words were tantamount to a bolt from the blue.

Lu Tinghan said, “The location of Gleaning City is unfavorable.”

—This was almost universally acknowledged.

In fact, Gleaning City had always been the most attacked of the three cities, and it was too difficult to defend.

From the topographical point of view, Gleaning was surrounded by plains, without the slightest cover, monsters could drive straight in from any angle, which brought great difficulties to the defense; from the geographical point of view, the Abyss No.2, No.5, and No.6 surrounded Gleaning City in an enveloping manner, of which the nearest Abyss No.2 was only 2,000 kilometers away from Gleaning City.

Such a city should have perished early.

The reason why it was still there was that it was close to the main city and the garrison was strong, and also because it was the granary of the Alliance. The strategic significance was self-evident, so it was naturally guarded by heavy troops.

“Yes,“ Su Enqi nodded, “We all know this. It definitely bears the brunt of the peak period, and its troops have been transferred to Gleaning City. But you and I both understand what it means to give up a city.”

Lu Tinghan said, “Let’s go to the conference room to talk.”

The two went to the conference room, Lu Tinghan connected the holographic projection to the terminal and called up the data.

Dense military reports were projected in mid-air, which was all the battles of Gleaning City in the past 10 years. Each report was filled with annotations, and almost every gap was filled with thin gold, and between the text, pictures, and models, there were lines of different colors connecting them and marking the similarities and differences.

It was hard to imagine how much effort it took to sort out such a scene.

Lu Tinghan said: “I have been sorting out the records of Gleaning and Fengyang. For these two cities, the infected organisms show completely different characteristics. They attack Gleaning City with accelerated frequency and increased numbers, especially at their peak. In contrast, Fengyang is far inferior to the situation encountered by Gleaning City. The numbers are still rising exponentially, and if we delay any longer, I’m afraid something will happen.”

Su Enqi kept silent, turned his hands behind his back, walked around a few times, and said slowly: “There are wheat fields here.”

Endless, lush, and soft wheat fields.

“I have calculated it,” Lu Tinghan called up another data. “Three years ago, I entrusted the Logistics Department and the Research Center to make a speculation. If we limit the food supply and mostly compress the rations, then with the food production capacity of Fengyang City and the main city, it can support the population, and this conclusion is constantly calibrated and applies to today. I have also concluded that if we use the underground shelters in the other two cities, as well as the old city, we will be able to accommodate everyone eventually. I can also send the plan for transporting the population later.”

He concluded: “Without Gleaning City, we will have a hard time, and our living standards will drop to just ‘alive’, but we will not die.”

Su Enqi didn’t expect that Lu Tinghan had started planning so long ago.

He frowned, still disapproving: “The risk is too great, is this really worth it? Transporting people is also quite risky, in case something goes wrong, it would be a tragic case. Do you have any other reasons that can convince me?”

“From a scientific point of view, no,” Lu Tinghan said.

Su Enqi: “What about other angles?”

Lu Tinghan: “That’s my personal point of view.” He looked into the holographic, 10 years of records filled the conference room, where the peak was marked by a red triangle, “In the past two years, the infection swarm feels to me like a ‘prelude’, a prelude to the attack.”

Su Enqi asked, “You mean, these are just their explorations?”

“Yes, analogous to a musical piece, the ‘prelude’ part is now coming to an end,” Lu Tinghan said. “It will be the main chorus soon.”

Lu Tinghan could always know what the monsters were thinking.

This was the reason why he became a general and could guard the city. In the chaotic and violent thoughts of the monsters, he caught a glimpse of the rules and regulations. This kind of judgment, if it was said by other people, would be treated as a fantasy, but from his mouth, the weight was unquestionable.

Su Enqi was silent for a long time, until the holographic projection went to sleep and the screen saver of xuejian flower bloomed on the screen, he said: “…I’m going to smoke a cigarette.”

It rained on the rooftop, and the two stood under the eaves, with fine drops of water floating from time to time.

Su Enqi took out a cigarette and handed it to Lu Tinghan. Lu Tinghan said, “No, thank you.”

Su Enqi held a cigarette in his mouth, shielded it with his left hand from the wind, and lit a lighter with his right hand. The orange-red cigarette butt flickered in the dimness, a wisp of white smoke drifted to the sky and was extinguished by the rain.

They stood in silence.

After half of the cigarette was burned, Su Enqi said, “How sure are you that what you said will come true?”

Lu Tinghan: “90%.”

Su Enqi flicked the cigarette ash: “Do you really think that it has come to the point where everyone must leave?”

Lu Tinghan: “Yes.”

There was another long silence.

If they evacuated, they would have to pay too much. From wheat fields to houses to military facilities, to the insecurity of personnel movement. This time, if they took the initiative to leave, then they might come back by the year of the monkey, or they might never come back. They would give up an entire city and leave it to the wild; But if it was as Lu Tinghan said, Gleaning City was very likely to be breached, and there would be very few survivors, what was more important than living?

The cigarette was about to burn out, Su Enqi lowered his head slightly. Looking closely, his back had been bent by the years, and he was usually supported by his tall aura, which was imperceptible to ordinary people. But on this night, the curved arc, together with the white sideburns and fine wrinkles, was quite obvious.

He had been too tired during this period of time. At this moment, in front of Lu Tinghan, in front of his proud student, friend, and comrade-in-arms, he was just an ordinary old man.

He said slowly: “This decision takes too much courage. No matter what happens, can you accept the consequences?” Without waiting for Lu Tinghan to answer, he said again, “I am not asking you as a commander, but as a… friend.”

“Yes,” Lu Tinghan replied, “I stick to my point of view.”

There was no hesitation in this answer, Su Enqi sighed: “You are always like this, if you believe in one thing, you will not go back. I can’t do it. It’s also a good thing, the Alliance needs such a person.” He crushed out the cigarette butt. “Send all the information and give me half a month.”

“Yes.” Lu Tinghan nodded, and before turning to leave, he stood still and said, “May the glory of the Alliance last forever.”

Su Enqi replied: “May the glory of the Alliance last forever.”

*

Half a month later, a huge shadow appeared above Gleaning City.

Everyone looked up one after another and saw a large transport ship floating in the sky.

They had the shape of a motorboat, but they were much larger. They were equipped with hundreds of machine gun muzzles, anti-air missiles, anti-infection group rocket launchers, etc. They could be called floating bunkers in the air and were the proudest masterpieces of the Alliance. In the past, the Alliance used them to transfer fighters on a large scale to attack the enemy, and they were always invincible. After the end of the world, transport ships often turned the tide.

It’s just that it didn’t appear this time to save its homeland, but to abandon a city.

On the same day, a holographic projection appeared over the city.

Chairman Chai Yongning, together with Generals Su and Lu, came forward and announced the plan for the evacuation of all citizens from Gleaning City.

All of a sudden, a pot exploded in the city. Shi Yuan had just finished helping someone at the distribution office, when he saw the man’s hand loose in a daze and the rice spilled all over the floor.

“Fuck!!” He kindly expressed his inner doubts. “What the f*ck? F*ck, f*ck his grandma and grandpa’s legs!”

The chaos lasted for three full days.

Marching, protesting, desperate, crying, indifferent… All beings were in a variety of states.

The number of people marching was not large, far less than the one protesting against Lu Tinghan.

The peak period made many people realize that they didn’t have much power to choose. Moreover, Lu Tinghan’s excellent enough battle record also gave him convincing credibility – everyone could still remember that day when the Level I warning lasted for a month and ended, Lu Tinghan triumphed, the sun was shining brightly, and the city was full of snow and flowers.

On the fifth day, the first wave of residents boarded the transport ship, with a total of 9,300 people.

On the same day, Shi Yuan set out from the distribution office to find his human. He showed his pass, got on the bus, and arrived in the southwest city.

There was a large number of guards there. After he showed his ID card, a soldier led him to the Military Region command.

Lu Tinghan was there.

Occasionally, Shi Yuan would come to Lu Tinghan after work and stay in his office.

Lu Tinghan was very busy, he didn’t bother him, he just entertained himself in the cubicle of the office – looking at the phone, reading a book, and taking a look at the script “Waiting for Godot” given to him by Cheng Youwen; playing cards, tail, and puzzle games in the newspaper.

Lu Tinghan was very busy today. Shi Yuan went to the cubicle and continued to read “Waiting for Godot”.

An hour later, there was a knock on the cubicle door.

Lu Tinghan stood at the door: “Come with me.”

Shi Yuan followed him out of the office, walked through the corridor, and asked, “What happened?”

“Military parade,” Lu Tinghan replied.

The two of them took a car. The end of this military base was the bottom of the southeast city wall.

The city wall was high and impregnable, they took the elevator to the top of the wall.

The elevator doors opened when they reached the top of the city wall.

Being on a high place, the cold wind was biting, and looking out of the city was an endless wasteland, the sky was gray-blue, and there was a touch of purple in the extreme distance. Obviously, it was not winter but the wind from the wasteland made his face hurt, and the world outside the city was brazenly declaring malice.

Shi Yuan just wore a single coat and shivered a little.

“Are you cold?” Lu Tinghan asked.

Shi Yuan: “It’s cold.”

Lu Tinghan took off his coat and put it on Shi Yuan. On the black military uniform jacket, the epaulettes were shiny, thick, and windproof. But like all Lu Tinghan’s clothes, it was a few sizes too big and drowned out Shi Yuan.

Lu Tinghan helped him fasten the buttons.

Shi Yuan: “It’s so warm.”

Lu Tinghan: “Hmm.”

The two walked forward, the view from a height was very good. Shi Yuan saw people in the distance boarding the transport ship.

He asked, “Is it really necessary to leave here?”

“I think it is necessary,” Lu Tinghan replied, “And my decisions are often right.”

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