Chapter 42.2 – Departure
So Shi Yuan continued to look, hoping to find the Garcia Grand Theater on the winding streets, but he failed.
He withdrew his eyes, and just below the wall was a neatly armed convoy and a regiment of tanks and armored soldiers, and aircraft parked on a high platform far away, with dazzling metallic colors. Shi Yuan saw the soldiers, thousands of soldiers, standing with guns, in a uniform manner.
This was a large-scale operation to attack outside the city. The purpose was to destroy three monster lairs and further ensure the safety of the transport ship route.
The expedition of real guns and live ammunition was not a military parade, and did not require any performance-like behavior. Shi Yuan followed Lu Tinghan and stood on the wall surrounded by a group of officers, watching the army pass in front of him. For the first time, he saw so many troops, so precise and rigorous that they were like machines, so powerful that they constructed a torrent of steel.
The aircraft passed overhead and entered supersonic speed in the distance, and the sound cone exploded with a “bang!”. The soldiers marched towards the wasteland, and soon, the tongues of fire spitting from their muzzles would tear through the fainting dawn.
The march was neat, and the land and air forces were coordinated.
Majestic, magnificent, and powerful. A sword and a shield.
In its heyday, the Alliance was famous for its army and air force. Today, the military-style still existed, with fiery ambition still burning. From this scene, one could see the military style of a few years ago.
Shi Yuan looked sideways at Lu Tinghan.
Lu Tinghan stared at it for a long time without taking his eyes off it.
He had no expression, and looking closely, something seemed to be surging silently in his gray-blue eyes.
Shi Yuan remembered that night. Lu Tinghan said that the position of mankind was his position, and for this reason, he could be anyone.
He was probably the person who most wanted the monsters to disappear in the world.
Shi Yuan became absent-minded, until a few more sonic booms pulled his thoughts back, and the aircraft rushed to the sky like an eagle.
All the troops left, and the city gates closed tightly.
Shi Yuan asked, “When will they come back?”
Lu Tinghan replied: “If everything goes well, within a week.”
Shi Yuan asked again: “Will they complete the task?”
Lu Tinghan: “Failure is not an option.”
Shi Yuan asked again: “Are you commanding them?”
Lu Tinghan seemed to smile: “There are only two generals in the Alliance, General Su Enqi is in charge of the main city, and the others belong to me.”
In fact, since last year, most of the power had been transferred to him. After all, Su Enqi was getting older, and his seasoned experience couldn’t support his increasingly curved back. If it weren’t for Lu Tinghan’s controversy as an Abyss Watcher, this process would have been faster.
Shi Yuan thought for a while and came to the conclusion: “It turns out you are a local bully.”
Lu Tinghan: “…change to another word.”
Shi Yuan searched his intestines and his belly: “Local despot?”
Lu Tinghan said, “Shi Yuan, you really can’t spit out ivory.”
Shi Yuan thought for two seconds: “You called me a dog!”
This reaction was faster than expected, Lu Tinghan raised his eyebrows: “Calling me general still sounds better. Say it, let me hear it.”
Regardless of the old grudge, Shi Yuan was obedient and called him: “General Lu—”
It was the first time he called Lu Tinghan that, and he said it seriously.
Shi Yuan’s tone of speech was never tough, the vicious villain lines were like soft kitten voice, and he himself was just as soft. This was even more so now. In the cold and hard steel, in the solemn heaven and earth, his words were like a small flower blooming in the cold wind.
Lu Tinghan: “Again.”
Shi Yuan: “General Lu.”
Lu Tinghan: “A few more times.”
Shi Yuan: “General Lu, General Lu, General Lu, General Lu, General Lu.”
Lu Tinghan: “Say it again.”
Shi Yuan: “……”
Shi Yuan: “Local despot, local bully, Lu Tinghan, the big villain.”
This time, Lu Tinghan really smiled, took Shi Yuan’s shoulder, and strode forward.
Shi Yuan was still wearing his coat, which turned him into a very fluffy ball. It took three steps to keep up with Lu Tinghan’s two steps, and his ears were slightly red from the wind.
Lu Tinghan leaned in his ear and said, “Shi Yuan, I have told you so many things. Why can’t you tell me why there is a pool of saliva marks on my treasured military map?”
Shi Yuan: “……”
Lu Tinghan: “Why didn’t you tell me? Hmm?”
Shi Yuan: “General Lu—”
After failing to pass using the cute tactic, he received a “pa!” on his forehead, and he reached out to touch it, aggrieved.
Under the cold blue sky, Lu Tinghan’s facial features were deep and handsome, as if carved out. The transport ship honked and urged the rest of the people to board the ship. He looked down at Shi Yuan thoughtfully, and in the end just said, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”
Shi Yuan worked in the food distribution office for another week.
Every day he commuted to and from work, he could see people packing up.
They ran upstairs and downstairs, shouting and urging with their voices raised, the men were sweaty, the women were carrying children on their backs, and their arms were full of bags.
Being uprooted from home was probably one of the most bitter things in the world. The streets were full of abandoned furniture. Many things couldn’t be taken away, so they could only be thrown away in large areas with memories.
Once, Shi Yuan also found a family portrait on a rotten sofa.
In the photo, a family of four laughed happily, with flowers in the vase beside them. The date on the back of the photo was 30 years ago.
Shi Yuan had an intuition that this kind of thing shouldn’t be thrown away.
It might be that someone accidentally left it here.
Shi Yuan took the family portrait and stood for a long time under the setting sun. When the sun went down, no one came to claim it. He had to put the family portrait back on the sofa and pressed it with a small stone to prevent it from being blown away by the wind.
Before leaving, he turned his head three steps at a time until he turned around the corner and couldn’t see it anymore.
It took at least three days for the transport ship to make a round trip.
The number of people in the city was still slowly decreasing.
There was no one on the construction site next to the distribution office: it was obviously meaningless to rebuild an abandoned city, anyway, it would end up in ruins.
Fewer and fewer people came to eat. Once, a group of guards came to the distribution office and said to a middle-aged man who was eating: “Mr. Qiu Jie, your immigration number is A06, why didn’t you go through pre-boarding procedures a week ago?”
The middle-aged man was extremely agitated, waving his chopsticks in his hand: “I’m not leaving! I will die here if I die! Get out of here, you f*cking get out of here!”
Shi Yuan had seen this kind of person several times.
The attitude of the Alliance was that if you could persuade, try to persuade people to board the ship, use reasons and talk well, and many stubborn people were willing to compromise. If they really met the stubborn nail in a nail house, let them go so as not to waste too much energy. The so-called life and death had their own destiny. In the end times, everyone was responsible for their own choices.
Qiu Jie’s attitude was obviously that of a stubborn nail in a nail house.
The guard explained a few more words in a good voice, but unexpectedly, Qiu Jie became more agitated and started to use Aunt Li’s vegetable-cutting knife!
The light of the knife flashed, and just as the guard next to him was about to pounce, he saw a tail falling from the sky.
Qiu Jie was knocked out directly by a tail and fell to the ground with a thud. The guards looked at Shi Yuan, stunned.
After this incident, Xue Yinghao, the captain of the guards, especially admired Shi Yuan, and he even regretted that he only met him now.
He said to Shi Yuan that day: “Look, there is no one in the distribution office anyway. That Aunt Li is enough, you might as well join us on patrol.”
Shi Yuan said, “But, I don’t know anything.”
“You don’t need to,” Xue Yinghao said assiduously, “You are the one who played “The Martyr”, right? Many people know you and have a good impression of you. Your image is good, if you can help us persuade others, it would be great.”
Shi Yuan didn’t care, it was the same wherever he worked anyway.
He told Lu Tinghan about this, but Lu Tinghan did not immediately agree, saying: “Some extremists are more dangerous.”
Shi Yuan said: “Captain Xue said that there are very few extremists, and they won’t let me contact them.”
Lu Tinghan was noncommittal and finally said, “You can make your own decision. I said this is your story.”
Shi Yuan agreed to Xue Yinghao.
In the next few weeks, he followed the guards to patrol everywhere, persuading one family after another. Xue Yinghao’s decision on a whim was unexpectedly useful. Shi Yuan’s appearance was so pleasing that most people unconsciously calmed down when they saw him.
Shi Yuan jerkily persuaded them to leave the city and start a new life. The guards supplemented their professional rhetoric, and they successfully persuaded many people in this way.
Shi Yuan saw a weak child who could only walk with his mother’s hand. He saw a stubborn old man who refused to leave his decades-old home. He saw the suspicious brothers and sisters, who suspected that the Alliance was just tricking them… Everyone had a reason not to leave.
As Lu Tinghan said, there were also extreme situations, and Shi Yuan met two more emotional nail houses.
The two stubborn nails had different weapons and different attitudes: one was a screwdriver, the other was a hammer, one was so angry that his neck was red, and the other was screaming.
The only similarity was that none of them expected that the tail could also be a weapon.
All the stubborn nails fell down.
Xue Yinghao was greatly impressed and said to Shi Yuan, “Can you also hit my head? I want to see how much it hurts.”
Shi Yuan: ?
Shi Yuan had never heard such a strange request before, and asked, “Are you sure?”
“Of course, I am very strong.” Xue Yinghao flexed his arm muscles. “Don’t worry, it’s absolutely fine.”
‘Humans are so strange.’ Shi Yuan swung his tail round and knocked Xue Yinghao on the head with a thud.
Xue Yinghao didn’t say a word, not even “Ah!” came out and fell directly to the ground.
Shi Yuan: ?
Shi Yuan: ??!
“Captain!!” All the guards next to him rushed over. “Captain, wake up! Wake up, woohoohoohoohoo!”
In the end, Xue Yinghao was sent to the hospital and diagnosed with a mild concussion. He also suffered a small disciplinary action for this counterintuitive request.
It is said that when he woke up in the hospital, the first thing he said was: “That f*cking hurts!”
So the entire guard team knew about Shi Yuan.
In this way, the number of people in Gleaning City was decreasing day by day.
Lu Tinghan had prepared for this day for several years, everything was arranged, and he deliberately picked a time when the battle was in good condition, and the efficiency of the transfer was very high. The transport ship traveled back and forth between the three cities, again and again, taking away waves of people. During the transportation process, they were also attacked many times by infected creatures. Fortunately, the Alliance’s army and air force cooperated well, so there was no danger.
The houses, streets, and alleys were slowly emptied, and the buses were almost gone. Even if one came occasionally, there were only three or four people on the bus.
Lu Tinghan also mentioned to Shi Yuan and asked him to go to another city.
“It’s better to wait.” Shi Yuan said, “I want to stay for a few more days.”
Originally, the transportation ticket he got by lottery was a month ago, and he should have left a long time ago. But he talked to Lu Tinghan, and Lu Tinghan canceled the ticket for him.
Lu Tinghan said, “As soon as possible, tell me when you want to leave.”
After another three days, at night, Shi Yuan could hardly see any house with the lights on.
The buildings were empty, just like a dead city.
Lu Tinghan told him to let him leave tomorrow at the latest, and Shi Yuan agreed.
On this full moon night, Shi Yuan went to the tower in the city alone and looked up from a distance.
Looking to the east of the city, there was still a small piece of light.
The evacuation was arranged by area, the east side was the last to evacuate. They would leave on the transport ship the day after tomorrow. Shi Yuan saw the Grand Theater there, which blurred into a pale point in the night.
Shi Yuan sat by the window, looked at the city with his head propped up, and when he looked at it, his head drooped and he fell asleep.
He was awakened by the commotion.
His blood began to stir, and he heard the sound of countless… plants.
The monsters were coming!
It was bigger and louder than ever before, and the noise was terrifying. Shi Yuan stood up abruptly and looked out of the city, only to see a large area of gorgeous colors blooming in the dark, magenta, chestnut purple, rust green, pine color… The colors rolled in, covering the wasteland, like a landslide and tsunami, like a wild wind and flowing clouds.
They quickly were approaching the east of the city.
Shi Yuan lowered his head and saw the Garcia Grand Theater in the East District, with bright yellow lights on.
There were still people there.
No ivory will come out of a dog’s mouth. – It is used to criticise someone who just can’t say nice things.
Nail House – a private home whose owner refuses to move to clear way for new real estate developments despite offers of huge monetary sums from a private developer or expropriation attempts by the government.