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HFA Chapter 5

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Chapter 5 – Reunion

The off-road vehicle swept across the wasteland.

Old He stepped on the accelerator, holding the steering wheel with his left hand and holding the gun with his right hand. He breathed heavily, a muddy sound like a blower came from his lungs, blood seeped through his shirt from his waist and stomach, the car twisted and turned, almost overturning several times.

Shi Yuan didn’t know how far they had gone, but he could no longer see the lights of the garrison.

Looking out from the co-pilot’s window, the sun was setting, casting a sea of fiery blood on the ground. He took a deep breath, smelling grass clippings, dirt and moisture on the wind, and the faint smell of sweet blood – the monsters were beginning to stir as the night approached. Farther away was a deep, high forest, the same place Shi Yuan had been walking on foot for months, and now in order to get away from the tracking, Old He was going back to the forest.

Shi Yuan was a little tangled.

He had walked a long time to get out of the forest, and if he was taken back by Old He, he didn’t know how long it would take him to get out.

The car approached the forest. He just wanted to say something when “Bang!”, there was a loud noise, his body slammed to the side of the car fiercely.

With the previous lesson, this time, Shi Yuan properly fastened the seat belt, but his head still knocked on the glass.

Nothing happened to him.

But the devil horns on his head directly poked the glass.

Shi Yuan: “Ah.” He touched his horns, a little aggrieved.

Old He also hit badly, he opened the car door to go down, looked at the burst tires, and let out a series of terrible roar. He kicked the tires, pulled his hair, cursed some swear words that Shi Yuan did not understand, and after a long, long time, he returned to the car, looking like a dead person sitting in the driver’s seat, motionless

Shi Yuan asked tentatively: “Are you okay?”

Old He was silent, he turned his eyes and looked at Shi Yuan. His clothes were bulging, and the newborn tentacles were moving underneath.

He just looked at Shi Yuan and said hoarsely, “…you go. The garrison is due east, we’ve only driven out about twenty kilometers, you still might be found by them.”

Shi Yuan said, “Where are you going?”

“Forest,” Old He said.

He rolled over to the back seat with difficulty, opened his backpack, and stuffed the inhibitors and food in. He flipped to two compasses and threw one to Shi Yuan: “Take it, Lu Bafang taught you how to use it.”

Shi Yuan looked at it for a while and concluded: “You actually stole two eggs of Lu Bafang.”

Old He: “…?”

Old He was so confused: “What did Lu Bafang teach you …”

When Old He finished packing all his things and could leave on foot, Shi Yuan still stayed in the car.

Old He said, “Why, still don’t want to go?”

“There are many monsters in the forest,” Shi Yuan said. “You will die.”

He just wanted to tell OId He this.

Old He said, “Shi Yuan, are you really stupid or just pretending? I kidnapped you, you might not be able to go back alive, do you like to care about others so much? Seriously, how did you survive until now, which man raised you before, ah?” He twisted his head and coughed out a few mouthfuls of blood. “I don’t care about you, do whatever you like.”

He got out of the car, stumbled towards the woods, and walked into the shadow of the trees.

Before going far, footsteps came from behind him. He looked back and saw Shi Yuan, frowned and said, “You’re stupid, aren’t you? Get the hell out of here, as far as you can, or I’ll kill you.”

“You missed this one.” Shi Yuan said, handing out a handgun – which he found from the driver’s seat, in a very conspicuous place, full of bullets, he didn’t know why Old He did not see.

Old He stared at his handgun for a few seconds, showing a weird smile: “Now I know you are really stupid, this is…”

He did not say anything further, nor did he take the gun, he just shook his head, turned around, and continued walking.

Shi Yuan asked behind him: “Do you want to go home?”

Old He stepped up.

“You have the smell of homesickness,” Shi Yuan said.

Old He’s fingers curled up, turned around, and saw the soft black hair of the boy – the horns, the black scales, and the long tail. His appearance was like the demon in legends, but his eyes were so bright. Looking at such a pair of eyes, few people can lie.

Different emotions crossed his heart, Old He remembered something, and his expression softened a lot.

Perhaps he was right, he chose to be frank.

He said softly: “…Yes, child, I’m homesick. My daughter is in town and I’m going back to see her.” He stretched out his hand, as if he wanted to touch Shi Yuan’s head, but ultimately did not fall, “Child, I’m sorry, I hope you can live.”

He suddenly fell silent.

Because Shi Yuan stretched out his hand, with a cold touch, he stroked his cheek – his face broke the skin, tiny tentacles from the inside drilled out, and he was unaware of it.

The touch on his face was slightly cool, and the pain was strangely relieved. Old He swayed for a moment and saw several tentacles reaching out from his wound and crawling towards Shi Yuan.

He was startled, just wanting to back away, but the tentacles gently wrapped around Shi Yuan’s fingers, as if clinging, and as if… admiring and worshipping.

He opened his eyes wide and sized up the boy incredulously: “You, you, you…”

He suddenly recalled the scene when he first saw Shi Yuan.

—— At that time, the queen bee stretched his wings at a high speed, and Shi Yuan extended his hands to it.

Old He was at the front of the line, and he had never seen such a calm appearance and eyes.

Shi Yuan did not dislike the grotesque appearance, and was not afraid of the huge body and fatal tail needle of the monster. He did not seem to understand goodness and evil, beauty and ugliness, life and death, these clear-cut boundaries were like nothing to him.

Whether Shi Yuan was simply ignorant, or really was unafraid…

At that moment, he was a flower in a greenhouse, a hermit in an ivory tower, a god who had strayed into the wilderness. When he reached out so gently and caressed the ugly face, the monster was his devotee, meekly awaiting salvation.

The queen bee opened its six feet to Shi Yuan and wanted to circle him.

Old He thought it was a predation, but in retrospect, it might have been an embrace.

An embrace from a monster.

At this moment, Shi Yuan stretched out his hand and stroked Old He’s terrible face, and said seriously: “I hope you will be safe.” He handed the handgun to Old He’s hands. “Sorry, I can’t save you. I don’t need this.”

Old He stared at him: “… It turns out, no wonder, no wonder you are not afraid of anything, and don’t care about anything. These wastelands and forests are yours, all yours.” He shook his head painfully and was silent for a few seconds, “There is no more time, I, I really have to go, Shi Yuan, see you later, although we will never see each other again.”

He took a few steps backwards, but then looked behind Shi Yuan as if he had seen a ghost.

He was shaking like a sieve.

Shi Yuan hadn’t responded yet, and his shoulders were suddenly heavy.

He was put into the arms of someone.

The embrace was very warm, he could hear a calm and powerful heartbeat. He tried hard to turn his head. He could not see the face of the comer in this angle, and could only see his hand holding a gun.

Those hands were long and bony, holding the gun like a deadly work of art, with the muzzle steadily aimed at Old He.

Shi Yuan didn’t understand firearms.

He had seen many people use guns in the past two days, and for some reason, no one could give him such a feeling – he knew that these hands would hit his target without incident as soon as he pulled the trigger, like a tired bird that would eventually return to its nest, a blazing sun destined to sink in the west.

No, it wasn’t just the gun.

This person had been waiting here for a long time. He had known Old He’s movement, knew that he would appear here at this moment, and he knew that he would shoot this bullet.

Old He’s voice changed: “Lu, General Lu—” His teeth clattered. “Don’t kill me! I have a daughter, she is only five years old! I know I won’t live, I just want to go back and see her, just one look! She, her idol has always been you, she said she wants to be an Abyss Watcher just like you in the future, wants a picture with you, and she asked me if she could see you. I want to go home, let me go, let me go—”

The voice was so mournful that it was like crying for blood.

The man said, “Is there anything else you want to say?”

He did not have any half-emotion, but Shi Yuan froze from head to toe.

This was his human’s voice!

He would never be mistaken!

Old He stared at the man, and wanted to find a trace of emotional fluctuations from his face, but eventually failed – the handsome sculpture-like face had no ripple, no raised eyebrows, no pursed lips, devoid of the most subtle expressions, every inch of the line was flat and neat, and would not be moved by external forces.

He realized that the person in front of him would not be soft-hearted, he took a half step forward and said, “General Lu, General Lu, you signed the euthanasia bill, right? Because of the bill, the infected who could not be treated died directly outside the city, how many people did not see the last side of their loved ones, and now I’m going to die that way too. What is your intention? Don’t you have any family members? Don’t you want to see them say I love you and then die peacefully? It’s already so hard to live! Is it possible that even this little wish is not entitled to be fulfilled before death?!”

The man was unmoved, holding Shi Yuan in one hand and holding the gun in the other.

Old He smiled, and more tentacles appeared on his face: “Oh, I forgot, you really don’t have a family, so of course you don’t understand. You probably don’t even know what love is.” He slowly raised his hands. “You win, I surrender. Take me back for euthanasia, or are you going to just shoot me down? But I am really surprised, you have killed so many monsters but you actually…”

You actually held the most terrifying monster in your arms.

Before he finished speaking, a tentacle on his body suddenly burst out and pulled out the short knife from his waist!

The speed and strength of the tentacles were extremely terrifying, and this one was so unexpected and too fast for the human eye to catch. The moment he drew his knife, the cascading tentacles covered his head. Old He revealed a maniacal smile – he didn’t realize that being able to manipulate the tentacles meant that his consciousness had merged with the tentacles. At the end of his thinking, he was no longer human, he was filled with cold killing intent and roars.

Out!

Get out, take the knife! St*b him through the head!

The cold flash of the knife’s tip was about to fling out—

A jet-black bullet hole appeared between Old He’s eyebrows.

The bullet passed through the tentacle’s obstruction with precision, and his smile froze.

The tentacles waved wildly, and gradually lost strength as his body fell together.

He died.

They also died.

Shi Yuan was in the man’s arms and watched the whole thing with his head sideways.

The man let go of his arms, stepped forward, and fired two more shots on Old He’s head. Then he turned and said, “Let’s go.” There was no hesitation from beginning to end.

Shi Yuan looked at his back, and the last ray of light fell on him, pulling the shadow long and thick. He was still expressionless, with sharp lines on his profile, standing tall and straight, and the alliance’s five-star epaulettes shone with a dark golden luster.

Old friends reunited.

This was not a good time for a reunion. The wind was howling, the sun was like blood, and the infinite sky was burning down. Monsters stirred in the deep forest, birds with long tongues, undead cats, oddly shaped snakes writhing as soft parasites fell from them. On the ground, at their feet, lay a still-warm body, the man closed his eyes for Old He, but Old He’s hand reached east, that is the direction of the city, but he could no longer touch the dark hair of his beloved little girl. It was a very cold scene, it was a very helpless ending, it was a terrible and most common day in the post-apocalyptic world.

But tiny currents gnawed at Shi Yuan’s spine, causing him to shiver slightly.

He shouted from behind,”…Lu Tinghan!”

The wind was so loud, so loud that it could swallow all the secrets, and he felt that no one could hear it.

The man paused for a moment, turned back, and looked at Shi Yuan.

“It’s me,” he said. “I’m here.”

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