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  • The Scavengers

    Chapter 54: Found the target

    25 September, 14:40 

    A manhole cover was pushed open from beneath. The uniformed man poked his head out and looked around to make sure there was no danger before swiftly climbing out.

    Following the man, seven people climbed out of the manhole one after another. The last one came out carefully and restored the manhole cover.

    Everyone didn’t smell very pleasant. Fortunately, it was still raining outside, and the rainfall was quite heavy. After being drenched for a while, the smell would soon be lighter.

    At the front was Zhang Di, the team leader, and Zhang Jian, who was leading the way. Xiao Mo and Xue Li Hong were trailing right at the back.

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    It was extremely quiet in the city. After entering the city, the traces left by the war were extremely striking. Bullet holes and explosion marks can be seen on the walls, roads, cars… almost everywhere. The traces on the high-rise buildings were even more obvious. The more one headed to the city center, the more bullet shells were scattered on the ground.

    Abandoned vehicles were everywhere in the city, and there were also several armored vehicles and tank vehicles left in the city. There were obvious scratches and cracks on these vehicles. The tanks were equipped with tracks and hence were luckily safe, but the tires of the armored vehicles and other vehicles would be attacked by mutant rats. Mutant mice didn’t know how to attack tires, but  the angels knew.

    Some buildings still had flames emitting and  black smoke rolling from within. The doors and windows of the shops on the roadside were all smashed or shattered. Occasionally, one could spot some human bones, but never  a complete human body.

    The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com. If you are currently on the site and and you are seeing this, please clear your cache.

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    When Xiao Mo turned around, someone caught up with them and gave him a smile that almost made him cry.

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    These were probably three of the remaining survivors who have not evacuated so far. Xiao Mo did not know why these people had not left H city.

    When the survivors saw Zhang Di and others, they thought that the army had come to save them, and they were so excited.

    But this was not the time to explain. Anyway, it was safer to run with them than to die. Maybe that was what these people thought.

    Xiao Mo was a busybody; he showed a sign of zipping his lip to the three men.

    The three of them nodded desperately.

    Zhang Di only took a brief glance at them and didn’t care about the three people who followed.

    Half an hour later, they arrived in front of Qian Rui Building.

    By this time, the number of people had changed from eight to more than 20.

    Xiao Mo glanced up at the huge billboard hanging outside the building, on which are printed several enchanting beauties. The glittering characters looked very conspicuous on rainy days: Rong Guang Plastic Surgery Hospital.

    It seemed that someone was waving to them upstairs. Xiao Mo was about to stop and squint at them but was pushed by Xue Li Hong from behind to continue onwards.

    Xiao Mo no longer delayed and followed the light mercenary team into the hall of the building.

    More than ten of the people who followed saw Xiao Mo and others entering Qian Rui building. They  thought it was a half-way break, so all rushed into the building.

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    The glass door of the hall closed. Most of the people who came in breathed a sigh of relief at the same time.

    Xiao Mo wiped the rain off his face and looked up at the time with his wrist. It was already 15:12, less than two hours before 17 o’clock.

    The whole group of people who were originally only running and panting finally dared to make other sounds when they were  in the building.

    Zhang Di waved, Zhang Jian and others immediately scattered to see if there was any danger in the halls.

    Qian Rui Building was a special office building for rent. The reception desk was at the entrance of the hall on the first floor. The rest of the space had been divided into several restaurants and a convenience supermarket. The offices of companies were located above the second floor.

    It was unknown if Xiao Mo and Xue Li Hong had intentionally or unintentionally stood in a loose back-to-back posture. They quickly scanned the hall, looking for the emergency exit and the more convenient and secure hiding positions.

    Someone came to Zhang Di in military uniform, with a smile, as if he wanted to talk to him.

    Zhang Di didn’t wait for the other party to speak. In a word, most of these people’s hopes were dispelled: “We are not soldiers, we are mercenaries. We are here to save the mission target. You can follow us and we won’t expel you, but you must keep quiet all the way, and we won’t be responsible for your safety. “

    Hearing this, someone broke down on the spot and sobbed with his face covered.

    But most of them had a look on their faces, that they could never leave this place if they did not take this single window of opportunity. Someone boldly asked Zhang Di how long they would stay here.

    Zhang Di replied, “at most half an hour.”

    Those people immediately sat down on the ground, drank water, and ate food. Some of them felt that half an hour was sufficient for them to have a good rest. Some people took a rest, and many ran to the supermarkets and restaurants on the first floor.

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    Xiao Mo scanned the group of people. They were all young and strong. There wasn’t a single elderly or children. The youngest was 17 or 18 years old, and the oldest was no more than 50 years old.

    He thought it wasn’t that there weren’t any old and weak people hiding in this city. It was just that even if they spotted the soldiers, they would not dare to run out when they saw only a few. Some old people were also either too stubborn and stayed in their own homes with the thought of waiting for death.

    These people who ran into the building comforted each other and asked each other why they had not escaped until now.

    Xiao Mo secretly listened in, and found out that it was either they were trying to find their relatives or friends or lovers who had gotten lost, and they delayed till now; or it was those who were sick and could not follow the withdrawal of large troops in time. There were also surprisingly quite a number of people who mocked their past selves that wanted to wait for death, but were too afraid to die when the time came.

    The above reasons were still considered quite normal, but two of them were the most weird.

    One person said that he had stayed in order to protect the company’s property up to the very last moment. Well, just looking at this person’s face, he seemed to be a very serious person who took his responsibilities seriously too.

    One said that he was asleep when the leaflets were dropped this morning. When he heard the drone broadcast, he had thought it was just a dream and simply ignored it. Later in the afternoon, the fighter planes attacked the angels, so he was too scared to come out. He didn’t see the contents of the leaflets until he went out secretly to find food. Then he ran quickly and finally saw them.

    Xiao Mo suspected that some of these people took advantage of the fire to rob. Maybe they robbed too many things and were reluctant to leave. There were always people who were greedy for more. The result of that exponential greed was to stay until now. However, there were several people with a lot of backpacks, and he could not tell which of them was the more dangerous robber.

    “Did Qiu Feng call?” Xue Li Hong asked him, he saw that Xiao Mo had wanted to call back previously.

    “Yes! I almost forgot if you didn’t mention it. ” Xiao Mo quickly turns around and asked Xue Li Hong to take out the satellite phone in his backpack.

    Xue Li Hong did not want the people in the hall to see that they had a satellite phone. He pulled Xiao Mo to a quiet corner and took out the satellite phone to call back.

    When Zhang Di came to Xiao Mo, he wanted to give instructions directly, but he changed to “Is that a satellite phone?” There was envy in his face.

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    Xiao Mo didn’t answer directly, but asked him, “What’s the plan?”

    Zhang Di re-evaluated the value of the two in his mind. At this time, only a handful of people could get a satellite phone, excluding those in the military and the government.

    “It’s safer in the building. Let’s go upstairs and find the people. You stay on the first floor. It’s better if you can find some fresh water in the supermarket.”

    Xiao Mo agreed. It was obvious that Zhang Di wasn’t that generous enough to give up the whole supermarket, but that from what they could see through there, the supermarket was basically empty except for the shelves.

    “We’ll gather here when we get there, and we’ll get in touch with each other by walkie talkie.”

    Zhang Di raised his wrist and looked at his watch: “At most in half an hour, no matter whether we can find the task target or not, we will come down on time.”

    Xiao Mo synced up the time on his watch with Zhang Di, “OK, see you in half an hour!”

    Zhang Di looked at Xue Li Hong who was calling in the hiding place and took people upstairs.

    When Xue Li Hong comes back, the satellite phone has been put into his backpack.

    Xiao Mo also felt that it was safer to put the phone in his place, “Is it general Qiu?”

    “Well, he also knows that H city is going to be completely bombed. Let’s get out quickly.”

    Xiao Mo is curious, “How did you answer him?”

    Xue Li Hong leaned on him. “I said that we had entered H city and saw the flyer. Told him that we were leaving soon. General Qiu seemed very sad. He suggested that we find a bicycle. “

    “Ha Ha.” Xiao Mo Le pulled Xue Li Hong down and sat down to have a rest. “What else did general Qiu say?”

    Xue Li Hong whispered a word in his ear.

    Xiao Mo is surprised, “The upper management unexpectedly agreed?”

    Xue Li Hong shrugged, “it’s not a nuclear weapon. Why won’t they agree? It’s not easy to eliminate the mutant mice. “

    “Damn it.” Xiao Mo whispered: “Then we really have to run faster. I don’t know if my abilities will still be able to heal us when the both of us have transformed into puddles of black water.”

    Xue Li Hong smiled.

    “I wonder if we can find any protective clothing.” Xiao Mo shook his head, “Forget it, I shouldn’t think too much. Dinner is as important as the emperor. No matter what, we must fill our stomach first. “

    Then he took out a lunch box, and from it two salted duck eggs, and handed a bag of compressed biscuits to the youth.

    Xue Li Hong was disgusted with this combination. “I don’t want compressed biscuits. I saw you hiding the beef jerky.”

    “I don’t have much beef jerky. It should be saved. This packet of biscuits has already been opened. The weather is hot, so we must finish it quickly.” Xiao Mo himself took a compressed biscuit and put it into his mouth.

    “Maybe we’ll be killed. It’s no use keeping the beef jerky.”

    The corner of Xiao Mo’s mouth twitched, peeled off the duck’s eggshell, and gave the two complete yolks to the young man

    Xue Li Hong raised the corner of his mouth and said, “I prefer the egg white.”

    Xiao Mo ate both the egg white and threw him a packet of beef jerky.

    Xue Li Hong ate two red egg yolks and was unpacking the beef jerky when he heard the noise from the stairs on the left.

    They didn’t wait for half an hour. In fact, shortly after Zhang Di and others went upstairs, they saw people rushing down the stairs, including their mission objectives.

    Because of the mutant mice, the survivors did not dare to stay downstairs. They all stayed above on the fifth floor. When Zhang Di ran over, the survivors who did not dare to run out by themselves and had to wait for their rescuers to find them.

    Xiao Mo patted Xue Li Hong, drank some water and quickly stood up.

    Xue Li Hong took two pieces of beef jerky, stuffed them into his mouth, and chewed them slowly. He then wrapped up the rest and put them back into Xiao Mo’s backpack.

    Xiao Mo briefly wondered how he could put two big pieces of beef jerky in his mouth and chew.

    Zhang Di stood in the hall and called to the survivors who ran down together: “who is Ni Wei? Yang Kang Ping? Li Yong? Feng Lan? Gong Yang Ling? We are the light mercenaries. Your family hired us to take you out of the city.”

    “Us! Us!” Several young people crowded forward.

    “I’m Ni Wei. Did my cousin send you here?” A man with a huge travel bag rushed to Zhang Di and whispered.

    At the same time, Xiao Mo and Xue Li Hong noticed that there were two men and two women around the man. They were all carrying a bag on their back and held a bow and arrow in their hands.

    The faces of the five were full of tears.

    There were five mission targets, and all of them were present. Although they looked a little haggard and a little roughed up, they were young and not hungry. It seemed that they all had the strength to run with them.

    Xue Li Hong scrutinised the five people, outdoor training club? Their equipment wasn’t too shabby at all.

    Xiao Mo was more curious about the reason why these five people stayed in the city. If their parents could contact mercenaries to pick them up at this time, why didn’t they save them when they could escape? Why didn’t these five young people leave with the army?

    Zhang Di nodded, “Since everyone is together, then we’ll leave right away.”

    Ni Wei screamed: “Go! Get out of town! If you don’t come, we’ll leave, too. “

    Xiao Mo suddenly asked, “Why are you five so late?”

    Ni Wei and the other four all looked at him.

    Xiao Mo shrugged, “I just don’t want to have any problems on the way.”

    Ni Wei saw that Zhang Di didn’t stop him. His face was ugly, and he said, “It’s nothing. It’s just a matter of personal delay.”

    The other four had different expressions, some sneered, some bowed their heads and some bit their lips.

    Xiao Mo drew back his eyes and said, “Is it all solved now?”

    “Yes!” Ni Wei stares at Xiao Mo.

    Xiao Mo turned to Zhang Di and said he had no problem. He didn’t know the real reason for these people’s detention, but he had already seen that there were emotional disputes between the five people.

    Zhang Di frowned. He only hoped that the five young men would be mature and read the atmosphere when running for their lives. Hopefully, they won’t be making trouble for him, otherwise…

    After that, Zhang Di, who was more careful, verified the identities of the five people again according to the photos provided by his employer.

    The five were more anxious than Zhang Di. Ni Wei urged Zhang Di to go quickly.

    The eagerness of the five young people also infected the others. Everyone who was resting in the hall eagerly stood up and the people who went to search supermarkets and restaurants all came back.

    “OK, let’s go now!”

    Zhang Di also didn’t delay much either. After verifying that their targets were correct, he immediately handed over five people to his team members in a one-to-one way.

    “Come on, come on! I don’t want to die. Move now! Run even if you can’t run! Remember, don’t make any noise. People who will scream after seeing the rats, remember to block their mouth with something! Everyone hold on to a weapon and try to reduce the load. Pots and pans, which can make any noise, are not allowed! Remember! Only you can keep yourself alive, don’t expect others to save you!”

    Zhang Di turned to five men and women and mercilessly said: “If you do anything to drag down the whole team, I don’t care whether you are the mission targets or not. If the situation calls for it, I will give everyone up! We are hired to protect you, not babysit you! “

    Ni Wei’s face flashed a trace of disgust and impatience, and the other four were not very happy either, but they all wisely did not speak against it.

    Xiao Mo and Xue Li Hong, as outsiders, suffered a lot. They were each assigned a girl to protect them. This may be a happy thing at ordinary times. After all, the two girls were very beautiful, but when they ran for their lives… Not that they said anything.

    The heavy rain lessened.

    Nearly 30 people of all ages and different clothes, led by a few strong men, walk through the abandoned city quickly and quietly while crouching down.

    Soon after they came out of Qian Rui Building, the number of people in the group increased a few more.

    While walking through the city, it was unsure whether Zhang Di’s military uniform played a role, or their expanding group of their numbers, but several more people dashed out and joined the crowd.

    There were so many people coming out, so many that it was unimaginable that war had already wrecked this city.

    Xiao Mo looked up at the sky, feeling a little worried. They have already met a few angels on the road. When the rain stops completely, there would be even more angels coming out to look for food. While some of the people who ran out of the hiding places followed them, others had alerted the angels of their movement and were unfortunately caught by them.

    Xiao Mo was carrying a military backpack, with a tool belt tied around his waist. All kinds of portable tools were hung or inserted on the belt. He followed the two young girls with a fire axe in his hand.

    Beside him was Xue Li Hong, who looked like he had been recovering from a long illness and was extremely thin.

    Xue Li Hong was equipped with a modified nail gun in his right hand and his backpack which never left him.

    The two girls and the man in front of them were panting, but they were still desperately running.

    “Shua!” White wings flashed across the sky. It was unknown exactly when the rain stopped, but it looked like the angels had heard the sound or smell of the people escaping from the city.

    Xue Li Hong layed his body flat onto the ground, but before he did it, he dragged down the girl with a hammer on his right side, and used his foot to kick her into the bottom of the car, while simultaneously rolling under the other side of the car belly.

    The girl raised her middle finger to Xue Li Hong.

    Xue Li Hong is expressionless.

    Xiao Mo’s reaction was not slow. His backpack made it difficult for him to get under the car. Seeing that there were two very close cars nearby, he immediately pushed the girl with the bow on the left to the middle of the two cars. He also ran to the girl, and then fell on the girl’s body. Then he didn’t move, just like a dead man.

    The girl smelled the smell of sweat from the man, endured, and did not dare to move.

    Some of the people running in front heard flapping wings and quickly found a place to hide, but some didn’t respond at all.

    Fortunately, no one spoke.

    Someone wanted to open his mouth and shout. Luckily, a person with quick reflexes rushed over and covered his mouth, before dragging him down. No matter how anxious some people were, they would only rush out to help them push down or drag those who had no time to respond into their hiding place. In this process, they were also trying not to make a loud noise.

    “Shua Shua!” The sound of flapping wings soon went far away.

    Xiao Mo slowly turned his head to look at the sky, did not see anything, but he waited for a long time, until the girl pushed him hard, he got up.

    The girl gave him a white eye, as if he was deliberately taking advantage of her.

    Xiao Mo smoked at the corner of his mouth and ignored her.

    Under the car, in the shadow… Human figures emerged from places where only Tibetans can be found.

    Zhang Di, who took the lead, made a signal to move on.

    Xiao Mo tightened his backpack and prepared to leave. Just as he was about to catch up with the army, he got held back by Xue Li Hong, who was leaning against the car.

    Xiao Mo: what?

    Xue Li Hong pointed to the sky and the person running in front of him. He waved his hand and made a powerful cut-off gesture.

    Xiao Mo couldn’t understand his meaning correctly, so he mouthed again: we didn’t go the wrong way.

    Xue Li Hong shook his head.

    In front of them, the two girls who were assigned to them looked back at them, waved to them desperately and urged them to follow.

    Xue Li Hong didn’t say more and signaled Xiao Mo to move.

    The system says, “I suggest you give up your task right now. You see, that bastard regrets it, too. “

    Xiao Mo sighed in his head: “Just shut up, your majesty!”

    The number of people following kept increasing, which meant the risk of exposure kept growing, but the final destination was still a long way away.

    Xue Li Hong wanted Xiao Mo to give up the task and make another detour, but he felt that if those people managed to reach the destination smoothly, they would meet each other again and perhaps even give them trouble because they broke the promise halfway. Besides, Xiao Mo was not the kind of person who gave up his task when he was in danger. He could only persevere and complete the task.

    Xiao Mo was not afraid of getting lost. He always had a map in his mind. If he was not worried about being found out, he could even run faster than Zhang Di. Zhang Di occasionally needed to stop to check the map to avoid making mistakes, but he had no such worry at all.

    There were too many abandoned vehicles on the road. Some roads could still be blocked even if they had four lanes. The large population and large number of vehicles in big cities were also a major feature of China.

    Xiao Mo hesitated, he once again saw a building in front with someone waving to them.

    Those people weren’t far away from them, at most 100 meters, but they were at least six floors or above. If they want to keep up with their team without shouting, they must run down by themselves.

    But when they ran down from the sixth floor, they would have to run across the street at their current speed.

    Xiao Mo looked forward. He doesn’t know if the people in front have seen the people in the building, but none of them could stop.

    Xiao Mo caught up with Xue Li Hong, patted his arm and pointed to the building.

    Xue Li Hong swept the building with one of his eyes, but his footsteps didn’t even slow down.

    Xiao Mo did not dare to let the people in front of him stop and wait for those people. Everyone was racing against the clock.

    Now I just hope that those people can run down as fast as possible and catch up with us, just like those who saw us and ran out.

    Xiao Mo ran past the building and saw someone rush out of it.

    Xiao Mo! Someone was silently shouting Xiao Mo’s name.

    Xiao Mo seemed to feel something and looked back.

    Old Wu!

    It turned out to be Wu Wu Fan, the head chef in his elder brother’s and sister-in-law’s restaurant.

    T/N: Old Wu (老吴) is Wu Wu Fan’s (吴悟凡) nickname.


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