Chapter 21: Hauled on his shoulder

Countless soldiers formed a circle with shields and guns.
All the humans who were trying to rush out of the former gym were blocked and shouted anxiously: “Let us out! Let us out!”
Panic was on everyone’s face, their expressions distorted by fear.
The leader of the soldiers stood in the car and ruthlessly shouted from a loudspeaker: “Everybody stay inside.
Anyone who moves will be shot immediately.”
The screams inside the auction house never stopped, and the constant sounds of gunfire and explosions created endless panic.
All of the people who had run away had seen the auctioneer getting pierced by something strange.
The scene had been extremely bloody and the woman’s face had been instantly stained with blood and had quickly rotted away, obviously mutating into something.
People who had rushed outside didn’t know what was happening inside and were just trying to leave this dangerous place as soon as possible.

Bai Qingqing was squeezed into the crowd, her sight full of people and she couldn’t see Fu Chen or Cheng Rui anymore.
People’s conversations reached her ears.
“Did zombies come in?”
“Don’t you need to go through layers of inspections to enter the city? How did she get in?”
“When the woman was pulled out, there was obviously no mutation.
What the hell is going on?”
Bai Qingqing recalled the situation, which had been very strange.
The woman who had suddenly killed the auctioneer should have been carefully checked; if she had been a zombie, it would have been impossible not to see it.
But after she had gotten out of the cage, she had cut the auctioneer open with some sort of sharp blade, similar to a plant, and had instantly killed him.
But the woman had not seemed to be a Gifted being.
The auctioneer had turned into a zombie within seconds, which had scared the audience to all run out.

The soldier’s words made people even more afraid.
The buyers who had come to watch the auction were not only civilians but also people of high status and they all started to show anger toward the army.
“We are not infected, let us out!”
“Bastard! You don’t have the right to keep us there! Do you want to kill us all?”
The soldiers looked at the crowd coldly, as if they were looking at already dead people, without the slightest trace of emotion.
They had received orders from the upper level and there was some kind of mutant zombies in the auction house.
If they failed to control the situation inside, they would have to kill everyone.

People shouted with grim expressions until a gun was fired and a well-dressed man fell to the ground, a bullet in his head.
The man had not been far from Bai Qingqing and the blood splashed on the corner of her clothes, shocking her.
The gunshot increased people’s panic and the crowd began to cry for mercy: “We are really not infected! Let us go!”
Bai Qingqing’s scalp was numb and she watched the soldiers suppress everyone as they realized that whether they were infected or not, they would not come out alive today.
She would have never expected she would encounter this kind of crisis.
Her portable space needed to reach level 5 for her to be able to hide in it and not only her other ability was only level 2, there were also no mutant plants or animals around to be controlled.
If Fu Chen and Cheng Rui didn’t find her quickly, her life might be forfeit.

“Get away! Aaaah!”
Behind the crowd came a sharp cry of horror and Bai Qingqing saw the leader of the soldier raise his hand and command: “Fire!”
Bai Qingqing’s pupils shrank and she instinctively moved back.
As soon as the officer’s voice fell, they aimed at the crowd and gunshots sounded.
People fell one after another, the metallic scent of blood filled the air, and screams resounded all over the place.

Such a scene was like hell on earth.
Bai Qingqing had no time to think about what was happening in front of her as she looked around to find a way to survive.
The most dangerous place may currently be the safest area.

Just after she retreated behind a pillar, a person suddenly rushed over.
His rotting face and red eyes were terrifying, he was a mutant zombie! Bai Qingqing took her Tang knife from her space and after she chopped off the head of the zombie in one move, a hand grabbed her arm and she turned around to look.
Cheng Rui was holding her and said in a deep voice: “Follow me.”
Bai Qingqing breathed a sigh of relief as one of her teammates had finally found her.
After all, the members of the Thunder Squad were the protagonists of the story, being by their side was the safer she would be.
The sound of gunfire was still blasting and people were still screaming.
Flames shot past and people who had not died yet were surrounded by the fire, and a pungent and disgusting roasted smell rose in the air.

Bai Qingqing’s face was pale.
The mutation in Zhou village had already been terrifying but what was happening right now was even scarier.
“Don’t look.” Cheng Rui’s face was solemn and he grabbed her arm again as he started walking away faster.
Humans were running wildly, so were zombies.
The scene was complete chaos; people were constantly being bitten and kept mutating.
Bai Qingqing followed Cheng Rui for more than ten minutes and started staggering as her endurance declined.
Glancing back at the girl panting with a pale face, Cheng Rui apologized before hauling her on his shoulder.
“Ah!” Bai Qingqing had not seen that coming and she grabbed his back in a hurry.

There were even more infected people inside the auction house but these zombies were easier to get rid of than the soldiers outside.
Cheng Rui used his power to kill them while looking for a place to hide.
But before he could find a spot, two abnormal-looking blue and purple mutant zombies rushed out and used their own abilities to attack the man. 
Bai Qingqing realized those were the two people who had come to kill the mutant woman earlier, but they had been turned into zombies? No, that wasn’t right.
The faces of those who had been bitten by the mutated zombies had instantly rotted; these two people were not zombies but something different.

Cheng Rui had to deal with these attackers and put her down.
Their speed was terrifying and Cheng Rui did not have the upper hand as they fought. 
Bai Qingqing had a gun in her hand to assist him but because the enemy was too fast, none of her shots really caused any damage.
Her palms were sweating and she was distracted by the other zombies that were coming from everywhere.
They couldn’t use their powers all the time and under the frantic attack of the two mutants, Cheng Rui could only take Bai Qingqing to the auction ground to escape.
The mutants chasing them were like controlled puppets and Cheng Rui threw her into a room and shouted: “You hide here, I will lead them away.”
Bai Qingqing nodded.
She closed the door tightly and found a corner to hide.
She was of no help right now, the best course of action was to not drag him back and make trouble.
She could only pray Cheng Rui would be able to deal with the two mutants.

Bai Qingqing tried her best to calm herself down and told herself Cheng Rui would be okay.
She recalled the events from the moment they had entered the auction house to when the auctioneer had been killed and then thought of the encounter with the two mutated zombies.
Those two gifted zombies were like the woman, acting as if they were controlled by something or someone else and she wondered what had caused them to mutate.
If this kind of mutation had not been discovered initially, there must have been an incubation period and it would explain why the woman had not been detected.
Those were much more horrifying than instant mutation.
What if there were more in Wucheng already? If that was the case, the city would no longer be safe and everybody would die.
She didn’t know what had happened to Fu Chen and the others but she hoped they would be able to get out of the auction house alive.

Time passed slowly and Bai Qingqing felt she had been hiding in her corner forever.
There was a sudden bang at the door and before she could get up to check, it slammed open and soldiers with guns rushed in.
Dazzling light shone on her face and Bai Qingqing quickly stood up and raised her hand.
“Don’t shoot!”
The soldier looked at her carefully: “Human?”
Bai Qingqing showed a frightened expression and answered: “I have been hiding here since the beginning.”
The soldier pushed her out until they reached the outside.
Bai Qingqing found out many people had survived and were handcuffed before being packed into cars.
Everybody looked numb and no one spoke.
Whether they would die or live was now in Wucheng’s leaders’ hands and whether they were infected or not, they were now all being taken away as long as they had been in the auction house.

After a while, the cars stopped in a place similar to a prison and the survivors of the auction were all taken in one by one until they all gathered in something looking like a basketball court.
“You will be quarantined here for a few days.
If there are no signs of infection, you will be released.”
“How many days exactly?” Someone couldn’t help but ask.
The soldier’s face was cold and looked like not killing them immediately was the greatest mercy.
As for how those people would be dealt with in the end, it was a matter for the top brass.
Yet the only thing that would happen to them would be their deaths; keeping them alive for the moment was just for show and to prove that Wucheng’s higher-ups did not kill innocent people indiscriminately. 
The soldier didn’t answer; the scene was dead silent, perhaps this prison would become their cemetery.

Bai Qingqing could only hope Fu Chen would not abandon his sister and quickly rescue her.
If he didn’t show up, she could only expose her portable space and trade for her survival.
She was locked up with a few other people and she looked at the white moonlight through the window with a heavy heart. 
Not long later, she saw soldiers pressing a girl past the cell and she ran over to call her out: “Bai Tiantian.”
The girl immediately turned her head and opened her mouth in surprise: “Qingqing.” She grasped the iron bars of the cell, “How come you were also arrested?”
“Where are Shen Mingxuan and Xiao Yang?” Bai Qingqing asked, “You didn’t see them?” 
Bai Tiantian shook her head.
“Hurry up, don’t dawdle.” The soldier urged.
Bai Tiantian didn’t know where she was being taken to but Bai Qingqing had an idea.
She lowered her voice and said: “Tell them to take me along.”

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