“What’s your name? How did you become their leader? Where did you guys come from, and where are you heading towards?” Zhang Xiao Qiang stared at the man and asked.
The man was dressed as sloppily as the other survivors, most of the clothing were covered in mud, blood, and stains but were relatively intact. He had short and messy hair, a beard that had not been shaved for a long time and looked like a sage that had seen the world, this man’s spirit was entirely different from the other survivors who remained scared and anxious. His eyes were deep and reserved, as though nothing in the world could shock him.
Before Zhang Xiao Qiang, the man did not falter at all and maintained silent throughout until Zhang Xiao Qiang questioned him.
“My last name’s Ding and my name’s Ding Luo. Everyone in the fleet calls me Instructor, we came from City X and was heading to WH city….”
“Hold up….” Zhang Xiao Qiang interrupted Ding Luo’s introduction. He looked at the man before him carefully, “You said you guys came from City X? The City X that takes three hours from City Y by train, the City X that resisted the Mongolians for over 20 years in the Song dynasty?”
The man nodded his head, he was just about to continue speaking.
“Is there a family in the fleet that used to stay…..”
The 600 to 700 survivors were called down the vehicles. They stood in lines and endured Zhang Xiao Qiang’s inquiries, those in the outskirts were isolated and separated out, those in urban districts were separated as well. They were all questioned with regards to a few names and a particular district name of City X….
The survivors that were intercepted once again boarded the vehicles and drove towards the base. Zhang Xiao Qiang sat on the dusty ground and looked at the grime on his boots and got lost in thought, the smoke from the cigarette in his mouth lingered around his squinted eyes as a large black and crawled beside his leg.
Zhang Xiao Qiang observed the ant and watched it climb up his boots. The burning end of the cigarette came down onto the army boots and killed the ant; It was instantly buried within the ashes of the cigarette.
Zhang Xiao Qiang raised his head and looked towards the horizon, it was late afternoon at 5 pm and the sky was slowly turning dimmer, the smell of smoke from his clothes lingered around his nose. His heart was growing in pain, he did not think about his sister, he never dared to. The entire time, he escaped from the fact that he might have lost his own sister, the pain and despair. But Ding Luo’s appearance from City X and bringing news along was like a sharp sawtooth that ripped apart Zhang Xiao Qiang’s seemingly tenacious heart. The self-deceit was instantly broken, he completely forgot about the sea of zombies approaching, about the D2s that was approaching, of the dark hands that were approaching.
He chased after the fleet and interrogated every single survivor. Even the identities of the survivors in the three vehicles that were killed were made known. The absence of any information regarding his sister resulted in his current state.
Four combat team members carried their rifles and guarded around Zhang Xiao Qiang, who was at the center. In the distance, two off-road vehicles were parked whereYang Ke’er and Shangguan Qiao Yun sat inside and looked at the dispirited Zhang Xiao Qiang…. Ding Luo was the leader of the fleet, originally an instructor from an MMA club in City X, was in a cultural festival held by the city on the day of the outbreak. He and his MMA team were participating in the opening ceremony when it happened. Although the ceremony had a large population of people attending, the place was large and many managed to escape. Ding Luo and the fortunate survivors carried their cold weapon props and charged out.
Ding Luo’s best ability was not his medical expertise but his cool-headedness. Time after time, he led the group to avoid large zombie hordes and killed scattered zombies. When the foolish and blind survivors were all eaten, people saw Ding Luo’s professional team advancing and retreating at crucial moments with weapons and started to gather to them. Humans are social creatures, after seeing everyone going towards them, they started joining.
Ding Luo welcomed everyone, brought up by medical parents who were merciful and kind, he brought the weak and young on a road of blood and brutality. The cultural festival was held near the outskirts, after securing themselves, they charged out of the crowd, only for Ding Luo to realize that the group numbered close to 300 people. Furthermore, there were even more people following the dead zombies’ trail and joining them after.
As Ding Luo was the one who led them out with his own MMA team helping out, Ding Luo was unanimously chosen to be the leader.
After that, Ding Luo led the few hundreds to hoard foodstuff, store up water and various supplies. At that time, the zombies had not gone through any mutations. Relying on the blades in their hands, Ding Luo and the fighters killed many zombies and seized countless supplies and vehicles. After killing a group of gangsters that wanted to seize their belongings, they took their weapons as well.
With Ding Luo’s group holding down and clearing the zombies in the outskirts of City X, the odds of survival for the unaffected people became higher. As more survivors were saved, the population reached the highest of 1200, and the number of men wielding blades grew to 400-500.
After the heavy downpour, it became even more difficult for Ding Luo and the others. Many of his members died in battle, the zombies mutated and became stronger and faster. Fortunately, they prepared for reserves and migration like Zhang Xiao Qiang, to search for a secluded place to recover.
While resting at the side of a clear water river, their group was nearly destroyed by a sudden attack. Their group carried their water reserve in an oil tanker, and some people detested the smell of oil from the water decided to drink from the river. In the middle of the night, over 200 people turned into zombies, and this chaos plunged the entire camp into hell.
When morning came, the entire camp was left with 800 people, 300 of whom were injured. The injured were isolated, and less than half survived.
The base was built, but Ding Luo did not think as far as Zhang Xiao Qiang. They lived like beggars and when the zombies from City X moved, they could only run, their goal was the largest camp, WH City.
Along the way, they accepted over a few hundred people and increased the population over a thousand once more. On one night, they decided to stay in the wilderness and planned to leave early in the morning. By the time morning came, more than 10 S2s pounced into their encampment.
Half of the vehicles and more than 300 people were left behind under the orders of Ding Luo. With the rest, they drove away with the S2s chasing them. In the distance, the sea of zombies could be seen moving towards them. In that critical moment, the ultimate scapegoat, Three, appeared….
Deep in his own thoughts, Zhang Xiao Qiang threw the background of the people to the back of his mind, upon thinking about the sea of zombies that was capable of engulfing mountains and plains, he stood back up and walked over to the designated checkpoint.
Time: Evening 18:00, Location: Intersection between two counties, Warring Parties: Humanity 1.05 million, Zombies: Estimated count of 5-7 million.
(TN: This last number figures between humans and zombies are a guess from me, the author didn’t really write it well, will leave the original for all of you to guess!)
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