Chapter 206: Murder in the night
Chapter 206: Murder in the night
Brilliant car lights tore the silent night, everyone held onto their rifles as they sat sleepily in the carriages. Zhang Xiao Qiang sat in the bumpy off-road vehicle and gazed out into the darkness.
The fleet took a different route back instead of following the route that they had come in. Before, they passed through a few residential areas to reach the prison. These residential areas had not been cleansed of zombies, to which was not a problem in the day but dangerous at night. Zhang Xiao Qiang gave up on returning to the base and thought of finding a secluded place to stay the night.
One of Zhang Xiao Qiang’s subordinates was a local and knew of a safer place, thus Zhang Xiao Qiang decided to bring them there for a night before returning to the prison in the morning to retrieve the ammunition.
After leaving the prison, the fleet traveled for about a half hour before driving up a small hill, where an extremely old bungalow stood at the top. It was in ruins with weeds growing all around the broken walls and pieces of large rocks littered everywhere.
Around the ruins, there were plenty of different sized trees that had shed their leaves. Under the darkness, no one knew what species of trees they were. After everyone dropped from the vehicles, the night wind on the top of the hill roused everyone completely awake. Some of them shifted the cooking utensils down the vehicles while a few held onto torchlights and gathered dried twigs and wood. Two lightly injured members along with two heavily injured were carried to a spot where they sat down to observe the rest.
Not long later, a raging bonfire was lit up with a few men propping up a huge pot above the fire and pouring in water and rice grains. Some chopped the salted vegetables into quarters and gave everyone a quarter each. This quarter of salted vegetables was everybody’s side dish, including Zhang Xiao Qiang. He took a mess tin from his bag and placed the quarter of salted vegetables into it and waited for the rice to cook.
Aside from two subordinates placed as scouts, the rest all sat by the bonfire to keep warm. On one side, Three looked abnormal, he sat restlessly, occasionally checking the scout team members whether they were hidden well, occasionally checking on the Type-92 battalion gun on the vehicle whether it was tied tightly, then found two large rocks that he placed at the wheels, then inspected on the injured, all the way until the rice was cooked….
During dinner, Zhang Xiao Qiang noticed two men holding tree branches with red meat skewered onto them and barbequing the meat. He became curious seeing the dark red meat and recalled the rats that they had massacred. Isn’t the meat split by the warheads look exactly like that?
“Is that rat meat? Is it edible?” Looking at the two men happily barbequing the food, Zhang Xiao Qiang asked.
“It is edible, the meat is extremely soft, our village often eats rat meat and I grew up eating them. In our village, all the rats in the fields were even dug up and eaten….”
Upon hearing the member’s words, Zhang Xiao Qiang was stunned, not because they were eating rat meat, but because their entire village ate rats, and that all the rats in their fields were completely eaten up?
One must know, rats have the reputation of being able to thrive and continue surviving even if the world is to perish, but Zhang Xiao Qiang actually found out that such a powerful life had actually been wiped out in a village, and right when he felt that it was inconceivable, the smell of barbeque came over….when the rat meat entered his mouth, Zhang Xiao Qiang did not find it disgusting at all, maybe because it had been so long since such fresh barbequed meat had entered his mouth, to the point that he could not even remember their taste.
Watching Zhang Xiao Qiang munch on happily, the others turned their eyes to the two men barbequing while drooling from their mouths. One of the men saw the rest looking at him and laughed out loud, then grabbed onto two pelt bags from his bag and revealed two rats wrapped in plastic bags inside them. These two rats had their limbs, head, and tail cut off, leaving rows of ribs and lean meat that resembled rabbit meat.
Everyone walked forward immediately. In the next moment, the rat carcasses were split cleanly with skewers of rat meat extended into the flames. The members watched as the meat got barbequed, while Zhang Xiao Qiang recalled back the mountain of rat corpses……
By the time he regained his senses, he realized that Three was looking at him as though he had something to say. Zhang Xiao Qiang walked over and the two stood at the side of the bonfire with their back facing the endless darkness.
“Brother Cockroach….I-….I’m afraid…. I did badly today…”
Zhang Xiao Qiang did not say anything, just hearing Three’s initial account, he knew that Three thought that his own performance was extremely bad. To Zhang Xiao Qiang, if it were any other person, they would not have done better. Watching the other members dying and injured, he felt guilty, Three felt that he did not have the capacity to face the injured members, or even the capacity to continue being the captain.
Zhang Xiao Qiang patted him on the shoulders: “You paid so much school fees today. If you don’t continue staying in position, aren’t the deaths of the members for nothing? Remember, there will definitely be deaths in a war.”
With that, Zhang Xiao Qiang turned and left, leaving Three stunned on the spot. No one knew what was on his mind. As the firewood was exhausted, Three’s figure was slowly enveloped by the darkness…..
After a tiring day, Zhang Xiao Qiang allowed the members to sleep. He found a broken wall and leaned against it. Upon closing his eyes, a soft body slowly leaned onto his left shoulder, he knew it was Shangguan Qiao Yun. He did not move and held the Beast Horn Spear in his hand and fell asleep.
While sleeping, Zhang Xiao Qiang felt people moving around. He suddenly woke up and grabbed onto the pistol on his waist.
The bonfire was still burning, thinking that it was the night sentries adding more firewood, Zhang Xiao Qiang looked around. He noticed that many of the members were lying next to the bonfire in deep sleep. Borrowing the light from the fire, Zhang Xiao Qiang noticed that Shangguan Qiao Yun’s eyes were opened as well, seeing that Zhang Xiao Qiang was awake, she pointed to the foot of the hill and whispered: “I have the urge to fire in that direction…”
Before Shangguan Qiao Yun could complete her sentence, Zhang Xiao Qiang felt a premonition, he pulled Shangguan Qiao Yun up, moved to the bonfire and woke the other members up. Three already had matters in his mind, thus he was in a much lighter sleep. Zhang Xiao Qiang’s whispers to the other members immediately woke him up.
“What’s wrong, Brother Cockroach?” Seeing Zhang Xiao Qiang calling the rest up softly, he asked in a whisper.
“There’s something below, be careful and be attentive.” Zhang Xiao Qiang whispered to Three. Upon listening to his orders, Three immediately got the team to prepare their firearms. He groped his way to the two patrols…..
The bonfire had already been doused by cold water. Their surroundings were pitch black, but the combat team members held their Type-81 ARs and stood by the vehicles, quietly listening for movements at the foot of the hill.
The type-53 HMG with 250 bullets was lock and loaded, the thick barrel aimed straight at the trees at the foot of the hill. At this moment, the surrounding was deadly silent, there were no flames sizzling, not a single snore from the members or any of them breathing heavily. All of them waited quietly.
Suddenly, a dark figure slowly moved over from the direction of the patrols. Zhang Xiao Qiang called out softly.
“Brother Cockroach…It’s me!” Three replied with a whisper. He groped his way to Zhang Xiao Qiang’s side, but in the darkness, Zhang Xiao Qiang was unable to see Three’s expression.
“Brother, the two brothers who were deployed as scouts are dead….” Zhang Xiao Qiang immediately cut him and whispered back: “Do you know what killed them?”
Three remained silent for a few seconds, “They were done in….by….humans….survivors, our two brothers were strangled to death and stripped naked. Nothing of theirs are left, even their shoes are gone.”
Hearing Three’s report, Zhang Xiao Qiang actually relaxed and heaved a sigh of relief. He was most afraid of encountering beasts or creatures in the dark wilderness but was not the least bit afraid of humans. He had guns in his arsenal, his brothers had guns, they had HMGs, who could possibly provoke them and win?
He whispered: “As long as they are people, it’ll be easy to handle. Regardless of who it is, as long as they touch my people, I will get them to pay back double.” With that, he took two glass bottles filled with alcohol and handed them over to Three.
Three took the two bottles over and an intense scent of gasoline assaulted his nose. He groped the two bottles and felt the cloth that was soaked in gasoline at the opening and was about to speak.
“You’ll stay here and when you hear any movements, light one up and throw it out. At that time, they will be in the light, while we will be in the dark.”