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Chapter 44 - The beginning of the repulsive changes in human nature
TL-ed by Wei
Edited by LD
At 6 o’clock in the morning, it was as dark as ink outside. With an ongoing “pitter, patter”, the rain continued to fall from the thunderstorm that was neither too major nor minor. Occasionally, booms of thunder resounded, startling the humans below.
Ran Hongxia was unable to fall asleep.
Despite having changed out of her drenched clothing into a sweater from the female dormitory and then even draping a curtain over her, Ran Hongxia still felt cold from top to bottom, shivering incessantly.
This was not strange at all, Ran Hongxia’s feelings fluctuated rapidly. Firstly, she’d had to tail along on the extermination of the insects. She had then been drenched by the rain for such a prolonged amount of time, and lastly, she had also been captured by the Abyssal Vine Demoness. In spite of the fact that she was the Sword Saintess of the future and had also undergone the strengthening of the Insect Cores, her body was not able to hold up. At present, she still felt light-headed. Perhaps she had caught a fever.
However, at this point in time, a mere fever was considered insignificant. Tonight, the temperatures were probably at 7 or 8 degrees. Coupled with the heavy moisture in the air, the cold breeze that wafted through the dilapidated windows made everyone huddle up. The people who were down with a cold, fever, and runny nose numbered way too high.
Compared with certain people, catching a cold or a fever was nothing. For example, there was a girl who had not been able to handle the pressure and silently committed suicide by leaping off the building.
By rough estimates, this was already the third person who had committed suicide.
They could not bear the cold nor could they bear the endless darkness and even more so the fear of the future. These individuals could not bear the stress that the apocalypse had brought them, so they chose to free themselves. An early death equated to an early reincarnation; there was hope in the next life.
The nature of humans is extremely fragile. If this had been the peaceful era and a student from Xijiang University had committed suicide, it would definitely cause a sensation throughout the campus. However, now that it occurred, especially within this cold, dark, and terrifying night, no one uttered a single word. Other than shedding a few tears silently, nothing else could be done.
In fact, the rest of them were very lost as well. To drift and live without purpose in this horrifying era—was it truly worth more than seeking freedom through suicide?
300 to 400 people were lying on the horizontal rows of desks. Those without a spot either slept on the cold ground or leaned against the walls. Occasionally, there were snoring sounds, but there were more sounds of m.u.f.fled sobs and close friends consoling each other.
There were four corners in the large hall and placed in each corner, there were eight lamps made from a gelatinous material with lighted candles inside them. In the dark, the pale white candle flames danced with grace. This made the students, who were long accustomed to fluorescent lights, feel even more bitter.
“President Ran, the girls in the second hall can’t endure it any longer and entrusted me to ask if the third hall has any surplus of clothes? Even if the clothes have been soaked through… The girls are frail. I’m afraid that if this goes on, they’ll get high fevers…”
A tall juvenile, sporting a white vest and a pair of gold-rimmed spectacles, walked over to Ran Hongxia’s side and smiled bitterly. He had given up his own jacket to a girl who was freezing earlier, and he was now breaking out in gooseb.u.mps due to the cold. However, he had no regrets. This person was one of the few who had dared to shoulder responsibility. At the same time, he was also another vice-president of Xijiang University’s student union.
“Sorry… there are no more clothes left…”
Ran Hongxia heaved out a warm breath. She painstakingly got on her feet and said apologetically,
“Why don’t you take this curtain to them? Even though it’s rather thin, it can still be used as a blanket. Oh… this sweater, take it as well…”
“No, no, no. Don’t do this, President Ran. I’m able to tell that you’ve caught a cold. Your health is important. We can’t allow your body to run into any mishaps. After all, you’re one of our combat forces. If the insects swarm over, we still need you to deal with them…”
Having said that, Jiang Feng felt embarra.s.sed. In fact, he very much wished to shoulder the burden of protecting his cla.s.smates and combat the insects. However, his physical fitness could only be said to be ordinary, and he was not even qualified to be an axe-wielder. However, he joined the transport team later on and moved at least 5 rounds worth of items: six boxes of biscuits; five boxes of ham; and many more fruit knives.
“Don’t say that. Compared to those warriors who sacrificed their lives, I am nothing…”
Out of the fifteen axe-wielders that tailed behind Li Jiayu, two died in the teaching block and another two at the girl's dormitory. Then during the battle with Abyssal Vine Demoness, four of them died and three fell into comas, leaving only four axe-wielders completely without harm to protect the transport team!
The mortality rate was abnormally high. It made Jiang Feng shudder whenever he was reminded of it. If he had truly been selected to be on the axe-wielder's team, then he might have ended up dead without a complete corpse!
“President Ran, let me ask you a question… Li Jiayu, he…” Jiang Feng had hesitated for a long time before trying to probe for the answer.
“What are you asking this for?” Ran Hongxia’s stature shook as she asked solemnly.
“Did anything happen to Li Jiayu? Are his wounds severe…?”
Ran Hongxia parted her mouth, yet she did not know where to start. In the end, she could only sigh,
“It’s pretty serious… Princ.i.p.al Hsiao Wanqing is in the midst of resuscitating him. May the G.o.ds above help him cross this hurdle.”
“I really wish that he gets well sooner… Li Jiayu, a member of the Etiquette Society and the Art Faculty’s women’s confidante… Who knew that he would become the person that shoulders the wishes of the entire university, our guardian angel... And to think that we used to look down on him in the past…”
“Yeah, I underestimated him as well. This fellow… this fellow…”
When she mentioned Li Jiayu, Ran Hongxia could not help but well up with sadness and tears slid out inadvertently from the corners of her eyes. She knew, very clearly, that Li Jiayu had fallen. He had turned into an ice-cold corpse, and according to Dark Octopus, the probability of Li Jiayu returning was slim. If he did not wake up within 24 hours, then he would be sleeping forever.
Those who receive the favor of the G.o.ds fall young… Despite Li Jiayu being really loathsome and full of himself, Ran Hongxia still held some rather peculiar feelings toward him. Perhaps it was out of worship for a hero, envy of Li Jiayu’s amazing swordsmanship, and gratefulness for having been saved from the brink of danger by Li Jiayu numerous times.
After being rescued from the dance hall yesterday, Ran Hongxia had been the first to break free of the mental shackle and recover her consciousness. When she heard wind of Li Jiayu’s death, it had felt as though she had been struck by lightning. Her world spun, and it took half a day’s time for her to accept this fact. Her heart felt hollow and extremely uncomfortable. Ran Hongxia still had many things she had not yet told Li Jiayu.
'To think that fellow… had actually died...'
He had not looked like someone who would die prematurely!
Afterward, Ran Hongxia had promptly placed an order on everyone at the scene to not breathe a single word; they had to keep the truth of Li Jiayu’s death under wraps. If the students on the 13th floor knew of this fact, it would drive the ones who were mentally weak into more panic. The consequences would be inconceivable!
“Sister Hongxia, warm yourself up with this cup warm tea and have some cold medicine as well…” Feng Liaoyuan held a cup of warm tea with both hands and smiled at Ran Hongxia.
“Thanks…” Ran Hongxia took the cup, but her brows wrinkled/creased as she said,
“The alcohol for the alcohol lamps is very limited… We should use it sparingly. Why did you use it to make warm tea for me? It’s too wasteful…”
“It’s not wasteful. I didn’t use the alcohol to heat up the water; I used my own flames. Don’t forget that Li Jiayu said I’m a Flame Sorcerer. After a night of adaptation, I’ve fumbled out several methods to use the flames. I can reserve my magic power but use it sparingly to heat up the iron pot. So, I made a pot of warm water, but it wasn’t just for you. I added a few packets of pickled vegetables and made it savory, then I gave it to some female students who almost keeled over.”
A conceited smile crept onto Feng Liaoyuan’s face as he said,
“In the future, I will be the heater for all of you. Sister Hongxia, if you are feeling hungry, stop eating those ham sausages or crackers. Let me know and I’ll go make some noodles for you.”
“There’s no need. Your mental energy does not recover that easily. I’m not hungry, so go take care of other people…” Ran Hongxia shook her head wearily. “Also, how is the hall on your side? Did any problems crop up?”
“Everything is the same… In my hall, there are several couples who committed suicide together. There are also love rivals who saw each other as thorns and fought several times. That only ceased after we spent a large amount of effort…” Feng Liaoyuan explained.
“Ah, that’s considered nothing… Over at my hall, there are many who were unhappy with the distribution of food. They thought that it was distributed unevenly and kicked up a fuss. They only let the matter drop after we gave them one extra ham sausage... Who knows what they’re thinking… There’s so much food to go around for at least two days. What is with the urgency…?” Jiang Feng shook his head, feeling slightly resentful.
“That is unavoidable… Under these circ.u.mstances in which one’s safety is at risk, many people have become sensitive and distrustful. The conflicts are never-ending. Perhaps in the near future, there will be a time when our cla.s.smates will raise weapons against one another and backstab each other! This is why we should treat this matter seriously for it to serve as a warning to others. We must harden our hearts in order to do certain stuff. Otherwise, everything would be thrown into chaos. Take me for example, I broke the necks of six others just now!”
G.o.d knows when but Chu Xiang appeared before Ran Hongxia suddenly and said in a depressed manner,
“Chu Xiang, you killed someone?” Feng Liaoyuan was stupefied.
“Yes… Never have I thought that I would kill someone with my hands…”
Chu Xiang’s lips drew back, and the malevolent patterns on his face made him seem as though he was a frightening demon,
“There were several girls who could not stand the stench of the corpses in the hall… You all know this as well. After the people had been turned into puddles of pus by the Corrosive Worms, we cleaned up the mess, but a nasty stench still remained. So, they went to the Cla.s.sical Music Research a.s.sociation’s room on the 12th floor to sleep… In the end, a few boys with bad intentions groped their way through the darkness toward the girls, intending to a.s.sault them. Fortunately, I walked past and got there in the nick of time, foiling their plans. Or else, the girls would have been done for… Those beasts could not be looked upon as human anymore. Killing them was better than wasting food!”
( ◕ . ◕ )/
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