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Chapter 422: Sluggish
Not only did Long Yuehong think of this, but the others also had similar guesses. After all, everyone only knew this much about Wasteland Ruin 13, and Wu Meng was the only person they knew that resided within.
w.a.n.g Fugui looked at the spot where the wolf howl came from and recalled. “That place is in the opposite direction of the Dao and Electrical Appliance Repairs radio station...”
The last time they entered, Genava had roughly detected where the Dao and Electrical Appliance Repairs radio station was. Therefore, the two teams had unanimously chosen a route away from the area during today's exploration.
Although they believed that Wu Meng could only directly affect all kinds of electrical appliances and use them to deal with humans from either the information they obtained or through 'self-a.n.a.lysis,' there was a premise—distance.
After subsequent inspection, the metal door at the entrance they had used was determined to be electrically controlled. This was foreseeable since it was abnormally heavy after all. It was very inconvenient to open and close it using manpower every day. Back then, Genava, Jiang Baimian, and Shang Jianyao chose to push it themselves because they believed that there was definitely no electricity. At the same time, they were more confident in their strength.
n.o.body knew what would happen once the two teams and Wu Meng were within a kilometer of the Dao and Electrical Appliance Repairs radio station or even closer. Apart from those who had personally experienced it and survived, n.o.body knew.
w.a.n.g Fugui meant that even if Wu Meng was really the white wolf's owner, the influence he could exert in that direction was limited.
“Maybe the white wolf has a few electrical appliances by its side...” Jiang Baimian said faintly.
w.a.n.g Fugui laughed involuntarily and mocked himself. “That's true. It's better not to act rashly when you don't know the situation well enough. n.o.body stipulates that he has to remain in the radio station.”
To say that... Long Yuehong felt his blood run cold again. This was because it meant that Wu Meng could appear around them at any moment.
“Maybe he really can't leave the radio station. Otherwise, he would've come for us a long time ago...” Shang Jianyao spoke in a tone as though he was retelling a ghost story.
“Let's go in the other direction then,” suggested Waite immediately.
Jiang Baimian glanced at Long Yuehong and Bai Chen. “Alright.”
Gray and Fars had no objections either.
The eight of them didn't return the way they came because they would approach the spot where the white wolf had howled. Similarly, they avoided the area where the Dao and Electrical Appliance Repairs radio station was.
As they had chosen a relatively unfamiliar path, the two teams couldn't advance quickly. They constantly had to be on guard against any possible attacks.
Along the way, they would still pick up relatively valuable items when they encountered them. In any case, it was only a matter of convenience.
The principle of distribution was: finders keepers.
Under the premise that there were sufficient supplies and that n.o.body returned empty-handed, this didn't lead to internal strife.
Shang Jianyao was wearing a gray camouflage uniform today. He had rolled down the sleeves, covering his wrists in the rather hot weather. On his left wrist, the Ring of Blindness—woven from black hair—lit up with a fiery glow every once in a while, helping him expand his perception range.
Of course, this couldn't be maintained forever. This would quickly deplete the item's energy, so it could only be used every few minutes.
Cars were parked haphazardly. On the streets that were partially invaded by vegetation, the two teams each took a side and were separated by seven to eight meters.
Shang Jianyao held the Berserker a.s.sault rifle and walked between the electric poles and the trees paving the sidewalk.
Two minutes ago, he had just finished sensing the surroundings. There were no other human consciousnesses or mutated biological consciousnesses within a hundred-meter radius.
Suddenly, Jiang Baimian turned her head and looked to the side where w.a.n.g Fugui and the others were. She looked at a narrow alley.
“A sit... uation...” She was just about to give a reminder and fire with the Short Neck submachine gun when her train of thought suddenly slowed down. It was as if she had been attacked by the cold, and a portion of her thoughts had been frozen. Or rather, she had transformed into a computer that had been out of repair for years. Although she could barely be turned on, it would always hang and lag. Things that could be completed in a second might take three to four seconds.
Almost at the same time, she saw Gray—who was tightly wrapped in a leather coat and seemingly suffering from the cold—look at them.
The slightly rugged face was filled with zeal, and the light in his blue eyes froze.
He... has been... bewitched by... the white wolf... Jiang Baimian had this thought 'flash' in her mind.
Shang Jianyao and Bai Chen also experienced abnormalities. Their every move was advancing at one-third of their normal speeds or even slower.
Long Yuehong wasn't affected, and he noticed that something was amiss with his team leader and the others. He immediately took a step forward and tried to get into an advantageous position to fire at w.a.n.g Fugui and the others to suppress them.
But the moment his right foot took a step, he felt his muscles contract and distort. He also felt intense pain.
He had cramps—at such a critical moment, his legs were cramping up!
As his body involuntarily tilted, Long Yuehong saw the relatively tall Fars with blond hair and blue eyes.
This Ruin Hunter also had a fanatical expression as if he were risking his life for someone. At this moment, he clenched his fists tightly, and his eyes were deep.
Meanwhile, Waite—who was in Long Yuehong's line of sight—disappeared. He vanished into thin air!
As he fell to the ground, Long Yuehong saw his team leader raise her left arm faster than her right as if it weren't affected.
Among the lone Hunters, w.a.n.g Fugui had the strangest reaction. He didn't show any fanaticism, admiration, or submission; instead, he had a look of hatred as if he had encountered an enemy he had an irreconcilable grudge with. He then shouted at Gray, Fars, and the spot where Waite was originally standing, “Hatred!”
The fanaticism and adoration on Gray and Fars's faces instantly vanished, twisting into extreme hatred for a particular target. They quickly turned around and looked deep into the alley.
They were fast, but Jiang Baimian was faster. She had already aimed at that spot and pulled the trigger.
When Gray turned around, Jiang Baimian's frozen—or sluggish—thoughts were dispelled. Her left hand had long raised the weapon to its designated height.
Ta! Ta! Ta!
A large number of bullets swept toward a utility pole.
Shang Jianyao put down the a.s.sault rifle and let it hang from his body. He then unslung the Tyrant grenade launcher and aimed it at the target area.
A grenade flew over.
Amidst the explosion, a white wolf figure jumped back and into the alley's corner.
The fur on its tail was slightly charred and twisted. On its head was a dark-black item that resembled a headset.
In the blink of an eye, the white wolf disappeared in front of everyone.
“Shall we give chase?” Shang Jianyao looked at Jiang Baimian.
Jiang Baimian pondered for a moment and replied, “There's no need.”
She then said to w.a.n.g Fugui, “You actually weren't bewitched by the white wolf.”
The hatred on w.a.n.g Fugui's face vanished as he smiled and said, “If not for the confidence I had, why would they be willing to come with me?”
He was referring to Gray, Fars, and the reappearing Waite.
The three Ruin Hunters looked at w.a.n.g Fugui with admiration.
“Sigh, the white wolf actually didn't choose to bewitch us...” Shang Jianyao muttered regretfully.
If that happened, they would let it know what a surprise was.
“...” Long Yuehong didn't criticize him this time because he thought the same.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his words. “From the looks of it, although the white wolf can only bewitch a limited number of people, it can select its targets.”
This was essentially different from Qiao Chu.
“But how did it accurately grasp the intervals of my sensing and enter the range where my abilities are effective?” Shang Jianyao was rather puzzled by this and had already switched to his inference mode.
Fortunately, the Old Task Force had always opted for double insurance and had Jiang Baimian's sensing of bioelectric signals.
Jiang Baimian was also perplexed. She looked around and thought of something. “Could they be the ones?”
Following her gaze, Long Yuehong, Bai Chen, w.a.n.g Fugui, and the others saw the surveillance cameras on the street lamps.
Jiang Baimian said in a deep voice, “We didn't bring any electronic products, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any in this city ruin.”
“Then, they are equivalent to Wu Meng's 'eyes?'” Long Yuehong blurted out.
w.a.n.g Fugui frowned and said, “But they should be out of electricity after so many years.”
Could it be that Wu Meng can generate electricity for things without power?
Bai Chen—who had experienced Swamp Ruin 1—asked, “We've never tried using them, so how do we know that there's no electricity here?”
That was a place that was regularly powered.
Jiang Baimian then looked at a shop by the street and deliberated before suggesting, “Let's go in and give it a try to see if the lights can still be switched on.”
They weren't in a rush to evacuate this area because it was more important to figure out the problem. If they didn't take note of certain matters and ignored them, they might greatly suffer subsequently.
“Alright.” w.a.n.g Fugui, Gray, and the others looked at each other.
Shang Jianyao quickly walked into the shop by the roadside and pressed the switch with the muzzle.
The lights in the shop didn't change.
“Maybe the lights went out long ago...” Long Yuehong guessed at the possibility.
Just as he said that, the light tube suddenly emitted a sizzling sound and lit up with a white glow.
The light alternated between bright and dark, giving them a feeling that the voltage was very unstable. The light and darkness alternated without a pattern.
“This...” Waite exclaimed in surprise. From his point of view, this didn't seem like the city ruin originally had electricity. Instead, someone had deliberately turned on the electricity here after they switched on the lights. Otherwise, it wouldn't have taken some time to light up.
“As expected.” w.a.n.g Fugui sighed.
There was indeed electricity here—electricity in a certain way.
Long Yuehong immediately said, “Let's evacuate as soon as possible then.”
This time, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao didn't respond to his suggestion. They looked at the blinking light tube as if they were studying a major topic.
“What's wrong?” Bai Chen asked.
Jiang Baimian pursed her lips and said, “These light bulb flashes resemble Morse code...”
“Huh?” Waite, Fars, and the others were a little confused. This was part of their knowledge blindspot.
As Jiang Baimian quickly translated the information using the records in the auxiliary chip, she slowly said, “The translation is: The Dao is in the circuit, circuit boards, and electrical appliances...”