Chapter 11: Snake Scorpion Beauty
“I noticed your movements were sharp and decisive. It can’t be that you had been prepared to do just that, right?” Wu Yun glanced at the car door that had been sealed shut from the two-headed wolf spider’s slime and then at the side of Zhou Yu’s face.
“Since we had no way of breaking away from it as it continued to pursue us, someone had to do it,” Zhou Yu answered, very naturally.
“It only wanted to give birth, did you need to be so cruel?” Wu Yun pointed at the thing behind them.
“Then why don’t you get out of the car and volunteer to be the sacrifice?” Zhou Yu shot back.
“Because I still have to drive,” Wu Yun replied, as a matter of course.
“I know how to drive too,” said Zhou Yu.
“Fine, taking ten thousand steps back, you didn’t need to shoot that many bullets at the two-headed wolf spider. What a waste. The neurotoxin isn’t easy to come by. The more you use, the less we have,” Wu Yun said.
“I know, it comes from the spinal fluid of a certain S rank organism. Even a few micrograms can kill other organisms. I forgot about it at the time, but I’ll keep that in mind in the future. More importantly, can our car still move right now?”
Wu Yun tried to start the engine and struggled to wrench the car wheel free from the slime. Unfortunately, the fluid had already hardened and locked the wheel in place.
“Fuck…” Wu Yun cursed under his breath.
“You really are unlucky. Have you thought about changing your name?” Zhou Yu asked.
“Oh? What name should I change it to?” Wu Yun clasped Zhou Yu’s shoulder.
Zhou Yu didn’t answer him, but he waved away his hand and said, “We can only stay in the car for now and rest. When the sun comes up, we’ll check if the car can still be repaired. Also, it’s impossible for those evacuated researchers to have entered the primeval forest on foot. Before they were captured by the two-headed wolf spider, they should’ve been driving a car. We should search for their cars. If we’re lucky, we might find one.”
“What if we’re unlucky?” Li Qian asked.
“We walk,” Wu Yun answered.
Li Qian really didn’t want to hear anything Wu Yun had to say anymore.
“Thinking of anything else right now is useless. Instead, we should all rest well and save our strength.” Zhou Yu closed his eyes, ready to sleep.
“That’s right, other than sleeping, there’s nothing else we can do.” Wu Yun turned off the car lights and locked the car doors.
“How… can we sleep like this…” Li Qian whispered.
Han Li didn’t speak and covered her face with her hands. She was probably crying. After experiencing so much, her hair coiled neatly at the back of her head was now in a sorry, disheveled state.
Dr. Daniel performed a simple examination on Zhou Qing to confirm that his brain functions had not been affected by all the shaking and excitement.
Time passed faster than Zhou Yu realized. When the first ray of sunlight fell onto his face, he opened his eyes.
There were no menacing organisms that could be seen at first glance. A few strange, many-eyed birds peered at them curiously from the branches of a tree, as well as some small, unknown creatures.
Wu Yun also woke up. He took out his carton of cigarettes and used his strength to throw it at Li Qian’s face in the backseat. Li Qian jolted awake and flailed around in confusion. “Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me!”
At the commotion, everyone else sitting in the back seats also woke up.
When Li Qian opened his eyes, he saw that the corners of Wu Yun’s mouth were raised in a smirk directed at him, implying that he was an idiot.
“Is everyone rested? Get out of the car!” Wu Yun ordered.
“What? Get out?” Li Qian was momentarily astonished before he fully understood Wu Yun’s meaning.
Their car was already broken, and to take advantage of the inhibitor while it was still effective, they had to leave the forest as quickly as possible.
Wu Yun and Zhou Yu had already opened their doors. Zhou Qing didn’t say anything and followed them out of the car.
The two-headed wolf spider was still sprawled out on the trunk.
“We have to get this thing off, or else we can’t retrieve our water, rations, and equipment.” Wu Yun pressed at his head. “But it’s so gross, I really don’t want to touch it.”
“So you want me to do it?” Zhou Yu snorted.
“You’re the one who killed it with such fortunate timing.”
“Next time, I’ll leave the timing to you,” Zhou Yu replied.
He took out some rope and wrapped it around the spider’s body. He then threw the other end over a tree branch and gave it a strong yank. The wolf spider was dragged off.
When it fell with a crash, Li Qian and the others hid far away, too scared to even look.
Wu Yun opened the trunk of the car and divided up the water and rations for them to carry.
“So heavy…” Li Qian didn’t exercise much in the first place, and with the weight of the water and rations, he almost fell flat on the ground.
“If you can’t carry it, then you don’t get to eat or drink. Although, dying of thirst or hunger is a much more beautiful death than being eaten by any of the organisms here,” Wu Yun gave a vile laugh.
Zhou Yu was about to take the things that had been handed to Zhou Qing, but Zhou Qing refused him.
“You have to protect everyone. You should carry something more important.”
The party continued forward. Wu Yun was carrying more than enough, but he didn’t forget to take the box containing the embryo with him.
“It looks like the thing in there is really important.” Zhou Yu glanced at it.
“Haha… everything is important.”
While they walked, Zhou Qing observed the plants nearby.
Then, Li Qian stepped on something and let out an “Ah.”
He bent down to look and found that it was a flower as transparent as glass.
Its petals had been crushed by Li Qian.
“I thought… it was a dangerous organism…”
Just as Li Qian closed his eyes and let out a breath, Zhou Qing pulled him away. “Be careful!”
Something as thin as a silver snake suddenly sprang out from the flower’s center, only a hair’s breadth away from biting Li Qian’s nose and frightening Li Qian into screaming.
The silver snake shrunk back and then gathered its energy to spring out, as if it simply could not give up on biting Li Qian.
“H-hurry and shoot it…”
“No need, it’ll be dead soon. This is only its revenge against its aggressor before death,” Wu Yun stood nearby and answered calmly.
“What is this thing… why was it inside the flower?”
“Have you seen a caterpillar before?” Wu Yun smilingly said, “Just treat this as a leveled-up version of a caterpillar.”
“Huh?” Li Qian completely did not understand.
“This is a life form unique to Nibelungen. A plant and animal sharing the same body. Juli Corp gave it the name ‘snake scorpion beauty.’1A Chinese term for a woman with a beautiful face but a vicious heart. Its danger level is only C rank, about the same as parasitic organisms. Because the plant and animal share a body, the animal side is unable to break away from where the plant has taken root.”
“If it could separate itself, would I be alive right now?” Li Qian was not in the mood to feel amazed by the unique life forms here. He only let out a sigh of relief that he was still alive.
“That’s right, if you were bitten, maybe a plant would also grow from your body,” Wu Yun said.
“You’re trying to scare me again!” After a day and a night, it could be said that Li Qian had had enough of Wu Yun.
“Wu Yun’s not scaring you, he’s telling the truth.”
Zhou Qing shouldered his heavy backpack and walked past Li Qian at an easy pace.
The group continued forward. To their surprise, they found a car.
It should have been left there by someone from the base.
“Fantastic!” Li Qian was just about to rush over before he was held back by Dr. Daniel.
Zhou Yu and Wu Yun both drew their pistols and approached it step by step.
The car door was wide open.
Wu Yun’s gun was pointed at the driver’s seat, and Zhou Yu’s at the passenger seat. After they checked to ensure that there were no problems, they inspected the back seats and the trunk as well.
After confirming that everything was fine, Wu Yun waved Dr. Daniel over.
Then the rest of them walked over.
Wu Yun tried to start the car, but it was unresponsive.
“It can’t be… Do we have to continue walking?” Li Qian knew that it was impossible for him to walk the whole day with such a heavy load.
Wu Yun examined the car, “It’s fine, a few parts probably came off from the two-headed wolf spider’s attack. There are repair tools in the car. Give me a hand, Zhou Yu. It should work after it’s fixed up a little. Everyone else, stay here and rest. Don’t wander off anywhere and don’t touch anything, am I clear?
“I don’t even want to go anywhere!” Li Qian directly sat down and surveyed his surroundings, scared that something would pop out.
Zhou Qing was the only one who didn’t sit down. With his hands clasped behind his back and his eyes narrowed, he maintained a distance from the surrounding vegetation while observing it.
Dr. Daniel watched his back with amusement. Although they had only known each other for a short while, Dr. Daniel had a good impression of this botany professor. He respected Zhou Qing’s professional knowledge and how he was earnest and meticulous. He also admired his cool head during critical moments. After a day and a night, he and Zhou Yu had already established a good rapport based on how to protect Professor Zhou. For example, just now, when Zhou Yu passed by them, Daniel’s gaze was on Zhou Qing the whole time. He wouldn’t stop him from observing the plants, but he was prepared to pull him away at the sign of danger.
Zhou Qing was already captivated by the grains of the primeval trees. They relied on absorbing nutrients in ways other than just photosynthesis. Their bark wasn’t hard at all, but they were rather like a layer of skin. There were veins, arteries and even something like nerves underneath the surface.
Leaning in even closer, he seemed to be able to hear the whispered conversations of the trees.
“Professor Zhou, drink some water.” Dr. Daniel raised up a bottle of water from nearby.
“Ah, oh, thanks!” Zhou Qing understood that this was Dr. Daniel politely reminding him not to get too close to the trees.
Even seemingly harmless creatures may be hiding unknown dangers.
Taking the water and drinking two sips, Zhou Qing sat down beside Daniel. First, he raised his head to look at the leaves as continuous as waves, not appearing impatient at all. When his head became tired, he looked down at the mud and dirt by his feet.
Like an illusion, there seemed to be something winding around his neck, fiddling with the ends of his hair, and slipping past his ears, as if something from behind Zhou Qing gently took him into its arms.
At first, Zhou Qing thought it was just a breeze, but gradually, he felt something like a gentle hand slowly covering the back of his head, as if checking to see if the craniotomy had caused him any harm.
Zhou Qing thought it was Dr. Daniel, but the doctor was taking inventory of his water and rations in his backpack, and both his hands were visible.
Li Qian and Han Li were sitting on the other side, and Zhou Yu was still busy with Wu Yun.
Zhou Qing tensed up and suddenly turned his head, but there was nothing to be seen.
Zhou Qing let out a breath of relief. It probably was just the breeze. He was too sensitive.
At this time, the car seemed to start up. Dr. Daniel looked over and Han Li and Li Qian excitedly stood up and gathered around.
“How is it? Can we drive it?
“Fantastic! Let’s hurry up and get out of here!”
Zhou Qing also stood up, but suddenly, his world faded into darkness and he couldn’t see anything.
At that moment, all Zhou Qing could think of was that his glioma had started to grow again and compressed his visual nerves so that he couldn’t see anymore.
“Do you want to see?” An elegant and ethereal voice sounded.
The author has something to say: It looks like Professor Zhou is going to see his little gong first.
Mo Ye: I’ll come later but outdo the earlier! Good preparation is the key to success! The future will overtake the past!
Zhou Yu: You should hatch first before blathering about all of that.
- 1A Chinese term for a woman with a beautiful face but a vicious heart.