IWOL Chapter 131: Avalanche

In front of them was a deep, dark pine forest standing in a vast, snowy field. The pine trees were extremely tall, with tower-like canopies that seemed to stretch up high into the sky.

“There are still plants here,” Dong Linhai exclaimed.

“It’s not as cold as the Antarctic so many evergreen trees can still survive.” Before vomiting, Lin Hangzhi had hurriedly opened the face shield on his helmet. Fortunately, he didn’t throw up in the helmet. After vomiting, he spit out the remaining filth in his mouth and raised his hand to wipe his mouth. He said, “Can we get out now?”

“Let’s get out. The balls won’t roll in the woods,” Dong Zheng said, pressing hard on the verification button on the inner wall of the ball. After a moment, the verification beep sounded and the protective cover automatically opened.

Everyone climbed out of their own protective balls, all bruised and injured. The number of insects in the woods were much harder to spot. There were many small insects quietly hiding on the ground. When everyone approached, they would scramble away to avoid them.

Allen said, “Don’t bugs eat trees?”

“Since they can live until now, they must have some ways to resist the bugs,” Dong Zheng said. Behind him, a sticky substance dripped from a pine branch and fell onto the snow with a loud sound.

Dong Zheng squatted down and dipped some fingers into the substance. He opened his face shield and sniffed the substance. There was a faint stench hiding within the strong scent of pine.

Wang Que leaned over and smelled it. She immediately turned her head away, her entire face scrunched up in distaste.

“It has a smell of rosin that bugs don’t like,” Dong Zheng said, throwing away the rosin that had become frozen solid. “We can collect some to take with us.”

They separated to collect rosin. Cui Zuojing picked up three pieces and put them in his waist pocket. Dong Linhai happened to be next to him, and he asked, “What happened in the underground garage?”

Dong Linhai brushed off a layer of snow and bent over to pick up a large piece of honey-colored rosin. He gave it to Wang Que, who hadn’t found very much, and said, “Uncle said there was a fairly large creature with many pustules. It seemed to be able to control the minds of other creatures, because he kept hearing a voice telling him to get closer.”

Dong Linhai paused and then frowned, as if he was listening carefully to Victor’s words from within the summoning beast space. A few seconds later, he said, “Uncle asked me to tell you that J has also come in. He was in the parking garage earlier.”

Sure enough.

Cui Zuojing took a deep breath. He really did guess right.

Seeing Cui Zuojing’s solemn face, Dong Linhai asked, puzzled, “Who’s J?”

“It’s not safe here. After we get out of the box, I’ll tell you everything.”

If the former Dong Linhai had heard Cui Zuojing answered this way, he would definitely feel dissatisfied, thinking that Cui Zuojing was deliberately hiding things from him. But now, Dong Linhai just let out a sound of understanding and stopped asking.

Cui Zuojing stood motionless. Snowflakes fell silently on his helmet and shoulders as he thought with his brows furrowed

There was no doubt that J’s goal was him, so in the next journey, he was very likely to meet J face to face.

To be honest, Cui Zuojing wasn’t certain he could win. At his peak, he could match J, or even take a narrow victory. However, even with the bonus help of Dong Zheng’s ability, his current strength wasn’t up to par yet.

If there was danger, it would be difficult for him to escape the box by returning to the prisoner’s space. Once this happened, the protective clothing he was wearing and the weapons he carried would be lost.

The clothing he was wearing wasn’t thick enough to afford enough warmth in negative temperatures. Moreover, once he escaped into the prisoner’s space, Dong Zheng would have to pass through various crises without him.

So, unless it was the last resort, he wouldn’t easily go back to the prisoner’s space. This was why he had allowed Victor to explore the underground garage instead of going there himself.

Cui Zuojing thought distractedly of many things. Finally, he sighed and decided to not think about it anymore.

Whatever happens, when the moment comes, he’ll deal with it.

Everyone carried three to four pieces of rosins on themselves. Victor also came out to heal the bruises on their bodies.

Dong Zheng confirmed the route to their location, and everyone packed their things and once again embarked on the journey to the Institute of Biochemistry.

The woods had no small insects with fluorescent tails. As a result, the only source of light came from their headlights. Cui Zuojing looked back and found that the Wanda Twin Towers were now more than four kilometers away. The hive in the middle was like a cradle, nurturing countless creatures.

It was unknown how many years the pine forest had existed. It stood tall against the wind and snow. With 58 hours before the end of the mission, the small group of people trudged through the pine forest and snow. Dong Zheng was afraid that Wang Que was affected by the supermarket’s giant bug’s mind control, and he asked her, “Did you notice anything wrong right before you fainted?”

Wang Que frowned and thought for a while. She replied, “I felt really tired at the time and didn’t want to move at all. I just wanted to lie there and sleep.”

Dong Linhai said, “I also had the same idea.”

She continued, “Then after falling asleep, I seemed to have a dream.”

“A dream?”

“Mmn, I forgot about what specifically. But the dream was very peaceful, just like sleeping in my bed at home.”

“There doesn’t seem to be any problems,” Dong Zheng relented. “Before we came in, we never thought that there would be so many insects here. Although this box is for you to exercise your ability, you shouldn’t push yourself. Focus on trying to advance step by step based on your capabilities and competence.”

Allen turned around and said, “Qui’er did successfully order the insects in the warehouse. I saw that the insect swarm had clearly stopped.”

Wang Que was stunned. “Really? Is that true?”

“Really. Didn’t you notice it yourself? If you hadn’t bought us time, how could Cui’er manage to open the window so quickly to let us out?”

Wang Que became silent. She pursed the corners of her mouth but couldn’t help wanting to jump for joy.

At that time, her heart was still in the peaceful state she’d felt upon awakening from her dream. She had no nausea and no resistance and had simply wanted those annoying bugs to go away.

She’d tried her best before but was only able to control a few small bugs. Now, it seemed that the key to using her ability was to remain calm.

They speculated about what was going to happen next. But, after a while, they all fell silent and  quickened their pace. The snow made their progress much slower than usual. After traveling for more than four hours, they finally managed to break through the pine forest and came upon the rolling mountains on the other side.

The biochemistry base was in the depths of those snow-covered mountains.

There weren’t many insects in the pine forest, making it the safest place to be. Therefore, before entering the mountains, they took some time to rest. Until now, there were still no signs of J, which made Cui Zuojing a little anxious.

Although the emotional link between the two of them was closed, Dong Zheng was still keenly aware of Cui Zuojing’s anxiety. He turned off his headset, opened his face shield, and whispered to Cui Zuojing, “Don’t worry. Nothing will happen.”

“You don’t know how strong J is.” After two months of growth, his once innocent-looking face had become much more handsome. Not only that, he’d also gotten a lot taller and now looked like he was 18 to 19 years old.

However, what annoyed him the most was that, despite his growth, his height still wasn’t able to break the 175 mark, leaving him at still half a head shorter than Dong Zheng.

“Although I said on the surface that everyone shouldn’t worry about it, I am not sure if I can really fight against him.”

Dong Zheng was silent for a moment. “That person’s goal should only be the two of us. The others should be fine.”

“For a madman, killing two person is not much different from killing six people.” Cui Zuojing sighed and added, “Forget it. Let’s not talk negatively. Although my strength still hadn’t returned to its peak, I now have the power of time. You also have your ability. These things can come into play in determining who wins and who loses.”

“This kind of thinking is much better.” Dong Zheng smiled slightly. “No matter what, don’t give up hope. This isn’t something I need to teach you, right?”

Cui Zuojing shrugged, “I’m merely looking at the reality.”

After half an hour of rest, everyone entered the mountain ranges. After 3000 years of enduring an ice age, the stretch of mountains was completely covered by snow, making it nearly impossible to climb. However, once they reached the foot of the mountain, they found a winding path that quietly trailed up into the mountain.

It was obviously a path that the box had prepared for them. Allen and Dong Linhai, both of whom were physically stronger, took turns leading the way. They were followed by Lin Hangzhi and Wang Que. Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng trailed behind them, guarding the rear.

When they entered the box, each of them had a wristband that contained an access chip. It stood to reason that this level of technology should also provide access to a large spacecraft or a terminal. However, it was limited by the box’s level of difficulty, which turned it into just a wristband that could essentially only open doors.

Dong Zheng was originally worried that, since they don’t have an electronic GPS with them, they would easily become lost in the mountains. Now that the box was providing them with a path, there was no need to worry.

The box only provided them with a one-person wide trail that winded up the mountainside. As they traveled along the path, they were surrounded on both sides by towering, snow-covered mountains that had accumulated 3000 years of snow. The snow might have piled up 200 to 300 meters high, maintaining a delicate balance.

When traveling along snow-covered mountains, the most worrisome thing was avalanches. Since entering the mountains, they dared not speak too loudly. Gravity was constantly working on the thick snow, but a certain cohesion kept the snow tentatively in place. This meant that even a tiny, external force could snap this delicate balance in an instant, causing a terrifying avalanche.

The path that the box had provided was even better than the pine forest. Cui Zuojing estimated that they would reach their destination in another four to five hours.

As they reached the second mountain, a black snake slithered past Dong Linhai, whose headlight managed to catch the end of its tail.

After walking in the vast snow for so long, the unchanging scenes could make people mentally tired. Dong Linhai was taken aback for a moment before finally saying into his headset, “I just saw a–”

“Ahhhhhh—”

A shout rang out, echoing along the mountainside. Everyone subconsciously raised their head to look in the direction of the sound.

In the next moment, their expressions shifted.

The delicate balance between gravity and cohesion instantly snapped. A crack appeared along the ridge. As a thunderous roar shook the ground, and a white wave rushed down toward them.

Cui Zuojing’s pupils shrank sharply. He grabbed Lin Hangzhi, the person nearest to him, and roared, “Get down!”

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Anonymous
Anonymous
2 years ago

Ahhhh shit.

Dreamer
Dreamer
1 year ago

J? Really? Creating an avalanche? By screaming? Not cool

Oh… I thought Wang Que could already turn her ability on and off at will. Welp… This box for her to improve her abilities, so hopefully be the end of it she’s one who has improved a lot

And Linhai! My boy! Definitely matured!