Everyone slept for more than two hours, except for Dong Zheng.
Now that it was clear that the parasitic insect in Allen’s body was targeting him, it was impossible for Dong Zheng to relax his vigilance against Allen. If he wasn’t careful, he wouldn’t be able to react in time.
As a result, he took watch duty. A whole day had passed since they’d entered the instance. After experiencing all kinds of high-intensity thrills, Dong Zheng hadn’t had a chance to close his eyes and was extremely tired.
When he was alive and he’d first started his business, he often stayed up for two days and one night. Even as Dong Linhai was wandering around school and not doing anything productive, Dong Zheng was relying on his youthful, healthy body to work tirelessly to prove himself to a certain person.
Dong Zheng yawned. He took a look at his program kernel and found that the operation of his data stream didn’t have any disruption, indicating that he could bear with his fatigue for a little while longer.
As he sat at the entrance of the cave, his eyes slowly swept across Dong Linhai, Wang Que, and Allen’s sleeping faces before turning to look outside. The sun hadn’t yet risen over the mountaintops, but the light was still dazzling on the snow.
Dong Zheng retracted his gaze. On Lin Hangzhi’s side, there were no movements. They were probably resting.
He closed his eyes and his consciousness sank back into his kernel world. But this time, he went to the center, where Arabidopsis was growing quietly.
Since Cui Zuojing’s first seal was lifted and he gradually began growing again, several clusters of flower buds at the top of Arabidopsis had bloomed one after another. The small, white flowers were not much larger than millet grains, and the small leaves with their thin stems were lifted and upturned.
The center was still entirely white, and the only thing inside was Dong Zheng and the little grass. Dong Zheng stared at the grass. It was unclear what he was thinking of, but his expression turned gentle.
He touched Arabidopsis with his fingertips, and his thoughts flowed into it.
Cui Zuojing opened his eyes.
He frowned in concern. Dong Zheng had just passed some information to him: While under the controlled by the parasitic insect, Allen tried to kill Dong Zheng?
The distance between them was too far for the prisoner link to allow them to communicate mentally like before. Only Cui Zuojing could unilaterally accept news from Dong Zheng.
Because of the blood contract and Dong Zheng’s kernel data, his message was three-dimensional. In short, Cui Zuojing could see what happened through Dong Zheng’s vision, as if he was looking at Dong Zheng’s memory.
After accepting everything that Dong Zheng wanted to tell him, Cui Zuojing took a deep breath, almost certain that Kether was also involved.
The situation was worse than he thought. If it was just J, he might be able to handle it. But if Kether, who represented the will of the box to a certain extent, also stepped in… It really meant walking on a tightrope every step of the way.
He must join Dong Zheng as soon as possible.
As Cui Zuojing was thinking, he looked at Lin Hangzhi, who was huddled in a stone shelter with his eyes closed. He slept deeply, with drool trickling from the corner of his mouth. In the end, he couldn’t bear to wake up the exhausted doctor.
Forget it. Let him rest for a while.
Three hours later, Dong Zheng woke up his three teammates one by one. Dong Linhai was still sleepy. He thought he was still at home and that his mother was calling for him to get up to go to school. He groaned and sleepily tried to wave Dong Zheng away.
“Linhai, don’t sleep.”
Huh? Why was his brother trying to wake him up today?
Dong Linhai forced his eyes to open a slit, and he saw the fully armed Dong Zheng. Behind him was the cave entrance with lights streaming in and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. Dong Linhai instantly became alert.
Yes, he was already dead.
Wang Que jerked up and looked around. Allen grabbed a handful of snow and slapped it on his face, forcing away his sleepiness.
“How do you feel?” Dong Zheng asked him.
“Fortunately, I just feel thirsty.” Allen took a few sips of natural ice water from the pot, and it was so cold that he quickly swallowed it into his stomach.
Victor said that after being infected by parasites, the host would be prone to thirst and would look for a water source. This is because water is a good breeding ground for the next generation of parasites. When the parasite reaches the water’s edge, it would control the host and make it go into the water so that it could reproduce.
Wang Que checked the parasite’s position inside Allen. Compared to when they first stopped to rest, the parasite had moved up five to six centimeters. As Victor had predicted, it was gradually approaching Allen’s brain.
There was no time to delay. Dong Zheng stood up and said, “Let’s go.”
Dong Linhai yawned. Seeing Dong Zheng’s bloodshot eyes, he wanted to say something but then shut his mouth.
There were still two days left before the box was due to end. His older brother shouldn’t stay awake all that time.
On the other side, Cui Zuojing and Lin Hangzhi had already set off.
They finally found the path the box had set up for them, and after walking some distances, they were delighted to find traces that Dong Zheng and the others had left behind.
As long as they keep walking in this direction, they would definitely catch up to them!
Cui Zuojing had added a lot of points to all his abilities. It wasn’t a problem for him to hurry. The only person slowing them down was Lin Hangzhi. For his part, Lin Hangzhi was worried about Allen’s safety and pushed himself to the best of his ability. Therefore, they moved forward at an amazing speed, managing to bypass two mountains in just a little more than half an hour.
There were a lot of insects along the way, but they didn’t care much because they were wearing protective suits.
Once the sun came out, the snow began to melt to a certain extent. The snow water couldn’t recondense quickly enough and ended up flowing down the mountainside, forming a stream the thickness of several fingers.
“Hey, I’m so tired. I don’t know how long it’ll take for us to reach the institute.” After walking for so long, Lin Hangzhi’s physical strength was getting exhausted. He slowed down his rapid breathing and stretched out his hand, wanting to rest on the rocky mountainside.
But, the hard surface didn’t come as expected. Instead, Lin Hangzhi’s palm sank into some soft and sticky biomass, quickly followed by half of his arm.
He was so scared that he immediately retracted his hand. Half of his arm was already covered in viscous pulp, and there were nearly a hundred purple larvae writhing and wriggling in it.
There was a large depression in the place where he had just pressed down. The insect nest that was disguised as a rock wall was nearly destroyed. The eggs and pupae stuck to the innermost side of the nest, and only a few managed to survive.
The adults were enraged at having their nest damaged. These insects quickly extended their strange, colored wings about the size of a thumb, and flew out of the nest in a swarm, heading straight for Lin Hangzhi!
The overwhelming number of them made his legs go weak.
He let out a girlish scream and ran, all the while slapping hard at the larva on his arm.
And Cui Zuojing, who had witnessed the whole thing, was stunned. He once again had a fairly intuitive understanding of Lin Hangzhi’s abilities. Who knew that he could burst an insect’s nest with just one hand?
Seeing that Lin Hangzhi’s back was about to disappear around the corner, Cui Zuojing let out a “Hey!” and quickly ran after him.