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“For what reason has the Prime Minister vanished without explanation? As of now, we remain uninformed,” replied an official, addressing the press with an air of detachment. The television screen featured a blue backdrop declaring ‘Press Conference,’ where officials offered responses that skated around the probing questions, leaving the journalists below to wear their disappointment plainly.
“Why wasn’t the public forewarned about the infectious outbreak?”
Li Ying stood up upon being recognised, her question cutting through the air like a knife.
The official furrowed his brows, mulling over an answer.
“The decision was made to avert mass hysteria. Please trust that the situation is under control.”
“And does this ‘control’ also cover the recent civilian shootings in Z City?”
The sharpness of the question seemed to take the official aback, pausing momentarily before responding.
“Yes, absolutely under control. Now, if we may move on to the next question,” he concluded, swiftly shifting focus.
“Yan Aoxue, will you wait for me in the mall? Once I ensure my parents are safe, I will return for you, okay?”
Lin Feng, burdened with bags, held Yan Aoxue’s hands. The mall around them stood eerily empty, a testament to the effective, albeit rapid, clearance by their powerful defense team. The scarcity of zombies, likely a perk of the upscale district, had facilitated the operation.
Behind them, an electric car with its hazard lights flashing offered a silent promise of efficiency. Its battery and tires had been modified for longevity and stealth by their resourceful group of engineering students. In these harrowing times, Lin Feng found a newfound appreciation for his own engineering studies.
“Okay, I’ll wait for you,” Yan Aoxue said simply, nodding to Lin Feng.
“It’s time to leave, Lin Feng. Night is approaching,” Liu Mengqi’s voice drifted from the vehicle’s front seat.
With a firm nod, Lin Feng replied, “Then I’m off,” embarking on his mission as dusk crept in.
Lin Feng walked to the car, casting a last look at the waving figures of the principal, Old Liu, Yan Aoxue, and a few female students.
“Feng, don’t worry about this small matter. We’ll fetch your parents and return in no time,” Song Zhe laughed heartily, patting Lin Feng on the back. His jovial mood betrayed his status as a clueless bachelor.
“Seems like our favorite cat is going to miss us, eh?” jeered a particularly sinister-sounding voice, as hands playfully shoved Lin Feng upon his entry into the vehicle.
“Alright, alright, I know, I know, Doc!” Lin Feng pushed back with a flush creeping onto his cheeks against the teasing nurse.
“Doc~,” Liu Mengqi called out from the front seat, looking back at the school nurse who was now hugging Lin Feng.
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“Oh, it’s just a hug, don’t be stingy” the doctor responded with a grin, dismissing the jealousy.
“It’s boiling in here!” Anna complained, squirming next to the boisterous doctor and Lin Feng, her gaze wandering from the large, teasing pair to her own slender chest.
“So, junior, which direction should we head?” Hao Jian asked from the driver’s seat. Regretfully, among those in the group, only he and the school doctor had passed, while Liu Mengqi, Lin Feng, and Song Zhe had to stop due to the cataclysm. Lin Feng secretly felt fortunate; he had failed the reverse parking section of the driving test three times, and feared a fourth attempt might lead to another failure.
As for learning to drive—that was a plan for another day.
“Let’s head down the river road; it’s more spacious,” Lin Feng decided, examining the map. The route along E City’s river was broad and mostly used for leaving the city. It was an ideal choice to check the condition of the destroyed bridge and to determine if there was still a chance to reach the civilized world on the other side.
“Alright, everyone strapped in? Let’s go.”