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In the office building, food was scarce, limited to the modest snacks that employees usually nibbled on. After an hour of searching and replenishing, Lin Feng finally satiated his hunger and thirst. It was then, by chance, near a shelf, he discovered the tiger pliers. With this tool in hand, he returned to the rooftop and unlocked the massive padlock there.
Afterwards, Lin Feng went back to the terrace.
“It’s cold here, Hao Jian, you should go back,” Lin Feng suggested, looking at Hao Jian who had been following him. Lin Feng planned to spend more time observing the quarantine station. His initial intention was to gauge the number of guards and sentries, but the absence of anyone made the station seem even more eerie.
For safety’s sake, Lin Feng decided to spend the afternoon on the rooftop, carefully monitoring the area’s unusual activity.
“No need, junior,” Hao Jian replied, casually dismissing the suggestion. “I’m idle anyway. Might as well stay here and chat with you. It’s boring sitting alone in the car.”
Hao Jian picked up the binoculars Lin Feng had set down and looked towards the quarantine station.
“Junior, there’s someone there!”
Lin Feng took the binoculars Hao Jian handed him. Through the lens, he saw a woman with her son approaching the quarantine station. They stopped at the towering iron gate, the mother speaking softly to her son.
Soon after, a slovenly man in military uniform emerged from the building, his swaggering gait not befitting a disciplined soldier.
“Something’s off, that’s not a regular soldier,” Lin Feng muttered, his concern for the mother and child growing. Yet, remembering the doctor’s words, he tried to suppress his unease.
He couldn’t save everyone in this apocalyptic world.
Feeling a breath on his face, Lin Feng turned to look at Hao Jian, who wore a curious expression, obviously intrigued by the events unfolding at the quarantine station.
Lin Feng split the binoculars, handing one half to Hao Jian.
The man in uniform approached the mother and son, examining them closely before opening the gate. He scrutinized the boy, pinching his arms, then muttered something disdainful.
After a brief exchange, during which the mother and son shook their heads, the soldier berated them loudly. Dejected, they turned and walked back the way they had come.
Both Lin Feng and Hao Jian were puzzled. Wasn’t the quarantine station supposed to help civilians? The soldier’s dismissive demeanor, though they couldn’t hear the exact words, seemed full of contempt.
After the mother and son had left, the soldier spat on the ground and pulled out a small bottle of baijiu, taking a swig and cursing as he walked back into the station.
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Only Lin Feng and Hao Jian remained on the rooftop, exchanging bewildered looks.
“Did you eat something greasy just now?” Lin Feng asked, pulling out a pack of tissues and handing it to Hao Jian.
Hao Jian, taken aback by the close proximity, blushed slightly before crawling to the side and accepting the tissues to wipe his mouth.
“Maybe,” he mused, then turned to Lin Feng, who was deep in thought. “What do you make of what just happened?”
As Hao Jian wiped his mouth, he looked up at Lin Feng, who wore an expression of deep contemplation.
“How do I see it? Well, either the military’s higher-ups sent a few rotten eggs to guard the place half-heartedly, without any real intention of rescuing us, or…”
Lin Feng trailed off, feeling a sense of discord. The soldiers he had seen shooting the blonde man were far more orderly and disciplined than the slovenly figure they had just observed.
Could it be that different military factions were involved, one guarding the station and another executing orders to kill civilians?