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Song Zhe’s ability merely enhanced his strength, but it was undeniably preferable to having no special powers at all.
Lin Feng made a notable observation through their recent escapades: the more extensive one’s mutations, the quicker and stronger their mastery over new abilities seemed to be. His assimilation of powers, expedited by his developed tail and ears, was notably quicker than Song Zhe, whose only mutation was enhanced physical strength. Froggy, having undergone a full-body transformation, adapted even more swiftly during their adventure in the teaching building.
Moreover, the spiders, conspicuously restructured and modified, were further proof of his theory. While Lin Feng couldn’t accurately gauge the levels of the mutated peach blossom creatures, he suspected they were not to be underestimated. Evaluating mutations within plants remained an elusive challenge for the time being.
“Lin Feng, when can we go home?” Liu Mengqi’s voice, softened with melancholy, whispered through the air as she seated herself beside him, her gaze reflecting a subtle, deep-seated longing.
Time seemed to lose its essence as countless days and nights blurred since the onset of the outbreak. Watching Lin Feng, her childhood friend, depart time and again with a spirit seemingly unbroken, only to return bearing fresh scars each time, ached within Liu Mengqi. An inexplicable yearning for her parents, for the warmth of home, simmered quietly in her heart.
His response came gentle yet distant, “Now isn’t the time… home feels so far away.” The mere mention of ‘home’ casting a shadow, however slight, across his typically cute demeanor.
This wasn’t merely an epidemic; it was a catastrophic disaster on a chilling scale. Lin Feng had no knowledge about the potential number of beings like the so-called Spider Queen lurking outside the school. If the Spider Queen was born from a mere university student, but about the outside world then?
Beyond the school gates lay a motley array of individuals from various backgrounds. With so many harboring grievances against society and life, amidst this power-ridden pandemic, who could sustain their sanity, and how could humanity possibly coalesce?
Weeks had quietly ebbed away since Lin Feng last heard from his parents. His neighbors, always radiating a gentle warmth and kindness, surely couldn’t harbor malevolent intentions – he tried to reassure himself. Silently wrestling with his burgeoning anxiety, he sat up, attempting to strike a precarious balance between worry and hope.
Liu Mengqi, responsive and supportive, hastened to help him to his feet.
“Mengqi, we’ll be leaving the school before long. Given the current state of things, the principal must realize it’s inevitable we have to go,” Lin Feng offered gently.
“Mm-hmm~ When it’s time, we’ll head home,” she replied, her voice a soft murmur. One hand found its way atop Lin Feng’s, while the other began to gently caress his fluffy tail.
“Hey, could you not pet me while we’re having a serious talk?” Lin Feng asked, a note of gentle exasperation in his voice. He lightly brushed Liu Mengqi’s playful hand away, even as her expression flickered back to her usual cheerful lightness.
“Aw, don’t be like that,” she chided gently. “Besides, after your run-in with that spider creature, you’re all ruffled up. Let me help you smooth things out a bit, okay?”
“No, it’s alright. I’ll grab some good shampoo and wash it myself next time I go out,” Lin Feng countered, deftly flipping his tail away and regarding Liu Mengqi’s paw with a measure of disdain. His fur, wrinkled from being petted, left him feeling a tad uncomfortable.
“Take me with you,” murmured a near-silent plea from Anna.
Lin Feng paused, staring in surprise at Anna, who had spoken.
“I said, take me with you!! Hmph!” With a huff, Anna turned away, her face hidden in the blanket, muting any further communication.
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After a beat of contemplation, Lin Feng discerned Anna’s meaning. She likely wished to be included when he eventually decided to head home. Recalling that Anna’s parents were overseas, she was indeed somewhat alone in the country.
Furthermore, notwithstanding the aspect of forsaking friendship, Anna, petite as she was, surprisingly possessed outstanding combat abilities. Lin Feng found himself curious about how this little one could achieve such a high level of prowess.
Considering Anna’s personality, Lin Feng, hand on his chin, deliberated.
“Hmm?” A muffled sound came from the depths of the blanket.
“How about we visit my place sometime? There’s a really delightful candy shop nearby, you know?”