Without the disturbance of aquatic zombie beasts, the entire voyage was very smooth. Everyone managed to reach the shore before nightfall, which was far less time spent compared to their previous sail to Haicheng.
However, after mooring, everyone had to face another separation. At the same time arose a question of whether Wei Hanming, Bai Yue, and the other scientists wanted to go to the Capital Base or the WuYi Base.
In terms of distance, WuYi Base was undoubtedly the closest to here, but in terms of scientific-research environment, the Capital Base had long been preparing for experimental studies, and almost all the latest equipment was concentrated there. Their research conditions were far better than those of WuYi Base.
Compared to a superior scientific-research environment, WuYi Base’s advantage in distance was completely incomparable. Therefore, from the very beginning, Nie Xiao, Wu Qingfeng, and the others had taken it as a matter of course that Wei Hanming and his fellow scientists should go to the Capital Base, and they had never taken other arrangements into consideration.
However, now that they were confronted with the real time of parting, Bai Yue, the most critical and central figure, took the initiative to show his hesitation and caused a wide divergence in everyone’s initially prepared plan.
Seeing the sky dimming, everyone simply postponed the journey. They then stayed on the coast to rest and entered the big villa Xiao WuYi released, preparing to spend the night slowly discussing the issue of going or staying.
Inside the villa surrounded by a metal fence, everyone gathered in the living room.
Bai Yue stubbornly gazed at everyone, repeatedly emphasizing his wishes and resolutely saying, “I just want to be together with my brother now.”
It was rare for Bai Yue to show such an obstinate and headache-inducing little temper, but with his only blood relative present, everyone felt it was pardonable.
To be honest, even Luo Yunhai didn’t want to be separated from Bai Mei. It would be best if Bai Mei would agree to go to the Capital Base with them.
However, contrary to expectations, Bai Mei was unwilling.
Being stared at expectantly by his younger brother and Luo Yunhai, Bai Mei suddenly fell into a dilemma. Recalling the order the man in black had given him to collect ability cores, he simply couldn’t rashly leave Nie Xiao’s team at present…
Plus, out of selfishness, Bai Mei hoped that Bai Yue and Luo Yunhai could stay far away from him because the closer they were to him, the less it was something to be happy about. If the man in black noticed Bai Yue’s healing-ability core, everything would only become more dangerous.
Bai Mei suppressed these thoughts in his heart and looked at his younger brother with reluctance, then also swept a glance towards Luo Yunhai beside him. With a rare stern face and a slight frown, he said, “Little Yue, don’t make a fuss. Follow Major General Wu and his group, and go to the capital. You’re already a grown-up!”
“No, you have to go with us! I don’t want to be separated from you now. I’m only sixteen years old, so you have to be my guardian!” Bai Yue was resistant and unwilling as he said this. Before the apocalypse, this genius teenager was able to rush to Haicheng alone to participate in a scientific research conference, but at this moment, he started playing rascal and acting spoiled with a stubborn face.
Facing Bai Mei’s unreasonable veto, Bai Yue couldn’t help but raise his eyes to look at his brother. He was a little worried. He seemed to have keenly perceived something and couldn’t help but grab his brother’s hand and ask with deep concern, “Brother, are you hiding something from us? What are you struggling with? Why aren’t you willing to go to the Capital Base with me?”
Ning Feng and the others were also puzzled. Their brows were slightly furrowed as they looked at Bai Mei and couldn’t help but persuade him, “Why don’t you just agree to go with Bai Yue?! You two brothers would be better off staying together!”
“I…” Bai Mei, who was the focus of everyone’s gazes, didn’t know how to answer. His lips suddenly began to turn pale, and fine beads of sweat appeared on his forehead due to nervousness.
At this time, no matter what excuses he made, these reasons would pale and be lacking in strength. As far as familial affection was concerned, Bai Yue should obviously be more important than anything else. At the same time, WuYi Base wasn’t indispensable to him. What reason did he have to refuse to go? What excuse was there to hesitate?!
For a while, Bai Mei only felt like a blade was hung behind him; he rode a tiger, and now, he couldn’t get off. His hands began to tremble slightly, and it felt as if his throat were blocked by something.
Bai Yue grasped his elder brother’s slightly trembling hands and only felt shocking coldness. He became even more worried. “Brother? What’s wrong with you? Say something.”
On the side, Nie Xiao and Jiang Qiu were watching Bai Mei’s nervous appearance that clearly showed he was hiding something, their eyes full of probing and scrutiny. They had noticed that something was wrong with Bai Mei early on, but had never opened the topic and asked.
Now that the younger brother Bai Yue was here, Jiang Qiu finally couldn’t hold back his words. He had long wanted to ask and get to the bottom of the matter.
“Bai Mei, in fact, Nie Xiao and I found something wrong with you long ago, but because you haven’t done anything excessive since then, we didn’t directly expose you nor interrogate you. Now that your brother’s here, can you explain what you’re hiding?”
Jiang Qiu coldly asked while looking straight at Bai Mei, “Whom did you meet when you sneaked away that one night?”
Hearing this, Bai Yue’s face immediately became as pale as paper, drained of blood. As his line of sight flicked across the faces of everyone present, cold sweat ran down like rain, and his white lips pursed tightly. Just like a weak and helpless small beast in dire straits forced into a corner, he involuntarily stepped back.
During the day, he had been praying that such days would continue; never had he expected that when night arrived, this tranquil facade would be thoroughly ripped apart.
Under everyone’s curious and inquisitive gazes, Bai Mei finally collapsed. His feeble voice was panicked and shaking, and he couldn’t hide it.
“You… Don’t ask me anymore!!!”
After saying that, Bai Mei shut himself in his room as if fleeing and hastily locked the door. Then his body, seemingly emptied of strength, slid down the door until he was slumping on the ground, trembling all over. He held his head in both hands, burst into tears, and wept silently.
Bai Mei’s uncharacteristically stressed state was out of everyone’s expectations. Luo Yunhai had never seen such a miserable Bai Mei. His heart felt as if it was stabbed twice, and he was the first to react. He moved two steps faster than Bai Yue, rushing to the door and slamming on it. Together with Bai Yue, he worriedly and anxiously called Bai Mei’s name.
Ning Feng looked at everyone in the room, somewhat at a loss. He couldn’t help licking his dry lips. He really couldn’t figure out how things had developed into this chaos.
“What the hell is going on… Suddenly, this…”
Nie Xiao and Jiang Qiu looked in the direction of the room and pursed their lips in silence. Although it was undeniable that Bai Mei had changed during this period of time, the secret he was hiding was still an invisible bomb that couldn’t be ignored.
Wu Qingfeng still didn’t understand what was going on. Sensing the heavy atmosphere post-quarrel, he forced a smile and mediated a compromise. “Since he doesn’t want to go to the capital, then he won’t go. We will all follow you to WuYi Base, and then we can just talk to those in the capital over there. Speaking of which, Sislow’s special sound waves, Dr. Wei and the others haven’t tested and simulated it yet!”
“Then that’s settled,” Nie Xiao interrupted in a cold voice and walked towards the room where Bai Mei was located, planning to take advantage of today to clear up everything.
However, at that time, a loud noise accompanied by the sound of glass breaking reached everyone’s ears.
Dr. Wei Hanming’s psychic ability covered the entire villa, and he instantly shouted with urgency, “Not good; Bai Mei, he has breached the wall and run out by himself!!!!”
Hearing this, Luo Yunhai turned around and rushed out without a second thought. The others’ faces successively became ugly and uneasy. Everyone was quickly divided into two groups. One group remained in the villa to protect Dr. Wei and the others, while the rest chased after Bai Mei and Luo Yunhai and ran out in the direction they had taken.
No one had imagined that Bai Mei’s reaction would be so intense to the point that he was so afraid that he would suddenly flee. This secret was obviously something unusual.
The little hamster, who was poking his head out of Nie Xiao’s pocket to scout the area, very anxiously shouted ‘chi chi’ as he stretched out his claws to show Nie Xiao the direction.
“Daddy, I heard them over there!!!”
At this time, the sky was already completely dark, and the dark environment made the zombies outside extremely active. Under the moonlight, the walking corpses wandering around the street looked particularly horrible and terrifying as their hollow eyes glowed with a strange light.
Luo Yunhai closely followed Bai Mei’s pace, but the road ahead was obstructed by the surrounding zombies. Even if he quickly filled the whole sky with yellow sand and submerged the zombies, he would still very soon lag behind Bai Mei more and more.
“Bai Mei, don’t run away; it’s too dangerous at night!!!
“Listen to me. Come back!!!”
Luo Yunhai couldn’t help shouting at Bai Mei, but it only attracted more zombies, which continuously blocked his path forward. At that moment, Luo Yunhai coincidentally discovered a startling fact that was quite obvious and easy to see—
—All the surrounding zombies were not attacking Bai Mei.
Even if zombies wandering along the street brushed past Bai Mei, they turned a blind eye and showed no aggressive behavior.
But at this time, Luo Yunhai didn’t even bother to think about this astonishing discovery. He tried his best to kill the zombies surrounding him and chased after Bai Mei. With this sense of urgency, he unexpectedly awakened in the next second, and his ability broke through the second level. Luo Yunhai didn’t hesitate to transform himself into a wisp of yellow sand, bypassing the zombies, and continued pursuing quickly through the ground.
Bai Mei seemed to have stopped running and took a few steps back in a panic. Then, he saw a human sculpture made of yellow sand emerge from the ground in front of him. The sand peeled off little by little from the top, revealing Luo Yunhai’s appearance.
Under the soft and bright moonlight, the smile on Luo Yunhai’s face seemed to be brimming with endless tenderness and indulgence. The love in his eyes couldn’t be concealed at all.
“Don’t run away. Why don’t we go back and slowly talk about it? Everyone will not hurt you!”
Luo Yunhai stood in Bai Mei’s path while stepping closer towards Bai Mei. The zombies encircled the two of them, hemming them in layer upon layer without launching any attacks.
However, Luo Yunhai, who was faced with such a weird phenomenon, looked as if nothing were happening around him.
He stretched out his warm and magnanimous hand over to Bai Mei.
Bai Mei looked down at Luo Yunhai’s big hand stretched out towards him, cheeks streaming with tears since long ago. He held his head in panic and helplessly drew back while screaming at Luo Yunhai, “Go away! Don’t come over!!!”
“Believe it or not, I’ll dig out your ability core!” Bai Mei distressingly threatened in a wail. What his identity was, it was already evident and clear for all eyes to see.
“You won’t.” Luo Yunhai continued to approach with firm footsteps and ultimately reached out his hand to directly take Bai Mei into his embrace. He gently patted Bai Mei’s back. “Don’t cry. You’re beautiful when you smile.”
“Go away! I’m ugly….” Bai Mei couldn’t control his emotions as he cried out. The medicine he’d taken seemed to be gradually losing its effectiveness. The skin on his face lost its luster, and two unhuman fangs eventually grew out.
Bai Mei perceived his own change, and he immediately sobbed as he frantically covered his face with his hands. He didn’t want Luo Yunhai to see his awful appearance that wasn’t human or ghostlike. He cried and pushed Luo Yunhai’s chest away. “Go away; don’t look at me. Scram!!!”
Luo Yunhai looked at Bai Mei’s current appearance without the slightest fear. Seeing Bai Mei crying made his heart feel sour and distressed. His warm hand grasped Bai Mei’s cold ones, and another hand gently stroked the other’s tear-streaked cheek. Then he uttered the feelings he had been pressing down at the bottom of his heart.
“You aren’t ugly at all. You are the best-looking person I have ever seen and also the loveliest zombie I have ever seen. I even fell in love with you at first sight back then.”
Hearing this, Bai Mei covered his face and burst into even more tears on the spot, akin to a bawling child, so unlike his previous mild and graceful demeanor. But, in Luo Yunhai’s eyes, it was exceptionally charming.
The surrounding zombies all seemed to have been subjected to an immobilization technique. Beneath the moonlight, only Bai Mei’s sobs and Luo Yunhai’s gentle words of comfort could be heard.
When Nie Xiao, carrying the little hamster, arrived with everybody in a hurry, they were greeted by the scene before them, stunning them on the spot, from which they weren’t able to recover for a long time. This secret was too shocking, but also too painful.
At that moment, everyone understood the reason why Bai Mei had broken down and escaped. It also seemed that they were able to feel the torment and struggle the other party suffered by staying beside them for so many days. Xiao Yan couldn’t help but cover her mouth, her eyes emotionally flushing.
The little hamster blinked, and a string of teardrops uncontrollably fell down, dampening his soft fur.
No one had ever thought that the gentle and graceful Bai Mei, who had gotten along with them all this time, would be a zombie.