“Put down the gun.” Zhou Rong emphasised every word, his rifle pointing at Feng Wentai.
Lu Hui was bleeding like a pig, rolling about on the floor in pain. As for the other three special force soldiers, they each had a machine gun locked onto one bodyguard each. The safety of every gun was off, and each had their finger on the trigger.
“I’m going to count to three. Put the guns down, and no one will die.” Zhou Rong’s eyes swept past the faces of the bodyguards, and he spoke slowly. “However, if someone shoots first, you’re all going to die. I guarantee that you’ll end up like paste.”
Before he could say three, a bodyguard all the way in front trembled as he put his gun down to the ground.
The small little handgun, when compared with the machine guns that could shoot 900 rounds per minute, felt way less significant. There was not even a need to mention the bulkiness of the gun, how it was nearly half the height of a human. That colossal lethality was extremely oppressive.
When one took the lead, others would follow. The other two bodyguards too surrendered, placing the guns at their feet with trembling hands.
Zhou Rong said, “Kick them over.”
The three people all kicked their guns into the central area. Zhou Rong shot a look towards his back. “Chuncao.”
The girl placed the machine gun on her shoulder before walking forward to retrieve the handguns. She then unloaded the magazines into the pocket of her uniform.
The tense and explosive atmosphere had finally vanished. The men in the corridor, in great trepidation, opened the doors, and the women too looked outwards, observing the situation out there nervously.
Guo Weixiang’s and Ding Shi’s guns were still pointed at the Feng group. However, Zhou Rong had let go of his rifle, raising both his hands up high. He turned towards the ordinary citizens, his frosty gaze sweeping past every fearful face.
“Tomorrow,” He spoke, his voice carrying out across the space. “We’ll leave the factory and lead everyone down south, to the main shelter in Nanhai.”
“Before the catastrophe, we, Squad 6 of Unit 118 came from B Military Zone to T City for a covert operation. Due to the mission objectives, we were all injected with a drug to control our pheromones. After the catastrophe, we’ve been leading everyone up north in our escape, and there was no chance and no need to explain our origin to everyone, until today.”
“However, what I hope everyone would understand is, we will treat everyone in this group equally, whether you’re male, female, old or young... After the catastrophe happened, laws and regulations no longer exist, and we have now descended into a dark society where it’s now the law of the jungle. However, in this group where there’s less than forty of us, we’ll still uphold all the laws, duties and rights of human society here.”
“During the journey to the south, we will meet even more survivors: male, female, old and young, the weak and disabled. There will be Alphas, and there may even be Omegas.” Zhou Rong paused slightly, “But no matter how much more the group expands, we will still have the same standpoint, which is to provide mutual protection, help, support, and let the spark of our survival continue.”
He looked at the varied expressions in front of him, then pointed at the machine guns Guo Wei Xiang and the rest were carrying. “These guns are here to protect you. Their muzzles will always point outwards, and may everyone please bear witness to this.”
There was a long silence, and no one spoke.
Finally, someone started clapping.
The survivors all started responding. They all applauded, and the applause only got louder.
Zhou Rong bowed his head, acknowledging the ground. He quietly instructed Chuncao, “Ask Dr. Zheng to come over and take a look at those two bodyguards. We don’t want them to actually die.”
He was referring to Wan Bin and Lu Hui. Chuncao responded, “Mn.”
The Wan fellow was still sprawled on the ground, nearly bleeding dry — if he was not an Alpha, he would probably have died from blood loss already. That scene was truly impactful, and even Zhou Rong, who had been in all sorts of situations, had a bit of twitching in his eyes.
He could see the differences in the knife wounds on Wan Bin’s body: they were mostly not wounds received in a fight.
Those were wounds left deliberately, painfully and torturously.
Si Nan was standing far away in a corner. His lips were pressed tightly together. His dagger was in his hand, hanging by his side.
Zhou Rong met his eyes, and a strange feeling suddenly welled up within him. Words suddenly appeared in his mind, “The target is potentially anti-social, and is very destructive. He has committed several first-degree murders...”
“... and is very cold blooded and his actions are hard to predict. Don’t attempt to use any sort of stimulus to restore his sanity...”
Zhou Rong gave a very slight start.
“Captain Zhou,” Dr. Zheng hurriedly came forward.
Zhou Rong turned his head only to see that Dr. Zheng’s expression looked rather awful. His forehead was covered with sweat, and he whispered, “That pregnant lady Wang Wen... She was alarmed by the gunshot, and she’s going into premature labour...
According to Zhou Rong himself, when he was young, he was scared of nothing. He would crash through all obstacles, and he had a fearlessness such that he could even carry a time bomb and detonate it amongst terrorists. If not because of being forced to become more sedate in his later life due to work requirements, he could even have fucked a hole out of the sky.
But he had never seen a pregnant woman gone through a difficult labour before.
Zhou Rong quickly got people to tie up Feng Wentai and his unlucky bodyguards, then shoved them into the garage behind and locked them there. Wringing his hands, he then headed up to the dorms. It was a mess, and a few older women were surrounding the bed. Wang Wen’s hair was extremely dishevelled, and she was groaning lightly.
“Isn’t she supposed to be screaming in agony?” Zhou Rong was perplexed. “Don’t you need hot water, scissors and cloth, and shout at her to push?”
Dr. Zheng’s response was rather blunt. “Captain Zhou, you’ve watched too much TV. Her current situation is very dangerous, quick, get some people to boil some water to disinfect the bandages. Maintain the lighting, maintain the temperature in the room... Hurry, quick, go! She’s already going through more frequent contractions!”
“...” Zhou Rong was abashed. “I’ve really only watched <The Grand Mansion Gate> before.”
Zhou Rong quickly got people to prepare the needed items, boiling water and disinfecting them, and carried an electric heater and a diesel generator as well. D. Zheng was not an obstetrician, and faced with an early labour, he was also not very experienced in many of the procedures. The women then each interjected with their own labour experience, encouraging and cheering on Wang Wen. Some even ran to the kitchen, preparing soup for her to drink after the birth.
All the survivors had been mobilised. Even the males who were standing on guard like night duty cops were all eager, anxiously discussing the matter. It felt as though that this new life that was about to be born in the dark winter night carried along with it a hope that was both subtle and remote.
“You can do it, you can!” Dr. Zheng was all sweaty. He raised a hand, pointing at someone. “More light, make sure there’s enough light!”
Zhou Rong quietly took a few steps away the group. He looked around and frowned, “Where’s Si Nan?”
Out of nowhere, Guo Weixiang felt as though he had suddenly turned into a father, and was expected to know where his child was. Tiptoe-ing, he looked up and down the corridor, then spoke unconcernedly, “He’s probably back in his room.”
“I’ll go take a look.” After tossing his words at him, Zhou Rong left them.
The door to his room was tightly shut. Zhou Rong knocked a couple of times. “Comrade Xiao Si?”
No response came from within.
Zhou Rong had all keys to the single rooms in the dormitory. After a bout of hesitation, he unlocked the door and entered.
Si Nan was lying on his side in the single bed. The moonlight shone through the windows, casting a cold gleam on his back.
He was asleep.
Due to his position, his head was tucked slightly into his body, his long neck extending into his collar. The arc of his slender waist created a deep, curved shadow.
That curve had an unspeakable seduction to it, drawing people’s eyes all the way down. However, the rest of it was hidden under the blanket.
Zhou Rong stood by the bed. As though possessed, he lifted his hand, but held it up in midair.
He only needed to let his hand fall a few inches, and he would be able to feel the narrowest part of that waist. Through the thin layer of clothes, he could then feel that heat burning deep within.
“...” Si Nan suddenly moved, as though he was a little uncomfortable, rubbing slightly against the bed.
He curled up towards the further edge of the pillow, and because of his movement, his cheek was revealed under the moonlight. It was a little flushed, and his brows were knitted. The tip of his nose was beaded with sweat, and Zhou Rong could not help but freeze slightly.
Si Nan exhaled, the sound trembling a little. He seemed to be trapped in some confusing dream. He then flipped over, and because of the way his neck was stretched, his collar fell, exposing his collarbone clearly.
Zhou Rong’s eyes could not resist following the lines, only to discover that his skin was a little red. He reached out and touched his forehead, and found that Si Nan’s temperature was extremely high.
Was he having a fever?
“Si Nan?” Zhou Rong called him softly.
Zhou Rong’s throat tightened, swallowing heavily. His action was as though he was forcing some sort of strange feeling down. Lifting up Si Nan’s upper part of his body, he patted his face lightly. “Wake up! You’ve fallen sick, get up and take some medicine!”
However, the usually vigilant Si Nan was now in a muddled state. A moment later, he opened his eyes blearily, and closed them again.
Zhou Rong leaned closer to his mouth, only to feel Si Nan starting to struggle. Si Nan spoke hoarsely, “Go away...!”
His movements were surprisingly violent, and he even managed to actually struggle out of Zhou Rong’s arms. Curling under the blanket, he twisted himself into a ball.
Because of his struggling, his shirt rode up his back, revealing an expanse of smooth, fair skin, and the bones of his back was visible. Zhou Rong could not endure seeing this. He shut his eyes, taking a deep breath before he finally managed to force himself to speak strictly. “What temper are you throwing?! Get up and take some medicine!”
“... Go away!”
Zhou Rong grabbed his heated shoulder, forcing Si Nan to turn around and face him, but discovered that something was wrong.
— Si Nan’s lips that were usually tightly closed were now bright red. They even shone wetly, and through his teeth, hoarse breathing could be heard. They sounded like very subtle moans.
A possibility suddenly appeared in Zhou Rong’s head.
A very small percentage of Betas, who were extremely sensitive to pheromones, would exhibit short periods of signs as though they were in heat when faced with intense stimulation of pheromones from either Alphas or Omegas. This sort of false heats were usually very easy to handle. If the person stopped being stimulated by pheromones, he would gradually calm down.
Si Nan’s averseness towards Alpha pheromones was very extreme, if he had been thrown into a false heat...
Unknown to himself, Zhou Rong’s breathing got heavier, and his heart pounded faster and faster. He did not realise that his fingers on Si Nan’s shoulder had already sunk into his flesh, and how much strength he was using. If Si Nan’s shirt was to be removed, red fingerprints would definitely be visible right at those spots.
As for that thin piece of material, it seemed to be unable to conceal anything. In the rapidly rising temperature, its ability to cover the body seemed to even gradually vanish.
“Why?” Zhou Rong asked in a low voice. “You’re already so old, and yet you’re still so shy?”
He lifted his hand, seemingly wanting to touch Si Nan’s sweaty forehead, only for the latter to abruptly catch his wrist.
Zhou Rong looked at his reddened eyes. Their eyes met, and neither spoke a word.
A moment later, Zhou Rong finally could not help but lower his head. His lips were almost plastered to Si Nan’s ear, “Hmm, so what exactly do you want? Come, tell me.”
Si Nan still continued grabbing his wrist. He did not let him go, but he did not push him away too.
With careful observation, it could be seen that Si Nan’s lower jaw had completely tensed up. He was gritting his teeth, unwilling to relax even a single bit.
Zhou Rong knew that he should leave now. If he did not come in, this false heat would have came and went in Si Nan’s sleep. When he woke up the next morning, he would not even have been too aware of what he had experienced.
But Zhou Rong was now here.
Pheromones that were stronger than those that belonged to ordinary Alphas continuously surrounded Si Nan. That disturbance was almost tyrannical and malicious. Towards this alluring body that was descending into an abyss, the pheromones pushed him even further down.
Zhou Rong shifted about in his half-kneeling position by the bed. The swelling in his trousers also started to make him a little uncomfortable. When he spoke again, his voice was extremely husky. “Do you want me to leave?”
Si Nan’s lips opened slightly. His breathing was damp, extremely moist, but he still refused to speak.
Zhou Rong looked into his eyes, smiling slightly.
“Hmm? Si Xiaonan?”
Si Nan’s hand was still gripping onto him tightly, trembling non-stop. A long period of time seemed to have passed before he seemed to suddenly give in, and his fingers relaxed a little.
“—Rong-ge!” Pounding steps could be heard from outside the door, then Guo Weixiang’s voice was heard. “Rong-ge, are you here? Something happened!”
Zhou Rong jerked his head around, asking darkly, “What happened?”
“Where are you?! It’s a disaster!”
Guo Weixiang panted, his voice even shaking slightly. “Feng Wentai has stolen the bus and crashed through the chain fence. He’s about to escape up north!”
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