War Truck in the Apocalypse

Chapter 60: Mature Ant Larvae Enters the Pupal Stage
Chapter 60: Mature Ant Larvae Enters the Pupal Stage

Old Lee sighed and pulled Ma Laoshan away. "Shan, it's fine. This friend definitely has his reasons to come to me."

Once he was done talking, he moved in front of Titan and asked, "My young friend, why did you ask for me?"

He could tell that Shen Cong was not old.

"Enter through the back." Shen Cong shut the sunroof and walked into the truck compartment before he slid the armor open.

When Old Lee entered the truck, Shen Cong immediately shut the armor and shouted outside. "Scatter! Don't surround the area!"

The survivors were more or less numb to their surroundings. When they heard his words, they did not insist on staying but slowly returned to their lives. Only Ma Laoshan remained guarding the area and did not leave.

Shen Cong was silent for a long time in the truck before he suddenly said, "You're Old Lee, right? I've observed you for a long time."

That one sentence was enough to shock Old Lee so much that he was stunned.

"My young friend, you know me?" Then, Old Lee observed Shen Cong's Drastically Modified Battle Armor and seemed to remember something. "You're… the evolved human Youhai mentioned?"

When Shen Cong spoke, he did not answer Old Lee's question. "How many survivors do you have here?"

Old Lee took his cue from Shen Cong's actions. When he saw that Shen Cong did not have any intentions to explain himself, he answered, "Lishui Bay Housing Estate has around fifty people. This is a temporary spot when we come to scavenge for items. There is no water here, so we can't stay for long."

"You have a scavenging team?"

"Ah… yes, we have seven people. We usually scavenge for items together. The world outside is very dangerous. It's impossible if we don't work together."

"Tell me the situation in Chengnan."

*****

Old Lee told Shen Cong the situation in Chengnan in detail in the cubicle at the end of the truck compartment. It was basically the same as what Zhang Youhai had told the other day. The only difference was that certain things had happened over this period of time.

The first was, of course, the drought. Water in Chengnan started becoming scarce, and many of the survivors had to buy freshwater from Wang Gen, who occupied Yuxi River. The drought also caused the half-orcs, evolved beasts, and evolved fish to reduce in number. Many of the survivors started to go to areas they previously did not dare to go and start scavenging there.

Old Lee and his group searched for goods in Sansheng Village. There were originally a lot of half-orcs there after they were chased out of Chengnan. Now, however, they had all left. They might have gone to areas further away that had freshwater.

Due to the drought, quite a number of survivors in Chengnan died. The high heat posed a huge threat to survivors who were malnourished and did not mutate.

The second difference was that Dragon Slayers attacked Wang Gen again. Both sides lost quite a number of subordinates, and the second-in-command of Dragon Slayers, Wu Wenjun was shot, but he did not die. He was just injured.

When Leader of the Secret Organisation learned that Wu Wenjun was injured, he led his people to ambush Dragon Slayers, and both sides lost a number of subordinates again.

The three factions of power in Chengnan had set up a situation where all three of them stood opposite each other. Dragon Slayers were focused on taking down Chengnan, where Wang Gen was. As for the Secret Organization, it just wanted to kill Dragon Slayers, and Wang Gen wanted to be the sole occupant of Chengnan and Yuxi River.

'My arrival seems to have broken the order in Chengnan…' Shen Cong's thoughts began to wander as he thought about more possibilities as well as who might want to harm him.

He knew his strengths and weaknesses. He was not someone who could act at ease in a complicated situation, plan ahead of others, and have others dance in his palm.

All his considerations circled round ensuring his own safety. He would rather wander in the wilderness alone and not be involved in any scheme of the people in the city.

But for the sake of resources, he had to enter the city. In the end, he was not able to completely isolate himself from the world.

After a moment, Shen Cong asked another question, "Old Lee, are the scavengers having a hard time living?"

"A hard time living? I don't think we can use that to describe our lives scavenging for goods to survive anymore. Sometimes, we have to risk our lives, and we don't know when this way of life will come to an end," Old Lee said with a sigh.

"Do you think Dragon Slayers have diesel or gas?"

"Hmm?" Old Lee could not quite catch up to Shen Cong's random thoughts. After being stunned for a moment, he answered, "They should have. Last time, we searched through some basements. The cars there were rusted, but the engines and gas tanks were not broken. They survived in a rather good condition. We used quite a lot of the gas there to light a fire at that time."

"Do you still have any?"

"No. We handed over all of it as tax."

"You said that the cars were rusted?"

Old Lee nodded. "Yes. Logically speaking, the basements should not have been affected by the disaster, but when we searched through the basements, the cars looked as if they had been rusting there for a few years. And it's not just the cars. A lot of metal items were rusted really badly."

"Why does Wang Dong and his group have three motorcycles? They're not ironfolk."

"They built those motorcycles themselves. When they reached Chengnan, I saw their motorcycles. They were covered in rust, and it's clear that the parts are not from one set. Later, they sprayed camouflage paint on their motorcycles, and no one can tell anymore."

Shen Cong took his words with a grain of salt. Finding rusted cars and other equipment on the ground was believable, but the cars in basements rusting as well? That did not make sense. The apocalyptic storm only raged for a month. Shen Cong also had some resources that were made of metal, but they had not rusted.

"Why were those metals and cars rusted so badly?"

"I don't know. If the cars were not all rusted, we could have driven them out and left Hefei. The people from the military only took away the evolved humans because they did not have enough cars… By the way, my young friend, you should be an ironfolk, right? Is this truck your…?" Old Lee asked curiously.

However, Shen Cong's thought processes were never on the same track as those of normal people.

He did not give Old Lee any explanation. He just said, "Old Lee, we can make a trade. You should be able to guess that I'm lacking diesel, but gas also works for me. I intend to buy them from Dragon Slayers, but I'd like you to be my agent for that and help me transport the diesel back. Once this task is over, I can pay you with some food."

"Sure," Old Lee agreed without even thinking about it.

Shen Cong immediately found this abnormal. However, Old Lee's further explanation allowed him to relax.

"Youhai told us about you when you came back. My young friend, you're a good person. The food and medicine you gave us helped us a lot. There are only a few evolved humans who are willing to treat us normal humans as equals with them… Oh, don't worry, we kept the information about you a close secret. We never mentioned you to anyone."

"Since you agreed to it, you can go back and wait for a while. Until the people from Dragon Slayers appear. I'll discuss the trading plan with them later. By then, I'll need you… Also, my name is Huang Xiaoming."

*****

Old Lee left Titan reluctantly.

Before he left the truck, he mentioned his desire to join Shen Cong's camp, but Shen Cong immediately rejected it. He was only here for one business deal, and once he was done with the trade, they would go their separate ways.

Shen Cong did not have the thought of taking in any lackeys because he could not guarantee their loyalty, and that meant that there was a chance that they would stab him in the back.

He ate a simple lunch then sat in the driver cab and paid attention to the two computer screens along with the radar images on the laptop as well as all possible movement beside him. Nothing escaped his eyes.

By his side was the plastic box containing the ant larvae. He intended to research both of his pets.

One of the mature ant larvae had already grown to the size of an Arawana Brand oil container, but it was still eating nonstop. It had already eaten up quite a number of Shen Cong's Activity cores.

The other mature ant larvae might have also grown to the size of an Arawana Brand oil container, but it had already stopped eating, and it was curled up in a corner of the plastic box. Its body had started to show signs of transformation; it was as if it had turned into gel. This was the pupal stage. It was the sign of a mature ant larva turning into a proper insect.

'One of them is still eating, while the other has already entered the pupal stage. Could it be that one of the ants here is a worker ant, and the other is a soldier ant?'

It was impossible for Shen Cong to tell what sort of ant he had just by looking at the ant larva. But as he continued feeding them, the two ant larvae had a head start ahead of other mutated brachyponera ants. The mature ant larva that was still eating had already reached Level 0.087. The one that had entered the pupal stage had already reached Level 0.085. Their levels were much higher than those of the normal brachyponera soldier ants.

Evolved beasts were evolving nonstop. This was a fact that could not be questioned.

Shen Cong shut his eyes to rest his mind.

He adjusted his mental state and reorganized his thoughts, which had been a mess over the past few days.

It was of utmost importance for him to solve the siphon effect problem, but as of then, he had not found a way to solve it. He was still testing Titan's limits, and his body constitution was still improving very slowly. He was still a distance away from reaching Level 1.

The second problem was fuel.

'Diesel… I hope I can get it smoothly. Once I have enough, I'll immediately head to the main city and switch routes to head to Hefei afterwards."

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