Chapter 49: The Kind Dan Liang
In the western zone of Southern Gold City, on a road dimpled with potholes, there was a file of people hurrying down it in fear. Not far from them were the roars and howlings from Astral Calamity Beasts, occasionally mixed with the tragic screams of humans.
Occasionally, a meteor would streak across the dark night sky and explode along the horizons. Every time it happened, the escaping people would begin to tremble in fear, worried that a meteor would, at any second, crash into their location.
This group of people numbered about twenty. Other than the first three people—who wore normal attires—the remaining were jostling forward, shoulder to shoulder, wearing prisoner clothes.
“Brother Dan, you are too kind. These people are death row convicts, even those self-proclaimed righteous prison wardens have abandoned them. Why should we waste our time saving them? We might as well find some F Class astral beasts to earn some Hero points,” grumbled a man. The person took the left spot amongst the trio and was a youth with blond hair. He deliberately chose not to suppress his voice, as such, his heartless words could be clearly heard by the convicts towards the front. The expressions on those convicts immediately turned ugly. They were not angry, but were terrified and worried.
“Death row convicts are still people. Before their executions, their lives are to be respected in a similar fashion. We are Heroes. Saving people in danger is our responsibility. Delain, let’s not touch on this matter any further.” The stocky man walking in the middle said with a face of righteousness.
“Hehe, Dan Liang is right. The three of us are Heroes, so how can we be compared to those prison wardens who perennially abuse convicts.” A girl on the right, who wore heavy makeup, said as she clung closely to Dan Liang. Her well developed chest would occasionally rub against Dan Liang’s arm.
Delain curled his mouth and had an unpleasant expression, but he did not speak again.
Due to the meteor bombardment, the surroundings had been heated to an extremely high temperature. Everywhere in the vicinity of a few hundred meters of the hit zone was affected. As such, no plane dared to circle around in mid air. Most Southern Gold City residents had successfully evacuated during the three hour notice they were given, hence, the number of search and rescue operators were few. However, there were always a number of people who could not evacuate in time, for example, these convicts who had been abandoned by prison wardens. Typically, these unlucky people were saved by Heroes.
The trio had formed a team to kill weaker Astral Calamity Beasts to earn Hero points because a meteor shower was the best opportunity to increase their Hero rankings. As long as they were not down on their luck, where high level meteors landed around them, they wouldn’t be in any danger. This was because although Astral Calamity Beasts were brutal, they would not chase after distant targets. Typically, they would only destroy their surroundings.
The C Class Hero that the Chimera burned to death was unlucky to be at where the Chimera landed and had failed to escape in time.
Delain originally thought that his trip here to “help” Southern Gold City would give him the opportunity to kill some F Class astral beasts and earn Hero points, but he never expected that the kindhearted Dan Liang even wanted to rescue a group of death row convicts.
Every increment in one’s Hero ranking increased one’s nation-provided monthly salary. Delain could not tolerate wasting time saving death row convicts who deserved dying.
The Hero rankings were like a flowing stream downwards. If nothing was done, there was only flowing backwards, never forward. A few Heroes ranked beneath him might gain enough points to surpass him just by killing a few Astral Steel Giant Beetles.
Just thinking of this possibility made Delain indignant and angry, but reason told him that he could not lose all decorum and leave by himself. This was because the stocky man in the middle was a Psyker. If Delain wanted to kill astral beasts at E Class or above, he would need Dan Liang’s strength.
Due to the roads having been destroyed and blockades caused by collapsed buildings, the group of people did not move forward at a fast pace. In order to avoid the Astral Calamity Beasts that were wreaking havoc, they often had to take detours.
The convicts had been imprisoned for too long, so most of them were malnourished. As they ran, many of them gasped for their breaths. However, in order to survive, they could only grit their teeth and run after the person in front of them.
At this moment, another meteor crashed to the ground. It streaked across the night sky with a beautiful beam of light, but that beauty meant the arrival of an ugly and evil astral beast on this piece of land.
The convicts looked up simultaneously at the sky and after confirming that the meteor landed far away, they heaved a sigh of relief. At the same time, they became more nervous, afraid that the three Heroes in front of them would abandon them. They were also afraid that the next meteor would destroy their fantasies of survival.
The more they wanted to live, the more they were afraid of death.
“Don’t worry, we won’t leave you behind.”
Dan Liang suddenly turned backwards and smiled. He said loudly to the convicts, “Because we are Heroes.”
Under the night sky, his smile was as bright as the stars. His voice like a gentle wind, soothing to the heart.
The convicts lowered their heads, not because they were touched, but to hide the disdain in their eyes—Hero? Won’t leave us behind? Heh heh, those are all pretentious words!
In the face of death and fear, any form of righteousness and kindness could be twisted or shattered. The evil nature of humans would overwhelm one’s conscience. Rationality and innate knowledge could be wantonly abandoned for survival. Even the lives of other people would be cheap commodities that were easily abandoned.
These convicts had long been immersed in evil. As they had done the act of murder, they knew that madness happened when death approached. They did not have any hopes regarding Dan Liang’s promise. However, since they were at their mercy, they could not openly show their disdain or retort back.
At that moment, lowering their heads and staying silent was the best option.
Dan Liang sighed and no longer spoke.
After walking into an alley, Dan Liang signaled for everyone to stop. He then leaped up to a tall building nearby that had not collapsed. He looked around to get an understanding of the situation and after surveying his surroundings for a while, he found the safest route of advancement. He then led everyone forward.
“Dan Liang, these death row convicts are of bad character. They did not appreciate the words you said, and even showed looks of disdain. What’s the point of working so hard to save them? Is this even worth it!?”
The girl beside Dan Liang noticed the expressions of the convicts and felt displeased. She began to doubt Dan Liang’s actions, but she was not as direct as Delain. She deliberately lowered her voice, so that only the three of them could hear it.
Delain immediately echoed her words. “Brother Dan is too kind, but at times, kindness is not correct, and might not be righteous. These death row convicts have murdered before. They are not worth our efforts to save them.”
Upon hearing this, Dan Liang fell silent for a moment before saying, “We are Heroes. Isn’t it the most basic thing for Heroes to save people in danger?”
Dan Liang’s expression looked gloomy, but his eyes were sparkling.
“Meteor!” A convict suddenly shouted loudly. “The meteor looks as though it’s heading towards us!”
The three people walking in front had a drastic change in expression as they hurriedly looked up. They saw a meteor streak across the horizon towards them. The burning beam of light was blinding to the eyes, giving off the impression of extreme heat.
It was heading in their direction!
Author’s Note: Laying the foundation in this chapter. An interesting plot will begin soon!