Book 4 Chapter 4.1

Book 4 Chapter 4.1 - Bloody Path

To the northwest of Dragon City were neverending lakes. Enormous lakes appeared one after another with no shore in sight. It was practically an unbordered sea. 

Two off-road vehicles drove along the borders of the great lakes, travelling several hundred kilometers in several days of time. The road by the edge of the lake was level. Due to having access to a source of water, several decades after the war, large areas of mutated forests grew. However, the lake water continuously absorbed and gathered radiation matter, so the areas around the lake were just like the ocean coast, places with high levels of radiation. Not even living corpses with incomplete mutations could survive here. Those abilityless people who could only use mutated tissues to resist radiation even more so couldn't reside here. As a result, an extremely vast uninhabited region was thus formed. Even for organizations like the Black Dragonriders or Scorpions of Disaster, establishing a large scale base in this type of radioactively intense region was still not an easy matter. To construct a metropolis like Dragon City would require more than ten years of time, as well as as an endless accumulation of wealth. Forget about everything else, just Dragon City’s radiation neutralizing force field alone requires two five million kilowatt or higher superpower electricity generators to power it. 

The off-road vehicles moved precisely along the great lake’s southern shore. Su and Madeline were in the first vehicle, scouting out the way, while Li Gaolei, Li, and Kane followed behind in the second vehicle. In this radioactive hot spot, Su and Madeline didn’t feel a thing, while for Li Gaolei, after he accepted a portion of Su’s genes, he also gained a substantial increase in radiation immunity. Li was a Combat Domain ability user to begin with, so she naturally had a set amount of resistance. After deciding to follow Su in his fugitive escape, she threw all of her evolutionary points into the defensive field’s elemental resistance, moreover raising this ability to the fourth level. By doing this, not only did she increase her resistance towards various types of radiation, it also increased her tolerance to various complicated environments. This was one of the most important abilities needed to fight prolonged battles in the wilderness. Li and Li Gaolei both only needed to take a small dosage of radiation resistance medication, and then they would be completely fine. 

The only weak point of the troop now was Kane. His main ability was the support ability moulding. Regardless of whether it was in machinery, engineering, or electronic aspects, it could be considered a specialist ability. However, his Combat and Magic Domain abilities weren’t all that outstanding. That was why he needed to continuously ingest radiation resistance medication, and only then could he survive in this uninhabited region. 

When they began their escape, Su didn’t complete his preparations, which was why even though they had an abundance of fuel and energy reserves, they didn’t bring much medications. As a result, after just three days, due to a lack of radiation resistance medication, they had no choice but to turn south and depart from this highly radioactive location. 

Just like that, they drove for another day and night. Finally, an inhabited area appeared in the wilderness. 

Only a gathering of people who grew up in the wilderness could be called an inhabited area. They didn’t have energy resources, access to clean water, reliable defensive measures, or enough military force. In the inhabited area, food would always be the greatest issue. Order within an inhabited area was usually maintained purely through military force. In most inhabited areas, a revolver that could still fire was the synonym of strength. If you had a semi-automatic rifle, and it happened to have a dozen or so rounds left, then you would, without any disputes, become the highest ruler in the inhabited area. 

The hierarchy inside an inhabited area was similar to that of a lion pack. Family or numbers didn’t matter, the willpower of a lion king decided everything. As long as the lion king wished for it, he could do whatever he wished with any female within the pack, unless the male that protected that female possessed power even the lion king felt apprehensive towards. 

The inhabited area that appeared before Su’s field of view was on the scope of about five to six hundred inhabitants, a mid-sized inhabited area. When he saw the simple and crude perimeter wall formed from thin iron sheets and wooden planks, as well as the short sheds that were full of holes, Su felt a sudden sense of familiarity, but there was definitely no joy. 

In reality, in Su’s memory, there was nothing about inhabited areas that brought him any joy. 

Almost every time Su entered an inhabited area, there would always be disturbances both big and small. Bullying and robbing seemingly powerless outsiders seemed to be a common theme among every inhabited area. In these types of places, chaos seemed to be the only form of order. Death was simply another common occurrence. 

After joining the Black Dragonriders, Su experienced highly civilized living for the first time, as well as the enormous changes laws and regulations brought, even though the truth that laid behind the strict hierarchy and authority was still that strength decided everything. However, with laws and regulations came the cornerstones for dealing with conflicts; battle and slaughter were no longer the only methods of settling disputes. Even though there would always be undercurrents beneath the brightness, and all regulations could be twisted before great power, in the end, those regulations were still there, and they could still display some use, as well as establish a set amount of peace and protection against powerful individuals. This had already left a deep impression on Su. That was why even though he almost died in battle immediately after coming into contact with the Black Dragonriders in the training base, he still felt that compared to the wilderness, Dragon City was heaven. 

Heaven for a handful of chosen ones. 

The wilderness was a bareboned world where one could disregard anything for survival. Humans, who avoided extinction after the disaster of war, even though there was radiation, overgrowth, even though the amount of food available was always far from enough, even though clean water became the most precious luxury, humans still survived, moreover tenaciously increasing in number. Only, in this era where survival became the most important thing, what was called ‘dignity’ had already become something that only existed in dictionaries. 

Now, Su returned to this world again. This wilderness, from ever since he could remember, was where he lived. 

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