The Record of Unusual Creatures Chapter 711 The Base
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"Future plan?" Hao Ren turned to look at Ulyanov or more accurately, the helmet that covered his face. "I haven't really thought about it. I'll just take it as it comes. Maybe I'll find a place to settle down after all of this is over."
Ulyanov cleared his throat and asked in a whisper, "Where did you learn your fighting skills?"
He thought that Hao Ren was just a wealthy, r.e.t.a.r.ded civilian, who lacked a sense of survival in the wasteland. But after witnessing his fighting skills, he began to have a keen interest towards Hao Ren's background. Without biochemical re-engineering and electronic aids, it was rare to gain combat strength more powerful than that of regular soldiers, even in Lawless District. Feeling Ulyanov's curious eyes behind the full-face mask, Hao Ren tilted his head slightly. "I used to fight on the battlefield, but don't ask why."
"Mercenary?" Ulyanov sized him up. "You don't smell like the regular forces."
"Sort of," Hao Ren said quietly, pretending to comb the blond hair of the girl, as he wanted to end the conversation. "I don't want to talk about the past."
Sitting across the carriage, the reticent Carl said gruffly suddenly, "Ulyanov, you talk too much."
The armoured vehicle moved along the deserted and vast wilderness. Man-made structures finally appeared ahead. Hao Ren peeked through the side window and saw the cemented ground on both sides of the road. Half-fallen streetlights and electricity poles zoomed past the windows from time to time. He felt he had come back to the human world. A screen on the front of the carriage suddenly lighted up displaying the scene of the road ahead. Rows of factory-like buildings and huge smokes began to appear. Sandwiched between the tall buildings were large number of Lego-like simple houses.
Haze was engulfing the entire building complex, and smoke rose from the top of the town to the sky above that was just as hazy, as if the polluting smoke from the factories had spread to the entire world. Ulyanov saw the scene outside and coughed instinctively. "It makes me sick by just looking at it."
"You could still feel the haze with your throat now?" His female teammate laughed. "I thought it's just a plastic prosthetic?"
"Vainesa, no one would take you as a dumb if you keep your mouth shut," Ulyanov snorted, glancing behind the mask. He then turned to Hao Ren. "Right head is part of the Black Street, which basically relies on these factories. The factories provide electricity and products to Zero City, and Black Street's labourers got food and medicines in return. To tell the truth, this place is not suitable for the rich like you, and you'd better go to Zero City. After all, what you have is money."
"You will quickly lose your money and life if you stay in Black Street," the arrogant mercenary, Vainesa, mocked Hao Ren. "The 'rules' of Black Street will get to you no matter how skilful you are. The lowlifes here have ten thousand tricks up their sleeves to set the simple-minded chap like you up."
Hao Ren shrugged. Looks like he was just a typical stupid moneybag in the eyes of the woman. But he did not try to explain himself but gaze out at the buildings coming up ahead. "Black Street. ...isn't it a street?"
"Of course not," Ulyanov shook his head. "It couldn't help that people who come for the first time will mistake it as a street. Black Street is a relatively large town, about the size of a city, which originally was just a street. People here used to call it Black Street but before the war, it was called New Bay... Now not people still remember the old name."
"Only the old boys remember this kind of thing," Vainesa spread out her arms and leaned back in her seat, looking up at the roof. "New Land, Rift Valley, Pearl City... New Anka City now exist only in history books. Probably even the history books will soon go extinct. But who care?"
"Zero City isn't far away from Black Street," Ulyanov said to Hao Ren. "Our base is on the edge of Black Street. We can take you to the vicinity of the Zero City then you're on your own."
Hao Ren did not reply. He was reckoning in his mind. Nolan's voice suddenly came from the front. "If you've no place to go, you can come to our place if you want."
"Huh?" Hao Ren looked up at the back of Nolan in the cab. "You let me in?"
"Though Zero City is safer, it may not necessarily suitable for you," said Nolan. "They will take away all your property in exchange for just a few years of 'citizen rights,' and you will have to work like dog for the city council for survival. The place is safe, but there is nothing more other than that. I think… you don't like that kind of life, do you? Otherwise you wouldn't have to flee the city of the Naturals."
After discovering that Hao Ren could fight, the mercenary leader was eager to recruit him. This was a normal reaction given that her team was urgently in need of new blood. Though Hao Ren wanted to investigate the situation in the world, he did not want to get himself on a leash by joining any groups. So he declined politely. "Never mind. I'm not interested in being a soldier."
"Oh, is it?" Nolan said casually, and then she said no more.
"But I'll really have no place to go right now," Hao Ren said, thinking he should find a place to stay. "Can I stay at your place temporarily? Of course, I will pay for it."
He did not expect the mercenaries would welcome him. But Nolan's reply surprised him. "You can stay for a few days, and I don't need your money. You saved my life, treat it as reciprocity."
Hao Ren was a bit surprised. "Is your place a military garrison? Don't you need to conduct background check on outside visitor?"
Nolan waved her hand in front of the carriage window. "Do you want to live here?"
"Do you want to kill me?"
"Why should I?"
"Then background check is over."
Hao Ren: "..."
"What do you think I should investigate?" Nolan's voice was still flat, but this time with a slight sarcasm. "Fill up questionnaire? Check your credentials? Check if you have any criminal history in the citizen registry? Oh, come on! Forget about that s.h.i.+t. This is Lawless District, most people just want to want to survive here. No one cares what you used to do, as long as you don't stab me in the back—even if it's just temporary."
Hao Ren stunned, was surprised that he had just found a place to stay in this world so quickly. It was a bit surreal.
Nolan did not speak again but continued to drive at ease. Soon, the armoured truck arrived at the checkpoint in Black Street. After pa.s.sing through several sentry points, they finally arrived in front of an old barracks.
Hao Ren picked up the MDT—the corpse and jumped out of the truck after the mercenaries. The filthy air around him choked his breath as soon as he was outside. The air quality in this place was even worse than the previous city ruins. It seemed that permanent haze was shrouding the entire Black Street. He coughed, licked his mouth, and weirdly found that the air here was actually somewhat 'chewy'.
A few soldiers were walking around in s.p.a.ce between the barracks. Some buildings were painted with grey fox insignia on the outer walls with inferior paint. This was where Nolan's small team stationed. Although there are sentry posts around the base, there was no sign of usual serious security measure a military base should have. It was more like an armed refugee camp.
Here, fighting was not a remote matter; it was an everyday life, which probably made this scene as it was.
Two mercenaries, who looked like commanding officers, stepped forward to greet Nolan. Nolan casually talked to them, citing the ambushes and losses suffered today. Then she ordered to drag Khiton's body out. "Dry him and hung the body outside at the intersection. Spray a grey fox's mark on it and make more visible. I don't want any of the new recruits being bought over the Rangers again. There's nothing stupider than defecting to other mercenary groups or rangers.
The two officers immediately ordered the soldiers to carry out the task. Before the Khiton's body was taken away, Nolan bent down and said regretfully to the traitor whose face was almost completely blown off. "What a pity. You used to be a poet. But now you have become a..."
Hao Ren who had just been shocked by young Nolan's ruthlessness was now surprised. "Are there still poets in this era?"
Ulyanov said sulkily, "Sometimes, our boss might say things a bit bafflingly—Khiton grew up in a slum, how he learnt poetry?"
Hao Ren let out a sigh. Nolan turned around and said, "All right, people. Go back and get some rest. You... Hao Ren, right? You follow Ulyanov. There is a room next to his. It used to be Khiton's room. Now you can use it."
Hao Ren nodded and turned to leave. But Ulyanov could not help but said, "I don't mind there's a person in the next room, but the body..."
Hao Ren: "..."
He looked down at the body in his arms. The MDT-turned-corpse was still as lifeless as before. It seemed there was little sign of revival.
Of course, from biological perspective, it was impossible for 'her' to move again.
The Record of Unusual Creatures Chapter 711 The Base
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The Record of Unusual Creatures Chapter 711 The Base summary
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