575 Today is not a day to be happy
Ren Xiaosu ran out first while Zhou Yingxue followed closely.
But when it was Li Ran and the others’ turn to escape, it did not seem to go so smoothly anymore. As a large number of escapees crowded the hole in the wall, Li Ran and the others were stuck there for a while.
Someone started cursing after the crowd started squeezing together at the hole, “Can’t you all give way to others and pass through in an orderly manner?”
But actually, he was also trying his best to squeeze to the front. At this moment, it was useless to say anything. Would being polite and orderly be more important than their own survival?
Because of this stupidity, hardly anyone managed to get out of the hole in the wall after Ren Xiaosu and Zhou Yingxue, with all of them stuck at the exit.
There were still a large number of escapees waiting to get out of the stronghold through the hole. But since it was blocked, no one could get out!
Ren Xiaosu did not have time to worry about them. If these people died over such a stupid thing, he felt they deserved it.
Fortunately, the people behind those at the front had a very strong desire to live. They forcefully kicked the people who were stuck in the exit to the other side before the crowd started streaming out like water again.
Ren Xiaosu looked behind him. He had thought the exit would get blocked again, but he realized the people were suddenly moving in a much more orderly manner.
He took another look in disbelief and was surprised to see Old Li and Qin Sheng standing guard at the exit. They were organizing the escapees as they evacuated the stronghold.
The two of them had only caught up by following the crowd and heading to the north of the stronghold. Even so, they did not prioritize their own escape. Instead, they stood next to the exit to provide cover for the fleeing crowd.
Following that, they even faced the pursuing Experimentals head on. Fortunately, not too many Experimentals had come in pursuit of the escapees, so Old Li and Qin Sheng were more than enough to handle them.
The Experimentals that invaded the stronghold probably numbered in the 5,000s, but they were scattered all across the huge stronghold. If a smaller group of Experimentals were to encounter the two Riders, they would surely be doomed.
Ren Xiaosu shook his head. He had already done what he was supposed to do. As for the rest, it was every man for himself. Thinking of this, Ren Xiaosu started fleeing into the wilderness. As they ran crazily for their lives, Li Ran fell down due to the uneven path and cried out in pain.
Fang Zhi and the plainclothes guards all stopped in their steps. They were going to carry Li Ran and continue making their escape.
Ren Xiaosu felt that this group of people were not that heartless after all. It was not in vain for Li Ran to have them as acquaintances since they were still willing to help her at a time like this.
However, even soldiers would find it quite unbearable to have a load of 50 kilograms on their backs while running in the wilderness.
Everyone had good intentions, but they just couldn’t help wanting to abandon Li Ran as they ran.
It was just like how a lot of people were really filial to their parents. At the beginning, they might be able to take care of their sickly parents and clean up after them. But after a prolonged period, they would start feeling that old people were a burden.
That was because the suffering accumulated over time was capable of bringing down a person.
After they got out of the stronghold, Fang Zhi counted the number of people from the tour group that had escaped. It saddened him that only half of the staff who had traveled with them were left. As for the other half, no one knew whether they had made it out of the stronghold alive.
The plainclothes guards who were taking turns to carry Li Ran were totally exhausted after running for two hours. By the time they started taking the mountain path, their knees could barely stand the heavy load anymore.
The mountain path was treacherous to travel on.
Ren Xiaosu took a break when they reached a small hill, while the people following him also stopped.
Ren Xiaosu crested the hill and looked back at Stronghold 74 in the distance. He could still see the outline of the stronghold from this position, but he was no longer sure of what was going on in the stronghold.
Old Li and Qin Sheng had caught up to them and were injured all over. Ren Xiaosu handed them a vial of black medicine. “This is very effective. Just apply it onto your wounds, and they’ll heal very quickly.”
The two Riders expressed their thanks. They had lost a lot of stamina due to fighting the Experimentals.
Ren Xiaosu asked, “How many escapees made it out of the stronghold in the end?”
“Quite a few.” Old Li panted and said, “But I’m afraid those who didn’t manage to escape are doomed.”
Ren Xiaosu suddenly looked up as though he sensed something. He turned and looked in the direction of the stronghold.
When the others saw him do that, they also looked at the stronghold.
In an instant, it felt as though something had dropped onto the stronghold in the distance. Immediately after, a strange, massive circle of light started radiating outwards. A huge cloud of dust and smoke was swept across the entire stronghold by this sudden attack.
In the blink of an eye, a mighty explosion began to spread from the inside. Crimson flames shot up into the sky and enveloped the entire stronghold in a mushroom cloud.
As the unstoppable shockwave spread outward, it instantly obliterated every building in the stronghold and turned them into dust. The devastating scene of destruction was like a divine punishment brought upon the stronghold by the gods above!
The buildings in areas that were unaffected by the blast retained their original dusty gray color, while those that were within the range of the shockwave were already burning in bright orange flames.
The distant flames were burning so strongly that the escapees’ faces were illuminated red even though they had already escaped far away from the stronghold and onto the hills. Even at this distance, the shockwave still managed to make a mess of their hair and clothes. Some even stumbled back from the force of the blast.
“This…” Ren Xiaosu asked in a startled manner.
“Is a nuclear bomb.” With much difficulty, Old Li said, “A weapon created by humans that even gods are afraid of.”
All the escapees were dumbfounded. Even though they knew there were probably no survivors left in the stronghold other than the Experimentals, they still felt shocked and saddened by this scene of destruction.
It was where they had lived for decades. That was their home.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly remembered that Yang Xiaojin had told him that nuclear weapons were extremely difficult for humans to control.
In the Qing Consortium’s stronghold, Qing Yi was already back at the barracks. He stood behind Qing Zhen and confirmed, “We accurately hit our target, and all the Experimentals should be dead. The highest altitude the missile’s trajectory reached was 47 kilometers, and it traveled at a top speed of 7.5 kilometers per second, while the precision error was less than 30 meters. Those are the real-time measurement data we have from the launch.”
Qing Zhen, who was standing in front of him, had both his hands behind his back. He stood there in the barracks and gazed up at the sky. No one knew what he was thinking.
Qing Yi said with a smile, “Bro, you’re right. Only children would be afraid of something like the Experimentals. Now that the Experimentals have been wiped out, we won’t have any more trouble in the future.”
Qing Zhen slowly turned around to look at Qing Yi and said, “Ah Yi, today is not a day to be happy.”
Qing Yi slowly fell silent. He knew what Qing Zhen was thinking about. Some time ago, the Qing Consortium had informed the Zhou Consortium and hoped they could stop the Experimentals so the stronghold residents would not have to suffer. However, no one expected the Zhou Consortium would be unable to do anything about them.
The Qing Consortium’s sleeper agent at Stronghold 74 had also been sacrificed in the destruction of the stronghold. The spy had immediately called for the Qing Consortium to launch the missile after confirming that Stronghold 74 was beyond saving.
Therefore, the missile not only wiped out the Experimentals, it also killed their Qing Consortium’s people.
Qing Yi understood that Qing Zhen would not have made such a move unless it was absolutely necessary.
As a matter of fact, even during their war with the Yang Consortium and the Li Consortium, Qing Zhen did not resort to using these weapons.
Qing Zhen patted Qing Yi on the shoulder. “Let’s get prepared for war.”
“But who will dare to attack us when we possess weapons like that?” Qing Yi could not understand.
Qing Zhen sighed and said, “It’s precisely because we possess such weapons.”
After he said that, Qing Zhen suddenly felt a little tired.
After that shocking explosion, no one had noticed a gray figure retreating and disappearing into the forest.