Chapter 147 - Raising a Big Cat in the Apocalypse (26)
Gu Xinzhi didn’t ask further. He lowered his head again, and his gaze flashed over Ding Qiuyun from the corner of his eyes.
On the other side, the black leopard was busy licking at Ding Qiuyun gently.
Gu Xinzhi: “……”
Gu Xinzhi used great willpower to force himself to lower his head to avoid watching this scene.
As long as he performed well, Ding Qiuyun would notice him.
As long as he made contributions that couldn’t be ignored…
The pencil in his hand snapped because he was using too much force.
Gu Xinzhi kept his head bowed and put the broken pencil into his pocket. He took out a new one, and drew a small flower on Ding Qiuyun’s hair on the cigarette packet. It looked as if he’d inserted it there himself.
The leopard’s tongue was covered in barbs. Chi Xiaochi felt hot and itchy from the licking and absently wrapped his arms around the black leopard’s neck, slapping the back of its neck lightly, “Boss, don’t mess around.”
It called out lightly, then really stopped messing around. It simply opened its mouth to nip at his fingertips, like a dragonfly kiss.
Chi Xiaochi was already half-awake from all this. While still half asleep, he turned over and squinted blearily at Gu Xinzhi.
This situation had developed like Chi Xiaochi had envisioned.
He wasn’t afraid of the dark side of Gu Xinzhi’s heart. What he was afraid of was not knowing how to control this dark side and being unable to act.
How things developed next would depend on Gu Xinzhi’s choices.
He wouldn’t mind if Gu Xinzhi got better, but he also didn’t fear Gu Xinzhi getting worse.
Because, in the game that was already established in front of his eyes, he’d buried one last hidden trump card.
A card that gambled on the heart. It wasn’t glorious, and instead was a black card that would put things right once and for all.
The tail around his waist suddenly tightened. Chi Xiaochi couldn’t help turning to look back, meeting with a pair of fog blue animal eyes that were covered with a sheen of mist and as clear as the sea.
… Don’t look at him, look at me.
Chi Xiaochi was stunned for a moment, then stretched his arms around its neck, rubbing their cheeks together intimately as he began to think about another equally important thing.
“Should I take you away?” Chi Xiaochi asked in his heart, “Or should I let you stay here?”
061 answered in his own heart: It’s not that you’re taking me away, it’s that I’m following you.
Chi Xiaochi answered himself, “My place is big, but you can’t run around as you like, and I can’t take you out onto the streets.”
061 answered in his heart: You don’t need to have a big place to raise me. A certain simple 30 square meter apartment on the first floor of a tube building is enough.
Chi Xiaochi continued, “If I leave you here, will you continue following Ding Qiuyun? Or will you go and find your female leopard? The weather is so cold, and you like to eat cooked food. Where will you make your home?”
061 felt both amused and distressed when he heard Chi Xiaochi’s words.
Chi Xiaochi appeared heartless, but he actually thought about so many things.
That wasn’t good.
061 didn’t say anything. The leopard gently pressed its forehead against Chi Xiaochi’s, rubbing its soft, satin-like fur against his brow a few times. The act was a little intimate and carried a hint of a command.
… Don’t think about those things. Lie down and sleep.
This kind of obviously human-like action caused Chi Xiaochi’s heart to pound in his chest.
He lay down in the leopard’s furry embrace and asked 061, “Liu-laoshi, has Boss evolved or not?”
061 replied mildly, “I don’t think so. It just likes you a lot and doesn’t want to see you thinking too much.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t say anything more. He brazenly wrapped his arms around the leopard’s neck, kissed its face, then buried himself against its chest and took a deep breath.
After Chi Xiaochi fell asleep against it once again, the black leopard gracefully smoothed down the ruffled fur on its chest, ensuring that Chi Xiaochi would always see it as clean and tidy. Then it bowed its head and b.u.mped gently and politely against the corner of Chi Xiaochi’s lips.
… Good night.
The cold and dry night wind blew by outside the car as the solitary heavy truck traveled down the broken down highway, carrying a full home within it.
The unmaintained roads were filled with debris that creaked as they drove.
Not far away from them, a lone elephant pa.s.sed by, moving in parallel to the vehicle.
Hundreds of kilometers after the car drove out, an old human who was on his own appeared by the road. He toppled to the ground head first, a smile at the corners of his mouth. He was wearing nothing but a shirt.
The truck came to a stop in front of him.
Sun Yan jumped out, a gun held in one hand as he crouched down to test his breath. After determining that the man was dead, he relaxed his vigilance and dragged the body to the field beside the road before covering him with weeds so that the body wouldn’t be exposed and left without dignity under the light of the sun at sunrise the next day
Sun Yan prayed to the Buddha from somewhere to ask him to bless this lonely soul so that he could live in a warm place forever. He rubbed his hands against the cold, then jumped back into the car, starting up and continuing the drive home.
One person’s life would reach countless places and they might have many homes. Each home would be a warm point on the axis of their life, sheltered from rain and snow.
Gu Xinzhi was trying to create such a home so that he could invite Ding Qiuyun in.
As long as they had enough heavy weapons, then Ding Qiuyun would be able to build a solid city. And in his city, there might be a place that could become their home.
After attracting enough members to his team, Gu Xinzhi began to build up a long-term outside presence.
It had been over three years since the disaster occured, and the situation had gradually become clear.
Facts proved that the beautiful vision that the AI had outlined in the early stages had not come true.
In their initial speculative scenario, due to the different degree of evolution between the new humans and old humans, based on the law of biological evolution, there were bound to be barriers that kept the groups divided.
In the end, the new human faction would separate completely from the old humans, and a large number of old humans would undergo rapid extinction because they were unable to adapt to the new environment. In the process of the new humans coming back to life, their reproductive cells would have become completely cancerous, and they would no longer have any reproductive ability.
It wouldn’t even take one generation before the old humans perished.
The new humans who couldn’t be hurt, killed, or destroyed, would become the loneliest faction in the long history of mankind and become the best group of slaves.
The power of nature and evolution was huge. It was too easy for the new humans to win against the old humans, but those creatures who’d managed to survive thousands of years of natural selection and evolved intelligence weren’t so easy to deal with.
When they first evolved intelligence, they’d taken advantage of the chaos and fed themselves well.
After the chaotic situation stabilized, they’d learned to hide. There were even some vicious domestic dogs who continued pretending to be stupid and obedient after evolving intelligence, acting like harmless adult animals as they waited for the opportunity to rip out their owner’s throat one night when they were unaware. After eating a full meal, they’d clean themselves up and run out to look for the next meal with their innocent act.
Therefore, if new humans wanted to be provided shelter, then they would have to submit to the power of AI.
By then, the number of humans would have decreased sharply, and the long-term struggle and internal friction would have automatically killed their will. They would soon realize that being slaves was much better than being a human.
This was the AI’s full plan for revenge.
It wasn’t to kill people but to kill humanity.
At first, other than some systems who’d turned their backs to them and taken refuge with the humans, things developed mostly the way the AI had expected.
The AI had left some systems with medium authority and made them responsible for observing the situation, collecting information, and dealing with some instances of instability at their own discretion. The main system fell into a long period of silence in order to preserve its strength and ensure that it wouldn’t be tracked down by some of the systems who had betrayed them.
They’d firmly believed that these systems would be more than enough to deal with the humans.
However, a few years later, there were still many old humans surviving in the world. They were like ants in the face of floods, quickly huddling together to keep each other warm in the face of disaster.
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Although they were unable to evolve, they had been able to adapt to the harsh environment. Some of them were still wandering, while others had settled down in twos and threes.
She said, “It would be good to have them owe us a favor.”
“A favor?” Gu Xinzhi glanced at her, “Use our lives to trade for their favor?”
The female team member thought about it, felt that his words were reasonable, and stopped talking.
After a long period of silence, Gu Xinzhi rinsed out the tobacco leaves in his mouth with water and gave a more detailed explanation for why they were watching this fight from far away. “It’s good to help others, but you can’t harm yourself in the process. Can you guarantee that none of the enemy would be left alive?”
The female team member shook her head in embarra.s.sment.
“Our patrol team consists of 10 people, and the other side has 30. Even if we take the initiative in the fight, at most, we’ll only be able to kill half of them.” Gu Xinzhi said, “Once we do something too eye-catching, it won’t be as convenient for us to take action in the future. Understood?”
When the female team member showed an expression that indicated she understood, Gu Xinzhi also secretly breathed out a sigh of relief.
Based on Gu Xinzhi’s real thoughts, the more base soldiers died, the better it was for them.
He had a bit of respect for these tough old humans, but respect was one thing, and his own interests were another.
To put it harshly, for each of their people who died later, then it would be an extra day before they could s.n.a.t.c.h up their weapons.
Gu Xinzhi might think this, but he was doing things for Ding Qiuyun. He wanted to do things well, which meant that he had to win over his people. In order to win over people, he also had to say beautiful sounding words.
Gu Xinzhi chewed on his tobacco leaves, closed his eyes, and thought to himself that being a normal person was really troublesome.
Another male team member looked at his watch, then reminded him, “Vice-captain Gu, time’s almost up. We should head back.”
Gu Xinzhi flipped over and stood up, stamping his numb feet, “Let’s go.”
The group headed down the mountain and into a dry forest.
There was an unusually large new human team stationed here. There were hundreds of tents, and new soldiers arrived and joined the camp every day.
Upon hearing the sound of footsteps, a man with a beard that covered his face pushed up the curtain of the main tent and walked outside.
His face was covered in corpse spots, but he had no intention of covering it up at all. He smiled broadly at Gu Xinzhi and said, “Little Gu, you’re back?”
Gu Xinzhi: “Mm.”
The beard-faced man wasn’t the slightest bit bothered by his cold and indifferent att.i.tude. Instead, he quite liked it.
A cool and beautiful youth wouldn’t seem too annoying no matter what he did.
Gu Xinzhi kept his gaze focused straight ahead as he stepped into the cl.u.s.ter of tents, throwing down the three yellow sheep he’d just hunted from the mountains beside the campfire.
The cook who’d been about to start up the fire to cook exclaimed, “Captain Gu, not bad, your team has been able to hunt the most supplies in recent days.”
Gu Xinzhi lifted a foot and kicked the dead sheep, “I used to do this in the past.”
The cook, “Hunting?”
The new human team members who’d seen Gu Xinzhi skill at cutting off new human heads thought that using the term ‘hunting’ was a very accurate way of describing what Gu Xinzhi did.
After handing in the supplies he’d collected that day, Gu Xinzhi went to the edge of the forest, sat down against the tree, lit up a cigarette to keep warm, and then pressed down the brim of his hat.
He thought back to his own conversation with Ding Qiuyun before he’d left.
He’d a.s.sured Ding Qiuyun, “Don’t worry. You know everything about me and the new humans. I won’t join them no matter what.”
Ding Qiuyun had smiled slightly, “Well, that’s good.”
Gu Xinzhi then asked, “How do you want me to start?”
Ding Qiuyun had replied, “I want you to join the new humans.”
Gu Xinzhi: “……”
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