Every single person that wanted to live on should have something that they believed in, because with it, they could continue to move forward.
Lu Chu thought, the small supermarket’s owner was such a person. Till this day, he still believed that the people in this town were simply sick. That one day, they would be able to resume their peaceful and quiet former lives.
No, Lu Chu shook his head. They really were just sick.
Whether they couldn’t see, or couldn’t hear, it was just a disease. It took away a necessary part of life, but it didn’t take away their human intelligence or wisdom.
Lu Chu gripped the hand of the man next to him, then bent down and reached his hand out. Seeing this, Carrot gave a low bark, and nudged his back towards Lu Chu’s hand. Lu Chu smiled and ruffled his neck, then said softly, “it’ll all pass.”
There weren’t many people living in this town, and with such a thing happening, most people still retained their rationality, and chose to avoid the outside by staying at home, and occasionally, they would come out to find food.
They didn’t encounter any unexpected situations when they walked through this street. Not to mention ‘senseless people’, they didn’t even encounter much obstacles. It seemed that the people who had gathered at the crossroads were just wandering along the streets, then became a small group when they couldn’t move forward due to the blocked road.
This entire road was so quiet that it was terrifying, and even the sound of wind blowing the papers on the road were amplified, turning into a creepy sound that made a chill run down their spines. The man didn’t say anything more, in both writing or speech, and simply let Lu Chu pull him forward. Carrot was also very obedient, and tried his best to lighten his footsteps.
Rather than letting Lu Chu relax, such a strange silence had actually made him even more nervous, as if every step would lead to some bad encounter.
The end of the route was a large three-way intersection, with a small plaza in the middle of it. If Lu Chu had guessed correctly, they should be unable to move forward because of another jam.
Under Lu Chu’s orders, Carrot ran to the middle of the intersection, and after a few minutes, returned and made a couple of barks.
Lu Chu understood. Indeed, there was a jam between the intersection and the plaza. The intersection was jammed up with cars, while the plaza was filled with ‘senseless people’ who had lost their reason, randomly grabbing and biting into each other.
The other two paths were relatively wider, with railings and greenery separating the area. In the past, if people standing on one side of the intersection wanted to go over, they had to cross the overhead bridge.
The route to the tower in the centre of the town needed them to turn left on the right side of the road, and Lu Chu was currently on the left side of the street. One could directly cross over to the other side of the small road, however, the small plaza was filled with ‘senseless people’, and they definitely couldn’t directly go through it. This meant that Lu Chu needed to stick to the side of the intersection until they reached the wider road, and go to the right side via the overhead bridge.
There wasn’t any guarantee that they wouldn’t be attacked by ‘senseless people’ who had lost their reason during this process, so they needed to be quick and careful. For the ‘senseless people’ that were closer to them, Lu Chu would be able to hear their movements, and as for those that were further away, if they walked towards this direction, there was still Carrot who could make some noise.
Approaching the intersection, the familiar scent of blood that made people feel like puking became stronger and stronger. Lu Chu subconsciously tightened his grip on the man’s hand, and the man gripped his in response. Lu Chu, who felt that, wrote in his palm, “I’m fine, later, we need to be more careful.”
Carrot was in the front, and Lu Chu was leading the man closely behind.
There were several theatres, restaurants, and KTVs at the plaza. As they walked along the side of the road, Lu Chu relied on his familiarity with this city, and avoided the theatre area and the entrance of the large supermarket, in order to prevent them from being suddenly attacked by someone who rushed out. After all, no matter how small of a town this was, the number of people in such an area couldn’t be underestimated.
From the time they exited their house and reached this place, Lu Chu’s emotions had already completely settled down, and he returned to his calm and gentle state.
Carefully making their way along the side of the plaza, they used Lu Chu’s ears and Carrot’s intelligence to avoid several ‘senseless people’, and finally managed to make it to the correct road. However, they were currently on the right side of the road, and the chaos in the plaza as well as the railing and greenery in the middle prevented them from simply crossing over to the other side, so they could only use the overhead bridge.
Lu Chu stopped and wrote in the man’s palm.
— In a while, we’ll have to cross the overhead bridge. There’s a lot of steps, so hold onto me, and we’ll hold onto the railings as we make our way up.
The man nodded, then immediately reacted to what he did and didn’t make any noise as he wrote an ‘okay’ in Lu Chu’s palm.
Carrot quickly went up first, and ran across the bridge, turned left and right, before coming back to bite Lu Chu’s trousers, barking a couple of times.
Lu Chu gave a small smile and nodded, it looked like it was safe.
He led the man to the overhead bridge, and pulled him up step by step. The man felt his carefulness, and paused.
— You don’t need to worry too much, I’m already used to such this state, so it’s okay even if you quicken your steps.
There wasn’t anybody on the bridge, neither those who had lost their reason nor those who were still calm, but standing on the overhead bridge, the chaotic noises at the plaza below somehow became clearer. Lu Chu frowned, and had a very bad feeling.
At the same time, Carrot, who had been extremely quiet unless Lu Chu said something began to pace back and forth in an uncontrollable manner, letting out low growls.
“Carrot?” Lu Chu lowered his voice and called.
Hearing Lu Chu’s call, Carrot ran over to Lu Chu and bit his trousers, pulling him forward in an urgent manner, yet, he was too weak, and could only let out warning howls.
Realising that something wasn’t right, Lu Chu asked, “is there danger?”
Carrot was very clever, and when he heard Lu Chu’s words, he barked a few more times before he continued to bite Lu Chu’s trousers, showing that he wanted Lu Chu to go forward.
This time, Lu Chu didn’t hesitate at all, and pulled the man forward and down the overhead bridge with the fastest speed, to the left side of the road. However, Carrot’s mood didn’t seem to stabilise at all, and instead, he became more and more anxious, pressing his head against Lu Chu’s calf, trying to push him forward.
Lu Chu knew that something must have definitely happened, but it was too messy and chaotic in the square, and he couldn’t tell if there was something further away even if he held his breath. However, even if he couldn’t hear it, it didn’t mean that Carrot couldn’t see it, and if there was something that could make Carrot so anxious, it meant that it shouldn’t be underestimated, thus, it would be better for them to leave this street.
Thinking of this, Lu Chu used one hand to pull the man along, and used his other hand to hold his walking stick to find the way forward in the quickest time possible.
In the end, Lu Chu still couldn’t see, and no matter how well he knew this town, it would be hard to run quickly in such a chaotic situation. Even if they used all their might, they still weren’t fast enough. The more the situation became like this, the clearer that intangible sense of crisis that gripped their hearts became.
Just at this moment, Lu Chu heard the originally chaotic sound of the plaza become even more chaotic, and from time to time, there would be human screams. When he listened to it again carefully, he found out that there were also animal howls mixed in, one after another.
That was — the sound of canines.
Lu Chu’s heart became cold, and he felt as if all his hair were standing on their ends.
He was too careless, and thought that their ‘enemies’ were only humans who had lost their reason.
In the seven days that the city became senseless, he only knew that people who had lost their reason would start to kill each other, but he forgot that how animals who didn’t have anybody ‘raising’ them, and were starved for a week, would reveal their animalistic nature.
If humans could still be considered to have morals, and have a conscience that wasn’t destroyed, then a hungry animal, other than those extremely loyal ones, the rest would no longer be constrained as they started to ‘hunt’.
All living creatures had the instinct to survive, and human beings weren’t the only species that had that right.
And the thing that surprised Lu Chu the most was that these animals, unlike the humans who had lost some senses and were wandering around, aimless and ignorant, these animals had both their sight and hearing, and they could even be considered as extremely sensitive.
What this implied was obvious.
It only took him seconds to reach this conclusions, and Lu Chu immediately responded by pulling the man forward as they ran.
However, at this moment, there came the sound of several animals running across the overhead bridge, and these sound were becoming closer and closer to Lu Chu, and what came after, were the barks of several canines.
There wasn’t only one.
Carrot was behind them, baring his fangs in the direction of the overhead bridge, leaning forward, and getting ready to pounce.
For a moment, Lu Chu was so nervous that the palm of the hand he was holding the man’s with was sweating.
The translator has this to add: