Dark Moon Era Chapter 12
Chapter 12: Difficult Situation
Update 4 days ago
Things were much worse than he thought.
After he heard what Quark said, Tang Ling's expression turned extremely ugly, yet he still had to rely on Quark and do as he said.
The underground tunnel was a vast system. Even the tens of thousands of people living in the settlement had yet to completely explore it. As a matter of fact, they were already helpless against even the underground tunnel beneath the safety zone alone.
Aside from the black-toothed rats and all sorts of unknown threats, the underground tunnels were like a vast maze. With the slightest misstep, one could end up lost.
This was the secret tunnel that Quark was familiar with. Without him, Tang Ling and his family would have been blind.
However, Quark mentioned that there were at least hundreds of black-horned purple-striped snakes in that den alone.
The good news was their sizes varied from small to large, and some might be less dangerous. The bad news was that after Quark had broken the wall back then, he managed to startle them and some of them had crawled out, scattering all over the tunnel system.
According to the black-horned purple-striped snake's habits, they might not stray too far away from their den, but the challenge they faced was that the nearest and the only exit of this tunnel was very near to the said den.
Come to think about it, so what if Quark was familiar with this tunnel? The lethal black-horned purple-striped snake might still pop up any time.
Moreover, Tang Ling could not think of a reason to leave this tunnel! Would he go back up to the surface and face the sea of zombies? He did not believe that all of them had invaded the underground.
Nevertheless, Quark insisted on leaving through the exit.
"Even if this tunnel doesn't lead straight to the Safety Sector, you still doubt its use! In fact, if you go out from the exit, you'll be very close to the Safety Sector gate," Quark tried to persuade Tang Ling.
"But what does that mean?" Would the gates of the Safety Sector open up and welcome them? Tang Ling would never believe in such a questionable possibility.
"It means opportunity! With such a disaster upon us, some persistent rats will surely make it to the gates of the Safety Sector. The Safety Sector doesn't have the courage to give up on everyone just yet. Do note that the warriors, even the Purple Moon Warriors, had to rely on the settlement to deliver the 'fresh blood'. There were cases of some important figures coming out from the settlement in the past," Quark said righteously.
Tang Ling did not continue the conversation, Quark was not exactly telling a lie. Based on what Tang Ling knew, there were at least two Purple Moon Warriors that came out from the settlement.
Tang Ling did not completely trust Quark though. He felt like the man was hiding something, similar to how he never mentioned since the beginning how he escaped an encounter with a black-horned purple-striped snake.
However, revealing it at the moment was not necessary although standard precautions must be taken.
Even with the light, the quiet and dark tunnels filled with branching paths were unsettling.
Tang Ling tore a piece of jerky and put it into his mouth to chew. Quark shot a quick, odd glance at him and did not spare any further concerns.
Grandma, however, glanced over at Tang Ling worriedly, but she kept her questions to herself.
As they moved forward for around ten minutes in silence, they ran into some obstacles.
Before them was a wall that consisted of piled-up stones. Although it looked extremely rough and crude, it also meant that the safe distance had come to an end.
This crude-looking wall was undoubtedly Quark's handiwork.
Since he discovered the black-horned purple-striped snakes, he started to pile them up because he could not guarantee whether some clumsy snake would wind up in his shop in the Fifth Camp one day or not.
Fortunately, there was not a single black-horned purple-striped snake there to stop his work even after he finished piling up the wall. Otherwise, they never would have gotten a safe distance as a buffer.
Bringing out a small tool, Quark started to hack at the wall until a small hole was opened up. He then started to install something in the hole.
Tang Ling quietly watched at the side, only seeing Quark stuff a tube into the wall.
"Actually, you don't have to be frightened by it. This kind of toy isn't enough to be important in this damn world. Hey, you guys had better step back a little further." Quark pulled a long thread out of the tube and simply lit it up.
"Is that explosive?" Tang Ling simply asked.
"Get down." Quark turned a deaf ear to Tang Ling's words.
Following a loud bang, a gaping hole appeared in the crude-looking wall. Although it was not large enough for a person to go through, the remaining stones cracked as a result of the explosion. All it required was several powerful kicks and one could easily move past it.
"Go," Quark said to Tang Ling and conveniently switched off the round tube.
With the source of light gone, the tunnel was plunged into darkness. Tang Ling patted his grandmother and little sister's back as comfort before standing up and kicking the damage wall into a passage.
His Precise Instinct told him there was no danger around.
"There can be no light from here onwards. Black-horned purple-striped snakes are sensitive to light. I'd suggest keeping your volume down. These slithery bastards are much more sensitive towards sound," Quark lowered his voice and said softly.
Tang Ling quietly tore his sleeves, rolled them into a rope and tied his sister and grandmother's arms together with his.
The shirt that was knitted out of rodent valerian grass was sturdy enough.
"Let's go," urged Tang Ling although he did not stop eating the jerky. Instead, he chomped even faster.
"It's best you stay behind me since only I know the way," Quark grumbled. He was obviously annoyed about Tang Ling not tying him together.
However, Tang Ling would not even explain any further.
The footsteps started to slow down. Even their breaths were a lot lighter. Inside absolute darkness without any light source, every step forward was filled with fatal danger.
Compared to Tang Ling, the other three were in a much more relaxed state because no one was able to notice that Tang Ling's forehead was filled with tiny beads of sweat after moving for a mere 200 meters. Even his eyes turned red to the point that they were scary.
"30 meters forward, danger at the left corner. Avoid." In order to preserve his stamina, Tang Ling simplified his words.
However, thankfully in the past 200 meters, Quark had formed some kind of tacit understanding with him. After Tang Ling noticed the danger, he was always able to find a branching path to perfectly avoid it.
However, because of that, the distance to the impact point became further.
A line of blood had rolled down from Tang Ling's nostril, yet he quietly wiped it away.
As a matter of fact, Precise Instinct was able to predict danger even in a split second, but it required an extremely high concentrated state of mind.
Tang Ling had never used his Precise Instinct for such a long duration because he knew the longer he used it for, the swelling in his head would hurt him more to the point that it would crush him.
Alas, he had no other choice!
As they treaded forward slowly, seconds turned into minutes. The jerky that he grabbed from Quark's place was almost finished.
Even then, the hunger from his chest did not ease up.
It made Tang Ling feel dazed and a little uneasy. Could the concentrated usage of his Precise Instinct have consumed some of his energy?
"Almost there." Quark finally provided good news as he pointed towards a spot.
At the same time, Tang Ling calmly said, "Danger 28 meters ahead."
"Are you kidding me? There's no other branching path to purposely avoid them in front anymore." Quark instantly twisted his expression into an ugly scowl.
"It's not only that spot, but there are also seven other dangerous spots in a hundred-meter range." Since the beginning, Tang Ling maintained an unusual calm. He did not tell Quark that tremendous danger lurked in the direction that the man pointed in. It almost suffocated him after quickly sensing the area in front.