Everyone felt their hair stand on end when they heard what Kano Mai said and Chen Duo was pale as she said, “I…I hope not!”
Zhang Lei didn’t look too good either, but he nodded in agreement and said, “It’s not impossible. I’ve heard from my father’s friends before that when they went through a really bad famine in the past, there were people who resorted to eating other humans.”
“Humans can endure fear, pain, insecurity and other negative emotions, but they cave in very easily when it comes to a physical need like hunger. It’s happened many times in human history, regardless of country. Cannibalism is not that uncommon,” said Kano Mai with a sigh.
The three men in the group shuddered. Didn’t this mean they were in danger of becoming food?
“Relax, even if they wanted to eat you guys, they would wait until you were too weak to fight back or even collapse. After all, these people…are not the type who would take risks.” Kano Mai peered out of the living quarters and noticed some men walking around the area, as if they were watching all the people inside the library.
Their only hope was Su Jin. If Su Jin was not able to find them, then it was going to be hard to escape this place since they couldn’t use any of their powers or weapons. If it was just Chu Yi and Kano Mai, they stood a good chance. But there were others with them now.
A short while later, Ju Xinlan woke up and the first thing she did was to scream in horror. She had probably spent the last hour having nightmares.
“If you keep screaming like that, I’ll knock you out again,” said Kano Mai in a frosty voice.
Ju Xinlan clamped her hands over her mouth and looked around her. She calmed down after she realized they were in a safe place.
Her screaming had caused a number of heads to turn, so Chu Yi had to explain that she had been having nightmares. Everyone seemed to accept this explanation. Perhaps all of them were also having nightmares from their current situation.
Many of them left to do what they were supposed to do. None of them looked glad to be in a safe area and had despairing looks on their faces instead. One man in his 50s, however, stayed behind.
He stared at the new group that had come in for a long time, then suddenly approached them. He said to Chu Yi, “I can see that you’re a fighter.”
Chu Yi scratched his head puzzledly and the old man continued, “Take me away from here! This is not a place you should stick around for too long. They’ll kill all of you.”
All of them turned to look at the old man. Kano Mai walked over and asked, “Sir, do you know some secrets about this place?”
“Secrets? I wouldn’t call it a secret. Reggie and his group are keeping us here for their own benefit. If there’s enough food, they use us as slaves. If there isn’t enough food…then we become food,” said the old man with a scoff, not caring about whether Reggie’s men could hear him from outside or not.
Kano Mai frowned. She didn’t expect that everyone here already knew this was happening. “Sir, you asked us to take us away, but…where should we go?”
The old man scoffed and said, “Humph! That’s something that YOU should be thinking about. Why are you asking me?”
Kano Mai thought that the old man had some escape plan of sorts. This wasn’t the attitude she was expecting.
“I’m sorry, but we don’t know how we can get out of here either,” said Kano Mai before motioning to the rest of her group to ignore the old man.
The old man started getting anxious when he realized that the group wasn’t taking him seriously. He dropped his voice to a whisper, “You have to think of a way to get me out of here.”
“And why should we?” Chu Yi started getting annoyed with this weird old man. He wanted the group to save him, yet he spoke so arrogantly.
“Because I’m the real messiah of this world! This is a vaccine against the effects of the zombies, so if we can mass produce this, humans will no longer need to be fearful of the zombies,” said the old man as he pulled a test tube out from his pocket and waved it in front of them.
Chu Yi’s first reaction was to conclude that the old man had gone mad, but just then, everyone felt a warmth coming from their pockets. The source of the warmth was their Handbooks.
Kano Mai turned around and took her Handbook out to take a look. An additional mission had appeared.
Hidden mission: Escort Professor Charlemagne to the Safe Zone.
“He’s not lying to us.” Kano Mai was surprised by this new discovery. She turned back to the professor and said, “We can bring you along when we leave, but as you can see, we can’t even get out of this place ourselves.”
The old man nodded and said, “Yes, I can see that. So, please think of a way out of here. If you come up with anything, I’ll be over there.” He slowly walked back to where he was resting earlier, lay back down on the floor and closed his eyes to sleep again.
Kano Mai told the rest about this hidden mission, and after they confirmed that it was the same in their Handbooks, they began discussing if they should proceed with the mission.
“If we do it, how would we benefit?” asked Zhang Lei.
Kano Mai explained the Handbook’s point system to them, and once the newbies heard that the points they would get from completing this hidden mission was equivalent to the average number of points an owner would earn from completing a Challenge, they unanimously decided to do it.
Kano Mai herself was for doing it. The hidden mission was in line with the main mission anyway. They just had to bring one more person along.
Now that they had decided to go through with the hidden mission, the next problem was how to get out of this library. Fighting their way out was definitely a bad idea, so Kano Mai felt that they had to scheme their way out instead.
“Does anybody have any good ideas?” Su Jin wasn’t around and Kano Mai didn’t think she was smart enough to come up with a good scheme, so she hoped that the group could think of something instead. She was pinning her hopes on Chen Duo, because this young lady seemed to be fairly good at this.
Chen Duo ended up being the first one to speak up. She pursed her lips for a while, then said, “Fighting our way out is definitely not an option. Even if we manage to defeat these guys, not all of us would make it out alive. So…we will have to try some other alternative methods.”
“Do you have a concrete plan?” asked Kano Mai.
Chen Duo paused to think, then said, “I noticed that there are probably somewhere between seven to 10 guys guarding the library. As Reggie said earlier, women are a scarce resource around here, so if you’re willing to do this, then…I think the three ladies of the group could trick the men into leaving their posts, then I’ll need the three guys here to attack them.”
Kano Mai got the plan. Chen Duo’s plan sounded good, but to distract the men and lead them away from their posts, the three ladies in the group had to work individually.
“What do you mean by that?” Ju Xinlan threw Chen Duo a dirty glare and hissed, “Do you take me as a licentious woman? How disgusting.”
Everyone stared at Ju Xinlan like she was out of her mind. Their lives were on the line now, so this was not the time to behave like this. Besides, nobody was asking her to really do anything with those men. They just needed to distract them and stall them.
Chen Duo immediately trembled fearfully when Ju Xinlan snapped at her so fiercely, and quickly apologized, “I’m…I’m sorry. That’s the most plausible plan I could come up with…”
“You might be willing to do something so shameless, but I’m not. Count me out of this,” said Ju Xinlan with a disdainful sneer.
Chen Duo was timid and didn’t dare to say anything, but Kano Mai wasn’t going to back down. “Sure. Like I said before, we will respect your decision. Once we get out of here, we’ll go separate ways. If she’s not willing to contribute, then there’s no need for us to protect her either.”
Ju Xinlan’s eyes widened and her face reddened, perhaps out of embarrassment, or out of anger. She knew that Kano Mai was serious and would really abandon her If necessary, so she had no choice but to grit her teeth and say, “Fine! I’ll agree to this plan, but my request is that the guys save me first.”
Kano Mai glanced at her, then said to the rest, “Later on, you don’t have to worry about me, I’ll be able to handle the situation myself. As for which of the other ladies you save first, that will depend on the situation.”
“Why, you!” Ju Xinlan glared furiously at Kano Mai, but she didn’t dare to actually say anything else.
Since this was decided, there was no time to waste. They had eaten some food and drank water before arriving at the library, so it was best to act now while their bodies were still strong. If they waited for too long, they would become hungry and weaker.
Kano Mai was the first one to start on the plan. She replaced her aloof expression with a charming one and walked out of the sleeping area. Reggie was discussing something with one of his subordinates when he noticed Kano Mai approaching them and had a puzzled look in his eye.
“Miss, do you need something?” asked Reggie.
Kano Mai bit her lip and said, “My younger brother hasn’t eaten anything in a long time, so…I wanted to ask if you could give him a slice of bread.”
Reggie raised an eyebrow and had a lecherous smile on his face as he shook his head and said, “Oh dear! But I can’t possibly do that just for you. The food in the library is for everyone. If you want food, then you have to make some contribution, otherwise it’s very hard for me to help you.”
“But…but my younger brother is really very hungry.” Kano Mai’s acting chops were amazing. Her eyes were already brimming with tears that were ready to roll down her cheek any moment.
“I’m sorry, but like I said, I can’t help you.” Reggie sighed, but his subordinates began to snigger.
“I’m not after the food in the library, I want what you have…didn’t you say…didn’t you say that women were a scarce resource around here?” Kano Mai bent her head slightly and looked very shy.
Her shyness turned Reggie on and he couldn’t help but lick his lips as he said, “Since you’re willing to make such an exchange, then let me help you! But I have to make things clear here. You’ll only get half a piece of rye bread after this.”
“I…I understand.” She looked up at him and the tears in her eyes rolled down her cheeks.
Reggie laughed and pulled her back towards the sleeping area, but she suddenly shook her head and bit her lip. “Don’t go there…my younger brother’s there. Can we…can we find somewhere more secluded?”
Reggie could barely keep it in his pants when he saw how shy Kano Mai looked, and he was happy to accede to this request. He pulled her towards the exit and called two subordinates along.
She frowned slightly as she realized why Reggie had been able to remain in charge of his little team. He was actually still so cautious even in such times. Then again, fighting three men wasn’t going to be much of a problem to her.
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