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The frost, like sharp knives wrapped in snow and ice, gusted through the faces that had long been frozen and numb. The blanketing snow slowly added more and more pressure on their backpacks. They had 50 kilometers to go before they could reach the outpost in Hanzhong, and there was no time for them to rest.

The sentry wearing a winter suit walked beside the queue and looked at the white wilderness with a guarded look and his muzzle. The machine gunners who sat on top of the armored vehicles breathed out white mist as they leaned against their machine guns to kill time.

They were an army that belonged to the Northern Alliance Area.

Standing behind them were survivors from the Northern Alliance Area, the last group of people to migrate from Lanzhou to Hanzhong.

Unlike Wanghai, winter had arrived more than a month earlier not just because of the latitude, but more because of radiation clouds covering the sky. Radiation dust weaved together like a quilt. Their effect wasn't keeping the soldiers warm but reflecting sunlight back into space.

This year was extremely abnormal. Even for the northwest region, this year's winter came much earlier than previous years.

However, for the wasteland, abnormality itself was the norm.

People might feel desperate, but they would never be surprised.

After harvesting the last batch of mutated fruit, the group of people had to travel through the heavy snow to Hanzhong. A lot of people might die there, but if they didn't go, many more were going to die.

Unlike Wanghai, there weren't many types of zombies there, but many powerful and deceiving mutants haunted this region. And even in the winter, the hungry mutants never hibernated; they lurked in the dark corners, quietly waiting for feasts of blood.

For example, the mutated wolves attacked like a gust of wind with claws faster than bullets, the only remains of their victims were often only broken bones. A single migrant group once encountered them. Although everyone had guns, no one survived.

Even if the army ran into these fast and powerful creatures, it would still be quite a headache.

In order to reduce survivor casualties, the commander of the Northern Alliance ordered the use of valuable nuclear fusion cores and artillery shells by armored troops to escort the migrating survivors.

Although they inherited armored forces from the pre-war regime, it was regrettable that the lack of resources made it difficult for them to resume industrial production. They could only alleviate the supply pressure of the tens of thousands of troops through resource recovery and the production of small workshops. 

The situation they faced was even worse than that of Sixth Street three years ago. After all, NATO's Marine Corps had never been to the northwest region of NAC. There was almost no battlefield there, and there weren't many resources worth recycling.


Each round of heavy machine guns was precious to them.

An assault vehicle in snow camouflage approached from behind. When the assault vehicle passed by, although the soldiers didn't stop, they raised their hands to perform a PAC salute and offered their leaders the highest respect.

In the back of the assault vehicle, a fierce-looking man looked at the map without saying a word.

His name was Wei Bian. After Jiang Beihai, he served as the commander of the Northern Alliance Area. His position was similar to that of NAC's General. Sitting next to him was his assistant, Deputy Commander of Luo Xugang. These were the last survivors to migrate to Hanzhong and were also the last survivor group to move from Lanzhou.

When they withdrew, the city left behind had only broken walls and roaming beasts. Perhaps in a few hundred years, ivy would drill through the stone cracks in the cement pavement and sprout new shoots from the dead wood. It would naturally use its own methods to erase evidence of human existence and dye the earth with its original color--

Barbaric and without order.

"This year's snow is earlier than usual." Luo Xugang, who was sitting in the front, sighed and shook the cigar that was about to burn up.

"Yes," Wei Bian replied without much emotion.

"I'm going to die of the cold." Lu Xugang glanced at the commander from the corner of his eye. When the last trace of nicotine on the cigarette butt was burnt, he squished the cigar into the ashtray.

"Should I turn up the air conditioner?"

"No, no, I meant a different sense of cold." Luo Xugang waved his hand, and his coarse fingers took out another cigarette from his pocket and put it into his mouth.

"You're smoking away your health."

As if he heard something funny, Luo Xugang suddenly laughed and blew out a smoke ring. "Fu*k health."

Wei Bian didn't respond; his furrowed eyes still remained on the paper map.

Silence ensued in the vehicle for a long time with only the sound of wheels rolling over the snow. Luo Xugang opened his eyes and silently smoked his cigarette rolled from the mutated tobacco and felt the spicy taste inside his nasal cavity. He didn't know when it started, but only this feeling gave him a sense of being alive.

Very abruptly, Luo Xugang broke the silence.

"Our time is limited."

However, Wei Bian had the same indifferent expression.

"I know."

"I heard there's a rising power called NAC in Wanghai. The full name seems to be the New Asia Cooperation."

"I've heard about them."

"Those little guys seem to be sent by them. Although our missiles can handle them, they're always a problem... Do we really want to fight them?" Luo Xugang scratched his head.

"Mhmm."

Silence resumed.

After a long while, Luo Xugang, holding his cigarette, was still the one who broke the silence.

"I'm really envious of you."

When Wei Bian heard that, his eyes left the map for the first time, and he gazed through the window to the white wilderness.

There, a sentry discovered the mutant wolves lurking in the snow, and he immediately lifted his rifle. Soon, blood splattered onto the pristine snow, but when he pulled out the dagger and stepped forward to dig for the crystal, three more wolves leaped out...

The gunfire was loud but soon stopped.

The medics took the dying sentry to the truck, but unable to save him, he quickly ended up in a body bag. The bodies of the four wolves were tossed onto trucks equipped with organic converters. After digging up the crystals, they would be refined into nutrient supply. The team didn't stop from beginning to end. The survivors who passed through the bloodstained ground didn't look away from the road under their feet for a second.

It seemed that nothing happened there.

Nature had already decided who would die and who would survive.

"You won't be envious." Wei Bian's eyes refocused on the map as he spoke without emotion.

...

"It's a success!"

The cells in the test tube were still alive!

There were cheers from the ladies in the laboratory.

When Jiang Chen heard Lin Lin say this sentence, he didn't know what to do to describe the excitement in his heart.

According to Lin Lin, she dropped 20 milliliter of test solution mixed with human tissue cells into the test tube before placing the test tube in the freezer. After placing the test tube in a special freezer and simulating a hibernation environment, the living cells in the test tube successfully survived through the entropy reduction step when crossing through the "dimensions."

The key to transporting living creatures lay in antimatter!

Lin Lin explained the reason with a lot of mathematics and physics formulas. However, Jiang Chen was lost from the first step and didn't understand what she was saying. Even though he repeatedly asked her to explain the principles in common language, she just knocked on the whiteboard helplessly, tossed away the marker in her hand, and looked at Jiang Chen with care in her eyes.

"Just give up."

At the same time, snowflakes were falling down.

"It's already snowing?" Sun Jiao looked out the window.

"Does it usually snow at this time of year?" With the topic changed, Jiang Chen also glanced out the window.

"It usually snows in November," Yao Yao quietly whispered.

"It seems that this year's winter arrived earlier." Sun Xiaorou sighed.

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