Global Evolution - Chapter 99
Chapter 99: The Face of The Devil
Translator: Editor: Monika
On the morning of the second day, in an abandoned house at the east outskirts of Zhengzhou.
Gently peeling off the ’’bandage’’ wrapped around Chang's head, Dr. Huang revealed a badly mutilated face;his face bones were shattered. Dr. Huang spoke with pity evident in her voice, ’’I can't treat this kind of damage.
’’And I can't treat hers, either.’’ Dr. Huang turned her head, pointing to the hooknosed commander, who was tied up in the corner. ’’The incision is too big to treat, the only thing I can do is sanitize the wound and staunch the bleeding. As for your face, half of the bones are gone. I am sorry that I am not capable of reconstructing your face.’’
’’Thank you Dr. Huang. It's okay as long as I don't die from it, I'm fine with disfigurement.’’ Chang wrapped his face again, saying, ’’I apologize for stealing you from the apartment at midnight.’’
’’No worries. But you did stun me with all the blood and injuries on you, especially by not saying anything about them and just taking me away from my place,’’ Dr. Huang said. ’’What kind of trouble did you get into? I remember there were quite a few soldiers that came to our community, they didn't catch you?’’
’’My escape was a pure fluke. Look at her, she is the commander of that troop.’’ Chang pointed at Zhizhi. He then asked, ’’What if I don't get treatment for my face, will this be a lethal wound?’’
’’I don't know, either. Chang, I've never treated a wound that is as severe as yours,’’ Dr. Huang answered. ’’It is all about how well you can heal by yourself. I can give you an emergency treatment, but beyond that there is nothing I can do. Especially for your appearance. There is no way that I can restore it. Your bones were shattered, and I was just a family doctor before this apocalypse. I had never performed an orthopedic operation. This simply exceeds my capabilities.’’
’’I see. Don't worry, I understand what you're saying.’’ Chang gently stroked the intact side of his face and mocked himself, ’’I wasn't good looking anyways. Anyways, its better to have the bandage on than show my disfigured face to the others. Zhizhi, am I right?’’
While speaking, he turned his head to the hooknosed woman.
’’Why did you tie me up? I've told you that I won't go back to the military! I don't see how this is beneficial for our future cooperation.’’ The hooknosed commander struggled on the ground, but the rope was secured tightly around her. ’’Where is your humanity? To badly treat a severely wounded person like me.’’
’’Mr. Li told me that humanity is the most complicated thing in the world. Besides, I think tying you up is the most logical decision I ever made.’’ Chang walked up to the woman, saying, ’’I don't fully trust you yet.’’
’’Time will let them know the truth.’’ The woman smiled without further explaining herself.
’’Great, I'll loosen the rope if you answer my questions.’’ Chang squatted down in front of the woman, showing his index finger and asking, ’’First question, did Zhuo send you to capture me?’’
’’Yes, it is an absolute yes. He also commanded us to capture you alive.’’ Zhizhi nodded.
’’Great. My second question is, how many trackers like you does the military own?’’ Chang put on a straight face when he threw out this question.
’’There are two more. The first one is the same kind of EM like me, but his degree of evolution is lower than mine. I know that his olfactory cells are less sensitive. The other one is working in Group Beta, which is conducting a biological weapon research. This person isn't a real EM, even though what he is capable of resembles the abilities of the cognitive category EMs. I think he is just smart. He is able to conduct analysis on footprints and figure out where the target went based on what the footprint looks like by deductive reasoning. But from what I've heard so far, this person belongs to the higher ups. His status is as high as Qing Shui's in Group Alpha. I don't think Zhuo could just simply order him to do the tracking work,’’ Zhizhi said, recalling what she knew.
’’Do you remember what they smell like?’’
’’I do. I have seen them in the institute, I won't forget any scent or odor I ever smelled.’’
’’That means...’’ Chang was speaking when he loosened the rope on Zhizhi. ’’I don't need to worry about the military pursuing me anymore if I have you coming along.’’
’’Exactly. I am the best out of them. Even if the expert in deductive reasoning is sent off, I'll sense him far in advance, so don't worry.’’
’’Good to hear all this. And my last question is,’’ Chang became more serious when he was about to ask the last question, ’’how is Qing Shui doing in the research institute?’’
’’I don't know much about the higher ups... But I feel like he is quite close with Zhuo. You see, they are the best and the smartest researchers in the institute, and they work together! They get most of the fundings for their projects, and I don't think there will be another group which can surpass them in the near future. The higher ups in both the government and the military attach great importance to them, so I guess he is doing pretty well in there.’’
’’Good, good.’’ Chang turned away from the woman, nodding.
Since Zhizhi didn't receive any more questions from Chang, she stood up with difficultly, pointing at her bandaged and amputated arm. ’’Doctor, my wound isn't fatal, is it?’’
’’No, after all, humans are more than capable of self-healing these days, it'll be fine,’’ Dr. Huang answered. ’’But it is impossible that you will have your arm grow out from the incision.’’
’’Well... Does that mean I am handicapped now?’’ Gazing at her own amputated arm, Zhizhi accepted the fact reluctantly. Her words were composed of sorrow and remorse.
’’Come on, which one do you think is worse, disfigured face or amputated arm?’’ Chang looked at Zhizhi with a lonely eye. The bandage covered most of his face, leaving only his left eye out. ’’I look worse than frankenstein, and all of the suffering was caused by you.’’
’’Well...’’ Zhizhi scanned Chang's face and lowered her head. She felt less pain after Chang said that. After all, when someone else was in greater suffering than you, you would oddly feel better.
They formed such a weird group under this strange atmosphere.
One was a former denouncer, and the other was a former enemy. It seemed like bitter hatred wasn't harbored in anyone's heart in the apocalypse. As long as they were alive, enemies could turn friends and partners.
Three days later.
The four went down to a new community that they were unfamiliar with. It was once more the food distribution time. They had been staying here for two days now, and Chang's new occupation here was a security guard.
At dusk, Jing went to the distribution point to collect her and Chang's portion, then she walked back to their safe house.
’’Chang, does your face feel better now?’’ Jing asked while handing some Crystal Pea to Chang.
’’It got better, maybe. At least it isn't swollen anymore, but it is still painful. The good news is that I don't feel any strange sensations except for the pain.’’ Chang lightly tapped on the bandage while replying to Jing. ’’Where is Zhizhi? Don't let her go too far away from us.’’
’’I know.’’ Jing sat down beside Chang. ’’You don't need to worry about this. She has been active in my sensing range. As soon as she exceeds that fifty-meter line, I'll let you know.’’
’’Haha, thank you, Jing. I am pretty confident that she can't escape from me in that range.’’ Chang's mind settled, he rested on the ground with his eye closed. A moment later, Dr. Huang and Zhizhi walked into the room with small bowls in their hands.
’’Officer He.’’ Chang grinned as the hooknosed woman walked up to him, but no one could see the smile on his disfigured face behind the bandage. ’’Could you please exchange these Crystal Pea with normal food with the other residents? Even though we might get less, if someone is willing to do so, please exchange them for me.’’
’’You don't eat Crystal Peas?’’ Zhizhi was puzzled, pouring all the Crystal Peas from the bowl into her mouth, chewing.
’’No, I don't’’
’’Then what did you eat before?’’
’’Worms. I called them rice worms because they had the shape and color of rice. But I lost the worm box when I fled from the first safehouse.’’ He continued by saying, ’’Do you remember the girl who I left behind in that apartment? I think she took it. The worms aren't as gross as you might imagine, and Qing Shui said they are nutritious. I've been thinking about getting the worm box back.’’
’’Let's get it back. It sounds delicious. I still remember her scent, so it won't be difficult to find her.’’ Zhizhi was waving her amputated arm while speaking in excitement. ’’You need to share some of them with me if I find her.’’
’’Sure!’’ Chang agreed with Zhizhi, smiling. ’’Why do you like to wave your broken arm so frequently these days?’’
’’Oh come on, you've been touching you face as well!’’ Zhizhi shrugged. ’’I think it's quite common that people pay more attention to their missing parts.’’
’’You've got a point.’’ Chang touched the bandage, it felt soft as jelly beneath the cloth and the sensation made him uncomfortable. He missed his old face these days. Although he wasn't good looking before, his facial features were well organized. Now that half of the bones were missing, without the support of the bandage, his skin and muscle drooped.
He still remembered the day they had come to this community, and the residents were keeping him from entering the residential area. Although they accepted him later, none of the residents were willing to start a conversation with him. He was discriminated against because of his looks.
’’Don't worry, Chang. We'll figure this out.’’ Jing seemed to see through what he was thinking when he sunk into silence, and comforted him. ’’Let's wait until Mr. Li settles down, then we can go back to the institute. Mr. Li is capable of anything! A reconstruction operation shouldn't be hard for him at all. What if he makes you more handsome?’’
’’Hahaha...’’ Chang chuckled when he heard her comforting words. ’’I don't need to be more handsome, I just want my old face back.’’
’’But you look just as good even when you're injured,’’ Jing comforted him again.
’’Gee, you guys are creepy,’’ Zhizhi complained loudly, wrinkling her nose in disdain. ’’Your conversation sounded like those cheesy soap drama, but the age gap between you guys is larger than six years. Gross.’’
’’Gross?’’ Chang squinted at Zhizhi. ’’Only a person with a dirty mind would think of our conversation in a dirty way. By the way, how old are you?’’
’’I'm twenty six,’’ Zhizhi answered, her eyes rolling from the left to the right. She then added, ’’I am not married yet!’’