The mutant strawberry seedlings had been moved to the terrace relatively late. The plants had grown strangely colored leaves a bit before the normal ones. It was not a withered yellow, instead golden leaves conspicuously bunched together, easily recognizable.
Normal strawberries bloomed small white flowers with yellow stamens. The flowering mutant strawberries…had tender green flowers with a strange aroma. Luo Xun carefully smelled and thought it reminded him of cream.
“What are we going to do with this thing?” Although Yan Fei accompanied Luo Xun while tending crops, he still did not know how to deal with these ones. Luo Xun always told him in advance how much water and fertilizer to use, so it was natural for him to have reservations about the plants.
Luo Xun carefully looked at the green flowers to see if there were similarities to the normal strawberries. The flower was a different size but the parts were similar enough. “Have to give them pollen, the flowers are similar.”
The whole team learned under Luo Xun about pollination. They were afraid to let bugs into the home so in order for some of the vegetables to mature, they relied on manual pollination.
There were a few signs that the mutant plants at home were going to blossom. They were looking forward to it despite being unsure what the final product would turn out to be. Fortunately, from the appearance it seemed that the majority were benign variants. If they could get good results, the future would be bright.
Snow mobiles were busy wandering around base clearing out the streets which made it easier for residents to go outside for work and activities.
As a result, Luo Xun and team’s lives had become much more convenient. The road conditions were much better when trading with the other teams.
Perhaps because of the New Year, the environment on base lightened up. People who did not leave base made snowmen during leisure time, everyone seemed lively.
In order to stabilize the people’s hearts, the military found a large number of ribbons from who knew where. The decorations were hung in the streets to increase the festive atmosphere. But after a night, the ribbons were gone the next morning…well there was a material shortage on base. Those things could be brought home to keep warm.
Even if one did not use them to stay warm, they could be used as clothing/accessories! Using them as decorations was just too wasteful!
As everyone waited for February to arrive, for the start of a safe year. In the early hours of January 1st, creaking sounds from broken snow and ice were heard…
“What’s that sound?!”
“What’s going on?!”
“Air defense alarms…alerts! Zombie siege!”
Humans were forgetful creatures, they could only try to live in the present and for the sake of tomorrow. They tried to forget the pain of the past.
Luo Xun woke up but was dazed for a few moments. After he did not hesitate to get up and wear his coat. Yan Fei got up with him and also put on his coat.
The Otaku squad quickly gathered as the sirens sounded. Everyone’s faces were strained, worried and serious.
“Zombies coming now….aren’t they all frozen?” Li Tie asked with bewilderment.
Luo Xun shook his head. “I don’t know but if there are any zombies that can adapt to the cold or relieve other zombie’s frozen states…it is possible that they have surrounded us.”
“Fire zombie? Did they thaw themselves out?” Wu Xin mumbled distractedly.
“Not easy to say, maybe they melted the ice and snow?” Xu Mei smiled and calmly joked.
The members of the Otaku squad were all concentrated. Lights in various homes were also turned on. After the last experience, people did not immediately go out to demand news, instead waiting at home patiently for military broadcasts.
Like the previous time, the military first sent troops to the wall for the first wave of defense. Various registered teams were divided at the barracks and told when to swap and so on. These arrangements had to be made before they went out, otherwise it would be easier just to station military.
It was clear to those who had survived the previous siege that the zombies could break through the wall and attack, but it would not be immediate, especially since the zombies had to deal with the army for the time being.
Just as everyone was feeling confident, waiting quietly on base, sounds came from outside the base from an unknown direction…
The originally dark sky became even more oppressive and gloomy. Dark clouds blocked the weak moonlight while creepy noises continued. Clouds completely obscured the sky!
“Zombie bird! Everybody head to the roof and bring weapons!” Luo Xun stood up with a shocked expression.
He clearly remembered that zombie birds did not show up so soon…they did not appear until the winter of his first year previously arriving on base. Was the butterfly effect so strong? Even the pattern of zombie sieges were not the same?!
Everyone turned to Luo Xun in surprise…even if they were not bright they could guess what he meant.
A zombie that could fly…there were so many, how could they survive?!
Sucking in a breath, the group quickly picked up their weapons and went to the 16th floor.
Luo Xun’s terrace was the highest and most easily attacked, fortunately Yan Fei had prepared during autumn and now the windows were wrapped in metal. He had set aside firing ports next to the windows.
All were armed with weapons, they split up and stared at the sky in opposing directions. The sky was still dark as a cloud of terror enveloped the base, who knew how many birds were there.
Suddenly, who knew which zombie bird started first, but the terrible things tucked their wings and dive bombed!
The sounds in the sky had long been heard by the base survivors. Now the creatures suddenly pounced and caused people to scream. The closest zombie birds suddenly changed direction and targeted those areas.
Luo Xun grabbed his homemade crossbow and stared out the window. There were no lights on. Zombies had no preference for light, but they knew that delicious food was likely to be found in brighter areas.
In order for everyone to face less zombies, Luo Xun thought it safer to turn off the lights. It was not the same as repelling the zombies during the day. Then again, this time they were actually facing birds and those things were very annoying.
The crowd was nervous, the zombie bird vanguard had landed. The number of birds was no longer as frightening as their appearance and size.
The birds had lost half their feathers, perhaps through infection. Now they resembled metre long giant bats. Bright black beaks seemed to be different like waterfowl but with sharp claws.
Each bird had a target, they attacked any creatures within range with wings and talons.
Thanks to the metal cover, Luo Xun and company could defend and return fire. They could imitate sound in the nearby room as bait.
Even so some of the scary monsters attacked – the gaps were small but wide enough for slender beaks to poke through.
“Water gun! Xu Mei go thaw some mushroom juice!” Thank goodness they did not take all the mushroom juice with them last time.
They had not gone out recently so they collected a lot at home. This would let them save some of their ammunition! They refused to only hide behind the metal wall and wait for rescue.
“Okay.” Xu Mei quickly ordered two people to help carry frozen juice over. The entire room only had a few gaps where the birds could attack. As long as two people stayed at the window, they could cope with the situation.
Yan Fei and Luo Xun now armed with special crossbows. Seven or eight birds were scrabbling outside the window, trying to force themselves in. Luo Xun simply shot at any open mouths however one fell and more showed up so he kept shooting…
Once they developed a rhythm, the elimination speed was quite high. The only problem was that the vast majority of zombie heads would be stuck in the gaps so they had to find a way to push the heads out.
After discovering that the birds were not a danger to anyone, Yan Fei would open a hole and directly extract the nuclei from any zombies that jammed their heads in.
Do not underestimate it, the method was very effective!
After practicing and experimenting, Zhang Yi was informed and they immediately adjusted their attack style. Their speed improved once again.
But soon it became a relatively balanced battle – do not forget that those zombie birds also had abilities!
*Whoosh* Luo Xun and Yan Fei jumped aside as an attack burst forward.
“An ice ability!” Luo Xun marvelled as the projectile crashed against the window.
“No wonder they can fly so high in this icy weather!” Yan Fei spit out while adding more metal protection. He also checked to make sure that Luo Xun had no injuries.
“I’m fine, just a little startled.” The moment he saw the blue object forming, Luo Xun ducked in time with Yan Fei so the ice did not touch him.
“The zombie birds also have abilities, one is lightning. Got shocked but not a big issue.” Zhang Yi had numb hands and looked sullenly out the window.
Li Tie and the others brought out the water guns and sprayed the birds and managed to repel the attack.
*Bang* The metal plate nearest them suffered an explosion. *Crack* An ice attack swiftly followed.
“Oh no, they are alternating hot and cold attacks, some cracks have already appeared!” Yan Fei could not actually see the situation but his face paled.
“What?! They can use this sort of strategy?!” Interweaving hot and cold attacks, a sound method but the zombies were using this method to attack their defenses?! Was this proof of their intelligence?
People hoped that it was just a coincidence, but when the trend continued, there were more important things to worry about.
Luo Xun picked up a loaded water gun while Yan Fei created an opening. Luo Xun immediately sprayed out mushroom juice.
Fortunately, although the zombie birds could damage the metal but with mushroom juice and no way to block, it was a chance for the pair to change their attack method.
Xu Mei, Li Tie and Han Li had brought all the frozen mushroom juice from the freezer.
The planters had been moved to the other side of the room against the wall for safety reasons. Metal completely covered the walls and floors in case of damage, an accident would be very troublesome.
Something followed Xu Mei through the door and rushed at Luo Xun.
“Puppy, how did you get in here?” Luo Xun felt something rubbing against his leg which startled him. He carefully looked down to see his dog.
“I heard barking in your house and brought her over.” Xu Mei explained while putting something down. “I was afraid the noise would attract zombie birds so here she is.”
The zombies were attracted by sound and smell. If Puppy stayed in 1604 there was a good chance that she would get surrounded by zombie birds.
Yan Fei suddenly called out, “Careful!” Pulled Luo Xun into his arms and put up a metal shield when a bird spit something at them.
*Tssh* The sound made Luo Xun shiver as the attack ate through the metal and hit the ground. “Not a poison zombie…”
He had not finished when Puppy turned and began to bark through the metal gap.
“You…” Luo Xun tried to pull her back and nearly fell over. Yan Fei reached out and noticed something strange at the same time.
*Poof, poof* Some of the birds hovering outside the window just fell down!
A couple people stared at the barking. Puppy turned around when she realized that her target had been scared away revealing glowing eyes. The dog hugged and wagger her tail at Luo Xun, to be honest the scene was quite surreal.
Luo Xun bent down to look at the still glowing eyes and did not know what to say. If they could communicate, this sort of thing would not have happened. Did he not already suspect that she had mutated? But when she actually showed her ability, Luo Xun felt it was like a dream – the dog had not changed in shape, temper or IQ – was she really a mutant dog?
They looked at the dog in shock while the zombie birds stormed outside.
Luo Xun and Yan Fei let her face the window. In the dim light her eyes lit up and a feeling of pressure almost made Luo Xun fall to the ground while the birds also flopped…
“Metal! This bird has metal powers!” Someone yelled and Yan Fei immediately ran over.
Xu Mei stayed for defense – fortunately there were fewer zombies around. Luo Xun held onto Puppy in the meantime.
When the two of them arrived, the metal window had disappeared while a huge red mutant bird was attacking with claws.
Not only did the bird have a layer of metal on its feet but some of the metal from the window flew to the bird’s beak. The beak grew sharper, glinting coldly in the light.
Yan Fei used the metal outside to form a blade and aimed at the chin. Suddenly the bird flapped its wings and flew up a faint luster appearing on the beak. Yan Fei felt a premonition and quickly condensed a thick metal wall. The metal beak was actually like a bullet – it passed through and embedded half a metre in the next to Yan Fei!
Luo Xun sucked in a cold breath – this bird’s metal ability was not inferior to Yan Fei!
Before he could think of anything, Yan Fei’s metal wall twisted and shot towards him under the control of the bird!