Chapter 34A "Fair" Interrogation
Translated by Oedon
Edited by Oedon
In Mining Town, the chilly wind came in through the gaps in the windows and doors, creating a ghostly sound.
By the stove, Lin Tuo looked at the girl who was biting her lips and was refusing to say even a word, feeling a little helpless.
Torture her so she will answer?
He is not a villain.
He just happened to encounter her when he wanted to find someone to understand the situation of the Wasteland, he never intended to torture anyone. Unfortunately, she was not willing to communicate, so it was really difficult to start a conversation.
“It seems that you don’t want to cooperate.” Lin Tuo sighed, his voice containing disappointment. He raised the steel pipe in his hand.
On the floor.
Hua Xi instantly tensed up and stared at him warily. She thought: here it comes, here it comes, so at the end, it always comes to torture, right?
What do I do?
Answer? Or keep quiet?
Many chaotic thoughts surged in her mind, but Lin Tuo’s next action froze her.
It surprised her to see Lin Tuo turning around his chair—no longer looking at her. He poked the huge backpack on the ground with his steel pipe.
Lin Tuo’s eyes suddenly flared with curiosity.
He remembered that when the girl tried to escape; she tried to bring this thing along, which slowed her down. Otherwise, she might have successfully escaped.
Clatter. He reached out to the backpack and pulled down its slightly rusty zipper, laying bare the contents inside.
Lin Tuo’s eyes shrank slightly, a little surprised.
There are actually brand new weapons and ammunitions there!
Most of them are groups of bullets that were the same type. They were extremely cold to the touch and were emitting a yellowish luster under the firelight.
They filled most of the backpack, Lin Tuo estimated that there were at least a few thousands there.
Also, there were guns’ parts, dozens of grenades, scopes, and other items in the backpack.
All of them are brand new, with the oil’s coating still intact on the guns’ barrel.
This little girl was carrying an enormous bag of weapons all along!
Lin Tuo gave her a strange look. “Those soldiers chasing you, they aren’t looking for these, right? Did you… steal their weapon arsenal?’
“I didn’t! It was originally ownerless! And I was the one who found it first!” Hearing that, this fierce little lass became angry and retorted.
“Not stolen? I don’t think so…” Lin Tuo threw back the bullet in his hand, then pointed at the foods under the bed, which were pulled out by Hua Xi. He said, “Didn’t you just come in here and steal someone’s food?”
Hua Xi was speechless.
After a while, she said sullenly, “They are the result of an exploitation, I was merely robbing the rich and helping the poor!”
With that, the pain of hunger in her stomach made her frown and close her mouth.
Lin Tuo didn’t continue to ask but looked at the foods curiously.
Most of them were pickled dried meat, some strange-looking vegetables, and plant roots that he had never seen before.
He presumed that it was the mutated plants, the ones that survived on the Wasteland’s soil.
In contrast, some of the foods with an “old era” atmosphere were more attractive.
Such as honey in a jar, Baijiu that has long lost its label… and…
Lin Tuo curiously picked up a well-sealed tin can and wiped the lower surface. The brand name on it was still vaguely recognizable.
He looked at the production date and compared it to the time of “destruction” marked in the Operation Log—this canned food was produced before it.
In other words, these are foods that have been preserved from a long time ago.
Just, it was unclear how long it has been since the mad Emperor triggered the destruction.
Just when Lin Tuo’s thoughts drifted away, the sound next to him drew his attention back.
He turned his head to look at Hua Xi, a smile emerging on his face. He said, “You are starving.”
“I’m not!” Hua Xi turned her head away stubbornly. Though, her stomach continued to growl relentlessly.
As a result, the serious atmosphere in the room suddenly became awkward.
“Would you like to eat? If so, answer my questions.” Lin Tuo’s eyes turned crescent.
He didn’t immediately open the can, even after seeing Hua Xi’s silence. After all, who knew if it had already expired?
Instead, he opened the honey jar and took the iron basin from the table, putting it on the stove so he could melt the crystallized honey.
He then tasted it and clicked his tongue in amazement deliberately. After that, he stuffed some dried meat and some plant that looked like potatoes into a thin iron rod, then he roasted it in the furnace.
Soon, a not-so-powerful aroma of food wafted out.
Frankly, Lin Tuo has no appetite for these foods.
Especially when he just ate a hot pot recently. Despite that, these foods would be precious delicacies to the people of the Wasteland.
As evidenced by the withered, thin, and famished refugees in the town square.
After a while, Hua Xi could no longer persist in this silent contest. She gritted her teeth and said, “You win! Just ask!”
“I said you can ask! Just give me the food!” she said unwillingly while gritting her teeth.
Lin Tuo smiled.
“Well then, I, for one, am a very fair person. You answer my question, I’ll let you have a bite, very fair isn’t it?
“En, then my first question is, what year is it now? Or rather, how many years have passed since the disaster that destroyed the world?”
Lin Tuo sat in the chair again and asked seriously.
On the floor, Hua Xi’s expression gradually became weird.
In her opinion, this question was really weird. Though, it was true that it was not something that anyone could answer.
For example, those exiled people and the refugees who were at the bottom of Wasteland’s hierarchy may not be able to answer.
“Today is the 31st year of the Cataclysm. At least, that’s what we had all agreed upon. So right now, it should be 31 years after the disaster,” said Hua Xi.
“You are not sure?” Lin Tuo asked back.
Hua Xi endured the cramping pain in her stomach—it felt like she was starving to death. She could only honestly say, “I didn’t experience the old era. So, how can I say for sure?”
Well, that’s right. From her appearance, she looked around ten years old. Hence, she should be the aboriginal people that was born in the Wasteland era.
Or according to them—the age of Cataclysm.
Lin Tuo secretly nodded. Thirty years… that was not surprising. From the time he saw the dilapidated buildings, he already had a guess.
“I answered. It’s time for you to give me something to eat.” Hua Xi saw he was lost in thought and couldn’t help but to remind him.
Only then did Lin Tuo come back to his senses and handed over the thin iron rod in his hand.
Hua Xi didn’t care that it was hot. Her recovery ability had digested the last bit of food in her stomach clean; she really can’t hold on anymore.
She opened her mouth and took a bite, then she swallowed a whole half-baked mutated potato.
After hastily chewing a few mouthfuls, she tried to swallow it. But she choked instead, her eyes rolling up to where the white parts were visible.
“To go that far… how long has it been since you last ate…”
Lin Tuo’s eyelids twitched. He hesitated for a moment before he poured a glass of water for her.
He had already boiled the water, but it still looked very turbid.
“Cough… cough cough…” Seeing that there was nothing wrong with Hua Xi, he continued to ask.
“The second question is, how is the human society today? I mean, how many people were there, who ruled, and how many industrial facilities are still operating? Or are they gone?…”
This question was much more complex, and Hua Xi wasn’t able to understand it all at once.
Lin Tuo explained for a while. Only then could she give out the information she knew intermittently.
After piecing together the pieces of information, Lin Tuo could figure out the situation.
The situation in the Wasteland was reasonably better than he expected, but not by much.
According to Hua Xi.
After the “Cataclysm”, the environment of the whole “world” deteriorated as all things on earth—withered. Many people died, and the city of the “old era” almost stopped functioning entirely.
Many of the cities near to the West have collapsed. And while those far away from the “epicenter” fare better, their industrial structures has also been completely and irreversibly damaged.
Many deaths, loss of knowledge, strong energy disturbance which destroyed countless electrical tools, the collapse of the industrial foundation… All of this had caused human society to regress hundreds of years in just a short time.
To survive, people stockpiled food madly, which led to riots and subsequently—wars.
Only by relying on these stockpiled foods was humanity able to survive the most difficult period.
But it was not without cost.
The scramble for food had caused humanity to miss the opportunity to rebuild the industrial structures.
When the world’s temperature dropped and radiation clouds covered the entire continent, the remaining humans suffered another disaster.
The flow of energy caused by the “annihilation bombs” killed many normal lives. But some survived tenaciously through evolution and mutation.
The animals in the wild were the first to mutate, becoming more ferocious, fearsome, and bloodthirsty… they competed with humanity for precious survival resources.
Then humanity followed suit.
Most humans developed all kinds of strange diseases like mental disorders or skin ulcers… and their offspring even had more deformities. Yet somehow, they survived.
A minority of humans instead had the opposite change.
Their physical fitness was enhanced, they became more agile, more resilient, stronger, and more immune to sickness.
They are slowly becoming “superhuman” while maintaining their human appearance.
Not only did these minority’s offspring inherited their “excellent” mutation, but they also had a probability of being born with Transcendent Abilities
Only by the merit of these people was humanity able to gain a foothold in this Wasteland.
Some powerful peoples began to recruit manpower using the “company” of the old era as a model. They then started occupying well-preserved cities, driving away those non-evolved refugees.
They also began to collect the creations of the old era from the ruins with all their might.
They had tried to use those machines that have been preserved for decades to resume production.
But alas, it was too difficult for them.
The regression of civilization and the loss of knowledge caused the people to be unable to understand the “principles” at all. They could only rely on the creations left from the old era to carry out some simple production activities.
Under this pattern, it created a tripartite balance of major forces.
They were: Burning Fire Company, Gray Mountain Group, and Apocalypse Wanderer.
And Hua Xi belongs to the last one.
1. Baijiu (Chinese: 白酒; pinyin: báijiǔ; lit. ‘white (clear) liquor’), also known as shaojiu (烧酒/燒酒), is a colorless liquor typically coming in between 35% and 60% alcohol by volume (ABV). Each type of baijiu uses a distinct type of Qū for fermentation unique to the distillery for the distinct and characteristic flavor profile. Source (Wikipedia): https://bit.ly/3wIBtE2
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog