Chapter 314 To Me, This Is Long Enough
The steak knife moved slowly but steadily towards Jia Lai’s eyes; its tip just about to touch his iris. But the next second, Zhang Heng suddenly pulled back the knife and dropped it on the ground beside his feet.
Instead of feeling happy that he’d just escaping death, Jia Lai felt very afraid. Zhang Heng could finally see what was hidden under the sand. It was a rattlesnake, of the most poisonous reptiles that roamed the desert. Unlike other serpents, its venom could produce a special kind of enzyme after it entered the human body, causing necrosis, damage to the nerve fibers, and eventually, brain death once it entered the nervous system.
If the rattlesnake injected enough venom into its victim, and anti-venom wasn’t administered in time, the probability of death was very certain. Judging by its tail, the rattlesnake that Zhang Heng pinned to the ground by Zhang Heng should have just matured not too long ago. About a meter in length, its yellow and brown skin camouflaged it perfectly against the sand, causing it to be extremely difficult to spot.
However, under normal circumstances, rattlesnakes weren’t supposed to be very aggressive, and they rarely attacked humans. Unless threatened, the first thing they usually did was to flee. Besides, there was a sandstorm now, and it was impossible for the rattlesnake to hunt, lest it might get swept away by the winds. There could only be one possibility for the appearance of a rattlesnake here.
“Did you really think I’d completely believe what you told me? The item you took from Nancy that allowed communication with animals hasn’t reached its maximum usage, right?” asked Zhang Heng.
“So, its been on your mind all the while?” Jia Lai was surprised, but then remembered something. “We encountered a coyote last night, and you didn’t just leave us there and flee. Was it because you suspected it had something to do with me?”
Zhang Heng nodded.
“Pfft, what a troublesome opponent.”
As he talked, Jia Lai was stalling time, hoping to recover his strength. He took in a few deep breaths of air, only to cough violently at the sand getting into his lungs.
“Ahem, okay, this round is a tie, and for the next round… I’ll find a way to kill you in the next round.”
“There will be no next round,” Zhang Heng said calmly. “This is your end. I was waiting for you to use your last trump card. Did you really think you could beat me with your pathetic skills?”
Zhang Heng grabbed the rattlesnake’s tail and cut off its head with the sharp knife in his hand before throwing its lifeless corpse to the side. Then, he pulled out the knife from the sand and started to walk toward Jia Lai. Zhang Heng didn’t look the least tired, a testament to his enduring stamina.
“What kind of monster are you?” the latter bitterly clenched his teeth. “This is my eleventh game and my fifth time playing solo-mode. I’ve met all kinds of players, including some very compelling people, but this is my first time meeting someone who’s this versatile and doesn’t seem to have any weakness. How is this possible? How many games have you completed?” “If you don’t count this round, I completed a total of four games. But for me, these four are long enough for me.”
Jia Lai raised his eyebrows with a look of surprise in his eyes as if he still had something to say. When Zhang Heng walked towards him, he quickly rose from the sand, and at the same time, tossed a stone size of a grapefruit at Zhang Heng’s head while laughing hysterically.
Zhang Heng’s expression remained unchanged. He calmly dodged the stone. As Jia Lai threw the rock in frustration, he took two steps forward, before stumbling to his knees on the sand. Seconds later, Jia Lai discovered something that horrified him. The cloth he wrapped around his face to block out the dust was gone.
Almost at the same time, he swallowed a mouthful of sand, and started to cough more violently. Jia Lai knew how dangerous it was to expose his mouth and nose to the fine sand particles and didn’t care how funny he looked right now. Immediately, he tried to take off his pants to use it as a mask, but Zhang Heng wasn’t about to let him do that.
He used the method that Jia Lai used on him previously. With a swift move, Zhang Heng strangled Jia Lai from his back. At the same time, Jia Lai desperately opened his mouth and gulped for air, but the more he struggled to breathe, the more sand he inhaled. Jia Lai began to panic, getting more and more frightened of what was about to happen to him.
He wanted to break Zhang Heng’s arm, but the lack of oxygen caused his muscles to lose all strength. His mind turned blurry as well, and all he heard was the faint rumble of an engine before he lost consciousness. That was an indication that NASA wasn’t far away, not to mention the captain who was shouting their names at the top of his voice. That said, his calls were soon drowned out by the sound of the howling wind.
Jia Lai never expected to be so desperate to be found by NASA. He exhausted his last bit of strength by opening his mouth and desperately trying to coax out a sound. But Zhang Heng had also heard the vehicle approaching then, and with no mercy, he grabbed a handful of sand and stuffed in Jia Lai’s mouth to make sure he stayed silent.
Zhang Heng patiently waited for two and a half minutes until Jia Lai gradually stopped struggling. When he felt no more resistance, Zhang Heng finally let go of him. Jia Lai’s expression in his last moments was frozen in time. His panic, unwillingness, and despair had all fallen into silence. Zhang Heng, too, had been in the sandstorm for almost half an hour and was beginning to feel discomfort in his throat and on his skin.
The sand in the wind penetrated his collars, the seams of his shoes, and through the clothing that covered his face. Like getting hit by millions of tiny bullets, he felt as if the sand was shooting at him. Currently, the wind had also reached a speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour.
Zhang Heng then frisked Jia Lai’s body as quickly as he could, taking away whatever game items he had on him. After that, he grabbed the emergency backpack that he threw aside earlier, walked back to where he stood and tried to listen in to the sound of the engine. The Jeep had probably missed them and was now moving away. Knowing that if they left him now, he might just not survive the storm. Hence, he pulled out a flare gun from the emergency backpack and fired a shot at the sky. The red flare pierced through the sandstorm, leaving a long trail of dust on its way up. In addition to that, the loud noise it made when it was fired managed to spread to a good distance as well.
After a while, the Jeep’s engine got louder again, and Zhang Heng could see the beam from its headlights through all that dust. Half a minute later, it stopped in front of him. Due to the low visibility, the driver was shocked when he suddenly saw Zhang Heng appearing in front of him. Fortunately, he stepped on the brakes in time. The captain then opened the door to let him in.
“Where’s the rest?”
“I didn’t see them. The sandstorm was so severe we got separated.”
The captain nodded and tapped the driver’s seat in front of him.
“Gibson, let’s go around this area and see if we can find them.”