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Kneel to Me

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Chapter 50: Second Arc [13]

The wolves were very angry, slowly coming out from the forest, about twenty of them immediately surrounded everyone, baring their fangs and snarling with terrible low growls coming from their throats.

Everyone's heart was pounding like thunder, and sweat poured like rain as panic set in. All eyes turned to Song Juyao.

Song Juyao had already pulled Evans back to her raft while talking, knowing what was coming. With a single powerful kick by Evans' long legs, the two of them could easily escape downstream.

At this time, Wen Yingting said, "Don't be afraid, if we're not afraid of the wolves, they won't rush up easily! As we face the wolf pack, let's slowly back away..."

But Song Juyao abruptly cut him off, "Run!"

Before the words had fully left her lips, the wolf pack launched an attack, baring their bloody fangs they pounced on them. Wolves, as creatures, were one thing when hunting and another when seeking revenge. This time, there was no time for hesitation. They had to run.

The scene was immediately chaotic, Stanley immediately pushed his son onto the raft, and by the way, tossed Wei Shu on his side as well. Being tall and muscular with a strong physique, with one kick he was able to push the raft away from the shore, and then leaped on his own–the three were the first to succeed to escape downstream and avoid the immediate danger.

Wen Yingting was also in the best physical state of age, not like these stars who had to maintain a certain degree of slim body. He dragged Li Xin aboard the raft in one motion. Chang Youqing had been placed on the raft lying down since arriving, Li Dada happened to be feeding him water from a shell, and Chang's mother was also by his side, so the three of them managed to escape as well.

Next were naturally Evans and Song Juyao. As the raft entered the water, Song Juyao heard a piercing scream from Li Wenling. She turned and saw Meng Cong being bitten and dragged backward by two wolves. Meng Cong screamed in fear, and Li Wenling, in her panic, lost her mind and immediately jumped over to save her son but was bitten on the arm by one of the wolves. Her husband immediately rushed to her rescue but overlooked their younger son, Li Quan.

With his parents and brother there, Li Quan naturally couldn't abandon them to leave on his own. A wolf lunged at him, sinking its teeth into Li Quan's neck.

Song Juyao furrowed her brow, jumping down from the raft that had just begun drifting, she wade through the water at top speed and quickly grabbed a burning torch from the campfire, using it to drive the wolves away.

"Come here quickly!" Song Juyao grabbed Li Quan and said sternly.

Only then did the three of them, Li Wenling, run over in a panic. Fortunately, this raft was carefully tied by Li Quan and Meng Cong, made relatively large in order to be able to withstand the weight of a family of four. The four people immediately got on the raft, Song Juyao waved the torch to keep the pouncing wolves at a certain distance. Once the raft entered the water, she tossed the torch and jumped into the water, grabbing hold of the raft as it dragged her away. A pouncing wolf's mouth was so close that its teeth nearly tore off a few of her hair.

The audience watched in terror and shock, only letting out a huge sigh of relief once they saw everyone managed to escape safely.

[Oh my, it was so thrilling!]

[Without Song Juyao, Li Wenling's entire family would have perished here.]

[Stupid Wen Yingting, stupid Wen Yingting! I'm cursing him out openly. F*ck, you ran fast enough yourself!]

[Yes, the Yingting's whole family was bitten, while they escaped without a scratch. I'm pissed off. Didn't you want to wait for Wen Zhulian? Why don't you stay and wait?]

[The Lingzhi fans are grateful to Song Juyao. From now on, the people who curse her are the ones we want to curse too, thank you!]

[Song Juyao is so nice, handsome and kind. I've become a fan!]

As the raft was carried away by the swift current, the wolf pack, filled with hatred, pursued along the riverbank until there was no way ahead. They stood resentfully on a boulder ahead, glaring at their escaping enemies. Another round of wolf howls echoed in the eerie night, making it all the more chilling.

Song Juyao was pulled onto the raft, and the moonlight was bright enough for them to see the scenery on both sides of the riverbank. They went with the flow, not knowing where they would be taken.

"Xiaoquan? Xiaoquan?" Only then did Li Wenling notice her youngest son lying on the raft. Blood was still flowing from his neck, panicked, she turned to Song Juyao, desperately asking for help, "Miss Song, Miss Song..."

Song Juyao went over to touch it and felt the deep bite marks. The force of the wolf's bite was more than a human neck could withstand. Although she rushed to help, it was still a step too late.

Song Juyao fell silent.

"What? Miss Song? How...... won't it, No...Xiaoquan can't be... Xiaoquan? Xiaoquan! Xiaoquan wake up, don't scare mommy......" Li Wenling went crazy, couldn't believe what was happening in front of her. But Li Quan's consciousness was fading, his body temperature dropping rapidly, and soon turned cold.

In the end, under the night sky, Li Wenling let out a heart-wrenching cry of pain.

A mother lost her child, the grief and pain infected many viewers, and for a while the barrage of comments cursed Wen family's mother and son duo even more fiercely.

[But let's be honest, Li Wenling is also partly to blame. Song Juyao told her to leave, but she lingered, dragging her feet there, so she's also responsible for Xiaoquan's death.]

[Acting kindly but ending up killing her own son. Don't blame me, I find it satisfying. Stupid people deserve this kind of treatment. That's a lesson she'll remember for the rest of her life.]

[Li Wenling has already suffered enough and she meant well. Who could have known this would happen in such a short time? The real culprits are those selfish ghosts of the Wen family.]

[What does it have to do with Zhuzhu? If she knew, she'd tell her brother not to wait for her. It was her brother's decision.]

[With such a selfish brother and mom, I doubt what kind of person Wen Zhulian really is.]

This island was surprisingly large. Dawn was breaking on the horizon but they still had not drifted to the end of the river nor been carried out to sea.

Ahead lay a mangrove forest, their raft crashed into the mangroves carried by the currents. All the rafts that drifted ahead were wrecked here. Stanley and the others were waiting for Song Juyao's group on the roots of the mangrove tree protruding from the water.

Upon seeing Song Juyao and her group, Stanley immediately waved to greet them. However, when he saw the expressions on Li Wenling and her family, something seemed off, he silently retracted his friendly gesture.

Li Wenling hugged her little son and refused to let go of him, completely dazed as if her soul had left. Li Xin quickly asked, "What's wrong with Xiaoquan?"

When Li Wenling heard Li Xin's voice and slowly looked up, the figure of the mother and son was reflected in her eyes, and a ferocious glow of hatred instantly flared into them. If it wasn't for them, her son wouldn't have died!

Li Wenling jumped into the water and pounced on Li Xin, launched into a frenzy, pulling her hair, beating and kicking. Even when they both fell into the water, she didn't let go, her husband did not stop either, his own eyes were bloodshot. He also started a fight with Wen Yingting when he came over. The scene turned chaotic.

Stanley and the others went to stop, but Song Juyao had no time for that. Evans was in a panic, scolding her harshly. He couldn't believe that she had suddenly jumped into the water to save someone, especially when his backpack, containing all their supplies, was still with him, and Song Juyao had nothing.

......

Wen Zhulian, Wei Yan, Wen Guohua and others were together. Wen Zhulian and Wei Yan naturally needed to go to find Song Juyao, after all, this was their job as real-life NPCs. How could they stay away from the defendant?

Thankfully, with the wristbands for tracking, they could tell where Song Juyao's group was heading.

They had been slowly following Song Juyao and the others until they saw corpse after corpse along the way, and they began to feel that something was wrong.

They were body parts, not full corpses. It looked like they had been torn apart and then eaten by wild beasts, and if they didn't still have fabric to identify, they wouldn't even know who had been eaten.

"This..." Wei Yan crouched by a footprint, putting his hand out to measure – it was even larger than his palm. Horror dawned in his eyes. "It seems to be a bear's..."

Everyone felt a shiver run up their spines. "Don't tell me..."

"Quick, let's walk faster and hurry to join Juyao and the others." Wen Zhulian's lips trembled in fear, and when she and Wei Yan looked at each other, they saw the fear and anger in each other's eyes.

This damn world of the second episode was actually so scary, that damn program group didn't give enough information at all. They had heard rumors before that the program group would pit the guests, just like Ming Shu's first phase when she bought the character profile card, wanting to go with the campus Cinderella script. As a result, if it wasn't for Song Juyao going to save her, Ming Shu was almost killed by a tennis ball because of insufficient information.

Because of this, their company had repeatedly confirmed with the program group that all information was clear to make sure there weren't any traps. But what happened? They were still tricked. There was such a dark and vicious company like Fanxing Group in this world that used a "test run" excuse to trick them here as guinea pigs!

In the real world, a lot of people thought the same that Wen Zhulian and the others were set up by the program group. Seeing this, Ming Shu subconsciously touched her chest, feeling uneasy and thinking to herself that she was relatively lucky in the first season, only getting beaten up by a tennis ball. Wen Zhulian and the others' situation was much more miserable ah – it was too terrifying to be used as lab rats by a powerful conglomerate and be chased by bears on the island, risking being eaten. The horrors seemed endless, with no knowing what other terrifying things they might encounter.

The program team felt wronged to no end, the information they gave this time was quite thorough this time. They knew nothing about this so-called Fanxing Group or their "Survival Island Paradise".

Tan Wei: "Where is the information card of this Fanxing group? Let's take a look. What's this survival island about? What's going on?"

The information revealed that the Fanxing Group was a super conglomerate with half the world's wealth. They had various cutting-edge high-tech products, monopolizing many sectors. They also had influence in politics and the military, with complex and extensive roots extending everywhere. For a top-tier conglomerate like them, conducting illegal experiments or other bad acts was certainly possible.

The Survival Island Park was a venture that they had spent 20 billion gold coins to create.

It was basically the same story they already knew - they couldn't get any useful information, and this world made them feel even more powerless than the first episode against events spiraling out of their control.

In the live broadcast room of the trial show, the audience was debating what was going on with Survival Island, either that or were reacting similarly to the audience in the virtual world – either shouting "666" for Song Juyao or cursing the Wen family for causing death. Song Juyao's petition for redress of grievances kept increasing in votes.

"Director Tan, don't rush, let's take another look." Tang Shan said, "This isn't bad actually - we just want to test Song Juyao, and this island is giving her an even bigger test than we could. There may be some unexpected surprises."

In this kind of life and death crisis, complex relationships and emotions, even a slight misstep by Song Juyao could be magnified many times. Don't underestimate how fickle people's hearts can be - those cheering "666" now and thinking Li Wenling got what she deserved may turn on Song Juyao in an instant if she does anything they dislike. They might have a favorable view of someone at one moment, but if that person makes a move that doesn't align with their expectations, they'll immediately feel uncomfortable.

[T/N: very powerful, cool, impressive (used by Chinese gamers to commend skillful play)]

Such is human nature.

......

Virtual World.

Survival Island Paradise.

Ignoring the chaos elsewhere, Song Juyao squatted down to check Chang Youqing's arm.

When Chang Youqing wasn't paying attention, she suddenly exerted a force.

"Click."

"Ah!" Chang Youqing screamed in pain.

Chang's mother immediately pushed Song Juyao away. "What are you doing? Do you want my son to die?"

"Mom!" Chang Youqing shouted immediately, "Don't wrong Miss Song, she helped me reset the arm!"

Chang's mother suddenly felt embarrassed and stuttered, "If she's connecting the arm, she should just say so. Doing it so suddenly..."

"That's how doctors do." Chang Youqing wanted to ask Song Juyao to take care of his mother. Seeing his mother like this, he was anxious to die. His face flushed and breathing became increasingly labored.

[Chang Youqing comes from a rural background, and his mom is an uneducated countrywoman. No matter how well she dresses, she can't hide her unsophisticated manner.]

[She's such a shrew, kindness is not rewarded, she should be left there to feed the wolves]

[She'll get Chang Youqing killed sooner or later. She's so stupid. Doesn't she know they can only rely on Song Juyao.]

[Chang's mother's concern must have gotten the better of her. With her daughter's death and her son's injuries, it's only natural that she'd have a bad temper.]

[Nonsense, she hates the real one because she likes the fake one. How many times has she dissed the real one for the fake one before? It's not like her son was killed by the Wen family, the knife isn't falling on her, so of course she wouldn't feel the pain.]

"Your wound is already infected, and you've also developed a fever. If it continues like this, you will probably lose this arm." Song Juyao didn't care about Chang's mother and looked at Chang Youqing's wound. The wound was scratched out by the bear's claws, and further soaked in water, it had already begun to fester and become infected. Chang Youqing had also already started a high fever – without treatment, it wasn't just the arm that would be lost, he would certainly die.

"What should we do now?" Chang's mother asked anxiously upon hearing this.

"This could be considered a blessing in disguise," Song Juyao stood up and looked into the distance. "If I'm not mistaken, that should be a stronghold, and there might be medical supplies for us."

In the distance, a pointed roof could be seen peeking out from the treetops of the forest canopy.

Li Wenling and her group were still in turmoil, overwhelmed by intense grief that propelled them into an uncontrollable outburst of tears, wailing and screaming. Stanley and others could hardly restrain them.

Song Juyao walked over, "Li Wenling, calm down a bit."

"I can't calm down! My son, my son is dead!" Li Wenling had already roared until she was hoarse, now her voice was barely coming out.

"You've lost one son; do you want to lose the other as well?" Song Juyao reprimanded sternly.

Only then did Li Wenling come to an abrupt stop, following Song Juyao's gaze to look at Meng Cong, who had been sitting quietly on a tree root the whole time.

Both of Meng Cong's legs had been bitten, and at this time, he was running a fever and his eyes hung listlessly.

Their family members had all suffered bites or scratches from wolves to varying degrees, but Meng Cong's condition was more severe.

Song Juyao said, "If he doesn't receive immediate treatment, he'll either die from wound infection or from the rabies

For the sake of their other son, Li Wenling and her husband finally calmed down. But they still couldn't let go of their grief for the loss of their son, Li Quan. With her husband carrying Meng Cong, and Li Wenling carrying Li Quan, Li Wenling was so grief-stricken that she could barely walk. When Wen Yingting tried to help, he was yelled at by Li Wenling to go away, and in the end, it was Stanley who came over to help.

The group set off once more. Under Song Juyao's guidance, they headed towards the correct shortcut. Wen Yingting and Li Xin, trailing behind, were consumed by guilt and anguish. They knew that if they had heeded Song Juyao's advice and left immediately, or even if they had stayed behind only by themselves to wait for Wen Zhulian, Li Quan would not have died.

They journeyed all the way through the woods, and then struggled to climb upward through the vines with difficulty. Song Juyao, with the help of Stanley, used the amazingly tough Bauhinia championii vine to weave a rope ladder and threw it to those who were unable to climb, and finally came to the front of this stronghold in the middle of the night.

The outpost was a rather large four-story villa. Turning on the switch just outside the door, the bright lights instantly filled the entire house. The first floor used large floor-to-ceiling windows, so when the lights turned on, it was like a music box had been opened, revealing clean maple wood floors, sofas, tables and chairs, and a dining room with red wine…...

After experiencing so much, seeing such a comfortable environment instantly gave them a sense of security, and everyone's muscles slowly relaxed, like they were finally saved.

The padlock on the door was not locked, and proved that there were no small animals running in there. Song Juyao took it off, and as soon as the group of people went in, they immediately sat down on the floor with their legs feeling like jelly.

They were all paralyzed with exhaustion.

Wen Yingting looked at the house and sneered, "The cat cries over the dead mouse in false compassion."

[T/N: 猫哭耗子 - māo kū hào zi - the cat weeps for the dead mouse (idiom); hypocritical pretense of condolence]

For the Fanxing Group to put them in this kind of place and then provide such a stronghold was really ironic in his view. It was like rewarding a group of lab rats for successfully surviving.

Song Juyao said, "Everyone, search each room. There may be medical supplies."

With two lives hanging by a thread, the exhausted people forced themselves up again to begin searching for supplies.

Facts proved that Song Juyao's guess was not wrong, the Fanxing Group did not want to get them killed so easily.

In this outpost, they had everything they currently needed, be it rabies vaccines or fever reducers. The refrigerator was stocked with food, and plenty of clothes in the closets. Upon turning on the bathroom shower head, they even had warm water.

Song Juyao gave rabies vaccines to those bitten by animals, and to be safe, gave a dose to the others who had not been bitten as well, in case they would be bitten by something else later. She also gave Meng Cong and Chang Youqing fever reducers, even though taking multiple medications at once could have some side effects, but the situation was urgent and they could only treat the living horse as a dead horse.

[T/N: 死马当活马医 - sǐ mǎ dàng huó mǎ yī - lit. to give medicine to a dead horse (idiom) / fig. to keep trying everything in a desperate situation]

Whether it is the real world or the last episode or this episode, Song Juyao was not a medical practitioner. She didn't need to learn such a skill for now, as after all, a doctor cannot treat themselves. But the person she needed to save the most was herself.

So she only knew basic wound treatment. Helping Chang Youqing remove the rotten flesh from his wound and applying ointment and simple dressings, she also gave anti-inflammatory medications, leaving the rest to whether the life of Chang Youqing was hard enough to be able to carry through.

......

At this time, Wen Zhulian and others were pushing themselves relentlessly, rushing non-stop towards their direction. Their clothes were brushing over the shrubs, feet in the muddy ground leaving footprints, sweat dripping on the ground ......

In the darkness, the bushes rustled with sand-like sounds, as a hill-like figure slowly emerged from the bushes, and lowered its head to sniff the footprints on the ground.

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