Cheng Yang left his friends and headed towards the truck at the front of the convoy as he had seen Boss Lee from the lumber mill in the passenger seat. It seemed that he really valued the deal and had made the trip himself.
When Boss Lee saw Cheng Yang approaching he jumped down from the truck and surveyed his surroundings. “Mr. Cheng what exactly are you planning to do with this wood? Build a house? The foundation isn’t even flat yet!”
Cheng Yang laughed, “Don’t worry, it will be flat in a few minutes.”
Boss Lee laughed as well. What a joke! Although Phoenix Slope wasn’t a cliff to level it enough for construction wouldn’t take just a day or two. You would need several weeks and lots of heavy equipment.
“Boss Lee don’t worry about the land and just unload the wood by the side of the road. After that is finished I’ll go back with you to finish the deal.” Cheng Yang explained.
Boss Lee looked at Cheng Yang and sighed, “All right, you’re the buyer so I’ll listen to you.”
Boss Lee turned around and ordered the twenty muscular workers he brought with him to start unloading the cargo. The diameter of each log was over half a meter wide and five meters long with a weight to match the size. This was exactly what Cheng Yang had wanted since the game system didn’t recognize wood much smaller than that as usable.
When Cheng Yang returned to his friends Yu Kai had a bitter smile on his face, “Yoko, please tell me you didn’t spend all our money on that wood.”
Cheng Yang gave him a wry smile, “I’m sorry but I spent the money you lent to buy this wood.”
That bitter smile of Yu Kai’s never left, “Yoko, if the apocalypse is coming shouldn’t you be buying food? Can you eat logs? Also, why bring us to the middle of nowhere? What was the point of that?”
“Don’t worry,” Cheng Yang replied calmly, “You’ll understand after the end of the world.”
Although he said that Cheng Yang had grown apprehensive over time.
If he was wrong and the apocalypse wasn’t going to happen… what then? Would he have to gather the rest of the money to pay Boss Lee? Or would he just take his wood back and keep the deposit? Either way he would have wasted all of his friends savings. These thoughts were a heavy weight on Cheng Yang’s shoulders.
However, if the apocalypse did come and he hadn’t prepared it would be a disaster for him and his friends. This was a matter of life and death. thinking this Cheng Yang threw away all of his worries.
When Cheng Yang glanced at his watch it was already 4:50 and Lau Hui hadn’t arrived yet.
Worried for his friend Cheng Yang called him to find out that Lau Hui had only been on the road for a little while now and had just gotten out of Cloud City. This situation really made Cheng Yang feel like yelling at his friend. Lau Hui really might die now!
Cheng Yang urged Lau Hui to tell the cab driver to speed as fast as possible to Phoenix Slope and that he must arrive by 5:00!
Cheng Yang’s heart felt heavy. If Lau Hui had just left the city getting to Phoenix Slope by 5:00 was basically impossible!
Cheng Yang only had a few seconds to make his decision.
“Koko, Hiroko,” Cheng Yang turned to his friends, “Whatever happens at five don’t panic. Stay in this area for as long as possible. I’ll tell the boss of the lumber mill the same thing so stay together.”
Cheng Yang ignored the questions his friends asked and darted towards the trucks. “Boss Lee, why don’t you let your workers sit down on the grass and rest awhile? When doing physical work taking a break is necessary to ensure accidents don’t happen. They have just taken a long drive so let them smoke a cigarette or two.” At that moment Cheng Yang took out his personal pack and handed it to Boss Lee, “Here, it’s on me.”
“Mr. Cheng!” Boss Lee exclaimed happily, “Well, since its early I won’t turn down your hospitality. Everyone, come on down and rest for a few minutes.”
Watching the burly men jump off of the trucks one by one a smile spread on Cheng Yang’s face. As long as they weren’t by the trucks those men should be able to survive the earthquake. If they did wouldn’t he be able to recruit them easily? Cheng Yang didn’t want to see one of his future subordinates get hurt.
Time kept moving second by second. Lau Hui wasn’t going to make it.
Cheng Yang’s started to sweat. Yu Kai and Liu Hau also looked nervous but Boss Lee’s group was happily relaxing in the afternoon sun. Occasionally they would look over in confusion seeing the stiff expressions on Cheng Yang and his friend’s facing.
Suddenly a massive wind started to blow directly downwards causing the trees to creak. Normally wind didn’t blow downwards so everyone looked towards the sky to find the source. When they did they saw the originally blue sky turn grey, almost as if the entire world was being covered with a layer of wool.
“Wha-” Boss Lee tried to call out but stopped when he realized that the ground was shaking slightly and it was getting more violent by the second.
“It’s an earthquake!” One of the workers shouted causing the others to panic.
Cheng Yang stayed calm and murmured, “It’s finally here!”
Even though the world was ending a second time there was no hint of bitterness in Cheng Yang’s eyes.
“Yoko… this can’t be… is this what you told us about?” Liu Hau said voice trembling.
“This is just the beginning.” Cheng Yang calmly replied.
The earth shook increasingly violently but thankfully the trees on Phoenix Slope had deep roots preventing a rock slide. Even so several large branches were ripped off by the wind and thrown through the air.
“Everyone stay put!” Cheng Yang yelled seeing that Boss Lee’s workers were making for the trucks, “This clearing is safe but there’s no guarantee that you will live if you run off!” Although the it was hard to hear him over the howling of the wind Cheng Yang’s message still faintly reached the workers.
Cheng Yang was right, at the very least nothing would fall on them if they were on the hill.
Even after five minutes the ground continued to shake like a sieve making Cheng Yang and the others struggle to stay on their feet. Boss Lee and his people who hadn’t known anything beforehand were terrified by the earthquake that continued to increase in magnitude. This was a disaster! How many buildings would be destroyed in Cloud City? How many people would die?
To the west they could see a passenger plane get blown to the ground with the naked eye.
Cheng Yang knew that Cloud City would be in utter chaos right now. As powerful as humanity was they were helpless when faced with a natural disaster of this scale.
Millions of people would flood out of skyscrapers around the world. Too scared to take the elevators huge crowds would flood the tiny halls of emergency stairwells.
Skyscrapers wouldn’t collapse in this earthquake, at least not yet, giving the vast majority of those inside the chance to live. Perhaps this was a small act of mercy by the god behind all this.
The real danger of being in a skyscraper was the stampedes the earthquake caused. Nobody would ever know just how many perished in that way since there would be bigger problems soon.
Ten minutes later every skyscraper in the world would simultaneously collapse. The towering cities of humanity would be no more. The only thing left to mark their previous locations would be massive piles of rubble and the people living in them.
People would then stand in the streets and attempt to contact others on their phones only to find they were dead. What is this? They would wonder. How could an earthquake cause my phone to turn off? If it was just them it might be that the battery was dead but if it was everyone’s they would find it very strange.
The earthquake wouldn’t stop however and that mysterious wind would continue to blow.
As time passed every person, no matter how rich or powerful they were, would be filled with a feeling of helplessness. The only thing on their minds would be a desire to survive the disaster. Even then they would just think its a terrible earthquake.
The Cloud City government wouldn’t sit by and let the populace panic but with an ongoing earthquake what could they possibly do?
Cheng Yang’s friends were currently lying face down on the ground. It wasn’t that they wanted to be there but rather they had been thrown to the ground. Even if they were to stand back up again keeping their balance on the steep incline of Phoenix Slope was difficult. Even so they didn’t dare to stand on the road lest they be thrown into the river and drown.
“Look!” Boss Lee’s pointed towards the summit of Phoenix Slope, “What in the world is happening?!”
In front of everyone’s eyes the entirety of Phoenix Slope was sinking into the ground like a man in quicksand.
Aside from Cheng Yang everyone present panicked. “Are we going to be sucked into the ground?” Yu Kai asked with a pale face, “Yoko, I think we should run…”
Cheng Yang shook his head firmly, “This is our chance, we can’t leave! Also, I can absolutely assure we wont be trapped in the ground!”
Cheng Yang’s friends trusted his words but how could the workers who didn’t know him do the same. Several of them got up and ran as best they could towards the road.
“Come back here!” Boss Lee who had managed to calm himself down shouted towards the fleeing men. Sadly his voice wasn’t strong enough to be heard above the wind.
While the group of workers was cowering on the road the ground underneath one of the trucks gave out causing it to flip over. The unsecured logs poured out of the truck towards the workers. Although everyone tried to run, two of them didn’t make it and were crushed. They didn’t get back up.
Fear spread like a plague among the remaining workers after the sudden deaths.
Ten minutes later the previously hundreds meter high hill was flat ground. Even Cheng Yang who knew it would happen was in awe, he didn’t realize how imposing the scene would be in person.
After half an hour the ground finally stopped shaking. Just when the people of the world thought the tragedy was over a voice rang our in their heads, a voice even the deaf could hear.
“Lowly vermin of earth!” The voice boomed, “Your lethargy has angered the gods! The universe is supposed to evolve through constant fighting! Although they are angry, through their infinite mercy they have granted you the perfect environment to evolve.”