472 Life Moves on


    The barren land had no building, no road, no tree, not even a shred of grass. It had nothing but brown soil and yellow sand.

    "Hmm, honey, this place's condition is much better than what we started with. The land is even, that will be conducive for irrigation, and ploughing. And look at how soft this soil is, it's perfect for agriculture."

    "Indeed, it is not bad, but you have to take care of yourself. Remember how old you are and with just one arm left, can't you just take it easy this day?"

    "Ha ha, how many years have we left, really? Furthermore, what else can we do? Since the government is sponsoring us, then I'll work until I can't anymore."

    A motorcade stopped at the eastern side of the barren land. A large batch of members were working, there were Phecda members and also members from other departments. Some of them were transporting young tree seedlings from the trucks. They were within the mutated area. Phecda sent in Special Mobile Forces to inspect the area after the final battle. They conducted multiple soil analysis. They did not contain any radioactive material. Even though the composition of the soil had changed slightly, the change was still within the comprehension of human scientific knowledge.

    This place was habitable and it could be home for some hardy plants. A few days ago, the government had passed the 'Life Forest Project' for this area. The government would pour in resources to greenify this area. The place would be turned into a tree farm, to bring life back into it. This would not only improve the environment but also resist against the barrenness from the Wasteland World. Based on the Competing Reality Hypothesis that Elder Tong got from either Gu Jun or the Yith, the more unlike the Wasteland World this place was, the more secure Earth would be.

    Arbor Day had once returned to Mo Bei so the Life Forest Project was initiated immediately. Currently, among the tree-planting army, there were a batch of normal citizens. Tian Fuhou and Mai Dong were among them. When Elder Tian heard that the government were replanting trees at his old home, he couldn't wait to be a part of the project. The two seniors chatted with each other while they loosened the land with shovels. Cai Zixuan who followed beside them said, "Elder Tian, you still need to take care of your own health first. You should rest when you can."

    Cai Zixuan came as a medical member. His mental corruption had been cleansed and his body had fully recovered. Tian Fuyou was 79 already. He almost died due to the acute radiation exposure. He had to amputate his right arm. Despite his age though, the old man was tough. His condition ameliorated and the only negative effect he got from the radiation was he tired easily.

    "Too much resting will make the body go rust." Tian Fuhou countered.

    "Doctor Cai, just leave him be." Mai Dong also suffered from residual symptoms from radiation exposure. She said in a mock complaint, "The man is born for hardwork, he'll feel so uncomfortable when he's not working! You'd better cut off his other hand if you want him to stay at home and rest." Tian Fuhou chuckled. He held the shovel with his remaining left hand and started to dig. He was clearly slower than the Forestry agents and he needed to rest after a while. Tian Fuhou was right-handed but now he had to get used to working with his left hand.

    "We know our bodies are not as good as before." The old man sighed, "We know when to stop so that we won't cause you guys anymore trouble."

    "Sir, it's alright, you can take it slow." Cai Zixuan truly admired these two seniors. Even with their illness, they worked at a pace faster than those who did not have any experience in tree-planting.

    "We can't take it too slow. There are so many things to do. Planting the seeds, hoeing the ground, damming the irrigation, all these have their own seasons..." Tian Fuhou looked down the horizon. Everywhere he could see, there was nothing but wasteland. "Doctor Cai, if possible, I wish to live for a few more years and plant more trees. Return my tree farm to its glory. That was my life goal but now I might not live to see that day again." Cai Zixuan hesitated, he scratched his head, he didn't know what to say. He also wished that Elder Tian could live for a few more years, but the chance of that was slim due to the slow radiation poisoning...

    "But while we might not see it, you will." Tian Fuhou said with a renewed passion. "I know this land very well. I can already see trees covering all of it. With the seeds that we're planting today, in a few more decades, when your children and grandchildren come to visit, they'll see trees that reach into the sky."

    At that moment, another group came over and overheard Tian Fuhou. They were new recruits like Chen Jiahwa, Deng Ruotong and the rest. The special trainees lost 26 members, the surviving members were all conscripted into Phecda and were preparing to join the Spell Department. They participated in the Life Forest Project to train. Hearing what Elder Tian had to say, their hearts burned with passion. Yes, this place would not remain like this forever.

    The group walked forward to greet their senior, Cai Zixuan. Everyone knew that Zixuan was Gu Jun's best friend. Therefore, at the beginning, they were quite nervous around him. But after knowing how easy-going Zixuan was, they interacted with him more casually now. Chen Jiahwa still had many of his idols whom he had not met, like Gu Jun, Wu Siyu and the members of the One. He noticed that none of them were here, they probably had other missions.

    The youngsters fought to help the old couple. Seeing their young faces, Tian Fuhou's smile brightened. He then brought up something else, "I heard on the news that there were many miscarriages recently, it might have to do with all these."

    With this, Chen Jiahwa's group silenced immediately. For one, they did not know too much about it and for two, Phecda's rule forbad them from saying too much. Cai Zixuan nodded with a sigh. Since this incident happened globally, Phecda did not try to suppress the news. They came up with a statement but did not explain all the truths. Many countries were still compiling data but based on the initial numbers, the number of miscarriages on that day was over 1000000, that was a very weighty number.

    Unfortunately, that was not all. The patients who suffered from Locust Sickness, the agents who participated in the death mission, the patients who were sent to delineate the border... the moral complications of these choices came back to haunt many decision makers at the time. Elder Tong drank himself into a stupor. He rejected Phecda's praise and refused any commendation. Cai Zixuan understood that many of his colleagues felt the same way. No one felt like they were heroes. They only wished for a memorial for the dead, to bring them some peace.

    "If you ask me," Tian Fuhou blurted, "You youngsters should start having children and everything will be back to normal in a few years."

    "Aiz, what nonsense you're babbling about now?" Mai Dong slapped her partner lightly to make him stop talking. Tian Fuhou looked at his wife and then at the kids, he wondered if he had touched on a sensitive subject. These were after all people several generations younger than he was. Chen Jiahwa's group was stunned. They were surprised by how blunt the old man was.

    "Sir, actually you have a point." Cai Zixuan sighed, "You mean we shouldn't be too focused on our loss, after all, life goes on."

    "Yes, yes!" Tian Fuhou nodded immediately. 'University graduates are cleverer with their words. Life goes on indeed.'

    The youngsters nodded in agreement.

    Honestly, Cai Zixuan did have the urge to hurry back to propose to Jiang Banxia! He also hoped that Tycoon Jun would return soon. He believed his friend would not disappear just like that. When he did return, they could raise their children together.

    While they chatted, the group finished making a hole. Then a tree seedling was carried over and transplanted into the hole. They tamped down the soil around it and watered it. The bark-like, wrinkled face of Tian Fuhou broke out in a sunny smile. This tree would be the new Fu Hou Tree.

    The sky was blue and the wind blew soothingly. The two elders and the rest of the group planted one after another seedlings. Gradually, more greenery returned to this barren land. They wiped at their sweat and smiles decorated everyone's faces.

    Yes, life moves on...

    This is only the beginning.
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