In an instant, gloomy black clouds enveloped the sunny sky. The slum dwellers doing their daily activities immediately went back to their houses in fear as rain started pouring down heavily.
Rainwater began to accumulate and spread rapidly in the streets of the slums, immersing the poor houses to their limit. The drainage system that had been unrepaired for ages was not doing its job as the entire outer wall of the slums became a vast expanse of rainwater.
In the Meishan orphanage.
Near the door, a woman in her thirties led a dozen children ranging from seven to eleven years old to carry sandbags that had been prepared, stacking them on top of the threshold in hope of blocking the raging floods.
"Dean, come over to help!"
"It's useless to call him, he's a fool."
A few sweating boys, exhausted from holding sandbags saw a little boy standing quietly not far from the window. Even though they were angry, they knew it was useless. They could only bite their tongues and continue handing sandbags to be sent to the door.
The little boy looked seven or eight years old. His thin, but tall frame made him look more similar to an eleven-year-old. The most conspicuous detail was his color. He was very white, maybe even a bit morbidly pale. His skin color caused the other children to envy him, as everyone else was dark due to exposure to the bright sunlight.
Dudian sighed in his heart. Although he had been left in cold storage for more than three months, his body had yet to recover enough to life anything.
It was exceedingly difficult for him to stand, let alone carry sandbags to block the rain.
However, such a situation could be regarded as fortunate. After all, the Institute had just made the very first freezer when the disaster spread to China. As there was nowhere enough time for an experimental change, nobody knew about this type of failure. It was already a miracle that he was able to sleep in the freezer for three hundred years.
Nevertheless, he did not feel happy.
He survived, but his parents and sister stayed down and had to face the terrible disaster. Even if they had been miraculously lucky and survived, they would have long been buried in the dust after three hundred years.
In this vast, new world, he no longer had loved ones. He would have to face this new world alone.
Although he grieved, he did not despair because he knew his parents had given him a second chance at life. He would not allow himself to go down easily. He would not just live well and get by, but also do what it takes to make his deceased family proud.
Fortunately, God finally sheltered the human race. When Dudian had just climbed out from cold storage, the first thought that came to mind was that he was the only person alive on the earth. Only when he walked out of the garbage dump of the cold storage warehouse did he find that humans were not yet extinct. Only a few people seemed to have survived the disaster, but the human population had grown to a decent size after three hundred years of development.
Unfortunately, technology and civilization had long been destroyed by the disaster. Dudian could not find a trace of any symbol of the old era of science and technology. The loss of knowledge about the electric power added difficulties to basic life.
The storm outside the window gradually came to a stop as Dudian was lost in his thoughts.
All the people in the house felt relief as they watched the water level behind the sandbags dropping. Exhaustion seeped into them as if they had just experienced an everlasting battle. The middle-aged woman raised her head to observe the dark clouds gradually scatter to reveal a sunny sky and said: "Get ready to go to the cafeteria for dinner."
The children's eyes lit up as soon as they heard the word "eat". Their previous fatigue was instantly swept away as they scurried back to the room, put on their wax-grass shoes, and lined up in an orderly manner.
"Dean, get ready to eat." At this time, a voice called out to Dudian. The voice came to him from a seven-year-old boy. He patted Dudian shoulder and pointed in the direction of the canteen.
Dudian remembered this boy named Barton. Barton was one of the few children in the orphanage that was well-intentioned. As the language had changed in the past three hundred years, Dudian did not understand it and stood silent from the time that he entered the orphanage, causing everyone to think that he was retarded or had brain problems.
So naturally, he was placed into the group of the deformed children with Barton.
The children at the orphanage were generally divided into two factions. The first were those abandoned by their parents. The second were those who were abandoned by their parents due to physical deformities.
Dudian nodded and followed Barton to the lines by the column. Just as Barton was about to tell Dudian to first put on the grass sandals, he inadvertently looked down. Seeing that Dudian had long been wearing a light green pair of sandals, he could not help but feel stupid.
Plastic had yet to be invented in this world. Wax-grass shoes and clothes became the most common form of rain gear. This natural variation of grass that could been found everywhere had a fine convex layer of wax that effectively blocked radiation rain and thus became an essential household item.
Everyone carefully walked alongside the threshold before the narrow half meter high stone paved trail. Although the rainwater only came up to their ankles, even the strongest of them would inevitably become seriously ill if they feel into the water.
Because of the limited seating available, the best seats in the cafeteria were immediately seized by those healthy children. Dudian, Barton, and the rest of the deformed kids had long ago become accustomed to their tables in the back corner made from several stacked stoner.
"I heard that a doctor and construction worker have come this time for the adoptions"
"Aunt Dai said to seize this opportunity and put on a good performance"
"It would be awesome if you could be adopted by a doctor."
"I would rather be adopted by the construction worker. There might be a chance to climb the giant wall of Silvia and see the outside world."
Barton and several other children whispered and chatted. None of these children looked normal. Some were missing an ear while others had scarring on half of their faces.
Dudian's eyes flashed as he heard their words, but he kept silent.
"Unfortunately, Dean's brain is no good. Otherwise he would definitely be selected by those people with that kind of appearance and body." Barton sighed suddenly as he looked at Dudian with regret in his eyes.
The other children looked at the unresponsive Dudian, all shaking their head.
Other children also looked at the unresponsive Dudian but just shook their heads.
Long ago they agreed that no matter who got adopted, they would do their best to come back and help the rest of the children. On the surface, Dudian was no double the most promising candidate to be adopted, but his chances were very low with that type of brain problem. His situation was even worse than the deformed kids, such as the one with a face full of lumps. Although they might look scary, they were at least physically and mentally able enough to find a job in the future.
At this time, Leng Heng, a thin child seated close by, heard Barton's words and contemptuously said, "They are a bunch of mutilated things, yet they still want the opportunity to be adopted."
His words immediately attracted the attention of others. Disdain and disgust filled their eyes as they fell on Dudian, Barton, and the others.
Relative to the deformed children, they are physically sound but abandoned people.
Dudian did not say anything as he quietly glanced at these people. Although he is still a child, his heart was much harder than most adults.
Mo Yang's eyes gazed at Dudian.
"Look at this fool. He won't understand even if you call him."
"No wonder he was abandoned. A fool!"
"You wanted to be adopted? Why don't you just obediently wait until you turn thirteen years old and they throw you into the mine as manual labor!"
These children did not attempt to hide their contempt and disgust. Instead, it was a form of pleasure for them.
As the food was given out, the middle-aged woman lightly shouted, "Quiet down! Do you not want to eat?"
Hearing this, the arrogance on their faces quickly took on looks of innocence as if nothing happened.
The next day.
Silver-gray clouds gradually stretched out to let the sun spill down onto the slums.
In the rainy season, this type of good weather was rare.
Today was also the long-awaited big day for the children of Meishan Orphanage - Adoption day!
All of the families booked in advance for the chance to come to the orphanage on this day and pick a child.
Although it was early in the morning, Dudian still got up on time. This world may no longer have alarm clocks, but his biological clock had never been wrong. After getting up, he quickly cleaned up his bedding and washed his face with simple filtered well water. As he picked up his clothes by the pillow to get dressed, he suddenly found a purple handkerchief within the cloth.
Dudian was startled and could not help but think of that cold night when he was led to the orphanage by a little girl. Unfortunately, the sky was too dark to see each other's appearances. In the past three months, he learned that only those in the upper reach of the outer wall were able to afford this type of fine cloth.
The handkerchief was left to wipe the dirt off his face.
Dudian put the handkerchief away and left for the open space outside the orphanage.
Although the only parents in his mind were his biological ones, he wanted to get adopted as soon as possible. If he reached the age of thirteen without getting adopted, the orphanage would give up on taking care of him and send him to the Meishan Chamber of Commerce to be used as permanent free labor. Meishan Chamber of Commers is the controlling body of the mine. As free labor, he would be forced to work until he died of exhaustion or old age. He would never again have the opportunity to see the light of day.
On the same day, all the children of the orphanage washed themselves, dressed in their nicest clothes, and were neatly put in a line.
Nobody would bear to be near you if you were covered in a bad odor.
This is what the aunt controlling the orphanage told them.
As all the children stood in line, the adults walked up and observed the children who they might potentially adopt as their own under the care of Diana and the other orphanage workers.
Under the guidance of Aunt Diana, the children and workers knew not to speak of the deformities. Wu Yuliu's eyes were full of innocence, desire, and hope as they welcomed the grown-ups. Her eyes were so teary that some of the adults could not help but feel sad or bear to not choose her.
Soon, the thin and tall Dudian became the focus of all the adults' attention. His skin, as pale as snow, was too eye-catching. His temperament differed vastly from the surrounding children. This child had a very calm and extravagant aura surrounding him.
The adults were surprised as they did not expect an orphanage in the slums to have such a good seedling.
For a time, many of their hearts were wavering.