Translator Note: Heres the second chapter I promised, double releases will stick to starts of months/holidays. I ended up needing to do some quick internet searching when the translators gave me weird interpretations.
Black-black: actually ‘black tongue’ which is a reference to chow chows (they are fluffy and adorable dogs).
Star anise was translated as ‘octagonal tree’ possible because the spice is an eight pointed star.
There was nothing to do at the moment with twenty days until the end of the world. Luo Xun did not want to start processing food but obviously cannot idle either. He could go to a kennel and see dogs?
Luo Xun quickly found one of several major dog kennels in the southwest area using his cellphone. The place had many good breeds of dog and positive online reviews, should be a great place to purchase a dog.
He drove his car southward. Dog kennels were generally built in suburban areas, more remote with rapid city expansion. Since they need space, building too close to the city could pose a problem.
Buildings became more and more scarce along the road. Luo Xun passed flower greenhouses and harvested corn fields with hay bales lying around. Half an hour later he saw sign ‘Showtime Dog Kennel’
Why is it named that? Luo Xun wondered.
He turned and ten minutes later arrived at the compound walls with a sign hung on the door with the same name.
Seeing a potential customer, an 18-19 year old welcomed Luo Xun inside while inquiring about what dog he wanted to raise.
“Do you have a chow chow? One around 3-4 months would be best.”
“You want a dog to guard the door? Right a few months ago we received two chow chows. Don’t let the current price fool you, they are quality dogs! Specially bred and raised, worth more than a golden furred husky!”
Luo Xun nodded, those sorts of dog were fiercer and chow chows were smart, thus faster to train up. The two entered a room with several men who had heard that Luo Xun was intending to buy. One man in the back stood.
“Come with me.”
Along the dogs barked without pause. Luo Xun also saw two majestic mastiffs – this breed of dog he could not raise in fear of it turning into a zombie during the Apocalypse. He could handle a chow chow but he would dead meat against a Tibetan mastiff.
Customers do not go far in due to the dog smell and high temperatures. The cages had an adult dog and some puppies.
“This litter is three and half months old, the other Is two months. Although a bit on the small side, the breed is good.” The man motioned towards the cages.
The mother was growling, somehow knowing that people want to take her pups. Luo Xun looked between the two cages; the three and a half month cage had two puppies while the other had five.
“They have a pedigree certificate?”
“Yes, the mother is game level and the puppies have cards.”
He pointed at the two month cage, “These ones are expensive, the other two are female. 2100 for both without a license.”
Luo Xun instantly wanted to buy both chow chows but immediately stopped himself. He did not know if a single dog would turn into a zombie, let alone two?
“I’ll take one for now. Do you have dog food and medicine?”
“Yeah we have them if you don’t mind taking some older stock.”
Luo Xun happily bought things and selected an energetic puppy. The dog kennel also printed a booklet on dog care and training. The car now held two packages of dog food (he ordered extra online) and dog chew bones, which were more expensive than white rice! If the dog did become a zombie Luo Xun’s heart would be crushed! He would have to slowly eat the dog food!
Thinking of the body size and appetite of an adult German Shepard, Luo Xun felt regret. In his arms the chow chow looked at him with watery eyes, the cuteness really pulled at people’s heartstrings.
“Well you’ll be with me, holding on when the 28th arrives.”
Luo Xun remembered his lonely previous life. This time he would have a companion if the puppy survives November 28! Luo Xun stored the dog food, medicine, food bowl, metal cage and other things in the car the spot with an employee named Xiao Zhao.
“While driving by I saw a village, do people live there?”
Xiao Zhao nodded, “Yes all the villagers.”
“Is there someone selling poultry? “ Luo Xun asked.
Xiao Zhao laughed, “You’re going to buy organic food on the way back? It’s not far from the city but the price isn’t low. I’ll take you there if you really want to buy.”
The kennel was usually not that busy, sometimes a couple employees could skip without issue. Xiao Zhao went to the car and the two chatted while driving. Luo Xun learned that the village is Xiao Zhao’s hometown and a friend had recommended him to the dog kennel. The village was one big family, everyone free ranged some chicken and geese while planting a few crops in their yards.
Luo Xun bought 10 live chickens and ducks as well as two geese he asked for help to kill for easier storage. He also bought two baskets of chicken eggs, a basket of duck eggs and some additional bamboo baskets. Xiao Zhao returned home and found his family had planted a star anise tree.
“Can you give me a tree branch?” Luo Xun had forgotten about these kinds do of things!
“Why do you want these things? The supermarket sells this stuff too?”
Since Luo Xun had bought many things with haggling, Xiao Zhao shrugged and cut down 3 or 4 branches.
“This sort of thing should sold quickly since the smell does not last.”
“No problem, I’m just playing around planting on my balcony.” Luo Xun joyfully replied.
“Any plants in particular? My family has a strawberry plant that regrows quickly each year without fail.” Xiao Zhao’s mother wrapped the plants in old newspaper pages.
“Thank you, thank you.” Luo Xun then pointed at the grinding disc.
“Are you selling that?”
Xiao Zhao was speechless, he figured Luo Xun was a rich second generation from the city spending money like water.
“That is too heavy, we wouldn’t be able to move it to your car. My family has two small manual grinders, you want them? No one uses the since we switched to an electric model.”
Luo Xun bought the two small hand grinders and an electric husker, the price was cheap since both were used. Luo Xun checked the Internet and found that part replacements were relatively rare. He would need to buy from large farmers markets or a specialty tool shop. Too much trouble so he’ll buy those later at home. The electric husker was pretty much brand new since Xiao Zhao had barely used it.
Hearing that Luo Xun was a rich city person with money to spare, a child ran over and tugged on his clothes.
“My house has a quail, you want it?”
“Quail? Let me take a look first.” Luo Xun nodded in shock.
According to the child, the family was not willing to keep the small caged quails since they laid few eggs in cold weather. They brought the birds over in hope of earning some pocket money. Checking the quail, it could not be consider poultry with its pitiful size, although it would lay eggs. Even if they mutated, they were small enough for Luo a Xun to deal with.
There are eight quails in the cage, two are male and the rest of female. Luo Xun placed them in the car along with way bought salted duck eggs. With all the luggage stowed away, Luo Xun held the puppy and drove home In his used car.
The cage was positioned so that the chowchow could become familiar with the house environment. Luo Xun checked his bank account and pockets, his funds were down to 20,000 yuan.
After looking through various online stores, Luo Xun decided to spend his remaining money at a farmers market to buy a final batch of food, seeds and other things. The he would visit the suburbs and dig up some soil. Finally he would go home zed rest for a few days.
Early next morning, Luo Xun gave the puppy some food and water, checked the temporary quail nest then grabbed his jacket and walked out the door. The puppy gazed pitifully at Luo Xun’s back, the occasional whimpers stuck at people’s hearts. After returning home last night, the puppy was cruelly left in the cage. Luo Xun provided food and water but no care.
To be honest, Luo Xun was not resistant to the puppy but but he cannot get close to her now. He could steel his heart and kill an unrelated mutated animal during the Apocalypse. However if it’s his own pet…
Whether in the past or present, in some ways Luo Xun’s heart is very fragile. To this day he remembered his neighbors becoming zombies and attacking one after another. The sight of familiar faces scavenging for food crushed his heart.
So for his second chance he chose to leave Y-city, in a positive light it showed he had foresight, in a cynical light he was fleeing. He would rather kill a group of strange zombies the confront a group with familiar faces.
Therefore, he did not dare name the little chow chow puppy in fear of developing feelings and emotional ties.