Luo Xun was wearing his previous outfit: helmet, rain boots and raincoat. He also prepared a set for Yan Fei, identical except for the shoes – even if Yan Fei was taller by half a head since there were few raincoats in storage.
Luo Xun had deliberately bought some larger winter wear for layering but gave it to Yan Fei to wear instead. Unfortunately the weather now was too cold, if Yan Fei went out he would freeze. So he borrowed Luo Xun’s coat, wore a face mask since the helmet was in the car.
He Qiankun and the others method of dress had no words. They wore a few layers of clothing, for safety wanting to protect the head. Their heads were wrapped several times with scarves. No idea where the scarves came from though.
Some were grabbed when they went out, all colours and styles were now all wrapped around heads. Looking at the ragtag group of five, Luo Xun was struck with the idea of dumping them to save face but the thought, how could he dump others because of poor impressions?
People should be kind, do not despise less capable people from the start.
Luo Xun and Yan Fei sat in front, the five others squeezed in the back with some bedding. They chatted about where to go, what to take, what to do after coming back and so on.
“We should first head northeast to Golden Dragon Home mall to get home and building materials. In addition I remember a large fabric store and two supermarkets nearby.”
Luo Xun had visited the site during the past apocalypse. Although it was a bit further from the southwest base, it had comprehensive inventory: clothing, seeds they could get almost everything there.
“Okay!” The five people in the back nodded, they were not familiar with the neighborhood. So they listened to Luo Xun and expressed support for going to this bountiful location.
“Luo Xun, do you know where I can get some seeds to plant?” Li Tie asked sweetly sitting behind the driver’s seat.
“The nearest place is more than a two hour drive, a farmer’s market south of base. I remember that the place had an extensive collection of seeds for crossbreeding but not much else. We can go to the supermarket to find beans: mung bean, red bean, soybeans etc. If brought back and produced buds, could grow some vegetables.”
“Yes, yes! Just those would be enough! We’ll go to the farmer’s market next time.” Li Tie nodded, his hope of vegetables depended on the beans sprouting!
He had sufficient theoretical knowledge of planting but no hands-on experience. That however could be slowly built up with practice.
At present the southwest base was not huge, it took 10 minutes to reach the exit gate. The wall had been built, seven or eight meters high with considerable thickness. There were a lot of people gathered at the blocked gate who seemed ready to go scavenging in the city.
The base had a lot of people willing to work in construction since it was relatively safe work. However it was not as profitable as collecting materials and the base was short on resources. Some were reluctant but there was no other way to improve their lives at the moment.
Although people gave up 20% of their spoils each time they went out, at the start of the apocalypse there was stuff everywhere outside. If one did not take the opportunity to go out and collect who knew how much would be left the next day? How much of the remainder was useable?
At this time, people bold enough with a certain degree of strength would rather go out and search for supplies. With different action they could escape typical base life, collecting materials instead of hard labor.
The young women and children were left to do light work for points. It was dangerous to go out but there was great chance to earn profit. However the majority of people including Li Tie and the others knew the base encouraged people to go and collect supplies but did not clarify minimum number of team members so there was a delay.
Who knew if the temporary cooperation to ensure protection would end up with a knife to the back? Even more, they did not want useless members to drag them down, so all looked at each other in distrust.
Some did not consider that and openly recruited, shouting “Team going out of city, five, missing five, powers and good personality.” an so on. Once heard knew it was a way to recruit in online games, but people felt it was unreliable.
Unlike those who worried about useless teammates, Luo Xun simply stopped the car, sweeped the crowd and found a team with their own car. It was the most attractive option, Wang Duo went over to negotiate and the two sides sized each other up.
Form a temporary team to exit the city then go their separate ways after.
The other team had nine people who knew each other, escaped to the southwest base together. They were also worried about meeting deceptive team mates so were slow to make a decision. Came here to collect materials and the majority of people had formed groups. Naturally not willing to separate from their acquaintances for an unknown team.
Not too long after, Wang Duo gave Luo Xun a thumbs up so he started the car. Wang Duo returned and then the two cars drove out the open gate.
Seeing three vehicles with much more than 10 people, they had an epiphany – leaving the city with a limit of 10 people…ten was the minimum! Not maximum!
This was not like playing an online game where there was a limit that could not be exceeded, no one was refused! Their way of thinking was incorrect!
In fact, Luo Xun and the others had seen a lot of people out of town but their numbers were around 11-13 people. They had not thought about it. Rumble, everyone hurriedly formed teams to leave the city and left in registered army vehicles.
As soon as the cars exited the base, Luo Xun split up from the other team. The other team was headed to the nearby large supermarket, differing destinations.
Luo Xun’s group was happy and relaxed, turned to the northeast but stopped after a short drive. Li Tie found a half open truck parked on the road.
The key was inside, the interior was considered clean other than some blood on one of the seats. Some wandering zombies heard the car sounds and sloshed over. The five guys armed themselves with the steel pipes they had last collected from the building material market.
The zombies first staggered towards the second hand car, when they were closer the zombies screamed at their targets. Luo Xun loaded his crossbow to keep an eye on the situation, prepared to shoot if things went bad – not kill the zombie directly.
After all the rest of the group had not personally killed a zombie yet, it took a while to adapt and become proficient.
Now was the apocalypse, even if one intended to hole up at home and farm, there were still cases of zombie sieges or helping patrol the wall. It was guaranteed one would suffer if they did not quickly adapt to killing zombies.
When the five students got out of the car, their legs felt weak but their hands clutched the pipes. They knew they had to confront it before other zombies came out.
At the start of the apocalypse, they had hid in an empty room until they were rescued by the military. The previous time they went to collect things they were still protected by soldiers. This time it was their decision to come out and collect materials, it was impossible to not plan ahead about killing zombies. However psychological preparation and the actual action were completely different things…
Suddenly Li Tie roared loudly, tightened his grip on the weapon and rushed a smaller, female zombie nearby. “KILL!”
The other four angrily rushed, all or nothing, kill or be killed! During the end of the world, who could live without killing a zombie? Even if one could, it would be rubbish!
The number of zombies nearby was not much, a total of five or six. Luo Xun lifted his crossbow and dealt with the extra. He left the rest for the five students to beat – unfortunately the heads had no crystals.
The five were gasping but the mind was clear enough to return to the car and start it. The remaining four sat in, He Qiankun rushed out and vomited.
After he stumbled back into the car and blankly looked at the sky. “God, I threw up all of last night’s dinner…”
“Lose weight, lose weight…” Wu Xin feebly tried to pat his shoulder but carelessly patted his head instead.
Luo Xun smiled and sheathed his crossbow to continue driving the car. He turned to Yan Fei. “Did you kill any zombies before arriving on base?” Did he need his first kill as well?
Yan Fei did not know what Luo Xun was trying to do. One arm stuck out the window while he looked outwards. “Yeah.”
“Killed? When did you kill a zombie?” Luo Xun asked curiously, wanting to know his reaction the his first zombie kill…
Cough, the first time he had pushed a zombie down some stairs, his legs were unsteady for a long while, not mention actively killing one?
“After the accident.” Thinking Luo Xun was joking around, Yan Fei narrowed his eyes and sneered. “If not for seeing me kill a zombie, those people would have blown me up with the zombies.”
At the time he had not manifested an ability but used his handgun and an iron bar to kill a few zombies. Although he did not understand why those creatures attacked, he did know how to incapacitate someone. Disable to zombie legs and they would be a negligible threat.
Many people were blocked on the road and had to leave their cars including him. Some people roared “Aim for the head!” when all realized those who were indiscriminately attacking were no longer human.
Yan Fei had little reaction to killing a zombie. He dealt with two and there were a few women screaming while holding each other tightly. No time to take into account a zombie’s disgusting remains.
If there had not already been a lot of people nearby he would have given the noisemakers a heads up. Now that he thought about it, it seemed his dislike towards women had slowly accumulated. The feeling led him to desire living with a man, his turn had not been completely without warning.
The entrance of the Golden Dragon Home mall was not far, driving only took half an hour to forty minutes. However this was the end of smooth sailing, now the streets were littered with overturned cars and suspiciously fast wandering zombies.
Luo Xun drove in front, directing the student’s vehicle. They crossed the street with blood stained zombies roaring at the car, fighting and screaming in the background.
They did not stop to watch and save people because they could not tell if someone was from the base purposely killing zombies, someone not from base collecting things or an actually trapped person.
However most trapped people were hiding in rooms, few would actually run out. Thus they were more wary about people pretending to be in distress. Even if they wanted to save people, better to do so on the way back then right now.
After about one and half hours, Luo Xun saw the Golden Dragon Home mall sign from the road. He breathed a sigh of relief and spoke to Yan Fei.
“You see there, next to the mall is a big supermarket, on the road there is a small convenience store. The supermarket is next to Jing Fong building, let’s see if we can change for a larger car for the trip back.”
His beat up second hand car had thing walls, small engine and little storage space.
Luo Xun glanced at the car door that was obviously different – this morning Yan Fei had helped him repair it. He worried about the chance of repair after it got scratched by a zombie dog. Fortunately he picked up Yan Fei who happened to have metal abilities.