There were some roadside stalls selling stainless steel pots and pans, but it was not worth buying them alone or mixed with others and there was not enough. Luo Xun gave a cursory look then continued on. Yan Fei had little desire for shopping.
He already knew that Luo Xun’s home lacked for nothing, they only needed some metal at the moment. What was more, Yan Fei was unaccustomed to the flea market conditions.
Just like the car that sold underwear and clothes, although people needed those things, Yan Fei saw groups of people picking around. He did not want to squeeze in with those, who knew how many people had touched the articles of underwear.
Even before Li Tie had found that big box in the supermarket, Yan Fei felt his stuff was much cleaner then the current goods in the car.
A burst of crying came from the front, the two looked up to see a woman with her children, walking and scolding. “Did I not say only eat half!? Let you eat! Let you eat!”
On the other side, a customer argued with the seller. “This is worth half a pack of cookies? No way!”
Luo Xun sighed. “Isn’t the outside wall getting repaired? There are so many people in the market right now.”
“It should the newcomers from two days ago.” Yan Fei glanced around and saw many tough and bloody people. There were some temperment differences from the people who lived on the base from the beginning.
“Take a look in front. The street is wider, maybe you can find something good.”
The streets in front were indeed wider but the sidewalks and roads were full of all kinds of cars. The vehicle owners were most likely people who had not been assigned homes yet. Though their luck was much better than those who came here on foot or in official rescue vehicles; they at least had a car to live in.
The stalls were mostly on the sidewalk, the middle of the road left to moving vehicles. More cars meant more chance of trading the right materials. Luo Xun’s interest increased as he marched forward but his arm was pulled.
Yan Fei’s face was calm. “Don’t go too fast, you’ll get squeezed.” With that he naturally pulled Luo Xun’s wrist.
Although not touching hands, the sleeve temperature caused Luo Xun to hobble two steps forward. Yan Fei still wore the mask while going out, hinting at his appearance. Luo Xun at this time could not see the expression on his face.
Luo Xun had never experienced this kind of lovey dovey shopping in his life. His limbs became seriously uncoordinated, walking as strange as a zombie outside the base. People who came across them head on were likely to get infected by the virus and could not tell when they would mutate into a monster. Some surprised person hurriedly avoided the two by whirling around.
Fortunately, there were more people in the streets and the afraid were not the majority. Those people were only a little bit scared and stayed distant without trouble. Otherwise someone would leave their face at their grandmother’s house.
“Pipe!” Suddenly found a big truck unexpectedly stocked with pipes, Luo Xun waved off the embarrassment of holding hands and pointed at the car.
Yan Fei with a pair of bright eyes also followed him over.
The car selling steel pipes was surrounded by a lot of people. Luo Xun squeezed in and heard the sellers yell loudly. “Five pack instant noodles for one meter! Want to buy quickly, only selling for one day!”
“Five packs a meter?” Luo Xun’s mouth twitched.
The quantity they needed was larger than words and this ripoff trade. Even if he brought over all their instant noodles to trade, he was afraid it would only be enough to cover one room with pipes.
After being told many people were deterred and unwilling to buy. Now since the base no longer distributed free food, those who wanted to eat had to find work. No job meant no food. Hungry people either desperately went off base for supplies or went to designated sites to build fences or houses. Most of the infrastructure on base was still imperfect and there were many understaffed areas. Though it was just the big eaters that were starving.
The vast majority of people would be willing to eat a pack of noodles a day plus a large steamed bread from base. People did not find trading five packs of instant noodles for a pipe.
Seeing there seemed to be no one willing to buy, the seller waved the pipe while shouting. “Five packs of noodles for one meter long pipe is cost effective ah! Go out fight zombies, a pipe is easy to use. Where would one find such a good weapon? There’s no shop after this!”
Luo Xun did not squeeze inside, just heard the sound from beside Yan Fei. “Not cost-effective. Let’s go.”
Weapons were important but could a steel tube compare to a watermelon knife? Right now food was tight merchandise. The steel pipe sold were relatively thin, easily bent after a few times out. It would be better to find a piece of durable brick instead.
Yan Fei followed behind without dissent. They needed raw materials, so long as steel, durable and in large quantities. They were not interested in these high price single things.
Luo Xun gripped the back of Yan Fei’s hand, his heartbeat slightly accelerated. This kind of cheap could take advantage of many people at present, feared they would be squeezed out…
This street was the north and south road, before the apocalypse one could walk north to the central city district. Now it was also the road to the base gate. Along the way the two saw a lot of stalls selling steel products – larger variety than steel pots and bowls. But the prices of the utensils was not low – people were not stupid. Who knew how these dangerous days would turn out?
Use porcelain? Who had so much money to spend?
The two people turned onto another road full of small stalls, only to find a truck parked on the roadside with an another car pulled alongside! Eyes brightened – they had actually found it!
“How much for this?” Luo Xun patted the car, shouting as he looked left and right for the seller.
“Coming!” A man with a cigarette in his mouth rushed out of a group in front of a neighborhood holding cards in his hands – had been playing cards. “How much do you want?”
There were not many people who bought this sort of things nowadays. Found one time off base on the roadside – a large truck loaded with a lot of metal on the road. But other than someone who just entered the base using it to build a temporary shack, it had been a long since an interested party had appeared.
These days, instead of waiting for someone to buy, it was better to play cards and win rations.
“How much is a big chunk?” Luo Xun asked while patting a strip of steel.
“Only for food, ten packs of instant noodles a chunk!” The man yelled back.
Luo Xun frowned and motioned for Yan Fei to leave. “Not as good as us going off base to find some. Selling steel pipe would get how much? We could also kill some zombies.”
The man hurriedly said. “This piece is really big! Look at the weight! Look at the thickness! Ten packs is not expensive, eight packs is okay too!”
Luo Xun stood firm. “You say this thing big and thick enough but we also have to do the processing. The amount of effort needed is not small. Three packs for apiece at this price we sill buy a few more.”
“That’s no good, at least six packs!”
“Four packs, no more.”
“Five packs, I’m making a loss!”
This was not too far away from the building. After talking about prices Luo Xun decided to just go home and drive to pull things.
He did not expect to find such a large quantity of steel so quickly so he had not driven over. They also did not have enough hard currency in their bags, they had to go home to take some.
The half filled car had fifty to sixty plates. Luo Xun and Yan Fei went back and moved a dozen boxes of instant noodles downstairs to the truck and drove over again.
The eldest brother saw Luo Xun go back to drive things without care – he refused to deliver because he was not sure whether the guy really had the means to buy and the strength to move. Of course also afraid of the rising petrol prices, everyone knew that they could not afford to waste any gasoline. They would rather not waste a drop of petrol in vain.
Not long, saw the two people driving a small car, a box of instant noodles unexpectedly came from the car. Those people playing cards had green eyes.
Placing the inventory of instant noodles to one side, Luo Xun and Yan Fei started moving the steel plates.
The people who sold the steel plates first looked surprised at the packing. Suddenly looked to the two and the car, a trace of greed burst from their eyes. They brought out a dozen boxes of instant noodles at once, likely that they had more supplies on hand.
There were only two of them now, but did not know if they had any companions.
Thinking, he was playing cards with the usual people. Those people had the same greed, read the same idea in each other’s eyes – get these two and see if there is something else to eat at their homes!
The crowd quietly gathered around the two people but Luo Xun seemed unaware. The two were stuffing the steel plates into their car.
“I said, let’s discuss again.”
Luo Xun turned to the speaker, a laughing smile on his face. “Discuss what?”
“Well, we think the price is a bit inappropriate.”
Luo Xun’s calm made the metal seller feel somewhat bad but the greed gained the upper hand placing pressure on thoughts.
“Oh, well then I think your things are too expensive.” Luo Xun sneered. With a click sound the crossbow tied to his left arm was activated.
Yan Fei had transformed it after some study, did not matter it was usually tied to the arm, when needed it would open.
The man paused for a moment, his steps stopped. A person in the crowd loudly shouted. “You want to strong arm? We’re not selling.”
Yan Fei coldly swept a glance at the secretly pulled off door. With a sneer and a raised hand – several pieces of steel from the truck flew up!
The crowd was stunned to see this scene; the steel plate in mid-air suddenly deformed and condensed into a circle of needles! The two people as the center, needles pointed in all directions!
In front of those who had not yet backed off *ping, ping, ping* a series of rings. A row of steel pins were neatly nailed in a row missing by a centimeter without the slightest error! More frightening was that there were still needles in the air, if the man wearing the mask waved again, those horrible things would turn people into pincushions!
“I advise you to give it back or I can’t guarantee that my hands will stay that steady.” The cool sound floated into the ears with successive sounds.
The people surrounding had livid faces as they and the rest of the people backed away.
Luo Xun suddenly lifted a hand to point at the truck. “That person is moving your instant noodles, is it someone you know helping take it home?”
Steel seller paused then suddenly turned to look and saw a person creeping away holding a box of instant noodles. Nearby there was a car with bike frame and several boxes on the frame.
“My instant noodles!!” The metal owner rushed the man who ran to the car.
But the rear frame of instant noodles was not tied, when he stepped on the gas pedal, the box fell down with a crash. The onlookers saw a chance and started looting.
Luo Xun and Yan Fei had no reason to answer to the group. Yan Fei lifted his head and the steel plates flew under his command into smaller containers, even the needles. They initially did not intend to expose Yan Fei’s abilities but since Luo Xun’s crossbow could not scare them. There were people who took the opportunity to hide in the crowd and provoke trouble, Yan Fei had to use intimidation.
Now the people in the base had no particular fear and understanding of ability users but there were rumours of a man who had a terrible temper. Although only part of the speculation was correct, it was enough that people dared not provoke ability users on base.
Steel plate owner finally limped back, arms holding a half box of instant noodles, who knew who had looted the rest. Back at the car opened the door and found the two boxes of cigarettes hidden in the car were gone!
Outside, the two people readied the car, sat down and started. The owner did not dare act like before and demand compensation, could only watch them drive away.
If the pair had not shown the ability, the guy would have certainly gone and stopped them – demanded a few more bags of instant noodles. God knew the looters were not actually those two people? If you lose something, it must be a trick!
But now? Looking at the car on the road with needles holes, the owner’s heart hurt. The remaining box of instant noodles hidden under the seat. Started the car to head back – the car could have sold for a good price. Those plates were not worth the car!
“Is this enough?” Luo Xun’s mood was good, did not think he would come out and easily buy what he needed.
“Enough, even for 1601 it’s enough.” Yan Fei nodded. “The steel pipe does not need to cover under the whole floor. The materials enough for a thinner thickness.” Besides there were a lot of things in the house.
“That’s good!” Luo Xun nodded in gratitude, first get 1603 fixed up and warm. Wait a year and half to determine no one coming to their house and then set up the other house!
With heat, would be equal to a temperature stable greenhouse. Luo Xun was filled with anticipation.
They drove back to their agree place, Li Tie and the others had not come back yet, likely wandering around somewhere.
The two people were not anxious, they parked the car in an open area nearby and sat inside looking at sales below.
There were a lot of cars parked on the street. Their smaller car did not occupy as much space as the bigger trucks.
Not long after, nearly lunchtime, Li Tie and company slowly squeezed out from the crowd. Luo Xun waved at the five, who hurried over with a welcoming smile. “You brought the car? Did you get anything?”
Luo Xun nodded. “Bought something.”
“That’s really good, we just saw a steel pipe, one for four pack instant noodles! So uneconomical!”
The car could only sit a few people, Luo Xun slowed down and together returned to the apartment building. Listening to talk about shopping, also spoke about the current situation.
As they were going forward someone in the distance greeted loudly. They looked up and saw a man in military uniform rushing over. It was the petty officer who had contacted Luo Xun before.
“We just went up to our floor. How is your floor, the door and the elevator blocked?” The sergeant ran up and complained.
Several people looked at each other then laughed bashfully. “We went out a few days ago, brought back more than usual. We temporarily sealed the door because were afraid someone would come steal. Is something wrong?”