“Heard that a lot of big wigs from the other bases had come. Some had the right or potential to be placed directly in the barracks, but we don’t know for sure, did not hear more.” Li Tie continued. “While we were busy we heard cars rumbling outside, when we looked outside – whoah a big vehicle! There were a lot of tanks!”
Some of the students went back to their own rooms, Luo Xun and Yan Fei also got up to leave. The remaining Li Tie who had brought back a meal for Zhang Yi in his own lunch box had refused to take the container back. Zhang Yi already had supper today, he had jokingly asked for them to bring some rice back, unexpectedly actually brought some…
Luo Xun saw the meal that Li Tie had brought, there were meat and vegetables. The same cooked eggplant and stewed potatoes, although the other’s had no meat, it smelled more fragrant that that he had eaten at noon. The meat and potatoes also had large chunks of pork and whole eggs.
Li Tie had brought back two eggs for Yan Fei and Luo Xun, just enough for a meal.
Fry some hand torn lettuce, dried bacon and potatoes, and then add some shrimp with spinach, with the two braised eggs and big steamed bun, Luo Xun felt the dinner quality was not lacking.
Going to the balcony after eating and drinking enough, something was different about the quail cage covered in black cloth…
“Yan Fei, Yan Fei! Quail eggs!” Luo Xun jumped in excitement and shouted.
“Laid eggs?!” Yan Fei also jumped up and hurried next to the cage. Sure enough, the small quail nest had more than a few black and white speckled miniature eggs!
Luo Xun picked up a bright flashlight and aimed at the eggs to see if one was fertilized.
From the total of three quail eggs, two were not fertilized. The other one would be left in the nest with two taken out. “First save it, it’s okay not to eat it right away.”
Quail eggs were not as resistant as other eggs, but would not break for 35 days. It would be good to save them for soup or as an extra dish when cooking.
The earlier egg storage, the big basket of duck eggs had been vacated so Luo Xun put the two quail eggs in the large basket. Small eggs in a large bamboo basket appeared so extravagant. In reality, it was such a luxury to eat quail eggs in this apocalyptic world.
A quail’s life was not too long, a healthy domestic quail could live for two years, wild ones lived longer for three to five years. Of course, there were some who lived longer, but Luo Xun knew that these quails were taken from last year fields by village children. It was not clear how old when the birds were caught, he estimated they could give birth to a small number of babies but would not last long afterwards. For the two people it was important for the quails to lay and hatch eggs early.
“Turn around and mark the seven quail’s feet with a ring, don’t mix with the new quail.”
When the adult quails grew to a certain extent, it would be better for it to serve as food for the two then to die of old age. Now the mutated beasts outside had not appeared yet, the base was catching those beasts. If they wanted to eat meat they could only rely on home stores and these small quails.
“Okay, no need to wait, do it right away.” Yan Fei summoned a random piece of iron from the side of the wall. With several changes mid air it divided into seven thin bands that quickly wrapped around the quail’s legs and the seven marks were done.
He also deliberately carved a ‘1’ on the iron loops, showing it was the first wave of quails in the house.
Luo Xun only hoped that the newly hatched quails had males and females, in order to not return home and find their quails extinct.
Once that was done the two went to the second floor together. Yan Fei asked. “Why not artificially hatch?” Leaving the eggs to the female quails would take more time and what if they did not hatch?
Luo Xun shrugged helplessly. “Too few, just an egg. We’ll get more if we wait” At home, there were incubators and greenhouses. They were made after he got quails, but there was only one egg and the incubator box was a bit too extravagant.
Plus these were wild quail, maybe growing with the adults would allow the babies to grow better.
Changed their clothes on the second floor. Yan Fei glanced at the iron ball he used every night to consume his spiritual energy. He suddenly pulled Luo Xun and climbed into the bed.
“What are you doing?”
“Had a nap in the afternoon. I’m not sleepy yet.”
Luo Xun felt a hand around his waist. “Not sleep than go play with your iron ball. We still have to get up early tomorrow!”
“Let’s do something else first, then you can sleep.”
“Rogue! Let go…”
Yan Fei was not just a rogue, the word was not enough to describe him, he was a very glorious hooligan.
When the two people got up the next morning, the sky was not very bright. Ate breakfast, washed, checked the house situation, closed the doors and windows while taking the car keys out of the house.
A line of people went downstairs as it about time for Li Tie and the others to go out. Luo Xun was driving today and they would send Li Tie and company. It was his bigger car, although these were no seats and they had to sit on the ground, it was much faster than on foot.
The car parked in the vicinity of the barracks, several people hurried to the door. The guards let them in after checking each of their identities. There was activity on both sides of the gate, Luo Xun and Yan Fei continued on in their truck to the departure point.
Seeing the two had arrived, the driver said hello and let them get inside to wait. Not long after the captain, two newcomer and some soldiers came over.
“Maybe you already knew, but yesterday afternoon a lot of survivors came from outside the base, which also has a lot of zombies. The situation might be a little scary but you can rest assured that those above will send someone to help us to defend against danger.”
The two people nodded, understood in their heart that those came to base recently were the cause of the increased zombies. The smell would be heavier with more people gathered together and zombies would attract more of them. Also after evolution the zombie’s sense of smell would increase and cause a steady stream of zombies to siege the base.
The car started again, could see new people in the east from the base gate surrounding under the wall. Sporadic tents and shacks were scattered in the crows everywhere.
There were so many people. Now other than those who came back from missions, the newcomers on base could not be put inside the inner wall. When the truck passed by, Luo Xun could hear someone using a megaphone to broadcast the wall building task.
Building the wall would provide three meals and also issued a small number of points that could be exchanged for various materials. It was, in fact very cost-effective, at least more so than later on.
The base points was no more than money after the apocalypse, there would be inflation. Right now the base personnel kept the points at high value but it would later fall a bit with the emergence of nuclei as a currency.
It was not long before the car arrived at yesterday’s work area. The three metal ability users yesterday afternoon were rather productive, the walls were much longer.
Zombies were seen not far away, some soldiers in the distance were holding arms and defending. Some stakes and trenches seemed to have been dug out overnight in order to block zombie movements.
Metal users were once again engaged in wall construction. Since they were able to see zombies, Luo Xun and the defending soldiers were all vigilant and kept an eye on the area.
At around nine o’clock a ragged team from the direction of downtown rushed towards the base gate. Behind the car some agitated, abnormal zombies followed the car.
“All staff attention, enhance vigilance!” Although the vast majority of zombies were wiped out by defense soldiers at a distance, the captain immediately alerted everyone in the morning that one or two zombies broke through the defensive perimeter.
Gunfire rang not long after, several heads turned to the soldiers laying the zombies to rest, but this time there were twenty to thirty zombies chasing down the road! With the sound of gunfire, those who were originally chasing the car changed directions and rushed forward.
“Ready!” The captain saw a few corpses rushing from the soldiers to them. He hurriedly raised his hands, also holding a weapon.
*thump* thump* thump*
A few shots hit the zombies but few hit the target’s heads. Even if an arm or leg was hit the zombie ignored the wound and charged toward the crowd!
Suddenly a zombie leapt with amazing speed! It was about to reach the resting place of the two metal ability users!
Yan Fei lifted a finger but before he could move, the zombie head unexpectedly burst mid-air!
The soldier beside the other metal user was stunned. He saw Luo Xun sweating and holding a crossbow in his hand. A crossbow had downed an improved zombie through the mouth during the siege! Good crossbow!
Everyone was not a sharpshooter even in the army, but Luo Xun was skilled with a crossbow. At the side Yan Fei did not feel surprised with a calm appearance.
With Luo Xun’s help, the zombies that rushed over were gradually put down.
Luo Xun after confirming there was no danger around, he subtly pulled out the dagger from his boots. He bent down to stab the zombie skull, dug around to find the nucleus. Flushed with a bottle of mineral water before picking it up…He turned around to find himself being watched.
It was just a habit okay? Pick the nucleus in the zombie brain after killing it. This was part of the unwritten rules for the apocalypse, one had to adapt!
The captain returned to himself, coughed towards the others around the road. “Pile the bodies together, let the logistics people deal with the burning.” After finishing he went to Luo Xun. “Not bad with the crossbow, did you practice before?”
Luo Xun silently pocketed the two crystal nucleus with a dry smile. “I played around.”
He was glad, Luo Xun was not as straightforward or naïve as Li Tie and the others but still relatively clean. The captain and the others did not regard him as a dangerous terrorist, just someone who dabbled in arms. The man also patted his shoulder with encouraging words and smartly did not ask him to give up the crystal nucleus.
Luo Xun recovered his two shot crossbow arrows and rinsed them before walking to Yan Fei’s side. He smuggled the crystals over using their proximity.
This was something only a person with powers could do. Must give priority for Yan Fei to improve his ability or replenish his energy at a critical moment.
Yan Fei lightly smiled, taking advantage of the opportunity to take his lover’s hand. He did not need to use this crystal nucleus now, or for a while. After all the quantity was too few, better to save for a key time instead.
Soon, half a day passed, everyone only needed to word some hours until noon lunch hour. After they could go back and rest after work.
Once again they were in the truck headed back towards the barracks. The two people obviously felt that the military barracks were more filled than before.
After a quick observation, the man who came to the fifth canteen was a junior officer, but there seemed to be some new ones. They were probably ones who moved in from other bases yesterday. As for the higher ups, they were going to be eating inside the restaurant instead, they would not able to see at the gate.
Still given two dishes, the two people sitting at a table near thee wall ate slowly.
“Do you think there will be more zombies outside?” Yan Fei whispered.
Luo Xun nodded without hesitation. “No doubt. People will not only lead zombies towards the base, with so many people gathered together the zombies will be able to follow the scent. There will certainly be more and more. So more people need to build fences and must move faster to protect themselves before the real crisis arrives.
Yan Fei agreed in his heart. They returned to the inner city gate at noon and met a few people driving a truck towards uptown city. Those people should be new, willing to build the wall.
“Be careful starting tomorrow while working, try not to overtax yourself.” Yan Fei shifted then continued. “The zombies today were not the same as before. I think that most of the zombies outside have evolved into their current state.”
Luo Xun knew about these evolved zombies in his last life. How ‘fun’ while escaping on the road, it was really ‘fun’…
After all Luo Xun was an ordinary person, standing in the rear as a sniper. Yan Fei did not want to let him block from the front like those soldiers. Fortunately he now had crystal nucleus in hand, if the situation turned grim he could restore his energy. A source of firepower together with Luo Xun.
Although there were only two small crystal nucleus, the pair was emboldened. Their team could prevent and protect against future danger.
Today they got rice and there was no food left at noon. After lunch, the tableware was put away before leaving the canteen. Picked up by the base car ready to go home.
Halfway through the bustling area, they saw a military propaganda car with a speaker attached. It looped the recruitment announcement asking workers to participate in wall construction. Those who had just arrived on base and those for the sake of future livelihood after a few days decided to take part in construction work. The non stop recruitment finally worked with the two people in the back supporting the operation.
Drove home, climbed to the 16th floor, greeted Zhang Yi. The two people returned home to completely relax.
“This was given yesterday and this was given today.” Luo Xun took out their points and pooled them together before counting. “
The wages of ability users was so high. When he took part in wall construction for a full day he was rewarded six points. Yan Fei only worked a half day was paid a full dozen plus a free meal.
“We don’t have to take them out for anything now, so just keep them. In case we need to replace metal or steel.” Luo Xun spoke and put the points back in the special purse for the end of the world.
Yan Fei had no opinion and left the issue of wage management to his lover. He cooperated with work and let him take all the stuff.
After a day of adapting, Yan Fei came back not as tired. He would not have a nap that afternoon and instead helped Luo Xun with tasks at home. For example stuff for planting, hydroponic boxes, drilled pipes to open holes.
In the afternoon there was some movement in the quail nest, the two went to take a look and found that the quails were indeed laying eggs!
Luo Xun picked up the flashlight at the side and checked again, from today’s three eggs, two were fertilized!
“Great!” Luo Xun cheered and returned the two eggs, only one could be eaten. He would put it with the two eggs from last time in the kitchen.
Yan Fei also smiled, nothing was more comfortably domestic than poultry farming at home.
“The feed is almost finished, I’ll bring some back.” Luo Xun went to the kitchen to drop off the quail egg then went to the nursery to get bread worms. Not long after Yan Fei heard a scream.
“What’s the matter.” Yan Fei rushed over, lest Luo Xun was in danger.
Luo Xun turned with a green face, raised his hand to point at the big glass jar of bread worms. Yan Fei followed along to see a dark, black as oil…beetle.
“An adult…did not pay attention a few days ago and missed some of the larger bread worms that turned into pupae.” Luo Xun sighed. “All right, just startled me with the sudden change.”
Who would not be startled when a pile of dark crawlers with occasional wings appeared from what was thought to be soft and white bread worms?
The growth was a good thing but also something not? At least it could have been worse.
Fortunately Luo Xun was ready to put the adult in a net box with a lid so the insects could not fly around the house.
Picked out some bread worms to reward the quails for their eggs. Then with a bitter face used long tweezers in the nursery room to pick up the adult and unhatched pupa from the forms to be placed in another box. This was so they multiplied, save the recently born smaller bread worms.
Catching bugs was not a wonderful thing. The two big shots who not afraid of zombies in the afternoon went straight to the bathroom to bathe after exiting the nursery. At least they regained their appetite before dinner from the black insects.
That night Luo Xun and Yan Fei used up the three quail eggs and made a pot of seaweed shrimp egg soup. They had a good dinner with their own fresh rice, pickles and fried vegetables.
Li Tie and the others gave Zhang Yi some food when they returned. Zhang Yi was set for until noon the next day.
The next day Yan Fei and Luo Xun got a new message at the gate barracks. Luo Xun pointed at his nose in amazement.
The captain smiled and nodded. “This was approved by the higher ups. You wanted some metal with higher purity, someone will send some over soon. The amount is not much though.”
Luo Xun smiled and nodded in thanks, as long as there was a good stuff given to the two of them was more convenient than searching themselves.
Metal could be given, points could also be given, but the crystal nucleus was still unavailable at the moment. The base had not thoroughly studied the role of this thing, could not give them out until there was a way to determine if there were any negative effects.
Perhaps there were some regular teams out of base who would get and use some but the military was under more pressure. If this went wrong it would not only be a few people hurt/suffer it was related to the safety of the entire base, so caution was essential.