“They were my companions before entering the base.” Zhang Yi paused before continuing. “When we were outside the base, we killed a lot of people. Fought with other gangs of survivors many times, everyone’s hands were stained with the blood of at least five or six lives.” He looked at Lieutenant Ding as his smile widened. “Sadly, I was the only one to develop a power.”
He knew why Lieutenant Ding had come to snoop alone, it was only because he had an ability and he was a needed medical officer on base.
At present, the base was willing to accommodate those with powerful abilities, especially if those killed were not important characters. Frankly it was not a big deal so long as they were not their own, only they should have been secretly taken care of. If the scene had not been so bloody people may have not started a murder investigation.
But there was no other way, who was unable to control their emotions last night? If they had not been cut to death, they might have gone crazy on the spot.
Lieutenant Ding took a few deep breaths and grit his teeth. “I asked you why did you kill them? Whether they were guilty or not of murder was not the reason you killed them…” Zhang Yi did not explain anything. He obviously was not taking the matter seriously, not even giving a motive.
How would he justify himself if he just left? If his superior did not want to endure his attitude, the person would get arrested? The people that Zhang Yi killed had also killed outside the base, but one cannot forget that he was not innocent either!
Zhang Yi’s face changed, there were some things he obviously did not want to say.
“Those people hurt Zhang Yi before!” Wu Xin, who had been sitting to the side listening, suddenly remarked.
Li Tie and several others also added. “Right! When we met outside the base, it was those people who deliberately cut Zhang Yi’s arm and threw him into a group of zombies to run away!”
“We can prove it! If it had not been for Zhang Yi’s explosion, he would not have survived!”
Brother’s wife was also their “sister-in-law” or “younger sibling”, after the shock from the lieutenant brought about the people cut to death faded, Li Tie and the others hurriedly stood with Wang Duo.
Although they were also very afraid, what if one day Zhang Yi suddenly became interested in them and made passes? But these days they had all gotten along and no one had noticed anything strange about Zhang Yi.
In addition to this they believed that a painful yet beautiful love story between two men, like the relationship between Yan Fei and Luo Xun, was completely normal!
Thinking about when they had met outside base, seeing Zhang Yi’s bloody and despairing appearance…
When Li Tie and his friends learned that the ones Zhang Yi had killed were the same people who had betrayed, hurt and abandoned him, they made a judgement – Zhang Yi was a good person, the bad guys were the ones who hurt him!
His behaviour last night was a bit over the top, but he was acting in revenge! If it had been them, meeting the people who had harmed and abandoned them, they would also take action! Of course, the means would not have been as bloody…
After hearing Li Tie and the others words Lieutenant Ding breathed a sigh of relief, turned to verify with the reliable Luo Xun and Yan Fei and finally looked at Zhang Yi with a complex expression. “This there was no direct evidence…you’d better control your emotions while in the hospital. The base is currently understaffed but we cannot cover for you if a superior comes down to investigate.” He stood up and continued. “The hospital leader told me to inform you, your previous work schedule had too much pressure so this time you will be allowed a few days of rest. Wait three days before coming back to work and enjoy being home for the new year.” He then went out.
He got two extra days of vacation for killing?
The group stared wide eyed for a while before hurrying after the lieutenant to send him off. Only Wang Duo was left in the room looking at Zhang Yi. His lips moved but seeing Zhang Yi’s eyes looking back, could not speak any words.
Zhang Yi ended up speaking first. “Get away from the wall.”
“What?” Wang Duo tensed and straightened his back while waiting for Zhang Yi to speak.
“That’s the place you painted before you left in the morning.”
“…Ah! My clothes are dirty! I only have two sets of clothing!”
The crowd at the gate sending off Lieutenant Ding heard the cries, they silently glanced at each other and agreed that no one had heard anything.
Lieutenant Ding also ignored the wailing and smiled. “No need to send me off, I have to go and report back. Have a nice holiday at home.”
“Lieutenant Ding, Zhang Yi he…won’t get arrested right?” Li Tie asked.
The lieutenant laughed helplessly. “If he was to be arrested I would not have been sent alone. You also advised him, and it had been for revenge so…but he has to work on his temper, using wind to cut down people is not a good habit. The base has quite a few ability users around.” If Zhang Yi provoked too many people, it would not matter if he had a high ability, everyone would work together to kill him!
Li Tie and the others quickly nodded. “Rest assured, we will talk to him!” It was a good idea, forget about outsiders and enemies, what if Wang Duo provoked him and got a few pieces sliced off…?
Yan Fei stepped forward to lock the door after Lieutenant Ding disappeared downstairs while Luo Xun turned to the group. “Today we eat dumplings” After today was Chinese new year’s eve, what would they eat other than dumplings?
Li Tie and company’s eyes shined in unison. “Yes!”
He Qiankun pointed at 1601 door. “We exchanged a bag of flour at the window before coming back yesterday!”
Luo Xun laughed. “My home has vegetables and a bit of meat. How about everyone come over to make dumplings?”
“Yes, yes. Luo Xun, what kind of vegetables have you grown? Our home’s green onions just sprouted, not enough to eat.”
“There’s spinach and cabbage, not too much but enough to everyone to eat today.” The group decided to use 1601 as the gathering place, Luo Xun and Yan Fei would bring ingredients from home to cook together.
What about 1602? Everyone was tactful enough to not bother them.
The sounds in the corridor gradually tapered off as Wang Duo touched his back – his clothes were stained from the paint but fortunately it was not serious. He secretly glanced at Zhang Yi, seeing that he had not been driven out Wang Duo summoned up his courage. “That…Zhang Yi…can I go and paint the wall for you?”
Zhang Yi was silent for a long while, did not look at him and after slowly walked towards his bedroom.
Wang Duo’s heart started to sink lower and lower…it had not been enough? Was he getting dumped again?
“Work quietly.” Zhang Yi said as he disappeared behind the bedroom door.
Wang Duo’s body suddenly felt buoyant, as if he was floating on clouds, like last night when they were embracing each other, like a dream.
He had not been dumped? Zhang Yi was letting Wang Duo paint the wall for him? He was willing to accept him!
He thought of this morning when Yan Fei conveyed the requirements “clean home, wash clothes, cook and massage” was letting him paint the house mean he was willing to accept?!
Just letting him help painting = agree to be in his home = agree to his pursuit = can repeat last night activities. It was perfectly consensual between two people regardless of what outsiders thought in the future.
Wang Duo the pure singled celled organism instantly regained momentum, the morning’s lethargy had been all dispelled as he excitedly painted the wall in a daze.
Zhang Yi laid on the mattress on the bedroom floor, his heart felt empty – he had killed them, but what now?
The base had not investigated, but after that?
Go to the hospital everyday for work, make money, eat, live…What about the future?
Outside the base was a world full of zombies, the base could only support a fraction of the people. Zhang Yi could not see how the future would turn out, where any hope was.
He seemed to have suddenly lost the purpose that had sustained him, unsure of his future direction and cannot find hope for tomorrow.
Before he had an obsession at the bottom of his heart – to live and personally kill that group of scum. But he had already killed those dregs, killed easily however could only killed once. But…after that?
Empty and vacant, Zhang Yi felt he could just sit in the room until he eventually died. It would not be a surprise if his body decayed or aged into ashes. He did not even have to desire to open the door and see Wang Duo.
Suddenly humming of some old songs before the apocalypse came from outside the bedroom door. Occasionally the melody was a little out of tune and sometimes other songs were mixed in.
Feeling sluggish, he rolled his eyes but came back to himself. Pale pink lips revealed a frown and his mouth spit out caustic words. “Sounds bad.”
Zhang Yi had never heard such a bad sounding and nonsensical song.
But in the end, the frown shifted back into the sarcastic and spiteful smile Luo Xun and the others were familiar with.
“Luo Xun…This is the legendary quail egg?”
“Luo Xun, you still have quail eggs?!”
“Let me see! Even if it is smelly I want to…”
Li Tie and the others stood in worship near the small quail eggs, each looked at one. The four people formed a semicircle around the table, sat down and leaned in to stare at the quail eggs in the center.
Luo Xun smiled as he took out several vegetables from his bag and put them in a basin. “I domesticated and they started laying eggs. Some might be able to hatch, when they do I will send you a few.”
“Really?!” Li Tie perked up and fiercely hugged Luo Xun’s thigh. “Luo Xun!”
“All right, I still don’t know if they will hatch.” Luo Xun was actually a little impulsive today and did not know why.
He felt conflicted when Li Tie and the others stood up for Wang Duo and Zhang Yi in front of Lieutenant Ding. In the end, the man had not investigated Zhang Yi. Luo Xun wanted to do something after they had deliberately left Wang Duo behind.
If the quails at home were successfully hatched, there would be a steady stream of baby quails being born. What would it matter giving Li Tie and friends several hatched quails?
Luo Xun felt this was worthwhile for his vision of the future where everyone was together and happy.
Li Tie and the group were excited but did not say much. The help and care Luo Xun and Yan Fei had shown them, they knew and carved it onto their hearts. Although these things might not be much to Luo Xun and Yan Fei but it was very precious for Li Tie and company. After all, the students were all ordinary people, even if they had a job now, God knew how stable it would be in the long term?
What Luo Xun would give them, so long as they worked hard and cultivated, could become something their future lives depended on! If there was no food to eat, they could rely on these things to survive!
For this timely help, they were not fools, naturally wanted returns, but at this time the students had no power to help and what they had said were only words. In the future, they could find a chance to return the favor with concrete actions.
Luo Xun was experienced in cooking and was thus responsible for directing, coordinating, inspecting and so on. He ordered the four people around but a flower was blooming in their hearts – making their own dumplings!
Before coming over Luo Xun had taken out some frozen meat and spare shrimp from his refrigerator. He commanded He Qiankun and Han Li to chop vegetables, Li Tie and Wu Xin to prepare various spices/seasonings while he and Yan Fei dealt with the dough.
The group of people chatted while cooking and playing, when things were ready Luo Xun guided the five people in wrapping dumplings – each had a wrapper. Luo Xun’s dumpling making speed matched that of the five other people combined without any pressure.
He Qiankun’s nose felt a little itchy, he rubbed with the back of his hand and left a trail of flour. Realized that the room was emptier than usual, then pointed in the direction of next door. “That…should I call Wang Duo and Zhang Yi?”
Li Tie and the others looked with dog eyes at the couple, Luo Xun was quickly making dumplings. “Forget it, let’s call them when it’s time to eat…”
The two of them were having rare time alone together. Plus there was already a couple showing their love, if another pair was added…How would this group of bachelors live?! How would they live?
Han Li secretly glanced at his companions – He Qiankun…facial features were too plump, pass. Wu Xin…nice face but compared to his appetite, pass. Li Tie, thin with some height, compared to him it was like contrasting Mount Everest and Marianas Trench, no way to compare…
Alas, wanting to develop a good base friend was also very difficult. At least the hardware conditions would be difficult to meet so he would not go to the wrong person.
The dumplings were all wrapped up but there was no movement from next door yet, so Luo Xun ordered everyone the call the two over for dinner after boiling the water. They had not eaten before lunch since they knew they could eat dumplings in a while, so they simply waited for the meal. Although the time was still early, the group could not continue waiting.
After picking lots, He Qiankun had to knock on the door, after a while Wang Duo came with a white face.
“What’s the matter with you?” His face was so white! He Qiankun shivered in fright at Wang Duo.
Wang Duo also stared in shock. “Why is there powder on your face?”
Two people stood in the doorway. A leisurely voice sounded from behind Wang Duo. “Who’s blocking the doorway?”
He Qiankun quickly remembered the task he was assigned. “Zhang Yi, we’ve made some dumplings, came to call you two over to eat!”
“Dumplings?! Yes, yes! What stuffing?” Wang Duo eye’s shone with green light – he had painted the walls of 1601 all morning and afternoon voluntarily but was not hungry and dizzy. If he had not stayed for Zhang Yi he would have long gone back!
“Pork with spinach, and cabbage with shrimp vermicelli.” It was the dish and meat that the couple had brought over.
Wang Duo turned excitedly at Zhang Yi standing with crossed arms in the kitchen. “Let’s eat?”
Zhang Yi raised his eyebrows, said nothing but came to the door.
Li Tie and the others were all startled as Wang Duo came in with stuff all over his face.
“What happened to your face?”
“Painted the wall!” Wang Duo said complacently with his nose to the sky.
Seeing his appearance of success, Li Tie and the others calmly looked at Zhang Yi who was beside He Qiankun and secretly ground their molars…It had not just been painting the wall. What a great deal!
Wu Xin kindly asked. “How much is left? Would you like us to come over and help you after dinner?”
“No need!” Wang Duo immediately refuted. “Just a little more and I’ll be done.” He would resolutely defend his turf, Zhang Yi had said a few words to him after a busy afternoon of work. How could be let this group of light bulbs past? It was impossible to keep them in the past!
Han Li twisted in the other direction, he was not in the mood to drink vinegar – look at this protectiveness. It was embarrassing, where was his macho? Seeing his current appearance, he could not say anything.
Luo Xun bowed his head and Yan Fei shot a meaningful look at Zhang Yi. This time they would not pay too much attention to Zhang Yi.
It was not long before the dumplings were cooked. The group of people gathered around the table to eat while the nearby radio was relaying base news.
Today was New Year’s Eve, in order for the base to stabilize the people, but also because this was the first spring festival since the apocalypse, the base would wait until eight o’clock to officially celebrate.
Everyone in the army had already heard the news about when the festival was available to listen to a few days earlier. Although few artists fled to the southwest base after the end of the world, there were some small no-name artists along with some soldiers who were recording a gala.
Just needed to determine the theme of the event – defeat the zombies, recapture the homeland, promotion of positive energy, unity and so on so they could quickly set up a party. Unfortunately it could not be live due to the current situation and had to be recorded in advance.
After all, literary work cannot feed one’s belly in the apocalypse, many people’s schedules did not match. Everyone who had time would record on the program then be done, how could it be a continuous thing. People who recorded may have to leave base for tasks and might not return alive.
Eating the big dumplings, definitely not the same taste as the base canteen ones. Did not know if it was because everyone made the meal in person but the home made taste of dumplings seemed better than buying from the canteen, was more delicious.
While eating dumplings, Luo Xun looked at the time, it was three o’clock in the afternoon. There were still a lot of dumplings left, should be enough for everyone to eat at night. But considering that some would have a reunion with the opposite sex after dinner…
Wang Duo said. “Is…everyone going home at night? Luo Xun and Yan Fei have to go back too…” He secretly looked at Zhang Yi.
Zhang Yi had a smiling appearance, as if he had heard nothing.
Han Li ground his teeth but looked enigmatically authentic. “Right, everyone should go home. You also have to come back with us for New Year~”
“That’s right! Home for the New Year!” Li Tie and several others joined in.
The smile on Zhang Yi’s face remained unchanged, he sat there motionless like a statue.
Wang Duo retorted with a black face. “I still have to paint Zhang Yi’s wall! Who knows how long it will take to finish, no need to wait for me.”
Li Tie and company laughed and ribbed Wang Duo, but he decided to endure the groups envy for the sake of future happy life. He grabbed a bug lunch box and filled with enough dumplings for dinner. Then he turned to look at Zhang Yi while holding the container.
Luo Xun barely held back laughter as he smiled and pulled Yan Fei’s hand. “We have something to do at home so we’ll be leaving first.”
After hearing this, Wang Duo continued to stare at Zhang Yi with burning eyes. Zhang Yi patted his clothes, waltzed over with his chin tilted like a proud queen about to gobble up a silly dog general. The two of them also went out. Behind, Li Tie and the others had a hard time holding back their smiles.