The two people stood on the balcony for a moment before Luo Xun rushed towards the staircase. “I’ll go get a notebook, there’s a USB camera at home. We’ll put in on the balcony tomorrow and record for a day!”
He would like to know how the vegetable leaves went “missing”!
The little puppy was lying beside the quail habitat, ears twitching as she shut her eyes as if asleep. Because she seemed to enjoy playing with the quails, Luo Xun had moved a cushion so that she would have something to lie on the floor during the day.
Had to place the notebook in the right place – Yan Fei made a small temporary metal table. He pulled over the wire, connected the computer to the camera and adjusted the video mode.
Luo Xun clapped his hands, his eyes flashed with resentment. “I can’t wait to find out what kind of ‘ghost’ comes to steal our food!”
He was sure that it was not Li Tie and the others, they had no time and their home had their own vegetables. If they had wanted to simply eat vegetables they would grow their own. Definitely would not do something like theft!
Yan Fei also nodded, he felt that the leaves seemed to have been stolen away. The thief was careful, only stole a few leaves each day in fear of the owner realizing a problem. However he did not understand why the thief only stole from the bottom row of vegetables? And seemed to prefer the lettuce? The lush leek nearby had not been touched.
If it had been him, to not let anyone realize anything amiss he would have evenly picked leaves from each vegetable and not only the bottom row. Sooner or later someone would have noticed something wrong. Was the thief smart or stupid?
After dinner, Yan Fei went next door to Zhang Yi’s house to set up free warm water pipe system. Luo Xun had improved the design with a separate regulating valve, one could make each room a separate temperature with its own control device. That way if not needed it could be turned off, which was more convenient and also saved energy.
Overnight, the sky turned dim, the pair quickly checked the laptop recording. With a sigh, they confirmed that the balcony last night had been normal. They removed the metal cover on the quail cage and went to the living room to eat breakfast.
This morning, they ate carrot stuffed dumplings which were taken from a bag frozen in the fridge. These days they only ate lunch outside the city wall, the couple was unable to bring food home. The two ate breakfast and dinner at home.
Luckily the two were paid more points each day that before. Even going to the base window to buy rice was no problem. Unfortunately they could not go out and buy because the zombie outbreak related to food issues on base. If they were more free, they could also eat dinner in the barracks which would be useful.
But the house had so many fresh vegetables, who else would be able to eat such things? Each day was very good at the moment.
After breakfast, the couple and Li Tie’s group drove together to the barracks.
In the car Li Tie and the others smiled and talked about the metal flooring. “Yan Fei, you can use a pile of metal materials to build a house, our building is now very comfortable!”
Yan Fei smiled. “They are warming measures for winter, wait until summer and it will feel like being in an oven.”
They froze upon hearing him and suddenly laughed. It was true, a metal shell without protective measure was no different than living in an oven! They had not thought deeply enough.
After half a day of work, Yan Fei took advantage of his physical and mental strength back home to finish Zhang Yi’s home. Before long the heating measure of the home would be ready.
Looking at the pipe flooring, Luo Xun would experiment with water and electricity. The solar panel was one Wang Duo had taken from 1601, he got a portion when everyone went out to collect supplies. It was unknown when Zhang Yi had found the two storage batteries.
Turned on water and electricity, Luo Xun checked the situation inside every room. Yan Fei used the time to sit aside and absorb nuclei to restore his energy. Anyway he had a lot of surplus nuclei, he would absorb as much as possible before going to bed to not waste resources.
After the check, Luo Xun stood at the door and pointed at the floor. “Effect was as planned, more convenient. The temperature of each room can be adjusted at any time. I have a new idea, with this basis I could improve and control the temperature inside the greenhouse…I’m going to draw a plan! Back to the house!”
Sure enough, with the first two sets of houses, Luo Xun now had an improved method.
Of course, what he thought of stilled needed some additional components. So tomorrow afternoon he would check roadside stalls to see if there was anything useful.
Yan Fei smiled as Luo Xun hurried back to refine his design. After absorbing the nucleus he turned to the flooring. In order to prevent thermal expansion and other problems, since they did not have a better heat conduction material, Yan Fei would simply use a loose metal mesh to fill the gap between pipes and then spread on the floor.
This work was more energy intensive. When Luo Xun finished drawing the design, Zhang Yi had come back and entered the master bedroom.
Wang Duo and Zhang Yi expressed great satisfaction – they had nothing else to do at home. Only the hallway and the bedroom were often used.
Zhang Yi crossed his hands in front of his chest. He gave a satisfied nod as he stomped on the metal floor. “Good, don’t know how you did it but stepping on it won’t make a lot of sound.”
The sound insulation effect was quite good.
Yan Fei also expressed satisfaction with his own work following Luo Xun’s idea. “The middle portion of metal has undergone some processing so no sound is transmitted. By the way, have you asked?”
Zhang Yi and Yan Fei were similar people, some would not understand the dialogue but he knew and cut straight to the point. “Can find someone to change but I don’t think its cost-effective. So I gave my resignation to the hospital supervisor, but he did not agree.”
He raised a hand to touch his chin. “But he agreed to give some leave. I can use the time to go out and entertain myself.”
Go out and entertain himself…He knew there were zombies outside, right?
Luo Xun, having just finished his new design was silent but for an ability user like Zhang Yi, going out to hunt low level zombies was as difficult as digging out potatoes.
“How about it? Are you interested?” Zhang Yi smiled and looked at the couple.
Yan Fei was surprised. “You want to team up?”
Zhang Yi helplessly waved his hands. “The base regulations are like before, those going off base must team up with no less than 10 people and pick a task. It’s no problem if I go out alone, but if I’m surrounded by zombies with no one to help collect nuclei, I won’t be able to recover my strength.”
He originally wanted to go out alone but going out with a team would save a lot of trouble while hunting zombies. If he thought about it, if he met a mob of zombies, where would he have the time to pick up nuclei? Without those, how would he regain his mental strength? His ability would not activate without energy!
So he thought of the couple and Li Tie’s group.
“What? It’s about the crystal nuclei right?” Sure enough, Li Tie and company had talked about this on the way back, their spirits were high.
Since the last time they had been downstairs, Li Tie and the others had been using the metal sticks to exercise. After hearing that Zhang Yi wanted to leave base and collect crystal nuclei, they also wanted to participate.
Their purpose was not the nuclei, they were focused on training for the future in a post-apocalyptic world. In the event of an incident in base, they would not be completely powerless like real otaku.
He Qiankun raised a hand. “Our boss told us that we have two days of holiday each month. We haven’t used it this month!”
Luo Xun also of something and turned to Yan Fei. “We also have days, but we have to wait until the outer wall is built, continue work at the beginning of March.”
Zhang Yi raised his chin. “I can change my holiday to those two days.”
“So can we!” Wang Duo quickly answered on behalf of Li Tie and the others.
“In that case, we have…eight people. After finding two others we’ll be in the clear!” Luo Xun smiled.
He had been shooting at zombies every day on the walls, the accuracy of the crossbow had reached deadly levels. It was a bit of a hassle to deal with level two zombies with abilities but it was fine so long as he did not go too far out and just shot the zombie from a distance.
Yan Fei had no comment, each day he had a portion of unused nuclei, but since his ability was not used in battle, he gradually lost his danger sense. Like the last time with the fire ability zombie, if he had been vigilant, that would have not happened.
They did not want to be like others who needed to go out and collect supplies. Leaving the base to find food, supplies and other materials. They just wanted to go out and hunt crystal nuclei in the base vicinity to train their combat awareness.
“Then the matter is settled, this time we go out to see the situation. If the situation is good, we can go out once a month, but if its too dangerous…” Yan Fei turned to Li Tie and the others, “Then Zhang Yi and I will need to go out and collect crystal nuclei, the others will stay on base.”
The others also included Luo Xun. Although his crossbow was very accurate, if the outside situation was really that bad, how could Yan Fei let Luo Xun be in danger? He could stay home and care for the quail and tend the vegetables.
“No problem.” Luo Xun responded first with a brilliant smile. He knew his own strength and was clear of the zombie’s capabilities which he could cope with. He turned to the students. “I have some crossbows at home – I’ll lend you some, if you can adapt then we’ll find some metal materials to process into weapons. If unable to use then there’s no waste either.”
“Yes, no problem!”
“Yes Yan Fei, Luo Xun!” The group of five nodded. They also wanted to try and learn but did not intend to go out and be heroic.
Luo Xun and Yan Fei agreed to go with Li Tie and company. Also felt that everyone should improve vigilance, deal with reactions and nervousness towards the zombies. In addition, there were level two zombies outside, but their numbers were not too high.
At least, during the past few days repairing the outer wall, they had not met many zombies.
Back home, when Luo Xun did a routine inspection of the balcony, remembered the lost vegetables upon seeing the computer.
Seeing Luo Xun fiddle with the computer, Yan Fei also came over. Although they were tired, the two people wanted to find out who had been stealing their food.
They needed an answer, even if the leaves of the vegetables had spontaneously combusted or withered, at least there was an explanation.
A whole day had been recorded, the two people fast forwarded through. There was a scene where the puppy strolled over. Because the puppy was always at home and usually running around, the two people did not pay any mind. Even if she stood in front of the shelf for a while, there seemed to be nothing wrong while on camera.
After waiting a while, until the two had returned home, they had not found anything stealing the vegetable leaves.
“…What’s going on?” Luo Xun and Yan Fei looked at each other.
They had seen the video from start to finish but had not seen the slightest trace of the whoever was stealing leaves. However there were less vegetables leaves than before! Was it haunted?!
“Skip to the bedroom then slow down.” Yan Fei seemed to have seen something and moved to the second floor bedroom. The two men watched the screen together.
Slowing down the speed, the two checked the changes in the leaves, after comparing the third lettuce and seeing the leaves had lessened…
“Eh?! Wait a minute! Go back and rewind!” Luo Xun pointed at the paused screen. The two people could see the number of vegetable leaves clearly decreasing, but…
“The…puppy!” Luo Xun and Yan Fei could not believe their eyes as they forwarded to when the puppy appeared on the camera screen.
After careful comparison, could confirm – before the puppy came, the leaves were there and then they were gone! This…did one even need to ask?!
Putting on clothes, the two people ran all the way to the first floor. Puppy looked up upon smelling the two owners.
Looking at the puppy tilting her head, innocently wagging her tail, the two felt queasy. What could they do? Ask and see if she would answer?
No questions? Were the two of the sure without asking?
Yan Fei suddenly got up and went back to the balcony, returning with a piece of green lettuce. He placed it front of the puppy.
The little puppy looked at him, then looked at the lettuce before glancing at Luo Xun.
Luo Xun’s mouth twitched. He tore a small piece and motioned. “Come, eat it.”
Did dogs eat when they were not hungry? Not to mention eating vegetables? Luo Xun was unsure but the two were worried and were waiting for the puppy to eat.
The puppy looked at Luo Xun, then at the lettuce leaves – small and not much to eat. Plus the two owners were feeding by hand, so the dog bit down and chewed.
She actually ate it! Their dog actually ate vegetables! There are dogs that eat lettuce!
The two people were struck by lightning and stared at the strange scene. After a while, they slowly looked at each other.
In the end, Yan Fei turned and patted Luo Xun’s shoulder. “Easier to support if the dog eats vegetables instead of meat. There’s enough dog food at home for her to eat this year.”
Although Luo Xun had bought a lot of dog food, these items had a shelf life. He had been unable to buy enough for Puppy to eat for a lifetime. Therefore if the puppy could adapt to eating vegetables, it was a great thing for the couple.
“My dog…is actually vegetarian…” Luo Xun felt his whole world view shift as he leaned a head on Yan Fei’s shoulder.
Yan Fei comfortingly patted his shoulder. “Better this than finding the quails at home eaten?”
True enough, Luo Xun was assuaged and together the two walked to the staircase. As for the plants, who needed to be on guard?
Why bother? This was his family. Puppy was like his child, what was a few slices of lettuce? He could afford for them to be eaten!
The night before Zhang Yi’s home was renovated, the next day Yan Fei would help fix the floor after work. As for chairs and the fence, Zhang Yi would find a piece of paper and list all the desired furniture to the couple.
Luo Xun played around with designs and used Zhang Yi’s materials to create a variety of strange functional benches. Yan Fei worked to make the designs before going back home.
1603’s last layer of paint dried faster than the others, in a few days they could think that their home was complete. Of course they had to see the results of Zhang Yi’s heating system. If the metal floors were good, the two of them considered switching. As for wooden floors, they would take them out to sell, there were a lot of people on base rushing to buy all kinds of wood. It was used for cooking, no one cared that it created a pungent smell.
Of course, Luo Xun could wait until fall or winter, the price would be better than now. They had a lot of resources. They could make some shelves out of corridor debris. They could also access the roof! The roof was only two floors above Luo Xun’s floor, if no one had claimed the rood, they could use it as well.
Time went by, every day went home-barracks-wall-barracks-home, those three places. With the efforts of Yan Fei and the other three metal users and Luo Xun at home, three days before March, everything had been prepared.
The metal outer wall had been built to a full six metres high so the earth users could take over the work.
At home, the flooring next door had all been done and the place had metal furniture. Even a king sized bed in the master bedroom. Wang Duo felt incomparable satisfaction.
The wall in Yan Fei’s house was already dry and Luo Xun’s latest design was completed. The new ground heating facilities were installed. In contrast to Li Tie and Zhang Yi had decided to give up the wood floor and switch to metal.
One, the sound insulation effect was good on the metal floor. They deliberately ran to 1502 on the 15th floor, Xu Mei’s home to listen for a while. Wang Duo and two others jumped around but the people downstairs heard nothing.
Of course, they asked for permission first. Xu Mei was living on the floor alone, no one else had moved in and she had recently gone out to do tasks. As long as there were enough metal materials, Yan Fei agreed to help process some things.
She also collected a lot of metal things while out and being a big fan of the iron gate on the 16th floor, the 15th floor also became entirely blockaded.