At this time Zhang Yi came back with a message. “A new research instrument has been put into use on base.”
He smiled strangely at Luo Xun. “An instrument to check if the human body has been infected with the zombie virus. Does not break the skin, only needs contact to check. It even can find out if clothing has the zombie virus. We were unlucky when we came back, they just started using it a few days ago.” He spread his hands with an expression of schadenfreude.
Did he not realize that he was included in those who had the bad luck of not having this convenience? Why was he so happy?
Luo Xun was silent and looked with incomparable sympathy at Wang Duo who refused to be more than three steps away from Zhang Yi. Both had happy expressions, people could not bare to look at them for several reasons.
They all knew that the base was researching simpler and more convenient methods to detect the virus. They were technically colleagues but in the end what could be researched? Would there be any effects? As a surgeon, Zhang Yi inquired about the situation but more specific information would have to wait until official release.
Zhang Yi then dropped another message. “What else – equipment to identify abilities has been made and the military is in the middle of testing. Once there are no errors, it can be put into use.” He faintly smiled. “Just a tidbit, I am afraid it will be awhile before operation.”
“Why?” He Qiankun was puzzled. “Isn’t another test method a lot more practical? Why do it?”
“I heard that they want to check everyone in the army over once. After all, some abilities are different. A person with the ability might never realize until certain circumstances are met.” A sneer appeared on Zhang Yi’s face. “The test results could be used to create different types of identity cards, new team rules, mission requirements and so on.”
He trailed of meaningfully but the group still had confused expressions. He finally asked Luo Xun, “Captain, what do you think?”
Luo Xun was silent for a while. “Inspecting all of the arm to recruit talent is normal. First they want to get some decent results. As for outsiders…I think future teams might turn into powerful forces on base. Even now, some of the top figures are working on creating tailored teams of power users. So the instrument would be postponed for a while, waiting until they are open to the public.”
In his last life, he had not given up and tried once, but ordinary people were ordinary people, there had been no miracle. So he finally gave up and stayed on base to farm. Most of the big power squads later on had military background, or had the power to support development and logistics.
Li Tie and a few others still did not understand the meaning of this matter. The two women also did not care, no matter what people came, they were remaining in the squad. If Luo Xun decided to add someone, as long as the other party was sincere they would agree. Either way, they would do the same as before, no need for any changes.
Li Tie and the other students were very interested in the instrument that could reveal abilities. In their own words, “There’s a chance to find an ability? Do crystal nuclei come into play?”
Luo Xun kindly did not burst their bubble – the vast majority of powers had been revealed early on. Only a few, did not immediately find their ability under specific circumstances. The instrument would only reveal a few rare abilities.
But he did not tell the children that heaven had no fairies, or santa was not real. It would be a very cruel fact for the naive children, let them temporarily dream for a few days.
Li Tie and company discussed whether they had to wait until tomorrow to inquire about work and see if they could join the investigation. Luo Xun clapped his hands and gathered everyone’s attention.
“With regards to this matter, others on base will likely take action, such as temporarily annexing smaller teams to larger ones. If there’s such an event, what do you think we should do if someone courts our team?”
Xu Mei raised her hand while Song Lingling shrugged. “We and little Ran will listen to the captain. If he decides to merge or expand the squad, we have no problems except one – if anyone has any bad intentions towards us females…”
Her words trailed off but the message was clear. Luo Xun nodded. “You can rest assured that no such thing will happen, whether it be team members of outsiders. If someone wants to bully you, we will not let them off.”
“Right! If anyone dares to bully you, they’ll have to get past us first!” Han Li seized the opportunity to make a pledge.
Li Tie and Wu Xin muttered. “Let’s push him in front?”
Wu Xin nodded. “Right, this guy is dangerous, destroy him first!”
So the three of them had not grown up, the college students with the IQ of children began a fierce three-way war.
Zhang Yi glanced at the three students before looking at Luo Xun. “I am not interested in joining other forces, or for new people to join unless the new person pass my test.”
Zhang Yi made an exit, Li Tie and the noisy trio did not notice. Wang Duo followed his dear queen home.
Li Tie coughed and then spoke to Luo Xun. “We’ll listen to the captain…of course if new people come in…we should have an assessment system…”
Their team had just been built, but each member had contributed and was ready to maintain the team for a lifetime.
The five of them had less responsibilities due to their work hours but everytime they returned they would help with the crops. If vegetables were ripe, they would wake up early to pick them fresh. Working together with the women and never shirked their work.
The two floors were divided into four groups, but everyone was close family and friends. Although there was a line between each other that would not be crossed out of consideration. Therefore they did not want to join any powerful, “big forces” nor did they want ungrateful people to join.
Li Tie’s words were echoed by the others. They had no big ambitions – the days were currently good, working a job, farming, taking care of a child with carefree laughter, sharing novels and so on. At the end of the month everyone would leave base and collect crystal nuclei. These kinds of days were monotonous, but at the same time practical and stable.
Hearing the student’s opinions, Luo Xun’s heart warmed and he looked at Yan Fei. Although he could guess the other side’s thoughts, they had not discussed the matter at all.
Yan Fei looked back and laughed. “If we take refuge with other forces – military included, we need to obey their rules. Even if they do not break up the team, they would regularly assign tasks. In addition, our team does not conform to a typical squad model, so I personally recommend not joining any forces.” He turned to Luo Xun. “About newcomers…I think we have been over this before.”
Yes, it had been made clear during the incident with the two female college students who had lived with Xu Mei on the 15th floor. Not just the two of them, Zhang Yi’s attitude was clear, he was more exclusive than the group of students. Xu Mei joined the Otaku squad because of her strength, effort and perseverance that made the others agree.
Luo Xun saw Li Tie and the others breath a sigh of relief before addressing the team. “I personally have no interest in joining or merging with other teams. Even if one day we will no longer be able to collect crystal nuclei outside the base, we can still have a good life on base if we work hard. I am sure that everyone agrees?”
The crowd nodded as Luo Xun continued. “Since we are talking about this matter, our team will follow these rules: do not join any force, unless circumstances are forced, do not hunt for zombies with other teams, not have anyone new join. If necessary, we will have new people join after investigation and agreement. Finally do not harm anyone’s common interests, if the squad gets damaged, the perpetrator will be expelled. Nice and simple.”
Luo Xun’s new rules were simple and were in everybody’s interest and keeping with the style of this strange team.
Afterwards, the team immediately expressed their support. They just wanted to live well during the apocalypse.
The next day Captain Guo told Luo Xun that the researchers had finished testing and the zombie virus detector had been put into use. As for the instrument that checked abilities, he said the first wave would not be everyone. The metal team would have an inspection in the next few days. After all, although the odds were low, there was a precedent for those to learn that they had an ability.
The team was somewhat curious, although they had little hope of suddenly having an ability, they were curious as to how the instrument would detect the presence of abilities. Of course, the combat forces would be given priority. The metal team was part of logistics, they were lower than the fighter forces but higher than other teams.
After the day’s work, the couple drove back home and locked the car. They left the neighborhood with a bag of nuclei and some points. They greet Xu Mei in the morning and said they were shopping, so the puppy would stay with them for a while.
Though, although the puppy was happy to run around and bumped into shelves in 1603. But in the embrace of Yu Xinran, she showed intelligence and calmness. The two would happily play around but if Yu Xinran did anything dangerous, Puppy would cleverly stop her.
For example, Yu Xinran ran over to pull a charger only for the puppy to bite her sleeve. When Xu Mei and Song Lingling treated the puppy a lot better.
The street was still bustling, there were a lot of private cars on both sides of the road. Plus, due to the warmer weather, some people who were dissatisfied with base home distribution actually lived in their cars. They wanted to rent a whole house instead of sharing with a bunch of unknown people.
Right, some of regular houses were renovated by the military into school like dormitories. In a two bedroom suite, even the smallest room could fit two bunk beds and four people crammed inside, not to mention the larger living rooms.
It was not unusual for people to be driven away or leave. Base management was very short on manpower, there was no time for data collection, only confirming that things had been carried out. So temporary buildings once again appeared on roadsides.
Without previous experience, new people on base did not know that the southwest base had an internal virus outbreak. The people that knew were safely living in outer base but no one would remind the newcomers since it would be useless. They would leave if they wanted to.
The two went shopping and searched for people selling crystals. Such stalls were certainly present, but those who wanted to do so needed good eyes.
For example, they saw a booth with some level two nuclei, although there were no metal nuclei, one of them seemed to be a sand type for Yu Xinran. The other party said they did not know what power it was, but they had quite a few crystals. Only took out a piece, if they wanted to buy had to visit his place.
Luo Xun looked up and gave Yan Fei a glance. He pointed at the sand core. “Just this one, you want to exchange?”
The man froze with a tangled expression, then gave their bulging bag a glance. “15 first class nucleus, or earth crystal nucleus with 5 first class cores.”
Luo Xun immediately straightened and pulled Yan Fei’s arm. “Second class for two, without core level, forget about.” Swept a glance, the other man’s expression was unwilling so he pulled Yan Fei.
Fishing for a high price, he contradicted his earlier words and still wanted to increase the price? Were the two of them big fat sheep?
Earth, fire, thunder and water abilities were now more popular in base. The majority of earth ability users were working with the military, who usually had nuclei quotas. Naturally did not care to spend some money to improve their strength. Although they had a limited number of points, they had stability. Earth users had always been popular on base.
Water ability users were not well known at first but once people knew that water was contaminated. The status of water users grew when people realized they could irrigate with clean water. Nowadays, which did not have a few water users? Even the military was starting to recruit them, as a result the value of the nuclei increased.
Fire and lightning were popular as lethal attack power so the value of nuclei remained constant. Exchanging the popular earth crystals for an unknown nucleus, but also increasing the price? Even though sand nuclei were rare, how much difference would giving Yu Xinran a single nuclei have?
The man did not call after the pair. After all he felt the crystal in his hand was very rare, never seen before. He would wait for someone willing to pay the high price and if the sucker went back with him…
Yan Fei followed Luo Xun a few steps before whispering. “That person was fishing?”
Luo Xun smirked. “You could tell?” He glanced at the roadside stalls. “They don’t have other goods, just trying to fool people into areas with allies and then knock people out or even kill them.”
This sort of thing was not common, but people would inevitably think of such methods. Although Yan Fei had guessed, listening to Luo Xun’s calm words made him afraid he had seen this sort of thing in his “dreams”.
Yan Fei then had an uncomfortable thought. “We look like suckers?”
Luo Xun scowled and glared. “See how clean your clothes are. Skin, hands and body look healthy, no sign of hardship at all…”
If Yan Fei had not been wearing a mask at the time, the man outside would have treated him like a little rabbit. Even if they could not see his appearance, his cleanliness while shopping hid the fact that he was a powerful ability user!
Yan Fei also raised an eyebrow, grabbed Luo Xun’s wrist and whispered in his ear. “It’s the same for you, don’t forget both of us were seen as suckers.”
Right, Luo Xun was not wearing a mask, one could tell from his complexion that he had not suffered in the apocalypse. He did not have a sallow face filled with sorrow or embarrassment. In his past life, his hands had been filled with calluses and dry because he was not willing to waste water. The only upside worth mentioning was that his skin was super pale since he stayed in the basement without contact with the sun.
The two teased each other while wandering in the market. Finally found a few metal cores and the sand crystal they were looking for at the table of a larger squad. They exchanged a few level two nuclei with the price of 1:11 to bring back some first class nuclei.
The person they traded with noticed that they were shelling out quite a few level two nuclei. He wanted to secure them as a long term customer. He struck up conversation after the transaction. “I wanted to ask, but if it’s inconvenient just say so. What type of crystal did you two exchange for?”
Their team often had people out collecting supplies but also hunting zombies for cores. They would inevitable encounter some they did not recognize. It would more convenient for them to do business if they knew the element type.
This did not need to be kept secret, because the energy levels were equal. Holding nuclei of a different element than your ability was useless. If the price was too high, a suitable person could not buy it to absorb while the owner could only hold onto it.
Thus Yan Fei naturally told the person. “Sand, can turn earth into sand.”
The man’s eyes brightened at the answer. “Ah! This is a good power for those out hunting zombies!”
Those who were powerful and had combat experience immediately understood the use of this ability. Yu Xinran’s parents were different, so was Xu Mei’s ex-boyfriend that sold the little girl.
The man gave the couple an envious look. No wonder the pair only brought out level two nuclei, looked like their team was very strong and even had such a unique ability.