All Hail Vanilla Bean (0∆0)/ for they have sent me enough Ko-Fis for three bonus chapters! (I will try to get the first one out this evening)
Captain Guo sneered, “They have long since followed…forget it, it won’t be clear. Anyway, the captain of their squad team has been holding onto a new thigh…” The captain continued in a whisper, “Recently someone has been trying to trouble you two…if you don’t want to deal with it, just tell me if you can leave early.”
The two men had not been part of the military from the start, the ball was in their court. As long as they were explicitly targeted, no one would be able to find them with a change in phone number.
Yan Fei nodded while glancing at Captain Guo, “Thank you.” He mentally tallied a favor.
The group braved the snow while working all day. The next morning, the couple received a message – no work today because one of the metal users had a high fever from last night. The people sent to the hospital have not woken up…
After a work day in the snow, the metal team dropped three members, two were regular people and one ability user. The two regular people were fine after a week’s rest but the metal user died of pneumonia 10 hours later due to the fever. The whole team was silent after getting the news.
Captain Guo’s expression was extremely ugly, because of this matter he had been criticized by his superior and in his record. He spoke with the pair, “The situation is messy, the whole team is involved…I can’t help the people who are in the army get away but the two of you should think about it and your future.”
Luo Xun and Yan Fei had discussed among themselves after hearing the news that a metal user had been hospitalized with high fever. They were aware that the base leaders were playing politics and that as long as they were in a military team, they would be pawns. If there was no external influence, they would certainly rely on the tree but now…
“We will quit, sorry for troubling you Captain Guo.” Yan Fei made up his mind and took the captain’s hand with a smile. “If there is anything I can help with in the future, just tell me.” There might be no way for official work, but there was nothing wrong with just helping Captain Guo with a small matter.
Captain Guo bitterly smiled and shook Yan Fei’s hand. “Right, I’ll treat you to dinner then…if things get better I will contact you but I am afraid there will be no chance…”
The situation at the barracks was messy, plus New Town…after thinking about it he whispered, “Recently the attitudes of people in New Town are not good…nothing good has come from gathering the ability users together. If you don’t need to move, avoid New Town, lest something might happen.” The couple exchanged looks.
“New Town…” Yan Fei’s sneer was hidden under his mask, “All the ability users concentrated together, once factions are formed it certainly would not be safe, even if everyone started at the same level.”
That was why Yan Fei had little interest when Yan Gexin brought up the matter. One ability user could not guarantee a foothold in this world, how would Yan Gexin, an regular person fare?
Luo Xun also sighed, “I see. The weather is so cold, let’s go home and have a nice meal. Anyway more teams now want to buy our food!”
A few teams had reached out recently, but only buying one or two pounds! That much was enough, they would take what they could.
Some things were better started early. Now the weather was so bad, working outside was not a good idea. People were waiting for better weather before crystal core hunting…
It did not take long for Captain Guo to finish the formalities and thanked the two for sending food the barracks every once in a while. He handed them a pass so they could enter in the future. After this, they would have to say farewell to this steel fortress.
Captain Guo and the rest of the team wished the pair luck as they grabbed their things and left the barracks. The snow on the road was very thick, although there were people in charge of cleaning, they only worked once a week, or every other week. The efficiency was quite low.
Even rubbish could be piled into mountains, not to mention snow.
The biggest impact from the two no longer repairing the wall with the metal team – no free points or nuclei. Fortunately they had good relations with the logistics department. Although the number of metal nuclei that could be exchanged was not high, it was also not zero.
As for if the two wanted more metal nuclei? Even if the Otaku squad rarely went, they were very efficient at crystal core hunting. Their harvests were also very satisfying.
The two went all the way back home. Xu Mei and Song Lingling were very surprised. “Why are you back so early?”
“Got fired.” Luo Xun easily grinned.
Xu Mei rolled her eyes, “You think we are fools? Who would believe that?”
Who on base would fire Yan Fei? There were so few metal users…if he was fired, who was going to help fix the wall?
“Well the, we are the ones who fired them.” Luo Xun could only shrug.
“It’s possible.” Song Lingling laughed from the sidelines.
Luo Xun helplessly looked at Yan Fei, who smiled back. “Let’s go change first, we can discuss with everyone afterwards.”
After the two walked away, the two ladies began to whisper to each other, “Do you think they are going to *cough, cough*”
“Then our dear captain would not be able to leave the bed!”
“No wonder when they get up so early, come back and have so much work to do. Even during holidays we go out at least once to hunt for cores!”
“Newly weds sleeping together~”
Yu Xinran was with Puppy and looked at her two adoptive mothers with innocent eyes. She could not hear but was a good child who loved to learn. She’ll first write it down and understand when she is older!
The dog also looked at the two babysitters with strange expressions. She could not understand, she wanted to go upstairs with her owners but was pulled away…Then she will play with the little girl!
Luo Xun and Yan Fei were upright people, at least for today. So after changing clothes, they came straight downstairs.
Xu Mei and Song Lingling were helping Yu Xinran copy words, doing her homework on the small table. Song Lingling washed and placed a pot of fresh strawberries to eat while chatting.
“There’s been some trouble recently with the metal team.” Yan Fei gave the simplest explanation. “The wind has been blowing in a bad direction, so we decided to quit for the time being.”
Luo Xun nodded and stuffed a strawberry in his mouth – sour and sweet. The acidity was higher than pre-apocalypse but fresh fruit in the winter was delicious! “We are going to stay home and farm.”
Luo Xun’s words were muffled because of the food, but everyone understood.
Xu Mei and Song Lingling nodded, “Staying home is good, we can usually deal with the crops. But harvesting and planting new crops we had to wait for you to come back in order to finish.”
In fact, sowing was easy, the problem was that there were too many types of plants. Many short term crops had staggered harvest periods, so they had a lot of vegetables with different timings, so they were busier.
This was not like a real farmhouse, they had no specified planting vegetables. It was usually grains, corn and whatever they had on hand.
Luo Xun laughed, “We still have a lot from our last harvest, before I had little time to do anything, but now we can take our time.” He placed a strawberry into Yan Fei’s mouth.
Ignoring the lovey dovey couple, Song Lingling asked, “What are you planning on making?”
They did not have any salt or gypsum brine and they were too lazy to go and find some. Fortunately Luo Xun still had unused white vinegar from before the apocalypse. He could create some tofu, it would not be super flavorful but all-natural.
Soy sauce and vinegar would not last for too long, but they had some sauce from the pickles so they had no worries about food seasonings.
In order to make it more delicious, Luo Xun soaked two pots of soybeans. They could freeze whatever was left after slowly eating. The weather was cold enough to not use the fridge, leaving them on the iron railing for a few hours was enough.
When they were ready, Luo Xun and Yan Fei went downstairs to remove the metal from the shed.
Luo Xun did not use much space for growing and did not make full use of the area. But now since both were unemployed, they could grow more crops at home and make up for some of the losses.
This time Yan Fei did not make any three layered frames. He just directly made a row of metal shelves to grow a variety of things. This would not affect any furniture at home, a good way to to everything at once.
The pair singled out some small, slender pieces of wood which were treated in order to grow mushrooms and absorb toxins.
In other words, the poison mushrooms at home increased in number. Once Song Lingling levelled up to three and could control the liquid, it would save everyone’s time. Plus the temperature outside plummeted, they could freeze the juice outside. There was also less space to store the corpse weapons inside the freezers.
The two people were busy all evening. When Li Tie and friends came home and learned that Luo Xun and Yan Fei did not have work, they were envious but hesitant. “Staying at home…but there are points to be earned at work…”
After all, the five of them were ordinary people. Farming at home could support themselves but it was hard to avoid values from before the end, ‘public worker’, ‘unemployed at home is shameful’, ‘an adult must have a stable job or they have failed at life.’, ‘a job with stability is worth a lower wage…’
Luo Xun understood their mentality and laughed, “Our situation is special, mainly because Yan Fei is a metal user…Some people want to politic and we have no background. You won’t get involved as long as keep your head down. You are all technical personnel, these things will not spill over.”
Plus Li Tie and the others were low ranked workers, if they had been working in a larger company or were talented hackers or something, someone would definitely try and grab them.
The five breathed a sigh of relief and were delighted to say that unless someone fired them, they would work well at their current work place.
On the other hand, Zhang Yi was staring out the window lost in thought.
He Qiankun suddenly turned to Luo Xun, “Are there enough soybeans for tofu? Do you want to soak some more?”
Luo Xun awkwardly laughed, “After we harvest our soybean plants, we can make some tofu.”
Soybeans were a good thing – can make tofu, soy sauce, eat directly and sprouts. Such a large variety of possible soy products…too much choice was also a headache.
Tofu was not made in a day, so Luo Xun changed the water before going to bed.
Like Xu Mei and Song Lingling, the two got to enjoy a break – tomorrow they did not have to get up early for work. There was not much to busy themselves with, the lovers could genuinely enjoy this long vacation~
At 9:30 AM Luo Xun got out of bed. He was secretly glad that is was winter, even though the home and hallways were warm, he would wear high-necked clothes to cover the marks from last night.
After climbing out and washing, he busied himself with what everyone mentioned last night – tofu.
Grinding the beans – there was a grinder but Luo Xun had also decided to buy an electric version. They were not short on electricity and this would be more efficient.
Have the right proportion of bean and water, filter the dregs. Leave some soy milk – the rest of the team said they wanted to drink soy milk after learning Luo Xun was making tofu.
Heat the soy milk, remove the foam, add one fourth portion of water and slowly add diluted white vinegar.
After a few minutes, the bean blossoms appear. Heat it again allowing the blossoms to condense and then slowly filter out the water. The result could be fermented in brine, which would have a better effect than white vinegar.
The bean curds would be compacted in a wood mold. It could be eaten once the moisture was pressed out.
“So simple!” Song Lingling looked at the tofu in the molds, which would ready to eat for noon.
Luo Xun smiled, “The steps are not that complicated.” Before the end of the world once could buy a large block but after the end – with so little food who had the heart to make tofu? He only did it once before he died in his last life.
“I want to eat the tofu…” Xu Mei looked at the tofu while thinking of the bean blossoms…that tender thing looked like a bean curd brain.
“Xu Mei, do you like sweet or salty tofu?” Song Lingling suddenly asked.
“Salty!” Xu Mei’s eyes were bright. “How can one eat sweet?! Of course salty tofu should be eaten for breakfast.”
Song Lingling’s expression froze. “Xu Mei, you have not eaten sweet soft tofu right? Next time you try a sweet one, I guarantee won’t be able to return to salty tofu.”
“Lingling you are still young, a child prefers sweet. One who was experienced life knows that salty tofu is more delicious.”
“Xu Mei, you have not eaten the sweet tofu of my hometown, very famous. People far from away take a taxi over to eat…”
The two women began to argue, while the two men backed away and exchanged looks.
“You…what do you like?” Luo Xun quietly asked Yan Fei.
“I’m from the north.” Yan Fei was calm, he did eat sweet tofu in some southern cities but tastes developed from habit and youth were not easily changed. Especially one from childhood, occasionally as a snack was okay but otherwise…
Luo Xun breathed a sigh of relief, he had never been to place with sweet tofu, so he had no previous experience. If they argued about this matter…he did not think that they who were able to live well together would have a dispute over a difference in taste.
The two ladies in burning war suddenly turned around, “What kind do you two like to eat?!”
Luo Xun shivered, “Sweet and salty!”
The two ladies had faces of disdain, “How could that work?”
Luo Xun nearly buried himself in Yan Fei’s arms – this was why he like men!
Luo Xun could do nothing about the ladies quarrel about tastes. When the tofu was about done, he quickly changed the topic. Cutting the chunks of tofu, leaving some aside for cooking while the rest were frozen on the window.
Thanks to the plummeting temperatures, the tofu they put outside were stiff after a few hours.
The two people took a portion of the tofu home for cooking. Because there were no other ingredients, Luo Xun simply braised the tofu with some soy sauce, then added some sprouts as embellishment.
Luo Xun lamented at the plate of tofu on the table, “Ah…it would be better if there was minced meat.”
Yan Fei smiled while waving a chopstick. “This is still delicious, wait a few days we’ll see what animals we can hunt.”
They could not use the duck meat, but adding some garlic would add flavor to the tofu. Luo Xun also made a separate dish of fried bean sprouts.
“Sure enough, eating three meals at home is the best, finally can avoid that pot of strange rice.” Luo Xun lightly complained, he was not afraid to eat mutated vegetables – the taste was not good but not bad either, however the mutant rice was pretty bad.
In fact after apocalypse, the average person could not buy the mutated rice. Although the steamed breads were made from coarse and mutated grains, the taste could be washed down with water. But as for the mutant rice…
Anyways, after the first formal harvest, the base would come out with steamed bread from the grains. The market sales of mutant rice dropped to the lowest in history. With the exception of some people who bought rice to make porridge (most of these people were ones who could not even eat steamed bread), the market for the mutant rice was almost zero.