After taking a seat, the two sides politely exchanged a few words before the captain steered towards the crystal cores.
“Well we recently got some nuclei, others do not use very much and we remembered that you were looking for these. How many do you want to exchange for?” Captain Wang said with a smile and pushed a box forward.
The two looked at each other in amazement – most of them were level three nuclei, and there were a lot! More than what they would get from a hunting trip, how did Captain Wang come up with so many?
After thinking about it, Yan Fei carefully picked one up for examination. He checked a few to determine that the nuclei corresponded to his abilities.
“What are you going to trade for? Level three nuclei of other elements, level one nuclei or points?” The two were polite and direct – nuclei of the same element have a bonus to an ability user, there was no doubt.
Captain Wang was very happy with the pair’s question, “Change other elements – especially the more common elements. Level one nuclei and points are also okay, but if you exchange with the latter…you’ll get less value.”
The two pondered and took out the extra level three nuclei. Although they also brought some level one nuclei and points, it was not enough for the metal nuclei and also not as cost-effective.
It was known that the market for nuclei was good (except for rare elements) so Captain Wang was happy to receive crystals in exchange for metal nuclei.
After this exchange, Luo Xun asked with a smile, “These crystal cores were very hard to find before, are there any more?”
Captain Wang squinted with a smile, “Of course, we will cooperate in the future, as long as you need some, we will provide.”
After hearing the words, Luo Xun was surprised before asking, “It was difficult to find these before, at most we could only get a dozen…” And then they offered a cigarette like Captain Lee at the canteen.
Captain Wang took the cigarette with a smile before whispering, “The army…can’t use all them up.” He sat upright, “We have to find market, right?”
Put it this way, it must have something to do with the metal ability user team.
The two people exchanged looks, since Captain Wang had nothing else to say, they exchanged goodbyes and contact information before leaving.
After leaving the barracks, the two men whispered, “Now the military only has two metal users left, do you think its related?”
Yan Fei nodded in thought, “In fact, military zombie hunting has less efficiency than with warmer weather, otherwise maybe he would take out more.”
“…But don’t most nuclei had to be sent to the relevant team? Even if the metal squad could not use, there wasn’t too much…”
“Now Captain Guo is in lock down, it would be impossible to get in touch in the short term…” Yan Fei shook his head, “Let’s go back first, do not worry about the metal team, what we exchanged for is after their portion has been calculated.”
No matter how Captain Wang got so many metal nuclei, they must at least guaranteed the nuclei supply for the metal ability team.
Then again, there were only two metal users left on the squad, even if they worked 24 hours a day there would a limit to nuclei consumption. So having leftovers was plausible…right?
However after this exchange of crystal nuclei, there was one thought in their minds – go out of base at once! Otherwise the others would not have any nuclei. They could only look at metal nuclei but it was too difficult to exchange their elements.
That evening, when Li Tie and friends came back home to hear that they were preparing an electric sled to go out of base, they were excited.
Han Li complained about all the trouble they went through to gain access to the database information.
Yan Fei smiled, “Letting you look for things in the base database, if the text message is seen by others…all our information and phone records would be in the hands of the military.”
After hearing what Yan Fei said, he nodded, “Yes we have to careful in the future or something could go wrong or be discovered.”
Be wary and careful, though it was a bit of a hassle, it was better than getting caught due to carelessness.
As if turned out Luo Xun, who had lived a past lifetime and made many tools. He knew which metal to use, what to extract and what shape it should be made into. With a metal ability user their progress was fast.
When the two of them got the needed data, they made a test metal sled on their roof – yes the roof of building seven. No one was usually here, the location was high enough and it was only to test if the equipment would run. Moreover there was not a lot of snow on the roof, whatever was there Yan Fei had no trouble clearing up.
In short, the two men tested the simple metal sled and it could be driven with four people riding inside.
Although it was not possible to find a professional engine to increase the speed, at least it could move, be loaded and drive on the snow. In order that no one else noticed anything different, Luo Xun and Yan Fei decided to cover it with car parts. Once outside of base they could remove the shell and lock it up and then head into the city for crystal cores.
After all the preparations of what supplies they wanted to bring and their equipment, the Otaku squad set off the morning of Li Tie and friend’s vacation.
There were some headaches from driving out of the base gate, although the road near the frozen lake had been flattened by vehicles, it was clear that heavy snow blanketed the city.
It was no wonder that the base staff looked at their tattered car with great astonishment – going out in this weather with a sub-standard vehicle, they were either hungry, crazy or stupid.
In order to bring petrol, mushroom juice, weapons and ammunition, along with their sled, Luo Xun’s team still drove three cars out.
A short distance away, they had to get out of the car and start assembling their metal sleds. No other way, the road was very unsuitable for cars.
After opening the door, the crowd found – their shoes got completely covered in show! This was a place which had been flattened by other vehicles. As for other locations…best not to try.
They quickly put together their sleigh and Yan Fei changed the cars too look like scrap. There were quite a few other cars on the road so their vehicles would not unnoticed.
For the sake of safety, they also threw some snow on the car and added some rags.
The team climbed into the sled, put on their thick hats/masks and pulled up their collars. Luo Xun, Yan Fei and Li Tie were in one sled with He Qiankun in the back, followed by Wu Xin, Han Li and the ladies. The last car had Wang Duo, Zhang Yi and Han Li. He Qiankun was heavier than the others so they had the fewest people.
In addition everyone loaded supplies into each sled car, so body space in the sleds was scarce.
After stringing the cars together with rope, Luo Xun and the cars headed all the way south to where they had explored before.
Yan Fei was still collecting metal along the way, after a distance from the base of course. The sled cars were not fast in order to reduce the possibility of overturning. After all the snow covered ruins were also filled with clutter. After the snow covered the land in a sheet of white, who knew where the roads ended and the ruins started.
Soon the sun headed westward as they reached the place where they had fought the giant duck.
“Luo Xun, how come we have not seen any scary zombies?”
When they arrived, Yan Fei first put down a layer of metal so the team could get out. They had prepared a lot of warm things in advance but the wind was still freezing!
“Should be in the snow.” Luo Xun coolly said, right after, something shuddered and then dry, rotten hands with frozen claws burst out.
“Oh my God!” Wang Duo screamed and jumped back.
Although the hand slowly stretched out stiffly, the zombie obviously could not climb out, the situation was still scary.
“It’s better to clean up the footholds first, those zombies should be able to use their abilities.” Luo Xun rubbed his cheeks but did not see any more zombies trapped in the snow.
“…So the zombies are frozen in the snow in this weather?” Han Li paused and turned to Luo Xun for confirmation.
Luo Xun thought about it. “I guess that since the last time no one else has come to once snow fell the zombies might not have left the area. On such a cold day even the zombie’s legs would be frozen…if you think about it, if their legs are frozen, they can’t walk without external help.”
Once they fall, there was nothing to help them up, would they not have to just lie on the ground and wait for the snow to melt?
“Brother Luo…you’re awesome!” Li TIe was starry-eyed. He felt that his captain was amazing, although he could not make predictions like WasteWoodHouse, he could still analyze further than any other.
Luo Xun smiled at Yan Fei while the two went to find their former foothold in the area. It was simple to let Yan Fei probe for his metal traps and then the metal walls returned.
Xu Mei’s fire ability melted the ice and snow, Song Lingling manipulated the water away. The rest shot and killed appearing zombies during the melting. When their makeshift base was cleared, they drove the sled and before Yan Fei began to cover their shelter!
It was to be expected, the fear from that big duck was still engraved on everyone’s hearts. If something similar happened again with only half the zombies around…as long as the animal was slightly smarter, everyone would meet a bad end!
The metal roof was quickly built and everyone started a fire. They all held a metal ‘hot water bag’ in their arms – this had been made before. A metal shell with water heated by Xu Mei, wrapped with thick cloth and initially used as seats. Everyone sat on a heated seat and their legs did not freeze. Along the way if the temperature dropped, everyone stopped to let Xu Mei heat it with her powers.
Now Yan Fei made another thing – hot water sofa. The water filled sofa was next to the fire using it to warm the water inside the metal.
This was convenience that was easy to achieve with water, fire and metal ability users on the team.
Once the heating facilities were ready and all the snow melted and the water diverted. That was when everyone started preparing for work.
The mushroom juice they had brought was frozen and left on the road. Some of it had melted from the cushions but then re-froze.
Thankfully the petrol did not freeze.
Yan Fei put the box containing mushroom juice by the fire to thaw and then started to sort out the thorn traps. Xu Mei and Song Lingling put the melted mushroom juice near the traps.
The winter snow outside was falling too heavily so Yu Xinran would not be of much help, just sat on the sidelines. Once the preparation work has done, Luo Xun took out a blood bag to start baiting.
“It won’t be long before the blood inside the bag freezes. Song Lingling, every once in a while manipulate the hot water around the box to make sure it stays above the freezing point.” Luo Xun commanded and then addressed the team. “All right everybody get ready for dinner.”
“Not so fast, even if there are zombies that can move in the snow, it will still take effort to reach us. We have enough time to eat first.” Luo Xun was very calm, with the heavy snow any zombie would have trouble moving around. As long as there was no more heavy snow…winter would pass slowly but calmly.
The zombies movements were stiff and slow, every move as if shot in slow motion. The team ate and drank their fill and watched them from the window. Song Lingling manipulated heated water to circle around the meta boxes and keep the blood liquid.
Every once in a while Zhang Yi spread the scent of blood through the wind. The wind blew infused with the smell of blood drifting around.
“Okay, we have another batch.” Everyone took turns to watch the situation outside.
The sky had darkened, they had not attracted many zombies all afternoon, the corpses slowly approached. The faster ones fell into the traps first.
For efficiency’s sake, Luo Xun spent the afternoon fixing up their fortifications. Now there was plumbing under the traps with the same effect as home, of course it was more rudimentary in comparison.
The only effect of the pipes was to keep the mushroom juice at the bottom of the traps in a liquid state. When a zombie fell down, it would get corroded by the liquid. There was a row of tubes along the sides of the trap which slowly dripped liquid, stopping zombies from climbing out.
This time they brought a lot of mushroom juice. The afternoon’s worth of zombies would slowly fall into the trap and without waiting for a chance to attack, the mushroom juice would melt them away.
“Is there a lot?” Luo Xun looked out and there were shadows slowly moving towards their position, he touched his chin. “Seems like there is one with a larger body.”
“Where is it?! Where?!”
Everyone who had been bored and a little sleep heard and rushed over in full spirits.
“Don’t push, they will take awhile to get over here.” Luo Xun stretched into a yawn and shivered from the wind. He returned to the fire to heat up.
The sounds grew louder and louder, the five students were very nervous, Xu Mei and Song Lingling became more serious.
Yu Xinran happily sat by the fire and ate some strawberries. She had one, looked around at everyone then ate another.
At the window Li Tie subconsciously lifted the upgraded crossbow, ready to test out their new weapon. Suddenly Yu Xinran grabbed Luo Xun’s arm.
“What’s the matter?” Luo Xun looked at the little girl.
She looked at the fruit in her hands and then asked, “Why can’t we bring Puppy with us when we go out?”
Yu Xinran usually had her fruit snacks with the dog, which she shared with. Now while eating strawberries she remembered that the dog had not been allowed to come.
Luo Xun smiled and touched her hair. “Tomorrow you can go eat with her. Outside is too dangerous, Puppy cannot understand what we say, she might eat something dangerous.”
Dogs were not people who knew to be careful when out, not to eat strange things etc. But Puppy was different is she licked something or rubbed against something dirty…it would too late for anyone to cry.
Luo Xun also did not reveal that Puppy had a chance of mutation next year. But if nothing changed or the mutation failed…the situation would stay the same, they would be afraid to let her out. Would he be lucky or unlucky? Thinking about it, his decision to buy her back then might have been wrong…if he had not bought her, would she already be transformed?
His mind began to wander when suddenly there was a cheer by the window. “Hit! Hit!”