“I think we need to break up these broken cars.” After entering the tunnel, Luo Xun’s group split in two. One car ferried a portion of the supplies along with a pig. It drove to the end of the tunnel and turned around so both cars grabbed the rest together. The entrance closed after Xu Mei and Li Tie’s cars.
“When were checking out replacement cars, didn’t leader say to find a solar car?”
“Hopefully there are cars in the previous places we searched.”
“Even if not, it would be fine to find another car in the city.”
Several people stayed at the entrance chatting and waiting for the rest to come back. It was not long before a large truck came back…
“Why did you drive in reverse?” Luo Xun was in charge of driving so the team asked Wang Duo as he descended.
Wang Duo helplessly pointed, “There isn’t any space to turn around, how else would we get back?”
Luo Xun also jumped out of the car. “Our tunnel needs to be remodeled, at least to let our cars get through.” At the moment is was fine for the smaller cars but not for the truck. But with wolves outside who might smell the pigs, they did not dare do anything now.
They put the remaining pigs on the truck along with the remaining supplies. The team left the gate and went straight to the basement.
Six pigs were piled up at the entrance, almost blocking the tunnel.
The group of people looked at the pigs and could not help but feel choked up. “Good thing we brought back several freezers a few days ago.”
Every time they went out to collect supplies, they would check around markets, most of the edibles were gone but shelves, freezers and other undesirables were left.
In particular, often these convenience stores might have three or four different kinds of freezers, so they could bring back quite a few each time.
“It would not be a problem even if we don’t have enough fridges.” Luo Xun touched his chin and poked a pig, the hairs were as hard as a steel needle. “We can also hang some bacon, which would last for a while.”
“Luo Xun, let’s have stewed pork today?!” The team looked at the leader and the food with shining eyes.
Luo Xun pressed against the hide and waved at the team. “Process it! Peel the skin and fur together.”
“Luo Xun, even stew the skin?” He Qiankun asked in question.
Luo Xun shook his head and said, “These are not like the pigs we ate before the end of the world. The pork we ate were mostly from young piglets. These ones have been living for how long? It would be hard to stew.”
Seeing the doubts in their eyes, Luo Xun laughed, “Let’s leave a piece of pork belly with the skin on in a pot, if you can eat it without issue then we will not remove the skin.”
Anyways, since the weather is not hot, there was no issue waiting for the meat to cook before making a decision regarding the pigs in the basement.
With some suspicion, the team of people cut out some pork belly. After getting rid of the coarse hairs, Xu Mei cut the meat into mahjong-sized pieces. She brought it to the kitchen and added some home-grown ginger and garlic along with some leftover pepper slivers over the fire.
Others took advantage of the cooking to sort out what they had brought back. Luo Xun calculated how much earth they would need to dig out, in what direction and what each room would plant.
This time they did not bring much out from base. When they moved, they had already taken the vast majority of their supplies so their home only had a tables, chairs and benches, basically a lot of metal. Obviously Yan Fei dealt with the metal upstairs, the other items were stacked in the empty room on the second floor. While everyone was busy, the pork had been stewing for a full hour and a half. The aroma made everyone hungry as they entered the kitchen to fill their bellies.
Luo Xun was still at the kitchen table drawing plans, he lifted his head at hearing a cheer as Xu Mei brought a large pot to the table.
Once the lid was lifted, the aroma was overflowing. Song Lingling could not help but taunt, “There is no shortage of meat to eat at home right?”
“Man, how long have we not eaten pork? You have to be considerate of our stomachs.” In truth, last time’s mutton was more fragrant but one should also remember how long they had not eaten pork since the apocalypse? The pot was filled with tender and oily meat! How could it compare to those thin animals full of tendons?
Before the end for nutrition reasons, most people did not like to eat fatty meat, but now how long had it been since they could eat such a rich stew?
After the pot was put down, everyone could not wait to put a piece in their mouth. They chewed…exchanged looks as they continued…then looked at Luo Xun who was still writing while chewing…
“Luo Xun…you don’t want any?” Han Li aked.
“I’ll eat some when you swallow.” Luo Xun’s words caused several impatient people to spit out the skin that had been overly chewed.
“Although the meat is not rotten, it’s not tender…rather hard?”
“Xu Mei, how long was this stewed? It’s not soft.”
Xu Mei was also struggling with the skin and stared at Wang Duo. “It was stewed for nearly two hours, the rabbit meat was tender long before this!”
Luo Xun put down the pen and laughed while holding a piece, “Didn’t listen to this old man’s words…”
“Cut” Everyone rolled their eyes, they were of similar age!
“We’ll peel in a moment!”
“Yes, the leftover hide can still be used to make clothes to protect against winter.”
“Yeah and those pig hairs can be made in brushes?”
The pork actually tasted quite good, although it was tougher than expected, especially the skin. But if one got rid of that part, the rest was fine. Thinking about it, since the first mutant animals they had hunted, except for the birds they peeled off the skin before eating. It seemed that animals became harder to eat after the end with thicker skin and meat.
Remembering when everyone was cutting out the pork belly, it took awhile for the knife to pierce the skin. They should have realized how tough the skin was from that.
Finally facing the toughness of pig skin after lunch, the team had to help peel the pig’s hide. After removing the blood, they took the parts to the freezer which were sorted before freezing.
The innards were washed and frozen in a special freezer – these were good things! Especially the intestines, they could make some sausages with the meat!
Finally, it was time to deal with the head and they were surprised to find, “Huh?! It is actually a transparent crystal core?! Those pigs didn’t have any abilities?!” The entire team was surprised, those pigs had grown so large without an ability?
“Check, what level is it?” Luo Xun took a core and handed it to Yan Fei.
Yan Fei grabbed it and raised an eyebrow. “…Can be absorbed, but the energy is three times as high. The level is higher than the previous mutant animals.”
The core had reached the third level but it was colorless? The crowd exchanged amazed looks.
Luo Xun thought, “They were afraid of the two wolves because they had no ability? If one had a power, it would even the odds.”
“It’s the same, no ability but level three…How did this variation come about?” Wu Xin was confused.
Others also said they did not understand the strange laws of the apocalypse.
“Anyway.” Luo Xun interrupted while putting the cores on the table. “Six cores, one for each ability user.”
Everyone weighed the crystals – each weighed around the same and was around 50 grams.
Yan Fei, Zhang Yi, Xu Mei, Song Lingling, Yu Xinran each got one. The little girl then put one around the dog’s neck. “And Puppy!”
Before Luo Xun said anything, the rest laughed, “Just right, anyways since we are not ability users it would be useless to us.”
Since the discovery of crystal cores everywhere in the surrounding mutant farmland, their enthusiasm for the cores had diminished considerably. Even with a particularly large harvest, after assigning the designated types, the rest said they did not need an equal portion. They also calculated amounts for others but for the mutant animal cores, they did not need to be compensated.
Anyways, when building the base they had most contributed. They should get more so that they could hunt and bring back more food for better meals in exchange.
Luo Xun finally took the huge core on behalf of Puppy but Song Lingling suddenly asked, “Are you leaving out the baby?” Everyone turned as one as she explained, “We don’t know what kind of ability he was, but any ability user should be able to use an attribute-free core?”
Luo Xun frowned as he looked at the core and then Puppy, his heart was hesitant. Zhng Yi yawned and side-eyed Luo Xun. “In the end, you are taking the core regardless if it is for the dog or the baby?”
True, anyways Luo Xun and Yan Fei were responsible for the baby and Puppy. Why should be get tangled over who would get to use the core, they could decide back at their room.