Do not blame Captain Wang not expecting Luo Xun to exchange more nuclei. These days even the power teams from New Town rarely went out of base, how could Luo Xun get so many crystals? To Captain Wang, this was stock from home not brought last time or nuclei recently exchanged from other goods.
The couple would certainly not reveal their source of nuclei. After the exchange they went downstairs to exchange for other things – Yu Xinran needed sand nuclei as well batteries – it was best to be prepared, along with some gasoline.
After buying these things, Luo Xun once again thought of the seeds he had wanted before. He thought about the incident the last time they were at the exchange window.
“Non mutated barley, oats or anything?” The staff were in a quandary and whispered, “Not that we don’t want to sell…we aren’t allowed to sell non-mutant seeds, we don’t have any here.”
Captain Wang had explained to the staff member and they had relations so they were open to Luo Xun.
The two people shared a surprised look, “Normal seeds are not allowed to be sold outside?”
The staff nodded and whispered, “If you really need some, it’s best to buy from the staff at the planting building, those people are responsible for growing and distributing seeds. Of course, the price will be high and the rest will up to you.”
Yan Fei heard the implication and asked in a low voice. “Do you know anyone. Don’t worry we do not want that many seeds, it will be fine as long as there no issues and it will grow into normal crops, we’ll discuss a good price.”
He handed over some points. He was afraid that these things would never be bought if they did not get their hands on some now, even if they were willing to spend more.
Sure enough, after getting the bribe, the man came to find them a quarter of an hour later. The couple was lead around the corner to some sellers.
The other side only had barley and oat seeds. A packet of 20 seeds required two level two nuclei or a total of 50 level one nuclei.
Luo Xun and Yan Fei shared a silent look. He carefully examined the two seeds packets, confirmed there were no problems before bringing out two unneeded level two nuclei. These had been originally prepared for exchange for sand nuclei. Luckily they brought more out or they would have completely out of funds after getting metal nuclei.
The planters at home were not full yet, so the first thing they did after returning home was placing the forty seeds in the nursery room. The sooner the better since the harvest would be sooner. After all, they could not guarantee that these things in the future would not mutate.
They had a good rest at home, packed up their things, tidied up and dealt with the harvest of various fruits and veggies. On the morning of December 1st at eight o’clock in the morning, Luo Xun found his phone flashing. After opening a few pieces of information jumped out.
“What’s the matter?” Yan Fei with his arms propped up.
“Base restructuring…and the supplies we’re going to pay this month…” The corner of Luo Xun’s mouth pulled into a grim line. “You look, I’ll go to the bathroom first.”
Yan Fei looked at it carefully and understood Luo Xun’s expression, he now had a similar feeling.
Since they had never done anything to improve their team’s ranking, they did not have to pay more nuclei. Since with higher level came more difficult missions, they were reluctant to advance their team evaluation.
This morning, everyone received this message about the monthly fees for teams. Information about mission quotas to improve team ranking were only sent to team captains. Originally teams leaving base needed a mission but now teams of more than five people did not need to take a task. However all people needed to pay five nuclei in order to return into base. If a person had a mission, they would report to the new mission hall, the city gate no longer dealt with this matter.
In addition there were some new products sold on base.
Luo Xun washed his face in the bathroom and came out more serious. “You read it?”
Yan Fei smiled and nodded. “Yes, fortunately we are not in a hurry to raise our team ranking.”
“Our team is still the lowest F-class, now we have to hand over three quilts, seven pounds of cotton, or 100 pounds of rice noodles…” Yan Fei laughed and shook his head. “If the base is really charging this sort of fee, I think few teams can sustain this.”
Luo Xun frowned and sat down next to him to look at the information. “We can only do this one – 500 level one and 10 level two nuclei.”
“Come on, let’s call the rest of the team.”
Li Tie and the other students had gone to work but all the ability users were at home with Luo Xun the captain.
Xu Mei and the others read the message about mandatory task information and were wearing angry expressions. “This is robbery! 500 level one and 10 level two nuclei, what team could afford this monthly fee?!”
Plus this was for the lowest ranked teams, who knew how the A and B level teams were going to survive.
“Anyway since we do not need to show team information when leaving base, should we dissolve the team?” Xu Mei asked Luo Xun for advice.
“I’m afraid not.” Luo Xun was not the one who responded, it was Zhang Yi yawning on the side lines. One could see how hard someone worked last night.
Zhang Yi crossed his legs, “Except for the couple…no it should be said that the house we live is registered under the team’s name. If we dissolve the team, there will be someone to collect the house this afternoon.”
Yan Fei also nodded. “The goal is to control and weaken the strength of various teams. The base must have prepared themselves accordingly for the news. We should not argue for now. The best way is for us to go out of base soon to get some nuclei and set aside the fee to pay before the end of the month.”
The team looked at each other and nodded. “Looks like that’s the only way for now.”
“But the ice and snow makes it hard to hunt zombies!” Song Lingling raised her hand and frowned. “With the bad weather, if you go out too much, you may freeze.”
Xu Mei also nodded. “This rule, there are bound to be more people going outside even if they do not agree, but we cannot forget another issue.”
Luo Xun tapped his fingers against the table and said, “We can try traps.”
“Traps?” Several members of the team were surprised and repeated the word.
“Yes, traps in places where no visits at all. We work together to set up traps that we can check every time we go out. Of course, this method might accidentally hurt passerbys…But I think in winter we can try some places blocked by snow.”
After that, Luo Xun looked around. “We can go to these traps every time but we’ll still hunt when able. As for the traps, we need to figure out to hide them, make it difficult for things other than zombies to fall in…”
This was not easy, an accident could hurt innocent people. Usually their previous traps were set up with the people in the center, from the outside no one would foolishly jump in.
But the new traps to catch zombies would be different, if it was too obvious it would be pillaged by other people, but if too hidden, a person might fall down the pit.
Zhang Yi waved his arm, “No objection.”
The ability users present had no objections, when Li Tie and the others came they did not disagree either, everyone showed their support.
When Li Tie came back from today’s work they had some of the latest news. “The military sent a lot of military vehicles, tanks and ability users to surround New Town this morning! We heard that yesterday while we were on holiday, the ability users in the army also protested for a day at the barracks!”
Luo Xun was silent, in his last life there was indeed conflict between the military and ability users but not to this extent! Although he did not remember the military changing the team monthly fees, he did remember that after the end of the year he had arrived on base, there were many fewer teams on base.
Perhaps it had been changed at that time, only he no longer participated in missions. No one recruited ordinary people so farmer Luo Xun did not have further contact. Not knowing any specifics then was normal.
But he could be sure that he had never heard of a time with such a fiery confrontation between the two sides.
The group began to explain in detail what they learned this morning. When they arrived at the barracks, the road was under martial law, they learned about the conflict between the military and teams later.
Unrelated onlookers were unclear about the details but knew that something had happened yesterday.
Li Tie and the others had no other way but to call their superior who had a colleague come pick them up. More details were learned after entering the building, anyways the past few days had been busy.
After hearing about the incident, Xu Mei and Song Lingling laughed, “So we need to wait in order to scope out the situation.”
“But we have to go out as soon as possible and it would better to get some nuclei. In case they come to collect the fees?” Luo Xun helplessly looked over at the students. “But the issue about distributing the crystal cores…”
One said, “The nuclei you get from hunting zombies will be your own income.” It was like the five of them, the points and things they earned from work were their own.
That said, since Li Tie and the others started bringing food, their cards had not seen use. They immediately rented their cards to colleagues with big appetites or people in the army.
Since the military now had stricter card regulations, big eaters in the army faced more difficulties. Their meals were not big enough and it was not convenient to go out and buy things. There were many people who ate less that needed points or crystals who would ‘rent’ their cards. The students used the same method to make some extra income.
Luo Xun laughed. “We discussed during the day, all of us will take out a bit and put towards the team funds to use for the monthly team fees.”
After all, the weather was bad, half their team were ability users. It would not be too much of hassle to deal with the team’s problems.
After further discussion, the group said after completing a task they would put a portion towards the team shares. After all, even though they were stronger, there was no need to take all if it. Plus, some of them did not need to consume nuclei and did not spend much.
They also did not need to buy extra bedding or supplies before winter. After all they ate home grown produce, Yan Fei used his metal ability to create items. They saved a bunch of points and nuclei thanks to the efforts of the ability users.
“Ah…really don’t want to go out but we have to…” Luo Xun complained as he returned home.
The weather outside was cold and he really wanted to stay at home all winter. Unfortunately the base regulations changed for the worse, otherwise they could have lazed around during winter. But now they had to brave the winter in order to rest.
Of course, if they could get enough crystal cores for the winter, they would be able to stay indoors!
Yan Fei patted him on the shoulder. “We actually have enough crystal cores at home, the team also saved enough to pay for this month…”
He had not finished when Luo Xun shook his head. “No, we need to go. We will run out of nuclei sooner of later. Now that the food has been sold, it can be replaced with some nuclei, it is not enough for the team to train their powers.”
The long term always needed to be considered, always having resources in reserve would put people at ease.
During the day, Luo Xun had been working out the most appropriate places to hunt for crystal nuclei. To the north, there were too few higher ranked zombies. He estimated that where they usually went did not have many zombies around.
As a result, Luo Xun set the next location close to the eastern base – the ruins of the original bombing, where no one dared to cross the barren land.
The next morning, the team gathered and housekeeping was entrusted to Li Tie and company. Puppy was placed in Xu Mei’s home to be watched over. The required equipment was prepared yesterday, including supplies, food and water.
As for the mushroom juice – this item had been stocked a while ago. They did not get a chance to bring much since they used a sled last time. It had been petrol that Luo Xun and Yan Fei had exchanged for two days ago.
Thankfully, although everyone came back with the intention of taking a vacation since Luo Xun did not like being idle, he and Yan Fei tinkered with the sled car. The electric heating problem had been solved.
They loaded things into the car. With fewer people they only had two sled cars this time, but one of them was loaded mainly with gasoline, mushroom juice and weapons.
As they drove towards the gate, there seemed to be more people but less waiting to leave.
Each person would have to pay five nuclei or the corresponding supplies to re-enter town, which was not affordable for everyone. Of course, if they were in dire straits, there would people desperate enough to go out.
But summer and winter were completely different seasons. In summer people would die due to zombies. In winter, there was a higher chance of being frozen to death in the ice and snow instead of to a zombie!
Now that the base had introduced new regulations, people knew that unless something changed, many teams would be dissolved.
What was the impact of dissolving most of the teams on base? The good side – change situation for non-military personnel, recycle a bunch of squads idling around in homes so that more people participated in ‘normal’ work on base.
As for the bad points – teams facing ‘bankruptcy’ would protest and their demonstrations could spark conflict between the military and ability users. Even if a large number of people lost their original ‘work’, they still had to risk going outside.
But now the base was ready to go under the knife, naturally did not care about stimulating conflict. As for more people going out…every time they come back there was a five nuclei fee. Although previous teams did not have to pay a similar fee, it increased the number of people going out.
You know, before when teams went out on missions, in order to reduce their losses they would join up with others. With only one team, even if the total was 200 people still had to pay the same portion. The small teams feel that these tasks were not cost effective and instead picked easy missions, the military faced the loss.
With such a restructuring, how many people could go out at once? Anyways, when they came back each person had to pay a fee. It was fine for the base since their income did not really change.
Such a calculation, although the positives and negatives were evenly split, either the base did not mind or was beneficial to the higher ups. As for New Town – their base was considered a home. There were quite a few teams leaning against the military and wanting to take flight. Now it was only a matter of time before they had to compromise.
Luo Xun and company quickly entered the patio, ready to go out, no longer needing to register when they left base. There had been a few parked cars but the number was much smaller than usual and they were modified SUVs. Luo Xun’s bizarre cars were a rare sight.