Plane Supermarket Plane 2: Luoyang Base C5
The gunshots outside echoed like a continuous string of firecrackers. Despite the supermarket’s well-done soundproofing, Ye Zhou couldn’t help but feel somewhat distracted by the gunfire.
But Ye Zhou could still discern that this person, who called himself Yang Guoqin, claimed to be the highest-ranking officer of the Luoyang Base, was not revealing the whole truth.
“Mr. Yang,” Ye Zhou reminded, “I don’t actually mind if you record or broadcast our conversation. You can bring out what you have now.”
His hearing was becoming sharper, and he could now pick up sounds emanating from Yang Guoqin, which didn’t belong to the supermarket’s interior.
The sound also carried an electric current’s interference.
Ye Zhou only needed to think for a moment to figure out that the other party had certainly brought something with them.
But Ye Zhou didn’t feel offended at all. They each had their own goals, with no understanding of one another and both harbored a sense of caution.
Yang Guoqin’s eyes flashed faintly, but his expression remained unchanged. He calmly placed the handheld radio on the table and smiled at Ye Zhou. “We’re wary of tigers at the front door and wolves at the back.”
Ye Zhou remained noncommittal, nodding slightly. “Mr. Yang, you don’t need to concern yourself with who I am or where I come from. I won’t answer those questions. But what I can tell you is that I’m here for business.”
“What I can offer you depends on the value of the exchange,” Ye Zhou continued. “I won’t harm you, and you won’t be able to harm me either.”
Ye Zhou’s words were a blend of truth and deception. He needed to cooperate with the people from the base. Although he could return to the Da Liang Dynasty, the supermarket wouldn’t budge. It would remain where it initially descended.
So, even if zombies couldn’t harm him, the people from the base had him at a disadvantage. Once the zombies breached the Luoyang Base, when he returned, he would face a base overrun with zombies. What good would business be then?
Zombies couldn’t be sold for money, after all.
“Mr. Ye,” Yang Guoqin wore a smile on his face, “Since we’re considering cooperation, both parties should show sincerity, wouldn’t you agree?”
Ye Zhou nodded, “What I just said is the utmost sincerity I can offer.”
“I can leave at any time, but you have to stay here and defend this place. I can do business elsewhere, I have choices, but you don’t,” Ye Zhou lightly wagged his finger, “This is a supermarket, and everything here is at a fixed price. There’s no room for bargaining.”
Yang Guoqin realized that the young man before him wasn’t easy to talk to. He was extremely cautious, or perhaps he genuinely couldn’t be bothered with explanations. He couldn’t help but ask, “May I ask… are you from the future?”
Once the question left his lips, Yang Guoqin immediately regretted it.
But Ye Zhou, in contrast, responded quite confidently, “I’m not.”
To be precise, he came from the “past.”
Yang Guoqin said, “Right now, we need ammunition. Bullets won’t last forever. I wonder if we can get our hands on grenades and explosives.”
Before Yang Guoqin arrived, Ye Zhou had already settled a portion of the corn cakes. Now, his hands were sore.
There were six cash registers, including the one Ye Zhou was at. Sarah and the others settled their purchases together, barely finishing the payment for one cart of corn cakes.
He did indeed earn a lot amount of money, but those hand grenades from the black market were simply too expensive.
Ye Zhou said, “We can consider the corn cakes as ten dollars each, and a single hand grenade costs three hundred thousand.”
The black market’s hand grenades were a hundred thousand each, so calculating them at three hundred thousand, he didn’t consider it a rip-off.
Yang Guoqin smiled and replied, “That’s not too bad then.”
Ye Zhou said, “It’s best not to settle the bill with corn cakes.”
Paying with corn cakes would be quite painful for him.
Yang Guoqin asked, “Can we have another form of stable currency that can replace the corn cakes?”
Yang Guoqin was just speculating. He believed that what Ye Zhou needed wasn’t corn cakes, but something that could substitute for currency.
Sure enough, the other party nodded.
“If I’m sure of its stable value,” Ye Zhou said, “Mr. Yang, is there anything else you’d like to ask?”
Yang Guoqin realized he couldn’t extract any more information with further questions, so he shook his head slightly. “I have no more questions. I’ve troubled you.”
Ye Zhou also stood up and said, “In business, I’m not afraid of being disturbed. I’ll see you out.”
“By the way,” Yang Guoqin asked suddenly, “If the zombies are pushed back later, can the civilians from the base also enter the supermarket?”
Ye Zhou led the way in front and replied, “When the time comes, of course they can.”
Yang Guoqin curiously observed the back of Ye Zhou’s head. He didn’t sense any malice or intent to kill from Ye Zhou. He looked like an ordinary college student from before the apocalypse, but he still remained mysterious.
Even after he left the supermarket, Yang Guoqin couldn’t shake off his sense of bewilderment. Although he wanted to believe that this strange supermarket posed no threat to them, his thoughts alone couldn’t make it so.
As the highest-ranking officer of the Luoyang Base, he should report the supermarket’s existence to higher authorities.
But this was the most dangerous time. He couldn’t afford to waste time on making reports.
“General.” A soldier jogged up to Yang Guoqin. He lowered his voice and asked, “How did it go? Really scared me to death!”
Yang Guoqin sighed with a wry smile, shaking his head. “I didn’t get anything out of him. He claims he’s just here for business.”
The soldier remained unconvinced. “He must have a hidden agenda.”
Yang Guoqin turned his head to glance at the supermarket entrance, his tone tinged with a deep weariness. “Regardless of whether he has a hidden agenda, we have no other choice now. We can only make a trade with him.”
The soldier also resigned to the situation and gritted his teeth and said, “We don’t know what’s happening in the rear. We’re risking our lives up front, but what are they doing behind us? They’re claiming the factories lack manpower, but we’ve practically sent all our able-bodied men there! What’s left are either soldiers or the old, weak, sick, and disabled!”
“They demand something from us, and we comply, but what about us?!”
Yang Guoqin understood that the soldier had also been holding back for a long time, and if not expressed, could drive him mad. Before, because of the imminent crisis, complaints were set aside, but now that they have a glimmer of hope to safely navigate through the current wave of zombies, he no longer concealed his dissatisfaction.
“We don’t have any military factories at our base,” Yang Guoqin explained. “There are two factories in the base, one producing disposable masks and the other producing fertilizer. We don’t have anything of our own, so naturally, we have to provide whatever they demand.”
“General! In the military, there are so many young kids, starting at fourteen or fifteen, carrying guns every day, but the rear can’t even supply bullets!” The soldier’s voice suddenly grew louder, becoming more impassioned as he continued, “We’re clearly sacrificing ourselves for everyone. No one wants to take up the position in the Luoyang Base. You volunteered, and countless civilians are willing to share the danger…”
His eyes were slightly moist, but he held back, unwilling to let the tears fall.
Why was it always them sacrificing? Always them taking on the risks? And it’s always them using their lives to plug the gaps?
Yang Guoqin asked him, “Any cigarettes?”
The soldier shook his head, “You smoked the last one yesterday.”
Yang Guoqin sighed. “…”
He smiled bitterly and said, “If only I had bought a pack of cigarettes at the supermarket just now.”
“Do we have any candy then?”
The soldier took out a box of candy from his bag and let Yang Guoqin help himself.
With a peppermint candy in his mouth, Yang Guoqin exhaled a long breath, “The rear is also facing difficulties. Don’t harbor such resentment. Sending supplies is challenging, and those… Well, just don’t speak such words or think like that in the future.”
“There’s more than just our base guarding the frontlines, there are over a dozen bases. The rear can’t prioritize sending all the supplies to us.”
Yang Guoqin added, “You only see the people sacrificing here, but why don’t you look at the soldiers sacrificing in other bases? Kids in their teens carrying guns are not exclusive to us.”
The soldier fell silent. Yang Guoqin continued, “Blaming anyone won’t help. If you want to blame someone, blame these damn zombies. We don’t even know what they really are.”
The soldier replied: “Didn’t scientists say they are parasitic organisms in a humanoid form?”
Yang Guoqin bit down on the candy, swallowing it. “That’s what they say, but no one has described what that parasite actually looks like. No one knows what they look like after completing incubation. Whether it’s true or false, no one is sure. The scientists are not making any guarantees.”
“Let’s go. We still need to go to the command room.” Yang Guoqin opened the car door, took a seat in the back, and rolled down the window, looking in the direction of the iron fence.
The soldiers are still fighting, and their numbers are too few. So few that each soldier must fulfill the roles of two. They have minimal time for rest, maybe even going on days without sleep and only managing to steal a brief nap.
The average lifespan is getting shorter and shorter.
It seems like the end for humanity is truly approaching.
Sadness filled Yang Guoqin’s eyes.
But his gaze gradually became resolute. Suddenly, he said, “Don’t report this to the rear for now.”
The soldier responded with a surprised “Ah.”
Yang Guoqin continued, “Don’t say anything until we confirm that the supermarket is harmless.”
He wasn’t that selfless. Right now, what he most hoped for was the safety of the Luoyang Base.
If the supermarket could only provide the ammunition one base needed, then that base had to be Luoyang.
“He looks quite imposing,” Ye Zhou said, after Yang Guoqin left and let out a sigh of relief.
He wiped his forehead as if he had just survived a calamity, turning to Zou Ming and said, “He looks like someone who has been through numerous battles.”
Although Yang Guoqin was clearly smiling, Ye Zhou still felt a huge amount of pressure.
It was the first time he had experienced that kind of pressure, but besides nervousness, there was also an indescribable excitement.
The feeling at that moment was extremely complex, and Ye Zhou couldn’t make sense of it.
“Was what I said just now okay?” Ye Zhou asked.
Zou Ming replied, “No problem. The less they understand us, the more cautious they’ll be, and the likelihood of friction with us decreases.”
Ye Zhou nodded, “That’s exactly what I was thinking.”
That’s why he didn’t give Yang Guoqin a chance to ask questions from the very beginning.
“Go get some rest,” Ye Zhou yawned. Although he was still mentally alert, his body couldn’t endure anymore. “If you want to sleep, get earplugs yourself.”
Sarah now sleeps with Cao Er every day, so the security room was now under Chen Shu’s responsibility.
On the other hand, Zhou Yuanhe set up a bed in the warehouse, drew the curtain, and would rest in the warehouse from now on.
Ye Zhou still needed to spend some time transforming the utility room into a medical room. It’s just that the utility room lacked windows. He figured the door might not be able to close in the future, so he would need to hang a curtain using an extendable rod.
Zhou Yuanhe had no objections to Ye Zhou’s arrangements.
His only request was that he hoped to have a bouquet of fresh flowers in his medical room every day – preferably roses, and even better if they were blue roses. As for whether they were natural or dyed, he didn’t mind.
“You go take a shower first,” Ye Zhou said as he opened his computer. “I’ll see what else we can buy.”
Zou Ming nodded, “Alright, don’t browse for too long. Get some rest early. They’ll come to exchange things tomorrow.”
Ye Zhou stretched lazily. He was wearing short sleeves, and with the stretch, he revealed a small section of his waist. Ye Zhou’s waist was fairer than his arms. Although it was slender, it still retained the strength of a typical adult male.
“Go ahead,” Ye Zhou didn’t turn around but waved to Zou Ming.
Zou Ming’s gaze swept across Ye Zhou’s waist, but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he hurriedly walked towards the bathroom.
Ye Zhou continued to browse the items in the system store, and the price of the hand grenades remained the same.
But what was absurd was that, after refreshing, he saw a new weapon.
Price: 12,000,000 yuan.
Ye Zhou: “…”
Although he was tempted by the name of this weapon, isn’t 12 million a bit too much? He even counted the zeros seriously, confirming he hadn’t miscounted before giving up.
He definitely couldn’t afford it himself, but he could ask Yang Guoqin if he wanted to buy it.
12 million is a big number for him, at least for now. But for Yang Guoqin and their group, they have a country— even if it’s just half, or even one-third of a country, as a backing, they can definitely afford it.
However, the system didn’t provide information on the power of the photon cannon. It only displayed a photo of the weapon. The photon cannon looked quite plain, with a silver casing that exuded a metallic feel, although it didn’t seem to be entirely made of metal.
It isn’t big, at least not as big as its name suggests. Still, it is taller than Sarah alone.
It can be operated by a single person.
Ye Zhou touched his chin and decided to be a bit unscrupulous. Thinking he would informed Yang Guoqin that this thing costs 15 million, pocketing 3 million for himself.
After all, he still needed to buy a protective shield, and compared to the photon cannon, the shield was more important to him now.
After flipping through the options for a while, Ye Zhou heard Zou Ming’s footsteps coming out of the bathroom.
He closed the computer, stood up as he yawned, and stretched lazily.
Having been roommates with Zou Ming for too long, the two practically had no privacy left.
But Zou Ming was more particular than Ye Zhou. Zou Ming never changed clothes in front of Ye Zhou, but Ye Zhou didn’t mind at all. He had lost count of how many times he had been naked in front of Zou Ming.
Back in college, it was the same with male roommates. Some guys even ran around the corridor without wearing underwear.
Guys’ bets usually involved things like washing their hair upside down or streaking through the hallway. Anyway, since it was an all-male building, no one really cared.
As Ye Zhou walked towards the bathroom, he started undressing. By the time he had taken off his pants, leaving only his underwear, Zou Ming, sitting on the bed, turned his head and couldn’t help but say, “Can you wait to take off your underwear until you’re inside the bathroom?”
Ye Zhou: “… Alright, I will remember.”
Sigh, is his body really that ugly?
Or is Zou Ming a bit obsessed with cleanliness? That he doesn’t want to see a man’s body?
But isn’t he built the same way?
Men’s minds are really deep, Ye Zhou thought with some bitterness.
I really thought this was a short chapter… Anyways — See you all next week!
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