Plane Supermarket Chapter 45

Plane Supermarket Plane 2: Luoyang Base C8


“Guests?” Ye Zhou, who had just stepped out of the car, stood at the shop’s entrance in a neat tailored suit. Since it wasn’t custom-fitted, it was slightly loose on him, but he didn’t look like a child playing dress-up in adult clothes. Instead, he resembled a young master who doesn’t follow the norm.

Immediately, Zhou Wen, who was waiting at the door, approached him and said, “More than ten people, all seemingly young, none older than fifteen.”

Ye Zhou furrowed his brow slightly, but soon relaxed his expression. “Understood. Go on, get busy.”

Originally, he thought that Yang Guoqin would manage to keep the presence of the supermarket a secret. But after thinking about it, he realized that the base was right here, and the soldiers had already seen them. If they were to keep it a secret, they would have to do so at other bases.

Trying to keep its existence a secret within this base was nothing short of a fool’s errand. Yang Guoqin couldn’t possibly keep the base personnel in the dark.

Just moments ago, he had struck a major deal with Yang Guoqin. Yang Guoqin, gritting his teeth, assured him that he would definitely buy the photon cannon. Ye Zhou needed some time to gather the funds, and as for the ammunition and the like, a team would arrive in the afternoon to transport it.

Sarah got out of the car as well. Yang Guoqin had prepared a vehicle for them, even including a driver.

Normally, this vehicle was parked outside the supermarket. In case another wave of zombie tide comes again, Ye Zhou and his team could use this care to leave immediately.

Although this car held little practical value for Ye Zhou, it was still a gesture of goodwill from Yang Guoqin. After declining twice, he finally accepted it.

Dealing with Yang Guoqin was neither exhausting nor bothersome. After all, the current situation was a seller’s market, and the buyers had no room for negotiation or demands.

“What will they use for payment?” Ye Zhou walked towards the makeshift disinfection station at the entrance of the supermarket.

Zhou Wen replied, “Corn cakes. Wu Ge told them that one corn cake is worth fifty.”

Ye Zhou nodded, smiling as he said, “Yang Guoqin has considered that as well.”

Zhou Wen couldn’t hear him, so he kept his head down, not daring to look up to ask.

Despite being the top-ranking officer at the base and a general, Yang Guoqin’s status didn’t mean he wasn’t approachable. On the contrary, as soon as he learned that the price of the goods inside Ye Zhou’s base wouldn’t change, he immediately thought of the base’s own currency.

Ye Zhou came here for business, not charity. In a large-scale base like this, if Ye Zhou were to focus on charity, he’d go bankrupt within a month.

Since the prices of the goods inside the supermarket remained fixed, the only thing that could change was the value of their local currency.

Right now, corn cakes were worth fifty, but who knew what the future held.

Yang Guoqin asked him specifically, “Is the value of the corn cakes applicable only to our base, or does it encompass other bases as well?”

Even Ye Zhou hadn’t considered this point.

After a brief discussion, they both concluded that if Ye Zhou was only conducting business with the Luoyang Base, the value of corn cakes might decline, but not by much. After a while, it would stabilize.

If other bases were to engage in business with Ye Zhou as well, the devaluation of corn cakes would happen more quickly and severely. They might even become cheaper than cornmeal sold in the supermarket.

In other words, if only the Luoyang Base was exploiting the supermarket, they could continue to do so for a long time. Without the influence of prices from other bases, even if the value of corn cakes dropped from fifty, it wouldn’t plummet to just ten.

If the value of one corn cake in the Luoyang Base dropped to one unit, while in other bases, corn cakes still held their value of fifty. In that case, when it came to the supermarket exchange system, it would still calculate an average based on the population of the Luoyang Base and the populations of other bases.

The supermarket exchange system accounted for the average value across the entire plane, not the currency value of a single base.

Yang Guoqin was currently brainstorming ways to gather funds for the supermarket exchange system.

On the other hand, Ye Zhou wasn’t concerned about fleecing the system. After all, he was exploiting the system, and he wasn’t at a loss.

However, in the end, both Ye Zhou and Yang Guoqin agreed that stable currency was more crucial than the unstable value of items like corn cakes.

The Luoyang Base did have paper currency, but most people were reluctant to use it because goods were scarce, and having money didn’t guarantee you could buy anything.

Now, with the thriving supermarket exchange system, paper currency might just make a comeback as a viable currency.

The waves of zombies only receded yesterday, but there were already people arriving today. They were all fearless individuals.

Sarah asked, “Didn’t Yang Guoqin say that only those above fifteen are sent to clean up the battlefield? Are kids under fifteen allowed now?”

Zhou Wen whispered, “I’m afraid they found a way to sneak past the old man in charge.”

Those kids were all wearing masks, even on such a scorching day, completely wrapped up.

Although it was true that cleaning up the battlefield required full protection, they seemed a bit over the top.

To the eyes of the new recruits, they might think these kids were afraid of death.

In the eyes of Zhou Wen and the others who had survived the apocalypse, these people were undoubtedly hiding something.

Sarah turned to Ye Zhou and asked, “Should we tell Yang Guoqin?”

Ye Zhou hesitated for a few minutes and replied, “Let’s wait until they finish buying.”

For children under fifteen, they were precious to this base. In just a few years, they would become the main workforce, whether in combat or production. Losing one child was a big deal for the base.

Ye Zhou said, “After all, this is the first transaction of the supermarket here. When it comes to settling the bill, give them a twenty percent discount.”

When life wasn’t so harsh, why would children of this age risk their lives and hide their identities just to clean up the battlefield?

Ye Zhou sighed, “Life here is not easy.”

Sarah replied, “Life is tough everywhere, boss.”

She didn’t see the people here as pitiable, just as she didn’t see the people of the Da Liang Dynasty as pitiable. To her, it was the same everywhere.

Where there’s wealth, there’s poverty, and where there are sedan chairs to be carried, there are bearers to carry them.

If you keep comparing who’s more pitiable, beneath every pitiable person, there’s another even more pitiable one. After all, people don’t have that much kindness to spare.

Only the boss, with his plane jumps, had more than enough sympathy and kindness to spare.

When he sees more, he would realize that one’s own efforts couldn’t change everything.

·

Feng Ling held a bag of sugar and a large bag of chocolates. She looked as though she were walking on air. Despite her low blood sugar, it had been a long time since she had tasted any sweets. The sugar-making factories had stopped production long ago, and everyone’s hands and resources were focused on ammunition and essentials.

To buy sugar, one had to rely on ration tickets.

“Corn cakes can actually be exchanged for cornmeal!” someone exclaimed in disbelief. “Can we buy corn flour, make corn cakes, and then exchange them for items?”

The question was directed at the shopping guide.

Wearing a red and white uniform, Cao Er had a smile on her face. She wasn’t sure if that would work and could only respond, “Please wait a moment. I’ll go ask the boss.”

Cao Er was certain that it couldn’t be exchanged! If they continued like this, wouldn’t it be a losing deal?

But when she entered the lounge, Ye Zhou said, “It’s possible.”

Cao Er widened her eyes in shock and hastily said, “But Immortal! If we keep doing this, won’t we…”

Ye Zhou waved his hand and said, “It’s alright. No matter what they do, I won’t lose out. Let them go ahead.”

The system didn’t provide him with financial capital. He made his earnings, and he wasn’t concerned about whether the system earned or not.

So, Cao Er returned with a disbelieving look on her face, conveying the boss’s message, “The boss said it’s allowed.”

“Lingling, should we exchange for rice or corn flour?”

“Corn flour is more expensive here!”

In Ye Zhou’s supermarket shop, they didn’t sell loose corn flour. It was all packaged, and all of it was high-quality. The price was even higher than loose rice.

Feng Ling’s eyes lit up. They looked like little mice in a rice granary, wanting everything, craving every bit. She did some quick mental math and realized they could purchase items worth over ten yuan.

“Let’s get the corn flour together and tally up the money,” Feng Ling excitedly suggested. “We can also pool our other money to exchange for more rice.”

After saying that, she looked at the large bag of mint candies in her arms, gritted her teeth, and put the mint candies back on the original shelf.

The only thing she didn’t return was the bag of chocolates. She didn’t dare to buy the packaged chocolates, only opting for loose ones.

There were football-shaped chocolates and gold coin chocolates, and the prices were quite affordable.

“I want to buy a bottle of cola,” the youngest girl in the group stood in front of the drinks cooler, pointing to the large barrels of cola on the shelf, two of them sold together for a total of seven yuan.

Feng Ling’s voice was hoarse, “Buy it!”

“I’ll get it for you.”

“Do you want masks?”

Their masks were also in limited supply. If they ran out, they wouldn’t dare to leave the base for part-time jobs.

Some people didn’t refrain from part-time work because they didn’t want to. They couldn’t.

“Buy, buy, buy!!”

“Yeah! When we do part-time jobs outside, we can earn money to buy things from the supermarket shop!”

“In that case, it’s better to make corn cakes at home.”

Feng Ling looked at the eager faces of her companions, feeling a bit dazed. How long had it been since she had seen such bright smiles on their faces?

In her memory, her companions didn’t smile often. They didn’t even have the strength to smile. 

Everyone simply lived each day numbly. Even if they wanted to pursue a better life, they didn’t know how to go about it. No matter what they did, they couldn’t change their own circumstances.

Their best-case scenario was to make it to fifteen years of age, step onto the battlefield, and perhaps die there eventually.

Seeing no hope, they couldn’t harbor any expectations.

A young man held a heap of inexpensive goods in his arms. He had even forgotten to use a shopping cart or basket, dropping items and hurriedly picking them up, only to drop even more. Wu Yan’s wife couldn’t bear to watch and brought him a shopping basket, smiling as she said, “Here’s a basket.”

The young man hesitantly took the shopping basket from the woman. Perhaps because they appeared friendly, he asked in a low voice, “What are you guys doing here, and how much does it pay? Does it include meals and accommodations?”

He didn’t think the women, including the woman he was talking to, looked like soldiers.

The woman was taken aback for a moment. No one had ever asked her that question, but she didn’t answer all of it. Instead, she said, “The pay is decent, and it includes meals and accommodations.”

The young man swallowed hard.

He turned to look at the fully stocked supermarket shop, unconsciously swallowing hard.

Finally, the thoughts in his mind were spoken aloud.

“Do you guys… still need employees?”

Immediately after his question, the young man quickly added, “I’m okay with a lower wage! As long as it includes meals and accommodations!”

“I can do anything! Dirty work, exhausting work, just let me do it!”

Wu Yan’s wife was speechless.

They had thought he was a customer, but it turned out he had come to compete with them for work.


PANDA’S MINI THEATER:
Employees: Accommodate these kids, let them feel welcome!
Teens: Can we also work here?

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1 Comment

  • magicmau5 says:

    The author of this novel is unexpectedly quite deep, [Where there’s wealth, there’s poverty, and where there are sedan chairs to be carried, there are bearers to carry them.] — this is such a scathing commentary. Because the author is Chinese, I have a feeling they are mainly referencing the widening gap between rich an poor in China. There are more and more billionaires in China but also many more who live in the most abject poverty and can only get by on a small amount of government assistance, especially the elderly without pensions. It’s truly impossible for a single person to make lasting change when there are huge social problems like economic inequality, which is the sad truth around the world…

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