Plane Supermarket Plane 2: Luoyang Base C9
A group of spirited teenagers who had initially planned to take on part-time work after their “shopping”, were quickly escorted back to the base by the soldiers the moment they stepped out of the supermarket.
Carrying bags of various sizes, they frantically protested, “We’ve got our IDs, you know!”
Once the soldiers confirmed that their IDs were really forged, they spoke without a hint of hesitation, “You’re not even fifteen yet, which means you can’t leave the base, nor can you clean up the battlefield. I thought your teacher had informed you of this.”
“You’ll have to return and write the base rules five hundred times in silence, and your teacher will be fined a month’s salary.”
The current IDs were all printed and stamped. The base lacked the specialized printers required for this, making forgery challenging.
Although there isn’t a foolproof way to distinguish, the ink used in the seals uses a special process. This ink is exclusively available to official authorities. With careful scrutiny, it is still possible to identify the fakes.
Feng Ling and his friends couldn’t fathom why, even after passing the inspection, they were still on the verge of facing execution.
But once caught, there was no choice but to admit defeat.
After escorting the teenagers back, the soldiers surprisingly returned to the supermarket.
Originally, they thought the supermarket only conducted business with official personnel, but seeing those mischievous youngsters purchasing items made them wonder if they, too, could go shopping.
Not all the soldiers came. Only a few representatives were sent over. If shopping was indeed possible, they would serve as proxy shoppers.
“Of course,” Wu Yan said, gesturing for them to wash their hands and disinfect. “As long as you don’t engage in theft or robbery, you’re welcome to buy anything in the supermarket.”
Wu Yan reiterated the exchange rates, saying, “You can use shopping carts or baskets, it’s up to you. But we only have plastic bags, so if you want to save a bit, you’ll have to bring your own packaging.”
In Wu Yan’s view, unnecessary expenses should be avoided, and even though plastic bags only cost a few cents, every bit added up!
The soldiers were ecstatic and walked inside with a sense of disbelief.
Compared to Feng Ling and his group of kids, they had a clearer idea of what they needed to exchange for.
No one strolled through the snacks aisle, nor did they buy any daily necessities. Instead, they cleared out all the bulk rice bags in the supermarket.
They also bought a good amount of bagged items.
It took them two trips to transport all their purchases.
Regular soldiers couldn’t use vehicles, so they relied entirely on manpower.
But even as they watched the most slender soldiers effortlessly carry dozens of pounds of rice and walk as fast as if he’s flying, there was a lingering fear that a moment’s delay might result in being left behind by the supermarket, forced to return the acquired rice.
The amount of rice they could exchange for a single corn cake was so much that they began to doubt the cashier’s calculations.
“Are they really here to do business?”
“Maybe they are really people from the future, here specifically to bring us things?”
“Why bother with the exchange? Why not just give it to us directly?”
“Who cares who they are? As long as we get what we want! I haven’t had rice in ages!”
“Hehe, I even bought a bag of sausages. Although it’s a shame they only had them in bags. Bagged ones are pricier than loose ones, or else I could have bought more.”
“Tonight, I’m going to have my dad steam some rice and cook those sausages. Oh, I can’t even think about it now without drooling.”
“I also bought some vegetables.”
“The cucumbers and bok choy in the supermarket look incredibly fresh, and they even had fruits for sale!”
The items in the supermarket were incredibly cheap, almost like they were giving them away for free. Not buying seemed like a missed opportunity.
But even though the soldiers could take short breaks while on duty, they couldn’t go back to the base, so they couldn’t fetch their “savings.”
Since “money” lost its value, every household began stockpiling corn cakes for unexpected needs.
After all, when the zombie tide arrived, the supply lines in the rear often couldn’t keep up. People in the base had gone hungry before. The longest they had to endure was seven days without resupply. Since their base didn’t produce its own food, they relied on the government and their own stockpiles to support themselves.
“I feel like I haven’t had any fruit in half a lifetime.”
“I haven’t had many vegetables either.”
“Having rice to eat is already great! I went to Changfeng Base before, you know? They produce their own food there. But trust me, they’ve pulled out all the stops, using every machine and manpower available, and they only just managed to meet their food production targets.”
“That’s true. With so many people needing food now, the production can’t keep up. Having enough grain is already fantastic, and they want vegetables too?”
As for these soldiers, they could occasionally enjoy a meaty meal, but as for vegetables, they hardly got to have them once a month.
Feng Ling and her companions, who had been returned to the base, strolled down the streets with bags of rice, snacks, and drinks, flaunting their purchases. It didn’t take long before they were stopped by the local residents.
With government presence and the fact that everyone was a potential soldier, the base’s security was relatively sound, and there was more order than in the pre-apocalyptic era.
Petty theft still existed, but violent crimes like robbery and murder had almost nearly became extinct.
After all, anyone on the street could be a soldier on break, and capturing a criminal could earn you a substantial reward.
The fate of criminals wasn’t imprisonment with free meals, but rather confinement within military compounds, where they’d serve as cannon fodder when the zombie tide arrived.
The risk of getting caught was too high, and the chances of success were too low, so only the bravest dared to commit crimes.
That’s why Feng Ling and his group dared to walk the streets without any disguise.
“Where did you get all this stuff?”
“Can you believe there’s still rice available? I’m almost sick of eating corn cakes.”
“Did you buy it with tickets?”
“I still have rice tickets at home! Can I exchange them?”
Feng Ling and his group found themselves surrounded, with the residents bombarding them with questions. Some even pinched the rice bags to confirm that they were really filled with rice, their eyes growing teary at the sight.
“Where did you buy this rice?”
Their gazes were fervent, but they didn’t intimidate Feng Ling and his companions.
Although Feng Ling had a strong desire to keep the supermarket a secret – who knew how much inventory it had, and if these people bought it all, would there be any left for them – the current situation clearly made concealing it impossible.
What’s more, they would be living within the base in the future.
Feng Ling said, “It’s just outside the city gate. You can see it as soon as you leave the gate.”
“You can buy more than just rice, just like a regular large supermarket from before the appearance of the zombies. It’s only one floor, but it has everything you need, even clothes.”
“When did it open?”
“Why didn’t we know about it?”
“Is the stuff expensive? Do you need tickets? Do they accept money?”
Feng Ling shook his head. “They don’t need tickets, but as for whether they accept money, I’m not sure. I exchanged it for corn cakes.”
The crowd was surprised. “How many corn cakes did it take to get all this stuff?!”
“Who would have thought you had so many corn cakes on hand?”
“Can one pound of corn cakes be exchanged for two ounces of rice? If it can, I’ll go!”
Listening to their questions, Feng Ling recalled how she originally believed she couldn’t afford anything in the supermarket. She had prepared herself to take a quick look and broaden her horizons, but now she felt she shouldn’t keep it a secret.
“It’s not expensive at all, and the cheapest items are practically like giveaways,” Feng Ling found it unbelievable even now. “One corn cake is worth fifty yuan, but in the supermarket, one jin of rice is only two and a half yuan.”
The crowd fell into a two-second silence, and someone finally shouted, “Is that for real?!”
“Little sister, you must not joke about this!”
Feng Ling replied, “I’m not joking. If you want to buy it, obtain your identification quickly.”
Regular citizens couldn’t leave the city gates. They had to present their identification to show they were going out for part-time work. There was also an age restriction. Only individuals between the ages of fifteen and forty were permitted to go out.
As soon as her words fell, several fast individuals had already left. Their strides shifted from leisurely to lightning fast, running as if they were about to fly.
Others, who were a bit slow to respond, shouted, “Go home quickly! Get your corn cakes!”
The residents who had just been surrounding Feng Ling immediately dispersed.
But it didn’t end there. Every time Feng Ling and her group walked into a new district, they were stopped just like before.
Although most people were busy with their work at this time, there were still many people without stable jobs trying their luck on the streets.
Feng Ling was repeatedly stopped and had to patiently explain her situation each time.
Only when they finally reached the Community Service Center did they were really considered ‘free.’
The Community Service Center housed a number of elderly, frail, and disabled individuals. They had neither family nor the capacity to work, receiving only the minimum allowances on a per capita basis each month.
They weren’t starving, but they’re barely surviving. If you got sick, it was essentially a waiting game to death because there was a shortage of medicine, and the medical staff at the facility was insufficient.
The teacher from the Community Service Center approached. She was responsible for this group of orphans led by Feng Ling. After a frantic morning, the teacher wore a stern expression, her eyes red with anger. Before she even reached them, she shouted loudly, “Didn’t I tell you all that you’re not old enough? You can’t go out!”
“Do you even know how dangerous it is on the battlefield?! How many lives you have to risk!”
“Once you’re fifteen and leave this place, I won’t care what you do! But not now!”
“Did you all understand…”
Before she could finish her sentence, she saw the group of children place their bags down, revealing the rice and candies.
The teacher was taken aback. Her voice suddenly softened, and she even stuttered a bit, “Wh-where did these come from…”
Feng Ling had already explained multiple times, her throat was now dry. She sipped water while motioning to her companions to clarify.
The young boy repeated the explanation Feng Ling had given earlier.
The teacher immediately turned around, and the young man knew what the teacher intended. He raised his voice and said, “Teacher, why don’t you go there early tomorrow morning? There should already be a long line by now!”
“They close at ten at night, and open the doors early in the morning.”
The teacher didn’t stop in her tracks. She spoke as she ran, “You think no one queues up at night?! Waiting for them to open tomorrow won’t make a difference. There will still be a crowd!”
The boy argued, “But the city gates close at eight!”
The teacher retorted, “It’s a big supermarket, not like they can only accommodate a dozen people at a time!”
Ye Zhou looked at the crowd outside the supermarket. At that moment he felt that they were even more formidable in numbers than a zombie horde.
People carried containers filled with corn cakes, and the long queue extended all the way to the city gate.
To prevent overcrowding, the automatic glass doors were closed, and they had to be manually opened. They limited the number of people entering each time, only allowing a group to exit before another could enter.
Ye Zhou watched as Zou Ming and Chen Shu worked part-time as cashiers.
It seems like he really needed to hire more people.
Otherwise, thefts might go undetected.
He didn’t want to make himself miserable, but he also didn’t want to make things too easy, which would also be a source of misery.
But there was a distinction. The former was painful, while the latter was sweet agony.
Ye Zhou decided that while in this plane, he would give his employees a raise.
He sighed and thought he was really a boss.
Its 23:59 here ~~ The last chapter of Plane Supermarket before the New Year begins! I hope you all the best 2024 (∩˃o˂∩)♡
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