editors: alamerysl & juurensha
Suddenly, Bai Jing’s pupils shrank. Something inside a permanent shop had caught his attention. Xiao Sa’s gaze followed his line of sight, and his expression turned sombre.
“Where did this thing come from?” Bai Jing walked over. His gaze was fixed on something on top of the wooden counter – a sparkling crystal nucleus.
The owner of the stall raised his head listlessly, saw Bai Jing’s figure, and immediately straightened up. “General Xiao—”
Bai Jing frowned; he was very dissatisfied about being ignored. The stall’s owner shivered and quickly added, “These are the goods that a team brought over to sell yesterday.”
“Which team?” Bai Jing asked impassively as he picked up the crystal nucleus and looked at it carefully. It was a level one zombie’s crystal nucleus. If something like this could appear here, it meant that danger was not far away.
The stall owner’s expression stiffened. He had clearly taken note of General Xiao’s indulgence towards this youth and did not dare neglect him, “It’s from the Hope Team, a small team that just arrived yesterday. They don’t have many people and appeared quite miserable. They didn’t have many materials on hand. This crystal nucleus is very beautiful – I heard it was taken from a zombie’s head. I’ve never seen its like before, so I brought it out to sell since it’s convenient. This thing…”
A thought glimmered in the depths of the stall owner’s eyes; if this was something that even General Xiao would be interested in, perhaps he had really discovered a treasure.
“Hope Team? Where did they get the nuclei from?” Bai Jing pondered for a moment, ignoring the owner’s inquiring gaze as he mulled over the thought in his heart. Perhaps they could also open a stall and take advantage of the fact that nobody knew the role that crystal nuclei would play in order to purchase more.
“I’m not sure about that either. I heard that they escaped from Z Province and planned to go to B City, and are only resting here temporarily. They currently live in Zone C.”
Z Province? Bai Jing looked up at Xiao Sa, wanting to know if he had heard any news from there recently.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Xiao Sa shook his head. Communication wasn’t easy now. C City was in the opposite direction from Z Province. They had not heard anything about powerful zombies on the way back.
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“How much for this?” Bai Jing asked calmly. Even the smallest bit counted; he would buy it first and then figure out the rest later. Although the base was in a good position now, they only had a few high-level ability users. Crystal nuclei were essential if they wanted to make any great improvements to the base’s strength.
“You can set the price…” The owner hesitated for a moment before finally speaking in a humble tone.
Bai Jing sneered and slid a glance over the stall owner. For him to stay in business despite so few customers meant that he must have some skills. The owner clearly didn’t know what the crystal nucleus was, but he used the strategy of retreating in order to advance in order to test him out. Did the stall owner think he was a fool? “I asked you to set a price, so just set a price. Why are you being so difficult?”
The boss choked. Although he had never seen Bai Jing before, he had heard the rumors in the base. Since he could make General Xiao pamper him, he must be the rich young master from the rumors. He had heard that he was a very wilful master whose every interaction depended upon his mood and not reason; now that they met, he discovered that the young master really lived up to his reputation. He hurriedly spoke again, “If Young Master Jing likes it, how about trading it for five pounds of rice? Hope Team hasn’t had it easy, and they were a mess when they arrived. If it hadn’t been that Zone C was set exclusively for ability users, they…”
“All right, we’ll do as you suggested.” Bai Jing interrupted him, took out a note, scribbled down a few words, and signed his name, “There, take this. Bring it to the supplies distribution office to redeem it.”
The owner clicked his tongue. His head was covered in black lines. First, he was shocked by Bai Jing’s privileges – he could just go and obtain supplies with a slip of paper. Second, he was completely speechless. All he had just received was a signed piece of paper, right? It was really not easy doing business here, but seeing how powerful Jing Sa City was, the owner swallowed down the words he wanted to say and examined the note carefully to make sure there were no problems.
In fact, there was rice in Bai Jing’s space, but it wasn’t easy to portion out. He was a lazy person, and one with flair at that. He could clearly use the money he had on hand but insisted on swiping his card. If things could be simple, he naturally would not make it more difficult for himself. In any case, he had Wang Xuebing behind him and could delegate things like paying the bills to his subordinates.
Xiao Sa laughed indulgently and did not concern himself over the owner’s expression, acting as though anything Bai Jing did was simply a matter of course.
After placing the crystal nucleus in his pocket, Bai Jing looked around then turned his gaze back to the owner in astonishment. He suddenly understood why business was so bad here. The temporary stalls mostly traded things like firewood, rice, oil, and salt, while this side of the market carried a broader assortment of things. There were guns and ammunition, steel knives, and iron rods, in addition to cigarettes, wine, watches, and other seemingly superfluous luxuries.
“You’re really not simple.” Bai Jing smiled blandly and casually tossed him a word of praise. Tobacco and alcohol seemed useless, but they were all necessary gifts during prosperous times of peace and at the end of the world. This owner really had vision, and it wasn’t clear what he had been involved in before for him to end up with so much weaponry; it probably hadn’t been easy.
Only, even though the speaker was casually making conversation, the recipient took it seriously. The stall owner’s heart jumped, and he laughed along carefully, “It’s merely a small business that can’t be compared with the City Master.”
Bai Jing was amused when he heard this. He hadn’t expected that he would have yet another title, and he glanced at Xiao Sa before flicking his gaze back to the owner and laughing softly, “Why are you so nervous? I won’t eat you. Enough. Later on, keep the crystal nuclei for me if they show up again. Oh right, and jade as well.”
The boss smiled bitterly. Could he help being nervous? He had only come to Jing Sa City half a month ago, and the other party was strong and powerful. Anyone who was in his situation who heard such groundless praise would believe that there was some complicity behind it. But he couldn’t help but rejoice in his heart; the leader of this base was exactly like the rumors said and probably wouldn’t covet his small shop – he really had been nervous for nothing.
After Bai Jing and Xiao Sa left that stall, they continued to wander around casually, but the rest of the items offered in the market were very standard, and Bai Jing was a little disappointed. He had originally wanted to come and see if he would be lucky and find some treasure, but it seemed that he was out of luck.
Xiao Sa was amused. He understood Bai Jing’s mind like the back of his hand. Seeing that Bai Jing was no longer in such high spirits, he asked, “Do you want to go to the outer city and take a look?” The crowd there was more mixed, and there was a higher possibility of picking up something that others had missed. Only, Xiao Sa thought in his heart that Little Jing now had everything he wanted – not only did he have the things they had prepared before, there were also the things they had picked up on the way. Based on Little Jing’s tastes, he really wasn’t sure what would really be considered rare in his eyes. Searching for treasure? Was there anything to look for?
“No.” Bai Jing pouted. Anyway, this was his own base, and the coming days would be long. Having experienced the apocalypse before, he knew that the outer city was basically just a slum with strict hierarchical division, and there was really nothing to be curious about. He had once been one of the people eking out an existence there; and one lifetime later, he still didn’t like that kind of place. What he was more curious about now was the Hope Team.
Xiao Sa nodded and let it be. After they left, the two of them went directly to the office building. The office buildings had been standardized by now, and every department had their own duties. There were soldiers on guard as well as little cleaning boys; cleaning was normally left to children. This was also one of Chen Dawei’s suggestions, since he did not want to establish a practice of keeping people idle in the base. Even though they weren’t very strong, it was important that they proved their worth by contributing.
Bai Jing also had a nominal office here, but generally speaking, he was either holed up in their room practicing his powers or spending time with Xiao Sa. The deputy office was basically only there for decoration, even though it was placed next to Xiao Sa’s office.
Next, Xiao Sa sent a message to summon the Hope Team. He also really wanted to know where the level one zombie had appeared. Jing Sa City had just recently become firmly established, and he didn’t want any unexpected situations cropping up without any warning.
Shortly afterwards, Xiao Sa and Bai Jing were settled in their seats. There were peanuts and melon seeds on the desk, as well as a small dish of plums and two cups of black tea. Bai Jing was cracking melon seeds while he gossiped with Xiao Sa.
The Hope Team hadn’t arrived yet, but Xie Minhang came by first to deliver a telegram. When he saw the situation in the room, the corner of his lips couldn’t help but twitch. Although he had known Bai Jing for a long time now, he still wanted to flip the table every time he saw such a comfortable scene. Did they have to be so aggravating? They were really living too comfortably, and the contrast was too obvious. It really made others’ eyes turn red from envy.
“For you.” Bai Jing was not self-conscious at all as he handed over the melon seeds and handed over a bottle of black tea.
Xie Minhang kept quiet. He wondered if this counted as a bribe; he hadn’t had melon seeds in a long time and couldn’t even remember what they tasted like. Only this Young Master would be so luxurious! He unabashedly laughed, then casually tossed the telegram onto the table.
Xiao Sa glanced at it, then handed it over to Bai Jing. “It’s a letter requesting assistance. What do you think?”
Bai Jing raised his eyebrows. Other than Bai Jingcheng, he could not think of anyone else who would send him a telegram. However, requesting assistance was the kind of thing that sounded very unnatural and somewhat fake in his ears. Even though Bai Jing knew the truth about his situation and had already planned to help out in order to establish a mutually beneficial cooperation, having Bai Jingcheng request his assistance made Bai Jing feel a little awkward inside when he recalled the events of his past life.
“If you don’t like the idea, then never mind.” Xiao Sa spoke indifferently. Although he didn’t know what kind of problems there were between Bai Jing and his father, he would always support Little Jing’s decisions.
Bai Jing shook his head. He read through the telegram as fast as lightning and lightly sighed. Helping his father would also be helping himself; it was true that it would be mutually beneficial. “We can’t allow Yan Gang to reach B City. Even if he arrives, we still need to cut his strength by half.” Otherwise, when Yan Gang and Zhou Family joined forces, not only Bai Jingcheng, even Jing Sa City would be unable to benefit. Bai Jing had not forgotten that Yan Liang had died in his hands. Presumably, Yan Gang had already been informed of this by now.
Bai Jing’s intention was very simple. Zhou Family’s power and influence could not be allowed to expand. General Yang was already relatively old now, and it was unknown how long he would be able to hang onto life. When General Yang collapsed, the next in line would most likely be Yan Gang, and it would be pointless even if he had materials on hand; if his fist was smaller than others’, Bai Jingcheng would only get into trouble because of his wealth.
Xiao Sa was silent for a moment. He was very clear about what Little Jing meant. Only, Yan Gang was different from Yan Liang and had an 80,000 person army. If they really wanted to block them, they would need to consider it at length before making a move.
A knock on the door from outside interrupted their thoughts.
“Come in.” Xiao Sa restrained his thoughts as a soldier opened the door and made a formal military salute. “Reporting, the Hope Team has arrived and are requesting to see the General.”
“Let them in.” Xiao Sa spoke calmly and looked over at Xie Minhang. “Go and do what you need to do. I’ll call you if there’s anything. Don’t spread news about the telegram.”
Xie Minhang nodded, “Understood.” Most of the soldiers here had once been Yan Gang’s former subordinates. The army had only just arrived at the base and had not yet built deep foundations here. Until that was the case, they would not be able to see the situation clearly.