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Chapter 54 – News Regarding the Black Market
Li Xiaoming was Tang Yu’s friend back at the college.
They had a good relationship. After all, they spent the night together, talking about random things and ate chicken together. They were the ‘three irons’ of friendship.
However, Tang Yu almost didn’t recognize him. In his memory, Xiaoming was a very gentle person. His hair was much longer than it’s now. At the moment, his appearance gave him a clean and neat feeling.
It was as if the two of them hadn’t seen each other for years.
But in fact, they met in school shortly before the Doomsday. After experiencing the life and that after the Doomsday, such a short time felt like years. Tang Yu couldn’t help but recall his youth and the lessons at the campus before the Doomsday.
“Let’s walk around the shelter. You just arrived, right? I’ll be your guide.”
Seeing Tang Yu was holding an introductory guide pamphlet by a guide in his hand, Li Xiaoming dragged Tang Yu into a nearby restaurant.
There were several shops on both sides of the main street. Although it’s only a few, the variety was quite complete.
Restaurants, clothing stores, daily necessities shops, bars, etc. just like a busy marketplace before the doomsday. This was the prosperity of Lindong.
There were also some shops with doomsday atmosphere such as shops selling homemade guns, shops selling demonic beast materials, and some martial arts master before the doomsday opened a training course hall in the shelter. It’s said that this business was hot right now.
The two of them took the seat near the window. Li Xiaoming handed the menu to Tang Yu. “Look at the menu, it’s something you can’t have in the wilderness. Don’t be shy, it’s on me.”
Tang Yu looked at the menu and found there were ordinary home-cooked dish before the doomsday such as braised eggplant, spicy potato shreds, home-made tofu, etc. In the doomsday, these dishes were considered a luxury. Most small shelters couldn’t afford such dishes. But Lindong Shelter had variety of ingredients to cook some ordinary dishes.
Of course it fetched for a high price. Tang Yu pointed at a few random menu. The waiter on the side calculated and said, “The total is 20 yuan, thank you.”
Saw the doubts in Tang Yu’s eyes, Li Xiaoming explained with a smile, “Twenty yuan is the price of twenty pounds of grain. Now, the common currency in the shelter is these food stamps. It has a nominal of one, two, five, and ten pounds. Unlike the food stamps back then, these stamps now can be directly exchanged into foods. Naturally, one food stamp is exchangeable with one pound of common food.”
“Also, we had to pay first before ordering. Someone once ordered a king’s meal before but couldn’t pay it. So, to avoid such scenario, all restaurants implements a system where customers have to pay first before ordering.”
Lu Xiaoming found two crumpled food stamps with the value of 10 pounds from his pocket and was preparing to hand it over to the waiter.
Tang Yu shook his head at the scene. Although Xiaoming was bold, Tang Yu saw a slight pain in his eyes.
He understood that Li Xiaoming was just an ordinary survivor. Although his current living condition was better than average survivor, he wasn’t living in comfort.
Li Xiaoming might have to struggle just to get two ten-pound food stamps. It was worth of the most basic food for a month. There’s no way he’s going to let Li Xiaoming spend so much money.
He handed a spirit stone to the waiter.
Li Xiaoming was going to say something but his face expression changed when he saw the spirit stone. “Oh, you… you actually have a spirit stone. Are you a hunter? It’s a shame that I wasn’t a hunter. I can’t get awakened. Not from the awakening headband or the Awakening Elixir.”
Tang Yu didn’t know what to say.
Everyone wanted to be a hunter in the doomsday. Even if they didn’t go out in the wilderness and hunting demonic beast, they’d still have a bigger advantage over ordinary people in work. Who didn’t want to be a hunter?
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From his perspective, he didn’t feel he have a right to say anything.
On the contrary, Li Xiaoming instantly smiled. “Forget it, I don’t even care anymore. At least I have a stable job now. My life is so much better than ordinary survivors. At least I’m still lucky than other people.”
“But for you, you can’t waste your talent as a hunter. If you have savings, you should buy equipment in the official store like firearms, military special alloy sword. You should also listen to the other hunters.”
Tang Yu nodded.
Tang Yu saw Li Xiaoming was giving a sincere reasonable advice to him. But it was only applicable to ordinary hunters whereas he had surpassed this level. Besides, the weapon from his workshops were probably better than the military alloy sword.
Of course Tang Yu kept the thought in his mind. After thinking about it, he asked, “Do you know about the black market? They said there were many good things there.”
Li Xiaoming thought briefly. “I don’t really know much about it, but they said the black market was originally a place where hunters traded forbidden items. But gradually it grew to become a small market just like the marketplace in the Eastern District of the shelter. But the goods traded in the black market were mostly related to hunters such as items and equipment, some loot from the wilderness, and it is said that sometimes there are some forbidden items that was banned by the military.”
Tang Yu’s eyes brightened. If the military banned some forbidden items, there might be a chance to find the spirit power container in the black market.
“Do you know where it is?”
Li Xiaoming frowned. “I’ve only heard it was hidden somewhere in the shelter, but I don’t know the specific location. But I heard one person mentioned it before. Tomorrow at work, I’ll ask about it for you.”
Tang Yu ordered two bottles of beer. The two of them exchanged words about their post-doomsdays experiences.
Li Xiaoming didn’t encounter any danger after the doomsday. Before it happened, he was working in Lindong County that were later selected by the military as a shelter. He was fortunate enough to continue working in the factory. This job wasn’t considered as a good job before the doomsday, but now it’s the source of envy for most survivors.
Stable job was rare in the shelter. They had fixed salary, got enough food every day and might also have some savings. Above it, their residence was much better than the relief rooms allocated by the officials for ordinary survivors.
“Do you know? At the early days of the shelter’s establishment, gunshots were heard every day. That time, it was really terrifying. You’re strong enough to survive in such a situation.” He sighed. “I haven’t heard about our other classmate but the college committee. There were 2 person other than me working here. I just met you today. I don’t know the rest of the remaining 503 of our classmates.”
Surviving was a very heavy topic.
Every day, survivors arrived at the shelter. But a lot of people died on the journey to get here.
Of course, most of their university classmates were in Lincheng when the doomsday occurred. Maybe some survived and came to this shelter, but Li Xiaoming hadn’t seen them. In such a large shelter with hundreds of thousands people, finding someone was hard since they lacked of information.
After all, even if doomsday didn’t occur, apart from a few close friends, they’d soon be strangers again in a few years.
“Enough with these melancholy. Tang, you just arrived in the shelter today. You haven’t found a place to stay yet, right? If you don’t want to live in those relief rooms, you have to go to the Housing Management Center to choose a room.”
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