Chapter 176: My Profession is Zombie King 8
On this day, the villagers sought solace on television, with many even too preoccupied to cook proper meals, settling for readily available biscuits and steamed buns to fill their stomachs.
As the sun set around seven o’clock, the temperature slowly began to drop, relieving the residents. By around ten o’clock at night, the temperature had finally dropped to around 35 degrees Celsius. Though it is still oppressively hot, it at least allows people to venture outside.
“What in the world is going on?!” exclaimed someone.
“Erzai, Erzai, wuwuwu,” cried another.
“All of my chickens have died! I can’t bear to eat them, and they’re all gone!” lamented a third person.
After the first villager boldly stepped out of their home, more tightly shut doors began to open. Upon seeing the desolate scene outside, many people couldn’t help but kneel and weep loudly.
All the crops had been destroyed, and during the daytime, some people were too preoccupied with their anxieties to tend to their livestock and dogs in the yard. With the scorching heat, it was impossible for the chickens and ducks to survive. However, some clever dogs found a relatively cool hiding spot and barely survived, though several dogs in the village still perished in such harsh conditions.
In just one day of such hot weather, the carcasses of the domestic animals had already begun to rot and emit a foul stench, rendering them inedible.
For the villagers, the financial losses of this day were immense. After witnessing three suns, they were fearful and anxious about their future lives, and their tightly strung nerves finally broke down. Through their tears, they lamented this disaster that could last who knows how long.
“Let’s go find the village head! He has more knowledge and should know what we should do next.”
“That’s right, let’s go to the village head’s house”
Chinese people have a tough spirit, even in the face of such a natural disaster. After crying and venting enough, they gathered the courage to pick up their lives and prepare to face future challenges.
It’s not clear who first proposed it, but this suggestion was unanimously agreed upon by everyone. Soon, each household sent several representatives to the village chief’s house to inquire about the situation.
Some elderly people and women, who were used to saving electricity, turned off all the air conditioners and fans in their homes after feeling the outdoor temperature. They then urged their family members to grab flashlights and head to Li Dong’s house, the village chief, to enjoy some air conditioning.
Jiang Liu also followed the crowd to the village chief’s house, and it seemed that the chief had anticipated this and was waiting in the courtyard.
With so many people coming all at once, the living room of the chief’s house couldn’t accommodate everyone. Fortunately, the current temperature was tolerable, so Li Dong simply held an outdoor meeting.
“Is everyone here?”
Looking at the crowd in the yard, Li Dong took a sip of his iced tea and asked in a deep voice, “Everyone, take a look. Is there anyone who hasn’t come? Notify them quickly.”
There were many things to do now, and Li Dong didn’t want to go to each family individually later.
“I think everyone is here?”
Hou’an Village is not big, with a total of 78 households. Many households have three generations living together, and many siblings have not separated. Although there are only 78 households, there are nearly 700 people registered in Hou’an Village. In recent years, young people have either gone out to study or work. The village is mainly inhabited by the elderly and children, with a population of about 350.
Due to the small number of people, each household is very familiar with the other. With a glance, you can tell who hasn’t sent a representative.
The only new faces were Jiang Liu and the Tang family, who had come to rent a house in Hou’an Village before. Jiang Liu saw Tang Ao standing at the back of the crowd but didn’t see Tang Ao’s parents. Obviously, he was here as a representative of the Tang family.
Due to experiencing the apocalypse, Tang Ao’s intuition was sharp, and he quickly noticed Jiang Liu’s gaze on him. He turned his head as their gazes clashed before the two nonchalantly shifted their eyes away.
Although Tang Ao appeared relaxed, his mind was a mess.
The apocalypse in this world was indeed different from what he remembered!
Although Tang Ao had guessed that the apocalypse might be different when he saw the overwhelming rumours on the internet, he couldn’t help but feel disappointed when the apocalypse arrived.
A different apocalypse meant that his memories were utterly useless. At this moment, he was like everyone else, trying to survive in an unknown world.
However, what surprised Tang Ao was that although the apocalypse was different, his pet, Big Black, still mutated. Although its size didn’t increase nearly ten times like in the previous life, it was still much bigger than before, and it had awakened its lightning ability.
When Tang Ao went out earlier, he observed that the mutated cats and dogs in the village of Hou’an from his previous life did not undergo the same changes as his Big Black.
Tang Ao suspected that Big Black’s mutation might be related to his reincarnation, but he was unsure if this guess were correct.
However, regardless of the situation, the mutated Big Black gave Tang Ao a lot of courage.
Now, Tang’s elderly parents are still at home caring for Big Black, who is not yet adapted to supernatural powers. Therefore, only Tang Ao appeared at the village chief’s house to participate in the meeting of the villagers of Haoan Village.
“Before you arrived, I had Da Shang go to the fields to check.”
Since everyone is here, Li Dong no longer keeps them in suspense. After all, who knows when that cursed sun will rise again? With three suns appearing, day and night may not be distributed as they used to be.
“All the crops have withered.”
This was within the villagers’ expectations. Rural people did not only plant crops in the fields. They also used their yards in front and back of their houses to grow vegetables and fruits. Now that all the vegetables in their private plots have withered, the crops in the fields are unlikely to do any better.
“This damned weather, who knows when it will improve? We haven’t even been able to grow rice seedlings this season. Where will we find food for the second half of the year?”
Li Dong spoke up and pointed directly to the core of the problem. “Moreover, with such a large sun, it will be difficult to grow crops in the future.”
Every household in the countryside has some stored food, but these supplies are limited. After they are depleted, what will they eat to fill their stomachs?
“Plus, the water levels in the rivers and reservoirs have dropped.” Li Dong drew on his cigarette and thought of the pile of dead fish in the pond he was in charge of, feeling some regret for the lost money.
“Village head, what should we do now?”
“Li Sanchun, we’re not finished yet. I told you not to sell your grains, but you still wanted that little money and sold all your family’s food. Now, everyone in your family is starving to death. Why doesn’t God take you away?”
Just as someone anxiously awaited Li Dong’s solution, a conflict erupted in the crowd.
It turned out that the previous incident of the city people coming to the countryside to collect grain had caused the current situation where crops in the fields could not survive. If a family had enough stored food, they could survive longer. But those who ignored Li Dong’s advice and sold their grain for money had no food left at home. How long could they endure?
Therefore, many families erupted into fierce conflicts after hearing Li Dong’s words. In despair, husbands and wives/fathers and sons fought together, and the air was filled with insults and desperate cries.
“You sound as if you weren’t happy when I sold the grain for money. Could the grain have been sold if you had stopped me then? You’re the jinx. How could I have married you.”
“Okay, stop fighting. Let’s talk it out.”
“That’s right. We’re all relatives. If necessary, we can each contribute some food and get through this period together.”
This is only the first day of the mutation, and people’s hearts are not yet cold enough. Therefore, when they saw their friends and relatives wailing and cursing, the vast majority of people softened.
Anyway, they still have enough food reserves at home, and it wouldn’t hurt to each contribute a few tens of pounds of food. Besides, maybe tomorrow, the three suns will become one sun again?
The people of Hou’an Village are still very naive, having never experienced hunger or true despair.
Sure enough, the noisy villagers gradually calmed down after those people spoke up. Tang Ao looked down with his eyes, not knowing if these people who borrowed food would regret their kindness today after some time had passed.
“Everyone should have watched today’s TV.”
Seeing the scene returning to calm, Li Dong continued speaking, “If you still trust me as the village chief, I will tell you three things. First, I went to the fields to check, and all the crops were dead. However, these dead crops are not all unusable. The rapeseed flowers have already matured and can be harvested. This strong sunlight has dried all the rapeseed seeds. Take as much as you need while the sun is still not out. There are also those dried green vegetables and Chinese cabbage, which can be eaten as dried vegetables. Although they are not yet ripe, we can’t be picky in these times.”
“The second matter is about water. The water level has dropped drastically, and we don’t know when the water supply will stop. Everyone should return home and use all the containers to store as much water as possible.”
“The third matter is the most important one. Three suns have appeared in the sky, and we must adjust our daily routines accordingly. We should sleep during the day and be active at night. I suggest forming a patrol team to patrol the village perimeter every night. The plants have all withered, and we need to be vigilant against wild animals that may come down from the mountains in search of food. We also need to be careful of people from the city who may not have enough food and may resort to desperate measures.”
Li Dong’s organization and clear thinking were impressive. Although Jiang Liu had a negative impression of him at first because of the incident where Li Dong rented out the old house without permission, seeing Li Dong’s performance today made Jiang Liu admire him a little.
These three proposals may seem simple, but in a time when everyone is panicking, maintaining a clear mind like Li Dong’s is genuinely commendable.
The anxious villagers needed someone like Li Dong to lead them. After he spoke, the villagers’ hearts calmed down a lot.
“My two nieces are still in the city. I contacted them and will drive into the city to pick them up. Does anyone want to come with me to see the situation in the city?”
Ultimately, Chi Dayuan persuaded his wife, Li Mei, and decided to drive their Wuling Hongguang (T/N: Battery electric city car manufactured by SAIC-GM-Wuling) to the city to pick up people. His nieces said a lot of food was still stored there, and they could bring it back to the village.
“My son is still studying in the capital. He was scared when he talked on the phone. I don’t know what it’s like now.”
“My daughter is the same. I don’t know if she can still take a plane or a train now.”
Upon hearing that Chi Dayuan would pick up his nieces, many people in the village with relatives working or studying outside couldn’t help but worry about their loved ones who were far away.
However, although they were concerned, none responded to Chi Dayuan’s offer to accompany him.
“Uncle, I’ll go with you,” Jiang Liu said as he approached Chi Dayuan.
“Thank you, Liu-zi,” Chi Dayuan replied, patting Jiang Liu’s shoulder. He was touched that even after five years of being apart, Liu-zi still remembered their friendship.
“I’ll go too,” someone else chimed in.
Tang Ao’s decision to step forward also had reasons. Firstly, he was an outsider in the village, and to settle down, he needed to establish good relations with the villagers. Secondly, he also wanted to go to the city to gather helpful information.
“Good, we’ll leave soon.”
With himself, his son, and two young men, they would be enough to deter any danger. Pooling his thoughts together, Chi Dayuan’s mood was much steadier, and he was eager to fly to his two nieces’ side.
While Jiang Liu was speaking, the husky named Erzai, held in the arms of the village chief’s son Li Shang, perked up his ears.
This voice was so familiar, as if he had heard it somewhere before.
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