Chapter 182: My Profession is Zombie King 14
“Who are you guys? What are you carrying on your body, and where are you headed?”
The patrolling police officer stopped the group and asked several questions. Concerned about safety on the road, Li Dong had instructed the villagers to bring self-defence items with them when they set off. Some people carried sickles, while others had axes for chopping firewood strapped to their waistbands.
Due to the darkness, these self-defence weapons were not visible, but the police officers were carrying flashlights, and the bright light shone on them, exposing the weapons and raising suspicion.
“I am Li Dong, the village head of Hao’an Village. These are all men from our village. There was a power outage during the day, and no one answered when I called the power station. So I brought some people from the village to the city to find out what happened and also brought money and food to exchange for daily necessities.”
Li Dong quickly got out of the car and walked over to the police officer. “Here are my work permit and ID card. We are not bad people.”
“You guys, show me your ID cards.”
After hearing Li Dong’s introduction, the wary expression on the police officers’ faces eased slightly. The few officers standing behind him with their hands on their gun holsters also lowered their hands. Two officers walked towards Jiang Liu and the others to check their ID cards.
The people from Hao’an Village were innocent, and they did not come to do any harm. Therefore, they were calm and handed their ID cards to the patrolling police officers.
“Officer, what is the current situation in the city now?”
While a few of the police officers were checking their identification, Li Dong struck up a conversation with the team leader. He pulled a pack of cigarettes from his chest pocket and offered one to the team leader.
Li Dong wasn’t being stingy, but cigarettes were hard to come by even if you had money.
The team leader was also a heavy smoker, but most of the shops in the city were closed now. The few small shops that were open only accepted grains as payment. He had a wife, children, and four elderly people to care for at home, and their food supply was already tight. They had no extra food to exchange for cigarettes.
Therefore, when the team leader saw Li Dong offering him a cigarette, he immediately craved it. He took the cigarette, sniffed it, and carefully put it in his pocket without smoking it.
Li Dong then told the team leader about the group of elderly and children they had just encountered. “Wasn’t it said that relief grain is distributed daily in the city, and everyone with household registration could receive it? How can anyone bear to let their elderly and children sit on the street in the heat, begging for food?”
Li Dong couldn’t understand it. In his opinion, begging was an extremely shameful thing. If his foolish son dared to encourage him, his wife, his grandson and his dog grandson to come out and beg, he would have to beat that kid to death.
“It’s not that simple.”
Because of the cigarette, the squad leader had a good impression of Li Dong. In addition, Li Dong’s identity as the village chief of Hou’an Village was well-known. Nowadays, everyone knows the villagers have a better life; the squad leader also wants to establish a good relationship with those people. After all, what if he needed to ask for help in the future?
“The daily supply of relief food in the city is not much. Those aged 13 and above can receive two tael of rice or two steamed buns per person per day, while those aged 65 and above and those under 13 can receive one tael of rice or one steamed bun per day. Infants under one year old can receive two cans of milk powder monthly. These foods can only ensure that people won’t starve to death.”
Their patrol team was well-paid. In addition to their original salary, they could receive an extra five catties of rice per month to ensure they had the energy to patrol and maintain public order. However, ordinary workers and office workers were no different from being unemployed at the moment. Besides relief food, there were no other sources of food.
“Moreover, not everyone can receive relief food. Relief food is only available to residents and non-local people with temporary residence permits. Some people cannot receive food, and they have no stored food. They can only find other ways to obtain food. Many of the elderly and children you just saw are family members of migrant workers, and only a small part is locals. They are also trying to save food for the able-bodied people in their families to eat. Some are just taking advantage of the situation, but that’s unavoidable. Who would complain about having too much food?”
The squad leader sighed and said, “But for now, there aren’t any big problems in the city. There are quite a few petty thefts, and our patrol team works overtime to patrol, but there are always places we can’t cover. Uncle, bringing so many people into the city was the right decision. You have a lot of people and weapons so that those ordinary people won’t mess with you.”
As the squad leader of the patrol team, he naturally knew that some people in the city would go out at night to beg for food from kind-hearted people. However, begging for things is not illegal, and with food shortages, detention centres and prisons do not want to take in more people and increase food consumption. The patrol team turns a blind eye to those people as long as they don’t cause trouble.
“Oh, I see.”
Li Dong’s expression became serious. It turned out that not everyone could receive relief food in the city. As far as Li Dong knew, there were quite a few migrant workers without temporary residence permits in the area. Most of these people were young and strong and engaged in heavy manual labour. If these people didn’t have food for a long time, they would cause chaos.
For these people who have no food, apart from the merchants and individuals who own supermarkets and hoard a large amount of food in the city, the people in the countryside have enough stored food. Perhaps in the eyes of those people, they have already become a desirable target.
Li Dong didn’t know if the city’s police could suppress those people, but if the police couldn’t handle them, they would be in danger.
It seems it’s time to consider the matter of the village militia. He needs to gather the young men in the village and set up some roadblocks nearby the village’s entrance.
“By the way, are any stores open in the city now?”
Although there is food in the countryside, there is a lack of other supplies, such as diesel fuel, batteries, and other items not usually considered when stockpiling things.
There are also seasoning ingredients, such as salt. The refrigerator may not be working properly, and perishable food needs to be processed as soon as possible, which requires a large amount of seasoning, such as salt and chilli.
“Do you know Sufang Street?”
Sufang Street used to be an agricultural trade street. The largest vegetable market in the county was located on that street, and some seafood shops and marinated meat shops were mainly gathered there. If you were a local, you would know it.
Therefore, Li Dong quickly nodded and said that he understood.
“There are still many stores open on that street, and many residents are there to exchange items they don’t need for themselves. However, they don’t accept RMB there anymore. They only accept food and gold. All items are not priced specifically, and you must negotiate with the item’s owner.”
The squad leader looked at the few bags of grain Li Dong, and his team brought with envy written on his face.
Although the national units still insisted on the Renminbi as the settlement currency, in reality, private trading had long ceased to recognize the value of the Renminbi. The current market only recognized grain, gold, and water. However, the tap water had not been cut off yet, and the demand was insignificant. Even if there was a demand, people only wanted bottled or barrelled drinking water.
“City management officers are watching over Su Fang Street, so it’s safe. But it’s hard to say once you’re out of Su Fang Street. I suggest you bring more people if you exchange for big items in the future, just like today.”
This squad leader was kind and considerate, giving sincere advice and telling Li Dong many things he didn’t know.
“Thank you, little comrade.”
Li Dong was a bit greedy, but he was not a bad person. He gritted his teeth and took out the pack of cigarettes with a few left in it, took one out and put it in his pocket, and handed the remaining half pack to the squad leader.
The other party did not refuse and candidly accepted the half-pack of cigarettes. After confirming that Jiang Liu and others’ ID cards were okay with their colleagues’ mouths, they let them go.
“City people’s lives are not easy.”
Everyone heard the conversation just now. The rural folks who used to envy city people felt sorry for them now. Previously, having a city household registration was something to be proud of. Whoever had more city relatives symbolized a good family and a prosperous clan.
However, with the arrival of the disaster, city people were worse off than rural people. At least every household in the countryside had stored grain, and they did not need to worry about going hungry for the time being.
It’s just that not everyone had many city relatives. Thinking about their relatives who were now in unknown circumstances, everyone couldn’t help feeling a bit sad.
“Let’s go to the power plant first and then to Su Fang Street to exchange things.”
Upon hearing Li Dong’s words, the group on the bicycle accelerated towards the power plant.
The ad revenue supports this website. You do not need to click on any. I would appreciate it if you could turn off the ads block for this site. If you like things that I translate, do consider fueling me up with lots of bubble tea to pump me up |▽//)ゝ