Chapter 101: Luo Gang Part 1
The worldly relationship between people was an ever-changing subject. It was something each and every person had to grasp and be aware of!
The advent of the apocalypse had made any form of order collapse. Although it could not be said that all humankind had turned into devils, oftentimes those who would harm you the gravest were not your enemies, but your own kin or friends instead.
It had been two days after the fallout and parting ways with the few brothers, those who could be called as his closest buddies, as Luo Gang led his three children out. The last piece of expired bread and bottle of drinking water had been spent. Luo Gang, an old bird who became an Awakened early in the third day of the apocalypse, was finally at his wits’ end.
Luo Gang fell into a reverie, recalling the third day of the Apocalypse when he and his wife were among the first who bravely rushed to the street, hurling themselves in a life and death struggle fights, and then finally succeeded in becoming the first ones of those who evolved.
Following that, due to the husband and wife’s help and assistance, some of their good friends also became Awakeneds. Finally, on the fifth day, he and his wife along with their team succeeded in breaking through a certain Secret Area, despite the sacrifice of his wife that claimed her life in the process of battle.
Death was not an issue to be concerned about in the Apocalypse. Hence, he did not blame anyone for his wife’s death. Back when the trend of forming a guild in the Northern District was quite popular, he and his several surviving good friends decided to form a guild, based on their Firm Justice club, hence the name of the guild. In just a few days’ time, their guild had already developed to dozens of members from the previously handful few.
And thus, he became the Guild Master even though he did not have a Main Job at all. It was due to his status as one of the guild’s founders, while the guild itself was named after his name (Gang/Firm). Yet, never did he imagine that his closest buddies turned out to set up a secret meeting in their base when he went out. It was then decided that the rations provided to all family members who could not directly participate in fights and battles would be stopped.
Of all members of the guild, he was the only who brought three children, so it was evident that the meeting was meant to target him. He objected and argued based on reason, but was eventually vetoed with a unanimous decision. In a fit of rage, he kicked himself out of the Firm Justice Guild.
“You three are to stay home and are not allowed to go outside no matter what happens! Dad has some urgent things and needs to go outside for a while. I’ll be back soon!”
After urging his three children to wait at home, Lu Gang dragged his injured leg and staggered out of the house step by step.
He was wounded in the morning when a horde of zombie tide stormed over the city. He wanted to obtain some stuff for trade, so he risked his life to obtain some small Blood Crystals in the morning. Thus, he was then able to help his youngest daughter to evolve and become Awakened. He still had two small Blood Crystals saved, yet did not consume it even though it was able to replenish his physical strength.
His leg injury was rather light, but without medicines and with an empty stomach, he would not be able to fully recover in 3 or 4 days despite the fast-self-recovery the Awakened’s body possessed. Hence, he could no longer wait, finding an employer that could use his service was imperative.
As he came to the front of the recruitment station of the Heavenly Seal Guild, Luo Gang put on an obsequious smile to a few soldiers nearby and asked for the recruitment ad, “Big Brother, is Heavenly Seal Guild still recruiting members? I’m here to apply.”
“Please fill your info and details in the next table first!”
The person in charge of recruitment still retained polite manners and handed him a recruitment paper and a pen. The header on recruitment document was still the application of army enlistment in the peacetime. Electricity had been rendered to non-existent in the Apocalypse, so printed documents were the product of the previous peace age.
After squatting at the side, Luo Gang quickly filled in the form, and then signed a membership agreement in the back of the paper, stating that he would fully obey all the rules and arrangements as per given orders.
“3 family members; all of them are children and no age written here. Seeing these, I can’t accept you. You had better try your luck in other guilds!”
The recruiter knitted his brows after receiving and reading Luo Gang’s form before giving it back.
“I really have three children at home. The oldest is already 12 years old, but all of them are all Awakened! Besides, I’m not just a regular Awakened but also have a profession. Didn’t your ads say those with professions are preferred and paid well?” Asked Luo Gang carefully.
“You have a profession? What is it?”
Maybe due to the number of applicants with professions were too few, the recruiter himself did not notice what he wrote a moment ago.
“A Material Disassembler!” Answered Luo Gang truthfully.
“Material Disassembler? Is it the likes of material analyst or chemist who work at the chemical factory in peace age? The occupations we want must be the professions produced by the Secret Area after the Apocalypse! Not some former electrical engineer or some other technical workers! We don’t want to entertain the thought of having some cheap joke here, else we can’t treat you politely!”
Material Disassembler was indeed a never-before-heard profession in the Apocalypse and thus was treated as a bad joke by the recruiter.
“There’s really a Material Disassembler profession. It’s not a battle-oriented Main Job I admit, but it’s also a legit Secondary Job and a product of the Secret Area of the Apocalypse. I’m not making a joke with you!”
“Material Disassembler is also a supporting profession of the Apocalypse? So what kind of ability does it have? Can you show it to us?”
“Demonstrating it may cost quite a lot. My ability is to be able to disassemble the weapons produced by the Secret Area or disassembling those gears or equipment manufactured by other secondary professions into the raw materials that compose it!”
“There’s such profession? Wait here a bit. I’ll report it to our team leader first!”
Seeing a formal response and serious expression from Luo Gang, several recruiters on-site discussed it a bit, one of whom then quickly ran into the compound.
Not long after, that recruiter came out and Luo Gang immediately asked about the result.
The man answered with a helpless expression, “Our superiors are currently having a meeting but I’ve handed your form to them. How about you come back tomorrow to ask about the results then?”
In the chaotic time as the apocalypse, nobody knew whether she or he would die today or tomorrow, hence all recruitments were decided right on the spot. There was never such precedent for applicants to wait for a notice whatsoever. Upon hearing the answer from him, Luo Gang had no choice but to leave.
This place did not want him, and he knew that. Yet he believed that someplace else would require his services. He was a veteran, professional gamer before the advent of the Apocalypse, hence he believed his profession was valuable. But now… these people were just as short-sighted as his former buddies.
Another place barred him to enter, then he might as well find a new home to hop in. Luo Gang then went to other two guilds after leaving Heavenly Seal Guild, one of which had a recruiter that demanded him to demonstrate the ability of his profession on the spot. Finally, he did what he asked and disassembled the strengthened saber that had been refined by an Alchemist Refiner into a pile of scrap iron, plus some kind of unknown powder.
“What the hell is going here? What you did is just destroying it, and not refining nor manufacturing it? You! Did you just wreck it on purpose?”
Luo Gang’s profession was then evaluated as to have no useful feature at all. There was no need for environmentally friendly or protection feature for the industry in the Apocalypse! The recruiter who forced Liu Gang to demonstrate the ability of his profession had lost a weapon for no reason, and could only send him away with a bitter face. A dumb person who dug the hole for himself did not have the right to speak but to stay silent in bitter suffering, to begin with.
The hunger went worse to the extent of his stomach growling. His children were still waiting for him at home, they must be starving as well. As he passed through the public park, he saw some refugees fighting inside, and Luo Gang came to see it.
“Hey, I dug out and found this thing! Whoever dares to snatch it must cross over my dead body!”
One of them was a 15 or 16-years-old teenager with both hands tightly held a small potato-like root. He desperately squeezed out from the crowd.
Yet, his face had been scratched in the struggle with many people. After succeeding in leaving the crowd, he quickly crunched the potato and filled his mouth full while walking. In the apocalypse, only after the food entered your stomach that it could really be called yours.
The group of people who had been chasing him for more than 100 meters finally saw that the teenager had eaten the food, thus ended the scrambling.
However, the scene did not end here. Not long after eating that potato-like root for less than a minute, that teenager suddenly fell to the ground with a mouth full of foam and his body convulsing.
And today was the day after the advent of the apocalypse that all the food stowed away in the civilian homes had been completely spent. People began trying to eat leaves or roots of the mutated vegetations. But these things were completely not the same thing with the original plant on the planet anymore. Not only was the taste very unpalatable, but most of them were also toxic to humans.
‘The situation has really come to this point?’
Luo Gang could not resign himself to such predicament. He then recalled that he still had two small Blood Crystals. Even though he took a great risk in obtaining these Blood Crystals, his family was now left with no food to eat today.
While he still had his remaining physical strength, he finally made up his mind to go back to that recruitment station of the Guild he just applied!
“Why the hell are you back? Your profession is useless. Are you really unwilling to accept that? Look, we can still consider you if you only have one child. But you ask us to support your three children. Our guild’s food stockpile is also dwindling. We can’t afford to support anyone’s family!” The recruitment team leader who just suffered losses spoke to him with an ashen face.
“My eldest son is already 12 years old and he’s also an Awakened. I also intend to make him independent and rely on himself, so I only bring two young kids. Is it still unacceptable for you?” For the first time, the relentless Luo Gang finally lowered his requirement.
“You can only bring one kid and only the oldest! If you can leave the two younger ones, you can directly come here tomorrow. I tell you some hard truth here. Your profession is just a supporting secondary role. At least for the time being, it’s no different with those without profession at all. Do not entertain your fancy illusion that you have what it takes to demand such exorbitant price for yourself!”
The reply from the other party practically barred Luo Gang to enter this guild. He finally decided to take out a small Blood Crystal and asked, “Big Brother, can I trade some food first but without me joining your guild? I don’t need much. Just three pounds of food for this!”
All guilds had strict management in handling the use of Blood Crystals. After seeing that Luo Gang even had a Blood Crystal, a glint flashed in the eyes of the recruitment team leader. However, this was a recruitment station of his guild while there were also some others nearby. It would not be easy to rob it openly, so he could only cut the price severely, “A pack of instant noodles. That’s the price in the market now!”
With the current situation, he was in, Luo Gang had zero bargaining power, so he just clenched his teeth and agreed.
He took a pack of instant noodles and exchanged it with a small Blood Crystal, turned around to leave and go home. Just as he came to the downstairs, however, he suddenly noticed that a few men in the recruitment station stealthily followed him.
If he remembered correctly, these three men behind him were three brothers and just regular people. They also just applied to become peripheral personnel with 2 meals ration for three people a day.
Awakeneds snatching things from the poor was a common practice and had been regarded as within reasons. But under normal circumstances, for the Awakeneds to rob other Awakeneds would never occur unless one party had absolute superiority. But now, there was actually three ordinary people trying to rob him, an Awakened. It was really something that those with the right minds were unable to figure out.
He couldn’t think about it any longer. These people had been stalking him, which made it evident that they had no good intentions. It seemed that the situation in the Apocalypse had come to a nadir point and tension over food had reached the point of no return.
‘What should I do?’
Luo Gang headed to the side while quickly calculating in his mind.
Going home was not an option since his children were there. Hence, he was in a passive situation.
With one of his legs injured, escaping was close to impossible, leaving only a tough fight as a choice. He could only hope that these guys would give up after seeing his determination. After all, his physical strength and reaction speed was still far above them despite his injuries. As he went downstairs, Luo Gang did not directly walk upstairs and stopped his pace instead.
“Brothers, what are you up to for following me?” A fierce glint flashed in Luo Gang’s eyes as he shouted.
“Well, let’s say we wanna have a share for being the witness. We brothers haven’t had a meal for a day. Just half of it and it’s fine with us!”
Since Luo Gang had discovered their whereabouts, the other party did not beat around the bush and immediately pulled out their fruit knives.
“Just for half of a pack instant noodles, average person like you still wish to rob an Awakened with just a few people? Are you really that tired with your life?” Luo Gang exclaimed in a low voice, hoping that the natural fear average people had towards the Awakened would be able to intimidate them.
“We definitely won’t dare if you’re not injured. But we’re not afraid of you since you’re ridden with wounds. Who said that only the Awakened have the rights to rob regular people, huh? My wife died in the hands of your kind, so how about getting yourself a surgery today?!” With numbers on their side, these people did not have any fear at all.
“Just for half a pack of instant noodles, you still won’t back out even if you have to pay it with your blood?”
“Do you still have to ask?”
“You know, I have three children too, and they haven’t eaten for a day either. Get closer and I will really fuck you up!”
“Hmph, no kids will be able to survive in the apocalypse. You’re someone with a profession and thus have a great prospect in the future. If you don’t want to give us food, then give us a few Blood Crystals. In any case, you still can’t eat that shit either!”
It was then evident what these guys were after not the food at all, Luo Gang finally understood it. Although he only took out one Blood Crystal at that time, they seemed to think that he may have more. So, from a certain point, it made sense if they thought their adventure was worth the risk.
It was never important as to whom the food or Blood Crystals belonged to in the apocalypse. What was important was to whose hand these things ultimately fell.
Some things were already doomed that words and reasons were useless. For a man who had long experienced how fickle and unstable people’s relationship was, Luo Gang resolutely drew a short sword. What will come will come, and he had prepared for the worst regardless.
Little did these people expect that at this time, Gui Jiaosan was now standing on the balcony room on the fourth floor, looking at the scene downstairs with a smile across his face. He also overheard some of their dialogues clearly.
As the fight between both sides was about to erupt, Luo Gang’s daughter suddenly came down the stairs.
“Damn! Your daughter is really fresh and pretty!”
Of these three men, one of them turned around and happily walked towards Luo Gang’s daughter, whereas the other two kept engaging her father.
Luo Gang was completely perplexed. His daughter suddenly came out in such a dangerous situation!
Note: Ugh, another long chapter again.
E.N: It sure is!