Chapter 69: Food Tax (Part 1)
“Big Bro Gui, Eldest Brother Yun Tu hasn’t come back last night. Could he be in danger?” With a worried expression, Qing Yi asked.
Gui Jiaosan was the eldest person in the Dark Night Guild, so everyone called him Big Brother Gui.
“We don’t need to worry him being in a dangerous situation. He could be testing us, wanting to see whether we can fare well and survive by ourselves!” Since Gui Jiaosan was also clueless and didn’t know how to answer the worried Qing Yi, Feng Ling at his side gave out her guess.
Yesterday, they fought to snatch the Blood Crystals in the public square. All of the Dark Night Guild’s members, aside from Li Xin’s son, were participating in the fight. Even Dingding, Gui Jiaosan’s son, who was only less than ten years old, also joined in on the fight.
The scene was extremely horrible and tragic. Tens of thousands of people had bitter fights and struggles, eventually leaving thousands of dead bodies in the plaza afterward. Certainly, the majority of the dead were only ordinary people.
The members of the Dark Night Guild also had some small fights with other Awakeneds in the process. However, since the vast majority of the people in the scene were only average people, even though they fought to snatch the Blood Crystals, they didn’t go all out to fight those Awakeneds as it was not that imperative a task.
Since Yun Tu had given his statement for this struggle upfront, the members of the Dark Night Guild acted to their fullest as they eventually got quite a harvest with a total of eighty-two small Blood Crystals.
Qing Yi’s performance was the worst of all. From the tens of thousands of Blood Crystals thrown out, ordinary people could at most grab one or two. Even Dingding, Gui Jiaosan’s son also could grab one. Qing Yi was an adult Awakened, but she was kindhearted and too soft as she even let an ordinary woman snatch the Blood Crystal in her hand. Thus, her result was zero Blood Crystals.
According to Yun Tu’s forewarning, if any one of them were unable to obtain at least one Blood Crystal until noon, then, they wouldn’t have their meal that day. But everyone knew that Yun Tu had a soft spot for Qing Yi. And since Yun Tu was also not present, all of them advised her to eat, but she refused and finally didn’t eat at all.
It was not because she knew that she only had a poor performance and punished herself. She usually had a small appetite to begin with, and skipping a meal for once like now wouldn’t be much of a problem for her. But the main reason was, she was worried about Yun Tu’s safety.
She thought that after they finished robbing the Blood Crystals, Yun Tu would come back. However, he hadn’t showed up even when night came. Much less that she didn’t expect that he still wouldn’t come back the next day.
Where could he possibly be? It was absolutely impossible for him to get killed when he joined in the struggle to snatch the Blood Crystals, right?
And for what reason had he disappeared for? The more worried Qing Yi about him, the more people in the Guild began to worry about it.
“In my opinion, It’s no use worrying about Eldest Brother Yun Tu. Feng Ling’s right, there’s nothing we can do about him, but at least we can do something within our abilities. The zombies will become more powerful in the Apocalypse day by day, while vegetation and animals will also begin to mutate. I heard that new leaves sprouted and covered those dead trees in the park. The world has changed. And it’s frighteningly fast. We cannot just sit back here waiting for Eldest Brother Yun to plan and arrange the work we should do, right?”
“We all are not children anymore, so we have to take the initiative. Let’s find ourselves some work which could help us survive. Something that can strengthen our Guild!”
Finally, after he pondered deeply, Gui Jiaosan bursting out his thought.
Everyone quickly agreed to his suggestion. But they still must discuss and allocate for each and every one’s work before they begin.
“How about we copy what other guilds have done? Recruiting new members? The military distributed quite a lot of Blood Crystals yesterday. Even though thousands of people have died, but thousands of people must have evolved into Awakened amongst the populace now. Besides, a lot of Guilds are recruiting, and we also need a large number of people, so it’s precisely our turn!” Feng Ling was pretty interested in recruiting and drafting new members.
“In my opinion, we must hunt and kill zombies. The number of zombies in the Northern District are quite a lot. So let’s take the initiative to attack them. Firstly, we can temper ourselves and improve our teamwork in fights. And secondly, we also can harvest some Blood Crystals.”
The Pockface, Zhang Feng also gave his suggestion after thinking for a while, as Liu Wei at his side also immediately echoed his view. Strength was everything and reigned supreme in the Apocalypse. But one’s strength also could only be honed in battles. If they were not out to experience the fights, how would their strength improve?
“Don’t forget about taking “taxes” from food! This matter may be even more important!” Li Xin reminded them with a low voice.
“Tax food!” Li Xin deeply emphasized these words.
Eastern District was full of empty households. People could say that they were seeking food, or food sweeping would also do. However, this place was Northern District, for which people were everywhere. So such an act was called as “Food Tax”. Even though these two words essentially didn’t have much difference with robbing food in practice, but it sounded much better. It even appeared to become a common term.
Although Feng Ling and Qing Yi still had hundreds of pounds of food in their interspatial rings, but their Guild had quite a number of members. For how long would their stockpile of food last? If they also recruited new blood later, what would they do if they didn’t tax their food?
Since Yun Tu was not present, not everyone was willing to follow Gui Jiaosan’s suggestion. So Gui Jiaosan finally decided that of all the things, searching for food was the most important thing they should do first.
However, not a single one amongst them had done it before. How and what method they must take; from which household they must start; how to deal with the conflicts. All in all, there were many problems for which they needed to resolve it first.
Whilst everyone was having their breakfast, they also continued to discuss it in low voices.
At this time, when the members of the Dark Night Guild had yet to finalize their decision, a Food Levy Brigade from another Guild brazenly marched and came to the street where their base was at.
“Iron Blood Guild is taking the Food Tax! Every one of you, take the initiative to give half of your food! If you refuse to hand it over, I can’t guarantee that you can keep your head!”
Two pickups carrying a dozen of Awakeneds were blocking the two small alley’s exit points as a group of men with tearing high-pitched voices shouted their slogans while they began their search and plunder.
The government’s machine had ceased working a couple days ago, and the military had also been disbanded yesterday. The entirety of the Northern District slumped into chaos, and there was no sanctuary left for people to take asylum, as the occurrences of ordinary people dying happened in each and every street corner minute by minute.
Hearing the ruckus outside, everyone rushed to the balcony. The street had simply turned into chaos. Although ordinary people were scared of the Awakeneds, but food was their lifeline. Each and every one of them who was still alive and didn’t commit suicide came out. Even if they were ordinary women, they cast aside their fear and went all out to struggle.
It was obvious that the Iron Blood Guild had long planned the strategy for their food levies action in advance. But the result of their efforts had yet to be seen, whether it would be a success or not.
With only a few cars and a dozens of people, the ruckus and noise they would be able to create, was perhaps small. But in fact, a lot of people had already been in a terrified state. However, when some of those strong people really crashed into the houses, they immediately met the desperate resistances from those ordinary people.
No food would mean one thing, death. This was the thought those ordinary people had in mind.
The first household that was hit, was occupied by a married couple, as they both fought and struggled desperately to resist those men. Finally, the members of the Iron Blood Guild killed them ruthlessly and threw their fresh, dead bodies from the balcony. The Awakened man who was attacked by that couple with kitchen knives also had his arm bleeding.
This was just the first target, and the Iron Blood Guild had to pay their actions with their blood. However, their harvests were but only a mere few packs of instant noodles and a slice of ham. Obviously, the cost was not worth the candle.
Originally, they also had thought that it would be quite difficult for the first target. But as long as blood was shed and splashed, it would scare the next targets, and their action of “levying” food would be smoother afterward. However, the couple who lived in the second household were even more vicious compared to the previous one as they took the initiative to attack them while they had yet to begin their act. Being coldly attacked and forced to defend himself, the expression of another member of the Iron Blood Guild couldn’t help but change into rage.
Then, the two over sixty-years old couple died as the Iron Blood Guild’s member killed them under violent rage.
Blood trails were created everywhere along the way the group was heading to. When they hit the fifth household, one member of the Iron Blood Guild was stabbed by a housewife who was hiding behind the door. It was a fatal injury as the knife that sneakily attacked him from behind, pierced through his waist straight upward toward his chest. Since he was an Awakened, he didn’t die immediately, and used his last strength to punch and explode the woman’s head as he himself also fell down afterward.
“These fucking desperate people are powerful! Brothers, scatter!”
Upon seeing that their comrades were injured and died one after another while their harvest of levying food were trivial, the leader of this Food Levies Brigade of the Iron Blood Guild finally had no choice but stop their plan ahead of time.
Whilst standing on the balcony and seeing the Iron Blood Guild’s large farce against those ordinary people, all the members of the Dark Night Guild who also had the plan to commence the food tax action through force and violent means were also helpless.
No food would mean that they wouldn’t have the capital, which meant that the recruiting plan would also fail. Even if some Awakeneds joined, but they wouldn’t be able to retain them, eventually.
“How about we go for the suburbs to sweep for food? Previously, we harvested some food with Yun Tu. And I think it won’t be too late if we go there now. Although the suburbs are as dangerous as the downtown, but if we go along with Big Brother Zhang Feng, it wouldn’t be that hard. Anyway, we still have to take the initiative to temper ourselves and improve our teamwork in fights!”
Qing Yi wasn’t quite supportive with the plan to loot the food and forcefully levy food taxes on ordinary people. And since everyone had witnessed that the imposing “Food Tax” was not as easy as they thought, she took the advantage of the event and proposed her idea.
Each and every one of them wasn’t afraid to fight as they had gone through some fights and learned through experience. But in essence, deep down inside, they were never vicious people, to begin with. Rather than killing ordinary people, they were much more willing to face zombies or ferocious beasts. So everyone quickly agreed with Qing Yi’s plan.
However, since Yun Tu had yet to come home, there should be someone to wait for him in the base; while it was also inconvenient to take along the two youngest children. Therefore, the problem now was to choose someone who would stay at the base, to wait for Yun Tu’s return and to accompany the children. Originally, since Li Xin’s son was the youngest amongst them, everyone thought that she was the most appropriate candidate to stay to wait for Yun Tu, as well as helping Gui Jiaosan in taking care of his son, Dingding. However, she insisted to go. Her reason was very simple: she must collect some enchanting materials, for which no one amongst them were able to replace her. In addition, she also had never seen those mutated ferocious beasts and vegetation; she was hoping to collect those enchanting materials in order to contribute and help strengthen the Guild. However, since such work truly entirely depended on her occupation, the others were basically unable to replace her.
Gui Jiaosan himself was not suited to stay at the base with the children. And now, everyone was looking at him, asking him to make a decision. On the other hand, as a Priestess, Qing Yi would join the expedition team since her skill would guarantee the team’s combat strength, for she could treat the injured team members on the spot, so she had no reason to stay.
Feng Ling was a core member with a Main Job, and nobody dared to oppose her. So, the final candidates would be: Liu Wei and the Pock Face, Zhang Feng.
But, Zhang Feng obviously was stronger and good in fights compared to Liu Wei, and his personality was also not suited to take care of children.
After much discussion, the slightly weaker Liu Wei would be the adult who would stay with the two orphan children; he couldn’t help but feel wronged.
Since they didn’t dare say that the base would be safe, in order to prevent any accidents, Gui Jiaosan left two 13-years-old orphans, so there would be five people at their base. Basically, they would be able to deal with some ordinary accidents that could happen in the base; while the rest ten strongest people amongst them would leave for the suburbs area to hunt and sweep for food, and kill.