Chapter 41 Encephalon
Chang knew Yixuan during the “Deadly evolution” period, he was one of the chiefs who were responsible for the captain’s meals, and during this special period, he became one of the leaders of the commissariat department.
It was quite a coincidence for Chang to meet Yixuan; when Chang and his friends were cooking the snake in the kitchen a few days ago, Yixuan happened to drop by the kitchen. And because they had different reasons of coming to the kitchen, they only had a quick chat. On the same day, they decided on an agreement of exchanging food – Chang exchanged the excess snake meat for 15 pieces of hardtack.
It was a beneficial trade for both sides; Chang wanted storable food and Yixuan wanted protein. It was also a win-win exchange, although 15 pieces of hardtack weren’t usually worth the amount of snake meat that he offered to Yixuan. Chang completely understood the reason behind such depreciation – the snake meat would become inedible in two hours; it was instead a fortune for them to find someone willing to take the meat in time.
Yixuan was a kind man.
Therefore, Chang took the initiation to find Yixuan after the first exchange.
“Hey buddy, see what I got this time?” Chang walked into the kitchen and deliberately made a big smile to attempt to raise the value of his prey. “Chicken! I got a chicken! How long has it been since you had chicken? Unlike the snake, this is something we usually had before the red fog, can we exchange this for more hardtack?”
“Chicken? Great! Great!” Yixuan kept looking at the chicken in Chang’s hand, his eyes couldn’t move away from the blood dripping chicken and he praised “You are really an expert, you succeeded twice in one week! The soldiers in my troop can’t even achieve that.”
“Pure luck. How is our deal? The chicken weighs at least 25 kilograms, I can share 15 kilograms with you but I want 5 kilograms of hardtacks in return” Chang lifted the chicken to the counter and asked.
“5 kilograms? That is a little too much…although the chicken weighs over 25 kilograms, but the edible portion is way below than that. Not to mention the meat is not storable, if you want some dry food, the 2:1 ratio is not fair enough. You have to know there isn’t that many pieces of hardtacks left in the military either.” Yixuan spoke with a soft tone, he was a kind man even when he was bargaining, his attitude seemed exceptionally sincere.
However, Chang wasn’t buying it. He risked his life for this chicken, and this chicken, could keep someone alive —
“Don’t fool me, even though the hardtack is more preservable compared to the chicken, they will still grow mold eventually; it’s better to trade them with me before I regret.” Chang’s brows furrowed and made a face of the stingy businessmen he had seen in the market. He continued to argue “In the 15 kilograms of chicken I’ll give you, at least more than 12 kilograms are edible. I believe, you do understand that consuming protein will help you regain strength faster than those who had plants and vegetables only. This is how powerful protein is!”
“Besides, don’t tell me bullsh*t like chicken meat is not preservable; there are more than a thousand soldiers in this base, 15 kilograms is far from enough to feed these people. So telling me how chicken is not storable is total nonsense to me, this deal is beneficial to you in any ways. No bargain!”
“Well, well.” Yixuan looked at the chicken, he grinned. ”Forget about it, I can give you this amount of hardtack only for the sake of chicken. Give me a minute.”
As he was talking, he left the kitchen. And at the same time, Jing with Qing Shui and Pangzi showed up at the door.
“Jing told us that you guys got a chicken today.” Qing Shui ‘s attention was directed to the chicken on the counter “What are you going to do with it?”
“I am trading part of it for hardtack and we’ll eat the rest, just like what we did last time.” Chang answered.
“I see” Qing Shui nodded.
They all knew what was going to happen, so Qing Shui and Pangzi boiled a big pot of water and quietly waited for that person to come.
About 10 minutes later – Yixuan came back with a small box of hardtacks, he beamed broadly to the people in the kitchen and subsequently took away the pot of hot water. He began to bleed the chicken and remove its feathers.
Once all that was done, he put the chicken on the scale and sliced off the portion they agreed on.
“Oh right, the captains questioned me when I went to pick up the crackers. I answered them truthfully and they seemed to be interested in you guys. They had your files and records; did you trade with them before? So this is not the first or second time you had meat. They asked me to inform you that they sincerely hope that you can join the army, to teach the soldiers the methods of hunting.” Yixuan put the chicken meat in a black plastic bag unhurriedly and continued “They also said, if any one of you had encephalon mutation—funny that they called these people abiliters, they can send you to the province capital. Our base had contacted the central army in the capital in the last two days and they seemed to interested in those abiliters particularly. They said the central army will provide safe shelter and sufficient food if you are an abiliter.”
Yixuan said so as if it was a routine, he waved to Chang, “These are all they asked me to tell you, but don’t take it too seriously. I know people who had encephalon mutation are extremely rare, and we only have one in our base. So, focus more on improving your efficiency on hunting instead of this irrelevant information.”
Yixuan didn’t seem to want to stay in the kitchen any longer. He turned away with the chicken and left them standing thoughtfully.
Chang searched for the term quietly in his mind and glanced at Jing and Qing Shui. Jing could sense the aura of living organisms in the external world and transform it into an index; Qing Shui had powerful memorization and analyzing abilities. In that sense, they definitely had encephalon mutation.
“We should prepare dinner now, let’s forget about what he just said!” Qing Shui interrupted everybody with a high, clear voice “We should celebrate for every meal with meat, the moment is precious and no one could ruin the vibe.”
“Yes! Yes” Pangzi laughed “We should be glad that we are still alive, and we are living better than most of the people here. Since the news has nothing to do with us, why bother thinking?”
Pangzi glimpsed at Jing while he was speaking.
And Jing noticed his glance, she murmured to Chang “I don’t want to go to anywhere else.”, then she tugged at Chang’s shirt and kept silent.
Only Lin, she looked at Qing Shui, then she looked at Jing, but she didn’t say anything either.
Fortunately, it was just a brief silence, the five became active again when Pangzi shouted “Food is ready!”. It seemed the fragrant of meat distracted everyone, Chang smiled and patted on Jing’s head. They had a big pot of chicken stew.
After a full meal, Chang looked up at the ceiling, enjoying the aftertaste of the chicken stew. Qing Shui hunkered down to the small box of hardtacks and was checking the packaging of the crackers.
“Indeed, it seems like they won’t last for long.” Qing Shui threw a pack of hardtack to Chang while he spoke “You have a sensitive nose; tell me, does it smell like mold? Even just a bit.”
^I made up two unique terms in this chapters that would likely to appear in rest of the book, but I am not sure if those make sense, feel free to correct me if I made a mistake. The original Chinese term for one of them was even hard for me to understand, it basically means brain mutation but apparently it means more than that after I read half of the book; so I substituted with the greek version of the word “brain” (now is encephalon mutation) and hopefully no one would understand it either so I can explain this term later when it makes sense to me….
And the other is abiliter/abilitor (ability + er/or) it means person with special ability and the ability is gained from encephalon mutation or other external sources (will mention in the future chapters). Hopefully it doesn’t sound too stupid ‘cause I don’t want to use mutant as that gave me a strong impression of x men. Just chose whichever (-er or -or) sounds cooler to you, or if you have a better term for it, please let me know, as I will use the term for the rest of the book. Thank you in advance!
- Miso Soup