The First Order Chapter 83
Chapter 83: A peculiar child
Ren Xiaosu looked at the disintegrated packs of cigarettes and felt a pain in his heart. Based on the selling price of 20 yuan per cigarette at Wang Fugui's store, how much would the cigarettes in this shop be worth?
Moreover, Ren Xiaosu had estimated there to be at least five tobacco and liquor stores on this street.
Ren Xiaosu converted the prices and felt that humans from before The Cataclysm were really rich.
In his haste, Ren Xiaosu did not realize that tobacco was actually not a scarce commodity before The Cataclysm. He turned around and looked at the bottles of liquor that were placed on the shelves against the wall. As they were not sealed in plastic packaging, the liquor was gone. All the bottles here were empty.
It seemed that some of the liquor bottles had been scattered onto the ground and were in pieces, probably due to earthquakes, while some were still standing on the shelves. But when Ren Xiaosu opened one of the bottles, he found that the liquor in it had disappeared.
He wondered how long it had been since The Cataclysm happened. The liquor in the bottle had completely vaporized.
Ren Xiaosu grumbled, "Didn't the wineries in the past know how to seal bottles better?!"
He refused to believe this as he took another well-preserved bottle and shook it. However, the liquor in the bottle was also gone without an exception.
In fact, this kind of liquor needed to be processed with a specialized technology if it were to be preserved, such as sealing the bottle with wax. Otherwise, it wouldn't be uncommon for only half a bottle of liquor to be left after 50 years of storage.
These days, the most expensive things in town were cigarettes, liquor, and medicine. Especially alcohol, which was banned. The townspeople were even more attracted to it. The more something was prohibited, the more valuable it became.
When Ren Xiaosu saw these shops initially, he thought that he had found a huge treasure trove. But now, he realized that his thoughts were pure fantasy.
The Cataclysm was like a gigantic sword that cut between the old and new civilizations. Ren Xiaosu thought that if both the tobacco and liquor products he found were already like this, there would be even less of a need to mention the medicine.
Earlier, he was thinking of checking out a pharmacy if he saw one. But now, it seemed like there was no need for that anymore.
Ren Xiaosu started thinking seriously as he walked out onto the street. Was there anything that did not have a shelf life? Or rather, something that could last for over a hundred years?
He suddenly saw the name of a shop next to him called "Family Planning & Healthcare," but he did not go in. After all, in his opinion, it should just be a shop selling healthcare products. But what healthcare products could be kept that long?
He felt reassured when he saw that the Qing Consortium's people had not shifted their attention over to his side yet. Ren Xiaosu could still hear gunshots coming from the outer perimeter. He wondered if that Experimental was really that powerful.
But all of a sudden, he thought of something. 'Aren't metals able to last hundreds of years without decomposing?'
Ren Xiaosu whipped his head around. He had heard from Wang Fugui before that there were jewelry shops inside the stronghold. In that case, there must also be jewelry shops in a city as large as this!
Ren Xiaosu, a little downtrodden before this, had his morale lifted again!
Gold was still a hard currency even in these times. Ren Xiaosu had asked Zhang Jinglin why gold was still needed as a hard currency after the Qing Consortium's bank had issued its own currency.
Zhang Jinglin smiled and answered, "Because it's not only the Qing Consortium that has issued their own currency. Perhaps that currency is usable within the Qing Consortium's territories, but it'll be useless once you go to another stronghold that's not controlled by them. At that time, there's a need for something that can be conveniently measured and valued to replace your paper money."
In fact, the corporations used currency as a method to control the various strongholds. They allowed people to get used to the convenience of using paper money, but they had the final say in how much currency was issued.
This was the real lifeline of the economy and one of the fundamentals of a corporation.
However, Zhang Jinglin explained, "Because of the currency circulation problem, several consortiums have come together to form the Monetary Management Committee. Everyone has strict regulations on the issuance of money so that there will be no chaos in the world. They are all on friendly terms at the moment, but who can guarantee that it'll remain the same?"
When Ren Xiaosu remembered Zhang Jinglin's words, the more he felt that Zhang Jinglin was no ordinary person. No one knew where the school teacher came from, and he had lived in the town outside of Stronghold 113 for many years.
Ren Xiaosu decided he would carefully watch Zhang Jinglin after he got back to town.
He started exploring further up in front away from the Qing Consortium's people as he tried to find the existence of any jewelry shops or the like. If there were any jewelry shops still standing, wouldn't he become rich?
In the backyard of the school in town, Zhang Jinglin had just returned after a day of lessons. He saw Yan Liuyuan, who had already stepped out of his room and was basking in the sun. He smiled and said, "Have you fully recovered?"
"Yes." Yan Liuyuan nodded as he smiled and said, "Teacher, Big Sister Xiaoyu, thank you for taking care of me in this period of time."
Yan Liuyuan was in a fantastic mood at this moment. It was not because of recovering from illness, but that he knew why it had not deteriorated. This meant Ren Xiaosu did not need to depend on much of Yan Liuyuan's "luck" so far. In other words, Ren Xiaosu had not encountered any real danger.
At this moment, Xiaoyu came in from outside the school, holding a basket. When she saw Yan Liuyuan, she said in surprise, "Liuyuan, have you fully recovered already? Go into your room. Don't catch a cold."
Yan Liuyuan looked adorably cute as he smiled and said, "Big Sister Xiaoyu, I'm fine. You can rest easy now. What are we having for dinner?"
"I'll fry some eggs and vegetables for you two." Xiaoyu smiled and said, "I went to town earlier and bought some fatty meat. I can use it as an oil substitute for frying the dishes so that you two can have a taste of meat."
"Alright," Yan Liuyuan responded. But as he walked out of the yard, he said, "I'm going out for a while and will be back before sunset!"
Xiaoyu was about to stop him, but when she turned around, Yan Liuyuan had already disappeared.
As she waited in worry at the gated entrance to the school, Zhang Jinglin thought to himself, 'Weren't you getting ready to cook just now? How much longer are you going to wait there?' However, he was too embarrassed to say anything.
To Zhang Jinglin, the two brothers were not people who would easily end up on the losing side. When they were out on the streets, it should be other people who had to worry.
Just a moment ago, Zhang Jinglin clearly saw Yan Liuyuan taking a kitchen knife and hiding it within his bosom. Whose child would bring a kitchen knife with them when they went out? Would this be the behavior of a decent kid?
But Yan Liuyuan really did return before dark. Both Zhang Jinglin and Xiaoyu did not know where he had gone. When they asked him, he did not say anything and smiled before changing the subject.
There were three rooms in the backyard of the school, but one of them was used as the kitchen. Of the remaining two, one was Zhang Jinglin's room while the other was occupied by Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu.
In the evening, Xiaoyu would make the bed for Yan Liuyuan while she laid on the bedroll and slept on the floor. As it was almost winter now, the floor was freezing. However, Xiaoyu never said anything about it.
After turning off the kerosene lamp, Xiaoyu suddenly asked Yan Liuyuan, "Do you think your brother is safe?"
Yan Liuyuan said with a smile, "Don't worry, he's definitely safe."
Xiaoyu was stunned. She did not understand why Yan Liuyuan was so confident.
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