Once the lively atmosphere of New Year’s Eve had passed, the base immediately entered into a more intense phase of production and construction.
Now, the resources and personnel at the base are not yet sufficient for them to sit back and relax, and every moment must be utilized. The farming department, which is responsible by Ji Cha, is the most crucial, as without enough food and clothing, nothing else can be achieved.
Ji Cha got up early, but he was not the first to arrive at the workplace. Zhao Tiankuo had already arrived early with several technicians.
Under natural conditions, there is almost nothing that can be grown at this time, and it would be troublesome to try. However, with the use of greenhouse technology, as well as considering the short planting period and cold tolerance of many vegetables, it is entirely possible to grow some edible vegetables.
There was previously a problem that had been looming over the farm, which was the degradation of critical seeds. Seeds that could be bought from stores before the apocalypse were mostly for one-time use, and the seeds grown from the fruits of commercial seeds would inevitably experience degradation. However, Zhao Tiankuo suddenly gave Ji Cha some good news: “Two technicians who used to work in this field came by yesterday, and with our current seed inventory, there’s no need to worry about running out of seeds before we achieve results.”
“That’s great!” Ji Cha’s mood immediately brightened. “I also kept many carefully selected seeds on my end. The previous batch of seeds that I used for planting did not show significant degradation, so this can also be a backup plan.”
With the first batch of vegetables planted and harvested after the new year, the cafeteria is now able to serve vegetables every day. With the arrival of spring, the planting of various grains has also begun, and the farm has officially become the busiest area outside of various construction projects.
But what makes Ji Cha the happiest is the successful management of the livestock. The chicks have now been sent to market, providing meat for the cafeteria for several days. The remaining young chicks have also accumulated in number. The employees who initially needed Ji Cha’s guidance to do their jobs have now become proficient, which has also lightened Ji Cha’s load.
The speed at which the rabbits give birth is also astonishing, just as expected by Ji Cha. Now, the original breeding rabbits have already produced three times, and the first batch of baby rabbits have also begun to show signs of sexual maturity. With over 200 baby rabbits, Ji Cha kept most of the female rabbits, while the others were sent to the cafeteria. Their fur was kept and sent to the production and textile area being built in the base.
However, the current prosperity did not completely relieve the pressure in Ji Cha’s heart. After all, even a small disaster at this time could ruin the harvest.
Unexpectedly, the outbreak of disease and pests did not wait, but other problems arose.
At the end of March, the weather gradually began to warm up. Since everything was stable, Ji Cha could stay at home for half a day without running around. However, just as he finished his lunch, a technician rushed over from the farm, with a worried expression, and told Ji Cha, “Xiao Ji, there’s a problem in the vegetable area.”
Translated on ho lo lo novels dot com.
Ji Cha immediately put down his bowl and, riding on a small electric donkey with the technician, rushed to the vegetable area.
To say that there was a problem, it could be big or small. A few days ago, after the newly planted seeds had sprouted, a mutation was found in a corner of the green vegetables. Not only did its color become withered and yellow, its body also became very plump, and it began to feed on the surrounding vegetables.
“Damn, this is so strange. It can even grow a mouth to eat its own kind?” Zhao Tiankuo squatted on the side, staring in shock.
Ji Cha had experience with this. During the last apocalypse, the farm also experienced this phenomenon. He quickly pulled Zhao Tiankuo away, “Don’t get too close.”
As soon as he finished speaking, a leaf was thrown at the spot where Zhao Tiankuo was squatting. The seemingly soft leaf was deeply embedded in the soil.
Zhao Tiankuo was so scared that he sat on the ground, not daring to stand too close.
“Deal with these mutated vegetables first, and quickly patrol the other greenhouses to see if there are any similar situations,” Ji Cha frowned, “burn them with fire, don’t touch them with your hands. Don’t plant anything in this area for a month.”
The workers below quickly followed his instructions. When the flamethrower was activated, the originally yellowed vegetables suddenly stood up, shedding their weak disguise, and their leaves flickered as if to catch the flames. Unfortunately, they were ultimately burned to ashes.
“Use a shovel to dig out the roots below and burn them clean, don’t leave anything behind.”
Ji Cha’s thoroughness had a reason. When the workers dug out the roots with a hoe, they found that they were still wriggling. The sight made many of them nauseous and turned away.
After dealing with this greenhouse, the farm area became tense for the next few days, and each greenhouse was patrolled more closely.
Although there was such a mutation, timely control prevented any major losses. Ji Cha wasn’t too worried because mutations in the post-apocalyptic world could go either way. The mutation of the vegetables was negative, but trees like apple trees in a backyard could mutate positively. If they could obtain positive mutations and make use of them, it might help to solve part of the food problem.
Therefore, Ji Cha began to pay special attention to avoid hastily eating any positively mutated crops before the harvest.
After patrolling the vegetable area for five days, Ji Cha finally discovered something different. In the greenhouse next to the one with negative mutations, there was a small patch of vegetables growing particularly rapidly. They looked lush and vigorous.
“This one is twenty days old, and theoretically it should only be one-third this size, with leaves and stems not as well-hydrated. “
” It’s almost as big as the fully grown ones,” said Ji Cha, squatting down to touch the leaves. There was nothing unusual on the surface of the plant, and it felt no different from a normal cabbage, but the difference was clear. “Has this ever happened before?” he asked, looking up.
The worker replied, “Yes, it has happened before. Some plants grow much larger than they should, up to 60 centimeters instead of the usual 20, but it’s rare, so we didn’t think much of it. We just sent them all to the canteen, and there were usually a few in each batch.”
“Okay,” Ji Cha said, now having an idea. “Next time you see something like this, don’t harvest it. Save it for seed.”
“Got it,” the worker nodded.
Ji Cha finished his busy day and returned home, sitting on the sofa and rubbing his eyes.
Grandma Ji walked out of the kitchen and lightly patted his hand. “Have you washed your hands? Don’t rub your eyes, or they’ll start to hurt later.”
Ji Cha sniffed and smelled the fragrance coming from the kitchen. “What are we having for dinner tonight, Grandma?”
Zhang Qinqin smiled and peeked her head out from the kitchen, “Braised rabbit meat is the main course.”
Xiao sat on a small stool at the kitchen door, looking at picture books with a serious expression.
Ji Cha couldn’t help but smile when his phone buzzed twice in his arms. He quickly took it out and looked at it, but was somewhat disappointed.
The message was just an internal notification sent by the base, not from Liang Jincheng that Ji Cha had originally anticipated.
Liang Jincheng had been out for two days now, and the last time he had contacted Ji Cha was last night. The signal station at the base could only provide short-distance signal communication, and contact would naturally be lost after walking a certain distance away. Although Liang Jincheng’s recent departures from the base had become more frequent and he stayed away for longer periods of time, Ji Cha still couldn’t get used to it. Although the base was always considered peaceful, Ji Cha was well aware of the stormy and crisis-ridden world outside.
No matter how strong Liang Jincheng’s combat ability was, he could be threatened with his life every minute and every second outside.
The sky gradually darkened. A team of ability users was resting in a sleeper car a hundred kilometers away from the base.
After the car was refitted to increase its external strength and its interior was large enough to accommodate twelve adults, Liang Jincheng lay at the bottom of the first layer, pinching his phone and looking at the message he had exchanged with Ji Cha yesterday. After reading it a few times, he couldn’t help but click on Ji Cha’s photo, from when they were in college until the one he had secretly taken before leaving this time.
“Boss, are you missing your wife?” Qin Shuang, who was on the top bunk, poked her head out and said with a smile, “Why don’t you bring *them along next time, so you don’t have to look at your phone all day long.”
*T/N: In Chinese, there’re no distinct pronouns between genders. It’s they, them; no he, she, him, her.
“Hahaha, how can the boss bear to make his beloved suffer outside?” someone else laughed.
Liang Jincheng didn’t mind their little jokes. He sat up and suddenly everyone stopped talking and listened together.
“Someone’s coming,” Qin Shuang put away her smiling face and reached for her weapon under the pillow.
After the car had turned off, it was mostly camouflaged in the trees, and there weren’t many footsteps, only about a dozen. For ability users, this number was completely stress-free, let alone a dozen ability users together.
“Everyone in the car, get out!” A low voice came from outside immediately.
Liang Jincheng looked out through the one-way glass. A group of young to middle-aged men were coming. From their clothes, it seemed they were doing alright, proving they weren’t struggling to survive. At a time like this, it would be difficult for just a small team of a dozen or so people to survive like this. This only further suggests that they might have larger forces behind them.
It’s not surprising that there are other bases outside of S city base, but whether they are friend or foe, one must be cautious. Liang Jincheng put his phone back under his pillow and put his knife and gun into the leather bag at his waist.