Chapter 165 – Mass Recruitment
Seeing that the wounds on these 8 soldiers were slowly closing and that their comrades’ conditions were stabilizing, the surrounding soldiers also heaved a sigh of relief. These men had fought besides them in countless battles. Needless to say, there were close relationships between the injured soldiers and their platoon mates.
Having seen the miraculous recovery of 8 of his subordinates, Xu Zhenggang sincerely thanked Yue Zhong.
“There is no need for thanks! Since they are my men, of course I will naturally protect their lives.” Yue Zhong replied. Looking at the rest of the soldiers crowding around these men, he asked, “All of you are the bravest soldiers I ever had the pleasure to meet! Would you like to join my team? I will give all of you the best benefits!”
Listening to Yue Zhong’s recruitment speech, many soldiers were greatly tempted. Yue Zhong did not abandon these seriously injured soldiers, and even used miraculous medicines to heal the injured. In contrast, Longhai Military group was not even willing to give these soldiers common medicine. These men were not as stubborn as Xu Zhenggang and naturally preferred to work for a caring commander than someone who regarded their lives as disposable.
Xu Zhengggang was furious at Yue Zhong’s attempt to pull his men to his side. But when he considered the injustices that his men had to go through, he could not find the heart to voice out his rage. After all, these men were as close to him as his brothers, and he also wanted the best for them.
One of the soldiers stepped forward, and looked into Xu Zhenggang’s eyes. With tears in his eyes, he exclaimed, “Platoon commander Xu, I apologise! I am no longer willing to risk my life for these bastards! Even the dogs in the Special Administrative Region have vets to take care of them when they were sick, while we soldiers who risked our lives to grab resources for these men could not even have any medical treatment when we were injured in the line of duty. We are men and have flesh and blood too, but they treated us even worse than dogs! I have no desire to work for them anymore!”
Another soldier bit down on his lips and clenched his fists. When he could endure it no longer, he also stepped out. “That’s right! We all knew that if we use items from the [System], we will be able to become stronger and evolve. But look at our men who had been fighting in battles with us! Which one of them ever had the chance to evolve? All the drops from [System] were kept by Lei Cheng. Look at the Coalition Group that were comprised of civilians. Even they have evolvers! We cannot even compare to these men!”
Indeed, in Xu Zhenggang’s platoon, not a single one of his men were equipped with any items from the [System]. Since Xu Zhenggang was not willing to follow all orders without question, the Military Commander, Lei Cheng, was very careful not to allow any [System] resources to fall in the hands of this group of men. It was apparent that he did not want this group og men to gain power.
Listening to the grievances of the two men who stepped out and stood behind Yue Zhong, one by one, more and more men stepped out and stood behind Yue Zhong’s side.
That these men were willing to follow Yue Zhong was not due to Yue Zhong’s charisma. To these men, Xu Zhenggang and Yue Zhong were equally good leaders. However, in light of the unfairness and injustice from the military and government forces, these men were pushed to stand at Yue Zhong’s side.
They were fed up of the unjust treatments that they had received from these groups of people. Previously they had no choice but to continue to endure these injustices as they were not confident of surviving alone in this post-apocalypse world. But now that they had chance to work for another faction that had promised to treat them better, they all jumped at the opportunity.
There were no doubts in their minds at all that Yue Zhong would fulfill his promise to treat them better – they had seen that Yue Zhong was willing to use some miraculous medicine to save their comrades earlier. This action already spoke volumes of the extent that Yue Zhong went to take care of his men.
“You guys!!!” Xu Zhenggang looked at the men standing behind Yue Zhong. He felt helpless – there were more than half of his men who had already moved to stand behind Yue Zhong.
Xu Zhenggang’s eyes turned bloodshot as he fiercely glared at Yue Zhong. “Yue Zhong, do you want to force all of us to serve your faction?”
Each of men still standing behind Xu Zhenggang side were alarmed. They had seen Yue Zhong’s team members in action earlier and his team indeed had the power to annihilate all of the remaining men standing behind Xu Zhenggang.
Yue Zhong just calmly replied: “I do not have that intention. But these men joined me of their own free will by stepping behind me. Once they became my men, I will not easily let anyone snatch them away.”
LongHai Survival Camp still had a massive military presence. If Yue Zhong had opted to force all the men in Xu Zhenggang platoon to join his team, LongHai survival camp would take this transgression as a reason for war.
From Yue Zhong’s perspective, even if they win the war, they will only do so with heavy losses. A war will consume a significant number of resources such as bullet, medicine and cannon ammo. Before he created a factory for producing more of these resources, he preferred to try to conserve whatever resources he had.
If it was possible to avoid a battle with mere words, he would rather not fight. But if a battle is imminent, he will not shrink from it either.
Xu Zhenggang suspiciously looked at Yue Zhong. “How do you plan to distribute the food?”
Now that the Coalition group had suffered massive loss of lives, and half of the surviving men in the Military group had joined Yue Zhong’s side, the balance of power had tipped in Yue Zhong’s favour, and Yue Zhong’s team was indisputably the strongest among them all. Xu Zhenggang was very worried about this issue. If Yue Zhong had chosen to take advantage of this chaos and rob them of their share, Xu Zhenggang would have no choice but to concede.
Yue Zhong just glanced at Xu Zhenggang and replied: “Nothing has changed from our earlier agreement. I will take 50% of any resources we find. The other 50% you divide it among your party and the Coalition. I will not interfere in this.”
Xu Zhenggang then breathed a sigh of relief, and with a bitter expression, he glanced at his former platoon men who opted to be with Yue Zhong’s group. “Leave! Get out of my sight!!”
Yue Zhong turned around and walked towards the Coalition group.
The soldiers who chose to leave saluted Xu Zhenggang for one last time. Then they gathered the 8 injured soldiers and walked towards Yue Zhong’s camp.
In the camp of the Coalition group, there were 10 men who were injured. Yue Zhong requested for the men whom he felt that he could possibility save. In this cruel post-apocalypse landscape, medicine was a rare resource. Therefore, when Yue Zhong offered to save these men in exchange for their joining his team, of course no factions within the resources will refuse. One less injured soldier to take care of means that they could save on expensive resources like medicine and food.
These injured soldiers were very thankful to Yue Zhong for agreeing to save their lives. Hence after they had recovered, almost all of them agreed to work under Yue Zhong’s banner.
In addition, 6 smaller faction leaders brought all their men with them and requested to join Yue Zhong’s team.
In LongHai Survivor Camp, the bigger factions were thriving. However, smaller factions were struggling to get by. Being a leader of a smaller faction was not something cool nor was it enviable. These faction leaders had to find various ways and means to feed their men. As their teams were small in number and relatively weak, they found it very hard to do so. That was why they were tempted by the offer of food from the military and had taken part in this joint expedition.
Of course Yue Zhong did not reject any men. As long as these men were willing to follow his rules, he was willing to accept any men. Right now, what he lacked most is manpower.
After the battle, the camp is littered with the corpses of the Mutant Rats. Many men also take these rat corpses and proceeded to roast the rats.
After the apocalypse, many men had not tasted meat for a long time. To them, the Mutant Rats corpses were very tasty treats. [Yikes!!]
The camp was soon filled with the sweet smell of roast rats. Some of the smaller teams in the Coalition group were packing the Mutant Rat corpses into the truck, and was prepared to stock up these creatures as exotic food.
After skinning and drying these rats, it is also possible to make rat meat jerky from the the meat of these corpses.
In the Military group and Yue Zhong’s group, all the men were also stocking up the corpses of these Mutant Rats. These are rare treats and a delicacy to be had!
Yue Zhong gave a command to Chen Shi Tou. “Quickly take some members with you and retrieve all the corpses the Elite Rat King’s bodyguards.”
Although the hides of these Elite Rat King’s bodyguards were inferior to that of the Water Python Snakeskin Armor, but these are also good materials for making leather armour. After all, these creatures could shrug off the impact of normal weapons and bullets, and normal zombies will not be able to break through these hides and infect his team members with the zombie virus.
Although the Water Python Snakeskin armour was much better than this ratskin hide, there is a limit to the number of armour that could be made given the limited number of snakes that Yue Zhong had encountered. At most there will be 70 sets of Snakeskin armour.
These Elite Rat King’s bodyguard skin may be slightly inferior to that of the Water Python Snakeskin armour, but the number of these creatures are not small in number. These Elite Rat King’s bodyguard hides will allow Yue Zhong to better equip his team members.
Even the fur of the Mutant Rats could be used to create clothes. Although there were many tailoring machines in Stone Horse village, there were limited number of materials that could be used to make clothes. Almost everyone else were wearing what they had worn before the apocalypse, and changes of clothes were rare.
[Wag1990 explanation: It might imply that they just haven’t created any clothes that will help them survive this apocalypse. Basically it is saying that they are wearing normal, unarmored, civilian clothing that was made before the apocalypse and provides no protection whatsoever.]