Chapter 174 – Strongman Gao [aka Gao Da Qiang]
In Yue Zhong’s base, the prisoners do not have any human rights at all. If the words of Pearl Nalan reached the ears of the Guards, even if the Guards shot him immediately, no one will say a single word.
These prisoners also have no power to object to this treatment. If they try to revolt, the type 79 assault rifles of the guards are more than enough to kill them all.
In addition, there were two heavy machine guns mounted on vehicles that were pointed at the group of prisoners.
Pearl Nalan had a stupid grin on his face as he tried to brush what he said away, “It is a careless rant!”
“Who is Strongman Gao?” a guard walked into the camp and shouted out aloud.
All the prisoners’ eyes turned to look at Strongman Gao.
Many of the prisoners who were sitting next to Strongman Gao also shifted their body as they tried to put as much distance between them and Strongman Gao as possible. Although his face turned white with fright, Pearl Nalan continued to sit next to Strongman Gao.
Strongman Gao also turned pale. He clutched his fist and slowly stood up. He was perspiring heavily, as he declared. “Me! I am Strongman Gao.”
To these prisoners, having their name called out is not a good thing. Not long ago, there were twenty plus men who were called out, and these men were all shot dead in front of the other prisoners.
The soldier looked at his journal and shouted: “Today, Strongman Gao has shown his courage in battle, and killed 7 zombies by himself. From now on, he is promoted to be a squad captain among you prisoners. The following prisoners are assigned to his squad with immediate effect: “Pearl Nalan, Tiger Wang… etc.
As a squad leader, for the period of 1 week, he will be given a piece of fish every day. We hope that he can quickly kill 30 zombies, and win back his freedom.”
Pearl Nalan’s eyes shone with happiness for his friend, as he congratulated Strongman Gao.
“Big Boss Gao! Please take care of me!”….
The 12 men assigned under his command all came forwards to offer their congratulations. From now onwards, he will be in charge of them.
Strongman Gao was stunned by the announcement and could not believe his ears. But listening to the stream of congratulatory messages from his team woke him up from his stupor. He immediately thanked the soldier. “Thank you! Thank you!!”
The soldier smiled and looked at Strongman Gao with eyes that were much warmer than the cool looks of the guards. “There is no need to thank me. I am just here to carry out Captain Yue’s orders!”
The soldier continued to list out the names of prisoners who shown promise in fighting zombies, and promoted 10 prisoners into squad leaders, and assigned team members to each squad leaders. All of these squad leaders gained the right to have 1 fish everyday as a reward for their bravery.
After announcing all the rewards, the soldier waved his hand, and several men pushed a trolley of food into the prisoner’s camp. In the food tray, in addition to rice and buns, there were several pieces of fish.
All of the prisoners looked at the fish, and their saliva dripped uncontrollably out from their mouths.
After the apocalypse, food becomes scarce. Only the top brass in LongHai city could afford to have a fish to eat. Most of the prisoners have not even taste meat after the apocalypse. Today, when they saw the freshly cooked fish and the nice aroma that accompanied the dish, their mouths could not stop watering, and they could not help staring hungrily at the fishes.
The soldier then shouted coldly, “All of you, come and get your food! You are not allowed to make any noise, and you are not allowed to jump the queue. If anyone is caught infringing these rules, you will be given 20 lashes of the whip, and double the usual workload!
After listening to the soldier’s words, the prisoners all behaved themselves. They queued up in an orderly manner to get their food. The behaviour of these prisoners was much better than their behaviour before the apocalypse.
Strongman Gao gathered a big bun, a bowl of porridge, and a steamed carp and returned to his seat.
Along the way, Strongman Gao could sense all the hungry looks of the other prisoners as they glanced at his fish. If not for the fact that there were guards manning the camp, and that he is relatively big and fierce compared to most of the men, there would be a lot of people who will attempt to snatch his fish.
Pearl Nalan took a bowl of porridge and a bun, and sat next to Strongman Gao. Like all men, he had not tasted fish for months, and with great difficulty, swallowed his saliva as he looked at the fish.
Strongman Gao placed the fish between them and said, “Pearl, come here! Let’s eat together!”
Pearl Nalan face flushed with happiness as he thanked Strongman Gao repeatedly.
Strongman Gao smiled, and picked up a piece of steamed fish. In front of the envious men, he ate the fish and savored the taste.
Although he was but a farmer before the apocalypse, he is not stupid. He understood that in order to take control of a team, he needs to take control of people’s hearts. Only then will he have people who are willing to follow his orders. If his team refused to obey him, he would be nothing but a commander in name only. Having saved Pearl Nalan’s life during the battle with the zombie and shared his fish with Pearl Nalan, Pearl Nalan is naturally willing to follow him.
“Our current population is 2786 men. Stone Horse village has 1438 men, while Big Cliff has 1348 men. Yesterday, the men managed to find another 87 survivors. …”
Inside the Stone Horse village, Guo Yu was wearing a white dress, and was reporting the status of the village to Yue Zhong.
“We are still short of men!” Sitting on the table, Yue Zhong was frowning as he seemed lost in his thoughts.
As a commoner without any government authority, it is very hard for Yue Zhong to recruit more people. Even if he use radio or T.V. to broadcast his intent to recruit more men, the number of survivors who would come to him would be very small in number. The majority of the survivors prefers to go to LongHai Survival Camp as they believe more in government officials. Although Yue Zhong had been ‘stealing’people from LongHai Survival Camp, and had tried his best to find more survivors in surrounding area, the number of people he could get is still very small in number.
Without men, he could not build a stronger army.
LongHai survival camp has more than 6,000+ survivors, and is getting more survivors everyday. This made Yue Zhong realised the power of just having a status as a government official.
“Chen Zhiguan has sent a secret message: LongHai survival camp had issued an order to prevent us from recruiting more men to build a wall in our village. They also began to build a wall around their camp.”
Yue Zhong eyebrows raised as he said: “What? Let me see the report!”
Chen Zhiguan had already become a trusted man who will provide Yue Zhong with insider information in LongHai Survivor Camp. He is a local resident in LongHai Survivor Camp, and well versed in the ways of the city. He had been assigned to help Yue Zhong recruit more men from LongHai Survivor Camp.
Most of the men in Yue Zhong’s villages were recruited from LongHai Survival Camp. By banning him from recruiting more men, Yue Zhong’s plans for expansion had been greatly affected.
“Should I forcefully attack the LongHai Survival Camp?” Yue Zhong struggled with this decision.
The presence of LongHai survival camp prevented Yue Zhong from expanding his base. Although they had worked together in the past to raid the granary, it was more like this matter was of mutual interests. Right now, it is hard to determine if LongHai survivor camp is an ally or a foe…