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Chapter 168: Materials
Seeing the warmth and happiness between Old Frank and the two sisters, Zhang Xiang Qiang was unwilling to disrupt them. It was a hard to come by scene ever since the apocalypse happened, Zhang Xiao Qiang's eyes moistened slightly. In his heart, he felt that it was right for the two siblings to follow Old Frank, Old Frank truly cared and loved them, he never brought any anger from work back to them and allowed them to experience the warmth of a family once more.
The elder sister had sharp eyes, upon seeing Zhang Xiao Qiang standing in the distance, she pulled her sister and nodded towards Zhang Xiao Qiang before leaving. Old Frank received the young lady's heads-up and saw Zhang Xiao Qiang. He walked over and laughed out loud awkwardly, he had the ability to vent his anger at anyone, except for Zhang Xiao Qiang. To him, Zhang Xiao Qiang was a benefactor, a great benefactor.
Seeing his cautious and meek expression, Zhang Xiao Qiang laughed. He patted Old Frank's shoulder to tell him to be at ease, he casually asked about Old Frank's past…..
Old Frank lost his parents at a very young age and followed his elder brother who was 8 years older than him. The two of them lived together by collecting scrapes inside a small county town for close to a decade. From a very young age, Old Frank was already skilled with his small hands. He constantly took home old family electronics and slowly tinkered with them and was actually able to fix them close to perfection. He relied on all of these and his dilapidated home to make a second-hand electronic shop. The two of them lived rather well, and his elder brother even prepared to marry in the following year.
The house they lived in was passed down by their parents and was close to the main street. A man who opened restaurants wanted to buy their home as it was right beside his shop, this way, his restaurant would potentially be expanded by twice its original size. Old Frank and his brother were unwilling to sell their house for it was the only valuable inheritance they obtained from their parents and they could even hand it over to their future generations. Who would have imagined that the man was the younger brother-in-law of one of the county's public security bureau chief? This man was also a wicked and domineering boss that relied on his brother-in-law's means and contacts. He directly sent people to beat Old Frank's brother up and chased them out of the house and forced an agreed contract to sell the house on his elder brother, forcing him to sign with his handprint.
Old Frank was not harmed, but the neighbors warned them that the man could not be provoked. Old Frank took 5000 dollars and carried his elder brother and found an abandoned home to take shelter. His elder brother was injured but unwilling to go to the hospital. Who would have known that the fiancee that the elder brother was going to marry actually sent someone to call off the marriage? In that anger and weakness, he spat out blood and became died. Old Frank knew that his elder brother had painstakingly saved up and gave away 3000 dollars of betrothal money, but Old Frank was a patient man who remembered grievances and favors. He waited inside the county for his opportunity, and also used the remainder of his money to purchase a secondhand motorbike and learned to ride it.
On the first day of operation after the people who had hurt his brother had completed renovations, Old Frank brought iron chains and locked the front and back doors of the shop and poured gasoline all over and lit the place on fire. But as a kind person, he called his neighbors for help to put out the fire. By midnight, due to their prompt actions, only the restaurant was burnt.
After everything, he rode his motorcycle out with his brother's ashes and left the town he grew up in. The life he lived outside was extremely challenging and he had no choice but to use the lockpicking skills he gained from the people of his old town to form small groups that robbed and stole. They moved all around the place and committed crimes all over for a good decade. In the end, all of them entered the same prison, where they were situated at when the virus broke out.
After listening to Old Frank's story, Zhang Xiao Qiang sighed. It must not be easy for him, Old Frank is a kind man, if it had happened to me, I would have hacked them all to death.
"How long can the materials last? What are we lacking?" Zhang Xiao Qiang asked the main issue that he had sought Old Frank for. Old Frank lowered his head and started to calculate…. "Brother Cockroach, basically we are lacking in everything. The ones that we are lacking the most are still the reinforced steel bars, cement, sand, and stones. There's still a surplus with the prefabricated boards and bricks you found, but we have less than a 100 bags of cement now. If we were to put in all effort, by tomorrow afternoon, we will be forced to stop work. We don't even have any reinforced steel bars left, Wang Le have been busy the entire day until now and besides drinking and eating, the rest of his time was used to create makeshift soil reinforced bars, can you see if you can lessen the number of reinforced steel bars?"
Zhang Xiao Qiang waved his hand, he was afraid that even after increasing the number of reinforced steel bars requirement, it would still not be enough, how could he lessen the number? It was a planned 4m tall wall with sandbags to increase the height to 6m, the original plan for the bars was for the wall and the foundation of the base. But before the perimeter walls have even taken form and the foundations had barely started burying the bars, they had already encountered this issue. If they did not form a strong foundation, how could they face dangers in the future with the paper-weak walls?
"Should we go to the small town to take a look?" Upon thinking about the two sisters, Zhang Xiao Qiang recalled the scene of the town, but it did not possess any construction projects, the market of the town had also been ransacked by him. Basically, the small town never had the need for such materials, so they never sold such things except for more pipes and lighting.
Zhang Xiao Qiang expanded his search range and thought about the expressway flyover past the small town….
A fleet of vehicles slowly closed in from the distance with a large and heavy truck that possessed M1919A6 air-cooled heavy machine gun installed on the roof in the lead.
The straight-barrel of the gun and its components were installed on a pitch-black base, the black muzzle aimed straight ahead with a 250 bullets bandolier that shone under the sunlight. One heavy machine gun was managed by two people, one to hold the gun handle and direct the bullets while the other held onto the bandolier to straighten it and maintained a smooth transfer of bullets.
10 large trucks took the lead, the first 3 trucks were all equipped with a set of heavy machine gun each. Each gun team consisted of a man and a woman. Due to the lack of manpower, Zhang Xiao Qiang conducted a quick training for three braver women and brought them along for the mission to the expressway. On this day, Zhang Xiao Qiang brought out all of his investments. Old Frank, Three, Lu Wen Yi, Zhang Huai An, all of them were present. All of the men in the base had moved out along in the vehicles and besides the crippled He Wen Bin in the base, Yuan Yi who could not do excessive movements, a few ladies stayed in the base as guards. Zhang Xiao Qiang even brought the chef along to help.
When they saw the expressway in the distance closing in, the fleet of vehicles slowed down. The closer they got, the more majestic it was. The thick and large pressurized beams reached great heights of 450m, following across the expressway were many makeshift shelters made out of tarpaulins, piles after piles of rusted reinforced steel bars and building materials laid across the ground, yellow sandy hills could be seen all over, with yellow sand scattered all over the ground forming what looked like a sandy shore. There were also hills formed out of shattered rocks, various construction vehicles and tools caused Zhang Xiao Qiang's eyes to be filled with envy. He looked at them covetously, but Old Frank beside him became even more agitated. By the side of the roads were large billboards that had large and striking red words drawn by red paint,