The First Order – Chapter 165


In reality, Ren Xiaosu did not mean to slap Luo Lan’s forehead. His intention was just to open a Shadow Door next to Luo Lan and pull him to a stop. After all, they had a good relationship going. Moreover, Ren Xiaosu also felt a vague sense of respect for Luo Lan and his soldiers. Even though he wanted to save Xu Xianchu, Ren Xiaosu did not want to cause them too much trouble.

It was purely just a slip of the hand that he slapped Luo Lan’s forehead. It was because he still didn’t have full control of the Shadow Door.

However, it was wonderful that it made Luo Lan think it was Luo Xinyu who did it. This girl and Yang Xiaojin had already sabotaged him so many times in the past. If Ren Xiaosu could make the Qing Consortium pay more attention to them, he really would not mind slapping Luo Lan’s forehead a few more times.

Ren Xiaosu kept closing and reopening the Shadow Door. In an instant, the Qing Consortium’s troops felt insecure. They were all afraid the Shadow Door would suddenly open next to them.

All of a sudden, the mysterious Shadow Door caused the Qing Consortium’s troops to fall into disarray. All of them were left wondering where the hand would appear next!

But it wasn’t only them who thought this way. Even Ren Xiaosu himself was unsure of where the Shadow Door would open next.

Ren Xiaosu sighed. By not even knowing where the Shadow Door would appear, he had achieved the highest realm of mystery!

The Shadow Door superpower was really useful since it was impossible to defend against.

In fact, even if Luo Xinyu, who was the originator of the power, used it, she might not be able to use it as effectively as Ren Xiaosu, because she could not open the door as many times as he could. As such, she had always used Shadow Door sparingly.

But Ren Xiaosu did not know that. He thought Shadow Door would not tap into his willpower at all.

Tang Zhou looked at Luo Lan and asked, “Boss, what should we do now?”

Luo Lan said resentfully, “Did you see that? We’re at a huge disadvantage without a supernatural being on our side. Why are all of you so weak? Shouldn’t at least one of you have had your superpowers awakened?”

Tang Zhou replied, “Yes, yes, we’ll try our best to do so…”

Although Luo Lan was disgusted by them, nobody minded it. Boss Luo had always been a jerk anyway.

Luo Lan sighed. “Let’s retreat for now. If we continue chasing him, who knows if monsters might start appearing as well.”

“Boss,” Tang Zhou wondered, “is Xu Xianchu a member of the Saboteurs as well? Why did Luo Xinyu suddenly appear the moment we started pursuing him?”

“That’s impossible,” Luo Lan refuted. “Seeing how pathetic Xu Xianchu looked just now, he’s definitely not a member of the Saboteurs.”

“That’s true.” Tang Zhou nodded.

Ren Xiaosu finally felt relieved when he saw Luo Lan and his men giving up the chase. As long as Xu Xianchu did not get caught by them, everything else would be easy to handle. He glanced in the direction Xu Xianchu had escaped and carefully considered things for a moment before chasing after him.

Ren Xiaosu still felt a little bad for making Xu Xianchu the scapegoat when he was in the Jing Mountains. After all, Xu Xianchu had become the Qing Consortium’s most wanted criminal without even offending anyone. Although Ren Xiaosu had been forced to do so, it did not mean he felt good about it.

Xu Xianchu would have to continue taking the blame, but Ren Xiaosu should still repay him for being the scapegoat, right?

Ren Xiaosu kept looking out for Xu Xianchu’s whereabouts as he made his way forward on the roofs. When he spotted Xu Xianchu, he was surprised to find him hiding on the rooftop of a ranch-style house and gasping for breath. He looked utterly exhausted.

He whisper shouted, “Xu Xianchu!”

Xu Xianchu sprang to his feet and put his guard up. Ren Xiaosu quickly said, “It’s me! Ren Xiaosu!”

Xu Xianchu was stupefied. Then he looked like he had met a family member again. “Ren Xiaosu, what are you doing here!”

“Um, it’s a long story. Stronghold 113 collapsed not long after I got back there, so I had no choice but to flee here.” Ren Xiaosu jumped over to the roof Xu Xianchu was on and asked, “Why did you come here too?”

“Don’t bring it up.” Xu Xianchu said miserably, “I planned to go to Stronghold 112 at first, but that place collapsed as well. Then I headed to Stronghold 111 only to discover the Qing Consortium had already marked me as a most wanted fugitive.”

In fact, Ren Xiaosu felt a bond of friendship when he saw Xu Xianchu. After all, they had traveled together while they were in the Jing Mountains. Although their time spent together was very short, the adversity they went through got them to know each other better and deepened their relationship.

He said to Xu Xianchu, “So you fled here from Stronghold 111? But how did you bump into Luo Lan?”

Xu Xianchu was speechless. “I was hiding in a smuggler’s truck that just so happened to be used by that Fatty Luo to traffic firearms. Eh, were those firearms brought here to deal with you?! I didn’t expect Luo Lan would actually come here just to arrest you. You should be careful. He’s brought in a lot of firearms!”

From Xu Xianchu’s perspective, he would not know why Luo Lan had brought so many firearms into the stronghold. Since Stronghold 113 had collapsed, Luo Lan, as a member of the Qing Consortium, should have returned to Stronghold 111.

Xu Xianchu was unaware that Luo Lan couldn’t return to the Qing Consortium for now. He would be placed under house arrest like Qing Zhen if he returned there.

Xu Xianchu was also unaware of how great a mess Luo Lan had already caused in Stronghold 109, as well as how he was preparing to deal with the remaining people from the Pyro Company who were still hiding in the stronghold.

He had overheard Luo Lan cursing at Luo Xinyu, so he kind of knew it was probably because of Luo Xinyu that he managed to escape so easily. Before this, Xu Xianchu did not know Luo Xinyu was also a supernatural being. After all, he did not go into the Qing Consortium’s perimeter in the Jing Mountains. But now he realized Luo Xinyu might not be that easy to figure out either.

So Xu Xianchu thought Luo Lan had smuggled in the firearms so he could arrest Ren Xiaosu and Luo Xinyu with them.

Worried, Xu Xianchu said, “It must’ve been hard for y’all to escape the pursuit of the Qing Consortium, right?”

Ren Xiaosu said calmly, “Yeah, it was really difficult….”

“Why do you think the Qing Consortium is sparing no effort to pursue us?” Xu Xianchu brought up the biggest question weighing on his mind.

Ren Xiaosu reacted with a strange expression. “I’m not sure either….”

Now, Xu Xianchu took out half a loaf of cornbread and asked, “Are you hungry?”

For some reason, Ren Xiaosu choked up with emotion. “I’m not hungry. Xu Xianchu, you’re a good guy.”

In that instant, Ren Xiaosu even thought of surrendering himself to the Qing Consortium. He took out a letter and a stack of money from his pocket. “Take this with you.”

Xu Xianchu was taken aback. “What’s this?”

“There’s 5,000 yuan here and a letter.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Take this letter to Stronghold 178 and look for a man named Zhang Jinglin. He’ll see to your future prospects.”

This was something Zhang Jinglin had promised Ren Xiaosu. But now Ren Xiaosu was going to give it to Xu Xianchu.

When he thought about Mr. Zhang, Ren Xiaosu felt that a person like Xu Xianchu would definitely have a chance to shine when he got to the Northern Frontier.

In the first place, Ren Xiaosu’s group did not have much money to speak of. Although their business was slowly getting on track, they had not really made much.

Although he had smelted quite a few gold bars, he could not give them to Xu Xianchu. Otherwise… Xu Xianchu would guess what had happened…

Xu Xianchu asked, “Stronghold 178? I was just thinking of trying my luck there. Although I don’t know who Zhang Jinglin is, let me thank you in advance! Ren Xiaosu, you’re a good guy!”

“Gratitude received from Xu Xianchu, +1!”

When Ren Xiaosu saw the gratitude token, he got mixed feelings.

But at this moment, a few dark figures on a roof were slowly approaching them in the distance. Ren Xiaosu looked around and was surprised to find that they had already been surrounded by those people. However, he had never come across any of them before.

When those people got closer, Ren Xiaosu noticed the logo of a small flame on the bosom of their shirts.



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The First Order – Chapter 163


All of the Qing Consortium’s executives were talking and laughing in the conference room a moment ago. But now, all of them fell silent.

Qing Huai was considered the best candidate of the middle generation to lead soldiers into battles. The troops under him were also more elite. Everyone had thought the 7th Combat Brigade would definitely head into Stronghold 113 and eliminate the Experimentals. But they did not expect there to be bad news coming back from the front line before the meeting was even over.

“How could the 7th Combat Brigade, made up of several thousand people, get ambushed by a few hundred Experimentals?” someone wondered. “Could this information be false? We all know the 7th Combat Brigade is equipped with the best gear, and its combat capability is the strongest as well.”

Naturally, the person who spoke knew the most powerful units in the Qing Consortium had been the 5th Combat Brigade under Qing Zhen and the 6th Combat Brigade under Luo Lan. But those brigades didn’t exist anymore.

The 5th Combat Brigade had already been disbanded, and all of their soldiers had been separated and reassigned to other brigades, whereas the 6th Combat Brigade had perished in the earthquake.

In reality, everyone had been reluctant to make a move on Qing Zhen because he and Luo Lan each possessed a relatively stronger military force that they dreaded. But now that something had happened to Luo Lan, Qing Zhen would be left to fend for himself.

However, they were unaware that not all of Luo Lan’s soldiers had perished in the disaster at Stronghold 113. The earthquake only split the military base in two, forcibly separating the combat troops and making it impossible for them to join up with the other.

At present, the displacement in the ground that stretched from the Jing Mountains was known as the Stair of the Jing Mountains. It was as though the stairs had been forcefully squeezed out of the ground like a crease in the plains.

It was almost foreseeable that this place would become a new mountain range within the next few centuries or millennia.

But the Qing Consortium would not give up on this place until they discovered new coal mines.

That elder in the conference room calmly said, “The number of Experimentals has exceeded our estimation. There are probably close to a thousand of them. When Qing Huai and his men were setting up camp, the Experimentals attacked them with lightning speed. Qing Huai hadn’t expected that the Experimentals would initiate the attack. Right now, I suspect that a new life form has emerged from the hordes of Experimentals… one that has intelligence.”

“It seems Stronghold 113 has become their lair.” Someone sighed. “Why don’t we get Qing Zhen to deal with those Experimentals? He’s a veteran, after all.”

When the elder looked at the person who suggested that, a kind of inexplicable pressure descended on the conference room. The elder said, “Qing Yun, take the 1st Combat Brigade with you. How can the will of the organization compromise with an individual? From today onwards, Qing Zhen is not allowed to take a single step out of his villa.”

The other executives in the conference room began to have their own considerations. Qing Zhen had proven his capabilities to the organization over the years. But with the will of the organization changed, this capable young man could only end up a dignified prisoner.

But they felt that if Qing Zhen had been the one sent to Stronghold 113, the outcome of the mission would be completely different.

Qing Zhen and Luo Lan had suffered a terrible loss in the incident in the Jing Mountains. But who could have expected natural disasters like an earthquake and volcanic eruption to happen? This was an act of nature.

At this moment, a convoy of vehicles carrying goods and supplies were driving slowly towards Stronghold 109. A black figure was clinging to the undercarriage of a large truck. This person was Xu Xianchu, who had traveled on a long and arduous journey to Stronghold 109.

Xu Xianchu clenched his teeth and persisted. It was not easy to cling to the undercarriage, but he was determined to sneak into Stronghold 109. At a time like this, who would expect Xu Xianchu to enter Stronghold 109 like this?

In reality, no one in Stronghold 109 was particularly interested in arresting Xu Xianchu like he had anticipated. After all, this place was not controlled by the Qing Consortium. Even if Lu Yuan was diplomatic towards them, he was not going to actively follow up on this case.

Moreover, everyone felt Xu Xianchu would not attempt to get into the stronghold by force. Hence, Ren Xiaosu discovered that even though the Public Order Division had put up a wanted poster of Xu Xianchu when he visited the jewelry shop, they only instructed the shop owners to report to them should someone come to sell unknown sources of gold. If they wanted to carry out stringent checks, it would probably be much stricter than this.

This was why Xu Xianchu went with the most correct judgment based on his common sense.

The private troops on guard duty would be changing shifts soon.

Xu Xianchu knew exactly what the private troops’ behavior was like. This applied to almost all of the private troops in the world since all the organizations in the world were almost the same.

When he was still at Stronghold 113, he had observed that the private troops would usually check the cargo trucks very carefully when they were passing through. But their inspection would get a lot slacker during the shift change at night. In fact, many contraband items were transported into the stronghold during that time frame. Some people would even purposely bribe the private troops in hopes that they would turn a blind eye to their activities.

Xu Xianchu had guessed that it would be the same for the private troops in Stronghold 109. Of course, he was not a 100% sure of that. But if he wanted to infiltrate the stronghold, this was the only time he could do it. If he could not get in, he would just be forced to run away again. It was not like those private troops could stop him anyway.

Sure enough, it was just as Xu Xianchu had predicted. This goods and supplies convoy was not even given the most basic of inspections as it entered the stronghold.

This made Xu Xianchu both relieved and suspicious at the same time. It seemed to him like the management of the private troops in Stronghold 109 was slacker than that of Stronghold 113.

After the convoy drove noisily into the stronghold, Xu Xianchu climbed into the cargo container from underneath the truck. These vehicles were similar to coal trucks, with an open-air hauler.

Xu Xianchu sat in the container and thought about the next phase of his plan. As he was exhausted from fleeing, all he wanted was to find a secluded place where he could eat something and get some rest.

When he looked at the goods in the container, Xu Xianchu suddenly had some doubts. Everything here was sealed in wooden boxes, so he could not see what was in them.

Xu Xianchu took out his dagger to pry open a wooden box. He was stunned when he saw the goods, because they were all filled with guns and ammunition!

All of a sudden, the truck deviated from the convoy. The rest of the vehicles continued driving forward, but the truck he was in had separated from the main group and was headed for who knew where.

Xu Xianchu immediately knew something was wrong. This truck was not delivering the firearms to the Li Consortium. If it were, it would not have to do it in secret. Someone must be smuggling all of these weapons in!

Before he could figure it out, the truck came to a halt. Then he heard a voice come from outside the truck, “Hurry up, unload the goods and place them in the warehouse. Find an opportunity tomorrow to distribute them.”

The side door of the container opened up with a rumble. Right after, Xu Xianchu and Luo Lan stared at each other.

As it was in the wee hours of the morning, Luo Lan looked into the container while shining a flashlight. He wanted to have a clearer look at the person inside the container. Then—

Luo Lan shouted, “The fuck! Xu Xianchu?”



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The First Order – Chapter 159


Chapter 159: Hypnosis
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge

“Do y’all feel like something’s wrong?” Ren Xiaosu asked during dinner.

“It really does feel like something’s wrong,” Wang Fugui said as he wiped his mouth.

Yan Liuyuan said, “We’re missing the noise that Luo Lan brings when he tries to get into Dong Funan’s good books.”

This was an unusual night. Luo Lan, who had come to the shop nearly three times a day for the past few days, did not even appear once today.

Ren Xiaosu realized Luo Lan and his men were planning their heist on the No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital. Surely it wasn’t going to happen tonight, was it?

He asked, “Do y’all know where No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital is?”

“What’s the matter?” Xiaoyu asked in surprise. “Liuyuan asked me to buy a map of Stronghold 109 just the day before. I’ll go and get it. We should be able to locate No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital with it.”

Ren Xiaosu looked at Yan Liuyuan as he did not expect him to be so prepared.

“I just felt that we were unfamiliar with this place. It’s definitely right if we look at the map first when arriving at a new place,” Yan Liuyuan said.

Yan Liuyuan probably developed this habit after getting influenced by Ren Xiaosu. It was the same with Ren Xiaosu when he went out into the wilderness. He would have to observe the environment and understand it first before there was any chance of survival.

The six of them leaned over the map of the stronghold that covered the entire table and searched for the psychiatric hospital. Wang Fugui suddenly said, “I found it, it’s about ten kilometers from here.”

Ren Xiaosu thought the stronghold was way too big. Just the distance between two places was greater than ten kilometers, and that was already considered close.

He ordered Chen Wudi and Yan Liuyuan, “Watch over Dong Funan closely. Be careful not to let her cause any trouble.” As he trailed off, he thought of something and pulled Yan Liuyuan aside. He whispered, “Don’t make any wishes if there’s no danger.”

“OK.” Yan Liuyuan nodded obediently. But in reality, both of them understood he would still make a wish if he had to.

After Ren Xiaosu spoke, he left the shop.

When it turned dark, the stronghold would usually be bustling as residents headed to teahouses in groups. During those times, the sound of people playing mahjong could be heard as it filled the entire streets.

The more affluent residents could even enjoy hot pot, with the hot pots filled with delicious-looking red broth, fresh vegetables, and meat that were extremely appealing to the palate.

In the current day, eating in a restaurant was a very prestigious affair. If a person often dined out at restaurants, it would mean they were very respected in the stronghold.

The aunties were still performing their plaza dance in the park as though they were not afraid of the cold winter. Meanwhile, some nightclubs were already filled with lonely and single men and women.

When the night sky turned pitch-black, the crowd started to disperse and leave.

A manhole cover outside No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital was suddenly pushed aside from below. Following, 30 combat troops with loaded guns climbed out of it. Luo Lan was there with them as well.

These men had attached silencers to their guns and even camouflaged their faces. All of them appeared to be exceptionally prepared.

No one knew when Qing Zhen started making his arrangements in Stronghold 109, but he already had a proper understanding of the entire underground system of Stronghold 109. Not even the Li Consortium might have known how many people were hidden underground or what other things might be down there.

Tang Zhou spoke into a simple communication device, “Split into three squads and get ready to infiltrate the building according to the briefing.”

The full platoon quickly divided themselves up into three squads, headed towards No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital, and surrounded it.

There were more than a 100 security guards guarding No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital, but the 30 members of the platoon were unafraid. In their opinion, there was no need to fear the security personnel here as they were only private troops..

Luo Lan followed them with a swagger as he saw the three squads swarm into No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital like three sharp, black daggers.

The moment the Qing Consortium’s combat troops encountered the security personnel in the psychiatric hospital, the guards were eliminated.

The three squads continued advancing until they finally reassembled as a full platoon outside the psychiatric hospital’s main building. Tang Zhou whispered, “Don’t keep lusting for a fight. Once Test Subject No. 2 is located, retreat immediately. Kill all targets on sight other than Test Subject No. 2.”

According to their intel, Test Subject No. 2 would be getting dissected later tonight, which was why they chose to attack since they could not wait any longer.

Only two supernatural beings were held in No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital. But according to their intel, Test Subject No. 1 was far too dangerous. Therefore, Luo Lan decided to give up on the idea to abduct that person.

As the platoon broke through towards the top of the building, all of the psychiatric hospital’s staff were surprised to see the hospital getting stormed. Importantly, it was still peacetime within the stronghold. Although there was that incident caused by the Pyro Company, their members had already been expelled from the stronghold.

Luo Lan was laughing at the back of the platoon as he said, “Don’t show them any mercy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with killing those who treat their own species as lab rats.” Right now, Luo Lan’s face was filled with bellicosity and excitement.

Many people had the mindset that he was just a good-for-nothing, illegitimate child and would at most address him as “Qing Zhen’s older brother.” However, the people in Stronghold 113, as well as Qing Zhen and his men, all knew very well that Luo Lan was never a coward.

Just his participation in the smaller battles alone was countless. Some people felt that Luo Lan had the same maniacal blood flowing through his veins as his younger brother.

When they passed by the reference library, Luo Lan went inside and found the information related to Test Subject No. 1. This included three bulky and old fashioned videotapes.

He slowly inserted a videotape into the VCR in the reference library and turned on the television.

There were three recordings on this videotape. He saw a handsome young man with fair skin sitting in the interrogation room and a doctor in a white coat sitting across from him.

The young man suddenly asked, “Did you see where ‘I’ went?

“I’m asking you, did you see where ‘I’ went?

“What? Don’t just open your mouth and say nothing.

“Hey, you there, did you see where ‘I’ went?”

The doctor said nothing for a long time.

The young man slowly lowered his head. “Oh… I’m sorry, ‘I’ can’t be found anymore.”

The young man sat there by himself with his head down. He had even lost himself.

Luo Lan stood before the television and quietly watched the footage. For some reason, he felt that the young man seemed to be sitting in a corner of the world as he slowly became forgotten by others and himself until he had nothing left.

This was what true loneliness felt like.

In the second clip of the treatment records, the hospital’s hypnotist was trying to hypnotize the young man. In this clip, the young man seemed much more normal than before.

The hypnotist said to the young man, “Close your eyes…. Relax… try to imagine you’re walking along a tunnel as the world gradually fades into darkness….

“It’s a tunnel you’re familiar with. You’re running towards the tunnel on the right, and there’s a light at the end of it. When you get to where the light is… you will arrive at where you want to be. On the count of 3…

“…2…

“…1…”

But at this moment, the young man opened his eyes. The hypnotist asked in surprise, “Why have you opened your eyes?”

The young man smiled and said, “I ran in the wrong direction.”

The third clip of the treatment records still showed the hypnosis process.

This time, the hypnotist said to the young man, “Close your eyes…. Relax… imagine being enveloped by warm seawater. While you’re floating on the surface, breathe freely as you like. Once you submerge to the bottom of the sea, you’ll arrive at where you want to be. On the count of 3…

“…2…

“…1…”

However, a surprising turn of events happened. This time, it was the hypnotist who had fell asleep!

Meanwhile, the clip was showing the profile of the young man as he revealed a smile.

 

 



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The First Order – Chapter 157


Chapter 157: Dong Funan has issues!
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge

News about the black medicine in Ren Xiaosu’s shop that could treat infertility had even caused a small stir in the stronghold, but Ren Xiaosu and Wang Fugui kept quiet about it.

Although they were very eager to make money, they could not publicize an effect the black medicine did not have.

When it was time for school the next day, Wang Dalong rode the bicycle with Yan Liuyuan to school. Ren Xiaosu could only take the streetcar to school. It was not that he did not want to ride the bicycle, but rather that he still hadn’t managed to learn how to ride it.

Before leaving, Ren Xiaosu even repeatedly reminded Chen Wudi to watch over Dong Funan carefully. He had a feeling she would be a huge threat to them. For this reason, Ren Xiaosu even promised Chen Wudi he could go out and do as he liked for three days six days later!

Ren Xiaosu was finally able to go to school in peace when he saw Chen Wudi moving a small stool to sit right next to Dong Funan.

When he arrived in class, Yang Xiaojin was already lying on the table and sleeping. Ren Xiaosu wondered to himself if this girl was really coming to school just to sleep. Finals were gonna begin in a few days. Didn’t she need to prepare?!

Ren Xiaosu ignored her and sat down. But just as he took his seat, Yang Xiaojin got up and said, “Luo Lan is planning something dangerous, so it’s best you keep your distance from him.”

Ren Xiaosu’s interest was piqued. It happened that he also suspected Luo Lan was secretly up to something. “What is Luo Lan planning?”

“We saw people from the Qing Consortium scouting outside No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital.” Yang Xiaojin said slowly, “It seems like they plan to rob that hospital.”

“I’ve heard of people robbing jewelry shops and even the organizations’ banks if they were desperate enough.” Ren Xiaosu reacted with a strange expression. “But this is the first time I’ve heard of someone planning to rob a psychiatric hospital….”

“There’s something you don’t know.” Yang Xiaojin said calmly, “That’s where all the supernatural beings arrested by the Li Consortium are detained. There’s a very dangerous supernatural being who’s held there. It’s a blessing for everyone that he’s willing to quietly stay in the psychiatric hospital without putting up a resistance. If Luo Lan released him, I’m afraid all of Stronghold 109 would have an unpredictable future.”

Ren Xiaosu immediately understood that Luo Lan had turned his attention to the so-called No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital when he failed to win Dong Funan over. That said, Luo Lan had really spared no effort in trying to find a supernatural being to be his bodyguard.

Unbeknownst to everyone, both Luo Lan and Qing Zhen had reached an agreement that supernatural beings were one of the most valuable resources in this wasteland. A large amount of information and intelligence led them to understand that the evolution of supernatural beings was very fast, and that there were probably no individual weapons that could compare to supernatural beings in the future of combat. Of course, when it came to weapons of mass destruction, the Qing Consortium already had those in their arsenal.

“But the Qing Consortium here have such few people. Why would they rob the psychiatric hospital?” Ren Xiaosu said in a speechless manner.

“You underestimate the Qing Consortium.” Yang Xiaojin said, “Or should I say you’re underestimating Qing Zhen.”

The Qing Consortium must have planted quite a few of their people here in Stronghold 109, and they were currently all under the command of Luo Lan.

“But this is the Li Consortium’s territory.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Isn’t Luo Lan afraid that the Li Consortium will expel him after they find out about it?”

“You may not be aware of how much of a jerk Luo Lan is.” Yang Xiaojin said calmly, “When he was in Stronghold 113, he was already behaving lawlessly. But Luo Lan is a bold and careful person. He’s just using the fact that the Li Consortium can’t worry about him right now. Even if something were to happen, they would just get Qing Zhen to redeem Luo Lan with money. The Li Consortium would never dare to kill him.”

Alright, so he still wasn’t familiar enough with Luo Lan.

Curious, Ren Xiaosu asked, “Are y’all also afraid of the person locked up in No. 4 Psychiatric Hospital?”

“It’s not that we’re afraid of him,” Yang Xiaojin corrected. “We’re only worried he will bring too much uncertainty to the situation.”

“What’s his superpower?” Ren Xiaosu asked.

“Hypnosis.” Yang Xiaojin said, “He’s been completely isolated within the psychiatric hospital. Even the people who deliver food to him every day have to wear noise canceling headphones before sending in the food through the door.”

“Why do they have to keep it under wraps?” Ren Xiaosu thought to himself, ‘How scary of a person is he to make the Li Consortium and the stronghold overseer so wary of him?’ He asked, “Why don’t y’all just kill him if you’re so worried about him getting out?”

“Why should we kill him when he didn’t do anything bad?” Yang Xiaojin replied in confusion. “Your logic is very strange.”

Ren Xiaosu calmly said, “But how do y’all judge between good and evil? The power of judgment is all in your hands, but what if y’all’re wrong? You said that both Qing Zhen and the Pyro Company want to possess something they can’t control, but who’s to decide?”

Yang Xiaojin fell deep into thought before saying, “The world was destroyed because of those things. We just don’t want to see the world sink into despair again.”

Ren Xiaosu was stunned. This was the result of a previous cause. Yang Xiaojin’s organization was just clearing the world of the things that had destroyed it. He did not know how to answer her, because he sometimes felt the current him still knew nothing of this world.

Yang Xiaojin said, “By the way, there’s something up with that supernatural being Luo Lan saved. If she follows Luo Lan, you guys had better be careful.”

“Eh?” Ren Xiaosu was surprised that Yang Xiaojin was reminding him about so many things today and even told him a lot of undisclosed secrets. But was she referring to Dong Funan now? Ren Xiaosu asked, “What’s wrong with that supernatural being?”

Yang Xiaojin still did not know Dong Funan was lodging in Ren Xiaosu’s shop. Yang Xiaojin replied, “We’ve confirmed there’s no relationship between Dong Funan and the supernatural being that died. They had no blood ties, were not a couple, and did not have any dealings. We initially thought them to be allies but were later informed they were not.

“Furthermore, there’s been a string of strange murder cases in the stronghold recently. All of the victims were sucked dry of blood and turned into mummified remains. Right now, we think the supernatural being named Dong Funan is one of the prime suspects. Luo Xinyu witnessed the entire proceedings of the battle that night. After analyzing it, she felt that Dong Funan’s motive for saving another supernatural being was probably… because she wanted to hide somewhere to suck the blood of that supernatural being. But as she was inexperienced in battle, she screwed up. To put it bluntly, she’s just a newbie.”

Ren Xiaosu got a great deal of information from Yang Xiaojin. First of all, Dong Funan might only be acting out her current plight and was actually the one behind the string of murder cases. Second, Yang Xiaojin’s contact in the stronghold likely held an important position. If not, they couldn’t possibly have received such clear and detailed intel.

“Dong Funan is in our shop right now,” Ren Xiaosu said calmly.

“Then why don’t you run back to check on her?” Yang Xiaojin frowned and said, “I can get Luo Xinyu to send you back.”

“There’s no need.” Composed, Ren Xiaosu said, “She’s already been restrained by us.”

Yang Xiaojin looked quietly at Ren Xiaosu. She thought for a while, then said, “But she’s a supernatural being.”

“That’s fine. We have another supernatural being guarding her,” Ren Xiaosu replied.

“Chen Wudi?” Yang Xiaojin asked. “I know him. He was quite famous in Stronghold 113’s psychiatric hospital. But aren’t you worried he can’t keep her under control? What if your family’s safety gets compromised?”

Ren Xiaosu said calmly, “I’m not worried about the safety of my family right now. I’m just afraid that Chen Wudi will beat her to death.”

After all, he would not be able to complete the quest if she got beaten to death.

 

 



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The First Order – Chapter 155


Ren Xiaosu felt that Luo Lan was getting too obsessed with supernatural beings.

Chen Wudi had said that Benbo’erba had tried to get him to defect to his side, but that attempt was immediately seen through by his “discerning eyes.” As the Great Sage, how could he work for a demon? That definitely would not do since demons did not seek the Buddhist scriptures from the Western Paradise!

Luo Lan had even risked his own life to save Dong Funan just so he could have a supernatural being as his bodyguard. Furthermore, he relentlessly courted her, but Dong Funan did not take a liking to him.

In between, Ren Xiaosu even checked with Luo Lan to see if he might have set eyes on the wrong person. What if there were problems with Dong Funan?

Moreover, by allowing Dong Funan to stay here, it was equivalent to having a ticking time bomb next to them if she turned out to be problematic.

However, Luo Lan said there shouldn’t be any problems since she looked so innocent.

“Shouldn’t a big shot like you do a background check on her?” Ren Xiaosu snapped.

“It’s not like this stronghold is under our control,” Luo Lan replied matter-of-factly.

This made Ren Xiaosu feel that something was wrong. He would have to be warier of Dong Funan.

All of a sudden, the voice from the palace said, “Side quest: Take in someone in distress for seven days; one out of seven. After the quest is completed, you will unlock a new product in the vending machine.”

Ren Xiaosu was stunned. He thought there was only black medicine to be bought from the vending machine. So it turned out he could also unlock new products by completing quests the palace assigned to him?

Then wasn’t this quest going to be a cakewalk to complete?

While they were eating dinner, Ren Xiaosu nonchalantly asked Dong Funan, “What’s your superpower?”

“I have more strength than normal…” Dong Funan said softly.

“More strength?” Ren Xiaosu felt that such a superpower was rather useless. “How much greater is it compared to the average person?”

“I probably have strength equivalent to two adult men.” Dong Funan said, “But my strength is still increasing, and I might get even stronger in the future.”

Ren Xiaosu sighed. “Frankly, you couldn’t have escaped without Luo Lan and his men’s help with just your superpower alone.”

“He doesn’t have good intentions!” Dong Funan replied, “His gaze and the way he speaks tells me that!”

“What plans do you have?” Ren Xiaosu asked. To be honest, he did not really like this willful girl. Even if she did not like Luo Lan, she should at least thank him for saving her. Ren Xiaosu even thought of speaking up for Luo Lan.

Dong Funan gave it some thought before saying, “When my injuries heal tomorrow, I’ll go and get revenge on the Pyro Company!”

Ren Xiaosu shook his head. “You can’t go.”

“Why not?” Dong Funan was taken aback.

“First of all, the Pyro Company has already been expelled from the stronghold. Even if some of their people are still hiding in the stronghold, you won’t find them.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Second, you might reveal that we took you in before if you get caught and tortured by them.”

Besides, Ren Xiaosu thought to himself, ‘How am I suppose to complete my quest if you leave now!’

However, what he said was also true. What if the Pyro Company came to take revenge on them after Dong Funan was unable to endure the torture and confessed? This girl seemed very self-centered and wouldn’t care about other people’s safety. Therefore, Ren Xiaosu did not trust her at all.

Dong Funan said stubbornly, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that y’all took me in.”

“Can you guarantee that?” Ren Xiaosu said calmly, “Wudi, you’re in charge of keeping a close eye on her for the next few days!” But Ren Xiaosu then noticed Chen Wudi looked a little unhappy.

Yan Liuyuan whispered a few words to Chen Wudi, and he immediately agreed in delight.

Curious, Ren Xiaosu looked at Yan Liuyuan and asked him, “What did you say to make him so happy?”

“It’s very easy to make him happy.” Yan Liuyuan said after eating a spoonful of porridge, “Just address him as the Great Sage.”

Ren Xiaosu was stunned. He realized Yan Liuyuan was fantastic at noticing what made others tick.

Dong Funan attempted to run off while Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan were talking. She was afraid she wouldn’t be allowed to seek revenge. However, she was carried back by Chen Wudi before she could even get far.

No matter how great her strength, it couldn’t be greater than Chen Wudi’s current strength.

Next to him, Yan Liuyuan smiled at Chen Wudi and said, “The Great Sage is amazing!”

“Of course!” Chen Wudi said proudly.

Yan Liuyuan had Chen Wudi dancing in the palm of his hand as he knew exactly how to stroke Wudi’s ego.

Chen Wudi escorted Dong Funan to Xiaoyu’s room and even found a rope to tie her up with.

Dong Funan was shocked. She had thought she was saved by a group of kind-hearted people. But why did it feel like she had been taken and kidnapped by a den of thieves? All that was missing was a phone call to her family to ask for a ransom!

She roared, “Why are you all refusing to let me go? What kind of shop are you all operating? This must be a seedy shop, right? And you must be selling black medicine here too!”

Everyone looked quietly at her in this moment. Xiaoyu smiled and said, “We really do sell black medicine here…”

Dong Funan was confused.

Before this, she had the impression that Xiaoyu was tender and gentle and thought she must be a good person. But at this moment, she realized Xiaoyu was also in a gang with those bad people.

“I didn’t expect y’all to be such people!” Dong Funan said angrily.

“We didn’t expect you to be such a person either,” Ren Xiaosu said.

Dong Funan tried to shout for help, but Chen Wudi had already stuffed her mouth shut with a pillowcase.

Ren Xiaosu sneered, “It’s already very courteous of us to let you stay here. Even if you don’t spare a thought for yourself, you have to think about our entire family. If you try to run away again, I’ll break your legs!”

If Ren Xiaosu didn’t receive the quest or accept Luo Lan’s money, he would probably have….

It was the weekend the next day, and Luo Lan came over early in the morning to look for Dong Funan to speak with her. But no matter how long he called out to her at the door, he couldn’t get any response from her.

Previously, Dong Funan would scold him a little. But now she did not even bother scolding him.

Luo Lan turned around and looked at Ren Xiaosu. “Has Dong Funan left already? Or did you people do something to her?”

Ren Xiaosu said calmly, “No, she just doesn’t want to speak with you.”

Luo Lan wondered, “But why doesn’t she at least scold me a little?”

Ren Xiaosu pondered it. “She’s probably sick of scolding you already.”

“Oh.” Luo Lan nodded in understanding.

“Say, I doubt you can handle this girl.” Ren Xiaosu was thinking he could get Luo Lan to totally give her up. It would be easier to deal with Dong Funan after the seven days were up that way.

Luo Lan said disconsolately, “Can’t you see that I still haven’t found my next target?”

Alright! Ren Xiaosu realized Luo Lan was not such a devoted person after all. He might give up on Dong Funan after he found his next target. He said to Luo Lan, “Good luck.”

At this moment, Tang Zhou came over to look for Luo Lan. After that, Luo Lan left in a hurry as though he had something urgent to attend to.

“Bro.” Yan Liuyuan watched Luo Lan’s receding figure as he left the store. “Luo Lan must be planning something. I wonder if it’ll involve us?”

The few of them had only gained their stronghold resident statuses because of Luo Lan. If Luo Lan stirred up any trouble here, the Li Consortium would likely settle the score with them as one.

“Let’s not worry about that.” Ren Xiaosu frowned and said, “You’ll keep watch at the room today. I’m going to start building a bomb. It’s gonna be our trump card… By the way, let’s test something.”

Ren Xiaosu then pulled Yan Liuyuan into a room. Ren Xiaosu said, “I’ve gained a new power that allows me to open up a door in the shadows. Let’s give it a try now and see if I can pull you into the door.”

“OK.” Yan Liuyuan did not ask Ren Xiaosu how he obtained this power or how he knew how to build a bomb.

Ren Xiaosu said in a serious tone, “Step back a little, I’m going to open the Shadow Door in front of you.”

A second later, Ren Xiaosu activated the Shadow Door in his mind. Yan Liuyuan stared blankly at the ceiling and said, “Y’know, Bro, can fully control this door?”

Ren Xiaosu intended to open the Shadow Door in front of Yan Liuyuan, but it opened up across the ceiling.

“No, no, let me try it again. Trust me, I’m very sure I can do it. A minor mistake isn’t a big deal. Who doesn’t make mistakes anyway?” Ren Xiaosu said in embarrassment. Then the door opened up across the floor.

Yan Liuyuan quietly said, “Bro, you’d better not test it out on me first…. I’m a little nervous.”



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The First Order – Chapter 154


In reality, Ren Xiaosu was someone who knew how to be content. Having a superpower was better than having nothing at all. It was quite fortunate he did not randomly copy the master-level jumping rope skill.

Ren Xiaosu felt that Luo Xinyu must have also possessed a very high level of proficiency at jump roping. After all, he thought it would be pointless for Yang Xiaojin to jump rope by herself…

Although he was content, he still felt a little peeved when he thought about how he had the chance to copy Shadow Door in its entirety the previous time.

The palace should have said so earlier if it couldn’t fully copy the skill during the duplication process. What was the point of finding out it was flawed only after the skill was copied over to him?

Ren Xiaosu really wanted a power like Shadow Door when he thought of how Luo Xinyu had used it repeatedly to escape with Yang Xiaojin. If he could utilize Shadow Door fully, he would no longer have to worry even if he encountered the wolf pack again.

In the end, he could only get one of his arms through it! What could he do with that? Steal?

Moreover, he still couldn’t open the Shadow Door wherever he wanted to. Just based on the earlier deviation, it seemed impossible for him to accurately control the location of the door.

However, Ren Xiaosu felt he could improve on accuracy through additional practice. There would definitely come a day when he could open the Shadow Door precisely where he wanted it.

In reality, what Ren Xiaosu did not know was that Luo Xinyu had spent nearly a year just to practice opening the door. Only then was she able to manipulate the Shadow Door at will.

When Ren Xiaosu returned to the shop, he locked himself in his bedroom to practice. He tried to find out if there was a pattern to controlling the Shadow Door by opening it over and over again.

Luo Xinyu would probably be shocked if she saw this, because when she started practicing at the beginning, she would get exhausted and dizzy after just one or two tries a day. Even now, she could only use the door within a one-kilometer range. Even if she did not expend all her mental strength, she still could open the door only three or four times a day.

Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu had opened it more than a dozen times in just a short period.

At this moment, Xiaoyu knocked on his door. Ren Xiaosu opened the door and asked, “What’s the matter, Big Sister Xiaoyu? Is it time for dinner?”

“No, not yet.” Big Sister Xiaoyu asked with a dark expression, “I just wanted to ask you where Yan Liuyuan is. Did you forget to bring them back from school?”

“Huh?!” Ren Xiaosu finally came around. He should have gone to pick Yan Liuyuan and Wang Dalong up from the junior high section before heading home together in the first place. However, he had forgotten all about them and left them behind at school just so he could find out where Yang Xiaojin lived. “I’ll go and fetch them immediately!”

“What kind of an older brother are you?” Xiaoyu grumbled. “Pick them up and come home for dinner. I’m almost done making it.”

But a moment later, Jiang Wu walked in with Wang Dalong and Yan Liuyuan. She smiled and said, “Didn’t you say we were going to continue learning how to ride a bike today? Why did you leave by yourself after school?”

Xiaoyu smiled and said, “Ms. Jiang Wu, you’re here? Quick, wash your hands and join us for dinner.”

Yan Liuyuan gave Ren Xiaosu a cold stare. “I stood in the school building and saw you and Yang Xiaojin leaving together with my own eyes.”

Ren Xiaosu was a little embarrassed. “Hahaha, I had something urgent to attend to!”

Then they heard the rumbling of a car engine coming from the outside. It sounded like it had stopped outside their doorstep.

Eh? Ren Xiaosu wondered what was with today as people kept coming to the grocery store in wave after wave.

He heard Luo Lan’s voice come from outside. “Ren Xiaosu? Come and have a look at my new car. What do you think?”

Ren Xiaosu couldn’t help but roll his eyes. ‘Look at how cocky you’ve become after buying a new car. So what if you are rich?!’

But why did Fatty Luo suddenly like coming here so much? Wang Fugui had mentioned Luo Lan had already been here to deliver the money at noon.

While he was thinking about that, Luo Lan and Tang Zhou walked in from outside. Tang Zhou was even carrying a lot of items in his arms. Luo Lan told Tang Zhou, “Take these over to Miss Dong Funan. These tonics are all beneficial to her recovery.”

Ren Xiaosu sensed Luo Lan was in love.

Curious, Ren Xiaosu asked, “Do you have to resort to all this? As a big shot of the Qing Consortium, why do you still keep coming back here even after you’ve been snubbed?

Luo Lan said unhappily, “What do you know? There used to be so many girls coming in and out of my life, yet I never once took a fancy to any of them. Now that I’ve changed, I realize that only Miss Dong Funan is worthy of me!”

“You’ve never taken a fancy to any of them?” Ren Xiaosu laughed. “So you mean you gave the medicine that you bought from me to Tang Zhou?”

“Don’t you slander me. When have I ever bought any medicine from you!” Luo Lan looked downright indignant.

Dong Funan had been recuperating in Xiaoyu’s room. But when she heard Luo Lan’s voice, she locked the door from the inside. With a click, Luo Lan could not look any more embarrassed.

However, Luo Lan was not a normal person either. He pulled Ren Xiaosu aside and changed the subject. “Can you lend Chen Wudi to me for some time?”

“What do you want Chen Wudi for? How can I lend a living, breathing human being to you? You can ask him yourself.” Ren Xiaosu washed his hands of the matter.

“These past two days, I found out that other powers are coming into this stronghold as well.” Luo Lan whispered, “It’s said that there’s research that’s about to be completed in the university of Stronghold 109, and many people are interested in getting ahold of the research results for themselves.”

“What kind of research is it?” Ren Xiaosu was starting to get interested but did not show it on his face.

“I’m not sure…” Luo Lan said.

“You’re having ideas about something you don’t even know?” Ren Xiaosu wondered. But considering the circumstances, the Qing Consortium’s people had probably not infiltrated into that university yet. He wondered how Luo Lan had found out about it. Yang Xiaojin had also mentioned the Li Consortium was trying their best to protect this thing.

This thing… was probably so important it would change the entire structure between the organizations. That was why all the different powers were placing a lot of emphasis on it.

And on the night some supernatural beings fled from the site of the explosion, the Li Consortium only expelled the known members of the Pyro Company who were present in the stronghold, but did not conduct a thorough search to make any further arrests. It seemed like they did not want to complicate things further since most of their manpower was probably used to guard and protect the research results.

However, Ren Xiaosu was curious about something. How could the Qing Consortium possibly not know what the research results were about? Others already knew, but only you were still in the dark?

“We never paid any attention to this university before.” Luo Lan said, “But it must have a very special value for so many powerful forces to be targeting it! How about this? Why don’t you order Chen Wudi to protect me and I’ll pay you for it!”

Ren Xiaosu felt that Luo Lan was lying through his teeth. He definitely knew what the research results were. He just didn’t want to tell Ren Xiaosu!

He shook his head and rejected Luo Lan. “If you want Chen Wudi to protect you, you can talk to him yourself. I will not order him about.”

Right at this moment, someone from the Qing Consortium walked in. He whispered a few words to Luo Lan before leaving in a hurry. As Ren Xiaosu watched the man from behind, sensing the Qing Consortium might be plotting something.

Ren Xiaosu wondered what made the research results so important. Could he steal them using the Shadow Door if he could ascertain its location?

Seeing that Ren Xiaosu was not planning to lend Chen Wudi to him, Luo Lan did not waste any more time on it. He just simply went over to talk to Dong Funan from the other side of the door. Before he could say much, Dong Funan said coldly from the bedroom, “I’ll come out to see you after you’ve slimmed down.”

Ren Xiaosu chuckled and said, “Then you’ll probably never get to see him.”

Luo Lan said angrily, “Don’t say such discouraging words. Isn’t it just losing some weight? I’ll slim down very soon!” Then Luo Lan whispered to Tang Zhou next to him, “How can I slim down quickly?”

Ren Xiaosu smiled and said, “You’ll definitely slim down if you only eat one steamed bun each in the morning, at noon, and during the evening.”

Luo Lan got lost in thought. “…Do I eat them before or after my meals?”

Ren Xiaosu was speechless.



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The First Order – Chapter 151


Chapter 151: You don’t seem like a good person
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge

Luo Lan watched Xiaoyu and Ren Xiaosu from the side as they helped to clean the wounds on the injured and unconscious supernatural being. He even reminded them every now and again, “Be careful, don’t kill him.”

Luo Lan became even more excited as he thought. After the supernatural being regained consciousness, Luo Lan would only need to stir his emotions with reasoning to touch his heart. Would he also end up with a supernatural being as his bodyguard, just like his younger brother, Qing Zhen?

Thinking of this, Luo Lan glanced at Chen Wudi. If this supernatural being turned out to be more powerful than Chen Wudi, that would really be great. It would make Ren Xiaosu so envious of him!

Luo Lan still felt begrudged over how he had failed to recruit Chen Wudi…

Xiaoyu went to get a towel to clean the bloodstains on the injured supernatural being’s face. She said in surprise, “It’s actually a woman, and she looks to be around 27.”

Luo Lan’s eyes lit up. “Are you sure?”

When he went closer to get a good look, he realized it really was a woman!

Chen Wudi went over as well. “Master, she looks like the White Dragon Horse.”

Luo Lan got anxious. “It’s fine if you want to go around acknowledging someone as your master, but don’t go bringing others into the picture as well!”

To be honest, Luo Lan was fairly afraid the woman would follow Chen Wudi and the others to the Western Paradise to obtain Buddhist scriptures after she regained her consciousness…

Wouldn’t all of his hard work go down the drain after spending so much effort to rescue her?!

Fortunately, Chen Wudi said after making a close inspection, “No, I got it wrong. She’s older than the White Dragon Horse.”

When Chen Wudi said that, Luo Lan finally felt more at ease. He chuckled and said, “It’s good that she’s not. I never expected you would fuss over something like age.”

All of a sudden, Luo Lan felt he must also be fucking crazy. He took the lunatic Chen Wudi’s words seriously?

When Ren Xiaosu saw it was a woman, he stepped aside for Xiaoyu to apply the medicine on her.

Xiaoyu sent everyone away. “When a woman is getting medicine applied on her, men shouldn’t look.”

But the supernatural being regained consciousness at this moment. When she saw everyone around her, she sat bolt upright and asked, “Who are you people?”

Luo Lan was the first to go over. “I’m the one who saved you from the Pyro Company!”

The woman scrutinized Luo Lan. “You? You don’t look it.”

“Who doesn’t look it?!” Luo Lan nearly flipped the table. “Why doesn’t it look like I saved you?! I’m really the one who saved you from the Pyro Company!”

But the woman just got up and walked outside without saying a word of thanks. But before she could even take two steps, she fell to the ground. Although the black medicine could help ease her pain quickly, it would not be so easy for her to recover from the injury she had suffered.

Xiaoyu ran over to help her up. She comforted her, “Your injury hasn’t healed yet, so you shouldn’t move about.”

However, tears started to fall from the woman’s eyes. “My big brother is still in the hands of the Pyro Company.”

Luo Lan was stunned. The other supernatural being was her elder brother? So there were two supernatural beings in the same family?

But this also made Ren Xiaosu understand why she had gone to his rescue.

Next to her, Tang Zhou calmly said, “Then he’s definitely dead. While you were escaping with him on your back, the blast from the RPG threw him off of you. We only had time to save you, but your big brother was not that lucky. Besides, the Pyro Company had always been after blood samples. They don’t leave the donors alive.”

Ren Xiaosu fell silent. When he first heard of the Pyro Company, he thought their mission was to keep the embers of humanity alive by ensuring the continuation of the human species. He never expected the Pyro Company would resort to any means necessary to obtain the blood of a supernatural being. In that case, would someone like Yang Xiaojin, who was an enemy of the Pyro Company, be considered good? No, that wasn’t right either. Ren Xiaosu always had the feeling the girl did not seem to be a good person either.

In fact, the definition of a “good” or “bad” person was too limited. The complexity of human nature had greatly surpassed those definitions.

He suddenly asked, “Fatty Luo, did you save her from the Pyro Company? You better not drag us into this affair.”

“Don’t you worry a whit. You won’t get implicated.” Luo Lan snapped, “And I won’t make you save someone for nothing in return. I’ll have Tang Zhou send 30,000 yuan over tomorrow morning.”

The female supernatural being slowly returned to her senses. She knew she could not save her older brother anymore. The most important thing she should do now was to hide, then seek a chance to avenge him.

Luo Lan squatted down next to her and said, “Why don’t you join us? We happen to have a feud with the Pyro Company. We even killed more than a 100 of their members some time ago.” Luo Lan started contemplating again. No matter what, she was still a real supernatural being, and she was even a woman….

However, the woman glared at Luo Lan. “You don’t seem like a good person yourself either!”

Luo Lan got angry. “Why are you biting the hand that fed you? I really did save you!”

The supernatural being stood up at this moment and bowed to Ren Xiaosu and the others. She said, “Thanks to all of you. My name is Dong Funan. If there’s a chance in the future, allow me to repay the favor. For now, I can’t stay here. Otherwise, I’ll implicate all of you.”

“Gratitude received from Dong Funan, +1!”

Luo Lan said disconsolately, “Why?!”

Why was she thanking Ren Xiaosu and the others when he was the one who saved her?

Tang Zhou whispered, “Boss, maybe it’s because you don’t look like a good person.”

Luo Lan turned around and looked dumbfoundedly at Tang Zhou. “Buddy, your skin’s gotten really thick recently, eh!”

But just as Luo Lan finished speaking, the supernatural being, Dong Funan, fainted again.

“What should we do now?” Xiaoyu looked to Ren Xiaosu.

Ren Xiaosu said unsympathetically, “Luo Lan, hurry up and take her away.”

Ren Xiaosu even suspected Dong Funan might have pretended to faint so she could impose on them. At least her thanks was sincere.

“She’ll stay here with you all for now. I’ll pay for it.” Luo Lan said, “Take care of her for me and I’ll send over the money tomorrow!”

“Deal.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Big Sister Xiaoyu, help her to your room. Chen Wudi, you’ll stand guard at Big Sister Xiaoyu’s room. Don’t let this woman escape before Fatty Luo pays up.”

“Yes, Master,” Chen Wudi said.

This series of arrangements made by Ren Xiaosu dumbfounded Luo Lan!

That very night, Luo Lan and his people waited until midnight before sneaking off. Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu did not sleep a wink just to ensure that nothing untoward happened. The next morning, he led Yan Liuyuan and Wang Dalong to school.

When they walked up to the school gate, they bumped into Yang Xiaojin. Yan Liuyuan greeted her in a polite and friendly manner, “Hello, Big Sis.”

Yang Xiaojin said happily, “Hello to you too. I’ll bring some delicious food tomorrow and have your brother pass it to you.”

“Mhm.” Yan Liuyuan nodded in response.

Somehow, Ren Xiaosu felt that something was off as he watched their interaction from close by. When did their relationship become so good?!

Then Yang Xiaojin asked in curiosity, “Ren Xiaosu, didn’t you have Teacher Jiang Wu teach you how to ride a bike yesterday? Why didn’t you ride it here today? You couldn’t learn it?”

“Hahahaha, how could I possibly not learn something so simple!” Ren Xiaosu laughed it off.

“Then why didn’t you ride it here?” Yang Xiaojin asked.

Ren Xiaosu thought for a moment before saying, “I sent my bike in for maintenance.”

Yang Xiaojin was confused.

 

 



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The First Order – Chapter 149


Chapter 149: A brewing storm

Translator: Legge Editor: Legge

Explosions kept reverberating throughout the stronghold from time to time. However, it did not sound as intense as the first one. While hurrying there, Ren Xiaosu saw several stronghold residents coming out of their homes. Everyone started gathering and were apparently discussing what had just happened.

Someone suggested that one of the factories might have caught fire, and the explosions were caused by the flammable substances within.

But Ren Xiaosu did not think it was as simple as that, especially not during a tense period like this. As a matter of fact, Stronghold 109 was currently a gathering place for a large number of dangerous people.

When Ren Xiaosu arrived at the foot of the high-rise building, he saw the logo of the Li Consortium’s bank slapped on it. But he wasn’t worried about that right now. He headed straight for the top by climbing up the façade of the building.

But when he got to the edge of the rooftop and was about to clamber over, the dark muzzle of a gun pressed against his forehead. Ren Xiaosu froze. He never expected someone else would be up here! He looked up and saw the familiar figure of someone wearing a cap.

Yang Xiaojin also looked surprised to see Ren Xiaosu up here. It had to be said she felt the two of them really seemed to have some sort of a strange unspoken understanding. The things they did and choice in locating a commanding position coincided with each other.

However, Yang Xiaojin had the absolute high ground at this moment. She smiled and said, “What are you doing here at this hour?”

“Didn’t both of us get attracted by the sound of the explosion?” Ren Xiaosu said calmly. He could be sure now that the explosion wasn’t set off by Yang Xiaojin. After all, it was still quite a distance from here to where the explosion had occurred.

Ren Xiaosu tried to dodge away from the barrel of Yang Xiaojin’s gun. But he was sure that based on her marksmanship, he would absolutely have no chance of avoiding it.

Yang Xiaojin said with a smile, “Let me ask you again: Is the dagger yours or mine?”

Ren Xiaosu answered in seriousness, “It’s mine.”

Yang Xiaojin was speechless.

Honestly, Ren Xiaosu hadn’t expected Yang Xiaojin to still be thinking about the dagger at this time. Likewise, Yang Xiaojin never thought Ren Xiaosu would still claim ownership over the dagger in such circumstances!

“Come on up then.” Yang Xiaojin holstered her gun away with a cold expression. She did not know how to deal with Ren Xiaosu anymore. She had only pointed her gun at him to scare him, but she wouldn’t have pulled the trigger for real.

Ren Xiaosu climbed onto the rooftop and patted the dust off himself. “What happened? Why was there such a loud noise?”

“The Pyro Company is playing with fire.” Yang Xiaojin explained, “An awakened supernatural being approached them to sell his blood. He thought the Pyro Company was really some kind of a charity organization, but they made a move on him on the spot. They tried to capture him but didn’t succeed.”

“So the Pyro Company is really using the 1,000,000 yuan reward as bait?” Ren Xiaosu was really glad he had not gone to sell his blood and had even stopped Chen Wudi from doing so. He sighed and said, “But how did the Pyro Company fail in their attempt to capture that person?”

For a company as powerful as them, would they really have attempted to catch a supernatural being without extreme preparation?

“Well, they succeeded at first. They injected a large dose of anesthetics into the supernatural being, but they never thought he would have a companion with him.” Yang Xiaojin explained, “Those two supernatural beings must’ve known each other beforehand and made a plan to rescue the other person in case one of them got into trouble with the Pyro Company. You can call it a simple alliance of sorts.”

This time, Ren Xiaosu understood. So even the supernatural being who went to sell his blood was prepared. He chuckled and said, “Then the Pyro Company has fucked up. Isn’t this a good opportunity to pull a heist on them?”

“Don’t look down on the Pyro Company.” Yang Xiaojin shook her head. “The fighting force known as ‘Dawn’ that operates under the company is extremely strong even if only five of their men show up in the stronghold. Those two supernatural beings have survived until now only because Fatty Luo from the Qing Consortium is also messing around out there.”

“Luo Lan?” Ren Xiaosu said in surprise, “What does he have against the Pyro Company?”

“Qing Zhen set up an ambush and captured over a 100 members of the Pyro Company last year.” Yang Xiaojin said, “The Pyro Company and the Qing Consortium are actually adversaries, the type that will take it to the bitter end with each other.”

This puzzled Ren Xiaosu a little. “What has Qing Zhen got against them?”

“The Pyro Company used this method to bait one of Qing Zhen’s soldiers who had been on leave. The operation was successful, and it was so covert that Qing Zhen only discovered it after the Pyro Company had withdrawn their presence,” Yang Xiaojin explained. “However, Qing Zhen managed to rescue that soldier during the ambush he conducted.”

Ren Xiaosu was speechless. What kind of a timeline was that? It was way too messy. Were the struggles between the corporations really that intense?

Ren Xiaosu couldn’t help but ask, “Then why did y’all target Qing Zhen? You’re obviously against the Pyro Company, so wouldn’t that make the enemy of your enemy your friend?”

Yang Xiaojin gave him a look. “Enemies are enemies. We don’t form alliances.”

It was at this moment Ren Xiaosu realized that Yang Xiaojin’s organization had very clear goals or principles. Whoever encroached on their interests would probably get added to their hit list.

“You’re getting curious, aren’t ya?” A big sniper rifle appeared in Yang Xiaojin’s hands. Her cheek stuck to the side of the menacing rifle in her hands as she looked into the distance through a telescopic scope nearly as thick as her arms. “The Pyro Company and Qing Zhen are both trying to control something they’re absolutely incapable of controlling. Whether they succeed or fail, it’ll still be disastrous.”

Ren Xiaosu finally understood. So the mission statement of Yang Xiaojin’s organization was to spread love and peace.

What nonsense! Ren Xiaosu absolutely did not believe anyone would be that selfless in this world!

At this very moment, Ren Xiaosu saw countless combat troops from the Li Consortium arrive at the battle site. They quickly closed off all the intersections and set up barricades and pillboxes around the area. Then, heavily armed platoons infiltrated into the middle of the battlefield in an unusually cautious manner.

Meanwhile, the location Yang Xiaojin had chosen happened to fall just outside of the lockdown perimeter. Ren Xiaosu knew he had been lucky in choosing this place to watch the battle from, but Yang Xiaojin probably did not depend on her luck for this. Instead, she must have known about the standard operating procedures of the Li Consortium’s troops before deciding on this spot.

Ren Xiaosu asked, “The Li Consortium seems to have arrived a little late. Isn’t this supposed to be their home field?”

“They have something more important to protect right now.” Yang Xiaojin said calmly, “Anything that does not constitute a threat isn’t going to bother them. Quiet now!”

Yang Xiaojin’s breathing then became shallow.

Ren Xiaosu looked where her rifle was pointing and was surprised to see that a manhole cover outside the Li Consortium’s perimeter had been pushed open from underneath. The first person who climbed out of it happened to be Luo Lan!

He saw Fatty Luo panting as he climbed out of the sewers, followed by Tang Zhou and the rest of their men. Tang Zhou was even carrying an unconscious person on his shoulder. They were running towards a vehicle that was parked nearby, and it looked like they were planning to use it to escape.

 



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The First Order – Chapter 147


Chapter 147: Switching classes
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge

Ren Xiaosu walked out of the classroom and was surprised to see a large group of middle-aged people standing behind the homeroom teacher.

The homeroom teacher deliberated for a moment before saying, “These are some of the parents of your classmates. It’s like this: Everyone has mentioned how you might have brought in germs from outside the stronghold, so it’s everyone’s wish that you consider transferring to another school.”

Ren Xiaosu wondered, “Transfer? Transfer to where?” With this matter exposed, there probably wouldn’t be another school willing to accept him, right?

A male student’s parent said, “If no schools are willing to accept you, you should stop going to school. It won’t be very nice if everyone’s safety gets affected all because of one person.”

Ren Xiaosu gave a mental sigh. All of this was probably within Yang Xiaojin’s expectations, so it was no wonder she said the stronghold held a subconscious ostracism of the refugees and that it would be even harsher than he could imagine.

Only when he saw these parents appearing here that he realized why his classmates had all kept quiet when they saw him. They had probably gone home last night and told their parents about this, resulting in the parents immediately deciding to come down to school together so they could force him to drop out of school.

To these parents, Ren Xiaosu was nothing but a refugee. With so many of them stepping forward regarding this matter, the school would have no choice but to accede to their demands.

Nowadays, as long as you dared to make a scene, there wasn’t anything that couldn’t be solved.

Ren Xiaosu looked at the parents and said, “And if I don’t want to transfer schools?”

Honestly, these parents would’ve been dead if this were the wilderness. The rules of the wilderness were much simpler than in here. It was much more direct!

However, the parents did not care about Ren Xiaosu. They looked at the homeroom teacher and said loudly, “If you people don’t make him transfer schools, how are you going to answer for it when an epidemic spreads? Furthermore, all of the resulting medical expenses will have to be borne by you. If you don’t compensate, we’ll sue you in court!”

Ren Xiaosu was contemplating this. He had once encountered the term “court” while studying in the town’s school and knew it was a place that presided over justice and fairness. However, there was never a place like that in town.

He never could have expected that the first time a term like “court” would get associated with him would be over a lousy matter like this.

The students had quietly walked out of the classroom as well. They were watching the conversation happening over here because they were also hoping to find out how this matter would get resolved.

The 12th grade homeroom teacher was in a pickle. The teacher of the Academic Affairs Office yesterday had told him before that Ren Xiaosu was related to Lu Yuan. Who could have thought that the student enrolled by Lu Yuan would turn out to be a refugee?

The homeroom teacher thought that maybe he should pass the buck. He said softly to the parents, “This student’s admission was arranged for by Lu Yuan. Why don’t you all go and speak to him instead?”

The parents looked at one another. They did not know about this prior to being told. If they had known that Ren Xiaosu was enrolled in school by Lu Yuan, they probably wouldn’t have taken on such a threatening tone.

But before they thought of how to handle it, a person suddenly squeezed through the crowd of people. When Ren Xiaosu turned around to see who it was, he discovered it was Jiang Wu.

Jiang Wu looked at the parents and said, “What are you trying to do?”

“We’re not trying anything.” A parent said, “We can’t possibly have our children attend school with a refugee, can we?”

“Why not?” Jiang Wu got so angry her face flushed red. “Aren’t all of us people? Who says a refugee will definitely spread diseases? Did any of your children get sick after returning home last night?”

The parents seemed to back off a little at the mention of this. “They didn’t, but I’ve heard people in the stronghold fell sick.”

“You heard?” Jiang Wu raised her voice a little. “Just because you heard about something gives you the right to destroy the future of a student?”

“What future does a refugee have?” The parents were also beginning to get angry. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“I’m a teacher of this school!” Jiang Wu said.

Ren Xiaosu’s homeroom teacher had already stopped speaking. He was so happy someone had stepped in for him.

A parent said, “Since you’re a teacher, why are you arguing with us over a refugee?”

“I don’t know about any refugees or stronghold residents.” Jiang Wu stood her ground and said, “All I know is that he is a student!”

As Ren Xiaosu watched, he suddenly felt that Jiang Wu was stubbornly cute and even a little silly.

But if it weren’t for this persistence and steadfastness, Ren Xiaosu would not have helped her when they were still wandering in the wilderness. If it weren’t for Ren Xiaosu’s help, Jiang Wu and her students would probably have died out there.

Ren Xiaosu felt a little touched, because he had finally seen something positive in someone in this troubled world.

Before that, there was also Wang Fugui and Xiaoyu.

Chen Wudi would probably count as half, while there was no need to mention Yan Liuyuan. What Yan Liuyuan and he had was as good as a sibling relationship.

A parent suddenly said, “Since you’re protective of him, why don’t you let him go to your class?”

Jiang Wu said without any hesitation, “That was what I came over for. I’ll go and apply for Ren Xiaosu to transfer to our class right away.”

A voice sounded from the crowd. “I’m also going with you to apply to transfer to your class.”

Ren Xiaosu turned to look and was astounded to discover it was Yang Xiaojin who had spoken.

When one of the parents heard Jiang Wu say that, they sneered. “As a teacher, you’re really irresponsible about what you say. You might be willing to let him into your class, but will your students’ parents allow it?”

Jiang Wu hesitated for a moment before saying in a soft voice, “My students no longer have parents. All I need to do is seek their consent.”

This point hit Jiang Wu’s soft spot. The happiness her students experienced after escaping from death had slowly turned into longing for their families. This was a pain that could never be separated from any disasters. All they could do was to hide it within themselves until the pain slowly lessened.

Suddenly, a hubbub occurred beyond the crowd. Twenty-something students walked next to Jiang Wu. “Teacher, you don’t need our consent to let Ren Xiaosu join our class. We’ll support you and support Ren Xiaosu as well.”

The other students from the other class muttered, “Why are you guys siding with a refugee so much?”

One of Jiang Wu’s students said in a serious tone, “Side with him? We’re not siding with or helping him. And he doesn’t need our help either. You people are utterly clueless about the outside world. I find it to be really sad.”

In the eyes of Jiang Wu’s students, they were merely standing up for Ren Xiaosu out of gratitude. If not for him, they would not even be here sitting in class and attending school.

The number of people who made the getaway was in the thousands. But how many of them made it to Stronghold 109?

What they remembered most about the escape was what Jiang Wu had said to them, “As long as we follow that young man, we’ll definitely get there.”

In the end, they did manage to survive.

All of the students’ parents standing in the corridor were stunned. This had turned out far too different from what they had imagined.

 

 



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