The First Order – Chapter 576


After the total destruction of Stronghold 74, the escapees could not help but feel sad when they saw their homes had been destroyed. But at least there would be no more Experimentals chasing after them and threatening them, so everyone could finally breathe a sigh of relief.However, Old Li and Qin Sheng kept urging the escapees to continue on with their journey. Although they were very far away from Stronghold 74 and the explosive power of that nuclear bomb did not seem that great, the fallout would eventually spread to their location.

As such, they could afford to stop fleeing. They had to go and look for the Zhou Consortium’s reinforcements.

The members of the Pyro Company had already vanished. No one knew if they had died in the stronghold or if they had taken another escape route, but that was not of concern to Old Li and Qin Sheng.

Old Li did a headcount of the escapees and found there were approximately 3,000 of them.

Yet there were hundreds of thousands of people in the stronghold at the beginning. With only 3,000 managing to escape, the losses were immeasurable.

As they fled, Ren Xiaosu took charge of leading the way. Meanwhile, Old Li and Qin Sheng volunteered to look for food. The two of them were familiar with the wilderness since they often ventured out to such places in the past.

They found some wild vegetables and even managed to hunt quite a bit of prey. However, Ren Xiaosu shook his head when he saw this. For a group of 3,000, the amount of food two people could find would simply be a drop in the bucket.

And what worried Ren Xiaosu the most was not the lack of food but the fact that it could not be distributed evenly.

If they could not distribute it equally, they might as well let all of the escapees starve.

After Old Li and Qin Sheng returned with the food, they gave out the wild vegetables to the women first. Then they cut and distributed the roast meat to the children among the escapees.

Just as Ren Xiaosu had worried, someone immediately rushed out and asked, “Where’s our share?”

Old Li patiently explained, “We could only get this much with the two of us. How about this? I’ll tell you what wild vegetables are edible, and you all can go pick them by yourselves in the wilderness. Would that be better?”

When the people saw that Old Li and Qin Sheng were easy to approach, they started pushing their luck. “We don’t know anything about wild vegetables, so if we pick something poisonous, will you take responsibility for it?”

Then Old Li and Qin Sheng beat them up.

By the time they were lying on the ground and begging for mercy, Old Li dusted off his hands and said, “If you want to eat, pick food by yourselves, understand?!”

Ren Xiaosu was amused watching this from the sidelines. He was really worried Old Li and Qin Sheng would turn out to be goody two shoes. He already knew they were members of the Riders, but this still updated Ren Xiaosu’s opinion of their organization.

But something unexpected happened at the campsite that night. Ren Xiaosu was lying next to the campfire and preparing to go to sleep when Li Ran suddenly limped towards him. She leaned against his back and hugged him from behind.

Li Ran asked softly, “Can you protect me?”

When the plainclothes guards got exhausted from taking turns to carry her today, they started grumbling a little. This made Li Ran very uncomfortable. In such times of helplessness, even Fang Zhi could only remain silent at her side. As such, she thought of Ren Xiaosu.

At the most critical moment, it was Ren Xiaosu who led them out of the stronghold safely. Ren Xiaosu running in front of the group and blowing up the stronghold gate was something Li Ran would never forget in her life.

But just as Li Ran finished speaking, Zhou Yingxue, who was keeping watch beside them, lifted Li Ran up and took her away. When Li Ran was so easily lifted by Zhou Yingxue, she wore a dumbfounded look as she watched herself getting farther and farther away from Ren Xiaosu.

Zhou Yingxue placed Li Ran down next to her and said earnestly, “Ms. Li Ran, I should be the one protecting you based on the contract. My master isn’t obliged to do so. He already has someone that he likes, so please don’t behave like this anymore.”

Li Ran said dumbfoundedly, “M-Master?”

Although she knew Ren Xiaosu was definitely not Zhou Yingxue’s assistant, she did not expect such a stark contrast in his actual status.

Wasn’t Zhou Yingxue a superhuman? How could a mighty figure like a superhuman be willing to submit to someone as a maid?

Ren Xiaosu was still lying awake next to the campfire as he had something on his mind. He was so lost in thought that he did not get distracted even when Li Ran hugged him from behind. Ren Xiaosu was recalling that sight of the nuclear bomb explosion. The world was getting more and more dangerous with every passing moment. In just an instant, that god-killing weapon utterly destroyed the Experimentals.

Would more of such weapons appear in other strongholds in the future? And would his friends and family he had been separated from get dragged in by the chaos of the world?

He wondered how Old Wang, Yan Liuyuan, Xiaoyu, Wang Yuchi, Jiang Wu, and the others were doing. Without him around, could they protect themselves?

When Ren Xiaosu thought of this, he got even more anxious to find them. He would only feel at ease if he were there to protect them.

Then Ren Xiaosu saw a young man sit at the campfire with a notebook and pen in hand. He was scribbling furiously on it.

Ren Xiaosu recognized him as the reporter from Hope Media who had witnessed “Old Xu” killing the Experimentals in the stronghold. He was also the one who took the photograph of “Old Xu” that was published in the newspaper of Hope Media.

Ren Xiaosu sat up and asked, “What are you writing?”

The young reporter said, “I’m recording a draft of today’s happenings. All my colleagues died doing their duty, and I’m the only one left who’s witnessed the scenes. The rest of the world still doesn’t know what happened here, so I’ll record all of it in an article and hand it over to the chief editor when I return. This is a day of suffering for humans. The death toll of the stronghold residents exceeded 200,000 in just one day. This is a day all humans should remember.”

Nearby, Old Li and Qin Sheng listened in silence. During the escape, they became more acquainted with Ren Xiaosu after finding out he was the one who opened up a path for them to escape.

Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu looked at the Hope Media reporter and suddenly thought of a way he could find Yan Liuyuan and the others with the help of Hope Media.

If he could find them with this method, he would not have to put in so much effort trying to make use of the Anjing House.

Outside of Stronghold 144 in the Northwest, four trucks were driving towards the stronghold gate.

When the four trucks came to a stop, a group of people jumped out of the vehicles. A young man shouted to a middle-aged man, “Uncle Fugui, are you really sure of this? Why didn’t I see any caravans passing by here?”

Wang Fugui wiped his face with a towel from the truck and said with a smile, “Don’t you believe in your Uncle Fugui’s ability? We bought these four used trucks with our savings, and they’re now carrying all the good stuff from the Central Plains that you won’t find here in the Southwest and Northwest. This place might look a little run-down, but take another look at it in half a year. Fortress 178 will be opening a trade route to the Central Plains soon, and with Stronghold 144 the closest stronghold to the Central Plains, it’ll surely flourish into the largest distribution center of goods in the entire Northwest by then!”



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The First Order – Chapter 575


The Experimentals had come attacking from the east and the west. This opening in the northern walls had now become the only way out of the stronghold.

Ren Xiaosu ran out first while Zhou Yingxue followed closely.

But when it was Li Ran and the others’ turn to escape, it did not seem to go so smoothly anymore. As a large number of escapees crowded the hole in the wall, Li Ran and the others were stuck there for a while.

Someone started cursing after the crowd started squeezing together at the hole, “Can’t you all give way to others and pass through in an orderly manner?”

But actually, he was also trying his best to squeeze to the front. At this moment, it was useless to say anything. Would being polite and orderly be more important than their own survival?

Because of this stupidity, hardly anyone managed to get out of the hole in the wall after Ren Xiaosu and Zhou Yingxue, with all of them stuck at the exit.

There were still a large number of escapees waiting to get out of the stronghold through the hole. But since it was blocked, no one could get out!

Ren Xiaosu did not have time to worry about them. If these people died over such a stupid thing, he felt they deserved it.

Fortunately, the people behind those at the front had a very strong desire to live. They forcefully kicked the people who were stuck in the exit to the other side before the crowd started streaming out like water again.

Ren Xiaosu looked behind him. He had thought the exit would get blocked again, but he realized the people were suddenly moving in a much more orderly manner.

He took another look in disbelief and was surprised to see Old Li and Qin Sheng standing guard at the exit. They were organizing the escapees as they evacuated the stronghold.

The two of them had only caught up by following the crowd and heading to the north of the stronghold. Even so, they did not prioritize their own escape. Instead, they stood next to the exit to provide cover for the fleeing crowd.

Following that, they even faced the pursuing Experimentals head on. Fortunately, not too many Experimentals had come in pursuit of the escapees, so Old Li and Qin Sheng were more than enough to handle them.

The Experimentals that invaded the stronghold probably numbered in the 5,000s, but they were scattered all across the huge stronghold. If a smaller group of Experimentals were to encounter the two Riders, they would surely be doomed.

Ren Xiaosu shook his head. He had already done what he was supposed to do. As for the rest, it was every man for himself. Thinking of this, Ren Xiaosu started fleeing into the wilderness. As they ran crazily for their lives, Li Ran fell down due to the uneven path and cried out in pain.

Fang Zhi and the plainclothes guards all stopped in their steps. They were going to carry Li Ran and continue making their escape.

Ren Xiaosu felt that this group of people were not that heartless after all. It was not in vain for Li Ran to have them as acquaintances since they were still willing to help her at a time like this.

However, even soldiers would find it quite unbearable to have a load of 50 kilograms on their backs while running in the wilderness.

Everyone had good intentions, but they just couldn’t help wanting to abandon Li Ran as they ran.

It was just like how a lot of people were really filial to their parents. At the beginning, they might be able to take care of their sickly parents and clean up after them. But after a prolonged period, they would start feeling that old people were a burden.

That was because the suffering accumulated over time was capable of bringing down a person.

After they got out of the stronghold, Fang Zhi counted the number of people from the tour group that had escaped. It saddened him that only half of the staff who had traveled with them were left. As for the other half, no one knew whether they had made it out of the stronghold alive.

The plainclothes guards who were taking turns to carry Li Ran were totally exhausted after running for two hours. By the time they started taking the mountain path, their knees could barely stand the heavy load anymore.

The mountain path was treacherous to travel on.

Ren Xiaosu took a break when they reached a small hill, while the people following him also stopped.

Ren Xiaosu crested the hill and looked back at Stronghold 74 in the distance. He could still see the outline of the stronghold from this position, but he was no longer sure of what was going on in the stronghold.

Old Li and Qin Sheng had caught up to them and were injured all over. Ren Xiaosu handed them a vial of black medicine. “This is very effective. Just apply it onto your wounds, and they’ll heal very quickly.”

The two Riders expressed their thanks. They had lost a lot of stamina due to fighting the Experimentals.

Ren Xiaosu asked, “How many escapees made it out of the stronghold in the end?”

“Quite a few.” Old Li panted and said, “But I’m afraid those who didn’t manage to escape are doomed.”

Ren Xiaosu suddenly looked up as though he sensed something. He turned and looked in the direction of the stronghold.

When the others saw him do that, they also looked at the stronghold.

In an instant, it felt as though something had dropped onto the stronghold in the distance. Immediately after, a strange, massive circle of light started radiating outwards. A huge cloud of dust and smoke was swept across the entire stronghold by this sudden attack.

In the blink of an eye, a mighty explosion began to spread from the inside. Crimson flames shot up into the sky and enveloped the entire stronghold in a mushroom cloud.

As the unstoppable shockwave spread outward, it instantly obliterated every building in the stronghold and turned them into dust. The devastating scene of destruction was like a divine punishment brought upon the stronghold by the gods above!

The buildings in areas that were unaffected by the blast retained their original dusty gray color, while those that were within the range of the shockwave were already burning in bright orange flames.

The distant flames were burning so strongly that the escapees’ faces were illuminated red even though they had already escaped far away from the stronghold and onto the hills. Even at this distance, the shockwave still managed to make a mess of their hair and clothes. Some even stumbled back from the force of the blast.

“This…” Ren Xiaosu asked in a startled manner.

“Is a nuclear bomb.” With much difficulty, Old Li said, “A weapon created by humans that even gods are afraid of.”

All the escapees were dumbfounded. Even though they knew there were probably no survivors left in the stronghold other than the Experimentals, they still felt shocked and saddened by this scene of destruction.

It was where they had lived for decades. That was their home.

Ren Xiaosu suddenly remembered that Yang Xiaojin had told him that nuclear weapons were extremely difficult for humans to control.

In the Qing Consortium’s stronghold, Qing Yi was already back at the barracks. He stood behind Qing Zhen and confirmed, “We accurately hit our target, and all the Experimentals should be dead. The highest altitude the missile’s trajectory reached was 47 kilometers, and it traveled at a top speed of 7.5 kilometers per second, while the precision error was less than 30 meters. Those are the real-time measurement data we have from the launch.”

Qing Zhen, who was standing in front of him, had both his hands behind his back. He stood there in the barracks and gazed up at the sky. No one knew what he was thinking.

Qing Yi said with a smile, “Bro, you’re right. Only children would be afraid of something like the Experimentals. Now that the Experimentals have been wiped out, we won’t have any more trouble in the future.”

Qing Zhen slowly turned around to look at Qing Yi and said, “Ah Yi, today is not a day to be happy.”

Qing Yi slowly fell silent. He knew what Qing Zhen was thinking about. Some time ago, the Qing Consortium had informed the Zhou Consortium and hoped they could stop the Experimentals so the stronghold residents would not have to suffer. However, no one expected the Zhou Consortium would be unable to do anything about them.

The Qing Consortium’s sleeper agent at Stronghold 74 had also been sacrificed in the destruction of the stronghold. The spy had immediately called for the Qing Consortium to launch the missile after confirming that Stronghold 74 was beyond saving.

Therefore, the missile not only wiped out the Experimentals, it also killed their Qing Consortium’s people.

Qing Yi understood that Qing Zhen would not have made such a move unless it was absolutely necessary.

As a matter of fact, even during their war with the Yang Consortium and the Li Consortium, Qing Zhen did not resort to using these weapons.

Qing Zhen patted Qing Yi on the shoulder. “Let’s get prepared for war.”

“But who will dare to attack us when we possess weapons like that?” Qing Yi could not understand.

Qing Zhen sighed and said, “It’s precisely because we possess such weapons.”

After he said that, Qing Zhen suddenly felt a little tired.

After that shocking explosion, no one had noticed a gray figure retreating and disappearing into the forest.



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The First Order – Chapter 573


Chapter 573 There“s really a bomb

Knowing that the Experimentals were capable of using simple explosives, it was extremely frightening to find a bomb in the tunnel.

During this period, the Zhou Consortium had deployed special instruments to check on the decibel levels in the vicinity of the stronghold walls, because they were afraid they could not detect the sound of the Experimentals digging tunnels underneath the stronghold.

But looking at this underground tunnel in front of them, the Experimentals must have dug it a long time ago. How else could they have avoided detection by the Zhou Consortium troops?

The soldier who discovered the bomb was panicking as he tried to run back frantically. But before he could get out of the pit, the bomb behind him suddenly exploded.

The ground around the stronghold walls looked like it had suddenly been plowed as large clods of earth started breaking apart. Like the water surface, a dirt “wave” swept across the ground.

The people surrounding the pit were immediately blown into the air, and their organs were ruptured. In the blink of an eye, they died from excessive internal bleeding.

But this was only the beginning. Similar explosions like this went off at three other places.

The loud explosions left the entire stronghold in shock. The residents all stopped whatever they were doing and stared dumbfoundedly at the stronghold walls on the west side that were starting to crumble.

With the loss of the foundation, cracks started to spread from the bottom of the wall to the top from the power of the blast. Finally, three huge gaps appeared!

These three fracture points eventually caused part of the wall to collapse, bringing the garrison troops who were still standing on it to the ground. Any heavy machine guns and artillery they had also became useless. With a breach created in the walls, the Experimentals waiting outside would be getting restless to attack.

When Old Li and Qin Sheng heard the explosions, they immediately rushed off towards the stronghold walls at high speed. But before they could get there, they could already see the stronghold walls collapsing.

It was a sight they had never witnessed with their own eyes. It was as though human civilization were collapsing right before them.

The structure that human beings had relied upon to protect themselves for hundreds of years had crumbled in front of them.

The huge circular stronghold was just like a cake, and a part of it had been cut with a knife by the Experimentals.

This sight also sent a clear message to the humans that their strongholds were not as sturdy as they had thought. All they were good for was defending against wild animals.

Immediately after, a dense pack of Experimentals climbed over the ruins of the fallen wall. Old Li stared blankly at the gray Experimentals crawling towards them like a cluster of spiders.

This proved the negotiation and seven-day deadline mentioned by the Experimentals were a lie. The Experimentals were only trying to make the humans in the stronghold let their guard down and focus on searching for the so-called Experimental 001.

The Experimentals had already planned to launch an attack to destroy the stronghold the day after the negotiations.

The Experimentals wanted the humans in the stronghold for the sake of expanding their race!

Old Li remembered the attitude of the Experimentals’ “king.” Actually, that monster was already prepared to turn the entire Central Plains into its own territory. The other party probably never had any intention of turning back into a normal person ever again.

“Let’s go,” Old Li said in a startled manner.

Qin Sheng said anxiously, “Are we leaving just like that?”

Old Li glanced at Qin Sheng and said in seriousness, “You and I have no obligation to sacrifice ourselves to save Stronghold 74. We should preserve our strength and rescue as many people as we can from this place. Stronghold 74 has already fallen!”

It was not that Old Li did not want to defend the stronghold, but that most of the garrison troops on the stronghold walls had already been killed. War was cruel to begin with, and the Zhou Consortium troops were no longer capable of resisting the Experimentals!

Old Li looked back at Qin Sheng. “Only the east gate has not been sealed off yet. Lead the escapees over there!”

“You want me to lead them?” Qin Sheng was taken aback. “Then what about you, Teacher?”

“I’m gonna hold the Experimentals back for a while. Pray that I can hold on for a bit longer. Those Experimentals won’t be able to outrun me, so don’t worry,” Old Li said.

What Old Li did not say was that if no one went to stop the Experimentals, probably nobody would make it out of here. Since the escapees could not outrun the Experimentals, a lot of escapees would eventually be devoured.

But at this moment, a group of soldiers rushed over from the streets at the rear. Zhou Xingwen was sitting in the car and looked calmly at Old Li and Qin Sheng. “You two, take the residents and flee east. I’ve already told the garrison to open the east gate. The Zhou Consortium will defend the stronghold by ourselves. There’s no reason for you two to die together with us.”

As he spoke, Zhou Xingwen was exuding a certain kind of gallantry that showed he was not afraid of death. Before the explosions happened, he was deploying troops from the command center. But after hearing the explosions, he immediately rushed over.

He knew full well this stronghold no longer had a chance of surviving as he got surrounded by screaming and despairing residents. As the highest-ranking officer in the stronghold, he should not be escaping first. He needed to do one last thing: kill as many Experimentals as he could.

Zhou Xingwen also knew that if he ran away in cowardice, he could never escape from the massive feelings of guilt and remorse.

While they were talking, a reddish-gray mushroom cloud suddenly rose up in the middle of a dense group of Experimentals. And under that mushroom cloud, a transparent shockwave started spreading outwards. The Experimentals that were caught in the explosion’s range were involuntarily swept up and disintegrated.

The mushroom cloud had a radius of 100 meters, and the Experimentals within that range were vaporized. The power of the explosion was really terrifying.

The Experimentals crawling in from the brach in the stronghold never expected a bomb to suddenly go off around them.

As the mushroom cloud dissipated, several other explosions went off in the vicinity. But they did not sound as intense as the first explosion.

Ren Xiaosu was extremely excited as he ran off after throwing the Explosive Poker cards.

The Experimentals that had just swarmed into the stronghold were dazed by the explosions he set off. This time, approximately a quarter of the Experimentals’ strength had been lost after he threw out the bombs in batches.

The mushroom cloud from earlier was made by Ren Xiaosu’s four “sevens” he had just gotten. To be honest, even Ren Xiaosu himself was shocked by the power of the four “sevens”!

At the rear, the Experimentals that had not entered the stronghold yet were also stunned. They hesitated outside the stronghold and did not dare to advance. It wasn’t until they received a new command that they started storming the stronghold again.

Old Li looked at the mushroom cloud dumbfoundedly. “Was that bomb dropped by your Zhou Consortium?”

“No.” Zhou Xingwen shook his head in denial. Then he ordered the Zhou Consortium’s troops to carry on marching. Although someone had helped them clear out some of the Experimentals, there were still more of them up ahead.

Qin Sheng gulped. “Teacher, could a superhuman have caused those explosions? Could it be that superhuman wearing the white mask?”

“I don’t know.” Old Li shook his head. “Let’s go!”

At this moment, Ren Xiaosu was making a mad dash for the hotel. When he got to the hotel’s entrance, he shouted at Zhou Yingxue, “Let’s go, come on! It’ll be too late if we don’t leave now!”

Zhou Yingxue had heard the explosions. When she saw Ren Xiaosu, she followed right behind him without hesitation. Ren Xiaosu looked back at Li Ran and the others and said, “The Experimentals are already here. Follow me if you want to live. Those who can’t keep up, I won’t turn around to save you.”



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The First Order – Chapter 571


The garrison troops of Stronghold 74 all stood quietly on the stronghold walls as they waited for Old Li to return.Everyone wanted to know what the Experimentals had talked about since it was a little bizarre for such fearsome creatures to want to negotiate.

When they saw Old Li appear on the horizon, the garrison troops on the walls were all relieved. At least, Old Li had returned safely.

Some of them even started cheering like they were welcoming a lone hero home. They were not stingy with their praises and ardor at all. It sounded like these garrison troops on the stronghold walls had won the battle with everyone conveniently forgetting that they were still surrounded by the Experimentals at this moment.

However, the hero, Old Li, did not look happy at all. Instead, he felt torn and puzzled by what he had just found out. His mood turned a little heavy.

The soldiers on the walls were about to lower the gondola car to pick up Old Li. However, he climbed up from below with his bare hands.

From a distance, the stronghold walls looked very smooth. But upon closer inspection, there were still some fine cracks in it. When everyone saw Old Li skillfully climbing the walls, it was apparent that this was not the first time he had scaled a stronghold.

Zhou Xingwen went up to Old Li. “What did the Experimentals want? How did you communicate with them?”

“One of them can speak our language.” Old Li looked at the Pyro Company members next to him and said to the others truthfully, “The Experimentals all came from the Pyro Company’s Lab 39 that was originally used to treat cancer patients. However, an accident happened and caused them to become like that. They wanted to negotiate with us to help them find a person who escaped from that lab. They said the person holds a secret that can help them recover fully and turn them back into normal humans again.”

Everyone was shocked. A lot of information was contained in those short few sentences.

Looking at everyone’s dumbfounded expression, Old Li recalled that he probably wore the same look as well earlier.

Everyone looked at the Pyro Company members subconsciously and thought to themselves, ‘So they were the ones who created these creatures.’ This confirmed the Pyro Company had created the monsters.

But since they were helping to defend the city now, the officers of the Zhou Consortium troops did not say anything more. They could only go back and discuss it in private later.

Meanwhile, the Pyro Company members remained expressionless throughout. In fact, it was no secret the Experimentals were created by the Pyro Company.

At least the Qing Consortium knew all about this. However, they did not deliberately try to stir up public opinion to spite the Pyro Company.

At this moment, Old Li sighed and said, “If we can’t find that person, the Experimentals will come and destroy the city in seven days.”

Zhou Xingwen suddenly said, “We definitely can’t hand that person over to the Experimentals. First of all, we can’t fully believe what they said as we still need to verify the authenticity of the story. Second, we don’t know whether this person can cure the Experimentals or not. These Experimentals are so cunning and vicious, so even if they recover, are we certain we can get along with them?”

Nearby, some people echoed agreement that the person must not be handed over to the Experimentals.

Only Qin Sheng wondered from next to them, “You’re putting it as though we’ve already found that person. Why do I feel that we might not even be able to find him?”

Zhou Xingwen was speechless.

Old Li said, “Indeed, there aren’t really any clues for us to start from. We don’t even know what he looks like and can’t be sure of how old he is. The only information we have is that he came out of Lab 39.”

Qin Sheng’s words hit the mark. They would have to find that person first before discussing whether to hand him over to the Experimentals.

Everyone split up and got down to business. The Pyro Company contacted their headquarters to relay the information. However, the Pyro Company clearly expressed that Laboratory 39 had been completely destroyed. After the earthquake in the Jing Mountains, the volcanic magma had entirely covered the area. Furthermore, there was an extremely powerful unidentified creature there.

Even if that creature remained motionless in the volcano, the laboratory data would have been burned away by the magma. There was absolutely no chance of finding any clues.

There might have been some relevant data left in the research laboratory at Stronghold 73. After all, based on some previously discovered information, the research direction of that research laboratory and Laboratory 39 was generally the same, so both laboratories should have had contact with each other. There might just have been some information left behind.

But that data had already been stolen by Wang Congyang!

Suddenly, the Pyro Company issued an order to raise the wanted level of Wang Congyang.

The Zhou Consortium’s troops immediately contacted the Qing Consortium. Even the head of the Zhou Consortium, Zhou Shiji, called Qing Zhen directly in the hope that the Qing Consortium could provide them with some information about this matter.

However, the Qing Consortium expressed they also knew nothing of this. They had only deduced that the Experimentals must have mutated from cancer patients, which was now confirmed by the Zhou Consortium.

As for the person the Experimentals were looking for, they were not sure of that either. It could be very possible that he had died along with the destruction of Stronghold 113 and Stronghold 112.

The earthquake utterly destroyed the two strongholds. Even if there were any clues, they would probably have been buried together with the strongholds.

Zhou Xingwen was at a loss. They also discussed whether they should hand over the person, but how were they supposed to hand him over when they could not even find him?!

At this moment, they were guessing the patient who had been successfully cured of cancer was walking among normal people by now. Unless that person’s cells were tested, it would be impossible to find him.

Even the Experimentals had mentioned he probably looked like an average person now.

This matter eventually made it to Hope Media’s newspapers. The Zhou Consortium troops had made the issue public and accepted the media’s interview as they were hoping to appeal to the Experimental who was walking among normal human beings to voluntarily step forward. He would not have to face the Experimentals and only needed to tell them the information he knew.

When Ren Xiaosu read the newspaper, he was bewildered. “Lab 39?”

This matched the research data he had transported away in his train. One of the documents also stated that a patient in Laboratory 39 had successfully made a full recovery from cancer. However, the treatment conditions were extremely particular and difficult to replicate.

So the Experimentals were the guinea pigs of that replicated treatment that had failed.

When he saw the date reported in the newspaper, Ren Xiaosu was stunned. The image of a little boy who was lying unconscious in the snow appeared in his mind. After he carried the boy out of the snow, he ended up with a younger brother from that day onwards.

Based on the date and location, Yan Liuyuan seemed to fit the descriptions very well.

Although the reported date and location were extremely vague, and it was difficult to calculate the time scale as the Experimentals claimed to have been imprisoned in the dark laboratory, it was really possible that Yan Liuyuan could be the person they were looking for based on simple deduction.

But Yan Liuyuan did not have a strong physique. Instead, he was really weak and frail due to his Curse Manipulation superpower.

“It’s probably not the case,” Ren Xiaosu muttered to himself.

But regardless of whether Yan Liuyuan was Experimental 001 or not, Ren Xiaosu would definitely not tell anyone about it. He had seen too much evil and knew full well the kind of things a unique person like that would encounter in society.

No matter how kind you were, you would still be ostracized if you were not one of them.

Even heroes were treated like this, let alone others.



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The First Order – Chapter 569


Based on what everyone thought, the Zhou Consortium could definitely exterminate the Experimentals within a week. Since the Experimentals were not successful in attacking the city at the start, once the Zhou Consortium started a full-scale retaliation, the Experimentals would not even stand a chance.

But reality proved this false. More than a week had already passed since the day the Experimentals attacked the city for the first time, yet Stronghold 74 did not even see any signs of the reinforcements arriving.

When Li Ran and the others first started eating the rations, they did not control the amount of food they ate. Everyone just ate as usual, so the food they bought previously was almost gone.

Zhou Yingxue even warned them at the beginning, but everyone felt the war would be over soon. When the time came, they would not be able to leave with the food either, so they might as well finish it all. Hence, Zhou Yingxue did not say anything else. At most, she could just eat the potatoes with her master. It wasn’t like the lives of these people had anything to do with her anyway!

At this point, Li Ran and the others were starting to worry about the food shortage when they saw how hopeless the situation had become. However, they remembered that Zhou Yingxue had warned them earlier, yet they did not heed her advice.

As such, they were embarrassed to ask for Zhou Yingxue’s help to think of a solution. Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu was unaffected by the situation as he could not even be bothered with them.

Of course, it was because they were not in a dire situation yet. If they got really hungry, these people would probably even be willing to eat tree bark, not to mention begging others for help.

But at that time, it would be difficult to say if there would still be any bark left on the streets.

In any case, Ren Xiaosu wasn’t panicking. He would go out every day to check on the situation in the city to see if any Experimentals had come to attack. Nothing else mattered to him.

The food he’d hoarded in his storage space was enough to last him and Zhou Yingxue for another three months at least. Furthermore, there were many varieties of food, like the entire herd of wild boars he had killed. There were still three of them left.

Two days later, Li Ran and the others kept wondering why they could smell a faint aroma of meat inside the hotel. However, when they searched for the source of the smell, they could not find anything. They even thought they might be hallucinating from hunger.

That was until they saw the gloss of oil on Zhou Yingxue’s lips.

Zhou Yingxue did not seem to have any intention of eating inconspicuously. The pork was given by her master, after all, and it wasn’t like she stole or seized it from anyone, so she did not have the obligation to share it with others, right?

On that same day, something extremely strange happened.

There were soldiers lying behind the defensive fortifications on the top of the stronghold walls when they saw an Experimental crawling over at high speed with something hanging in its mouth.

Everyone was a little puzzled by the sight. What was the Experimental coming here for? To surrender? Could infighting have arisen among the Experimentals as well?

The Experimental came to the bottom of the stronghold walls and dropped whatever was in its mouth before turning around and retreating back into the dark forest.

The garrison troops on the stronghold walls looked at each other and quickly lowered someone in a gondola car to pick up the item the Experimental had dropped. They found a white cloth.

When Zhou Xingwen heard about this, he ran to the top of the stronghold walls and took the white cloth from the soldier’s hands. On it were a few words written in fresh blood: “Negotiations. Come alone.”

Instantly, Zhou Xingwen’s scalp tingled. The Experimentals actually knew how to write and even used the term “negotiation”?

Humans negotiating with the Experimentals? How was that supposed to be carried out?

Old Li and Qin Sheng rushed over as well. The Pyro Company members, who were already on the stronghold walls when the Experimental came over, started explaining the situation to them. Old Li suddenly said, “I’ll go!”

Qin Sheng turned to look at Old Li. “Teacher, you can’t go. There’s probably at least ten thousand Experimentals still in that forest.”

“It’s OK.” Old Li waved the white cloth in his hand and said with a smile, “Someone has to go see what the Experimentals are up to, right? I have no children, no partner, no worries, and my only disciple has also graduated. I should be the one to do this.”

The Zhou Consortium officers nearby did not say anything. They were definitely not going. They felt a deep admiration for Old Li when they heard he was willing to volunteer.

And it did not seem this Rider was scared either from the way he was laughing and chatting.

Old Li’s smile gradually faded. “Moreover, it’s obvious there’s an intelligent being that’s controlling those Experimentals. If the other party wants to negotiate with me, I might just be able to get close and kill it. If that happens, this crisis involving the Experimentals will probably be resolved as well.”

As for what came after that, Old Li would definitely get surrounded and killed by the other Experimentals after taking out their leader. No matter how powerful he was, it would be impossible for him to take on that many Experimentals.

However, he did not say anything regarding the consequences. Since he had decided to go, he would have to prepare to die.

Qin Sheng wanted to stop him, but before he could say anything, Old Li stopped him. Old Li smiled and said, “This is really exciting, isn’t it?”

In the afternoon, Old Li rappeled down the stronghold walls and walked into the forest alone. But just as he entered the forest, he discovered there were Experimentals constantly moving around and surrounding him in the shadows.

The Experimentals did not attack Old Li. Instead, they opened up a path for him to walk straight into the depths of the forest.

Old Li stepped on soft leaves as he walked. Fall had passed, and the leaves that had fallen onto the soil had turned to duff. Old Li’s ending was not going to be that different from the fallen leaves; it was just a matter of time.

Thinking this, Old Li strode forward with long strides. He looked at the Experimentals next to him like they were nothing.

After walking for about two kilometers, Old Li saw an Experimental sitting at a campfire in front of him. It was holding a tree branch in its gray hand, a sparrow impaled on it.

Old Li stood still and surveyed his surroundings silently. He wanted to see if there would be a chance for him to kill the other party. However, before he made his move, he still needed to hear what it had to say first.

But how were they going to talk? Through writing?

While Old Li was letting his imagination wander, the Experimental suddenly laughed hoarsely. “I’ve seen you before. That evening, you were up on the mountain with a young man beside you. Why isn’t he here as well?”

Old Li was shocked. So this Experimental could actually speak!

The Experimentals mutated from humans, so it should be quite normal that they could speak a human language. But still, Old Li found it very unusual!

The Experimental’s voice was extremely hoarse and sounded like two pieces of sandpaper scraping against each other. “Don’t be so surprised. I’m also human. We only became like this because we wanted to cure our illness. It’s just that some of us are lucky like me to be able to gradually regain our sapience, while the others unfortunately turned into monsters.”

Old Li frowned but did not say anything. What the other party was telling him was an information overload.

The Experimental looked at him and waved the sparrow on the stick while saying with a smile, “This is for you. I used to like eating roast meat too. But now, I prefer raw and bloody meat more. Sometimes, I even like to eat something that’s rotting for a change of taste. You can just stand over there. If you get any closer, you’ll die here. You don’t have to think about killing me. Your kind can’t.” With that, the Experimental threw the sparrow to Old Li.

Old Li accepted the sparrow graciously. He raised it to his mouth and tore off a piece of meat from it. As he chewed, he asked, “Isn’t it better to be human? Meat only tastes good if it’s cooked.”

“That’s exactly why I’m looking for you.” The Experimental said in a hoarse voice, “Help me find someone. If you can find him, we’ll return to the forest, or we can head south and never come back again.”



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The First Order – Chapter 567


Although Ren Xiaosu said that Li Ran could make the decision herself, she could tell that Ren Xiaosu did not want any further trouble. Therefore, she decided to just hide in her hotel room and let Fang Zhi deal with turning away the women who had come to seek refuge.And a well-known company in Stronghold 74 suddenly organized a food drive. The stronghold residents could swipe their ID cards in exchange for receiving some porridge, and everyone would get two servings per day.

There were a total of 41 porridge stands set up across the entire stronghold. In an instant, all of the stronghold residents took their pots, bowls, and pans to collect the porridge.

Ren Xiaosu went to take a look for himself. The porridge given out at the porridge stands was not too thin either. At the least, it would not be a problem for the stronghold residents to survive on.

Upon swiping one’s ID card on a black device at the porridge stands, if a green light were shown, porridge would be served to the resident. A red light indicated the resident had already collected their share of the porridge, so the organizers would not dispense any porridge to them.

Many of the stronghold residents tried to claim more than they were allotted, but none of them succeeded in getting extra.

Ren Xiaosu wondered if the Zhou Consortium was behind this company. After all, the entire stronghold’s food supplies were in the hands of the Zhou Consortium. But why didn’t the Zhou Consortium organize the food drive in their own name?

Instead, they had this company do it on their behalf?

Besides, when Ren Xiaosu saw the people who were giving out the porridge, they all looked really burly. Some of them even had tattoos on their necks and looked like gangsters.

Since the stronghold residents had food to eat now, the chaos did not last for too long. Moreover, Hope Media’s newspaper published a piece of news saying the Zhou Consortium troops from Stronghold 73 had already regrouped and were setting off to Stronghold 74 to exterminate the Experimentals. Their strength totaled 14,000 soldiers.

Many people felt the war was probably coming to an end, so they would be suicidal if they caused any further trouble.

These people only dared to make a scene while the Zhou Consortium was too busy to care about them. Now that the Zhou Consortium was free to deal with the disorder, it would be no more difficult than stepping on an ant.

Based on the normal speed of a march, the reinforcements should take around three days to reach the vicinity of Stronghold 74. However, due to the urgency of the situation, they were likelier to arrive in two days if they force marched.

Li Ran and the others were cheering in the main lobby. Even Ren Xiaosu had a smile on his face. It seemed that Stronghold 74 could get off the hook this time, and the Experimentals had to retreat back into the mountains.

But on the afternoon of the next day, Stronghold 73’s 2nd Division that was on its way to Stronghold 74 as reinforcements suddenly encountered a dense group of Experimentals that charged down from the forested mountains while they were walking on a mountain path.

As the path was narrow, and the Experimentals were charging at them from high ground, the 2nd Division’s tanks were unable to do much.

On the left was a mountain, and on the right was a cliff.

The Experimentals had been planning for a long time to use this position as an ambush spot.

However, 2nd Division was prepared for this. They had expected the Experimentals would attack the reinforcements along the way like the previous time, so the armored vehicles that were mounted with heavy machine guns were always on guard to prevent an Experimental ambush on the formation.

The soldiers in the armored vehicles immediately turned the heavy machine guns toward the Experimentals and placed them in their sights.

Moreover, the infantry troops’ automatic rifles were even equipped with grenade launchers this time, and much of their ammunition was replaced with white phosphorus munitions.

White phosphorus munitions included grenades, artillery shells, and other types of bombs. The body of the ammunition would be filled with phosphorus and would automatically ignite on contact with air and burn until it completely reacted.

Normal bullets could not penetrate the Experimentals’ bodies? Then use white phosphorus against them!

It seemed like this was also the first time the Experimentals had encountered an individual combat weapon that could cause enough effective damage to kill them. As a result, the first group of Experimentals that rushed at their enemy were all burned to death. The entire forested mountain started burning as the originally emerald green mountain range was engulfed in flames.

Just as 2nd Division thought victory was in their grasp, hundreds of Experimentals suddenly climbed up the mountain and launched another attack from the other side.

When they used the white phosphorus munitions again, the Zhou Consortium troops realized they had used it in the wrong situation. After the Experimentals that had already rushed near them were hit by the white phosphorus, they wouldn’t instantly burn to ashes. However, the burning flames that were brought into the crowd of soldiers caused even more casualties to the Zhou Consortium troops!

Once it came down to close combat, the white phosphorus became a double-edged sword. Although it was capable of killing enemies, it also hurt their own troops.

The Experimentals were also much hardier than normal soldiers. As such, before the Experimentals could die from the fiery attacks, the Zhou Consortium’s own soldiers had already fallen to the burning flames!

Furthermore, some of the soldiers were shocked to discover there were another dozen or so Experimentals that were completely different from the others.

The other Experimentals moved around by crawling, but these dozen or so Experimentals were actually walking upright all the time!

In a split second, these dozen or so Experimentals charged into the 2nd Division’s formation. Some of the soldiers had used the white phosphorus to hit one of them, but it seemed totally unaffected by the flames burning on its body. They watched the Experimental charge to the front of an armored vehicle and grab the wheels with its bare hands. Then it threw the armored vehicle down to the bottom of the cliff to the right.

The heavily armored vehicle tumbled down the mountainside, and even the sturdy frame of the vehicle was shattered!

When the soldiers saw this sight, they were all shocked. They had not expected such a ferocious existence among the Experimentals!

How powerful was it to be able to flip an armored vehicle with its bare hands?!

These dozen-odd Experimentals zipped through the Zhou Consortium troops with no intention of prolonging the fight. When they encountered the standard infantry, they would charge into them with their bodies and break the soldiers’ bones. When they encountered an armored vehicle, they would throw it right off the cliff.

These Experimentals were the strongest warriors in their entire race and were completely focused on crippling the heavy firepower of the Zhou Consortium troops. They did not seem to know what fear was and were extremely powerful.

They were like a sharp knife that stabbed right at the hearts of the Zhou Consortium troops, and it was even twisted in for good measure.

While the Experimentals advanced, the Zhou Consortium soldiers tried to fire at them with their guns. However, the Experimentals were moving too quickly.

They were able to move freely within the Zhou Consortium troops, taking out the normal soldiers in the process like they were up against children.

This was the result of overwhelming strength and speed.

Although there weren’t many of these Experimentals that walked upright, their destructive power on the battlefield was simply too great!

A minute later, just as one of the Experimentals was about to crash into a soldier like they had been doing, that soldier suddenly took the initiative to charge it. The moment the two parties collided, the explosives in the soldier’s arms immediately went off. Both the soldier and that Experimental were blown into pieces.

The huge blast sent the surrounding soldiers flying up. Even the armored vehicles nearby were rattling from the explosion, the shockwave killing some of the soldiers who were standing close to the impact zone.

In this ambush battle, this seemed to be the only way the Zhou Consortium troops could effectively stop the Experimentals.

More and more soldiers started using this method as they sought to die together with the Experimentals. During this wave of attacks, the Experimentals also learned to be smart. They would charge in while steering clear of the humans and only destroy the armored vehicles and tanks. They avoided going headfirst into the soldiers.

As a result, some of the soldiers died in vain. Although the explosives were detonated, the Experimentals managed to avoid getting caught in the blasts.



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