“The town is right in front of us.” Yan Liuyuan’s eyes were shimmering as he leaned forward from the back of the truck and peeked through the transparent window between the cab and cargo bed.
Upon hearing that, all of the people who were nodding off in the back of the truck were jolted awake.
Everyone did not have it easy their entire journey here. There wasn’t even a place for them to lie down for one day, and everyone was always in a state of anxiety and constant worry. What if the wolves or the terrifying Experimentals caught up to them again?
Even if there was a supernatural being like Chen Wudi around, he probably couldn’t hold off so many Experimentals, right?
Although Ren Xiaosu told them they would be fine, everyone was still uneasy until the moment they finally saw “human civilization” again. An emotion welled up inside them. It was a kind of happiness that came after a brush with death.
Naturally, some people were puzzled too. For example, Luo Lan and Jiang Wu wondered why Ren Xiaosu would make the judgment call that the wolves would not be attacking them again when they didn’t even see him doing anything about it. Furthermore, the wolves really did not come to attack them!
Jiang Wu had already experienced it so many times along the way. The young refugee made many decisions correctly as though he had prior knowledge.
If she didn’t have her students catch up with Ren Xiaosu in advance on the evening the Experimentals attacked, they would have probably died there.
During their escape, Yan Liuyuan, Xiaoyu, and the others in their group did not suffer much. The other escapees had not brought anything with them on their escape. Of all the escapees, only the five of them were carrying a full set of luggage, and it was clear they were well-prepared. This made Jiang Wu envy Yan Liuyuan and the others. If Ren Xiaosu had led her and her students as well, they would probably have suffered a lot less.
Of course, she knew that Ren Xiaosu did not have such an obligation to them. Furthermore, he had already helped her with many things, such as searching for food and letting them get into the truck. Jiang Wu knew full well it was due to Ren Xiaosu’s credit that she and her students got to Stronghold 109 alive. She turned to the students and said, “Everyone, come and thank Ren Xiaosu. You should all know you’re only alive because of what he did.”
The students looked at Ren Xiaosu. This refugee, the same age as them, had truly earned their genuine admiration.
“Thank you so much!”
“Gratitude received from Xie Guangkun, +1!”
“Gratitude received from Chenghe, +1!”
“Gratitude received from…”
Ren Xiaosu was on cloud nine. “You’re all too polite, too polite!”
Within a minute, Ren Xiaosu suddenly said as he counted the number of people, “There are still two people who haven’t thanked me yet. Hurry up and…”
Jiang Wu did not know whether to laugh or cry. Although she was very grateful to Ren Xiaosu, she sometimes felt that his brain might really be wired differently from others.
The military transport truck drove on the road that cut through the center of town towards the stronghold’s gate. Yan Liuyuan leaned out of the back of the truck and looked outside. “Bro, this place is just like our town.”
What he meant by “just like” probably referred to the shacks and living conditions in town.
Ren Xiaosu used to think the sights in town were awful, but the same sights here felt warm and fuzzy to him now.
He was a little different from the others. After venturing out to the Jing Mountains, he didn’t even get to rest before he came back and encountered the disaster at the stronghold. It’d been half a month since he had gotten any proper rest.
Even someone with an extremely strong will like him would feel worn out.
Jiang Wu said hesitantly, “Did you guys used to live in a place like this?”
Everyone in the stronghold knew there was a town outside, but they did not know what the town actually looked like. That was because not everyone could pass through the stronghold’s gate as they wished.
So Jiang Wu had thought the town was some dilapidated place with squat buildings. She had never expected there would be no buildings at all. The majority of the homes here were run-down.
So they had been living in a fairy tale heaven the entire time, while Ren Xiaosu and company lived in hell.
Xiaoyu smiled and said, “But life was not that hard. Our Xiaosu was even a substitute teacher in town. If nothing had happened to the stronghold, he would probably have become the new teacher.”
Her words surprised Jiang Wu even more as she looked closely at Ren Xiaosu. Honestly, she only thought that Ren Xiaosu was capable. She did not expect he was even a teacher. In that instant, Ren Xiaosu’s image in her head became even greater.
This was the social status that came along with a social identity. If Ren Xiaosu were only a “drug dealer,” he would definitely not gain any respect from others.
Grumpy, Luo Lan jumped out of the vehicle. The more he looked at Ren Xiaosu, the angrier he became. He was clearly just a refugee, yet he had a supernatural being as his disciple and even a beautiful female teacher with eyes only for him.
He marched up to the gate in an awe-inspiring manner and shouted to the people at the gate, “Tell Lu Yuan to come out and see me!”
It seemed like the man at the gate was a town resident. He was stunned as he stared at Luo Lan. “Who is Lu Yuan?”
Luo Lan’s face darkened. He shouted, “Where’s the town administrator? Get him out here!”
Ren Xiaosu also jumped out of the vehicle and immediately saw the figure of a town administrator. After all, the demeanor and attire of the town administrator were totally different from those of the refugees. Ren Xiaosu told him, “We came from Stronghold 113. This is Luo Lan of the Qing Consortium. Report this to your stronghold overseer.” Ren Xiaosu then turned around to Yan Liuyuan and the others and said, “Y’all don’t have to get out of the vehicle. We’ll be driving straight into the stronghold.”
Jiang Wu was slightly taken aback, because Ren Xiaosu cast a glance at her when he spoke. She realized Ren Xiaosu was hinting something to her.
Luo Lan had only promised to let the six of them into the stronghold. He didn’t include Jiang Wu and her students. If someone made a fuss about it, Jiang Wu and her students might just end up refugees in the future.
But right now, they had the backing of Luo Lan. Everyone just needed to remain in the truck while they entered the stronghold. No one could say a thing about it. The people of Stronghold 109 would probably just think the truck was carrying the Qing Consortium’s people!
Usually, they would check their IDs before allowing them into the stronghold, but Ren Xiaosu was going to gamble that Lu Yuan would not dare to check Luo Lan.
The high and mighty stronghold overseers were poor bastards caught in between the various organizations at such a time. They wouldn’t dare offend any of them.
When Ren Xiaosu finished speaking, he got back into the truck to get some rest. Meanwhile, Luo Lan, Tang Zhou, and their soldiers waited outside for Lu Yuan to come out. The wait lasted an hour.
For some reason, Ren Xiaosu always felt the way Luo Lan carried himself was extremely similar to that of his younger brother, Qing Zhen. In Ren Xiaosu’s eyes, the cocky looks on their faces were exactly the same. It was just that Luo Lan always seemed to be a level below Qing Zhen.
After all, Qing Zhen had been surrounded by a large number of combat troops, and he could feel the intimidating aura blow against his face; whereas when Ren Xiaosu saw Luo Lan for the first time, he was already in a pathetic state.
Of course, Ren Xiaosu was still unaware he had flushed Qing Zhen’s image down the drain. This was also the reason why Qing Zhen was so determined to arrest Xu Xianchu by any means necessary.