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?”