The First Order – Chapter 204


Chapter 204 Master, don’t get too upset

Knowing the opportunity was hard to come by, Wang Fugui did not hesitate any further. He would have to handle the exemptions for Li Xiaoyu, Jiang Wu, and the rest of the female students from their manual labor first.

He went back over to Ren Xiaosu and told him about it. Ren Xiaosu thought for a moment and said, “It’s already quite good that we can get an exemption from manual labor. You’ll need to settle them in town after we get conscripted. If we decide to escape one day, it’ll be easier for us to meet up when that time comes.”

Right now, only ten people in their group were required to serve in the military. This consisted of Chen Wudi, Ren Xiaosu, and the eight male students. The remaining people would be allowed to stay in town for the time being.

Who could have everything go their way in a chaotic world like this? This was already a very good outcome.

After the soldiers finished receiving their bribes, they continued on their journey. After an hour, they finally arrived at the outside of Stronghold 108. To Ren Xiaosu’s surprise, the town outside the stronghold was much livelier than the other towns he had been to.

Construction vehicles could be seen shuttling back and forth. There was even a huge military base stationed just outside the town. It seemed that the Li Consortium had already gathered a lot of its military forces outside Stronghold 108.

Although it was early morning, it was extremely busy outside the stronghold.

Ren Xiaosu was puzzled. Even if Stronghold 108 was the closest to Stronghold 109 where the Experimentals now were, was it really necessary to gather so many troops here?

When they got out of the vehicles, the officer in charge of escorting them immediately instructed those who had paid bribes to run into town via a narrow trail to avoid getting drafted into manual labor. The remaining people were made to stay there to await further instructions.

The officer chuckled and said, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Li Qingzheng, and I’m going to bring you all over to the conscription office now for a physical examination. I’ll secretly share some good news with you all. As long as you pass the test, you stand a chance of returning to the stronghold. In any case, I’m not that fortunate. But for you all, it’s all up to your own luck.”

Ren Xiaosu was a little puzzled. Was this a normal physical? It could even decide whether a person would end up becoming a refugee or a stronghold resident?

They followed Li Qingzheng and came to a large military tent. At this moment, a group of people happened to be coming out of the tent. One of them said excitedly, “I can get into the stronghold! I can go live in the stronghold!”

Li Qingzheng was watching that man’s excitement with a grimace. “What a lucky man. A refugee has been elevated in status just like that.”

He looked at Ren Xiaosu and the others while explaining, “That person was previously a refugee from Stronghold 107’s town. However, he’s become a stronghold resident after being sent here and taking the physical. Interesting, right?” Ren Xiaosu stood outside the tent and looked at that man from behind. He suddenly felt that this physical examination was likely to be related to the Li Consortium’s new technology.

Everyone stood in line and waited for their turn to enter the tents. Currently, the physical examination was being carried out in more than a dozen tents within the military base at the same time. Not only were there refugees undergoing the physical examination, but even the active servicemen of the Li Consortium were required to go through the physical examination again!

Ren Xiaosu went into one of the tents. However, the physical examination being carried out on the inside was not what he had expected. There were only several people dressed in white coats standing in front of an apparatus. The person undergoing the physical examination was required to sit on a stool that was attached to the apparatus. He was also wearing a metallic ring that was connected to some wires on his head.

A person in a white coat read the data and said, “Synchronization rate at 3%, fail.”

The staff member next to him dismissed the person who was undergoing the physical examination. “You did not pass.”

Ren Xiaosu slowly moved all the way to the back of the line. He kept having a feeling that something was off about this.

Li Qingzheng chuckled, “What, don’t you want to get back into the stronghold? I heard you used to be a stronghold resident.” Ren Xiaosu glanced at him. “Aren’t you a stronghold resident?”

“No, I only became a platoon commander because the private army’s strength increased. But I was also a refugee before,” Li Qingzheng said with a smile.

So it turned out that the Li Consortium was increasing its military strength all across the board. Even refugees were being recruited into the private army now.

At this moment, one of the people in the white coats said, “Synchronization rate at 81%, pass. Record this person’s details into the personnel database.”

Ren Xiaosu asked, “What does this ‘synchronization rate’ mean?”

“I’m not sure either.” Li Qingzheng said, “Anyway, if you can pass the test, you’ll be allowed into the stronghold. But if you fail it, you’ll become one of my men.”

The man who passed the test was an escapee who had fled together with Ren Xiaosu’s group from Stronghold 109. He asked the doctor in disbelief, “Am I allowed to enter the stronghold?!”

The doctor in the white coat glanced at him and said indifferently, “Congratulations. Your name?”

“Hahaha, I can finally enter the stronghold!” the escapee said excitedly.

The doctor said impatiently, “Name, please?”

“Lin Qi! My name is Lin Qi!” the escapee answered excitedly.

Then someone took him away. One by one, the people in their group stepped forward for the physical examination. The synchronization rates of the eight male students basically fell between 40% and 60%, but the passing requirement was apparently much higher than that.

When it came to Chen Wudi’s turn, the doctor frowned. “Synchronization rate at 1%. Why is it so low?”

But Chen Wudi seemed unaffected by the result. When the doctor asked him to leave, he asked Ren Xiaosu in a whisper, “Master, why is my synchronization rate only at 1% and so much lower than theirs?”

“It might be a test of whether your brain is functioning properly or not.” Ren Xiaosu hesitated for a moment before replying. “It’s only because there’s something wrong with your brain that you scored 1%.”

At this moment, the doctor urged Ren Xiaosu to come forward for his turn.

At one point in time, Ren Xiaosu felt that his synchronization rate would somehow turn out to be surprisingly high. But what if he got selected to enter the stronghold? He wasn’t keen on entering the stronghold at all!

When Ren Xiaosu placed the metallic ring over his head, he felt like there were some barely discernible strands of silk threads trying to communicate with his mind. They felt like a physical presence in his mind, but before those threads could connect with the palace, they started snapping in quick succession!

A second later, the doctor opposite him said in a surprise, “Synchronization Rate at 0%?!” How can that be?”

Nearby, Chen Wudi said with a look of sarcasm, “Master, don’t get too upset.”

Ha ha…

Ren Xiaosu was confused. Was it because of the palace that his results were 0%?

Then the doctor said, “Record it. Neuron interfacing was a complete failure.” He called out to the person after Ren Xiaosu, “Next.”

If Ren Xiaosu had not said those words to Chen Wudi, he would definitely have been accepting of this result. But now, he found it really hard to swallow. Although he did not wish to pass this test, his score should at least be higher than Chen Wudi’s, right?!

“Doctor,” Ren Xiaosu said in a serious tone, “I think I can get a better result than that. There must be something wrong with the machine. How else could I have scored so low?”

The doctor shot him a look. “Don’t waste the stronghold’s resources. Next!”

As Ren Xiaosu got dragged out of the tent by Li Qingzheng and the others, he kept shouting, “Doctor, please give me another chance!”

The doctor in the tent said coldly, “I’ve seen loads of people like that. It’s going to be the same no matter how many times they get tested. What a bunch of good-for-nothings.”

However, when the next person sat down on the apparatus, the doctor froze. “Why is there no reaction? It’s not displaying any data at all.”

“Could the machine be faulty?” someone asked softly.

The doctor keyed in a 16-digit PIN on the apparatus to unlock the refrigerated chamber in the middle where a bottle of silvery, liquidlike substance could be seen.

The doctor puzzledly took another bottle of the “liquid” and replaced the one in the chamber. The machine was immediately restored back to normal.

He handed the bottle of “liquid” he took out of the machine to his assistant. “Send this back to the stronghold for checking. There might be some problems with this bottle of nanomachines.”

 



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