The First Order – Chapter 215

Chapter 215 A new member for the outpost

When Ren Xiaosu learned the old man was here to investigate the disappearance of the Li Consortium’s officers, he immediately went on full alert. However, he did not show it outwardly.

When Ren Xiaosu sat down beside the campfire, a student next to him handed him a roasted chicken drumstick.

The old man smiled at Ren Xiaosu as he ate. “Young people these days don’t pay much attention to their health. When you all get to my age, you’ll realize that having a good appetite is a blessing.”

“You’re right.” Ren Xiaosu glanced at him. It was definitely not logical for him to have the runs for six hours. He had been mentally praising Chen Wudi for being so adaptable, but thinking about it now, it looked like he had overestimated him.

If Chen Wudi said he had the runs for six hours, it meant the old man had already been here for six hours.

However, this old man did not even ask him where he had gone. He just went with diarrhea as the reason like he did not intend to delve any deeper into his disappearance from the outpost.

Ren Xiaosu did not believe that someone in charge of investigating a case could overlook such a simple, common sense problem. He felt that he was just playing the fool and feigning ignorance.

“Since you’re here to investigate the case, have you found any clues yet?” Ren Xiaosu said nonchalantly.

“Although I’m here for the investigations, what do those missing people of the Li Consortium have anything to do with me?” The old man smiled and said, “I’m already so old, yet they still made me come out to work in such bad weather. How can they do something like that?”

Ren Xiaosu scrutinized him and asked, “May I ask how old are you?”

“I’m 73 this year.” The old man said with a smile, “I haven’t had the chance to introduce myself yet. Hello, everyone, my name is Hu Shuo[1].”

Everyone looked at each other as this name sounded really strange. However, Ren Xiaosu was more concerned that his surname was not Li.

In this region, Ren Xiaosu paid extra attention to anyone with the surname of Li. Up until now, nearly everyone Ren Xiaosu met with the surname Li were the middle and higher-ranking officers of the organization’s military. The only exception was Li Qingzheng, who was the Lord of Wolves of Mount Kun.

“Why did you take on the case then?” Ren Xiaosu asked.

“I didn’t plan on accepting it either,” Hu Shuo said with a smile while scratching his head with his pinky finger. “But the Li Consortium gave the order that I would not get my pay if I didn’t investigate this case, so I had no choice but to come here to handle it. But I didn’t expect that I would get to eat so much exotic meat at your outpost. It’s really my lucky day!”

Ren Xiaosu felt this matter was unlikely to be as simple as the old man had explained. For a 73-year-old man to come all the way here, how could he be a normal person? There had to be a reason for why the Li Consortium would send him over to investigate after something had happened here.

But at this moment, Hu Shuo stood up and dusted off his pants. “Alright, I’ve had my fill.”

Ren Xiaosu suddenly asked, “How many outposts have you visited today?”

Hu Shuo chuckled, “Only yours.”

Ren Xiaosu felt the old man might already have a clue about the situation. That was why he came here directly. In an instant, Ren Xiaosu was even contemplating whether he should quickly chase him away from here.

But Hu Shuo suddenly said, “Well… which house can I stay in?”

Everyone was stumped by this question. Ren Xiaosu was still wondering if he should chase the old man away, but little did he expect that the old man was already planning on living here.

Li Qingzheng, who was beside him, gave a placating smile. “We’ll get a house cleaned up for you immediately.”

There were seven one-story houses in the outpost, and one of them was originally used as a storage space, although it was quite empty. Since Hu Shuo now intended to stay the night, Li Qingzheng, as the platoon commander, was willing to strike up a relationship with this old man he suspected of being a big shot.

Most of the refugees had the instinctive thought that they could make their lives easier by rubbing elbows with the big shots in the stronghold. They blindly believed in this kind of relationship.

However, this left Ren Xiaosu in a tight spot. He decided to observe the situation for the time being until he could be sure of the old man’s motives. It would not be too late to decide what to do then.

Ren Xiaosu felt that Hu Shuo had already found some evidence, but he could not understand why he would dare to remain behind.

But something that surprised Ren Xiaosu even more happened. Hu Shuo was not only going to stay here for one night. He did not intend to leave… at all!

The next morning, the Wolf King sent a lot of pheasants over as promised. The pheasants were all stacked up at the entrance of the outpost.

But this strange sight did not arouse Hu Shuo’s suspicions. He just praised this location as a really good place to eat meat and acted as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Ren Xiaosu examined the old man’s expression closely. Everyone clearly knew this was an abnormal situation, but Hu Shuo did not even ask about it and just practiced tai chi at the entrance of the outpost. After that, he would have Li Qingzheng and the others prepare meals as he still wanted to eat meat.

Thus, everyone started barbecuing meat early in the morning until Ren Xiaosu felt like his whole body was full of the smoky smell of barbecue.

“Why didn’t you ask where we got all this game from?” Ren Xiaosu asked as they ate the meat.

Hu Shuo chuckled and said, “Why should I care about where the food came from as long as there’s something to eat? Surely it wasn’t brought here by wolves, right?”

Ren Xiaosu was temporarily rendered speechless. He was getting more and more confused by Hu Shuo’s intentions.

On the morning of the third day, Hu Shuo still continued to practice tai chi after waking up. After that, he would get everyone to prepare meals. However, it was slightly different today. Another truck drove up the mountain, but the soldiers who came this time were a little different. They actually brought along bedding, a teapot, and some other daily necessities. Then they even cleaned up the house a second time for Hu Shuo.

Ren Xiaosu was shocked to discover that Hu Shuo seemed to be planning on living here for an extended period.

While the soldiers were cleaning the house, Ren Xiaosu carefully watched to see if Hu Shuo gave any strange instructions to the soldiers, like hinting at them to come and encircle the outpost with a larger force or something similar. However, he did not do anything like that.

When the soldiers reported about some matters to Hu Shuo, they also did not purposely avoid doing so in the presence of Ren Xiaosu and the others. What the soldiers reported on was also related to Ren Xiaosu: An outpost on another hill had been attacked by wolves. Traces of wolf blood and fur were found there. The military was paying close attention to this matter and was planning on sending troops to eliminate the wolves in the mountains.

Ren Xiaosu observed Hu Shuo’s reaction, but Hu Shuo just laughed and said, “The wolves have nothing to do with our case, so let’s not interfere.”

Right from the beginning, the old man seemed not to have linked the pheasants at the entrance of the outpost to the wolves.

But Ren Xiaosu knew he was just playing dumb.

At this moment, Li Qingzheng whispered to Ren Xiaosu, “The officer who sent over this old man’s things is a senior colonel!”

Ren Xiaosu was stunned. How highly ranked would a person have to be in the Li Consortium to order a senior colonel around like that?

After that, no one came to the outpost again. Hu Shuo ended up staying there for the entire week. For some reason, Ren Xiaosu suddenly felt he might even be planning to spend the Lunar New Year together with them.

[1] Hu Shuo also means “speaking nonsense” in English.

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