Chapter 257 Finding the spy within three days!
The Qing Consortium’s soldiers were getting pumped up from having just defeated the legendary Divine Arms Battalion of the Li Consortium. However, Qing Zhen immediately gathered from this ambush that the nanosoldiers were actually not that weak. If they hadn’t received the intel in time, the Li Consortium would have really caused them a great deal of trouble.
Qing Zhen did not underestimate the Divine Arms Battalion’s nanosoldiers and placed an unusual amount of emphasis on them.
Next to him, Qing Zhen’s trusted aide asked, “Do you mean the nanosoldiers shouldn’t be deployed in such a fashion?”
Qing Zhen said, “If these nanosoldiers were commanded by me, I would deploy each platoon separately to infiltrate through the forested mountains. They only need the intel supplied by personnel planted within the Li Consortium to easily coordinate a decapitation strike.”
His aide nodded and said, “I see. Sir, you are indeed wise.”
Qing Zhen looked at him calmly. “I’m not telling you this so you can suck up to me but to arrange for more people to protect me.”
“Ah?” The aide was taken aback and could not understand why Qing Zhen was saying this.
Qing Zhen sighed and said, “The Yang Consortium’s nanosoldiers might be arriving soon. They’re much smarter than the Li Consortium, so we have to strengthen our defense forces immediately.”
Then Qing Zhen looked out into the distant snowy lands that had just been plowed by the artillery fire. He wondered, “Why is he everywhere?”
The soldiers around him were even more confused by this. Who was he referring to?
The atmosphere in the Li Consortium’s command center was extremely depressing. A middle-aged general sat at the end of the long table in the room with a somber and sullen expression. Although all the seats at the table were filled, no one was saying anything.
“The Divine Arms Battalion has suffered a crushing defeat.” The middle-aged general said, “All I want to know is why the Qing Consortium was aware of our Divine Arms Battalion’s operations beforehand.”
Still, no one spoke.
In reality, a lot of the others were also puzzled by this. The Divine Arms Battalion had to keep the command center updated every day of matters like their battle plans’ execution and current location. Everything had been proceeding smoothly, but a disaster still happened when they got close to the Qing Consortium’s territory.
Based on the description of the Divine Arms officer, the Qing Consortium clearly knew which direction the Divine Arms Battalion would approach from, so they set up an ambush in advance. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to inflict such a large number of casualties on the Divine Arms Battalion.
The Li Consortium had been concealing their strength and biding their time over the years. But now that war had suddenly broken out, everyone was looking forward to seeing the Divine Arms Battalion’s capabilities. In the end, they were almost wiped out by the Qing Consortium even before the battle had begun!
Why? Where did it all go wrong!
The middle-aged general looked to Hu Shuo on his left and said, “A spy must have leaked the information. As Director of the Office of Special Investigations, you did not sniff out the spy in time. So you’ll be bearing the main responsibility. However, this isn’t the time to mete out punishment. You must sort out the issues in your Office of Special Investigations to make amends for your mistakes.”
Hu Shuo kept quiet as he looked calmly at the table in front of him. Honestly speaking, he was very puzzled as well.
Although he had other motives for staying in the Li Consortium, the Office of Special Investigations had always been functioning normally. An espionage battle would prove to be the most critical component during wartime. Sometimes, having the right intelligence could even influence the outcome of a war.
Although Hu Shuo had sniffed out quite a few spies recently in his course of duty, he kept some of them around in preparation for his future plans. But keeping them around did not mean he did not care about them. The identified spies remained under the surveillance of his Office of Special Investigations and were earmarked for greater use in the future. However, none of these spies could gain access to the secrets of the Divine Arms Battalion.
Suddenly, someone said, “The private troops who swapped uniforms and vehicles with the Divine Arms Battalion haven’t arrived at the assigned strategic location yet. I suspect this incident could be related to them.”
The middle-aged general frowned. “Why didn’t anyone report about an important matter like this earlier?”
“Previously, the Divine Arms officers who were assigned and traveled together with them would report their whereabouts daily. However, we suddenly lost contact with them yesterday,” the officer said.
“Search for this group of private troops immediately and confirm their location within the next three days!” the middle-aged general ordered.
“Yes, sir!” the officer answered.
The middle-aged general said, “Meeting adjourned. The strategy must be put into place ASAP. The news of the Divine Arms Battalion’s heavy losses will spread to the Yang Consortium very soon. We have to be prepared for the Qing Consortium’s and the Yang Consortium’s counterattacks. General Hu, remain behind.”
After everyone else dispersed, only Hu Shuo remained seated. The middle-aged general said, “The leaking of the Divine Arms Battalion’s operations is of great importance. The spy is likely to hold a high rank within the organization, so I’ll give you three days to find out who it is!”
Hu Shuo looked up and said, “OK.”
The middle-aged general did not bring this up earlier because he suspected the spy was among those attending the meeting. The reason why he did not punish Hu Shuo was that, first, he was the Director of the Office of Special Investigations and had been working for the Li Consortium for decades with few mistakes made, earning merit and toiling hard for the organization. Second, this war was intricately linked with Hu Shuo as well. If they replaced the Director of the Office of Special Investigations at this time, chaos would probably be caused down the road.
But the middle-aged general was probably not expecting that trouble would originate from Hu Shuo himself.
Two days later, Ren Xiaosu, the perpetrator of the Divine Arms Battalion’s defeat, was hidden somewhere in an ambush in the snowy ground. There was a dirt road beside him that was paved by the Li Consortium just before the war broke out.
After Qing Zhen had driven the Divine Arms Battalion to retreat, he not only informed Tang Zhou of their victory, he also told him which route of retreat the Divine Arms Battalion was taking
Ren Xiaosu used this information for basis that the Divine Arms Battalion would likely use the road in front of him.
As the Divine Arms Battalion had suffered heavy losses, they would definitely need to retreat to the forward operating base behind them to reorganize. That would then be a chance for Ren Xiaosu.
He did not include Tang Zhou in his plan. On one hand, there were too many people on Tang Zhou’s side and their presence would easily be sensed. On the other hand, Ren Xiaosu did not want Tang Zhou to know what actions he would take and his true reason for keeping some of the Divine Arms Battalion alive.
Ren Xiaosu went through the plan in his mind. Since the Divine Arms Battalion was in such a pathetic state, the trump cards he left behind should be enough to deal with the remaining defeated soldiers, right?
Suddenly, Ren Xiaosu heard the sound of footsteps on snow and got excited. Here they come!
As Ren Xiaosu hid in the thick snow next to the road, he nearly stopped breathing.
He left a tiny hole in the surface of the snow to observe the outside world. But a moment later when Ren Xiaosu saw the Divine Arms Battalion’s soldiers, he was shocked!
He saw two of the Divine Arms Battalion’s soldiers limping towards the ambush site he had set up. Ren Xiaosu felt unwell at the sight. He had requested Qing Zhen leave some of the Divine Arms Battalion alive, but he only left two of them for him in the end?
Ren Xiaosu was a little confused by this. Why didn’t he just leave one soldier alive then? Was he purposely trying to gross him out?
Ren Xiaosu had been lying in the snow for the past two days. Probably, few people in this world had as much resolve as him. But Ren Xiaosu realized this was what he had been waiting for after lying in the snow for the past two days.
‘No, that can’t be right.’ Ren Xiaosu thought that something else unexpected must have happened. Qing Zhen couldn’t possibly have spared only two of the Divine Arms soldiers.