Chapter 307 Arriving at Stronghold 88!
A civil war had erupted within the dozen or so strongholds controlled by the Qing Consortium. It had come without any warning, and there were no precautions against it.
At this moment, the Qing Consortium’s combat troops and soldiers were all thinking that war would only be happening externally. They never expected that in just one night, there would be a changing of the guard and the Board would get taken down entirely.
Qing Zhen’s supporters, who had been scattered across the various fighting forces, had either successfully rebelled against the leaders of their troops or carried out decapitation strikes against them. This left the military without any leaders and created a situation of chaos.
Many people sacrificed themselves that night. They were all willing to die for Qing Zhen’s glory. Meanwhile, Qing Zhen had sent out a large number of people to take control of the strongholds, as well as amalgamate the fighting forces.
New political orders were starting to be issued from Stronghold 111. It took Qing Zhen a fortnight to complete the cleaning up and purging of the previous regime’s elements.
Many of the Qing Consortium’s supporters had no choice but to escape out into the wilderness, but what awaited them was a harsh winter and extreme hunger.
Inside the manor on the mountainside of Mt. Ginkgo, Zhou Qi asked, “Where’s the money you promised me? Pay up! Pay up! Pay up!”
Qing Zhen looked at him in amusement and wrote him a check. “Go cash it at the Qing Consortium’s bank. It’s enough to last you a lifetime.”
Zhou Qi happily held the check in his hand. “Look, you just don’t trust me. And see what happened? Luo Lan has been locked up in Stronghold 88 as a bargaining chip as a result. Let’s see how you’re gonna deal with that!”
“You want me to trust you?” Qing Zhen snapped, “You’re already asking for your payment as soon as this episode ended, so how can I trust someone like you?”
Zhou Qi was unhappy to hear that. “Although I like money a lot, I could have gotten some from the Board too. So why did I choose to accept your money instead of taking it from the Board? It’s all down to our relationship!”
“Like hell I’d believe you.” Qing Zhen sat calmly in his seat. The reason for his worries was because he was afraid that Zhou Qi would turn against him at the last minute.
Outsiders would only think that this was Qing Zhen’s planned move, but Qing Zhen himself was also sweating over it.
In reality, it was still unknown whether he or the Board would end up as the victor that night. It was indeed a very risky decision to place a portion of the bet on Zhou Qi because Zhou Qi loved money way too much ever since childhood.
Qing Zhen understood very well that a portion of the reason Zhou Qi was on his side was that his money was easier to earn and safer as well.
If he accepted any money from the Board, it might be possible that they would get even with him at a later time.
Of course, a portion of it also involved some complicated relationships. This group of people who had known each other since childhood would still consider the friendship they had.
Zhou Qi said, “Then what do we do about Luo Lan now? Why don’t you pay me some money and I’ll go rescue him?”
Qing Zhen looked up at him. “There’s no need to. I have my own plans.”
At this moment, a military transport truck was speeding towards Stronghold 88. Suddenly, Yang Xiaojin said, “We’re here!”
Ren Xiaosu looked up ahead through the windshield and saw a towering stronghold located in the wilderness. This stronghold was extremely large. It was way larger than Stronghold 108, 109, and 113.
Stronghold 88’s location was very special. To the north were the Zong Consortium and Stronghold 178, while the Qing Consortium was to its west, and the Li Consortium was to the south. Some years ago when it was still possible for independent merchants to freely come to the stronghold, this place was a very important distribution center of goods. This was also how the Yang Consortium started.
While in the vehicle, Ren Xiaosu could already see the town of Stronghold 88 from afar. At this moment, a group of refugees were returning home from work. Some of them had cigarettes dangling from their mouths and looked extremely satisfied.
Just as Yan Liuyuan had said, the Yang Consortium was no different from the other organizations. It was only Yang Xiaojin who was different.
When their vehicles drove past, the refugees hurriedly made way for them. They were all afraid that they would be the unlucky ones to get picked on by whichever big shots were in the vehicles.
When Yan Liuyuan saw the town, he got very excited. “Bro, why don’t we just settle down in town?”
Ren Xiaosu laughed and said, “Let’s head into the stronghold and have a look first.”
Yan Liuyuan said, “Alright!”
In front of them, Luo Xinyu flashed her identification documents to the guards from inside her off-road vehicle. The soldiers opened the gate respectfully and let them through.
Stronghold 88 had something unique about it. After entering the gate, there was actually another circular wall on the inside. The Yang Consortium had actually built a barbican for Stronghold 88! This was a structure that was specially used to add to its defensive capabilities. The Yang Consortium actually prioritized its defenses at Stronghold 88 this importantly.
At this moment, Yang Xiaojin said, “Luo Lan was supposed to leave the stronghold at this time, but the Qing Consortium suddenly broke the alliance, so the people from the Yang Consortium placed him under house arrest. I heard there’s already been a major change in the Qing Consortium. After Qing Zhen was taken back to Stronghold 111, they started a coup, and Qing Zhen has become the head of the Qing Consortium.”
Therefore, it was even more important that the Yang Consortium did not let Luo Lan leave. He was the elder brother of the Qing Consortium, after all. With such an important bargaining chip in their hands, the Yang Consortium Board of Directors would be so happy they wouldn’t be able to sleep.
Ren Xiaosu sensed from Yang Xiaojin’s words that she somehow felt a sense of detachment from the Yang Consortium. For example, whenever Yang Xiaojin mentioned the Yang Consortium, she would refer to them as “the people from the Yang Consortium.”
Ren Xiaosu asked, “How’s the war at the front lines now?”
“The Qing Consortium’s forces have returned to the front line again.” Yang Xiaojin said, “The war shouldn’t have gone so smoothly at first, but it was said that a really big case of espionage happened at the Li Consortium’s front line. A very capable spy leaked all of their defensive plans at the front line, and even the whereabouts of the Divine Arms Battalion were revealed by this spy.”
Upon hearing that, Ren Xiaosu did not say a word anymore. Wang Yuchi and the others were all staring at their toes, afraid they would laugh out loud.
Yang Xiaojin asked, “What’s going on with you all?”
“It’s nothing.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Please continue speaking.”
“Mhm.” Yang Xiaojin sighed. “The Yang Consortium’s losses at the front lines are still pretty big since two of their three armored brigades have been taken out. If the Yang Consortium also had such a spy to support them, it would definitely not have ended up like this.”
“Yeah.” Ren Xiaosu also sighed and said, “That spy is amazing.”
Yang Xiaojin rolled her eyes and said, “You’ve really been praised to the skies, haven’t you? I know that the spy was you. Other than you, no one else would be able to do it! The place I’ve arranged for you guys to stay at is right next to Luo Lan’s house. That’s where the Yang Consortium hosts their foreign guests. The condition of the place is still pretty good. If you guys have any other requests, you can ask me.”
Ren Xiaosu thought for a moment. “Is there a university in Stronghold 88?”
“Yes.” Yang Xiaojin nodded. “Why? Are you guys thinking of attending university?”
Ren Xiaosu had been thinking about something all this while. He wanted Wang Yuchi and the others to further their studies so that they could perfect the armor.
The armor he was using now was a little “unfashionable,” be it its appearance or structure, so it still needed to be improved upon.
Wang Yuchi and the others had said they could try to improve on it, but some things were easier to imagine than to do. Therefore, Wang Yuchi and the others needed to further their studies a little.
Ren Xiaosu estimated they would have to stay at Stronghold 88 for at least a few years before considering their future plans. So, instead of wasting time, they might as well start preparing for it now.
If the shield he had formed with the nanoarmor had a better shock-absorbing mechanism, it could have led to a vastly different outcome.