Chapter 342 The people from Stronghold 178
Laying a trap was somewhat a technical skill. Ren Xiaosu had originally planned to head deeper into the valley. But after thinking over it carefully, he felt that if they encountered the larger bandit gangs with hundreds of members, it could get difficult for him and Yang Xiaojin to deal with them.
Staying here and waiting for the few dozen bandits to show up each day would not even make Ren Xiaosu and Yang Xiaojin break a sweat to handle them.
What was a Perfect Firearms Proficiency user? If one could not even handle a situation as simple as this, then they would not qualify to be called a Perfect Firearms Proficiency user.
It was at this time that Ren Xiaosu felt the joy of having a teammate protect him. He did not even have to worry about anyone sneaking up on him since the sneak attacker couldn’t defend against getting sniped.
Of course, Ren Xiaosu was also thinking about how he should integrate Jin Lan and the bandits into the group. They might be respectful to him now, but that was because they were no match for him. Moreover, they had also been stripped of their firearms by him and the other refugees, so they had to behave. If he let Jin Lan find an opportunity, who knew what he might try? However, Ren Xiaosu had still not thought of a solution to integrate them.
At this moment, Jin Lan and his gang of bandits were squatting on the ground and watching Ren Xiaosu capture the bandits who had just arrived. They whispered to each other, “Did you see that? Those two are freaking strong! It was definitely wise that we did not fight them head-on. Especially that lady, she doesn’t even bat an eyelid when killing people. I’ve heard legends of that sniper rifle of hers before, but I’m seeing it for myself for the first time.”
One of his lackeys said, “But, Boss, we did go head-on against them. We just didn’t win, that’s all!”
“…You talk too much.”
“Boss, according to what you said, could these two people be linked with the consortiums?” The lackey wondered, “Could they be specialists from the consortiums?”
Jin Lan shook his head. “No, they don’t feel like the typical consortium people.”
“But what if they are?” Someone wondered, “Where else would such specialists come from? I’ve never heard of anyone in the entire valley who knows how to use a sniper rifle.”
“Look at the two of them. They aren’t even bothered by the living conditions here nor wash their faces. How can they be from the strongholds?” Jin Lan continued arguing against the possibility. “Could the important people from the strongholds endure this!”
Just like Ren Xiaosu in his earlier years, much of their views of those who came from the strongholds were largely based on their imagination. Stereotypes were already deeply embedded in the minds of all the refugees. In their opinion, people from the strongholds were all similar.
Of course, the people from the stronghold also looked at them the same way.
“Then where do you think they’re from?” someone asked softly.
“Wait a minute.” Jin Lan was taken aback. “Don’t fucking tell me they’re from Stronghold 178? Didn’t they say that highly skilled people all hail from Stronghold 178? I think only talents from Stronghold 178 would be this highly skilled and strong! Moreover, it’s said that most of those in Stronghold 178 were former refugees. Holy shit, surely they can’t really be from Stronghold 178, right?”
As Jin Lan eliminated the possibilities, he came to the conclusion that Ren Xiaosu’s and Yang Xiaojin’s backgrounds seemed to suggest they were likelier to be from the legendary Stronghold 178. They were not particular about the living conditions, did not have the delicate characters of those living in the strongholds, were vicious, mysterious, and really strong.
In recent years, Stronghold 178’s reputation in the Northwest had been spreading to the point of being a little too legendary, especially among the refugees.
Jin Lan muttered to himself, “If the people from Stronghold 178 have really come down to the valley, then this is our chance. If we perform well, we might even get recruited into Stronghold 178 in the future!”
These days, Stronghold 178 no longer accepted outsiders into their ranks. Otherwise, it would definitely be a million times better to go to Stronghold 178 than be a bandit here in the valley!
If Ren Xiaosu and Yang Xiaojin were from the consortiums, Jin Lan would not even think about joining them. After all, everyone knew what the consortiums were like, so why would they go there to suffer?
But Stronghold 178 was different. It was a sacred place in the hearts of many refugees in the Northwest.
At this moment, Ren Xiaosu returned with a group of bruised and swollen bandits. He called out to Jin Lan, “Are you done with your tasks yet?”
“Yes. Please give me my next orders.” This time, Jin Lan wasn’t putting on an act like he was earlier. Instead, he was speaking with complete sincerity from the bottom of his heart.
Ren Xiaosu threw him a gun. “You’ll be the leader of 1st Squad from now on. Take care of these people.”
Jin Lan was touched. “Thank you, Boss!”
“Gratitude received from Jin Lan, +1!”
Ren Xiaosu looked at Jin Lan in surprise. He only wanted to test this guy a little, but what was this sincere gratitude about? Ren Xiaosu wondered if he actually possessed a legendary leadership aura and that it had somehow caused this guy to submit to him.
He said to Jin Lan, “Confiscate this group’s guns and learn ’em. They’ll be part of this settlement from now on.”
“Alright, don’t you worry!” Jin Lan said, “Boss, may I ask you something?”
Ren Xiaosu gave him a look. “Ask away!”
“Where are you from?” Jin Lan asked softly, “You aren’t from around the valley, are you?”
Ren Xiaosu was taken aback for a moment. He looked at Jin Lan. “Is this something that you should be asking about?”
“Alright, I won’t ask anymore!” Jin Lan said guiltily.
Then Yang Xiaojin walked over and said, “Don’t bother with him for now. We have updates from the northwest.”
Ren Xiaosu shot a look at Jin Lan. “Go and do what you need to do. Keep an eye on them and make them recognize the reality of things. They’ll have a bright future ahead by joining us.”
Jin Lan stifled his excitement. So they really were important figures from Stronghold 178!
He believed Yang Xiaojin definitely had a slip of tongue earlier when she spoke to Ren Xiaosu. However, he had been listening for any clues that might give up their identities. And now everything matched his guesses!
After Jin Lan left, Yang Xiaojin and Ren Xiaosu looked at each other and smiled. They had been discussing how to handle the issue of their identities last night and whether they could use it to make these bandits stay. They came up with a plan to pretend they were from Stronghold 178.
In the end, before they could resort to doing so, Jin Lan had already sent himself straight into the trap. This way, the effect was going to be even better!
“What if there really are people from Stronghold 178 here?” Yang Xiaojin asked.
“At most, I’ll take a special trip to Stronghold 178 to explain things to Zhang Jinglin. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine.” Ren Xiaosu chuckled and said, “Hey, why do the refugees in the Northwest fall so easily for something like that?”
“Mhm.” Yang Xiaojin nodded and said, “You’re from the South, so you probably don’t know how good Stronghold 178 is in the eyes of these people. A powerful organization that’s impartial in accepting refugees into their stronghold is a one of a kind existence out here in the Northwest.”
“But aren’t they no longer accepting refugees?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
Yang Xiaojin answered, “It’s usually the things you can’t have that make them even more precious.”
“Alright.” Ren Xiaosu smiled and said, “Then let’s continue to remain mysterious and let this matter develop on its own. We’ll see how it turns out.”
By this point, Jin Lan had already walked over to the other bandits with a mysterious smile on his face. Someone asked, “Boss, you look very happy, but you can’t forget our original plans just because they gave you a gun!”
Jin Lan snapped, “What do you know? Am I such a shallow person? I’m telling you, those two really are from Stronghold 178!”