Chapter 376 Zhou Yinglong
The Zong Consortium officer seemed very insistent on bringing Wang Shengzhi and company away, with his three combat platoons already starting to surround them.
When Wang Shengyin saw Ren Xiaosu hiding in the shadows within the vehicle, she comforted him, “Don’t worry, it’ll be fine. The Zong Consortium won’t dare do anything to us.”
Ren Xiaosu acknowledged her and quietly put the Explosive Poker cards in his hand back into the palace.
Wang Shengyin probably thought Ren Xiaosu was afraid of the consortium’s combat troops, but he was actually worried that his identity would be exposed.
The Zong Consortium should not know he was still alive, but just in case, it was better that he not reveal himself.
Yesterday, Ren Xiaosu applied the black medicine on himself. But the problem was that after his wound had been stitched up, the black medicine did not work as effectively on his internal organs.
Wang Shengzhi said to the Zong Consortium officer with a smile, “You don’t have to be so anxious. Just look at me. Could a handicapped person like me possibly get away from you all? We can go back to the Zong Consortium with you for questioning, but can you help us prepare some delicacies from the Zong Consortium’s stronghold?”
When he said that, even Ren Xiaosu was stunned. He did not expect Wang Shengzhi to suddenly bring up the topic of getting something to eat. Why did it feel like he treated this as a vacation to the Zong Consortium’s stronghold? Furthermore, Wang Shengzhi didn’t seem to mind talking about his disability at all. He had a very good mindset about things.
But right at this moment, a car engine thrummed from afar again. The Zong Consortium officer was taken aback. Wang Shengzhi’s smile broadened as he said, “It looks like we can’t make the trip anymore. If there’s another chance in the future, we’ll definitely go there.”
As he said that, an off-road vehicle appeared on the horizon. From afar, this off-road vehicle’s lone presence seemed a little weak compared to the Zong Consortium’s combat troops.
But on that off-road vehicle were three numbers: 178.
Typical organizations would usually put their emblem on their vehicles, but the symbol of Stronghold 178 was just 178. Everyone seemed to recognize these three numbers.
The people in the off-road vehicle were probably here to receive Wang Shengzhi and the others. But with only one vehicle coming, would the Zong Consortium let them leave?
Ren Xiaosu quietly sat in the backseat of the vehicle. When the off-road vehicle arrived in front of everyone, the Zong Consortium’s soldiers did not dare move or even raise their guns.
A burly man jumped out of the off-road vehicle and said with a laugh, “I’m Zhou Yinglong from Stronghold 178. Which one of you is Wang Shengzhi? The commander has asked me to come and bring you all to Stronghold 178.”
It would have still been fine if it was just one vehicle, but it turned out that there was only one person in the car as well.
But when the Zong Consortium officer heard the name “Zhou Yinglong,” Ren Xiaosu noticed the immediate change in his expression.
Wang Shengzhi smiled and said, “Me, sorry to trouble you, brother.”
Zhou Yinglong looked around at the surrounding Zong Consortium soldiers. “What is the Zong Consortium doing here? Trying to intercept us?”
That officer of the Zong Consortium dropped his serious face from before. He turned around and said with a smile, “No, no, we just wanted to invite the guests from the Central Plains for a visit to our Zong Consortium’s stronghold.”
“What’s so good about your Zong Consortium’s stronghold? Bug off!” Zhou Yinglong sneered and said, “How dare you stop Commander Zhang’s guest? You all must’ve grown a pair lately, huh? Disappear from my sight! Otherwise, don’t blame me for being rude.”
Zhou Yinglong was around 1.9 meters tall. His stature was like that of a beast, and his square face was full of vigor.
He was actually trying to threaten nearly a 100 regular soldiers from the Zong Consortium into backing off all by himself? But what was even more shocking was that the Zong Consortium officer really got back into his vehicle and left in a hurry.
Zhou Yinglong watched as the Zong Consortium’s vehicles fled and muttered, “Fuck, I almost played it too big. If I had known, I would’ve asked the Commander to let me bring more people with me….”
Wang Shengzhi and the others looked at each other speechlessly. Zhou Yinglong turned around and said to him with a smile, “Follow my car and we’ll head straight to Stronghold 178. Commander Zhang is already waiting for you.”
“How long will it take to get to Stronghold 178?” Wang Shengyin asked.
“It’s approximately a four or five-day journey.” Zhou Yinglong said, “One of the roads ahead was deliberately wrecked by the bandits. We’ll have to thank our lucky stars if we can even drive above 15 kilometers per hour.”
Wang Shengzhi said, “This Zong Consortium…”
Zhou Yinglong waved it off. “They’re just hyenas. They’re nothing to worry about.”
Ren Xiaosu suddenly understood the way Zhou Yinglong spoke. Regardless of whether he was really worried, his speech had to be tough.
Zhou Yinglong was stunned when he saw Ren Xiaosu in the vehicle. “Someone’s injured? How did you get injured?”
There were still traces of blood on Ren Xiaosu’s clothes on his right side. The blood had seeped out, and Zhou Yinglong happened to have sharp eyes. He could immediately tell at a glance.
Wang Shengzhi explained, “Wasn’t there flooding in the valley? This young man is a refugee who lived there. He was swept downstream by the flood, but we managed to save him.”
“Oh, so that’s what happened.” Zhou Yinglong sized up Ren Xiaosu, “It’s true that there was flooding. But there’s also a lot of bandits in the valley; it’s not just refugees, you know? Hey, kid, are you a refugee or a bandit?”
Ren Xiaosu said, “I’m a refugee.”
“Which settlement?” Zhou Yinglong asked again.
“It’s about 50 kilometers east of Mt. Daban,” Ren Xiaosu said.
“Then do you know who Old Liu is?” Zhou Yinglong asked.
Ren Xiaosu’s heart skipped a beat. He suddenly realized Stronghold 178 would probably have a good understanding of the valley. Otherwise, Zhou Yinglong wouldn’t have asked about a particular person out of nowhere!
He asked calmly, “Which Old Liu? Liu Junkui or Liu Desheng?”
Zhou Yinglong started laughing. “Alright, if you can mention those two names, then you must really be from a refugee settlement.”
But at this moment, Ren Xiaosu felt his heart ache.
Liu Desheng and Liu Junkui were both honest peasants who lived in the settlement. It could be said that those who escaped to the settlements were all honest people who could not stand the organizations or the way of life in the strongholds’ towns. So they could only go into the wild to seek refuge.
However, whichever Old Liu he was referring to was probably dead from the flooding. Ren Xiaosu did not feel any joy in clearing the interrogation. Each time his intense hatred was stoked, it was as if his heart was being carved out. He simply could not find it in him to forgive that. If the Zong Consortium did not cease to exist, Ren Xiaosu would never be at ease.
The convoy set off again. This time, no one doubted Ren Xiaosu’s identity anymore. However, Ren Xiaosu became even quieter. He did not want to say anything else.
In the car, Wang Shengyin said, “Brother, this Zong Consortium will probably be the first problem in our bid to open up the trade routes. The accessibility of this area is a secondary issue.”
Wang Shengzhi grunted in agreement. “It’ll be easy to repair the roads. All we need are people and money to fix that. But it still remains to be seen if the returns for these repairs will be worth it. If the Zong Consortium still continues to stop us, it’ll be useless even if the roads get repaired.”
“Then should we join forces with Stronghold 178 to eliminate the Zong Consortium?” Wang Shengyin asked.
“We can deliberate on that.” Wang Shengzhi said calmly, “We’ll see what Zhang Jinglin has to say first.”
While they were discussing, they did not avoid mentioning anything in the presence of Ren Xiaosu. Ren Xiaosu suddenly saw a glimmer of hope.