Chapter 393 Sudden appearance on the battlefield
But what surprised Ren Xiaosu even more was that he had thought the two bandits would have tricks up their sleeves. However, they actually pointed out some of the wrong details on the map.
Drawing a map was a rather technical skill as it required surveying instruments. You could not confirm how high and wide a location was by just using your eyesight.
Although Fortress 178 had attempted to map out the mountain hideouts as detailed as possible, their work was all carried out in secret. As some areas could only be measured visually, deviations on the map were guaranteed.
The two bandits took the pencils and drew some circles on the map, with a small circle indicating that it was a heavy machine gun position. The two of them said, “But the heavy machine gun positions often get switched around. A lot of equipment on the mountain are also covered with tarps. We don’t know what’s under them either, so y’all must be careful.”
“Y’all can’t get to the top because the path leading up the mountain has been cut off by trees.” A bandit pointed at a route on the map and said, “It seems that our boss was ordered to defend Mt. Dingyuan, so he shipped in a bunch of supplies in advance. He said that as long as we can defend the place for three months, everyone would be rewarded.”
Ren Xiaosu suddenly asked, “Are there any regulars on the mountain?”
The two bandits shook their heads. “No, but there’s some very powerful folks mixed in with the bandits. They definitely weren’t bandits in the valley before.”
“How many of them are there?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
“About a 100. There’s more than 900 bandits in total on Mt. Dingyuan,” one of the bandits said.
Ren Xiaosu nodded and did not say anything else. An entire formation of the Zong Consortium’s regular troops was among those who had intercepted his group, so he had to get to the bottom of it. If the Zong Consortium’s regular troops were here on Mt. Dingyuan, he would have to be careful of them.
“Is there no other way up?” Zhang Xiaoman frowned and asked, “Did they say why y’all had to defend Mt. Dingyuan?”
“No, how could we know something like that?” One of the bandits said, “So can we leave now?”
Zhang Xiaoman hesitated for a moment before waving them off. “Scram, head west and don’t let me see you two again.”
“Ah, alright.” The two bandits got up and started to run, but before they even covered two steps, they turned around and asked, “Sir, do you have any cigs?”
Zhang Xiaoman said impatiently, “Our cigs don’t contain the stuff you add into yours.”
“That’s fine,” the two bandits said.
Zhang Xiaoman had Jiao Xiaochen throw two packs of cigarettes to them. “Get lost.”
Ren Xiaosu asked, “We’re letting them go just like that?”
“Fortress 178 never breaks a promise. Don’t worry, the bandits in the valley are all sensible. They won’t turn around once they’re told to head west,” Zhang Xiaoman said nonchalantly.
Ren Xiaosu watched as the two bandits disappeared after passing criss-crossing gullies in the west. If it were him, he would not have spared their lives.
But he could not say what Zhang Xiaoman did was wrong. Fortress 178 had its own way of survival, after all.
“The bandits on Mt. Dingyuan have already sealed off the mountain path. Strange, why did they seal off the path? What’s the point of keeping guard for three months?” Zhang Xiaoman wondered.
“That’ll save us a lot of trouble if we just keep guard at the foot of the mountain. They won’t be heading down the mountain anyway,” Jiao Xiaochen said.
“No.” Zhang Xiaoman said, “There must be something fishy about their decision to defend this place. War is not just about a rigid execution of orders. We’ll only be successful if we can make the enemy uncomfortable. Why don’t we take Mt. Dingyuan by ourselves?”
Yesterday, Battalion Commander Zhou had ordered them to only lay siege on the bandits at Mt. Dingyuan after they had taken Mt. Guan. But from the looks of it, it seemed they would still have to attack Mt. Dingyuan after all.
“But it’s a good thing that we already know about the locations of their HMGs, so we can reduce our casualties by pointing our mortars directly at the enemy’s emplacements and destroying them. We must immediately force an attack. Otherwise, when their MG positions change, all the information we just obtained will become outdated,” Zhang Xiaoman said.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly asked, “Didn’t you say that we should listen to orders in battle? The order was for us to lay siege on the enemies from the foot of the mountain.”
Zhang Xiaoman explained patiently, “What I want to teach you now is how to be adaptable during battle.”
Zhang Xiaoman looked at Ren Xiaosu while pondering what he had just said. He suddenly felt that he should not have taught him that.
Jiao Xiaochen said, “Are we going to launch an attack tonight then?”
“Mhm.” Zhang Xiaoman nodded and said, “If only there were other smaller paths leading up the mountain. We could’ve sent someone to covertly infiltrate their lair. But this is the only route we have to the top of Mt. Dingyuan. We can only fight our way up even if it’s gonna be really difficult. Radioman, contact Commander Zhou and report the situation to him!”
Suddenly, Ren Xiaosu said, “I can climb up the back of Mt. Dingyuan and sneak attack them first, then coordinate further action with y’all.”
The entire Razor Sharp Company was stunned when they heard that. “How’re you gonna climb up that 80-degree slope at the back of the mountain?”
“I have my ways.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Just give me two packs of TNT.”
The Razor Sharp Company was still well-equipped with ammunition. However, TNT was generally used to blow up bunkers and artillery positions, so no one understood what Ren Xiaosu was planning to do with them.
Zhang Xiaoman clenched his teeth and said, “Take care of yourself!”
Zhang Xiaoman suddenly felt that it was amazing to have such a fearsome person in the company who would always volunteer for the most dangerous tasks. It had never been easier to fight a war now that they had a person like him with such excellent combat skills.
In his opinion, it did not matter if Ren Xiaosu was qualified to be the commander of Fortress 178 or not. But at least having a character like Ren Xiaosu on the battlefield was really nice.
Zhang Xiaoman said to Ren Xiaosu, “Regardless of whether the others support you or not, our Razor Sharp Company will support you. Ain’t that so, everyone?”
Ren Xiaosu was taken aback. “What do you mean by supporting me?”
He somehow felt like he missed out on something very important.
At 9 PM, Zhang Xiaoman handed the TNT and a rope over to Ren Xiaosu for him to carry on his back. “When you’re climbing up the back of the mountain, you must be extremely careful. If you feel like you can’t get up there, don’t force it.”
Ren Xiaosu nodded. “Don’t worry. When y’all hear the TNT go off on the mountain in six hours, immediately start the attack on Mt. Dingyuan and destroy their HMG positions first. I’ll be supporting y’all from up there.”
Through the military case studies of previous wars, Zhang Xiaoman and the others had learned that paratroopers would usually get paradropped onto the battlefield for them to open a path for the rest of the forces to enter. In this way, they could effectively avoid the enemy’s interdiction.
They were destined to not have things like paratroopers in this era, but that would not stop a fearsome person from climbing a 700-meter-tall and 80-degree-steep cliff with his bare hands.
Besides, could a normal paratrooper have a combat strength as powerful as Ren Xiaosu’s?
Watching as Ren Xiaosu faded into the distance, Jiao Xiaochen suddenly said, “We must start our attack as soon as we hear the noise. I feel that if we don’t act quickly enough, he’ll wipe out all of the enemy forces before we get there.”
When they attacked Mt. Guan, everyone was worried that Ren Xiaosu would die on the mountain. But this time, they were afraid he would kill the bandits too quickly.
However, Zhang Xiaoman shook his head and said, “It’ll be harder to take Mt. Dingyuan than Mt. Guan since the bandit numbers are several times higher. According to Ren Xiaosu, the main fighting forces on Mt. Guan died in a previous battle, leaving only remnants of the original bandit group there. We still need to launch an attack on the mountain a-sap, though, so we can ensure Ren Xiaosu’s safety. It’s the responsibility of the entire Razor Sharp Company to fight the battle. We can’t let him face the pressure all by himself.”
“Starting now, we’ll begin implementing noise and light discipline. There will be no smoking, no talking, and no using of flashlights. Everything must be done in silence!” Zhang Xiaoman was thinking about something as he looked at the silhouette of Mt. Dingyuan in the distance.