Chapter 401 A happily married life
The war had started the moment the Razor Sharp Company took Mt. Guan. There was no official declaration of war, with the first gunshot fired being the bugle call.
Attacking Shichuan Village was a very minor interlude in the entire war. Both Second Company and Third Company had come along with Razor Sharp Company to Shichuan Village as this was not a place they could wage a battle on their own.
From here on out, they would be facing the Zong Consortium’s regular troops. These regular troops had been put through systematic military training and had shot countless targets before. The only thing was they had never officially been on the battlefield before. Compared with the bandits they faced earlier, these troops were on a completely different level.
According to Zhang Xiaoman, the troops of the Zong Consortium were not that much weaker than those from Fortress 178. The only difference was their experience and ability to adapt on the battlefield. There was also a difference in what they had learned during their desensitization training.
Some of the Zong Consortium’s new recruits would throw up, get disgusted, and become fearful when they saw intestines spilling out and legs getting broken. However, the veterans of Fortress 178 would not.
At the forward operating base, Zhou Yinglong got the orderlies to hand out pen and paper to everyone.
“What’s this for?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
Zhang Xiaoman raised his head and gave him a look. “To write your will.”
“Will?” Ren Xiaosu was stunned for a moment.
“On the surface, it’s to let everyone write down whatever they want to say. If they don’t make it back after a battle, the Administration Division will deliver the letters to their family. You can consider it a letter to pass down any instructions after your death. If the soldiers manage to return, they can go to the Administration Division and redeem their letters,” Zhang Xiao Man explained. “But we just call this thing a will.”
“That sounds like bad luck,” Ren Xiaosu said with a smile.
“There’s nothing unlucky about it.” Zhang Xiaoman shook his head. “Those who step onto the battlefield should be able to make light of death. Actually, we didn’t understand it at first, but after fighting so many enemies outside Fortress 178, we’re numb to it.”
“Then who are you writing to?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
“My parents,” Zhang Xiaoman said, “and my wife too.”
“Listen to what you’re saying. I’m almost thirty years old.” Zhang Xiaoman chuckled and said, “Can’t I have a wife?”
Ren Xiaosu felt a little embarrassed. He did not really understand the concept of marriage, so he assumed everyone else was single like him. Thinking about it, since Zhang Xiaoman was the company commander, he couldn’t be that young.
“What does being married feel like?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
“It’s not too bad, I guess. There’s always a hot meal waiting at home,” Zhang Xiaoman said as he wrote out his “will.”
“Are you happy?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
Zhang Xiaoman chuckled and looked up. “You must be hankering for love, huh? Why are you so interested in this? Let me put it this way. I’ve been happily married for one year.”
“That sounds pretty nice,” Ren Xiaosu said.
Beside him, Jiao Xiaochen laughed loudly and said, “You don’t get it. He’s been married for ten years.”
Ren Xiaosu was speechless.
Then Zhang Xiaoman asked, “Aren’t you going to write your letter?”
Ren Xiaosu hesitated for a moment. “I don’t know who I should write it to.”
All the warriors of the Razor Sharp Company fell silent. They realized this was probably the reason Ren Xiaosu had fought so desperately against the Zong Consortium.
After leaving the forward operating base, they could only travel on foot. In the battle plan, they would arrive at the outskirts of Shichuan Village on the third day. But from the moment they stepped out of the forward operating base, they had to be on full alert. This was in case the Zong Consortium’s troops had set up an ambush near Shichuan Village.
Ren Xiaosu asked, “Shichuan Village is located on a plain. Although its outskirts are forest, it should be quite difficult for us to break through into Shichuan Village, right?”
A rifle in his hands, Zhang Xiaoman explained, “We’ll use the mortars to attack first. Their range of three kilometers is enough for us to stay outside the range of the enemy’s HMGs. Once we create an opening, we can move on to urban combat.”
“Are you confident?” Ren Xiaosu asked skeptically.
“If that doesn’t work out, we’ll get the artillery troops behind to take out their large-caliber artillery and bombard them.” Zhang Xiaoman said, “There’s definitely a way.”
On the night of the second day, the sound of gunfire rang out from both sides. From where the Razor Sharp Company was, heavy machine guns could be heard firing in the distance.
Zhang Xiaoman frowned. “Second Company and Third Company have been ambushed. We should be careful too!”
Everyone had expected the Zong Consortium to set up an ambush outside of Shichuan Village, so it was not a surprise. Second Company and Third Company were probably prepared for this as well.
A gunshot suddenly rang out in front of them as well, but it sounded like it came from far away.
Zhang Xiaoman and the others instinctively took cover behind a tree by the side of the road, but no bullets flew at them.
“That’s strange. Who’s firing?” Zhang Xiaoman asked in confusion. “Let’s continue moving forward!”
But after the Razor Sharp Company advanced several hundred meters, they still did not reach where they thought the enemy was. There were not even any gunshots anymore.
“Something’s not right.” Zhang Xiaoman frowned and said, “We’re the ones taking the main path. Is the Zong Consortium trying to mislead us? Fu Rao, Lin Ping’an, I want the two of you to take point and scout!”
It was not that Zhang Xiaoman liked ordering Fu Rao and Lin Ping’an around when there was danger, but that there had to be designated scouts in the company. When a dangerous situation arose, these scouts would be tasked with charging ahead first. This was just a division of responsibilities.
Fu Rao and Lin Ping’an crouch walked through the forest and felt their way forward. However, before they could get far, the two of them turned back. “Captain, something’s wrong. The people ambushing us are all dead. They’ve been wiped out!”
“There was only a single platoon manning the MG position, and all 30 of the soldiers there died just a while ago. They were still bleeding when we got near them,” Lin Ping’an added.
Zhang Xiaoman looked suspiciously at Ren Xiaosu. “You did this?”
“No.” Ren Xiaosu shook his head. “Ain’t I right here?”
“That’s true.” The soldiers of the Razor Sharp Company were also a little stunned. “Who helped us take out that MG nest? And their throats were slit? Only a supernatural being is capable of that, right?”
Everyone was puzzled. A mysterious supernatural being had suddenly appeared on the battlefield and done good deeds for them?
The soldiers of the Razor Sharp Company were not fools. This was clearly done by Ren Xiaosu, but they did not have any evidence of it.
To be honest, everyone still did not know what kind of power Ren Xiaosu had.
Zhang Xiaoman tried to test Ren Xiaosu again. “It really wasn’t you?”
“It really wasn’t me,” Ren Xiaosu said innocently.
Zhang Xiaoman came to the machine gun position where he found a corpse and touched the area between the man’s thumb and index finger. “There’s no thick calluses, so they shouldn’t be trained soldiers. This group was probably put together with refugees or soldiers from the private troops.”
“They’re just cannon fodder.” Jiao Xiaochen said, “It looks like the Zong Consortium is trying to use cannon fodder to wear us out first.”
“Predictable.” Zhang Xiaoman said, “There won’t be a lack of enemy troops in Shichuan Village. A conservative estimate says there’s over a 1,000 of them. But the good news is that most of the enemies we’ll encounter should be very weak. They might not even have a proper understanding of what targeting range is.”
Shichuan Village was not a very important place to begin with. The Zong Consortium had only garrisoned it because they wanted to be a pain in the ass to Fortress 178’s forward operating base.