Chapter 420 Arrival of the Qing Consortium
The Razor Sharp Company suddenly found themselves with a lot of time on their hands. They had never been this free before even when holding at the forward operating base. During that time, they still had to carry on with their physical and field training regimens. But right now, all they had to do was wait here quietly.
Ren Xiaosu and Zhang Xiaoman had put on an act for Zhou Yinglong because they knew that it would be impossible to blow up the Beiwan Bridge if Mt. Qiangwan had sent reinforcements to the Beiwan River.
No matter how capable their company was, they could not possibly fight against thousands of people with only 184 of them. Not even Ren Xiaosu could do that. Besides, they did not have that much ammunition to handle all those enemies either.
As for Zhou Yinglong, he was not a rigid person. He knew the Razor Sharp Company had done good enough. One company annihilating three companies of the Zong Consortium’s combat troops without suffering any injuries themselves was something unheard of in the entire military.
Therefore, he ordered the Razor Sharp Company to find a safe place and regroup. The Razor Sharp Company would only continue advancing to break through at the Beiwan River after the Forward Strike Battalion drew the firepower of Mt. Qiangwan.
Even though the Razor Sharp Company had gotten very far away from the mountain range, they still did not dare to set up a campfire. If the enemy’s scouts discovered them and used their firepower to attack them, they would surely suffer heavy casualties.
Zhang Xiaoman smiled mysteriously. He took out a small, silver flask and winked at the others. “Since we have nothing better to do, shall we all drink a little?”
Ren Xiaosu was stunned. He had not expected Zhang Xiaoman to be so bold as to bring alcohol to the battlefield. “Are you crazy? You can’t drink now. We’re in battle!”
This time, it was Zhang Xiaoman’s turn to be stunned. Everyone would usually share the alcohol after he took it out, and that was that. But with Ren Xiaosu around, it was like someone was supervising them.
Zhang Xiaoman got upset. “I’m the company commander.”
“Then go ahead and drink.” Ren Xiaosu paused. “If you take even a sip, I’ll report you to the Disciplinary Committee.”
Zhang Xiaoman was speechless.
“We really can’t drink right now.” Ren Xiaosu said earnestly, “We don’t know when a bullet will come flying on the battlefield. Can you react in time if that happens?”.
Ren Xiaosu didn’t mind Zhang Xiaoman and the others drinking, but now was definitely not the time. He hoped to keep everyone in the Razor Sharp Company alive. So he could not afford to let things go wrong.
As they conversed, Ren Xiaosu snatched the flask from Zhang Xiaoman’s hands and stored it into his palace. “I’ll keep it for you for the time being.”
Then Ren Xiaosu went to relieve himself.
Someone laughed and said, “Ren Xiaosu behaves more like our CO.”
Someone else elbowed Zhang Xiaoman and said softly in a cheerful voice, “Captain, you lost your temper if we didn’t let you drink. Why were you so submissive this time?”
“It’s not like I can fucking beat him, can I?” Zhang Xiaoman snapped. “And what do you know? Have you forgotten who he is? He’s Ren Xiaosu! The one Commander Zhang assigned to the Razor Sharp Company!”
“What do you mean ‘so what’?” Zhang Xiaoman stared with eyes wide and said, “By assigning him to the Razor Sharp Company, it’s to show the entire army that he’s qualified to be the next commander. Seeing how fearsome Ren Xiaosu is, he will definitely survive until the end of the war. Even if you say he’s the heir of Fortress 178, that wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Never mind that we used to pick on him. Now that we’ve realized how qualified he is, we have to accept it, understand?”
Everyone pondered that and found it quite reasonable.
These gruff men from the Northwest might be a wild bunch, but they were still sensible. The other fighting forces of Fortress 178 might not be convinced by Ren Xiaosu yet, but their Razor Sharp Company had accepted him already. Zhang Xiaoman already regarded Ren Xiaosu as the next commander. Why else would he show such humility to him?
“To be honest, I admire Ren Xiaosu from the bottom of my heart.” Jiao Xiaochen said, “He doesn’t seem to have any problems except for being fond of people thanking him.”
“It’s no big deal saying thanks.” Zhang Xiaoman chuckled and said, “In this era, we should be happy that our lives can be saved in exchange for saying thank you. Since he likes to hear people thank him, let’s just thank him more.”
Ren Xiaosu came back from relieving himself. When he heard their discussion, he sat down right next to Zhang Xiaoman. “Then what are you waiting for? Why don’t we start now?”
Zhang Xiaoman was speechless.
Then, Fu Rao, who was in charge of nighttime surveillance, shouted on the communications channel, “This is bad! Something terrible has happened. There’s a large number of troops headed here from the south. They look like an independent regiment!”
Zhang Xiaoman immediately got up. Fortress 178 had not stationed any troops to the south. If these troops were coming from the south, they would definitely be enemies.
He immediately asked, “How far are they from our camp?”
The voice on the comms channel said. “At most three kilometers away.”
“What kind of troops are they? Are they from the Zong Consortium?” Zhang Xiaoman asked with a frown.
“No… their logo is that of a white ginkgo leaf.” Fu Rao said: “It’s the Qing Consortium’s mechanized infantry.”
“The Qing Consortium?!” Everyone was confused.
Shouldn’t the Qing Consortium and the Yang Consortium be fighting to the death in the South? Why would they suddenly have the strength to come and join the northern battlefield? Could it be that the Qing Consortium and the Zong Consortium had joined forces?
The war between the Qing Consortium and the Yang Consortium was full scale. All of Qing Zhen’s plans had been carried out as more than half of the Yang Consortium’s industries were destroyed. At the beginning, the Yang Consortium could rely on their ammunition reserves to fight the war. But after just two months, the entire Yang Consortium ended up passive.
There was a shortage of ammunition at the front lines, while the strongholds that had not suffered from the war directly were also faced with a shortage of supplies.
Qing Zhen was truly brilliant. By supporting the bandits in the North, he had shaken the Yang Consortium to its core at the lowest possible cost. He had really caught them by surprise.
Zhang Xiaoman had said to Ren Xiaosu that if it were the Qing Consortium’s troops they had encountered in the mountain range, he would have already fled.
It would be difficult to say who would win when an entire regiment of infantry faced another regiment. But there was no doubt that a company would lose against a regiment even if both sides had similar capabilities.
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Therefore, an independent regiment from the Qing Consortium suddenly coming north didn’t sound like good news.
Only Ren Xiaosu was still sitting quietly next to the campfire. Zhang Xiaoman said, “Let’s retreat towards Mt. Qiangwan and join up with Battalion Commander Zhou. We can’t fight against this independent regiment from the Qing Consortium on our own!”
But Ren Xiaosu piped up, “They might not be here to fight us.”
“Are you crazy?” Zhang Xiaoman said in shock. “How can the Qing troops not be here to attack us when they suddenly appeared at a place so close to us?”
But Fu Rao suddenly said on the comms channel, “Wait a minute, Captain. Their mechanized infantry has stopped advancing. They’ve sent someone out to hoof it over to us.”
Ren Xiaosu sighed and stood up. “They’re probably here to look for me.”
Everyone from the Razor Sharp Company was stunned. ‘You’re saying that the Qing Consortium traveled all the way north in the middle of the night with such a massive turnout of mechanized infantry just because they’re looking for you?’
Ren Xiaosu looked south and waited quietly. In reality, he was also unsure of the Qing Consortium’s intentions until he saw Tang Zhou.