Chapter 429 A real life fairy tale
Everyone in the command center fell silent. Zhou Qi and Luo Lan stared at the envoy like he was a fool. However, they did not say anything.
Qing Zhen smiled ambiguously at him and said, “How would Yang Lichen like me to help him?”
“He’ll supply you with the defensive deployment map of the front line at Ziyang, and you’ll only be required to help him destroy the garrison there.” The envoy put on an ingratiating smile and said, “To show our sincerity, I even brought the defensive deployment map with me.”
Qing Zhen raised his eyebrows and smiled at Zhou Qi. Then he said to the envoy, “How do I know that your defensive deployment map is real? Leave it with me first. I’ll decide whether to help your boss after I analyze it. Enough! Men, take him out. And make sure he leaves the defensive deployment map behind.”
With that, a group of fierce soldiers escorted the Yang Consortium’s envoy out.
Zhou Qi jumped to his feet and said, “Is he a fucking idiot or what? Why are they still fighting among themselves at a time like this? Does he think we’re playing games with the Yang Consortium? And what did he mean by gifting Stronghold 97 and Stronghold 99 to us? Who gave him permission to gift us something we already own?”
Qing Zhen said calmly, “Yang Huaiyin from the younger generation of the Yang Consortium is the one guarding the front line at Ziyang. As for Yang Lichen, he’s also a family member of the Yang Consortium. However, he was cast aside years ago and was made overseer of a stronghold to take charge of the factories’ production levels in its vicinity.”
“Hehe.” Luo Lan laughed and said, “Reality will always be stranger than fiction. The things you encounter in real life don’t happen in stories. It’s no wonder that Yang Lichen was ostracized. So it’s because he’s actually an idiot.”
“In the battle at Stronghold 88, the Li Consortium’s nanosoldiers charged in and went on a frenzied killing spree. I suspect the nanomachines in their bodies were controlling them rather than the other way around.” Qing Zhen said, “In that battle, the Yang Consortium’s core figures were basically all in Stronghold 88. Now that the Yang Consortium is without a leader, the entire Yang Consortium has started fragmenting. Thus, many of those who used to be ostracized would rather fight for control of the Yang Consortium than think about how to win the war.”
Yang Lichen was not the only one who sent their people here. Others had done the same.
Of course, not all of them were that stupid. The majority of them said they would stop resisting and hoped to be granted an official position in the stronghold in the future. Meanwhile, people like Yang Lichen were difficult to find even among the idiots.
The outside world thought the Qing Consortium would get exhausted in the war with the Yang Consortium. But in reality, the Qing Consortium was just putting on a front.
After all, the Southwest and Northwest were not the only places in this world. There was also the Central Plains.
“But there’s also smart people in the Yang Consortium.” Qing Zhen said with a smile, “Yang Huaiyin, who is taking charge of the front line at Ziyang, he said he didn’t want to resist anymore and sought an official position. He even sent the defensive deployment map of the front line at Ziyang to me. However, the defensive deployment map wasn’t entirely real. He was trying to set a trap for me.”
Luo Lan said with a sigh, “For a huge organization like the Yang Consortium with their glorious past, who would’ve expected them to end up in this state?”
Qing Zhen looked at the sand table and said calmly, “You should never reveal your trump cards or intentions. Else, you can only wait to be slaughtered. This chess game is not over yet.”
“Oh, right.” Luo Lan asked, “What are we gonna do about the Experimentals to the south?”
Qing Zhen frowned slightly. Ever since the Li Consortium was destroyed, and with both the Qing Consortium and the Yang Consortium’s forces returning to the North, the South’s defenses were practically empty. The Qing Consortium could not possibly keep too many fighting forces guarding the South. So the territories that used to be under the Li Consortium’s control were no longer able to hold back the Experimentals.
After the Yang Consortium’s defeated troops escaped with their tails tucked between their legs, Qing Zhen left a brigade in the South to ward off the Experimentals. But with so many strongholds in the region, how could a single brigade defend them all? Besides, their main objective there was to take over the strongholds and force the former officials to surrender their assets.
In less than two months, the Experimentals had occupied yet another stronghold and turned it into their territory.
It was like a purgatory filled with demons in the fallen stronghold.
If the Qing Consortium had not left behind an entire brigade, perhaps even more people would have died.
Qing Zhen thought for a while and said, “Let Qing Yi know that he has 15 days to capture the front line at Ziyang. After that, he is to lead the troops south to exterminate the Experimentals. I don’t want to see any more people dying.”
For a person who had orchestrated the entire war in the Southwest to suddenly say that he did not want to see any more people dying sounded extremely absurd. However, no one knew what Qing Zhen was thinking at this moment.
Luo Lan asked, “After they defeat the Yang Consortium, the soldiers will be exhausted. Shouldn’t we let them rest rather than making them head south immediately? Why don’t you use-“
“No, we can’t use that,” Qing Zhen interrupted. “We can’t simply do as we please with some things.”
Luo Lan stood up and dusted himself off. “Alright then, I’ll oversee the takeover of the Yang Consortium’s strongholds. I think those old fogeys should be quite rich. After the war’s over, it can’t be that our Qing Consortium keeps getting poorer, right? You’re not suited to handle such rotten matters, so leave it to me.”
Now that Qing Zhen was the Qing Consortium’s CEO, he had to take care of his image. Hence, Luo Lan volunteered to take charge of the seizure of people’s assets.
Previously, Luo Lan had also overseen the seizure of the Li Consortium’s territories. The officials and businessmen of the Li Consortium got horrified whenever Luo Lan’s name was mentioned. That was because Luo Lan’s methods for pilfering their assets were known to be brutal.
Some of the officials who used to work for the Li Consortium insisted they did not have any money at all because they did not want their gold to be seized.
However, all of them still ended up confessing after they were hung from their roofs and severely beaten for three days and three nights by Luo Lan.
There were also methods like not allowing them to sleep and physical torture that Luo Lan resorted to. These were all methods that were used to deal with spies, so how could the officials possibly endure it?
As of this moment, it was unknown how many people were cursing him behind his back. Everyone was claiming that Luo Lan was a cannibal.
But all the assets that were seized by Luo Lan would get put into the Qing Consortium’s account. He did not keep any of it for himself.
Quoting Luo Lan, why would he need the money when his brother was the Qing Consortium’s CEO? He didn’t even have to pay out of his own pocket wherever he went.
Qing Zhen was previously the Qing Consortium’s Shadow. And now, Luo Lan looked like he had become Qing Zhen’s Shadow.
Qing Zhen looked at Zhou Qi. “I want you to make a trip to the Central Plains. Things are already brewing over there, so it’s time to act.”
“You seem quite trusting of me this time.” Zhou Qi said with a grin, “Weren’t you afraid I would turn against you at the last minute? But now you’re actually assigning such an important task to me?”
Qing Zhen said, “No one can afford to pay you what I paid.”
Zhou Qi whistled. He no longer carried himself in a cultured and respectable way anymore and acted more like a mercenary. He said with a smile, “Boss’s generosity knows no bounds! The war in the Southwest will be over soon, and the entire Southwest will be flying the flag of the Qing Consortium. Looks like I made the correct decision back then!”
However, Qing Zhen suddenly said after a long silence, “I don’t think it’s worth being happy about.”
Qing Zhen stood next to the sand table and looked at the entire layout. Luo Lan suddenly remembered that his younger brother once said he actually preferred cultivating flowers to this.