The First Order – Chapter 447


Chapter 447 The fortune teller

As Fortress 178 got forced into a corner at Mt. Wuchuan, the damn band of soldiers fought so fiercely they forced the Zong Consortium to retreat.

As the saying goes, an oppressed army fighting with desperate courage is sure to win, and that was exactly what happened here.

It was as though Zhang Jinglin, who was at the front line himself, had suddenly turned the matter of their retreat route being cut off into something positive. All the soldiers of Fortress 178 shared a bitter hatred for the enemy, so all of them fought like they were unafraid of death.

Of course, this was something that could only be accomplished with many years of faith. However, this would not change the crisis that Fortress 178 was facing at the moment.

For the past two days, Zhang Jinglin had not spoken much at all. A commander went to inquire with him on how to handle and resolve the Zong Consortium’s sudden attack on Fortress 178, but he just said that he had not thought of a plan yet.

The commanders found it a little strange that Commander Zhang seemed to be at a loss for what to do. Usually, he could make a resolute decision no matter how difficult things got. But why did it seem like the Zong Consortium was leading him by the nose now?

What was the point of winning the battle here at Mt. Wuchuan when they were on the verge of losing their homes?

The commanders were so anxious that they got a little mad, and one of them even had a lot of his hair turn gray overnight. Everyone’s friends and family were still back at Fortress 178.

Someone privately asked Lin Yuze, the chow hall manager, “How’s the Commander’s appetite been the past few days?”

Someone was trying to figure out from Zhang Jinglin’s behavior if he had any contingencies for their situation. If he had any, his appetite would probably remain the same. But if he didn’t, he would most likely not eat as much as he usually did.

The commanders of Fortress 178 all knew about Zhang Jinglin’s habits. This one was an eccentricity of Zhang Jinglin’s they had figured out long ago.

Lin Yuze said with a bitter expression, “Commander Zhang has not eaten for two days already.”

The commanders of Fortress 178 all had a bitter look on their faces. Commander Zhang was so worried this time that he did not even eat?!

Although Zong Ying had suffered successive defeats here at Mt. Wuchuan, this frontline commander knew the situation was going to change in a few more days. But the problem was that there had to be an explanation for this matter.

This explanation was necessary to appease the Board. Being victorious was not the only thing that mattered in war. Amid all the battles, there would still be a lot of people seeking to reproach whoever was responsible for certain results in order to get rid of their opponents.

Furthermore, a lot of people were also eyeing Zong Ying’s position, seeing that once the contingency plan succeeded, this would truly be an unprecedented victory. To be honest, a lot of people were looking to steal the fruits of Zong Ying’s labor.

The Board had already sent someone to inquire about the matter. Meanwhile, Zong Ying squarely pinned the blame on Zong Wu, saying that if Zong Wu had not withdrawn an anchoring force like the 131st Brigade from the front, the defeat at Mt. Wuchuan could definitely have been avoided.

After all, the defensive position the 131st Brigade was guarding was an extremely important one. However, Zong Wu had abandoned the interests of the organization just because his diverted assets had been seized by someone. This was as good as desertion!

Meanwhile, this action of withdrawing from the battle at the last minute had in turn affected the overall situation of the war by disrupting the plans at the front lines.

On the other hand, the Board had also contacted Zong Wu regarding the same matter, only to hear him yelling at the top of his lungs and claiming that if Zong Ying could not even guarantee the safety of the rear, how were they supposed to win the war?

Both parties were pushing the blame on the other with their excuses. However, Zong Wu, who was leading the 131st Brigade, had already lost track of the Razor Sharp Company’s whereabouts. He knew his sudden withdrawal from the battlefield would no longer be his main charge. Instead, diverting his assets during the war and planning his getaway would make the Board even more suspicious of him. What would he face after the war was over? It would surely have to be a torrent of investigations!

Hence, the thing that would surprise everyone still happened. Zong Wu had actually taken the 131st Brigade and fled! Although the mechanized infantry were very reliant on logistics from the rear, the fact that Zong Wu fled showed that he must have found an organization that would take him in in the Central Plains.

Who wouldn’t welcome a surrender from someone if a mechanized army came included with them!

With the desertion, everyone from the Zong Consortium was disgusted. Meanwhile, Zong Ying heaved a sigh of relief as the matter overshadowed the defeats he had suffered, and no one cared about that anymore.

What Zong Ying should really be doing right now was to stay at the top of Mt. Wuchuan to continue defending against Stronghold 178’s attacks. If the Zong Consortium were to get beaten before their contingency plan could be pulled off, that would be the real joke.

The night was silent in Stronghold 146, and Ren Xiaosu guessed that a curfew might have been implemented. It couldn’t be that no pedestrians would be out walking the streets otherwise. Occasionally, he could even see troops patrolling the place.

It wouldn’t be difficult for Ren Xiaosu to avoid the patrols. What was difficult was finding out where the higher-ups of the Zong Consortium were.

Ren Xiaosu had defined the operation this time as a decapitation strike. His purpose was not to destroy the entirety of Stronghold 146, nor was he going to fight against the brigade that was garrisoned here. Instead, he was seeking to cripple all of the higher-ups of the Zong Consortium so they would fall to the same fate as the Yang Consortium.

But Ren Xiaosu thought of a very serious problem. If Zong Cheng was the commander of the garrison brigade for Stronghold 146, wouldn’t he also be around in the military base here?

Other targets aside, Zong Cheng was the one he wanted to kill the most.

Figuring out a way to sneak into the base, as well as finding out where the higher-ups of the Zong Consortium were located, were the first things that Ren Xiaosu had to face.

But how was he supposed to find them?

Ren Xiaosu hid under a small bridge all night. The next day, he started strolling on the streets like it was nothing. He realized the residents of Stronghold 146 all looked lifeless. There was no one talking on the streets, and the atmosphere was extremely oppressive.

He did not know what the Zong Consortium did during their rule over these citizens to make them completely lose their spirits. It was only after entering the stronghold that Ren Xiaosu realized that the Zong Consortium had not only lost the hearts of the refugees but also the hearts of the stronghold’s residents.

But he did not try to strike up a conversation with any of them. Surely he could not pull a random person aside to ask them where the higher-ups of the Zong Consortium lived, could he?

While Ren Xiaosu was walking the streets, a person holding a white banner upright suddenly walked over to him. He saw two words written on the white banner: Divine Foresight.[1]

Ren Xiaosu was stunned as this was his first time encountering a fortune teller on the streets. But such things were just interesting to look at. He had heard that a 100 percent of fortune tellers were frauds who used their skills to cheat others.

But as the two of them walked past each other, the fortune teller suddenly grabbed Ren Xiaosu by the arm. Ren Xiaosu turned around and grabbed his wrist, locking the fortune teller’s arm as he carried him into a small alley.

Ren Xiaosu looked around and realized no one had noticed them. Then he said, “Who are

you?”

The fortune teller started sweating from the pain. “Let go of me! I’m just a fortune teller! I noticed from your aura that you might encounter a bloody calamity in the coming days, so I wanted to read your fortune for you.”

“Oh?” Ren Xiaosu was amused to hear that. Telling others they would encounter a bloody calamity was a trick fortune tellers used. To resolve this “calamity,” one would have to pay them money to avoid it. “I’m not that stupid. Go and scam others. I’m not that gullible to fall for something like that.”

“Why don’t you know what’s good for you?” The fortune teller said in a speechless manner, “I’m really sincere about telling your fortune. My divinations are quite accurate.”

“Accurate?” Ren Xiaosu sneered. “Then what can you divine for me?”

“I can divine anything!” said the fortune teller.

“Then riddle me this: Given the quadratic function f(x) = ax2 + bx +c, the maximum value occurs when x = 1. What is the relationship between f(-1), f(0), and f(4) in terms of value?”

The fortune teller was confused.

Ren Xiaosu continued sneering. “Didn’t you say that you can divine anything?” [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_fortune __telling#Appearances

 

 

 

 



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