“Do y’all remember?” A lumberjack said in a low voice, “The storyteller in town once told a story about these white paper cranes. He said that a very mysterious organization likes to use paper cranes to relay information. Ren Xiaosu, is there anything written on it?”
Ren Xiaosu tightened his fist and said with a smile, “There’s nothing on it. That storyteller must have made that story up. Why would anyone use paper cranes to relay information?”
“That’s true.” Everyone heard what Ren Xiaosu said and did not question him any further.
But Ren Xiaosu was actually startled to hear that. He had a feeling that the “mysterious organization” might just turn out to be real.
But how could an organization like this let him intercept their means of communication so easily?
Could it be a coincidence? Or was it intentionally arranged?
As Ren Xiaosu was cautious by nature, he would always delve further whenever he encountered something strange.
But he did not consider whether it would be a problem for anyone else to try to catch the paper crane. Perhaps they might even be killed by the small paper crane if they tried to catch it.
He intended to refold the paper crane as he wanted to see if it would try to fly off again. But after unfolding it, Ren Xiaosu realized he did not know how to refold it. He never learned something like this before. So Ren Xiaosu placed the piece of paper into his storage space.
The paper crane was probably the power of some supernatural being. Ren Xiaosu turned to look in the direction of Stronghold 61 as that was where it was flying towards.
Perhaps that supernatural being was at Stronghold 61 right now?
When they reached the entrance of the town, the leader of the logging team parked the truck and jumped out of the vehicle. He said to Ren Xiaosu, “A lot of people in town fled here from the Northwest. If you want to find your family, you can start looking for them here. If they’re not here…”
He did not finish the sentence. What the team leader was implying was that if they were not here, they would probably be dead.
The team leader said, “I live on the west side of town. If you have nothing to do and want to earn some money, you can come to look for me in the western part of town. It just so happens that we have a lot of work recently.”
“Thank you, bro, but I don’t think I need a job yet.” After thanking him, Ren Xiaosu started his search in town. He went looking for Wang Fugui and the others shack by shack.
The town here was huge and was many times larger than those he had seen in the Southwest and Northwest.
A lot of the escapees who fled here had already set up their shacks. Many of them had ashen looks on their faces with hints of despair.
A lot of these high and mighty stronghold residents were probably unable to accept that they’d suddenly become refugees. Some of them had brought along their money and thought they could continue to live a comfortable life when they got to the Central Plains.
However, all of the strongholds under the Wang Consortium had stopped accepting the Zong Consortium’s currency. When people came here to do business in the past, the Zong Consortium’s currency could be used. However, that was no longer the case.
It was as though the Wang Consortium firmly believed that the Zong Consortium would suffer a crushing defeat.
As such, these escapees were forced to pawn their gold jewelry in order to survive.
One of the stronghold residents was following a refugee and saying he wanted to work to earn some money for food. However, he was rejected by the refugee because he was too old and did not look like he was strong enough to do labor.
Some of the stronghold residents scolded these refugees for daring to look down on them. As a result, the refugees gave them a good thrashing and even spat on them.
Of course, some stronghold residents quickly accepted their fate and did whatever they could to trade for some food.
Although the refugees in the Central Plains had it better than those in the Southwest and Northwest, they still had to work in exchange for food. This was the ironclad rule that was constant everywhere.
Ren Xiaosu was disappointed that he could not find any trace of Wang Fugui and the others here.
At this moment, he was feeling a little lost. How was he going to look for Wang Fugui and the rest in this sea of people?
It was at this moment that a rat-faced worker from the logging team quietly approached Ren Xiaosu and said, “I’ve been following you around for some time. You haven’t found your family yet? That’s alright, I have some friends in this place. As long as you have money, they can help you locate them.”
Ren Xiaosu turned around and saw the lumberjack’s eyes looked rather shifty. It seemed that the man had guessed that Ren Xiaosu had some money on him after overhearing the conversation between the team leader and him about not needing a job yet.
Ren Xiaosu said with a smile, “I’ll be depending on you then. If you can find my family, I’ll be sure to reward you handsomely.”
“Follow me then. It’s not convenient to talk here in town.” Then the lumberjack turned around and led Ren Xiaosu out into the wilderness.
Before they could get far, Ren Xiaosu suddenly asked, “How much farther do we have to walk?”
“Hehe, we’re almost there.” As he spoke, the lumberjack arrived at a mound and whistled loudly.
Suddenly, three people emerged from behind the mound. The lumberjack looked at Ren Xiaosu and said with a smile, “You must be carrying some money on you, right? Hand it over and we’ll let you live.”
Ren Xiaosu wondered, “How many escapees have you robbed using this method? I thought that the people here did not need to shut their doors at night? Wasn’t there something known as artificial intelligence here?”
Wang Shengyin and Wang Shengzhi had said that in the territories controlled by their Wang clan, people did not need to close their doors at night because there was an artificial intelligence that could analyze criminal behavior extremely accurately. Only a few people could avoid getting caught after committing a crime.
But it didn’t seem like that was the case now!
The lumberjack sneered, “That’s only applicable in the stronghold. What does it have anything to do with us refugees? Hurry up and hand over all your money!”
“Alright then,” Ren Xiaosu muttered. So it turned out the Central Plains were just like the Southwest and Northwest. There was also a clear distinction between refugees and stronghold residents.
The lumberjack’s vision suddenly went black. Right after, he fell backwards with his chest hurting. The rusty metal knife in his hand dropped to the ground with a clang.
His three accomplices were no exception either as all of them suffered a sudden blow.
Ren Xiaosu put the four of them together and said nicely, “I’ll ask y’all some questions. Well… I’d just like to find out more about the local customs and conditions here in the Central Plains. Don’t be too nervous. Just answer the best you can.”
These refugees who tried to rob Ren Xiaosu realized they had stubbed their toes on an iron plate! No, how could this only be an iron plate? It might as well be a fucking mountain that was several kilometers thick!
In this recent period, they had tasted the sweetness by robbing escapees who fled here from the Northwest. Moreover, the stronghold residents were very timid and would immediately cower in fear at the sight of a knife.
However, they did not expect to rob a superhuman today.
When Ren Xiaosu started questioning them, the exchange went on for the entire night. The four refugees in front of him nearly broke down from his interrogation. When day broke, he returned to town alone and did nothing but stand at the door of the only tavern in town and waited for it to open.
Not only was he hungry and looking for something to eat, he had also heard there was a storyteller here who brought up something about white paper cranes.