While Li Ran and the others were sitting in the hotel lobby in a daze, gunshots suddenly rang out outside the stronghold. To be precise, it came from the top of the stronghold walls.
The plainclothes guards from the Wang Consortium were standing at the hotel’s entrance and had been discussing how to get their hands on some weapons. They wondered if they could contact the Wang Consortium to get them to liaise with the Zhou Consortium to return the weapons to them.
But after talking on the satellite phone for a long time, the Wang Consortium only promised them that they would speak with the Zhou Consortium about the matter. However, there was no further update.
Ren Xiaosu glanced at those soldiers standing at the entrance, then pulled Zhou Yingxue aside and said, “You stay here. I’ll go outside to take a look.”
Zhou Yingxue turned anxious. She lowered her voice and said, “Master, please don’t go running around. I’m scared.”
“What’s the use of being scared?” Ren Xiaosu retrieved two pistols and six magazines from his storage space and handed them to Zhou Yingxue. “This hotel is located in the center of the stronghold. If anything happens here, it means that the entire stronghold is doomed. When the time comes, you can just find a random spot to open up an underground refuge with your seeds. After that, wait for me to come and rescue you, understand?”
“Then should we still save Li Ran at that time?” Zhou Yingxue asked.
Ren Xiaosu was stunned for a moment. “It’s already good enough if you can survive, so why would you still think about saving others at that time? At worst, we don’t get to participate in the Anjing House trials, but we won’t die either.”
Zhou Yingxue broke out into a smile and was no longer scared. “Yes, Master.”
She was most worried that Ren Xiaosu was only using her to join the Anjing House and would abandon her after that. But right now, it seemed she was more important than his objective of joining the Anjing House.
Ren Xiaosu found this a little baffling. How could this woman change so quickly? Just a moment ago, she was looking quite scared. But now, she could even start smiling.
After that, he walked out of the hotel. When Li Ran and Mu Wan’ge saw this, they immediately panicked. Li Ran got up and asked, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going outside to take a look,” Ren Xiaosu replied.
“If you’re leaving, who’s going to protect us?” Mu Wan’ge said anxiously.
“What if you don’t come back?” Li Ran said, sounding a little lost.
Ren Xiaosu gestured with his chin at Zhou Yingxue and said, “You still have her around.”
Everyone looked at Zhou Yingxue. When they saw Zhou Yingxue inspecting the pistols, everyone wondered how she managed to sneak them into the stronghold.
Ren Xiaosu looked at the plainclothes guards and said with a grin, “And there’s still them, right? They can protect y’all.”
When those guards saw the two guns Zhou Yingxue was holding, their eyes lit up. “We’re active military personnel. Since you want us to protect everyone, we should be the ones handling those guns. Also, we’re more adept at using them.”
Ren Xiaosu sneered, “Zhou Yingxue, if anyone tries to seize the guns from you after I leave, you can shoot them dead.”
Zhou Yingxue also said calmly, “You’re saying that you guys are more adept at using firearms? You couldn’t even safeguard your own guns, so why are you still talking about using them?”
With that, Ren Xiaosu left. As a matter of fact, Zhou Yingxue was not a weak-willed woman at all. She was a lady who could blatantly lie without batting an eyelid. If these plainclothes guards dared to plot against Zhou Yingxue to get her guns, they would probably be killed by her tonight.
After Ren Xiaosu left the hotel, he headed to the west side of the stronghold. That should be the main battlefield where the Zhou Consortium’s troops were going to face the Experimentals. But on the way there, he suddenly saw more than a dozen supernatural beings dressed in black hopping across the roofs at almost the same speed as him. They only took a glance at him and did not say anything.
But something felt strange. Where did these supernatural beings come from? A moment later, Ren Xiaosu noticed the sabers they were carrying on their belts. Weren’t those the Pyro Company’s ceramic sabers?
Wait a minute, were all these people the Pyro Company’s members? All of them must have been hiding in Stronghold 74 before the Experimentals arrived.
But since they were members of the Pyro Company, why didn’t they make a move when they encountered a supernatural being like him?
Ren Xiaosu quietly ran off in another direction. Then he switched to using his shadow clone to follow the Pyro Company members to see what they were up to.
The garrison troops had already ceased firing from the top of the stronghold walls, and Ren Xiaosu wondered what the situation outside was like.
Eventually, the Pyro Company members and Ren Xiaosu arrived at the stronghold’s western walls. The Pyro Company members immediately announced their identities to the Zhou Consortium’s troops and started ascending the walls.
Ren Xiaosu watched through his spotting scope. He also saw the Zhou Consortium’s troops distributing guns to the Pyro Company members. It seemed like the Pyro Company members would be joining forces with the Zhou Consortium’s troops to guard the city this time.
The Pyro Company was going to help defend the city and protect the stronghold residents? So it turned out the Pyro Company members did not try to capture a supernatural being like him when they encountered him earlier because they had an even more important task to handle?
This was subverting Ren Xiaosu’s understanding. So when humans were faced with a common threat, even an organization like the Pyro Company would become part of the defense forces?
Actually, Ren Xiaosu understood that if the Zhou Consortium’s troops were to be defeated, hundreds of thousands of people across the entire stronghold would end up suffering. But to be honest, he was really not expecting the Pyro Company to automatically step forward to give their assistance.
Old Li and Qin Sheng had already collected their firearms distributed by the Zhou Consortium troops. However, the Zhou Consortium did not assign them any specific tasks. But if the Experimentals started charging up the walls, it would be up to these supernatural beings to fend them off.
After all, it would be very difficult to kill the Experimentals with just pistols and automatic rifles if that happened. Furthermore, the Experimentals were extremely mobile. So if an Experimental managed to climb the walls, it would become a huge threat to the stronghold’s entire defense system. Even more Experimentals could manage to get up on the walls and cause the entire defensive line to collapse. At that time, they could only rely on the newly built defensive fortifications within the city, although that would surely be their last resort.
At this moment, the Experimentals had just started attacking, but they were forced to retreat into the forest when the Zhou Consortium killed several dozen of them with heavy machine guns.
When the Experimentals emerged from the forest again, everyone on the stronghold walls was stunned. That was because there were several hundred live hostages being herded towards the stronghold by the Experimentals. Old Li thought he might even know some of them as they seemed to be the refugees who had escaped into the wilderness to avoid the organizations.
The Experimentals would usually kill anyone they encountered. But it was different this time. They had actually learned how to take humans as hostages!
The humans had heavy machine guns, didn’t they? Then let’s see if they were willing to kill their own kind first.
The garrison force stationed on the stronghold walls in the east was facing a similar predicament. It was not only the refugees that were being herded forward by the Experimentals, but a large number of the Zhou Consortium soldiers in their blue military uniforms were also among the crowd. It seemed that these were the reinforcements from Stronghold 73 that had been recently captured by the Experimentals.
To open fire or not to open fire?
Old Li, Qin Sheng, and the Pyro Company members did not say anything because they were only here to provide support, so it was not up to them to make the decisions.
The commander of the Zhou Consortium’s garrison troops stood on the stronghold walls and looked silently at the crowd of people approaching the city. Those people cried until their throats turned hoarse. Some of the adults were hugging their children in their arms while their faces were covered in tears.
Among the crowd, a few sporadic Experimentals were responsible for herding them forward. Meanwhile, the main Experimental forces were closely following about six meters behind them. If the soldiers on the walls did not make a move, the Experimentals would destroy the seemingly impenetrable stronghold in less than a minute once they got close enough to the walls.
The Zhou Consortium commander said calmly, “Open fire.”