The First Order Book 2 Chapter 108
Volume 2 Chapter 108 Sneaking Into The Stronghold
It was getting darker. Since Ren Xiaosu had the idea to sneak into Stronghold 109, he started to come up with some crooked ideas. He called everyone together and whispered, "What do y'all think of sneaking into Stronghold 109 by passing off as residents of Stronghold 113?"
"That won't work." Wang Fugui shook his head and said, "The stronghold residents have ID papers. We don't have anything like that."
"I can just say that I lost them while we were escaping, right?" Ren Xiaosu replied. "It should not be surprising since we traveled over a 100 kilometers to escape from such a big disaster."
Wang Fugui said, "It's difficult to say since there isn't information sharing between the strongholds. Even if you say that you were a Stronghold 113 resident, there isn't a way for them to verify it. In the past, an authorization letter would be required to travel between the strongholds, and the letter would have to bear the official seal of the stronghold overseer. But now that Stronghold 113 is no more, and with Stronghold 113's overseer, Old Liu, sent away to the Northern Frontier by the Qing Consortium, who knows whose hands the official seal has ended up in."
Ren Xiaosu clicked his tongue. "He would've died in the stronghold if he didn't get shipped off to the Northern Frontier. What a blessing in disguise"
"Now that you say it, it sounds like the Qing Consortium saved his life," Wang Fugui said in a speechless manner. "But you have to consider other factors, too, if you want to sneak into Stronghold 109. For example, there are still more than 600 refugees here who recognize you. Besides, if Stronghold 109 were to refuse every single person from entering, even the big shots of Stronghold 113 would end up becoming refugees, not to mention us."
"That's a possibility." Ren Xiaosu said, "Stronghold 109 most likely won't allow anyone in."
No precedent had been set for a matter like this. As no stronghold had collapsed before, there was nothing Ren Xiaosu and the others could compare it to. They could only take it one step at a time.
It would be good if they could get into the stronghold, of course. But even if they could not get in, Ren Xiaosu and company would still be able to live well.
However, it would be tough for those big shots who escaped from the stronghold. It was at least another 100 kilometers from Stronghold 109 from where they were now. To get there, the distance alone might be enough to exhaust them to death.
In the event they did arrive at Stronghold 109, many of these people would probably break down if they found out they weren't allowed in.
Ren Xiaosu and his group found a spot downwind and decided to rest there for a while. Even if Ren Xiaosu could go on, Wang Fugui, Xiaoyu, and the others would not be able to bear it for much longer.
When the other refugees who escaped walked past them, they discovered that Ren Xiaosu's group had stopped moving and were rather surprised by it. They asked, "Why have y'all stopped walking?"
Ren Xiaosu looked up at them. "We can't walk anymore." Ren Xiaosu, who was sitting on the ground, lowered his head again and started massaging his leg muscles.
Seeing that Ren Xiaosu did not want to bother with them, the refugees didn't say anything further and continued moving forward.
"Are they really unable to keep walking?" a few people asked after they walked away.
"Didn't you see them massaging their legs? We had some rest in between, but they probably had none at all, right? They were being too smart for their own good."
"I think he was so far ahead that he didn't hear the wolves howling." Someone sneered, "If he heard it, he would definitely be running away faster than us."
This group of people kept whispering as they continued to walk. They were not planning to tell Ren Xiaosu about the wolves at all.
However, Ren Xiaosu did indeed know about the wolf pack that was following them. It wasn't only the wolf pack; there were even more terrors like the Experimentals!
After those refugees walked away, Ren Xiaosu whispered, "I have a bottle of water here. All of you take a cloth, wet it, and wipe your faces. The faces of the stronghold residents are all clean, but our refugee faces are too dirty. We would get recognized straight away. Put on whatever better clothes you have as well so that we can assimilate with the stronghold residents."
The refugees lacked water, as even the families of esquires like Wang Fugui did not have enough water rationed to them.
Ren Xiaosu had retrieved this bottle of water from the storage space in the palace. Even during the period he was stashing away the gold, he did not forget to place the two bottles of water inside. It was exceedingly important to have clean water when you were out in the wilderness.
Of course, the water in the bottle was refilled at a later time. The water that was originally in it had been drunk long ago.
As refugees, they were used to not washing their faces on most days. But now that they were planning on assimilating with the group of stronghold residents, they would have to look it. If there were really a chance to get into Stronghold 109 when they arrived there, it would be terrible if they were denied based on this detail.
Actually, Ren Xiaosu had the chance to wash his face clean. After all, it wasn't particularly difficult to find a water source out in the wilderness. But his dirty face at that time had served as protection for him.
If Xu Xianchu, Yang Xiaojin, and Luo Xinyu saw Ren Xiaosu after he wiped his face clean, they would probably not recognize him if they didn't scrutinize him.
His face before could be considered beyond dirty.
When the other refugees passed by them, Ren Xiaosu deliberately had Yan Liuyuan lower his head. In their group, Yan Liuyuan's face was clean, so it would make him easily recognizable to any refugees who saw him.
Now that they had wiped their faces clean and changed into better clothes, they might just be unrecognizable once they mixed with the crowd of stronghold residents. After all, there were several thousand of them behind and it was a sea of people.
They dusted off the dirt on themselves and cleaned their faces a bit more. At this moment, the large contingent of residents who had escaped from the stronghold finally arrived.
As a result, Ren Xiaosu was stunned when he saw them. Why were this group of people's faces even dirtier than theirs?
What a miscalculation!
He had the mindset that the stronghold residents' faces were all very clean. And since Yan Liuyuan's face stayed clean even after escaping all the way here, Ren Xiaosu did not think about how these people did not have it as easy as Yan Liuyuan did when they fled for their lives.
He saw these people appearing before him who each looked more wretched than the last. The grime on their faces was so dark it looked like they had just been through a battle.
The dust generated from the collapse of the buildings after the earthquake stuck to their faces. As they made their escape, they started sweating, which made all of their faces look black and dirty!
At this moment, the faces of Ren Xiaosu and company were extremely clean and it made it seem like they were the big shots of the stronghold. Meanwhile, these people in front of them ended up looking like refugees.
The earliest batch of stronghold residents that arrived was taken aback when they saw Ren Xiaosu. However, no one said a thing at all. Everyone was busy escaping right now, so who would care whether some people's faces were clean.
Xiaoyu started laughing from beside him. Ren Xiaosu said expressionlessly, "Ahem, let's dirty our faces a little again."
What a waste of half a bottle of water! Ren Xiaosu found it somewhat regretful to have cleaned their faces.
When the main group of stronghold residents passed by, Ren Xiaosu successfully blended Yan Liuyuan and the others into the crowd. Everyone was in a state of confusion at this time, and no one noticed them joining in.
"We'll stay in the middle of this crowd." Ren Xiaosu whispered, "Try to minimize contact with the refugees."
Worried, Wang Fugui said, "Will this really work? There'll surely be some refugees who can recognize us."
"Don't worry." Ren Xiaosu was not bothered about that. "We're just trying out our luck. Just think about it. If all of those refugees die, then no one would know our identities."
Wang Fugui looked at Ren Xiaosu in shock. Could that even happen?
But all of a sudden, it seemed a conflict broke out among the fleeing crowd up ahead. Ren Xiaosu jumped up a little to have a look. It appeared that there was an argument going on between the crowd of refugees and stronghold residents. The sand plant's manager, Wang Yiheng, was holding up a gun to someone's head.
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