The First Order Book 2 Chapter 120
Volume 2 Chapter 120 House Arrest
It didn't seem like tonight would be difficult to get through. Several thousand people had gathered around their campfires to keep themselves warm and thrown countless sweet potatoes into the fire to roast.
Eventually, the entire campsite was suffused with an enchantingly sweet aroma.
In the night, it seemed like countless lamps had been lit in the dark, and the desolate wasteland was flickering with yellow lights. Many people were watching with great anticipation as the sweet potatoes roasted in the campfires.
The sweet potatoes were each as large as a liquor bottle. When Chen Wudi ate three of them in one sitting, Ren Xiaosu was shocked. He suddenly felt that Chen Wudi had acknowledged him as his master probably so that he could scrounge all his food!
As Chen Wudi wiped his mouth clean, he looked at the people around him: Ren Xiaosu, Wang Fugui, Yan Liuyuan, Xiaoyu, and Wang Dalong.
"What are you looking at?" Ren Xiaosu gave him a look.
"Master, don't you think that our group's still missing something?" Chen Wudi asked.
Ren Xiaosu was stunned for a moment. "What are we missing?"
Chen Wudi's gaze kept wandering back and forth between Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu. "We're still missing a White Dragon Horse 1 ."
Yan Liuyuan and Xiaoyu both felt sick. However, Chen Wudi had principles. He said, "You two don't have to look at me like that. Neither of you is the White Dragon Horse. I won't acknowledge just anyone."
Wang Fugui and Wang Dalong felt uncomfortable again. Could this mean the two of them were really Pigsy and Friar Sand?!
Ren Xiaosu was speechless and a little melancholic. Their group had been quite normal, but why did the group become weird after Chen Wudi joined them?
But Ren Xiaosu was more surprised by the fact that Chen Wudi had a logic system he abided by even though he was insane. So why had he acknowledged Ren Xiaosu as his master?
He ignored Chen Wudi as he quietly estimated everyone's food intake. Currently, the sweet potatoes they had should be enough for them to survive on for the next two days. Furthermore, food like sweet potatoes might not turn bad even if they were kept past winter. However, it would be a little tiring to carry them as they pushed on towards Stronghold 109. After all, sweet potatoes were rather heavy.
They were only about a 100 kilometers away from Stronghold 109. Calculating the distance the average person could travel in eight hours, it was about 40 kilometers a day. If the intensity were higher, it might be possible to walk 50 kilometers. However, Wang Fugui, Wang Dalong, and Xiaoyu probably couldn't take it.
In the afternoon, Xiaoyu took a sewing needle and helped Yan Liuyuan pop the newly formed blisters on his feet by pricking them. As Yan Liuyuan quietly watched the profile of her face, he felt it was really good to have a sister like her.
By this time, the blisters on the escapees' feet had burst and scabbed over and over again. Fleeing as far as they could was not simply a matter of "How many kilometers can they travel in a day?"
Therefore, Ren Xiaosu estimated it would take at least three days for them to get to Stronghold 109. They did not even have to go out to search for food again if they rationed their sweet potatoes properly.
Suddenly, Ren Xiaosu heard Jiang Wu speaking from a short distance behind him, "Everyone, let's hang in there a bit more. We'll reach Stronghold 109 very soon. Remember to bring along the sweet potatoes we dug up in the afternoon. Although it might get tiring as we travel, it's better than going hungry."
These sheltered students had already passed the stage of homesickness and vulnerability as they learned how to be strong. Someone suddenly asked, "Teacher, can we really get to Stronghold 109 safely?"
"Definitely." Jiang Wu said, "As long as we follow that young man, we'll definitely get there."
At this moment, some students winked and raised their eyebrows at Jiang Wu, telling her to look behind her. Jiang Wu happened to lock eyes with Ren Xiaosu the moment she turned around. She exclaimed and quickly turned away. Her cheeks glowed so red it looked like a campfire was illuminating them.
Jiang Wu lowered her voice and whispered to her students, "Why didn't you all tell me earlier!"
"Haha," the students laughed and said, "teacher is embarrassed."
When Ren Xiaosu watched this happen, he realized humans were probably the best at finding joy amid hardship among all living things. If they could see a little hope, they would want to keep living.
After a while, Jiang Wu's students started singing in soft voices of what sounded like schoolyard songs.
Ren Xiaosu fell into a trance as he listened to their singing. He had also wanted to live in a stronghold free from worries so that he could enjoy a comfortable life. But of course, life in the stronghold was probably no longer as comfortable.
At the Qing Consortium's campsite a distance away, Luo Lan could smell the roasted sweet potatoes. While eating the combat rations taken from the combat brigade's vehicle, he sighed, "These poor people really know how to live."
Beside him, Luo Lan's trusted aide asked, "Boss, do you think your brother will send someone to rescue you?"
"I don't know." Luo Lan was sad. "I'm worried about him instead. He was still in the Jing Mountains when things went wrong, and nobody knows whether he's dead or alive."
Luo Lan's trusted aide muttered, "I think Boss Qing Zhen will be fine. You can always count on him to get things done. He's that reliable."
"Reliable?" Luo Lan sighed. "Didn't an accident still happen all the same? But of course, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are natural disasters. They're unstoppable forces."
"Do you think the same thing happened to Stronghold 112?" his trusted aide asked. "After all, the distance of the two strongholds from the Jing Mountains is about the same. If our side could not stand up to the earthquake's destruction, it should be the same on their side as well."
"That's right." Luo Lan thought for a while and said, "I'm afraid Stronghold 112 might have collapsed as well. With the Qing Consortium suddenly losing two strongholds, Qing Zhen will probably get severely punished by the consortium."
"But it's not our fault either." His trusted aide said softly, "It would still have collapsed no matter who was in charge."
"Qing Zhen has too many enemies within the consortium itself." Luo Lan said, "Furthermore, he recently killed a lot of the other consortium's members. The consortium is probably worried it will become too difficult to keep him in check, so they might as well hang him out to dry. However, that'll all be temporary since the Qing Consortium still needs him to do their work. Indeed, the others can't perform as well as Qing Zhen can rather, they are not as ruthless as he is."
At this moment, Qing Zhen was still trekking on the paths within the Jing Mountains. His face had been blackened by the soot that had gushed out of the eruption, flushing his image down the drain.
Next to Qing Zhen, Xu Man said as he held the satellite phone, "Boss, the Board would like to speak with you."
By this time, they had walked out of the cover of the volcanic ash cloud, and the satellite phone's signal had been restored to normal.
"Tell them I don't have free time," Qing Zhen said, sounding peeved.
Xu Man felt conflicted but still conveyed the message exactly as it was said. After a few seconds, he looked at Qing Zhen. "They're requesting you to immediately go to Stronghold 111 to be investigated once we get out of the Jing Mountains. Without their permission, you're not to leave Stronghold 111. Stronghold 112 and Stronghold 113 have been destroyed."
"Tell them I understand," Qing Zhen said, uncaring.
Xu Man hung up after replying to the other party in the call, then said to Qing Zhen, "Are they planning to put you under house arrest?"
"It's been a long while since we've gone to Stronghold 111." Qing Zhen said, "Call Stronghold 109's Lu Yuan and have him send someone to search for Luo Lan."
Xu Man hesitated and said, "As a stronghold overseer, Lu Yuan might not have the authority to do much in a stronghold that's controlled by the Li Consortium."
"He should still have some authority when it comes to deploying a few private troops. Since Stronghold 109 is the closest to Stronghold 113, Luo Lan will definitely escape to Lu Yuan's side if nothing happened to him." Qing Zhen looked up at the gray skies behind him and said, "Tell him that if he can't locate Luo Lan, death awaits him."
Xu Man suddenly felt that Qing Zhen did not seem like someone who was going to be placed under house arrest and be investigated by the consortium. Moreover, the relationship between Qing Zhen and Luo Lan felt much better than what the rumors said. The White Dragon Horse () is Tang Sanzang's steed and the third son of the Dragon King of the West Sea. | en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Journey_to_the_West_characters#White_Dragon_Horse
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