The First Order Book 2 Chapter 121
Volume 2 Chapter 121 Stupid Or Just Playing Dumb?
Luo Lan did not know that Qing Zhen had already ordered people to start looking for him, nor did he know that Qing Zhen was facing subjugation by the consortium's board of directors. He only knew the distant sweet potatoes smelled good.
He looked over to his trusted aide next to him and said, "Well Tang Zhou, go and see if there are any more sweet potatoes that they haven't dug up from the field."
His trusted aide whose name was Tang Zhou said, "Why don't we just take some from them?"
"What do you know?" Luo Lan scolded angrily, "Am I that kind of person? If the consortium wants me to kill those from the Pyro Company right now, I would do it without batting an eyelid. But what would they say about me if it gets found out that I snatched food from a group of escapees?"
"But the sweet potato field has already been dug clean by them," Tang Zhou said awkwardly.
There were over 3,000 escapees in total. The sweet potato field was not the result of scaled up agriculture, but one that had sprouted up in the wild since who knew when.
It was not easy for these escapees who had been starving for several days to find something to eat. So they would definitely dig up everything they could find. Even if they could not finish eating the sweet potatoes, they could take them with them on the road. At the least, they would not have to go hungry again for the next few days.
Only people who had gone hungry before would understand what it felt like to be starving. Seeing that it was only a few days since their escape, all of the escapees had slimmed down quite a bit.
Only Ren Xiaosu and company did not seem like they had changed much in appearance.
Luo Lan thought about it for a long time. "Those of you who brought money with you, go and buy some from them."
Luo Lan did not have the time to bring anything with him during his escape. Otherwise, he would have put on pants. It was almost the same for the combat brigade soldiers as well. As the earthquake happened too suddenly, nearly all those who had the thought to retrieve their money were buried underneath houses.
The soldiers looked at each other as they pooled their money. Finally, they managed to come up with 4,000 yuan that was made up of whatever spare change they usually carried in their pockets.
Luo Lan looked at the money with glimmering eyes. "Tang Zhou, take some people over and buy the food. Be careful not to get attacked by them."
"Got it." Tang Zhou led a combat platoon with him. The combat platoons that were lucky to survive had been reorganized into new teams. Although the wounded would not have to join the battles, at least two-thirds out of 200 troops could still fight.
Luo Lan did not forget to tell them, "Buy it at 50 times the usual price and don't disgrace the Qing Consortium. We don't take advantage of others."
Food was obviously more important than money at this time, but whether offering 50 times the normal price was worth it would depend on the point of view.
They would get back human civilization someday and might even reach Stronghold 109 in another three days if they walked a bit faster. At that time, they would need money to buy things. Although the Qing Consortium only had a so-so relationship with the Li Consortium, they still had some businesses and assets in Stronghold 109. Therefore, the money issued by the Qing Consortium would still have some purchasing power.
The relationship between the organizations was very complicated. It was not like a stronghold controlled by the Li Consortium would not be influenced by the other organizations. Most of the time, the distribution of influence between the organizations was interconnected in a complex fashion.
As the various strongholds were in different locations, it meant they controlled different natural resources. So there was a mutual dependency between the corporations.
For example, the areas controlled by the Qing Consortium were mainly rich in vanadium titanomagnetite ore, halite, mirabilite, descloizite, sulfur, iron ore, asbestos, mica, gold, phosphorus, limestone, coal, and natural gas; while the Li Consortium-controlled south had nonferrous metals, coal mines, and an agriculture industry that produced an abundance of tobacco leaves.
But the most important fact was that the Qing Consortium was situated in a climate friendly basin. They controlled the planting of food crops such as rice, wheat, corn, soybeans, and cash crops like tea leaves. The Li Consortium had to purchase such food commodities from the Qing Consortium on many occasions. Although they also grew these crops, their own supply was inadequate.
Every organization placed a great deal of importance on agriculture. But it didn't automatically mean that the land they controlled would be suitable for growing such crops just because it was a priority for them. Nature would not bend to suit human will.
Soon after, Tang Zhou and his men returned with a lot of sweet potatoes in their arms. Not many people would dare to refuse the request of the Qing Consortium when they saw their soldiers approaching them with guns and offering to buy their sweet potatoes. Moreover, the Qing Consortium was not lowballing them.
Luo Lan excitedly ordered the soldiers to throw the sweet potatoes into the fire. Then the group waited eagerly for them to be cooked.
Luo Lan counted the number of people and sweet potatoes they had, then said with a sigh, "Each of us can only eat half of one; no one is to eat more. The wounded can eat a whole sweet potato by themselves."
When the sweet potatoes were ready for consumption, Tang Zhou used a stick to retrieve one out of the fire for Luo Lan. "Here, Boss, eat up."
Luo Lan picked it up, broke it in half, and handed a piece to Tang Zhou. "We'll each have half."
"Boss, you don't have to share it." Tang Zhou was a little hesitant. "Are you going to eat half as well?"
"Cut the crap and take it. It's really hot!" Luo Lan looked at the others and said, "I have no time to prattle on with you. When we get to Stronghold 109, I'll take everyone out for a good time. Hehehe, we're bound for good fortune after surviving a huge disaster!"
The combat brigade's troops ate their sweet potatoes without a word.
Ren Xiaosu had been observing the actions of the Qing Consortium. But a woman in the escapee group suddenly screamed. It was followed by an audible slap.
They turned around and saw a middle-aged man tussling with a woman. He said, "You're still pretending to be decent after eating the sweet potato that I found? Your husband died in the stronghold! If it weren't for me, do you think you'd've survived until now?"
"I said that I would pay you for the sweet potato when we got to Stronghold 109!" said the woman through clenched teeth.
"What are you going to pay me with? When we get to Stronghold 109, everyone will still be penniless!"
Ren Xiaosu scowled. These two people knew each other? The man was probably slapped for making indecent advances on her just now. In his anger and embarrassment, he dragged the woman and headed for the secluded wilderness. The woman was crying out but couldn't put up a fight. However, everyone watched indifferently.
But then, a shout rang out beside Ren Xiaosu, "Stop it! So it's you, King of the Southern Mountains 1 , who's causing trouble around here!"
This shout was so loud it kept ringing in Ren Xiaosu's ears. He looked at Chen Wudi with a stunned expression, only to see him rushing towards the two with his Golden-Hooped Rod out.
That middle-aged man could not react in time and got blasted to the ground by Chen Wudi's staff strike and nearly vomited blood!
Chen Wudi even held back a little. Otherwise, the man would have died on the spot.
But before Chen Wudi could bask in the glory of subduing a demon, the woman who got dragged out by the man became angry. She looked at Chen Wudi and said, "Why did you hit him?! Get lost!"
Chen Wudi felt a little aggrieved but could not understand what was going on with them. He could only walk back to Ren Xiaosu while hanging his head.
Everyone was surprised to see this outcome. Only Ren Xiaosu, who had read the original text of Journey to the West, felt that something was off. The King of the Southern Mountains was the demon king of the Hidden Misty Mountain, Bent Peak, and Linked Cave in Journey to the West. In the original story, this demon king took a liking to a farmer's wife and took her for himself.
However, Ren Xiaosu felt that something was odd here, because he realized that whenever Chen Wudi was about to hit someone, he would always assign them a demon name, such as Xiaozuanfeng, King of the Southern Mountains, and so on When he wasn't going to fight them, the other party would just be a normal human being to him.
This seemed to be the logic of a mental patient for affirming their own "reasons" and "stance" on a matter. He was the Great Sage Equal to Heaven, so he must battle demons.
Ren Xiaosu stared blankly at Chen Wudi after he rejoined him. He thought for a moment and teased, "My disciple, what will you do if you start running out of demon names to use when you encounter more and more enemies?"
After all, there was only a finite number of demons in Journey to the West. Once he finished battling all of them, there would be no one left for him to fight.
Chen Wudi sank deep into thought as though this were a real possibility.
But after a while, Chen Wudi decided to bend his principles and said, "It's alright, I can just recycle the demon names."
Ren Xiaosu didn't know what to say.
Was he stupid or just playing dumb?! Didn't he say he would not acknowledge just anyone? The King of the Southern Hill (in Chinese: ) is an antagonist of the 16th-century Chinese classic novel Journey to the West | villains.fandom.com/wiki/King_of_the_Southern_Hill
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