The First Order Book 2 Chapter 174
Volume 2 Chapter 174 Qing Zhen's Defection
The board of directors in the conference room fell silent. That was a grave crime.
There used to be defections from the Qing Consortium, but it had become a much rarer occurrence in recent years. That was because the price to pay for defection was simply too great, and the organization never let any defectors off.
Someone asked the secretary, "Did Qing Zhen leave any information behind?"
"He left a letter on the table in his villa." The secretary said, "He said he was going out to take a break from things."
Everyone in the conference room was stunned. Did Qing Zhen treat the Board's decision as a game? He was ordered not to take a single step out of his villa, yet he just left the stronghold!
The elder thought for a moment and said, "He wouldn't go so far as to defect to the Li Consortium. I suspect he must have received news of the disappearing Experimentals from someone. There should be some connection between these two matters. Otherwise, there wouldn't be such a coincidence."
Someone wondered, "Are you saying that Qing Zhen left the stronghold because he received news that the Experimentals have disappeared?"
"It seems like it," the elder said with a sullen face.
When the board of directors in the conference room heard that, they got a little confused. "But what does the news of the Experimentals disappearing have anything to do with Qing Zhen? Why did he have to escape?"
"It seems that Qing Zhen has concluded that the large number of Experimentals have probably started heading towards Stronghold 109." The elder said, "Qing Zhen went to Stronghold 109 because he wants to save his older brother, Luo Lan."
It was no secret that Luo Lan was at Stronghold 109. The consortium did not order him to return only because they could not be bothered with an illegitimate son of the family.
Everyone knew that Qing Zhen and Luo Lan had a great relationship. However, they did not expect that Qing Zhen would be willing to risk being branded a defector to escape from Stronghold 111 for Luo Lan's sake.
"But what's the use of Qing Zhen going to Stronghold 111 by himself?" someone wondered. "He no longer has anyone under him."
Someone asked the secretary, "Have there been any movements from the soldiers recently assigned to the other troops?"
"No, they're all very obedient. Everyone is still holding at their respective military bases," the secretary said.
With that, everyone went quiet. Based on Qing Zhen's character, how could he possibly have gone to Stronghold 109 without bringing some people with him?
In that case, there could only be one explanation left. Qing Zhen still had some secret troops under his control that even the Board did not know about.
Actually, wasn't this exactly the reason the Board had seized Qing Zhen's power back from him? The most famous Shadow in the organization was about to get out of control.
Ren Xiaosu kept feeling like something was off for the past few days. The entire stronghold seemed to have suddenly become peaceful.
No one was stirring up any trouble, and there were no more fights breaking out. It was as though all the different major powers had tried so hard to get into Stronghold 109 just to enter and sightsee.
Ren Xiaosu did not see Yang Xiaojin at the end-of-the-year ceremony after finals finished. According to tradition, students would have homework assigned to them over break during the ceremony, and the exam results would be announced as well. The teachers would also take the opportunity to go over the tests with the students.
However, Yang Xiaojin seemed to have disappeared.
The only thing Ren Xiaosu was not surprised about was that Yang Xiaojin had scored exactly 140 points for each subject in the final exams.
When Jiang Wu was handing back tests to the students, she asked which set of tests belonged to Monitor Ren Xiaosu and which one belonged to Councilor Ren Xiaosu. As a result, Ren Xiaosu took advantage of Yang Xiaojin's absence and shamelessly claimed the papers with the higher score.
Jiang Wu was a little puzzled as she said to Ren Xiaosu, "The handwriting on that set of tests is very elegant and doesn't look like yours at all."
However, she suddenly noticed that the name written on the paper was "Ren Xiaosu, monitor of Class 12-7." Jiang Wu heaved a sigh of relief. "It's really your exam. I didn't expect you to achieve such a high score on the exams."
Now it was Ren Xiaosu who did not know what to.
Rumor had it that a girl from another 12th grade class had come to look for Ren Xiaosu in the afternoon. She had gathered her classmates to beat him up, but when the large group of them arrived at the door of Ren Xiaosu's class, they were stopped by his classmates.
The students from the other class were a little puzzled. This class might be wholly united, but could they guarantee he would never be left alone?
However, Ren Xiaosu's classmates earnestly said to them, "We're actually protecting you by stopping you here, understand?"
Li Mo was having none of it. "Ren Xiaosu is clearly witless, yet he deliberately allowed me to copy his papers and caused me to score only 40 points total throughout all the subjects. How can someone do something like that?"
Ren Xiaosu was not in the class at this time. His classmates looked at each other and exclaimed, "Did you get it wrong? Ren Xiaosu scored 560 points on his exam!"
Li Mo was confused. Surely this was not something someone could do, right?!
At present, Ren Xiaosu was not in the mood to go to school, nor did he pay any attention to what was happening in school.
That was because he knew that something major was going to happen over the next few days. The present was the calm before the storm.
After he became a supernatural being, he was destined to have a different way of thinking from other students. Those students were still thinking about how to spend their vacation, but Ren Xiaosu had already started thinking about how to survive through the coming chaos.
After he completed the quest in which he'd let Li Mo copy his test, Ren Xiaosu was rewarded with a 1.0 Dexterity increase. As of now, Ren Xiaosu's Strength was 8.5 and his Dexterity was 6.1. But this small increase in dexterity would probably not make a big difference for the coming crisis.
What Ren Xiaosu was really looking forward to was the reward the palace would give him after completing the quest related to Dong Funan. The reward for the previous side quest was a black saber. So to Ren Xiaosu, the side quest represented a chance of getting a high-quality reward.
Actually, it was not only Yang Xiaojin who had suddenly disappeared. Luo Lan had also not been to the shop for many days. The number of LI Consortium troops on the street had decreased little by little. Eventually, only the private troops and the Public Order Division remained.
Everything felt unusual, bizarre, yet the atmosphere became even more peaceful than normal.
Ren Xiaosu stood at the entrance to the shop and watched pedestrians walk past. Suddenly, a man passed by and stuffed a manila envelope into his hands.
After going back into the shop and opening the envelope, Ren Xiaosu was surprised to see a faded yellow ginkgo leaf inside accompanied by a short letter. Was this information sent to him by Luo Lan? Why was there a need to be so mysterious about it?
Ren Xiaosu opened it up and read the letter: "A large number of Experimentals have disappeared from Stronghold 113. It's suspected that they're on their way to Stronghold 109. Find a way to leave the stronghold within three days."
The letter did not mention how they were supposed to leave, but it was kind enough of Luo Lan to issue him a timely reminder. After all, their friendship was not as deep as everyone had imagined.
But what gave Ren Xiaosu a frown was the information that was contained in the letter. It seemed like the Qing Consortium was not very optimistic about the situation of the Experimentals arriving.
Had the Experimentals gone mad? Why were they suddenly attacking Stronghold 109?
No matter what, there were probably going to be major changes in the stronghold within three days. The people who coveted the research results would definitely make a move within these three days.
None of them had any time to waste. The only question was who would be the first to make a move and unveil the curtain to the chaos.
Ren Xiaosu turned around and said to Wang Fugui, Xiaoyu, and the others, "It's time to leave. Start packing."
Wang Fugui touched the counter he had cleaned earlier and said with some regret, "This is such a nice shop. I never expected we would have to flee again."
Ren Xiaosu smiled and said, "Why? Can't bear to leave this place?"
"Not really." Wang Fugui said with a wry smile, "Xiaosu, have you realized that even though these hundreds of strongholds have stood intact in these wastelands for so many decades, or even centuries now, successive incidents have happened in this one year alone? This isn't just some random occurrence. It's real chaos that's starting to make a comeback."
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