Chapter 21: Family standing
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
News of today’s unexpected incidents kept going around, alarming everyone in town. On this night, no one stayed in their homes. Everyone was out and about as they discussed the events.
Actually, a boiler explosion at the factory was not exactly a serious matter. After all, the factory’s boiler had blown up on more than one occasion due to years of poor maintenance.
It was different this time, however. In the past, the wolf pack wouldn’t have dared to attack a factory under the control of humans. Almost every factory had over a thousand workers working in them, and it would get especially rowdy on the streets outside of town after the workday ended.
Some of the workers would return to town to stay for the night while others would simply sleep overnight at the factories’ dorms. The factories operated around the clock with three shifts of workers.
The wolf pack was bold enough to venture into a small human settlement positioned right next to the stronghold? There was something very bizarre about this indeed.
As the soldiers accompanying the band said, Stronghold 113 was situated in a larger circular group of other strongholds, and being on the inside of this circular group, it made their stronghold safer compared to the other places. At the beginning, the stronghold was still sending troops to garrison the factory. But when everyone realized that there were no wild animal attacks on the factories, they withdrew the troops and only left behind some guns for the factory managers to use in case of emergency.
That night, the stronghold’s city gate was suddenly opened. A loud rumbling could be heard as the stronghold’s gate opened up. Then several hundred soldiers carrying loaded guns marched out.
These were the private troops of Stronghold 113. Or to more aptly put it, they were the private army controlled by the Qing Consortium, the group behind Stronghold 113.
The schoolteacher, Zhang Jinglin, once unwittingly mentioned that the consortium was the actual controller of the stronghold these days. They had power over the lives of humans and possessed weapons that could be used to fight off the dangers of the outside world. With money and weapons, they were firmly in control of the entire stronghold.
This was the first time Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan had ever seen so many soldiers come out of the stronghold. Yan Liuyuan was hiding in the shack and secretly watching the private army as they marched out of town. He muttered, “Bro, are those guns they’re carrying on their backs?”
Those black guns looked brutal and menacing. However, Ren Xiaosu was not surprised that he could recognize all of those weapons.
Moreover, he had a feeling that… as long as he could get his hands on those firearms, he could use them to great effect immediately.
The private army was not marching in an orderly fashion. There was an off-road vehicle leading the way, but the formation of the soldiers following it was a mess and could even be called chaotic. Someone from the private army complained, “Isn’t it just some people dying at the factory? Why can’t we head there tomorrow morning? Why do we have to go there and kill the wolves tonight?”
“Shut up, the higher-ups ordered this mission.” Someone glared at him.
“What’s there to be afraid of? It’s not like those jackoffs-in-office can hear us anyway. They’re probably still sleeping with women right now,” that man grumbled. He then lit himself a thinly rolled cigarette.
Ren Xiaosu once again caught a whiff of that unusual smell of cigarettes. He frowned as he started increasingly distrust the stronghold’s private troops.
At this moment, the smoking soldier from the private army turned around and saw Ren Xiaosu and Yan Liuyuan looking at his automatic rifle. He scolded, “What are the two of you brats looking at? Do you know what this is? Quit staring. You wouldn’t know how to use it even if I gave it to you.”
Ren Xiaosu pulled the curtain door down, although he did not agree with the latter half of what the soldier said.
For some reason, he deduced that the soldier might not be good at marksmanship. His right shoulder pocket that was supposed to bear the recoil of the rifle did not show any signs of long-term training with firearms.
In reality, what Ren Xiaosu didn’t know was that firearms these days were also quite precious resources in the stronghold. Usually, the private army’s officers would not let the soldiers waste their ammunition. If they had that kind of budget, they would rather go drinking or look for women to fool around with.
Alcohol was prohibited outside the stronghold, but it was not the case on the inside.
Yan Liuyuan wondered, “Bro, why do I feel that you seem to know about their guns?”
Ren Xiaosu gave him a look and said, “Don’t ask so much.”
Yan Liuyuan complained, “Do I still have any standing in this family?”
Ren Xiaosu was thinking about something else as he replied nonchalantly, “Don’t think too much about it. Your role in the family is just to stay alive.”
Yan Liuyuan was speechless
When the sound of the private army’s marching got further away, Ren Xiaosu shot to his feet and told Yan Liuyuan, “Go to Big Sister Xiaoyu’s shack tonight and stay there for a while. Come back only after I return.”
“Bro, where are you going?” Yan Liuyuan asked in a stunned manner.
By the time he finished asking, Ren Xiaosu had already quietly lifted the curtain door and gone out. A lot of people had gathered on the streets, so no one took any notice of Ren Xiaosu’s whereabouts.
Usually, no one would dare to come outside at night. But today, everyone had left their houses and come outside as though they were celebrating the new year.
Ren Xiaosu navigated his way through the darkness. After leaving the proximity of the town, he began to bolted forward. The moonlight was not very bright on this night, but as Ren Xiaosu had been going out of town almost every day for the past few years, he could essentially walk out here with his eyes closed!
The stronghold’s private army took the main road while Ren Xiaosu chose to go by a parallel path to avoid bumping into them.
He came out here not for anything else but to see if there was an opportunity. As for what kind of opportunity it was, he was not sure yet.
It was the guns that enticed Ren Xiaosu to come out here!
Ren Xiaosu had acquired Advanced Firearms Proficiency, so he knew very well how important firearms were in today’s era. The private troops who were accompanying the band once said that they were carrying firearms with them and that any wolves would flee if they heard their gunshots.
Ren Xiaosu, who had encountered the wolf pack before, knew exactly how terrifying they were. But such terrifying creatures were afraid of gunshots?
Ren Xiaosu did not know what would happen to these private troops if they came face to face with the wolves. He was not thinking of getting their guns because his target was actually the factory. The people in town all knew that the factory managers were assigned firearms.
According to the people who returned after fleeing the factory, it was already over for those who remained behind. Ren Xiaosu had been wondering about it since the afternoon. Didn’t they say that wolves were afraid of the sound of gunshots? Then shouldn’t the managers be able to scare them away by just firing a few shots?
Perhaps they did not expect that the wolves would come, so it could have been too late for them to draw the guns. Or maybe the wolves carried out a sneak attack on the shooters. There could also be some other reasons, but the guns were probably still there at the factory.
Ren Xiaosu ran as fast as he could towards the factory. He was more familiar with this place than the private army was. And besides, the private army was marching there while he was running.
Suddenly, a gunshot rang out in the darkness. Then a prolonged series of deafening gunshots rattled through the night. There was even the screaming of humans.
Ren Xiaosu suddenly turned around and looked in the direction of the sound. Clearly, the private army had encountered the wolves, and many of them were still getting attacked after firing their guns. Didn’t they say the wolves were afraid of gunshots? Didn’t they say it was an animal’s instinct to avoid danger?
Today, Ren Xiaosu gained a new awareness of something: Although beasts had evolved to become stronger, they had never been able to overcome their animal instincts. Rabbits still ate grass, and wolves were still afraid of gunshots.
Unless everything had changed.