Chapter 446 Lone operation
Zhang Jinglin attempted to persuade Ren Xiaosu not to take such a risk. However, Ren Xiaosu seemed to have made up his mind already. He did not give Zhang Jinglin the chance to continue talking and ended the call.
By rights, with Zong Ying as the commander of the military, the battle over here should not have been affected even if the Zong Consortium were attacked in the rear. But in reality, that wasn’t the case at all. The reason the Board was the Board was that they had absolute influence and control over the military. It was just that they had temporarily appointed Zong Ying as the commander-in-chief.
Currently, the various fighting forces were temporarily under Zong Ying’s command. After the war ended, Zong Ying would only be the commander of his own fighting force and would still need to listen to the Board’s orders.
So when Ren Xiaosu asked Zhang Jinglin whether it would be of any use if he captured Stronghold 146, Zhang Jinglin replied in the affirmative.
That was where the Zong Consortium was held together. Just as when the Yang Consortium’s Stronghold 88 was destroyed, it had caused the entire Yang Consortium to immediately turn into a pile of loose sand and scheme against each other, the Zong Consortium would be no exception either.
If Zong Ying led all the frontline troops for another ten years, perhaps his personal influence would be enough to turn the tide of chaos and pull everyone together. But right now, Zong Ying was not capable of doing so.
If the troops from Fortress 178 were defeated, Ren Xiaosu would no longer have an avenue of support for him to destroy the entire Zong Consortium.
Perhaps the Qing Consortium would think about attacking the Zong Consortium in the future. But after they did that, the Qing Consortium would definitely enter a long postwar period, requiring huge amounts of manpower and resources to rebuild the strongholds.
Not only that, but the Qing Consortium would also have to spend a long time to bring the Yang Consortium’s and Li Consortium’s strongholds under their control in order to absorb their resources.
After Ren Xiaosu ended the call, Zhang Xiaoman and the others rubbed their hands in glee. “What should we do? Should we attack Stronghold 146? Haha, we even managed to shatter Stronghold 144, so Stronghold 146 should be easy too!” The other soldiers of the Razor Sharp Company looked at Ren Xiaosu. Some of them had said they wanted to attack Stronghold 146, but Ren Xiaosu had denied them at that time. But this time, Ren Xiaosu did not mock Zhang Xiaoman. Instead, he urged the soldiers from the Razor Sharp Company to hurry up and get aboard the train.
The steam locomotive was traveling at full speed in the wilderness, and no one could figure out which direction they were heading. They just assumed they were going towards Stronghold 146.
Everyone on the train was having a lively discussion. “How do y’all think we should attack Stronghold 146? We’ll have to quickly wrap things up, won’t we? Otherwise, when that 131st Brigade hears the news and rushes back, we might end up facing two brigades in battle.”
On the train, Ren Xiaosu pulled the deputy commander of the 1237th Regiment over and asked, “How’s the combat effectiveness of that garrison brigade in Stronghold 146?”.
“They’re obviously one of the most elite fighting forces of the Zong Consortium. Their equipment’s all the latest and the best since they represent the image of the Zong Consortium. Even the family members of the Zong Consortium who get posted there to serve their ‘tour of duty’ have to be the most outstanding members of the organization. Of course, they don’t really have any actual combat experience.” The deputy commander said meekly, “You all aren’t really thinking of attacking Stronghold 146, are you? I’m not trying to pour cold water on you, but with just this many of you, it’s really no different from suicide if you assault Stronghold 146.”
The deputy commander was thinking, ‘If you fucking want to die, don’t drag me in!’
Then the deputy commander saw the direction they were traveling and said, “Eh, this isn’t the right—”
“Keep quiet,” said Ren Xiaosu as he looked at him. “I’ll let you leave with them when we reach a suitable location, or would you rather come with me to Stronghold 146?”
Wait a minute! There was too much information contained in those words!
The deputy commander was shocked. The route this young man had taken was clearly not to get to Stronghold 146. From what he had said, it was likely this young man was planning to go to Stronghold 146 alone!
The steam locomotive suddenly came to a stop in the wilderness. Ren Xiaosu shouted, “Time to get off!”
The sound of guns being cocked came from within the carriages as the Razor Sharp Company assumed it was time to prepare for battle.
But after they got out of the train, Zhang Xiaoman was caught off guard when he did not see Ren Xiaosu getting down with them. Instead, the train sped off into the distance again!
“Hey, wait up, Ren Xiaosu, where are you going? What is this place!” Zhang Xiaoman chased after him for a short distance, but the train sped off so fast that he could not catch up at all. Besides, Ren Xiaosu had no intention of turning back.
Jiao Xiaochen pointed his gun at the deputy commander. “Where are we?!”
“We’re in the easternmost territory of the Zong Consortium. If we were to continue traveling for another ten kilometers, we would be leaving the Zong Consortium.” The deputy commander said with difficulty, “Put down your gun first. I didn’t know he would do this! When we were traveling here, I realized that something was amiss when I saw the direction we were heading. But that young man warned me not to breathe a word to anyone about it!”
Zhang Xiaoman said resentfully, “Goddammit, it’s all over now! Ren Xiaosu must be worried that it’d be too dangerous for us to go to Stronghold 146, so he deliberately dropped us off at a safe place and went there by himself!”
There were no other possibilities! It was no wonder Ren Xiaosu had been so quiet along the way. So it turned out that Ren Xiaosu had planned this way in advance, and he even ensured that he dropped them off somewhere first without a fluster.
Zhang Xiaoman passed this information to Zhang Jinglin and the others through the satellite phone. All of the commanders also fell silent. Zhou Yinglong suddenly said to Zhang Jinglin, “In any case, I’m convinced.”
He was referring to the move that Zhang Jinglin had made when he arranged for Ren Xiaosu to join the Razor Sharp Company. Zhou Yinglong was the first senior officer to express his support for Ren Xiaosu, although his position was the lowest among the other commanders.
The other commanders still did not say anything yet. After all, there were still many requirements to pass if one were to become the fortress commander. They would like to observe Ren Xiaosu further if he could make it back alive from Stronghold 146.
Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu was making his way over to attack Stronghold 146. But rather than saying that he was going to raid them, it might be better to call it a sneak attack.
After some thought, Ren Xiaosu still felt that it would be safer for him to go to Stronghold 146 by himself. He could not bring the Razor Sharp Company with him when he knew they would die there.
Therefore, he might as well drop off Zhang Xiaoman and the others somewhere far away so it would be impossible for them to come over to help him. In fact, it would take at least ten days for them to reach Stronghold 146 if they wanted to head there on foot.
Of course, Ren Xiaosu had still given it very careful consideration. If it were him alone, he could use many methods to calmly get into Stronghold 146 to observe the situation first. Whether it be climbing over the stronghold walls or sneaking in on the undercarriages of the Zong Consortium’s transport trucks, there were more chances of pulling it off with fewer people in the group. If he had brought along the Razor Sharp Company, they would truly have to fight their way in.
Ren Xiaosu dematerialized the steam locomotive when he was about to reach Stronghold 146. Then he started walking alone in the wilderness so he would not be discovered by his enemies in advance.
He remained hidden outside of Stronghold 146 for a full day and night to see if there were any good ways for him to sneak into the stronghold.
However, Ren Xiaosu discovered that the vehicles entering Stronghold 146 had to go through extremely strict security checks. From afar, he could see through his sniper rifle scope that the security guards were thoroughly checking all supplies that were being brought in and had never failed to investigate the undersides of the vehicles either.
As such, he could only scale the stronghold walls like he did when he climbed the steep cliffs on the back of Mt. Dingyuan. Fortunately for him, there was a gap between the patrol times of the troops on the stronghold’s wall, and that one-minute gap would be more than enough for him to fully take advantage of.