The First Order

Chapter 533 - A dark and stormy nigh

Chapter 533 A dark and stormy nigh

Things were already stirring in Stronghold 73. The underworld criminals were hiding in the stronghold and waiting for their opportunity to strike.As East Lake spanned a very large area, it would be impossible to pinpoint the research laboratory’s location when the Anjing House only stated that it was in the vicinity of East Lake.

So everyone was just waiting for the Pyro Company to find the research laboratory’s entrance before making their move to seize the research data.

Although the criminal underworld was no match for the members of the Pyro Company in a one-on-one battle, everyone knew there would be a lot of people involved when the conflict broke out. Furthermore, the A-rank hitmen from the Anjing House would be participating in the battle as well. Once the situation turned chaotic, as long as they could get their hands on some of that research data, they could sell it for a sky-high price.

However, the mob bosses still remained hidden in the spa center. It was not like they enjoyed soaking in the hot bath and scrubbing their backs, but that most of them had been placed on the watchlists of the various consortiums. If they were to go outside and get recognized by people, the Zhou Consortium might just arrest them on the spot.

It was not only they who were lying low. Even Vanilla and the elderly sugar painter, the Pyro Company, and the Riders were also hiding their presence in the stronghold.

Only Ren Xiaosu could openly take a night run around East Lake like nothing was going on.

Fortress 178 had already destroyed all the information that would visually identify Ren Xiaosu, while the Qing Consortium was also helping him keep secret, so it didn’t matter if the people of the Central Plains had heard of his deeds. At the very least, they couldn’t recognize him even if they met him by chance.

Ren Xiaosu seemed like an ordinary student in Stronghold 73 wearing his blue sportswear that looked just like a school uniform.

Besides, to be honest, even the intelligence personnel of the various forces did not suspect anything when they saw Ren Xiaosu running around East Lake at night. That was because everyone felt that no one would dare wander around so casually in this tense period.

Furthermore, Ren Xiaosu looked really young, like someone in his teens. No matter how they looked at him, he just did not seem like a ruthless person.

Hence, Ren Xiaosu got neglected by the various forces as they treated him like an invisible person in Stronghold 73.

While Ren Xiaosu was taking his night run, a cleaner nearby spoke into his earpiece, “He’s likely a young resident of the stronghold, so we can eliminate him as a suspect. There’s no signs of weapons hidden on him.”

It was very easy for experts to tell if there were hidden weapons on someone, especially when a person was running. If they were hiding a dagger or a firearm on them, it would definitely not escape their eyes.

There were many intelligence personnel scattered around the perimeter of East Lake. Everyone was keeping a close eye on this place.

A voice laughed into the earpiece. “I really wish I could warn these people to not jog at the lake for a few days. It’s too dangerous here. But since we’re not good people anyway, there’s no need to reveal ourselves to help these stronghold residents.”

The cleaner watched Ren Xiaosu’s figure recede into the distance and said with a laugh, “Who cares if they live or die?”

The voice in the earpiece said, “I heard that a movie director will be coming to East Lake with a film crew to shoot a movie in a few days. I’ve never seen a film crew before.”

The cleaner smiled and said, “What’s the big deal about a film crew? What we’re doing here is even more exciting than in the movies.”

Although the cleaner did not try to persuade Ren Xiaosu to leave, another young man stopped him. This young man looked around 27 years old, and he said to Ren Xiaosu, “Please do not jog near East Lake for the next few days. It’s about to get very dangerous here.”

Ren Xiaosu said in panic, “Why? Is something going to happen?!”

The young man thought for a moment and said, “This place is no longer safe. A lot of criminals will be gathering here soon.”

“Oh, alright, I’d better get back then. Are you from the Public Order Division?” Ren Xiaosu asked.

“No.” The young man shook his head.

After talking to Ren Xiaosu, the young man went over to persuade the old ladies who were practicing their plaza dancing in the plaza next to East Lake.

But the moment the young man opened his mouth, the old ladies started pushing him around. They said, “Why should we listen to you?”

“That’s right, do you own this place?!”

“Who are you trying to scare by saying this place isn’t safe? I’m warning you, lad, if you insist on saying that, I’ll lie down[1] right here!”

Ren Xiaosu chuckled at the scene unfolding before him. But amid the pushing and shoving, he suddenly noticed a triangular red scarf fall out of the young man’s pocket.

Ren Xiaosu was taken aback by the sight of this. He recalled what he saw back at the black market. Didn’t the Riders usually cover their faces with a red scarf when they were carrying out their missions? Could this person be a Rider too?

Due to the possibility that this place could get dangerous, the other party was patiently urging residents to leave the vicinity of East Lake.

Why would an organization like them get involved with the Pyro Company? Just what were they searching for?

As the actors got ready to step onto the stage that was Stronghold 73, Ren Xiaosu believed a good show was going to play out soon.

But when Ren Xiaosu returned to his safe house, he was surprised to see a few texts had appeared on his recently acquired C-rank cell phone.

“Something was stolen from the library in Stronghold 73 last night. After a day of investigation, it was determined that the Pre-Cataclysm local histories and location map of Stronghold 73 had gone missing from the reference section of the library.”

“Confidential files of Stronghold 73 were stolen last night. The missing data are the topography map and infrastructural changes caused by the tectonic movements at Stronghold 73 over the past 70 years.

“Based on our deduction, this should be the work of the Pyro Company. Perhaps due to the changes in the landscape, the Pyro Company still hasn’t located the entrance to the research lab.”

Because East Lake spanned such a large area, it would probably take a normal person several days to finish covering the entire distance on a night run.

Furthermore, the landscape had changed so much over the years that even the Pyro Company had to resort to stealing confidential files to slowly determine where the research laboratory was located.

Ren Xiaosu looked at his cell phone and suddenly realized the Anjing House must have placed a great deal of emphasis on the Pyro Company’s plan this time. So they might as well join the fray and start dictating the rhythm of how things would develop. Their purpose was to share all the information they knew with everyone they could.

The Anjing House’s goal was not the laboratory data. They were only looking to target the Pyro Company.

The Pyro Company would definitely have access to some of the Anjing House’s cell phones as well, right? For the Anjing House to announce every move the Pyro Company was making, Ren Xiaosu wondered how bad it would feel when they saw their plans getting leaked?

Since Ren Xiaosu had nothing better to do, he headed to the largest spa center nearby to take a bath. He swore he was just curious to see what the underworld’s mob bosses looked like and was not going there for anything else.

After registering at reception, Ren Xiaosu entered the male section and saw a group of mob bosses with tattoos sitting in a circle inside the bath. It looked like they were discussing something.

Ren Xiaosu carefully checked out the tattoos on these people with great interest. Some of them had tiger tattoos, dragon tattoos, and all sorts of fanciful decorative art on their bodies.

Although there were also normal guests at the spa center, they did not dare to get close to the group of burly, tattooed men sitting in the bath.

However, Ren Xiaosu went over and sat in the bath as though he knew them, and this rather dumbfounded the mob bosses.

Ren Xiaosu pointed at a twin koi tattoo on a man’s arms and asked, “What does this tattoo mean? Does it bring you good luck?”

“No.” The mob boss looked calmly at Ren Xiaosu. “I was born on a dark and stormy night 30 years ago on March 11th.”

Just as Ren Xiaosu was waiting to hear a rattling story, the mob boss suddenly said, “So since my birthday falls on March 11th, I’m a Pisces.”

[1] When people say that they’ll lie down, it’s an ultimatum given to the commenter to leave or they’ll lie down and accuse the person of injuring them.

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