Chapter 222 Rather die than admit to it
Hearing the gunshots ring out on the hillside, the rest of the group was unable to sit still any longer. They ran to the far edge of the outpost and looked down. Meanwhile, Hu Shuo was still sitting there calmly and enjoying the meat. He asked, “Did you get enough seasonings and other supplies since you came back in such a hurry? Although this exotic meat is delicious, it gets too salty if we only use salt on it. What we need is a greater variety of seasoning options!”
Ren Xiaosu gave him a look. “Don’t worry, we bought everything that we needed.”
This time, Li Qingzheng had made a rather successful deal with Old Wang. He not only managed to bring back enough salt to preserve the rest of the meat, but also procured rice vinegar, star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, and some other spices too. Although, they could just grab a handful of Sichuan peppercorns from the wilderness since they were commonly found there.
While conducting the trade, Li Qingzheng realized it was much easier to do business with Old Wang than to slowly sell the cured meat by himself.
At this moment, someone from the other platoon walked over and said to Hu Shuo, “We’ve gunned down all five of them.”
“Alright.” Hu Shuo nodded. “Take them back to the stronghold and report the mission status to the higher-ups. Tell them to be careful and stay wary of the Pyro Company. There is absolutely no mistake in killing anyone who is from the Pyro Company.”
“Roger.” After the soldier received the order, he led his men away.
But Ren Xiaosu was a little puzzled as he looked at this group of people. They were not wearing the combat uniform of the Li Consortium, yet they were much stronger than the private troops. Which fighting force did they belong to?
Hu Shuo said with a smile as he ate, “I feel so relieved now that I’ve finally completed the assignment. You all might know, but I was so worried about this matter for the past few days that I couldn’t eat or sleep well.”
Ren Xiaosu asked the students next to him, “What did the teacher talk about today? Let me have a look at your notes so that I can catch up with the lectures and clarify my doubts with Mr. Hu before he goes to bed.”
But when he said this, Hu Shuo immediately stood up and said, “Hahahaha, I’m sleepy. I’m off to bed!”
After Hu Shuo went back into his house, Ren Xiaosu had the students unload everything from the truck into the house. He also distributed to them the winter clothing that Xiaoyu had procured.
Chen Wudi went back into the house and happily put on his new clothes. These things were all provided for Ren Xiaosu, Chen Wudi, and the eight other students. When Li Qingzheng saw this, he felt sad. “How nice it is to have a family.”
When it got late into the night, Ren Xiaosu quietly headed to the depths of the mountains. He wanted to give the wolves another reminder to not get ambushed by the nanosoldiers that were going to be sent in.
After all, the wolves were burdened with their young right now. It would be upsetting if the Li Consortium’s elite soldiers attacked them and the wolves did not have enough time to bring their wolf cubs with them when they fled.
Before he could get deep into the mountains, he saw the Wolf King waiting for him on the mountain path. When the Wolf King saw Ren Xiaosu, it led him straight to the wolf den without having to communicate it to him.
Ren Xiaosu kept muttering, “Have they fully recovered from their injuries yet? Did they eat their food according to my advice as a doctor?”
The Wolf King did not even bother replying to his questions. When Ren Xiaosu arrived at the wolf den, the wolves seemed to be much friendlier towards him than last time. Ren Xiaosu first checked on the wounds of the injured wolves and only felt at ease after seeing they had already healed.
He sat on a large rock and said, “Seems the Li Consortium is sending their elite soldiers to ‘spar’ with y’all. Are you confident with handling them?”
The Wolf King looked at him with apparent disdain. Ren Xiaosu said in seriousness, “But those are supersoldiers with nanomachines. They’ve been specially assigned to eliminate y’all. The Li Consortium isn’t stupid either. If they’re willing to attack you, they must have a certain confidence in their plan.”
The Wolf King was still giving him a disdainful look.
“Alright then,” Ren Xiaosu sighed. “But you better not eat them after they’re dead. They have nanomachines in them, so y’all might get diarrhea if you eat them. When the time comes, hide their corpses for me. I’ll use the black medicine to make a deal with you.”
When the Wolf King heard the words “black medicine,” its eyes seemed to light up.
“But you definitely have to move your wolf den further away.” Ren Xiaosu said, “After all, your wolf cubs can’t run fast enough. If a stray bullet hit them, that’d be bad.”
On his way back, Ren Xiaosu was wondering if he could get his hands on the nanomachines at a faster rate with the wolves’ assistance. Ren Xiaosu was even starting to get a little excited at the thought.
The next morning, everyone was busy taking out the meat they had hidden away to continue curing the meat. They had to stop the process temporarily due to the lack of salt.
The group of men set up several tables at the entrance of the outpost and worked tirelessly, sweating profusely. But when they thought about how this was the source of better food, everyone felt exceptionally accomplished.
If those who did not know the truth went up the mountain and saw this place, they would probably mistake it for a cured meat delicatessen and not an outpost. Everyone had left their guns inside the houses, and some of them had not even touched them for several days.
To be honest, no one would be willing to be a soldier in a godforsaken place like this if it weren’t for survival. These people did not feel a sense of belonging to the Li Consortium anyway. In the present day, nobody had any faith or feelings to speak of. It would be good enough to survive. So having meat to eat was far more important than anything else.
Someone said with a smile, “It’s almost the start of spring. We should find some grape seeds in the mountains and plant them here in the open space behind the outpost. When we harvest the grapes in summer, we can even make our own wine.”
“Yeah, let’s build a grape trellis. We can also plant some garlic, onions, cucumbers, and carrots next to it. During summer, we can mix the cucumber with minced garlic and some shredded carrots to pair with the wine. That will truly be a comfy life!”
With all the laughter at the entrance of the outpost, the cold of the winter seemed to be more bearable. Everyone’s mentality was different with the Lunar New Year approaching, and they were only thinking about how to celebrate the joyous occasion.
Ren Xiaosu said, “There’s something that I want to announce. I still have some family members who are staying in town that I was thinking of bringing over with the truck for the New Year. But we definitely don’t have enough houses for all of them to live in. Let’s work a little harder for the next few days so we can build another wooden house for them. Is anyone here good at carpentry?”
“Me!” Li Qingzheng said with a smile, “I worked as a carpenter for two years. I’m really good at it.”
“Alright, let’s help Ren Xiaosu build a house once we finish curing the meat,” a man said with a smile.
This man was an escapee who had fled with Ren Xiaosu’s group here. He was constantly bullied by Li Qingzheng when he first arrived at the outpost. But after everyone integrated into the group, the animosity faded.
Sometimes, Ren Xiaosu thought it was actually quite good for the group to live here in the mountains and be self-sufficient.
All of a sudden, the voice from the palace said, “A side quest has been unlocked. Ensure there are no deaths within the wolf pack for seven days to unlock a new product in the vending machine: seeds.”
When Ren Xiaosu heard this, he froze for a second. Did the palace unlock the side quest with seeds as the reward because he thought about wanting to be self-sufficient in the mountains?
But the palace didn’t mention what the seeds would grow into. Could they have magical effects?