Chapter 241 Encountering the nanosoldiers
When Ren Xiaosu said they would have more leeway to do what they wanted, he did not actually mean to cause any trouble. But if no one was there to watch over them daily, no one would know whether they were truly guarding the high ground.
With Liu Taiyu staying in the rear, they could easily find somewhere to hide or move from their original positions on the front line.
Someone leaned forward and asked through the gap between the driver’s cabin and truck bed, “Platoon Commander, Platoon Sergeant, what if we really end up as cannon fodder on the battlefield?”
“Yeah, Liu Zhaojiang took half of all our ammo with him. When we defend the strategic high ground, we’ll definitely run out of ammo in no time. Surely we aren’t gonna have to resort to biting the enemy with our teeth, right?”
Even now, everyone was still resenting Liu Zhaojiang. They could understand why he chose to be a deserter since all of them had thoughts of running away as well. But by taking away so much cured meat and ammunition when he left, that was as good as condemning everyone else to their deaths.
The current situation for their platoon was almost no different from having to fight barehanded.
Ren Xiaosu looked at Li Qingzheng and asked, “If you knew that someone would run away, would you still have stayed behind?”
“Yes, there are still others in the platoon who have families to protect, after all,” Li Qingzheng said.
What upset Li Qingzheng the most was that he had treated everyone like brothers, yet one of them ran away with his weapon and provisions without even saying a word of goodbye. Fortunately for them, there were enough provisions left for the rest, and they would not have to go hungry as a result.
Li Qingzheng sighed. “If someone offers y’all a 1,000,000 yuan, would any of you sell me out?”
“Don’t think too much.” Ren Xiaosu comforted him, “You aren’t worth that much. We won’t accept the money if it goes against our conscience.”
Li Qingzheng was speechless.
The soldiers at the back of the truck started laughing at this. However, someone still said worriedly, “Jokes aside, what if we really end up becoming cannon fodder?”
Ren Xiaosu thought for a moment and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll come up with something when we get there.”
Everyone felt relieved by Ren Xiaosu’s answer. If Ren Xiaosu could come up with a plan, they would not have to end up becoming cannon fodder.
When they arrived at the forward operating base in the afternoon, all vehicles passing through here were required to get refueled. Otherwise, they would not be able to continue the long-distance journey.
However, this forward operating base was not required to provide meals and provisions to the private troops. Some of the private troops were starving since the beginning and thought they would surely be fed first before heading out to the battlefield. After all, superiors should not let their soldiers go hungry in the face of battle.
But who could have thought the Li Consortium’s combat troops wouldn’t treat the private troops as human beings!
However, these private soldiers of Stronghold 108 were unaware that the other private troops were still entitled to the usual military benefits. It was just that those benefits for them had been stopped by Liu Taiyu.
When it was mealtime, the soldiers in Ren Xiaosu’s group hid in the military transport truck and secretly ate their rations they had brought from the outpost. Although Liu Zhaojiang took away quite a lot of cured meat, Ren Xiaosu and Li Qingzheng had bought a lot of wheat flour to make into buns and flatbread.
When the soldiers under Ren Xiaosu hiding in the back of the truck saw the other private soldiers enduring starvation, they suddenly felt they had followed the right leader.
After refueling the truck, Ren Xiaosu suddenly said, “Platoon Sergeant, teach me how to drive.”
Li Qingzheng was taken aback for a moment. “Alright.”
Currently, Liu Taiyu was at the FOB eating his meal. Officers like him were all served good food, and there would be people fawning upon him and showing him good hospitality upon reaching the FOB. As such, these officers didn’t usually resume their journey quickly.
As for addressing him as “Platoon Sergeant,” even Li Qingzheng himself did not feel anything wrong with it.
Li Qingzheng was teaching Ren Xiaosu how to drive in the open area. “You just need to remember to step on the clutch when you change gears when driving stick. It’s not that difficult to change gears once you reach a certain speed.”
About an hour later, Ren Xiaosu could somewhat manage to drive on the road. As long as he did not have to shift gears, he could drive very smoothly.
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu felt bad. He hadn’t been able to learn how to ride the bicycle no matter how hard he tried. At the time, he kept blaming the palace. He thought it could be due to his ability to copy other people’s skills that made him unable to learn a skill through his own means.
After all, he had to make some sacrifices in order to gain something, right? Ren Xiaosu understood this very well. So it occurred to him that it was not because he was stupid that he couldn’t master the bicycle, but that the palace had limited him. But right now, it seemed like… not being able to master the bicycle had totally nothing to do with the palace! It was just him!
Ren Xiaosu found this difficult to accept.
In the afternoon, Liu Taiyu even secretly had some wine at the FOB before setting off again. Ren Xiaosu thought that if even the officer in charge of the private army was drinking during the wartime, what kind of combat effectiveness would the Li Consortium’s combat troops be capable of?
Upon setting off again, Ren Xiaosu insisted on driving the truck. As the saying went, “Strike while the iron is hot.” He was determined to master this skill while he had the chance.
When they got here in the morning, everyone was still laughing happily in the truck bed. But by the afternoon, no one spoke as they were all trembling in fear in the back of the truck. All of them were tightly grasping the handrails in the bed.
Ren Xiaosu was driving so fast that he reached the front of the convoy in just a short while. He sat in the cab while controlling the steering wheel in high spirits. This was the first time in his life that he was driving a vehicle. It was a wonderful feeling.
Li Qingzheng who was next to him had already turned pale. He said, “Platoon Commander, the road is slippery during winter. If you drive so fast, the truck might flip over when you step on the brakes.”
Ren Xiaosu pondered it for a moment before saying, “Then won’t it be fine as long as I don’t step on the brakes?”
Li Qingzheng was speechless. After Li Qingzheng took five minutes to calm himself down, he said in seriousness, “Platoon Commander, why don’t I drive instead? I’m worried that you’ll exhaust yourself.”
Ren Xiaosu was finally persuaded to sit in the front passenger seat after the rest of his comrades on board strongly expressed their concerns. However, he was still very happy. After all, knowing how to drive in these wastelands was also considered as having a life-saving skill.
Ren Xiaosu said to the palace in his mind, “What’s the proficiency of my driving? It should be at advanced or intermediate level since I can drive so well, right?”
The voice from the palace said, “It has been detected that the host does not possess any driving skills.”
Ren Xiaosu was unhappy to hear that. “Who are you bluffing here? How can I not have any driving skills when I’ve already driven on the road? Can you at least have some logic in your judgment…. It’s fine even if you just judge that I’m at a basic level!”
All of a sudden, Li Qingzheng said, “Platoon Commander, there’s a situation up ahead.”
Ren Xiaosu looked and saw some officers wearing the Li Consortium’s military uniform standing in their way. It looked like there were quite a few of their soldiers there.
“Just stay in the vehicle.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Let Liu Taiyu handle them since we’re just normal soldiers.”
Liu Taiyu’s off-road vehicle sped over from behind. The officer in front of Liu Taiyu maintained his high and mighty attitude as he said, “All of your trucks have been commandeered. Have all of the men in the vehicles get out.”
Liu Taiyu was dumbfounded. “We were ordered to quickly head to the front lines at Mt. Fengyi. If we hand over all of our military transport trucks to you, how are we supposed to get there?”
“Why should I care?” The officer sneered. During their conversation, the blood vessels in his face became silvery strands. It was as though something was glowing inside his blood vessels. “All of you, get out of the trucks now!”