Chapter 344 Depends on my mood
Once someone saw a brighter future for themself, they would naturally think of their bros. It was rare for a bandit to come to a good end. If there hadn’t been someone who suddenly supported them with money and supplies in this desolate place, they would still be leading quite a difficult life.
For the past five years, no caravans had passed through the valley. If the bandits wanted to fill their stomachs, they would have to go and rob the other bandits. All these days of fighting left them wondering when they could finally call it quits.
In their poorest days three years ago, the bandits even reached a stage where they had to eat wild vegetables and chew on bark and tree roots. As bandits, they were leading terrible lives.
Some of the bandits even ran back to the consortiums’ factories to work…
Two years ago, their situation improved after the Qing Consortium set their sights on this place. At the beginning, they only brought food to them so they would not starve to death or leave the valley. From last year onwards, they started secretly sending weapons here.
This was a gradual process.
Naturally, the bandits were unaware it was the Qing Consortium that supported them. They did not care who they were and were only concerned about how long the aid would last.
Everyone knew that whoever was sending them the firearms had to have other motives All of this was probably done so there would be chaos in the valley and in turn lead to an easier consolidation of forces.
But so what if they knew the motive behind all this? They still had to at least survive. If they got unified later, that wouldn’t be too bad either. At least, they would have their meals taken care of.
But now there was a brighter path put ahead of them. It was just up to them whether they chose it.
Jin Lan whispered, “There’s no point saying that. You’ll have to speak to the two lords.”
“Alright then.” The bandit hesitated for a while before finally going off to look for Ren Xiaosu.
Ren Xiaosu was currently having a discussion with Yang Xiaojin about the outcome. “I wonder if they’ve heard of old Xu’s power before. What if they know nothing of it?”
Actually, Ren Xiaosu’s move was an unnecessary one. He thought that if he used Xu Xianchu’s signature power and called upon the shadow clone, these people might link it to Xu Xianchu since his reputation was rather well-known now. In this way, their identities as members of Stronghold 178 would be even more realistic.
But what Ren Xiaosu was worried about was that these bandits had never heard of Xu Xianchu before.
Yang Xiaojin looked at him and said, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll mess things up?”
“At worst, we’ll just go back,” Ren Xiaosu said nonchalantly.
As they were discussing this, the bandit came up to them. Ren Xiaosu looked calmly at him. “What’s the matter?”
“Boss,” the bandit hesitated for a moment before saying, “can you let me return home for a while?”
Ren Xiaosu raised his eyebrows. “Do you think you can ask for sick leave to return home? Who said you could go home?”
“No, please hear me out.” The bandit explained, “I just wanted to go back and bring all my brothers here.”
Ren Xiaosu was stunned as he looked at Yang Xiaojin. The strategy was working! It seemed like these people knew about Xu Xianchu!
He deliberated for a moment before saying, “What do you know?”
The bandit quickly shook his head in fear. “I don’t know anything, really! I don’t know that you’re from Stronghold 178!”
“Shoo!” Ren Xiaosu did not know whether to laugh or cry. “You have a day.”
“Yes, yes! Thank you!” The bandit took it as an opportunity bestowed by Ren Xiaosu and was deeply grateful.
“Gratitude received from Zhang Yiheng, +1!”
After that, Zhang Yiheng hopped on his motorcycle and rode off by himself. Ren Xiaosu was not afraid he would not return. Even if he did not, Ren Xiaosu would only lose one person. He was not bothered by that in the slightest.
He turned to Yang Xiaojin and said, “My strategy should be working.”
Initially, Ren Xiaosu was most worried about the fact that even though he could lay the trap to capture all of these bandits, they would be beyond his control after a few hundred or even thousands of them had been forced to stay here. So Ren Xiaosu could finally heave a sigh of relief now.
Yang Xiaojin looked at Ren Xiaosu with a smile as she sat on a mound and quietly rested her chin on her hand. Who would have thought that Ren Xiaosu could come up with so many tricks when all she did was invite him along to exterminate the bandits?
To be honest, Yang Xiaojin did not care about the success of the bandit extermination operation. What did this have anything to do with her anyway? She just did not want to quarrel with Yang Yu’an because of it.
Yang Xiaojin could have enjoyed leading a rich person’s life in the stronghold, but she did not like being in there. She would rather lay down in the wilderness for three days and three nights than stay in the stronghold.
And now she was really looking forward to seeing what other ideas Ren Xiaosu could come up with.
Ren Xiaosu looked at Yang Xiaojin. “The more I think about it, the more I feel that the Qing Consortium must be behind the chaos happening in the valley. In fact, they’ve been planning for this since last year.”
Yang Xiaojin tilted her head. “Mhm.”
“The Qing Consortium’s plans here are definitely to plot against the Zong Consortium and your Yang Consortium. However, the Qing Consortium still does not have much authority in this place. We’ve already heard about how the North is caught in a deadlock between the three forces. Who knows, maybe someone from the Zong Consortium is trying to thwart the Qing Consortium’s plans for this region.” Ren Xiaosu said, “But if the Qing Consortium ends up as the victor, there will be no more bandits here and only their puppets will remain. Qing Zhen is… not a person who’s easy to deal with. Aren’t you worried about it?”
“I’m not worried,” Yang Xiaojin said calmly.
“Are you blaming the Yang Consortium for treating you as a chess piece in all this?” Ren Xiaosu asked curiously.
“I don’t hate them nor do I feel close to them.” Yang Xiaojin changed the subject. “What’s your next step going to be? Why do I get the feeling that you’re very interested in this valley?”
Ren Xiaosu thought for a while and then said with a smile, “Perhaps I’ll come here someday and settle down for the long term?”
“You want to leave the stronghold? Is it because of Yan Liuyuan? I can feel the aversion he has for the strongholds,” Yang Xiaojin asked.
“Liuyuan is one of the reasons. I don’t want him to feel wronged.” Ren Xiaosu took a look at the sky. “It’s not only him; I dislike the strongholds too. I think it’ll be more comfortable living out here.”
“So you’re thinking of establishing a foothold here, right?” Yang Xiaojin gave it some thought and said, “But that won’t be easy. This is only just the beginning. There’s still a long way to go.”
In response, Ren Xiaosu asked, “Will you come and help me?”
Clouds were scudding across the blue sky while the dusty ground of the wastelands remained still. The refugees had just finished digging irrigation ditches and were ready to go home. Even the wind had stopped blowing.
Ren Xiaosu seemed to have asked her casually
Yang Xiaojin was stunned for a moment. She chuckled as she got up and walked back towards the settlement. “That depends on my mood.”
In the evening, the sound of motorcycle engines came from the wastelands in the distance. It sounded like there were a lot of them as well. As Ren Xiaosu watched from afar, Jin Lan ran to him. “Boss, should we grab our weapons? What if those bastards are up to no good?”
Ren Xiaosu turned around and saw that Yang Xiaojin had already reached a hidden spot on a hilltop and occupied a commanding position. He laughed and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.”
Even without him, Yang Xiaojin alone would be enough to frighten away those useless bandits.
At this moment, Ren Xiaosu suddenly remembered the sniper who had wiped out the remainder of the Divine Arms Battalion deep in the Li Consortium’s territory. That was probably Yang Xiaojin too, wasn’t it?