Chapter 365 The fall of the Li Consortium
In the Southwest, Li Shentan was walking alone in a vast forest on a small path that was only wide enough for a car to pass. The ground had turned muddy after a downpour.
He was carrying a fishing rod on his shoulder with a fish basket hanging from his waist.
In the fish basket made out of bamboo strips, two large river shrimps were wriggling, and three crabs had their pincers and legs tied up with hemp twine. Each crab looked like it weighed around 1 to 1.5kg. If these crabs were caught in the times before The Cataclysm, they would definitely be considered a good catch.
“Little Liren, did you get a good look at what that shadow in the river was?” Li Shentan asked.
Si Liren’s sweet voice could be heard above him. “No, I didn’t really see it.”
Li Shentan curled his lips. “It was quite scary.”
“Don’t worry, it can’t beat me,” Si Liren comforted.
“I was just worried I would get eaten by it before you could save me.” Li Shentan said with a smile, “But luck is on my side today. Although I did not catch any fish, I caught quite a few shrimps and crabs.”
At this moment, the sound of an approaching vehicle came from further up the path. Li Shentan stood still with a calm expression on his face.
When the vehicle appeared, the driver behind the wheel was shocked to see Li Shentan standing there. “Get out of the way! Get out of the way!”
The driver frantically honked at him, but Li Shentan just stood there motionlessly like a rock.
The driver stepped on the brakes, but the vehicle could not stop due to the muddy ground. The middle-aged man in the vehicle gritted his teeth as it headed straight for Li Shentan. He could not turn his steering wheel at this moment because the vehicle would flip if he did.
Just as the off-road vehicle was about to hit Li Shentan, the little girl in the sky suddenly dropped down from above and smashed her tiny fist heavily on its hood.
This punch caused the entire rear half of the off-road vehicle to fly into the air. Then it flipped over Li Shentan in midair before landing in the mud behind him.
“Li Shentan, the damsel is here to save you!” Si Liren said happily.
Li Shentan smiled but did not answer. Instead, he turned around and looked behind at the off-road vehicle that had just overturned. “How sad.”
The driver was stuck in his seat and dangling in midair. He cursed from within the vehicle, “Are you fucking blind! You—”.
Before he could finish speaking, Si Liren floated over and flipped the vehicle back upright. Then she effortlessly lifted the old man in the backseat out.
The old man had a look of horror on his face. Li Shentan said with a smile, “It’s our first time meeting. Hi, my name is Li Shentan.”
When this name was mentioned, the old man became even more frightened. “How did you know I was going to be passing through here? What do you want?”
Li Shentan said with a smile, “It seems you know nothing about my power, but there’s no need to think about these meaningless things. What I’m curious about is, didn’t the Qing Consortium surround the stronghold awhile ago? How did you manage to get past their perimeter?”
The old man’s face darkened. “What exactly do you want from me?”
Li Shentan muttered to himself, “Oh, I see. You made a deal with that demon, Qing Zhen, so you can abandon the entire Li Consortium and escape alone. Where does this road lead? There’s a mountain road up ahead that goes all the way to the Central Plains. So you must be fleeing there.”
At this moment, Si Liren said, “Big Brother Shentan, there’s a lot of gold bars in the vehicle!”
“Mhm.” Li Shentan nodded and said, “Before leaving, you even took all the gold from the Li Consortium’s bank. That’s enough for you to lead a rich life in the Central Plains.”
The middle-aged man hiding in the vehicle did not dare to make a sound. The old man roared, “Li Youbai, kill him with the gun!”
But no matter how much the old man shouted at him, the middle-aged man did not dare to move recklessly.
Li Shentan smiled and said, “You even thought of bringing your son with you to escape together, but sadly, he’s useless. The Li Consortium has fallen from grace so much in your generation.”
In the eyes of Li Shentan, the Li Consortium was unworthy of its reputation. They were but a small warlord exercising sovereignty in a corner of the Southwest.
He said to the old man, “Dear patriarch of the Li clan, let me guess what deal you’ve made with that demon, Qing Zhen…”
Because Si Liren was holding the old man up, his long, sparse hair was scattered messily on his forehead. His face turned red as he said, “How dare you claim others are demons when you’re the demon yourself!”
“I didn’t say he was the only demon in this world.” Li Shentan said with a smile, “I’m one as well. But let’s get back to the point. Over a month ago, the Qing Consortium suddenly withdrew their troops from the main battlefield, then the most mysterious nanosoldiers of the Li Consortium disappeared shortly after that. The Li Consortium’s higher-ups must’ve thought you were preparing to put up a last stand against the enemy. However, they didn’t realize these mysterious nanosoldiers were only your bargaining chip. So what was Qing Zhen’s condition for you that he allowed you to leave with the gold? You betrayed the entire Li Consortium this easily?”
The old man did not say anything more. As he was advanced in age, he started getting dizzy after struggling for a bit in Si Liren’s hands.
Li Shentan continued, “At that time, the mysterious troops were disguised as wounded soldiers of the Qing Consortium that retreated to the rear. They marched all the way north through the territories controlled by the Qing Consortium with no one stopping them, and they were even provided with supplies and firearms too. As for their destination, even I’m not sure where they’re headed. Can you tell me where they went and for what?”
“This has nothing to do with you!” the old man roared.
“I’m a member of the Li Consortium as well.” Li Shentan said with a sigh, “I’d wanted to destroy the Li Consortium with my own hands as I was really ashamed of this identity. After all, it wouldn’t exactly be too gratifying if the Li Consortium perished just like that.”
“You’re a madman!”
“But it’s not fun anymore.” Li Shentan sighed before saying again, “With the imminent destruction of the Li Consortium, you should die alongside it as well.”
Si Liren said, “Should I kill them?”
“No, I’ll kill them myself. You’re still young, so you shouldn’t be killing anyone.”
Then Li Shentan raised his hand and grabbed a small stone from the ground without physically bending down. With a flick of his finger, the stone flew towards the old man and left a bleeding wound in his forehead.
The small stone stopped at the back of the old man’s head and suddenly changed direction to go through the back of the driver’s head.
Li Shentan muttered to himself, “So this is how it all ends?”
Si Liren dropped the old man to the muddy ground as though he were a tattered bag. She wondered, “What are we doing next?”
“I don’t know.” Li Shentan said with a smile, “We’ll head to the Central Plains. I heard it’s very prosperous. But we have to wait for a little while. Grandpa hasn’t arrived yet.”
“OK.” Si Liren nodded. “When will Grandpa Hu Shuo be here?”
“Tomorrow.” Li Shentan suddenly remembered something and said, “Bring the gold in the vehicle along. Ren Xiaosu will definitely like it a lot. We can give it to him the next time we meet.”
“Why don’t we go look for him in the North?”. Si Liren asked curiously.
Li Shentan said calmly, “He probably doesn’t want to see me now. We should head to the Central Plains and wait for him there instead.”
“OK,” Si Liren answered obediently. She then flew into the woods and carried out a huge metal box that she placed over her back. The case was several times bigger than her, so it made her tiny body floating in the air look like a tiny bee. She stuffed the heavy gold pieces into the case, but it didn’t look like it took her much effort to carry it on her back.
Li Shentan stood on the quiet path and gazed at the far end of it. He saw sunlight shining down through the woods, and the scattered light looked just like the cold rain falling. He felt a little lost.
Just like a child who had scored a 100 percent on his exam, he should be looking for his parents happily for reward and praise. But in this case, he couldn’t find anyone he could share the happiness and success with. ‘Mom, I’ve avenged you.’