Chapter 552 The twelfth Rider
Old Li looked at Ren Xiaosu and said with a smile, “Are you a refugee?”
Ren Xiaosu nodded. “Yes.”
However, Ren Xiaosu did not explain anything to avoid slipping up.
Old Li nodded and said, “You don’t look like a stronghold resident anyhow. People in the strongholds do not have that look in your eyes.”
Ren Xiaosu wondered what kind of look he was referring to.
Their journey had been delayed by half a day because they had to deliver the medicine to the refugees. As a result, they were still more than a 100 kilometers from Stronghold 74 by that evening.
Old Li thought for a moment and said, “Why don’t we find a place to set up camp before continuing on our journey to Stronghold 74 tomorrow morning? I’m sorry that your schedule has been delayed because of us.”
Ren Xiaosu shook his head. “I’m very grateful that you were willing to give me a lift. If I had to walk to Stronghold 74 by myself, I don’t even know when I’d get there.”
There was even a pot in the truck of Old Li’s off-road vehicle. When Ren Xiaosu was helping to carry out the camping equipment, he realized the two of them would be spending quite a while in the mountains. Just the condiments alone were already a lot. He wondered what they were planning to do in the mountains in the west.
Old Li called to his disciple, “Qin Sheng, start the campfire. I’ll go and hunt two rabbits.”
With that, Old Li took out a dagger and headed into the forest, leaving Qin Sheng alone to carry out his task diligently. Ren Xiaosu watched from nearby and asked, “Do you two often venture into the wilderness?”
He only asked because he saw Qin Sheng skillfully starting a cookfire. Some people might not even be able to start a fire with the aid of flint, purely due to a lack of experience.
Qin Sheng smiled and said, “I’ve been to many places with my teacher. It’s better to travel thousands of miles than read thousands of books.”
Ren Xiaosu did not add on to that. He felt the two of them were a little mysterious. Qin Sheng’s complexion was tanned and his figure was very well-proportioned. It made him look like an extremely agile cheetah in the wilderness.
Normal people would not have such an aura.
After Qin Sheng started the campfire, he placed a few branches over the fire for the pot before throwing in all the wild chicken eggs he had gotten from the refugees earlier. He smiled to Ren Xiaosu and said, “It takes ten minutes for a normal hard-boiled egg to be cooked, but wild chicken eggs take 15 minutes to cook. However, the taste of wild chicken eggs is far better than the domesticated chicken eggs found in the strongholds. They’re delicious.”
At this moment, Old Li returned with two rabbits in hand. He smiled and said, “The chickens in the wilderness have evolved tremendously in just a few decades. However, domesticated chickens in the strongholds have not changed at all. In my opinion, we should tear down all the strongholds and have their residents live outside their comfort zones. That way, humanity will truly understand what they’re facing in the future and become more adapted to this world.”
“Make the stronghold residents live outside their comfort zones?” Ren Xiaosu recalled that the lives of those who lived in the strongholds were not necessarily better. He said to Old Li, “The stronghold residents aren’t exactly living comfortable lives either.”
Old Li was speechless.
After two minutes of silence, Old Li still did not know how to continue the conversation!
However, the sound of an approaching convoy suddenly thrummed in the distance while the eggs were cooking. Ren Xiaosu could see the bright headlights of a dozen vehicles bouncing as they traveled on the rocky road.
Ren Xiaosu carefully observed the convoy, then his expression suddenly changed!
He turned around and said to Old Li and Qin Sheng, “Um… I’m not feeling well, so I’ll take my leave. Thank you for giving me a lift!”
He was about to run off when Old Li called out to him from behind, “Hey, take two eggs with you to eat along the way.”
As he said that, Ren Xiaosu came back and fished out a wild chicken egg straight from the pot before running off.
Old Li and Qin Sheng frowned as they watched him leave. Curious, Qin Sheng asked, “Teacher, who do you think he is?”
“I don’t know, but he’s no simple person.” Old Li said, “It’s hard to get a read on him, but he’s definitely not a normal refugee. Who knows, he might even be a superhuman!”
“Then why did he run away?” Qin Sheng could not understand.
“Maybe that approaching convoy is coming after him?” Old Li said puzzledly, “Could it be related to that incident at Stronghold 73 some time ago? When we get back, ask your Brother Qingxi about it. He was the one who accompanied the Pyro Company to Stronghold 73, so ask him if he’s seen the young man before.”
A moment later, the convoy that was speeding over came to a stop in front of them. A woman rolled down the window and asked, “Did you two see a young man passing through here?”
Qin Sheng’s jaw slowly dropped. “Y-You’re Li Ran?”
When Li Ran realized she had been recognized, she was secretly delighted. “Ahem, yes, that’s me.”
After she said that, she was pushed aside by someone next to her. That person opened the door and jumped out the vehicle. “Hello, my name is Mu Wan’ge, and I’m a director. Have you seen a young man passing through here? He’s heading to Stronghold 74.”
Qin Sheng and Old Li were dumbfounded by this question. They had assumed this convoy was chasing after Ren Xiaosu to kill him. But now they realized it was not the case at all.
With a director and a female celebrity chasing after him, just who could that young man be?
Ren Xiaosu was so pissed off he wanted to curse out loud as he made his escape. Didn’t they say they would be setting off five days later? So why were they coming after him so quickly when he just left the stronghold? They were really too difficult to shake off. Why couldn’t they just leave him alone for a day or two?!
It seemed that men should really not be too good-looking. Otherwise, they would only be inviting trouble. Ren Xiaosu really thought this.
Old Li smiled at Li Ran and Mu Wan’ge. “Sorry, we didn’t see anyone.”
“Could we have missed him somewhere along the way?” Mu Wan’ge wondered. “He didn’t drive either, so he couldn’t have gotten far.”
“Continue chasing after him! He must’ve somehow gotten his hands on a vehicle,” Li Ran said.
With that, the convoy set off again, leaving Old Li and Qin Sheng absolutely confused.
“Teacher, why are they chasing after that young man? And they’re even a famous celebrity and director too,” Qin Sheng asked in a speechless manner.
Old Li stayed silent for a moment before saying, “I don’t know either. Strange things happen every year, but it’s especially so this year.”
“But, Teacher, was lying to them appropriate?” Qin Sheng asked.
“In this world, how is it possible to not lie to others? I taught you to be honest, but I never said you couldn’t lie to others.” Old Li said with a smile, “These two things aren’t contradictory.”
“Is it really not contradictory?” Qin Sheng began to wonder.
“Alright, don’t think too much.” Old Li added a log of firewood to the campfire. “You should rest and conserve your strength for now. After we get to that cliff in the mountains, you’ll be embarking on your final challenge. When the time comes, you’ll be climbing it with your bare hands without any protective measures. If you die, it’ll all be for naught. But if you manage to survive, you’ll become the twelfth Rider.”