Chapter 564 A brief calm
Ren Xiaosu did not want to have any dealings with the Zhou Consortium troops, nor did he want to get involved with the Pyro Company. After all, he had manipulated “Old Xu” into killing quite a few of the Pyro Company members in that incident at East Lake. In a sense, they would surely have quite a huge grudge.
So by the time the Zhou Consortium’s emergency response force arrived, Ren Xiaosu had already left.
After three waves of attacks and probing, the Experimentals had completely retreated this time. As the saying went, “Three strikes and you’re out!” Having failed to take Stronghold 74 with three straight attempts, there was no need for the Experimentals to continue wasting their efforts here. Instead, they should be going back to the drawing board to identify their next opportunity.
But the Experimentals did not retreat too far away. They seemed to have taken shelter in the forest outside Stronghold 74, but no one from the Zhou Consortium dared to go into the forest to check.
To be honest, none of those from Stronghold 74 who had participated in the defense of the stronghold had expected that a group of what everyone thought of as beasts would actually give them such a tough time. They nearly even managed to break into the stronghold.
If it weren’t for the white-masked man suddenly appearing and blocking off the breach, based on the time it took for the Zhou Consortium’s emergency response force to arrive, Stronghold 74 would be in danger by now.
As a matter of fact, if those Experimentals had managed to get in and cause damage, not only would it cause panic and chaos among the stronghold residents, they would also try their best to destroy the entire defense system of the stronghold.
However, the Experimentals probably did not expect that their siege with three different tactics in a row would end up in failure.
After the Experimentals retreated, Stronghold 74 experienced a brief calm.
The battle lasted from night until dawn. Old Li, Qin Sheng, and the others were sitting on the stronghold walls exhausted. As the morning sun shone on their faces, a gust of cold wind blew. Only then did Old Li and Qin Sheng realize their clothes were drenched in sweat, and sitting out here in the wind made them exceptionally cold.
At this moment, a staff officer from the Zhou Consortium came over to greet them. “Honored friends from the Riders and the Pyro Company, please take a shower and get a change of clothes. After you all get some rest, we would like to invite everyone to a debriefing. The Experimentals will definitely return, so we have to summarize any mistakes we made in this battle.”
Old Li struggled to get up. There was even a wound on his arm he had gotten when he was accidentally scratched by an Experimental during the battle. He smiled and said, “This wound shouldn’t make me become like them too, right?”
The staff officer shook his head. “That won’t be happening. The Experimentals have to inject a drug to assimilate humans into their kind.”
“You guys seem to know a lot about the Experimentals?” Qin Sheng asked.
“The Qing Consortium shared that information with us.” The staff officer said, “It was also the Qing Consortium that warned us the Experimentals might attack Stronghold 74 this time. If it weren’t for them informing us and buying us time to deploy our troops in advance, we would’ve really been in trouble this time.”
“So that’s how it is,” Old Li mumbled. “The Qing Consortium… is quite different from what the rumors say.”
The Riders and the Pyro Company went into the stronghold to take hot showers. This time, the Pyro Company’s participation in the battle left them with four dead. However, the remaining members did not seem to feel sad at all. It was as though they were not friends with their squadmates.
After everyone sat down in the meeting room, the Pyro Company’s commander in Stronghold 74 said bluntly, “Who was that in the white mask? Is he someone from your Zhou Consortium? He’s already appeared twice in your Zhou Consortium’s strongholds so far. We thought he was with the Anjing House, but by the looks of it now, it seems he has a closer relationship with your Zhou Consortium!”
Zhou Xingwen, the commander of the Zhou Consortium troops, said calmly, “He isn’t related to the Zhou Consortium. We think he might have shown up in Stronghold 74 by coincidence. Let’s talk about the upcoming battle to defend the stronghold. First of all, I’d like to thank all of you for your help so far. Without all of you, we couldn’t’ve defended Stronghold 74.”
The Pyro Company’s commander said calmly, “There’s no need to thank us. We all have the responsibility to stand up against a common enemy of humanity. Our Pyro Company members at Stronghold 73 will also be rushing over with the next group of Zhou Consortium reinforcements.”
Old Li suddenly said, “But your Zhou Consortium’s emergency response force in the stronghold still needs to be on high alert and move a little faster. If the Experimentals can dig a tunnel, they can easily dig ten more. Everyone’s seen how strong those monsters are. It will only take them a few days to dig a tunnel into the stronghold.”
Zhou Xingwen nodded and said, “Our emergency response troops have failed in their duties this time. Furthermore, we have underestimated the Experimentals.”
After a short discussion, the main point of the meeting was to optimize the current defense plan.
Old Li and the others prepared to head to the Zhou Consortium’s camp to get some rest. After all, they were also very exhausted from the battle.
At this moment, the Pyro Company brought up the matter again. “I suggest that your Zhou Consortium find that person wearing the white mask. Our Pyro Company can promise we’ll temporarily set aside our grudges and fight alongside him. With such a person around, it’ll be much easier for us to handle the situation should the Experimentals break into the stronghold.”
Zhou Xingwen sighed and shook his head. “It won’t be easy to find him.”
However, Old Li did not seem bothered by that. “Don’t worry. Since he’s stepped forward to help this time, he’ll definitely show up again the next time.”
When Ren Xiaosu returned to the hotel, a drowsy group of people were sprawled out on the couches in the hotel lobby. Meanwhile, Zhou Yingxue was still wide awake as she held her pistols, on full alert. The ten plainclothes guards from the Wang Consortium did not sleep either. They had found some knives and iron rods in the hotel to protect themselves with.
Ren Xiaosu thought to himself that these people did not seem as useless as he thought, and that they were just a little too inflexible when doing things.
Honestly, Ren Xiaosu even suspected these soldiers might not have been on the battlefield before. After all, there had not been any wars in the Central Plains in recent years, so it would not be unexpected if these soldiers had not seen blood before.
Furthermore, no organizations would send their elite soldiers to protect a female celebrity.
A plainclothes guard looked at Ren Xiaosu, who had just returned, and asked with a frown, “The fighting out there has been going on for the entire night, and you disappeared for the entire night as well. Where did you go?”
Ren Xiaosu glanced at him. “I went to help defend the city. What’s that gotta do with you?”
“There’s no traces on you to suggest that you fought, yet you’re saying you helped defend the city?” The plainclothes guard sneered.
However, Ren Xiaosu had no intention of arguing with him. Instead, he walked over to Zhou Yingxue and asked, “Anything happen in the night?”
“No, they were all quite compliant.” Zhou Yingxue shook her head. “Was it really the Experimentals that attacked?”
“That’s right.” Ren Xiaosu nodded. “I saw it with my own eyes. Also, we definitely can’t underestimate the intelligence of the Experimentals anymore. And their numbers are constantly increasing. If only we had exterminated them at Stronghold 113, this wouldn’t be happening right now.”
“At that time, the entire Southwest was in chaos. Who would have time to worry about them?” Zhou Yingxue sighed.
“Alright, go back to your room and get some rest. I don’t think the Experimentals will be returning anytime soon,” Ren Xiaosu said.
Zhou Yingxue said, “Why don’t you go and get some rest instead? I’ve just been sitting around all night, so I’m not tired at all. As for you, you must’ve engaged the Experimentals in close combat, right?”
Off to the side, the plainclothes guard shot them a look but did not say anything. He only sneered. That was because the way Ren Xiaosu had spoken to them earlier was way too unpleasant, so they found it very difficult to have a good impression of him.