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Ren Xiaosu’s impression of the Riders was still rather good. The Rider he encountered was very polite and relatively impartial when dealing with matters.
Ren Xiaosu completely agreed with the Rider’s decision on banning the students from gambling, because Ren Xiaosu knew too well what gamblers were like.
But why would a reputable organization like the Riders help the Pyro Company search for something?
Unless, of course, they had a common goal!
“Didn’t you say that the Qinghe Group’s been searching for their major shareholder’s heir? But they still did not manage to find him after this many years?” Ren Xiaosu asked puzzledly.
“Yes, this info has been circulating around for a long time, so it’s not a secret anymore.” Zhou Yingxue said, “But it seems that a lot of information has been lost due to The Cataclysm. After all, the Qinghe Group did not seem to have managed too well in the first few years after The Cataclysm, and the founder also sacrificed himself to ensure the survival of the organization.”
Ren Xiaosu muttered, “The heir of the founder couldn’t have ended up in a research lab of the Pyro Company, right?!”
Stressed, Zhou Yingxue said, “Master, let’s not talk about other things for now, and focus on this mission. Only those who manage to kill the Pyro Company’s members this time will qualify for the trials next year. How am I supposed to go to Stronghold 73 when Li Ran is keeping me close to her every day?”
When Ren Xiaosu thought about it, it dawned on him that this was really the case. Although they did not need to apply to do the mission this time, Zhou Yingxue could not leave for the time being. Moreover, Zhou Yingxue’s fingerprints were required to unlock the cell phone to take pictures of the targets and complete the mission. In other words, Zhou Yingxue would have to be present at the site.
Ren Xiaosu pondered it for a bit. “It’s fine, I’ll make a trip there and bring back someone for you to kill.”
Zhou Yingxue was shocked on the spot. “Master, can your ideas not always be so extreme? Stronghold 73 is more than 400 kilometers away from here. Are you just going to carry someone back for me to complete the mission?”
“What else can I do?” Ren Xiaosu glanced at her. “Do you have any better ideas? Don’t worry, I’ll think of other methods on my way there.”
“Master, be careful.” Zhou Yingxue said, “I’m afraid that all of the underworld criminals of the Central Plains will be trying to get into Stronghold 73 this time, and they can be a really mixed bag.”
“Mhm.” Ren Xiaosu nodded. “I’ll relay your message to them to be careful.”
Zhou Yingxue was confused.
With that, Ren Xiaosu did not waste any more time and headed right off into the darkness of the night.
Li Ran, who was dressed in an evening gown, walked out of the banquet grounds with a glass of champagne in her hand. Sparkling bubbles could even be seen fizzing in the exquisite crystal glass.
Walking over, Li Ran asked Zhou Yingxue, “And where’s he off to?”
“Oh,” Zhou Yingxue smiled and said, “I asked my assistant to head back to the hotel first so he can make the bed for me.”
“Hmph!” Li Ran turned around and walked off.
Just as Zhou Yingxue had guessed, the entire underworld of the Central Plains was getting restless due to the actions of the Anjing House.
In just half a day after the group texts were sent out, the black market outside of Luoyang City had become half empty.
The mob bosses who had been forced to live in seclusion here successively sprang into action and left the black market.
After all, they would have to make more money to better enjoy life.
In the entire Alliance of Strongholds, it was said that one could get rich overnight by obtaining research data from the laboratories. Even if they only managed to get their hands on one page, it could very well fetch them enough to last a lifetime.
This was the data of the life sciences research the Pyro Company had been conducting before The Cataclysm. More importantly, the Anjing House claimed there was already a breakthrough in this field of research, so the implication was that it was ready for industrial application.
Meanwhile, the Zhou Consortium had started setting up checkpoints around Stronghold 73. They even planned to deploy two brigades of troops and station them outside the stronghold.
You could say they were taking this matter very seriously.
However, it would take time to mobilize the troops, and the two brigades would take at least three days to get here from the other strongholds. This military operation was not just a matter of sending out the troops, but also required the logistics lines to be ready.
But to the surprise of all the various forces, the two brigades were redirected to garrison at the Zhou Consortium’s stronghold in the farthest west before they could arrive at Stronghold 73.
This puzzled everyone a great deal. Was the Zhou Consortium planning to ignore the situation at Stronghold 73?
But there was nothing at Stronghold 74 in the farthest west. There was only a mountain range a 100 kilometers farther west of that stronghold, so why was the Zhou Consortium garrisoning their troops there?
Could there be anything more important than what was going to happen at Stronghold 73?
Of course, no one knew the Qing Consortium had already sent even more important intelligence to the Zhou Consortium.
As such, after the two brigades were redeployed to the west, the Zhou Consortium mobilized other troops to rush to Stronghold 73.
However, it did not matter to the underworld criminals. They were only concerned about where the Pyro Company’s Pre-Cataclysm research lab was.
During the past few days when the Zhou Consortium was busily redeploying its troops, all kinds of criminal figures had entered Stronghold 73 through their own means before martial law was enforced.
As they did not dare to check in to the hotels, they could only hide in houses and quietly observe the situation from there.
Some of them were so pathetic they had nowhere else to go and could only hide in the spa center every day. They even had to make sure to avoid the patrols of Stronghold 73. After all, not everyone had a safe house in Stronghold 73.
Meanwhile, Ren Xiaosu was already tucking into his takeout hot dry noodles inside a safe house. This was the first safe house Wu Tong had arranged for them to rendezvous at during the previous mission.
This safe house used to belong to Wu Tong, but it belonged to Ren Xiaosu now. After all, Wu Tong was dead. Since the house was without an owner, Ren Xiaosu gladly occupied it as his own.
Ren Xiaosu did not find it difficult to get into the stronghold. However, he had observed something outside earlier. At some point, Ren Xiaosu felt the Zhou Consortium had even relaxed their inspection of the people entering the stronghold. It was as though they were deliberately letting this mixed bag of people into the stronghold.
But why was that? Did they intend to use these people to keep the Pyro Company in check?
In Ren Xiaosu’s opinion, wouldn’t it be much safer to just station the troops inside the stronghold itself? What was the Zhou Consortium planning?
A curfew had already been temporarily enforced within Stronghold 73, something that was still rarely seen in the Central Plains. Some of the strongholds here were even known to be sleepless cities, with bustling sights lasting throughout the night and into the morning.
After finishing his hot dry noodles, Ren Xiaosu headed out again. The Anjing House had appended more information about the mission and indicated that the Pyro Company had arrived in the vicinity of East Lake near Stronghold 73. Although they had lost track of their whereabouts, it was very possible the research laboratory was located right next to East Lake. However, it was likely the Pyro Company had not discovered the entrance of the research laboratory yet.
Ren Xiaosu was parkouring freely up on the roofs. Occasionally, he would notice there were also others up on the roofs looking at something.
Vanilla was walking with the elderly sugar painter in the shadows on the streets not far away. Dressed in his smart suit, he seemed wholly unrelated to the old man beside him.
The old man muttered, “There’s too many formidable people this time. You should tell me in advance what the Anjing House is planning. I don’t want to take too many risks.”
Vanilla adjusted his tie and said with a smile, “With you and me working together, and the other Anjing House members supporting us, who would be a match for us in this stronghold?”
 Hot dry noodles, also known as reganmian, is a traditional dish of Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province in central China. | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_dry_noodles
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