Chapter 426 - Threats
[Book 3: The South]
Just as Du Shan Xiong's troops had the granary surrounded, Chai Zi Cang came walking out from the troops of Yue Zhong, and returned to Du Shan Xiong.
In an emergency command post, Chai Zi Cang saw his superior Du Shan Xiong.
Du Shan Xiong was decked in a neat military uniform, and his brows radiated a strict and no-nonsense attitude. He had a few signs of white hair, and his body was radiating a strong soldier aura. He listened to Chai Zi Cang's account of the events quietly, as his brows furrowed deeper with each passing moment: "He really threatened to burn the granary down?"
The entire Guilin City relied on the granary to live, and if the hundred thousands tonnes of rations were to be burnt down, Guilin City was sure to fall.
Chai Zi Cang eyed Du Shan Xiong, and knew that this superior of his was reaching the boiling point, but he still bit the bullet to reply: "Yes!"
Du Shan Xion erupted in rage, and slammed down strongly on the table, causing his right hand to become numb as he roared: "Dammit! He's a terrorist that doesn't consider the big picture!!"
In this apocalyptic world, not all high-ranking officials were powerful enhancers. The strong ones tend to be fighting at the frontlines, hence a lot of the commanders behind the scenes were ordinary people. If the head was not safe, the walls will definitely crumble, and one could not expect an old fart with experts protecting him to be wielding a Tang Replica Sword and hacking a zombie.
Yue Zhong had met numerous leaders of factions who were Enhancers in their own right. This was because, when the world had gone to shit, only those with strength had the ability to convince the masses. Without any capabilities, no one would give two hoots.
One of the intelligence officer, Liu Xuan, came up to Du Shan Xiong and asked: "Regiment Commander! Shall we proceed with eliminating them?"
Du Shan Xiong's expression was extremely unsightly as he rebuked: "Eliminate them? What if they really burn the place down? What will you guys eat then?! You pig-brain!"
The intelligence officer's face fell when he was reprimanded and he immediately scooted back, his face flushed with embarrassment.
Harsh scoldings were a common occurrence in the military. Du Shan Xiong might be the Regiment Commander, but he came from a low military background as he worked his way up, and when he was enraged, his curses were not easy on the ears.
Du Shan Xiong calmed down as he stared fixedly at Chai Zi Cang and asked: "What are his terms?"
Chai Zi Cang seemed to hesitate, but he gritted his teeth and replied: "Regiment Commander! He wants you to pull your troops back by 10 li, otherwise he will burn the place in 1 hour! The moment we launch an assault, he would kill all our brothers that are held captive!"
When Du Shan Xiong heard that, he became even more enraged and stood straight up, almost bellowing: "He can forget about it!! I, Du Shan Xiong will never cower before threats!!! Chai Zi Cang, immediately go and tell that bastard, bring his men out to surrender now! Otherwise, when my army charges in, they will all die without a body to bury!!"
"Regiment Commander!! We can't do that!!"
"Regiment Commander!! Be appeased!!"
The various intelligence officers immediately crowded around as they tried to dissuade him. They did not think that their troops could not match against Yue Zhong. On the contrary, they were worried that Yue Zhong would really raze the granary to the ground, then that would truly spell the end of their troops. Without rations, no one would help to fight battles.
When they tried to dissuade him, Du Shan Xiong got even more furious, and pulled out the pistol by his waist and shouted: "Enough!! Whoever dares to say anything more, I will execute him on the spot! I want to see if Yue Zhong really dares to burn down the granary!!"
When Du Shan Xiong lost his temper, all his subordinates immediately quietened down. His temper was explosive, and when he lost it, it was impossible for anyone to stop him. If any one of them truly lost their lives to his temper, it wouldn't be worth it.
Right at this time, another commander came rushing into the command post with a pale face as he reported shrilly: "Regiment Commander!! Not good!!! Yue Zhong is starting to burn the granary!! One of the ration stores has already been set aflame!!!"
Du Shan Xiong immediately felt like a cold bucket of water had been poured on him, as he trembled: "What!?! He's burning the granary!!"
Although Du Shan Xiong was bad tempered, he wasn't an idiot, and he was well aware of the consequences once Yue Zhong burns down the granary. It would be hell and Guilin City would lose all sense of its order. The regiment that he painstakingly established would be dissolved in a matter of days.
Chai Zi Cang's eyes were bloodshot by now as he knelt on the floor in front of Du Shan Xiong and begged miserably: "Regiment Commander!! Let's retreat!! He's truly going to burn the place down!! For the sake of our brothers of the 8th Regiment and the people of Guilin City, please retreat now!!"
"Regiment Commander!! Let's retreat!!"
All the intelligence officers also started to plead.
Du Shan Xiong raised his hand weakly to wipe his forehead, as he closed his eyes and spat out in agony: "Pull back!!"
Receiving his orders, all the intelligence officers immediately issued the commands to pull back.
The huge army that was surrounding Yue Zhong swiftly retreated back towards Guilin City.
"They've finally retreated!!" Inside the granary, Yue Zhong eyed the swift retreat of Du Shan Xiong's army, and heaved a sigh of relief.
Yue Zhong was also aware of the consequences of burning the granary. Guilin City would lose its stability and order, and Du Shan Xiong's troops would also not be able to quell the chaos, before they themselves collapsed from the gravity of the situation.
But if it was like this, then even if Yue Zhong did his utmost to save as many as he could, there would be countless who would be caught up in the fight for food and the ensuing chaos. Yue Zhong was also unwilling to witness such a scene.
Bai Xiao Sheng came up to Yue Zhong and asked loudly: "Leader, why don't we just burn the place down? As long as we burn it, Guilin City would be plunged into chaos and mayhem. Du Shan Xiong won't be able to control his army, wouldn't that be the best case scenario for us?"
Bai Xiao Sheng was also smart, and he had seen Yue Zhong only using a few thousand tonnes of rations to scare the army into retreating, and knew of the underlying reason. To them who had no foothold in such a place, having Guilin City implode from within would be the best for them.
Yue Zhong eyed Bai Xiao Sheng before replying with a solemn tone: "If we burn the granary, Guilin City would lose over ten thousand people at least. How can I do that?! This is our China after all!"
If it was overseas, Yue Zhong could care less about the granaries and number of deaths. As long as it met his objectives, he would do so. If he could use a single fire to burn the ration supplies of Wu Yan Hong, he would not hesitate to do so.
Bai Xiao Sheng asked curiously: "Then Leader, why can't we directly use the chance to force Du Shan Xiong to submit? That way, won't the entire Guilin City land in our hands?"
Yue Zhong eyed the retreating tanks and cannons as he replied slowly: "What if they decided to risk it all and fight it out? If we compare strength, we're simply not their match. Furthermore, if we go through with it, they might really lose their army, so what? If the number of us that makes it out alive can be more than 20%, that would be impressive."
If Du Shan Xiong really went crazy and unleashed everything to eliminate Yue Zhong, it wouldn't be hard. Under the intense barrage of heavy firearms, the moment Yue Zhong was unlucky to be hit by one, he would also be sent directly to heaven. Not to mention any other Enhancer.
Furthermore, Yue Zhong had established the Heaven Union and had absorbed a number of experts who were willing to work for him, there were some who were unwilling, but were forced to submit because of his strength, and many others who just followed the strongest. In a single blast, the Heaven Union would definitely collapse and disintegrate.
It wasn't an era where you could gain favour just by saving someone's life, instead, it was one where, even if you helped to pick an old granny who had unfortunately fallen, it becomes a case of her suing you for knocking her down. Saving someone else's life would not guarantee gratitude nor repayment. Hence, whatever Yue Zhong did, it was aimed for benefits, even the saving of Mu Xiang Ling and her mother back then was not without motive.
There were many decent folk out there in the current world. However, it was going to be tough for them to become a capable leader, nor a dignified hero.
Du Shan Xiong did not dare commit such an act because it was the granary, the moment Yue Zhong razed everything, both parties would be reduced to a level where they were equal, only then could negotiations continue.
Yue Zhong mulled for a while, before ordering Bai Xiao Sheng: "Go get Dan Hong over here."
Dan Hong was called by Bai Xiao Sheng, and he came up to Yue Zhong and asked carefully: "Boss Yue, what's the matter?"
Dan Hong was a smart man, and he knew he would lose his position as a superintendent. Without his position, he was nothing, and his value as low as could be. He could only firmly grasp onto Yue Zhong's leg and lower himself. Otherwise, the moment Yue Zhong kicked him out, he would not live to see another day.
Yue Zhong eyed Dan Hong and replied solemnly: "You shall represent me to negotiate with them! My bottomline is that 20,000 tonnes of the rations here shall be mine! The rest of the rations can belong to whoever else, I won't care! I can let people transport the rations out everyday, but the place will be under my watch. At the same time, Guilin City needs to release all those who worked for me, no one is to stop them. If anyone harms my people, it would be handled according to my rules. Lastly, go inform them of the betrayal as well as the cause of today's matters, those bastards and cowards including Di Ya from Heavenly Dragon Triad, as well as Lu Tao, Chen Luo Yan, Shen Jiang He, Gao Ming Hao.... I want the heads of those bastards! Do this well, and I will definitely reward you!!"
There were currently 500,000 tonnes of rations in the granary, and they had been amassed by Du Shan Xiong's constant effort in scouring the outside vicinity. Yue Zhong also knew he could single handedly swallow everything up, hence he did not request too much.
"Yes! Your subordinate promises to finish his task!" Hearing those words, Dan Hong was elated, but cold as well. He was excited that Yue Zhong was finally using him. If this negotiation went well, he would definitely have a place by Yue Zhong's side. What made his heart cold was, Yue Zhong had actually called for the heads of so many upper echelons of the Heavenly Dragon Triad and Green Bamboo Triad. He could truly hold a grudge and was vicious, but most importantly, it was a tall request.