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Suzhou Smart Base
The seven leaders gathered in the meeting room, the three Major Generals, and the four leaders from the four major groups in Suzhou. Even though they agreed to escape from the city, they did not immediately leave the city as they were trying to discuss another option for their survival.
"It seems we don't have any choice but to escape from Suzhou." Huo Shihong said as they could not think of other ways to escape from the perilous situation unless they wanted to surrender under the Tang Empire. However, there was one thing he was concerned about if they had to surrender. Would he maintain his position as the Flame Castle? From how the Tang Empire managed their territory, he was well aware that the Tang Empire would not allow an independent group to exist. If they had to surrender, he had to give up the Flame Castle that he had been working on for months.
It was the same for Tong Zedong from Tong House, Lu Huang Tu from the Dragon Wings, and Xu Cheng from the Xu Group disagreed with surrendering. They knew that they would lose their status if they surrendered. The four leaders agreed to receive the World Union's help instead.
"But have you considered what we have to pay by receiving the World Union's help?" Major General Wu Shuan looked at the four leaders. "I doubt we can maintain our Survivor Establishment once the World Government steps into our region, especially after we receive their help."
"We will think about that later, Major General Wu Shuan. Our problem now is the Tang Empire, not the World Government." Tong Zedong looked toward Major General Shi Yan. Major General Shi Yan had a higher authority than the two younger Major Generals among the three Major Generals. "What do you think, Major General Shi Yan? If all the Survivor Establishments manage to gather in one territory, there's a chance we can be a Major Faction. We can contend against the Tang Empire and hold an important position in the World Government. I don't think the World Union will dare to swallow us forcefully if we are strong enough."
"Mnn, I think the same as well. We prioritize our survival for now, and we can think about the World Government issue later. Let's receive the World Union's help and escape from Suzhou." Major General Shi Yan agreed with the four leaders in this matter.
"What about the zombies?" Major General Zuo Ren met with Major General Shi Yan's eyes. "The issue is not about the equipment, but our force is not strong enough to clear the zombies. We tried to clear the zombies in Wu Xi, but we failed at that time. It was two months ago, but now, the zombies have grown stronger."
The meeting room fell into a deep silence as everyone recalled their failed expedition to take over Wu Xi City. They failed miserably; only eight hundred soldiers returned alive from three thousand troops. The Zombie Lord in the Wu Xi had grown strong as it almost wiped the soldiers. The issue was not just the Zombie Lord itself but also the Zombie Generals. They had to sacrifice hundreds of their Soldiers to make it out alive from Wu Xi.
"That's also an issue," Major General Shi Yan let out a sigh. "How are we going to pass Wu Xi?" The old man massaged the space between his eyes. The closest survivor establishment was the Zhenjiang Establishment. If they went by car, it would take them a few hours, but traveling by car was not possible. The engine sound would attract the zombies to attack them, so they had to walk. It would take days of traveling to reach Zhenjiang by walking.
"The problem is time. We only have twenty hours until the war starts, and it's our mistake for not choosing War Mode." Major General Wu Shuan indirectly blamed the Leader and the two Vice Leaders. "If we choose five Vs. five War Mode, we will have a lot of time. We can scout Wu Xi and make the route to escape, but it's not possible with the remaining time."
"You have been arguing with us since the start of the discussion. Do you suggest we surrender to the Tang Empire?" Lu Huang Tu questioned Major General Wu Shuan. "Don't tell me you betray us, Major General Wu Shuan?"
When Lu Huang Tu threw the accusation, the other six leaders looked toward Major General Wu Shuan. "Betraying you? I am sorry, but I am not a gangster who will abandon the people who trust us to protect them. I am not a gangster that easily abandons people!"
"If you are worried about the people, then you should not worry about that, Wu Shuan," Major General Shi Yan interjected before the situation escalated further. Infighting among them would only make the situation worse. "I don't think the Tang Empire will mindlessly slaughter them. Even though I don't want to admit it, the Tang Empire treats their people well. As long as the people do not try something silly like fight them back, then they are safe."
"Alright, let's end the discussion now." Major General Shi Yan concluded the meeting. "We will escape to Zhenjiang with our strongest soldiers. Zuo Ren and Wu Shuan, you will lead the scout team to clear the route. I will give you fifteen hours to scout Wei Xi City. Five of us will meet the World Union's Leader to request better equipment. Remember this, Wu Shuan, Zuo Ren; the civilians will be safe if the Tang Empire defeats us in the war, but not with the Soldiers. They will be killed if we lose the war. I hope you put that in your mind because those soldiers have wives and children. We can't stay in Suzhou."
"I understand, Sir." Zuo Ren stood up and bowed his head slightly. He then tapped Wu Shuan's shoulder two times. "That's the truth, Wu Shuan. Escaping from Suzhou is the best option for now."
Major General Wu Shuan nodded his head and stood up from the chair. He followed the order and left the meeting room with Major General Zuo Ren.
"Sir, shouldn't we interrogate Wu Shuan first? I feel like he has changed sides." Tong Zedong spoke up after the two Major Generals left the room.
"I know you have a different opinion in the discussion, but this is not the right time to fight each other, Mr. Zedong." Major General Shi Yan shook his head. "Wu Shuan and Zuo Ren are our strongest people, and we need them to reach Zhenjiang. Can we afford to lose the two strongest fighters right now? Unless you have people that can replace them?"
Tong Zedong immediately backed down and bowed his head. "I apologize, Sir. I don't think that far ahead." He quickly realized the importance of the two Major Generals' role in their force. He just did not like that Wu Shuan told them to surrender.
"Alright, let's meet Sir Hines Myers." They had the data of how many people they would bring to Zhenjiang, two thousand soldiers. However, they did not realize they had made a blunder in their judgment.
The five Leaders returned to Arena to meet Hines Myers and requested the equipment. The World Union was not stingy with their help as they gave a thousand and five hundred Grade C armor sets and five hundred Grade B armor sets. On top of that, they supplied the Suzhou Establishment with a thousand Grade B and Grade C weapons. That was a lot of investment from the World Union to ensure their survival. That was not the only support, as the World Union gave two hundred lower grade healing potions.
Tong Zedong, Huo Shihong, Xu Cheng, and Lu Huang Tu returned to their booth with a big smile. These weapons, armor, and healing potion boosted their confidence to escape from Suzhou. However, for some reason, Major General Shi Yan felt unsettled deep inside. "We should return to the base…" His words were cut short by Xu Cheng.
"Why should I return in a hurry, Sir. We should stay and watch the tournament. This is a mind game." Xu Cheng smiled as he sat relaxedly on the chair. "If the Tang Empire sees us watching the tournament with no worry of the incoming war, they may become cautious, thinking we have a trump card that can win the war. That way, we buy more time to escape."
That was smart thinking, but the issue was it would only work if the Tang Empire's representatives were in the arena. The Tang Empire did not return to the arena after their war declaration against the World Government. "They will return because they must watch the Major Faction's match, Sir Shi Yan. We also need to wait for the scout team to come back, so we may as well watch the tournament until the scout team returns." Huo Shihong noticed the old man's concern and spoke up.
"I hope so," Despite the uneasiness that kept growing in his heart, Major General Shi Yan did refute them. They made sense about the mind game. It was not like he had something to do if he returned to the base. In fact, he had to make sure the survivors did not find out about the war, or else they had to use violence to get out of the city.
Shiva Federation was the Major Faction in group nine, and they were part of the World Government as well. Including the Shiva Federation, there were another two factions from the World Government. The Shiva Federation had to do more work compared to the North Federation to come on top. The ground nine's matches finished in four hours, and the participants from the Shiva Federation killed ten people. Those ten people added more casualties in the Earth Tournament as the World Government continued showing their domination.
Even though they were part of the World Government, Major General Shi Yan was not excited in the slightest. He kept looking toward the Tang Empire's booth during the matches, but the Tang Empire did not return. His uneasiness transformed into fear as he kept thinking about what they were doing right now.
Group ten started, and Major General Shi Yan stood up from the chair. "I am going to return to the base. I don't think our plan is working when they don't come back to the arena." Only then did the four leaders notice the Tang Empire's booth was empty. They were excited about the matches and also proud at the same time because they were part of the World Government.
The four Leaders exchanged glances and nodded toward Major General Shi Yan. "I will stay here, just in case the Tang Empire returns to the arena." Tong Zedong said.
"Alright then, I will return to the base first." Major General Shi Yan returned to the base alone while the four Leaders stayed in the arena. Group ten's Major Faction was another World Government's faction, Amazon Guild.
Group ten was the most exciting match so far because the Major Guild did not dominate the group. The Belem Guild, an unknown small faction, won all their matches. Coincidentally, or maybe the System had predicted it as the last match in group ten was between the Amazon Guild and The Belem Guild. Both had five points, and this was the deciding match for the top of group ten.
Despite the expectation from the Major Faction, The Belem Guild won the match after one of their fighters died. The Belem Guild's member died after fighting the Amazon Guild's guild leader. But then, the Belem Guild reversed the situation with a 3-2 score. They killed two Amazon Guild members in return. The arena cheered for the Belem Guild as finally there was a faction fighting back against the World Government's faction. Group ten was the longest match, and it also ended in a surprise.
Tong Zedong then checked the Tang Empire's booth, yet it was still empty. The Tang Empire did not bother to watch the continuation of the tournament. Furthermore, Major General Shi Yan did not return to the arena, which made him uneasy.
"It's almost fifteen hours, yet no one calls us yet. Should we return now?" Tong Zedong stood up from the chair and looked at the other three Leaders. The three leaders nodded in agreement as it was almost time for them to leave Suzhou.
The four Leaders took the portal and left the arena. They returned to the meeting room and were surprised by what greeted them in the meeting room. Major General Wu Shuan and Major General Zuo Ren were sitting in the chair in front of the portal. What surprised them was that Major General Shi Yan was tied between Wu Shuan and Zuo Ren, lying down on the ground unconscious.
"What's the meaning of this, Wu Shuan! Zuo Ren!" Lu Huang Tu yelled while pointing at the two Major Generals. "What are you doing to Major General Shi Yan!?"
Instead of getting an answer from the two Major Generals, shadows loomed over them from behind. Before they could do anything, they were pinned down on the ground as swords were placed on their neck. "You will lose your head if you try to fight back…" Zuo Ren warned the four Leaders.
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