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"You betrayed us!!!" Tong Zedong shouted furiously as he looked toward Major General Wu Shuan. From the moment Wu Shuan tried to persuade them to surrender, he felt something amiss. However, since Wu Shuan held a high status within the Establishment, he could not do anything to Wu Shuan. Especially when the soldiers and the survivors respected him.
"You can say that." Wu Shuan maintained his composure as he replied to Tong Zedong's accusation. He did not deny the accusation. Then Tong Zedong looked toward Major General Zuo Ren. "You also betray us, ungrateful bastard!" There was once a moment that Major General Zuo Ren was dying inside the portal gate of the Survival Game. The Tong House saved him by using his share of healing potion for Zuo Ren. He thought it would be safe if Zuo Ren could keep tabs on Wu Shuan, but even Zuo Ren betrayed them.
"That's because we are taking a different path by joining the World Government." Zuo Ren gave his honest reply. "Rather than following the foreigner, I will rather follow the Tang Empire, which is also our people."
"Just because of that, you betrayed your savior!?" If not being pinned down, he would punch Zuo Ren in the face. The vein popped on the side of his eyes as he was furious by the betrayal. However, the cold steel on his neck stopped him from doing that.
"I actually saved your life, Sir Tong," Zuo Ren shook his head. "If you escape from Suzhou and become the Tang Empire's enemy, you will lose your life eventually. Do you think the World Government can save you from the Tang Empire?"
"Didn't we tell you that the World Government is prioritizing to save us? The Tang Empire can't destroy us if the World Government arrives in our region! Do you think the Tang Empire can win against six Major Factions? Don't be stupid, Zuo Ren!"
"You haven't realized it yet, Sir Tong?" Zuo Ren kept shaking his head at Tong Zedong's ignorance. "If you watched the Tang Empire's matches, you should know how strong they are, right? All the fighters from the Tang Empire defeated their opponent in less than a minute, something that other fighters from the other factions couldn't achieve. What does it mean? It means the Tang Empire's people are far stronger than us or any other factions, and they will capture all the territories in our region before the World Government can arrive and help us."
"NO! If we follow Sir Hines' plan and regroup with the other establishments, we will have a chance to delay that. We can try to capture more territories as well. We have a chance against the Tang Empire if we are united!" Huo Shihong yelled loudly. He tried to convince Zuo Ren, so they could be released. If Zuo Ren changed his mind, there was a chance for them to get out of this situation. However, things did not go the direction he wanted.
"We can't, we just can't," Zuo Ren shook his head. "The moment you decide to escape with just the elite soldiers, we already lose the war. I don't know if you are dumb or what, but those elite soldiers will not leave without their families. Even if we try to bring the soldiers' families, the chance of us surviving from the zombies is lower than thirty percent, especially for the soldiers' families. They will not be able to follow our pace, and eventually, they will die by the zombies. The elite soldiers you are talking about don't agree to leave Suzhou. They choose to surrender to the Tang Empire. So, we never have the soldier to pass Wu Xi."
The four leaders were stunned to hear that from Zuo Ren's mouth as they realized there was a huge hole in their plan. They did not consider the soldiers' families, thinking the soldiers would follow their orders if they said so. Tong Zedong could not refute Zuo Ren's argument. They did neglect the soldier's family, and it fired back now.
Wu Shuan stood up and came over to the four leaders. He opened a scroll in front of the four leaders, and those scrolls were the system contract. "Sign this, and we will not harm you."
"What if I refuse to sign the contract?" Xu Cheng glared at Wu Shuan. He had read the content briefly, and it was basically a slave contract. Of course, the contract only lasted for a week, and during that one week, they were not allowed to use their power.
"Then I don't have a choice but make sure that you can't do anything in ten hours." Wu Shuan rubbed his chin. "Like breaking your legs and arms?" The fact that Wu Shuan said that with a flat expression was quite terrifying to the four leaders.
Just like that, the four leaders signed the system contract and were under the watch of the soldiers. These soldiers were their subordinates before, and now they were being watched by them as they had become prisoners. Within one day, their status changed from being a leader to being a prisoner. The soldiers chose to surrender to the Tang Empire rather than leave their families behind. Of course, many soldiers did not agree to surrender, but those soldiers had been taken care of by Wu Shuan. So the remaining soldiers were the people that decided to surrender to the Empire.
Zuo Ren and Wu Shuan were sitting face to face in the meeting room. "Did you plan this a long time ago, Wu Shuan?" Zuo Ren asked his accomplice.
"Nope. I just received the order four hours after the war declaration. My position is not that high in the Tang Empire, so I can't make a big decision like this." Wu Shuan replied honestly. "What's wrong? You still can't accept the Tang Empire? If that's the case, you must adapt quickly, or you will lose everything, Brother Zuo. You should have realized this a long time ago that it's just a matter of time before the Tang Empire seized our territory."
Zuo Ren let out a sigh at the bitter fact. The Suzhou Survivor Establishment was just too weak to contend with the Tang Empire. He closed his eyes, and when he opened his eyes, he asked Wu Shuan in a solemn voice. "You hadn't told me yet when you betrayed us, Wu Shuan? Do you mind telling me now?"
Wu Shuan persuaded him to surrender to the Tang Empire a week after the World Congress. The young man was crafty and found his attitude toward the foreign faction. Using that fact, Wu Shuan persuaded him to betray the Suzhou Establishment. He was hesitating and in a dilemma for a week before he finally gave in. Zuo Ren had asked Wu Shuan when he betrayed the establishment at that time, but the latter did not answer him. At this point, Wu Shuan should have trusted him as he had become an accomplice to seize the smart base.
"You are still curious about that. It's not a big deal, I will tell you," Wu Shuan smiled and answered Zuo Ren's curiosity, "It was back then, during the Survival Game, in the third portal, the Undead Subjugation mission. We split up that time, and my group was unlucky to encounter the first Undead King. It was just too soon for us to encounter that Undead King, and my group was overwhelmed. As my group was on the brink of annihilation, he appeared."
"He?" Zuo Ren interjected.
"Yeah, the young man who sneaked in our territory's Survival Game, Lu An." Wu Shuan nodded his head. "He appeared and killed the Undead King, easily." It was necessary to add the last word as Lu An killed the Undead King in two minutes. "He initially wanted to kill us, so you would not find out there was an intruder, but he changed his mind. He asked us if we wanted to be his spy, and he would spare our lives. I actually chose to die at that time, but I can't do that when I have to take responsibility for one hundred soldiers under my command. They have families who might not survive if the soldiers died in this Survival Game. You should know how those four gangsters operated the city, right? So, I chose to betray the establishment as Lu An promised me, he would never order me to kill the innocents."
"On top of that, I am more comfortable that my leader is our fellow countrymen. We have the same view regarding that." Wu Shuan ended his story with a smile. "Now, I am glad that I made that decision as I can ensure the soldiers' and the survivors' safety. I was following him and witnessing how strong that young man was." He shook his head as he recalled the past scenes. "We have no chance to survive against him if he decides to kill us."
Hearing the simplified story from Wu Shuan, Zuo Ren fell silent as he looked down on the floor. He knew how strong Wu Shuan was. The man in front of him was the strongest person in the Suzhou Establishment. If that was Wu Shuan's evaluation of the young man named Lu An, then they indeed did not have any hope. Then Zuo Ren heard Wu Shuan's chuckle, and he subconsciously looked at Wu Shuan.
"Then I asked him who's stronger between him and his leader. Do you know what his answer is?" Wu Shuan grinned when he reached this part. "Lu An answered that his leader alone could wipe out our establishment. I thought it was ridiculous that a single person could wipe out over ten thousand soldiers, but I trusted him after witnessing how he cleared the Survival Game. By now, I think Lu An is capable of wiping out our soldiers, including you and me."
"Do I regret betraying the establishment?" Wu Shuan's expression turned earnest as he continued. "No, I don't regret my decision. In fact, I am relieved that I did not choose to die back then. Thanks to that, I saved not just a hundred soldiers and their families but thousands of soldiers and survivors now."
At the border between the Tang Empire and Suzhou Establishment
Tang Shaoyang sat above Kalliyan, The Kirin. The Mythical Beast had become his mount now. He wore black armor, Grade A set armor from the General Shop, and the battle-ax on his back. He opened the countdown screen until the war started, and he was curious about Lu An's present.
Wei Xi commanded the guards to open the gate when the countdown reached thirty seconds. The thirteen thousand Tarriors were ready to depart for their first war. By the time the gate fully opened, the countdown had reached zero. Wei Xi yelled to the Tarriors to march forward, and Tang Shaoyang signaled Kalliyan to move. The steps of thirteen thousand Tarriors were terrifying as the wild beasts ran away as soon as they met the armies.
It took them two hours of marching to reach the wall that protected the Suzhou Establishment. To Tang Shaoyang's surprise, he did not spot the soldiers above the wall. There were a few soldiers, but their numbers were too small, twenty soldiers. "Huh? Are they giving up?" He immediately expanded his Spirit Eyes to check if the Suzhou Establishment set up an ambush for him. However, there was no ambush or any soldiers within a thousand meters area.
Lu An came to his side and said with a big smile. "That's my present for you, Brother Shaoyang." He pointed in the direction of Suzhou City.
Tang Shaoyang followed Lu An's finger and saw the gate was opened. A group of seven people came out from the city and walked in his direction. When the group met with him and his army, the seven people put their right hands on the chest and bowed toward him. "We welcome Your Majesty to Suzhou."
Tang Shaoyang immediately understood what Lu An meant by having a present for him. Lu An's people captured the Suzhou Establishment by themselves, meaning the war was unnecessary… Thirteen thousand armies marched toward Suzhou for nothing, as the war was over before it started.
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