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This desert trip had really given them much torment. Jiang Xiu had also made a sweet harvest as he had found another Longevity Stone which he was looking for. His cultivation speed increased by a wide margin due to this.
Additionally, he had also recruited an army, so it was an unexpected gain.
Even if Jiang Xiu possessed high cultivation and wealth, these were rootless objects. He lacked genuine power, but everything was different after taking control of that army. It would allow him to become a real shark.
Possessing an army was on an entirely different level.
This bit was self-evident. On the evening of that day, Wu Guiyong paid a visit to Jiang Xiu at the guest house he was staying in.
A feast was arranged!
Wu Guiyong command center was blown up beyond repair, so it was clear that he valued Jiang Xiu very much as he had come to visit him first. This wasn’t due to Jiang Xiu’s cultivation or because his life was saved by him.
It was because of the army in Jiang Xiu’s hands.
The feast was quite cold and cheerless. Though there were few people, its standard was pretty high and could be considered very luxurious at the border zone. It consisted of Jiang Xiu, Wu Guiyong and a grandiloquent female officer who accompanied him, just these three individuals.
Wu Guiyong raised his cup, “Mr. Jiang, thank you for upholding justice today or else we would have lost our lives there.”
“I did it just in passing,” Jiang Xiu said faintly.
If it weren’t so, the possibility of him acting wasn’t high.
“Whatever the case, Mr. Jiang has saved my life and my subordinates’ life. I offer this cup to you.”
Though the female officer tried to use her beautiful smile to melt Jiang Xiu’s ice-cold expression while filling his glass with wine, she had failed in the end.
Jiang Xiu didn’t drink the wine while Wu Guiyong downed the entire cup.
It was Wu Guiyong’s first time toasting to a 20-year-old youth yet he got ignored by him. There was no dissatisfaction on his face though.
“Old Wu, there’s no need to say these pleasantries. Say what you want to.”
Wu Guiyong laughed out loudly. He had offered that cup of wine to thank him sincerely as Jiang Xiu has saved his life but the main reason he had arranged this was to talk about something else, “I’ve already reported this side’s matters to the HQ. The superiors value Mr. Jiang very much. Do you really plan to receive that army?”
“Mr. Jiang is planning to hold this army for a long time?”
“Old Wu, do you want me to let them go and roam in the desert or let them join Heaven’s Gate and disturb our borders continuously so they can blow up your office again?”
“Of course not. I don’t mean that. It’s just that there has never been a person with such a huge personal army.”
“There will always be exceptions.” Jiang Xiu replied.
In fact, to guarantee the peace of the borders, every regime has racked its brains. Even princes and princesses were used as pieces to ensure peace. The price for it didn’t matter and nor did the age.
As the army had fallen into Jiang Xiu’s hands, the border would be peaceful. This was something everyone wanted.
“Yes, there will always be exceptions.” Wu Guiyong muttered.
“Mr. Jiang would have done a great service if you are able to ensure the peace of the border.”
“I told Bai Chongyi to wipe out the surrounding bandits.”
Wu Guiyong’s eyes brightened, “T-That’s very good.”
“You better issue a gag order regarding the matter of me taking over the Meng Army. I’m a Chinese citizen as well as a military adviser. It will create trouble if this news spreads out.”
Wu Guiyong nodded solemnly.
He turned aside then whispered in the female officer’s ears. That officer bowed towards Jiang Xiu slightly then rushed out. She had gone to report to HQ to pass down the gag order.
Wu Guiyong said, “This will be classified as the highest SSS class secret of the nation. Your classmates, as well as the lady from Pinghai’s Xie family, will receive the order as well.”
“The army division naturally won’t leak it nor will Xie Ting. Those classmates of mine, however, are no good.”
“They will get spooked!”
Wu Guiyong couldn’t help but smile as it was rare for Jiang Xiu to say something amusing. It looked like this relationship with his classmates wasn’t that good.
“Mr. Jiang, let me offer you another cup.”
A female secretary came in from outside, “I have a report to make!”
The secretary took out a document and handed it over to Wu Guiyong, “The Daiyoutai State Guesthouse has sent a message to congratulate us and praised our operation this time. They have commended Mr. Jiang highly and hope they can meet with Mr. Jiang at the capital.”
Wu Guiyong was excited, “Mr. Jiang, congratulations. Looks like the big boss has already approved your existence and wishes to receive you with the treatment of a state visitor.”
This was all under Jiang Xiu’s predictions.
“Mr. Jiang, are you planning to stay here for a while?”
Jiang Xiu shook his head, “I’ll leave tomorrow.”
“Will there be no problems over there?”
“I’ve entrusted it to Bai Chongyi.” His ambitions didn’t lay here so he didn’t need to worry about whether those bandits were loyal to him as he would just kill them all if they rebelled against him. Naturally, those men didn’t dare to do so as they knew they would get killed.
As for Heaven’s Gate, he didn’t take them seriously at all.
“Will they remain in the desert?”
Jiang Xiu replied, “I have a project which I need to consult with the military about. I might need Old Wu’s cooperation later on. Only, everything will be finalized after I meet the Great Leader.”
The nation also had the technology required to extract oil. He planned to hear the Great Leader’s thoughts so that suspicion can be avoided.
On the next day, around 10 AM in the morning, Professor Xu had woken up.
He had somehow survived.
“Professor, you’ve finally woken up.”
Professor Xu struggled to sit up. He felt quite dispirited. “How long did I lose consciousness?”
“Not that long, around 20 hours.”
Professor Xu relaxed his breath, but sadness floated on to his face immediately after that. Only Jiang Xiu, Qiu Yinru and four other students, plus three of them adults, a total of nine people remained. 18 members had died. He didn’t know how to explain this to the university’s administrations as well as the families.
“Since Professor Xu has woken up, the army will arrange a plane to deliver us back to the Imperial Capital.”
“The army will arrange a plane?”
Professor Xu was astonished, “Do we have the qualifications to ride the plane exclusive to the army?”
Qiu Yinru and Chen Dewen looked towards Jiang Xiu.
It was because of Jiang Xiu.
An officer had already informed them yesterday that matters regarding Jiang Xiu were top-secret and they would be executed with the crime of treason if they leaked it out. Qiu Yinru and Chen Dewen had almost fainted in fear.
“Of course, we can!”
“It’s mainly because your body can’t endure the fatigue.”
Professor Xu said, “I’m fine. We can return after having breakfast. It’ll only make us feel unwell if we stay here.” What’s more lamentable was that they hadn’t obtained a single valuable artifact during this trip to the ancient city.
After the air route was decided, Professor Xu and the other two were loaded on the plane with stretchers. They set out towards the Imperial Capital after medical personnel was provided. Xie Ting said goodbye to Jiang Xiu at the airport.
“Big Brother Jiang, take care of yourself.”
After the plane took off, Qiu Yinru said to him, “She’s very good to you, calling you as ‘Big Brother Jiang.’ My intuition as a girl tells me that she might like you.”
“Your intuition is wrong.”
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Qiu Yinru continued, “Think over it a bit. She’s so pretty, and it seems like her background is pretty good as well…”
Jiang Xiu thought – I’m already under pressure due to having 3 fiancées as well as wife from my previous life. I don’t have the time for anything else
Moreover, Xie Ting gave a weird feeling to him. She seemed to have changed into a completely different person after coming out from under the river in the Ancient City.
On that day, the plane arrived at the Imperial Capital in the evening. Jiang Xiu immediately went to see the big boss and as this was related to a classified secret, very few people knew about this.
They consulted regarding the frontiers as well as the extraction of oil. That region didn’t belong to the country, so Jiang Xiu had to undertake it alone. The nation could provide some of the technology but to avoid suspicion, it would be better for Jiang Xiu to leave for Europe and America to purchase the corresponding equipment and technology.
These things weren’t something that could be bought just with money.
It needed an intermediary, and the nation could offer that.
Jiang Xiu spent the night at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and was given the treatment of a state visitor. On the next day, he returned back to the Imperial University and resumed his campus life formally.
“Jiang Xiu, you’ve finally come back. A girl came to look for you.”
His three roommates swarmed around him after seeing he had returned.
“Jiang Xiu, who was that girl?”
Jiang Xiu was puzzled as well, “How will I know? She didn’t leave her name?”