Chapter 164 – Saving Lives
Lang Zi, the man who was being held by Xu Zhenggang, was among the bravest soldiers under Xu Zhenggang’s command. Both Lang Zi and Xu Zhengggang were initially assigned to the same platoon. Having experienced countless numbers of battles together, their relationships were as close as brothers. When the Elite Rat King’s Bodyguard attacked the military group, Lang Zi is among the first men to step out to engage the new threat.
With tears streaming down his face, Lang Zi begged “Platoon Leader!! I know you are a good man. But I also know that we do not have any medicine. With my injuries, even I successfully made it back to LongHai Military Base, I will also die! Why don’t you just shoot me and spare me the agony from these pain? Please, I am begging you!!”
After the apocalypse, medicine, like food, became a valuable resource. After raiding Qing Yuan County, a large number of medicine were acquired by the LongHai survival camp government. Due to limited supply of medicine, only men who were living in the Special Administrative Region in the LongHai survival camp were able to get medical treatment. As for other men, even if they were injured, they were only able to either find ways to heal themselves or wait for death.
As the army was the one who conducted the raid, Lei Cheng (offside note: Lei Cheng is the military commander in LongHai Survival Camp) had misappropriated a lot of medicines and kept them as his personal stash. However, these medicines were all for his relatives, his personal aides and himself. There is no way he would share the medicines with anyone else. Xu Zhengang is not a personal aide of Lei Cheng, and could not even get hold of any medicine from Lei Cheng.
Xu Zhenggang was a thoroughbred soldier. His loyalty did not rest with Lei Cheng, but resided within the country and government. If Lei Cheng should attempt to stage a military coup to take control of LongHai Survival Camp, Xu Zhenggang would resist the hostile takeover with all his might.
What Lei Cheng really desired are soldiers who obeyed all his orders without question and were willing to carry out his orders, even if his orders put them in conflict with the government or country. Therefore, Xu Zhenggang had never been on close terms with Lei Cheng.
In the military, there was a clear chain of command. This was the foundation on which the military was based on. Only and only Lei Cheng could issue any military commands and mobilised the army as Lei Cheng is the army commander. As Xu Zhenggang was soldier under the command of the military, even if the government would like Xu Zhenggang to be in charge of this expedition, they must first received Lei Cheng’s approval to do so.
But Lei Cheng was a man who looked after his own interest first. He would not always follow the government’s instructions. At the same time, the government was worried about Lei Cheng getting too much power. As a result, the relationship between the government and the military in LongHai survival camp could be described as being strained. Even if the government wanted to take control of the distribution of medicine in the army, it would be but an empty dream – the government did not have the power to take over the military and Lei Cheng would never agree to hand over the medical supplies.
In the military, for men who were as seriously injured as Lang Zi, most platoon commanders would not hesitate to deliver the coup de grace and end the suffering of his soldiers. But how could Xu Zhenggang bear to kill them? These men had been in countless numbers of battle with him and are closer to him than his own brothers.
The pain that the rest of the 7 injured men were going through were also visible on their face and actions as they winced, groan and trashed about. All of the injuries were very serious and it is obvious that if they did not receive any medical treatment, they would die.
The rest of the men in the platoon could only stand and watch the scene unfold with tears in their eyes, and feelings of sadness and being powerless to help swelled in their hearts. All of these injured men are men who had experienced several life and death situations with them. Their relationships were cultivated over the spans of several dangerous missions where they worked as one and trusted in each other to watch their backs as they overcame many obstacles together. Over time, an unshakable bond was formed between them.
“F**k! There is no justice in this world? We stand in the front lines of all battles, risking our lives for these bastards, and what do we get in return? They will not even spare any medicine for us? What are we in the eyes of these men? Are we still regarded as human beings? When the pets of the men living in the Special Administrative Region were sick, they had access to a vet. Are, we the soldiers who risked our lives to get more food for the population of LongHai Survival Camp, even inferior to (pet) dogs?” A burly soldier threw his military cap to the floor in frustration as he let loose a stream of profanities at the government and military in command.
Many rich men and women in the Special Administrative Region kept dogs as pet. Even when there was a shortage of food and countless numbers of people in LongHai survival camp were starving and dying of hunger, these dogs were well fed with superior dog food or left-overs of human food. When these dogs were sick, they had access to vets and expensive veterinary medicine. In contrast, the living conditions for many survivors in LongHai Survival Camp were inferior to a dog!
The burly men’s words struck a chord with the sentiments in the hearts of the solders. Another soldier also took off his military cap and threw it to the ground in frustration. “That’s right! We are disposable! Even if we died, in the eyes of the top brass in the government or military, we are worse than a dog!”
Listening to these words, the morale of the soldiers dropped drastically. These men were often the first to engage in battle and the last to retreat. They often have to participate in many dangerous missions to raid food and other supplies, and have a high injury and death toll. These soldiers are also human. Seeing this unfair and biased treatment, all these soldiers were of course, unhappy and fuming in anger.
Lang Zi knew that he will definitely die. He took the opportunity to finally say the words that he had longed kept in his heart. “Platoon Leader! You bring the rest of our brothers … and leave! The further you go… the better! Do not follow Lei Cheng anymore, he wants … he wants the lives of us all!”
Lang Zi’s words spelled out what many soldiers also felt in their hearts but did not say it out. They all just stared at the platoon commander, Xu Zhenggang. They were not blind, nor were they stupid. They of course knew the Lei Cheng had regarded them as disposable men.
Xu Zhenggang had tears in his eyes as he replied: “Lang Zi, we cannot leave! We are military soliders, government soldiers and civilian soldiers. Now that the country is in danger, we, the military, have to protect the citizens. If we all leave, who will protect our people and country?”
There was a bitter smile in Lang Zi mouth, as he sighed. He had worked with Xu Zhenggang for so many years, of course he knew the character of Xu Zhenggang inside out. Xu Zhenggang was a man with strong convictions and belief. No matter what others people said to him, he would never give up on his beliefs. But this was also what made Xu Zhenggang so attractive to his men, and why Lang Zi was willing to fight alongside Xu Zhenggang.
At this time, Yue Zhong stepped forward.
“I can heal them, and in addition, I have 70% chance that they will be completed healed.” Yue Zhong said.
Xu Zhenggang eyes shone with a flash of hope, but at the same time, he was wary of Yue Zhong. “What are your terms and conditions? If you want me to betray the government or military in LongHai survival camp, I will not agree to your terms.”
Xu Zhenggang was not that stupid as to believe that Yue Zhong would help him out of the goodness in Yue Zhong’s heart. The situation among these two leaders was quite awkward – after this joint mission had been concluded, it is likely that they might be enemies in the near future.
Yue Zhong looked at the men who were injured and named his terms. “If I heal you, after you have recovered, you must join my team and become my men. Your boss, Lei Cheng, treated your lives as insignificant as grass. But I see you men as treasures! If you are willing to join me, I will give you nothing but the best! The best weapons, the best food, the best medicine! All these are available to you! If you have the ability, having two or more wives is also not a problem! ”
In Yue Zhong’s side, what he lacked most were professional soldiers. Also, he had raided a military base and received many military weapons like IFVs, there were few soldiers who were proficient in using these weapons. If he needs to train these soldiers from scratch, it would require a large amount of petrol, bullets, and time. Therefore soldiers who were already trained are treasures in the eyes of Yue Zhong. Not only can he save on the resources needed to train these soldiers, but each soldiers that joined his party could immediately be put to work in defending his camp.
Even if these soldiers could not drive or operate IFVs, these experienced soldiers only need more combat experiences and they would be elites among the men. These battle hardened men would be much stronger and more stable in a real battle then the conscripted soldiers in his army.
Xu Zhenggang pointed his fingers at the 8 men and said. “Then please heal them. They are all good soldiers. I promise you that once you have healed them, I will strike them out from the military list, and they will be your men.”
If these soldiers did not get any help, they would die without any doubts. Xu Zhenggang could not bear the thoughts of men who he regarded as brothers dying, especially when an opportunity to preserve their lives is right in front of him.
Yue Zhong nodded and took out some powder made from the Life Saving Grass, and sprinkled them into a bowl of water. Then he let the men drink the bowl of water and sprinkle some powder onto the wounds of these men.
Under the miraculous effects of the Life Saving Grass, the 8 men’s wounds slowly began to heal, and their situation shown signs of stabilizing.