48 Hours a Day
Chapter 67 - The Mannerheim Line Welcomes You
Chapter 67: The Mannerheim Line Welcomes You IX
[Found a Finnish guerilla base. Game points: +5. For more information, check out the character panel…]
Zhang Heng had only heard the sound of the notification when he spotted the little wooden cottages in the forest. Before he could take a good look at it, someone had already pointed a gun at his back!
Zhang Heng was pretty sure that whoever it was, the trigger would be inevitably pulled this time. Just before he could, however, the sniper shouted at him! Startled, the shooter flinched, preventing the killing from happening. However, he did not take him sights off Zhang Heng.
The calvary finally had finally arrived!
It was the Finnish, allies of the sniper! Soon after that, a few more came over to help her. One of them stayed back to look after her while the rest proceeded to chop some wood to make a simple stretcher to carry her back to the base.
The man with the machine gun picked up the Soviet clothes on the floor and tossed them to Zhang Heng. However, the soldier had taken away the inner coat, only leaving him the outer jacket made out of goatskin. Zhang Heng said nothing and simply put it on.
He could see that the members of the guerilla resistance did not trust him at all. If it were not for the female sniper, they would have killed him without even thinking twice. Fortunately for Zhang Heng, they took care of their own first, realizing the sniper needed immediate medical attention. Knowing that there was no time to waste, they carried her back to their camp right away, even with Zhang Heng, the stranger, following behind.
After walking through thick snow and ice for an hour and a half, they finally arrived at base camp. Two fighters carried the stretcher and entered the small wooden house on the left. As for Zhang Heng, he was being locked inside another cottage. As Zhang Heng’s eyes adjusted to the dark confinement space, he saw the entire place filled with lumber. He realized he must be in a wood storage house.
His captors locked the room right away after they made him go inside. They even frisked him and confiscated everything they deemed a threat. His inner coat, machine gun, backpack, cellphone, and wallet were all taken from him. Through the cracks of the wooden walls, Zhang Heng saw that few of the fighters were checking out his Huawei cellphone.
In this era, cellphones had not been invented yet. After curiously playing with it for a long time, none of them could figure out how to turn the curious device on. One of them even hit it on a tree. Compared to the somewhat unpopular cellphone, everyone wanted to own the wallet.
Even the most ordinary of wallets from the modern era would be considered a masterpiece in 1944. Besides, Zhang Heng’s wallet cost a few hundred Yuan. And for the inner coat, the soldier that pointed the machine gun at Zhang Heng was already wearing it. His burly and muscular body turned the tiny garment into a skin-tight shirt.
The weirdest part was, no one laid their hands on the analog watch. Logically, watches like that should worth quite a bit in this era. As if invisible, it seemed like none of them noticed it.
Zhang Heng soon learned that this was a rather large base camp. Originally a lumber mill, the guerillas had converted it into their base of operations. Hidden deep within the secluded forest, they became almost undetectable by their enemies. Through the tiny gap, Zhang Heng saw that there were seven of them. It was late at night, and most of them were asleep in the other cottages.
The guerillas were infamously most active at night. They would launch surprise attacks at their Soviet counterparts while they were fast asleep. Zhang Heng once watched a documentary, where an ex-guerrilla shared his experiences. They claimed that the Soviets would lose their will to fight once the guerillas hit them in the dark. The few Soviet soldiers sitting around the campfire watched their allies being killed right before their eyes and did nothing about it.
Judging by the size of this camp, there were at least 40 to 50 souls living here. In order to prevent another gross misunderstanding, Zhang Heng decided that he should stop peeking at them. He then looked for a corner, lay on the ground, and closed his eyes.
Around 20 minutes later, two guerillas opened the door and entered the storage. This time, they weren’t pointing their guns at Zhang Heng. After what seemed like an instruction to him in Finnish, they moved him to another unit. Of course, Zhang Heng would not be so dumb as to incriminate himself, so, he simply did what they asked him to do.
The wooden house that he entered this time was different than the storage unit. This cottage looked more like a real living space, equipped with a wooden bed, chairs, tables, and a cozy looking fireplace. A man with thick mustache sat behind the table.
He put away the map on the table as he saw Zhang Heng entering the room. He then used his hand as a signal for him to sit down.
Zhang Heng guessed that this man probably was the commander of the guerilla armies. There was also another person standing at the window and smoking. Zhang Heng could not clearly see who this person was since the back was turned. All he knew was that the person was a woman in her thirties or forties.
Once Zhang Heng sat down, the mustached man demanded him to talk.
“I must apologize. I don’t know how to speak in your language.”
For good measure, Zhang Heng repeated the sentence in Mandarin, English, and Japanese. Still, the man could not understand what he was trying to say. After some time, he grew impatient. Suddenly, the woman that was smoking broke her silence.
“Are you a spy from the Soviet Union?” asked the woman in English.
She was the first person that could communicate with him ever since he took this quest! He finally could let out a sigh of relief. The thing that worried him the most was the communication barrier he had suffered since apparating here. Without efficient communication, he would be unable to take control of his current situation. At least, he could now defend himself.
“Kliment Voroshilov might be stupid, but I don’t think he is dumb enough to send us a Chinese spy that doesn’t speak Finnish.”
“I’m not too sure about that. After all, some people can’t even differentiate between a loaf of bread and a bomb,” said the woman as she stubbed out the cigarette.
This time, she turned around and looked at Zhang Feng. This woman must have been incredibly gorgeous when she was younger. Or, should I say, still rather dazzling for her age. Some simply had the power to defy the physics of the chronometer. After that, she looked at the man with the mustache. The man only smiled and left the house after.
“Ah Ji is not a bad person. This is a very critical period. He’s responsible for all those under him.”
“I can understand that,” said Zhang Heng.
“No. You can’t, and I can’t either. His country is being invaded by enemies right now. To protect his motherland, he is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means going to hell itself. What you see is what you get, ‘guv. I’m a volunteer from England. I should inform you that I am different from these people. I don’t wish to see bloodshed. For me to help you, I will need you to tell me the truth,” said the woman while drawing another stick of Craven A.
As she bent down, Zhang Heng took a glimpse at her cleavage. He had to say; this woman was really something. If he was indeed a spy of the Soviet Union, he would have definitely spilled all the beans. Unfortunately, the truth was concealed within the most ridiculous of answers. In this war, Zhang Heng was indeed an outsider who had nothing to do with it.