Chapter 95 – Swapping Keys

Xu Aiguo felt that Cao Jiandang seemed off today.

Specifically, he frequently approached him to talk, and even got very close, often reaching out to put his hand on his shoulder.

Although Cao Jiandang had similar gestures before, it was different from today.

Today, it was too frequent, almost as if it were intentional.

Wait a minute.

Xu Aiguo, who was busy with his work, stopped and furrowed his brow slightly.


Could Cao Jiandang be doing this on purpose?

The more he thought about it, the more Xu Aiguo felt it was possible!

But why?

What was his purpose?

In almost an instant, Xu Aiguo thought of the recent housing allocation and the little girl’s inner thoughts he had heard before about Cao Jiandang’s plot against him.

Could it be today?!

These days, the factory was allocating welfare housing. To be honest, Xu Aiguo was definitely envious. Who wouldn’t like a house?

Although in Qinghe Production Brigade, his house was also a brick house and not small, rural houses were different from those in the county.

Moreover, Xu Aiguo had been thinking about how to make it up to his owed little girl. If he could get allocated welfare housing, he planned to transfer it to his little girl Ningning’s name.

To ensure the little girl’s future!

However, Xu Aiguo also knew that with his qualifications, it was impossible for him to get allocated welfare housing.

And indeed, that was the reality.

However, Xu Aiguo thought of another possibility mentioned by his little girl’s inner thoughts – that the factory had reserved three sets of houses for workshop directors. If he was lucky enough, perhaps he could get one of those.

Xu Aiguo was fairly confident about becoming a workshop director, but the house allocation was uncertain; he didn’t know if luck would be on his side!

So, Xu Aiguo decided not to dwell on it.

Ever since he had been tasked with overseeing the shipment of polyester fabric to Shanghai, Xu Aiguo’s mind had been focused on this batch of fabric. He feared something might go wrong with it under his watch.

After all, in Ningning’s inner thoughts, Cao Jiandang was the unexpected factor!

And today, Cao Jiandang’s strange and frequent behavior, could it be because of today?

The thought made Xu Aiguo furrow his brow even deeper.

But why was Cao Jiandang approaching him so frequently today?

Could there be something on him that Cao Jiandang wanted, something related to this fabric shipment?

As Xu Aiguo pondered, he began to pat himself down. In the process, he found something and promptly took it out of his pocket.

It was a key.

The fabric he was overseeing was stored in one of the warehouses, and that warehouse was locked, with this key being the one he had. Every day, Xu Aiguo would check the fabric added for the day and the total quantity, ensuring everything was correct before locking it up and keeping the key with him at all times.

Just a moment ago, Xu Aiguo had thought that Cao Jiandang might be trying to steal this key from him.

But the key was still here.

Xu Aiguo sighed in relief; perhaps he was overthinking things?

He prepared to put the key back in his pocket and continue with his work.

But just as the key was about to be put back into the pocket, Xu Aiguo seemed to realize something. His eyes widened for a moment, and then he abruptly took the key out, examining it closely in front of himself.

No, this wasn’t his key!

Although this key looked almost identical to his previous one, Xu Aiguo was sure it wasn’t his original key.

This key looked too new, as if it had been made recently.

Of course, that wasn’t the main point.

The main point was that Xu Aiguo’s previous key had a paint mark at the end.

It was a mark he accidentally got on it and couldn’t remove.

Fortunately, although the paint mark couldn’t be removed, it didn’t affect its use. And now…

The key in front of him had no paint mark.

In other words, his original key had been switched by Cao Jiandang.

Why would Cao Jiandang switch it? The warehouse, that batch of fabric!

Xu Aiguo narrowed his eyes, a coldness creeping into them.

“Aiguo…” At that moment, from a distance, Cao Jiandang approached again.

Xu Aiguo quickly put the key back into his pocket, pretending everything was normal.

And as Cao Jiandang came over for what seemed like the umpteenth time today, he once again put his arm around Xu Aiguo’s shoulder and started chatting.

Xu Aiguo responded to Cao Jiandang while also paying attention to his movements.

Before long, his peripheral vision caught Cao Jiandang reaching for the pocket where the key was.

Cao Jiandang’s movement was very subtle, so light that if Xu Aiguo hadn’t been paying attention, he might not have noticed.

But now, from the corner of his eye, Xu Aiguo saw Cao Jiandang’s hand slip into his pocket and then quickly withdraw.

Time passed quickly, just a few seconds, and the actions were seamless. If he didn’t know, he might have thought Cao Jiandang was a professional thief.

As Cao Jiandang withdrew his hand, Xu Aiguo also noticed. Cao Jiandang sighed in relief, then his lips curled up slightly, as if his plan had succeeded.

“…Aiguo, did I talk too much and delay your work? Sorry about that. I was just feeling down and didn’t know who to talk to, so I came to you.”

“Forget it, I won’t delay your work. Let’s catch up another time.”

After saying that, without waiting for Xu Aiguo’s response, Cao Jiandang left straight away, as if afraid Xu Aiguo might follow him.

Xu Aiguo watched Cao Jiandang’s departing figure and slowly took the key out of his pocket.

And this key in front of him was the one that had accidentally gotten paint on it.

In other words, Cao Jiandang had switched back his original key.

As for what Cao Jiandang had planned to do with the key earlier, it was easy to guess.

Xu Aiguo was now completely certain that Cao Jiandang’s next move would either happen tonight or in the coming days.

Actually, just a moment ago, when Xu Aiguo saw Cao Jiandang’s hand slip into his pocket, there was a fleeting thought of grabbing Cao Jiandang’s hand and exposing him on the spot.

But after a moment of hesitation, Xu Aiguo held back.

Even if he had exposed Cao Jiandang just now, would Cao Jiandang admit it?

No, he wouldn’t. He would come up with countless excuses.

Moreover, it was very likely that Cao Jiandang, with his cunning nature, would set some traps to harm him in the future.

Instead of waiting for unknown traps and being on guard all the time, it was better to pretend not to know for now.

Let Cao Jiandang think his initial plan succeeded, and let his subsequent plan continue.

At least this way, Xu Aiguo would know what Cao Jiandang’s next move was!

“Cao Jiandang, I really misjudged you!”

Xu Aiguo knew that Cao Jiandang’s target was that batch of fabric, and he absolutely couldn’t let anything happen to it.


Xu Aiguo didn’t plan to handle this alone. He temporarily put aside his current work and headed towards the office of the Deputy Factory Director, who valued him the most and trusted him the most…

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One thought on “Cannon Fodder Group Ch.95

  1. It’s kind of hard to watch the down fall of Cao and some of these other characters when they have elderly and babies at home depending on them. I kind of wish Xu Aiguo would take him to the side and talk it out. He could have even grabbed his hand just now, asked “Hey what are you doing, hey why does this key look so similar to mine?” and just talk it out. I have a bleeding heart I guess but it seems like his whole family will die after he is caught setting the fire and they are just cannon fodder too.

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