Book 1 Chapter 7.3 - Great Figure
Laiknar and O’Brien each brought along five subordinates, and they drove four off-road vehicles closely behind Li Gaolei’s car. Their group moved quickly towards Asmo. Li Gaolei noticed that other than the pistols the subordinates carried, they didn’t bring any other firearm. Laiknar and O’Brien didn’t even have a single firearm on them.
At midnight, the fleet arrived at Asmo and even woke up the calm small town from its slumber. After simply stating the purpose of their visit, Laiknar and O’Brien inspected the room Su stayed in before. Moreover, they questioned everyone that Su had come into contact with, including Berne. Some of the items that Su had previously used were collected and carefully isolated.
Laiknar’s subordinates seemed to all emphasize strength, while O’Brien’s included a biochemist, a machine master, communications and electronics specialist, a hunter, and a single soldier.
Su’s relations within Asmo were not particularly good or bad. Many people were fond of this quiet yet mysterious youngster, and they were particularly curious about his enchanting eye. There were also a similar amount of people who loathed Su, hating that excessively beautiful eye. No matter what kind of person it was, when they saw the Black Dragonriders’ imposing manner and Grace Company’s silence, they understood that Su was out of luck. Those that hated Su were obviously ecstatic, adding more fuel to the flames when questioned by adding more accusations. They wanted him to die even sooner. Those that liked Su didn’t want to cooperate at first, but they ended up suffering quite a bit because of it. Laiknar’s personnel were all torture connoisseurs. Even Berne’s will only lasted half a minute, because after a simple questioning, Laiknar’s subordinates had already pulled off two of his fingernails.
The only one that opposed them to the end was a female, the woman who tried to seduce Su within the bar. Her appearance wasn’t bad at all, but it wasn’t what Laiknar preferred. Either from growing up in the wilderness or from the activity she indulged in during recent years for her livelihood, Laiknar smelled the scent of variation from her body, and as a result, he no longer had any interest. Moreover, he was someone who didn’t have much patience to begin with, so after a few minutes, the hotel that the interrogation took place in gave off a sinister red fiery light, as well as a woman’s miserable cries.
When O’Brien and Li Gaolei hurried over, they only saw Laiknar’s indifferent face and a woman’s charred black corpse. O’Brien sighed, but he didn’t say anything.
The fleet made some simple preparations, resupplying some water and fuel. They also rested for two hours. Once twilight arrived, they sped towards Asmo’s jungle.
The woman that died was reportedly a relative of Grace Company’s boss. However, from the start of the process until the fleet left Asmo, not a single face from Grace Company’s upper echelon could be seen.
Under the sky’s light that wasn’t all that bright, O’Brien and the hunter under him carefully searched the forest. O’Brien’s subordinate was the best of all the hunters Li Gaolei had ever seen. It was as if he knew everything in this forest like the back of his hand. Even though several days had already passed, that hunter seemed to advance exactly along the route that Li took. Moreover, he even noticed a few tree branches that were shattered by a bullet. The rather silent O’Brien and the hunter seemed to gaze towards a small building in the distance at almost the same time.
Li Gaolei stood at the very end of the party, but he was able to understand what was going on. Laiknar’s strength lied purely in his physical strength, while O’Brien was harder to see through. The gray-haired, gray eyed, pure-looking youngster seemed to grasp just too many things, including drawing skills which were completely useless in the wilderness. However, as for exactly what ability O’Brien had and what level that ability had reached, he had absolutely no idea.
The hunter and O’Brien spent half an hour to search the small building, and finally, they entered the room where Su and Li fought fiercely. As soon as they entered the room, the experienced hunter took a whiff of this area. He could faintly smell Su’s scent. Something like this was rarely accomplished. You have to understand that they reached this area purely by relying on Li’s trail. In the entire forest, Su didn’t seem to leave them the slightest clue.
The ones that could enter the room were the hunter and O’Brien; everyone else had to remain outside in order to avoid losing their trail. After the hunter examined the entire room, his gaze landed on a long table leaning against the wall. The area between the table and the wall had clear damage, with large scratches marked on the wall. The marks were rather fresh, as if the table and the wall had experienced an extended period of collision and grinding.
The hunter brought out several spray bottles from his knapsack and alternately sprayed them on the long table. Then, he took out a pair of lenses and carefully inspected this area. Through the lens’ filtering, a blurry outline of an individual’s upper body emerged on top of the table. Curves undulated throughout, and the body’s framework seemed to be relatively more delicate, so it should belong to a female. At the outline’s edges were continuous multi-colored streaks. These streaks represented different moments in time, allowing the origin and movement of these traces to be determined .
After looking over these traces, the hunter already had a rough idea of what happened. He then handed the lenses to O’Brien. O’Brien received the lenses and took a look, and when he did so, his brows slightly creased. Obviously, he knew what happened as well. After thinking for a moment, O’Brien cast a look over towards the hunter and shook his head.
The hunter was a bit shocked, but unconditionally obeying his masters was the duty and responsibility of a subordinate.
When Laiknar and Li Gaolei were finally allowed to enter, the mist that had been sprayed on the table had already evaporated. What they knew was that an intense struggle had taken place in this room. As for the traces Su left behind, the main thing was his scent. For the hunter who had strengthened three levels into smell, he could distinguish Su’s tracks purely through the faint smell. If Su had covered it up, then there wouldn’t be any traces here. However, areas that Su has rested in before, especially the places where he relaxed both his body and spirit, would still have a bit more traces left behind.
What Laiknar did not know was what had happened on the the table. He wasn’t aware of the intense, hour-long struggle that took place.
Laiknar thought for a period of time before saying, “Su doesn’t have the pistol anymore, and he doesn’t seem like someone that carries a backup. In that case, the first thing he should do is replace a close quarters weapon. Therefore, we should find clues in nearby inhabited areas. Kang Wen, bring up all of the surrounding inhabited areas.”
The electronics specialist that O’Brien brought along took out a centimeter thick laptop. After opening it and pressing a few times, a map emerged. From the markings on the map, there were three inhabited areas within a range of a hundred kilometers.
Laiknar casually drew out a semicircle on the map that linked the three inhabited areas together and said, “We’ll search these areas out one by one in this order.”
The biochemist inserted his opinion here, saying, “I believe that we should search this forest first and make sure that the intruder cell didn’t originate from this place before pursuing this person.”
Laiknar slightly frowned and said, “Let’s do it this way. O’Brien will be in charge of searching this area, while I go after Su. After completing the search here, hurry and regroup with the rest of us. O’Brien, what do you think?”
O’Brien nodded and said, “I will need two days here. After two days, I will look for you.”
The matter was agreed upon like this.
While Laiknar’s group left the forest, Su was currently helplessly looking at the cup of strong alcohol in front of him. The alcohol’s scent was extremely strong, and it was from the olden era. Even though it wasn’t some extremely expensive wine, the amount of time that had passed already made this cup of alcohol precious. A vague spiciness could be detected from the alcohol’s scent, and Su’s skin also felt a bit of prickling. This drink’s radiation was still passable, and adults living in the wilderness could tolerate it. Of course, the longer the amount of time that passed, the more it might change. However, for mercenaries, who knew if they would even live to see the day their own bodies mutated?
Around the table sat twelve robust, husky men who looked like tigers and wolves. Each and every one of them had noticeable scars on their exposed skin. The head of this group was already more than forty years old, and his body was so large that it could completely smother Su.
The table was extremely refined, another item from the olden area. The house, however, was simple and crude with cracks on all four sides. The food on the table mainly consisted of various types of barbecued meat ranging from vicious rats, rotting wolves, to who knew what kind of creature’s meat chunks. There was a lot of meat, but only a single bottle of wine. Moreover, half of the bottle had already been poured into Su’s cup, leaving Su with a bitter laugh.
These robust men around this table with clothes that weren’t much different from those of refugees and beggars were precisely the renowned Falcon Mercenaries. The beaten headquarters and the food that was only slightly better than what the roaming refugees ate was what they used to welcome Su. The Falcon Mercenaries were extremely well known in the surrounding area, as their mission completion rate and efficiency were quite good. However, even though the mercenary industry was one with an extremely high mortality rate, the Falcon Mercenaries didn’t abandon their injured members like other mercenary groups and instead gathered in a nearby inhabited land to recover. This was an extremely large expense and practically used up all of the Falcon Mercenaries’ income. Not everyone approved of the falcons’ leader, so to this day, this group only had twelve members remaining. For the sake of earning more money, the falcons had no choice but to risk their lives for the surrounding organizations and accept a few dangerous missions that other mercenaries would hesitate before accepting, such as fighting at the front lines of a battle.
Looking at the full cup of wine if front of him, Su truly didn’t know what was the best thing to say. He didn’t particularly like to drink, especially strong inferior wine, but what was in front of him was the group’s final bottle of alcohol. He didn’t exactly know how to refuse it.
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