Chapter 90: Substitution
“Sorry for troubling you these past few days. Thank you for your cooperation,” one of the inspectors respectfully said to Halcyon Wing Streak with a smile.
“I understand. May I go now?” Halcyon Wing Streak replied as calmly as he could.
“Of course.” The inspector then very politely escorted Halcyon Wing Streak out of the interrogation room.
Halcyon Wing Streak couldn’t help but let out a long sigh of relief as he finally left that room.
This feeling of freedom was really great!
However, when he recalled what he had gone through, Halcyon Wing Streak couldn’t repress the hatred and anger in his heart.
Human, I will kill you if it’s the last thing I do!
Halcyon Wing Streak embarked on the path back to his clan as he stoked the hatred in his heart.
His clan was already aware that he was returning, but no one had come to receive him. It seemed that his stint as a captive had already degraded his status in his family.
When he thought of this, Halcyon Wing Streak sighed regretfully.
Regardless, obtaining his freedom was the most important first step. As for what he had lost, he would find a way to recover it all one day.
Unfortunately, his dreams were stopped in their tracks when he reached an empty alleyway.
Su Chen was standing there quietly, smiling eerily at him.
“It’s you?” Halcyon Wing Streak was stunned.
His past nightmare resurfaced in his mind.
This bastard actually dared to appear in Sky City? He had to get his revenge!
Unfortunately, before he was able to exact anything, Su Chen appeared right in front of him and smacked his forehead.
Halcyon Wing Streak toppled over, an expression of disbelief on his face.
He couldn’t understand why Su Chen had waited up until this moment to kill him.
Su Chen didn’t even spare his opponent another glance. He callously pulled out a vial of medicine and poured it onto Halcyon Wing Streak’s corpse, causing it to quickly dissolve into nothingness. At the same time, he transformed and assumed Halcyon Wing Streak’s identity.
Once he accomplished all these tasks, Su Chen calmly walked out of the alleyway and headed for Halcyon Wing Streak’s clan.
Halcyon Wing Streak’s clan was located in western Sky City. Their celebrated status meant that they owned an independent residence all to themselves.
One thing that the real Halcyon Wing Streak hadn’t known was that the Halcyon Wing Clan had in fact sent people out to greet him, but Su Chen had played some tricks to delay their arrival.
As such, when Su Chen was just about to arrive at the Halcyon Wing Clan’s residence, he noticed a large carriage being pulled by four silver flying horses heading in his direction. The carriage eventually came to a stop in front of him.
A Harpy servant then jumped off the carriage and knelt in front of Su Chen. “Young Master Streak, you have finally returned! This old servant is overjoyed to once again see you alive!”
Su Chen harrumphed. “Is that so? I’m afraid that there are others who will be disappointed.”
“Hm?” The old servant was taken aback. “Young Master, you?”
But Su Chen said nothing more and stepped onto the carriage.
His current job was to act like a Harpy who had suffered tremendously under human mistreatment. Only by acting in this way would he be able to force other Harpies to keep their distance, thus convincing them that he was actually Halcyon Wing Streak.
Before then, however, it would take some time for the Halcyon Wing Clan to adjust.
The old servant had served Halcyon Wing in the past, and he was caught off-guard by Su Chen’s reply. However, he also seemed to quickly come to an understanding. “This old servant knows that Young Master has suffered greatly these past few days. I apologize for my inability to rescue you.”
“Let’s not talk about that for now and just go home,” Su Chen said indifferently, his expression downcast.
“Yes, sir!” the old servant replied obediently as he drove the carriage back to the Halcyon Wing Clan.
A middle-aged Harpy was flying back and forth in front of the clan’s doors when they arrived.
As soon as Su Chen stepped off of the carriage, the woman grabbed Su Chen’s hand frantically. “Little Streak, you’re finally back. I thought that I would never see you again.”
Su Chen knew that she was Halcyon Wing Streak’s mother, Clear Bell Reflection.
Clear Bell Reflection was born to a small clan. After her marriage to Halcyon Wing Streak’s father, Halcyon Wing Mourning, she had born him a child. Because Halcyon Wing Streak was her only child, she adored him and placed all of her hopes on him.
After Halcyon Wing Streak was captured, Clear Bell Reflection had cried so much that she had almost gone blind. Her jubilant mood upon seeing her son again was quite obvious.
When faced with such a mother, Su Chen couldn’t spurn her comforting. He could only allow his “mother” to hold him close and weep.
Halcyon Wing Streak’s father, Halcyon Wing Mourning, was also present, along with his close friends; even those who had merely a good relation with Halcyon Wing Mourning had come. With so many people present, it was difficult for Su Chen to identify them all despite his incredible memory and his store of information from interrogating Halcyon Wing Streak to the best of his ability. Thankfully, he was able to fall back on his plan of pretending to still be in terrible condition. His face was deathly pale, clearly indicating the toll that his physical body had gone through.
Clear Bell Reflection hurriedly called for people to take Su Chen back to his room when she saw this.
Even as she did so, Clear Bell Reflection felt her heart ache as she watched him “totter” around. “My Little Streak must have suffered greatly.”
The old servant beside them said, “I’m afraid that Young Master Streak’s sufferings were even greater than we could have possibly imagined.”
Halcyon Wing Mourning was taken aback. “Decaying Wood, what are you saying?”
The old servant explained Su Chen’s earlier attitude, and Halcyon Wing Mourning felt his heart jolt. “Could it be that the rumor was actually……”
His heart trembled, but he didn’t dare continue down that train of thought.
Su Chen was led by a beautiful Harpy maidservant back to his own room. He first took a bath and then prepared to go meet his “parents” again when news suddenly arrived that he was being summoned to Clear Sky Courtyard. The clan’s head wanted to see him.
Clear Sky Courtyard was where the Harpies handled their business affairs. Halcyon Wing Mourning’s status amongst the Halcyon Wing Clan was not actually that high, so most of the time, Halcyon Wing Streak had no right to go there.
This was probably a special occasion because he had safely returned from captivity, and so the clan head was inviting him over.
Thankfully, Su Chen was prepared for something like this to happen. He first drank a Figure-Setting Medicine, which would temporarily enhance the drinker’s disguise. Unless the user was exposed to something like True Light, most disguise-uncovering techniques wouldn’t have any effect. However, the medicine would also weaken the user for a day, and taking multiple medicines in a row would result in diminishing effects. This was why Su Chen didn’t want to use the medicine carelessly.
However, he had no choice but to use one now given that he was going to be meeting with the clan head.
This was one of the backup plans that Su Chen had developed with Zhu Chenhuan.
Indeed, immediately after he arrived at Clear Sky Courtyard, Halcyon Wing Sky River greeted him personally and asked him about his welfare. Even though Halcyon Wing Sky River appeared to care on the surface, Su Chen could still sense the internal alienation between them. Perhaps this kind of meeting was hard for him to be genuinely interested in.
After being asking about his well being, Su Chen was allowed to enter without incident. This Figure-Setting Medicine seemed to have been used pointlessly.
However, Su Chen knew that he could spare no expense in this kind of a situation. Even if it would only happen one time out of a hundred, that one risk was more than enough to get him killed.
After he greeted the clan head, Su Chen then met up with some of his close friends, meaning that he was quite busy for some time. This reprieve allowed him to get to know the members of the Halcyon Wing Clan a little better. Even though he had never seen these people before, he was able to recall most of them based on Halcyon Wing Streak’s descriptions. And with his consciousness crystal, he would be able to remember them just after seeing them once.
After a full day, Su Chen was able to get a good grip on the Halcyon Wing Clan’s situation, with the help of Halcyon Wing Streak’s information.
The Halcyon Wing Clan was quite complicated as it was comprised of almost thirty different branches. Because there were so many different branches, each branch had their own leader, managing the Halcyon Wing clan together with the clan head.
Halcyon Wing Sky River was one of the branch leaders, not the head of the clan as a whole.
The true clan head’s status was so great that even Halcyon Wing Mourning would have a hard time scheduling an audience with him.
However, because Halcyon Wing Streak was relatively talented, placing within the top ten members of his branch, he was still treated with respect.
A few of the Harpies who were on good terms with Halcyon Wing Mourning were quite happy to see Halcyon Wing Streak return.
Of course, if there were those who were happy, then there would be those who were not.
That morning, Su Chen was strolling through the Halcyon Wing Clan’s residence, observing the clan’s circumstances. Everything he saw was imprinted into his head.
Just as he was in the middle of his walk, a voice rang out and interrupted him. “I was just wondering who was here! It must be the branch’s genius, Brother Halcyon Wing Streak, who has returned from his period of captivity!”
Su Chen turned towards the direction of the voice and found a young Harpy walking in his direction, followed by some minions.
Su Chen had never seen this young Harpy before, meaning that he had probably not attended last night’s celebration. And given his tone, it was obvious that this guy was not on good terms with Halcyon Wing Streak.
But when Su Chen had asked Halcyon Wing Streak who he was not on good terms with, Halcyon Wing Streak had replied that there was no one in particular.
So where had this guy come from?
Su Chen was completely taken aback, but his expression remained stony as he stared back at the other party wordlessly.
When that Harpy saw that Su Chen refused to reply, his expression fell. “Halcyon Wing Streak, what do you insinuating by looking at me like that?”
Su Chen thought for a moment before replying, “Sorry, I can’t remember who you are.”
He was telling the truth, but the other party felt that Su Chen’s words were purposefully filled with scorn, as if Halcyon Wing Streak hadn’t even deemed him worthy of notice.
The young Harpy’s expression shifted. “How arrogant of you. Your pride seems to have only increased during your time spent in captivity in human territory. You can’t remember who I am…… Yes, Halcyon Wing Streak, you probably thought that I was a little ant not even worth mentioning back then, right? But that was then, and this is now! You are not the same person you once were, and I am not the same person I once was either!”
“You’ve said all this, but you still haven’t told me who you are,” Su Chen said indifferently.
He used his cold attitude to conceal the fact that he didn’t know who his opponent was. That Harpy was infuriated when he heard Su Chen’s provocative statement.
He chuckled coldly, and with some agitation, said, “Halcyon Wing Streak, you’re doing a pretty good job pretending, but you cannot cover up the humiliation you endured at the hands of those humans. You still dare play dumb in front of me after they nearly raped you to death? Where did you even find the face to come back?”
When he heard this, Su Chen wasn’t surprised. Instead, he was inwardly delighted.
So this moment had finally come?
He had been waiting for this moment the entire time.
It wasn’t strange that his opponent knew about what had happened to Halcyon Wing Streak. After all, Su Chen was the one who had sent the notice about it in the first place. Otherwise, what would be the point of everything he had done in the past if no one knew about it? Halcyon Wing Streak naturally wouldn’t tell anyone, so Su Chen could only secretly utilize other channels.
The Zhu Clan had obviously not done a great job disseminating the information, however. It had been over a whole day, and Su Chen hadn’t heard any rumors about himself.
Until now, that is.
Finally, it’s happening! Su Chen thought to himself even as his outward expression sank.