Chapter 266: Silenced [Volume 4 – Perpetual Conflict]
The Scarlet Edge in Qianye’s hand had already pierced into the man’s heart before his cry had even ended.
Surging blood energy flowed through the Scarlet Edge and into Qianye’s body. As expected of a champion with a strengthened constitution, Fang Tianlun’s essence blood was fairly abundant and was able to restore the greater half of Qianye’s reserves even though the former’s foundation had been severely damaged by the Black Titanium Bullet of Annihilation.
At this moment, Qianye felt an indescribable sensation. It was by instinct that he had used the dagger to kill this person, and only when the blood energy began gushing in did he realize that he was holding a blood absorption weapon. His heart was overwhelmed by a peculiar sensation when he recalled that the blood energy was from a human.
Chen Lu, with her back toward him, let out a snort and said disdainfully, “Isn’t it just to silence him? Why must I turn around?! It’s not like I’m a little girl who hasn’t seen such things before. Frankly, the people I’ve killed might not be fewer than…”
Chen Lu’s voice immediately drew Qianye back to reality. He quickly put away the Scarlet Edge and interrupted Chen Lu’s chatter, “It’s done.”
Chen Lu’s eyes suddenly widened when she turned around and saw Fang Tianlun’s withered corpse. Her gaze brushed past the Scarlet Edge which had already returned to its sheath on Qianye’s waist. She opened her mouth ever so slightly but didn’t say anything in the end.
“I didn’t promise him anything,” Qianye said as he walked out.
Puzzlement flashed across Chen Lu’s eyes after hearing Qianye’s clueless words. But then she recalled the words Fang Tianlun shouted before his death. Could it be that Qianye was trying to explain that he didn’t promise to not kill Fang Tianlun and that he didn’t break any promises?
She blinked a few times and finally couldn’t help but burst into laughter. “This isn’t a big deal. It’s a matter of course to silence people. Even if you did promise him, he can only blame his own stupidity in believing it.”
Qianye, who was walking in front, couldn’t help but rub his temples and even wanted to let out a sigh. This woman’s character was simply too... sprightly. How could such a person work as a spy?
But, the greater half of Qianye’s solemn mood was actually scattered by her.
Although Fang Tianlun had lost all of his fighting capabilities, he was fairly resilient and knew when to bow and when to stretch. Especially when Chen Lu mentioned the names of Song Ziqi and Liu He, he had obviously avoided the major character while focusing on the minor one. From this, it was obvious that he wasn’t completely ignorant of the details. Letting such a character go would cause no end of troubles for him later on.
Even though Qianye himself wasn’t afraid of Lone Ghost’s retaliation, he wouldn’t do something that would add more variables to the unclear situation on Song Zining’s side.
There were a number of other prisoners held within the dungeon, but none of them were Chen Lu’s companions. Of the originally captured recipient party members, only Chen Lu and a number of other key characters were kept under strict watch, while the rest had committed suicide or died to cruel torture. None of them had survived.
Chen Lu didn’t show much grief and simply said, “Someone will pay for what happened here.”
Qianye wasn’t interested in the backgrounds of the other prisoners and had no intention of releasing them. He walked out of the dungeon while Chen Lu stayed behind to find some clothing.
She emerged only after a while, now wearing a Lone Ghost uniform and carrying a set of weapons. An origin assault rifle hung from her back, two handguns at her waist, and a dagger attached to each of her thighs.
Qianye stood smoking at the door. In truth, he was mostly just gazing at the flickering flames and the smoke spiraling up from his fingertips. After hearing the approaching footsteps, he shot a glance at Chen Lu and said, “You sure took your time.”
Chen Lu shrugged and replied, “I had to kill everyone inside.”
Qianye’s eyebrows knitted together every so slightly.
Chen Lu raised her brows and said, “They saw our appearances very clearly and probably also heard you kill Fang Tianlun. I really have no time to go over their origins and find out who’s trustworthy.”
Qianye said nothing else and gestured her to move along.
The two of them then searched the whole manor thoroughly and found some letters in Fang Tianlun’s study. However, there weren’t any details related to the client.
Chen Lu didn’t feel disappointed because she had long since recognized the identity of the client’s representative, Liu He. That was why she had risked her life to kill the man during the battle at the recipient base, thus delaying the time the captives were transported away from the Western Continent. And seeing that no new representative had arrived during this period, it was likely that Song Zining had also taken action to hinder the other party’s movements.
Qianye felt somewhat relieved after listening to Chen Lu’s speculation.
Although they didn’t find any information, the spoils of war were actually quite abundant. As the Lone Ghost regional headquarters, there were a lot of resources stocked up within the manor. In particular, they had hundreds of origin guns, daggers, and armor. As for firearm type weapons, they had two warehouses full of them.
These origin guns were only rank two or three with rifles occupying the majority and were thus useless for Qianye. He browsed the armory a couple of times and only picked up a couple dozen of blank origin bullets and three origin grenades. Chen Lu, on the other hand, had stuffed her backpack full of grenades. Later, the two of them ignited the gunpowder inside and blasted apart the whole building complex. Since they couldn’t ship the armaments away, they naturally wouldn’t leave them for Lone Ghost either.
There was a fair number of good stuff in Fang Tianlun’s personal storage, including a number of rank-five origin guns. There weren’t any premium models in his collection, but the advantage lay in that he had collected almost every type. There was a particularly rare rank-five mini-submachine gun. There were over ten rank-four rifles, half of them being sniper rifles and even a remodeled Eagleshot.
It seemed Fang Tianlun’s hobby was to collect various types of origin guns, but now, all of them would benefit Qianye.
Apart from this, Qianye also found two vampire origin grenades, a crate of special medicine, and a number of arachne abdominal scales. Finally, there were three Mirthil Bullets of Exorcism. Although such bullets were precious, basically everyone at the champion level would be able to get their hands on a couple of them as a reserve.
Finally, they snatched away a fair number of gold coins and six black crystals. Lone Ghost’s total losses likely reached tens of thousands of gold coins.
Even if Lone Ghost dispatched people to reestablish this regional organization, the losses in accumulated armaments and resources were simply too great. It would be difficult for them to recover completely even after ten years.
Qianye summoned Lu Yalan and prepared to leave the place.
After Chen Lu saw the dozen servants huddled up in a corner of the kitchen, she suddenly tossed out a series of grenades into the kitchen with a wave of her hand. The explosives bounced off the floor and walls, followed by a sequence of explosions.
Qianye cursed out loud and pushed Lu Yalan down under his body. Following which, he rolled through the hallway with the force of the explosion and tumbled several meters away with the girl in his arms. All this while, he had to dodge the bricks falling down continuously from above.
Presently, nothing remained between that kitchen, in which the servants were being held, and the end of the corridor. Even the second floor had been smashed down, while the greater half of the external walls had collapsed, revealing the deep night sky.
There wasn’t even a single groan coming from the rubble. Those ordinary people happened to be at the center of the explosion and were all buried under the collapsing building. It was impossible for them to survive.
Meanwhile, a giant steel shield had been erected seemingly out of nowhere at a corner of the corridor. Hiding within the triangular space formed by the steel plate and the wall, Chen Lu didn’t even suffer any of the shockwaves. Her body was weak and her position was quite close to the room. Shockwaves of such intensity would badly injure her even if they didn’t kill her on the spot. It seemed she had already made preparations to hide even before she took action.
Qianye said with an angry expression, “Those are civilians!”
Chen Lu replied indifferently, “But they have eyes and mouths.” She walked past Qianye on her own and said, “Naive little fellow, you would’ve died countless times if you were to have dealings with the rebel army. You’re trying to lecture me? Let’s go. We should leave this place.”
While talking, Chen Lu suddenly halted her steps and swept her gaze over Lu Yalan from head to toe. Lu Yalan was originally quite pale, but at this moment, she met the other party’s gaze with great determination. Chen Lu let out a cold snort and turned around to leave in large strides.
The three drove out a jeep from the manor garage. They threw the spoils of war onto the car, started the engine, and left the raging flames of the burning manor behind them.
The jeep drove through the wilderness for four hours and arrived at a small town around sunrise. Their target was a house located in the northern corner of this town consisting of a three-storied building and a medium-sized courtyard.
Chen Lu jumped off the car and proceeded to bang on the house door with a particular rhythm. Moments later, a small window opened up on the black door from which a pale old man peered out before opening the door.
The residents here looked like a rich merchant family. There were even a fair number of servants who had gotten up to work at the break of dawn. However, none of them showed any surprise to see Chen Lu and the dust-laden Qianye and Lu Yalan. All of them kept on doing their own jobs as if they hadn’t seen anything.
The three were brought to a guest room—they passed through the main building and arrived at the two exquisitely designed houses with white walls and black eaves. Lu Yalan went off to bathe first, while Qianye followed Chen Lu into an inner room resembling a study.
Only then did Chen Lu finally relax and extended her hand toward Qianye. “Now, you can give me the goods.”
Qianye brought out the boulderheart jade letter and placed it on the table. “Are these people from the rebel army?”
Chen Lu smiled and leaned back into the chair. She then glanced at Qianye and said, “It can be said that they are, and it can also be said that they aren’t. In truth, they are just civilian merchants whose lives are no different from ordinary people. They don’t have any dealings with the rebel army either. But when needed, they can provide us with everything. Everything, you understand?”
Everything—this signified that they were willing to sacrifice even their lives. These people acted as the eyes and ears of the rebel army. How terrifying would it be If there were a large number of them? None of the civil affairs of the empire would be able to escape the rebel army’s notice.
Qianye went silent for a moment and said, “This is incomprehensible.”
“There’s nothing too difficult to understand here. There are too many reasons for them to do such things. To the empire, only the major clans could be considered their true citizens. The landowning class are only second-rate people, to speak nothing of the commoners. Trivial matters not even worth mentioning in the eyes of those major characters might perhaps decide a commoner household’s life or death. The empire is vast and such cases are abundant, hence the existence of the rebel army.”
Chen Lu paused momentarily before revealing a mocking smile. “A single Zhao clan couldn’t handle it so the empire called in Grand Marshal Lin Xitang and his Northern Legion. But then what? After several years, the rebel army is still growing larger and larger.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
4/6 of the week. Enjoy ^_^