At night, Xiao Lou was sleeping in his seat. He was confused when he sensed his body being pushed and a familiar voice entered his ears. “Professor Xiao, it is 3 o’clock. Time to change shifts.”
Yu Hanjiang had been sitting in the driver’s seat. Xiao Lou rubbed his eyes and woke himself up. He went to Group Leader Yu’s side and sat down. Then he looked back and asked, “Chief Shao, nothing happened?”
Shao Qingge replied, “There are no anomalies for the moment. It will be hard for the two of you.”
Ye Qi sleepily handed the teleportation card to Yu Hanjiang. “Group Leader Yu, I’ll give this to you. It might be useful.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes, go to sleep.”
Shao Qingge and Ye Qi went to the back row to sleep. Ye Qi placed two pieces of wood into the furnace and sat in the front row. Yu Hanjiang whispered in his ear, “Has the skill of the Qin Guan card refreshed? You should change the binding object to me.”
Previously, in order to facilitate the exchange of information on the cruise ship, Xiao Lou had connected to Liu Qiao and Shao Qingge to Old Mo. All card skills had refreshed at midnight and Liu Qiao was asleep. Xiao Lou took out the Qin Guan card and bound it to Yu Hanjiang again. In this way, they didn’t need to talk to each other and didn’t need to worry about the impact of their voices on their sleeping teammates.
The surroundings were very quiet and Yu Hanjiang’s voice soon rang in Xiao Lou’s mind. “Old Mo said that most of the teams in the Card World are stuck at the eighth level. I don’t think this is right. Can’t the elite teams of the major guilds pass 8 of Hearts?”
Xiao Lou replied, “Old Mo’s previous team didn’t dare to go to 8 of Hearts and we don’t know the exact situation. Once we return to the main city and pass through the B-grade secret rooms, we can try to find the Intelligence Bureau for some information.” Speaking of the Intelligence Bureau, Xiao Lou was very interested in the boss called Tang. He couldn’t help joking, “Say, the boss of the Intelligence Bureau is so mysterious. Can we directly spend money to check their boss?”
Yu Hanjiang seriously replied, “I’m afraid not. The Intelligence Bureau must have rules to protect their internal members because their members know too much. It would be too dangerous.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Group Leader Yu, what are you so serious about? I’m just kidding.”
Yu Hanjiang looked back and happened to meet Xiao Lou’s eyes.
The Night Pearl illuminated the clear eyes with a shallow smile, as bright as a star… no, more than stars. Yu Hanjiang felt that this pair of eyes were the best eyes he had ever seen since childhood, especially when laughing. It melted people’s hearts.
Xiao Lou’s face was slightly hot—because he sensed the thoughts in Yu Hanjiang’s mind. Group Leader Yu was boasting in his head that Xiao Lou’s eyes looked good. Xiao Lou hurriedly moved his gaze away, heartbeat somewhat stalling.
Yu Hanjiang also reacted. He forgot that their heart channel was still linked. He quickly changed the topic. “It is more than 3 o’clock. If people want to take action, shouldn’t this be the time?”
Xiao Lou controlled his heartbeat and spoke calmly. “It is very quiet around here. Most of the people on the escape boats are keeping guard at night. Those people might be waiting for the right opportunity.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “We will be vigilant.”
The sea was calm with no waves. They chatted over their spiritual link. After an hour, nothing happened around them and Xiao Lou was puzzled. Perhaps all the challengers in the World Weekly were more dutiful this time and wouldn’t use extreme means to snatch cards from other challengers? If so, at least there would be no intrigue.
Just then, a breeze blew through. Many escape boats were shaking and the bright Night Pearls were also shaking from side to side. Xiao Lou didn’t mind it. He thought the cause was the wind. As a result, Yu Hanjiang suddenly held his shoulder, looked to the right and spoke in Xiao Lou’s mind. “There is movement over there.”
Xiao Lou followed Group Leader Yu’s gaze. It was an escape boat in the southeast direction with a Night Pearl. The moment Xiao Lou looked, the Night Pearl shook violently and disappeared.
If their observation wasn’t detailed enough, one out of dozens of Night Pearls disappearing wouldn’t have attracted attention. Xiao Lou immediately tensed and he spoke in his mind. “That escape boat had an incident?”
“I can’t see clearly in the darkness but the Night Pearl shook so badly. It doesn’t seem to be due to the wind…” Yu Hanjiang frowned. “I didn’t hear the sound of any heavy objects falling into the sea or a struggle. If something happened, how can there be no sound?”
“If there wasn’t a fight, perhaps we are thinking too much?” Xiao Lou also felt incredulous. If something really happened to an entire ship, how could there be no sound?
Yu Hanjiang’s ears pricked up and he stared intently at the southeast. Then nothing happened. Both of them thought they were too suspicious but after 10 minutes, a Night Pearl on a southeast escape boat also shook violently before going out quietly, like an invisible hand had suddenly taken it away.
It was a dark and moonless night, a good time for killing.
“No!” Yu Hanjiang was alert. “Those two ships might be in trouble!”
“…” Xiao Lou didn’t hear any sound. He nervously clenched his fists and looked back at his sleeping teammates. “Do you want to take them up?”
“Not for the moment.” Yu Hanjiang stared intently into the distance. The dark night was like a huge mouth, opening to collectively swallow up everyone.
Yu Hanjiang frowned and spoke decisively. “Professor Xiao, do you remember Compass’ second skill? The 10 metres diameter range is invisible. Draw a circular boundary to protect our escape boat. I’ll put on an invisibility cloak to take a look.”
“Will there be any problems if you go alone?” Xiao Lou looked at him with concern.
“Don’t worry, I’m invisible and they can’t see me. There is also the heart channel so I can always communicate. I can use Ye Qi’s teleportation card to fly over the sea and see who is a troublemaker.” Yu Hanjiang spoke calmly.
“Yes, I’ll stay here.” Xiao Lou quickly took out Compass and drew a circle. The metal ring instantly enlarged to a diameter of 10 metres, forming an invisible circle around the boat. The upgraded second skill of Compass was equivalent to a safety circle, making a circular area free from any attack and control cards.
Yu Hanjiang put on the invisibility cloak and used Ye Qi’s card that allowed him to teleport 50 metres to instantly come to the incident area. He used his memory to find the direction where the Night Pearl disappeared.
There was indeed something wrong with the first escape boat. The people on the escape boat were dead. Everyone’s throats were cut! Yu Hanjiang’s pupils shrank and he immediately moved to the other escape boat.
The ship’s challengers were also killed. The man sitting in the driver’s seat stared in disbelief, like he had seen a terrible monster. Yu Hanjiang thought of the word ‘monster’ and Xiao Lou immediately asked after receiving the spiritual signal. “Group Leader Yu, is it a sea monster attack?”
Yu Hanjiang replied, “It isn’t a sea monster. It is man-made. All of them had slit throats. Two boats of challengers have already been killed. Professor Xiao, be careful…”
Just then, Xiao Lou’s voice was heard in his head. “I feel someone underwater.”
Yu Hanjiang didn’t hesitate and immediately returned. It took three seconds to return to Xiao Lou’s side. He saw abnormal fluctuations under the sea. This group of challengers actually had the idea to hit their escape boat!
At that time, Old Mo had deliberately parked on the periphery to avoid risk.
It wasn’t surprising that these people picked the outside boats. There were so many boats in the inner circle that it was easy for other challengers to notice something was wrong. The perimeter was far away and there were fewer people. It was convenient for them to commit crimes. Even if one or two escape boats disappeared, it would be difficult for others to notice in the darkness.
If it wasn’t for Xiao Lou’s early use of the Compass, because their boat would’ve also been killed. Xiao Lou unexpectedly found that he couldn’t hear any sound and called out to Yu Hanjiang, “Group Leader Yu, there is no sound around here. I can’t even hear the sound of my own breathing. It is strangely very quiet. Can you hear me talking?”
Yu Hanjiang thought about it. “I understand. It should be a sound shielding card that affects the environment. We are communicating spiritually and aren’t making a sound, so I can hear you.” He whispered, “Don’t worry, I’ll be around you.”
Hearing these words, Xiao Lou’s mood relaxed a lot. “No wonder why no sound was made when the two ships of challengers were killed. It seemed they have a card to eliminate sound within a certain range, which is why their assassination is so quiet.”
This was simply an assassination. Two ships and 16 people died in the silence of the night sea. There were countless challengers standing guard but everyone was unaware of them.
If it wasn’t for Yu Hanjiang’s sharp eyes that found the shaking Night Pearls wasn’t normal, maybe he and Xiao Lou would’ve also ignored the two escape boats in the distance. Blood had already dyed the sea red but due to the darkness, it couldn’t be distinguished from the colour of the sea at all.
Yu Hanjiang looked extremely serious. This should be a very professional assassination team. He took a deep breath and called out in his mind, “Wake up Old Mo!”
Xiao Lou nodded and immediately woke up Old Mo.
At this point, the sound of the environment around the ship was completely shielded. Old Mo opened his mouth and found that although his mouth was moving, there was no sound. He stared at Xiao Lou in shock and pointed to his mouth. He thought he had become mute.
Xiao Lou quickly wrote on the palm of his hand. “It is an environmental sound shielding and there is an assassination team underwater.”
Old Mo followed by writing on Xiao Lou’s hand, “Hunters?”
Xiao Lou saw this word and hurriedly sent the message to Yu Hanjiang through the heart channel.
Yu Hanjiang thought carefully and confirmed it. “They should be hunters. Two ships of ordinary challengers have already died. Ordinary challengers shouldn’t kill aimlessly if they want to kill and rob cards. The cards taken by people on these two ships might not necessarily be useful.”
Xiao Lou agreed. “Those who want to snatch cards must confirm that the other side’s cards are good enough before going to rob. Otherwise, killing a bunch of people and getting bad cards can easily lead to trouble. If they are hunters then it is a good explanation. They don’t need to pick targets when killing. Killing just one person will give them a bounty of one million!”
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was cold. “They also have cards in their hands. It seems they are learning and becoming smarter. They know how the spells of ‘foreigners’ work. I think this ‘environmental sound shield’ card must’ve been picked up from a challenger they previously killed.”
Xiao Lou still couldn’t hear any noise. He had started to count from the moment the sound disappeared. Now it had been 10 seconds. It had an impact on the environment for such a long time that it should be a special S-grade effect card.
Since the ‘environmental sound elimination’ belonged to a change in the environment’s volume, not a means of attack or a control skill. That’s why Xiao Lou’s safety circle couldn’t resist the effect of this environment change.
It was quiet to the extreme and no sound could be heard. Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin faced each other. Just then, Yu Hanjiang suddenly said, “Bring in Old Mo using the Qin Guan card. I want to seize these killers.”
Xiao Lou immediately connected Old Mo with another Qin Guan card. He was connected with Yu Hanjiang and with Old Mo. This was equivalent to a communication transit station.
Xiao Lou nervously asked, “Where are those people? Group Leader Yu, can you see them?”
“They wanted to act against our boat but due to the safety circle protection, they found it isn’t easy to kill. Thus, they are changing targets to the left rear boat.”
It was a dark night and visibility was very low but Yu Hanjiang’s vision was generally good. He had caught many criminals in the middle of the night. Members of the police force said that Yu Hanjiang’s eyes were as sharp as an eagle and the people he was looking at couldn’t run away.
The hunters were very good in water. They perceived that Xiao Lou’s boat wasn’t easy to handle and immediately changed targets. However, as long as they moved in the water, there would be ripples on the sea surface.
Yu Hanjiang was staring closely at the dark sea. A circle of ripples was moving quickly toward the left rear. It was an escape boat with 10 people. The two people standing watch were sleepy. Yu Hanjiang spoke to Xiao Lou in his mind. “Countdown to three seconds. Then have Old Mo paint the sea with colour.”
Xiao Lou immediately told Mo Xuemin and suggested. “Use green. The human eye has a higher ability to distinguish green light at night.”
Old Mo nervously held the Colour Elements card. He counted down from three seconds and immediately used the card. He saw that the hull of the left rear escape boat, together with 500 square metres around it, turn a fluorescent green! Thanks to the Night Pearl, the fluorescent green was even more obvious! Soon, all challengers found the anomaly.
The drowsy person found his teammate was green and was shocked. “F*k, you’re green!”
The other man’s face sank. “F*k, what are you talking about… w-why are you green?” The two men said this but found they were suddenly mute. Their next words didn’t make any sound.
The next moment, a vast silver ring fell down, followed by a large scale with a diameter of five mtetres. The scales fell into the water! The two men stared at the scene with astonishment and disbelief.
The surrounding sea area in a 500 square metres range had completely turned a fluorescent green! In the distance, the unaffected challengers woke up their teammates. The group of people turned to look this way and said, “The water there seems to be green…”
”The ship is also green!”
“It must be a card effect!”
Some girls found that the distant sea had turned green and immediately picked up a night telescope to observe carefully. However, the saw the scene where two challenger ships were brutally killed. The girls screamed, “Ah, dead! Two ships over there are dead!”
The scream woke up all the challengers around them and everyone stood up nervously to see the situation. In the distance, the sea water was dyed a fluorescent green. Three men moved toward the escape boat like they had light footwork skills. One man controlled the rings smashing into the sea while the other man controlled the balance. The sea dyed a fluorescent green left the hunters lurking in the sea with no choice.
Yu Hanjiang used the balance to control them and threw out the white silk with his right hand. The long white silk automatically tied up the hunters.
There was a series of exclamations. “Ah, who are these people?”
”What’s going on? Someone died?”
“Based on that sister just now, two boats were killed!”
“Are we unlucky enough to meet hunters?”
In the midst of the panic and people looking at the green area, Yu Hanjiang used the white silk to drag the underwater hunters out of the sea. They were three young and strong men. In order to prevent these three people from taking poison to commit suicide, Yu Hanjiang immediately moved and stuffed a piece of rag into their mouths.
The three people who were about to bite the poison in their teeth, “…”
At this point, all three of them were dyed green and looked even more obvious. It was time for the environmental sound shielding card to run out. The challengers recovered their voice. “My god, they must be hunters!”
”They specifically lurked underwater to kill and gain the bounty!”
”Are there really two ships where everyone was wiped out?”
”I saw it. Two ships and 16 people are dead!”
”My god, I was just dreaming yet these people were killed quietly. It’s terrible!”
The challengers dyed green didn’t care about his image and excitedly said, “Thank you big brother!”
”You saved us. If it wasn’t for the three of you suddenly emerging, we would’ve fallen asleep just now and not know how we died…”
Yu Hanjiang spoke lightly. “No need for thanks.”
Then he dragged the three men back to their boat. Shao Qingge and Ye Qi had long been awakened by the movement around them. They saw Group Leader Yu coming with three tied up captives and were full of surprise.
Xiao Lou gave everyone a simple explanation while Yu Hanjiang quickly searched the men to find three cards.
The S-grade special effects card, Quiet World. It could shield any sound within 10 square metres and isolate this selected area from other areas, making it completely quiet. What would it feel like to be unable to hear the sound of breathing? It was like being abandoned by the entire world.
The quiet lasted for five minutes and the cooldown time was 15 minutes.
There was the A-grade special effects card, Water Ghost. All teammates within 10 metres would have underwater movement speed increase by 200% and they could breathe underwater for 30 minutes.
Finally, the A-grade special effects card, Frozen like a Statue. This left all targets in the specified 10 metre range in a frozen state, unable to do anything for 10 seconds. This had a 15 minutes cooldown.
Xiao Lou was frightened. “It seems they have been lurking underwater with the help of Water Ghost. First, they get close to the escape boat and block the sound, followed by Frozen like a Statue. Then they use a knife to cut the challenger’s throat. They can quietly kill an entire ship of people when the other side can’t resist or call for help!”
It was frightening just thinking about it. If it wasn’t for the Compass skill putting a safety circle and blocking the control of Frozen like a Statue, the next goal of these hunters would be Xiao Lou’s escape boat. Once they couldn’t move, Xiao Lou wouldn’t be able to call for help at all and the sleeping teammates would be killed with a knife.
Shao Qingge felt a chill down his spine. “Fortunately, the two of you were alert enough or we wouldn’t have known how we died.”
Mo Xuemin’s face was ugly. “It is really bad luck. I actually encountered hunters for two consecutive weeks.” He sucked in a frightened breath and looked at Yu Hanjiang. “Last week, only 20 people survived because of the hunters. If it wasn’t for you, it is estimated that more than 200 of these 400 challengers would die quietly tonight.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned at the three men who were tied up. The three men had rags in their mouth and were staring angrily at Yu Hanjiang, wanting to swallow him alive. They followed the instructions of the boss to assassinate foreigners and never lost. They didn’t expect that today, they actually kicked the iron plate!