Tang Ci returned to the hotel and immediately pulled out all the information of Luo Yan on his laptop. He organized the information and sent it to Lu Jiuchuan.
Lu Jiuchuan replied, “Luo Yan is just a senior member of the Hunters League. She isn’t the core. I can’t find out who the real boss is at present. This person is hiding very deeply. He knows the challengers well and also has great influence in the Card World. He has a lot of money in his hand and is hard to deal with.”
Tang Ci wondered, “Last time, we met ten times the hunters in J of Clubs. This time, you signed Xiao Lou’s contract book. Are you worried that if you continue to sign your contract book, J of Clubs will become a hunting game again?”
Lu Jiuchuan did have this consideration.
The advanced secret rooms were customized according to the team’s situation and wouldn’t be repeated. Therefore, strategies and previous experiences were useless. The S-grade secret rooms must have brand new backgrounds and settings. It was just that with his contract book, Lu Jiuchan’s team suffered heavy casualties and it felt like bad luck. If he switched to Xiao Lou’s contract book, perhaps the later secret rooms would be changed due to the difference in the owner of the contract.
Of course, everything was unknown before entering the S-grade secret rooms. If they met ten times the hunters as they did last time then they would have to fight hard.
Lu Jiuchuan advised, “For the next few days, work hard to organize the team’s cards and prepare some supplies. It won’t be convenient for me to contact you for the next two days. I will likely be making contact with the senior members of the Hunters League. If I contact you rashly then it might expose us instead. In addition, Ye Qi must be protected. He has shown his face today and perhaps someone will try to assassinate him.”
Tang Ci answered, “Understood. I have hacked into the surveillance system of the hotel. Once a suspicious person appears, I will notify Ye Qi as soon as possible and deal with it. Don’t worry.”
At the end of the conversation, Tang Ci pulled everyone into a group chat. As a top hacker, he was fully prepared for anti-surveillance. He had developed the chat group and there was no need to worry about being monitored.
Tang Ci typed: [The hotel is temporarily safe. Before Saturday, try not to go out and eat in the hotel restaurant. Old Gui and Chu Huaying still have things to deal with. At midnight on Saturday, we’ll enter the World Weekly. For the next few days, recharge and prepare for a tough battle.]
Old Mo sent a message: [We’re still not sure what type the secret room will be. If it is Clubs or Spades then it will be another fierce battle.]
He still remembered the Spades World Weekly, Endless Sea. They were on a ship, suffered a shipwreck and a capsize, starvation, exposure to the sun, sharks and hunters. After a few days, his skin was almost peeling off.
The death rate of the World Weekly might be controlled at 20% and their team’s strength meant they shouldn’t be eliminated tragically, but he still couldn’t take it lightly. Xiao Lou saw this and replied: [Report all the cards in your hands to Mr Tang for statistics.]
Tang Ci’s words also had this meaning. [Organizing the cards will make it convenient to arrange emergency tactics.]
Most of the B and C-grade cards obtained in the early days could no longer be used such as the Master Key, Nine Palaces Grid and other cards that had a limit on the number of uses. The restrictions for the A and S-grade cards were relatively small. Every person sent screenshots of the cards they had to the group for Tang Ci to organize into statistics.
Ye Qi’s cards were mainly musical instruments such as the flute, erhu, guzheng, piano and suona. Most of them were control cards such as single target control and group control. It was very comprehensive. He also had the Bug King card copied by Shao Qingge and the teleportation card.
Liu Qiao had the light footwork card ‘Light as a Swallow’. She also had the Twin card that allowed her to pretend to be someone else and other fairytale cards such as Little Red Riding Hood, Poison Queen, Thumbelina, Mermaid Princess and the Ugly Duckling.
Old Mo had decoration and furniture related cards in his hands. The Long Qu couple’s Chameleon cards were strong investigation cards and there were sports and dance related cards for attacking, defending or escaping. Chief Shao’s cards were very expensive but Rich and Willful could copy any card and was the strongest of the S-grade cards. It had unlimited possibilities.
Yu Hanjiang had guns and weapon cards. Xiao Lou’s style was the strangest with many ancient character cards…
They all knew the cards of their teammates but they were very curious about Tang Ci’s cards. They were full of expectations as Tang Ci showed screenshots of his cards. Data master, mechanical ants, the drone, a mechanical centipede, mechanical spider, mechanical snake, healing robot…
Ye Qi was stunned as he saw the large number of intelligent machines. [So many machines?]
Tang Ci said: [Some of them are cards I’ve developed myself.]
Xiao Lou knew that Tang Ci was a research maniac and a top hacker in this world but he still couldn’t help feeling admiration when he saw so many smart, mechanical cards.
Old Gui’s cards were related to pen, ink, paper and inkstone. They had all seen his pen that could make things float in the air before.
Chu Huaying had the melee weapon Blood Spider, which was why she was known as the Queen of Spiders. It was said that her dagger cut through iron like it was mud. Every time she killed a person, a red mark would appear on the weapon. These days, the blood-colored marks on her dagger had become a dense spider web, shocking her teammates.
Chu Huaying told them: [You don’t need to be afraid. All those I killed were hunters. There were no innocents.]
Old Gui joked: [Huaying is first on the bounty list of the Hunters League because she has killed too many hunters. You can get a high bounty for killing her.]
Chu Huaying acted with Lu Jiuchuan in the World Weekly. Lu Jiuchuan pretended to be unable to beat her and was stabbed by her, leaving a spider mark. This way, he could explain the failure. However, it could only work once or twice otherwise the organization would become suspicious.
This was also the reason why Chu Huaying didn’t appear in public. She was number one on the hunters’ bounty list. There would definitely be a pursuit the moment she appeared. Thus, she immediately disappeared after signing the contract with Xiao Lou.
As for Brother Jiu’s cards, Tang Ci said: [Brother Jiu went to carry out a special task and has disguised his identity. In order to avoid the suspicion of the Hunters League, his cards are temporarily sealed by me in the underground factory. I will retrieve his card pack before the World Weekly begins.]
At present, only Lu Jiuchuan wasn’t in the group. Everyone hoped that he would come back safely.
There were still three days until the World Weekly. Xiao Lou said: [Have a good rest. We should try to avoid meeting in the next few days. Take good care of yourselves and if there is anything, get in touch through phone.]
Since it was almost 11 o’clock, everyone took a shower and went to bed. Yu Hanjiang saw that Xiao Lou’s face was a bit pale and patted him on the shoulder. “You are tired. Have a shower and rest early.”
Xiao Lou nodded and headed to the bathroom for a shower. Once it was quiet, he couldn’t help thinking about what happened at the stadium today.
He and Yu Hanjiang had been in Area A and the situation wasn’t serious. They weren’t pushed into the crowded aisle by the panicked crowd. In addition, Yu Hanjiang had protected him well so Xiao Lou wasn’t injured.
However, he had seen it with his own eyes and heard it with his ears so the tragic scene still lingered in his mind. His nose still seemed to be filled with the strong smell of blood. Xiao Lou couldn’t imagine the suffering that those who were trampled to death had endured.
He frowned and let the cold water wash over his body. After taking a cold shower, his mind gradually regained its calmness. His power was limited and he couldn’t save too many people. He just wanted to leave this crazy world urgently.
There might be some criminals in the real world but most people would abide by the rules of society. He wouldn’t need to worry about surviving every day, let alone participate in the undecided World Weekly missions every weekend. On weekends in reality, young people would gather for dinner, to watch movies or go on a date… now he thought that such a weekend had become a luxury.
Xiao Lou dried the water from his body, changed into pajamas and headed back to the room. Yu Hanjiang headed to take a shower. Xiao Lou sat at his desk and turned on his laptop to browse the Internet. He wanted to see if there were any news reports about today’s events.
Soon, he saw the headlines that were written in bright red: Stampede at Luo Yan’s concert. Thousands injured!
Yu Hanjiang came out from the shower and found Xiao Lou staring at the laptop screen with a pale face. He approached and looked at the screen. Xiao Lou had opened a news website which reported on the stampede at the concert in detail.
Yu Hanjiang’s voice was low. “It seems like the official statistics have come out.”
Xiao Lou nodded and spoke softly, “At tonight’s concern, 578 people died, 1086 people were seriously injured and many more have minor injuries. At present, the bodies of the dead are being collectively cremated while the seriously injured are treated at the hospital.”
578 wasn’t a simple number. It was a total of 578 lives.
Most of the 1,086 severely injured people were challengers. If they couldn’t heal their injuries before Saturday then they would likely be eliminated in this week’s World Weekly. At this time, what was their mood in the hospital?
Yu Hanjiang was silent for a moment before asking, “Where is Luo Yan? Has she apologized for this incident?”
Xiao Lou gripped the mouse and brought up Luo Yan’s homepage. “Her public relations team responded quickly. The moment the news came out, she immediately posted an apology letter which was obviously written in advance. Luo Yan apologized on her personal page and announced she would quit the entertainment circle and not sing again. Still, what will this change? The dead won’t come back to life just because she apologized. She is just acting.”
Luo Yan’s personal homepage had more than 500,000 comments. Except for some brainless fans still defending their goddess, most of the comments were condemning and verbally abusing her… still, this wasn’t important anymore. She completed her mission as a hunter, killing over 500 people and seriously wounding over 1,000 people. She would be sure to get a commendation from the organization.
Yu Hanjiang sighed lightly when he saw Xiao Lou’s pale face and wondered in a low voice, “If… if our team can’t clear the S-grade secret rooms, do you have any wish you want to fulfill? It is better to say it now so as to not leave any regrets for yourself.”
Xiao Lou raised his head and met the man’s deep and gentle gaze.
Wish to fulfill?
His mind suddenly flashed to his first encounter with Yu Hanjiang in reality. On that cloudy and rainy day, he was summoned by the police and went to the city bureau to make a transcript. Yu Hanjiang stood in front of the French windows in a police uniform, tall and upright like a pine tree. His handsome side profile was like a statue.
Xiao Lou’s first impression of Yu Hanjiang was that the man was very handsome but he was too serious and cold. His eyes were sharp like he could see into the depths of the heart. Facing this police officer, Xiao Lou was sweating when he was questioned out of fear he would say something wrong and affect the police’s investigation of the case.
This was their first meeting. He never would’ve imagined that he and Yu Hanjiang would have so many intersections.
During this period of getting along, Xiao Lou’s impression of Yu Hanjiang had changed a lot. This man was very principled, decisive and straightforward. His personality wasn’t as cold as his first impression.
In particular, Yu Hanjiang had always taken care of Xiao Lou. During the Beacon in Troubled Times secret room, they had been husband and wife and shared a bed. Xiao Lou was moved by Yu Hanjiang at that time.
Every time Yu Hanjiang inadvertently held his hand, his heart would beat like a drum. As long as Yu Hanjiang was by his side, he would inexplicably feel at ease.
However, he didn’t dare say it. The cruel and cold-blooded hunters exceeded his imagination. There might be many hunters like Luo Yan. It was unknown if they could survive the next period of time. Brother Jiu had such a strong team yet they were almost all wiped out in J of Clubs. How many levels could their current team reach? If they were eliminated, their souls would die completely.
In such a harsh living environment, how could he have the leisure to worry over emotional problems. Their lives weren’t necessarily guaranteed. If he confessed now and Yu Hanjiang didn’t like him, would it cause trouble instead?
There was a struggle in Xiao Lou’s eyes. This was the first time he liked someone. If he was in the stable and peaceful real world, he might have the courage to actively pursue Yu Hanjiang. It was just that now the word ‘like’ had become so heavy he didn’t dare mention it. If the relationship between him and Yu Hanjiang became stiff then it would definitely have a negative impact in the next secret room.
Xiao Lou’s mood was particularly contradictory. Under Yu Hanjiang’s gaze, he quietly moved his eyes away and whispered, “Of course, there are many wishes I want to fulfil. As a son, I want to support my parents. I also hope that my students will graduate smoothly…”
Yu Hanjiang asked in a low voice, “Anything else?”
Xiao Lou was silent. He wanted to say, ‘And you. I haven’t told you yet, how much I like you.’
His eyes were slightly hot but he couldn’t say this sentence.
The next moment, Yu Hanjiang gently held Xiao Lou’s hand. Xiao Lou’s fingers trembled as he tried to withdraw it, but Yu Hanjiang held his hand tighter.
In order to see the computer screen clearly just now, Yu Hanjiang had moved the chair next to Xiao Lou. Their seats were very close. Yu Hanjiang suddenly pulled his hand and Xiao Lou couldn’t help leaning forward. He was unexpectedly pulled into the other man’s arms.
Xiao Lou, “???”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality