Chapter 526 – Relay Mission
The private room where Ye Qi and Chu Huaying were located was right next to the square and they could clearly see the crowd in the square through the French window.
Chu Huaying thought about the notifications in the floating box and frowned. “The mission requires us to find all the hunters. Xiao Lou is the first one and there are obviously others. Will our other teammates also be replaced by hunters?”
Ye Qi agreed. “I also think this is very likely. Sister Ying, have you seen any other teammates?”
Chu Huaying shook her head. “I was on the bridge where the accident happened when I woke up. I was almost hit by a big truck. After dodging the truck, I immediately rushed to this Western restaurant to wait for the rest of the team. There was no contact with our other teammates on the road.”
Ye Qi briefly told her about his experience after coming to the secret room. “I woke up and called Chief Shao first. Then I went to the medical university next door to find Liu Qiao. At noon, I went to the Jiangzhou Criminal Investigation Police Team to find Group Leader Yu and I met Professor Xiao in the afternoon. Apart from Professor Xiao who was a hunter, the other three didn’t know me. They didn’t look like they were acting.”
Chu Huaying raised an eyebrow. “They don’t know you? Did they lose their memories?”
“It shouldn’t be amnesia.” Ye Qi carefully analyzed it. “My guess is that Chief Shao, Liu Qiao and Group Leader Yu aren’t hunters. We are more likely to have met their past selves. Their memories are stuck in the world of December 24th. The three of them really haven’t met before me and it is normal for them to not know me. Sister Ying, you are the real person who has crossed into the world of December 24th. That way, you can recognize me.”
Chu Huaying listened to his tongue twister and analyzed it for a while before finally understanding. “In other words, the time point of this world is December 24th. According to common sense, no one has been drawn into the card world yet, so we haven’t met. We naturally don’t know each other. Those who know us are either teammates who have crossed into this secret room or hunters who know our information.”
Ye Qi nodded vigorously. “That’s right. That is what I thought as well.”
Chu Huaying simply stood up. “Then it is easy to handle. Apart from Chief Shao, Liu Qiao and Group Leader Yu, we have to check the remaining teammates one by one. Those who know us but can’t match the secret code are most likely hunters in disguise. The goal of our mission is to find all the hunters. At the moment, your idea is quite reliable.”
Ye Qi was praised and was very happy. He looked at Xiao Lou who had been knocked unconscious and pulled his hair in distress. He asked, “How should we deal with Professor Xiao?”
Chu Huaying said coldly, “There might be contact methods between the hunters. He can summon companions to sneak up on us at any time…” She frowned and thought about it before making a suggestion. “It is better to find a place to lock him up first and take away all the cards on his body. Once we find the other hunters, we will think carefully about how to deal with these people.”
Ye Qi nodded. “Let’s see if he has any cards with him.”
Chu Huaying supported Xiao Lou with one hand while her other hand searched his pockets. Sure enough, she touched a familiar card pack. She took out the card pack and put it on the table. Ye Qi opened it and his eyes widened.
Tao Yuanming, Bai Juyi, Li Qingzhao, Liu Yong, Qin Guan, Su Shi, Lu Yu, Li Bai…
The ancient character cards with a unique painting style were neatly arranged in the card pack. In addition, there were the Gale running shoes given by Group Leader Yu, the S-grade tool card ‘Compass’ that was drawn early on and some low level cards like Fruit Knife from the Rose Funeral secret room.
Chu Huaying was stunned after seeing these cards. “Isn’t this Professor Xiao’s card pack?”
Ye Qi’s expression was complicated. “Yes, Professor Xiao is used to putting Tao Yuanming and Bai Juyi on the first page. Many character cards are unique. This must be Professor Xiao’s card pack… why does this hunter have Professor Xiao’s card pack?”
He paused and then a chill went down his back. “Did something happen to Professor Xiao?”
He remembered that Xiao Lou and Group Leader Yu previously analyzed that the source of the hunters’ cards was likely to be cards captured after killing the challengers. Now Xiao Lou’s cards were with this ‘fake Xiao Lou’. Surely the real Xiao Lou wasn’t…
Chu Huaying interrupted Ye Qi’s thoughts. “Impossible. Don’t forget that Xiao Lou is currently the owner of the contract book and our captain. The moment he dies, the ownership of the contract book will automatically transfer to the second person who signed and the notification box will inform us about the captain being changed.”
Ye Qi was stunned and asked curiously, “How does Sister Ying know this?”
A trace of pain flashed in Chu Huaying’s eyes but she quickly calmed down. “Our captain has been changed. In the beginning, our captain wasn’t Brother Jiu but a very prestigious senior. Unfortunately, she died in 10 of Spades and the captain’s position was automatically transferred to Brother Jiu. At that time, everyone received the notification that the captain was changed.”
It turned out to be like this.
Ye Qi was silent and didn’t ask for more details about the matter. Yet according to Sister Ying, the real Xiao Lou must be alive right now. Otherwise, the contract book would’ve transferred to the second signed person, Yu Hanjiang.
Chu Huaying said, “Xiao Lou’s card pack is in the hands of this hunter. Fortunately, we were cautious enough or we might’ve died if we allowed him to use the card skills.”
Ye Qi suddenly realized a detail. “Let’s assume that you and I are the only teammates in this world. The hunters know the number of challengers in this world. Then the moment he saw you just now, he would’ve definitely opened a card to forcibly control us. He didn’t do that. This means there must be other teammates in this world. He wanted to wait for everyone to show up before catching all of us?”
Chu Huaying looked at Ye Qi appreciatively. “This is reasonable. He didn’t kill us directly because he didn’t want to startle our teammates. He wanted to lure everyone out before acting. It is quite possible that the hunter’s task in this world is to wipe out all of us.”
The two of them discussed it and finally determined the next course of action.
Chu Huaying said, “I haven’t teamed up with you for long. I don’t know Long Sen, Qu Wanyue and Old Mo well but I know where Old Gui and Xiao Tang live. We can go to them first.”
“Brother Long is a coach at a sports school and Sister Qu is a teacher at the largest dance training center in Jiangzhou. Uncle Mo seems to have opened an independent design studio called…” Ye Qi paused and soon remembered the name of the real life studio that Old Mo mentioned. “Xinran Design Studio. His daughter’s name is Mo Xinran and she is a student of the Seventh Middle School.”
“I got it. Let’s go to them one by one.”
“Yes. It seems that only Brother Jiu is missing, right?” Ye Qi remembered that Sister Ying didn’t mention Brother Jiu.
“Lu Jiuchuan died unexpectedly while on a mission three years ago. Now we are in the world of December 24th. If we want to find Brother Jiu, we can only go to the Martyrs’ Cemetery to visit the grave.” Chu Huaying explained casually. “The moment he appears in front of us, there is no doubt that this Lu Jiuchuan will be a hunter.”
“……” Ye Qi’s cheeks turned red. He almost forgot this key point. Brother Jiu’s death was much earlier in the current timeline so it was absolutely impossible for Lu Jiuchuan to appear in this world.
“Let’s go. Hurry up.” Huaying’s physical fitness had been enhanced by cards and she could easily break a person’s neck. Her arms were slender but she could single-handedly raise Xiao Lou and drag a man who was 1.8 meters tall without any difficulty.
Ye Qi covered Xiao Lou’s bound hands with a coat and the two of them took Xiao Lou to the underground garage to find the car that Chu Huaying had driven. The right side of the black car had a large dent and it could be imagined how much danger she was in when she first entered the secret room. She might’ve really died again if her reaction was slower by a second.
Chu Huaying started the car and it was not long before they arrived at the Nanhua community where she lived.
After going upstairs, Ye Qi took a quick look around her place. It was a small suite with two bedrooms and a living room. This was the residence of a single girl and it was very clean and tidy. One room was a bedroom and the other was a study with a cool game console. Ye Qi’s eyes lit up and he asked, “Sister Ying, is your computer this year’s new Halloween limited edition?”
Chu Huaying nodded. “Yes.”
Ye Qi touched the box with a look of envy. He liked to play games but had no money as a student. He was embarrassed to ask his parents for money to buy such an expensive machine and this computer had always been in his shopping cart. However, now wasn’t the time to think about this. Ye Qi quickly withdrew his hand and asked, “Where are you going to hide Professor Xiao? Do you need help?”
“No, I’ll lock him up in the study first.” Chu Huaying took a clean towel and stuffed it in Xiao Lou’s mouth. She tore apart a sheet, tied it and fixed him to the e-sports chair in the study. Then she locked the doors and windows and closed the curtains.
In this way, Xiao Lou would be unable to escape.
Chu Huaying finished all of this and waved at Ye Qi. “Go and look for the others.”
Ye Qi followed her numbly.
Chu Huaying took out her mobile phone and searched for the possible locations where their teammates might appear. “Let’s start with the nearest one. I found a Xinran Design Studio nearby. Old Mo might be there.”
Ye Qi nodded. “Let’s go find Uncle Mo first.”
Chu Huaying drove quickly to Xinran Design Studio. She parked the car on the side of the road and walked into the studio with Ye Qi. The moment she entered the door, she saw a middle-aged man seriously revising the drawings in front of the computer. Ye Qi was about to call out ‘Uncle Mo’ when Chu Huaying stopped him with a gesture. She stepped forward, took off her sunglasses and asked calmly, “Hello, are you Mr Mo?”
Mo Xuemin raised his head and smiled. “Yes. What do the two of you need help with? Do you need a decorating design?”
Chu Huaying glanced at Ye Qi and Ye Qi had to bite the bullet to speak. “Yes, my sister just recently bought a two bedroom house. I want to ask a professional designer to design it…”
Chu Huaying simply drew a floor plan of her house. “Look, this is the floor plan. The area of the house is relatively small and I want to expand the space through reasonable design.”
Mo Xuemin looked at the drawing and nodded. “No problem. I usually produce renderings within three days. You can first talk about your favorite style…”
Chu Huaying and Old Mo chatted about some house design problems. Ye Qi listened carefully. Finally, the two of them paid the deposit and turned to walk out of the studio. Chu Huaying shook her head at Ye Qi. “This Old Mo seems to be the one in the past.”
Ye Qi wasn’t discouraged. “What about the next one?”
Chu Huaying told him, “Find Senior Gui.”
Gui Yuanzhang’s place was relatively hidden. It was a villa built in the Chinese style. The two of them came to the door and were told, “Mr Gui is on a national lecture tour and won’t return home until next month.”
Immediately after that, Chu Huaying found Tang Ci’s company responsible for the development of intelligent robots. The news she got was, “Tang Ci is on a business trip.”
Those who weren’t in Jiangzhou definitely weren’t in the same instance. It was naturally not a teammate.
Next were Long Sen and Qu Wanyue.
Ye Qi saw a building at the corner of the street in front of him which read ‘Learned Arts Training Center’. He remembered that Teacher Qu worked as a dance teacher at this largest arts center and it was almost time to leave work. Ye Qi suggested, “Let’s go find Teacher Qu to see.”
Chu Huaying followed Ye Qi upstairs.
The two of them came to the front desk and Ye Qi asked, “Hello, is Teacher Qu Wanyue here? There is someone who wants to sign up for dance classes.”
The girl at the front desk smiled. “Teacher Qu is in class. The two of you can go to the lounge and wait for a while.”
Ye Qi followed the receptionist to the lounge. They waited for around 10 minutes before Qu Wanyue and a man walked in side by side—Long Sen was actually here. What a coincidence. They didn’t have to go to the sports school to find Long Sen.
After seeing Ye Qi and Chu Huaying, Qu Wanyue sped up her pace and walked to Ye Qi with a smile. “I was planning to go find everyone after class. I didn’t expect you to come to the door first.”
Long Sen scratched his head and asked, “What about the others?”
Ye Qi and Chu Huaying looked at each other. Long Sen and Qu Wanyue were together and had recognized each other. Were they the real teammates or hunters?
Partially proofread: Paranoid Kitten