Cen Buming covered his ears and frowned. Then he quickly let go. “What did you say just now? My ears are ringing and I didn’t hear it.”
“It is nothing.” Bai Liu changed the subject. “I have seen what is behind the door. Accordingly, I will give you a way to save those 2,000 people.”
“There is one thing that can painlessly eliminate the pollution symptoms caused by the dry leaf roses.”
Cen Buming held his breath. “What?”
“The blood ganoderma lucidum.” Bai Liu shrugged. “If I remember correctly, you should’ve stripped the strain from the few surviving children in the welfare home to be preserved. In other words, you already have the raw materials for the antidote.”
Cen Buming stared at Bai Liu and raised his gun to Bai Liu’s forehead. “The blood ganoderma lucidum can only be grown with the blood of specific children. There are nearly 2,000 adults waiting to be rescued. Are you encouraging us to use the blood of young children to illegally breed heretics?”
Bai Liu smiled. “Isn’t it often said that the antidote is hidden within the poison? Maybe you can try to use the blood of these 2,000 infected people to grow the blood ganoderma lucidum?”
Cen Buming was confused.
Bai Liu casually patted Cen Buming’s shoulder like he didn’t see the gun pointed at him and walked toward the elevator entrance.
Tang Erda held down Cen Buming’s gun, which was still aimed at Bai Liu, and shook his head in an admonishing manner.
Cen Buming lowered the gun. He glanced at Tang Erda before looking sideways at Bai Liu’s back. His intact right eye narrowed and he wiped the muzzle of his gun hard before hanging it back at his waist.
“Captain Tang, do you know that this isn’t the first time I’ve given someone the Lens of Perspective to use.” Cen Buming spoke coldly. “However, this is the first time I’ve seen someone use the Lens of Perspective with his left eye. In particular, this person is right-handed so this isn’t in line with his habits.”
“I almost thought your ward was mocking me for having only one right eye.”
There was the possibility of Bai Liu doing this. He had the bad taste to do so.
Tang Erda also saw that Bai Liu had deliberately changed his hands when he took the lens and raised it. He had also raised an eyebrow and slowly glanced at Cen Buming’s unclear left eye.
Bai Liu had always been vengeful and Cen Buming had provoked him. It was clear that Bai Liu wouldn’t say anything but he would never miss the small details when teasing and provoking people.
Cen Buming stared coldly at Tang Erda. “Are you sure you want to let out such a clever heretic?”
“I owe him.” Tang Erda finished speaking and ran in Bai Liu’s direction.
Cen Buming was left alone in the darkness at the bottom of the heretics bureau. It took a long time for Cen Buming to come out of the shadows. He caressed his covered left eye with one hand and looked at the backs of Bai Liu and Tang Erda with his right eye. Then he murmured in an extremely cold tone.
“Nobody owes the monsters. it is the monsters who owe us.”
Tang Erda sent Bai Liu to the door of the heretics bureau. Then he saw the members of the third team at the door who were staring at Bai Liu with hostility and couldn’t help having a headache.
These were all the debts he owed.
Many of the team members who stayed here last night had a fierce battle with the heretics released by Bai Liu. There was no means to tell them the truth so their hostility toward Bai Liu would continue for a long time.
Unless he… transferred this resentment to him.
Tang Erda was lowering his head and pondering on it when he heard a shout behind him. “Captain!”
Tang Erda’s pupils shrank slightly. He stopped walking and slowly turned around.
Su Yang stood in the doorway and stared deeply at him. He held his uniform in his hand and had red eyes. Standing behind him were the members of the third team.
They looked incredulous and disbelieving. They stared at the captain like they had been abandoned, watching this confused and fleeing hunter.
“Captain, are you really leaving?”
Tang Erda was stuck in place by this sentence and clenched his fists. There was no way for him to continue walking forward.
These people, these players, these eyes—
The little bit of happiness and beauty that he possessed in the more than 300 meaningless rebirths were related to the faces of these people who laughed or slept peacefully.
The drunk hunter huddled up exhausted in the pile of monsters, using his gun as a pillow while the faces of these people were as vivid as ever in his sleep.
This was his duty, his mission, his destiny. He was inescapably doomed when these people died for him.
Bai Liu also stopped. He turned to look at this scene. Then without much surprise, he glanced at the frozen Tang Erda. He patted Tang Erda’s shoulders with confidence and gently pushed the motionless Tang Erda forward.
“Say goodbye to your team members. I’ll be waiting for you outside.”
Bai Liu waved his hand lazily and turned away without looking back.
Tang Erda was pushed forward and staggered. He looked down at the dirty and old bureau uniform on his body and saw his hands that had been worn down to thick calluses from shooting an unknown number of monsters and living heretics. Then he raised his head and looked at Su Yang and the team members on the other side in a deep and confused manner.
He suddenly found that he was on the verge of forgetting what he and they looked like in the beginning.
Tang Erda could only remember the bad, mutilated, bloody and hateful pictures. These images were like small knives, cutting into the faces of these people. Little by little, Tang Erda’s memories were carved into a bloody and unrecognizable appearance.
He couldn’t remember when he and Su Yang had drank while holding aloft a broken beer mug, he couldn’t remember the last time he celebrated with this group of fools, he couldn’t remember Su Yang leaning against his shoulder and saying with a smile, ‘I’ll wait for your powerful backing.’
It was obviously so important and he had relied on these memories to survive. Yet at this moment, the memories seemed to be too far away from him, far enough to be blurred, yellowed and faded. It was far enough to be like the memories of another third team leader, Tang Erda.
They weren’t the memories of Tang Erda who had transformed into a monster.
The more he tried to go back to the past, the more he had to move further away from the past.
“Captain, please don’t go!”
Su Yang held Tang Erda’s uniform with both hands. His back was straight and he bowed 90 degrees in a disciplined manner. He forced his voice to be calm but the sound of choking could still be heard.
“Captain, please don’t go!”
Under the leadership of Su Yang, the entire third team lowered their heads and bowed to Tang Erda. They shouted loudly and hoarsely. Tears slid down the faces of some of them and dripped onto the ground.
Tang Erda finally took a step forward. He slowed down and walked toward Su Yang and the third team step by step. Then he silently took his uniform from Su Yang’s hand.
Su Yang looked up with surprise. “Captain?!”
The other side.
Mu Ke and Liu Jiayi received a text message from Tang Erda and drove to the outside of the heretic bureau to wait.
Now that Bai Liu came out unscathed, Mu Ke let out a sigh of relief from where he was sitting in the driver’s seat and slumped in his seat.
Liu Jiayi, who had gotten out of the car a long time ago to get some air and was leaning against the car door, seemed to hear the movement of someone approaching and she looked up with a bit of surprise.
She listened carefully before asking incredulously, “There are only your footsteps. You actually left that stupid, big man in the heretic bureau?”
“Aren’t you afraid he will stay?” Liu Jiayi hugged her chest and ‘looked’ in the direction of Bai Liu’s footsteps. “I don’t believe you didn’t see that he has a stronger sense of belonging to the bureau. You left him there while expecting him to cut the psychological connection with the third team by himself. This is equivalent to sending the sheep into the tiger’s mouth.”
“He won’t have a psychological sense of belonging to our side.” Liu Jiayi shook her head before coming to a firm conclusion. “I can feel that he is very repulsive and even hostile to us.”
Liu Jiayi raised her eyebrows impatiently and criticized Bai Liu. “Didn’t you go around in such a big circle to completely control Tang Erda? What is going on? You dropped the ball when you got a foot in the door. This isn’t your style.”
Bai Liu was questioned by Liu Jiayi but he wasn’t in a hurry. He turned around, leaned against the car door and took out a bottle of water from the open driver’s window. He unscrewed it and drank before answering Liu Jiayi.
“I was suddenly curious about what type of choice this Captain Tang will make if I don’t cut it deliberately.”
“Why are you so curious all of a sudden?” Liu Jiayi stomped her feet and spoke urgently. “There are only two months to go until the league. You need to hurry up and control the players. Tang Erda is so high-quality that he might be robbed by someone like Hearts!”
Bai Liu looked down at Liu Jiayi. “So you want to see me using the method that Hearts used to control you to control Tang Erda? You want him to part with those he is closest to?”
Liu Jiayi froze.
“That is what I originally planned to do.” Bai Liu’s words changed again and he admitted it without hesitation.
Bai Liu put the lid back on the bottle of water. He slipped one hand casually into his trouser pockets while his eyes stared at the huge, white circular building in front of him. The morning wind was blowing behind him and sunlight shone. Bai Liu’s messy hair was blown as well as the white shirt that wasn’t tucked into his pants.
The dazzling sunlight shone on the side of Bai Liu’s face and outlined his faint smile, glittering in the dawn that was about to fade away.
“Yet at certain times, I think it is good to use Lu Yizhan’s method to guide people’s hearts.”
The sunlight shone through the morning mist and burst into countless bright rays. Then the beams of light merged with each other and gradually dyed the sky, turning the barren and empty monster-filled underground area, the huge circular metal building and the octopus-like symbol on the team uniforms into a golden reflection of light.
Tang Erda looked at the sun-brightened octopus badge in his hand that had followed him for centuries. He didn’t move for a long time. Finally, he let out a long breath and chuckled.
“Captain?” Su Yang asked carefully.
“Do you remember when we first trained as reserve members of the bureau?” Tang Erda raised a completely unrelated question.
Su Yang was taken aback but he still seriously answered Tang Erda’s question. “…I remember. We were all reserve members of the first team in the beginning and we trained very hard.”
“Was it hard to stop me from being stupid?” Tang Erda looked nostalgic. “At that time, the most impulsive person in the entire team was me. Every time I encountered a heretic killing people, I couldn’t control my temper and wanted to kill the heretics. I was stopped by the leader of the first team every time and he taught us a lot.”
“Yes, at that time, Cen Buming was still the vice-captain of the first team and he was particularly strict with us. However, he would obediently call the captain of the first team ‘Senior brother’.”
Su Yang didn’t know what Tang Erda wanted to say but he still recalled it with Tang Erda. “At that time, you didn’t like him. You made fun of him by imitating his way of calling the captain of the first team. He also scolded you for your explosive temper. He said that you would sooner or later be polluted and your spiritual dimensionality would be reduced.”
Tang Erda was in a bit of a trance. “…Did I fight with Cen Buming?”
“It has been more than 20 years so it is normal not to remember.” Su Yang smiled. “Why did you suddenly mention this?”
“I just suddenly remembered a sentence that the captain of the first team once said to me.” Tang Erda lowered his eyes and looked at the team symbol. He clenched his hands and said softly, “There are no two identical leaves in the world, just as there are no two identical timelines.”
“Once you are chosen by time, it doesn’t matter how much you encounter things that want you to stay and no matter how many people you want to stay with. You must know that they are no longer the real people or things that you want to stay for. They have been gone a long time ago—”
“You can’t look back. You can only keep moving forward.”
“This is your future.”
Tang Erda raised his head. He looked around at all the team members and said in a solemn voice.
“I became the guardian and binder of Heretic 0006. The accidents caused by Heretic 0006 last night and this morning were all caused by my improper judgment of Heretic 0006, leading to his intensification—”
His blue eyes were clear. “I will be fully responsible for this.”
“Heretic 0006 isn’t a harmful type of heretic and he controlled himself in two violent riots. He didn’t kill a single person and both made compensatory measures afterwards to help with the consequences of what he caused. I wrongly judged Heretic 0006 and used various means to persecute him. This is the initial cause of the incident, for which—”
Tang Erda faced the group of stunned team members and bent down deeply to bow to them.
“I will try my best to make up for the 67 people who were injured last night. The explosion at the Rose Factory the next day has also been resolved.” Tang Erda grabbed the team badge of his team uniform and pulled it off forcefully.
Su Yang yelled at him. “Captain!”
However, it was too late.
The team symbol was completely torn off and Tang Erda took a deep breath. “I will resign as the captain of the third team. I am the binder of Heretic 0006 so I will never return to the bureau until he is fully integrated into society.”
Su Yang closed his eyes. His cheeks trembled and he gritted his teeth.
Tang Erda straightened. He had a relaxed smile like he had let go of everything but his eyes were red. He shook the team symbol before taking off the team uniform and draping it on Su Yang’s shoulders. He patted Su Yang’s shoulder and gently placed the team badge representing the captain in Su Yang’s palm.
Su Yang opened his eyes in shock and looked at him.
Tang Erda said solemnly, “Here I appoint Vice-captain Su Yang as the new leader of the third team. I will transfer all authorities except the authority of the Prophet to him.”
“I order you, Vice-captain Yang, to receive the badge!” Tang Erda’s tone suddenly sank.
Su Yang endured and endured but couldn’t hold back. Tears streamed down as he gritted his teeth to take the team symbol that Tang Erda handed to him. “Yes, Captain.”
Tang Erda smiled. “You will be a better captain than me, Su Yang.”
Su Yang cried while holding the team badge and uniform.
For more than 20 years, he never imagined that one day Tang Erda would no longer be his captain and it was in such a cruel and self-punishing way.
Su Yang understood what the Dangerous Heretics Handling Bureau meant to Tang Erda. He also understood how terrible it would be for Tang Erda to give it up.
Su Yang had thought about 10,000 ways for Tang Erda to leave the bureau. He might be killed by a heretic, commit suicide due to the pollution or even die of old age as a caretaker of the heretics in the headquarters.
He never thought it would be like this. In the conception of Su Yang and the team members, Tang Erda never left the bureau. This meant that in their cognition, leaving the bureau was a more terrible thing for Tang Erda than death.
Tang Erda led them to charge forward in battle and was recognized by every member of the third team. He was their eternal captain. He was righteous, brave, sometimes a bit impatient but never absent from any life or death battle. He wasn’t afraid in any heretical game of leaving and not returning.
Then when did they drift away from each other?
Su Yang looked at Tang Erda’s leaving back with tears in his eyes. Tang Erda waved his hand freely and didn’t seem nostalgic about this place, but the clothes, pants and even the shoes and socks were all specially made by the bureau.
The uniform had been worn to the point of being torn and washed to the point of whiteness, but it was still firmly worn by Tang Erda. It was as if this old uniform of the bureau had grown on his body and could no longer be taken off.
However, the team badge that had long grown in his heart had been personally pulled off by his own hand.
Bai Liu waited by the side of the car for a while. Liu Jiayi couldn’t help sneering when she saw that Tang Erda hadn’t come out. “Bai Liu, you will regret your soft heart. That captain doesn’t seem like he can easily leave the team. Waiting for him…”
Before Liu Jiayi could finish speaking, a black dot appeared from the circular building and headed toward them.
He was walking slowly in his torn and tattered uniform, but he was indeed walking this way.
Liu Jiayi’s words stopped and she looked in the direction of the sound of the footsteps with disbelief.
Tang Erda came over. Bai Liu examined his condition from top to bottom. His eyes stopped on the tattered uniform for a few seconds before he teased with a smile, “I thought you would leave the team symbol and team uniform together with Su Yang.”
Tang Erda wasn’t surprised that Bai Liu could guess the way things had gone. He nodded, his voice a bit hoarse. “Originally, it was planned that way. The team uniform and team symbol were given to him…”
Bai Liu’s gaze stopped on the team uniform on Tang Erda’s body. “So?”
“Su Yang insisted on leaving the uniform to me.” Tang Erda said softly, “He said that he will only keep the team symbol for me temporarily and will always be waiting for me to come back.”
Tang Erda was silent for a long time before saying, “However, I can’t turn back. That isn’t my future.”
“I can only keep moving forward.”
TL: Translator here. With the end of the arc, I have some bad news to tell you. I have to drop GHG here.
In just under a year, there will be huge personal changes happening in my life and I want to take a break from translating in order to have more time to focus on my personal life. However, I want to complete as many of my ongoing novels as I can. Due to the length of GHG, VCRMM and FV, I might not be able to complete any novels if I keep translating all of them.
One novel had to give and unfortunately, it ended up being GHG simply due to the extremely long length and complexity of the later arcs that requires me to spend a lot more time translating it then I do the other novels. Sorry everyone!
There is someone who has requested to translate GHG. I told them I was dropping it and they were free to pick it up if they wanted. I don’t know what is happening with this but I will be sure to let people know in the discord server if there is any news about GHG being picked up by anyone. Invite for the discord server is currently in the event page pinned on the homepage and will only be available until the 1st December, so be sure to join the server while you can if you want updates.