The Card Apprentice - novelonlinefull.com
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One was a renowned ace who was the talk of the place as of late, while the other being the most well-known beauty in the company. There was simply no way for them not to attract attention.
Things were rather different there than when they were at the banquet with Tai-shu Zheng. While they both attracted a lot of attention at the banquet, the guests were still rather restrained. However, those internal staffs kept looking their way every now and then. Furthermore, it seemed someone had went about telling people that there were there, which ended up with having more and more people sitting in the restaurant. The hall, which had 80 tables, were all filled within mere moments. What was even more eerie was how there was no one who spoke loudly; all that was heard were whispers. But unfortunately in this case, Chen Mu's hearing was superb. While those people around them had suppressed their voices, but he was still able to hear them very clearly nonetheless. Hearing how the staffs gossiped about him and Xu Jia in glee, he kept sweating cold sweat despite his usual unfettered, composed demeanor. Xu Jia, who had been acting calmly all the time before Chen Mu, had never antic.i.p.ated something like that happening, and she was feeling just as uncomfortable.
The meal was finished in an awkward manner and they both felt like they were actually running away from something after they were done, instead of simply leaving the table.
Chen Mu walked all the way to the training grounds and by the time he arrived at Bu Mo's training room, his emotions had returned to its usual calm state. Not a single hint of unease or haste was seen anymore in his cold calm eyes, as they became totally calmed and composed.
Wei-ah had been waiting for Chen Mu inside the room. They took a look at each other and got ready to depart at the same time.
"Hey, Woody..." Bu Mo asked with a weak voice and Chen Mu turned around, feeling surprised.
"What is it, Little Bu Mo?" Bu Mo had certain similar traits with his name, in the sense that he hardly spoke at his own will.
"Can I come with you?" Bu Mo asked in a rather uneasy manner. He seemed to feel rather sorry about even asking in the first place, but he quickly lifted his tiny fist, to prove that he had what it took. "Woody, I've been working hard as of late! Even Wei-ah said my progress is astounding!"
Chen Mu took a look at Wei-ah, who shook his head and added, "You're not strong enough yet."
Chen Mu had no choice but to shrug at Bu Mo. He went on to console Bu Mo seeing how dejected the boy looked, "No need to rush, Little Bu Mo. Keep at it with your current rate of progress, and we'll be fighting alongside each other in no time!"
While Bu Mo still looked rather dejected, his resolve was quickly lit up again as he lifted his bald head, saying seriously, "Yeah, Woody! I will continue to work hard!"
Seeing Bu Mo's determined expression, Chen Mu felt like he was looking at his past self all of a sudden. He patted Bu Mo's head and said nothing.
All manner of fantasy card commercials were seen as night fell. The grand, vast Dongrui City looked dazzling as a result. Wei-ah was incapable of flight, so the two simply walked on the streets.
The Garden Above hanging over their heads emitted cold, subdued light, making it look like a giant moon. The fortresses that surrounded the floating suburb shimmered like stars. Citizens of Dongrui had gotten used to it, while Chen Mu, who had never seen it before, could not have helped but keep looking up, being impressed of its grandness.
Both men zipped through the buildings at high speed under the cover of night.
Wei-ah was moving incredibly fast. It was difficult to imagine what kind of powers lied within those legs that could have been hardly described as robust. He was able to cover a distance of seven to eight meters with just a single step. Chen Mu had to give it his all just to even keep up. Every single step Wei-ah took made it seem like he disappeared right where he stood, appearing seven to eight meters away all of a sudden.
While it was not the first time Chen Mu seen Wei-ah move, he was nonetheless still rather impressed. Such speeds would have made him a force to be reckoned with in combat. Chen Mu, who had frequently sparred with Wei-ah felt that very deeply. Furthermore, he knew well that that was not the highest speed that Wei-ah was able to achieve! Just how fast can Wei-ah be? I've never seen it.
All pa.s.sers-by who saw them both all doubted if their eyes were playing tricks at them. Some card artisans with a certain measure of powers were shocked and knew well enough to stay out of their way. Living in such times, everyone who had any common sense, would have known what to do dealing with such situations.
After travelling for about 20 minutes, they have finally reached their destination.
"There." Wei-ah was able to convey what he meant perfectly, saying only a single word and a simple gesture.
It was an una.s.suming civilian dwelling. A three-storey building with a garden and less than 500 square meters. Any resident of Dongrui City with a decent job would have been able to afford such a house. The place that they found themselves in now was called Hualin Village, a satellite town of Dongrui City quite a distance away from the city itself. Chen Mu felt rather surreal that Wei-ah was able to came all the way here with his investigations. The dwellings all looked identical and it made Chen Mu feel rather dazed.
No. 169, 11th Street, Hualin Village. Chen Mu memorized the address written on the plaque at the door.
Chen Mu took his mask off and held it close. If the enmity he had for the Great Six were to be said stemming out of self-preservation, then his Faya ran even deeper and was more intense, which was outright irreconcilable. He would have not hesitated to do anything that was deemed capable of weakening Faya's powers. However, that was not to say that he had lost his composure. He would not have chosen to fight any enemy head-on, before he deemed himself strong enough to do so. His ident.i.ty as Qiao Yuan had thoroughly gotten on the bad side of Faya. As such, it would have been better to just go all the way. Wei-ah looked at how Chen Mu acted. He then took his mask off and held it close as well.
Both men moved like ghosts as they leapt into the wall. The three meter-tall wall was hardly an obstacle for both of them. Chen Mu did not even bother to use his senses to scale it. His pupils however, dilated all of a sudden as soon as he landed.
Card appliance contraptions!
He turned around hard and evaded the location of said contraption at the nick of time. Chen Mu, who calmed a bit after that, lifted his head and gasped!
The compound that was hardly huge at all was filled with large amount of card appliance contraptions! Any enemy who sneaked in would have easily triggered one if they were not being cautious. The latest models of shallow explosive card appliance contraptions, wavy blade shooters known for its high rate of fire, trapper energy nets that would have easily been able to tie something as huge as a fist into a dumpling with a designated area...
Chen Mu clicked his tongue. The card appliance contraptions found within were far more advanced than what they themselves were using! Chen Mu knew a thing or two about card appliance contraptions as Hertha, who was an adept at using card appliance contraptions, was working for him. However, it seemed that the contraptions seemed to be laid in a hasty, random, and messy manner in the compound. Not only were their placement problematic, there were not even the most basic of camouflages used on them. If Hertha had been with them, he would have snubbed his nose at how those contraptions were laid.
But to Chen Mu and Wei-ah, that was an opening that they could exploit. Those contraptions would have caused them a h.e.l.l lot of trouble otherwise.
Furthermore, there had been three near-imperceptible beams of perception sweeping over them consecutively within the span of several seconds. Chen Mu determined that if he were to even use a bit of his perception, he might have ended up being detected by those sweeping perceptions. Worse still, any contraption triggered would have meant their cover being blown.
Chen Mu hunched and silently sneaked into the house, moving along the seams of those contraptions. Wei-ah followed right behind and made no sound. He was so quiet that even Chen Mu, who was leading the way, felt weird.
Chen Mu put his ear to the wall after sneaking to the bottom of the wall and listened closely. His six sensory inputs were unnervingly sharp now. He was still able to vaguely hear the conversation within the house despite having a wall between them.
"I'm getting sleepy here. Even a robot would have collapsed having to keep doing overtime like this!" A card artisan groaned in a low voice.
Another card artisan, who seemed to be older from his voice, consoled the first card artisan, saying, "Just hold on for a few more days. Reinforcements would be here by then. We would have a few day's break after that. You know the lady would never shortchanges us. The overtime pay would be hefty."
"That's true and all, but if that black-ops guy hadn't screwed up in the first place, we wouldn't have to do this!" The young card artisan was apparently displeased.
"The black-ops sure got themselves in a tight spot this time, and things sure ain't going to look good for them in the future. But man, who would have thought some guy like that would have been with Tai-shu!" The older card artisan said with a tinge of worry.
The young card artisan snorted and said, "Hmph, that bunch of eerie, unpopular good-for-nothings who know nothing but sneaking around. Their sh** faces look like they came out of a single mold and they sure as were unfriendly. I say serve them right!"
"Watch what you're saying!" The older card artisan was apparently dreaded the black-ops and continued, "Alright, alright. Just don't go sticking our noses where they don't belong. Just focus on guarding the lady and let the others worry about the ohter stuff."
Chen Mu, who was outside the house, silently processed he had just heard. Those a.s.sa.s.sin card artisans were probably coming from a subdivision of Faya called the black-ops, and that there reinforcements arriving within days. The intel had him determined to get what he came for on that very night. Or else, when reinforcements arrived, there would have been no more opportunities for him to do whatever he needed to do. He came to understand why those card appliance contraptions were laid in such crude, haphazard manner without a hint of technical expertise to speak of.
"The lady doesn't seem all that much in a good for the past few days! This is the first time I've seen being so G.o.dd.a.m.n angry!" The young card artisan voiced his concerns.
Chen Mu's ears perked up.
"Yeah, I've been sticking around the lady for quite a couple of years and I've never seen her so frustrated about anything!" The older card artisan sighed.
"It's all that good-for-nothing Qiao Yuan's fault! If I were to see that a**hole again, I'm going to grind him to dust!" The young card artisan said in an enraged tone.
"Shh, the lady is coming down." The older card artisan lowered his voice all of the sudden and both of them shut up immediately. Chen Mu flinched and gestured at Wei-ah, who was right beside him, with his eye. If he had not been keeping himself highly focused, he would have missed that line.
The lady was in a very bad mood as of late and she had not been sleeping well at all. She was unable to sleep at night and was unable to keep her eyes shut well during the day. She had only shut her eyes for about half an hour previously and quickly found herself unable to sleep any longer. She decided to get up and take a walk instead.
Her eyes turned very gentle seeing the Bronze-Masked Man standing guard at her door, "Uncle, don't just keep standing here. You've had even less rest every day than I did. Your body would collapse if you keep doing this."
"Hehe, little miss, people like us don't need much sleep," the Bronze Masked Man chuckled and siad.
"Uncle, father said that Zhuo Qing has emerged out of isolation. He had been unparalleled among the young generation of card artisans back then, and I'm sure he's even more powerful now! My father said that he intended to send Zhuo Qing to Kyoto." She felt rather excited. She had only displayed a bit of girly side to her at that moment.
The Bronze-Masked Man looked at her with doting eyes and said, "he is the one who would take my place to protect you in the future after all. He'd need to sharpen himself more now to do that."
"Hehe, I bet you're feeling rather excited! He's your number one disciple after all!" She said in glee.
The Bronze-Masked Man voice remained gentle as he continued, "Zhuo Qing has exceptional talents and it is quite a rare thing that he has a good personality and intentions too. I'd be able to rest easy with him taking my place to protect you."
The lady sounded rather unwilling and said with a rather squeamish tone, "So you're going to leave me, uncle? No way, no way!"
The Bronze-Masked Man patted her head and said with a sigh, "Your uncle is going to get old someday and he'd die too." He then noted that the conversation was sounding rather sad, and changed the subject subtly, "Oh right. Butchie should be here within two days."
"Butchie?" The lady sounded rather surprised. "How are her injuries?"
"Hehe, she is all well now and she seems to be far more capable than she had been." He then said with a tinge of dejection, "It's a pity that Hugo didn't make it. He was the one I had expectations for among those kids. While his talents were lacking, he was resilient. He would have became a great, if late-blooming, card artisan, if it hadn't been for that accident."
The lady was silent for a while before continuing, "He probably didn't regret it. If it hadn't been for him covering Butchie, she would have died at Qiao Yuan's hands." She then smirked, "Alright, enough with the chit-chat. Let's go for a walk, uncle. It's my first time here at Dongrui City."
"Right." The Bronze Masked Man nodded.
Both of them walked downstairs and the card artisan guards straightened themselves. All guards were ordered to never leave the premises so as not to attract attention.
The Bronze Masked Man turned his head all of a sudden with bone-chilling eyes!
"Hmph, come out!"
He wriggled his right hand at the wall before he finished. The st.u.r.dy material used to make the wall became as flimsy as paper as a hole was blasted through it. Light shone from the hole and there was nothing outside. The card artisans around were not able to react in time and they all turned to look at the big hole with dazed expressions.
Everyone felt stunned as a rumble was heard soon! The parts of the wall two meters away from both sides of that hole blew up. Debris flew at the group like rain droplets! It was too sudden and all of the card artisans were caught by surprise! The scene turned into chaos as the dust and the debris shrouded the entire living room.
The Bronze Masked Man stood before the lady to protect her and encased both of them in an energy shield immediately.
Two figures who seemed like black bolts of lightning charged at the energy shield in the midst of the confusiion!
The Bronze-Masked Man snorted and said, "Some guts you have!" He felt himself dazed before he finished his line as one of them seemed to appear right before his energy shield out of nowhere! The Bronze-Masked Man's pupils dilated!
He flinched and backed off immediately!
Bang! A crisp cracking sound was heard as the energy shield was shattered into pieces. The shattered light pieces fell all over the place like petals and the scene looked rather dreamy. However, the Bronze-Masked Man had no time to admire the view. He took the lady in his hands and felt highly alerted. His opponent was able to shatter his energy shield with just a single punch...
What uncanny powers indeed...