Summoner Sovereign - novelonlinefull.com
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It also annoyed me that neither of them answered my question, but then again, I didn't ask them properly. They probably attributed my one-word question to shock or disbelief. Perhaps they had a.s.sumed my question was rhetorical.
Ignoring me, the two of them checked the area to ensure that it was clear. Meanwhile, a single adult man in a black cloak and a black hat strolled onto the road from the forest.
Yue Jian gasped in recognition. I glanced at her and she returned my gaze sheepishly.
"That's the strange man who came to my house a long time ago."
"When exactly is a long time ago?" I muttered under my breath, frustrated by the vague answer. Then I decided that I didn't want to know. It might result in an unwanted flashback to when Yue Jian was still a kid. Maybe ten years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
"Tang Li. Long time no see."
"Professor Nan Gong."
As Nan Gong Jiao Shou strode over to the man with the black coat, the latter bowed respectfully and tilted his wide-brimmed hat in greeting.
"You came just in time."
"Hah. It was only a matter of time before you wipe out all these small fries. Our arrival only accelerated the process. Anyway, we can't stay here. The Crimson Blood Demonic Night clan will be sending reinforcements soon. There may be elders this time."
Nan Gong Jiao Shou pursed his lips and then headed toward his battered car. With the enemies gone, I dismissed my Constellation spirits and Vermillion Phoenix, returning them to whatever soul dimension they resided whenever they weren't fighting. It was somewhere in my mind, a soul sea or spiritual world unique only to me. Or maybe I was just imagining the whole thing and there was no artificial dimension inside my soul. I didn't care.
"Dear, Yue Jian, let's go. We'll have to leave the car."
"Why?" I demanded, staring at the car. "It's not that damaged. You can still drive it."
"Because of plot convenience," Nan Gong Jiao Shou explained. "It has served its purpose in the story and so we will abandon it."
"Where are we going?"
Mrs. Nan Gong looked at her husband fearfully, but instead it was Tang Li who replied.
"To a safe place."
Approximately thirty minutes later, we found ourselves on a train that sped under the cover of darkness. Or so I would like to say, but the d.a.m.ned vehicle was flashing its lights and illuminating the entire tracks. Fortunately, we were moving too quickly for any vampire to catch up to us on foot.
Now I understood why we left Nan Gong Jiao Shou's car behind. It was to take the train. Why did he have to be so sarcastic? Oh…maybe he was sniping a particular manhua for being badly written. But I didn't find anything wrong with the way it handled the car. Well, in that version, Nan Gong Jiao Shou was conveniently killed off so that Yue Jian could play the role of the tragic heroine, though funnily enough, the three sisters completely forgot all about their father after that scene and he never mattered again after his death.
No wonder Nan Gong Jiao Shou was so bitter. He must have detested the shoddy character development in the original manhua. Not that I could complain, given that I completely lacked character development myself…
Then again, what were people expecting? For me to evolve into some kind of G.o.d at this point?
Shaking my head, I returned to reality and studied the luxurious interior of the train. Tang Li had used his connections and gotten us several first-cla.s.s pa.s.senger seats. The adults were seated around one table, while the younger generation were given a table of our own. While Tang Li sat opposite Nan Gong Jiao Shou and his wife, I found myself seated beside Yue Jian, with Tang Li's two subordinates facing us across the table.
"It seems like the vampire clans plan to destroy the Hunter a.s.sociation and mages in Flandor City. It's a pity but it appears that Guang Zhi Yi Sect has fallen victim to their deviousness."
"Yes," the blue-haired bishounen agreed.
I bit my lip but didn't say anything. Just looking at his handsome face was enough to make my blood boil somehow. Jealousy, perhaps. Or perhaps because I had read about his character in a badly written manhua somewhere and knew that he would betray us eventually…okay, I was being paranoid and had to stop mixing up reality and fiction. Fortunately, I managed to bring my simmering resentment under control. Unaware of my hatred, the good-looking guy continued.
"I heard that Yi Shen and Kai Lin were killed."
His fellow hunter, the blond tomboyish girl, lowered her head sadly.
Their superior said nothing and continued to watch Nan Gong Jiao Shou. While Mrs. Nan Gong looked horrified, the professor remained strangely calm.
"Although Zhao Yan and Ji Yan have been caught, I believe their lives are not in danger because of their special background."
"So you've confirmed that my daughters are still alive and are currently in the hands of the enemy then?" Nan Gong Jiao Shou asked grimly. Tang Li nodded.
"Based on our hunters' intelligence, we have reason to believe that they are still alive. We have confirmation that they're held in enemy territory. You don't seem surprised, though."
"That's because we've already been informed of that."
The Nan Gong family head nodded appreciatively at me. For my part, I was snorting in derision. Based on what I had seen so far, these so-called "hunters" did not possess even a single ounce of intelligence. Tang Li sent me a quizzical look, but he didn't pursue the matter. Instead, he continued.
"There's also evidence that we've been betrayed. Someone has been leaking information about the Hunter a.s.sociation to the enemy, but we have yet to flush out the spy."
Both of his subordinates looked glum. Tang Li glanced over at them from his table, contemplating for a few moments.
"Given the current situation, we'll have to retreat. Especially after the losses Saint Teresa Academy has suffered, it is not wise to charge into enemy headquarters and a.s.sault them. The Midnight Order and Federation military might be walking straight into a trap. Our a.s.sociation plans to disperse and spread out to find more information, and hopefully identify the spy. The two of you are my students and two of the few people I can trust. Locate the spy. I know the vampire clan and their Dark Church allies will continue to attack us, so you have to resist them with all your might. It is dangerous, but I know I can count on you two."
Both subordinates nodded. Tang Li glanced back at the Nan Gong parents.
"For now, we should seek refuge in Kun Lun Academy in Kun Lun City."
"Kun Lun City?" the tomboyish girl repeated incredulously. Tang Li nodded.
"Yes. The princ.i.p.al there is my friend. I have used my connections there and made arrangements."
"Begging your pardon, sir, but I think it's a better idea to seek refuge in Saint Teresa Academy instead."
Tang Li raised an eyebrow at my suggestion. "Even after you guys have been attacked just only yesterday?"
"Precisely because we've already been attacked yesterday. The Crimson Blood Demonic Night clan won't be stupid enough to attack us again, especially not after they saw what Headmistress Taylor did to their leader and elders. That's the safest place to be right now."
"I concur." Nan Gong Jiao Shou spoke up. "I'm also friends with Teresa Taylor. I appreciate what you've done for us, Tang Li, but I need to speak with Teresa. No doubt the White Witch is planning a counterattack and I intend to be part of that when we rescue my daughters."
"There will be no counterattack. Not when Saint Teresa Academy needs time to recover from yesterday's a.s.sault."
"Nonetheless, I wish to speak to Teresa. And Richard is correct. That is most likely the safest place in Flandor City right now."
Tang Li digested the argument for a moment before he sighed.
"…I understand. As always, Professor Nan Gong's words have wisdom in them. And it's a given that you will want to rescue your daughters as quickly as possible. I apologize for my insensitivity. However…" His eyes narrowed. "I advise you not to expect too much of Headmistress Taylor, or you'll be sorely disappointed."
"It's all right. If she's unable to help me, then I'll seek other avenues of approach. The Midnight Order is recruiting volunteers right now, and I have connections to the military. I'll just pull some strings and get myself attached to a squad." Nan Gong Jiao Shou smiled. "For everything else, I'll be relying on you, Tang Li."
Tang Li returned the smile. "You're so unfair."
As the adults sank into their own conversation, an uncomfortable silence rose over the teenagers' table. Not wanting to enter a staring contest, I averted my gaze and pretended to sleep. Yue Jian leaned against the window, her expression set in constant concern for her sisters.
"Will Zhao Yan and Ji Yan be all right?"
"They will be," I a.s.sured her, only to be superseded by the blue-haired bishounen.
"We will do everything within our power to ensure your sisters are safely rescued. I promise."
Wow, what a smooth talker. How pretentious.
"So please don't worry." Blue-haired idol offered a handkerchief to Yue Jian, whose eyes were filled with tears of worry. No wonder the guy was popular and I wasn't. I didn't even realize Yue Jian was crying, but evidently he was sensitive to the feelings of girls. "So please don't cry. You look much prettier when you're smiling."
…you're kidding me, right? Hitting on a girl who was worried about her sisters? That guy was definitely a natural playboy.
Yue Jian sniffed as she accepted the white handkerchief. Beside the blue-haired star, the blond tomboy clicked her tongue in annoyance as she glared at Yue Jian with folded arms. Predictably enough, she existed solely to be jealous of the female lead.
"Hmph! Only useless people resort to crying."
"Ah…" Yue Jian hastily wiped her tears away. "I'm sorry."
"You shouldn't be. Only nasty people resort to saying such insensitive things."
"What did you say?!" the girl snapped, slamming her hands on the table and glaring at me.
"Xue Xiao," the blue-haired bishounen warned her in a dangerous tone. He then turned to Yue Jian. "No, we're the ones who should apologize. Xue Xiao can be pretty blunt at times, so please pardon her insensitivity."
Still folding her arms, the girl called Xue Xiao sniffed and looked away unhappily. Pointedly ignoring her, the blue-haired bishounen continued in a conciliatory tone.
"Let me introduce myself. I'm Lin Xuan Chi." He gestured toward Xue Xiao. And she's Ling Xue Xiao."
I didn't ask.
"And what's your name?"
As if he didn't notice my hostility, Lin Xuan Chi turned toward Yue Jian and asked in a friendly manner.
"I'm Yue Jian."
"Yue Jian?" Brushing a lock of hair from his face, Lin Xuan Chi smiled. "That's a lovely name."
…I give up. This guy was definitely a playboy. The kind of playboys I hated dealing with the most. I wished I was speaking to someone like Kufa or Dong Fang Yue Chu instead. Or even Craig, despite his abrasive mannerisms. They might be good looking, but at least they weren't playboys who hit on every girl they met, especially one who was so worried about her sisters. I wondered if he had flirted with Ling Xue Xiao. That would make sense, given how she was acting jealous and all that.
Without even glancing at me, Lin Xuan Chi displayed a dazzling smile that would have captured the hearts of any innocent maiden.
I suddenly realized that I had to keep Rossetti away from this b.a.s.t.a.r.d at all costs. Not caring about my resentment, Lin Xuan Chi continued.
"We'll be together for quite a while, so if you encounter any problems, please do not hesitate to approach me for anything. I'll definitely do everything within my power to help you."
"…and who are you?"
Probably because she had gotten impatient with Lin Xuan Chi's sweet-talking, Ling Xue Xiao was glaring at me. She was mostly likely desperate to change the subject.
"I'm just an exchange student from Jing Tian Academy, currently enrolling in a program offered by Saint Teresa Academy."
"I don't care about all that! Isn't it polite to give your name after we offered ours?"
"Yeah…except that you didn't offer yours. It was Lin Xuan Chi who told us your name instead."
That warning tone again. With a "hmph," Ling Xue Xiao folded her arms and turned away. Lin Xuan Chi turned to me with an appeasing smile.
"That was quite the interesting magic you had. You're pretty impressive. I'm surprised I haven't heard of you before, um…"
"Oh!" Lin Xuan Chi's eyes brightened up. "Now that you've mentioned it, I did hear your name before! Aren't you a representative of Jing Tian Academy, one of those who helped them to their highest tournament finish a few months ago? I should have made the connection when I heard that you're from Jing Tian Academy!"
"Oh, no. It's fine…"
"Nice to meet you." he stretched out his hand. I accepted the handshake and smiled back. I wasn't childish enough to ignore an offer of friendship if there was one. I might be jealous and paranoid but I wasn't stupid and rude.
Not unlike Ling Xue Xiao, at least…
So I nodded and put on what I hoped was an affable expression.
"Nice to meet you too."
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