Eclipse Hunter Volume 3: Angel, Slaughter
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我(Yu Wo)
Chapter Nine: Leisurely Days, Anxious Heart—translated by Trespasserby (proofread by J Tao; C/E edited by lucathia)
Bai Lian Yue languidly reclined on a lounge chair. He was using the television remote in his hand to surf through channels.
“The global economy seems to be very stable. It looks like your legendary Secretary Kyle truly is highly capable. Even with our sudden disappearances, he has managed to stabilize the situation.”
Ri Xiang Yan sat in a relaxed pose in another chair, reclining against the chair’s back. There was even a small table nearby with a cup of his favorite black coffee. Aside from the chains shackling his legs, the whole scene appeared very normal, like two friends were in a living room drinking tea and gossiping while watching TV.
Ri Xiang Yan icily replied, “Of course. Do you think a secretary I chose would be subpar?”
“Mhm! Maybe it wouldn’t even matter if you never went back?”
Bai Lian Yue maliciously leered, “In any case, as long as Kyle is there, it doesn’t matter whether or not there’s a Sun Emperor!”
Ri Xiang Yan ignored his taunts. Instead, he simply picked up a book next to him and began thumbing through it.
Seeing that, the flirtatiously smiling Bai Lian Yue suddenly and violently grabbed his book, hurled it far away, then shouted, “You aren’t allowed to ignore me, Ah Yan! You know what the consequences are if you do!”
Ri Xiang Yan’s complexion immediately changed. Thinking of the consequences, he felt a pain in his heart. Ah Ye…
“Fine! What did you want to say?”
Bai Lian Yue smiled victoriously. He returned to his lounging and curiously asked, “Why do you trust Kyle so much? Aren’t you afraid that he’ll take the opportunity to betray you? Who knows if perhaps he has already given up on searching for you?”
Ri Xiang Yan coldly huffed. “He has a problem.”
Hearing that, Bai Lian Yue’s expression immediately became ugly. He frigidly said, “So it seems the Sun Emperor isn’t even willing to tell me a story!”
Ri Xiang Yan rolled his eyes and irritably said, “I meant that Bill has an extremely rare genetic disorder.”
“Oh?” Bai Lian Yue was stunned. He hadn’t thought to interpret the phrase like this; he had assumed Ri Xiang Yan had made up a random excuse. He couldn’t help but ask, “Even if he’s ill, isn’t that unrelated to his loyalty to you?”
“He has to take medication every day to treat his illness. Without medication, his body will slowly calcify. In less than a year, his entire body will calcify to the point he’d be a person made of bone, though he’d already have died before reaching that point. As a result, he’d be dead in three months at most, when his internal organs calcify.”
Hearing about that terrifying illness, even Bai Lian Yue couldn’t help but frown.
Ri Xiang Yan blandly said, “I’m the only one with the medicine he needs. Every six months I give him half a year’s worth of medicine.”
“You’re extorting him. If he weren’t your loyal dog of a secretary, you wouldn’t give him the medicine?” Bai Lian Yue chuckled, “You’re really despicable, Ah Yan!”
Ri Xiang Yan huffed in agreement. “He can’t complain. I had to invest over ten billion in capital just for the research and development of this drug alone. He couldn’t pay me back even if he worked as my secretary for ten lifetimes!”
“Even if you say that, you can’t have invested it just for him?” Bai Lian Yue smiled, “You aren’t worried that you can’t recoup ten billion in capital if you put that drug on the market, are you?”
“There’s no way it can be marketized.” Ri Xiang Yan coldly said, “That genetic disorder is incredibly rare. Only three cases appear every year, if even that. But the shelf life for the drug is very short—just half a year. Also, the manufacturing process is extremely complicated, and the raw materials are difficult to obtain. Manufacturing six months’ worth of medicine is already about ten million, so a year of treatment is twenty million. How many patients do you think could pay for that?
“So, even if I didn’t hold a monopoly over this medicine,, Bill wouldn’t be able to buy it.”
Bai Lian Yue didn’t quite know whether to laugh or cry as he said, “So he’s actually a secretary worth ten billion. plus a bonus of twenty million a year?”
Ri Xiang Yan gravely corrected him, “With a bonus of thirty million. I still pay him a salary!”
“Just listening makes me envious! Back when I was Yue Ya’er to you, you never gave me that much attention!” Bai Lian Yue had a puzzled and suspicious expression as he asked, “Why would you invest ten billion in a secretary? I’m very curious, Ah Yan.”
Although he was forced to answer, Ri Xiang Yan couldn’t help reminiscing. He said with some dissatisfaction, “He’s always been my secretary. I personally interviewed him and thought I had found an extraordinarily capable secretary. But later I discovered that he’d been secretly sent by my father from the beginning and had even lied to me by saying he was called Bill.”
So you actually know his name isn’t Bill… Bai Lian Yue couldn’t help raising an eyebrow. This part was most surprising to him.
“Perhaps it was divine retribution, but he suddenly fell ill one day. In what was probably a deathbed confession, he told me the truth that my father was the one who had sent him.
Once he had said that, Ri Xiang Yan fell silent. Not only had An Te Qi betrayed him, but even Kyle had done so in the past. But back then, he had forgiven Kyle because he hadn’t become the Sun Emperor yet. Therefore, he could still make decisions based on personal likes and dislikes. Even if he did make any mistakes, his father was there to clean up after him. It wasn’t like that anymore.
He was the one at the top now. The consequences of every decision he made were solely his to bear. There wasn’t anyone who had the power to help him deal with the aftermath anymore.
So. Ah Ye, Dìdi! Please understand that your gēge can’t act of his own free will because he’s in a high position. Gēge trying to kill the An Te Qi-bàba you like so much isn’t because he hates An Te Qi-bàba. Gēge also didn’t mean to deceive you. It’s just that upholding the rules that keep the Sun Alliance functioning also keeps you safe. So we cannot break them!
“I want to see my brother.” Ri Xiang Yan frowned. Thinking about Ah Ye made him worried, and he wanted to go see him.
Bai Lian Yue arched an eyebrow and said, “Didn’t you just see him this morning?”
Ri Xiang Yan resentfully growled, “And I want to see him right now. He’s my dìdi. Even seeing him ten times a day isn’t enough.”
Bai Lian Yue rolled his eyes. He couldn’t resist teasing Ri Xiang Yan, “Why don’t you ask other elder brothers if they have to see their little brothers ten times in one day? They might even be too lazy to go look even once.”
Ri Xiang Yan was quiet for a while. Finally, he looked up at Bai Lian Yue. His tone was almost pleading as he said, “I’m very worried about him.”
“Heh! The only time you aren’t wearing a haughty expression is when you talk about your little brother! Fine then. How could I refuse you, Ah Yan?”
As Bai Lian Yue spoke, he tried to curl a finger around several strands of Ri Xiang Yan’s shiny, messy hair, but Ri Xiang Yan leaned out of the way.
However, Bai Lian Yue wasn’t angry as he pulled his hand back. There were still plenty of days ahead of them. Rushing these sorts of things would only have the opposite effect.
“Let’s go see Dìdi.”
“He’s my dìdi, not yours!” Ri Xiang Yan growled. What he hated most was other people stealing his spot as Gēge.
“Yes, yes, yes! Let’s go see your dìdi, O.K.?”
Bai Lian Yue smiled charmingly and took the lead, walking in front. Ri Xiang Yan followed behind him. The two of them walked out of the living room and arrived in an awe-inspiring midair corridor. Or, rather than a “corridor,” it was more like a small suspension bridge. Ri Xiang Yan stepped onto the bridge and glanced down. Beneath his feet was a dense jungle. Surveying the area from far above, the surroundings comprised entirely of ocean. It was truly the quintessential small island.
Bai Lian Yue had constructed buildings on the peaks of the island’s three hills. The main residence was in the middle, connected by the suspension bridges. As for the other two hills, one was where the modified humans were kept and the other was…
“We’re here, Ah Yan.”
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Yan snapped out of his reverie and immediately rushed inside.
As soon as he rushed inside, it was like he had entered an ancient tomb. There was a small dome, and the walls and ceilings were painted with beautiful images. In the middle was a huge crystal coffin with a “grave guardian” at each of the four corners. The only peculiarity was a complicated tangle of high-tech cables underneath the crystal coffin.
Ri Xiang Yan ran to the crystal coffin’s side. The transparent crystal allowed him to clearly see the person within.
It was a teenager wearing the clothing of a young prince. Even his hands were covered with beautifully embroidered white gloves. His head of short, soft, shiny, silver hair was combed to the sides of his face. Every part of him was the picture of elegance. The only pity was that his eyes were tightly shut, so there was no way of learning their beautiful color.
Although the scene was beautiful, a careful look would reveal that the prince’s neck, wrists, waist, and ankles were encircled with thick bands of metal that shackled him to the crystal coffin. It was just that the metal bands were mostly covered with woven flowers and other decorations, so the bands were inconspicuous underneath.
Seeing that Ri Xiang Ye was lying safely inside and that the meters on the crystal coffin were showing his vitals were stable, Ri Xiang Yan finally was able to breathe out a sigh of relief.
He knew he wouldn’t be able to touch his beloved little brother, but he still placed his hand on top of the crystal coffin and gazed at him. At that moment, his entire face softened. There wasn’t a trace of cold-bloodedness or ruthlessness in his expression.
Bai Lian Yue greedily drank in the Sun Emperor’s tender expression for a long time before he was willing to open his mouth and say, “So it turns out the powerful Dark Sun is actually this cute. No wonder you adore him so much.”
Ri Xiang Yan coldly huffed, “Of course. Ah Ye is the cutest kid in the world. He’s cute when he’s sleeping, even cuter when he’s smiling, and when he says Gēge, he’s so cute that you’d melt.”
You’re the only one who would melt… Bai Lian Yue wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. If anyone else had heard that, no matter who they were, none of them would be able to believe that this was the cold-blooded, ruthless Sun Emperor!
“Ah Ye really is fine?” Ri Xiang Yan couldn’t help anxiously asking, “When I fainted, hadn’t he been hurt very badly?”
“You’ve asked more than a hundred times already! Relax! When I put your darling into the astronaut sleeping cabin, I had the modified humans treat his injuries first.
“You shouldn’t have told the modified humans to hit him.”
Ri Xiang Yan’s expression darkened. He needed only to think of Ah Ye being beaten right in front of him for a pain to shoot through the pit of his stomach and his limbs to tremble, in so much agony that he would rather die.
Bai Lian Yue had long since realized how to deal with the brother-obsessed man in front of him. He repeatedly apologized in a gentle voice, “I’m so sorry! I won’t hurt your little brother ever again. Look, haven’t I let him wear such pretty clothes and let him sleep in such a beautiful place? It suits him very well, right?
“Since we’ll live here from now on, your little brother won’t ever be hurt again. Won’t it be wonderful?”
Ah Ye won’t ever be hurt again… Ri Xiang Yan put his hand on the lid of the crystal coffin. His emotions were in turmoil.
Two desks sat in an enormous office. Right in the center was a massive, black desk, clearly meant for the boss. But at the moment, no one was sitting there.
The other desk was white and even larger than the black desk, though it was actually formed by piecing together three desks into a half moon shape.. All sorts of documents had been neatly placed on the desk.
Kyle sat there, ramrod-straight in a Western suit, looking extremely serious as he handled business.
The only sound in the entire office was the “clack clack clack” of rapid typing. Kyle’s attention was fixed on the screen. On it, there were ten chat boxes and more than ten files open. It was impossible to tell how he communicated with that many people while handling so many documents.
The names on the chat boxes were also very odd, labeled Secretary 1, Secretary 2… And all the way down until Secretary 10. Kyle himself was named Head Secretary.
Not long after, the monotonous sound of typing in the office was interrupted by a melodious tune. It was clearly coming from a small clock on the desk. The clock was an approximately fist-sized cube, and seemed to be made from some kind of black stone that had been polished until it shone.
Time to take my medicine.
Kyle dragged the clock over and pressed the decorative ruby on top. The face of the clock opened with a click. Inside were several dozen green pills. A careful look would reveal that there was even a drawing of a person on the clock’s cover.
The person looked to be an adolescent in their twenties, with a handsome appearance and true to life arrogant expression. His ruby red eyes were as beautiful as the real ruby decorations beside him.
Kyle couldn’t help but feel awestruck. Sun Emperor…
“Here! Take this clock. I spent all my savings to develop the medicine inside. You’ll be able to live if you take one pill a day. In return, I want your complete loyalty! Bill, you’re my secretary from now on, not my father’s. Understand?!”
“Yes, Young Master Ri Xiang Yan. But my name is actually Kyle.”
“What?! Whatever. You should already be glad I even remember one name, yet you want me to remember two? Bill! Hurry up and take your medicine!”
“Yes. But may I ask, why is your picture inside…”
“Don’t be silly. Naturally, it’s to remind you that I am your master!”
“Pfft… Haha! Yes, Young Master Ri Xiang Yan. You are my master.”
In the blink of an eye, he had been the Sun Emperor’s secretary for eight years. Or is it nine?
That young master who didn’t hesitate to rebel against his father for his younger brother’s sake had now become the Sun Emperor and finally found his treasured younger brother.
Kyle had thought that from then on, the Sun Emperor would be able to live happily ever after with his younger brother. It was a pity that things weren’t as simple as in a fairy tale. Ever since Young Master Ri Xiang Ye had returned, things kept happening one after another. It was like… Young Master Ri Xiang Ye was cursed to never be able to escape from suffering.
Kyle looked at the man drawn on the clock. He sighed, “Ah! Sun Emperor, when will you understand that Young Master Ri Xiang Ye won’t ever be an ordinary boy.”
He picked up a pill, stood up, went to the other corner of the office to pour some water, then swallowed the pill. The computer emitted a notification chime for receiving an email. This wasn’t anything strange. Every day, several hundred emails were guaranteed. However, this sound was exactly the same as the melody that had played from the clock with the pills.
This chime… It only played when a certain inbox received an email. And the only ones who knew the email address were the Sun Emperor and Young Master Ri Xiang Ye!
Kyle immediately returned to the desk. As soon as he saw the screen, he cried out, “T-This is…”
The sender of the email was…
Ri Xiang Ye!
Eloise had her face propped against her hands and was sending death glares at the big lump on the bed. She couldn’t help poking with an extended finger, “When are you going to wake up?
“Don’t you know Ah Ye and his big brother got kidnapped? And you’re still here sleeping without a care in the world. I’ve really got to envy you.”
Seeing that the person on the bed still didn’t respond in any way, Eloise clicked her tongue and said even less happily, “You know, because of you, Ah Ye was in too much of a hurry to save his papa. And in the end, he was captured!”
“I’m so jealous. You’re Ah Ye’s best friend, you know.” Eloise couldn’t help grumbling, “If I ever ended up like you, Ah Ye definitely wouldn’t try so hard to save me… I don’t get it. Why does Ah Ye like you so much when you clearly ignore him? Not like me and Lian…”
“Hm?” Eloise raised her head and saw Elian and Eli rush in. She asked a little oddly, “What’s all the fuss? Don’t tell me… Has something happened to Ah Ye?”
Elian was still breathing hard. In bursts, he said, “W-we found Ah Ye and the others.”
“What?” Eloise jumped up and shouted, “Really? Where are they?”
“Sounds like they’re somewhere in the ocean.”
“Somewhere in the ocean?” Eloise had a strange expression. Don’t tell me Ah Ye and the others are swimming in the ocean?
Elian’s speech was finally returning to normal. He carefully explained, “Secretary Kyle said that Ah Ye sent a message. But they weren’t able to confirm the precise location from the message and only managed to figure out that the general area is in the ocean. However, that stretch of ocean has a lot of small islands so they can’t confirm where it is. They want to send three large submarines and then use small boats to do a blanket search. He agreed to let us go…”
“Woohoo!” Eloise jumped while shouting, “I want to go too! You can’t leave me behind this time!”
“We get it. We weren’t planning on leaving you behind.” Elian nodded, saying, “Besides, we even got Death to help.”
“What? Death’s coming too?”
Right as she shouted, Eloise suddenly noticed a person standing by the door. It was hard to tell if that person was male or female, but regardless of their gender, they were definitely dangerous. As soon as that person noticed Eloise had seen them, they gave a cold huff in dissatisfaction.
“The modified humans are too strong. If we don’t have Death with us, it will be hard for the few of us to win.” Elian said somewhat helplessly, “Also, we have to protect Mr. An Te Qi, who has zero combat capability.”
“What? He’s coming too? But he can’t even fight!” Eloise cried.
Exactly! Elian sighed. How is this a rescue mission? It’s more like a tour group!
“But Mr. An Te Qi said that the last time he saw Ah Ye, Ah Ye had been badly injured. He has to come so he wouldn’t worry.”
Eloise’s face turned white as soon as she heard that Ah Ye was badly injured. She said, “T-Then it’s better if he comes along. Otherwise, if Ah Ye is c-close to death… If An Te Qi-bàba is there, then he can treat him.”
Elian nodded. This was the reason he couldn’t keep Mr. An Te Qi from following along. However, they would have an additional person who couldn’t fight at all, plus the burden of bringing a pile of medical equipment. As a result, he had no choice but to ask Death for help. If they were unable to save Ah Ye and instead fell into the hands of the enemy, it would be catastrophic.
Death icily said, “You agreed that after saving Dark Sun, both you and him owe me ten battles!”
“Of course.” Elian wryly smiled. It looked like Ah Ye was going to owe more and more battles. I hope he doesn’t start laughing bitterly once he hears the news that not only does he have to battle me and Ezart, but Death too.
“Each small boat can hold ten people. By our count, we have five so far. Then there’s a huge amount of medical equipment Mr. An Te Qi wants to bring, so we’ll need two people’s worth of space for that. The equipment needs to be carried by someone when we disembark, so he’s bringing two more modified humans…”
Eloise rolled her eyes. “So you’re saying that An Te Qi-bàba alone already takes up the space for five people.”
“That still leaves one spot. Who do you plan to bring?” Eli tonelessly asked.
Elian nodded. “I don’t have any other candidates. I was planning to let Secretary Kyle arrange it for us…”
“Hey! I’m coming too.”
Everyone froze. That voice was…
Ri Xiang Ye opened his eyes. He was in a very good mood. Luckily the message got to Kyle-gē without any problem. Fortunately, he had still maintained a connection from when he escaped from the prison cell and hacked into Bai Lian Yue’s base’s Internet.
Now, he had to figure out how to escape from the sleeping cabin now. Aside from the loops of metal around his neck, wrists, and waist, Bai Lian Yue had also filled the sleeping cabin with anesthetics. He could still stay focused, but his limbs had no strength, and he couldn’t break out of the metal bands.
Even if he could move his limbs, there were still four modified humans standing outside. In his current condition, there was no way he could win against them.
What should I do…
Ri Xiang Ye was currently at a loss when he heard the sounds of people. It had to be his brother and Bai Lian Yue. In a single day, his brother would come to see him at least three times, sometimes up to ten. Each time, Bai Lian Yue wouldn’t be able to resist complaining about his brother coming in all day to see him.
“It’s really boring nowadays.” That was his brother’s voice.
“Ah Yan, no matter what you want, I’ll give it to you…”
His brother said dejectedly, “I want to touch Ah Ye’s face. I want to rub his head. I want to look at his night-black eyes. I want to hear him call me ‘Gēge.’”
It was quiet for a long time. Finally, Bai Lian Yue said a single word: “Fine.”
Ri Xiang Yan was stunned. He hadn’t thought Bai Lian Yue would actually agree to his request. It wasn’t until he saw Bai Lian Yue really was operating the sleeping cabin controls that he quietly said, “Thanks.”
Afterward, Ri Xiang Ye heard the sound of the top of the cabin opening. A hand lightly stroked his cheek and rubbed his hair. He couldn’t have been more familiar with these actions; his brother would do this several times a day. Although he badly wanted to open his already moist eyes and call out, “Gēge,” he still kept his eyes shut tightly. He couldn’t let Bai Lian Yue know that the anesthetics weren’t enough to knock him unconscious. Otherwise, Bai Lian Yue would definitely use methods that would be even harder for him to escape from.
Bai Lian Yue indifferently explained, “You’ll have to wait for the drug’s effects to wear off before he’ll wake up.”
After a while, Ri Xiang Ye felt it was about time, so he slowly opened his eyes and pretended to be in a daze. Then he hoarsely said, “Gēge…”
Hearing that call, Ri Xiang Yan felt his heart melt. He softly said, “I’m here. Don’t be scared. Everything’s fine.”
Ri Xiang Ye’s eyes teared up at those words. He sobbed, “I’m sorry, Gēge. I shouldn’t have run away from home.”
“Don’t worry. What little brother wouldn’t run away from home?” Ri Xiang Yan gently brushed away the tears on his little brother’s cheeks while softly comforting him.
Normally, don’t younger brothers not run away from home? Off to the side, Bai Lian Yue wondered, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.
“You stay here and sleep tight. Gēge will come visit you often, O.K.?”
Ri Xiang Ye hesitated. It can’t be that Gēge’s telling me not to do anything, right? No way! I won’t be able to protect Gēge like that!
He stubbornly shouted, “I don’t want to be here alone!”
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Yan frowned. He knew very clearly that the most Bai Lian Yue was willing to tolerate was opening the sleeping cabin. He couldn’t possibly request anything more. He quietly said, “Ah Ye, listen to me.”
“Behave, Dìdi.” At this moment, Bai Lian Yue smiled charmingly as he lowered his head to look at Ri Xiang Ye. His hands gestured at the modified humans surrounding them. “Look, haven’t I let four big brothers stay here to keep you company?”
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Ye was silent. Even if he got out of the sleeping cabin, he wouldn’t be able to win against the four modified humans.
“Don’t step out of this beautiful crystal coffin, xiǎodìdì. Otherwise, the four big brothers will have to tear you apart piece by piece, you know!”
Hearing that, Ri Xiang Ye was even more alarmed. If he couldn’t even step out of the sleeping cabin, then there wasn’t any way he could save his brother.
“Don’t scare him!” Off to the side, Ri Xiang Yan growled in dissatisfaction.
“Sorry, but it’s for his own good. I already gave the order that as soon as he steps out of the coffin…” Bai Lian Yue’s smile widened and he used his hand to draw a line across his neck.
Seeing that, Ri Xiang Yan angrily clenched his fists. He lowered his head to look at his little brother and said beseechingly, “Ah Ye, Gēge is begging you. Be a good boy and wait here for me to come see you, O.K.?”
Hearing his older brother’s plea, Ri Xiang Ye could only obediently reply, “O.K.”
Ri Xiang Yan regretfully watched as his little brother was once again locked inside the sleeping cabin, unable to even move. If not for the fact that he had no other choice, how could he bear to let Ah Ye lie inside this coffin-like thing?
Ah Ye, I’ll think of a way to save you. Definitely!
“Lian, how many islands has it been now?” Eloise asked, listless.
Elian replied helplessly. Eloise wasn’t the only one who felt exhausted. Even he was feeling a bit tired. He wanted to find Ah Ye and the others, but it really was too difficult. This stretch of ocean was covered with coral reefs. Some of the little coral islands were only big enough for a single person to reside on, but others were as large as a sizeable city.
However, most of them were small islands. Although they were small, they were still big enough to conceal a small base. Therefore, every time they found an island, they had no choice but to go investigate.
They had already searched five islands. They had already been living in a submarine for almost a week, but they still hadn’t found any trace of Ah Ye. Who wouldn’t be discouraged?
The sixth island probably won’t have anything either, right?
“Cut the chitchat. Just get off and search already!” An impatient voice came from one corner. The figure was hidden in the shadows, so it wasn’t clear who it was.
Hearing those words, Elian also nodded. He said to the person at the helm, “Draw closer to shore to let us disembark.”
“Understood.” The person at the helm followed the order and parked the submarine by the shore. Then they opened the hatch to exit.
Elian took the lead, craning his neck to survey the island. This island couldn’t be considered small. The surface was lush and green, and it clearly seemed to have freshwater.
He pulled his head back and said to the people down below, “It looks like an inhabitable island. We should go down to look. Follow the procedure. Mr. An Te Qi, please wait by the shore with the modified humans. Wait until we find traces of Ah Ye. We’ll contact you then.”
An Te Qi nodded. It was only logical. He didn’t want to keep his precision instruments in the damp of the jungle for too long. The more intricate the instrument, the easier it was to damage! Of course, there were exceptions. “Dark Sun,” for example, couldn’t be any more intricate, yet he was a lot stronger than a regular person…. Then again, there was only one Dark Sun in the entire world.
“Tch! Can’t I wait here too until you’ve found Dark Sun and come back to tell me?” Death was lazily leaning his upper body against a chair.
“Of course not!” Elian shot him down, “If you want to fight ten matches with Dark Sun, you’ll have to help.”
“Tsk tsk!” Death cracked his knuckles and somewhat impatiently stood up from the chair.
Everyone gathered up their basic equipment and weapons, then left the submarine one after another. An Te Qi was still busy directing the modified humans how to properly place the equipment when the others were already preparing to set off.
However, An Te Qi suddenly shouted for the last person to stop. “Wait a moment! In the free time I had these past few days, I made you some gauntlets. It’s made of the material leftover from Ah Ye’s Death Scythe. It’s not as good as the Death Scythe, but it should be a lot stronger than your average weapon! Take them!”
The person scratched their head and took the weapons. They didn’t say a word of thanks, just grunting in reply.
Elian said extremely surprised, “Mr. An Te Qi, aren’t you a doctor? How do you know how to forge metals?”
An Te Qi grumpily replied, “How many metal pieces do you think Dark Sun’s body has? Even his bones have been blended with metal. If I hadn’t done research on these sorts of things, Dark Sun would have long since become a lump of scrap metal.”
“Ah… That’s true.” Elian laughed embarrassedly. “Then, we’ll be off first to investigate.”
An Te Qi was busy with directing the modified humans setting up the equipment, so he waved goodbye to Elian to show that he understood.
Elian took a good look at their surroundings. Aside from the beach at the coast, everything in the middle was dense jungle. Although the island wasn’t large, the topography was extremely uneven. As far as the eye could see, there were hills high and low. It was impossible to see anything.
He couldn’t help but sigh. It looked like it was going to take a while to search this island. He could only hope that this trip wouldn’t be a wasted effort. After he called out to the others and they were about to depart, Eli suddenly said, “Wait.”
“What is it?” Elian asked in shock.
“Mr. An Te Qi should come with us after all.” Eli raised his head to look at the hills and said, “This island. Something isn’t right.”
Don’t tell me…
“Ah Ye is here?” Eloise grabbed Eli by the shoulders and forcefully shook him.
Eli let her shake him, just shaking his head and saying, “I don’t know. But there are definitely people here.”
Elian muttered to himself for a while, then turned his head to say, “O.K. Mr. An Te Qi, please come with us this time.”
“Got it.” An Te Qi nodded. He commanded the modified humans to hoist up the instruments and followed the others.
After hearing that this island had people, everyone clearly felt invigorated. Eloise repeatedly urged Elian, who was at the front, to go faster. Even An Te Qi couldn’t help looking back to scold the modified humans for moving too slowly. Burning in everyone’s hearts was a single word, or perhaps it should be said, a single person…
“Why isn’t there anything? Eli, are you sure your mind reading ability works?!”
They searched for a long time but they didn’t find a single trace of Ah Ye. Finally, Eloise snapped. She grabbed Eli’s cheeks and forcefully pulled on them.
An expression of doubt came across Eli’s face. Even though his cheeks were being pulled, he completely ignored it. He kept looking upward at the enormous vines. He pointed at the vines and said, “That’s strange.”
“The vines?” Elian raised his head to look up at the vines. They look like regular vines!
“It really is a bit strange.” An Te Qi walked forward. He said, looking at the vines, “Although this is a tropical jungle, these vines are a bit too large. In addition, the way they grew is odd. Look, the biggest ones connect the hills, just like suspension bridges.”
Once An Te Qi had said that, everyone lifted their heads one by one and took a careful look. Because the jungle had been so dense, their view was greatly obstructed, but they could still make out that the swells of several hills were connected with huge vines. In addition, one thing the connecting hills and vines had in common was that they were all concealed by especially dense vegetation.
Elian blurted out in shock, “It’s a suspended fortress!”
An Te Qi nodded. “They used the forest to hide. That way they would avoid being seen by helicopter searches from above and searchers on foot from below. The huge vines were camouflage for the suspension bridges connecting it. I think the only one who could launch such a huge engineering feat without attracting the notice of the Sun Emperor’s secretary would be Bai Lian Yue. Maybe we’ve really found the place.”
“Tsk!” Death rolled his eyes and impatiently muttered at a vine, “Don’t tell me we have to climb there? I didn’t think I’d have to be a monkey to fight Dark Sun!”
Elian nodded. He cautiously said, “Then should we return to the submarine first to tell Secretary Ky…”
A tremendous explosion cut Elian’s words off. Everyone blankly turned toward the hill where the sound of the explosion had come from. The large trees there had already been blown to smithereens, exposing the domed structure underneath. But that structure was half-destroyed, flames blazing everywhere.
“Ugh!” Eli suddenly clutched his head, his face deathly pale as he knelt down.
“Eli?” Elian was the first to realize something wasn’t right with Eli, and asked concernedly.
His face pale, Eli raised his head and pointed in another direction. He said, “Over there. I heard… The Sun Emperor’s inner thoughts. He shouted “Ah Ye” extremely, extremely sorrowfully. It was louder than the explosion just now…”
Hearing that, Elian froze. After the explosion, the Sun Emperor shouted “Ah Ye” in sorrow? It can’t be…
He lifted his head, looking at the dome. His complexion was unsightly as he yelled, “Hurry! We have to get there quickly! There’s a high chance Ah Ye is in there!”
“Wait a moment!”
An Te Qi shouted to the anxious group, “We have to send people over to the Sun Emperor. Now that something’s happened, the people guarding the Sun Emperor must definitely have their attention stretched thin. There have to be people going over to save him.
“Eloise and ‘you.’ You’re both strong, so grab my equipment and come with me to rescue Ah Ye.
“Elian, take the mind reader, Eli; Death; and my two modified humans over to where the Sun Emperor is. Keep as low a profile as possible and act when the moment’s right. Don’t pressure Bai Lian Yue. His martial arts skills are very strong, and if he grabs the Sun Emperor, you’ll be helpless to do anything.”
An Te Qi added, “Use the walkie talkie to keep in touch. If anything happens, immediately let us know. If everything goes well on Ah Ye’s end, I’ll let the two of them head over to assist you.”
Elian nodded. He called out to Eli and Death, as well as the two modified humans behind them. Their group headed in the direction Eli had pointed out.
“You two come with me…”
Halfway through speaking, An Te Qi was thrown over someone’s shoulder. That person carried An Te Qi on their shoulder while carrying a black box with their other hand. Then they said to Eloise, “You take those things.”
Eloise stared at An Te Qi with shining eyes. Like a spoiled child, she begged, “Can we switch? I’ll carry An Te Qi-bàba, and you can take the equipment!”
That person didn’t respond, but An Te Qi had already icily lifted his head to say, “I refuse to switch!”
Eloise puffed her cheeks and begrudgingly hoisted up the cold equipment.
Ah, Ezart. Is this where you got your weird taste for expeditions? I am trying to decide if he would get along with Neo. I rather think he would.