Although his night vision was not the best amongst all the members of his organization, it wasn’t bad. He could see better in the light, but since no one was around, there was no need for him to strain his eyes. However, just to be alert, he took a closer look inside the wooden box to see whether this was really what his employer wanted him to find.
The fluorescent round beads weren’t as bright as the water moon stones. There was only a dim ray of light that illuminated objects in the short distance, and the light would appear different from different angles. Now, the brightest part of the light was aimed onto the large wooden box.
After opening the lid of the wooden box, he looked inside and frowned.
This was not the same thing his employer told him about. His employer had mentioned that the Flaming Horns stole a puppet-like monster similar to those in the desert. He had seen those puppets before, so of course he knew what his target should look like. However, this figure seemed not much different from normal humans. He looked strange and not at all similar to those puppets in the desert. It was as if the Flaming Horns had put one of their dead bodies here.
Not this one? Did he make a mistake?
How could this be?
Doubtful, he opened his round wooden case and looked at the direction the worm was pointing. Still, the worm pointed to this direction.
Could it be that there was another secret room in this same direction?
He lowered his head and thought for a while. Suddenly, he sensed a cold murderous energy and chills went down his spine. Goosebumps appeared all across his body.
In his previous missions, whenever he had such a feeling, he knew that the first thing he needed to do was run!
He quickly put away the small wooden box and was about to look away. Suddenly, he noticed that the person within the wooden box that he had been regarding as dead opened his eyes. That man looked at him with bloodshot eyes and his expressionless face began to twitch.
Seeing this, the first thing he thought about was that there was a Flaming Horn lying here pretending to be a corpse, waiting to ambush him. In his mind he cursed the Flaming Horns again. How cunning!
He was ready to leave, but the person in the box grabbed his hands with a strong grip. His grip felt no different from the sharp claws of a fierce beast.
Instantly, he shook his arm and tried to break free from the grip.
Click, click, click——
The sound of bones cracking. There was no doubt about it. His arm had been twisted and his bones were dislocated.
Gan Qie did not cause this though. It was this person’s transformation. His arm became thinner and more flexible as he slipped out of Gan Qie’s grip like a slippery loach.
Even though he broke free from the person’s grip and his arm instantly grew back into its original shape, he had to pay a huge price. Immense pain shot up his arms and the impulses arrived at his brain. It was as if his nerves were being uprooted. He gasped at the pain. He didn’t dare to shout because he didn’t want to attract more Flaming Horn warriors to the scene.
There was no time for him to wonder how this man was able to fool him by pretending to be dead. He did not have the time to consider how the Flaming Horns knew about this or reckon if this was another secret the Flaming Horns had been hiding. The only thing on his mind now was to escape! Plans could be made after.
Gan Qie was already sitting upright and seemed like he was ready to chase after the person. As soon as Gan Qie stood up, the person bent at his waist and swept his legs and tried to get Gan Qie on the ground. If Gan Qie fell, he could buy more time for his escape.
However, Gan Qie lifted his arms and blocked the person’s attack without much effort.
Their arm and leg collided. The impact caused Gan Qie to move slightly, but a sharp pain shot up the other person’s shin. It did not feel like he kicked an arm. Instead, it felt like metal! Hard metal!
The intruder felt worse now. He was definitely not weak since he made it all the way here. The opponents he faced before were easily swept off balance by his kick. He even managed to cause fractures in his opponents legs with his kick, but now, not only did this person not fall, his own legs almost fractured from the impact.
Facing such a strong opponent, he no longer wished to fight. It would be very stupid if he stayed after knowing how strong his opponent was.
He rushed towards the stone door of the secret room like a gust of wind. In the blink of an eye, he arrived at the door, but just as he was about to escape, the two stone doors that were wide open were drawn shut tightly with a bang!
The intruder was running too fast and couldn’t stop in time. He ran into the stone door and slammed into it so hard that dust fell from the ceiling.
Damn you Flaming Horns!
If he still didn’t know who the mastermind behind this setup was, he would be very stupid indeed.
Before he saw the person lying inside the wooden box, he already suspected that the Flaming Horns had been preparing for this. Now he was fully convinced!
He pulled on the dent of the stone door, but it couldn’t be moved.
He yelled and shrieked, but he could already hear the footsteps approaching behind him. He didn’t care about the door anymore. Turning around, he bent his arms and landed strong repetitive punches on the person behind him.
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
It was as if he hit a hard rock instead of a human body.
Gan Qie looked at the person in front of him blankly as if he felt nothing. The punches only managed to move him two steps back, but after that his feet were planted firmly in the ground. He lifted his leg and kicked directly towards this person.
The strength of this kick was a lot stronger than the kick the person landed on his arm before. The powerful force struck the person’s abdomen, and he was sent flying to the stone doors. He landed heavily, and there was a crisp sound of bones breaking when the foot kicked him.
The person landed hard on the door and fell to the ground. He curled up on the ground as wailed in pain.
Outside, Shao Xuan stood by and pressed his arms against the stone door, preventing the person inside from opening it. He was the one who shut the door a while ago.
Duo Kang and Zheng Luo rushed over when they heard the bangs inside the room and patted off the dust that fell on them.
“Is that Han man really okay? Because I think this intruder is most likely a robber,” Zheng Luo was a little worried about Gan Qie. He had just been resurrected. What if the robber killed Gan Qie and escaped?
“Don’t worry. If they’re stuck inside, Gan Qie has an advantage over him.” Most robbers were characterised by their fast speed and keenness, but if they’re trapped in a small space, they couldn’t use their escaping skills. It was a battle of stamina. If he couldn’t stay standing at the end, he had to suffer a beating.
“Besides, Gan Qie probably needs someone to vent his anger on,” Shao Xuan added.
No one knew how many years he stayed unconscious like a corpse. He finally managed to wake up with the help of an external force and realised that everything he knew back then before he died was all wrong. Even if he wanted to rescue his people, it might already be too late. His tribe was gone, and he had become an inhuman and ghostly figure. All of his digestive organs had changed and there were many things he couldn’t eat. The only food he had now was blood. Who could take it if they suddenly became like this? He was a normal human before, but now, nothing about him was normal. He had nowhere to vent his anger and release his stress. Perhaps this robber could help him vent out all this anger.
Zheng Luo and Duo Kang also thought it was a good idea. After all, this was a robber anyways. Seeing any robber suffer would bring delight to their hearts, so why not?
After understanding the situation, Zheng Luo and Duo Kang no longer worried. They sat and waited outside. They leaned their ears on the door and listened to the movements inside to guess what was going on.
Within the secret room,
Gan Qie walked toward the person with gentle steps. He walked with a constant pace towards the intruder.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Every step brought terror to the intruder’s heart. He felt as if the temperature in the room suddenly dropped and it was getting unusually cold. This was because the person who was walking up to him was not panting at all! His heart was not beating and… he was not breathing!
If this was a normal person, even if he pretended to be a corpse before, there was no way for this robber to not have noticed. In his previous fights, he could notice the pants and changes in his opponent’s heart rate and blood flow. He was already very familiar with these signs and would often use these to judge his opponent’s emotions. After all, a person’s expression can be misleading and their actions can be tricky, but these signs in their body wouldn’t lie.
However, he could not find any of these signs at all!
This person was really like a corpse!
If it wasn’t for the fact that his appearance was too different from the other puppets, the intruder would have thought this was his target.
The intruder was shocked when he thought about this. This might really be it.
By this time, Gan Qie had slowly walked up to the crouched person. The man who was curled up on the ground struggled and tried to crawl away from between the stone door and Gan Qie. Suddenly, his ankles jerked wildly and his body spun upwards. His hands were initially holding onto his abdomen, but now, they were extended outwards as dozens of sharp polished shuttle-shaped blades flew out in different trajectories towards his opponent. The air was split by these sharp blades as they whistled through the air and made their way across to their target. The sharp weapons landed with a thud on all parts of Gan Qie’s body.
Suddenly, Gan Qie’s entire body was covered with these sharp weapons. It landed on his chest, back, shoulders, legs, and even his head and neck.
After throwing out these blades, the intruder’s heart sank.
It didn’t sound right!
These weapons could pierce through animal skin and wooden boards, but now, it seemed as if they landed on solid rock. They could not cut any deeper and only a small part of the blades managed to pierce through.
That was fine, but even if they couldn’t pierce in deeply, they surely caused some damage. However, it seemed like this person was unaware of all these injuries. His face was expressionless and he didn’t even blink or wince.
Also, blood would always flow out from his opponent’s wounds. He didn’t smell any blood this time. It was like this person had no blood inside his body.
How was this possible?!
The intruder was caught off guard. At this moment, Gan Qie was as vigorous and swift as a monkey in the forest. His slow pace was replaced with a quick speed as he chased after the person who was trying to escape.
The intruder indeed had an advantage in speed, but since he was already injured now, he lacked the energy to move. After he held on for a while, his movements became slower and he could not manage dodging all the attacks anymore. Now, an arm that was much thinner than the Flaming Horn’s arms smashed down on his back.
The punch was so strong that it threw the person forward. His body slammed into the wall with a bang. His nose was broken and two of his teeth were knocked out. His mouth was now full of blood.
Duo Kang listened to the sound of the crashes on the wall as he shook his head, “Why are the robbers so bold? They never seem to learn their lesson.”
Didn't Robber Eleven, Twelve, Six, and Seven suffer in the hands of the Flaming Horns? How come they were still bold enough to come again?
“What if this is not a robber?” Duo Kang asked.
“No, it’s most likely a robber,” Zheng Luo said.
“No matter who it is, we’ll find out later,” Shao Xuan said as he listened to the movements inside the room. This fight wouldn’t last long, and they would find out the answer very soon.
“What if Gan Qie killed him?” Duo Kang asked.
“He probably won’t, because he’s the one who wants to know the truth the most,” Shao Xuan said.
In the secret room, the person who was getting beaten felt an immense pain in his body. He was shocked. He couldn’t believe that this was real, but he was indeed the one getting beaten.
His opponent had no heartbeat and no breath. He seemed to have no need for panting or resting at all. In this respect he was very similar to those puppets in the desert.
Could this be a puppet the Flaming Horns controlled?
He knew about the puppets in the desert. If you want to stop them from moving, you have to break their bones bit by bit. This monster was probably no different, but his bones were too hard and it would be too difficult to break.
He knew he was no match for such a powerful puppet. If he continued to fight, he would only end up dead. He had to leave, but the stone door was shut so tightly that he couldn’t open it. He couldn’t fight his opponent inside the room, so the only thing he could do now was to dodge his attacks. This was the best way to buy some time for himself to think of other methods to escape. Or could he negotiate with the Flaming Horns?
He was desperately thinking of an escape plan, but a hand pressed down on his head and forced him down to the ground. He could not move anymore.
He knelt on the ground on both knees, and his bones banged against the ground. Bang!
The intruder screamed in pain. His fingers gripped tightly on a crescent-moon shaped weapon and slashed at the claw-like hands that were tightly gripping his head and holding him down.
Poof Poof Poof!
When the weapon landed on Gan Qie’s arm, the sound was a little strange. It didn’t sound like it landed on a normal person’s arm. It didn’t feel right either!
When the intruder slashed at Gan Qie’s arm, he even deliberately aimed for a few important blood vessels on his arm, but just like before, there were no sounds of blood spilling out. He couldn’t even smell any blood in the air!
When his blade cut through his opponent’s skin and bones, he noticed that there was a hard metallic substance that was blocking his blade. He could not cut any deeper.
The more he thought about it, the colder he felt. The arms that were gripping tightly around his head had not moved one inch!
In the dark, he could discern the silhouette of a person pressing down on his head, and he also noticed that this person’s eyes were different from ordinary people. These eyes had an emotionless cold stare and those hands that were on his head felt cold and deprived of body heat!
The shivers creeped down his skull and reached every bone in his body, and he trembled with fear upon this realisation. He couldn’t handle it anymore, especially when the strength of the grip on those hands began to tighten on his skull. He was afraid that if he were a step too late, his brain would suffer an irreversible damage.
“Don’t kill me! I didn’t want to come here! Someone sent me here! It’s Su Le! The second young master of the Fallen Leaves City!” In the face of death, he tried to bear the pain caused by the tight grip that was distorting his face and made sure to shout loudly so that other Flaming Horns outside the secret room could hear him too. He was trying to fight the pain and exhausted all his energy to yell out loud.
Now, he no longer cared about the benefits Su Le promised him. Although he was still a little regretful that he could no longer enjoy those benefits, he had no other choice. He couldn’t wait to kill all the Flaming Horns who had arranged for this to happen, but now, he was the loser, and he had to admit this fact. At a time like this, he had to betray Su Le to save his own life.
After he yelled, he felt the power of the grip relax. He thought, ‘Sure enough, it was the right choice to betray others to save my own life.’ Perhaps he should give more details so that he could negotiate with the Flaming Horns and save his own life. As for Su Le and the Flaming Horns, who cares?! Just let them fight each other to death! Even better, let them battle each other so that both parties suffer major losses!
That man lowered his head slightly and gasped for breath. An immense pain shot through his body with each breath. His eyes flashed in anger as he hoped for movements at the stone door.
In the next moment, the person who had just sighed a breath of relief suddenly froze again.
Someone spoke indeed, but this voice did not come from the door. Instead, it came from above him.
“Who are you? And who is Su Le?”
The voice was a little weird, and his pronunciation was also weird, but the robber still managed to understand the other party’s words. He raised his head in astonishment, but the hand pressed down on him so he could only lift it a tiny bit. His eyes squinted upward and the other person looked him in the eyes.
“Wh...what?” The intruder managed to squeeze out a few words from his mouth.
“Who are you? And Su Le, who is this person?” Gan Qie thought this person couldn’t understand him, so he spoke a little slower this time.
Gan Qie didn’t know that the person actually understood him. The intruder understood what was said. He was just so shocked that he couldn’t believe it.
Wasn’t this just another kind of puppet the Flaming Horns controlled? Wasn’t he already dead? Could it be that this is not a corpse?!
No, that can’t be!
Dead puppets shouldn’t be able to speak at all! What was this creature? Could he be a helper the Flaming Horns hired to help them?
Seeing how this person did not speak, Gan Qie pressed his fingers down even harder on the other person’s head.
Feeling the pain in his head, the person finally reacted. Now was not the time to be stunned or shocked. Those doubts could be solved later!
“Alright, alright! Don’t kill me! I’ll tell you everything!”
Feeling those fingers loosening on his skull, the man’s Adam’s apple rolled as he swallowed the blood in his mouth. He tried to calm himself down and did his best to analyse the current situation. Perhaps he could think of someone who could take the blame for him.
“Su Le was the person who hired me. He told me that he lost a very important item and it was stolen by the Flaming Horns, so he asked me to help him find it. It’s true! He even gave me an insect box to help identify the thing that was stolen.” As he said this, he took out the insect box he carried with him.
Although the insect box was made of wood, the wood was very strong. Even when the man was beaten, the insect box was only slightly damaged. There were small dents on it, but nothing much changed on the inside.
Gan Qie looked inside the open insect box. The worm squirmed in his direction, and its head was hitting on the wall of the box.
Clearly, Gan Qie noticed it too. His expression changed as he turned the wooden box in another direction. As he did so, the worm began to squirm towards him again. The worm did not change its direction and continued to squirm in his direction even after he turned the box a few times.
The man shook the wooden box with both his hands.
This worm had proven his identity!
This was the “thing” Su Le had lost! This was his target for this trip!
After he understood this, the intruder was even more regretful and hateful.
Damn you Su Le! You lied to me!
Didn’t you say that the Flaming Horns stole a puppet that was similar to those in the desert? Didn’t you say that this thing was a dead ancient corpse that could not be resurrected?!
Then who was this person who was beating him so cruelly and almost crushed his skull?
How was this person at all similar to those dried corpses in the desert?!
Oh, this monster can even speak! Besides the fact that he has no pulse or heartbeat and no breath, how is this person similar to an ancient corpse?!
And I even thought this was a fake corpse?!
I refuse to believe it!