Abbess Yun Miao felt quite stunned at the events before her. Having lived over 60 years, she was quite experienced having seen many things, but not once in her life had she seen something like this.
All that female shaman has to do was to draw what seems to be ‘scribblings’, and those five fools who were no match for their opponents before this, suddenly had more than enough power to defeat them?!
To put it another way, if both sides’ original strengths were on the same level, then with the shaman’s help, wouldn’t they have rapidly dispatched their opponents?!
“That shaman… What is she doing?” Abbess Yun Miao couldn’t help but ask.
Yang Chen was watching with relish, and slowly explained, “Those are totems, not unlike the daoist talismans in China. The only difference is she doesn’t need cinnabar and the like—all that’s required is the shaman’s own spiritual energy to draw the totems.
“Totems could be considered a type of magic, allowing the Panther mercenaries to gain power boosts. As you can see, in terms of strength, resilience, and agility, they’re completely different than before. The Blue Storm powerusers are no longer able to effectively harm them.”
Of course, Abbess Yun Miao could see for herself that Blue Storm was hard-pressed to win and were barely hanging on as it is. If it weren’t for the sake of preserving their pride in front of the surrounding organizations from different countries, they would have run away.
“Wasn’t that woman using her voice to attack? Could it be that sound waves no longer affect them?” Abbess Yun Miao asked, puzzled.
Yang Chen said matter-of-factly, “What’s so hard to understand about that? The sound attacks the mind in order to control their nerves. Now, that shaman has lowered the sensitivities of their nerves so that even if they were provoked, they don’t feel anything. To put it simply, these five… are blood-and-flesh machines.”
Abbess Yun Miao shivered inwardly. Blood-and-flesh machines?! Has it reached such a barbaric stage?!
“Abbess, look closely. It would seem that the shaman has decided to end the battle.” Yang Chen raised his glass as he reminded her.
At that point, the female shaman’s brown pupils suddenly turned red. Immediately, as she chanted, her hands speedily traced out in thin air a pattern more complicated than all the previous totems.
When that blood-red totem flew towards baldy Rhinoceros, covered his strong body, and vanished, he immediately underwent a huge change!
As everyone watched, his torso began bulking up rigidly, followed by the cracking sound of bones, as his muscles began expanding quickly, starting from his waist and abdomen, to his chest, arms, and even face!
In a flash, Rhinoceros’s original bulk of two metres had become two and a half metres tall!
His skin-tight short-sleeve shirt was in tatters thanks to his massive size. The copper-colored muscles made his upper body look like a Renaissance marble statue—the only difference being that he looked like a monster from a science fiction horror film!
His drastic change caused the Blue Storm four to nearly forget where they were, as they glanced dumbly at Rhinoceros without a word.
As for the other four Panther mercenaries, they stood to one side with a mocking glance at Blue Storm.
Rhinoceros’s eyes shone with a red twinkle as he roared and swung down his football-sized fists at Allen who was closest to him!
The middle-aged man from Blue Storm—who still hadn’t used his power—called out and spread both of his hands. A visible light-blue ball of light shielded the four, protecting them from that insane fist!
A huge crash resounded as a huge dent formed in that light blue shield!
“It’s an antiparticle shield. No wonder he’s never used his power—this ability is only good for defense.” Yang Chen smiled nastily. “It’s too bad they underestimated the power of the shaman’s Bloodlust Technique…”
At first Abbess Yun Miao thought that Yang Chen would comment the shield on being an impressive feat of power, but he actually said that it wouldn’t be enough!
In the next moment, Abbess Yun Miao swiftly understood why Yang Chen would think that way.
Rhinoceros, enhanced by the Bloodlust Technique, laughed evilly, and without even retracting his fist, he took another direct step forward!
The fist smashed through the antiparticle shield—which could stop even attacks from rocket artillery—and went straight for Allen who had no time to dodge!
Who knew how much force that fist carried? The sturdy Allen was struck in the head—and his entire body flew off at an angle, with half of his face unpleasantly distorted!
Rhinoceros’s retaliation wasn’t over yet. Before the other three could retreat, his fist was making its way towards them!
His speed, strength, and accuracy made them unable to defend themselves, and with a punch each, the three Blue Storm members flew backwards as well, crashing heavily into the same wall they had sent the Panthers in earlier!
Other than the ongoing music, no one dared to make a sound, staring blankly at the monstrous Rhinoceros who had just flipped over the four arrogant individuals all by himself.
“That’s the Bloodlust Technique?” Abbess Yun Miao looked carefully. Even she herself may not be able to dodge that speed, or withstand that force—she gulped at the thought of facing off one of these monsters.
Yang Chen nodded. “That’s right. The technique is powerful, but anyone without a strong physique like Rhinoceros’s would be torn apart from the pressure. So if you think of the Panther mercenaries as the body and flesh of the group, then the shamans are the brains.”
“Shamans?” Abbess Yun Miao was surprised. “Are you saying that within the Panther group there is more than on shaman?!”
Yang Chen found it funny. “Abbess, you’ve underestimated the Panther. Their official teams include over a thousand people; how could there be only one shaman? Even though there aren’t many, it won’t be less than ten. It’s only because of these shamans that they can traverse the Americas; otherwise they would have long been wiped out by the government’s special forces.”
Abbess Yun Miao felt an indescribable rush of fear, and could only sigh. “There are so many hidden talents such as this in the world. The Yellow Flame Iron Brigade has been replenishing its new blood, but it would seem like it is not enough. When I return this time, I’ll have a good talk with General Cai, and see if we can get more recruits like the Dragon Group Recruit.”
Yang Chen didn’t really care for these matters, and pretended not to hear her mutterings; otherwise, if he was roped in, he’d have to help train them. Wouldn’t he be looking for trouble that way?
A battle caused by a conflict of words occurred quickly, and was also resolved quickly. In the end, Panther had defeated Blue Storm under circumstances no one had imagined.
The Panther mercenaries also didn’t plan on staying on at the lounge. Once the battle was over, they resumed their normal bodily state and followed the female shaman out proudly.
Conversely, the beaten down Blue Storm four waited for the other party to leave first before cautiously getting up, and exited through a small side door with their tails between their legs, causing them to be ridiculed by some of the other groups in the hall.
However, due to this battle, many organizations were reformulating their strategies regarding the struggle for the Sword of Thanatos. Everyone had just realized that some opponents weren’t as strong as they seemed, whereas the reverse may be true for others…
After finishing the whiskey in his hand, Yang Chen stood up and waved at Abbess Yun Miao. “Abbess, I’m going off to meet some old friends, so that people won’t think I harbor certain intentions toward you.”
Based on her appearance, Abbess Yun Miao looked like a graceful, sophisticated woman. Yang Chen couldn’t bear the thought of people mistaking their relationship for something else.
“Humph.” Abbess Yun Miao cast a disdainful glance at Yang Chen. Although she looked young, she was in fact old enough to be a grandmother, and actually wouldn’t mind that sort of misconception.
Yang Chen leisurely bypassed several huge pillars, crossed the dance floor, and reached a corner close to the stage.
It was more secluded here as there weren’t many people there; after all, there weren’t many on the ship in the first place.
At the round curving sofas there were ten or so tall, strapping men in suits who had already stood up—among them were Sauron who had boarded earlier. The group watched as Yang Chen walked over.
When Yang Chen was in front of them, they bowed nearly simultaneously, each using their own language from a different part of the world to greet Yang Chen.
Yang Chen indicated that they should sit. “Be more discreet in public. I thought that you understood that because you didn’t come over just now. Sauron, didn’t I ask you to tell them to act oblivious?”
“Your Majesty Pluto, I thought that we were dropping the act since you came over here personally,” Sauron explained with his poker face.
Yang Chen looked around; it seemed like no one had noticed. He smiled. “It’s not like you are unaware of the many enemies that I have in this life—over half of the organizations on this boat have something against me. Even if it’s nothing too terrifying if they found out I’m on this ship, it’ll still be troublesome.”
The group laughed freely. They were already glad to see Yang Chen after almost two years, and thinking of those days, when passions ran high and enemies were made, brought to mind many interesting events.
Yang Chen sat in their midst, and stared carefully at everyone. His eyes filled with nostalgia and his voice became warm. “Sauron, thank you for your efforts in managing both Sea Eagles and Zero in the two years I was absent. However, it seems like everyone has been well—you all reek less of blood, and more of humanity.”
“Your Majesty Pluto, the hit list Zero receives every year is only a third of the length of previous years. If our assassins weren’t the best in the world, we would no longer be the world’s number-one assassin organization, just based on the number of hits. Most of us have decided that it was high time that we ventured into other professions, so this outcome is only natural.” A bearded Middle Eastern man smiled.
“You’re Abdullah, right? How come you’ve got a beard now?” Yang Chen tried not to laugh.
Abdullah was stunned, and happily said, “Your Majesty Pluto still remembers me! It’s such an honor. As for the beard: it’s because I’m married, and my wife says that I look better with it.”
Yang Chen was pleasantly surprised. “You’re married? So you’re not an assassin anymore?”
“No more. Actually, I’ve been sick of it for quite some time. Now I’m just a regional ambassador in Zero. During the year Your Majesty Pluto returned to China, I threw my weapon into the Red Sea. Now I am proud to say that I am a father of a one year old,” said Abdullah proudly.
Sauron said with a stiff face, “The profession of an assassin usually doesn’t end well, but because of Your Majesty Pluto’s protection, people seldom retaliate against us assassins from Zero even after we’ve retired, for fear of angering you. And many have also moved their families directly to the Forgotten Realms. If Your Majesty Pluto has the time, you may visit the place. Old man Ron has taken care of it well; he said he’s waiting to surprise Your Majesty Pluto when you return.”
The other members of Sea Eagles and Zero echoed the praise, sincerely hoping that Yang Chen would one day return even if it is just for a visit.
Yang Chen would be lying if he said he wasn’t moved when he saw the smiles on his subordinates. He slowly took a cigarette from his shirt pocket, which was immediately lit by someone.
After taking a drag, Yang Chen said, “I must make time to see that old man Ron, and see how everyone’s getting on as well. Since I’ve publicly announced that the region is under my protection, I wouldn’t be nice if I stayed away for too long.
“But what pleases me most is how everyone no longer seems gloomy like before. Your eyes used to be empty and apathetic, but now I can feel the warmth. It looks like I was right to return to China and stop the plans for the expansion. It’s what you are now that makes me proud to have once led you.”
Hearing Yang Chen’s words, everyone was silent, their smiles demonstrating their appreciation.
Just then, Yang Chen sensed something and frowned, and looked over to the neighboring sofa—an unfamiliar figure was lying flat on it...
It was a white-haired man, wearing a blue Japanese samurai robe, with cold sharp features, and unsettling narrow eyes. His long white hair was combed to the back without a strand out of place.
At his waist, a hexagonal katana hung in a wooden sheath. Compared to normal katanas, this looked more like a feminine ornament.
What unsettled Yang Chen was how this man had just appeared there flat on his back—even his own sensory skills had nearly missed out on the man’s arrival.
The white-haired man noticed Yang Chen’s glance and grinned nastily, and fished out a wine bottle from somewhere. This porcelain bottle was obviously made to contain sake.
Raising the bottle, the man took a swig, and gave a contented sigh.
By this point everyone present had also noticed Yang Chen’s behaviour, and followed his gaze, only to notice this white-haired Japanese samurai.
At this, everyone watching suddenly felt their hearts in their throats—
Why?! It’s simple. Everyone here was one of the world’s finest mercenaries or assassins. This fellow just materialized, lying on a sofa beside them, and they were only just now noticing him!
There was definitely something abnormal about this man!