Chapter 128: Pulling The Strings
Wen Xiaoming was indeed taken back to Lawless’ new base. There seemed to be some special way of contact between Scarlet and Lawless that allowed Scarlet to locate the place without facing any issue.
The members of Lawless were also clueless about the entanglement between Scarlet and Jiang He. Seeing Jiang He appear, all of them simply turned wary. Wen Xiaoming secretly hoped that they would fight, even better if they fought to death. But in the end, he didn’t get his wish.
Wen Xiaoming felt utterly distressed inside but he could only continue to act, pretending as though he didn’t know about Yao Qing at all.
Zheng Yingying, who was among the crowd, was shocked to see Jiang He and Scarlet coming in together, and the two of them were even standing so close to each other. Luckily, she was under a disguise with [Infinite Forms] and lowered her head in time, so her identity wasn’t exposed.
Holding back was her only choice right now.
Zheng Yingying quietly clenched her fists and lowered her eyes to block the violent flash in her eyes, looking all docile and subservient. Unexpectedly, her manner caught Forgettable Face’s attention. With a wave of his hand, he commanded Zheng Yingying and three other men to escort Wen Xiaoming to the room next to Miao Qi and lock him up.
“Yes, sir.” Zheng Yingying stole a confused glance at Jiang He before escorting Wen Xiaoming away.
The clock continued ticking. The man who kept lingering in Tang Cuo’s mind, Jin Cheng, was now leading Chi Yan into Zone B. The most troublesome thing wasn’t to get the pass, for he had asked Wen Xiaoming to prepare it way before. This was just the right time to use it.
As to why he brought Chi Yan out here alone, on one hand, it was because the person they were going to meet was The Fortune Teller Yan Ye, and Chi Yan himself swam in an aura of good luck. When metaphysics met metaphysics, who knew if a miracle might happen? On the other hand, there was a high chance that Tang Cuo would become a target if he stayed in the Ruby Bar. Instead of letting Chi Yan stay there, it was better to leave Tang Cuo and Lilith behind. Both of them were strong and could flee with ease.
Chi Yan had heard of The Fortune Teller of Zone B. Overwhelmed with curiosity, he couldn’t wait to peek inside as soon as they reached the gate. He asked: “Isn’t it said that The Fortune Teller only picks up customers once every three months? It seems that it hasn’t been long since the last pick-up. What if she doesn’t want to see us?”
Jin Cheng shrugged: “Therefore, we’ll have to knock on the door.”
Chi Yan was wondering to himself, Isn’t knocking on the door such a normal procedure? But as soon as he turned around, Jin Cheng pulled out his mechanical bow, took a step back, raised it up and mounted an arrow. Once a white light gathered around the arrowhead, he let go — “Bang!”
The arrow directly pierced the lock on the gate, flicking it open.
Chi Yan gaped in horror. Was this what the boss called ‘knock on the door’???
“Go in.” Jin Cheng walked in at once, and Chi Yan hurriedly followed.
Passing through the courtyard, they met the main door. Compared with this, the courtyard gate outside was mere decoration. The last time Jin Cheng and Tang Cuo came, the two doors opened automatically, but The Fortune Teller Yan Ye hadn’t been outside for so many years. A magic defence had been set up at every corner, ensuring that the place wasn’t somewhere ordinary people could simply break in as they willed.
Jin Cheng once again raised his bow, the tip of his arrow aiming straight at the door. As his gaze focused intently and the arrow was about to fly out, a cold female voice came, stopping him exactly one second before he released the arrow —
“Jin Cheng, if you dare to break another door of mine, I’ll break faith with you.”
“You should’ve said it earlier.” Jin Cheng lowered the arrowhead but still didn’t let go: “If you leave it open and invite me in, I won’t need to destroy the door.”
“It hasn’t been three months, I won’t see any customers. This is my rule.”
“But that is not my rule. You know that in Yong Ye City, there are very few doors that can stop me, unless you’ve planned to completely abandon this place.” Jin Cheng said, smiling softly: “If I forcefully break in, you’ll break faith with me; if you don’t let me in, I’ll break faith with you. Two options, choose one.”
For a long time, no answer came from the other side. Even from across the door, Chi Yan could still feel the tension and a hint of inexplicable excitement, as if he was Aunt Xue standing at the door of Fu Wenpei’s house1.
With a casual “tsk”, Jin Cheng raised the arrowhead again. At this moment, the door opened.
Yan Ye finally chose to compromise.
The two pushed the door in but there was no one inside. Like last time, the two sides only met in the study on the second floor, but with a black curtain in between, neither side could see the other.
“I want a divination for a location.” Jin Cheng went straight to the point.
“I’m a magic-based fortune teller, not a Chinese divination master.” Yan Ye’s voice couldn’t help but carry a trace of anger.
“Regardless of whether you’re magic-based or not, as long as you can find the person, it’s all good.”
Yan Ye seemingly took a little time to calm herself, and finally, she asked: “Who?”
Jin Cheng: “The 2nd Movement.”
Yan Ye: “That I can’t locate. This is something that can issue laws and change Yong Ye City. With my strength, it’s impossible to divine it.”
Jin Cheng: “Then what can you do?”
Yan Ye resolutely refused to talk.
Only then did Jin Cheng take a step back. Shrugging, he said: “What about Wen Xiaoming and Rong Yi? It’s just two players. Can you find their place?”
“First, let’s make it clear, why should I help you? You were just one of my former customers, and I never make an exception for anyone.”
“Aren’t you on Lin Yandong’s side?” Jin Cheng put on a puzzled, so-very-puzzled expression: “Lin Yandong was killed and went to jail, and now Scarlet wants to take a step further and kill me. Even Miao Qi came to ask me for help, yet you dare to refuse?”
The black curtain didn’t show a single wave.
A long time later, Yan Ye’s voice became a tad lower: “Who told you that I work with Lin Yandong?”
Jin Cheng: “Black Hat.”
“You have no proof, let alone the fact that I’ve been consistently staying in Zone B, while Lin Yandong is in Zone A. We haven’t seen each other for years. Even if we were together in the same dungeon four years ago like Tang Cuo mentioned, it doesn’t mean anything.”
“Fine. If you say it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Jin Cheng seemed to have no intention to be tangled in this issue: “Now can you find those people for me?”
Yan Ye actually compromised: “You wait here.”
After this sentence, no sound was heard from behind the curtain for a while.
Fearing that he might accidentally leak important information, Chi Yan didn’t dare to speak. As such, he could only communicate with Jin Cheng with his eyes. Jin Cheng and him were never on the same channel, but he could see Chi Yan’s last gesture — The boy drew three question marks above his head, probably trying to ‘cosplay’ a certain emoji.
Jin Cheng shook his head at Chi Yan. No matter what the boy was asking, it would only be right to stay still for the time being.
Chi Yan nodded, making an ‘OK’ gesture.
After the communication that was totally not in tandem finally ended, the two waited for a while more, yet there was still no movement from behind the curtain. Chi Yan was a little surprised at how Jin Cheng really abode by the rules. He looked so tough when he walked in, but at present, he humbly stopped in front of the curtain.
Of course, Jin Cheng also had his own thinking, because he was suspecting that — there was no one behind the curtain.
No matter who walked in here, the person could only talk to Yan Ye across the curtain. In the past few years, no customer had really seen her face.
Yan Ye’s residence had three gates: a courtyard gate for ‘symbolic’ purpose outside, a defensive gate full of magic traps in the middle, and the curtain in front of them right now.
This was a psychological trick to protect herself.
It was a good way to separate the customers from Yan Ye while creating a sense of mystery. Yan Ye never stepped outside, as though she was a monk of Yong Ye City who was eternally busy with sweeping the courtyard. Given also the uniqueness of her ability, no player was willing to make an enemy out of her, and as such, they wouldn’t randomly break the rules and open the curtain.
Even Jin Cheng wouldn’t do this.
The last time Tang Cuo came here, he did try to poke around but was stopped by her. All this proved that Yan Ye could see every move of the person in this house, no matter where he stood or what words came out of his mouth.
And this was the real reason why Jin Cheng stopped in front of the third ‘gate’ and didn’t want to expose Yan Ye’s identity. It was difficult to tell the extent of manipulation Yan Ye had over this house. What if this was like a black iron cage?
Then he would be stuck. As soon as he moved, he’d be a rabbit caught in the headlights.
Jin Cheng was inclined to such speculations, especially after knowing that Yan Ye might be involved with Lin Yandong’s affairs. Of these two people, one was restricted to Zone A and could never go to lower-ranking zones.
Meanwhile, the other perpetually shrunk in Zone B. This house was like her fortress.
What was she afraid of? Or what was she avoiding?
Right that instant, Yan Ye’s voice came again: “Wen Xiaoming is in Zone E. I can’t detect Rong Yi, maybe he’s in a place like a dungeon. My ability isn’t enough to peek on that.”
Jin Cheng: “Zone E? Where’s the specific location?”
Yan Ye: “Should be close to the southern part of the edge. I can’t pinpoint the specific location, but I saw very strong energy fluctuations in my crystal ball. There should be more than one high-level player there.”
Hearing this, Jin Cheng frowned slightly. Yan Ye shouldn’t lie to him about Wen Xiaoming, but if this was true, something he wasn’t aware of must be happening in Zone E.
However, Jin Cheng wasn’t in a hurry to find out. He suddenly patted Chi Yan on the shoulder and said to the curtain: “Since we’re already here, have a look at this didi of mine.”
“The next generation of Extreme Luck.”
“I’m serious, otherwise, how about you and he PK each other using metaphysics?”
Chi Yan was so embarrassed that he had to wave his hand and say: “I just happen to have a little more luck.”
“It’s good for children to be humble.” Jin Cheng smiled gleefully as his eyes rolled one full round, then he said: “How about this, your honourable Fortune Teller, please divine his future. See if he can kill Yu Yiyi and become the new Extreme Luck.”
Yan Ye: “You seem to have some other intention up your sleeve.”
Jin Cheng: “What are you referring to?”
Yan Ye didn’t answer, for if she did, she would be making a confession on her own volition. But since Jin Cheng suddenly dragged Yu Yiyi into this yet he also tried to dodge the topic, wasn’t this clearly a sign that it was intentional?
Hugging his arms, Jin Cheng folded slowly paced around the room: “Yu Yiyi got the clue about Scarlet’s phylactery from you. Don’t tell me that you, one who only divines someone’s past and future, just suddenly decide to reveal this information to Yu Yiyi, one who has absolutely nothing to do with Scarlet?”
Yan Ye: “That is the result of my divination. I just followed what my divination commanded me to and give the clue to the designated person. Jin Cheng, I can’t explain this principle of this to you, because there’s actually no principle here.”
“Is that so?” Jin Cheng narrowed his eyes. Regarding this so-called ‘command’ from the divination, was the commander a sort of mysterious power or a specific person?
There was only a one-character difference between the words ‘god’ and ‘swindler’2, and there was a very thin line between fortune-telling and fraud. This title of hers was too convenient, for everything could be excused as divination. She always got to decide who she wanted to meet and what she wanted to say.
Divination — wasn’t this such a perfect cover?
If Lin Yandong was really backing her up, then her act of giving out the information about the phylactery was worthy of further investigation. Not to mention, Lin Yandong was killed and sent to jail by Scarlet way too easy…
Chong Yanzhang was probably not the only one pulling the strings behind Scarlet’s release. That was too simple. He was nothing more than a pawn destined to be sacrificed.
But now wasn’t the time to expose them. Jin Cheng had to wait until they had more information and a little more domination over this situation. For now, it was enough to just knock once.
Thinking of this, Jin Cheng called Chi Yan and decided to go to Zone E to find Wen Xiaoming.
As he stepped out, Jin Cheng paid close attention to the movements inside the house but found nothing unusual.
Chi Yan also looked left and right, but this was purely out of curiosity. He wanted to see if there were any items specifically used for divination in the house, such as crystal balls, garlic and bones. Regretfully, this was an exceptionally ordinary house. Even the decoration didn’t seem anything out of the norm.
Waking through the door and into the courtyard, out of habit, Chi Yan pulled out something that looked like a thermometer and briefly glanced at it, then exclaimed in amazement: “Huh? I thought we’ve been in for a long time. I didn’t expect it to be only 18 minutes?”
“What did you say?” Jin Cheng suddenly turned his head.
“Just… 18 minutes have passed.” Chi Yan scratched his head and explained: “This is what Rong Yi taught me as I followed him to the dungeons. No matter where I go or what I do, I have to time myself. Maybe it’s because he’s a time-type special ability user and always pays special attention to time. He also told me a very philosophical sentence, something that sounds super cool, like —“
After pondering for a while, he remembered: “Your senses will trick you, but time won’t.”
The time was wrong!
Jin Cheng was sure that they stayed there for more than 18 minutes, and he also didn’t detect any disparity in time the first two times he was here, which meant it was only today that something in the room affected the flow of time.
Recalling that Yan Ye mentioned Rong Yi couldn’t be detected anywhere, Jin Cheng’s expression suddenly changed. He turned and rushed back at once.
As a gleam of light flashed, the mechanical bow appeared in his hand.
But at this moment, all the magic defensive formations on the walls and doors of this fortress-like house unanimously lit up.
The colourful bright light filled his entire field of vision, illuminating even the night sky. It caused all players in the vicinity to look up and at each other with their faces stunned, completely clueless as to what was happening.
Jin Cheng decisively fired an arrow, but the outcome was way worse than he had imagined. The arrow that he had put all his strength on only caused the patterns to quiver a little, while the defensive formations started to connect to each other. Through their water-like fluctuations, the impact of his attack was ridden layer by layer.
He couldn’t help but curse in his heart. How many layers of magic formations had been stacked up in the four years that Yan Ye hid here? Despite that, he didn’t stop attacking.
Chi Yan hurriedly stepped forward to help.
In the house, inside a certain room, the light of the magic formation was brighter than everywhere else, but there were neither doors nor windows here, not even a lamp.
And even if the magic formation’s light rays were powerful, there remained some places that couldn’t be illuminated. A pair of hands stretched out from the dark and grabbed Rong Yi’s neck.
“Say it, where exactly is the 2nd Movement? A restriction has been placed everywhere in this house. Whatever trick you’re thinking to pull, you won’t be able to.”
When one looked carefully, these hands looked as small as that of a ten-year-old child, but also as thin as that of an eighty-year-old woman.
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.