Chapter 57 – Financial Crisis 17: Odd Mark
Inside the Shanshui Guesthouse, the boss and thief started their actions.
There was the sound of rummaging in their ears and the supplies under the bed were soon find. They quickly moved the boxes while the challengers were unaware.
Room 206, room 205…
The two people moved quickly and directly moved the supplies downstairs.
The boss had long been prepared with a large track. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang tacitly put on the invisibility cloak and waited near the big truck. They saw that in the truck's cabin, boxes of milk, mineral water, instant noodles, chocolate, biscuits…
Xiao Lou's heart was extremely shocked. These sons of a b.i.t.c.h, how many 'foreigners' had they stolen from?
It was an entire truck full of goods and they could almost open a small supermarket.
Just then, the voice of the guesthouse owner entered their ears. "Old Liu, how much money do you think we can make this time?"
The middle-aged man with the hoa.r.s.e voice said, "Don't be in a hurry. In two days, the citizens' reserve supply will be almost finished and the supermarkets will be out of stock. They will be unable to buy food and the traffic gridlock means they can't escape. They can only wait to die. At that time, if I open a store in the centre of the central square and sell everything at a high price, there must be citizens with spare cash and earning tens of millions of gold coins isn't a problem."
The guesthouse owner laughed. "That is a good idea! I didn't expect that all the inventory stolen from the foreigners could actually be used like this. How did you know a financial crisis would occur?"
The middle-aged man replied, "I didn't know. However, the boss told me to 'follow the foreigners to earn money. It is absolutely right if we steal what they use money to buy.'"
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang heard up to here and couldn't help being shocked.
The 'boss' he mentioned must not be the boss of the Shanshui Guesthouse but was more like his superior.
Xiao Lou wondered, "Is there a stronger boss in this secret world? Or does the Card World have an organization dedicated to dealing with us?"
Yu Hanjiang frowned and whispered in Xiao Lou's ears. "A secret room having more than one boss is unlikely. I think that the secret room has a special organization to deal with us 'foreigners' and hindering our smooth clearance. The organization must've scattered a large number of free people across the secret rooms and the thief might be a member of the organization."
Xiao Lou thought that Group Leader Yu's inference was very reasonable. The 'boss' that the thief mentioned made Xiao Lou feel very uneasy. That person should know a lot of information about challengers and knew specifically about what challengers would do…
Moreover, the members of the organization were ruthless and killed people without blinking. They had a strong resistance and hostility to 'foreigners.'
The existence of such an organization meant that clearing instances in the future would only become more and more difficult.
Seeing the light of the candles on the first floor, the two people had apparently stolen everything from the second floor. Xiao Lou looked at the countdown for the Peach Blossom Spring and said, "Group Leader Yu, there are only 10 minutes left. We have to act as soon as possible."
Yu Hanjiang nodded. "Catch them alive. I want to know more about this organization."
He looked around the guesthouse and whispered to Xiao Lou, "They are still stealing on the first floor. I will cover you while you set up the ceiling ring traps on the first floor. Trap them with the rings and I will capture them." He paused before adding, "Yes, draw me a few rings as weapons."
"No problem." Xiao Lou took out the S-grade Compa.s.s, used the invisibility cloak and entered together with Group Leader Yu. On the ground of the first floor, he quickly drew a large number of rings and made the rings float to the roof. In addition, he drew a few rings for Yu Hanjiang.
The metal ring was very thin and could be used as a weapon around the wrist. This metal material was very good and was difficult to tear off. It could pull back the neck and even strangle people.
The two people were ready and listened to the bug.
The boss and thief moved several boxes out of room 108 and the boss said with a smile, "The two girls in 108 are very beautiful. It is a pity to kill them directly. Why don't we take advantage of the two of them while they are confused, hehehe…."
The lewd laughter gave Xiao Lou the chills.
Don't talk about stealing, he even wanted to do things to the girls. They were simply inferior to animals!
The boss didn't have time to act when he was stopped by the middle-aged man. "Don't complicate the issue. There will be plenty of women later on. Put the supplies into the car first. I will go to the bas.e.m.e.nt to get the fuel to burn up this guesthouse. No one will know what we did."
The boss sighed a bit reluctantly. "Okay."
The two people were just about to separate when at this time, countless metal rings descended from the sky!
Xiao Lou's manipulation of the rings was extremely skilled and combined with the candle in the boss' hand, there was light and he could see the position of the two people clearly. He accurately covered the two people with the rings.
Yu Hanjiang wore the invisibility cloak and moved at the same time.
He flew almost instantly behind the boss and the middle-aged man, covering the neck of the middle-aged man with the silver ring while the other hand held a fruit knife against the boss' back.
The boss and middle-aged man were overwhelmed by the sudden change.
The middle-aged man's face changed and he wanted to remove his cloak, only to hear a deep and cold voice in his ears. "Don't move. If you dare to move then I will strangle you."
It was a familiar voice. It belonged to the guest in 207, Yu Hanjiang.
The middle-aged man's mouth twitched violently a few times before a hint of cruelty flashed in his eyes. "You are back?"
Yu Hanjiang spoke lightly. "Don't talk nonsense and go out."
Xiao Lou continued to manipulate the rings. Under his control, the thin metal tied the two people's arms and legs and they were unable to move.
The boss was frightened and disappointed as he spoke with a pale face, "T-The two of you, I have something to say!"
Xiao Lou's voice was cold. "There is nothing to say. Let's go."
Yu Hanjiang escorted them from behind and pushed the two people out the door.
The two people were caught by the rings and moving wasn't easy. They stumbled towards the large truck.
Xiao Lou whispered to Yu Hanjiang, "I can't take them into the Peach Blossom Spring? Shall we directly drive the truck back?" He paused before saying, "However, there are the supplies of most of the challengers here. If the truck leaves then what will these people do?"
Yu Hanjiang replied, "Leave a note at the guesthouse, telling them to come to the construction site at 8 o'clock tomorrow to find us."
Xiao Lou felt this approach was feasible. He headed to the front desk of the guesthouse to grab a pen and paper and wrote quick notes, stuffing them in every room.
By the time he returned to the truck, Yu Hanjiang had tied the hands of the two men behind them with wire. This way, it would be hard for them to break free, even with the invisibility cloak.
In order to prevent the two men from using other special effect cards to escape, Yu Hanjiang stared at them.
He asked Xiao Lou, "Professor XIao, can you drive?"
Xiao Lou nodded. "I pa.s.sed the driver's test but I can only drive a car. I can't drive this large truck."
"Then I'll drive. You guard them."
He put the two men into the truck, handed them over to Xiao Lou to guard and got on the driver's seat, skillfully starting the truck.
Late at night, a large truck full of supplies moved quickly through the streets towards the construction site.
At this time, the construction site.
Shao Qingge was lying in a bored manner under the peach tree. His hands were behind his back as he stared at the mountains of peach blossom trees. It was as if he came here to travel as a tourist.
Xie Qi's face was tense as he whispered, "How come Group Leader Yu and Professor Xiao aren't back yet?"
Shao Qingge told him, "Don't worry, these two people are much better than you think."
Xie Qi looked at the countdown of the Peach Blossom Spring and nervously clenched his fists. "There are three minutes left before the Peach Blossom Spring disappears. Didn't Professor Xiao say he could take Group Leader Yu into the s.p.a.ce at any time? They aren't hurt, right?"
Shao Qingge had been very calm but at this time, he sensed that something wasn't right. He sat up and looked at the countdown in the upper right corner with a slight frown. "They might've encountered some trouble. There is no signal in the Peach Blossom Spring so I'll send a message once we go out a bit later."
The countdown reached 0 and the Peach Flower Spring was forcibly closed. Shao Qingge and Xie Qi were sent outside.
The two men and a large number of supplies appeared in the empty room that was the entrance of the Peach Blossom Spring.
The dark construction site was still quiet.
Xie Qi p.r.i.c.ked his ears and listened to the surrounding movements. "There seems to be the sound of a car driving."
Shao Qingge directly picked up his phone and sent a message to Xiao Lou. "The Peach Blossom Spring is gone. Why aren't you back yet?"
Xiao Lou was currently in the and didn't see it because his phone was in his pocket.
Yu Hanjiang's driving technique was first-cla.s.s and the truck was steady and fast. He arrived at the construction site in the blink of an eye.
The lights illuminated the dark construction site and Xie Qi leapt up like a frightened rabbit, quickly moving to the window to look into the distance. "What is the situation? Are the bad guys coming to the door?"
He took out a fruit knife and stood in an alert combat posture.
At this time, Shao Qingge's phone finally lit up as Xie Qi sent him a text message. "We are the ones who drove the truck over. You and Xie Qi come down."
Shao Qingge sighed with relief and told Xie Qi, "It is Group Leader Yu."
Xie Qi put away the fruit knife and followed Shao Qingge downstairs to check the situation.
Yu Hanjiang braked with one foot and steadily stopped the truck. He got out of the driver's seat, walked to the back of the truck and opened the door to the cargo area. "Professor Xiao, you can come down."
Xiao Lou took the two people down. They were tied up and their expressions were somewhat ugly.
Due to the lights of the truck, Shao Qingge saw the appearance of the two men.
He knew the owner of the guesthouse. The other middle-aged man he hadn't seen before. This man was around 40 years old and had a pair of dark eyes and a high nose. He wasn't very handsome but his facial features were decent.
Xie Qi suddenly exclaimed, "Isn't this Lawyer Qi? I saw him in the last secret room!"
Xiao Lou looked back at Xie Qi. "You mean, the lawyer who called everyone to gather their materials together and go to the construction site?"
He remembered Xie Qi's description of his experience and also admired the lawyer who took the lead and let all challengers survive until the fifth day.
He didn't expect the lawyer to actually be the boss!
Xie Qi's express was hard. "s.h.i.t, the traitor was you! Using all sorts of reasons, we were persuaded to gather at the construction site. Then you brought over the group of prisoners and killed us?!"
The middle-aged man squinted slightly. "Yes, I remember you. The university student who could play guitar."
Xie Qi was extremely angry and was about to pounce on this person, only to be stopped by Yu Hanjiang.
Yu Hanjiang's voice was cold. "It seems he can shuttle between the worlds of the secret rooms and in every secret room, he has a different ident.i.ty. Xie Qi met him as Lawyer Qi. He must've killed a challenger first and then replaced him."
In the world that Xie Qi experienced. he killed Mr Qi and led all the challengers to the construction site as Lawyer Qi, calling the escaped prisoners over to kill the challengers.
In this secret room, the man he killed was Xu Zhengyang. He replaced the other person and lived in the Shanshui Guesthouse, stealing materials. If it wasn't for Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang stopping him, he would've just set first to the Shanshui Guesthouse.
Yu Hanjiang placed a fruit knife against the other person's throat and his voice dropped to the freezing point. "What is your real name? Who sent you?"
The middle-aged man's eyes were like a poisonous snake. He viciously swept his eyes over the four people in front of him and then spoke in a gloomy voice. "Foreigners should die!"
Yu Hanjiang's knife immediately moved forward a few millimeters as he asked sharply, "Answer honestly, who sent you? Who is the boss you mentioned?"
A bright red blood mark appeared on the middle-aged man's neck. He looked at Yu Hanjiang and suddenly raised his mouth in a strange arc. It was too late by the time Yu Hanjiang sensed something wrong.
The man's mouth was covered with dark poison due to him biting the poison capsule hidden in his teeth.
Xiao Lou couldn't believe it as he stared at the body on the ground. "Suicide by poison?!"
It was highly toxic and this person instantly died.
Xie Qi stared, his voice trembling slightly. "W-Why is this like the death of a warrior in the movie? His plan wasn't successful and in order to not betray his boss, he actually committed suicide?"
Shao Qingge stared at the body in front of him. "It seems this boss isn't simple if he can make his men so loyal."
Yu Hanjiang's expression was terribly cold.
He took back the fruit knife and looked at the shaking guesthouse boss.
The boss was affected by the sharp eyes and crazily shook his head with a white face. "Don't kill me! I don't know anything!"
Yu Hanjiang asked coldly, "Aren't you his accomplice? Do you think I will believe that you know nothing?"
The owner quivered. "I-I only know that his name is Liu Tong and he is from the City of the Moon… a few days ago, he came to me and said that he will book a room in my guesthouse and there is an opportunity to make money together. I definitely couldn't refuse a chance to make money…"
Yu Hanjiang said, "Then you opened a black store and joined forces with him to steal the foreigners' items?"
The boss bowed his head. "I-I was also forced to cooperate. If I didn't cooperate, he said he would kill me and replace my ident.i.ty as the guesthouse owner. I-In order to save my life, I had to cooperate with him!"
Xiao Lou spoke lightly, "To save your life? I think that you were having fun."
The boss's face was very embarra.s.sed. He knew that his conversation with his companion had been head by Xiao Lou and he couldn't refute it. He had to tremble and beg for mercy. "L-Let me go. These materials will be given to you…"
Xie Qi exclaimed angrily, "What nonsense about giving it to us! These were things that you stole!"
Yu Hanjiang whispered, "How much do you know about the boss mentioned by Liu Tong?"
The owner of the guesthouse shook his head. "I don't know. He just said his boss has money and power. If I follow the boss then I will certainly be able to live a good life. He also said that killing foreigners will give a high bounty. It is one million per head…"
The four people glanced at each other and a chill rose in the bottom of their hearts.
How could there be a bounty? Were the challengers mice?
Xiao Lou was silent for a moment before opening his mouth. "The worlds of the secret rooms are created by the four keepers and the actions of the free people aren't under their jurisdiction. Perhaps some people feel that killing us is profitable and created this organization specifically for us, to create trouble for us."
Shao Qingge continued, "This organization offers a 'bounty' as a reward and killing us can earn people money. Such a strict organization, the people captured would rather commit suicide than reveal information… we met one in the 3 of Spades secret room and there might be many more in the future."
Xiao Lou held his throbbing temple. "Unfortunately, we don't know what the organization is called, the location of the headquarters, the boss' ident.i.ty and how many people will be a.s.signed to each secret room to deal with us. This is really overwhelming!"
Just then, he saw that Yu Hanjiang was crouching down and removing the clothes of the deceased to check carefully.
The dead man's heart was marked with a strange skull-shaped tattoo that looked even more bizarre in the dim light. Even stranger, as the body stiffened, the tattoo disappeared at a speed visible to the naked eye.
Xiao Lou's spirit was shocked. "Is this the mark of the organization?"
Yu Hanjiang stood up. "Probably. This group of free people was thoroughly brainwashed into dead people, whose only goal is to roam through the survival secret rooms, hunting the challengers in the secret rooms and obtaining a high bounty."
The group was silent for a moment before Xie Qi couldn't help spitting out, "The world of the secret rooms really has pits everywhere!"
He thought of his experience in the last secret room and became angry. At that time, they all trusted Lawyer Qi and came with the others to the construction site. They allocated the materials as recommended and successfully lived until the fifth day. Even as he was killed by the prisoners, he thought that it was the cooking at night that attracted the prisoners.
He didn't expect the Lawyer Qi that everyone trusted the most to make a trap to kill all challengers.
According to the one million gold coins per head, this a.s.shole must've made tens of millions of gold coins in the last secret room!
Letting free people walk around the survival rooms to kill the challengers, this organization was terrible!
Xiao Lou sighed when he saw Xie Qi's ugly face and held his shoulder. "In the future, we can no longer trust others. Even if they are good to us, perhaps their real purpose is actually to kill us.
After so many betrayals, it was difficult for challengers to fully trust their teammates.
Xiao Lou finally understood why there were so many challengers but no team could clear the SS-grade secret rooms.
A free person was indistinguishable from challengers and a free person who masqueraded as a challenger was likely aiming to kill the challenger.
It was a crisis of confidence.
This was the most terrible seed buried in the mind of all challengers in the Card World.
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