The Card Apprentice Chapter 391
Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Damn! We’re finally about to get to Zargan! It’s been driving me f****ng crazy not to get here!” Jeremy and the rest of them had gotten to the edge of the forest and saw that they weren’t far from Zargan. They knew their behavior would absolutely never be forgiven by Wen. Once they were on their way, they moved very carefully, in fear of being pursued.
It was difficult along the way because of the hoards of wild beasts and the low morale of their troops. Their manpower losses had been grave. There were only seven of them left, the rest having died in the forest. But Bao Le and Jeremy were like stray dogs in a constant state of anxiety; they were not in the right frame of mind to take care of those people’s lives.
Bao Le’s expression was a little milder as he said complacently, “We only have to get to Zargan, find Yan Hao and the people from Moon Frost Island, and report Wen’s secret plot to them. They will surely guarantee our safety. Hmmm. It’s nice and cool under the trees. What can Wen do about it even if he is able to come after us?”
Jeremy was stirred. “I’ve heard people are treated pretty well at Moon Frost Island; we’ll be eating and drinking plenty. Compared to the way we’ve been licking blood from our knives, wouldn’t that be a hundred times better?”
The two of them looked at each other and smiled. Suddenly, a languid voice said, “I’m afraid you won’t be so lucky.”
The blood drained completely from their faces, and Jeremy exclaimed in horror, “Captain Yuchi!”
A simple, rustic-looking, middle-aged man walked out from behind a tree and took a look at Jeremy. He said with a sigh, “I never thought you would betray the chief.”
Jeremy said with a tragic smile, “We blew it this time, Captain Yuchi. But if we’d gone back, it would have meant death anyway. How could the chief have let us go?”
Yuchi Bai shook his head and said, “The chief wouldn’t necessarily have demanded your lives.”
“Not necessarily?” Jeremy just smiled tragically and didn’t say anything else.
Yuchi turned to look at Bao Le with a chilly gaze and said darkly, “I know you haven’t been loyal to the chief for a while! If I haven’t guessed wrong, you were the one who instigated this operation!”
Bao Le’s face went white, though he didn’t evade Yuchi’s gaze in the least. “There’s no need to waste words, Yuchi. We are all nothing more than knives in Wen’s hands, and you are no exception. Humph! Wen will certainly never let us off for what we did this time. No matter what we do, we die, as everyone knows!”
The last thing he said was really said for those around him. The people with Bao Le looked hopeless as soon as Yuchi appeared. After Bao Le said that, it destroyed any last bit of hope they might have held out. No one said a word. They all drew closer in silence, the fear in their eyes slowly disappearing to be replaced by a crazed determination.
Jeremy suddenly opened his mouth. “The chief must really think a lot of us to actually send Captain Yuchi personally. Still, you had to leave everyone else behind in order to chase after us, Captain Yuchi!”
Everyone’s eyes then lit up, and their spirits were stirred. Everyone knew how powerful Captain Yuchi was. But, no matter how capable he was, they had never seen it. If what Jeremy had said was true, they would definitely have a numerical advantage. To add five strong card artisans to two captains would compose plenty of battle power against Yuchi! That thought popped into everyone’s head at about the same time.
Yuchi Bai looked at Jeremy with some appreciation. “You won’t have to do any looking around. I came alone. I’ve always thought you were intelligent, Jeremy, and not like those who might be swayed by Bao Le. I’d really like to know why you betrayed the chief!”
After a moment of silence, Jeremy finally opened his mouth and said with a mocking look, “Given his skill, Wen rarely has any adversaries. Constellation is also very powerful. But I never thought he would actually dare to have designs on Moon Frost Island! Ever since then, I’ve known he’s nuts!”
Ever-noncommittal, Yuchi said, “Of course the chief has his own plans.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha!” Jeremy suddenly laughed to the point of doubling over, as though he had heard something hilarious. Yuchi looked coldly askance at him, saying nothing.
By the time Jeremy raised his head, there was nothing funny on his face as he said without expression, “Of course the chief has his own plans, though I did sometimes wonder whether there was someone behind him.”
Once he said that, Yuchi’s gaze became explosive, though he remained as restrained as ever.
As though Jeremy hadn’t seen Yuchi’s expression, he bluntly said, “It’s not important what plans Wen has. Captain Yuchi knows the rules in this circle of ours; no one messes with Moon Frost Island. Angering them is like going off on the road to death! Maybe Wen and Yuchi aren’t afraid, but what about us? What about the rest of the captains? I can’t come up with any other result than dying. What Bao Le said was right; we’re nothing more than knives in his hands. Without those knives, he’ll just buy some more. Given that, it’s worth the risk of a fight!”
Saying that, Jeremy shook his head with a sigh. “It’s just that I never thought that at such a critical time, Wen would actually send you, Yuchi. This should be the most critical time for the plans. Given Jin Yin’s serious injuries and Mo Ta’s death, the only ones he could mobilize were Captain Yuchi, An Sa, and Gan Lin. I’d previously thought Wen might send An Sa and Gan Lin, leaving Yuchi by Wen’s side at such a critical time. I didn’t realize my thinking was so far off.”
Yuchi Bai couldn’t help but sigh again as he looked at Jeremy with a little mercy. “You’re intelligent, Jeremy, but you shouldn’t have betrayed the chief. If you’d gone back, you wouldn’t have been punished. The chief was testing you. Too bad! He had been wondering if Bao Le was a traitor and never thought you would also choose to betray him.”
Yuchi Bai’s face became abruptly grave and darkly cold. “The chief had been wondering whom to use as bait. Now, he won’t have to bother with that issue. Those who have betrayed the chief will have to die!”
“It’s too late to say anything now. We have no way out, Jeremy.” Bao Le spoke darkly. “I’m going to learn a little something today about Captain Yuchi’s superior skills! Let’s go!”
Bao Le and Jeremy were the first to make a move. A thick layer of dark blue gravel appeared on Bao Le’s face. Every piece of the energy gravel was as small as a pinky finger, and they were tightly wrapping around Bao Le’s body, only leaving his eyes showing through. The layer of dark blue energy gravel was slowly surging like waves.
There was a sparkling glow on the tips of Jeremy’s ten fingers, each of them with a glowing cocoon. On the cocoons were ring after ring of colorful lines, as though they were surrounded by rainbows.
Yuchi Bai sighed. “Is that necessary?”
He bowed his head and lightly cupped his hands, and luxuriant puffs of milky-white silken energy bodies came pouring out of his hands. The energy was as fine as downy hair and as supple as though it almost wasn’t there. Those fine energy threads flew away from Yuchi Bai’s hands and went floating into the air. The downy energy silk then flew quickly like the wind and danced, spinning among the trees.
Bao Le and Jeremy both showed serious expressions, and the other five had activated their cards to emit energy bodies. None of them dared to be the first to attack, however. They knew Yuchi was awesome, but they didn’t know much about just how awesome he was. Constellation had been so invincible those past few years that among the other six captainswith Mo Ta and Jin Yin both able to join the top 100 aces in the Black-Line Star Listingthey had seldom needed a hand from Captain Yuchi. While they knew the name of the silk card Captain Yuchi used, they really didn’t know anything about its capabilities.
Jeremy and Bao Le looked at one another and both intuitively knew to let loose at the same time! Bao Le gave out a shout, and a pair of wings formed from the energy gravel that appeared on his back. His body then pounced after Yuchi Bai! A ball of blue sparks exploded from the tips of the blue gravel wings as Bao Le’s speed increased, and his body blurred! Vaguely visible was a glinting blue spear in the middle of the blurry trail.
At nearly the same time, ten pencil-straight rainbows crossed the sky. Jeremy put all of his energy into that move! The ten glowing cocoons left his hands simultaneously. Although they were as fast as lightning, there was no sound of their breaking through the air. They were quiet and beautiful enough to nearly take a person’s breath away.
The other five card artisans let loose at the same time, spreading out so that the energy bodies in their hands shot toward Yuchi Bai like raindrops. None of those seven people dared to hold back when they let loose! They knew they would only get one shot in front of an ace like Yuchi Bai.
Under the dense and furious attack, a flash of pity went across Yuchi Bai’s plain face. But what felt strange was that he didn’t actually respond.
What’s going on? The seven of them were baffled. Could Yuchi Bai have come looking to die?
Jeremy was a little more perceptive than Bao Le, having suddenly glimpsed the milky-white energy silk floating among the trees. That caused his face to abruptly shift.
“Look out for those threads!” Jeremy’s voice had changed its tone, but his warning had clearly been a little late. The white energy filaments, which had been wafting freely among the trees, went surging toward the energy bodies like a shark smelling blood.
So long as a white energy thread touched the rapidly flying energy bodies, they would immediately sink into a bizarrely static state. The most terrifying thing was that the energy thread would only have to touch them for the energy bodies to lose control and to completely stop obeying orders.
“Damn!” Jeremy instantly glared, round-eyed. “Bam!”
The colorful stripes from the remaining four glowing cocoons that hadn’t been touched by the energy silk went wild. Without even a whisper, colorful flames rose into the sky and enshrouded everything within the scope of 20 meters. The blazing-hot rush of oncoming air turned the nearby trees yellow. The colorful flames were terrifying, and the thick tree trunks were as fragile as paper within that 20-meter-diameter ball of fire. What really made people shake was that the entire process was noiseless.
Bao Le turned gray when that explosion nearly spilled over onto him. If he hadn’t quickly seen his chance, he would have been swallowed by the ball of colorful fire. By that time, though, he couldn’t bother to curse Jeremyhe was staring wide-eyed at that ball of flame!
He had a rather fine relationship with Jeremy, but he did know the power of the ball of colorful flame. He knew if it even slightly touched him, the outcome would be extremely serious. He had never seen Jeremy deploy such a huge explosion. He didn’t believe anyone could survive being engulfed by it. But could Captain Yuchi be so easily killed? He didn’t quite dare to believe that.
Bao Le suddenly felt his whole body go stiff. What happened? His eyes went wide with terror as the layer of energy gravel on the outside of his body lost connection with it. He didn’t dare to move. The energy gravel wasn’t a well-behaved baby. Once the pieces exploded, his bones wouldn’t even be left.
He glimpsed Jeremy out of the corner of his eye, scared out of his wits. Jeremy also looked like a puppet, not daring to move while a puff of white energy silk was wrapping around his body in a leisurely fashion.
Everything went black in front of Bao Le, and he lost consciousness. There was a string of explosions, which blew up the five other pros at the same time. Characteristically, those card artisans all had energy bodies either in their hands or around their bodies.
Not daring to move and dripping bean-sized beads of sweat, Jeremy looked terrified and forlorn. Not far away to his side, there was only a large, blackened pit where Bao Le had just been. Smoke curled out of the pit, and blood and shreds of flesh were spewed all around. The other five deaths were equally as weird and miserable.
A figure came slowly walking out of the colorful flames. Yuchi Bai glanced indifferently at Jeremy.
Jeremy discovered that the fine white energy had gotten into the apparatus on his hand. The energy in the apparatus quickly lost control and wrought crazy havoc, followed by a huge sound. His eyes went dark, and he lost consciousness.
* * *
Moon Frost Island was situated in the toughest part of the Heavenly Drum Village District. The bitter cold there far exceeded other places. The first thing students had to adapt to when they entered the school was the ever-present cold and the bone-piercing ice.
Jia Yingxia had turned 50 that day, but she looked like a beautiful young woman of 30, apart from some fishtail wrinkles in the corners of her eyes that showed her age. In front of her was an old man whose hair and whiskers were all white.
“Yushan just sent news, young disciple, that the ones who attacked the snow shuttle vessels were Constellation.” Jia Yingxia’s beautiful eyes lifted slightly. She sincerely admired that young disciple; otherwise, she would never have been concerned with such a small matter.
Although Xu Bailun was Jia Yingxia’s disciple, he was actually ten years older than her.
“Constellation?” Xu Bailun frowned slightly. He’d heard of that organization, and he was clear about his own family’s style. Reasonably, they should absolutely never provoke such an organization.
Jia Yingxia lightly nodded and smiled gently. “The news Yushan sent says it was no coincidence that this happened, and Constellation must have been plotting it for a long time. It looks like it’s an attack on us.”
“Yushan has really calmed down these last few years, the child. Ah Yue will have another helper after a while,” Xu Bailun said with a laugh. Although he was white-haired and gray, his laughter was perfectly elegant. One could imagine how handsome he had been in his day.
The teacher had always been pretty, but she was already old. Some sourness came to Xu Bailun’s heart, though the complex emotion only flashed by. The mild, elegant smile on her face seemed never to have changed.
Jia Yingxia said thoughtfully, “Someone is plotting against us. I’ve just gotten some information that another several organizations are on their way to Zargan, which can’t be any coincidence.” Like a little girl, she frowned in distress after saying that. “These people are really disgustingas disgusting as flies! If it weren’t for that affair of ours, I would certainly immediately send someone to wipe them out! Hmph! Constellation is at it again. If they annoy me”
Seeing how angry Jia Yingxia looked, Xu Bailun couldn’t help but smile.
“I’ll send a few more people. After all, that servant girl Qian Chen is still there.” Saying that, she seemed to have touched some heartsickness in herself, and she suddenly fell silent. Xu Bailun did the same.
After a long time, Xu Bailun suddenly opened his mouth. “If there isn’t enough manpower in the school, I had better go. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Qian Chen.”
Jia Yingxia’s face turned a little milder, and she glanced at Xu Bailun. “We’re planning something big this time, and my young disciple still needs to help me. With Qian Chen there, of course I’ll send someone over! My young disciple should rest easy. If something has happened to Qian Chen, the worst that could happen is that I’ll be risking my life.
Xu Bailun only smiled wryly.
* * *
Only Chen Mu and Wei-ah were in the training room. Chen Mu had remained there for seven days, training by himself every day. No one dared to bother him. Ah Sang forbade anyone to get anywhere near the training room.
The two of them were sitting casually on the floor.
“Where did you go these last few days?” Chen Mu asked in curiosity as he was drinking Lanqing tea.
“Fighting together with someone.” Wei-ah cherished his words like gold.
Chen Mu spewed out a mouthful of tea with a sputter. He had absolutely no way to imagine how such a tough being as Wei-ah would join anyone else in a fight. He was afraid he could knock someone over with the tip of his finger.
“There’s someone who can fight with you?” Chen Mu’s entire face showed his disbelief.
“It’s a child, whose physical condition is no less than yours.” Wei-ah side-stepped the question. “I’d like to take him on as an apprentice.”
“Take an apprentice? Why would you consider taking an apprentice?” Chen Mu had always felt that Wei-ah was a little weird. He understood Wei-ah rather well. He certainly wasn’t the kind of person who would be willing to be a role model.
Wei-ah had a complicated expression, seeming to be thinking hard about something. “I remembered a few things, but not many. I want to take on an apprentice and then take him home.”
Chen Mu was utterly stunned. “Go home? Where would that be?”
“I don’t know.” Wei-ah’s response was simple, and his expression looked confused.
Chen Mu sighed. He would hate it if Wei-ah wanted to leave him then. Ever since Wei-ah had left the Moqi Clan with him, the two of them hadn’t been apart. He had rescued Chen Mu lots of times. The friendship between them was growing deeper all the time.
“I’ll tell you when I remember. You’re going to help me.” Wei-ah spoke bluntly and without the least bit of self-consciousness.
Chen Mu solemnly promised, “I will certainly help you.”
Seeming to feel that the topic had gotten a bit too serious, Chen Mu changed it. “What have you remembered besides that?”