Chapter 315: Remember? (Part 1/2)
“This is dead tiring," Papercut gasped.
Papercut was running madly the whole way as he entered the wetlands jungle. His chubby body appeared more sluggish and heavy. This damnable Acumen College completely prohibited the operation of flying cars. He had to forcefully charge into the system in order to directly put out the fire, but he was being chased by the school's security.
Nothing went easy for him since his journey began.
Originally, he rushed to Ocean Sky Cloud City to provide support. He had already entered an elevator when he received news that Luo Nan rode the ray to fly to Acumen College. He could only turn around and chase after them.
He finally made it to the north bank jungle, but in the end, the red alert that pressed him all this time drastically fell to a normal alert level. This represented the end of the emergency state. Right now, he came over just to do some cleanup work.
Well, if there was some cleanup work to be done, it seemed to be very difficult.
Papercut openly grinned when he entered the woods. This place was truly like a fryer. The birds and beasts were fleeing in chaos. Feces and urine flowed everywhere. And most of all, the bitter odor of death assaulted the face. It nearly made him trip. He couldn't really see too clearly in the dark, but from what he could manage to see, the corpses of birds and beasts would likely make some nearby ecological research institutes cry to death.
But all of this couldn't compare to what was above the trees in the air. It flew, circling around. It was a blue, gigantic, flying ray. It was stupefying.
"Mutant devil ray…."
Papercut knew of this thing. He even specifically ran to see it when he first heard that it had been moved to the crystal pillar of Ocean Sky Cloud City. But no one told him that this thing could be used as a firefighting helicopter.
His neck was tilted high. He watched, and his eyes ached.
"Watch ahead! You're going to hit a tree!"
A cold voice sounded in his ear, scaring Papercut into a jolt. Luckily, he was able to quickly identify whose voice it was. The red jacket was very eye-catching in the darkness.
"You're here, Red Fox."
"I was here five minutes before you."
Papercut sighed depressingly. "You caught the tail, while I went on a wild goose chase for nothing…. Is there anything left I can help you with?"
"Help? Yeah man, firefighting! But do you have the same lung capacity as that ray?"
"Uh, you're saying…."
Red Fox's face couldn't be seen too clearly within the darkness, but the hint of teasing was obvious. It followed his usual style.
“As for those people from the investigation team, the buffoons all died on the spot, just short of becoming scattered ash and smoke. If we do go over there now, what can we do besides shout, 'long live your majesty'? Oh right, the 'Emperor as a Commoner' show is having a rerun on Xiawei Channel 3, have you seen it?"
"...." Papercut finally realized that his newly made friend had some emotional problems.
Before the matter at Frost River Reality, the two were merely acquaintances. But they repeatedly shared the same stances during that operation. Whether their stances were correct or not, they grew familiar with each other because of them. They even went out drinking afterward, and a friendship was truly established.
Papercut knew of Red Fox's personality. Red Fox saw things in an extreme manner. The more he was stifled, the more destructive his emotions became. Papercut rubbed his forehead and gave a silly laugh, getting his hand smeared with sweat. "Boss Luo has done a hell of a job once again. We rushed over here screaming, and now we're left with handling the aftermath…. Hey, look at my mouth."
He conveniently tapped his jaw. He wanted to continue speaking, but he heard Red Fox sneer, "That's right, just handling the aftermath."
Red Fox raised his chin upon speaking, indicating to Papercut to look to the side.
Actually, Papercut saw the dead corpse over there quite early on. Based on real-time intelligence, he was able to extrapolate that this was Tank, a member of the Headquarters' Incident Investigation Team, famous for being physically strong. Anyone who was able to make a name for himself in the world of ability users in the past hundreds of thousands of years was not unimportant. But today, this rather famous character lay dead in the wetlands jungle. It was really regretful….
"Holy cow, who is this!?" Papercut carefully examined the corpse, and a numbing chill ran up his forehead. He rationally knew that this had to be Tank, but the scene that met his eyes had an enormous impact.
His lips pulled back; he didn't know what sort of expression he should have. "This... this is Tank?"
From real-time intelligence, he knew that Tank was a muscular and rugged giant. He was dogged and valiant. His frontal defensive ability was especially outstanding. Rumor had it that if he was prepared, he could withstand three consecutive shots from a 12.7 millimeter caliber heavy sniper rifle.
But what the heck was up with this pool of dead flesh, fat, and mush?
What Papercut saw was a super-large fatty heavier than him by over threefold. All the flesh on the corpse's face was contorted. The pile of dead flesh was lacerated from top to bottom. Not a complete tissue could be seen. Even the bones were fragmented, many of them piercing through the meat to reveal a deathly white color to the outside.
This sort of appearance was just a step away from looking like something slow-cooked…. Even if it was torture, it was impossible to achieve this without a few hours of time.
Red Fox slowly walked over, holding a branch in his hand. He poked below the shoulder of the corpse. "Here. I struck a blow on him back in the Wilderness when I was fleeing from Hu City."
Papercut looked over with amazement.
Red Fox gave no reaction toward Papercut's gaze. He stabbed around with the branch, minding his own business. "This attack of mine was aimed at his back, but he turned around real quick. I stabbed him dead on here, and my dagger snapped in half. I even saw him blow off Old Five's skull with a punch."
Papercut opened his mouth, but hesitated. At last he interrupted, "The matter at Hu City... Headquarters personally dispatched people?"
"It was him, but he had a different identity. Back then he was just the holy defender of a small order. Who knows when he entered the Society…. My dagger is engraved with a piercing glyph. A reaction happens when I'm five kilometers from the target, and it can last for at most ten years. It's never wrong."
Red Fox's voice turned into a whisper. The darkness was unable to block his cold smile. "I originally thought that I would wait to seize a chance to strike a blow. But now, the difficulty has been reduced quite a bit…."
His other hand had taken out a pitch-black dagger at an unknown time. The sharp tip descended, his hand having loosened its fingers, and the dagger fell straight down. It stabbed into the soft dead flesh of the swollen corpse, sinking up to the hilt.
For a moment, Papercut believed that Red Fox was venting his murderous feelings against Tank. However, he mulled it over again and knew that this was wrong. He looked at Red Fox's gloomy mood and thought of some comforting words to say, but he didn't know where to start. He could only whisper,
"Did Boss Luo do this?"
"How did he do it? I heard from the Secretary that it was an infrasonic wave…."
"That is what I told her. The birds and beasts next to you all died this way. Nearly I did, too."
"Huh?" Papercut only now discovered that Red Fox's complexion wasn't quite healthy. It was very pale. Turned out he had received some internal injuries.
Red Fox didn't really care. He picked up his dagger and put it back into its sheath. It was said to be a directed infrasonic wave weapon, but with how directional it was, it could already be considered a large-scale attack weapon. After discovering Tank's true identity, Red Fox became driven by hate. He hid in secret nearby, waiting to strike. He should be affected by the powerful infrasonic waves.
But he missed his chance in the end.
Papercut was able to faintly guess some of this, but this kind of stuff was hard to openly talk about. He could only scratch his head and point at Tank's swollen corpse. "This fellow took on the same infrasonic waves as you?"
Red Fox shrugged. "Who knows."
Papercut was incapable of asking anything else. He could only take a few pictures and record some videos. He already confirmed by now that Red Fox would rather puff around in the woods than go see Luo Nan; Red Fox had already checked out. There was nothing to say in this situation. Papercut just had to forcefully pull him over.
"Hello," said Papercut, "who cares how he did it. As long as you're fine, then things are okay. In any case, the person is right over there. We can just ask anything that we're not clear about. Oh right, are you sure you're okay? I've been one of his teachers. Should I have him apologize to you?"
Red Fox flung his hands, wishing to leave, but he was forcefully dragged back by Papercut. "Hey, don't. I heard the kid’s really put his body in a pickle again; his eyes are close to being blind. I don't know a lick about emergency treatment. If you don't help, all I can do is burn some paper-ash to use as paste."
"You go pasting. I don't give a sh*t."
"Come on, come on…. Oh, that devil ray doesn't eat people, right?"
"Who knows? Why don't you eat one of its infrasonic waves."
The two pulled at each other, but in the end, they still headed in the direction of Gear. The devil ray in the sky didn't eat them by the time they entered Gear. It also didn't send out any infrasonic waves. It completely turned a blind eye to them. It just continued to suck in water from the small lake next to Gear, and it blew water like a cannon to smash into the fire upstairs.
It was described as a water cannon, but it truly shot out artillery shells made out of water. Through specific usage of its oral cavity and cheeks, the devil ray took large quantities of the lake water and condensed it into an extremely strong giant ball of water. The balls of water came smashing in through the gaps in the windows at great speed and accuracy for a top-notch firefighting effect.
Papercut both clicked his tongue in wonder and gained a headache at the same time. "This fellow is quite elite…. Isn't it too high-profile? If its picture gets taken, the Internet will explode!"
Red Fox didn't talk as he took the first steps into Gear.
Currently, the various floors were a complete mess due to the back and forth clash between fire and water. The place looked utterly dismal. Red Fox and Papercut encountered a few multi-function robots along the way. They seemed to possess firefighting capabilities, but they had all been smashed into pieces. This was clearly Tank's work.
But the executor of all this had left this world in a state ten times worse than these robots.
"Nanster, where are you?" Papercut called out a few times with no response. Things were utterly strange. He grew worried. It couldn't be that another situation had occurred, right?
"He's underground." Red Fox unexpectedly took the lead. He brought Papercut through the fire passage without the slightest hesitation.
"You…” Papercut trailed off, then coughed and said, “The structure here is very unique. I heard his mother designed and built it. A pity, what happened to her."
Papercut abruptly changed his speech halfway through, hiding it in the end. It was very clear. Red Fox must have tailed Luo Nan after Tank was killed, and after he confirmed Luo Nan's whereabouts, he returned back to the jungle.
From the night at Frost River Reality, Papercut was able to tell that Red Fox held Luo Nan in high regard, or perhaps he was a bit jealous, after their misunderstanding had been resolved. In any case, there existed some sort of admiration and envy in there.
Perhaps he was thinking, if Hu City had been Xia City….
Unfortunately, this was just a big if.
Red Fox and Papercut walked to the central control room, seeing the same scene of ruin along the way. When Tank was committing destruction, the first thing he destroyed was the central administration system.
"How thorough... and careless."
Papercut looked with a sigh. He had taught Luo Nan in this room a few times before. Back when he chatted with Luo Nan and listened to him talk, a very strict security system was in place. But Luo Nan didn't really like it. After he took control of Gear, he shut off this system. The remaining privilege control methods were simply like tissue against Tank, a professional in unscrupulous destruction. They had no effect.
Red Fox was thinking of something else. "Where is he?"
He had been quietly tailing Luo Nan recently. He saw Luo Nan stay in the central control room; Luo Nan was using his wristband to reinstate system operations. Red Fox stayed for a time, before he felt assured enough to leave.
But at that moment, the central control room was completely empty.
Luo Nan had disappeared, and Snake Tongue, who was shackled by Luo Nan, disappeared as well.