Volume 5, Chapter 10: Zhanjiang Garrison
Translated by Simone (proofread by Arcedemius & Lala Su; C/E edited by lucathia)
The light should have faded, but my eyes still hadn’t adapted and I couldn’t see clearly. I saw only silhouettes of people standing in a white haze.
I was beside myself with panic. If Junjun hadn’t been by my side, I would have rushed forward right away, but now, even calling out was out of the question. Everyone was blinded and any small movement could incite an attack.
“No one move!” Dàgē yelled, releasing his power at the same time. His power felt very different from mine. While my power froze people to the bone, Dàgē’s power made people too scared to move, as if a single movement would turn them to dust. It was very useful, especially in times like this. As long as nobody moved or opened fire, it should prevent a chain reaction. If one were to happen, we wouldn’t be able to figure out how the fight was started even by the time both sides got completely wiped out.
“Who the hell fired?” Tang Liang snarled. “If your hand slipped, just say so, and I won’t kill you. But if I have to find out who’s missing a bullet, I will personally shoot you!”
Two shots were fired in succession, yet you still dare to say it was a slip of the hand. Not only is Tang Liang’s appearance oafish, he’s quite capable of making shit up as well.
My surroundings gradually became visible again, and I was able to slowly take in the situation around me. Others still seemed to be blinded, their eyes darting around without really seeing. This ability was actually not just a flash of light—it was also capable of temporarily blinding people. However, the person using the power was not skilled enough yet. Even with the element of surprise, they were only able to blind me for a few seconds.
Unexpectedly, Xiao Sha had already run to the other side, even overtaking Tang Liang, but now he didn’t dare to continue. No matter who his original target was, several people were blocking his way. To make a careless move when everyone was blinded could lead to one big free for all.
But who was his target? I looked in the direction Xiao Sha was facing. There were a lot of people there, and everyone seemed a bit flustered by their blindness, which didn’t make it easy to judge who the problem was.
“Their hand slipped? That’s a lame excuse.” Dàgē snorted, walking toward Xiao Sha as he spoke. Apparently, his vision had recovered as well.
Even though Dàgē’s footsteps were very light, making almost no sound, Tang Liang still noticed. Perhaps he actually had psychic powers. He called out a warning, “Hey! Hey! Control your men. Don’t let them move. Or do you want your comrades to be riddled with bullets?”
Dàgē halted and looked back at me. I blinked at him to indicate that I could see. Relieved, he turned back to Tang Liang and said, “One of your people opened fired. Obviously, you can’t control them at all. Why should I control my own?”
“Fuck, you can’t be sure it was one of mine,” Tang Liang swore. “It could just be someone after you! It was such a loud shot, and my people aren’t deaf. How come no one heard who the fuck it was?!”
Dàgē words were slow and deliberate as he said, “Maybe everyone is in on it.”
While Dàgē and Tang Liang argued, Xiao Sha hesitated for a moment, and then slowly started to back away, moving toward Dàgē. His movements were very light. Dàgē kept talking to Tang Liang, and deliberately took a step or two now and then. This time, Tang Liang didn’t notice anything amiss. Only then, I understood why Dàgē had stepped forward; it had all been to help Xiao Sha.
However, what Tang Liang had said was quite reasonable. The shot had been so loud. If it really had been done by one of his troops, someone must have noticed. That meant there were only two possibilities. Tang Liang was actually pretending, or it really wasn’t one of his men who opened fire.
But Xiao Sha had been running toward Tang Liang’s team just now—wait! I narrowed my eyes. At the far end of Tang Liang’s team, someone was… gradually turning dark?
He was quite a young man, who seemed even tenser than the others. He was clearly already trailing behind the team, but he was still slowly receding. There were obviously no objects around that could cover him, so it couldn’t be a shadow that was darkening him—no, no, he wasn’t just darkening, he was turning completely black!
Within a few seconds, his entire chest turned black. This could not be the result of shade—it was as if he had been soaked in ink!
The shadow guy, Shangguan Chenyang!
No wonder Xiao Sha had suddenly rushed forward. When he noticed that the person who had fired was his cousin, he wanted to catch him right away. Unfortunately, the sudden burst of light stopped him in his tracks. I didn’t know whether this light was an ability of Shangguan Chenyang’s, or whether someone else had helped him. And whether Tang Liang really did not know…
Hearing the apology, I glanced over, but only saw a furious Scar, his face so twisted he looked like a demon from hell. His vision was clearly restored as he grabbed Chen Yishao by the neck with one hand, with the clear intention of strangling him—wait, doesn’t Chen Yishao have light abilities?
An idiot of a teammate caused this disaster!
His intentions might have been good, using his light ability in a moment of desperation as he saw Dàgē being attacked, but he couldn’t have done it at a worse time. If the leaders on both sides hadn’t been so cool-headed and the teams well trained, both parties might have gunned each other down as soon as they lost their eyesight. It was hard to say how many would still be alive now!
Whether Chen Yishao would be strangled or not, I no longer paid attention to him. He caused too much trouble. It would serve him right.
At this point, Shangguan Chenyang was the one to focus on. He had completely turned black, but he wasn’t as darkly shadowed as last time, as I could still faintly make out his facial features.
He didn’t seem to notice he wasn’t as dark anymore though, and just casually hid in the shadows as before. But even I could see where he was, not to mention Xiao Sha.
“Scar, don’t choke Chen Yishao.” I quickly stopped Scar from completing his murderous mission. “The guy who shot the gun seems to have been illuminated by him. Look at the dark figure over there.”
Scar frowned. When he looked in the direction I pointed at, he didn’t see anything at first. After all, Shangguan Chenyang was entirely dark, and it was not easy to spot him. Fortunately, Scar was not an ordinary person. After careful observation, he relaxed his hand, startled.
Chen Yishao coughed, his face flushed red, and still panicked he touched his neck. But Scar must have held back. If he had used his full strength, snapping his neck would have been a piece of cake. He hadn’t needed to squeeze so slowly, unless it was some kink of his…
At that moment, Tang Liang noticed there was something fishy going on. Looking at Dàgē, he said dissatisfied, “I told you already. Control your fucking people. They’re as noisy as a food market, yet you’re doing fuck all about it. Are you here to sell veggies?”
Dàgē looked back at Scar and asked coldly, “What are you doing?”
While I was still hesitant about how to point out Shangguan Chenyang, Scar jumped at the chance, pointing directly at him. “The shooter is there!”
Everyone turned to look in the direction Scar had indicated. Shangguan Chenyang was caught off guard and had no time to hide. He was only able to strengthen his shadow cover.
“Shangguan Chenhong’s devil!” Tang Liang roared.
Eh? His tone and words sound wrong. Could it be Tang Liang isn’t one of Shangguan Chenhong’s underlings? I thought Chenhong is the military-focused one in the Shangguan family. This rich and powerful family really made my head swim.
Right after his angry roar, Tang Liang actually immediately fired a shot.
“Everyone, surround him! If you let him run away, I will make you do drills until you’re in hell!”
Tang Liang’s furious roar shook the sky, and I felt that he was even angrier with Shangguan Chenyang than with us. They surrounded him so quickly, at least three times more diligently than when they had wanted to make us hand over the goods during our negotiations.
But the one who was just as angry was Xiao Sha, who yelled, “That guy was lying like I thought, saying he was driven out. I shouldn’t have listened to his bullshit! He was always this glib guy, but it turns out he’s even relying on Shangguan Chenhong, when he’s obviously the half-brother of Shangguan Chenyu.”
Hot damn, I really don’t understand the world of you local tyrants. I give up on sorting out the relationships in this drama of the local rich and powerful. Anyway, we need to catch the shadow guy first!
“Give us some light.” I gave Chen Yishao a pat. “Shine light at that person, but don’t make it too bright. You can bundle the light, like a flashlight, and shine it just at him.”
“I-I can’t,” Chen Yishao said, bewildered.
I grabbed both of his hands, cupping them so they formed a tube-like shape and said, “Gather the light in the palm of your hand and shoot it straight out. It’s not difficult at all. Don’t think you can’t do it. Since you have learned to walk, you can definitely run!”
Of course, using your abilities was not such a simple matter, but I figured that in the case of someone like Chen Yishao, if you give him a bit more encouragement, perhaps he can bring about a miracle. His previous burst of light was definitely not some ordinary light, as it was enough to even blind me for a few seconds. This level of threat was certainly not inferior to a tier-one aberrant.
Chen Yishao’s palms gradually started glowing. It looked like a ball of light, flickering unsteadily, as if it could explode at any moment.
“Make it straight, not round,” I said quickly.
As I finished speaking, a straight line of light actually shot out… but the angle was crooked, almost blinding Tang Liang’s men.
I moved Chen Yishao’s hands until they were in the right position, shining directly at Shangguan Chenyang’s chest. His entire body began to “whiten,” starting from his chest. All his efforts to become a shadow went down the drain as he changed back to a normal person.
Shangguan Chenyang didn’t seem to panic though. He just looked down at his hands, as if he couldn’t care less about being surrounded.
Tang Liang rushed toward him, pointing his gun directly at his head, and demanded, “What the hell do you think you’re doing? And think well before you answer. If you’re not careful, I’ll blow your brains out!”
However, Shangguan Chenyang ignored him. He lowered his hands, lifted his head, and shouted, “Tánggē, I’ve decided to follow you from now on. As long as you can keep me human, I will never betray you for as long as I live!”
Hearing that, Xiao Sha pulled a face like he smelled something foul. Clearly, he did not want to accept this troublemaker, but he could not reasonably refuse right away, so he took the opportunity to ask, “Why did you shoot at my commander?”
Shangguan Chenyang said calmly, “Tang Liang was sent to work together with the Chen family. Chenhong didn’t want to see him successfully bring back the materials as agreed with the Chen family, so he sent me to follow Tang Liang’s team and make them lose a few members if there was an opportunity. If I could eliminate them all, even better, because they are the only armed team of your brother’s. Without them, Chenhong’s prestige at the base would be even higher, because without soldiers you’re useless.”
Hearing that, Tang Liang would have gone raging mad, if Shangguan Chenyang’s last words hadn’t stunned him. He turned to look at Xiao Sha and blurted, “Fuck, isn’t that kid Shangguan Chensha?”
Xiao Sha looked at him indifferently, without even responding.
Tang Liang scratched his head. “You look a bit different from your picture. The boss has been looking for you. One of my tasks was to inquire about your whereabouts. I didn’t expect…”
He gave a hollow laugh.
He probably hadn’t regarded this task as a priority at all, which is why he hadn’t even noticed Xiao Sha’s presence.
Xiao Sha said coldly, “I have left the Shangguan family, and I have nothing to do with Shangguan Chenhao!”
Tang Liang seemed like he wanted to speak, but couldn’t because there were too many people around them. Fortunately, he moved the conversation back to Dàgē.
With a laugh, he said, “It’s really like a flood rushing the dragon king’s temple, kin fighting their own kin. Since our boss’s younger brother is with you, we are definitely not enemies. Everything is that devil’s fault! Think you can set me up? Fucking impossible!”
As everyone looked at the “devil,” Shangguan Chenyang looked down at his hands. His body was already starting to darken again.
What a weird ability. Although it would make survival easier, I think no one would choose to have this kind of ability.
When Shangguan Chenyang lifted his head, his expression was a little gloomy, but he immediately covered it with a smile.
“Tánggē, I have some very important news you most definitely want to hear. How about we make a deal?”
Xiao Sha snarled, “I don’t believe a word you say!”
Shangguan Chenyang took a deep breath and said, “Look at me, when I’m like this, is there anything more important than staying human? I will swear to anything, as long as you keep me human. I promise you from now on I’ll do anything you say!”
Hearing that, Xiao Sha froze, and then looked at me.
What are you looking at me for? I can’t make him human. Chen Yishao might be able to, but he isn’t one of my men, not even one of Jiang Dominion’s.
Unless, I simply recruit him as one of my men? That way I can also conveniently keep him away from Feng… Eh, I mean, this guy’s failures far exceed his successes, so he better stay away from Jin Feng, so as not to drag her down. It’s not every time we have such good luck and can avoid a big disaster.
It’s really like striking two birds with one stone. Following up on my idea, I immediately turned my head and asked, “Feng, can you give me Chen Yishao?”
Chen Yishao looked startled, but he didn’t protest. Scar must have really scared him just now.
“He’s yours,” Jin Feng said simply.
It really didn’t take any effort. I was really afraid that I would be spoiled too much by Jin Feng, and I would one day become a pampered pretty boy, but it seemed that was already the case.
I nodded at Xiao Sha. No matter what, we should first get the so-called news out, and what we’d do then depended on the other’s behavior.
“Well, what’s the news?” Xiao Sha asked coldly.
Shangguan Chenyang glared at Chen Yishao, who automatically understood. He shot a beam of light at Shangguan Chenyang, to keep him from darkening.
Satisfied, Shangguan Chenyang went straight to the point and said, “Shangguan Chenhong is leading a group of soldiers to Old Town. If I’m correct, that’s your base? I won’t hide it from you. I was the one who told him. The last time you entered Lan City, only Old Town is in the direction you came from. At first, I wanted to follow you back to see what the situation was like. If it was a good location, I could tell Chenhong to seize it, but you didn’t come back. I could only give up on the investigation and go straight back to report.”
Damnit, Xiao Sha’s prejudice against the Shangguan family was correct. We should have dispatched this guy from the beginning.
“Chenhong discovered that the location of Old Town is very good. The terrain is high, allowing for a wide view of the surroundings. Although it’s very close to Lan City, it’s easy to defend and difficult to attack, so he decided to conquer it as—”
“When did he set out?” Dàgē interrupted him.
Facing Dàgē, Shangguan Chenyang didn’t dare to take him lightly, and he answered carefully, “I don’t know. When Tang Liang set out, I was sent to cause him trouble.”
Dàgē narrowed his eyes, which carried a clear implication: you’re absolutely useless. Why should we keep you?
Shangguan Chenyang quickly said, “He set out at most two days ago. Can’t be earlier than that. There is a lot of disorder in the Shangguan family. Shangguan Chenhong isn’t able to send out troops whenever he wants, unless he’s willing to only send his own private soldiers, but he’s really not someone to make a big effort all on his own. Even though he wanted to dispatch Tang Liang, he just sent me over. ”
Two days! If they marched even a bit fast, they would have already arrived at our doorstep!
Hearing this, Dàgē turned toward his men and said, “Everyone, put down any unnecessary things, including supplies, and only bring the necessities. In ten minutes, we’ll meet up and set out.”
After that, he said to Jin Feng, “We’ll leave these supplies for you.”
Jin Feng nodded, but she didn’t intend to take advantage of it and said straight away, “I’ll trade them for arms and ammunition.”
I saw that Dàgē wanted to speak, like he didn’t plan to accept it, but then he saw the weapons that Scar brought. There were only a few, but they were a rare type of machine gun. In this battle where two factions would clash, they would prove quite helpful, so in the end Dàgē did not object.
“How many people did the Shangguan family bring?” Xiao Sha asked Shangguan Chenyang.
Shangguan Chenyang looked at our team and said helplessly, “I don’t know the exact number, but when attacking a base, even if they look down on you, there are always at least three to four hundred. If the few of you have to deal with the Shangguan family, it’s not enough by far. I hope your… No, our base has even more people. I’m in the same boat as you are now.”
Hearing this number, Dàgē’s face dropped. Three or four hundred people might not sound like a lot. Previously, Wen Jianuo and Chen Yanqing had brought over two hundred people. They hadn’t been a threat to our territory, since those with weapons numbered only forty people, and they didn’t have many bullets left.
However, the people from the Shangguan family came from the military district, and for sure they would all have weapons. If three to four hundred people fire at the same time, even a tier three or higher will be swept away by the sea of bullets.
Jin Feng said, “Jin Zhan is coming. If you wait a while longer, you can talk to him about working together. If this Shangguan family takes your base now, they’ll most likely come to rob our supplies later on. It’s only a matter of time ‘til we face off with them.”
Shangguan Chenyang gestured at Tang Liang. In an attempt to save his own life and maintain his human appearance, he vigorously said, “You can still negotiate with him. Shangguan Chenhong is not the only one in charge of the Shangguan family. There’s also Shangguan Chenhao. He was opposed to robbing others’ territory and food in the first place, and doesn’t agree with Chenhong at all. He definitely wants to see bad luck befall him!”
I had my doubts about that. It might be all right to give Shangguan Chenhong some trouble, but after all, those three or four hundred people are still the people of the Shangguan family. Will Xiao Sha’s brother really help us? It was hard to say, as I didn’t understand the world of the rich. Maybe in order to gain power, the lives of three or four hundred people are small fry, swallowed whole with ease.
Tang Liang hurriedly said, “I can’t make that call. I’ll have to contact the boss at the very least.”
He added, “Even if he can’t help you openly, sneaking some weapons to you shouldn’t be an issue. Shangguan Chenhong already holds most of the troops. If we let him get your base too, we also have no way to survive.”
I saw Dàgē frown. If he wanted the help of the Jin family and the Shangguan family, he couldn’t return right away.
I whispered, “Dàgē, help heal me. I’ll hurry back with Xiao Sha and Yunqian first.”
Dàgē retorted, “The Shangguan family has so many people. What can you do, bringing only two people back?”
I was silent for a moment, then pointed out, “Dàgē, the weather is very cold now. The absolute majority of the people haven’t eaten enough crystals, and for them it’s even colder. Together with Xiao Sha and Yunqian, if it’s just to defend the base, I can do a lot.”
“And me, take me with you!” Junjun said. “I have lightning powers!”
This lightning power…. would be really useful! People nowadays can’t withstand electricity. Junjun plus Yunqian, and also Xiao Sha… Damn, I have never seen a water tornado charged with electricity before, but despite that, I have a feeling it will be a masterstroke! Use it and we’ll definitely turn the tide for us!
However, seeing his younger brother and sister returning home to face an army of three or four hundred people, it’d be a miracle if Dàgē was able to feel at ease. Putting myself in his shoes, thinking about having to watch Dàgē and my little sister face an army without me being there, it would be enough to make me cry two frozen rivers of tears.
Dàgē pursed his lips and said, “Okay, you go back with your èrgē.”
… Wait, is this our dàgē or not? Surely it’s the Ice Emperor?
“I will go back too!” Guan Weijun hurriedly said, echoing Junjun’s words. This is rare. She doesn’t want to stay with Dàgē?
I shook my head and said, “The battlefield will be filled with guns and hails of bullets. You need to wait until your ability is strong enough to withstand bullets. You don’t have to go back this time. You’ll be Dàgē’s bodyguard.”
Panicking, she said, “But—but my mom is still there!”
When I heard this, I suddenly realized why Guan Weijun wanted to go back. Seeing her so flustered, I felt a tension finally release. In this life, my mother has a lively, cheerful, and filial daughter. For me, she is no longer my most important person. I hadn’t even thought about her just now, and only thought of Dàgē and my little sister. Even Uncle and Auntie are just as important as my mother from my previous life.
Even if I still have memories of “Guan Weijun,” I am not her anymore.
“Don’t worry!” I pointed to Shujun and said, “Mèimei will go back with me. Do you think I will let anyone enter the base? Even if Old Town is only a temporary base, we definitely won’t let anyone so much as touch it!”
Guan Weijun was a little surprised. I suddenly remembered that she didn’t know about my strength at all, but that didn’t matter. She would become a core member sooner or later. I just knew it.
It should be said that if she did not have such potential, Dàgē would not have brought her with him at all. He is praised by all for his foresight and luck in choosing group members, after he once took a shortcut through an alley and came back with Xiao Sha!
Damn, it can’t be that I’m really the only one of the Jiang family with rotten luck…
Guan Weijun responded, “All right, then you protect my mother, as I protect your brother!”
That moment, Dàgē stuffed something in my hand. It was a bunch of evolutionary crystals, and there was actually a tier two crystal in it. This must be the crystal of that Wolfman?
He handed two more machine guns and a large batch of bullets to Xiao Sha and Yunqian, and only then said, “I will return home as soon as possible. Until then, the base is yours.”
As he said this, everyone around us looked amazed. Scar and Shangguan Chenyang looked like Dàgē had handed over the base to a ten-year-old.
I carefully promised, “Relax, Dàgē, I will definitely protect our temporary base.”
Guan Weijun laughed and said, “The temporary Jiang base? Let’s tell that to the people from the Shangguan family! It doesn’t sound imposing at all!”
I looked at her helplessly. What could I say? The JDT? That’s also not right. Only ten of the three hundred people are members of the mercenary group.
Or should I directly say that we are the base of the Jiang Dominion—no, the words “Jiang Dominion” should be reserved for a larger place. Our Jiang Dominion cannot be based in such a small place like Old Town!
The term “Jiang Dominion” should be reserved for a larger area, such as Lan City, or an even more expansive one …
“Since it is a temporary base, let’s call it Jiang Provisional: Zhanjiang,” Dàgē decided.
This naming ability is impressive—impressive in how unoriginal it is. However, Dàgē is always right, and I as his little brother cannot oppose him. At best I can secretly change it around a tiny bit.
Jiang Professional, Zhanjiang Garrison. This sounds like a normal name for a base.
“Well, no matter whether it is Shangguan, or any other family or group, no one can take Zhanjiang Garrison!”
After I finished this courageous declaration, I noticed that the people around me all wore the same expression. They looked like grownups smiling at a little kid that said his dream was to become president.
I just want to be the Ice Emperor, not the president, really.
Jin Feng stroked my head and said, “Wait for me. After I explain to Jin Zhan, I will quickly come to save you.”
Wait, was it not enough to save me twice? I already can’t pay you back!
While the others sniggered, she grabbed my hand and gave me something. A crystal, second tier.
I was silent, thinking about my fight with the butterfly and how I only got a second-tier crystal after suffering heavy injuries. And now I got two crystals just like that. What did I do to deserve this?
I couldn’t help but clasp both hands around Jin Feng’s holding the crystal.
“What are you doing?” Jin Feng asked, but I had already let go of her hand again. She didn’t ask again, clenching her fist, holding the ice crystal in the hollow of her palm where no one could see it.
“Shujun, Xiao Sha, Yunqian, let’s go!”
Although we were only delayed by around ten minutes, that was already too much. We could only pick up our speed, return to Zhanjiang Garrison, and hope we were not too late. No harm can come to anyone of the Jiang Dominion!
Luckily, we found two oil-filled motorcycles on the way, and advanced much faster.
While the wind rushed in my ears, I also heard Junjun, who sat behind me, asking curiously, “èrgē, did you give some ice to Feng-jiě just now? I felt the energy! Did you make a flower? Or was it an ice sculpture of Feng-jiě wearing a princess gown?”
… Feng dressed like a princess, I can’t imagine it. Dressed like a queen would be far more suitable, but also with that kind of incredibly sharp crown that she could use to stab people to death.
“Neither.” I coughed and said, “It was just a chunk of ice.”
Having said that, I could feel her fingers poking my sides the rest of the way, until we reached Lan City and picked up the car. During the bumpy ride, Junjun sat in the passenger seat, pouting and muttering to herself.
“I really want to know what the ice crystal was. èrgē is secretly in a relationship and didn’t even tell me. Weijun-jiě said she would never be the kind of sister-in-law that would make Dàgē forget his little sister, and now my most beloved èrgē has found a wife and forgot all about his sister…”
I surrender! This Mèimei I raised myself, raised to be so devious I have to tearfully keep spoiling her!
“It was a heart.”
──To be continued──
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