Chapter 418 - Wulin Acts
“Stop!” Mo Lan shouted, nary a hint of fear in her voice. “What do you guys have to be afraid of? I’m your hostage now, and you still have a couple more. Protocol dictated that we disconnect the carriages, to minimize the losses. Do you not understand this?”
“Fine. Stay your hands!” the leader of the terrorists commanded. “Miss Mo Lan is right. We have a lot of leverage. The Federal government is a democracy, right? Let’s see if they’ll release our comrades in exchange for these hostages. Take her cousin to the back. Miss Mo Lan, you can continue talking with your headquarters. Just understand that, from this moment on, I will execute ten hostages every five minutes until the remaining forty minutes are up. Then boom! We all go to heaven.”
“Ow! That hurts!” Tang Wulin exclaimed as one of the terrorists pushed him toward the fourth carriage. Before he left, he managed to sneak a wink at Mo Lan.
That brat! Can he really do something? Helplessness gripped Mo Lan, then she shook it off and gritted her teeth. Trading her life for those of the elderly, women, and children was all she could do to minimize the collateral damage. She understood just how vicious these terrorists were. She had no other options.
Tang Wulin let the terrorist drag him to the fourth carriage. Many more hostages huddled together in this carriage, too many to have all been from just one. As the terrorist pulled him along, he examined the carriage with his peripheral vision and added that information to what he already learned.
From what he had seen so far, only the leader of the terrorists was a soul master. He had the detonator for the bombs in his possession. The engine of the train was located in the first carriage, so it continued to glide along the tracks after the eleven carriages behind the fifth were detached. There was a terrorist armed with a soul cannon standing in the corner of that fifth carriage. Now, he needed to figure out how many more terrorists there were and how they were situated in the other carriages.
“Don’t touch anything in here, kid,” the terrorist dragging Tang Wulin barked. “Number Three! Watch this kid. He’s a VIP.”
There were three armed terrorist standing guard over more than two hundred hostages in the fourth carriage. The women, children, and elderly were released. The people here should be the majority of the remaining hostages.
“Alright, hand him over.” The terrorist kicked Tang Wulin in the shin, forcing him to fall to the ground with a yelp of pain. “You better behave yourself, brat.”
The kick hurt Tang Wulin, but it was nothing he couldn’t handle. Yet instead of weathering the blow, he took the opportunity to get a better vantage point. He peeked through the gap between the terrorist’s legs into the third carriage.
He saw carnage. The floor had turned crimson, dyed with blood. There was nothing in the carriage other than death. Tang Wulin stared at the corpses strewn about, aghast. It was the first time he had seen a dead body.
“What are you doing to him? He’s just a kid!” A man in his forties pulled Tang Wulin up and stepped in front of him. The terrorist snorted and pointed his gun at the man, forcing him to retreat a few steps.
Tang Wulin put on an expression of fear. “Uncle, I saw blood. There’s a lot of blood over there!” He pointed to the third carriage.
“They’re all dead.” A youth standing off to the side shuddered. “They killed anyone who resisted. They’re demons. Demons!”
They’re all dead… Tang Wulin clenched his fist. The youth was warning him. These hostages were gathered in the fourth carriage because the terrorists had killed the rest.
There were still forty minutes left on the clock before all of the bombs detonated. Six of the terrorists were gathered in the fifth carriage, and three in the fourth carriage. A grand total of nine. All of them were armed with soul weapons, including a soul cannon. One was also a soul master, whom Tang Wulin judged to be a Soul Elder. He considered all the information gathered from his observations, and came to a quick decision. His eyes flashed gold.
I can do this. Let’s begin!
Tang Wulin concealed his right hand below a table that was nearby and slowly released tendrils of bluesilver grass, his heart thumping nervously. He suppressed his anxiety and jitters with the experience gleaned from years of blacksmithing.
His heart was calm, his mind was clear.
With his spiritual power in the Spirit Connection realm, Tang Wulin could perceive his surroundings to a greater degree than ever before. He had an accurate grasp of the situation in the fourth carriage. Most of the hostages were in this carriage, and the bombs posed the greatest threat. He soon located every single bomb. Let’s deal with these first.
The hostages huddled together in fright, the terrorists watching their every move. The first sign of trouble, and they would shoot.
If only I had learned Ghost Shadow Perplexing Step… I’d be a lot more confident about this. Frustration welled in Tang Wulin’s heart. He had been hard at work cultivating at Shrek Academy all this time. His soul power rank and blacksmithing skills progressed a significant amount, but this also led to him failing to visit the Tang Sect. I just need to complete a few more missions. Then I’ll probably be able to learn Ghost Shadow Perplexing Step. I’ll do that after the exam. I have to focus on what’s in front of me first.
He did his best to suppress the flash of purple beneath his feet, but the terrorists still noticed. All of them turned to look at him at the same time.
But it was already too late!
Three shining vines of golden bluesilver grass shot out from under their feet and impaled them! They were but ordinary people, not soul masters. Wielding soul guns didn’t change the frailty of their bodies, and despite being skewered, they failed to even let out a scream. The effect of Bluesilver Impaling Array took hold of them too quickly. Their bodies went stiff, their voices silenced.
The sudden attack sent the hostages into a panic, startled shouts filling the carriage. Tang Wulin had considered the possibility of this, but he didn’t bother trying to warn any of them to be quiet. He leaped into action, his right hand transforming into a dragon claw in a flash of gold. He thrust it into the roof of the carriage and tore it open as if it were tofu. He then grabbed one of the bombs and hurled it out of the opening.
Three bombs had been planted in different parts of the carriage. Tang Wulin quickly grabbed the second bomb and threw it out as well. Just as he was about to go for the third, one of the terrorists walked in.
“What’s going on!” he yelled as he entered. Before he could even survey the scene, a vine of bluesilver grass wrapped around his neck and constricted, preventing him from speaking another word. Tang Wulin continued his work and threw out the third bomb, then darted to the terrorist, knocking him out with a chop to the neck.
Four terrorists down, five to go.
Tang Wulin stepped into the corridor connecting the fourth and fifth carriages. The second he did, he began slashing at the walls around him. His movements were quick and decisive, befitting a student of Shrek Academy. His claw tore through metal, glass, and wiring until, with one final swipe, he separated the carriages. The fifth carriage buckled slightly at the sudden change, then slowly began to drift away from the rest of the train with all of its occupants.
“Boss, one of the cars was cut loose!” one of the terrorists shouted as he opened fire on Tang Wulin, showering him in beams of soul energy.
Tang Wulin crouched down behind his claw. Threads of light swirled around his claw, materializing into his gauntlet. Soul guns were nothing in the face of battle armor. Even one-word battle armor stood high above mechas after all. Tang Wulin came out of the barrage of beams unscathed.
A vine of bluesilver grass wrapped around the waist of the terrorist who shot at Tang Wulin and promptly threw him out of the train. Then more vines whipped out, intercepting another two terrorists and tossing them out as well. By this point, Tang Wulin had cleared out more than half the terrorists.
But the crisis wasn’t over yet. Now wasn’t the time to think twice about his plan of action. He could only resolve this situation with brute force!
Tang Wulin walked into the fifth carriage to face the last two terrorists. The leader already had Mo Lan in his clutches. He held a gun to her head with one hand, his other hand tightly gripping a detonator. The last of his terrorist flunkies stood with his soul gun pointed at the doorway.