"Er, who knows?" Shang replied irresponsibly.
Ye Chong smiled wryly as he scanned the unfamiliar environment . From one unfamiliar environment to another, Ye Chong did not feel any difference between any of them. However, as he was reminded that Shang had no map for the area, the result of the mech’s directions was only to be expected.
Zeuth was more organised than Hoth, the pedestrians all calm and leisurely strolling about. In Ye Chong’s time in the zone, he had not seen any fights on the streets. In Hoth, it would have been impossible to avoid.
Vintage brick buildings could be seen in every corner of the zone, in great variety. Most of the buildings were not tall, unlike in Hoth, where brick buildings that reached a few tens of meters tall were still considered average, and looked more like warehouses.
The streets were lined with shops on both sides; technology from outside the Orbits could occasionally be seen. It seemed that the Orbits were not as isolated from the outside world as it was rumored to be.
Most of the shops were mech related. Unlike Ye Chong’s experience of online purchasing via Fal’s virtual net, where the products were delivered to the buyers, the local community seemed to reject this convenient and advanced method of purchase. On the contrary, they practiced the old ways of purchasing on the spot. Mechs were openly displayed in the shops, where one could choose in their own time, and even request for a test drive.
Mainstream models in the Five Galaxies were rare, and Ye Chong was unfamiliar with most of the models on display. This greatly interested him. The mechs here were unlike any he had seen before!
However, under Shang’s hastening, Ye Chong reluctantly tore himself away from the goods.
"Ask for directions?" Ye Chong asked.
"Of course, what else can you do if you’re lost? You have a better idea?" Shang mocked.
"No!" Ye Chong was clear cut in his answer.
"Eh, Ye, look 30 degrees to your left! Wow, look at that body! She even had a mask on! Hehe, I won’t be stopped by just a mask!" Ye Chong knew from his tone that Shang was growing enthusiastic.
Ye Chong shifted his vision 30 degrees to the left.
"What’s there to see?" Ye Chong muttered to himself. The person was wrapped in a long purple robe, with a face mask on. Only her subtly graceful movements hinted at her gender.
"What would you know?" Shang spoke scornfully. "Any top class beauty would shine with a special charisma, with an unmistakable quality! Ah, these words are wasted on you! Let me scan her a bit first!"
"Hmm, shine with a special charisma? Does he mean aura? Isn’t that what powerful people have? Could all top class beauties be powerful?" Ye Chong was deep in thought.
"*Cough**cough*" Shang’s scanning was disrupted by Ye Chong’s thoughts. "Er, Ye, your imagination is actually quite impressive!"
Ye Chong was baffled, but he knew that something was wrong with his thoughts.
"Huh! Isn’t that Feng Su?" Shang was surprised. "How could she be here?"
"Who’s Feng Su?"
"Heavens! Ye, do you not know Feng Su? What a sad, sad life you have. Feng Su is Fal’s most popular female superstar! Also the female artist with the highest worth! Tsk tsk, I myself am her number one fan. Back in the days, her one song managed to silence the spectators for a whole 15 minutes. It was unheard of! What? Ye, you weren’t aware? As expected, Mu’s influence had turned you into a wild animal, what a sore sight! Looks like the burden of transforming you into a true human has fallen to me! Hehe …" Shang chattered on.
Ye Chong knew that once Shang went into a mood, he would not let up for a good while.
Shang suddenly spoke in a dramatic fashion, "Ye, aren’t we asking for directions? Go ask her! Hehe, Ye, this is a golden opportunity I’ve created for you! Ah, too bad there are no photon processors around, or I’ll show you how beautiful she really is, and you’ll definitely fall in love with her! She’s the dream girl of a great many young men! Hehe, I have her exact measurements here from my scans. These is first hand information, infinitely better than whatever you read on the virtual net!" Shang spoke like one bewitched.
Ye Chong, however, was indifferent. "Not interested! Why should I ask her? Besides, the fact that she’s a superstar and appearing here all alone is very suspicious, don’t you think? There must be a story behind it!"
Shang was shocked. "Ye, you’re getting smarter! Hmm, you’re right, it is suspicious. Why would she be here of all places? No wonder she’s trying to be inconspicuous! Ah, Ye, there must be something behind this, so we should definitely look into it. We might even stumble upon some exclusive story!"
"Shang, is it worth it to waste our time on this? We have more important things to do!" Ye Chong was unimpressed.
Shang could not help but grumble, "It’s just asking for directions, how long can that take?"
Ye Chong gave it a thought before approaching Feng Su. "Good day to you, do you know how I can reach Street 22?" Ye Chong asked the masked woman, the one called Feng Su.
Feng Su turned around and gave a measuring glance at him. She found him looking relaxed, but with an undisguisable apathy behind it.
Feng Su spoke with her demure, enchanting voice, "Oh, Street 22, just go straight ahead and turn right at the third intersection, you’ll reach the street after a five-minute walk!" Her short dialogue lingered in the air, the voice gentle and lovely, tugging at one’s heartstrings!
The accurate control of her voice and tonality was a surprise for Ye Chong. He staggered a little before gathering himself for a reply, "Oh, thank you!" and turning to leave.
"I hope you’re satisfied, Shang!" While Ye Chong did not understand this indulgence of Shang’s, he would still do his best to fulfill the mech’s wishes! However, Shang did not speak for a long while.
"Shang, what’s up?" Ye Chong thought curiously. Could the mech’s sound receiver be damaged? Surely not.
"Wow, that was awesome! A voice from Heaven! From Heaven itself! Heavens, to hear such a moving voice in this mortal realm! Ye, do you not feel it?" Shang was high as a kite!
"Mm, it was alright!" Ye Chong replied lightly.
"Hey, Ye, let’s invite her for a chat. This opportunity is only found once in a century, no, once in a millennium! Ye, let’s talk to her again, yes? Just once more!" Shang begged.
Ye Chong was unmoved. "We’re going to Street 22!"
Shang understood Ye Chong’s temperament, and grumbled, "Sigh, you’ve never seen her holographic image, or you would fallen head over heels for her! Er, but … That may not be the case too, since your requirements are different from the average man! Ha, I know, Ye, surely you must be secretly in love with that lady in the white training garb?"
"No!" Ye Chong objected, but the image of a white figure came unconsciously to mind. He could almost smell that mysterious fragrance, and taste the smoothness under his tongue. Suddenly, he felt a pressure rising in his chest, and Ye Chong quickly suppressed his thoughts until the pressure eventually subsided.
"Haha, Ye, that must be it, you can’t hide it from me, your brain activity just now was 30% more active than usual. Your pulse quickened, and your blood flow was faster! Hmm, I suppose that lady was also likeable. Too bad we can’t return to Blue Ocean for now. After all, she had asked for you to marry her! But Ye, don’t sacrifice an entire forest for that one tree . Compared to Feng Su, that lady still has a lot to make up for! Hehe …" Shang laughed discreetly to himself and teased Ye Chong.
Ye Chong rolled his eyes and followed Feng Su’s directions to Street 22, leaving Shang to blabber on in his mind.
No. 103 on Street 22!
This was an address given by Jia Zhuo, where a masterful mentalist stayed, which was Ye Chong and Shang’s destination! Ye Chong had expended great effort to find the place, since it was located far from the main streets, secluded within a piece of thinly forested area.
The low, vintage looking brick house had a roof that twisted upwards at the edges. There hanged a row of wind chimes that tinkled soothingly whenever a breeze swept through. The second floor’s window was slightly opened, and not tightly shut. The house was surrounded by a forest. It was obvious that the mentalist was not very welcoming of visitors! This was a great advantage for Ye Chong, enough to boost his confidence for what he was about to do next!
"Shang, any suggestions?" Ye Chong asked.
"Hmm, best if you make your move as fast as you can. We know too little about mentalists, who knows what weird tricks they have up their sleeves. He’s now in the second floor, and unfortunately, the house is too small for me to enter, or I’ll be able to give you a hand!" Shang was now in all seriousness, like a completely different person, or, more accurately speaking, a completely different PSI!
"Mm, you have a point!" Ye Chong agreed. Mentalists were a mysterious factor. Even Jia Zhuo’s Mind Cleansing was something incomprehensible to Ye Chong. He was thus extremely cautious of them!
"Er, also, usually robbers wear a black cloth over their face, to avoid recognition!" Shang reminded him.
"There’s something like that? Where’d you heard it from?" Ye Chong was curious.
"The movies of course, that’s how all the robbers do it!" Shang spoke matter-of-factly.
Ye Chong could not find any black cloth, but fortunately he had kept the F-58 mask from Black Cove in his bag. He put on the mask, and felt that it was more practical than whatever black cloth there was. It had been some time since he last wore the mask. Ye Chong caressed the black mask on his face, overwhelmed with emotions.
"You brought that thing?" Shang reminded him.
"Yes!" Ye Chong gave a shake with his wrist.
Ye Chong moved deftly like a raccoon, entering the second floor. Shang laid in wait in the forest outside as his backup.
The wind chimes hung along the eaves tinkled, masking the sound of Ye Chong’s approach.
Ye Chong gave a sweeping glance of the second floor. With the exception of some basic wooden desks and chairs, there were not many other decorations in sight. The entire floorboard was made of wood. Ye Chong had no time to dwell on the mountainous expenses required for the floorboard, but took great care in avoiding any creaking sounds from his steps.
The entire second floor had only one room, but the door was shut tight. The man must be in there!
"Who dares to invade my house!" A shady voice rang in Ye Chong’s mind, just as the door creaked open by itself, revealing an elderly with an overcast expression, staring at Ye Chong with glowing eyes. His curiously glinting eyes startled Ye Chong!
When Ye Chong heard the old man’s voice, he knew he was in trouble. As the door opened into a slit, he saw an old man sitting inside, facing him.
Before Ye Chong could react, he felt his body leadened into a deadweight, and his vision blurred. Under the unexpected attack, Ye Chong instinctively reacted and whipped his hands out!
That movement took all his energy, and Ye Chong could no longer defend against the restrictive force that bound him. Crash! He felt into a heap on the floor. The world was spinning in his eyes, halos of light swirling around, putting him into a daze.
Another crash was heard, and Ye Chong could hear an old man’s surprised yelling.
He immediately felt the weight lifted, and the binding force on him vanished! After a few minutes, Ye Chong’s vision returned to normal!
Ye Chong pulled himself off the ground with great effort, his muscles still trembling, cold sweat rolling down his spine.
The old man was wrapped up firmly like a dumpling, lying still on the floor. He was, however, undeterred in yelling angrily in all seriousness, "Who are you?! I’m a mentalist, do you know what you’re doing? Attacking a mentalist, you’ll be hunted by the sanctuary to the ends of the world!" His tone changed immediately as he said, "I’m a reasonable man, if you need help, just let me go and we’ll talk it through, I’ll definitely help you! You should know that …"
Ye Chong ignored the man as he flexed his limbs, glad of his freedom! Earlier, he had swung a weapon made of a string with weights on both ends towards the old man. It was Shang’s idea. Once the weapon rotated from the swing, it would entangle anything it hit. Ye Chong was strong, and while the weights were not too heavy, his throw of the weapon towards the old man had his target firmly tied up! Once the attack was disrupted, Ye Chong regained his freedom!
What a powerful mentalist! If not for his quick reaction, he would have become a defenseless captive! Ye Chong recalled the encounter with delayed fear.
The old man had hawkish nose and eyes. His pupils glimmered as he continued yelling angrily.
Ye Chong had no intention of chatting him up. He lifted the old man and jumped out from the window with his prize. The interrogation part will be left to Shang!