Yang Chen walked out of his room and proceeded to the underground garage.
After turning the lights on, the garage got lit like it was daytime. Due to regular maintenance, the luxury cars in the garage all shone brightly and were very reflective.
Yang Chen seemed like he had no interest towards these popular cars that could make ordinary people scream. He walked to a corner and reached his hand to touch a green brick.
As he pinched on the green brick, Yang Chen carefully withdrew it out from the wall. One would never expect an seemingly ordinary green brick to be drawn out of the wall.
A small gap was revealed. Yang Chen reached his hand into the empty space and when he drew his hand out, there was an extra black casing which had the size of a palm. It couldn’t be seen what the black casing was made of. When it got shone upon, some glossy lines strangely appeared.
This was the exact same casing where Yang Chen broke his broken apartment’s wall to retrieve before coming here.
Yang Chen gave the casing a few more looks before smiling bitterly. He said, “This thing causes me a lot of troubles, doesn’t it?”
Shaking his head, Yang Chen carefully opened the casing, revealing a similarly black cloth. At the center of the cloth, there was a stone with the size of a thumb which looked like diamond, but was a transparent crystal with black patterns within.
After taking the crystal out and putting it into his pocket in his pants, Yang Chen threw the black casing back to the hole before putting the green brick back into place.
After half an hour, Yang Chen arrived at South Botanical Garden by driving.
Since it was an early morning, most people just started work. In addition to its remote location, no one could be seen there. It could be considered a deserted area.
Yang Chen had never been here before. Since it was the season of autumn-winter, no one was there to collect the entrance fee, allowing Yang Chen to drive directly into the garden.
Driving along the asphalt road, Yang Chen saw a signboard stating ‘Xinglin’, which was exactly the area Tengu was referring to. Stopping his car at the outside, Yang Chen walked into the woods under low temperature.
Walking along the meandering abandoned cobblestone road, Yang Chen slowly entered the depths of Xinglin.
The ginkgo trees referred to as ‘living fossils’ made this region extraordinarily dense. The giant fan-shaped leaves fell onto the ground and got crushed the moment they land, forming soil instantly.
When he walked to an empty area of more than 10 square meters, Yang Chen stopped moving and raised his head.
At the peaks of the two ginkgo trees, two male ninjas who were dressed in black, tight uniforms could be seen standing, seemingly as light as feather. One was tall and strong while the other was short and skinny. They were exactly the two of the three great ninjas in Yamata Sect, Tengu and Tanuki.
Behind Yang Chen, Hannya was playing with her flourishing red nails. With her long hair waving to and fro, she walked out from empty space. Her face was covered with a mask with black and red pattern. Her water-like eyes contained various feelings.
“Where are the people?” Yang Chen asked directly.
Tiangou used his rough voice to say, “Your Majesty Pluto, don’t get impatient. If you want to see them, we have to see God’s Stone.”
“God’s Stone is in the pocket of my pants, but I want to ensure the safety of the hostages,” Yang Chen replied.
“Hehe,” Tanuki let out an extremely high-pitched laugh. “The mighty ‘Beheading of Ten Thousand People’ is indeed worthy of its title. The Death God Hades who has slain countless lives unexpectedly came to negotiate for the life of an ordinary woman using God’s Stone.”
Hannya’s charming eyes turned their attention towards Yang Chen’s pocket. “Your Majesty Pluto, I really got a bit jealous as a woman myself,” she said.
Yang Chen frowned and said, “It’s not just one ordinary woman. You guys kidnapped two people.”
Tengu hummed before saying, “Rest assured, as long as you pass God’s Stone to us, we’ll give the old woman back to you. If you allow us to run away for a kilometer without pursuing us, we’ll tell you where your wife is via a special communication method. Of course, if you dare to take action or lie to us, then your pretty-as-a-fairy wife would need to have her skull crushed.”
“Are you guys threatening me?” Yang Chen asked coldly.
Tengu laughed cunningly. “We know that Your Majesty Pluto hates it when people threaten you. However, please think properly. Your woman, your family… are still in our hands. As soon as we make a mistake, they’ll have to go through funeral with us.”
Yang Chen held his fists tightly, but eventually let go slowly.
Taking a deep breath, Yang Chen reached out to his pocket and took out the reflective, black crystal with the size of a fingertip.
As soon as the three great ninjas saw the crystal, all of them started getting excited together.
“It’s indeed in your hands!” Tengu laughed loudly.
Hannya’s eyes also shone as she stared at the crystal in Yang Chen’s hand in focus.
“Your Majesty Pluto, give it to us!” Tanuki exclaimed smilingly.
“Let me ensure Wang Ma’s safety first!” Yang Chen said loudly before keeping the crystal into his palm.
“We swear upon the dignity of the warriors in Japan, as long as you give us God’s Stone, we’ll definitely give the two hostages back to you safely!” Tengu said with a serious expression.
“Your dignity is worth nothing.” Yang Chen shook his head.
“You’re slandering us!” Tengu said angrily. “No matter how you think, we won’t give the hostages back to you if you don’t pass us God’s Stone! If you dare to touch us and they don’t get rescued in time, they’ll both die!”
Yang Chen raised his head before shutting his eyes. He seemed like he was tryng to think of a solution.
At this moment, Tengu and Tanuki jumped down from the trees.
Two traces of light flew past the places where the two were standing at.
“Who is it?!”
The two suddenly got attacked by hidden weapons and got furious as they looked at the direction where the hidden weapons flew from.
A tall and graceful woman wearing a white sweater and a pair of pale jeans walked out. She had pink cheeks and her brows looked like a crescent moon. Once in a while, she exerted the aura of loneliness and coldness.
“It’s you again… Flower Rain…”
Hannya recognized who the person was. She was Cai Yan’s elder sister, Cai Ning, one of the Group of Eight, Flower Rain.
Cai Ning’s expression was extremely serious. Her gaze upon Yang Chen was as sharp as a knife. “Yang Chen, General gave an order, you can’t give God’s Stone away!”
After the experience in Tibet, Yang Chen naturally knew who ‘General’ was. He was Lin Ruoxi’s grandfather Lin Zhiguo whom she refused to recognize.
“I think this is my freedom,” Yang Chen said as he shrugged. “God’s Stone is in my hands, not his.”
“That’s right, Miss Flower Rain, you better think it through before trying to stop the deal between us and His Majesty Pluto alone,” Tanuki said smilingly.
Cai Ning glanced at them coldly, saying, “Don’t forget where you are. Not touching you guys doesn’t mean we don’t have the ability to slaughter you all!”
“Humph! Then you shall see if His Majesty Pluto is willing to sacrifice his wife and his family’s lives,” Hannya said with a smile.
Cai Ning ignored them and turned to look at Yang Chen. She said, “Yang Chen, I know that you’re having God’s Stone with you. Our people from Yellow Flame Iron Brigade have known about it all this while. The reason we don’t ask for it from you is because we trust that you won’t join forces with the evil. You’re our ally. We won’t forcefully ask for God’s Stone, but… you can’t give it to Yamata Sect. Do you know the consequences of handing it to Yamata Sect?! Not only will they pose a threat to China, they’d be a huge danger to the entire world!”
Yang Chen pondered for a moment before saying, “You know Ruoxi’s identity. You also know how she’s related to the ‘General’ in your mouth.”
Cai Ning got shocked. She said, “I know. That’s why I respect General so much for his unbiased attitude.”
“Oh, you know about it?” Yang Chen couldn’t help but to laugh. “”What do you know? He wants Ruoxi to call him Grandpa, he wants her to give him some attention. However at moments like this, he wants to stop people from saving his own granddaughter for a little stone that doesn’t even belong to him?!”
“Can’t you differentiate righteousness and personal relationships?! How can these be discussed together?! For the benefits of the billions of citizens, he can sacrifice his own family member. Is this something so disgraceful?! Doesn’t he deserve our respect?!” Cai Ning shouted angrily.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have such upright qualities. All I know is, I wouldn’t give up my own family members, my own women, even if it comes at the cost of the entire world. If you people at Yellow Flame Iron Brigade rely on selling your family members to protect the country, I really wonder how many family members you have left.”
“You…” Cai Ning got gloomy. Clenching her teeth, she shouted, “You’re being unreasonable!”
“I’m unreasonable?!” Yang Chen smiled coldly. He said, “According to your logic, the soldiers and commanders all want to defend the country, and not themselves? Aren’t they trying to protect someone they love in their families so they want to protect China? If there isn’t anyone you love left in the world, where would their home be? Without home, where would the country be? How do they protect the country this way? Sacrificing family members is an act of the weak. Giving up on someone you can save is fucking pathetic! A while ago, I couldn’t rationalize Abbess Yun Miao’s actions. I finally understand now, I understand how Abbess Yun Miao felt when Lin Zhiguo allowed his son and his daughter-in-law to die in the frontline. He shouldn’t force it if he’s incompetent. I haven’t heard of secret agencies from other countries who would sacrifice their own family members to earn respect.”
Cai Ning’s expression turned dark. “Regardless of what you say, General ordered me to stop you from passing them God’s Stone. Our backup is arriving immediately. At that time, it’d be impossible for these three fellows to escape! Before that, you mustn’t accept their request. Even if Ruoxi dies, it’s her sacrifice to the country!”
“A living entrepreneur is far more useless than a dead person to the country,” Yang Chen said as he took out the crystal. “I can’t afford to risk Ruoxi’s life. I won’t complain to trade this broken stone for my wife’s life.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Yang Chen directly threw the crystal to Tengu’s direction.
Tengu got extremely pleased as he made contact with the crystal. “Your Majesty Pluto is indeed a wise man!”
Hannya and Tanuki also felt that they were dreaming. They were overjoyed when they saw the crystal in Tengu’s hands.
“Release the people,” Yang Chen said expressionlessly.
When Cai Ning saw that God’s Stone fell into Tengu’s hands, her expression immediately changed. She turned to look at Yang Chen, shouting, “Are you crazy?! Did you really give them God’s Stone?!”
“You people are the ones who are crazy! Don’t try to stop me from saving my wife using a stupid stone!” Yang Chen replied angrily.
“Does Lin Ruoxi really worth your effort?!”
“She does! Every single one of my women are worth more than this rock!”
After numerous deafening shouts by Yang Chen, tears started filling Cai Ning’s eyes.
“Hehe… Your Majesty Pluto is indeed an obsessed man. The people that you are looking for are on the paper. If you go slightly later… I’m afraid time would run out really soon…” Hannya said before lightly kissing the paper and throwing it to Yang Chen’s hands.
Instantly, Hannya, Tengu and Tanuki disappeared in the woods together, leaving no trails behind.
It was a piece of cake for ninjas to hide in the forest. It wouldn’t be easy even if Yang Chen wanted to chase them himself. Furthermore, Yang Chen wouldn’t leave the hostages alone to chase them.
Cai Ning finally got back to the situation and wanted to launch a pursuit. However, it was all too late. She turned around and looked at Yang Chen angrily, saying, “It’s all your fault! General wouldn’t forgive you easily! You’re challenging Yellow Flame Iron Brigade!”