"How are they doing?"
"The doctor said it’s not a huge problem, but they need some time to recuperate." The driver answered.
"Su Lin and Celine were not that weak, how is it possible that they were driven to this point? Cynthia, did you hear anything from your end?"
Cynthia who sat beside Garen only shook her head.
"I only knew they were pulled into the riot at the border, it was impossible to investigate otherwise. You’ll have to ask them yourself."
"What did Leo say?"
"They were already unconscious when Team Leader Leo found them. We don’t know who attacked them." Cynthia’s answers were short and sweet. "Gate Master, do we…"
"We need not be too hasty. Su Lin’s father is an official of the Confederate, he will not let this go easily. Tell Leo to cooperate with their investigation. If he suspects anyone, he can take action against them, no hesitation needed."
"Isn’t this too…" Cynthia felt some discomfort with the order.
"It’s fine. Right now is not a peacetime. If we don’t act aggressively, no one will be scared of making a move on us." Garen snorted.
As one of the White Peacocks, the three secretly collaborated for exchange of information as well as fighting power when needed, and even the means to do things if required.
Right now, White Cloud Gate have been able to get intelligence and military support from the Sirens’ influence overseas. Celestial Circle Gate was also able to provide enough help from the army as well as the political circles.
In return, White Cloud Gate provided support to Celestial Circle Gate’s underground operations, they also helped the Sirens with intelligence exchange as well as operations.
Technically, the three had already been bound together by the mutual benefits they get from each other.
Arriving at the airport, Celestial Circle Gate had already arranged for a military plane to transport them. The military power here was still mostly affiliated with the Celestial Circle Gate.
After arriving at Harmony City by flight, they proceeded to switch to a car to drive to Su Lin’s manor. It was already 9 o’clock by then.
In a clean white bedroom.
Su Lin leaned against the headboard of the blue bed, his lower body was covered with a cornflower blue blanket. He was in white pajamas and looked pale, and even his fiery hair seemed dry and depressed.
Aris wore a thick black windbreaker and a pair of black gloves, and was feeding Su Lin herbal soup.
The room was filled with the pungent scent of the herbs that was slightly similar to traditional Chinese medicine.
Garen took a whiff of it when he arrived before frowning while he sat by the bed.
"How do you feel? Better?"
Su Lin looked at Garen wryly.
"Lost too much blood, almost couldn’t make it."
"I told you to not go around so much! Look at you now, now you can’t even move aside from staying in your bed and rest." Aris grumbled resentfully. This outburst was a first for the lady who was usually graceful.
Still grumbling, she stuffed the spoonful of herbal soup into Su Lin’s mouth.
"Yes, yes, I’m wrong. I should’ve heeded your advice. Hey, do you think you can leave Garen and I to ourselves for a bit? We need to talk." Su Lin asked in his helplessness.
"Fine. Talk all you want." Aris stood up and handed him the bowl with the remaining herbal soup.
Understanding her point, Su Lin took the bowl and downed the content into his throat, after which he handed her back the bowl.
"Are we good?"
"Hmph!" Aris responded with annoyance on her face and left the room, closing the door with a backhand.
Only Garen and Su Lin were in the room now.
"So what happened?" Garen glowered at Su Lin. "With both your strengths, you shouldn’t be hurt this badly."
"You don’t need to worry about this. I can deal with it on my own." Su Lin didn’t elaborate, "It’s not the Poker, it’s some other people. I’ll deal with them." Mirroring Garen, he frowned. "I got careless. They are weaker than me, so I can’t ask you for help.
Garen stared at him straight in his eyes. Seeing the conviction in his eyes, Garen nodded.
"If you insist. What about Celine? How is she doing?"
"Much worse. She was buried alive in the avalanche and almost froze to death." Su Lin answered.
Coldness filled Garen’s eyes. "You are both my friends. If something happened, I wish to be there for you as your friends."
"Thanks," Su Lin nodded earnestly. "But like I said, we need to do this ourselves. I can’t bear the humiliation of having to ask people to avenge me…"
Even though he said that, he was still very grateful.
Among his friends, there were only two people who wouldn’t think twice to avenge him, and one of them was Garen.
Like this time, most of the dangers he and Celine was met with near the border was averted once they mentioned Garen being his friend. A huge number of forces treated them like they were important guests.
Even the riotous gangs dared not attack them due to Garen’s reputation of being Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate’s Sky Warrior.
"I’m really glad you visited." Su Lin patted Garen on his shoulder. "You’re in a different position now, the Sky Warrior of Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate, wait no, the Second Divine Warrior of Southern Sky Holy Fist Gate, the White Cloud Gate Master, the strongest Grandmaster of Combat of the Twelve Southern Sects, the Underground King of Galantia, Holy Mammoth Holy Fist… Your fame is all over the place! Tsk tsk… You’re a famous person now, even Black Mark Association had been absorbed by White Cloud Gate. You have three Grandmasters of Combat under you who are on par with Sky Warriors. You are dominating the whole of the South, you’re just like a cancer… I mean anti-hero!"
Speechless, Garen played along with his antics.
"You do look like you’re much better, you’re even well enough to tease me."
"It wasn’t that serious in the first place." Su Lin countered, "It’s just…" "Is Su Lin awake?" A young man knocked on the door, his voice giving away his calm, steadfast demeanor.
Su Lin immediately hid under his blanket.
"My elder brother is here!" He whispered and then used a louder voice. "I just got up."
With a click, the door was opened by a tall man in a black windbreaker.
He has short red hair, like Su Lin, but he also had red brows. His eyes were as sharp as an eagle’s, with only a glance, he could intimidate people.
He wore black leather gloves, accentuating the golden patterns on his cuffs.
Garen knew him as Harris, Su Lin’s biological brother. He was recently promoted to a senior official.
As for his impression of Harris, Garen could only remember Duskdune Shura had tried to assassinate him.
Duskdune Shura had tasked a former Royal General with the assassination. Obviously they’ve failed, indicating the complexity of his background.
"Your friend came to see you?" Harris nodded at Garen who stood up, giving out a subtle aura of authority. "Nice meeting you." He held out his hand.
Garen shook his hand.
"Nice meeting you too. I’m Garen."
"Garen?" Harris blanked for a little. He thought the name sounded familiar. But since he is a friend of his younger brother, he only nodded.
"I’ll be taking my leave then," Garen nodded politely. "Su Lin, get well soon." He turned around toward the door.
Laying on the bed, Su Lin thought his words sound loaded.
"Garen!" He called out. "Don’t butt in, I’m serious."
Garen kept his silence and smiled weakly.
"Fine. I’ll let it go this time. I’ll go visit Celine."
Harris listened to the conversation with a weird look on his face. This Garen seemed really influential, he didn’t know his brother had friends who had power over the situation at the border, this surprised him.
"Harris, Garen is my friend, I owed him my life. He’s not in the same circle as you." Su Lin noticed Harris’ expression and immediately understood his brother’s occupational habit of analyzing other people’s backgrounds, the links between different influences, and all those complicated mumbo jumbo.
His brother Harris was a pretty decent guy, but he’s always going off on conspiracy theories, as if the whole world was built on conspiracies alone. Because of that, he had not found someone to marry after all this time. The girls were scared as soon as they saw him with his strict face.
"Su Lin, you don’t understand, our family has a lot of connections with very influential backgrounds. If you don’t think in a deeper level, you may not even realize it after people have already cheated you. There are many people who wanted to use our family’s fame." Harris stated matter-o-factly.
"He’s not even in the same system you’re thinking about! To be honest, what he’s pursuing is totally different than what we are doing. The political situation in the Confederate at its current state, if Garen wanted to, he could’ve become a leader himself. He was so different from us it’s like comparing apples and oranges!" Su Lin rolled his eyes, "He’s one of those people you politicians fear the most. If you offended him, don’t count on a night of good sleep if you don’t have hundreds of special forces with artillery capabilities."
Harris smiled, not believing Su Lin. However, this really isn’t his business to butt in on. With their father and his vast political experience to protect Su Lin,this shouldn’t be an issue.
After leaving Su Lin’s room, Garen turned into another room not far from Su Lin’s.
The door was open, a nurse in white came out with a slew of medication in the basin.
"Excuse me, is this Miss Celine’s room?"
"Yes sir. Mr. Garen, is it? Miss Aris told me it’s okay for you to go in."
Garen entered through the open door. A bright white light illuminated the room.
Oil lamps filled every empty corners of the room. The outside of the glass of the oil lamps were painted white, so light from the fire was turned white and spilled into the room.
Celine leaned on the bed in the middle of the room. Like Su Lin, she leaned at the headboard, her face pale, eyes blank.
"You’re pretty quick." Celine forced a smile. "Thanks to you. If they didn’t know I’m your friend, I could’ve died out there."