The black trench coat was slit right open exposing the bandage covering the chest area underneath. The dagger had made a terrifying palm-sized wound.
"If you don’t want to die then give me the remedy!" Garen held the woman’s neck with one hand and almost lifted her into the air. "If you want me to die instead? I’ll finish you first!"
The bloody-eyed woman hung in the middle of the air. Her hand desperately tried to hold onto Garen's arm and break free. Her other hand reached into the inner pocket of the trench coat and found a small yellow package.
Garen violently wrestled it out of her hand.
"I’ll use it on you first, of course, if you are the type that is not afraid of death, I can also throw you on the street naked. I am sure those homeless people would not mind some free enjoyment." The poison began to overwhelm Garen as his breath shortened. He broke the package with an open hand and pushed the powder inside against the woman’s chest.
"No… Eat it…" The woman barely made out of a few words.
Garen put her down and squeezed her face as he poured half of the powder into her mouth before stopping.
"Cough…" The woman coughed as soon as Garen let her go. It looked like she was about to cough her lungs out but was afraid to spit out the powder. She covered her mouth and swallowed all the powder before she sat straight onto the ground, she wearily looked at Garen.
Garen felt the numbing sensation spread over half of his shoulder and knew that the poison was taking effect on his body.
When he confirmed that the woman had no negative symptoms, he tried to fight back the poison a little longer before he finally was certain and chugged the entire powder down his throat.
The yellow powder tasted sour with no odd flavor. It melted immediately as soon as it entered Garen's mouth.
"Go!" Garen lifted the bloody-eyed woman as he began to jog forward.
Ten minutes later, they arrived at a grass field on the shadowy side of a desolate hill.
Garen leaned against the tree and left the woman by the side as he sat down to rest. He raised his arm to see that the blue wound was fading. The numbing sensation still remained.
Under the shadows of the tree without the cast of moonlight, Garen finally had the time to carefully examine the hostage.
Her silver-white hair scattered across her shoulder. The delicacy and beauty on her face cast a slight hint of nobility vibe on her. Her figure was graceful with her slim waist to what appeared to be a perfect figure.
"Be honest, who are you? Why did you attack me?" Garen asked emotionlessly as he sat on the side. Without the help of a gun and given her poor combat ability, he was not afraid that she would be able to escape.
"You killed our man last time, of course we would have to find you," the girl regained her breath and answered. "There’s nothing you can do even if you catch me. I will not reveal any secrets."
"Why would I want your secrets?" Garen felt the last numbing sensation disappear from his wound and felt relieved. "If I told you that the last time I killed your man was only an accident, would you believe it?"
"Do you think that’s realistic?" the woman said mockingly. She stared coldly at him, "Enough is enough, the reason why you caught me is to f*ck me; as long as you don’t throw me to the homeless it’s fine."
Garen knew too well that if such a beauty were to be left in the hands of the homeless people, within one night the news next morning would report a naked body found beside the garbage dump.
"You woman..." Garen approached her as he began to touch the woman’s body.
She leaned against the tree slanted. She didn’t resist his hand movement as she chose to close her eyes.
But what surprised her was that Garen only searched all of her pockets and grabbed a few items before retrieving his hand.
"I would assume that your position within the organization
is quite high? It would not be worth it for me to kill you right now." Garen pondered with a black gold coin in his hand. "Tell me where did you put the stolen artifact?"
"You are also looking for that?" The woman shockingly glanced at him, "We searched the item, but it’s not within the city."
"Just tell me where it is."
"You can find it if you go alone," she sneered. "I thought you belonged to the other side, but it looks like it’s only you alone." Through a few sentences, she was able to accurately guess Garen’s background.
"To be honest, the person you killed was not important at all. Since you can’t find the item either, why don’t we cooperate?"
Garen raised his eyebrows. "Do you think I’d believe you?"
"If only Jia Ti had been by my side, and if I hadn’t believed that I would have been safe with a gun, do you think you could have gotten within two steps of me?" the woman laughed with an icy tone.
"Then why did you shoot first?"
"I will always make the first move!" she arrogantly said.
"You only guessed I belonged to the other side, what if I wasn’t?" Garen’s voice turned cold.
"I’ll just tie you to a rock and throw you in the river after I killed you, no one would ever find you again," she didn’t directly respond, but her answer was clear. She would not let any victim escape even if they were innocent.
After a pause, she continued.
"Since I asked to partner up, then I have my ways to make you believe my genuineness. With your ability, you are at least a level four to five fighter. It is also mainly because of how strong your body is; a bullet can’t even go through you. If you work for me—"
"No way it will happen!" Garen interrupted her. "I won’t work for you. I almost killed you, so you must want to kill me too in your heart."
She laughed, "Your combat style is fairly similar to the White Cloud Gate’s, with a powerful explosive force which makes it difficult to avoid. But with such impeccable body condition at a young age, you must have trained a unique body strengthening technique. You can let the other side know to contact me and make a promise. The White Cloud Gate is not a small force within the city."
"The White Cloud Gate is also a part of this? It’s known within your circle?" Garen was slightly surprised.
"Renowned is an understatement," she sneered again. "In Huai Shan, Dojo Master Fei’s words are the governor general’s words. Especially in the shadows, he is similar to the underground emperor. Anyone who dares to challenge his supremacy is dead."
"Let’s go to the Dojo then." Without hesitation, Garen grabbed her and dashed toward the White Cloud Gate.
Twenty minutes later.
Fei Baiyun sat at the practicing hall on the second floor. He took a sip out of the coffee. He peacefully looked at the two people in front of him.
"This is not a big deal at all. It was just an accident that you killed one of their men." His vision settled on the silver-white woman with a ponytail. "Grace, how’s your mother, Madame Yalan, doing? The last time we met was years ago."
"Thank you for asking Dojo Master. My mother has been doing fine," she answered terror-stricken. She kept her head down afraid to look at Fei Baiyun. She had thought that Garen was only an ordinary trainee within the White Cloud Gate. Maybe he would be an actual Disciple, but even then it wouldn’t have mattered.
But as soon as she arrived, she realized that Garen was the Dojo Master’s Formal Disciple. Cold sweat began to drip as soon as she understood the situation. She knew how powerful Fei Baiyuan was in Huai Shan, especially for someone who lived in the shadows, and yet she almost killed his Formal Disciple.
Garen who stood by her side saw her sides drenched in sweat.
"This thing is not a big deal at all." Fei Baiyun took another sip of the coffee. "But since you used a pistol, then the nature of this accident is now different."
Grace lowered her head further.
"We’ll provide any form of compensation for you! This is our mistake."
"Since my disciple is running short on money, you can help him a little. Also, the artifact that he is looking for from you guys, return it at the same time."
"Lastly, and most importantly, Garen himself has to agree to settle this."
"We agree to all the conditions! We’ll do the best we can!" Grace said genuinely, "We’ll do the best to serve Master Garen."
Garen shook his head, "All my requirements are included, if you want to provide more compensations then give it to my master and my elder apprentices." He understood that if it were not for Fei Baiyun, this woman would have given him more trouble.
"You." Fei Baiyuan pointed at Garen and started laughing, "I just went to a gathering with the governor and you brought back a wonderful gift for me. This is only because we haven’t released any information regarding you joining the White Cloud Gate as a Formal Disciple. In a few days, no one would dare to cause trouble for my disciple."
"Grace is pretty unlucky this time. She mistakenly thought Garen was the opponent’s hitman. But I am curious as to why you wanted to stop their car?"
"I saw the stolen artifact that I wanted," Garen rushed to explain.
Grace, with a deep resignation, "You just became a Formal Disciple. I’ll admit that I was unlucky this time. If it had been a bit later, I would not have ordered to kill immediately if I had seen the face."
"That’s enough Grace. You have to repay for the mistake you made. Once Garen is satisfied, you’ll be free."
Fei Baiyuan stated with a soothing smile on this face. "But if I hear you that you are not genuine enough…"
The words sent a shiver down Grace’s spine as she immediately answered.
Fei Baiyuan’s appearance may have suggested that he looked calm and relaxed, but if he was angry… It would be normal for him to murder entire families and even go after the relatives in their hometown.
The underground emperor always believed in leaving no risk behind. Once he identified his enemy, from the children to the grandparents would have no way to escape under his dark reign.
"Ok, you can go now," Fei Baiyuan waved his hand as he dismissed Grace.
With respect, Grace immediately dashed to the stairs.
Garen sat straight with his head lowered.
"Master… I have caused you trouble with this incident."
"There is no trouble. I want you to know that your senior sister and brother all have their enterprises, or better described as forces, and are tightly knit with the Dojo. Together we are a strong force not to be undermined," Fei Baiyuan stood up as he said peacefully.
"I planned to tell you about these things later, but I didn’t expect that you were already involved with this. Today when you faced the pistol and escaped, you must have had a lot of thoughts."
"Yes." Garen nodded his head deep in thought.
"We practice martial arts not only because it strengthens our body. You’ll encounter similar incidents in the future. You’ll have to learn how to handle these incidents. There is also another thing I didn’t tell you." Fei Baiyun paused.
"I originally had seven formal disciples."
Garen was shocked, but then he quickly realized as he felt his heart drenched in ice.
He understood his master’s words.
Only three were left out of the original seven Formal Disciples. The other four were either dead or had other accidents.
"Grace will be your practice dummy for the Critical Fist Technique as part of her punishment. It will take her years to recover after. That’s all for this incident. Keep in touch with her after this; it would be up to you to see if you can convince her to join your force."