She didn’t know what the situation was like outside, were there still so many people outside? Are those damned black dogs still constantly sniffing for her trace on the snow? Wouldn’t that Robina from Black Sky have gotten more and more helpers?
Avici’s mind was half awake and half asleep.
She could only wait, leaving fate up to God. If the people from the Geometry Service didn’t find her before the enemy did, then what awaited her may be a fate even crueler than death.
Several days later…
In the sky above the snowy peaks, several pitch black flying birds kept darting around, patrolling the scene beneath them. The birds were as big as sparrows, but eerily, they had two front limbs like scythes, like a sharp tweezer.
They swam through the savage winds soundlessly, as though they were barely affected by the force of the wind at all.
On the edge of an ice cliff at the snowy peak, there were several figures in black standing.
They gathered together in a circle, with a large black metal pot between them, an emerald green potion rippling inside.
Strangely, scenes of the geography and scenery around the snowy peaks appeared on the surface of the potion, as though it was a green sandbox.
The lay of the land on the surface even kept changing minutely, it was unbelievably realistic, as though they were looking down from above in the sky.
"The people from the department are coming. Swanke, you still can’t find ‘em?" A person in black asked softly, speaking in accented Enderian, as though he wasn’t very familiar with it.
"I searched the whole mountains, but I still can’t find a trace of that fellow, those are some decent hiding skills." The other man in black shook his head and replied, "What about the others? A lot of people seemed to have come since then, are they trying to muddle our eyes or take advantage of the situation?"
"They’re probably adventurers here to try their luck. There are monster herds everywhere here. To think they could break past the defense line and get in as well, we oughta be slightly more careful."
"Got it, inform Robina."
On another area in these snowy peaks, on the snowy white slope, there were many little dots scattered about. Some were red dots, some were black dots, but most were little white dots.
These dots were so many delicate little totems, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, mice… There were all sorts of totems.
They ran about and darted into holes everywhere, as though they were constantly searching for something.
There was a white flying squirrel sprawled on a black-robed man’s shoulder, as he walked on the snowy ground with one leg sinking deeper into the snow than the other. A thick white smoke was breathed out of his mouth, and his feet made clear crunching sounds as they stepped into the snow, leaving deep footprints.
Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, and cast his eye about his surroundings, vaguely seeing the figures of adventurers in the distance amidst the forest of cedar trees.
"Damned stink beetles!" He cursed under his breath, these adventurers were all desperadoes who had survived different places, and they were always unreliable with questionable courage. But after the batch of new adventurers joined in, the situation became slightly complicated.
These new adventurers were led by a man called Bloodhand, he was cunning and crafty, and decently powerful. He also seemed to have excellent hiding skills, avoiding a direct confrontation with their Black Sky.
But these people obviously hadn’t found that little fellow either. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be following them so closely.
The man in black relaxed a little.
Suddenly he stopped his steps slightly, his right hand reaching into his pocket, like he was pressing something. He closed his eyes, as though listening to something.
Abruptly, he raised his head to look at the sky, his expression slowly changing.
He began to retreat, step by step.
"Uh-oh… This is trouble… Celine, inform everyone, retreat!"
"What’s the matter?" A woman’s voice came from his pocket.
"I think it’s the people from the Geometry Service, they’re here." The man in black looked up at the sky in front of him, and three red dots were flying towards them rapidly.
The red dots grew larger and larger, clearer and clearer.
After clearly seeing the new arrival’s face, the man in black took a sharp intake of breath.
"Everyone! Retreat retreat retreat!! It’s Hellfire!! If you can’t make it in time, hide!"
The man in black’s retreating footsteps grew faster and more panicked. As though he was drawing out a clear black line in the snow. The footsteps under his feet kept forming a line, retreating towards the distance behind him.
The three red dots instantly reached the position right above the place where the man in black had been standing.
It was three men and women in red robes, two men and one woman, led by a middle-aged man with red hair.
There was a slight killing intent between his eyes, his gaze scanning the traces left beneath him.
"You dare touch the people from our Geometry Service! Looks like it’s been too long since we walked the earth, and some people have forgotten the scars from back then."
"Teacher, we should look for Junior Sister first," the other woman in red said in a low voice.
The middle-aged man nodded, and then looked at the young man.
The latter nodded.
"My little friends are already determining the situation. The ones searching here are the adventurers and Obscuro, the noteworthy ones are Bloodhead and the five-man Ring of Gluttony team from Obscuro. Also, I found the other juniors who had lost contact with Avici. They were hiding underneath a snow hill, and haven’t eaten any cooked food for three days."
A ball of crimson flames exploded from the middle-aged man’s hand.
"Those damned, harebrained brats!" He seemed to be squeezing the words out of his clenched teeth. "You guys go receive those poor little things."
"Then Teacher, you…"
"Of course I’ll show those idiots with a death wish what pain tastes like! Sometimes death is a lot kinder than living…" The middle-aged man said, his expression cold.
Balls of flames burned in mid-air, surrounding the middle-aged man inside.
He was just about to leave, and take his revenge on those enemies who had dared to defile the honor of his department.
Suddenly his eyes narrowed, looking directly at the trees to his left.
"Come out!" he roared in a low voice.
From among the cedar forest, two mysterious figures, completely black, walked out slowly.
The man in front pulled away his hood, revealing a head of golden hair, cascading over his shoulder. His face was handsome, his skin fair. The most eye-catching part, however, were the three marks like cinnabar dots between his brows.
"The Secret Service?"
The two of them spoke at the same time.
The other person’s expression was relaxed and carefree, as though he had just come out for a stroll after dinner.
"You guys only know how to hide in the cracks, so why are you here now too? Don’t tell me you want the Heirloom of Greed too?" Hellfire said coldly. He had no good feelings for the Secret Service at all.
Unlike the National Service and the Geometry Service, the inner workings of the Secret Service were bloody and cruel, full of cunning and deceit. Although they were all part of the three departments. But the Secret Service’s feelers reached everywhere, and their information network was all over the place, completely unpredictable.
Compared to those adorable students in the Geometry Service, Hellfire began to hate those shadow hounds, without any quality of nobility, more and more. They were like wild wolves who had caught the scent of rotting flesh, their traces could be seen everywhere.
It wasn’t just him, the two people next to him also had expressions of wariness. Staring hard at the golden-haired man who had just shown up.
"It’s the Eight Headed Cloud Crow Garen. A noble from Kovistan. He’s very strong." The young man in red moved his lips slightly, reducing his voice so only Hellfire could hear him.
Hellfire nodded almost imperceptibly.
"We would never give you guys the heirloom!" He yelled loudly at the people opposite. "We sacrificed so much, and it’s already in our hands! This is the fruit of our Geometry."
Garen’s expression didn’t change.
"The quest I accepted was to retrieve the heirloom, it doesn’t concern me whose hands the item is in." He said calmly, as though everything was only natural.
Hellfire’s eyes reddened, and he immediately repressed his anger.
"Very well, we’ll settle the conflicts outside first, and then I’ll come experience Your Excellency’s techniques."
"That was my intention as well." Garen slowly retreated, and disappeared into the cedar forest together with the other person.
Seeing the other party retreat, Hellfire’s expression grew more displeased.
"Teacher, you don’t need to worry. At least before we settle all the outsider enemies, the Secret Service won’t openly declare war on us." The young man in red said softly, "I just received the news, Obscuro is sending more reinforcements here. Other than the Ring of Gluttony, there’s also the Ring of Greed, and the Ring of Wrath. And according to some of our newest intel, some people from Terraflor are here too."
"Terraflor?" Hellfire’s emotions began to calm down slowly. "Forget them, first go figure out what Obscuro’s newly-founded Rings of Evil are made of! I’d like to see, who gave them the guts to challenge the honor of the Geometry Service!!"
"Teacher, you’re not thinking of fooling around again, are you…" The red-robed woman said hurriedly.
"Relax." Hellfire raised his hand, indicating that she didn’t need to worry.
He looked at the direction Garen and the other had disappeared to, and raised his hand abruptly.
A line of fire shot from his hand, flying straight into the white pine forest before vanishing.
In the pine forest.
Garen looked at the group of people in white bowing politely at him, these people in white all looked a mess, their expressions exhausted, but they seemed to be very excited about his arrival.
"So you’re saying we lost quite a few people from the Secret Service in this operation?"
"Yes." The leader of the people in white lowered his head and said guiltily. "Lord Cloud Crow, Obscuro’s men would want nothing more than to turn the snowy peaks upside down, they come at any of us Secret Service members with the intention to kill! We couldn’t avoid them completely either."
Garen touched his chin, thinking wordlessly.
"Boss, it must have been because you were a burden and held them back."
Windling threw in a few jibes from the side.
How many of Obscuro’s people had the two of them killed outside? General-level, Field-level, this hit-and-run method caused many of Obscuro’s plans to fail before they started, so of course they would be mad.
In fact, most of Garen’s reputation was built on casualties from Obscuro.
Looking at the messed-up subordinates from the Secret Service, Garen couldn’t help but shake his head slightly.
Suddenly there was a clear sound from behind. A line of fire shot through the pine forest, headed straight for Garen.
Garen raised his hand and caught the flying fire thread, the flames stopping in his hands and revealing its true shape. It was a cube-shaped red jade, with inscriptions like glyphs and figures carved onto it.
Hellfire’s voice came straight from the red jade.
"Eight Headed Cloud Crow, you and I will split this snowy peak half-half. We’ll settle the matter of the heirloom internally after cleaning up here, what do you think?" His voice was strangely clear.
"Perfect for me. I want east."
"Then I’ll take west."
The raws say ‘真是无比’, but I’m pretty sure it’s 真实无比.
Lit. 导师, so ‘master’ doesn’t work but ‘tutor’ or ‘coach’ sounds weird.