Dale Quicksilver picked up the coffee on the table and had a sip to calm his nerves before speaking.
"Since the Golden Hoop incident, things have been happening consecutively. Silvica, my old friend the White Eagle’s son, unexpectedly received this emblem by chance. He subsequently got himself into trouble during his time at the Silversilk Castle."
"What happened?" Garen asked.
"He fell from the top of the castle." Dale took a breath in and continued, "Fortunately, there was stuff below him that helped to disperse the impact. But after the incident, he fell into a coma and we don’t know which region of his brain was injured."
Lady Marianne continued from where her husband had stopped and said, "What’s strange is that the doctor performed a full body examination on Silvica and found no damage to his brain. Yet, he still lies unconscious in a hospital bed." She also had a worried look on her face. "If it is possible, we will be glad if Mr. Kelly can lend us a hand."
Garen frowned, looking at Dale Quicksilver and Lady Marianne. It was obvious that both of them thought of Garen as someone who had extraordinary ability. No doubt they hoped that his "ability" could help him resolve Silvica’s situation.
"I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you…" Garen had all of his fingers crossed, with a weary look on his face. "I gave a judgment on the cursed antique based on my hunch. It’s not like what you guys have in mind… I’m just a normal person with a natural born talent… but still a normal person."
"But… What about Silvica…"
"Stop mentioning it, Marianne."
Dale Quicksilver prevented his wife from finishing her sentence. "I can very clearly see that Kelly can’t help us in any way. He isn’t lying."
The detective scowled, then slowly returned to being calm and logical.
"From the looks of things, we still need to know about the origins of this emblem. I have stayed at the Silversilk Castle for so long, yet nothing has ever happened to me. Why did Silvica encounter danger so quickly?"
"Indeed, this matter needs to be analyzed thoroughly," Garen nodded in agreement. "How about this? I’m quite free during this time of the month, so maybe I can check things out with you guys and give you a heads up if I find anything relevant to the cursed antique."
"I’ve always thought curses were a myth, but after witnessing how you deduced the situation so accurately, maybe there are some secrets hidden inside this emblem. Screw it!" Dale Quicksilver stood up. "If this cursed antique is really useful and if it’s the root of Silvica’s condition, then we have to take this emblem and experiment on our own to fully understand the situation."
"Please, let me be the one to do it."
A male voice came through the window. A white shadow came into the light and a man with a white coat and blonde hair can be seen from the half-open window. He took a seat on a corner of the couch.
"I’m sure the Golden Hoops are the ones behind my son’s situation! Curses are just some folklore made to frighten kids. This world is full of people trying to deceive others by making up myths and fairytales."
Garen raised his head and discovered that this guy was the one that showed up beside the kids that night. He still remembered being criticized by this guy for being too violent and that his martial arts swayed onto the demonic path.
"He is the White Eagle, who is also my best friend," Dale Quicksilver introduced him while standing up. In the meantime he reintroduced Garen to his friend, but this time as Kelly.
The White Eagle used his sharp vision to scan Garen and nodded, "I’m afraid we might need to depend on you this time." He did not recognize Garen as the look-alike disciple of the Behemoth Gate from that night.
"It’s no big deal. I have endured hardships with Dale before and it is only right if friends help each other out. Plus, this incident involves the cursed antique, which pretty much suits my interests." Garen dismissed the formality and said, "Okay, let’s not waste any time. When are we going to the castle?"
"How about tomorrow? We gather here at Manuyllton Corporation in the morning and then head off to the Silversilk Castle," Dale suggested.
"Then it’s settled." Dale then reached for the emblem on the table. "I got this emblem from Silvica’s body. I thought that it was suspicious, so I brought it here to be identified. Who would’ve known that things would turn out like this?"
"My friend, don’t worry too much. Everything will be alright." Garen let out a sigh, while one of his hands patted Dale’s shoulder. There were two reasons why Garen was being so nice to them: one, he sincerely wanted to repay Dale Quicksilver’s kindness and two, he was genuinely interested in knowing the secrets hidden inside the cursed antiques – especially after being affected by it at the Silversilk Castle.
"If there’s nothing else, then I need to go back home to celebrate the holiday with my family." Garen stood up. "Please excuse me."
The Quicksilvers immediately stood up formally.
"Please make yourself at home you three. I’ll be going now." Garen turned and left the room. The moment before the door fully closed, his eyes were focused on the White Eagle. He couldn’t help but have a weary look on his face.
"That guy stayed hidden outside the window throughout the conversation and I didn’t even manage to notice him. This guy is definitely not an average joe…"
Grace awaited him at the door and they both headed downstairs.
"This here is one of the divisions that I’m in charge of. Basically, everything here is at my disposal. The results regarding the situation you want us to check on are already here."
She handed Garen a copy of the results.
Garen looked at the results and was thrown deeper into confusion.
"No obvious scars, the first judgment is a cardiac arrest?"
"Yes, it is possible that it’s related to poisoning. In a manner of speaking, the suspect has already taken action and, judging by the looks of things, he is very determined this time around. I can’t believe he will strike at this crucial moment, but I’m afraid I cannot assist you this time," Grace said disappointedly.
"It’s alright. I will investigate this matter with the help of the detective and his friend. It helps that this is according to what we initially intended," Garen replied, winking.
Grace had no idea what his initial intention was, but she nodded along. "Any preparation needed?"
"If it is possible, please prepare me a gun." Garen grinned.
Garen reached his home before dawn and spent his evening celebrating the festival with his family. They only had a simple meal and some conversation about each other’s recent situations. He went to bed after washing up. The next morning, he went to the Manuyllton Corporation’s division after applying his makeup. Surprisingly, Dale Quicksilver and the White Eagle were already there waiting for him.
"You guys are early. Are we driving there?"
Dale stood beside the White Eagle in front of the building. Marianne and Dale’s pretty assistant were nowhere to be found. Parked beside them was a black sedan with two car lights as big as goldfish eyes – dead goldfish eyes to be exact.
"I’m driving straight to the Silversilk Castle. Is everything prepared?" Dale Quicksilver opened the door and sat inside.
The White Eagle and Garen followed suit.
After the doors were closed, the White Eagle took out some cigarettes from his pocket and handed one to Garen.
"Thanks, but I don’t smoke."
"Mr. Kelly, I’m sorry we have to drag you out this time." The White Eagle lit his cigarette and took a puff from it. He lets out the white smoke before continuing, "Regardless of this case being solved or not, I owe you one."
"You’re Dale’s friend, which makes you my friend as well. There’s no need for such formality between friends. Plus, I volunteered to do this myself." Garren grinned. "I can see that you’re a righteous man and worthy of being a friend."
"Likewise." The White Eagle smiled in return.
The car engine slowly warmed up, then they drove onto the streets into traffic.
After 10 minutes or so, the car slowly drove out of Huaishan City onto a mountain road. The car sped through the withered grass and through the wilderness.
Inside the car, Garen toyed with his black revolver. Flipping it from front to back and then from left to right, as if he wanted to try it out soon.
"Kelly is this the first time you’ve handled a gun?" Dale noticed Garen’s actions from the reflection of the rearview mirror.
"Yes, there’s practically no use for guns within the city, but since we are going out in the open, Grace gave me one for protection purposes." Garen seemed to be fond of his mini revolver. In this world, a revolver can only hold up to six bullets at a time and after a bullet was shot, it reloaded automatically. It can be regarded as a semi-automatic.
"We should spend some time at the shooting range when we’re free." The White Eagle chewed on the remains of his cigarette and suggested half-heartedly. He took out a white revolver from his waist. "For now, let’s take care of those filthy pests behind us."
Before he even finished his sentence, he forced open the door and jumped out.
Two consecutive shots were fired, then the sound of a car skidding as it suddenly braked was heard.
Dale Quicksilver instinctively stopped the car. He immediately got out from the car.
Garen, not wanting to be seen as a weakling, also pointed his gun behind him. From the car window, he saw the White Eagle had gunned down one tough henchman, rolled forward, and executed two other henchmen who were hiding behind.
There were two additional black cars following behind the first car. Six other henchmen came out from their cars and four of them were instantly shot dead by the White Eagle. The remaining two tried to escape by driving off with one of the cars at the back.
The White Eagle smirked and fired two more shots from his gun.
The car exploded while trying to make a turn and burst into flames. The smell of petrol mixed with burning rubber wafted over the air.
The battle was over before Garen even exited the car.
"Such rapid movement, such precise aiming!" Garen could not help but be impressed by the White Eagle’s killing efficiency.
Their three faces were red from the glow of the burning flames.
Dale Quicksilver bent over to examine the corpses.
"They’re from the Golden Hoop."
"Filthy pests!" White Eagle spat and swung his white coat to shake off the dirt he picked up from his actions earlier. He noticed Garen getting out of the car and was impressed by how Garen handled the situation calmly.
"Looks like Mr.Kelly has been through situations like this. I’ve heard that you took care of the man from the Golden Hoop last time right? Care to spar with me some time?"
"I can’t compete against professionals like you! I’m just interested in ancient antiques and I’m sure you understand we can’t be in this field if we can’t adapt," Garen shrugged bitterly.
"True. Okay gentlemen, let’s head back to the car. Leave the killing for professionals like me." White Eagle kicked away the corpse at his feet and turned toward the car.
The other two followed.
Igniting the car, the three of them drove faster to make up for lost time.
Nobody said anything inside the car.
Garen snuck a peek at the White Eagle. The White Eagle may look like a relaxed person, but he was actually always on high alert. Rumor was that he had certainly learned a lesson after they were injured by the explosive trap set by the Golden Hoops. Since then, he did not let his guard down like he used to.
Dale Quicksilver was focused on driving. From his eyes, it could be seen that he was thinking of something.
"Since White Eagle is always on high alert, I might as well take a nap."
Garen decided to rest in his seat. He then slowly drifted away into slumber.