"It’s you again…"
In the plain colored emergency room, Dr. Ash from Canoe Town was sitting besides Garen. He was carefully taking out the brass bullet head from his arm, and slowly putting it in the metal plate on the table.
The bullet landed in the plate, making a crisp sound.
"Tsk tsk, the bullet head had gotten bent. You were very fortunate that it went through something else before hitting you, otherwise you’d be dead for sure," Dr. Ash exclaimed. "Last time your arm was dislocated, but this time you got hit by a bullet. Did you meet some bandits?"
"Yes." Garen nodded. "If I wasn’t this lucky, I’d be done for. All of those bandits were wearing golden earrings. They stole all my antiques as well. If I hadn’t trained in martial arts, I’d be dead for sure… Ouch!"
He moaned as the bullet in his stomach was removed. Dr. Ash dropped it in the metal plate.
"Those cursed bandits! The residents of our town also get robbed by them frequently, and we end up having to pay them every time." Dr. Ash shook his head hopelessly. "You should report this to the Huaishan City Police department, a case like this isn’t solved in one or two days."
He dabbed the cotton ball with alcohol and started cleaning Garen’s wounds. As the alcohol touched his injuries, Garen gritted his teeth to endure the pain.
After cleaning, Dr. Ash took out a small bottle from his bag. He dipped a cotton swab inside, and a purple colored liquid soaked it, emitting a strong smell like that of a disinfectant.
Garen endured the pain, watching Dr. Ash anoint his wounds with the medicine.
His face was bruised white and yellow while his eyes differed in size. One was small and the other big. It was so because of his makeup not getting fully washed off. But at least it was still good enough to cover up his face.
"Oh and Dr. Ash, I’ve heard that detective Dale Quicksilver has come to Canoe Town. Do you know if he’s still here?"
"Ah, Detective Dale…" Dr. Ash paused to think. "I’m not too sure either, but I did see him and two other people getting on a carriage headed to Silversillk Castle. I don’t know if they’re back."
Garen nodded in silence.
After ten minutes or so, Dr. Ash finished dealing with Garen’s wounds. Garen paid the doctor and put on his soggy jacket, ready to leave.
"Wait!" Dr. Ash stopped him from behind. "You are going back like this? Although it’s not raining outside, your jacket is still wet, you will infect the wounds!"
"No problem, I have a strong body, I’ll be fine." Garen chuckled indifferently.
"You don’t care but I care, this is my work!" Dr. Ash mumbled as he treaded inside, shorly after he came out with a grayish suit jacket. "Take this and put it on, don’t wet the wounds! Think about all the time and effort I put into binding them. Don’t forget to return my jacket!"
Garen smiled and took off his wet jacket and put on the grey one.
"Thanks, I’ll return it in a few days!"
"Hurry up and leave, don’t let them see you." Dr. Ash waved his hands impatiently. "Be careful and don’t let the wounds become infected."
Garen nodded and walked out the door with his soggy jacket in hand.
It was already dark outside. It must’ve been late in the night. Garen stood infront of the small clinic and gazed outside, listening but hearing no sound of anyone nearby.
A faint dog bark came from a distance, making the night even more lonesome and quiet.
The houses on the sides were dark, without any lights. The moonlight shone from above, showering the road with a faint light.
Garen closed the door behind him and suddenly felt exhausted.
"After that battle, I rushed here on foot, and then spent half an hour in the clinic. My body seems to be overloaded." He fixed the grey suit and strode along the road out of town.
The pitch-dark town seemed empty, the houses on all four sides standing like indistinct silhouettes. In the complete silence, Garen could only hear his own footsteps.
He stepped into a small puddle, and the muddy water splashed all over his pants.
Cursing under his breath, he continued walking along the street.
While walking down the road, Garen decided to check his attribute pane.
"I have one more attribute point, so I have to carefully consider everything before using it this time."
He reached into his pockets and touched the black jade disk, a stream of cool qi flowed into his skin. Even though it was slow, the value was in its stableness.
"The enhancement of attributes needs time to precipitate, but the improvements in techniques are immediate. My techniques right now are …"
Garen’s eyes moved up to the techniques pane.
His eyes swept past the unimportant skills such as basic archery and swordsmanship and landed on the few special techniques he had learned.
White Cloud Secret Arts: Max(level 4) Explosive Fist Arts: Intermediate. White Cloud Combat Arts: Elementary.
The option for White Cloud Secret Arts was in grey, meaning it couldn’t be improved further. Garen had reached a level of mastery that no one had achieved in the history of White Cloud Gate. Currently, only his talented second senior brother could compare to his strength.
The Explosive Fist Arts were at an intermediate level, the power of this technique was astonishing. During his combat with the purple eyed woman, he had only hit her twice, but these two contacts had severely injured her. Those hits had completely ignored her Body Hardening Technique, going through the surface and directly hitting her insides.
"People who achieve the level of Vibration are scary. It really is the counter to martial artists like me who are well trained in Body Hardening Technique. I have to be extra careful from now on," Garen warned himself.
He tried to see if he could enhance the level of Explosive Fist Arts again, but was unable to do so. There were some other requirements before he could enhance it. To level it up from elementary level to intermediate, he had had to take the body enhancing pills from the White Cloud Gate.
White Cloud Combat Arts, Garen thought about the fight just now.
"If my body wasn’t strong enough, I wouldn’t have been able to trade with her blow for blow. My combat techniques were too weak, so she could effortlessly block my attacks. If she had been more careful, I couldn’t have hurt her at all.
"If I had better combat techniques, I could use a completely different fighting style. My resilience is better than her’s, my strength is higher, so I could easily kill her," he thought to himself.
"My White Cloud Secret Arts have reached mastery, and because of it my muscles got enhanced, and I could double my defensive stats. I could fight blow for blow with second senior brother. My Explosive Fist Art is at intermediate level, only a few in the Gate being able reach this level. I also have exceptional physique and vitality. With these conditions, I still almost lost to her. If I had had the combat skills of senior sister, it wouldn’t have been like this."
Garen’s eyes gleamed. "The problem is that I have too little combat experience. I could only take the attacks from the enemy and fight back after. If she was another cautious fighter…"
He pictured a fight in his mind.
The purple eyed woman swiftly circled around him, occasionally dashing forward to promptly slice at his arms and legs. The poisonous blade paralyzing his body in a breeze.
"It seems that I have great strength but could not put it to use." He held in the temptation to enhance Vitality attribute and put his eyes on the White Cloud Combat Arts.
The White Cloud Combat Arts jumped from Elementary to Intermediate level.
Garen’s body shivered. His limbs instantly felt more flexible and alive. It became easier to move them in all directions.
"The White Cloud Combat Arts at an Intermediate level enables the effortless use of Four Big Forms during combat. Changing forms during combat feels natural and instinctive. I wonder what the Advanced level would be like." Garen moved his body and limbs, feeling like he had complete control over the area within the radius of one meter around him.
He raised his hand and did a karate chop in front of himself.
He instinctively used the Shot Form. The air snapped and made a crackling sound like a firecracker.
"I could only use Shot Form with my right elbow before, but now I can freely use all Four Big Forms with any part of my body. This intermediate level is indeed stronger." Garen grinned with satisfaction.
After trying out the speed of his Four Big Forms, he was sure he could now beat two of himself from before.
"Now if I meet someone who is faster, I’ll be able handle them with my strength."
He nodded with satisfaction and quickly stepped into the darkness, on the road back to Huaishan City.
It was past 2:00 am when Garen arrived at Huaishan City. He went back straight to the dojo. He asked one of the students to inform his family and stayed at the dojo for the night. The next morning, he woke up early to put on the makeup and headed right back to Canoe Town.
"Kelly! You’re here early."
The sky at dawn was not yet bright, but grey and gloomy.
At the open-air restaurant, Garen sat at a round table with his silver suit. There was a smile in his red eyes. Grace stood next to him, dressed like a secretary, and holding a black notebook in her hands.
The two silently watched as Dale Quicksilver strolled over with a yawn.
Garen lifted a cup of coffee from the table and took a sip.
Dale fell into the chair in front of Garen. "What happened to your face? Why is it banded in gauze?" He drank a big gulp of coffee and asked. "Didn’t you say you were going back?"
"I accidentally chafed it, no big deal. What about yesterday? Was there any results?" Garen asked.
"We’ll go again today. The White Eagle has already informed Huaishan’s Police Department. I’m guessing someone should be there by noon. This is a big case with lots of casualties, so it’ll be troublesome. If I had to guess, the Golden Ring must have thought we killed their men, so we might run into some trouble at the Silversilk castle today."
Dale Quicksilver frowned with worry.
Garen’s eyebrow flinched as he thought about last night. He was a little surprised about detective Dale’s predictions. His guess on the Golden Ring’s reaction was spot on.
"What? Are they going to find trouble with the police?"
Dale chuckled. "You probably don’t know, Kelly, but this has happened more than once." He took out the smoking pipe that he forgot to bring yesterday, lit it up with a match, and sucked on it with great pleasure.
"Should I get some help?" Grace suddenly suggested.