There were no more sources of potential, as well as no leads to the old man’s death. It all made Garen impatient.
Adding to it the inheritance of his uncle’s business and the trouble caused by the teens from Lambrath’s mom’s side of the family, Garen was becoming even more frustrated.
He watched Fei Baiyun stroll out of the practice hall. He glanced at the attributes below his vision.
Strength 2.43. Agility 1.21. Vitality 1.88. Intelligence 1.51. Potential 498%. White Cloud Secret Arts: Mastery (Level four). Explosive Fist Arts: Intermediate. White Cloud Combat Arts: Intermediate.
"All four attributes have increased by 0.01. This is too slow." He let out a breath. "The daily exercises and routines are no longer useful for me. Adding attribute points is probably more helpful."
He gazed at strength for three seconds, and it gradually changed. It increased from 2.43 to 2.63.
"I can add it again?" Overjoyed by the finding, Garen suddenly realized something was different. "Why did only increase by 0.2?" He carefully examined the other attributes. Only strength had increased by 0.2 while the others hadn’t changed.
"What’s happening?" He took a deep breath. "I may have mistaken the original stats…"
He didn’t think too much about it and let his vision fall on Explosive Fist Arts. This was the move he was most dependent on. When he fought with Number Ten and later the psychokinetics, it was because of the absolute vibration and defense from this move that he had won.
The Explosive Fist Arts not only increased defense but also the effectiveness of attacks.
But after he gazed at it for a while, a few red symbols appeared gradually below the attributes bar as if explaining something. Garen glanced at it, and his facial expression suddenly changed.
‘After the special ability collected information regarding the arts, one attribute point could be used to increase the level of beginner level skills. Two could increase intermediate skills, while advanced skills required five attribute points. The advance criteria had to be met before the skill could be leveled up. The unavailability of leveling could be a result of lacking information.
Absorbing the same type of attribute over a period would develop resistance within the body. The effect on body condition would decrease.’
The rows of the symbols were easy to understand for Garen.
"No wonder attribute points would have less of an impact on the body’s condition. I felt something was odd. It was okay in the beginning, but as soon as the ratio changed... The actual attributes decreased, just that I didn’t notice. After the prolonged period, the decrease became significant enough. But it was only after it became as large as 0.1 that I noticed it."
His vision focused on the Explosive Fist Arts. A symbol gradually appeared behind this skill, which was the missing criteria to level up this skill.
‘Five attribute points.’
Garen frowned. The last time the Explosive Fist Arts leveled up was because of the body quenching pill along with the attribute points. To increase the skill forcefully, it would require five points!
He only had three points remaining.
"If I knew this, I wouldn’t have added strength." He smashed the wall in regret. "Only missing two points. I need to find a way! But I have to attend the conference in two days."
The practicality of the Explosive Fist Arts was remarkable. Garen spent over half of his effort on this skill. If he improved this fist art to a mastery comparable to his master’s, his power would change significantly. If added with the fact that Garen’s strength had already reached its limit, he couldn’t imagine how powerful it would be if he achieved advanced mastery of the skill.
Garen carried his clothes when he left the White Cloud Gate. He stood outside in front of the rows of cars.
From a black car, Grace peeked her head out.
"Dale Quicksilver has new information."
Garen opened the car door and sat down beside Cynthia. He glanced at Cynthia who was chewing on something. "What are you eating? It smells awful."
Cynthia smirked as she spat something black out of the car window.
Garen focused on Grace again. "What’s the new information?"
Grace looked at him through the reflective mirror as she said cautiously, "After what happened at the Silversilk Castle, Dale Quicksilver and his companions left the province to Evenia Province’s Blue Gulf City. The case is closed for now. A few of the Golden Loop’s middle managers were arrested. They also received a request for help from the police department."
"Do you know what exactly it is?"
"I think it is because of Huaishan City. The explosion case that night along with the murder at the Dolphin Antique Store. Pennington Street is where the high-end communities are located, which makes this a bit trickier. An incident on this scale not only shocked the governor’s office, it even angered the officers on the national level. So Dale Quicksilver and other famous detectives received an invitation to investigate this case."
Garen frowned slightly. "There are plenty of cases at Huaishan city, and murders are not that uncommon. Why did this one case trigger such a drastic response? There are many cases of homeless men that died in the alleys, but those don’t seem to bother them at all."
Cynthia, who sat beside him, began to giggle. "You don’t understand. The primary reason is that of the Silversilk Castle. The Golden Loops are too ruthless and cocky as they had the audacity to confront the police department. They even killed multiple police officers which caused a sequence of reactions. An investigation team was created to deal specifically with this case. The antique store murder had also happened during this sensitive period which stomped on the dignity of the provincial police department. It is no wonder then that they are furious over this. They’re certainly playing with fire. However, the newspapers and magazines are more than happy."
"In this case… the place Dale Quicksilver went to is related to the antique store murder?" Gloom cast on Garen’s face immediately.
"Yes. Based on the information from the police department in the other province, a similar murder had happened in a small town nearby. There an aged lady who also owned an antique store had went missing. It is rumored that she was connected with the old man from the Dolphin Antique Store. They were communicating through mail," Grace explained.
"Exchanging letters?" Garen’s expression tensed. "Grace, I need to attend a martial arts conference in two days with my master. I need you to keep an eye on information from Dale Quicksilver."
"What about me?" With an uninterested expression, Cynthia leaned over. "Bring me with you, I can warm the bed for you." She pouted with her pink lips and smiled gracefully.
"I’m going to my master. You’re in charge of protecting my family, is that okay?" Garen pushed her away as he had no energy left to waste time on these things.
"Wu… This is too heartless. This is the first time I am so proactive." Cynthia pretended to rub her eyes as if her feelings were hurt.
"Okay, that’s enough." Garen was speechless. "Dale Quicksilver’s ability to trace things is impeccable. Maybe he will find something I need. You have to keep a close eye on him."
Two days later.
With a deafening screech of a train horn, a dark red wooden train emitting black smoke gradually came to a halt at a terminal at Huaishang City.
Around ten people were scattered across the rectangular platform beside the train track. There were males and females, both young and old people. The majority of them carried a suitcase and covered themselves from head to toe with their jackets and trenchcoats.
When the train stopped, the conductor forcefully pushed open the door.
"Time to get on the train!" The white-bearded train conductor yelled. "Passengers at the ninth compartment get on the train. This is the train headed to Hela, don’t get on the wrong train!"
The passengers waiting for the train began to board in a line.
Among them, there was a young and an old man that carried a red leather suitcase. They both wore black wool coats along with black cap. They were Fei Baiyun and Garen of the White Cloud Gate.
They blended in among the passengers.
Garen followed behind his master. He passed the white ticket to the conductor before grabbing the red leather suitcase and stepping on to the train.
At the point of entrance, the left side was a sealed train compartment, while the right was the exit.
"Why are you standing there? Our seats are inside, hurry up and don’t block anyone." Fei Baiyun turned his head.
"Oh." Garen was distracted by the fact that it was his first time seeing such an ancient train, which slowed his actions. He hastened his steps to follow his master.
The compartment was a dark red color. The grains of wood were exposed inside the compartment. The entire train was made of this particular timber.
Four seats were divided into two rows, just like the individual rectangles that were scattered along the two sides of the train. The middle was a walkway.
The compartment was hardly filled with people. The master and student passed five rows of seats before finally stopping at the left side in the middle of the compartment.
There were already two people that sat there. A male and a female in their teens, and they were falling asleep. The two of them had certainly put some thought into how they dressed as both wore matching white shirts and pants. Judging by their facial features, they were brother and sister. Their hair was also idnetical silver white.
"Do you want to sit on the outside or inside?" Fei Baiyun glanced at the two people and pointed toward the seats.
"I’ll sit on the inside," Garen said without hesitation and took the seat.
Fei Baiyun smiled and didn’t say anything as he slowly sat down.
The two teens across them heard their voices and slightly opened their eyes. They kept their silence and then fell asleep in the same position.
Sitting, Garen carefully examined the two people across from him. He noticed that the girl’s hands were covered with calluses and had short fingernails. They looked rough and coarse.
"Teacher, how long is this train ride going to take?"
"Not long, about three days." Fei Baiyun took off his hat and tried to pat away the dust.
"Three days…" Garen let out a light breath. He stored the suitcases one by one underneath the chair before leaning against the window without saying a word.