Chapter 469 - The Ashen-robed Man
From her father's own lips, the pressure to keep quiet about Tang Wulin had been issued by the higher-ups. What Mo Lan did not know, however, was that Shrek Academy had a huge hand in the secrecy surrounding all things Tang Wulin. And that they had done so for the sake of his safety. It was best if such a young person was cast out of the spotlight, away from the evil soul masters' dangerous gazes.
"Big Sis Mo Lan, don't cry! See, I'm fine!" Tang Wulin put on his brightest smile. "How have you been? Have you fully recovered?" He grabbed some nearby tissues and offered them to her.
Mo Lan accepted the tissues and dabbed at the corners of her eyes. "I'm doing good, thanks. Jeez. You should have listened to me when I told you to leave that day. But still. Thank you. You saved my life."
"Big Sis, you're exaggerating. Any soul master would have done the same. By the way, has that evil soul master been captured yet? I heard from my teacher that he was able to escape."
Mo Lan shook her head. "Vile bastards like him are crafty. There's no trail to follow. But the Federation has still dispatched a task force to hunt him down and crack down on other criminals. They'll catch him sooner or later." Her eyes lit up. "Oh right! It's a good thing we ran into each other today. Here, take this," she said as she retrieved a card from her pocket. She handed it to him.
"It's a train pass that works throughout the entire Federation. The pass I promised you last time was an ordinary civilian one, but since you're a hero who saved so many people, I got permission to issue you a pass with the highest privileges. Whenever you ride a train in the future, just show them this card and they'll let you in for free and give you a private room fit for four. You can bring people along with you too."
"Huh? This card is awesome!" Tang Wulin exclaimed.
Mo Lan smiled. "A hero's treatment befits a hero. You deserve it. Now keep the pass safe. If you lose it, give me a call and I'll have another one issued for you. Right, what's your number?"
A few taps later, she had Tang Wulin's number saved as a contact.
"Alright then, I'll take you to your private room. You can experience it for yourself."
Wiping away the last of her tears, Mo Lan bounced at every step and pulled him along to a carriage located at the center of the train.
All trains had an area for VIPs. No one but honored guests could enter and there was no way to buy a ticket in. Only those such as high-ranking politicians, powerful soul masters, or eminent military personnel qualified. There was no doubt that anyone found in this VIP area had made great contributions to the Federation and weren't just throwing their money around.
Since she was the train conductor, Mo Lan knew which of the rooms were occupied and which ones weren't. She brought Tang Wulin to one tucked in the center.
It was hardly spacious. It was built within a train after all. A dozen or so square meters in area, the room boasted a small sofa, a desk, and two bunk beds. It was just large enough to comfortably accommodate four people. Of course, the room was luxurious compared to ordinary seats.
"Wulin, just rest here for now. The train will be departing soon so I have some things I need to attend to first. I'll come visit you once I'm done," said Mo Lan, smiling warmly.
"Okay. See you in a bit, Big Sis!"
At the click of the door's lock, Tang Wulin fell back against the mattress, eagle sprawled. He rolled over once, pressing his face into the sheets. He breathed in. The scent of fresh laundry felt calming, and with how tranquil the room was, he could meditate in peace here.
But he didn't meditate. Rather, taking a long-deserved rest seemed more attractive. As was expeling his pent up tension and stress through slumber-fueled breaths. So there he lay, enjoying the peace and quiet.
His eyelids grew heavy and his mind fell into a sleepy haze.
When Tang Wulin awoke, he felt refreshed, more energetic than he had felt in weeks. He sighed in pleasure as he stretched his body.
The pit-pat of feet against floor echoed during Tang Wulin's short walk to the desk. He picked up the complimentary water bottle. Drank a few gulps. Taking a seat at the desk, he peered out the window and watched the landscape flitting by. Gone were thoughts of responsibilities and duties. It was only him and the lush scenery now.
Suddenly, the train shuddered, rousing him from his serene state of mind. What's going on?
Tang Wulin shot up to his feet. With the last train incident fresh on his mind, he was instantly on high alert. He pulled open the door to his room and surveyed the area. There was no sight of anyone else.
Just as Tang Wulin ran out to investigate, the train broadcasted a garbled voice, "Mo Lan, come to the ninth carriage right now. If you don't, I will blow up the entire train."
A sense of dread creeped into Tang Wulin's heart the moment he heard the voice. Another attack!
Tang Wulin dashed from his private room in the thirteenth carriage to the ninth.
Do terrorists just love attacking the train from Shrek to Heaven Dou?
The entire train was already the picture of chaos. With the previous terrorist attack only happening a couple weeks prior, the passengers were all trembling with fear, panic in their hearts. They fled from the ninth carriage, trying to get as far away as possible.
It was hard for Tang Wulin to push against the flow. Without his astounding physical strength, he would have been shoved away by the tide of frantic passengers..
He heard a scream as soon as he reached the ninth carriage, and he immediately identified it as Mo Lan's. Shit!
Throwing caution to the wind, Tang Wulin broke down the door to the carriage and charged in.
He was greeted with a gruesome sight. The entire carriage. Crimson. The metallic scent of blood thick in the air. Dozens of mutilated corpses littered the ground, still warm from their recent deaths. All of it assaulted his senses, a wave of nausea crashing into him.
Most of the dead were staff, and they were better armed than in the last incident. But clearly, it still wasn't enough.
A short, ashen-robed man stood in the center of the carriage, blood pooling at his feet. A bone spike sprouted out of his right index finger. It pierced through Mo Lan's shoulder. He held her up in the air with arms that were strangely thick compared to the rest of his body.
"Tell me, who is the kid who saved you last time? How can I find him? Tell me, and I'll grant you a swift death," the man said, his voice torture to the ears and mind.
Mo Lan trembled in fear, but she gritted her teeth and remained silent.
"Refusing to talk? I'll give you a taste of my Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement then." An eerie smile spread across the man's face as he brought his other claw-like hand out. A dark green flame appeared in his palm and he moved it toward Mo Lan's forehead.
"Stop! I'm right here!" Tang Wulin charged at the man, his eyes flashing purple as he used his Purple Demon Eyes' spiritual attack.
The moment their gazes met, Tang Wulin froze. Those haunting green eyes. He gasped and clutched his head, the pain searing his mind and reflecting his attempt to shock the man's mind. Against him, Tang Wulin was nothing, an ant before an elephant. His eyes regained their obsidian hue and he collapsed to the ground, still clutching his head, still screaming.
"Hehe. That was easy. Very good, very good. You've saved me a lot of time." The man grinned, lips peeling back to reveal sharp teeth. "Don't worry, I won't let the two of you die as easily as the others. You'll both experience my Phosphor Fire Soul Refinement." He turned back to Mo Lan, the last of the green flame slipping within her.