Chapter 42: Let Me Protect You (X)
“Speak! Where is the money?” The driving bald man had already shaken off the police’s pursuit and asked Shang Ke who was sitting in the passenger seat.
“When are you releasing my foster parents?” Shang Ke asked in return.
“If we can’t get the money, I won’t let them go.” This was his bottom line.
Shang Ke fell silent for a moment before naming a location, “Green Wheat Farm.”
He didn’t make the place up, as it really had been a stronghold of Tabimu before. It was just relatively hidden and ordinary members did not know of it. However, the bald man had clearly heard of it before and his eyes began to shine.
On the other side, Rowan was monitoring them and immediately arranged for the police to go prepare at Green Wheat Farm.
Green Wheat Farm was around a thousand kilometers away from the criminal’s current location. Even if they drove without resting, they wouldn’t arrive until the next day. The criminals clearly did not have much energy, and stopped at a motel at eleven to rest.
“If you don’t want to involve the people in this hotel, then you better stay put,” the bald man pushed the three into a small room and left behind a warning before leaving with another guard.
“Bruno, what is going on?” The Ferrg couple did not wish to blame him despite the fright they had experienced, and they gazed at Shang Ke with an expression full of curiosity and worry.
“Don’t worry,” Shang Ke comforted them, “I won’t let anything happen to you two.”
Overseas, Feng Juan had just finished a family banquet and returned to his room. The first thing he did was open his computer, planning to contact Shang Ke. He suddenly thought that it should be very late over there and hesitated, before finally caving into his desire. He decided to cruelly wake him up before video calling him.
He called, but it rang for a long time with no one picking up. Feng Juan was unwilling to give up and continued to call while he browsed the UK internet.
Suddenly, his actions stopped as he stared rigidly at the news page’s top story—Mr. Bruin’s office building was met with a terrorist attack. Three people were taken hostage and were currently unaccounted for…
Three people… the first people Feng Juan thought of were Shang Ke and the Ferrg couple.
His fingers trembled and he almost dropped his phone. After a moment of shock, he quickly found Rowan’s number and called him.
“What happened? Are Shang Ke and my foster parents in trouble?” The moment the call connected, Feng Juan yelled into the phone.
Silence flowed from the other side for a few seconds before a reply finally came, “Yes, they were taken hostage by a group of criminals.”
“Why would the criminals catch them when they haven’t done anything?”
“Do you know Tabimu?”
“I know them, they were the ones that kidnapped Shang Ke and I back then.”
“Yes,” Rowan spoke heavily, “After you guys were saved, Tabimu did not plan to let you guys off. In order to protect you both, Bruno has been secretly dealing with them with the police.” He paused, then added, “Since ten years ago.”
Ten years ago? Shang Ke was only seven back then! Feng Juan’s mind went blank. So in the time when he still knew nothing, Shang Ke was already protecting him? In these ten years, the reason why anything he did went so smoothly was because Keke was paving the way for him in secret.
Rowan did not realize Feng Juan’s emotions and continued, “Tabimu’s power has collapsed for the most part. This is their last-ditch effort to retaliate, and their targets are you, Bruno, and your foster parents. Fortunately, you were abroad when it happened. Otherwise you would also have become their hostage.”
Thunder flashed through his mind. Abroad? Don’t tell him that his trip abroad was also set up in advance by Keke? He had known ahead of time that they might be in danger?
No, Keke, how could you do this? We are brothers, family, and we should face any danger together. If his safety was obtained in exchange for their lives, how could he peacefully life on?
Feng Juan only now understood just how much Keke cared for him.
“What is the current situation?” Feng Juan composed himself as a storm raged in his eyes.
“Bruno helped us monitor their cell phones. They are preparing to leave for Green Wheat Farm. We will place the farm under surveillance before they arrive.”
“I understand.” Feng Juan hung up and dug out his papers before rushing to the airport with his cell phone and laptop.
The next day, the bald man and the others continued on their way with Shang Ke and the Ferrg couple.
Their entire trip was unimpeded, and the closer they got to Green Wheat Farm, the less traffic there was.
Ten hours later, the group finally arrived at the destination. Before their eyes was a dense land of corn, and the horizon stretched as far as they could see. The farm was very old-fashioned with a harvest machine parked on the land while a couple piles of hay were piled up in the corner. Two middle-aged farmers were currently busy in the courtyard.
“Where’s the money hidden?” The bald man watched the surroundings vigilantly, his gaze stopping on the two farmers for a second.
Shang Ke turned his head to look at the warehouse not too far from them and replied, “I only know that a portion is buried somewhere in the warehouse. You guys have to find the exact position yourself.”
The bald man indicated for his subordinates to go take a look before glaring at Shang Ke fiercely and ordering, “Don’t you dare try to play tricks, or else I will kill them where they stand.”
He pointed the gun’s muzzle at the Ferrg couple.
They waited outside for a long time and the people that went into the warehouse never came back out.
The bald man sensed that something was finally wrong and was just about to question him when fully armed police rushed out from the corn crops and surrounded them tightly.
The bald man and the others quickly grabbed the Ferrg couple and threatened, “Don’t come any closer, or I’ll shoot them.”
The criminals wore a nervous expression, but no one dared to grab Shang Ke as hostage, causing him to stand there all alone.
“How did you guys find us?” The bald man asked then as if he realized something, he turned to Shang Ke. “It was you! You have a tracking device on you!”
“No, I don’t have any tracking device on me.” Shang Ke said indifferently. “The tracking device was on you guys.”
The bald man froze, then immediately reacted and took out his cell phone. With a bellow, he slammed the cell phone onto the floor.
“I actually forgot you were a hacker! Haha, good good, I really grew complacent. Then everyone can die together here!” The bald man aimed at the Ferrg couple and pulled the triggers.
Shang Ke’s eyes and hands were quick and held his wrist and turned it. With a “bang”, the gun shot empty.
At the same time, the surrounding police started to attack and the criminals tried to find places to hide.
Shang Ke pulled aside the Ferrg couple and stood in front of them.
The bald man raised his gun and aimed at the bomb on Shang Ke’s body, crazily laughing, “Now, let me test the power of the bomb on you.”
He pulled the trigger without hesitation.
“No!” A terrified voice came from not too far away.
Shang Ke subconsciously looked back to see Feng Juan get off a car and looking at him full of fear.
With the ‘bang’ of a gunshot, Shang Ke felt pain in his abdomen and he staggered back.
However, the bomb on his body did not explode.
The bald man stared at the unexpected situation, saying with disbelief. “So the bomb was fake?” He did not think Shang Ke’s courage was so great, he actually didn’t have any bargaining chip yet still mixed in with them without a change in his face.
“So, the money was fake too.” The bald man’s face was very dark.
Shang Ke held his abdomen, smiling faintly, and nodded.
At this moment, the bald man was hit by a stray bullet and half knelt on the ground. With him down, the police quickly encircle the place.
Feng Juan was finally somewhat relieved and followed behind the police over.
Right at this moment, the bald man’s shoulders trembled and a burst of strange laughter bubbled from his throat.
He raised his head and stared unwaveringly at Shang Ke, he slowly spoke. “It doesn’t matter, even if your bomb is fake, mine isn’t.”
He took out a bomb from his bosom, “Even if I die, I will at least drag you guys down with me.”
He suddenly pulled the secure pin after he spoke.
Right now, the police and Feng Juan who were starting to surround them were not even ten meters close while Shang Ke and the Ferrg couple’s distance from the bald man was barely four meters.
The area of effect a bomb usually had was a radius of seven to ten meters, but the pieces that shot out could reach a range of over a dozen meters. If the bomb exploded, Shang Ke and the Ferrg couple’s survival possibility did not exceed ten percent.
The bald man pulled the secure pin and Shang Ke instinctually threw himself at him.
“Don’t!” Feng Juan’s voice carried endless fear.
Shang Ke raised his head and looked at Feng Juan who was rushing over. His eyes were as gentle as usual and his messy hair rustled in the wind. A yearning smile appeared on his face…
Boom! The bomb exploded and flesh mixed with the pieces like a gaudy firework, cruelly burst before everyone’s eyes.
Feng Juan was tackled down by a policeman. His forehead was cut open by a rock and the blood slid down slowly to the corner of his eye. Shang Ke’s last smile was frozen in his mind, then shattered like glass, falling to pieces…
【This world’s main mission has been failed. The penalty mission shall start. Mission difficulty will be 2x and Host shall be sent to the next world in sixty seconds.】 The System’s voice suddenly echoed in Shang Ke’s mind.
What? He would be directly sent to the next world? At least let him bid Juan Juan goodbye, bid the Ferrg couple goodbye, bid this world goodbye!
【This is the first time Host has failed the mission. The System will reward one curse halo.】
There was a reward for failure? What curse halo? Just hearing the name, you would know it was nothing good!
【Curse Halo: Curse attacks indiscriminately, the curse activation condition is pragmatic, the curse time is pragmatic, the curse target is pragmatic, the curse type is pragmatic.】
Shang Ke: “……”
【Please treat the curse halo well, it will give Host’s journey endless thrilling excitements to enjoy.】
He did not need any kind of thrilling excitement at all!
【May Host please prepare to enter the next world. The countdown will begin: 9, 8, 7…】
Shang Ke had wanted to struggle a bit more, but the System didn’t give him time to struggle. When it countdown to one, he was sent to the next world.
He finally found out what was the consequence for mission failure. There were no rewards, no time to reorganize yourself, the mission difficulty was increased and there’s an additional strangely attributed halo.
Shang Ke didn’t have time to even adjust his mood. Moments ago he had exploded into pieces, while the next moment he was in a bottomless abyss.
A bottomless abyss? Shang Ke stiffened with fright. Below his body, clouds and mist lingered and the bottom could not be seen. Right now, he was all alone, growing on a tree from the cliff.
That’s right, he was “growing”.
He was now a damn motherf*cking mushroom!
His entire body was spotlessly white, sparkling and pure. An umbrella cap grew from his head and gently swayed in the wind.
At this moment, dark clouds covered the sky above and thunder rang. An invisible wave of power pressured him, like something awful was about to happen.
Shang Ke, wearing a mushroom face, was thoroughly dumbfounded.