Chapter 82: Covenantor (V)
“This is the racer you found?” Surprise flashed in Ya Li’s eyes. He smiled and asked, “What’s his name?”
“Shang Ze.” Yi Yun signaled for Shang Ke to come over and warned Ya Li, “He’s my Imperial Uncle’s man. Don’t try anything.” In fact, what Lu Xiufan said to Shang Ke on the phone also held meaning for him. He understood that ‘call me if you run into trouble’ to Shang Ze meant to him that he must deal with potential problems before they can reach that point.
Ya Li raised a graceful brow and smiled regretfully. “Oh, what a pity.”
The more Yue Xuan heard of the conversation between them, the more ugly his face grew. His eyes that stared at Shang Ke filled with growing disbelief and distaste.
“Yue Xuan, is something the matter?” Ya Li noticed Yue Xuan’s strange facial expressions, and asked offhandedly.
“No, nothing.” Yue Xuan secretly reminded himself not to screw himself over with this opportunity. Yue Ze as a covenantor has no feelings for anything. There was no way he would take the initiative and acknowledge him. Everything would be fine as long as he acted as if Yue Ze does not exist.
However, how could someone bearing a guilty conscience ignore its origin? The fault Yue Ze ever turning into a covenantor belongs entirely to him and his mother. He had thought that, by putting him in the distribution center, he would get rid of him forever. After all, covenantors as beautiful as Yue Ze were very popular at the distribution center. Many influential officials liked to find bed partners or play things there. Because covenantors had short life spans, once they were employed, they were employed for life. Furthermore, if they were violated or tormented, they would not complain. Their bodies felt pain as normal people do, but they could not use emotions to vent their anger. They just regarded the abuse as part of their work.
“Well then, have them all come over. Let’s start the race in half an hour.” Yi Yun clapped his hand, impatience blatant across his face.
With the Prince sponsoring the car race, naturally many people responded. After brief discussion, twelve participants were finally determined. The engineerers started to get busy and serviced all the cars that would be participating in the race.
It was during this intermission that Yue Xuan walked to his racer and whispered a few words in his ear.
The racer’s face shifted slightly and he glanced at Shang Ke.
While testing the Purple Shadow for mechanical faults that could hinder performance, Shang Ke also kept a close eye on the movements of Yue Xuan. Seeing him whispering with the race car driver, he couldn’t help raising his guard. He wondered to himself if this guy wasn’t going to try something underhanded during the race. Yue Xuan represents His Royal Highness. Once he was found out, his actions would not only affect him, but the entirety of the Yue Family.
Shang Ke’s eyes flashed. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing on his end, so let’s see what he’ll do.
With a jarring burst of dynamic music, a three-dimensional virtual track appeared over the stadium. The track was like maze-like, crisscrossing and glittering with the dazzling light of a rainbow.
Shang Ke donned a safety helmet, the track clearly visible through the black goggles. He kept track of the route firmly in mind, including the location and angle of each sharp turn, the distance and elevation of each slope, and so on. There was also a phantom tunnel on the track that had no fixed position and would appear, seemingly randomly, at any given time. Red tunnels would shorten the track, while yellow tunnels would extend it. Under the same speed restrictions, whoever caught the red phantom tunnel the most would be the one who wins. This tested the racer’s spontaneous decision-making skills at extreme speeds.
【Shang Ze, if you help me win first place, you may ask for whatever you want and you shall receive it.】When there was only a minute before the race, the message from Yi Yun appeared on the screen inside the car.
Shang Ke replied: “Understood.”
At the end of the countdown, twelve hover cars shot past the line at once, leaving only a beautiful afterimage.
Shang Ke’s car was three lanes away from Yue Xuan’s and yet, from the start of the race, the car had been in hot pursuit. Shang Ke did not rush to speed up, despite the obvious tailgating. It would take at least fifteen minutes to complete a lap at full speed with the complex terrain and the length of the track. However, the true key to success lay in the phantom tunnels.
The two cars, one in front of the other, did not yield an inch to each other. The first sharp turn was coming up and Shang Ke was ready to drift, only for Yue Xuan’s car to draw up into a sensitive spot. If the angle at which he tried to drift and his control over speed wasn’t precise, both cars would crash. If they were lucky, they would just scrape by each other, and it would not affect the race. If they weren’t lucky, both of them will be out of the competition.
Shange Ke decelerated at once, and the car sank, letting the cars behind catch up with him, before he drifted through the cracks of other vehicles. Yue Xuan’s driver didn’t expect the sudden deceleration and couldn’t react in time. He was almost knocked out by other vehicles. By the time he adjusted to it, Shang Ke had already outpaced him by the distance of two cars, but the rankings of the two had fallen from fifth and sixth to ninth and tenth respectively.
“Haha, Your Royal Highness, the skill of your driver seems only so-so.” Ya Li mocked.
Yi Yun remained calm and silent.
Not far from his position was a scribble of a road, like the track was designed by an infant throwing crayons. Yue Xuan’s driver did not bother blocking Shang Ke’s way this time, rather, he intentionally bumped into the end of Shang Ke’s car in an attempt to make him lose control.
“Eh?” Ya Li frowned slightly, watching the scene thoughtfully.
Shang Ke was certain now; Yue Xuan really wanted to cause an accident in the competition. He was really running out of patience. To try something like this during a competition sponsored by the Prince, did he really think he would get out of trouble seamlessly?
Fine then. He’ll show him what it means to overreach oneself.
Shang Ke had been able to learn the racing techniques of different worlds in Hundred Training Space. There was a super skill called ‘apparition phantom’ which utilized the control over speed and angle to trigger in people a kind of visual confusion. Using reflections off the track and air, cloud cover and other factors, afterimages of a vehicle could be formed one after another as ‘phantoms’. This illusion only affects the driver behind, and it was difficult to detect from the outside.
The driver aimed to strike Shang Ke’s car smoothly, but the vehicle suddenly started to move erratically and it became hard to accurately grasp his position. Every time he thought he hit him, he would find he had only hit thin air.
He did not know that what he thought he was doing secretly was plain as day to the audience. The audience couldn’t see the mirage effect and thus they only knew that the driver had been chasing Shang Ke and trying to crash him, but was always skillfully avoided. Sometimes the driver did not actually hit Shang Ke, but the dislocation of the two cars made the audience feel that he was making contact.
At that moment, the eyes of the audience has converged. One after another, they looked towards Yi Yun and Yue Xuan expectantly.
Yi Yun’s face was expressionless, but Yue Xuan was humiliated and angry. He cursed in his heart at the driver for being mentally retarded. He wanted him to cause an accident, not openly chase after Shang Ke’s car to deliberately crash into him.
Unaware of this, the driver remained diligently carrying out the ‘secret’ order to sabotage the race.
Shang Ke felt it was about time and didn’t bother with the other driver anymore. With a quick turn, he passed through a red phantom tunnel that had suddenly appeared and threw off Yue Xuan’s car in moments.
He had roughly calculated that the red phantom channel appeared every 20 seconds and the Yellow phantom channel every 10. Even if you accidentally drove into a yellow phantom tunnel, you would have to follow this rhythm to win. If his calculations were correct, if he caught seven red phantoms, at the very most he would get caught in a yellow one by accident once.
As long as he didn’t mess up his rhythm, Shang Ke could almost predict the appearance of the red phantom.
As a result, the off-site audience saw the Purple Shadow that Shang Ke was driving almost disappear through the red phantom channels at breakneck speed to catch up with the vehicle in front. He was originally in the second to last position, with no hope of winning in the eyes of outsiders. No one suspected that, in a dramatic turn around of five minutes, his ranking would go from second last to top three.
Yi Yun, who had shown no expression the entire time, finally couldn’t contain his excitement and he shouted, “Great!”
The crowd was also cheering loudly and with fervor.
At this point, only 1000 meters away from the finish line, the driver in the first place thought that people were cheering for him. He grew very excited as he neared the finish line. There weren’t any other cars too close behind him, so both of his hands left the steering wheel, as he went into a pose to celebrate his victory.
And then a red phantom flashed behind him, shooting purple lightning with the advantage of three meters, first across the finish line.
Yi Yun threw a punch in the air and cried out excitedly.
Shang Ke got off the car and took off his helmet. His hair was slightly ruffled as he raised his head, allowing beads of sweat to trickle from his brow.
He stood casually in front of the purple shadow. With his cool temperament and handsome posture, the cheers of the crowd once again shot up.
A few minutes later, several other racing cars arrived at the end of the race. When the final car arrived, the referee officially declared the end of the race.
“You performed well!” Yi Yun praised.
“Thank you.” Shang Ke still looked unruffled and relaxed, but his eyes shone a brilliant light. Like a firestone in snow, he was dazzling and took the breaths of countless people.
Watching Shang Ke become the star of the event, Yue Xuan grew anxious and slapped his driver’s face in public.
The sound was unusually loud at the noisy racing circuit.
Yi Yun and others looked at him with disgust and disdain in their eyes.
During the race, the driver’s behavior was seen by everyone. Since he dared behave so, someone must have instructed him to. What puzzled everyone the most was; just what was wrong with Yue Xuan’s brain? Why would he go provoke the Prince of all people?
Seeing him slapping the driver in public, is he blaming the driver for his reckless behavior or for his lack of subtlety?
Yue Xuan realized that he had behaved inappropriately and apologized, “My apologies, I have forgotten my manners.”
Yi Yun snorted, his disgust is unhidden, and the expressions of others fell closed.
Yue Xuan’s face paled. The disgust of the prince meant that the other nobles would alienate him, and his future life in the capital would be difficult.
Damn it! It’s all because of that short-lived bastard!
Yue Xuan glared at Shang Ke with hatred, while the latter did not (deign) even look at him. The indifference of the covenantor became a kind of mockery in his eyes.
Yue Xuan’s fists clenched, eyes murderous.
He did not notice that Ya Li was watching him not far away, and when he saw him staring at Shang Ke, he shook his head in secret. The Prince had probably already guessed at his enmity with the driver named “Shang Ze”. But the driver was brought by the Prince, so for him to target his driver so openly, it was no doubt a blatant disrespect towards the Prince.
This is the heir of the Yue family? He’s really rather stupid.
Yue Xuan stepped forward. He wanted to explain to the prince, but he was blocked by Ya Li. “Yue Xuan, let’s write down the bet you lost. I’ll get someone to notify you whenever His Highness decides to ask for it. You’d best go home for today.”
Yue Xuan’s face turned ashen.