Volume 1 – Chapter 11: Conspiracies, Conspiracies Everywhere
“It’s the Wintry Witch!” Xiao Zhan exclaimed in surprise, “Please enter!”
Even Glasses Bro couldn’t help but straighten his body upon seeing her. The little girl of two years ago had actually progressed so much, becoming a popular B-class hero at rank #78. And the most important part is that she’s a great beauty – as for her popularity in H-city, she’s definitely ranked among the top 3.
Miss Winter sat on the executive chair. “Don’t be so reserved, just call me Winter, or even Dong Xue’er is fine.”
“Alright then, it’s an honour!” Xiao Zhan and Glasses Bro chorused together.
“Please excuse my rudeness, I’ll go fetch you a drink.” Xiao Zhan hurriedly said. “Glasses Bro, quickly go and buy snacks! We only have La Tiao here.”
“No problem, I previously left a pair of glasses in the convenience store.” He vanished after saying so, leaving a pair of glasses on the floor.
“An interesting ability.” Dong Xue’er glanced at the glasses lying on the floor. “You guys are really interesting.”
Dong Xue’er glanced meaningfully at little Loli, who was busy sneaking peeks from behind the sofa.
“This is… please don’t misunderstand. We aren’t perverts.” Xiao Zhan hurriedly explained, “Those rumours outside aren’t true.”
“Relax, I don’t particularly care whether you’re perverts or not.” Dong Xue’er pointed to Lin Jie, who was lazing at the side. “I came here because of him.”
“Yes.” Dong Xue’er lifted her hand to stroke Lin Jie’s face. “I need your strength and hope that you’ll be able to help me. There is a big event going on, and your destructive ability is a must for us.”
“Hey hey.” Lin Jie backed away quickly. “I’m not interested. And besides, aren’t there plenty of strong people in the Hero Association? Finding a B-ranked hero like me is meaningless.”
“B-rank? You actually only needed two incidents to set the record, rising up to B-rank. ” Dong Xue’er looked at Lin Jie as she spoke. “You should know that in the entire H-city, only you are capable of such a feat.”
“Still, I don’t plan to help you.” Lin Jie replied while looking at her. “I can see the word ‘troublesome’ written all over your face.”
“W-What are you saying! Since Miss Winter already requested, of course we should go and help.” Xiao Zhan gulped down a cup of coffee before continuing, “This is actually a good opportunity for us to build our reputation as a group ah, to be able to work together with Miss Winter.”
“But,” Lin Jie spoke, “my intuition is telling me that us working together with her will be very troubling.”
“How can you say such things about Miss Winter?” Glasses Bro piped up, appearing in front of them while carrying a bag of snacks. “Whatever problems Miss Winter has, no matter how troublesome it is, we also have to help!”
Looking at the two guys behaving like dogs wagging their tails frantically in front of Dong Xue’er, Lin Jie couldn’t help but internally mourn that, yet again, the world truly placed utmost importance on looks ah. Once the pretty lady opened her mouth, these two guys immediately rushed over to her side.
“I say, what are the both of you making such a fuss for? She isn’t finding either of you for help.” Lin Jie spoke.
“Aren’t we a group?” Xiao Zhan asked.
“That’s right. Your issues are my issues. Us bros have to stick together.” Glasses Bro joined in.
“Darn! Only at this moment do the 3 of us become the best of buddies, is it? Let me tell you, selling your friend out gives you instant satisfaction, but be careful of experiencing a disaster that can annihilate your entire family ah.” Lin Jie shouted unsatisfactorily.
“Ah ah ah, your two teammates are much cuter than you.” Miss Winter glanced at Lin Jie as she spoke. “But that’s alright. Your reply was within my calculations, after all, for someone of your calibre, it’s pretty easy to promote your hero ranking, no? But this time, you cannot refuse to help. After all, we share a common enemy.”
“What?” Lin Jie asked in surprise.
“Precisely because of her.” As she spoke, Miss Winter pointed towards little Loli. “After destroying that trade, you’ve already been caught up in those problems.”
“What?” Xiao Zhan exclaimed. “But isn’t that biochemical company already on the brink of collapse?”
“They are indeed finished, but aren’t any of you curious about who the trading partner of that enormous underground power was that Shen Jing Gui had been investigating for two whole years?” Dong Xue’er refuted.
“So you’re saying that they’re very strong?” Astonished, Glasses Bro asked.
“Put it this way, during the period of time you took handing the buyers over to the Hero Association, they have already diverted the secret trading.” Dong Xue’er sipped her coffee. “But according to recent reports, they were saved by unknown individuals.”
“What!” It was Xiao Zhan’s turn to become astonished.
“Do you know their company’s name?” Dong Xue’er asked.
“Nope.” All three of them shook their heads.
“Truly, only the ignorant have nothing to fear ah.” Dong Xue’er eyed the three of them as she spoke. “They are called Evolution Co..”
“What?!” Xiao Zhan and Glasses Bro exclaimed at the same time.
“Evolution Co.? Is it incredible?” Lin Jie looked at his two companions who were starting to shiver all over.
“It’s not that simple! They’re not just incredible!” Glasses Bro replied agitatedly. “That is a world-class criminal organisation!”
“Not only that, there have already been countless heroes who have died by their hands in the past few years! Even among S-rank heroes, there has already been a mortality due to them. They are the real deal, an S-rank criminal organisation.” Xiao Zhan explained.
“Indeed so, and the little girl that you brought back is actually the key to their latest breakthrough.” Dong Xue’er spoke up. “Even if you don’t help me out, they will still come to your doorstep sooner or later.”
“That’s really troublesome! Alright, speak. What do we need to do?” Lin Jie asked curiously.
“Protect that girl.” Dong Xue’er replied.
“With your strong intelligence network, can you tell me whether those guys from the Evolution Co. or whatever is around? I can just go and chop them.” Lin Jie spoke. “I hate trouble the most.”
“Ah ah, I know that you’re indeed very strong, but it’s still not at the level of being able to directly clash head-on with Evolution Co. Besides, even if we did find the headquarters of the Evolution Co., we would still need to mobilise quite a few S-rank heroes, and maybe even SS-ranked ones.” Dong Xue’er faced Lin Jie as she spoke. “And within H-city, our enemies aren’t only those from the Evolution Co..”
“So you’re saying there is someone else?” Lin Jie asked.
“Indeed.” Dong Xue’er replied. “It’s the Hero Association’s President, Ouyang Rui.”
“What?” All three of them were shocked by her reply.
“So you’re saying that Ouyang Rui and Evolution Co.…” Glasses Bro collected himself to clarify the matter.
Dong Xue’er nodded her head. “I still have another matter which I came here for, which is to warn all of you that H-city’s Hero Association has already been corrupted to the core. They might force you to hand over that little girl soon.”
“What! Even our Loli will be snatched away by them? I will make them regret it.” Lin Jie seethed in anger.
“You’re picking a weird timing to become angry.” Glasses Bro spoke.
“On what basis should we believe your words?” Xiao Zhan suddenly turned serious.
“You’ll know after looking at this.”
Dong Xue’er inserted a U disc into Xiao Zhan’s computer. A whole list of criminal evidence was quickly displayed, including secret dealings that involved large sums of money between special members of H-city to tamper with the hero rankings.
“After looking at all this evidence, do you still believe in the Hero Association?” Dong Xue’er asked.
“Alright, what should we do?” Xiao Zhan asked.
“As I’ve said previously, a large mobilisation has been planned on my side. In three days, I will lead H-city’s justice-seeking heroes to defeat Ouyang Rui. Hence, I need a large amount of force to fight properly.” Xue Dong’er spoke.
“But what is the criminal charge? The money exchange will be repressed, and it can’t be because he engaged in unspoken rules.” Xiao Zhan mulled over.
“I’m starting to appreciate your thoughts.” Dong Xue’er poked his forehead. “You actually have a bit of eyesight. The truth is, in another three days, Ouyang Rui will be meeting with Evolution Co..”
“So you’re saying that you’re going to use this chance to settle this guy and Evolution Co. together at once?” Glasses Bro asked.
“That’s right.” Dong Xue’er spoke. “If it wasn’t for him, Evolution Co. wouldn’t have been able to enter H-city so freely. Lin Jie, we’re going to need your strength when the time comes”
“Okay.” Lin Jie replied.
“Hope we can work well together.”
“Wait a moment, I want to ask something.” Glasses Bro raised a question, “Do you know what her identity is?”
As he spoke, Glasses Bro pointed to little Loli.
“I don’t know much.” Dong Xue’er’s expression dimmed as she answered. “I only know that she was one of the children being raised in the orphanage that the three of you razed, but it seems that there were a few hundred children in that orphanage who lost their lives from failed experiments. She is the one and only successful experimental case.”
“So you already knew beforehand that they were doing human experimentation?” Lin Jie asked. “Which is to say, during the time when they were killing a few hundred people like little Loli?”
Meeting Lin Jie’s gaze, Dong Xue’er could only nod.
“If you already knew long beforehand, then why didn’t you save those children? Are you even a hero?” Lin Jie’s expression turned extremely stern. “Weren’t you investigating into the President and Evolution Co.? Why didn’t you stop these things from happening?”
“At that time, I still hadn’t made a decision.”Dong Xue’er’s expression was slightly shifty, like she wanted to hide. “And if I made a move at the time, all my efforts into collecting sufficient evidence would have turned into smoke, and the issue would have blown up. That’s why…”
“That’s why you treated the lives of those children as non-existent?” Lin Jie asked.
His expression wasn’t good. Even Xiao Zhan and Glasses Bro, who were standing on the side, were secretly pulling at his clothes, trying to hint that he should not be too obstinate about the issue.
“That’s why I want to ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again.” Dong Xue’er lowered her head. “In H-city, among those who aren’t on Ouyang Rui’s side, only you have the ability to demolish his city-defense mechanisms. So please, help me.”
“Alright, I promise you.” Lin Jie spoke. “A person who ignores an issue like this, no matter his position, is only scûm in my eyes.”
At this moment, Lin Jie’s aura became exceptionally strong, practically causing everybody in the house to become unable to breathe. Even Dong Xue’er, who met countless strong people in her life, was affected, trembling instinctually. She could feel that if Lin Jie’s aura was entirely directed at her, she might even become completely unable to fight.