[Banana: Minor cliff alert. Don't jump if you can :v]
"Have you guys gotten any information?" Lou Fan changed the subject from Ah Feng’s description, "When you guys found anyone, just ask for their name first. As for the appearance, it doesn't matter."
Lou Fan's perplexed look made everyone laugh.
Chen Shuyang threw a glance at Nie Feng but Nie Feng only looked lazy, with drooping eyelids as if he is about to fall asleep. So, Chen Shuyang had to say what they found out himself.
"Nie Feng and I heard that the city lord has arrested a lot of people recently, and they have all been imprisoned. Many people are worried."
As usual with great powers, people will do whatever they want. Lou Fan and others also think it is understandable, but there are only so few citizens left in Holy Lake City. Moreover, there is a ghost village next door. What is the city lord trying to do by arresting people?
There is no solution to this problem for the time being so everyone turned to Gao Yi, expecting him to find out some other news.
Being looked at by 4 pairs of eyes, Gao Yi felt a little embarrassed. He had planned to go to the gate of the city to find information as many people are gathering and there are also city guards there. Unexpectedly, everyone acted like they are mute and didn't talk with Gao Yi at all. Hence, he went to the guards at the gate for a chat. He took some universal currency such as gold and silver with him, but he didn't expect that not only he didn’t get any information, he got questioned by the guards a few times. Afraid of being exposed, he could only mumble a few words to fool them. Feeling embarrassed for a moment, Gao Yi then returned to normal, and said, "I didn't find out anything but I have a feeling that the people here seem to be very secretive about their city lord."
Gao Yi only said a few nonsense words, but he didn't expect that he guessed it right. Because of what he said, everyone had doubts about the city lord. They felt that there must be a problem with him, so they paid attention to the city lord.
Qin Tan began to plan, "The topographical layout of the City Lord's mansion is unclear. We can only talk about it after checking it out. Upon entering the mansion, we will act separately to avoid being discovered. If there is an abnormal situation, immediately withdraw. At most at 2 hours, even if nothing is found, we must come out immediately."
Both Nie Feng and Gao Yi listened intently. Gao Yi stopped taking the initiative to take the lead after his team members disappeared, and instead let Qin Tan call the shots. Except for him, everyone here is the intermediate team’s people. Even if he wants to take the lead, it still depends on whether these team members listen to him or not. Now, he feels that Qin Tan is very thoughtful. He has careful plans and is very considerate of the members.
Qin Tan thought about it for a long time, but couldn’t think of anything else to pay attention to, so they just have to take one step at a time when something happens.
Soon, night arrived and the 3 members are ready to explore. Lou Fan stood outside the door and told them to be careful. Suddenly a fluffy head popped out of Lou Fan’s pocket. Furball chirped twice at Qin Tan, it sounds like it is reluctant to part.
Qin Tan laughed. He took Furball out and rubbed it in the palm of his hand. Then he instructed, "Stay with him obediently and help me watch him. I will be back soon."
"Jii jii." - (Don't worry, I’ll watch over him for sure.)
Lou Fan didn't know whether to laugh or cry. They talked as if he is going to make trouble while Qin Tan is away. It makes him feel speechless about these two.
The 3 men disappeared into the night and Lou Fan returned to the room with Furball and Chen Shuyang. Because only the two of them are left in the inn tonight, it is more convenient for them to stay in a room together. At the moment, Chen Shuyang is still drawing amulets. Even though there is already a thick stack of amulets in his bag, Chen Shuyang still would draw a few sheets every day, so he feels at ease. Chen Shuyang gave Qin Tan and Nie Feng each a large stack of amulets before they left, so now he is restocking his inventory.
"Shuyang, go to bed soon, I'll go to bed first." Lou Fan lay on the bed and yawned.
Chen Shuyang nodded, "Go to sleep, Brother Lou. I'll go to sleep in a while."
Originally, Lou Fan planned to have a good night's sleep but unexpectedly, in the middle of the night, he got shaken awake by Chen Shuyang. Chen Shuyang held a finger on his lips and said, "Brother Lou, there’s someone outside."
The 3 figures ran quickly on the street, and after being careful to hide their presence, they quickly approached the City Lord's mansion. The wall of the mansion is not too high. Taking a few steps back, Qin Tan then ran quickly and leaped. He held onto the mansion's wall and glanced inside. There's no one around. With a push from his waist, Qin Tan kicked at the wall and jumped onto the mansion's wall. Immediately after, he jumped into the yard.
A soft whistle sounded briefly, and Nie Feng and Gao Yi also quickly climbed up the wall and jumped down.
In the dark, by the moonlight, Qin Tan nodded to the men, and the 3 quickly dispersed and ran away in different directions.
The City Lord's mansion is not as heavily guarded as they had imagined in advance. It is unexpectedly quiet, not even a single person can be seen. Qin Tan still moved forward vigilantly, not making a sound even if there is no one around. As he is walking toward the very center of the mansion, he suddenly caught a glimpse of a black robe. Immediately, Qin Tan leaned against the wall and waited. Seeing that the other party didn't notice him, he quickly followed behind.
The figure in front is somewhat familiar. The figure is wearing a large black robe with a tightly covered hood, it is the 'village chief' who brought them here. Qin Tan followed closely behind the figure. The ‘village chief’ walked into a room and pressed the wall lamp a few times. Next, a secret door opened silently.
Qin Tan didn't even think about it and immediately rushed to follow when the secret door is about to close. Down the long steps, there are dark prison cells. Qin Tan didn't dare to get too close, so he could only fall behind the ‘village chief’. There are men and women locked in the cells. Adding together, there could be a dozen of them here.
Originally, Qin Tan thought that the ‘village chief’ is going to do something, but he only patrolled inside and left. Qin Tan hid in the shadows and only came out after the 'village chief' had left. He glanced around and saw that all of the prisoners are either leaning or lying in an apathetic state.
"Ah Feng, Ah Feng..." Qin Tan whispered.
A short and stocky woman raised her head and looked around in confusion, "Who, who is calling me?"
Sure enough, Qin Tan is able to meet the Ah Feng that the old woman said. Qin Tan walked over quickly and said to her, "Your granny asked me to rescue you out, you..."
Qin Tan is about to explain a few more words. If the girl didn't believe him, he would tell the old woman's address and details of her home to get the trust, but he didn't expect to be interrupted by the girl as soon as he uttered the first sentence.
"Hurry up, quickly open the door. It's suffocating me here, and I miss my rabbits..."
Qin Tan: … This NPC is acting a little too familiar with him.
All of a sudden, Qin Tan thought of something when he is holding the lock. Stopping what he is doing, he turned and ran to look at the hidden door he came down from. He went to the door and pressed around the spots, and found that it couldn't be opened - he got trapped here.
Qin Tan is not in a hurry. Since the 'village chief' came to inspect the prisoners just now, he will definitely come again. The trouble is, he set a time to meet up with Nie Feng and Gao Yi. If he didn't go back by then, Lou Fan will be anxious. Thinking of Lou Fan, Qin Tan feels that he is more anxious than Lou Fan. He is not there with Lou Fan, he can’t help worrying about what bizarre thing Lou Fan might do.
As Nie Feng is running quickly down the corridor, he suddenly a high-pitched cry that made him turn around and follow the sound. The sliding door has a gap so he pushed it open gently, and probed inside lightly. The room is very dark. There is no light, and the moonlight outside is blocked by the clouds. After getting used to the darkness, Nie Feng could see the outline of an object. Taking a few steps inside, he heard rapid gasps and small whimpers from someone being covered by his mouth.
There is more than one person in this room.
His spirit weapon, the scissors are held in his hand firmly. It will only take 1 movement to block in front of him when needed.
The smell of blood tickled the tip of Nie Feng’s nose. The smell became stronger as he approached nearer which made him frown uncomfortably. But after a moment, he returned to his former expression. The moonlight is half exposed from behind the dark clouds, and gradually there is a little bit of light shining into the house. Nie Feng immediately hid behind the curtains. When the whole moon appeared behind the clouds, he could see the scene not far away.
A nekid man crouched on the ground, his skin festered and pitted with holes. In front of him is a person lying on the ground. The nekid man is currently using a tool to do something to the person and blood slowly seeped out from under the person. Nie Feng doesn’t think the person is still alive at this moment. As the nekid man is doing his thing, he keeps scratching at his own skin. When he scratched, the skin fell off like paint on a wall.
Nie Feng quietly exited the room. At the last moment when the door is closed, the squatting man suddenly turned to look over in the direction.
2 hours later, Nie Feng and Gao Yi meet up and waited for a while, but they still don’t see Qin Tan.
"Team leader Qin won't be in trouble, right? Why hasn't he come yet?" Gao Yi is a little anxious and kept looking around.
Nie Feng stayed silent for a while and said, "I'll go in and have a look."
Gao Yi grabbed Nie Feng, "I'll go in too. But if we can't find him, don't force it. We’ll go back and discuss it with Lou Fan."
Nie Feng nodded and immediately ran into the mansion without a word.
Gao Yi sighed. In this intermediate team, everyone looked normal from the outside, but they all turned out to be reckless. All just ran away without a word, they are the kind who speaks with their actions. With a sigh, Gao Yi quickly entered the city lord's mansion again. He didn't find anything when he first entered the mansion. So this time round, thinking of going to look for Qin Tan, Gao Yi went to a more remote place, but he didn't expect to find something useful.
In a silent space, even the slightest voice can be loud.
In a dimly lit room with only 1 candle illuminating the area, a man in a black robe is sitting in front of a masked man.
"You are too impatient. You shouldn't do it yourself, let alone do it here." said a slightly old and familiar voice.
The masked man reached out and touched his face, not minding the words. He replied, "There is no one else in this City Lord's mansion, so do not worry about it. You should take the people you caught and leave tomorrow. Hurry up, this human skin is becoming more and more useless."
The two exchanged a few more words, and Gao Yi listened frightfully. Afraid of being discovered, he was very careful when he left.
At Nie Feng's side, it didn't go so well this time. Suddenly some people are moving around at the place where there was no one just now. Nie Feng got found by one person. He immediately took out an immobilizing amulet and stick it on the person. When the person returned to his senses, there is no one in sight and it made him think that he saw things wrongly. This enables Nie Feng to escape safely. However, he couldn’t find Qin Tan.
The two meet up again. Gao Yi hurriedly pulled Nie Feng and said, "I didn't see Qin Tan, but the city lord in this mansion should be a ghost, and the ‘village chief’ is in a cohort with him."
Nie Feng doesn’t look surprised so Gao Yi got stunned and asked, "You knew?"
"I saw him skinning someone just now." Nie Feng calmly replied.
Gao Yi stayed dumbfounded for a moment, then said, "Let’s go back to Lou Fan to discuss first. Qin Tan should be fine, maybe he's trapped somewhere."
Nie Feng also felt the same way. The two returned to the inn together and knocked on the door. It’s Chen Shuyang who came to open the door. Lou Fan is not seen in the room.
Chen Shuyang glanced outside and asked, "Where's Brother Qin?"
"Where's Lou Fan?" Gao Yi asked at the same time.
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