Chapter 1417: The League, Snow Plums, and Blackout
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Xia Fan opened his spatial ring once he was back in his own room, and retrieved a book from inside.
This was the Law of Gold that Blind Grandpa had given him before he died. Opening the book, the pages after pages of blank paper still made Xia Fan feel confused. Blind Grandpa had clearly said that the book was even more important than his life, so why was there not a single word written in it?
Xia Fan had tried various methods, but no matter what, the book with the Law of Gold still remained blank; not a single image or word appeared. It was very strange!
His doorbell rang.
Xia Fan sent the book back into his spatial ring and opened the door. It was Soul Flying Bird, the lad with the usual green hair, flashing a big grin at him.
“Quick, come on in!” Xia Fan said in a hurry.
Though Flying Bird and he were in different divisions, they nevertheless maintained a good friendship and would often visit one another.
Flying Bird sat down on the sofa in Xia Fan’s living room and took the cup of apple juice Xia Fan offered. He drained half of it in one go, then placed it on the coffee table.
By now, Xia Fan had already gotten his wish and moved into the Advanced Cadets’ dormitory.
Flying Bird lived one floor above. The most outstanding students in Xia Fan’s cohort had already been promoted to Advanced Cadets in a very short time, while most of the others were still struggling on as novices.
“Tomorrow will be the start of the league, so I’m here to bid you farewell,” Flying Bird said to Xia Fan with a shrug.
Xia Fan chuckled, “Here you go bragging again. The league is a great opportunity for you to earn points. Who’s to say by the time you’re back, you’ll have directly earned a hundred thousand points and can swiftly graduate. Too bad we of the Logistics Division can’t go!”
League was referring to the Starcloud Union’s Super Ability Interschool League Tournament.
In the Union, Blue Boiling Point Training Camp was where the Special Bureau exclusively sent their talents for their training and studies. There were other combat training camps that the military would send their people to, as well as the various private or public educational institutes that also nurtured special ability users.
In this day and age, special ability users were still a precious commodity. It was not just the Special Bureau and the military that needed special ability warriors, as even the corporate security departments and national security bureaus, as well as the many information agencies, all had need of special ability users.
The number of such schools in the entire Union numbered in the tens of thousands. This Golden League was a gathering of the elites from those various institutions, an important affair that lasted an entire month.
It was just too bad that the other schools did not have a Logistics Division, so the participating squads that Blue Boiling Point sent came from the Combat, Command, Technical, and Reconnaissance divisions, while the Logistics Division that Xia Fan belonged to was left alone in the camp.
Flying Bird gushed excitedly, “Even Camp Commander Blue will be attending this time! He is a renowned figure in the Special Bureau. He has been in poor health this whole time, so he did not enjoy traveling to other places. This is the first time he has led the squads after picking up the mantle as Camp Commander fourteen years ago!”
Xia Fan naturally knew that Blue Shield’s condition had taken a turn for the better, since he was the one who had helped with it. However, he did not go around bragging about it, so even his good friend Flying Bird had no idea of his involvement.
After they had been chatting for some time, Heizi and Du Xue also came over. The two of them were walking close together. Given how skeevy Heizi looked, standing next to a pretty lady like Du Xue gave off an impression akin to sticking a beautiful flower into a pile of cow dung.
But Xia Fan was also aware that Heizi’s family background was quite grand, and perhaps that was reason that Du Xue had her eyes on him.
As a friend, Xia Fan always wanted to remind Heizi that Du Xue was a scheming woman, but seeing how blissful he looked as she peeled grapes and hand-fed them to him, how could he have the heart to tell that to his pal?
Forget it. There were both consenting parties, and Xia Fan could not profess to be an expert in the avenue of love, so he might as well just let them be.
The next day, Xia Fan sent Flying Bird and the others off, even repeatedly reminding Blue Shield to the point of nagging him to strictly follow his treatment. Given how Elder Blue Shield had been in such high spirits recently, he did not really take Xia Fan’s advice too seriously.
The destroyer ferrying Blue Shield and over a thousand cadets and instructors from the Blue Boiling Point Training Camp lifted off, then quickly disappeared into the distance.
At the same time, an elderly couple who were holding onto the leash of a mixed-blood Pekinese dog were strolling along a small path outside the fence of the training camp, one infrequently used by pedestrians.
The wrist communicator on the man vibrated. He raised his hand to read the message that had just arrived. It was a very short message of five words: ‘Blue Shield’s onboard the ship.’
Immediately, the corner of the old man’s mouth curled into a slight smile. He lifted his head and looked in the direction that the destroyer had disappeared into.
“What is it?” the elderly woman asked in a hushed voice. From her voice, she did not seem to be as old as she looked.
“Blue Shield has left.”
“My mole personally saw Blue Shield board the ship before reporting it to me, so it should be accurate.”
“Kekeke, this is the first time in fourteen years Blue Shield has left the training camp. Sure enough, you managed to guess it right, you sly fox.”
The elderly man thought nothing of it. “The moment I heard that Blue Shield’s condition had improved, I knew that he would join the League Tournament. After all, Blue Shield isn’t like his kin from the Blue Clan. His heart is with the Special Bureau, not this place.
“He had no choice but to return to the training camp and recuperate while he was unwell, but now that he’s on the road to recovery, his first thought will be to rejoin the Special Bureau. Several committee members from the Special Bureau will be attending the tournament. Blue Shield could probably hardly wait to let them know that he has gotten better, and is probably doing this in preparation of returning to Headquarters in one or two years’ time.”
The agent impersonating an old woman nodded. “Not only did Blue Shield leave, a good majority of the elite cadets in the training camp and their teachers have also left. All that remains is the unloved Logistics Division. This is our chance!”
The elderly man did not answer and just nodded slightly. The old couple continued to stroll along the forest path, acting as if nothing had happened.
That night after Xia Fan sent Flying Bird and Heizi off, he found Traveling Buddha lying on a lounge chair in the central patio of the Advanced Cadets’ dormitory.
“I didn’t see you the whole afternoon, where did you run off to?” Xia Fan asked with a grin on his face.
The design for the Advanced Cadets’ dormitory was very special. It was a circular building, with an open patio with a garden in the center. Whether people were studying, training, or staying or generally going on about their daily lives, it was centered around the open patio in the middle. No matter which room a cadet was in, they would be able to see everything on the patio in a glance, doubtless an intentional design by the architect.
As for the Intermediate and Novice dormitories, they were far away from here, with a large stretch of forest separating them. A hovercar was required to travel the distance between them.
Traveling Buddha sat up and yawned, shrugging, “That Old Blue sure is adept at causing trouble for others. He left to enjoy the League, but instructed me to help take care of this place.”
Xia Fan laughed, “You mean the garden?”
“Yeah. Old Blue wanted me to help him look after this patch of snow plums.”
Xia Fan knew that the patch of snow plums planted on the patio garden was something Blue Shield cherished a lot. He would spend his days and nights personally taking care of them, watering and sowing fertilizer for them.
It was just rather intriguing that Blue Shield had actually asked Traveling Buddha to help and take care of his beloved plants after he left. Traveling Buddha was lazy and not at all a diligent person. Blue Shield would have been better off getting his old servant to take care of these snow plums than him. Really, anyone else left on camp grounds would be more reliable than Traveling Buddha!
Xia Fan did not ask the reason. Traveling Buddha just called Blue Shield ‘Old Blue’ everywhere, and even Blue Shield’s son Blue Arrow had to call Traveling Buddha ‘Old Buddha’, so the relationship the two families had was surely beyond normal.
The strange thing was, Xia Fan had sifted through the Union’s data, and he had not seen a single mention of a Clan that went by Buddha.
Soul Flying Bird was considered to be quite a maverick in the camp, and was knowledgeable about many things. Xia Fan had once asked him about Traveling Buddha’s background and all Soul Flying Bird did was smile, but not say a word.
In any case, the indolent Traveling Buddha was shrouded in a mysterious halo. Even now, Xia Fan still had no idea just where this lazy person had come from.
“I’m so tired today, why don’t you join me to soak in the hot springs for a bit,” Xia Fan offered Traveling Buddha.
Traveling Buddha glanced at the snow plum garden beside him, then turned to Xia Fan, before waving his hand grandly, “Forget it. Old Blue likes these things, but I don’t like them. Forget it, let’s go together.”
Two days passed, and it was night once more. Xia Fan video-called Flying Bird and Heizi. After their two and a half-day voyage, they had arrived at the venue for the League Tournament.
After listening to them, it sounded as if the League was very lively this time. Experts from every discipline had gathered, and they could even earn points if they got good placements. This would accelerate their trajectory toward graduation from the Blue Boiling Point Training Camp, and subsequently becoming an official investigator.
Xia Fan was somewhat jealous about that.
Xia Fan had been given a lot of freedom after joining the Logistics Division, but at the same time, he also missed out on some opportunities. There was nothing he could do about that, however, since he would end up having to lose something no matter which option he ended up choosing.
Xia Fan’s life followed a very regular pattern. Not long after ending the call, Xia Fan would collapse on his bed to sleep. There were still 5 AM classes the next day, and Xia Fan ensured he had at least six hours of rest daily.
Deep into the night, Xia Fan suddenly felt someone patting him. He woke up with a start, then heard Traveling Buddha speaking in a secretive tone, “Don’t panic, it’s just me!”
“It’s in the middle of the night, what are you up to? I clearly remember shutting the door, so how did you get in? You were like a ghost, not even making a sound!”
“Hush! Leave all those questions for later. Hurry and get up. Accompany me to the patio for a bit.”
“There’s a blackout, and I have a foreboding feeling.”
“A blackout!” Xia Fan felt a chill run down his spin. The Training Camp had three power supplies, two connected to the local electricity company, while another was to the high power electric storage station exclusively reserved for the Training Camp. How could there suddenly be a blackout?
The lift was no longer working, so Traveling Buddha and Xia Fan anxiously made their way down the stairs. They arrived at the garden in the center of the building, Traveling Buddha bringing Xia Fan along towards that decently-sized snow plum garden. Following its footpath, they carefully inspected the area around them.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything,” Traveling Buddha nodded. “Perhaps I was just being a bit too paranoid, but you’re fast. Can you go check just what exactly is going on? What caused the blackout? I’ll wait here in the meantime for news from you. Remember, you need to be careful on your way out. Stay alert!”
Xia Fan was stunned. He was feeling very confused right now. The first reaction Traveling Buddha had after the blackout was actually to come to this snow plum garden, and he was even guarding the place himself?
Blue Shield had entrusted this snow plum garden to Traveling Buddha before he departed. Could there be something special about this place?
There was no time to think too much. XIa Fan nodded, “Got it. The electricity storage center is rather far from us, so I’ll need several minutes to get there and back. Wait for my news.”
WIth that, Xia Fan got into position and started channeling his strength to his legs. At that moment, Xia Fan suddenly smelled a very familiar yet dangerous scent.
Xia Fan turned his head and told Traveling Buddha in bewilderment, “I smell blood!”
“Are you certain?”
“Of course. Don’t forget, I have the Scent special ability!”
“M*TH*RF*CK*R!” Traveling Buddha’s expression underwent a drastic change in an instant as he growled out an expletive.
He promptly grabbed Xia Fan, and quickly dragged him toward the tallest snow plum tree in the garden. He produced a micro remote from his breast pocket and began pushing buttons.
Without making a sound, this snow plum tree actually started to rise!
It turned out that a lifting mechanism had been installed under this tree, and a set of stairs going underground was revealed after it lifted itself up.
“Go in!” Traveling Buddha pushed Xia Fan’s head down as he unceremoniously propelled him inside.