The joke might be lost in translation, but basically "Ling Dan" was honophonic with "zero". You know, when a Chinese student gets absolutely zero on a test, they called it "ling dan." Yeah, sorry for making Chinese jokes, but it is a little hard to write something that catered to both English and Chinese readers while wanting to make all these stupid pun jokes.Anyway, Ling Dan was no longer my responsibility. I dumped it on Feng Hai, who in turn referred the unconscious receptarier to Docotor Dorden to monitor his vitals and health. I then briefed Feng Hai on what happened and why I was forced to knock him out.
"He actually attacked you?!" Feng Hai was surprised. I nodded, understanding his skepticism. After all, we were supposed to rescue a hostage who was supposedly incarcerated by the notoriously cruel Dark Church. He shouldn't be in any shape to a.s.sault anyone, yet he did when I opened the door for him.
"Brother Richard isn't lying! I was there too! We saw everything!"
"We can testify as witnesses too," Melina added to reinforce Adrian's declaration. Feng Hai raised a hand.
"No, I definitely trust Richard. I'm just…surprised. That's all. I never thought Ling Dan would be so violent."
"Yeah, I wasn't aware that receptariers could fight." I rubbed at my cheek absently, adjusting my gla.s.ses as I did so. "He was unleashing fire spells at me, but they didn't feel like normal fire spells. They were of weird colors."
"Purple and green in color!" Adrian added helpfully, and I nodded to confirm his statement.
"Well, duh." For some reason, Feng Hai was scoffing. "This is Ling Dan, the legendary receptarier we're talking about here! He's known as the Flame Emperor, and he's capable of wielding the Heavenly Flames!"
"I thought we already established that this isn't the guy who's ripping off the main character from Battle Through The Heavens," I muttered as I slapped my forehead in exasperation. Feng Hai shrugged nonchalantly.
"Does it really matter? The fact of the matter is that he attacked you with Heavenly Flames. There's no use denying that he's a blatant copy of Xiao Yan. That's the reason why he looks so young – he's supposed to be this unprecedented genius who excels at both medicine making and combat. Not to mention, he'll have a harem of his own. I heard that he's currently engaged to his childhood friend who is almost like his sister…as long as he can get approval from her clan."
"Are you kidding me?!"
"Anyway, you don't have to worry about this. I'll take over from here. You did a great job, all three of you." Feng Hai swept his gaze from me to the two kids, and smiled in satisfaction. "You should get some rest now."
Without me realizing, the Silver Wolves had set up camp at the edge of the forest. I raised an eyebrow, wondering if this was wise. Wouldn't it be a better idea to escape from here as soon as possible? The enemy's base was just next to us, and the forest wouldn't conceal our presence for long.
Feng Hai must have seen my skeptical expression, for he chuckled and patted my shoulder rea.s.suringly.
"Don't worry. I want to monitor the Dark Church's base for a bit longer, and get a bit more intelligence." He scowled. "We'll return back here to wipe them out, so I want to get as much information as possible. Besides…" he glanced in the direction of the medical tent, where Doctor Dorden was tending to Xiao Yan…I mean, Ling Dan. "We have several people who can't move much at the moment. We'll wait for a couple of hours for them to recover first, before we set off."
Apparently there were a few mercenaries who had sustained injuries during the conflict against the Barbaric Baboons. As I said, even though they were estimated to only be rank D, that didn't mean they should be underestimated.
The human body was still very fragile, especially when compared to the tenacious physical anatomies of monsters. A single claw strike to our vitals, such as our hearts, or a crushing blow to our heads would still kill us. Even with physical reinforcement spells, that didn't make us immortal. One wrong move, and even the lowest ranked monsters could kill us. Yeah, it wasn't very likely, but it wasn't impossible. Reality didn't work like a game where you had stats or HP, where a level 1 monster would deal 1 damage to you in a pathetic manner and find it hard to defeat you and your 100 HP.
No, here…if you take a blow to the heart or head, or any of your vitals, you were dead. Monsters still possessed all sorts of lethal weapons, regardless of their rank. Even a toddler could kill an adult black belt martial artist if he or she was armed with a gun or knife. Yeah, it wasn't very likely, given that they lacked the training or didn't know how to handle the weapon, but if they were lucky enough (and their opponent was incredibly unlucky), a stab from the knife into the eye or chest, or the accidental discharge of the gun was more than enough to kill the highly trained black belt martial artist.
Stranger things had happened, yes, and there were no guarantees in life. Being of a high rank didn't automatically guarantee that you will definitely win against anyone who was ranked lower. I still didn't understand the readers' obsession with ranks, levels and stats – these were all meaningless in the face of reality.
But I didn't care about that. Right now I was too exhausted to bother with semantics and debate. I just wanted to drop down and rest. And so I did just that, leading Adrian and Melina into our tent. The Silver Wolves had been super helpful enough to a.s.sist us in setting it up for us, while the three of us went to infiltrate the enemy base.
Without any hesitation, I dropped down into a makeshift sleeping bag and dozed off immediately. I didn't know what Adrian and Melina did, but I was pretty sure they followed my example and lay down to get some rest.
The mission had been both physically and mentally exhausting, after all.
I woke up abruptly when a loud noise cut through the wilderness, penetrating the thick canvas layer of my tent and stabbing into my ears.
"What the f.u.c.k?!" I snapped irritably, still feeling very drowsy.
It didn't take long for me to rise to full wakefulness and find out what was going on. Apparently Ling Dan had finally woken up, and was making a racket.
"Let me go!" he was yelling.
"Quiet!" Feng Hai snapped at him at the same moment I exited the tent I shared with Adrian and Melina. "Do you want the Dark Church to hear us? Do you want to get captured again?"
At that, Ling Dan naturally shut up. He glared at us resentfully. Feng Hai shook his head and sighed, and then gave me a look that suggested that he finally knew what I was talking about.
"We are here to help."
"I never asked you to save me."
"Should we throw you back to the Dark Church then?" Glacia asked icily, having enough of the f.u.c.ker's nonsense. Ling Dan went very pale.
"You can't do that!"
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"Then shut up and listen to us!"
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