The King of Special Warfare Chapter 47
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The pa.s.sage of time also meant that their moment of shared proximity would come to an end at some point. And sure enough, Qin Weibai did eventually pull herself away from Li Tianlan’s embrace. The moment she left his arms, Qin Weibai went in search for that file she had mentioned before, the same one he had been dying to go through but had refrained himself from doing so out of sheer reluctance to release Qin Weibai from his embrace.
The file was awfully thick, and clearly a product of her meticulous and painstaking compilation. From between the covers, a huge stack of A4 papers peeked out. Words crowded those pages in a dense and compact clutter, which was saying an awful lot regarding the level of detail that these doc.u.ments possessed.
The Sky Academy and the Deep-sea Academy are the two most mysterious special warfare academies in Zhongzhou. And a doc.u.ment like this would be a treasure of immeasurable value to any student in Sky Academy. And more so if it somehow found its way into the Deep-sea Academy or somewhere cross-border.
It was only recently that the Sky Academy had wrapped up its admission drills, and yet Qin Weibai had already managed to put together intel of such astounding depth. Just by looking at this alone, one could readily appreciate just how fearsome of an intelligence network she had backing her.
This type of resourcefulness was not something to be possessed by just any average woman, even those with substantial power.
With the file in hand, Qin Weibai planted herself beside Li Tianlan and began reading out the pages. Not verbatim, of course, but only a summary of the contents. She would go through a page once, summarize the page, and then read out the main themes and points of interest while omitting all redundant bits. After all, it was much easier to understand and remember an abridged version of a body of content, especially one as profound and convoluted as the intel she had gathered. That way, she could make it easier for Li Tianlan to commit everything to memory.
Even then, the amount of intel contained in those files were far from lacking. So by the time Qin Weibai had gone through all information on the Sky Academy’s academic staff, it was practically dinner time.
“So basically, right now the top tier of the Sky Academy’s teaching staff involves three factions of equal power? Like a tripart.i.te administration?” Li Tianlan asked after a moment of serious thought.
There was a slight quiver in his voice, which came out hoa.r.s.e and scratchy. It seemed like the side effects of his activities this morning had begun to manifest themselves. This morning, he had overexerted his body by forcing it through realms. As a result, all his muscles had gone slack. His desperate attempts at boosting his combat power had brought him excruciating pain, which was now spreading through every cell of his body.
Strictly speaking, pain was not the most accurate term for it. It was more like an indescribable emptiness. Like some kind of empty void inside him that had him feeling sore and numb all over.
It was as though every single muscle, every bone and every drop of blood in his body had vanished to the hilt. He could move and he could speak, but none of it mattered since he could no longer feel the existence of his own body. He could feel nothing, not even the couch beneath him. Every part of his body, from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet, was filled with that ineffable concoction of soreness and itchiness. That wretched sensation had first begun from within him, from some deep crevice inside his core. And then it began building up, emanating outwards to the surface of his skin until a point where his entire body fell into a state of acute numbness. Such a sensation unnerved him greatly, both physically and mentally.
Most importantly, the sensation was gradually worsening. It was tolerable as long as he stayed still. But if he moved even an inch? Then that void and emptiness inside, the one that brought about a pin and needles sensation, would immediately turn excruciating before spreading through every part of his body.
Numbing soreness if he stayed still. But debilitating pain if he moved.
And as the sensation grew more and more apparent, Li Tianlan soon found his entire body drenched in sweat.
“Yeah, I suppose you could say that,” Qin Weibai said, nodding her head.
“Zhuang Huayang represents the academics,” she went on, “well, you could say that he’s the academics’ main authority figure in Huating. But outside the Sky Academy, he’s pretty much a non-factor.
“Both Ye Fengcheng and The Enchantress represent the w.a.n.g Family. w.a.n.g Tianzong is a brilliant strategist who is very adept at planning and coordination. So we can probably a.s.sume that those two are vital pieces that are strategically planted in the academy to allow the w.a.n.g Family to maintain its influence over Huating.
“Then there’s Gu Yunxia, who represents Kunlun City. And she’s the most troublesome one among the three. Speaking in terms of strength and influence, she surpa.s.ses Ye Fengcheng. But other than Gu Yunxia herself, there are no others who hold significant influence. The rest on her side are pretty much trifling characters. That’s also why her words carry very little weight among the staff. Well, she did try to change that, of course. She had to move heaven and earth to make Liu Xiuwei become part of the academy’s educational administration. But in the end? Liu Xiuwei was killed by you. So we can be sure that her days in the academy will be much tougher from now on.”
She stood up when she could no longer ignore the obvious convulsions in Li Tianlan’s body, which was growing more intense with time. Changing the subject, she said, “Let me give you a ma.s.sage. It might hurt a little at first, but you’ll feel the relief afterwards.”
“No need,” Li Tianlan mumbled with trembling lips, though he forced himself to smile. Sure, it would be d.a.m.n nice to get a ma.s.sage from Qin Weibai. Just that now was not the right time. No when a mere touch on his body felt akin to having a needle shoved into his skin. Getting a ma.s.sage now would be outright torture. “You should keep talking. That would distract me from the pain,” he said.
With trembling hands, he lit another cigar. And then he took a deep pull from the cigar, inhaling deeply as his jaw clenched around it. His voice came out in an incoherent mumble, “There are currently six major corporate groups in Zhongzhou. Which one do you belong to?”
Without a far-reaching intelligence network at her disposal, it would be impossible for Qin Weibai to gather the intel in these files. And an intelligent network of such caliber was not one that could be built or accessed by just any average influence. It was a no-brainer that her sources would have something to do with one of the six groups.
“Me? No. I don’t belong to any group.”
Qin Weibai shook her head. Looking at Li Tianlan’s current state, it was apparent that the inclination to go into more details had left her. So instead, she laughed, bitter and self-mocking, “I’m merely someone who puts on a tiger pelt and then use it to deliver threats,” she said, “think of it this way. I am the spokesperson for a powerful figure, hmm,” she nodded, “a powerful figure beyond the border.”
Li Tianlan, whose had been muddled and confused just moments ago, felt a surge of awareness the moment he heard her words. “So is this powerful figure a man or a woman?” he asked stiffly.
“She can be considered as a sister of mine.”
She flicked a glance at Li Tianlan. “She has a lot of influence in Europe,” she said softly, “when I first came to Huating, Zhongzhou’s Special Warfare System had their eyes set on me. But they didn’t do anything to me, not because they fear my sister, but because the government needed my sister’s influence to perform several underhanded dealings. And my sister, on the other hand, needed the Zhongzhou government’s backing to sustain her influence. So it’s a win-win situation where both parties benefit. Recently, she’d had a pleasant experience working together with a few of Zhongzhou’s top government officials. But no, that doesn’t count as being affiliated with any group.
“Now that the Academics are holding office, we’ve tightened our affiliation with the Academics. But I’m also close friends with a core member of the Dongcheng Clan, my only close friend, in fact. As for the Northern factions, we’ve joined forces with them too. Well, to put it more pleasantly, you can say that I am rather unconventional for a spokesperson. Sure, the major groups won’t provoke me if they don’t have to. But in truth, my influence in Zhongzhou is pitiable. The best I could do is to keep a close eye on my own territory, and to make sure I cover all bases.”
Li Tianlan stared blankly ahead. The feeling of weakness kept growing and growing inside him until a point where it pushed his sanity to the brink of collapse. He could not even be sure if he had fully registered whatever it was that Qin Weibai had been talking about before.
Qin Weibai turned away, as if she could no longer bear the sight of his suffering. “If you seek opportunities across borders, I bet you’ll gain traction far quicker,” she muttered to herself, “too bad.”
A small noise sounded. It came from outside the door.
Someone pushed the door open.
Qin Weibai stood up on reflex. She made a beeline towards the doorway while staring at Ran Huo and Yu Donglai who were now stepping into the room. “Where is it?” she asked anxiously.
Watching the frantic look on her boss’ face, strange helplessness crawled its way into Ran Huo’s heart. Wordlessly, she pulled out a wooden box from her pocket before handing it over to Qin Weibai. A wave of sweet, fragrant scent of sandalwood rose from the box into the air.
Qin Weibai took the box hurriedly. Without further delay, she turned around towards Li Tianlan. From within the box, she pulled out a tubular object, which was tiny and thin with a glistering metallic surface. With utmost care, Qin Weibai brought the tube towards Li Tianlan’s lips and began feeding him the pale blue medication that it contained.
There were only about three to five drops of the medication, but the very instant they entered his mouth, Li Tianlan could feel his tongue regaining all the senses that were lost due to the numbness.
The medication entered his throat.
The liquid entered his stomach in a wave of soothing coolness.
And at that moment, Li Tianlan felt as if someone had suddenly relieved him of a scorching body by a douch of cold water. The relief he felt was indescribable.
Unconsciously, his eyes widened. And he shot a glance at Qin Weibai.
“Don’t move,” Qin Weibai said smilingly, her voice soft and tender. “You’ll be fine after a while. Give it another five minutes or so.”
Ran Huo remained standing beside them, her face expressionless.
Unable to help himself, Yu Donglai rolled his eyes. “Yeah. You’ll be fine alright,” he said grumpily, “and not just this time. Brat, your misfortune is really a blessing in disguise. Now you pretty much won’t have to worry about any injuries at all for your remaining years in Sky Academy.”
Li Tianlan, who was still incapable of words at the moment, only stared at Yu Donglai with a look of suspicion.
“This is one of w.a.n.g family’s most invaluable genetic drugs.” Yu Donglai explained. “It’s also known as ‘Youth’. Right now, its supply is spa.r.s.e even in w.a.n.g family’s HQ. ‘Youth’ gives you a large amount of life force. It won’t make you live longer, but it can recover your wounds rapidly, especially during first administration. No matter how bad your injuries are, given enough life force, they will be able to recover and regain their vigor in a short amount of time. And the effects are persistent and lasting. A full bottle of ‘Youth’ can retain its effects for approximately three years.
“But it won’t be able to instantly heal your wounds again after today, of course. But as long as the drug remains in effect, any wounds you suffer will recover at a much faster rate than normal. In order to get our hands on one of this, Ran Huo and I were about this close to severing all ties with w.a.n.g Xiaoyao. So, brat, how does it taste like, huh?”
Those words had flown out from Yu Donglai’s mouth at a hurried pace.
Li Tianlan’s mouth budged. Finally, he could speak again. Then, he smiled, “Bitter as f**k.”
And this time, not only Yu Donglai, but even Ran Huo, had begun sporting deep scowls on their faces. Both of them were now glaring daggers at that son of a b**ch who had the audacity to play victim despite the huge service that had been granted on him for free.
When told that this bottle of “Youth” was what Qin Weibai wanted, w.a.n.g Xiaoyao had handed the bottle to Ran Huo without even a single shred of hesitation. In the face of such unwavering decisiveness, even Ran Huo’s expression had broken through its usual indifference and betrayed slight hints of sentimentality.
After all, “Youth” is a life-saving drug. Putting aside the three long years that its effects would last, this was a drug capable of instantaneous healing upon first consumption. And from that alone, it was clear just how other-worldly the drug was, so much so that it could go against the natural order of things. It was likely that the entire w.a.n.g Family had less than 10 bottles of “Youth” in their possession. In fact, not even w.a.n.g Tianzong himself could hand over something as precious as this without enduring prolonged bouts of anguish and heartache afterward. But w.a.n.g Xiaoyao? The guy had handed it over with even a word of protest. Truly, the feelings he held for the boss was genuine.
However, w.a.n.g Xiaoyao of the Northern Sea w.a.n.g Family was extremely petty. Afterward, when he had found out that Qin Weibai was planning to use “Youth” on Li Tianlan, he immediately went red in the eyes. He had regretted his decision instantly. And if it were not for Yu Donglai’s timely intervention, Ran Huo and w.a.n.g Xiaoyao would have come to blows right in the middle of the Garden Party. It was only afterward when Xuan Xuanzi, the Prominent Taoist priest who had been a visiting guest the Garden Party, had spoken a few words of appeas.e.m.e.nt to w.a.n.g Xiaoyao that the situation was defused and she was allowed to leave with the bottle of “Youth”. And all that, just to hear this b.a.s.t.a.r.d whine about how bitter it was.
“If it’s bitter, then don’t f**king drink it.” Ran Huo thought. If this stuff was used on their Palace Master, it would have increased the strength of their Palace Master by heaps. It would have allowed their Palace Master to go up against the wielders of the 12 Murderous Weapons, who were all masters who had attained the Invincible Realm, without a single fear.
w.a.n.g Xiaoyao was right. This thing, this reputed supreme treasure, was entirely wasted on Li Tianlan.
Only the boss would pamper someone like him.
Ran Huo pulled in a deep breath. And on her face, the look of resentment and contempt was on full display.
“Enough,” Yu Donglai said all of a sudden, leveling a glance at Li Tianlan. “It looks like this brat is fine now. I should take my leave.”
Yu Donglai cast a long glance at Li Tianlan and suddenly asked him.
“Have dinner before you go,” Qin Weibai said as she stood up. It was clear that she was not taking ‘no’ for an answer.
“I’ll go prepare the dishes now. Old man, come help me in the kitchen,” Qin Weibai said.
Then, with a glance at Li Tianlan, she said mutedly, “Why don’t you ask your friends over? My culinary skills won’t lose out to the old man’s.”
Li Tianlan smiled, “No. Maybe another time,” he said softly. Of course, having Qin Weibai as his girlfriend, he honest-to-G.o.d did feel a need to immediately start showing her off to the world. But right now, he could not bring himself to invite Ning Qiancheng and Li Baitian over for dinner. Who knew those two might even end up seeing him as some kind of wimp who was overly dependent on his girlfriend. So no, even if he had the intention to invite them, he did not have the will to actually do it.
Qin Weibai leveled him a deep, penetrating look. And then she nodded before turning towards the kitchen.
Dinner was not overly fancy. Together, Qin Weibai and Yu Donglai had prepared a few simple dishes. They had also prepared a pot of meat congee served with preserved eggs, which had a good flavor.
“Youth” had fully taken effect before dinner even began, and all the afflictions resulting from his prior actions, from forcibly advancing through realms, had vanished. Even the wounds he suffered during the academy’s admission drills seemed to have vanished. Now, he sat at the dining table with his appet.i.te on full blast. At times, he found himself sneaking glances at Qin Weibai, who sat beside him. Well, it was safe to say that he had now truly experienced the feeling of having one’s appet.i.te stimulated by a woman’s beauty. In fact, he had devoured nearly half of that huge pot of congee.
When dinner was over, Qin Weibai ordered Ran Huo to escort Yu Donglai back home. Pensively, the old man glanced over at Li Tianlan, but he did not turn down the offer. Soon, both he and Ran Huo walked out of the mansion.
Nightfall loomed beyond the window.
At the dining table, Qin Weibai finished the final morsel of her congee in an elegant and graceful manner. She set her bowl and chopsticks on the table.
Out of instinctive habit, Li Tianlan made a start on clearing the dining table. He did not mind the task at all. In fact, he had done ch.o.r.es like these back in Li’s Village countless of times. It had already become second nature to him.
“Let me,” Qin Weibai protested. Her hand reached out, thus preventing Li Tianlan from making any further attempts at cleaning up.
“The kitchen isn’t a place for a man,” she went on. The lilt in her voice was soft and gentle, yet it carried certain firmness with it.
“Uh… You… um…”
“You’ve worked hard,” Li Tianlan said after a bout of nonsensical spluttering and stammering which might as well have lasted a good half day.
Qin Weibai stood up and began gathering the bowls and chopsticks. “It made me really happy that you’ve tasted my cooking,” she commented lightly.
Li Tianlan retreated to the parlor silently. He fished out another cigar and lit it, all while listening to all the sounds coming from the kitchen. Whatever emotions he felt in his heart was indescribable.
The cigar verged on the end of its lifetime.
Having done the dishes, Qin Weibai entered the parlor. She spotted Li Tianlan who was sitting in the dark. “Want to watch TV for a while?” she asked, flicking on a light switch.
“I should get back to the doc.u.ments,” Li Tianlan said, smiling. Electricity was one luxury that they never had back at the borders. Perhaps that was why he still felt a little twitchy around electrical appliances.
Qin Weibai nodded, and at that moment, her entire being exuded an air of nonchalance. “I’ll take a bath, because I think I still smell of dinner. When I come out, I’ll continue reading those files for you,” she said as if without a care in the world.
Li Tianlan felt as if his heart had just skipped several beats, and unknowingly, he swallowed a mouthful of saliva. His facial expression, however, had retained its usual air of aloofness. Nodding, he reached to the side and grabbed a handful of doc.u.ments.
However, this time, he could barely finish two pages before he gave up.
A deafening silence descended upon the parlor. Not a single sound emerged from the bathroom where Qin Weibai had supposedly gone to take her bath. Not even a single drop of water could be heard. But then again, the mere thought of the fact that right now the G.o.ddess who held his heart was taking a bath just a few feet away had sent his heart into overdrive. It was as if his heart and his insides had turned into a meadow, one which was thronged with so much hay that finding his way around it was impossible.
He abandoned the doc.u.ment in his hands, setting it down. For a brief while, he just sat there, befuddled. And then, shaking his head, he grabbed another cigar. But even as he smoked, his mind began to slowly wander off.
The longest forty minutes of his life crawled past.
Qin Weibai re-entered the parlor. A white bathrobe hugged her figure, and her long hair fell past her shoulders in waves. And at that moment, it seemed as though that her usual s.p.u.n.k, her harshness, and her coldness had completely abandoned her. Instead, the vibe she was now giving off was that of a stay-at-home woman. A beautiful, s.e.xy, and languorous stay-at-home woman.
She was gorgeous. Stunning. Mindblowingly and overwhelmingly beautiful.
Their eyes met once before Qin Weibai noticed the files abandoned beside Li Tianlan. She chuckled. “Why have you stopped reading?”
Li Tianlan forced out a wry laugh. “Couldn’t continue,” he answered honestly.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” she asked, batting her eyelashes.
Those huge, crystal-clear eyes of hers, they contained an irresistible allure, so much so that it transcended beyond all forms of verbal expression. No words could ever be enough to capture such allure. And right as he stared into her eyes, Li Tianlan felt as if some kind of hook, or a scythe, was reaching into his core in an attempt to rip out his soul.
And right now, he realized what they were: a man and a woman, alone in the same room.
With much difficulty and strain, Li Tianlan swallowed. And then he turned his head aside.
“Still feeling ‘inferior’?” she asked softly.
Somehow, Qin Weibai had closed the distance between them and was now standing before Li Tianlan.
“I don’t know,” Li Tianlan answered frankly, shaking his head.
There was quite some truth in what he had said, at least. Because right now, he did indeed feel a little bewitched. Just that he had no idea whether it was due to a sense of inferiority, or due to the stress he was feeling in the face of Qin Weibai’s allure.
“I truly have a way that’ll deal with the predicament you’re facing right now,” Qin Weibai said softly, who remained standing in front of Li Tianlan.
“What way?” Li Tianlan asked, unconsciously raising his head.
He noticed that Qin Weibai’s face had already gone red.
Without another word, Qin Weibai took another step closer before reaching out with her hand. And then, gently but firmly, she pushed Li Tianlan down onto the couch.
The fragrance of her natural scent a.s.saulted Li Tianlan’s nostrils. His mind went blank and his features went slack.
Qin Weibai flicked off the light switch.
Amidst the murky darkness, the white fabric of the bathrobe slid lightly to the ground.
Crawling over, Qin Weibai climbed atop Li Tianlan and hugged him tightly.
In the dark, their eyes met once again.
Qin Weibai’s breaths came in deep hastened puffs. Something flashed across her eyes, a glimmer of light. And her voice, her sweet and loving voice, trembled beside Li Tianlan’s ear in captivating ripples.
“Here is a woman whom w.a.n.g Xiaoyao had been chasing after for years without avail. You’ve met her only twice, and yet here she is, naked in your arms. Dummy, what reason do you even have to feel inferior?”
The King of Special Warfare Chapter 47
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The King of Special Warfare Chapter 47 summary
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