Chapter 673 – Riot Shields
The following morning, I saw Li Mu, Wang Jian, Meng Yao and the others off at the bus stop headed for the airport before turning the car around to return to Hangzhou with Wan Er, Dong Cheng and Tang Qi. The Hero’s Wings Cup has finally come to an end for the Chinese region. While our results are definitely quite acceptable, we’re still going to have to double our efforts over this coming month. In just 30 more days, the true finale Hero’s Wings Worlds will take place. And by then, we won’t be fighting just for the sake of [Zhan Long] but the entirety of China.
We arrived at Hangzhou around 11 o’clock and had lunch around 12 before going online in the afternoon.
I spawned inside Tian Ling City. I glanced at my stats window to confirm my level; Lv 123. The sixth class advancement isn’t until level 150 so there’s still a ways to go huh. Oh well, no hurries, I’ll go at my own pace. After getting my equipment repaired, I decided to stock up on some tier 10 herbs over at the Eastern City Gates. I figure it’s time to level my skills a bit.
Not long after, a chime sounded in the game; ah, it’s from my private cell phone. The ingame HUD displayed the caller ID—— Shen Bing.
For Shen Bing to call… something must’ve happened at the Base! Promptly answering, Shen Bing’s cheery voice was transmitted over——
“HIIII!!! Congratulations, Special Ops Squad Leader Li, for achieving second place in the [ Heroes’ Wings Cup] with your harem. Don’t forget to treat us comrades to a meal too, alright?”
I couldn’t hold back a chuckle, “Shen Bing-jie, please don’t tease me!’
Shen Bing laughed, “What? When did I ever tease you! Oh right, you do know that a lot of our Special Ops members also play [Destiny] too right? There’s a rumor that it helps with bringing out our brains’ untapped potential. So anyway, everyone only has admiration for you now. You see how I’m doing in [Thousand Burial]? Not worth mentioning whatsoever. We barely even reached the top 256 before getting kicked out! Pisses me off so much…… Wei Fan and You Yi… these 2 nimrods practically made every category in the 13 levels of stupidity……”
I politely coughed twice, “Shen Bing-jie, let’s not be too vulgar…… This is still an official call alright? Did we get a new order from above? I don’t think you’d call me for no reason.”
Shen Bin’s voice turned serious, “Mmmhm. Be here within an hour. And bring ‘that’ with you. There’s a big mission for us.”
After ending the call, I sent Wan Er a message: “Wan Er, I need to return to Base for a bit. There’s work to do.”
She immediately replied, “Be extra careful and come back soon! No matter what, your safety comes first, Piggy……”
“Yea I know, don’t worry. Don’t forget, my martial arts are the best in the world!”
When I logged off, I took the password secured trunk out from under my bed. After unlocking it, I quickly equipped myself with two combat knives and a M9 pistol as well as several spare magazines; grabbing Xiao Hei last. I felt a wave of nostalgia wash over me as I gripped the familiar hilt. It is said that a subtle synergy exists between a sword and its wielder, which seemed to be true. This feeling has been intensifying over time as my cultivation continuously became more and more refined. Just like Gramps said before, with the progression of my cultivation, the sword will integrate with me more and more until it becomes an extension of my body; able to unleash even greater lethality than ever before with the most casual of swings.
I went downstairs after wrapping Xiao Hei in a black cloth. Hopping into the A4, I sped out of the Liú Huá University premises accompanied by the sound of a roaring V6 engine. Gotta admit, it’s become so much more convenient now that I have my own car.
Ten minutes later, I arrived at the Base. The trooper on lookout recognized my car and saluted me with a smile, “Squad Leader, you’re here!”
I stopped in the parking lot and walked towards the debriefing room, Xiao Hei in hand. Located underneath a water tower surrounded by a vegetation landscape, the conference building exterior is normally overgrown with plants and grape ivy. Since winter was almost here, the ivy had already withered. Despite that, it was still an otherworldly sight.
The door opened and Shen Bing, in a trim police uniform, greeted me with a smile, “Hurry it up! Everyone’s been waiting for you!”
I quickened my pace and followed Shen Bing down the long corridor leading to the building’s depths. The debriefing room is located on Basement Level 3. Inside the well illuminated room sat approximately 37 heavily armed Special Ops members. After we suffered those losses from the previous couple missions, we received quite a bit of reinforcements. Some were even pulled over here straight from the Special Forces.
Captain Wang, who was working next to the projector, raised up his head upon my entry, “You’re here? Take a seat.”
I went and sat at the very front.
“We received intel just now. This evening at 18:00, Wei Fan’s henchman, You Yi, will be representing him at drug trade taking place on a boat under Bridge #16 over at Yanjiang Avenue. Our intel gauges that it will be a large scale exchange with an estimated value of around $100 million RMB.” Captain Wang gives a short rundown of tonight’s mission.
I couldn’t stop myself from frowning, “Blood Scythe is extending its hand into the drug trade now?”
“It has been all along.”
Captain Wang continued, “Basically all the drugs in the illegal nightspots of north Hangzhou are supplied by Blood Scythe. Wei Fan is not the type to be satisfied with just the earnings from bars and night clubs.”
Someone near me interjected, “Captain, isn’t this a job for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)?”
“Officially, yes… it is.” Captain Wang admitted, “But with circumstances as is, the involvement of Blood Scythe and the one identified as ‘You Yi’ means that the Artificials will definitely show up as well. By themselves, the DEA will just be sitting ducks for the slaughter. Therefore we’ll be co-operating with them this time. Also, the Nanjing Military will be sending some people over too so this operation will be a coordinated effort by three different units.”
“Nanjing Military?” Doubts rose up within in me.
“Yes. It shouldn’t be a problem. They should be here any time now.”
The corner of the Captain’s lips faintly curled up.
Not even 10 minutes later, we heard a ruckus in the corridor. Subsequently, another band of heavily armed personnel entered the room. Out of the approximately 20 men, one who looked to be the leader walked forward and saluted the Captain, “Nanjing Special Ops 3rd Unit Squad Leader Qian Ling and his men reporting for duty, Sir. We are 20 men total. All equipped with assault weaponry and nano-ammunitions.
Captain Wang acknowledged their presence, “Good. You all are finally here. We’re doing the strategic planning right now.”
While speaking, he pointed at the projector display behind him. “The skies should be dark by 6pm. Bridge #16 is poorly illuminated so visibility will be an issue. According to the intel, the exchange will take place onboard an old cargo ship. We’ll be splitting up into 3 groups. The DEA group will be responsible for clearing out pedestrians and unrelated personnel from the area. Nanjing Ops group will prepare an ambush onshore and block off all escape routes. And the Hangzhou Ops group will board the ship and suppress their firepower asap. Complete your mission”
I immediately asserted my support, “Yes, Sir!”
However, a faint smirk appeared on Qian Ling’s face. He crushed a cigarette butt with his foot and voiced his disapproval, “Captain, I believe you’re making a mistake here……”
A bit puzzled, Captain Wang inquired, “Where did we go wrong?”
“The 20 of us here are elites that were handpicked by General Sun Xiang. We are here… to be the vanguard for this operation. Not to admire the scenery on the sidelines!” Qian Ling declared.
Then turning towards me, with a look of casual contempt, he continued, “I’ve heard of the ‘Monster of Hangzhou’ Li Xiao Yao; You’re rumoured to be an incredible fighter and the most capable subordinate. But I insist that we be assigned the task of vanguard for this operation.”
The Captain lets out a sigh, “Squad Leader Qian. You should already know that Artificials are not your average criminals…”
“Of course I know!”
Qian Ling interrupted and raised an arm. A stream of qi is coiling around his fist, as he impertinently smiled, “Why else do you think we are here?”
What a surprise! This Qian Ling is, at the very least, a middle stage Qi Controller. Really now, China really is full of hidden dragons and crouching tigers. Just in this bustling city alone, who knows how many unknown practitioners there were mingling within the normal population!
Captain Wang turned towards me, “Squad Leader Li, what’s your opinion on this?”
I couldn’t help but frown once more, “Since Squad Leader Qian insists on it, let his group take vanguard position.”
“Then it’s settled.”
Currently, next to me is my Assistant Squad Leader, Xing Lie; hailed as the top Expert marksman in Hangzhou. And right now, he is pouting, “Tsk. You sure talk the talk. But in the end, isn’t it just a grab for more credit?”
I immediately warned him in a strict tone, “Xing Lie. Quiet.”
The Captain’s eyes swept across the room, “Since no one else has any suggestions, everyone start preparing right now. We’ll move out at 15:00 to set up ahead of time. Immediately after we spring the ambush, there will be a communications jam imposed on the surrounding 5 kilometers. We’ll also run systemic electric pulse scans to detect any explosive devices they may have. Understood?”
I swapped on an entire set Spec Ops equipment; badge glistening in a cold light on my chest. With a “Shiiiiiing”, Xiao Hie slid into the sheath on my back. Next was to check the condition of my ammo and melee arms. At this moment, Shen Bing casually strolled over; a cryptic smile plastered over her face. Her stare is as if her eyes are trying to bore a hole through me, “I won’t be joining you guys on this operation since I’ll only be a burden. So you better pay extra attention to your safety, you little punk! You must come hopping back in the same condition as when you left, alright?”
I flashed her a fearless grin, “Don’t need to worry about me. There’s still a [Zhan Long] waiting back home for me to lead round…….”
“Haha, you’re such an adorable troublemaker…….”
Out in the parking lot were 5 vehicles waiting for us. Among them, 3 were shabby plain vans that looked like they’re from a scrapyard. Truth was, they were normal vans disguised as such in order to enable us to ‘stealth’ our way through the city. Next was a cargo truck; an SF Express model. The exterior was also worn down to an exaggerated degree. The last one was a brand new Cadillac.
Captain Wang got in the driver’s seat of the Cadillac then turned to me, “Li Xiao Yao. You guys take the SF Express truck. I too, wish you all luck on this mission.
Now’s my turn to pout, “What’s with the difference in treatment…….”
“Haha, stop trying to be glib. Hurry up and go!”
Onboard the broken down truck, a total of 25 men from the Hangzhou Special Ops were gathered here. These men were going to be under my direct command during this operation.
Ten of them were solemnly sat in the back, gripping the riot shields in their hands.
Taking a closer look at these shields, I rapped my knuckle against one, “Can these shields… actually defend against the Artificials’ claws?”
Xing Lie laughs, “These shields are reinforced by rare and extremely tough metal alloys. There should be no problems holding off Class C Artificials. But Class B’s are untested territory for now.”
I couldn’t dispute that, “Class B’s are far stronger than C’s. To an almost scary degree, in fact. No matter what, everyone stay on your toes!”
“Understood! But chief, since we’re the rearguard team this time, we might not get a chance to make an appearance. I heard rumors that Qian Ling is pretty powerful…”
Biting down on my lips, I looked towards everyone, “Well no matter, pay attention to your surroundings.”