Castle Of Black Iron - Volume 3 - Chapter 5
Here's the 2nd chapter of the week.
’’Then I shall not hold you back for dinner...’’ When Tang De said his usual phrase, Zhang Tie, whose heart is filled with anticipation, exit the store like a flying arrow, not even a word of greeting was mentioned when he left.
’’This kid...’’ seeing the impatient Zhang Tie running off, Tang De shakes his head. The longer he observes Zhang Tie today, the more Tang De felt that Zhang Tie is having his thoughts elsewhere, he is not as focus as he usually is, therefore he deliberately let him return home early today. To his surprise, just as Tang De finish saying the word 'dinner', Zhang Tie is already half a step from the entrance of the store, disappearing within a blink of an eye.
Zhang Tie is currently very excited, hoping he can reach home within the next second and stand beside the tree to watch the Leak Prevention Fruit mature in front of him. Due to his excitement, the muscle pains assaulting his whole body also felt much better.
There is only one thing currently in his mind - Home!
There are many people passing through the area near the train station, due to the recent curfew that started a few days ago, it increases the number of people rushing to complete their tasks before the curfew, this led to the flea market and the stalls around it to become even more bustling then normal.
To return home quickly, Zhang Tie did not take the path he usually travels but chose to take a shortcut by running through the crowded alleys and streets near the train station instead. These places are usually filled with all sorts of people, many of them are outsiders, the security measures are also lacking.
However, having worked nearby for the past few years, Zhang Tie is not a stranger to these streets, he can even be considered a seasoned. Alas, no matter how familiar you are with the directions, sometimes, accidents will still happen. Like now, just as Zhang Tie turned at a corner into an alley, due to the lack of lighting, Zhang Tie accidentally collided with someone during the turn.
The person stumbled slightly while Zhang Tie fell onto the ground from the force of the collision and released a small groan due to the pain.
’’Kid, are you looking to die!’’
When Zhang Tie opened his eyes, he saw that standing in front of him, is the well-built body of a man in his forties, he is wearing the normal pioneering gear, with brown hair on his horse-like face. His eyes are glaring at Zhang Tie as he lifted his leg, looking to viciously step on Zhang Tie.
Zhang Tie's body is already experiencing muscle aches, after that strong collision, although the man is fine but Zhang Tie's whole body felt like a broken doll with his strings cut and is unable to stand up immediately. Zhang Tie did not expect this person to be so vicious, attacking a teenager who bumped into him by accident. Looking at the muscle covered body of the man, if Zhang Tie really receives damage from him, even if he doesn't die, he will surely be heavily injured.
’’What's the matter Hawk?’’ another pioneer with a slightly smaller build walked out from behind the man called Hawk.
When he saw Zhang Tie lying on the floor and seeing Hawk's actions, he quickly held him back and lifted his chin to point into the distance. Hawk looked at where the smaller guy is pointing, upon seeing a group of City Guards patrolling the street nearby, he withdraw his leg.
’’Young man, are you alright!’’ although he is the smaller guy but this person is still much taller than Zhang Tie, he walked up towards him and squat down with a smile.
For some unknown reasons, when Zhang Tie looked at the pale yellowish eyes of the man, he felt as though he is looking at a cobra, goosebumps immediately covered his body. When the man close the distance, Zhang Tie could also smell a faint scent of blood coming from him, causing him to feel nauseous.
Remembering that the man called Hawk nearly attacked him, Zhang Tie quickly tried to stand, no matter what, the posture of lying down on the ground is too dangerous for him.
’’Nothing, I am fine. I was running and did not expected to bump into you guys when I turn into the alley...’’
’’Haha, why are you so careless, are you hurt? Come, let me help you up!’’
’’No need... No need...’’ seeing the guy that is making him uncomfortable stretch his hands at him, Zhang Tie is very unwilling, he immediately sits up from his position.
’’Do let me help, after all, we are the ones who are careless...’’ the smaller guy smiled as he grabs onto Zhang Tie's hands and pull him up. Before Zhang Tie could react, he felt a sensation travelling through his body quickly as though it is currently being searched by the man, the sensation spread from his hands to his arms, from his arms, to the shoulders, to his chest, to his waist, using that instant when pulling him up, the man has somehow done a full scan of his upper body.
And it did not stop there, using the act of patting the dust off Zhang Tie, he scanned the rest of his lower body, from his waist all the way to the tip of his toes.
During the whole process, Zhang Tie had no reactions, when the smaller man completed his task, he turned to look at Hawk and slightly shakes his head.
’’Watch where you are walking when the sky is dark’’ the smaller man smiled at Zhang Tie and walked away with Hawk, disappearing into the crowds.
Within that few minutes, Zhang Tie discovered that, his whole back has unknowingly been drenched in cold sweat. As the night wind blows, Zhang Tie trembles from the cold, his instincts are telling him that he had just escape a major crisis within that few minutes.
Zhang Tie quickly left that place, hoping that he will never see those two dangerous guys again. Just as he took two steps forward, Zhang Tie felt his leg touched something. After he bends down to pick the item, he used the moonlight and saw that it is a palm size pouch. As he felt the pouch, he felt that it contains an item but it does not feel like money nor does it feel metallic. When he took out the item, it a piece of dark red colored wooden token that is about half the size of a palm. The wooden token is triangle in shape and has no picture or words on it, it feels like it is made from normal red pine wood which is also not a very expensive material.
Just as Zhang Tie wants to chuck the wooden token to one side, he felt that the texture and grains on the token seems to be very smooth, this condition can only be achieved when it is often held or used by someone.
Zhang Tie thinks deeper, the owner would not have kept this item in a pouch if it has no value, right?
Suddenly, Zhang Tie realized that this item might have belong to that Hawk guy when he bumped into him earlier and he released a cold smirk. He quickly place the token back into the pouch and put it in his pocket before quickly leaving this place, heading towards home.
After Zhang Tie left for about half an hour, Hawk and the snake-like man returned to the place. Their faces are now very different from when they left, it is pale and filled with an inexplicable terror. Each of them is carrying a lamp and are crawling on the floor searching for something, despite combing every inch of the area, they are unable to find the item they are looking for.
’’What to do now?’’ Hawk's face is no longer vicious but rather filled with an uneasiness as though doomsday is arriving, ’’Snade, maybe we should just meet them?’’
’’Have you gone nuts!’’ the snake-like man called Snade glared at Hawk, ’’You know how our organization works, if we do not have the token as proof, when we meet them, we will be killed on the spot, why would they believe we are the people they should be meeting?’’
’’Then what can we do now, if we do not complete this mission......’’
As they remember how the leaders of their organization punish the people who makes mistakes, the faces of Hawk and Snade have lost their blood.
’’It must be that kid from earlier, to think that he escaped my eyes, when we left the train station the item is still on you, and you have not interacted with anyone until that kid bumped into you, the item must have been taken by that kid!’’ Snade angrily said, ’’There are no other possibilities under than that!’’
’’Didn't you check that kid? There is nothing on him.’’
’’That kid must be an experienced one, using that instant to throw the item away from him. It was too dark earlier, we did not take note of what's on the ground, when we left, that kid must have picked up our item and left!’’ Snade's analysis, other than treating Zhang Tie as an experienced pickpocket, is near perfectly correct. ’’Now, we can only hope that the kid will not treat that item as a useless thing and throw it away, he better has it on him when we find him, else...’’
’’Else, this daddy will kill his whole family and mince that kid into mush and use it as cushion!’’ Hawk's face twitched in anger, ’’What now? Find that kid?’’
’’No, we will find a pickpocket, let him guide us to that kid. If that kid's area of activity is near the train station, then the other pickpockets nearby will definitely know who he is!’’
The area near Black Flame City's train station has always been a complex place, the security is the hardest to maintain, within the area, there are swindlers, pickpockets, thieves, not many individuals in this place have a clean record.
Especially the pickpockets near the train station, they will try to swindle if they can, if swindling fails, they will turn to stealing, if stealing fails, they will rob, they will target anything and everything, from wealth to se*.
These individuals have bribed the law enforcers managing the area around the train station and will use everything in the book to perform all kinds of immoral things. In the eyes of the civilians, these people are viewed as a type of pest within the city but as of tonight, due to a small incident, two terrors will descend on them...