Castle Of Black Iron - Volume 3 - Chapter 8
CoBI, B3 Chapter 8: Late Night Massacre
Late into the night, everything went silent, especially with the new midnight curfew enforced by Black Flame City, the busy giant of a city went into slumber as it enters dreamland.
Like how birds will sing in the day while snakes and rats will roam in the night. The night of Black Flame City will seem cute to some people, especially the area near the train station, where all sorts of people will gather.
Even after midnight, there are still lots of people moving about in that place. Of course, if your luck is bad and got caught by the patrolling officers or soldiers of the defence army, then you can only blame your luck. The consequence of being caught after the curfew is - the pain of the flesh, being locked in the cellars of Castle Glan located outside Black Flame City as well as becoming the table jokes of the other riff-raff for a period - Other than that, nothing else will happen, to this kind of people who has seen many things in their time, the consequence of breaking the curfew is something they cannot be bothered with.
People who are holding such mindsets are many, therefore when midnight passes, a pioneer style bar called the ’’Venom Snake's Treasure’’ along the alley near the train station is still exceptionally active and rowdy. Hardworking and honest young men like Zhang Tie naturally will not understand that the night life of Black Flame City can be so rich in activity.
Hawk and Snade, who are new to the city, fumbled and explored for half the night before they finally discover ’’Venom Snake's Treasure’’. After the start of the curfew at midnight, did both of them push the doors of the bar and entered the place.
The ’’Venom Snake's Treasure’’ is not considered a big establishment and with midnight just passed, it is also at its peak period of bar's activities. Within the bar are more than thirty people, most of them are in pioneering gear, some of them are laughing out loud while caressing the bosoms of some middle age wretches, others will be hiding in a corner of the bar where there's the least light and conduct their conversations in whispers. Occasionally, you can see two individuals will exchange hand signals hidden behind their loose sleeves so others will not see the gestures, some will satisfyingly nod their heads while others will shake their head in disappointment and retract their hand from the other party's sleeve.
This is the method used by pioneers when they want to trade, without using their mouths, they will use their hands that are hidden within their sleeves to communicate. This is a very covert form of negotiation, the item they are trading or the price agreed will only be known by the two individuals, even if they are talking about the price to kill you while you are sitting in front of them, you will have no idea, these are a set of hand gestures and communication method that is unique to pioneers only.
When Hawk and Snade entered the bar, most of the people in it just throw them a glance before continuing their own business while some sharper pioneers felt the danger emitting from Hawk and Snade, causing them to adjust their weapons on them, placing them in a convenient position to draw.
When the two men found an empty table for themselves, a rather decent looking barmaid approached them while coquettishly swaying her hips. When she is in front of them, she bends her waist to deliberately display her white peaks and asked, ’’Gentlemen, what would you like to have?’’
’’Two Black Pine Beer, any food to recommend?’’ Snade replied.
’’Toast, Broad Beans, Beef Stew, Crispy Sausages’’
’’Give us a set each’’
As the barmaid left and seeing that the two strangers ordered food, most of people who are silently observing the two began to shift their attention away. People who come in here to make a ruckus will rarely have the mood to eat before they start.
The barmaid quickly brought the ordered food to Hawk and Snade. When the food is placed on the table, Snade did not consume it immediately but took out a silver thread pouch. Within the pouch is an item that looks like a dried plant root which he used to dab at each food item as well as their drinks.
Only after checking the color of the root against the silver threads, did Snade lower his guard and proceed to eat, after a whole night of effort, the two men are seriously hungry.
Snade's method of checking poison using the Soul-Sucking Vine's root is a technique often used by pioneers. The combination of using silver threads and the root of the Soul-Sucking Vine allows its user to discover most forms of poisonous substances, this includes the ’’Super Rat Poison’’ that will cause people to turn pale with fright.
This habit before a meal is basically instilled in every pioneer, therefore, when the other pioneers see the duo testing for poison, no one felt strange, even the boss of the bar and barmaid also treat it as normal. In this place where pioneers gather, unless it is a regular customer else, most newcomers will display this habit.
The pioneers within the bar are actively discussing about the recent increase in prize money for the exploration of the black region north and west of the city by the Black Flame City Senate. For every square kilometres of a rough mapping of an undiscovered area, the officials are paying 46 gold coins and with each addition kilometre explored, the prize will increase by five percent.
Over the past few days, some pioneers who are confident in their abilities have begun to form teams to earn from this lucrative deal. However, how many eventually will return, none can tell.
After Hawk and Snade finished their meal, they acted interested at the floating conversations within the bar before planning to leave. As the barmaid is called over to collect payment, Hawk carelessly dropped two gold coins from his purse as he takes it out for payment before quickly collecting the dropped coins and returning it to his purse. After paying for their meals, the two men left the bar.
After they left, a guy who is seated in a dark corner of the bar stood up. As he finishes the beer in his hand in a gulp, he also deliberately spilled some on his body before leaving the bar.
None of the people in the bar find it strange.
’’Looks like 'Grey Rat' Pang De has found his prey for tonight, heh... heh...’’ some of the customers in the bar laughed before they forget about the three men that walked out of the bar. In this world, everyone has their own survival methods, if it does not affect them, most will choose to ignore what they have seen, this is also one of the laws of survival in this era.
As Grey Rat left the bar, he looked at his surroundings and located Hawk and Snade who just entered an alley on the left. With a squint of his eye, Grey Rat began to head towards the two while acting like a drunkard.
As he closes up to them, the two men sensed him and turned to look at Grey Rat, seeing that it is just a drunkard they looked as though they did not bother about his approach. As Grey Rat positioned himself beside Hawk, he stumbled and stretched his hand towards Hawk's vest, just as he touched the corner of his vest, Grey Rat heard a chilling laugh.
’’You are too slow’’
Before Grey Rat could react, his hand is held in an iron grip. Before he could use his old trick of acting drunk, a dagger is held against his throat, a faint wound has open as the flesh feels the cold blade.
Grey Rat immediately broke a cold sweat as Hawk used his free hand to shut Grey Rat's mouth and dragged him to a dark corner of the alley.
’’Bring us to your boss, we have business for him!’’ Hawk impatiently ordered as he threw Grey Rat onto the ground.
’’I do not know what you are talking about, I am just... Ah...!’’ Grey Rat looked at his right hand as he felt a chill and saw that its vein has been cut by the dagger and is bleeding profusely. The wound on his wrist is like a mouth of a bloody beast, causing Grey Rat to nearly faint from the shock.
’’You have about 10 minutes to waste before you bleed dry’’ Snade who is playing with his dagger smiled at Grey Rat.
’’Our boss is Bruce, a Rank 6 Black Spider. We also have more than ten other brothers, if you mess with the Black Hand Gang, you will only regret...’’ Looking at the situation, Grey Rat can only react fiercely but he did not notice the faint change on Hawk's face that is showing signs of impatience.
’’That may be true but you have only two choice now. Either die here or bring us to your boss and let him save you...’’ Snade replied casually.
Half an hour later, in the hideout of Bruce, the pickpockets' boss that controls the area around the train station. Hawk and Snade are currently being surrounded by more than ten dangerous looking faces, each of them are holding on to their preferred weapon.
Boss Bruce is currently emitting his boiling battle aura, behind his body, the shadow of a two meter long black spider is being formed by the steaming aura released. The gang members and Grey Rat, who is currently on the ground and stepped on by Hawk, looked at their leader in reverence - A warrior that has stepped into the realms of the sixth rank, one that has condensed his battle aura, is enough for the Black Hand Gang to survive without worry in the area around Black Flame City Train Station, tearing apart anyone who dares to challenge their standing.
’’Now what?’’ Hawk asked Snade.
’’The two of you have the answers to your questions, the Black Hand Gang does not have this black hair kid you are looking for, the whole area around the train station does not have the person you describe. Now, since you have hurt one of ours, isn't it time for you to give us a proper compensation, it is too late to regret!’’ Bruce sneered, with a wave of his hand, the gang members began to move towards Hawk and Snade with their weapons raised.
’’Let's kill all of them. It will be troublesome if anyone of them escapes since they have seen us’’ Snade replied.
Hearing those words cause Bruce to release a roar in rage as he throws a punch at Hawk, seeing their boss taking action, the other gang members all rushed at Hawk and Snade.
Hawk to took a step forward and squashed the head of Grey Rat like a watermelon and send a punch at Bruce's incoming fist. As the fists are about to collide, Bruce's face changed, this is because in that instant, a large shadow raised behind Hawk, the only difference is, this shadow is larger than his black spider, the shadow of a huge centipede.
’’Thousand Leg Centipede, a Rank 7 Warrior, impossible...’’ Bruce shouted in fear as the fists collided. Hawk's fist shattered Bruce's arm and went through his chest.
With one move, the pillar of Black Hand Gang has collapsed. Before the other gang members could react and discard their weapons to run.
Snade, with snake-like movement, twisted and turned as he evaded the weapons that are coming towards him, instantly changing his position and stood behind two gang members that have turned their backs to run.
With a swipe of his hand, the dagger in Snade's hand gracefully sliced the throats of its targets, before the bodies could even touch the ground, Snade suddenly appeared beside the next group and sliced their throats.
After a few flashes, before the furthest guy could take seven steps, everyone stopped in their tracks followed by a gush of blood that escaped from the wound on their throats as all of them collapse at the same time.
From the start to the end, not more than five breathes has passed. Only two person are still standing in the hideout of the Black Hand Gang as the thick stench of blood permeates the room.
’’Now what?’’ Hawk asked Snade that same phrase, seemingly unconcerned that a whole gang of people just died, as though this is a small matter.
Snade intoxicatedly licked the fresh blood on his dagger as he replied, ’’Let's clean up this place first, at least make sure that no one finds for two days!’’
’’Why not just burn it?’’
’’The people in the bar has seen us, unless we clean them up too, or else they might connect us with the incident that happened tonight. If we hold back burning this place by two days, no one will think of us.’’ Snade replied cunningly.
’’This is the hideout of a gang that rules this area, they definitely have stuff hidden here. Let's do a thorough search, we might even find something good. Since that kid dares to run about in the streets of the train station, then he must be familiar with the place and often visit this area. We will keep a lookout near the train station, once we locate the kid, we will find a way to grab him!’’
’’What if we cannot find that kid?’’
’’We wait a week, if by then we have no leads, we will have to run. Leave the Andaman Alliance, leave Blackson's Human Corridor. The further we run, the better and hope the bosses won't be able to find us. If not, a gruesome death awaits!’’ Snade gloomily said.
An hour later, Hawk and Snade left the hideout of the Black Hand Gang. When they left, they made sure to lock the door of the gates, creating the illusion that the occupants are out. With the reputation of the Black Hand Gang, they believe that no one will dare to trespass the place and check inside.
By waiting for two days before burning the place down, they can wipe off all evidence of the dead gang members. Base on normal logic, no one would expect that the members have already died for two days when the fire happened.
The moment when the Black Hand Gang got wiped out is also the moment when Zhang Tie ignited his divine Palace, little did he expect that, the little wooden token that he picked up has caused him to be in a dangerous situation.
Zhang Tie at this moment felt that his life is filled with hope, his youth is no longer as pitiful......