IRNDGL - Chapter 12: Where Did He Go?
“Rat” Ruen. That was the nickname others had for him.
The sordid blood used by most in the “White Wolf” hunter organization originates from a ferocious, widely known dream beast—Sky Wolf.
Such a moniker seemed like a huge irony within “White Wolf” but Ruen was proud of it.
Was there anything wrong with being a cowardly rat?
To Ruen, words like treacherous, cunning and avaricious were positive connotations. Only people with such traits led longer lives.
His acute sense of smell and uncanny foresight were extremely useful tools for preserving his own life.
These skills were honed for years, ever since he had taken to the streets. He had switched allegiances countless times, turned traitor numerous times and held many bargaining chips that could enable him to get out of any situation.
No one could kill him, nor was anyone willing to. “Rat” Ruen himself was the only one that knew exactly how vast his intelligence network was.
And this time, he was relying on a woman.
When he witnessed the miraculous wolf beast mutation bringing with it destruction and blood, followed by the graceful transformation back into human, Ruen understood that the hunters of the night would see a new master.
This woman would bring about an unprecedented revolution!
But even if she failed, nothing would happen to “Rat” Ruen.
As for the magician’s loyalty brand? Ruen had already secretly obtained the method to dispel it.
He had lived easily for many years by relying on defecting and surrendering under false pretenses whereas all those masters he had betrayed had already returned to dust. In unclear situations, those that clung on to a dead branch like fools such as the third leader Kaji… just proved how worthless and dangerous trust was.
When Ruen served under Heris, he too had used these tricks to have the “White Wolf” leader believe a notorious fellow like himself.
And now, deceiving this young, affluent lady was an easy task...
A rat had his own ambitions!
If he could obtain the method of controlling beast mutation, he would no longer be a rat scurrying in the sewers having to depend on others. With unparalleled strength on top of the intelligence network he controlled, Ruen believed that he could be a king even in broad daylight!
At that time, everyone would want to be subservient towards him...
Ruen retracted his gaze from the surroundings and turned his sights onto the bookstore owner. He scrutinized this being carefully, using all his forty years of experience to judge and determine exactly what this person was.
Finally, he came to a conclusion—This young man was just an ordinary person.
Although there was a stone gargoyle on the table, it didn’t seem exceptional. It’s nothing more than a decorative ornament in ordinary homes, thought Ruen to himself.
His gaze fell onto Ji Zhixiu. The female hunter had on a look of utter reverence, as if the one opposite her was a Supreme-rank powerhouse.
Ruen was perplexed.
Have I gotten old? Have my rat senses gotten dull?
No, that shouldn’t be it.
He was absolutely confident in his own judgement. Not too long ago, he had accurately determined that Heris would make a big move. After noticing that Heris wasn’t treating his subordinates too well in recent times, he quickly switched his allegiance and averted a slaughter.
It proved that he was right. This time, Ruen chose to believe in himself too.
However, given his new master’s veneration as well as his own innate tendency to be cautious, Ruen decided to first observe whatever sort of priceless advice this fellow would give out to be accorded such treatment.
Meanwhile, Lin Jie’s thought process was simple. He wanted to help Ji Zhixiu quell her impatience and let her know that the scumbag wasn’t his equal. After all, she had already achieved victory and the scumbag was afraid of her. All that needed to be done was to wait.
“Don’t worry too much. The situation is simpler than you imagine. Your enemy isn’t him but rather, some other stuff. What you are afraid, is fear itself so… just wait for the time being and you will get news soon.”
If waiting around not doing anything could solve problems, then what’s the point for having Secret Rite Tower or hunters?
Ruen’s brow furrowed. He didn’t show any emotion on his face but his facial muscles were clenching up.
Big talk, empty words, ambiguous statements. Ruen was most familiar with these tricks commonly used by swindlers.
He couldn’t be anymore certain that this bookstore only was a swindler through and through!
However, what flummoxed him was the humble way in which Ji Zhixiu took in that bookstore owner’s words. “Thank you for your guidance, I benefited greatly from the book you lent me. However, the situation isn’t like most. I hope…”
“Haa…” Ruen tried his hardest to calm down but his pride as the “rat” made him really want to throw that man to the ground and stomp all over him.
I must be getting old. How could I choose such a foolish young mistress? Damn it, how can this naive girl not see through a swindler like this!
Lin Jie’s expression subtly changed as he placed down his tea cup and said, “Sorry, there’s something I’ve to attend to. I will be done in about five minutes so please wait for a moment.”
Ahh… damn. I did have quite a bit of tea. Why did this young missy have to strike a conversation just as it’s my usual timing for using the bathroom.
As per routine, Lin Jie was reading and enjoying his tea while awaiting customers. Just as it was about to be his usual timing for using the washroom, Ji Zhixiu entered the bookstore and they struck a conversation. Even though Lin Jie was able to hold it in, he felt that it wasn’t necessary and it wasn’t good for the body. Besides, he was sure Ji Zhixiu wouldn’t hold it against him.
Ji Zhixiu was stumped for a moment but nodded obediently after. “Please go ahead.”
Lin Jie got up and disappeared up the stairs to the second floor.
Ji Zhixiu was about to mull over what the bookstore owner said when Ruen came over to her and said through gritted teeth, “Boss, what the hell are you doing?!”
Ji Zhixiu’s eyes narrowed and she said coldly, “I only brought you here not because I didn’t trust you but because I felt your grasp of information might be of use here. What gives you the right to talk to me in this tone?”
“Don’t forget that with the brand on your neck, you are now a henchman of my family and not some wild rat. Perhaps you need to understand the rules better.”
Ruen’s face twitched as he exasperated, “He’s a swindler, an out-and-out swindler! Yes I may not have been observing proper rules but this I know! His tricks might seem consummate but I can easily find at least three others on the same level as him!”
A completely bamboozled blockhead being so high and mighty was viewing him as a sewer rat...
Ji Zhixiu’s face stiffened. “Shut up! I shouldn’t have brought you here. Narrow-minded people have limited perspectives indeed. If it weren’t for the fact that you are still useful, I would cut you down right now!” she berated.
“I’m absolutely loyal to you! I will prove it to you in a bit…”
Ruen slipped out a poison dart, concealing the killing intent in his eyes as he muttered, “I’ll prove it to you when he comes down.”
A blood curdling screech rang out in the bookstore.
Ruen and Ji Zhixiu were both stunned and immediately looked towards the counter top..
The jet-black sculpture was rapidly enlarging, swinging its long powerful tail and spreading out those huge wings as if it was an enormous shadow from hell.
The ominous red glow blazed even brighter as it set its sights on the person that had displayed killing intent—Ruen.
With a flap of its wings, the gargoyle shot over at astonishing speed, ignoring Ruen’s disbelief and struggles as its claws tore off his head and swallowed it whole. Next, it devoured the rest of Ruen’s body in seconds before using its tongue to lick the blood off the floor and shelves.
Ruen couldn’t even cry out in the few seconds this whole episode had lasted.
The gargoyle then returned back to its stone sculpture form.
Thump Thump Thump.
Lin Jie came back downstairs and noticed Ji Zhixiu standing before the counter, staring blankly at the floorboards.
Finding it a little strange, Lin Jie asked, “Ah? Where’s that subordinate of yours?”
Ji Zhixiu snapped back to reality. Face slightly pale, she looked towards Lin Jie and forced a weak smile, “He… he had an urgent matter to attend to.”
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