Mr. Melancholy Wants to Live a Peaceful Life - Chap 41
At 10:05, five minutes past the arranged meeting time, Yuan Luori was patiently waiting for the black-cloaked man.
Zhen Li’s voice came over the public broadcasting system from the first floor to the whole building. He loudly said, “Congratulations to the customer with the cell phone number ending 6919, you’ve been selected, please come up to the stage to receive your phone.”
Zhen Li was stalling and only drew the first winner after five minutes. He had eaten the paper slips and lottery drawing box from before. The box now was the fresh one Cen Xiao had prepared. He had written some numbers at random, not knowing whether they were right or not. At any rate, if a customer’s phone number just happened to match, then they would be the winner, and if he called out three times without anyone coming for the phone, one of the members of the Protector squad would come to get it.
Zhen Li called three times. The customers standing at the foot of the stage looked at each other helplessly. You Zhengping’s third underling, Xiao Ruo, who liked to eat sweets, went up on stage. “It’s mine.”
When he had been caught at the very beginning, Xiao Ruo had been there, too. Zhen Li recognized Plain Face Number 4. He handed over the phone with a dry smile and said, “Congratulations, Customer 6919! Let me ask, how do you feel about winning?”
Xiao Ruo knew that Zhen Li had to draw out the lottery drawing for as long as possible to gather even more customers together and avoid anyone going to the sixth floor movie theater and getting in the way of You Zhengping’s operation. As everyone looked on enviously, he said, “Happy. I’m just so happy. Recently, I helped a brother save money to buy his husband a phone. When I saw him buy the phone, I was so envious. Why wasn’t there anyone scrounging food and drink to save up to buy me a phone? Now I’ve finally realized my wish. It’s great!”
“…I didn’t scrounge food and drink, and also, I feel like there’s some grief in your words,” Zhen Li said.
Yu Hua, at the foot of the stage, heard Xiao Ruo and frowned faintly. Why were Xiao You’s brothers still concerned about the scrounged food and drink? Was he not making enough snacks?
Seeing that everyone’s gazes, including Cen Xiao and the other Protectors’s, were focused on Xiao Ruo, Yu Hua quietly left the lobby. For the sake of security, he also sent Zhen Li a message to say that someone wanted to interview today, and as the human resources director, he had to go lead the interview.
Yu Hua began to walk. When he had only gone two steps, he was stopped by Lian Yufan in Plain Face Number 2.
“Sir, there are still two phones to be chosen, won’t you wait for the next drawing?” Lian Yufan asked. He was wearing an employee’s uniform.
Lian Yufan wasn’t suspicious of Yu Hua. He was worried that if Yu Hua went upstairs, it would get in the way of You Zhengping’s battle.
Yu Hua currently didn’t recognize Lian Yufan in his mask. He explained, “I’m Zhen Li’s agent. I didn’t take part in the lottery. I have an interview at eleven. There’s someone applying for the position of public relations director, so I’m going to have a look at him.”
Lian Yufan said, “…So your company doesn’t have a public relations director.”
“No, we do have one, though he’s rather obnoxious and often abandons his post and refuses to comply with discipline. I’m planning to find a more obedient one. The money from this event of yours is just enough to pay a severance.”
Lian Yufan: “…”
Yu Hua lightly raised his eyebrow at Lian Yufan. Maintaining a polite smile, he left the mall.
Seeing that he really was leaving, Lian Yufan relaxed and didn’t stop Yu Hua again. As for the bit about firing him…he’d see about that later!
After leaving the mall, Yu Hua went to a corner unobserved by security cameras and set up an illusion. For five minutes, he wouldn’t be seen by passersby.
He snapped his fingers lightly, and the black cloak appeared on him.
After using the poison to force 3% of his power to unseal, Yu Hua could use his summoning ability. With the limit of his power, he could only summon three inanimate objects, and the inanimate objects had to have belonged to Yu Hua and been marked in advance.
Naturally Yu Hua had marked this cloak. After summoning it and quickly changing into it, he also summoned the silver mask and covered his face.
While Zhen Li had been drawing the winner for the first phone, five minutes before Yu Hua changed clothes, Yuan Luori and You Zhengping had arrived on the roof of the movie theater according to plan. Yuan Luori took out a bubble machine he had bought and passed it to You Zhengping.
Naturally this wasn’t an item from the System. Yuan Luori had withdrawn some of his scant earnings ahead of time to buy it at a toy shop next door. And there wasn’t poison inside the bubble machine, only plain soapy water, entirely for the use of fooling Destroyer 192.
You Zhengping knew the bubble machine’s history and accepted it with the proper attitude. After inspecting it, he said, “Well done. Did you put in the virus I gave you?”
“Of course I did. When are you going to remove the restriction you put on me?” Yuan Luori also recited his lines.
They wanted to trick Destroyer 192, so naturally Yuan Luori had to pretended he was being forced. Only if he were being forced would he have a reason to reveal information about the black-cloaked man to Destroyer 192 and request 192’s help.
“When the virus has spread over a wide radius, I’ll remove the restriction. Otherwise, you’ll only die after ten years of your whole body rotting painfully,” You Zhengping said fiercely.
“That’s truly worthy of the ultimate boss that the System wants to root out! You’re so vicious!” Yuan Luori said “hatefully.”
They had guessed that Destroyer 192 would be listening in from some location and were deliberately talking about the System. Levelers carrying the System couldn’t talk about the System to anyone but other levelers and the mission target. If they so much as thought of revealing anything, they would self-destruct. Yuan Luori saying this was him giving Destroyer 192 evidence that the person in front of him really was the mission target.
In reality, Yu Hua had removed his System long ago. He could have picked a person at random off the street and told them the System’s secrets without self-destructing.
“I still don’t know the speed and range of dispersal of your bubble machine.” You Zhengping turned the bubble machine over in his hands, inwardly wondering why Destroyer 192 wasn’t here yet. He couldn’t really set the machine off? It would only spurt ordinary bubbles. If he set it off, the plot would be revealed.
“In half an hour, the whole Xuyang District will be wrapped in bubbles,” Yuan Luori said nonsensically. At most his bubbles could have encircled the amusement park. They weren’t so powerful. But showing off was free, anyway, so he could make himself sound more awesome.
Yuan Luori looked at the black-cloaked man worshipfully, thinking that after they had disposed of the new leveler, he would have to ask his idol how many levels he had passed. He examined the black-cloaked man closely and gradually discovered that there was something very slightly off about him.
Today’s black-cloaked man seemed to be five or six centimeters shorter than the one at the amusement park.
Last night, Yuan Luori had been half blind, his eyes full of shadows. He hadn’t been able to see the black-cloaked man clearly. Today, Yu Hua had temporarily restored his vision, so Yuan Luori could see the faint difference.
“Half an hour for just the Xuyang District. I suppose that will do.” You Zhengping was still pretending. He couldn’t think of any more excuses, so he put his finger on the button of the bubble machine and acted like he was pressing it.
He didn’t believe that Destroyer 192 would let him press it.
While You Zhengping pressed the button, he released his senses entirely, eyes darting all around and ears wide open, constantly alert. He knew that everything around him could become a bomb.
As expected, when he was just about to press down, a roughly 30-kilogram object flew off the roof towards You Zhengping.
You Zhengping stared at it. The flying object was an elementary school student wearing a backpack!
In that instant, You Zhengping’s eyes reddened. Destroyer 192 was using a child as a hostage again!
When the Protectors had been working out their plan, they had been worried that Destroyer 192 would take children hostage. Their analysis then had been that with a whole mall full of people, perhaps Destroyer 192 wouldn’t go to the trouble of finding other hostages.
Though everyone had overlooked one thing—Murphy’s Law.
The more you were afraid of something, the more likely it was to happen. The Protectors had been worried about hostages, so Destroyer 192 really had gotten a double guarantee!
“192 has appeared, activate the repulsion field!” You Zhengping only had time to say this before the child flew up in front of him. Not caring that the child’s little backpack was exploding, he wrapped his whole body around it.
The child was too close to the backpack. Even if You Zhengping put her in his second space for protection, the backpack would also enter the space with her. Even though the force of the explosion would have been reduced to one tenth, the flesh and blood of a small child might still not be able to endure it.
The only thing to do was to use his space to separate the child from the backpack! If the child had been flying facing You Zhengping, he could have could have created a small sealing space in his arms, and taken the unconscious child into it. Meanwhile, You Zhengping would have used his arms to control the power, precisely separating the child and the backpack.
But how could Destroyer 192 give You Zhengping the opportunity? Naturally he had sent the child flying with his back towards You Zhengping. Time was tight. You Zhengping had no time to turn the child around. He had to hug the exploding backpack and open a space in his arms, completely wrapping himself and the bomb inside the space and leaving the unconscious child outside.
Everything happened too quickly. Yuan Luori had lost his ability. The only thing he could do was throw himself forward to catch the child before he fell heavily on the ground.
This was a little girl wearing a small dress. She was sleeping peacefully, like a little angel.
Yuan Luori saw that the child was all right and relaxed slightly. Only then could he worry about his idol. “Great master, how are you?”
The space opened next to him. You Zhengping’s black cloak had been destroyed. With a bomb going off in his arms, though You Zhengping had been wearing a bulletproof vest to protect his chest and abdomen, his arms had had no protection.
He had used his special ability to trap the whole might of the explosion in his arms. The bulletproof vest had been blown up, and the fire-resistant combat fabric of his sleeves had been turned to ashes. You Zhengping’s arms were bloody and blackened, letting off the scent of roasted flesh.
His arms, thighs, and neck had all been burned to varying extents. Only his face under the nanotech mask as still all right. This was only because You Zhengping had thought that with Yuan Luori right next to him, he had to hide his identity, so he had spared a bit of power to protect his head and face.
Yuan Luori said, “You’re not the great master, you’re a Protector!”
Destroyer 192 said, “You’re not the mission target, you’re the spatial ability user from the park!”
Yuan Luori, who hadn’t cared about anyone’s lives at the amusement park, was holding a little girl in his arms. Destroyer 192, meanwhile, had a child tucked under each arm, one boy and one girl, even smaller. It was obvious that their backpacks had also been turned into bombs. And this Destroyer was indeed the young rent boy who had gone to the hotel with the rich merchant last night.
“Yuan Luori, you’ve fallen to the level of joining hands with this world’s natives.” There was deathly black around Destroyer 192’s eyes. He laughed mockingly. “The mission target was never here. You tricked me.”
Enduring severe pain, You Zhengping saw that Destroyer 192 was carrying two more children, and his heart filled with regret.
He was still too weak. If he could control all the power in the area at once like Director Xiao, if he could have precisely used his spaces to separate the child from the explosion at a distance, he wouldn’t have been so seriously injured and wouldn’t have left Destroyer 192 two other children to use to threaten him.
If he had been on his own, he wouldn’t have lost to Destroyer 192, but…
Director Xiao had been right. Destruction was simpler than protection. The Protectors had to be ten times, a hundred times stronger than the Destroyers to be able to protect this world.
Not being able to control his ability at long range and having to touch things in order to open his second space was the weak spot in his ability.
His arms hurt so much. With such a heavy injury, even though special ability users’ healing capacity was stronger than an ordinary person’s, it would still take a month to recover. Would he not be able to see Yu Hua during that month? Would he have to think of another way to trick his husband?
Yu Hua was at the mall today, too. He was on the first floor. Destroyer 192 couldn’t be allowed to release his power, or else Yu Hua would also be in danger.
The repulsion field had been activated. Destroyer 192’s expression changed slightly. He felt that vast power. This was an energy field formed by ten senior Protectors at all corners of the mall building simultaneously releasing their power. Inside the repulsion field, You Zhengping felt quite a bit of his strength restored.
His squad and Lian Yufan’s put together made fourteen people in all. The number was more than enough to form a repulsion field. But Director Xiao had still had older Protectors transferred from all over because the young people couldn’t release their powers at such a distance.
“An energy field? Your plan is truly thorough!” Destroyer 192 raised the two children. “Disperse the repulsion field at once, or else I’ll kill these two children.”
He laughed arrogantly. “Yuan Luori, oh, Yuan Luori. So you want to work with this world’s natives. If the mission target were here, I’d be worried that the hostages would have no impact on him. I only brought the children as insurance against the battle drawing in the world’s natives, to use them as a shield to prevent this world’s super power users from getting in the way. But if my opponent is only a native, then that’s much easier. The hostage move is extremely effective against them.
“I’ll only give you three seconds to consider. In three seconds, I’ll kill one. Three…”
Hearing Destroyer 192 counting down the seconds, You Zhengping’s thoughts flew. He remembered Lian Yufan.
The repulsion field could contain the range of the explosion within a one-meter diameter. As long as there was no one around and someone to hold up the mall building, ordinary people wouldn’t be hurt. If they dispersed the repulsion field, then the bombs Destroyer 192 had planted would be enough to instantly take all the lives in this mall and the adjoining office buildings. But if they didn’t disperse it, two children would die.
If he had been Lian Yufan, he wouldn’t have hesitated. Lian Yufan used numbers to weight the value of lives. It was too easy to choose between two lives and over ten thousand.
What should he do? You Zhengping was a mess of wounds. He remembered that when he and Lian Yufan had fought over the mask, he had said that he would become stronger, strong enough to not have to make a choice, strong enough to be able to say, “I want it all,” strong enough not to have to abandon anyone.
“Two…” Destroyer 192 counted precisely.
You Zhengping’s injured leg couldn’t hold him up. He went down on one knee, slightly reaching out a hand towards Destroyer 192.
“One…” Destroyer 192 smiled. “It doesn’t matter if you hesitate now. When one dies, you’ll listen to me.”
As he spoke, the backpack of the boy he was holding with his left arm lit up. Just then, You Zhengping had fully raised his right hand. He stuck out his middle finger and put the fingertip to the pad of his thumb, flicking lightly, as though flicking someone’s forehead.
As the “one” in Destroyer 192’s count trailed off, a space just large enough to contain the backpack flew from You Zhengping’s fingertips. This space was hard for the average person’s naked eye to see. As he flicked his finger, the little space flew quickly. At the moment the backpack lit up, it wrapped around it just in time.
The Destroyer was surprised by this sudden change. He loosened his left hand slightly and took a step back. Because of his movement, the little boy fell on the ground. Luckily the child was light and the height was only one meter. The little boy only got a few small scrapes.
You Zhengping didn’t hesitate. After flicking out the first space, he quickly flicked out a second one. These were both his second space, he had split one space that could hold an adult human into two small ones, forming and catapulting the spaces with his fingertips, successively releasing two high-speed, invisible spaces, trapping the two backpacks-turned-bombs inside them.
“Don’t think I don’t know that the bombs exploding inside the spaces will also hurt you!” Destroyer 192 said savagely, dropping the little girl he was holding with his right arm.
192 controlled two exploding backpacks, and You Zhengping bore two attacks. He had already been seriously injured and now received another critical hit. He couldn’t hold out any longer. He fell down.
“Haha, don’t think that I have no way to destroy this building with you using the repulsion field,” said Destroyer 192. “Even if the explosions are contained within one meter, the load-bearing walls still won’t be able to hold up, and this building will collapse! As long as the building collapses, even if you don’t report it on the news, the general public will still know about this, and the mission target will appear!”
“Go ahead, then!” You Zhengping propped himself up on his elbow, looking fiercely at Destroyer 192. “If you blow it up, then I’ve lost!”
Lian Yufan had promised that this building wouldn’t collapse. He could definitely keep his promise.
Destroyer 192 had looked down on the Protection Organization’s people all along. Now, goaded into anger by You Zhengping, he sneered. “Do you really think I wouldn’t dare?”
He got out a cell phone, opened the map of the game space, chose the Xincheng Mall area on it, and pressed “detonate all.”
You Zhengping’s wireless earpiece, which transmitted information to him, had been destroyed by the explosion earlier, but Yuan Luori still had the earpiece You Zhengping had given him before! He had kept up a dialogue, letting the Protection Organization know everything that was happening on the roof.
“He’s detonated!” Yuan Luori warned.
In the control room, Director Xiao ordered, “Release the salute!”
Zhen Li, who was following the course of events, heard the order and said, “Now let’s set off some fireworks to celebrate Customer 6919 winning the phone!”
At the same time that Destroyer 192 detonated the bombs, Cen Xiao, who had come to the fourth floor and was standing at the very center of the building, opened his eyes wide. At every explosion point that Luo Huai had indicated, the Protector squad had placed a burning incense stick. With the incense flames as a power conductor, Cen Xiao could instantly sensed the burning.
When the dozens of ignition points simultaneously lit up, the sandalwood incense sticks began to burn fiercely. With the help of the repulsion field and the incense flames as a guide, Cen Xiao absorbed the flames from each explosion point, preventing the customers from seeing fire.
The salute rang out. Countless colorful streamers scattered onto the prize-winning Xiao Ruo. While the customers didn’t understand why one measly phone was worth such a celebration, they all still applauded.
Everyone’s gazes were attracted by the colorful streamers. Lian Yufan, with his back against the first floor’s main load-bearing wall and his hands palms flat against the wall’s surface, instantly transmitting all of his power to every corner of the mall.
The repulsion field contained the explosions within one meter, Cen Xiao absorbed the fire and heat, while Lian Yufan instantly repaired each place in the building that had been damaged by the explosions!
The weight of over a thousand tons of reinforced concrete instantly fell on Lian Yufan’s back, which was pressed to the load-bearing wall. He seemed to hear his own spine shattering.
Despite this, Lian Yufan stuck close to the load-bearing wall, tightly clenching his teeth.
You Zhengping had said he “wanted it all,” and he had accomplished it; Lian Yufan also had to accomplish what he had said.
Being paralyzed from now on didn’t matter. After all, there were so many people in this mall. Their lives mattered much more than his own!
The salute stopped, and Xiao Ruo stepped off the stage of the customers’ applause. Behind him, Zhen Li announced that he would now begin to choose the second winner.
On the roof, Destroyer 192 stared blankly at his phone. “The explosions succeeded. Why didn’t the building collapse?”
You Zhengping held himself up on one arm and spat out a mouthful of black blood. Coldly, he said, “Since we Protectors dared to lay a trap for you, we certainly won’t let a single one of your stratagems succeed!”
Yu Hua right now: changing clothes…
Yu Hua: In fact, I had my hand on the outside wall of the mall while I was changing clothes. I was going to act as soon as the explosions went off. But the Protectors work too well together and didn’t give me the opportunity. Next chapter it’s my turn to kick some ass.
Yuan Luori: I remember that in the amusement park, it was You Zhengping beating me up first, and then Yu Hua. Today it’s the same. First You Zhengping strikes, then Yu Hua beats the dog’s head while it’s in the water.
Messrs. Melancholy: So you see, the arrangement of our surnames makes sense! It’s the order we beat people up in!