Chapter 71: A moment of grace before the prelude of assassination
After spending an entire day preparing, Han Shuo and Phoebe took a carriage at dusk to the Boozt Merchant Guild in the southern part of the city.
Han Shuo and Phoebe sat shoulder to shoulder within the carriage. Two primitively simplistic crossbows, decorated with intricate carvings, were placed in front of the two. In addition to this, there was a dagger that sparkled with cold light.
“This crossbow and dagger will be of much better quality than the ones you obtained from the orc wolf riders last time. I’m giving all of these to you for free.” Phoebe held a clean piece of silk in her hands, carefully wiping away at the longsword in her hands as she spoke coldly to Han Shuo.
Han Shuo played with the crossbow and dagger in his hands, so delighted with them that he could hardly bear to put them down. He was quite satisfied with Phoebe’s generosity and said with a light laugh, “Don’t count on me too much for this operation, I’m not as strong as you think I am. My main purpose is to keep a lookout and act as your supporting assistant. You’re still going to be the one who has to take action.”
“I know, just listen to my orders later. I’ll be telling you what to do then.” Phoebe rolled her eyes at Han Shuo and said with some anger.
Han Shuo took out a small bottle from within his space ring and carefully poured some powder onto his fingertip, very cautiously coating the tips of both the dagger and crossbow bolts. He hastily and repeatedly cleaned the fingertip that had been covered by the powder.
Phoebe was a bit curious about Han Shuo’s actions and slightly shifted her body closer to where he was sitting, proceeding to stare at and observe his actions for quite a while. She finally asked, seemingly perplexed, “What are you doing?”
A strand of fragrance, similar to the scent of orchids, wafted into Han Shuo’s mouth and nose as Phoebe moved closer to him. He involuntarily flicked a glance at her as his heart suddenly lurched. Phoebe was like Han Shuo today, dressed in tight-fitting, black, nightwalker clothes. The tight nightwalker clothing caused Phoebe’s marvelous body to become visible without a doubt. She had a pair of exquisitely chiseled cheeks, and stunning beauty which blossomed from the movement of her clear eyes. All of which caused Han Shuo to have a heart like a capering monkey and a mind like a galloping horse.
I already have Fanny… although this Phoebe is pretty, her personality is too cold and she comes with too much dangerous baggage. Han Shuo said silently to himself and turned his head away afterwards, continuing to concentrate on coating the dagger and crossbow bolts. He responded diffidently, “Nothing much, just applying some poison powder to my weapons.”
“Despicable! Shameless! This goes against the regulations of the Empire. If anyone were to know of your actions, you would be in great trouble!” Phoebe’s face was full of contempt as she spoke coldly.
“Doesn’t matter… what we’re about to do today isn’t the most honorable task anyways. Besides, no one will find out about this. Heh heh, you’re my accomplice and even I don’t believe that you’re dumb enough to rat yourself out.” Han Shuo cackled a low, evil laugh as he spoke with a trace of pride.
Phoebe was a bit suffocated by her anger upon hearing Han Shuo’s words, but since she had looked to him for help, she could only snort coldly and couldn’t say much else.
When Han Shuo had applied poison powder to all the crossbow bolt and his dagger, he thought for a moment and pulled a few iron needles from his thigh. He spared no trouble and was exceedingly patient as he also applied the same poison powder to the iron needles. Phoebe once again snorted lightly, seeming to hold Han Shuo’s methods in high contempt.
When he’d settled everything appropriately, Han Shuo put away all his weapons and looked at Phoebe, asking, “Right, why are you not directly attacking Grover and are attempting to kill his two ineffectual lackeys instead?”
“Grover has some critical items belonging to the Guild in his possession, he’s put those items in a trusted mistress. If Grover dies, his mistress is sure to publicly reveal those items. This would be of destructive impact to us. So before I kill Grover, I must find his mistress first and regain control of those items.” Phoebe glanced sideways at Han Shuo, explaining with some reluctance.
The larger a merchant guild was, the more likely shady dealings would occur. Take the resources that Han Shuo had seized from the orc wolf riders for example. These items had originally belonged to the shops of the town of Drol. The Empire had long since had an official regulation that if citizens obtained such resources, they must be turned in.
Fabian and Han Shuo’s transaction had already violated the Empire’s regulations. If the Empire were to find out about the methods of the Boozt Merchant Guild, the Guild was sure to find it hard to escape their inevitable punishment. For a guild like the Boozt Merchant Guild, there were surely more similarly illegal transactions. It looked like this critical matters was handled by Grover. No wonder Phoebe didn’t dare to act rashly against Grover.
The two discussed some of the details in low voices until the horse carriage suddenly stopped unbeknownst to anyone. The groom at the front said softly, “Miss, we’ve arrived at the back door of the guild.”
“Let’s go!” Phoebe glanced at Han Shuo and took the lead in alighting. Han Shuo poked his head out to look around and then hopped off as well.
“Miss, hurry inside. Be careful. Grover has just taken a few strong men and left the guild. I don’t know where they’ve gone. They always return at the end of the night.” An old man in the Boozt Merchant Guild was guarding the back door and hastily turned his body to the side to allow Phoebe and Han Shuo to enter when he saw them arrive..
“We’ve caused you to go to great efforts!” Phoebe said to the old man. She glanced at Han Shuo as they rushed inside the guild. Han Shuo followed tightly behind Phoebe as he, too, quickly moved forward.
“Although the Guild is mostly controlled by Grover’s men, I can mobilize a few older men, and this is all because Grover isn’t aware of my relationship with them. There are many guards inside, so we must be careful and cautious. Otherwise, not only will the assassination fail if we’re discovered, but it would be hard to even escape with our lives.” Phoebe was exceedingly familiar with the Boozt Merchant Guild as she evaded quite a few areas with guards when she lead Han Shuo with a fast pace. She didn’t forget to remind Han Shuo during this time.
It was completely dark now. There was no moon tonight and thick layers of dark-colored clouds completely absorbed all light. The few lights along the hallways of the Boozt Merchant Guild were unable to shine out too far.
Phoebe had the strength of a swordmaster alright. Her agile body greatly surprised Han Shuo. Her body flew soundlessly and her speed was exceedingly fast.
His magical yuan churning madly, Han Shuo was greatly astounded by the extraordinariness of his senses when he calmed down. The black night was completely unable to obstruct his range of vision. Even without the illumination of lights, Han Shuo could clearly see the fish swimming in the pools beneath the artificial mountains in the far distance. He could also clearly hear the footsteps coming from quite a distance away and the rustlings of low voices within passing rooms.
Han Shuo’s calm walk was also agile and fast beyond comparison. He was like a hunting cheetah, searching for his prey, following soundlessly behind Phoebe.
Suddenly, Han Shuo quickly approached and grabbed Phoebe, abruptly hauling her body and stuffing themselves into a crack in the surrounding artificial mountains.
The crack in the artificial mountains was exceedingly narrow, and their chests were tightly mashed against each other as they squeezed inside. Han Shuo could feel the fully rounded peaks in front of Phoebe’s chest. Her charming face was infuriated as she glared fiercely at Han Shuo, her eyes seeming like they could spit out fire.
“Shh!” Extending a finger to make a silencing motion, Han Shuo’s eyes rolled rapidly, indicating to Phoebe that there was an unexpected situation.
The wrath on Phoebe’s face still didn’t dissipate upon Han Shuo’s actions. A trace of bashful red flooded Phoebe’s slender, white neck and nape. Their two thighs were somewhat enmeshed and rubbing against each other, they could even feel each other’s heartbeat through their connecting chests. A strand of of ambiguous atmosphere started to emanate between the two of them.
Seemingly too shy to look at Han Shuo, Phoebe’s cheek made its way next to Han Shuo’s ear as she said in an incredibly low voice, her breath like orchids, “I will kill you if there isn’t anything going on.”
Han Shuo’s expression was wry as he regulated his breathing and concentrated, not saying anything. He felt the exceedingly light footsteps draw near. His breathing became slower and he even slightly shook his head, wanting to warn Phoebe of danger. Who knew that because Phoebe was pursing her jade lips in a low whisper to Han Shuo, Han Shuo’s shake of his head actually caused Phoebe’s tantalizing lips to directly plaster themselves onto Han Shuo’s cheeks.
Just as Phoebe’s breathing was uneasy and about to erupt into rage, Han Shuo turned his head with extreme difficulty and used a very resolute gaze to tell Phoebe to be careful.
Phoebe had the training of a swordmaster after all, and the strength of her mental state was quite strong. She merely inhaled a deep breath at this critical moment and immediately calmed her rapidly beating heart. However, because of her deep breath, the full peaks in front of her chest involuntarily lifted, rising so that Han Shuo almost lost control and moaned.
“My wind screen truly felt a disturbance and I came here at the fastest speed possible. Why didn’t I discover anything? Have I been too careful lately?” The murmuring sound of a man talking to himself sounded out, not too far away from the two.
Exceedingly light footsteps only slowly sounded in the vicinity after the voice came into earshot. If Phoebe hadn’t raised her concentration to the utmost, it would have been exceedingly difficult to detect these footsteps unless the man had been quite close by.
Since he was a wind mage, he could indeed use enhancement magics of the wind major to greatly decrease the weight of his body. His walking speed would be faster than normal mages and warriors, and his footsteps would be even more lithe with no sound. No wonder that even with Phoebe’s strength as a swordmaster, she was able to detect his movement only after he drew near.
This person surveyed the surroundings, finally departing without a sound while Han Shuo and Phoebe remained on tenterhooks.
However, Phoebe didn’t dare take reckless actions this time. She was deathly afraid that her judgment would be flawed. Her pair of clear eyes bore straight into Han Shuo, as if wishing to gain some clues from Han Shuo’s face.
After a while, Han Shuo exhaled lightly and said lowly, “He’s gone!”
As soon as his voice sounded, Phoebe used her hands and legs together to firmly squirm out from the crack of the artificial mountains. She lowered her head and said lightly with a fierce tone, “I’ll let it pass this time, but the next time something like this occurs, find a more spacious place, otherwise I won’t let you off.”
Phoebe circled around the area after she’d finished speaking and was about to head in another direction. She walked two steps and realized that Han Shuo was smiling wryly, having yet to catch up. She stuck her hands on her waist and lightly rebuked, “You don’t want the black gold ore anymore?”
“Coming!” Han Shou responded and followed with some resignation, thinking when can I find a spacious hiding place when things go south!
They didn’t meet with any more unexpected twists afterwards. Phoebe led Han Shuo on a longer path, avoiding a few waves of guards and finally making it into Darnell and Yuna’s room.
“Let’s set things up, make our preparations, and wait for this dog couple to come back!” Phoebe immediately spoke through gritted teeth upon entering the room, seeming to want to vent her frustrations from earlier on the two of them.
Therefore, Han Shuo and Phoebe started working busily, preparing to assassinate Grover’s loyal lackeys who were about to return.