Chapter 331 - Thief!
[Book 3: The South]
If the target was a normal person, the little shadow would have made off with the contents of the pocket already. However, Yue Zhong was a fearsome person with truly inhuman speed. He casually intercepted the small hand of the thief, and coldly said: "What do you think you're doing?"
Yue Zhong looked carefully at the little figure, discovering that it was a kid. Her entire face was grimy, and covered in ash. Even her was hair messy and all over the place, with specks of mud in it, various long strands covering her face. Her clothes were in tattered pieces.
Yue Zhong frowned and spoke: "Thief?"
The kid saw that Yue Zhong had grabbed her right hand, and her eyes flashed with fear, as she started struggling and shouted: "Ah!!! Let go of me!!!! I'm not a thief!! I'm not a thief!!!"
As the child was struggling and protesting, Wei Ningguo pulled out a handgun and pointed it at her head, as he spoke coldly in Chinese: "Shutup! Keep your cool and wait for our Boss Yue to handle you! Otherwise I'll blast your head apart."
In these post-apocalyptic times, human lives were really cheap. Be it the elderly, women or kids, as long as they angered a person of power, forfeiting their lives was a normal occurrence. Concepts like "Society" and "Juvenile Courts" didn't really apply anymore. There were even maniacs and perverts out there who enjoyed torturing kids.
Wei Ningguo, having been part of the Wolf Fang Battalion himself, had never allowed the killing of people to burden him, even the murder of kids.
As the child looked at the gun pointing at her head, her expression full of terror, she dared not make anymore sounds. She had seen the plight of countless pitiful children. She was clear that some people had gone beyond their rationality, and if this person in front of he was like them, if she was not careful, she might just lose her life.
"What happened?" Following a sweet voice, Shu Tianya, Zhang Shuwen, Hu Yan appeared. The voice belonged to the beauty Shu Tianya.
Yue Zhong pointed to the dirty little rascal that looked like a beggar and said to Shu Tianya: "Miss Shu! How're you guys doing! I'm not sure how the Chinese Association deals with people who steal. This little fellow here tried to steal my things, and was caught red-handed by me."
Shu Tianya's gaze immediately turned suspicious, as she turned towards the child and asked with an overbearing pressure: "Is it true? Did you try to steal his things?"
The beggar hesitated a while before nodding: "Yes!!"
Shu Tianya sighed, and her gaze turned complicated as she looked at Yue Zhong and said: "Yue Zhong, here, if a thief is caught, you can choose to beat the thief to death on the spot, or claim him or her as your slave. However, once he or she becomes your slave, rationing will be under your care. And it will no longer have anything to do with the Chinese Association."
Yue Zhong frowned lightly as he thought: "Slave!! Things are done like that here?"
In this post-apocalyptic world, many factions were very harsh on robbers and thieves. If there was such behaviour during a battle, if one was caught, he would immediately be executed. If it was during a lull period, Yue Zhong's first cause of action would be to throw the person into the Scum Battalion, leaving the person's fate to dying in battle, or fighting in enough battles to regain his freedom. The way things were handled here were slightly different, the fate being left to the hands of the master.
In the eyes of the people within the Chinese Association, this punishment was extremely harsh already. After all, there was no way of making things worse than it already was in this post-apocalyptic world.
Yue Zhong frowned as he took a look at the little rascal again like as if he was looking at a burden. A child could only bring more trouble for a faction that does not have too much of a support. Unless the child happened to be like Yao Yao, a natural Agility-based Evolver.
The kid looked at Yue Zhong gazing down with a frowning expression and immediately kneeled down in fright, hugging Yue Zhong's legs and begged: "Don't kill me please!! Please!! Uncle!! I'm willing to be your slave. Don't kill me!!"
Yue Zhong took one more hard look at the little rascal grabbing his leg, and he waved his hands at Wen Ningguo: "Alright!! I'm accept you then! From today on, you're under me."
Wei Ningguo received the order and took out the bag behind him, before pulling out a few small cakes, and a bottle of milk for the little kid.
The moment the kid received the cake and milk, she unceremoniously ripped the packaging open and started to take big bites and gulps. The cake and milk were extremely luxurious items in the new world, and if one wasn't careful, it would be snatched away.
When the various kids of the Chinese Association saw that the thief was able to eat such good stuff when she became Yue Zhong's slave, their eyes went red, they wanted to eat cake and drink milk too.
The kids walking about started to converge towards Yue Zhong's location.
Yue Zhong looked at the kids, and he smiled at Shu Tianya: "Miss Shu!! I'll leave you to handle these guys!"
Shu Tianya's eyes flashed with a strange gaze, as she looked at Yue Zhong and replied coyly: "Yue Zhong, if you continue to call me Miss Shu, it's too polite. Call me Tianya, or I'll take it that you don't see me as a friend."
Yue Zhong chuckled: "Fine! Tianya!! I'll trouble you with them then!"
Hearing Yue Zhong calling Shu Tianya by a first-name basis, Zhang Shuwen and Hu Yan both felt incredibly jealous. Both had been pursuing Shu Tianya for a long time, and they were clear, only those who she viewed capable of her standards could call her by name. It was obvious that Shu Tianya held Yue Zhong in high regard, and thus this made them jealous.
Shu Tianya broke into an exceptionally bright smile, as her gaze swivelled towards Zhang Shuwen and said: "Shuwen!"
Zhang Shuwen immediately pulled out a gun, as he pointed it at those kids, his expression stern and fearsome: "Get back! Don't get any ideas. Otherwise, you might lose your life."
The kids were immediately frightened off by Zhang Shuwen's fierce expression, their faces pale.
Hu Yan walked towards Yue Zhong with a fighting intent, as he challenged Yue Zhong: "Yue Zhong!! I heard that your skills are top-notch. Do you want to spar with me?"
Yue Zhong had the ability to command Mutant Beasts. This was the common knowledge amongst the Chinese Association. However, as man could not be perfect, a person was unlikely to have many strong points, there was bound to be a weakness. Hu Yan thought that Yue Zhong was focused on controlling Mutant Beasts, but as for a single-handed fight, he was likely to be weak.
Yue Zhong lightly shook his head and declined the challenge: "Brother Hu! I'm sorry, I'm not interested in these activities, sparring for no reason is not my cup of tea. Please find someone else."
Hu Yan's gaze was still fiery as he challenged: "Are you afraid? Yue Zhong!! I know you can command Mutant Beasts. I'm very grateful that you brought the beasts to save us. But, a true warrior would not back away from any challenge! Let us fight fairly!! Don't worry, I'm a magnanimous man, as long as you feel that you cannot win me, immediately surrender, I will stay my hand. I would definitely not do any despicable thing!"
Hu Yan truly felt grateful that Yue Zhong brought the beasts to save them, however, he was even more adamant on proving his worth in front of Shu Tianya, and showed that he was definitely above Yue Zhong. Yue Zhong was at most lucky, and managed to gain the ability to control Mutant Beasts.
Yue Zhong laughed mildly, before casually replying: "Alright, I admit defeat! It's your win, Brother Hu!!"
Yue Zhong really did not want to waste his energy on this type of aimless fight.
Hearing Yue Zhong's indifferent dismissal, his face turned red, and he gripped his fists tightly, till even the veins could be seen, his body trembling with rage.
Hearing Yue Zhong's declination, even Shu Tianya felt a huge disappointment. She was extremely curious about this young hero who could command over a 100 Mutant Beasts, and was commended by Zheng Qiang as though he was a god. Now that Yue Zhong had refused, she was extremely let down.
Zhang Shuwen eyed Yue Zhong and asked softly: "Yue Zhong! Just now you said that you're not interested in a challenge without any aim. Why not we do it like this! As long as you can win Hu Yan, then he and I will listen to you for an entire month. If you lose to him, then the 300 tonnes of rations offered to you by the Chinese Association will be reduced to 200 tonnes, how about that?"
Zhang Shuwen was smarter than Hu Yan and saw through Yue Zhong's words, and hence decided to offer some terms to test Yue Zhong.
Zhang Shuwen and Hu Yan were both Enhancers above level 30, and possessed battle experience. If Yue Zhong could gain them as his followers for a month, he could accomplish a lot more.
Yue Zhong pondered for a while, before agreeing: "Fine!! I accept! Brother Hu, are you ok with this suggestion?"
Hu Yan was extremely confident as he proposed his own conditions: "I accept!! But you cannot use the Mutant Beasts you command. If you command them to attack me, I am not a match for the Type 2 Leopard Cat."
Yue Zhong replied deeply: "Not a problem!! I won't use any Mutant Beasts."
Hu Yan replied: "Good! Let's go!!"
Yue Zhong followed Hu Yan towards a location which was specifically set up for training.
This arena was meant for the different experts within the Chinese Association to exchange pointers. Many of them would challenge each other, and raise their own abilities, and discover more skills.
Yue Zhong and Hu Yan's spar soon garnered the interest of the people nearby, and the experts all gather around to spectate.
Shu Wenyan looked at the 2 of them within the arena, as he asked his vice-president Wang Xingchun: "Xingchun, who do you think will win this match?"
Wang Xingchun looked at the 2 of them as he evaluated silently, before saying: "Hu Yan is the most likely victor!! If Yue Zhong doesn't use his ability to command Mutant Beasts, he most definitely isn't Hu Yan's match."
Hu Yan had reached Level 38 and was the 4th strongest expert within the Chinese Association, losing only to Shu Wenyan, Wang Xingchun and Tiger Chu. He had his close combat skills enhanced to Level 3, and within this arena, even Shu Wenyan would lose to him if he wasn't careful.