Chapter 43: The Pervert and the Message Tree
Translator: YH Editor: Pranav
Duanmu Huanghun woke up in a daze.
There appeared to be a commotion around him...
Why was he feeling so cold? Why were his hands and feet all soft and his body so sore? Was he sick?
Duanmu Huanghun opened his eyes with much effort. Through his hazy vision, he saw quite a number of human-shaped figures surrounding him from above.
Could it be that the senior leadership was here to visit him out of concern for his illness?
The sounds around him gradually became more distinct.
"Wow, what an exhibitionist!"
"He's really not wearing any clothes at all! Heavens, our school actually has people like that!"
"Could he be a rapist? Maybe he was caught in adultery?"
Not wearing any clothes...feeling cold from head to toe...
When realization dawned upon Duanmu Huanghun, he forced his eyes open. His face was planted on the ground, and he was surrounded by a large number of legs. The cooling sensation all over his body made him freeze in horror. All he wanted to do now was to dig a hole and hide in it.
Duanmu Huanghun almost stopped breathing. The unwanted attention made him utterly embarrassed. He had never, in his entire life, experienced such helplessness before. He felt that his life was now dark beyond compare.
That nefarious Ai Hui and his partner in crime were simply too ruthless!
Duanmu Huanghun suddenly remembered that he was wearing an elemental energy mask and was hence unrecognizable. He let out a sigh of relief.
He needed to escape, immediately!
He could sense that the surrounding crowd was constantly growing larger, but the elemental energy within his body was not responding to his commands. He was filled with regret. Why did he have to pick a fight with Ai Hui when his own strength was sapped?
He forcefully activated his natal residence, disregarding the consequent internal injury and the fact that he would need half a month to heal.
The onlookers' vision blurred as the naked figure on the ground vanished.
"Wow, an expert!"
"Public decency is dying with each passing day! How can such an expert be so shameless?"
"We need to lodge a complaint with the administration! That pervert must be caught!"
When he heard the mob's angry cries behind him, Duanmu Huanghun spat out a mouthful of hot blood. His internal injury immediately became more severe.
Ai Hui, you'd better watch out!
Duanmu Huanghun gritted his teeth.
Vanguard Training Hall.
Ai Hui drew himself up, preparing to listen to Shi Xueman's description of the target; after all, he had absorbed her Calming Indigo Silk. Even though the sword embryo was to blame, Ai Hui felt truly apologetic. Furthermore, the noodle shop girl did not seem to be capricious and was, in fact, a pretty decent person.
If he was in her shoes, he would chop the person who took his eighty million into mincemeat without any hesitation.
Since it was his mistake, there was nothing more to be said. Ai Hui knew the value of eighty million yuan; he was not some naive kid who knew nothing about the real world.
The noodle shop girl's good temperament was reflected in the fact that she did not get physical, in spite of possessing such power.
He was thus very serious about accomplishing his task.
Noticing Ai Hui's sincerity, Shi Xueman had a somewhat better impression of him. She began to list down the target's characteristics, counting the points with her fingers. "He is proficient in close quarters combat, highly experienced in real combat, and has a vicious fighting style."
Ai Hui instantly knew that this young lady didn't have much experience. "The information you have given is too general. Do you have his name? Maybe his age? How tall is he? Is he fat, skinny or well-built? Did he have anything unique about him? Perhaps some kind of deformity or disability? What about his hair and skin color?"
Shi Xueman realized that Ai Hui wanted more specific details. She quickly responded, "It was during a blind battle, and he didn't leave his full name. He is most probably a youngster. His height and build were rather similar to yours. As for other special characteristics...that's right, he had a lot of strength."
Ai Hui shook his head. "Still too little information."
Shi Xueman was slightly anxious. She clenched her teeth and racked her brain. Suddenly, her eyes lit up as she offered, "Oh, and he was very powerful."
"How powerful? What was his base level?"
"Possibly more powerful than me." She then added, "Not much stronger but not much weaker either."
Ai Hui nodded and agreed, "That does narrow our search down by quite a bit."
He was not simply shooting his mouth off. The power that she had exhibited earlier had sent a lingering fear crawling up his spine-even someone as arrogant as Duanmu Huanghun was beaten to a pulp.
He reflected for a while, before asking prudently, "What's your base level? It's fine if you're not willing to share."
Shi Xueman replied spontaneously, "I have achieved six palaces."
Even though Ai Hui had already known she was fierce and powerful, discovering her base level still made him involuntarily suck in air through his teeth.
This girl...even Fatty would not dare to tell her that the debtor is the boss!
Ai Hui was glad that he had no plans to renege on his debt; otherwise, he might have already ended up in the sewers as a pile of dregs.
He sighed lightly, hiding his astonishment. "The target must be a renowned expert, further limiting the scope of our search."
Little did he expect the seemingly ordinary girl from the noodle shop to shake her head and disagree. "No! I am very familiar with all the renowned experts of the Induction Ground, and he is not one of them. The target is definitely a new student, someone who I have not traded blows with before."
Ai Hui's mind buzzed; the hidden implications of her words are rather frightening. What did she mean by being "familiar with the renowned experts?" Judging from the phrase 'not traded blows with before', they were definitely more than just acquaintances.
Furthermore, she had said it with absolute certainty. Didn't that imply that she had sparred with them before?
Ai Hui felt his mouth turn dry. How unlucky must he be to owe someone so powerful eighty million yuan!
He took a deep breath, trying to remain calm. "How could any of the new students possibly have such a base level of six palaces?"
"Why not?" she countered, disagreeing. "For all we know, he could have a strange character and prefers to keep a low-profile. Maybe he enjoys preying on the weak."
Ai Hui considered the idea for a while. "In other words, the target is a new student, who is actually an expert, with a build similar to mine. Also, his base level might be of six palaces or possibly even higher, knows an absolute art, has a vicious fighting style, and is proficient in blind battling as well as submission moves."
"That should be about it!" Shi Xueman was very pleased.
Although he was young, Ai Hui's maturity, calmness, and attention to detail left her highly satisfied.
Ai Hui decided to first temper her expectations. "I will put my best effort for this task, but luck usually plays a large role in finding someone. I cannot guarantee success."
"It's all right," Shi Xueman casually replied. "You owe me eighty million yuan anyway, and I'm sure we'll find plenty of things that you can do to pay off the yearly interest. As for reneging on your debt, nobody in the entire Induction Ground has dared to do such a thing to me before."
The noodle shop girl's callous words made the hairs on the back of Ai Hui's neck stand on end.
Ai Hui swallowed hard. "What about the swordplay coaching?"
"I should be in the city once per fortnight. When the time comes, I'll look for you here." Shi Xueman observed her surroundings. "It just so happens that this is also a training hall. I'll notify you one day in advance. Luckily there's a message tree too, so keep a look out for it."
"Message tree?" Ai Hui had no idea of what she was talking about.
Shi Xueman could tell that Ai Hui was clueless. She pointed at a seemingly unremarkable tree in the corner of the yard and explained, "That is a message tree. The leaves of a message tree are different from those of a normal tree, as every single leaf has the same pattern of veins. When it receives a message, the tree drops one of its leaves with the message written on it. It is a wood elemental technique. Did you not learn this in class?"
Ai Hui was astounded. He had not noticed anything special about that tree despite having swept the courtyard many times.
Shi Xueman walked to the message tree and plucked one of its leaves. She produced a book seemingly out of nowhere.
She opened the book and placed the leaf on one its pages, and a warm glow soon enveloped the leaf.
Shi Xueman suddenly cried out in shock.