Xia Fei set Darkshadow down by the cave entrance, then the old man winced and let out a moan. Due to his broken bones, every movement caused him to feel a stinging pain in his chest.
Looking far out, Xia Fei noted that this was not the same valley he had initially come in. They had spent a lot of time navigating through the spiderweb-like network of caves, and now, he had no idea where they ended up coming out.
Xia Fei contemplated whether he should leave Darkshadow here to wait for assistance or deliver him somewhere near the Assassins’ camp.
If he sent Darkshadow back to the Assassins’ camp, he would run the risk of being discovered. Though his speed had improved, the Assassins were engaged in a large-scale trial right now and they had plenty of people around. There was no telling if they had some strange ability users who were capable of countering his speed.
Just as Xia Fei was pondering on his next move, several figures came striding over from the forest in front, not at all hiding their presence.
These men were all dressed in the same combat suits as Darkshadow, except that they were all wearing black masks which covered their heads, so Xia Fei could not make out their faces. A very gloomy aura pervaded among them, and Xia Fei could already guess that they were the Assassins.
“Sect Elder Darkshadow, are you alright?” asked a muscular masked man in a grave voice when he stepped forward.
Darkshadow coughed twice and softly answered, “I’m okay. This young man has deep roots with us. Please invite him back as a guest.”
Xia Fei knitted his eyebrows together. Having not even sensed any of these men hiding in the forest before, he was feeling quite vexed. With Darkshadow so casually making his comment, as if certain that he would have no way to escape, it was a clear indication that he had already made preparations to this end and was absolutely confident of it.
Xia Fei only had two choices right now: One was to break through this encirclement by force. As long as none of these people was an expert ability user who could counter his speed, he doubted any would be able to stop him. After all, his top speed was close to 6500m/s now, and he had his psychokinesis to protect him. It would not be an easy task trying to stop him.
The other option was to use Darkshadow and threaten his life, force him to give the order for these men to back down. Though it would make escape much easier for him, he did not doubt such an act would result in animosity with the Assassins. The existence of their sect was a secret to the universe at large, and from what Phantom had described them, he could already deduced that they had some strength to back this up, so falling foul with them was hardly the best choice.
“Xia Fei, these are the Deathguards that the Assassin Sect have trained. No matter what you do, don’t do anything reckless,” Phantom suddenly warned.
Xia Fei was slightly stunned, furrowing his brows further. “Deathguards? Who are they?”
Xia Fei took two steps backward at the same time he wondered about this, positioning himself in front of Darkshadow. As long as any of these men made any sudden movement, Xia Fei would be able to use Darkshadow as a meatshield based on the speed advantage he possessed.
“There are assassination missions that need to be executed with the determination to sacrifice one’s life to kill the target, and these men exist for this sole purpose. Don’t assume that, with your fast movement speed, they won’t be able to catch you. They will have their unique methods to exchange their life for an unrivalled attack power. You don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell going up against these Deathguards, for they are more than willing to give up their lives in exchange for your demise,” Phantom warned in a deep voice.
Xia Fei was shocked. To think there were people out there who would be willing to give up their lives just to kill off some strangers… Just what exactly did these Deathguards exist for? Could it truly be just to die?
“This planet doesn’t have any working communication, so how did these men find me?” Xia Fei asked.
Phantom glanced at Darkshadow’s wrist. “Second sect senior must have secretly activated his nether bell, which was how these Deathguards tracked us, ready to outflank you. I was too naïve in my thinking; seems that every time we went out for training and trials, my second sect senior and his men would all be here to monitor our every move secretly.”
Xia Fei followed Phantom’s gaze and saw a thin thread looped around Darkshadow’s wrist, which a small bell was tied to.
“What’s the use of the nether bell? Could the signal interference here not be able to stop them?” Xia Fei asked.
“Not at all.” Phantom shook his head somberly. “Since we, Assassins, are willing to train and do trials here in such an enclosed environment, we naturally will have our ways of calling for help. The nether bell is able to penetrate through any interference within a short range, sending out a signal accordingly.”
“My second sect senior should be wearing such a bell, and some of these Deathguards have the main bell that is able to receive signal and pinpoint location. Upon receiving a signal, they probably swiftly made their way to my second sect brother’s location, arriving in advance by taking shortcuts.”
Xia Fei had gotten the full picture by then. It turned out that this nether bell was actually an advanced radar system, able to penetrate through heavy interference within a short range. The radar blueprint that he had found in Black Abyss was even more technologically advanced than this trinket, not only able to overcome interference across a short range but also ensure communication over tens of thousand lightyears without any interference.
Xia Fei mulled over this and suddenly thought of a question. Since the nether bell was able to have such inexplicable effects communicating over such a short distance, and it did not seem to be very complex to construct either, he wondered if he could incorporate the technology in this for his radar-system designs?
After all, both devices were radar systems used for communication and positional identification, only with slightly different functions.
Though the Titan superwarship’s radar blueprint was advanced, it was also overly complex and intricate. There was no way the Pan-Human Alliance at its present day production strength could recreate the super-radar as it was. He would have to simplify it further if he wanted to mass-produce the device, reducing the cost and difficulty of manufacturing.
The nether bell’s sudden appearance had given Xia Fei a whole new perspective, and there was no telling that a combination of the two might be successful, which remained to be seen.
However, Xia Fei lacked the initiative right now, so any attempt to get a hold of the main bell so he could study it in detail would be fairly difficult.
Just as Xia Fei was wondering on how he should proceed, several of the masked Deathguards, those who were forming the outer cordon of the encirclement, slowly made their way toward Xia Fei. They were neither too fast nor too slow and seemed to be avoiding forcing Xia Fei’s hands on making any move against Darkshadow.
Xia Fei smiled. “Gentlemen. If all of you get any closer, I’ll have to get him to join me in my grave.”
Xia Fei pointed to Darkshadow right next to him as he coldly remarked, “Believe me; I am not one to make jokes.”
Letting his raw killing intent surge forth, his nameless dagger abruptly appeared from out of nowhere, its sharp edge pointed right at Darkshadow’s throat.
Even a fool could tell that Xia Fei was not joking. However, the Deathguards remained unmoved and continued to slowly encroach and surround him from a distance.
Darkshadow chuckled feebly. “I’ve given them the order to escort you back to our camp, so that is precisely what they’ll be doing. This outcome won’t change even if you kill me.”
Xia Fei’s heart promptly sank. He noted the calmness in Darkshadow’s voice and could tell that he was telling the truth. Phantom also nodded, concurring with what Darkshadow had just said
“I don’t have a lick of chance?” Xia Fei frowned and asked Phantom.
“None whatsoever. Deathguards use their very lives in exchange for frightening lethality. No one is able to fight them,” Phantom solemnly explained.
Xia Fei suddenly smiled, and the sharp daggers in hand flicked in a smooth motion, cutting the thin wire binding Darkshadow.
“It’s your win this around,” Xia Fei looked around as he muttered under his breath.
If there were only a handful of Deathguards, Xia Fei might have fought to the death, given his personality, but when several similarly dressed men exited the cave behind Xia Fei as well, he finally realized just how surrounded he was.
Unexpectedly, none of these Deathguards mistreated Xia Fei. After doing a thorough body search and sealing everything in a metal case in front of him as if to indicate that they had no designs on his belongings.
Xia Fei’s spatial ring and microcomputer contained plenty of secrets like the structural blueprints for Titan—its super-radar system and other such information, but because Xia Fei had very cautiously set additional permissions for their access, he was not particularly concerned that anyone else aside from him could gain access to them.
Once everything was done, Xia Fei was led to a Caldarian Cormorant-class destroyer. He was then assigned to a cabin, with three meals being delivered to him, even providing a daily change of clothes.
Unfortunately, his cabin did not have connection to the interplanetary internet, so Xia Fei had no way of contacting Avril, nor was he able to keep updated on the progress of Quantum Holdings.
It suddenly dawned on Xia Fei that this cabin was in no way different from a prison, with only the conditions of his confinement being slightly lax.
This was already the third time Xia Fei had been imprisoned, his journey beginning with that small cell on his trip to the Blue Sea Star, where he obtained that strange gene optimization fluid, which allowed him to take his first step to the stars and begin his tumultuous yet interesting life story.
Xia Fei had luckily managed to escape twice before, but who knew if he would be able to repeat the miracle this time around?
Xia lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling in contemplation. It was as if his life was destined for an inextricable link with incarceration, along with the endless troubles that could no longer be separated from his life at this point.
That was when his cabin door opened. It was around the time for his dinner, and he figured this to be its delivery.
Xia Fei got up from his bed and looked over, watching a masked man push in a food trolley and lay out plates on the table.
Xia Fei had an astounding appetite, and the person doing the delivery discovered that he would consume all that was brought to him every mealtime. As a result, the amount of food being brought in had increased over time to the point they were now using a food trolley to bring everything in.
After the food trolley was carted out, Darkshadow strolled in, all smiles. This old man looked to be in a much better shape after resting for two, whole days, striding energetically into the cabin.
“Is something the matter?” Xia Fei crooked his head and asked.
Darkshadow closed the door behind him and sat himself down in a chair. Now that he was all recovered, he no longer feared being left alone with Xia Fei. Just his cultivation rank alone was enough to evade whatever attack Xia Fei could throw out.
“There’s something I wish to know: Why did you not choose to run away when you faced my underlings the other day? You clearly had enough leeway doing so,” Darkshadow curiously asked. He had been wondering about that these past two days, which was why he had eagerly sought to learn the reason behind this once he fully recovered.
“Oh.” Xia Fei sat by the table, and after eating a chicken wing, he answered, “Your men had us surrounded the moment we came out of the cave, which is an indication that all of them came prepared. It’s like a cast net; there’s no way a fisherman will use a broken net to catch fish, unless the hole in question is just a façade.
“Your men emerging from the cave afterward only further proved my suspicion. They clearly wanted me to let you go and end up diving headfirst into their trap. Since carrying you along would only hamper me, it was best if I escaped by myself.” Xia Fei munched on before he asked nonchalantly, “Where are we going?”
Darkshadow was momentarily speechless. Xia Fei had used his extraordinary thinking to deduce the situation in such a short time, and even Darkshadow was impressed by his observation skills and decisiveness.
His eyes glimmered as he answered Xia Fei, “We’re going to a legendary place, where you will have a chance to prove just who stole whose arts. Don’t worry; you’ll be treated fairly.”