“All that yakking,” Su Heting clutched his head, “what a din!”
One Yanguang was already noisy enough, and over ten of them could very well be called a flock of ducks. A grand total of a hundred or so heads were hanging on their chests. It was simply like they had brought along their own loudspeakers.
“Is this a fucking joke?” Xiaogu yelled over the communicator. “Who can hold up against this many Yanguang?”
The horde of Yanguang moved swiftly, utterly unimpeded by the size of their bodies. The circle of Yanguang around them gradually shrank as the horde closed in on them. Everywhere around them were faces with barrels.
[Target locked. Attack target is approaching.]
Su Heting’s modified eye was in the midst of refreshing information. He scrambled to his feet in the downpour and pulled up the Inspector while he was at it. The six of them kept retreating until they were almost back to back in the closing circle of Yanguang.
“Report,” Hua Zhi lifted her own arrow box, “I have only nineteen arrows left.”
“One arrow for each.” Dongfang found it amusing in spite of their predicament. “Fair treatment for all.”
“A hundred lives are usually enough to meet the quota.” Yu Cheng’s voice trembled. “What’s going on today?”
The data in Su Heting’s eyes switched rapidly. The speed of Yanguang’s power charge was just a matter of seconds.
“Is there no way to interrupt their charging?” Su Heting shook off the water on his tail. “They’re gonna fire en masse.”
Xiaogu faked crying. “My last words are—”
“Yanguang covet light.” The Inspector’s shield dismantled as he cut Xiaogu’s last words short. “Use your flash bombs.”
“Copy that!” Xiaogu promptly ditched his speech. He lifted his own raincoat, revealing a ring of launchers around his waist. “Let’s switch modes.”
Xiaogu turned his head like an owl, the ensuing soft “click” sounding just like a toy’s switch. The launcher at his waist immediately rotated. He turned his head back again with another “click”. Both of his arms had already switched mode to become two protruding barrels.
“Close your eyes!” Xiaogu said.
A whistling “swoosh” rang out as the cannon barrels of both Xiaogu’s arms fired at the same time. Two flash bombs hurtled toward the tall building where the mechanical eunuch was.
The mechanical eunuch berated in a shrill voice, “How presumptuous!”
The flash bombs broke through the curtains of rain and terminated about ten or so meters away from the mechanical eunuch. That shrill whistling did not stop, and in the next second, blinding white light suddenly exploded forth along with a thunderous noise that enveloped the entire roof of the building.
All the Yanguang looked up collectively, like a vincent of sunflowers.
“Fire again!” The Inspector ordered.
Flash bombs successively shot out of Xiaogu’s cannon barrels—like swordfishes mutually chasing after each other—and detonated on the rooftop one after another, turning the sky as bright as daytime.
The heads on Yanguang’s chests suddenly started shrieking.
“Turn it off. Turn off the light!”
The pupils of the head dilated as their eyes turned bloodshot from the glaring light, yet they seemed like they could not close their eyes of their own volition and could only wail with their mouths.
“Sir, save me…”
“I’m going blind!”
But no matter how the heads wailed and howled, the horde of Yanguang seemed transfixed as they bathed in the white light.
[Attack target’s charging aborted.]
[Attack target’s amassed power vanishes.]
[Attack target begins feeding.]
The time is now—
“Yu Cheng!” the Inspector called out.
Yu Cheng fell to his knees with a “thud”, placed both palms on the ground, and yelled out loud. There was a loud “bang”, and the ground started to crack with him as the center. A burst of sharp, ear-piercing noise suddenly reverberated through the air.
Su Heting was just a short distance away from Yu Cheng, and that noise was like steel needles boring their way straight into his ears. His expression changed as he felt the sharp pain in his brain.
Who’d have thought it’d be an indiscriminate attack that did not distinguish between friend or foe!
The heads were in even more of an agony as they cried out before the chests of Yanguang, their expression so hideous it was like a scene straight out of hell. Unable to bear it as well, Yanguang covered their heads.
With his cross earring swaying in the rain, the Inspector endured the sharp pain and shouted to Dongfang and Hua Zhi, “Cover me!”
Both of them immediately put up their arrows.
“Cat,” the Inspector covered an ear for Su Heting, “use your universe’s most invincible cannon to open up a path for me.”
Su Heting was pretty satisfied with the prefix “universe’s most invincible”. He pressed down on the Inspector’s sturdy back, his rain-soaked eyes bright and exuberant. “Roger!”
Hua Zhi’s steel arrow that was sizzling with lightning shot forth, its “whoosh” sounding like the gunshot at the start of a race. The Inspector promptly sprang forth, his figure so swift it was the very image of a leopard.
The arrow struck the Yanguang closest to them. This time, Hua Zhi shot it in the neck. The arrow buzzed and turned as soon as it came into contact, nailing itself into its flesh.
Yanguang raised its head and tilted its body in pain. It was afraid of the pain, for the pain would make it lose its mind. Sure enough, this one shot made it forget all about lapping up the white light. It tore off the steel arrow with its long arm and flung it at its feet, then turned its head to the Inspector. Artillery light suddenly amassed at the barrel of its cannon.
The sparks on Su Heting’s fingers materialized again. He stood behind the Inspector, hoisting up his arm in the standard posture and aimed it at Yanguang’s head in a straight line.
The cannon shot forth with a trail of flames following in its wake and instantly hit Yanguang in its head.
The impact struck Yanguang’s head askew, and right at that very moment, the Inspector arrived in front of it. Black diamond-shaped fragments suddenly reassembled into a heavy-duty steel arm several times larger. The Inspector swung his arm and blocked Yanguang’s cannon barrel with a fist.
With Yanguang’s light cannon jammed, it promptly exploded and blew up its head into pieces. The wave of fire dissipated, and what was left of that body toppled over to the ground with a thunderous crash, smashing all the buildings nearby into collapsed ruins.
“Again!” The “X” in Su Heting’s right eye turned abnormally distinct. Flames blazed all over his right arm, while light rapidly amassed at that smoking muzzle of the cannon. He steadied his feet. The gaze in his eyes was sharp, and he was all fired up with enthusiasm.
“Don’t. Worry. And. Just. Attack!” he said aloud to the Inspector.
The moment the words were out of his mouth, the cannon swept out violently in a fan shape starting from the left, like a long dragon. The heads bore the brunt of the attack as the flames engulfed them. The veins on their temples bulged as they screamed in unison. A series of explosions followed closely soon after, like nighttime fireworks erupting one after another from Yanguang’s heads, resulting in a shower of countless fragments.
The Inspector landed on the ground, and the black diamond-shaped fragments scattered instantly as he retracted his arm. An incessant string of “booms” erupted behind him as the horde of Yanguang toppled over to the ground in a line, crushing the entire neighborhood.
All that was left in the rain were the surviving heads wailing in resentment.
“What kind of cannon is that?!” Xiaogu moved in a little closer and sized up Su Heting’s arm with an envious and admiring gaze. “So handsome and cool. I want one too!”
Hua Zhi bent over a little to look at the arm. “It can even fire instantly.”
“The crucial thing is that it has fire. Fire, man.” Dongfang excitedly made a gesture of fire with his hands.
“Nice sound too.” Yu Cheng straightened his own glasses. “Like some kind of direct-fire cannon.”
Although Su Heting was getting all the attention, he was staring at the Inspector with an even more envious gaze.
Thoughts flashed madly through his mind.
What’s cool is the one that can change shapes.
What exactly are those diamond-shaped fragments?
So tempted to install one.
On the surface, Su Heting looked expressionless, but deep down, he had to force himself to concede that—
This dude’s really too dashing.
The Inspector, who was on the receiving end of Su Heting’s gaze, could not read what the cat was thinking. The cat’s tail was swinging wildly, looking like he had plenty of words still left unsaid. His gaze lingered a little on the cat’s tail before he returned Su Heting a questioning gaze with his eyes.
“My gun,” Su Heting held his thumb up and bragged, “is the world’s number one.”
The Inspector, “…”
He raised his head a little—sending the cross on his ear swaying ever so slightly—and tugged at the corners of his lips as though he was smiling. But it was only for a fleeting moment, and in the blink of an eye, he reverted to his usual self.
Su Heting watched as the Inspector’s diamond-shaped fragments reassembled into a fountain pen, the same exact one he had seen the first time he met the Inspector in the Punishment Zone.
Xiaogu looked up at the sky. “It should be daybreak now, right? What a long night.”
One Yanguang could be exchanged for eighty human lives. They should have more than hit the limit tonight.
The few of them looked at the sky in unison.
Strangely enough, the rain did not stop.
The wind swept past the battlefield, bringing with it the stench of Yanguang and the murmuring cries of the heads.
Su Heting wrinkled the tip of his nose again, vaguely feeling uncomfortable. “How are these heads still crying?”
“Because,” Yu Cheng gulped and explained, “because these heads—”
A sudden gale cut off Yu Cheng’s words, and the sky lit up with lightning. Following right after, thunder crashed, and the rain started falling with even more urgency.
“Gods and demons passing through—” the mechanical eunuch shrieked from the rooftop. Its outer robe blew up and flapped in the wind. With great hatred and enmity, it pointed at the Inspector and finished its words in a frosty tone, “Mortals, make way!”
A whirlpool of overcast clouds swirled in the sky, as though something was about to rear its head.