Translator: Dess Editor: Efydatia
The bright sunshine shone down on the thin fog that covered the streets.
As the fog dispersed, the air remained humid.
The people on the streets were not feeling comfortable, especially the patrolling officers and bounty hunters who had been searching all night.
The dew and thin fog had soaked their shirts, the chilling, sticky feeling unsettling them.
Even though they had been up all night, working in extreme concentration, their exhaustion was not holding them back. They kept searching with their eyes wide open, looking for any suspicious individuals.
Despite pulling an all-nighter, they knew that the period before them was the most important. Still, no matter how hard they searched, they could not find a trace of Kieran or Larry.
Even though he had Larry on his side, Kieran’s C- Intuition helped him predict the unknown, drawing an advantage from his ability and avoiding any disadvantages. If the police or the bounty hunters made a move, Kieran would know and be able to dodge them easily.
Larry was not a burden, though. Quite the contrary, he had turned out to be quite useful. Being an informant himself, he knew every corner of the city, and every gap and hole in it. He was like a walking map of the city, except he was actually even more than that. The secret information that Larry possessed had saved Kieran plenty of times. Without Larry, Kieran would not have imagined that the Underground King would be residing in a barber shop, let alone that Mr. Big would be the barber himself.
The barber shop’s store front was not too big. It had a door and a window that one could look through and see inside the shop. There were some advertisements on the window, just like the grocery store and the cobbler shop nearby.
The barber looked ordinary too. He was a kind of stout, friendly middle-aged man of average height.
When Kieran and Larry walked into the shop, the barber greeted them with a smile as he shaved another customer’s beard.
"Welcome! Would you two like a haircut or a shave?"
The smile and greeting made him look like a real barber. If it was not for the razor-sharp gaze around that was locked on Kieran, Kieran might have really believed him.
He could imagine what would happen if someone were to attack this seemingly friendly barber. Anyone who did would get shot into a sieve.
The grocery store and the cobbler shop on the block were also owned by the barber’s men. Even the customer the barber was serving had to also be one of them.
Inside the barber shop, Kieran could make out at least five men behind the wall of the washing area. The customer sitting on the shaving seat was also a buff man.
If anything were to happen, the buff man who had his face covered in shaving cream, enjoying the barber’s service with his eyes closed, would stand up right away and block the barber with his muscular body.
What looked like a common barber shop was actually Mr. Big’s headquarters, so it was certainly safe.
Kieran thought silently as he observed everything.
"Mr. Big, we require your assistance!"
Larry opened his mouth nervously, just like he had promised Kieran.
If Kieran had not been beside him, he would have been crawling down on the floor, asking for Mr. Big’s help.
Larry had already said that he would bow down without a second thought if someone stronger than him stood before him, and Mr. Big was intimidatingly stronger than Larry.
"I beg your pardon? What did you say, sir? I don’t understand."
The barber looked puzzled by Larry’s words.
"Mr. Big, I know you have your rules…"
"If you know it, then how can you have the balls to just walk in here?"
Before Larry could finish, he was interrupted by the barber. Or rather by Mr. Big.
Mr. Big had been friendly one moment, but the next second his face had transformed completely. He was still smiling, but the aura he was emitting had changed dramatically.
His eyes had become icy cold and hostile as he stared around him coldly, looking down at everyone else.
The shaving knife that he had used to shave the customer looked like it was oozing blood from the blade. There were small dribbles and giant waves of bright red blood.
Larry was drowned in an instant by the phantom blood waves, his fear and panic making him stagger backwards. If Kieran had not held him up, he would have fallen to the ground. His face was extremely pale and he was taking big breaths.
[Fear: You are in your Target’s Fear range, you Spirit has passed the test, No abnormalities have been detected...]
Kieran glanced at the notification in his vision and looked at Mr. Big with a worried expression. Never would he have thought that Mr. Big’s aura alone would be enough to inflict a [Fear] effect on his targets. However, his worry faded quickly. This was not something to be worried about compared to the [Fear] effect that the bronze coffin had caused him. Although he was surprised by Mr. Big’s abilities, it was nothing more than a ripple in a lake. Kieran had witnessed whole tides before.
While Larry was still struggling to calm his frightened soul, Kieran stepped forward and stood in front of him. The original plan had been to wait for Larry to reveal their intentions first, and try to use leverage to acquire Mr. Big’s favor. His sudden exploding aura had messed up their plan, though.
Kieran believed that this was what Mr. Big had intended when he’d fixed his cold stare on them. Mr. Big was accustomed to a strong, powerful stance, and he would not let go of that easily. His sudden burst of aura made them feel as if he had eaten them alive.
"If you people dare come to me for help, that means you have yourselves some leverage! I’m on board with anything, as long as it can make Sphendix suffer! Show me what you got! If it pleases me, pledge your allegiance to me and I’ll let you live!"
Mr. Big’s charitable tone of speech confirmed Kieran’s guess, yet it was not what Kieran wanted. He quickly shook his head.
"We want a collaboration, we don’t want to be your slaves!" Kieran said in a peaceful tone.
He knew very well what Mr. Big meant by "live".
"A collaboration? Who do you think you are? What right do you have? The leverage in your hands, or the fact that you’ve taken out some of Sphendix’s men? Perhaps you think you’ve really killed Kailuark the Executioner?"
Mr. Big laughed hard as he reacted to Kieran’s words. His laugh held a sense of mockery toward Kieran, as if he thought nothing Kieran had done could be worth mentioning.
"You know perfectly well what right we have, and our leverage is far bigger than you imagine, Mr. Big!" Kieran continued in his peaceful tone, not betraying any emotion.
The more he revealed, the higher the chance of him being made fun of by Mr. Big would be. Before Kieran could get his hands on any more information, he emphasized the term leverage.
Mr. Big knew why they had approached him. If he’d decided to meet with Kieran and Larry, it meant that he was also concerned about the leverage Kieran had mentioned. His attitude towards it was definitely not as indifferent as he pretended to be.
"Oh, I see. Then do show me what you have. Don’t tell me that the beast attacks were related to Sphendix. I’ve known that for a long time! Even Leonard could be considered one of my men!" Mr. Big said, putting emphasis on every word.
His attitude sounded even more oppressive than before. With a movement of his hand, his men, who had all been hiding around, came out and pointed their guns at Kieran and Larry.
The sharp gaze locked on Kieran became even colder. The buff man that had pretended to be a customer stood up and stepped beside Mr. Big.
Kieran was scared deep down in his heart, but he did not let it show on his face. It wasn’t because the tide had changed in the current situation. After all, he had already been aware of the presence of those men. It was because what Mr. Big had said had scared him.
Kieran had actually come up with a theory based on the newspaper that had been left behind by Leonard. The beast attacks and the box in Leonard’s hard were somehow related, and the item had been recovered by Sphendix, which meant that the beast attacks were directly related to Sphendix Corporation.
However, his theory was contradicted by the current situation. Mr. Big had already known that the two cases were related.
"Mr. Big must have planted a mole in Sphendix! His mole must have access to the higher ranks to be able to scoop out such secret information!"
Kieran quickly compared the situation to his speculations. The mole had definitely not been Leonard.
As for Mr. Big’s claim that Leonard had been one of his men? Kieran had not bought that lie. Mr. Big’s aggressive tone meant that it was at best a bluff.
Even if Kieran could guess Mr. Big’s intentions though, it would do him no good. Kieran was in a difficult position.
What should he do? He quickly spinned the gears of his brain, trying to come up with a solution.