Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
This was the tailor shop? Guan Jin stood at the street corner and gazed at the light beige sign and pink decorations, and he kind of wanted to turn around and leave. Based on what Simon had been like, various styles of “Miss” Margaret emerged in Guan Jin’s mind, and none of them were very inspiring.
He pushed open the door, which had a sign hanging on it that read “closed”, and the wind chimes at the door began jingling crisply.
Guan Jin looked around. It was empty, and besides the fabrics and clothes hanging everywhere, there was no one in sight. He looked up at the narrow staircase and walked up it.
When he arrived at the second story, Guan Jin nearly stepped backwards and tumbled down the stairs. There were laces, yarn, plush toys, tutus, rhinestones, and they were pink, yellow, and blue… All of them were quite blinding. Behind a pile of dazzling colors, Guan Jin discovered that someone seemed to be sitting behind a long counter, though half of their body was covered by a lace dress that was hanging nearby.
“Do you work here?” Guan Jin asked as he walked towards the counter.
“Do you want clothes? We’re not open yet,” the person replied gruffly, moving aside the dress that was blocking them.
Guan Jin slowly looked up… Yes, looked up. Sitting behind the counter was a fierce-looking man at least two meters tall, with brown hair and stubble on his jaw.
Guan Jin felt apprehensive. “I’m looking for Margaret.”
The man looked surprised, and he looked Guan Jin up and down for a while before suddenly putting his hands together and winking shyly. “Ah, so you’re Little Guan, Simon told me about you yesterday. I didn’t expect you would be this cute~”
Guan Jin was shocked, and he asked calmly, “And you are?”
“I’m Margaret…” “Miss” Margaret said awkwardly, wringing his hands.
Was he squirming just then? Squirming?! A muscular man over two meters tall, sitting in front of a pile of tutus and talking gruffly as he squirmed shyly, really made Guan Jin want to poke his own eyes out. What kind of weird people did that old man know, couldn’t there be just one normal person?!
Of course, he only thought these things, and he didn’t dare to say them out loud, because although this Margaret seemed to have a delicate heart, Guan Jin would rather not get on his bad side.
“In that case, you should know what I’m here for, right?”
“Yes, I have the thing that you want. Give me a second~” Margaret stood up and jogged to a corner, rummaged around for a while, and ran back holding a large, pink box.
“Look, they’re all very high-quality.” Margaret carefully opened the box like there was treasure inside.
Guan Jin craned his neck and glanced inside, sighing in relief. Fortunately, there wasn’t a Barbie doll inside. There were communication equipment, small explosives, a G22 sniper rifle and replacements, bullets, and so on. Guan Jin reached in and touched the gun, and he felt a little nostalgic.
“There’s also a watch with integrated functions. I already placed the order on it, and I can get it to you as soon as it arrives.”
“I’m going back to Country C tomorrow.”
“Don’t worry about it, I have my ways.”
“Thanks.” Guan Jin hadn’t expected for this person to be so reliable.
“No problem, here, take good care of it.” Margaret used blue ribbon to tie a bowknot and offered it to Guan Jin.
“…Can I ask for another box?” Guan Jin said with difficulty.
“Sure, which one do you like?” Mr. Margaret turned around and rummaged around for a bit before taking out a dozen colorful, princess-like gift boxes from under the counter and looked at him expectantly.
“…Never mind, I’ll just keep this one.”
Margaret put the boxes back, a little disappointed.
“You’re the contact person, right? Can you help me contact the ‘Colonel’? The ‘Collector’ told me before that he has a large number of personnel, and with him, it’s equivalent to having an army,” said Guan Jin.
Margaret nodded quickly. “He’s a very rude person, but it’s no problem if you want to contact him. When are you planning on going to South America?”
“South America?!” Guan Jin was a little taken aback.
“Yeah, he’s a mercenary boss, and South America is his domain. Little Guan, who do you want him to get rid of? The leader of a Mexican drug smuggling operation, or a Brazilian arms dealer?”
…Guan Jin was impassive. What use could a mercenary leader be, could he drag his army to Country C?! Can’t that bastard Hermes go on a business trip to South America?!
“Then never mind, I reckon he’s very busy anyway, so I won’t disturb him.”
“Simon told me to contact the ‘Street Artist’, so if you need any financial support, you can go find him.”
“Mn, he’s the source of our funds, and he said it himself, he relies on performances to entertain the public to accumulate funds.”
“What exactly does he do?”
“I don’t know this either.”
Guan Jin nodded.
“Right, if you need me to, I can also contact the ‘Psychologist’. He’s a very powerful person, and he knows hypnotism.” Margaret’s gaze was full of admiration.
“No need,” Guan Jin said definitively. He was allergic to the word “psychologist”, and based on his previous experiences with them, he was pretty sure that the Psychologist was even more crazy than his patients.
“Based on your age, how do you know all these people?” Guan Jin was a little confused.
“Actually, the original Margaret wasn’t me, it was my mom.” Margaret pointed at a photograph on the wall. “After she retired, I took over her duties.”
Guan Jin looked at the energetic and thin old lady in the photograph. Her hair was gray, but her expression was very lively.
“Where is she now?”
“She went to travel the world with her new husband.”
Holding the stupid box, Guan Jin exited the small building and drove back to the villa. He couldn’t help but sigh as he thought about how birds of a feather flock together; sure enough, that old man only knew abnormal people. Actually, the old man, who had been near the top of the Interpol’s blacklist as an art thief, didn’t steal things for the money, he did it for his collection, which was already strange in itself. However, by chance, he had met this group of strange people who also lived recklessly in their own worlds, and they had hit it off, so they formed a special, informal organization. They didn’t have a name or ranks, and they contacted one another individually, not through any third parties, helping one another using their own unique abilities. All of them had a nickname based on their characteristics, and agreed that their mutual assistance could be inherited. They were all either famous in their own circles or were as ordinary as a passerby, but no outsiders knew that they were connected to one another; this was their greatest shield. After all, who would think there was a connection between a wicked barkeeper, an old lady and her son who worked at a tailor shop, and a mercenary leader in South America?
Before, Guan Jin always heard the old man talking about these people, telling Guan Jin that after he died, he could rely on these people to resolve his troubles at any time. They didn’t have a purely symbiotic relationship; instead, they were a group of friends who appreciate and trust one another in order to resist the shackles and seek freedom. It was because of this that Guan Jin had wandered on the border of life and death alone and had never contacted these people because of trivial matters; he wasn’t used to suddenly having so many ‘friends’, nor did he want to get the old man’s friends into more trouble. It was just that, at this point, he had no choice.
“You’re finally back!” Tony jumped up from the sofa when he saw Guan Jin come in. “Oh, you even bought a gift for me? Guan, you’ve become so cute.” In order to avoid arousing suspicion, Tony continued to use his current name.
“In your dreams.”
“I’m just joking. Right, Taji gave me some information. He said that Spider contacts people here frequently, so I’m afraid he’s about to make a move. As for who they are, I reckon that there’s not many people who have seen Spider and live to tell the tale. Taji was so frightened he didn’t even dare to tell me one of them, so he only sent some vague messages. I seriously suspect he copied this from some science textbook to fool me!” Tony angrily fished out his phone and opened the text message for Guan Jin to see.
“Most spiders feed by spinning silk and forming webs, quietly waiting for their prey to come.”
“Isn’t this nonsense? What’s the point of even saying it?” said Tony.
Guan Jin fell silent.
Suddenly, Guan Jin’s phone rang; it was Simon.
“Coincidentally, I heard some very exciting news. Hermes indeed went to Country C not long ago, and ten days later, he’s going to attend an activity for upper class businessmen for a week, located on the Clear Sky.”
“The Clear Sky?”
“It’s a large, luxurious cruise ship in City S, and they’re going to have a private tour of the coastline.”
Guan Jin sat up on the couch. “Is this news trustworthy?”
“Very. And, I confirmed that he’s of mixed blood, but I have no idea what he looks like. The mixed blood might not be evident from just looking at him, so it’s for reference only.”
“This is very useful, thanks.” Guan Jin felt admiration for their quick response speed and information source. Even Tony couldn’t find out about these things.
“Don’t mention it, you’re one of us. Right, Street Artist and Psychologist will also be on the cruise and will secretly assist you.”
Guan Jin was shocked. “I have no intention of letting you take such risks.”
“We don’t think it’s dangerous at all, and we can finally join in on the fun. If I didn’t have other matters to attend to, I’d also really want to go.”
Okay, he had forgotten that these people didn’t care about life and death at all; they only liked to enjoy what they liked to enjoy, such as danger and excitement. Guan Jin readily accepted the help, although he was still a little uneasy about the style of these two people.
“Right,” Guan Jin suddenly thought of a very important problem, “how do I get onto the cruise?”
“Uh… we forgot about this. But don’t worry about it, leave it to Street Artist, he’ll definitely know what to do. You just relax, go back, and wait for our news,” Simon said confidently.
Guan Jin hung up. What Simon had said at the end, “you’re not alone anymore”, suddenly made him feel a lot more at ease.
Guan Jin hastily ended his trip to America, and flew back alone. The equipment couldn’t be brought back through the plane, so he had already handed them to Tony, which he estimated would arrive at about the same time.
I should get used to the gun in the next few days, Guan Jin thought to himself as he exited the plane.
“I’m very glad you came back on time.” A familiar voice interrupted his thoughts. Guan Jin looked up in surprise and saw Lu YunYang gazing at him and crossing his arms, standing near the front of a crowd of people.
Guan Jin subconsciously walked over to him. “What are you doing here?!”
“I came to pick you up. Although you left without saying goodbye, I still have to fulfill my duties as your suitor.” Lu YunYang opened his arms, stepped forwards, and hugged Guan Jin. “Welcome back.”
Guan Jin stiffened and felt that his entire body had become numb. The corner of his mouth twitched, and he was about to push away this sappy man.
“I had a hunch that maybe you weren’t going to come back. Thank goodness I was wrong,” Lu YunYang murmured huskily.
Guan Jin had already raised his hand to push him away, but his expression became conflicted, and in the end, he sighed and put his hand down, lightly patting Lu YunYang’s back. “Hey, don’t be so dramatic, it’s not like I said I wasn’t going to come back.”
Lu YunYang let go of Guan Jin and looked at him for a bit before grabbing his suitcase and pulling him along with his other hand. “Let’s go home.”
“Hey, don’t say that like we live together. Say, stop holding me, it’s very perverted for two grown men to be holding hands!” The calmness Guan Jin had prepared beforehand had already disappeared.
“If I don’t hold you, my heart won’t be at ease.”
“You——” Guan Jin really began considering the possibility of not coming back.
“Wait, how did you know I left the country? And how did you know I was coming back on this flight today? Lu YunYang, you dare to stalk me?!”
“You’ve gotten thinner, did you not eat well? When we get back, I’ll stew some chicken for you, or maybe pigeon or turtle soup?”
“Evil, I don’t eat turtles!”
“Then chicken it is.”
“…Dammit, stop changing the subject!”