Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When Chu Feng got out of the car, he kept the engine running with the low beams on, illuminating the area in front of him so brightly that he could see many small insects flying in the air. When the shadow came to the place where the headlights were shining, it paused, jumped into the field, and walked around.
From time to time, he even turned his head to look into the distance, which was the direction Chu Feng had left.
Luo ZhouZhou unblinkingly watched the shadow’s movements, wondering what he wanted to do. Was he the one who had killed those Omegas? He grasped the front of his uniform, his heart beating fast.
The shadow was approaching, finally and inescapably exposed to the light.
It was a thin, dry man in his early forties, dressed like an ordinary villager from the neighborhood. The military SUV was too tall, and the light was so bright that he squinted at the front of the vehicle and covered his eyes with his hand.
Luo ZhouZhou guessed that the man didn’t see him, but only watched out for Chu Feng and didn’t think there was anyone else in the car, so he quickly slid to the front seat and squatted down. He saw that the man was carrying a metal bucket with something in it, the exposed part of which was a bent plastic pipe.
He crouched down on Luo ZhouZhou’s side after silently circling around the car with the bucket in his hand.
After a few moments, there was a slight rattle in the middle and back of the car.
Luo ZhouZhou quietly sat down on the seat, pressed against the back of the seat, and looked into the rearview mirror out of the car window in the gray moonlight.
In the rearview mirror, he saw the figure of the man crouched on the ground, opening the gas cap of the SUV and sticking a long plastic pipe into it, the other end of which was attached to the bucket beside him.
Luo ZhouZhou held his breath, gently pushed the door open, and like a nimble civet cat, fell to the ground without making a sound or movement.
The man didn’t notice anything strange, still keeping his head down, doing his own thing, he picked up one end of the plastic pipe, sucked it in his mouth a few times, and quickly put it into the bucket.
A sound of liquid flowing gurgled out.
“What are you doing? Stealing gas?” Luo ZhouZhou quietly walked up behind him and suddenly spoke out.
“Ah!” The man shuddered, let out a short scream, and held his body rigidly still. Then he slowly turned his head and looked up Luo ZhouZhou’s leg.
His fearful gaze rested on the dark blue uniform and the badge, which reflected the cold light in the hazy moonlight. After a few seconds, he suddenly bounced up like his butt was on fire, jumped into the wheat field on the side, and ran without looking back, not even leaving the pipe and bucket on the ground.
“You stop right there!” Luo ZhouZhou flinched, yelled and followed after him.
Under the moonlight, the two men ran one after the other through the calf-high stalks of wheat.
They were silent as they crossed ridges and ditches, and all they could hear was huffing and puffing and the cracking of stalks beneath their feet. The man was fast, running like a gust of wind, but Luo ZhouZhou, with the same vigor he had used to break through the checkpoint, clung to his tail.
While running, he faintly heard Chu Feng calling to him in the distance, but didn’t care to answer, and ran out of the field into a forest after the man in front of him. The forest was quite large, with chestnut trees planted with trunks about the thickness of a bowl. It was now autumn, and ripe chestnut peaches were hanging from the trees with their husks blown open.
By the moonlight from the trees, the two of them chased around the chestnut tree, shaking it so hard that the chestnuts were falling down like rain. After circling the woods, they ran out of the forest again and back to the straw field.
Luo ZhouZhou gradually closed the distance, and could hear him panting as if he were about to lose his breath.
“Don’t… don’t chase me. I… I won’t… I won’t run.” He panted, “Just… just a barrel of gas. Not a criminal, no need to fight to the death…”
Luo ZhouZhou also gasped and said, “You… you just stop.”
The man gritted his teeth and struggled to keep going.
Luo ZhouZhou also half-ran, half-walked, following him closely.
After a few dozen meters further, the man finally went limp and sat down on the ground.
Luo ZhouZhou also stopped, propping himself up on his knees with his hands to catch his breath, “Run… run again, I… I can still catch up.”
“No, no more running.” The man turned his head laboriously, gasping for breath as he looked at Luo ZhouZhou, and when he got a good look at the person in front of him, he looked as if he had been struck by lightning.
“I actually got chased for half a day by an Omega?”
“Half, half.” Luo ZhouZhou said.
“Zhou Zhou!” Came Chu Feng’s voice from not far away.
Luo ZhouZhou looked up and saw that he was running this way, like a gust of wind. As soon as he braked, he grabbed Luo ZhouZhou’s arms, looked him up and down, and questioned urgently, “Is everything all right?”
“I’m fine.” Although Luo ZhouZhou’s arm hurt a little from the hold, he managed to keep quiet.
Only then did Chu Feng see the man sitting on the ground, letting go of his hand he asked, “What happened? Why did you get out of the car?”
When Luo ZhouZhou heard this, he pointed at the man like he was offering treasure and said, “Look, I caught him stealing the gas from your car.”
“Yeah, stealing the gas from your car.”
Chu Feng didn’t say anything, but he rubbed his forehead and spun around, then exhaled at length and closed his eyes.
After a few moments, Luo ZhouZhou couldn’t help but remind him, “I caught him.”
“How did you catch him?” Chu Feng opened his eyes, his voice a little hoarse, having neither happiness nor anger in it.
“Ran after him.” Luo ZhouZhou said proudly, “He couldn’t outrun me, and he got exhausted.” He followed up with another question, “Am I good?”
However, Chu Feng didn’t answer, saying, “I remember instructing you not to get out of the car.”
“Ah… I…” Luo ZhouZhou stared at the man and shut his mouth.
Chu Feng wiped his face, suddenly strode over to the man on the ground, lifted him up, and punched him in the stomach.
“Bang!” With the muffled sound of flesh hitting flesh, the man let out a miserable howl, as Luo ZhouZhou shuddered while listening.
Chu Feng raised his fist again with a hostile look on his face, but the man in his hand turned his eyes white and slid downward like a noodle, as if he had fainted. He slowly unclenched his fist, and when his other hand loosened, the man fell limply to the ground.
Only then did Luo ZhouZhou realize that he was angry, and stood by like a quail, not daring to say a word.
Chu Feng looked down the main road and whispered, “Let’s go.” Then he picked up the man on the ground and carried him on his shoulders like a bag of rice.
Luo ZhouZhou eyed him, but when he saw that he was walking away without looking at him, he could only follow him dejectedly. Feeling somewhat aggrieved, he walked very slowly on purpose, kicking the stalks from time to time, making noises.
Chu Feng didn’t look back, but lightly threw out, “Do you want me to handcuff you and drag you along?”
Luo ZhouZhou was so scared that he did not dare to delay any longer and hurried after him. Within a few steps, he came across a ridged field, and Chu Feng strutted over it. The man hanging from his shoulders let out a muffled grunt as he was justled about. The man was obviously awake, or had been pretending to be unconscious.
Chu Feng stopped in his tracks and asked, “Awake?”
The man remained silent, remaining unconscious.
Chu Feng made a show of throwing him to the ground, when the man repeatedly announced, “I’m awake, I’m awake.” Then the man quickly slid off his shoulder and stood on the ground, bent over.
Chu Feng looked him over with a sunken face and asked in a cold voice, “Did you do that murder earlier?”
As soon as the man heard about the murder, he shouted in fear, “Sir, I was just stealing some gas, why would I murder someone?”
“You can ask around, I live in the next village, and my name is Wang Sheng. Usually, the people from the village pay me to guard their fields and the surrounding fruit trees. Just now, I was carrying a bucket to the engine room by the river, and as soon as I got to the front, I saw you pulling out, so I thought I’d try.”
Chu Feng saw his face pale with fright, his legs were like sifted chaff, and he couldn’t even stand firm, covering the place on his stomach where he got punched, so he didn’t ask any more questions. He didn’t even look at Luo ZhouZhou behind him, turned around and said, “Let’s go.”
Luo ZhouZhou and the man named Wang Sheng hurriedly followed him.
Within a few steps, Wang Sheng slowed down, frequently looking into the stalks of wheat on the side.
Chu Feng couldn’t help but frown and said, “Move it.”
“Oh! Oh.” Wang Sheng quickly accelerated his pace and stopped after a few steps, mumbling, “Sir, look there is something strange.”
Chu Feng followed his finger, and then stopped dead in his tracks.
There was something shining in the straw field on the left.
“What’s this?” Luo ZhouZhou squatted on the ground and asked in a small voice.
Wang Sheng also squatted with him, both gazing at the strangely shaped, glowing stones in front of them.
“It’s called Shadow Stone. Some people in our village used to put them in their yards to drive away evil spirits.” Wang Sheng explained to Luo ZhouZhou, “As long as there are evil spirits, this thing will emit light at night.” When he finished, he looked around fearfully and wrapped his arms around himself tighter.
“Shadow repelling stone, for warding off evil spirits?” Luo ZhouZhou heard about it for the first time and asked curiously, “Then why is it glowing here?”
“…There’s, there’s an evil spirit,” Wang Sheng replied. As soon as Wang Sheng finished speaking, he saw Chu Feng cast a cold glance at him, so he shrank into a ball, never daring to say anything again.
“This is called pyroxene, which is a kind of compound mineral rock, produced in the Dozeri region on the border of the Alliance. When the moisture content in the air reaches a certain percentage, it will glow, they’re not rare.” Chu Feng indifferently explained.
Luo ZhouZhou let out an oh, then asked, puzzled, “Then why would someone put this stone here?”
In front of them was a patch of straw that had been cut down, and on the ground were pyroxene stones carved into flame-shapes, arranged in five directions, connected in the middle by a red powder to form a large pentagon that glowed in the night.
Chu Feng picked a little of the powder up, put it under his nose, smelled it, concluding, “This is mixed with fire quartz powder, so it also glows. The Olin Truth Church canonized pyroxene as a holy stone, saying it would reveal the oracle given to them by Hales.” Chu Feng threw away the stone, clapped his hands, stood up, and said, “Pentagonal, carved in the shape of a flame, this is a sacrificial array drawn by the followers of Truth.”
Luo ZhouZhou remembered what Chu Feng had just done in tracing the track of a car, and wondered if there was any result, so he asked him.
Chu Feng shook his head, “That should be an ordinary vehicle, and we didn’t find anything wrong when I followed the tracks.”
At that moment, the lights flashed on the highway in the distance, and it was the police returning from the scene.
“Let’s go, let’s flag them down, and let them do the rest.” Chu Feng said after taking a few shots of the sacrificial array with his terminal.
The convoy of flashing lights saw the three men on the side of the road, stopped, and Chen SiHan peeked out from one of the cars and asked, “Why are you still here? Counting stars with Little Tail?”
“Someone take over.” Chu Feng pointed to Wang Sheng beside him, “He stole the gas from my car and was chased down and caught by Zhou Zhou.”
“Really? Zhou Zhou is really something.” Jenny’s loud voice came from the back of the car.
“Hahahahaha! Yeah, I still can’t believe that we couldn’t catch up to Zhou Zhou when he ran away from us.”
“General Chu’s Little Tail is so fast that a while back, he even ran through a checkpoint.”
The other police officers joked around while taking Wang Sheng to the police car.
“A few people should go down this way until they see a weird formation. If I am not mistaken, that’s the sacrificial array of the Olin Truth Church, see if you can extract useful information from the scene.” Chu Feng pointed in the direction of the sacrificial array again.
Hearing that there was a new clue, the police officers sprang into action.
“Sacrificial array?” Chen SiHan got out of the car and asked, “Did the murderer do it?”
Chu Feng pondered for a second and replied, “I think so.”
“Then the victim, Lin WenCai, was the sacrifice tonight?”
“It’s not just Lin, but several of the previous victims should have been sacrifices.”
Chen SiHan turned around and headed to the car, “We’ll have to re-search the crime scene of the previous victims, expand the scope, and see if we can find any sacrificial arrays nearby.”
Back in the car, Luo ZhouZhou waited for Chu Feng to drive, thinking about the compliments of the police officers, a little proud, and secretly pursed his lips in a smile.
Chu Feng wanted to say something, but when he saw his face, he decided to keep his mouth shut.
Luo ZhouZhou waited for a while, but the car didn’t start. When he turned his head sideways, he saw Chu Feng leaning back in his seat, staring ahead without moving.
He also followed his gaze, but there was nothing in his sight, so he couldn’t help but ask in confusion, “What’s going on?”
Chu Feng glanced at him and said, “I’m calculating the price of gas.”
“The price of gas?” Luo ZhouZhou asks blankly.
“Mm, the price of gas.”
Chu Feng put his hand on the steering wheel and said, “This is a special military vehicle, and a full tank of fuel is one hundred liters. A liter of fuel costs ten dollars, so one hundred liters…”
Luo ZhouZhou answered in a snap, “One thousand dollars.”
“Yes, your math is correct, it’s indeed one thousand dollars.” Chu Feng nodded and continued, “I just looked at Wang Sheng’s bucket, it can hold about five liters, Zhou Zhou, calculate for me again, how much does his bucket of gas cost in Alliance dollars?
“Fifty dollars.” Luo ZhouZhou replied.
“Yeah? Fifty dollars?” Chu Feng was a little puzzled by this answer.
Luo ZhouZhou made another mental calculation and affirmed, “Yes.”
“That’s okay, it’s not a lot of money.”
“Mhm.” Luo ZhouZhou nodded his head.
Chu Feng looked at him in the rearview mirror in the front of the car and said, “Zhou Zhou, let’s make another assumption. Let’s assume that I’ve gotten out of the car now and you’re alone in it. At that moment, a man sneaks up from the front…”
As Luo ZhouZhou listened, he thought, Isn’t he just retelling what happened earlier?
Decisively, he replied, “I’ll just crouch down and look out with my eyes only.”
Chu Feng nodded approvingly, “Good. That’s a good reaction.” He continued, “You saw the man take a bucket, quietly open the fuel tank, and start pumping fuel out of it.”
Luo ZhouZhou replied with bright eyes, “I just quietly pushed open the door, stood behind him, and suddenly shouted out: What are you doing? Stealing gas?”
Chu Feng stroked his chin with his hand and said, “At this point, there are three possible scenarios. First, he’s an ordinary person who got greedy on a whim and ran away when he was discovered, that’s a 70% probability. Second, he’s a repeat gas thief, but since this isn’t a stopping point, that’s only 2% likely. Third, he’s a serial killer of Omegas, and stays nearby after killing them. Maybe he didn’t have time to leave, or was admiring the police’s futile search efforts. Whatever his reason, he stayed and found you. After seeing me leave the vehicle, he knew he couldn’t open the door to the military vehicle, so he had to find a way to trick you out. So, he found a barrel, deliberately let you see it, and then made it look like he was stealing gas to lure you out of the car.”
Chu Feng turned to look at Luo ZhouZhou and said in a faint voice, “The probability for that is 28%.”
Luo ZhouZhou stared at him blankly with his mouth open.
“But fortunately, you obviously didn’t encounter the 28%, nor the 2%, and ran after him.” Chu Feng spoke again.
“Let’s continue to hypothesize. First, this ordinary man is usually very timid and obedient, and he is not seen by the villagers as suspicious, who only throw some care of the fruit forest to him. So when you find out that you are chasing him, all he can think about is running away and doing nothing else. This probability is 30%. Second, the average man is lazy, so he can only do some tending to the orchard. When he finds out that you are chasing him, he will run away and an idea pops into his head: he takes you to a remote place, knocks you out, or simply kills you without doing anything.”
Chu Feng paused, looked into Luo ZhouZhou’s widening eyes, and spat out a cold sentence, “According to my observation of Wang Sheng, the probability of this is 70%.”
“I… I…” Luo ZhouZhou couldn’t even finish his sentence.
Chu Feng added, “And if I hadn’t arrived in time and you had fought against each other, what are the chances of you beating him?”
Luo ZhouZhou picked at his fingers and whispered, “No need to calculate.”
“Then do you still need to figure out who is more important, your personal safety or fifty dollars?”
“No, no, no.” Luo ZhouZhou shook his head quickly.
After listening to Chu Feng’s words, he realized his own rashness, and the complacency he had just been praised for had flown away, leaving him full of frustration and depression.
If I had been unlucky enough to run into the 28% in the first place, and had been tricked by the killer into getting out of the car, I would have been a dead vampire-Omega by now. After all, although he was a vampire inside, his body was indeed an Omega’s body, so if that person could kill so many Omegas, what was the probability that he could resist?
A car stopped next to them, honking its horn.
Luo ZhouZhou looked up and saw Chen SiHan gesturing to Chu Feng through the car window that it was time to go. Chu Feng gestured back for him to go first.
Luo ZhouZhou, startled, watched the police car leave quickly and hung his head.
Suddenly, a well-boned hand appeared in front of him, holding two colored candies in its clean palm.
“These two candies are compliments to you.” Chu Feng’s voice sounded soft.
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the candies with surprise and asked, “Why? Wasn’t I too rash?”
“You were very, very rash, and in the future, if you encounter this kind of situation again, you must calm down and judge the situation before making the next move. But this candy is a reward for Zhou Zhou’s bravery tonight, whether it’s checking the body or catching the person who stole the gas.” Chu Feng twisted one of the candies and put it in Luo ZhouZhou’s hand.
Chu Feng twisted another one and said, “This one is for Zhou Zhou’s two legs, which ran really fast.”
Luo ZhouZhou held the two candies in his palm as if nothing had happened, but his heart leaped up and the corners of his mouth curled upward. He reached into the pocket of his uniform and touched it, but he also said to Chu Feng, “You spread your hand out too.”
Chu Feng spread his hands in front of him, and Luo ZhouZhou put a chestnut in his hand and said, “This is a chestnut from the tree that rolled into my pocket when I was chasing that man. This chestnut is a thank you for coming to me in time tonight.”
He took out another one and said, “This one is to thank you for not blaming me.”