Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The square was crowded with people, all staring emotionally at Calgar on the stage. Although it seemed that the lives of everyone hadn’t improved significantly since the founding of the Alliance, and the poor remained poor, struggling to get three meals a day, it was not Calgar’s fault.
He was always trying, wasn’t he?
Children were being educated, latent Sunset Fae patients were not being driven to uninhabited islands, and the Institute was actively working on a cure. The former Olin Truth Church, although growing in popularity on the border, has never stopped fighting the military.
Calgar dispelled the nightmare that had been hanging over everyone and gave them hope for the future, As he was the president of the Alliance who had no other choice. Now, in front of everyone’s eager eyes, Calgar stood gracefully on the stage and spoke of his vision for the future.
“…I will continue to invest in the attack on Sunset Face and destroy the Truth Church completely…”
A little boy, six or seven years old, was being held by his father on his shoulders.
He couldn’t understand what the people on stage were saying, but looked around curiously. He looked at the pigeons in the air, the long banners hanging down from the airship, and the huge display screen in the sky. He suddenly caught sight of the images on the screen, looked at them curiously for a few seconds, and then tapped his father on the head in front of him.
“Dad, look, what’s playing on there?”
The father followed his directions and was startled.
Instead of a synchronized image of Calgar, a lane of traffic appeared on the giant screen, with trees on both sides of it receding so fast that the camera angle looked like it was in the air, and a black roof appeared below it.
A number of people in the square also noticed this and looked up, curiously wondering what it was.
A few seconds later, a mechanical female voice, merging with Calgar’s passionate speech, appeared over the square’s loudspeakers at the same time.
“Warning! You have exceeded the speed limit by a significant amount, please pull over the offending vehicle for inspection.”
Someone reacted and shouted in surprise, “Who put up the security camera footage of the illegal flight tracker?”
The mechanical female voice kept going on and on, and the square exploded, youngsters whistling and clapping happily, and others denouncing it angrily.
“This must be the work of Calgar’s opponent, it’s disgusting.”
On stage, Calgar was no longer able to continue his speech, but he maintained his demeanor and stood calmly on the stage, waiting for the staff to deal with the situation.
Instead, several of his opponents behind him gave him suspicious looks, looking at each other and passing looks, then shaking their heads and hands to show that they weren’t the ones who did it.
The cafe was also bustling with activity, as customers who had been sitting quietly listening to the speech and drinking coffee couldn’t help but walk out of the door to see the large, overhanging curtain in the distance.
“What’s going on? Is this a prank?”
“It’s okay, the staff is definitely working on it, it’ll be fixed soon.”
Luo ZhouZhou withdrew his gaze from the window, looked at Chu Feng in surprise, gasping. Chu Feng asked him in a low voice, “How was it? Expose him in front of the whole Alliance.”
“Awesome, Chu Feng you’re so awesome, I was thinking that if I really had no choice, I would have to go up there and rip him apart— and take his microphone to say it myself.” Luo ZhouZhou’s face was flushed with excitement. He asked again worriedly, “What if the staff takes care of it before it’s played fully?”
“Don’t worry, General Luo has been managing the security of the communication and information security. So basically I have arranged his old subordinates to help.” Chu Feng said.
The plaza still echoed with female warnings as staff rushed to the control room, all looking at the giant screen in the sky as if it were a small part of the election.
Just then, the black car in the picture stopped and a man in a maroon robe climbed on top of it. When his anxious face zoomed in on the screen, everyone burst out laughing again.
Gradually, someone noticed that something was wrong and, after a moment of puzzled observation, shouted out, “That’s the archdeacon of the Truth Church, and look at the robe he’s wearing!”
This voice was quickly spread by others, and one after another, more and more people recognized the robe.
The laughter gradually stopped, the square quieted down, and many people noticed that the video wasn’t simple, and put aside their playful and relaxed attitude to watch the giant screen carefully.
Calgar stood on the stage with an impeccable smile on his face, facing forward and waiting. As the noisy square quieted down and everyone looked to the left of the screen, and he couldn’t help but take a look in that direction as well.
He intended to just glance at it, but when his eyes fell on the face of the man in the picture, his expression became strange.
“Look at the time in the lower right corner, it’s May 23, 457 in the imperial calendar, exactly the time when the Archbishop of the Truth Church was arrested and the others escaped.” Someone pointed at the screen and shouted.
“Yes, I’ll always remember that day! My mother was excommunicated by the Truth Church for suffering from Sunset Face, and May 23rd was the happiest day of my life.”
“This archdeacon in the picture was the one who escaped then, and he still hasn’t been caught.”
The Archdeacon was still struggling to adjust the flight tracker, and the people in the square were already shouting angrily at the giant screen. Calgar turned back, his eyes quickly searching the edge of the crowd, and when he didn’t find anyone, he opened the terminal on his wrist to talk.
“Willson, wherever you are right now, stop the broadcast on the giant screen immediately.” His tone was quick and stern, the smile he had kept on his face at all times had disappeared, and his face was terribly white, with fine beads of sweat on his forehead.
Willson’s voice was also anxious, “Your Excellency, I’ve got people working on it, it’s just that they haven’t been able to fix it for a while now—”
Calgar didn’t wait for him to finish before hanging up the terminal.
On the screen, the car’s backseat door had been pushed open, and a priest, also dressed in robes and wrapped tightly all over, even covering his face with a black veil, got out of the backseat.
Chu Feng and Luo ZhouZhou had arrived at the edge of the square, both wearing the same style of trench coat, but Chu Feng was navy blue and Luo ZhouZhou was off-white, and they were standing behind the crowd with their arms around each other like the most ordinary couple.
They didn’t look at the curtain in the sky, but stared at Calgar on the round stage.
When the tightly covered cleric with the golden flame on his chest appeared on the screen, the whole square was in uproar.
“Golden emblem, that’s the Holy Son of the Truth Church!”
“Is this true? Who’s not spoofing it? Why was the Holy Son’s fugitive surveillance at the election site?”
At the same time, the entire Alliance, whether in pubs, cafes, airplanes or at home, was watching the live broadcast and saw the images on the giant screen. The major broadcasters, all pointing their cameras at the screen, couldn’t care less about filming the group of candidates on the stage.
Calgar put the microphone back on the shelf, suddenly turned around and hurried off the stage. The staff at the round table, including the other candidates, looked up at the screen with rapt attention, and no one noticed Calgar.
Chu Feng watched the stage for an instant, and when he saw Calgar turn to leave, he whispered to Luo ZhouZhou, “Let’s go.”
The two men brushed past the soldiers, who were also standing with their heads turned, and strode toward the building behind Yazhou Square.
Chu Feng spoke through the terminal as they walked, “SiHan, have you arrived with your men? Seal off the exits and don’t let anyone get away.”
“It’s all taken care of, don’t worry.” Chen SiHan replied from the other end.
Luo ZhouZhou, led by Chu Feng, was striding along, looking up at the screen as he did so.
Halfway through the walk, he suddenly whispered excitedly, “Soon, soon, soon, soon, you will see his face under the black veil.”
As the last seconds played out on the screen, a gust of wind blew past, and the man’s robe and cloak flew up in the picture. As he wished, the black veil that Calgar had been wearing was lifted, and the face that was so familiar to the entire Alliance suddenly appeared on the screen.
The loud clamor suddenly stopped, and the entire square fell strangely silent, as everyone looked at the screen in confusion or shock.
Chu Feng had dragged Luo ZhouZhou out of the square and hurriedly ran to the row of buildings behind him.
Luo ZhouZhou said regretfully as he ran, “Too bad I won’t be able to see their reactions from behind.”
“It’s okay, when this is over, go home and watch the broadcast, the scene will be on loop for a year,” Chu Feng yelled back.
The building at the back of the square contained Calgar’s restroom for the day, and Calgar would have to go to the back parking lot to leave by car. As soon as they burst into the small garden in front of the building, they heard what sounded like a wave of sound exploding in the direction of the square, suddenly rising.
“They’ve reacted,” Chu Feng said. When they reached the parking lot, he paused, “Calgar’s cars are still there, and the people are still here as well.”
They rushed up the wide staircase and ran into the ground floor lobby, which was empty and not a sound could be seen or heard.
“There’s a staircase over there.” Luo ZhouZhou pointed to the dark gray carpeted stairs on the right.
Chu Feng dragged him down, pulled his gun out from behind his waist and held it in his hand, saying, “Be careful. Hide behind me.”
Luo ZhouZhou responded, and quickly ducked behind Chu Feng.
Chu Feng slowly approached the stairs with his gun in his hand, and Luo ZhouZhou, holding the shirt at his back, followed at the same pace. Chu Feng raised his left hand to the side of his head and made a gesture of silence.
Luo ZhouZhou tapped him on the shoulder with his finger, meaning he understood.
In the silence, only the rustle of their soft footsteps could be heard. Out of the corner of his eye, Chu Feng suddenly saw the reflection of someone moving on the ground in front of him, and the barrel of a gun sticking out of a black hole at the corner.
“Lie down!” He shouted, turned around, and tried to throw Luo ZhouZhou to the ground.
Before he could reach out his hand, he felt something flash before his eyes, and Luo ZhouZhou disappeared. He turned around quickly, but found nothing in front of him. He was about to call out to Luo ZhouZhou, when he saw three men fall out of the corner and hit the ground silently.
Luo ZhouZhou came out from there with scarlet eyes and two sharp teeth protruding from the corners of his mouth.
“There are a few people here who want to shoot us.” He came up behind Chu Feng again, hid behind him, urging, “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go upstairs.”
Chu Feng turned his head to look at him, his expression a little complicated, with a hint of hurt.
But in the end, he didn’t say anything, and just continued to run up the stairs with his gun in his hand, Luo ZhouZhou following closely behind him. The building had five floors and was very spacious, so the two of them stopped tiptoeing, and the sound of rapid footsteps echoed in the building.
As they rushed up to the third floor, Chu Feng felt the corner of his coat loosen at his back, and another shadow flashed before his eyes.
Before he had time to react, all he could hear was a muffled thumping sound, and behind the walls in every direction, people fell out of their hiding places and collapsed to the floor without a word.
Then Luo ZhouZhou appeared behind him in an instant, took him by his collars, shrank back and said, “Let’s go.”
Chu Feng was about to say something when he heard the loud roar of an engine overhead.
“Not good!” He ran to the top of the building three steps at a time, and Luo ZhouZhou hurried to catch up.
One after the other, they rushed out of the iron door of the top floor, and saw a helicopter, already rising from the flat roof, flying away in the distance.
“Calgar has run away.” Luo ZhouZhou said in a panicked voice.
Chu Feng stared at the direction of the helicopter, turned around to go downstairs, and said loudly, “Let’s go.”
In the middle of his conversation, he had already tapped on his terminal to assign tasks to his men. Chu Feng’s terminal had just clicked on, and the man had just reached the iron door, when he felt a tightness in his waist, then his feet left the ground, his vision rapidly rose, and his whole body was already in the air.
“We’ll chase faster like this, no need to take a detour.” Luo ZhouZhou’s voice sounded in his ears.
As soon as Chu Feng opened his mouth, a blast of cold wind entered his mouth at high speed, and he could only squeeze his shoulder with his hand to express his praise.
In a short time, Luo ZhouZhou and Chu Feng were already leaping over the rooftops of several buildings in a row.
From the rooftops next to the plaza, they saw the latter video playing on the giant screen, the same officer who had swapped the information database data, furtively operating on the optical brain.
Calgar’s name and picture were clearly magnified in front of everyone.
Night had fallen, and the sub-county square, which held tens of thousands of people, was filled with a rare absence of noise, as everyone remained silent and looked only at the screen.
The collapse of faith, the destruction of hope, so many people have cried out. Those who were forced to hold back were also in a blur of tears.
When Luo ZhouZhou and Chu Feng leapt from those rooftops, no one paid attention to them either. Only the little boy, who was still riding on his father’s shoulder, looked to his right and left, saw them, opened his eyes wide in shock, and covered his mouth.
There was a bright full moon in the sky, no clouds, and the helicopter was clearly visible under the moonlight. Luo ZhouZhou soared high into the air and fell down again, jumping over the rooftops between the buildings, and chased after him.
“Do you need to change your position?” Luo ZhouZhou asked. He pointed his toe at a church steeple and they flew a few dozen meters away.
Chu Feng couldn’t speak, but shook his head, indicating that this would be fine.
Luo ZhouZhou added, “If you feel uncomfortable, I can carry you sideways and run.”
Chu Feng stiffened all over.
“How’s that?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng shook his head dramatically.
Because of the sudden broadcast of the two videos of Calgar, the whole Alliance was in a frenzy. They poured out from everywhere and converged on the street. They shouted angrily along the streets, tore down Calgar’s propaganda posters from the walls, and piled them together with the leaflets, and burned them in the streets.
Outside the presidential palace, people were crowding, trying to break through the iron gates to get in, and the police were out in full force, keeping order everywhere, with fire trucks and police cars beeping loudly everywhere.
Luo ZhouZhou chased the helicopter in the distance, leaping all the way to the rooftops in the moonlight, quickly leaving the city lights and noise behind, and getting closer and closer to the helicopter, soon rushing right underneath it.
It was already on the outskirts of the city, full of towering mountains and cliffs, with the silvery Phil River flowing quietly between them.
Luo ZhouZhou saw the helicopter over the Phil River, flying downstream in a canyon formed by two peaks, and he was ready to leap onto one of them and continue following the helicopter from the top of a tree.
“Wait, wait.” Chu Feng struggled to open his mouth.
Luo ZhouZhou immediately stopped and asked, “What’s wrong, don’t you feel well?”
Chu Feng took off his arm around his waist and ran toward the river, saying as he did so, “This is a small dock where many sightseeing motorboats are parked.”
Luo ZhouZhou followed him and asked, “What if they fly high above the mountains?”
Chu Feng looked up at the helicopters in front of him and said, “There are strong air currents over the canyon, and planes can’t fly high.”
Luo ZhouZhou jumped onto one of the seven or eight motorboats tied up at the dock, urging, “Hurry up, they’re going into the canyon.”
Chu Feng unhooked one of the boats with a couple of strokes, jumped in, started it, and said, “Sit tight.”
“Already seated.” Luo ZhouZhou said, sitting in front of the motorboat.
The motorboat roared, breaking the calm water surface, and followed the helicopter into the canyon.