Zhang Tie spoke fluently, causing the people who listened to feel as if his words were believable. Hearing his words, Snade gazed at Zhang Tie's face for a long while. He seemed as if he was trying to see through something, but Zhang Tie simply pretended as if he saw nothing. With eyes staring at Snade's purse, Zhang Tie swallowed his saliva forcefully.
"How about we accompany you back home? If we let you go, it would be difficult for us to find you again. We are just common pioneers. Since we are new to Blackhot City, we are not familiar with the roads!" Gazing at Zhang Tie, Snade explained kindly.
Zhang Tie pretended to considerate it. "Fine! But you have to pay me 3… No, 5 gold coins as an advanced payment. After all, I picked that thing up for you. If you want it back, you have to, more or less, pay me as a reward…"
Snade then gave Huck a look. Zhang Tie could tell that during their exchange, they had exchanged a cruel message from their looks. Aside from that, the corner of Huck's mouth rose from the terrifying message, showing disdain towards Zhang Tie's ignorance of the situation.
"Alright, lead the way!" In a split second, five gold coins were thrown into Zhang Tie's hand. Zhang Tie clasped them instantly and hurriedly tossed them into his pocket. He then pointed at his belongings on the table. "Could you please give them back to me?"
As Zhang Tie had expected, they were in a large hotel for pioneers which was close to the edge of the upper eastern region of Blackhot City that neighbored the railway station. Huck and Snade had chosen a remote independent suite. Zhang Tie didn't know how they had carried him inside. As pioneers always had bad temperaments and had weird behaviors, there were many taboos among them. Given Huck's exaggerated figure and strength, once he hid Zhang Tie inside a bag and carried him with on his back while wearing a cloak, nobody would doubt that there was a man inside. When Zhang Tie was carried inside, he was still in a coma; however, when he went out, Snade let Zhang Tie put on a cloak and a hat to slightly cover his face. Thus, Zhang Tie left the hotel with Huck and Snade, shoulder in shoulder as if they were bosom friends. Naturally, nobody else spared them a glance, as there were always people from all walks of life that wandered around here.
Treating him as if he was a bosom friend, Snade stretched out his right hand and placed it on Zhang Tie's neck, causing Zhang Tie to cry inwardly. Rather than it being a hand over his neck, Zhang Tie felt like it was a poisonous snake who would spit out its tongue. With a casual bite, the poisonous snake would be able to easily kill him. Snade gave off a disgusting and fishy smell. Zhang Tie didn't know when the dagger would appear in Snade's hand and cut through his neck as it ended his life. Before the two of them, even though Zhang Tie was already a LV 1 fighter, he still felt as powerless as a baby. Zhang Tie didn't know whether they were LV 6 or LV 7; he only knew that they could kill him easily, thus he didn't have any hope of being able to fight against them. If he wanted to survive tonight, he had to make other decisions.
"Since we are new to Blackhot City, we have been feeling rather tense, so we may end up hurting others to protect ourselves. So, no matter who we meet, could you please not make us nervous? This will benefit all of us," Snade told Zhang Tie kindly as they walked out of the hotel.
Zhang Tie nodded, yet his brain spun rapidly.
It was almost 9pm, only a few more hours before the curfew was in effect, thus there were currently numerous people on the street. Zhang Tie and Snade looked very close as they walked shoulder to shoulder with Huck following behind. They were currently heading for Zhang Tie's "home". On the way, they had met two groups of the guards from the City Guard Army. Zhang Tie knew that City Guard Army could not save him, so he didn't do anything to arouse their attention. In addition, he was really scared of encountering people whom he was acquainted with. Once that happened, it was very possible for him to lose his life tonight. Fortunately, that didn't happen. After passing by two groups of city guards from the City Guard Army, Zhang Tie felt that Snade and Huck were no longer alert. The atmosphere among the three was also relaxed.
"That piece of wood is just made of common red pine, so why is it so important to you?" Zhang Tie asked Snade as if they were bosom friends.
"You know for pioneers like us, sometimes we need to trade and contact others. That piece of red pine is our token. Since the grains and the quality of the material are quite distinct, we will always split the piece of red pine in half. When the two halves have matching grains, then it means we have found the correct person. When we get that piece of wood, we can finish our task and leave. You are really a lucky dog to get 10 gold coins so easily…" Snade answered in a relaxed way.
Hearing his words, Zhang Tie finally understood what that piece of red pine wood was used for. He guessed that the two were here to look for someone and had taken that half of red pine as a token, but they had unexpectedly lost it. Therefore, they hurriedly searched for him as he might be the very person who had seen that piece of wood.
"You know, I am really sorry. If I didn't walk into you, you wouldn't have lost your thing. How about taking only 8 gold coins?" Zhang Tie said bashfully.
"We've already made the deal, so we will give you 10. You are fortunate. It's our fault, so we'll pay the price…"
"Hoho, thank you. Those gold coins really help me a lot. My parents would never give me so much pocket money and would only give me 20 silver coins a week. I can only sleep with two women with it…"
The two prattled with each other, truly giving off an image of bosom friends.
"What's your name?" Snade suddenly asked when Zhang Tie was totally relaxed. Zhang Tie almost poured out his real name. However, he was very clear-minded tonight and had already made a plan to stay alive. Zhang Tie instantly replied:
"I'm Du Shaofeng…" Soon after Zhang Tie spoke, he immediately covered his mouth with a hand and stared at Snade in a hasty manner. It seemed as if he had made a mistake and had carelessly disclosed a secret. At the same time, a pleasant look flashed in Snade's eyes." The boy is still innocent."
After more than 20 minutes of walking on a street in the upper eastern region of the city, they arrived at the residence area where Zhang Tie's "home" was located.
"You wait here. I will go in and bring the thing to you," Zhang Tie's heart pounded, though he seemed as if he was talking as usual.
"Is your home here?" seeing the heavily-guarded residence ablaze with lights and the two rows of fully-armored City Guard Army standing outside the gate, Snade and Huck asked dejectedly.
"Yes, my brother is a military official in Blackhot City. This is the residence for the relatives of the City Guard Army officials, so of course we live here…" Zhang Tie replied, "We didn't live here before, but ever since my elder brother became an official, he got a house here. That's why we all moved here. Wait for a moment, I will bring it back to you soon!"
The instant Zhang Tie wanted to move, Snade clasped onto him. A cold light flashed in Snade's eyes as he stared at Zhang Tie's face like a snake capturing its prey.
"Are you familiar with the guards over there?"
"Yes, I live in here, so of course we are acquainted with each other!"
"Then, let's go in together!"
"Well…" Zhang Tie forced a smile and said in a relaxed way, "The residence is strictly managed. As you two are new here, you cannot go inside directly. I will let the guard call my elder brother out so that he could lead us in. Come on, let's go look for him together..."
Saying this, Zhang Tie moved one step forward…
The three then walked towards the gate of the community together. However, Zhang Tie's heart pounded. He felt his mouth was dry and his eyes were dazed. He felt like he was walking on a steel wire hanging in the air while under his feet was a bottomless chasm. Once the guards say they don't know Zhang Tie, he would be killed. Therefore, at that moment, Zhang Tie was betting with his life that Snade and Huck were more afraid of being exposed than he was. Zhang Tie felt that the two were extremely afraid of the City Guard Army of Blackhot City, as whenever they met the City Guard Army on the way, Zhang Tie could obviously feel that Snade would clasp him even harder. Common guards from the City Guard Army might be easily killed by these two; however, military officials of the City Guard Army in the Blackhot City were all above LV 5. As this was the residence for the relatives of military officials, there were a great number of great fighters inside, thus Zhang Tie didn't believe that the two would dare to go inside with him. Zhang Tie clearly knew that he might have a chance to survive tonight if they dared not go in with him. If he showed them where the wood was truly hidden, he would be killed. If they couldn't get their wood, they would kill him as well.
He learned this from Donder as an apprentice during the past two years in the grocery store. When you give a despaired person a beacon of hope, you would get a beacon of hope when you felt despair. You should always make yourself useful to others. Don't be disposable. This was the key rule for the underprivileged when in trouble.
If the two guys finally trusted him, they would try to let him in. Then, he could escape from the other gate of the community.
The two rows of City Guard Army standing outside the gate of the community were becoming closer to them. Although Zhang Tie pretended to be calm, he was actually becoming increasingly reluctant to move forward. They were drawing closer and closer to those guards…
Seeing the three of them drawing closer, alert soldiers had already glanced at them. Finally, at about 20 steps away from those soldiers, Zhang Tie's shoulder felt it being clasped even more tightly as Snade had already forced him to move away in a different direction.
"I've changed my mind…" Snade said, which made Zhang Tie relaxed immediately. "We pioneers don't like to deal with those uniformed workers since easy matters always become difficult when they're involved. Let's find another way!"
"No, it's very easy!" Zhang Tie explained in a confused manner, "I will go in and bring it out for you, or you two can go inside with me and get it together…"
"Snade, I feel there is something wrong with the boy…" Huck said gloomily as Zhang Tie's heart pounded…
At a dark corner of the street, Snade glanced at Zhang Tie coldly. "Huck, keep an eye on this guy. I will take a look around and see if what this boy is saying is true or not…"
The instant Snade left, Huck had already placed one hand onto Zhang Tie's neck. "Kid, I feel that something is wrong. Don't play tricks with me. If not, I will break your neck…"
Zhang Tie hurriedly nodded…
Ten minutes later, Snade came back and looked gloomy. "Let's go back first…"
"Let me go. Give me two minutes and I will bring it back to you!"
"Shut up!" Snade lowered his voice. At the same time, Huck pinched his neck with even more force, causing Zhang Tie's face to immediately turn purple…
"Keep him alive. Let's go back and deal with him later…"
Then, the three of them returned to the hotel for pioneers faster than they had left. On the way back, Huck and Snade were both silent as they stared at Zhang Tie more fiercely and more viciously than before. As a result, Zhang Tie gradually became dejected. He knew that his plan had failed and the moment to determine his death or life was coming…