Summoner Sovereign - NovelFullApp.com
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Even though the lab area was relatively secure, we still couldn't lower our guard. There were Barbaric Baboons prancing about in the almost empty corridor, searching for prey. When I first caught sight of them, I immediately had Adrian and Melina go to cover and hide behind a contraption that protruded from a wall. Obviously I joined them, ducking under a gurney. The two Barbaric Baboons swung past from lighting to lighting, causing the equipment to spark and flicker, but they pa.s.sed us by without ever noticing that we were right under their bulbous noses.
"Stay down," I whispered while the Barbaric Baboons swung past directly above Adrian and Melina. Both kids held their breath and watched nervously as the monsters practically soared past them, and then they were gone, rus.h.i.+ng toward the distance. I then relaxed my grip on my swords, relieved that I didn't need to engage in combat and thus end up breaking the stealth spell. While I was able to fool the scientists, who paid more attention to research than the staff who manned the base, it might be harder to deceive the security personnel.
I mean, I could try, but…I would rather not take the risk if I didn't have to.
We then got up and raced to the stairs as stealthily as we could. Mercifully, the stairs were empty, and I led the kids down to the bas.e.m.e.nt level. There, the red emergency lights were on, drowning everything in a b.l.o.o.d.y haze. I glanced about, making sure there was nothing hiding in the shadows. Even with the stealth field on, I recalled Melina's warning that physical contact would envelop the monster or person within the stealth field itself and thus reveal ourselves to whoever we b.u.mped into. So I couldn't take anything for granted.
"This must be the area for the prison cells."
Consulting the map that I had recorded on my gla.s.ses, I cross-referenced our location and confirmed that the cells were just ahead. Moving along the corridor cautiously, I followed the holographic route marked across my lenses and found myself standing in front of a row of prison cells, the doors on each side.
Ironically, the prison area was the least touched by the monsters. The place was still secure, and the doors locked tightly. In order to prevent the prisoners from escaping, they had invested quite a bit into containment, and now it was this very same containment measures that kept the prisoners safe from a monster attack.
That didn't stop the Barbaric Baboons from paying the area a visit and tras.h.i.+ng the security cameras and place. The cameras, I saw, were down, as were the few sentry turrets put in place to watch over the prisoners. Inevitably, the monsters suffered casualties, and I saw a few corpses here and there, but none of them were able to break down the doors of the cells. Frustrated by their failure and realizing the futility of clawing away at the reinforced material used to construct the doors or cells, they had retreated. Which explained the two Barbaric Baboons we saw swinging past earlier.
"Are we going to free all of the people imprisoned in here?" Adrian asked. I had considered that as well, but wasn't sure if we could afford the risk. I wasn't naïve enough to think we could rescue all of them, but at the same time my conscience wouldn't allow me to leave them behind as well.
"I guess." After a few seconds, I made my decision. They deserved the chance at freedom, but other than Ling Dan, they would have to rely on themselves to escape. I wasn't going to help them all the way.
"How do we free them?" Melina was studying the doors. "They don't look like they are opened by keys."
My gla.s.ses had already a.n.a.lyzed them and I could see that they were electronically locked. So instead I headed to what pa.s.sed off as an office at the front of the prison cells. As I suspected, there was a computer console there, and a dead warden. The poor guy had been on s.h.i.+ft when the Barbaric Baboons dropped in, and then ended up being ripped apart by the frenzied monsters. Even though he was the enemy, I felt a little sorry for him. Usually it was the higher-ups who made all these stupid decisions, and the low-ranked grunts suffered the most from the fallout. Regardless of whether it was his choice to join the Dark Church, I doubted he had anything to do with the decisions his superiors made to kidnap innocent people or breed monsters.
Honestly, the ones who should pay should be the higher-ups who made these dumb decisions in the first place.
The good news, though, was that the computer console was left on. I managed to turn it on, and studied the programs and files in the computer. There was something that caught my attention and I widened my eyes.
"Eh? Ling Dan is the only prisoner in here?"
As it turned out, almost all the prison cells were empty. Then again, that made some sense. If the Dark Church abducted innocent people or took prisoners, they wouldn't bring them all the way out here, in some remote mountain range, to lock them up here. They would pprobably imprison them somewhere closer to civilization.
h.e.l.l, there were very few prison cells to begin with. About five at most, and four were visibly empty. Ling Dan was stated as being held in the very last cell, which was all the way at the end of the corridor, directly opposite the entrance.
Moving the mouse, I clicked on the unlock b.u.t.ton and removed the locks from the cell. There was a soft beep that indicated the computer's compliance, and then I left the console.
"Let's go," I told the kids, and they nodded. Following me, we pa.s.sed through the four cells – two on each side of the corridor – and made our way to the vault at the very end.
Even though I had technically unlocked the door from the computer console, the cell still looked secure and shut. The heavy metallic door remained in place, barring our sight into its interior. Not that we needed to check inside – earlier, I had caught a glimpse of the prisoner inside the cell, the silhouette of a man sitting on the bench, slouched against the cold, gray walls of his prison. From the data, he matched the height and size of Ling Dan.
It was most probably him.
Even so, there was the possibility this was all a trap – though it was highly unlikely that the Dark Church would set up such an elaborate scheme for no reason other than…I don't know. Why would they ever consider the scenario that someone would try to rescue Ling Dan and then trick whatever rescue squad like this? It was quite the long shot and an incredible coincidence.
"Stay back," I told Adrian and Melina. Even though the security cameras along the corridor had been destroyed, and technically it was safe for us to switch off the stealth field, I still did not want to take any chances. One person getting caught was infinitely better than all three of us getting caught. And besides, I could pretend to be a security personnel or research a.s.sistant, but there was no way anyone would buy that bluff for Adrian and Melina, both of whom were clearly too young to be working in a place like this.
They both obeyed, and I strode up to the door and manually pulled it open. There was a grinding creak, and then the mechanism gave way, allowing me to yank the doors wide.
A hand shot out from inside the cell, almost catching my throat. Instinctively I took a step back, narrowly avoiding getting my jugular vein severed from what seemed like a surprise attack.
"Wait!" I called out. "I'm not an enemy!"
There was a scoff from inside before my a.s.sailant came into view. "Do you really expect me to believe that? That you're not an enemy even though you kidnapped me and imprisoned me here?"
"That's the thing. I'm not the one who abducted and held you hostage. I'm actually here to rescue you."
"Hah!" the young man snorted. I was once again taken by surprise by how young he was. Ling Dan didn't look older than eighteen – something the Silver Wolves remarked on when Doctor Dorden first showed them his photograph. He was meant to be a young genius or some nonsense like that. You know, like those dumb cultivation stories where the eighteen-year-old protagonist went around mocking and proving all the forty or sixty-year-old old masters wrong with his immortal knowledge and previous life experience, or cheats from his ghostly master. Man, even his arrogance was right on the mark. "Do you expect me to believe you?"
"I can shut you back in your cell if you want me to," I replied dryly, and he laughed.
"You can try!"
Before he could finish his sentence, I kicked him. Even though he successfully parried my foot, the momentum from my blow caused him to stagger back inside his prison and I shut the down with a single shove of my hands.
"We're going to leave him here," I told Adrian and Melina, both of whom were staring at me with their mouths wide open.
"Hey!" Ling Dan was banging on the door with his fists fiercely. His voice was m.u.f.fled from behind the door. "How dare you shut me back in here!? Do you know who I am?!"
"Someone who is ungrateful to others for rescuing him."
"f.u.c.k you! Let me out of here! Otherwise I'll kill you!"
"Are you an idiot?" I sighed heavily, trying not to roll my eyes. "Why the h.e.l.l would I let someone out when he attacked me when I did so earlier?"
Also, he was in no position to threaten me. Yet here he was, screaming and hollering like a spoilt child. Some legendary receptarier he was.
"Don't we, uh, need him?" Melina asked skeptically.
"Look at him." I gestured toward the shut door, which he was pounding like a madman. "The moment I let him out, you saw him try and kill me. Do you think he will help us? I bet he would just kill the three of us and then escape by himself. I know this sort of people – I've dealt with them before."
Honestly, this Ling Dan b.a.s.t.a.r.d was falling into the villain category. No wonder even an organization as ruthless and murderous as the Dark Church was forced to lock him up in a high-security prison watched over by turrets.
"So we're going to just leave him here and return empty-handed?" Adrian asked dryly. I rubbed the back of my neck at that question. Now that he put it that way…
"You've got a point. Let's give him another chance." I turned back to the heavy doors. "I'll let you out, but you have to promise me that you won't attack me."
"Fine! Now let me out, you f.u.c.ker!"
Dude…not even a single thank you or any sign of grat.i.tude to the one who was trying to save you. Well, it wasn't as if I needed his grat.i.tude, but the b.a.s.t.a.r.d actually tried to kill me earlier when I opened the door for him. Despite him making his promise, I had a feeling that I should take his words with a pinch of salt.
In any event, I slowly opened the door. When I did so, Ling Dan lunged out. Purple and green flames burst to life around his hands as he grabbed for my throat, while the other slashed toward my chest.
I managed to dodge, partly because I was already antic.i.p.ating a treacherous reaction. The flames almost scorched my skin even though I avoided them by a hair's breadth – evidence of how intense they were.
"Hey!" I yelled. "You promised!"
"Why should I keep my word with an idiot like you?" Ling Dan sneered. "And besides, I promised not to attack you. I never promised not to kill you."
Well, I did expect this, and I was fully prepared. What, did you guys think I was an idiot or something? Oh…wait, yeah, you did. I literally received hundreds of comments from readers complaining that I was stupid or r.e.t.a.r.ded. Never mind then.
In any event, I summoned Libra – which manifested as a staff – and slammed it into Ling Dan's midriff. He doubled over, his flaming hands going wide, and then I thrust Libra again and rammed it into his solar plexus.
"Zubenelgenubi," I murmured, and the two mirror-coated scales that hung from one end of Libra gleamed, golden mana flaring out and enveloping Ling Dan. The guy grunted and fell over, his flames flickering out as he slumped onto the ground, unconscious. Just for good measure, I gave him a solid whack against his head to ensure that he was out cold.
Dismissing Libra, I then hauled Ling Dan's unconscious body up and threw it over my shoulder before stepping back into the stealth field that Melina's device provided. Both kids were still staring at me with their mouths wide open, unable to comprehend what had just happened.
Sorry, kids. That was just real life. Sometimes you just run into people who were ungrateful b.a.s.t.a.r.ds, who only thought about themselves and didn't care about the others who helped them. In any event, they couldn't just stand in shock forever, so I sort of gave them a nudge.
"All right, guys. Target secured. Let's get the h.e.l.l out of here."