Volume 3 Chapter 7
Translators: LilsxD, Wryn
Proofreaders, Catchkatch, Arc, Wryn
“Bill, it has already been three days. Why hasn’t Dar been found yet?” asked Devon expressionlessly, leaning forward with both hands on the table.
He knew that the Solaris Emperor would not accept any reasons for failure, but since his boss opened his mouth to ask, as his subordinate he could only dutifully reply.
“It seems that Young Master Daren knows very clearly where the security cameras are located throughout the city. Consequently, not even a single camera was able to capture his image, making it much harder to track him. At the same time, he hasn’t sought help from any of his friends, used his credit card, withdrawn money, or left the country. And none of our spies within major organisations have reported capturing anyone that matches Young Master Daren’s description.”
Hearing this, Devon’s expression eased a little. Initially, he was worried that the lack of news about Dar was because he had been captured.
Kyle continued reporting. “At this moment, we have changed our course of action to combing the ground for the young master’s whereabouts. Unless the young master has already left the city, we will definitely have news of him in the next two days.”
“Dar needs to eat quite a lot each meal. How could he have not withdrawn money?” Devon’s brows furrowed. Didi isn’t starving himself right now, is he?
Kyle didn’t speak, but he was rather uncertain about this fact as well. Young Master obviously had an amazing appetite, and so if he did not use money to buy food, he could only steal it. However, he had already checked the whole city and its surroundings; there were no reports of a large quantities of food being stolen or lost… It felt as if Daren had disappeared completely.
Although Devon was extremely worried about Dar’s situation, as long as his little brother had not fallen into someone else’s hands, then he should not need to worry about Dar’s safety. Since he could not find him at the moment, he could only go about it in a different way.
“How is the situation with Yue Baylian?” Devon asked.
“The assault on the laboratory was successful, but the target had already been moved to another location. At this point, we are pursuing any leads remaining.”
Hearing this, Devon’s fingers tapped the table in unspoken acknowledgement. The Solaris Emperor did not have anything further to add, implying that he also agreed with how Kyle had handled it.
Kyle continued with the next report.
“With regards to the investigation on people who have close ties with Yue Baylian. We found out that his parents are dead, he has no wife, he has many lovers, but they are frequently replaced. The only one that could be considered as a close relation would be his successor, Shain Baylian. However, according to our findings, Shain Baylian is not his real son, but actually adopted from one of his distant relatives. Their relationship cannot be called close.”
“In other words, he doesn’t have anyone he particularly cares about?”
Devon’s expression hardened. People like Yue Baylian were the most annoying; this information proved that he did not care about anything and that he would act unscrupulously without reserve. At the same time, it was quite clear that the plan to threaten him with someone beloved had to be aborted.
“Yes.” Kyle nodded his head.
Once again, Devon reverted back to his expressionless self, tapping the table with his index finger.
Kyle continued. “As for bringing down the Lunaris Alliance, we have begun gradually absorbing their shares under different company names and freezing some of their assets. However, the Lunaris Alliance is extensive, with banks under their umbrella, coupled with their long standing business roots, we’re unable to inflict any fatal damage to them with such short notice…”
“I know that,” said Devon, a bit frustrated as he interrupted the report. “Which of the top ten trade cartels is not strong and solid with well-equipped financial backing? I haven’t once thought that we could take down the Lunaris Alliance quickly. We only need to make it known that we’re in opposition to the Lunaris Alliance. The other organisations and smaller businesses will align themselves accordingly. Even if they don’t end their partnerships with the Lunaris Alliance, they would put their collaborations on hold. All this news building up would be enough for the Lunaris Alliance’s shares to hit rock bottom.”
The moment the shares dropped it would be much easier to buy them up, and with some manipulation under the table, it would be possible to have their properties change hands with them being none the wiser. At the same time, as long as the Solaris Group shared a large part of the benefits with the other organisations, the others would not protest about the Solaris Emperor destroying the Lunaris Alliance.
Only the Solaris Emperor, the economic leader, could succeed with this kind of method. It seems like the Solaris Emperor is set on making the Lunaris Group completely disappear, Kyle thought to himself.
“Once the Lunaris Alliance collapse, so what if Yue Baylian has Avery in the palm of his hand?” Devon snorted.
At this moment, Kyle received a message on his computer. As the message title was related to the Lunaris Alliance, he chose to take care of the message immediately. He opened the message and read the contents, froze for a moment, and then quickly reported. “Solaris Emperor... The Lunaris Group has requested for both leaders to meet.”
Hearing this news, Devon faintly smiled. It seems like someone has started to realise that he is in a dire situation.
“The other party requests an immediate reply. The meeting time will be two days from now at 12pm, and they will decide the location.”
As Kyle was reporting, he frowned. This was a really rude and unreasonable demand. Even if it were a mere CEO of a regular firm--let alone the economic leader Devon Solaris--they would usually would have their schedule planned a month in advance. This type of impromptu request demanding a meeting in two days was absolutely unreasonable.
In addition, the other party wanted an immediate reply, and they would also decide where they would be meeting. Were they looking down on the Solaris Emperor, like a subordinate? This was extremely disrespectful.
Hearing this, Devon scowled. What makes Yue Baylian think that I will accede to his demand?
At that moment, Kyle suddenly realised that the message had an attachment. To think that I actually didn’t notice that immediately. It seems like I really have been overworking myself recently… I guess I’ll just have to brace myself and report this.
“Solaris Emperor, this email has an attachment, and it seems to be a photo.”
“Oh?” As expected, Devon coldly shot a glance at him. “Print it out,” he ordered.
Kyle opened the photo without thinking and only after he pressed the print button did he actually notice what was in the photo. His heart immediately sank.
Young Master Daren…
Devon casually took the picture from the machine. But once he set his eyes upon it, he bellowed, “Dar!”
The person in the photo really was Daren. Or, more accurately, it was Dark Sun. In the photo, he was locked up in a prison cell. The other party had clearly been afraid of his abilities, as they had used materials stronger than mere iron bars to make the prison cell an impenetrable fortress. For even more security, the walls had also been covered in a dense net of laser beams.
Dark Sun’s hands and legs were not tied up, but it looked like he had no way of escaping from this kind of prison cell, and so he could only wander back and forth inside.
“Bill!” Devon roared again.
“Yes, Sir. Analysing the authenticity of photo. Please give me five minutes…”
Without needing the Solaris Emperor’s exact orders, Kyle had already found the most competent subordinate in the relevant area of expertise and asked him to deal with it as quickly as possible to determine the photo’s authenticity.
Hearing this, Devon lowered his head and looked at the photo. Although Dar did not show any hint of panic on his face, Devon still felt a crushing pain in his heart. His beloved Didi had actually been held captive by his enemy in a prison and treated like a criminal.
If this isn’t taken care of properly, I’m afraid Dar’s situation could become even worse. The hand grabbing onto the edge of the photo trembled unconsciously at the thought.
“Solaris Emperor, it has been verified. The photo is not fabricated.”
Seeing Devon’s hand, Kyle was shaken. Now the Solaris Emperor’s biggest weakness is in the hands of the enemy. How will he react to this?
Hearing this, Devon slowly reclined in his desk chair. His thoughts continued circling, trying to find the best solution. “Agree to the Lunaris Alliance’s demand. Assemble our Elite Combat Unit. I remember Dar mentioning that his friend Eli has a strange power; find him.”
After Devon finished relaying his orders, he thought for a bit and added more instructions.
“Find Elian and that other girl as well. Dar also seemed to think that their combat abilities weren’t weak.”
Hearing this order, Kyle hesitantly said, “But… they are not professionals. They are still children…”
“Are you saying that Dar isn’t a child, then?” Devon coldly replied.
“Then, has the porcupine head woken up yet?” asked Devon with an even more ruthless tone. He grinned coldy. Dar treated that guy so well. It is only right that he should die for Dar in return.
Hearing his tone, Kyle knew that none of his suggestions would get through to the Solaris Emperor in his current state. He was only instinctively using every resource that could be of use, not leaving anything out. However, Kyle intuitively felt that that was not very wise.
If something were to happen to Young Master Daren’s friends because they wanted to save him, then the young master would be sad, right? Just by looking at the incident where the young master ran away from home, it is obvious that the Solaris Emperor is inept at dealing with things involving emotions!
It was easy to understand, after all, an enormous financial organisation like the Solaris Federation was not run by feelings. Holding the supreme position of Solaris Emperor for as long as he had, the people around Devon Solaris were simply identified as loyal subordinates that obeyed his orders, or enemies that did not. It probably was not an easy task for him to understand the feelings and bonds between friends, or things like his little brother rebelling against his wishes.
Kyle could not help but sigh quietly in his heart. When will these two brothers finally find the right way to treat each other?
“My brother has been captured. On the day of negotiation, I want you to use your powers to scout out his location,” Devon crossed his hands on his knees, commanding Eli who was sitting opposite him.
“What did you say!? Dar has been captured?” Eloise yelped in disbelief as Elian frowned.
Eli was silent. He knew he did not have the power to say no to the Solaris Emperor. But if he were to start probing the enemy’s mind to help the Solaris Emperor find Dar, would he ever be able to extricate himself?
“How was Dar captured? And what happened to Ezart? He hasn’t been at school for nearly a week. Could he have been captured just like Dar?” Elian suddenly asked.
Eli stared at the ground as he was filled with appreciation and gratefulness for Elian. Although he knew that Elian really did want to know the answers to those questions, his main intention was to help Eli out. He was buying him more time to probe through the Solaris Emperor’s thoughts and determine the pros and cons, before he responded to the Solaris Emperor’s request.
Devon raised his eyebrow at Elian’s questions. Although Devon could not read minds like Eli, how could such simple intentions not be detected by the king of a business world that was constantly at war?
Although he knew what Elian was trying to get at, he still needed to answer his questions. Additionally, letting them know more of Dar’s situation would also encourage them to help save Dar. Devon decided to go with the flow of the conversation.
“No, Ezart is unconscious because he drank a poison Avery left behind.”
“….Huh?” The three of them froze.
“As for Dar, he has been captured by the enemy because he tried to save Avery. Right now, the enemy wants to negotiate.”
Hearing this, the three of them were stunned. Coming to his senses first, Elian faintly mumbled, “No wonder Dar was captured; he must have been too hasty in trying to save Avery. And if he didn’t hurry to save Avery, Ezart would probably die too. Dar really likes them. If something were to happen to the both of them, Dar would be heartbroken.”
It was Devon’s turn to be stunned. So that was what Dar was thinking? Going to save Avery wasn’t only for Avery, but also for Ezart?
“Oh no!” Eloise paced back and forth, worried. “Dar is probably blaming himself again! Every time he does something wrong, he gets extremely upset and would keep on saying that he’s stupid, and doesn’t understand anything. Ahh!... Anyway, let’s hurry up and save him! Elian! Eli!”
The two looked at Eloise haplessly. They hadn’t even thought it through, and yet Eloise had already decided to set out?
“Dar isn’t stupid at all!” bellowed Devon as he slammed a fist on the table. Who dares to say Dar is stupid!?
“Right! Right!” Eloise loudly agreed. “Dar is the cutest, but he himself doesn’t even know. I tell you something: one time, Dar even asked me whether or not he was ugly.”
“What?” Devon jumped up from his office chair and roared. “Who would dare say he’s ugly?!”
“That’s right! He’s obviously not ugly. Dar is drop dead adorable!” Eloise nodded as-a-matter-of-factly.
Devon replied imperiously, “Of course. My Dar is the cutest. He’s always been as cute as a lump of dough since young.”
Are lumps of dough cute...? Kyle continued typing with an expressionless face at the periphery.
“Really? Do you have a picture of him as a kid? Can I have a look please?”
“Of course I do. Here’s Dar when he’s five.” Devon whipped out his locket containing a miniature picture within.
“Kya! Super duper cute!”
“Of course my brother is cute.”
“Do you have any others?”
“Yes, but not here.”
….... From a certain perspective, Solaris Emperor might have a lot in common with Eloise. Elian and Eli observed the pair silently.
“Solaris Emperor, Lunaris Alliance has replied.” Kyle reported evenly.
“Let me tell you. I have a few hundred photos of Dar when he was little, even enlarged close ups...... Eh? Oh, erhem!” Devon suddenly realised that he was not here for a show and tell of Dar’s photo.
He snatched the locket from Eloise’s hands in one swift move. He sat down emotionlessly and recovered his regality as he placed both hands upon his knees. “Speak.”
“The appointed time is noon tomorrow, at a restaurant in the suburbs. Both parties are allowed four servants.”
Devon grunted in acknowledgement and turned his eyes upon Eli, “Have you come to a decision?”
Eli lowered his head in thought, he said in resignation, “If you will promise me a few conditions......”
“Speak.” Devon smiled faintly, thinking that it ultimately came down to an exchange of benefits between businessmen, and not friendship!
“If anyone were to coerce me into using my power, or try to assassinate me, you have to help me stop it. In exchange, I can help you read other’s mind, but only thrice a year.”
“Hmph!” Devon smirked.
“Are you not satisfied with these conditions?” Eli asked warily.
Although he could read the Solaris Emperor’s mind, but to find the answer within a brain more than ten times as convoluted as a regular person was too difficult. By asking a direct question, even if the answer was not verbalised, it would surface to the forefront of Solaris Emperor’s mind, making it easier to glimpse telepathically.
“As long as you can determine my brother’s whereabouts, you will be listed under my Elite group. No one would dare to touch you. As for the condition of reading minds thrice a year, you can dispense with it.”
Solaris Emperor gradually stood, emanating the confidence of a monarch, he announced, “I have never needed to rely on telepathy to determine an opponent’s moves.”
Eli was speechless. Even after asking a question, he still could not gather the answer telepathically. He could not tell if it was because the Solaris Emperor’s thought processes was too quick for him to read, or if he was thinking of a multitude of things simultaneously, hence burying the answer.
Although he could not read the Solaris Emperor’s mind, Eli still nodded in agreement because the conditions he proposed were too good. He did not harbour hopes of being able to reject the Solaris Emperor to begin with. He was even mentally prepared to become his subordinate. For him to be able to complete just a single mission without ever being forced to use telepathy for posterity, in addition to receiving the protection of the Solaris Emperor was like a gift from heaven...... As long as the Solaris Emperor had no intentions of silencing him after the mission.
Although Eli had this suspicion, could he really escape the Solaris Emperor’s grasp if he really wanted to assassinate him? He’d probably be vaporised before he could take a step out of the city.
His only hopes lay in saving Dar, getting him to stop his brother from assassinating him, and keeping his promise on account of their friendship.
“Eli is definitely coming along.” Devon tilted his head elegantly as he glanced at the other two, “As for the both of you......”
“I want to come with! I’m strong and can definitely help out.” Elian hurriedly interrupted, worried about Dar’s safety and the possibility of Eli’s execution.
“I want to go too!” Eloise chimed in hastily.
“No you can’t!” Eli and Elian responded simultaneously.
“Why?” Eloise yelled in displeasure.
If the Solaris Emperor really wanted to silence Eli, it would be easier for two to escape. Especially since Eloise was not speedy, making it more difficult...... But this could not be spoken before the Solaris Emperor.
Not able to think of a credible reason, Elian sighed inwardly and blurted out what he thought was an incredulous excuse, “You have to take care of Ezart and bring him to us after he awakes!”
“Is that so?” Eloise frowned, “Ok then. I will wait for Ezart to wake up. Dar likes Ezart so much, if he saw Ezart going to rescue him, he would be very happy.”
Solaris Emperor smiled faintly, “In that case, you can stay with Kyle. He can tell you where to find us when it’s time.”
Elian and Eli paled. Did Eloise just become a hostage?
Eloise remained oblivious to her companion’s unease. She thudded her chest firmly in assurance, “Don’t worry! The moment Ezart wakes up, I will bring him to you.”
Eloise...... Elian and Eli heaved a sigh silently. It looked like they could only put all their efforts into saving Dar and getting him to stop the Solaris Emperor from executing them.
Elian asked, “In that case, please tell us the plan so that we can coordinate with you, Solaris Emperor.”
“Very simple. I will let the negotiations fall through, but not to the extent of angering them, then set a date for the next meeting.” Devon gestured at Eli as he ordered, “You will determine where Dar is being held captive during the negotiation.”
Eli nodded, “If you can ask where Dar is, it will be easier for me to find the answer.”
Solaris Emperor grunted again in acknowledgement. Everything had been prepared in anticipation for tomorrow’s negotiation. Dar, you must wait for gege. Please don’t get hurt, please don’t......
Instead of expending resources in search of Avery, getting captured and brought in was much faster.
Daren circled the room gradually. Avery’s morse code message was a trap after all. The moment he reached the appointed location, there were four modified humans waiting for him. He could have escaped but once he did that, he would not be able to find out where Avery was.
Instead of retreating in failure, he might as well get captured.
“Anyway, regardless of what kind of prison, as long as there’s a door, it cannot keep me in!”
Daren circled his cell. It was a typical impenetrable cell. The thickness of the wall held no significance. The crux lay in the mechanism of the lock. According to the current standards, there was a 90% chance of it being an electronic lock.
A quick look at the door revealed that it was indeed an electronic lock opened with a swipe card.
Daren walked over for closer inspection. There was a beam of laser hidden from view before the lock. Any attempts at tampering with the lock would result in burns.
However, he extended his left hand without reservation. The laser beam would at most burn his flesh but would not be able to sever his galvanised bones. The stench of charred flesh permeated as soon as his hand came into contact with the laser, half of his pale elegant hand reduced to a black stump.
Yet, he remained impassive, as if his burnt hand was only a piece of wood. He placed his hand before the electronic lock and bent his wrist backwards, breaking it. From the centre of his broken bone came a metallic flash, a port extended forthwith.
Daren expressionlessly watched the inhuman hand in action. As gege hated it when he used his inhuman powers, he dared not display this skill. In fact, computer hacking is also one of his attributes.
“What are you doing? Stay away from the lock! Or I will fire!” A voice rang out over the announcement system, his jailers realising that something was amiss.
Daren ignored it as he continued hacking into the computer system.
Four machine guns emerged noiselessly from the corners of his cell, firing off two warning shots that were easily dodged by Daren.
“Get away from the lock or we will engage in automatic mode.”
Daren gradually raised both hands, returning his left hand to the original form and stepping away the door.
“That’s it, step further away!”
Daren walked to the centre of his cell and raised his head innocently in question, “Is this ok?”
“Just stand there, don’t go near the lock.” The voice petering into muffled mumblings, “What the hell. Is that boy man or machine?”
Lowering his head, an inconspicuous thread lay on the ground connecting his left hand to the lock. That was a fibre optic cable, allowing him to continue hacking into the electronic system regardless of how far away he physically was.
Once I run out, those people who want to shoot me must get a fright! He revealed an extremely adorable smile at that thought. He crossed his legs into a lotus position, hiding the majority of the silver thread beneath his bum.
Only three more minutes before I can go save papa Avery!
Daren was so happy he started whistling, the picture of an innocent boy. But this innocent smile juxtaposed with his charred left hand struck a eerie chord, raising goosebumps on the jailers watching behind the security camera.
Three minutes passed by very quickly while he was whistling a merry tune. Daren glanced at the lock from the corner of his eye and gave a command to unlock the door in his mind. He reeled the silver thread back into his wrist as the cell door swung open. In a flash, his silhouette vanished as he bolted out of the cell.
Silence reigned for a few seconds before his jailers responded. The alarm went off as the announcement system reverberated with panicked cries, “Pri... Prisoner has escaped!”
******************** Eclipse Hunter v03c07 END ********************