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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 117: Station 24: Siege

    The rusty elevator clanked through the grimy space.

    Yan Qiling carried a bag of freshly baked bread, his heterochromatic eyes devoid of any emotion. His exquisite silk shirt fluttered like a breeze, resembling a delicate glass vase, in stark contrast to the simplicity of the elevator.

    As the lift ascended to the corridor, a gentle smile flickered in his amorous peach blossom eyes, imbuing his entire being with warmth and vitality, as if this was his most genuine sentiment.

    The elevator doors swished open, but he didn't exit immediately. Instead, he tapped rhythmically on the metal walls with three short taps followed by one long one.

    Soon, the seemingly seamless sheet metal wall of the corridor shifted aside. A gap emerged, and a mix of human warmth and damp, humid air rushed out. The man stepped in without altering his expression.

    It was a small storage room, packed with people alongside rubber, straw, and an assortment of tools. With eight individuals squeezed into this airless space, it was especially crowded, especially considering that most were tall.

    Yet, despite its intimacy, three individuals found themselves excluded from it.

    They sat in the heart of the warehouse, seemingly both surveilled by and isolated from the surrounding crowd, existing there like pathogens.

    Among them were two familiar faces.

    Tall and slender Hu Gaoming, alongside the blind youth with golden-blue eyes, Patland.

    Hu Gaoming surveyed his surroundings with a vigilant gaze.

    Compared to his previous self, he now appeared like a wolf dog obedient to its master's command, exuding a heightened sense of danger and vigilance.

    And Patland still wore his harmless demeanor, instantly turning toward the sound of the door opening, like a child eagerly awaiting a gift.

    And the one who opened the door for Yan Qiling was the other person who had originally been at the center.

    Also, he is but a youth.

    This youth possesses a Latino countenance, his two emerald green eyes exuding a feline allure. His black hair is finely curled, evoking the softness of Teddy bear fur, and he appears quite young, seemingly no more than fifteen or sixteen years of age.

    His name is Pandela.

    Originally, teenagers were the ones who should be protected the most. Yet, for some reason, they had now become a burden and the target of hatred from others.

    "Yan."

    The brown-haired man sitting in the corner spoke English with a strong regional accent:

    "What have you brought?"

    "A bit of food, which should be enough for each of us to share."

    Yan Qiling carried the food towards the center:

    "However, I couldn't find any water. These might be a bit hard to swallow."

    A golden-haired woman, huddled in the corner and shivering, asked:

    "Yan, have you found Steve? We can't get in touch with them at all right now."

    Yan Qiling, who had finished distributing food to the children first, looked up with an apologetic expression.

    "No, I didn't encounter anyone when I went out. I think... they must have already hidden themselves."

    He carried the remaining food and approached each person.

    The man on the far left had curly light brown hair.

    His name was Mobis, holding a dagger, with a scruffy beard. After accepting the food, he didn't thank Yan Qiling but silently broke it open to inspect the inside of the bread.

    Although Mobis wasn't at the center, it was clear that no one else dared to approach him, except for Yan Qiling.

    Moving clockwise, the second person was a woman named Dory, who appeared to be significantly older. After receiving the food, she made the sign of the cross over her chest.

    "Thank you, God, for providing us with a new source of sustenance in these difficult times. Your grateful servant will forever be thankful."

    Next to this woman was another young girl, Yi Lan, who did the same thing.

    "Thank you, God, for granting us fresh, clean food."

    The fourth person to receive food was the blonde woman, whose name was Isabelle. The Steve she mentioned earlier was her boyfriend.

    She wasn't particularly pleased with the prayers of the two women beside her:

    "Why thank God? It's Yan who brought you the food now. If not for Yan, there would be no food, and yet you thank God?"

    The two women clearly weren't happy with her remark. Dory replied coldly,

    "All destinies are arranged by the Lord, whether it's food or water. How can human will surpass that of the divine?"

    Upon hearing this, Yan Qiling's actions paused slightly.

    But he quickly gave the remaining food to the brown-haired man who had spoken first. No one noticed his brief abnormality.

    This man was named Cabyss, and his arm was bandaged.

    Beside him stood a bloodied fire ax, which seemed to be his weapon.

    He was more eager for the food than anyone else, so his gratitude was the most straightforward:

    "I love you, Yan. Your arrival saved everyone's lives."

    "The thought of Steve not having food to eat pains me."

    Without engaging further in a debate with the deranged woman, Ibesa, holding her food, couldn't help but feel down, thinking about her boyfriend whose fate was uncertain.

    Cabis chewed on his bread voraciously. Upon hearing this, he extended his hand towards her directly.

    "If you can't finish it, give it to me. I'll finish it all."

    This time, Ibesa didn't remain gloomy. She bit into her bread and replied coldly, "In your dreams!"

    The atmosphere turned silent as everyone focused on stuffing their mouths. The hungry had no interest in discussing highbrow or lowbrow topics; filling their bellies was of utmost importance.

    Yan Qiling made his way to the center of the warehouse.

    Hu Gaoming deliberately vacated a freshly cleaned straw mat for him to sit on, ignoring the sharp glances from those around them.

    Indeed, the tranquil scene before them was deceptive, concealing a lurking peril.

    For the culprit behind this contraption was hiding among them.

    -

    Yan Qiling, as always, opened his eyes on the train.

    The fleeting scenes outside the window and the silent carriage, quiet as an empty tomb, were devoid of conversation or movement. If no one was deliberately concealing themselves, it indicated that there were no so-called special individuals among the passengers.

    Without turning around, Yan Qiling could sense the presence of fifteen people in the carriage through their auras, a full capacity load.

    Past experiences had taught him that this would be a slaughterhouse.

    A full load often led to a massacre.

    Only this time, there were two familiar faces added to the mix.

    His blue artificial eye swiveled impossibly towards the back of his head, revealing a new purple eyeball bulging from the rear of the socket.

    Without turning his head, he could observe everyone around him.

    The golden-haired youth lay prone on the train table, slumbering deeply, still exuding an air of fragile helplessness that rendered him utterly dependent.

    Yet where once stood the bright and cheerful youth, his uncle was now conspicuously absent, replaced instead by a somewhat sinister scar etched upon the lad's brow.

    The youthful, slender cheeks that were once carefree and untroubled had lost their initial innocence. Even in slumber, his brow was deeply furrowed, as if he carried an indomitable burden.

    It was Patland and Hu Gaoming.

    In the interplay of light and shadow, the train entered its second phase.

    The vehicle disintegrated automatically, melting into an invisible snowflake under the faint light.

    In its place appeared black hoods that seemingly came out of nowhere, along with ropes that suddenly materialized, tightly binding everyone's hands and feet!

    Those who had just awakened found themselves in a trapped situation before they could even grasp what was happening!

    There were gasps and muffled grunts, but eventually, everyone tacitly fell silent, beginning to feel their way around the surroundings.

    Yan Qiling detoured away from the crowd, his luminous purple iridescent right eye piercing through the darkness, allowing him to easily discern the situation outside.

    They were in an unknown wilderness, devoid of human activity and roads.

    All of them were seated on a colossal wooden cart.

    In front of the cart, lumbering along, was a grotesquely large giant, standing somewhere between six to nine feet tall.

    The giant bore a vertical scar across his left eye, which had fused with the flesh of his face, indicating that eye was completely disabled.

    He wore a massive anti-bite mask over his face, heavy black shackles on his hands, and his entire body was marred with grotesque scars, layered upon each other.

    Due to the abundance and density of the scars, it was difficult to discern the origins of some, yet they easily evoked a vicarious sense of pain in others.

    Surprisingly, it was another giant driving this one from behind!

    This giant had an intact visage, but his ugliness was shocking.

    It was as if his face had been split open and then healed, causing it to cave in entirely, a countenance one would never wish to lay eyes on a second time.

    He was equally muscular, covered in scars, but unshackled, appearing far more agile than the giant pulling the cart. He also seemed to hold a higher status.

    As Yan Qiling didn't know the giant's name, he temporarily labeled him as the Driver.

    The Driver bellowed with a voice like a bronze bell, "Ubitos, fresh meat."

    Perhaps due to his massive chest cavity, anyone standing too close would experience a resonating buzz in their heads, an unpleasant sensation.

    In this unfamiliar environment, everyone remained as quiet as church mice, not daring to interrupt or engage in conversation.

    Yan Qiling mentally ran through the languages he had learned and realized that the Driver was speaking English.

    After understanding the meaning of the words, he sensed a slight accent that resembled those from the Kanor region. However, it wasn't a significant clue.

    Silently, the giant called Ubitos dragged the small, dilapidated cart that held fifteen people, trudging forward with effort.

    As they drew closer, Yan Qiling could see the industrial complex rising from the plains.

    The complex consisted of buildings ranging from five to one story high, their uneven heights adorned with rusted patches. Some walls had lost all their paint, revealing cracks that spoke of neglect and possible structural instability.

    Ubitos pulled the wooden cart into an pitch-black warehouse. The pungent stench of blood assailed their nostrils the moment the door swung open, overwhelming those present. Yet, the carriage driver seemed indifferent to the discomfort it caused.

    He firmly shut the massive iron door behind them, severing the last sliver of light from the outside world as if by a guillotine. They were now plunged into utter darkness, save for a dim bulb casting its glow from an adjacent chamber.

    Having secured the door, the driver addressed Ubitos, "Prepare yourself, fresh meat."

    Ubitos, accustomed to such tasks, lifted the tattered hemp curtain and entered the sole illuminated compartment. Soon, the heavy sound of sharpening blades echoed from within.

    The carriage driver, with the callousness of butchering livestock, grabbed the hemp ropes tied to their legs, casually pulled down an iron hook with a spring clasp from the ceiling, hooked it through the ropes around their legs, and then released it, effortlessly suspending them upside down from the ceiling!

    The first one to be hung was Steve.

    His hood was swiftly removed, and he squinted to make out the grim details of the room through the dim light. The horrifying scene caused him to struggle and cry out in terror, much to the displeasure of the carriage driver, who promptly delivered a punch to his chest.

    Steve let out a pained scream, which soon turned into chilling gasps, casting an even darker shadow over the hearts of the others, particularly his girlfriend, Ibesa, who couldn't see the specifics of the situation.

    Coincidentally, the second person captured was Ibesa.

    She let out a short sob, and Steve, hearing his girlfriend's voice, gritted his teeth against the pain and whispered hoarsely,

    "Don't cry, Ibesa, please, don't make a sound..."

    Ibesa, upon hearing her boyfriend's faint warning, suppressed her fear with great effort, trying not to emit a single noise. However, her silence only intensified the anxiety of the others.

    When the third person was seized, this individual finally lost their composure, leaping off the trolley in an attempt to escape—they had somehow managed to sever the ropes binding their limbs!

    Yet, that very action cost him the chance to introduce himself.

    He darted around the cramped room like a headless fly, first pounding on the iron door at the far end before it was quickly slammed shut. Dodging the driver's massive palm, he dashed into the illuminated compartment.

    However, upon discovering something within the compartment, he immediately retreated, crashing right into the muscular driver.

    The driver's enormous hand swung down, knocking him to the ground. Then, as if handling a chicken, he lifted the near-unconscious man up.

    In the darkness, an inhuman scream echoed, sending shivers down everyone's spines. Most were clueless about what was happening, except for Steve, whose hood had been removed, and Yan Qiling, who had a clear view.

    The reason for the man's shrieks became apparent: he had been hung up.

    Unlike others with hooks through their leg ropes, he was pierced through the chest like a freshly slaughtered pig, hoisted high while still alive!

    Struggling desperately, blood poured down like a steady stream. His hands trembled as he clutched the hook in his chest, desperately trying to pull it out despite the excruciating pain that made him howl. Yet, his will to survive seemed to overpower everything else.

    Miraculously, he succeeded, freeing himself from the hook with a loud thud as he landed on the tile floor, drenched in filth. He wriggled, attempting to crawl away from this hellish place.

    But the driver, treating him like a disobedient prey, lifted him up again. This time, he pulled out the hook and reinserted it through the man's abdomen, restringing him on the hook once more!

    The man let out a final, mournful cry as his body convulsed involuntarily from the immense pain.

    In the end, only twitching and the scent of fresh blood intertwined with this true abattoir of human flesh.

    No one dared to challenge the authority of these two giants anymore.

    For those who had never encountered a Profound Level Wujian Lord, such swift and seemingly rule-defying deaths were dozens of times more terrifying than any condition imaginable.

    Finally, the driver approached Yan Qiling and held out a hand to him.

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