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    Chapter 83: Disappearance (3000+)

    Huo Lanjing searched around and, upon seeing the discarded bed, he had a good idea of what had happened.

    As he proceeded along the path, following the footsteps, he was met with a shocking sight when he emerged from the dense forest.

    Luo Le was being held at his waist by a half-lizard man with a dagger, being forced to walk steadily towards the precipice ahead.

    This person is Du Wei?

    How did he end up like this?

    Now clad in fresh white clothes, Luo Le seemed to have undergone a simple cleaning in the healing chamber. The ends of his hair were slightly curled, carrying a hint of moisture.

    Due to their back-to-back positioning, Huo Lanjing couldn't see his expression.

    With a tight grip on the dagger behind him, Huo Lanjing moved forward, treading softly.

    Before entering the woods, he had wisely retracted his mecha to avoid alerting anyone.

    Du Wei didn't notice him.

    They weren't far apart now. Just as Huo Lanjing was about to hasten his pace, Du Wei suddenly turned around.

    His every move was clearly visible to Du Wei.

    With a swift turn, Du Wei pressed the dagger against Luo Le's throat, only a centimeter away: "Don't move."

    Huo Lanjing immediately stopped and looked at him: "Let him go."

    Du Wei smiled: "Why should I let him go? If it wasn't for him, how would I have ended up like this?"

    He pushed the knife forward slightly, drawing a bloody line on Luo Le's neck.

    Huo Lanjing quickly raised his hand in a gesture of surrender: "Stop."

    As he spoke, he threw the dagger away: "Shouldn't your hatred be directed towards the Huo family, specifically me?"

    Du Wei pointed his blade at him: "If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have had any dealings with you lot. He deserves to die, and you and your Huo family deserve it even more. It's all your fault."

    Huo Lanjing responded, "I'll trade places with him. Wouldn't it be more satisfying to personally slay the mastermind behind it all?"

    Du Wei lowered his head, his expression indiscernible.

    After a moment of silence, he suddenly looked up. "Do you think I'm an idiot? Swapping a controllable one for a troublesome one? Don't think I don't know that people like you carry countless storage rings, just like this one..."

    Seeing him raise his hand, Luo Le immediately stomped on his shoe. Taking advantage of his momentary pain, she snatched the ring off his finger and started walking away.

    Fuming, Du Wei exclaimed, "You..."

    He was about to give chase when Huo Lanjing suddenly appeared in front of him, blocking his path.

    Du Wei angrily stomped the ground and roared, "Get out of my way."

    Luo Le took several steps forward when she suddenly heard the sounds of a struggle behind her.

    Before she could turn back, a sharp pain pierced her chest.

    It was as if countless needles were piercing in from all directions.

    He found it hard to breathe.

    Clutching his chest, he turned his head to see Du Wei already under Huo Lanjing's feet.

    Luo Le's lips were devoid of any color. He opened his mouth, attempting to speak, but his mind was a blank canvas.

    Noticing Luo Le's unusual state, Huo Lanjing, who had been keeping an eye on him, rushed over, fearing that the young man might collapse at any moment.

    Du Wei, lying on the ground, caught a glimpse of the scene and suddenly burst into laughter, covering his eyes.

    But when a human hand touched his scaly face, his laughter ceased abruptly, replaced by tears streaming down his cheeks.

    Huo Lanjing had no time to spare for the person behind him. Despite the mere dozen meters, every step felt like an insurmountable obstacle.

    Just as they were only four meters apart, a pitch-black hole materialized out of thin air behind Luo Le.

    Huo Lanjing's heart plummeted. With urgency in his voice, he yelled while hastening his pace, "Luo Le, behind you! Run, Luo Le, run!"

    With great effort, Luo Le managed to steady his descending body, but his feet refused to move.

    Seeing Luo Le standing motionless, Huo Lanjing's heart leaped to his throat. "Luo Le, what are you doing? Quick..."

    Before he could finish his sentence, the pitch-black hole swallowed Luo Le entirely.

    "No!"

    Luo Le vanished completely from his sight.

    Huo Lanjing felt as if his heart were about to burst, his mind a blank canvas, time seemingly frozen.

    Looking down at his hand that had just grazed Luo Le's fingers, a sense of emptiness engulfed him, threatening to consume him entirely.

    Something suddenly landed on his face, and he instinctively reached up to touch it. Turning his hand over, he saw a tear.

    Since the passing of his parents and grandfather, he had not shed a single tear.

    Not even when his leg was brutally crushed, his abdomen torn apart by beasts, or any other such ordeal - he had never cried.

    Huo Lanjing knelt on the ground, head bowed, resembling a battle machine devoid of energy.

    Tears dripped onto the soil one by one.

    After a moment, he struggled to his feet, swaying unsteadily.

    With a determined gaze, he pushed forward, stepping resolutely.

    "--General, what are you doing?"

    It was Captain Lin, who had rushed over, grabbing hold of Huo Lanjing's shoulders and pulling him back.

    Huo Lanjing's mind was set on entering, charging ahead like a marionette controlled by invisible strings.

    This was where Luo Le had left. He needed to hurry and catch up.

    If he was too late, he would lose her forever.

    Yet, the hands gripping him were steadfast, unable to be shaken off.

    Huo Lanjing's icy gaze narrowed. "Let go."

    His tone was as cold as winter frost.

    Captain Lin, undaunted by the intimidating aura, retorted, "General, are you the one who's insane, or am I? Have you forgotten that you and your wife have a child? Do you want him to grow up without any family? He's not even two years old, General."

    Hearing this, Huo Lanjing paused in his stride.

    He stared blankly into the dark abyss, lost in thought.

    After a moment, he shifted. Believing that Huo Lanjing was about to advance again, Captain Lin tugged hard.

    But instead, Huo Lanjing said, "Let go."

    Shaking his head, Captain Lin held on tightly.

    In the next instant, he was fiercely kicked aside. Clutching his bruised knee, he looked at Huo Lanjing with a hurt expression, only to see that the general was heading towards where Du Wei lay on the ground.

    Relieved, Captain Lin got up and followed.

    Du Wei remained in his initial position, showing no intention of fleeing.

    Huo Lanjing approached and, bending down, grabbed his collar before delivering a fierce punch.

    Du Wei's face twisted from the blow, a trail of blood slipping from the corner of his mouth.

    Yet, he was still laughing, a touch of madness in his voice. "Hahaha! Admiral Huo shows such an expression too? Yes, just like this. How does it feel to lose?"

    Huo Lanjing's eyes reddened with fury, and for Du Wei, this was the most satisfying sight.

    Let the flames of anger burn brighter.

    Huo Lanjing was a tyrant with boundless power, why should someone like him be loved?

    Why should anyone find him appealing?

    Du Wei's grin was like a sharp knife, piercing deeply into Huo Lanjing's heart.

    With sudden force, Huo Lanjing snatched a gun from the strap tied around Lieutenant Lin's calf.

    Then he pressed the barrel against Du Wei's forehead.

    Military regulations stipulated that prisoners of war could not be killed prior to interrogation.

    Lieutenant Lin rushed to intervene. "General, you can't kill him."

    Huo Lanjing slowly stood up.

    Lieutenant Lin thought he had regained his composure, only to witness him, without a word, shoot a bullet into Du Wei's abdomen the next second.

    Du Wei grunted in pain.

    Huo Lanjing spoke, "Tell me, where does that... lead?"

    This wasn't actually a black hole but something similar.

    It would only suck in objects within a meter's range, yet its suction force was immense.

    He had stumbled upon it by chance and had no idea how long it had existed. It seemed as if the cliff below had been swallowed by it.

    Presumably, once this planet is entirely devoured, the black hole will become an authentic one.

    Huo Lanjing was at his breaking point. The image of Luo Le's disappearance was seared into his mind, and Du Wei's presence served as a constant reminder that he was the reason for Luo Le's downfall.

    If only he hadn't let Huo Fei intervene, Luo Le would still be alive, untouched by the gunshot...

    Huo Lanjing stomped on Du Wei's chest, sending him crashing to the ground with a loud thud. Then, he crouched down, pressing the gun against Du Wei's forehead.

    Du Wei was fearless; after all, he had no loved ones left in this world anyway.

    Now that Luo Le was gone, and Huo Lanjing had turned so vengeful, there was nothing left for him but revenge, and death held no more terror.

    Just as Huo Lanjing was about to speak, Du Wei suddenly snatched the gun from him. A shot rang out, and a laser bullet pierced through his skull.

    Huo Lanjing's eyes flickered slightly as he watched Du Wei fall, then he turned and walked away.

    Lieutenant Lin followed closely behind.

    When they returned to their starting point, Huo Lanjing turned back for a glance, clenching his fists slightly before leaving.

    Their men had already subdued the interstellar pirates and were awaiting Huo Lanjing's orders.

    Upon arriving, he simply instructed to take them back and got into the vehicle.

    As soon as the car door opened, Chen Chen was seen sleeping soundly. Wind City gently patted his shoulder to soothe him.

    The moment Wind City saw Huo Lanjing, he tilted his head to look behind him and whispered, "Where's Brother Le?"

    Huo Lanjing bent down to pick up the deeply asleep Chen Chen. However, in the next instant, his hand was grasped by Wind City. "Where's my Brother Le? Where are you taking Chen Chen?"

    Huo Lanjing still didn't respond and swiftly wrapped Chen Chen up.

    Wind City erupted in anger. "WHERE'S MY BROTHER LE!"

    His voice was so loud that it startled Chen Chen awake. Rubbing his eyes, he mumbled sleepily, "Papa, what's going on?"

    If only Wind City could turn back time and seal his own mouth. He forced a smile. "It's alright, you can keep sleeping."

    Just as he was about to go over and carry Chen Chen, Huo Lanjing pulled a lever, whizzing away in the next second.

    "Where are you taking him?"

    The sudden gust of wind roused Chen Chen from his sleep. He lifted his head. "Uncle, where are we going?"

    Huo Lanjing didn't even spare him a glance. "Hold on tight."

    In the next moment, he accelerated abruptly.

    Moments later, Huo Lanjing brought Chen Chen back to the precipice they were at previously.

    Chen Chen pointed at the person lying not far away. "Uncle, who's that person?"

    Huo Lanjing stared resolutely ahead. "It doesn't matter."

    He then walked five meters in front of the dark hole before putting Chen Chen down.

    "What is this?"

    Huo Lanjing, gazing at Chen Chen's innocent face, held his hand a little tighter. "It's nothing. Let's go."

    Chen Chen suddenly spoke up, "Uncle, where's my father?"

    Huo Lanjing paused, the words on the tip of his tongue swallowed back. "He... He's hurt and has been taken away by the doctors."

    Chen Chen had the right to know the truth, but he shouldn't bear such pain.

    After that, Huo Lanjing asked Captain Lin to take the man away and settled down with Chen Chen.

    Wind City, witnessing Huo Lanjing's actions, understood what was happening.

    He had attempted to snatch Chen Chen away, but failed.

    So, he also decided to stay.

    Huo Lanjing cleaned up the villa and moved in, taking Chen Chen to visit the cliff every day.

    He would also teach Chen Chen some wilderness survival skills.

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