Chapter 492 Black marke
zhou yingxue looked at ren xiaosu. “the girl you like is yang xiaojin, right?”
ren xiaosu stayed silent and did not answer her question.
zhou yingxue continued, “if it’s yang xiaojin, then i admit that she’s indeed much prettier than me. but didn’t you leave stronghold 88 with her? why don’t i see her around?”
zhou yingxue remembered that ren xiaosu and yang xiaojin were tasked with heading to the valley to the north to exterminate the bandits some time ago. but after that, yang xiaojin was nowhere to be seen.
ren xiaosu glanced at zhou yingxue. “mind your own business. have you heard any news regarding the saboteurs in the central plains while you were here?”
“no.” zhou yingxue shook her head. “although the saboteurs have been active in the central plains in recent years, their organization is much more secretive and vigilant than we thought. some people say they’re hiding behind another organization and giving orders remotely, but no one knows which organization it is.”
“alright.” ren xiaosu sighed. although he had already been in the central plains for two months, he still had not found any of them.
the fighting in stronghold 61 finally stopped. the refugees had already gotten tired of watching the commotion in the middle of the night, but they were somehow unable to fall asleep when they returned to their shacks. when they woke up in the morning to go to work at the factory, all of them had dark circles under their eyes and were yawning.
but on their way to the factory with the other workers, they were still discussing last night’s battle with great enthusiasm and speculating happily about how the battle might have broken out.
unlike the gloomy expressions on the stronghold residents, the refugees did not feel that the battle had anything to do with them.
the refugees and stronghold residents seemed to be living in two different worlds. there was even a clear distinction between their stand on matters and values.
ren xiaosu would often get emotional when he saw such things happening, but zhou yingxue did not care about these matters. the only question she had for ren xiaosu was, “why are we always eating potatoes for every meal!”
ren xiaosu said nonchalantly, “just make do with it. it’s great to even have potatoes to eat.”
then ren xiaosu untied the rope for zhou yingxue and stuffed two boiled potatoes into her hands. zhou yingxue took advantage of this rare free time to quickly stretch herself to prevent her joints from going stiff.
ren xiaosu was still rambling, “yesterday, you asked me why a supernatural being like me would live in a town? that’s because i was originally a refugee. you’re already getting sick of eating potatoes after having them for two meals. but did you know that the refugees in the northwest and southwest don’t even have potatoes to eat sometimes? who wouldn’t like to eat rice and noodles every day? but can they afford to have those?”
zhou yingxue was stunned. then she asked in a whisper, “do you usually only eat potatoes too?”
“no.” ren xiaosu shook his head. “i usually eat at the tavern since i have money.”
zhou yingxue was surprised. she wanted to smash the two potatoes in her hands onto ren xiaosu’s face, but she dared not do it as she really could not afford to offend him.
zhou yingxue said with a stern expression, “i want to eat at a tavern too.”
“i think you’re thinking too much.” ren xiaosu chuckled and said, “do you really think that the wang consortium’s people are all deadbeats? you’re gonna swagger around in town after creating trouble in their stronghold?”
zhou yingxue immediately felt aggrieved. why did she, a supernatural being, feel so powerless before ren xiaosu?
back when she was at stronghold 88, many young and talented people had tried wooing her. she was also one of the top performers in the yang consortium’s intelligence agency in terms of assassination, intelligence gathering, and infiltration. otherwise, she would not have been able to escape the stronghold while the other a-rank hitmen fought for their lives there.
but a supernatural being like her was now reduced to eating potatoes to survive.
wait a minute. zhou yingxue suddenly asked, “where did the plants in your backyard come from?”
zhou yingxue finally felt that something was off. she had seen ren xiaosu make those plants spit out the potatoes with her own eyes. that sight almost upended her understanding of things. shouldn’t potatoes grow underground?
ren xiaosu said with a smile, “they were already around when i bought the house.”
“do you think i believe that?” zhou yingxue said stubbornly.
“then i must have bought the seeds from someone.” ren xiaosu chuckled.
“nonsense, i’ve never seen anyone selling strange seeds like that on the black market before.” zhou yingxue frowned.
“black market?” ren xiaosu’s interest was piqued. “there’s even something like a black market in the central plains?”
“you’ve never seen a black market before?” zhou yingxue was taken aback. “there’s always illicit trading hubs like that everywhere, and the things they sell there are all banned items.”
“are there any flying treasures that can soar in the sky? or perhaps legendary magical weapons? aren’t we in the era of supernatural beings?” ren xiaosu asked curiously.
“no, there’s nothing like what you’ve mentioned there.” zhou yingxue rolled her eyes. “the main trades involve firearms and medicine, as well as some pre-cataclysm technology that various small groups dug out from somewhere. finally, there’s also intel trading. i also bought my initial cell phone from the black market.”
ren xiaosu gasped. “you can even buy a contract killers’ cell phone on the black market? how much does a cell phone cost?”
“500,000 a piece!” zhou yingxue said.
ren xiaosu was startled. “that much? the reward for a d-rank mission is only 20,000 yuan!”
“but if you get promoted to c-rank, you can easily earn it back after completing five missions.” zhou yingxue said, “besides, some cell phones are not purchased by hitmen. they’re bought by some important figures who are enemies of the anjing house as a form of self-preservation. although they can’t receive details of a-rank missions, they can receive missions that are b-ranked and below. if the anjing house releases a mission that targets them, they can make preparations in advance.”
“eh, doesn’t the anjing house know about this?” ren xiaosu wondered.
“they don’t seem to care,” zhou yingxue said.
“what else can you find on the black market?” ren xiaosu asked.
“oh, there’s many hitmen that stay long term near a black market, because those places have the safest hotels around. whenever the anjing house releases group missions, the hitmen there can form a party with the help of the hotel and disband after the mission is completed.” zhou yingxue said, “for example, the mission at stronghold 63 two days ago, or the mission at stronghold 61 yesterday, they could both be carried out as a group.”
realization dawned upon ren xiaosu. when he saw the text messages, he was wondering how those hitmen were supposed to work in groups when they usually hid their tracks and did not know each other.
so it turned out that there was a whole other world in this underworld organization.
ren xiaosu became a little interested in the black market. he wondered what level he was at compared to the other hitmen on the black market. furthermore, there should be a lot of a-rank hitmen there as well, and he might even get to meet the members of the anjing house too. simply thinking about it, anyone would know that this would be a place where supernatural beings gathered.
he would finish the quest of taking in the injured zhou yingxue soon. after that, how great would it be when he could use the skill duplication scroll to copy a superpower? he still had his mind set on that sugar painting power.
“bring me to the black market in two days,” ren xiaosu told zhou yingxue.