The Card Apprentice - Chapter 610 - Prelude
Chapter 610: Prelude
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Xi Ping was leading in front while Chen Mu looked around curiously. During the time he left, Eastern Wei had changed a lot; many places were newly built.
A huge alloy door was opened, and there was a tunnel that led underneath.
“Underground?” Chen Mu asked curiously.
Xi Ping laughed and said with empathy, “Yup, this is an underground storeroom, used to store some precious and rare materials. Besides me, only Alfonso knows this place. Last time… didn’t boss complain about insufficient material? Our Eastern Wei still has some energy. I have been collecting this energy for the past few years. I thought of keeping this forever… Now, it has finally come in handy. This makes me so happy!”
Chen Mu didn’t know what to say, but he felt warm and touched. After walking for around 10 minutes, the depth of this facility shocked Chen Mu.
“We’re here.” Xi Ping keyed in the password into the lock in front of the warehouse door.
The door slid open silently, and Chen Mu followed Xi Ping as they entered the warehouse. Uncountable metal racks were arranged in one line. On the shelves, there was a variety of containers that seemed endless.
Chen Mu was utterly stunned.
In front of the Eastern Wei Academy, Alfonso brought a group of people, and they were waiting anxiously. Beside him, his students whispered to each other.
“Wow, who are these people? Such a big group of people?”
“I don’t know. The principal volunteered to lead the group. This has never happened before.”
“Right, see, Lady Ru Qiu and Master Ryan are all here.”
“You all try to guess, could it be…”
At that moment, the student beside them reminded them, “Stop talking, here they come!”
All the students shut their mouths and looked up curiously.
“Mister!” Alfonso sped out from the crowd. Ru Qiu followed behind him. With tears in her eyes, she whimpered, “Mister!”
All the students below were in an uproar! Mister!
In Eastern Wei, there was only one person who Alfonso would call mister. In Eastern Wei, there was only one person that Ru Qiu would call mister.
They looked at Chen Mu curiously, but they were also admiring him. He was not tall, not handsome, and looked like any average person. Most of them could not help but be secretly disappointed. This ordinary guy was the legend of the whole Eastern Wei?
“You are finally back! You are finally back!” The middle-aged Alfonso was like a child, crying non-stop.
Ru Qiu cried uncontrollably as well.
Chen Mu was about to cry, but he held it back and said with a smile, “Okay, okay. Why do you all cry once you see me? Are you guys trying to chase me away!”
Only then did Alfonso feel slightly embarrassed. He wiped away the tears and tried to regain his composure. Suddenly, he slapped his head and dragged Chen Mu before running to the front of an old man and introduced, “This is Master Ryan, mister, the Eternal Night’s card master!”
“I am not a master.” Lance Ryan smiled humbly. “I will call you mister just as the others do. For all these years, I have been researching the Computation Box that you have left behind. I admire it so much!”
Chen Mu was surprised. He had never thought that this older man was actually a grand card master. The Eternal Night was in his hands. He respected the maker so much, but he never thought Ryan would be in Eastern Wei. He responded quickly, “You flatter me. As compared to your standards, I still need to improve a lot.”
Ryan laughed heartily. “The one who discovers the truth should be the teacher. Pay no mind to the age.” Then, he gestured with his hands. “Let us have some tea inside. I have so many questions to ask you. I could not find people to ask before this. Now, I will not let you go until I have the answer to all my questions!”
“Haha!” Everyone laughed simultaneously and walked back.
Alfonso leaned near Chen Mu’s ear and whispered, “We brought here him from Faya.”
Chen Mu gave a thumbs up silently. Alfonso continued to smile, and he looked proud. Following behind them, Ru Qiu smiled happily.
Alfonso turned to back, and his face became serious as he said, “Mister, as for our current card making level, at the Heavenly Federation, they consider us quite good. We have recruited a lot of excellent card masters, especially card masters from Moon Frost Island. We were also reached out by the card makers from Faya. Besides the Central Repository of the Classics, they consider us the top in making cards. While in the aspect of Card Appliance, no one can compete with us.”
“Mister’s Computation Box has never stopped working in all these years. We obtained a lot of detailed energy structure. In this aspect, we are way ahead of everyone.”
“Mister, no matter what, we want to help you win this fight!” Alfonso exclaimed.
In one day, all the executive card masters and card appliance professionals in Eastern Wei gathered in Eastern Wei Academy. Eastern Wei’s supreme joint meeting issued a transfer order.
In Eastern Wei, a colossal-scale advanced research project officially started to operate!
* * *
In the Central Repository of the Classics, Jie Yanbai and Cao Zhengqiu were drinking alcohol while eating peanuts. Both of them were born from poor families. So, this kind of dish was both of their favorites.
“Eastern Wei is so ambitious.” Cao Zhengqiu drank a small mouthful of alcohol and said, “From my observation, they plan to use up all their strength to help Chen Mu build a card.”
“This is very much normal.” Jie Yanbai focused on finishing the peanuts on the plate and did not even look up. “Without Chen Mu, Eastern Wei will quickly lead itself to its death. You look at Tang Hanpei. He did not even bother to attack Eastern Wei and just allowed it to develop. He calculated that if Chen Mu were not there, the more Eastern Wei developed, the nearer they were to disintegration.”
“Yup, where else in this world can you find a monster like Tang Hanpei?” Cao Zhengqiu shook his head, overwhelmed with mixed emotions.
“Monster? Ha! You are right. However, if we talk about monsters, I would think that Chen Mu is more of one!” Jie Yanbai put down his chopsticks and recalled, “When I first met Chen Mu, he and his team were weak. Hehe, later on, he surprised the whole Federation. Tang Hanpei is a monster, and I think that is quite normal. This kind of monster only appears once every few hundred years. Principals and students from the Comprehensive Federation Academy in the Heavenly Federation are all born royal and raised properly, so it was not surprising to see him become extraordinary. But look at Chen Mu, where did he come from? An orphan from a common residential district who has never been to school and depended on one-star power cards to survive. He had no resources or connections, except for an inheritance card from Rosenberg. There was truly nothing else, but he built up Eastern Wei, and Jia Qiuxia lost to him. Even the devilish Su Heiming could do nothing to him. Is he a monster or not?”
“Monster! He is definitely a monster!” Cao Zhengqiu pouted: “Hey. I think, whoever wins should be declared as the No.1 monster in this world.”
“Haha!” Jie Yanbai laughed happily. After a while, he asked, “Whom do you expect to win in this fight?”
“It’s tough to say.” Cao Zhengqiu put down the glass, and he looked a bit worried. “I never understood the reason why Chen Mu dared to challenge Tang Hanpei. A few years ago, although Chen Mu was not that weak, he was not even at Tang Hanpei’s level. Would his strength have greatly improved in recent years? Even if it did, this is still impossible, as Tang Hanpei has been No.1 for so long. No one dares question it. Furthermore, Eastern Wei is developing well, and they have an excellent army. There was truly no need to challenge Tang Hanpei.”
“I am also curious about this.” Jie Yanbai looked serious. “According to Chen Mu’s personality, he would not act without thinking twice.”
The two stayed silent for a while.
* * *
At the Star Academy, Rossiji was shirtless. A metal pot filled with boiling soup was placed in front of him. He enjoyed eating the fish’s head as no one was beside him. At his side, Nick was wearing his little bear pajamas and looked sleepy.
Qing Qing, who was wearing plain clothes, sat quietly across Rossiji.
“Something has happened in Eastern Wei,” Rossiji nonchalantly said while making a loud sucking sound.
“Something has happened?” Qing Qing perfectly showed a confused expression.
Rossiji finished the fish head and threw it aside. He wiped his oily hands with an old cloth and said, “Eastern Wei is strong, but which aspects of it are truly strong? There are a few features: card appliance, a powerful commander like Bogner, and good economic development. The card appliance is a cornerstone built by Chen Mu. In this short period, no one can shake it. On the aspect of the economy, according to our sources, Eastern Wei’s economy has never had a problem, and their development is even better than us. Now that leaves Bogner, Bogner is likely to be a problem.” It appeared as if Rossiji had suddenly thought of something scary. He widened his small eyes, which were so tiny it seemed as if he couldn’t see anything, and said dramatically, “Could it be that Chen Mu owes Bogner salary?”
Qing Qing sat calmly, but her eyelids twitched. She resisted the urge to punch this damn fat guy and asked, “If it was so, surely Tang Hanpei knows the reason?”
Rossiji laughed and answered lazily, “For sure, Tang Hanpei knows. But don’t forget that in Eastern Wei, besides Bogner, they still have Jiang Liang. This guy has a high potential, and I have big expectations for him. Chen Mu has his own style of command. If they have a conflict, even if Tang Hanpei were to take command personally, it would be impossible for the Comprehensive Federation Academy in the Heavenly Federation to escape unscathed. If you bite the hard bone that is Eastern Wei, it would be difficult for you not to sacrifice a few teeth.”
Qing Qing showed a thoughtful expression.
“Tang Hanpei is naturally willing to fight a duel. Tsk, who is he? World No.1, so how could he not have confidence in himself? He wants to kill Chen Mu and cause chaos in Eastern Wei. Then, dense bones will become loose bones, and when you take a bite, crunch. It will be as easy as munching biscuits. Also, don’t forget how Tang Hanpei became the principal? If he avoids the fight, hehe!”
Rossiji words were as lazy as it was before, but it was accurate.
Qing Qing looked to the distance, and the gears in her mind started to spin.
* * *
In the garden, an older man was with a young man who was around 30 years old.
Even though it was a cool resting chair, the young man still sat on it with his back straight. He had a neat uniform and heroic spirit, but he looked worried and uneasy.
The older man squatted on the ground, a hand holding a small shovel to plow the soil. He looked up and glanced at the unhappy Jiang Liang. Bogner then laughed.
He stood up and sat beside Jiang Liang.
“Why? Is Life too tough in the Big Crack Base? Can’t bear it any longer?”
Jiang Liang shook his head. “I disagree with the boss’s plan. It is too dangerous. Also, the success rate of boss winning is too low.”
“Hehe, what else?” Bogner raised his eyebrow. “Do you think you are useless? That if you were better, the boss would not take this risk?”
Jiang Liang kept quiet. Bogner was right.
“Growth requires time.” Bogner sighed and said, “You have to be patient. And trust the boss.”
Bogner stopped Jiang Liang, “You probably don’t know how boss survived through these years. Boss said he seemed to be at war almost every day, and he did not even dare to sleep soundly. I saw the wounds on Boss’ body, and I can roughly imagine how he survived.”
Jiang Liang was shocked. Evidently, he didn’t know about these things.
“If the battle were about winning or losing, I would bet on Tang Hanpei’s. However, if it were a battle of survival, I would support the boss.” Bogner said calmly. “Tang Hanpei is a child of good fortune, and he’s No.1 in the world. However, he is powerful to the point that no one can become his rival! The Comprehensive Federation Academy in the Heavenly Federation is behind him, so he does not have to go to the battlefront. His battle experience almost non-existent.”
Bogner changed his topic and talked about seemingly irrelevant things. “During the glory days of the cardless generation, many academies taught skills and produced students. The masters from these academies were incredibly powerful, especially those from the historical academy. Some of their masters practiced since they were young, they persevered for decades, training non-stop. They never stepped out from the academy, and they were never distracted by anything else. With their talents, they came up with many skillful techniques. However, later on, when the war came, all these skillful masters still died.”
“Competition and survival are two different matters.” Bogner said lightly, “This time, there is only life and death, no more victory or defeat.”
Jiang Liang was stunned.
Looking at his favorite student, Bogner educated him wholeheartedly. “Boss’s choice is correct; he has used all his advantages. On the other hand, this is not something Tang Hanpei is familiar with. As one falls, another rises. Isn’t this the most basic and most important concept when we are utilizing soldiers? Moreover, if the boss wins, no one can shake his position as the overlord.”
After he had finished talking, he turned around. “If you know you are not strong enough, then practice harder. Do not be afraid of losing; this is how a commander is born. Alright, it would be best if you continue your work. Do not disturb me about all these fighting problems anymore.”
Jiang Liang’s eyesight recovered its clarity. He bowed to Bogner and turned to leave.
After Jiang Liang walked far away from him, Bogner stopped the movement of his hand and sighed. Old age could be seen from his appearance.
“I am old, really old.” Even when he was looking at the garden which was filled with flowers, he felt empty. He grabbed the fantasy card hanging on his neck and mumbled, “Celia, you said before that you wanted to grow old with me and take good care of this big garden…”
A turbid teardrop rolled down his cheek silently.