Volume 2 Chapter 14 Is that all?
The mission was simpler and more successful than what Tia had imagined. During dinner, Tia described their next course of action.
“For the next two days, everyone will sort out the accounts and receipts. After that, we will wait for the results of the scan before we return to the academy to report our findings.” Tia paused for a moment before turning to Ouyang Tao and said: “However, Rem and I are going to investigate some matters. If we aren’t back within four days, you lead the rest and return first.”
“If this is something that concerns the mission, I want to join in as well.” Concerning how things were developing, Ouyang Tao was not surprised, which was why he raised this weird suggestion.
“My regrets but this is not possible. The current investigation is dangerous in nature and furthermore, I promised professor that I would try not to involve you in any dangerous situations. Therefore, leave it to Rem and I. Tia’s rejection was also within Ouyang Tao’s expectation. “Furthermore, I’m the commander¹ now, you have to listen to my orders.”
Ouyang Tao did not argue any further but merely exercised his own authority: “Then, as the leader of the battle group, I have to know the exact actions that you will be taking.”
“Sure, it’s very simple actually. Rem and I have discovered that a batch of ores have been transported to a location outside of the designated areas. It is a city not too far from Black Steel Town. Therefore, we need to go investigate.”
As she finished, she glanced at everyone asking: “Do the others have any questions?”
“Then… Senior Tia, for the remainder of the time, are we allowed… are we allowed to have some free time around the area?” Annie asked carefully.
Augustus Academy always had strict management policies. Even during the holidays, only ten chosen students from each of the normal departments were able to go to the outside for a period of twelve hours every week. The special departments were even stricter with only three slots allocated every month.
That was why, if time permits, students usually did not return immediately upon the completion of missions. Instead, they would use the opportunity to enjoy themselves outside for a while —— As long as the important matters were finished, the school did not prohibit the students from doing so explicitly.
Tia was happy to allow it: “Yup, alright. If nothing goes wrong, I’ll be leaving after dinner with Rem. Ouyang Tao, as the team leader, you are in charge of the sorting work.”
“Yup, I understand.”
The way things turned out seemed to be according to plans. After everything, they would be able to relax for a few days before returning to the academy to report the findings
However, Ouyang Tao knew that the mission had barely started……
After dinner, once Tia and Rem left, Annie was so excited she nearly tripped on the chair: “Excellent, the lady boss has finally left~ Sister Xue, come to my room later and shall the three of us go shopping together?”
“This…” Ouyang Xue was unable to decide at once.
Annie this lass is really… Ouyang Tao shook his head continuously. However, his sister was already begging him with her eyes, the desire to go and play need not be said: “It’s alright to go play but know your limits. Take care of yourself and don’t cause trouble. Also, you must be back and in bed by midnight.”
“Yay, bro is the best!” Ouyang Xue happily cheered, “Annie, where shall we go and play?”
“Where else but the night market! From the hotel, it’s just two streets away.”
Compared to the excited look Annie and Ouyang Xue had, Liu Xinya just remained silent and smiled. She straightened her back and placed both her hand at her waist. She still looked peaceful and elegant, as though she was satisfied with how everything was turning out.
Ouyang Tao could not help but ask: “Liu Xinya, are you not following them?”
Of course, I’m following Annie but where to go I’ll let her decide.” All these while the situation seemed to be like this. Despite Liu Xinya being inseparable from Annie, she usually could not decide on things and followed Annie’s decision.
Bro, are you not following us?”
“Nah, after climbing the mountain today, aiyo…” As Ouyang Tao spoke, he stretched his limbs and moved his waist, “It is so tiring today and my waist is aching…… You guys go ahead and enjoy yourselves. I just want to go back and rest. Why not you guys bring some supper back for me and Zhao Yuecheng.”
Speaking of Zhao Yuecheng, he had been slowing eating on one side. He did not talk nor did he reveal any expression other than a smile. During everyone’s conversation, he had already finished his meal. He stood up slowly and said: “Enjoy your meal guys.”
“Bro…… Don’t you feel…… That guy’s smile is creepy?”
“Yeah yeah, his smile is horrifying…… Annie is really afraid of his expression.”
It was true. Compared to the slight smile that Liu Xinya had, it was obvious that Zhao Yuecheng was forcing a smile. Despite him smiling continuously, because his expression was too exaggerated and the fact that he always had it on, it gave off an extremely creepy feeling.
To Ouyang Tao who got used to even Zhao Yuehan’s creepy atmosphere, this creepy laughter was nothing in comparison —— To others however it was hard to get used to……
“Alright, don’t worry. He’s a nice guy.” As Ouyang Tao spoke, he stood up to leave as well. Before he left, he did not forget to remind: “Ah Xue, remember, don’t stay out too late.”
Returning to his room, Ouyang Tao collapsed on his sofa quickly and heaved a long sigh of relief.
He did not imagine that things would really turn out this way……
Ouyang Tao took out two samples of Black Steel —— This was the discovery Zhao Yuecheng had made.
The two pieces of Black Steel were mushy black pieces that were exceptionally hard. From an outsider’s point of view, there were nothing special —— It was just like how Ouyang Tao could not tell the differences between scrolls.
However, the analysis of metal composition was a speciality of Ouyang Tao’s. Upon a closer look, he immediately found the difference between the —— The composition of Lula was twenty times different between the two.
Even if the gangs were really powerful, if permission was not given, the transport and sales of Lula Ore were not allowed. It could also be said that the over selling Lula Ores were completely not possible.
However, Black Steel is a commercial product and the main product of Black Steel City. Lula Ores were also a main component of Black Steel. If an excessive amount of Lula was mixed into Black Steel, it would be possible to sell Lula without anyone knowing.
All the buyers had to do was to wait until the Black Steel get transported to them and get a Mechanical Engineering Magician or Elemental Magician who was well versed in Alchemy to extract to Lula metal from within the Black Steel —— Although it sounds simple, it was not simple at all to hide such actions.
Thinking of the situation in the morning when he went to the mining area, Ouyang Tao started to become worried. This was also the reason he kept silent —— Because this situation might involve a very large gang of people.
However, if Tia were to obtain such a sample as well, she would undoubtedly come to the same conclusion. Then, is Rem being misled about the situation or… Ouyang Tao did not have proof any hence dared not assumes anything. Furthermore, Tia had absolute confidence of Rem.
Also, Zhao Yuecheng had already said that he secretly stole this sample from the factory —— Because the investigation of the factory is not among the objective of the mission, missing out on this is not suspicious at all.
This meant that the discovery of the means Lula Ores were being smuggled could not explain much as such situations were commonplace……
Ouyang Tao thought about it again and again: “Damn…… What should I do…… Could it really be me imagining things?”
Two hours passed by unknowingly but Ouyang Tao still had no progress at all……
Just at this time, someone suddenly knocked on Ouyang Tao’s door.
“Who are you?”
“Ouyang Tao, it is I, Liu Xinya.”
Ehh? Didn’t she go shopping with sis and Annie?
¹As everyone might have read, I was very inconsistent in my use of Tia’s role within Ouyang Tao’s team. I have finally decided on the term commander as it seems the most appropriate for her. Therefore, from now onward I will refer her as the commander of the battle group.