Right as they heard the sound of the explosion, Chen Jiawang and Wu Jia turned around, and the latter put herself in front of Bai Ze.
“It probably has something to do with those police sirens. We should leave…” Chen Jiawang glanced in the direction of the explosion.
“Let’s stay for a bit longer. We might get to see something interesting.” Bai Ze peeked from behind Wu Jia and said in a rather amused tone.
As Bai Ze finished her sentence, a man suddenly appeared at the corner of the street and began sprinting towards them.
‘There's something wrong with him…’ Chen Jiawang’s palm began sweating as he felt a slight sense of danger.
Chen Jiawang exchanged looks with the man, who seemed to have been attracted to Wu Jia’s unique air. It was a man of medium build, with thick eyebrows twisted into an expression of panic. The man glanced back at the police cars, and then stared at Wu Jia with a desperate, devious smile — he spat on the ground and started running towards her.
“What is he up to?” Chen Jiawang’s heart skipped a beat as he made ready to intercept the man.
“Stop right there!” Chen Jiawang yelled at the top of his lungs, putting himself in front of Wu Jia and Bai Ze.
The man let out a scornful smile and continued accelerating.
“Shit!” Chen Jiawang now realized that the man was targeting them. Somehow, he found the courage to rush toward the man and tackle him rather than backing down. Instead of the painful impact he expected, he passed through the man as if the latter was made of thin air and fell to the ground.
“What happened?” Chen Jiawang turned his head and crawled up, only to see the man staring back at him with the same look of surprise.
“Why, why are you here too?” The man asked in a confused voice.
“Interesting…” Bai Ze said as she took a big bite from her apple. The street, which had been a busy mess, was now completely empty. The crowd, the wailing sirens, and even the thick smoke were all gone.
“Get on the ground or she dies!” The man suddenly jumped up and grabbed Bai Ze by the neck, quickly surveying the street with his eyes and showing relief upon realizing they were alone.
“What are you up to?” Chen Jiawang yelled while Wu Jia shrieked in terror.
“Shut up and go inside!” The man threatened, picked up a fruit knife from the stand and put it against Bai Ze’s neck.
“Don’t hurt her…” Wu Jia sobbed as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“Listen to me if you don't want her to die.” The man threw a threatening stare at Chen Jiawang.
“Listen to him.” Bai Ze pursed her lips.
“Just calm down, alright!” Chen Jiawang said as he helped Wu Jia walk into the small shop.
As the thick metallic curtain came down with a thud, the atmosphere inside the small shop grew even tenser.
The criminal was a man called Li Tie, who was serving a sentence for rape. A month ago, he realized that he had acquired some kind of extraordinary power, and he broke out of jail with it. It was a very odd ability which allowed him to split himself in the rest of the world spatially for three hours, and he could bring whomever he wished to bring along with him. Although there were certain restrictions, such as the need to rest for an entire day before being able to use his power again, it was practically effortless for him to escape the authorities. This time, Chen Jiawang, Bai Ze and Wu Jia were brought into his tiny world.
‘Ooof, good thing that little girl was also brought along… I have to be careful around that guy, he’s got guts for wanting to fight me instead of running away.’
“Who are you? What do you want?” Chen Jiawang put Wu Jia against a wall and went back to face Li Tie.
“You, put that rope around him.” Li Tie looked at Chen Jiawang and was surprised at the calmness the latter displayed. He picked up some cords which were used to tie bags of fruits together and threw it at Wu Jia’s feet.
“If you don’t listen to me she’s going to die.” Li Tie said as he brandished the knife in front of Bai Ze’s chest.
“Listen to him.” Chen Jiawang looked at Bai Ze anxiously, only to see that she did not seem afraid in the slightest. After remembering the scene where Bai Ze was able to bend metal coins as if they were made of paper, he started to feel more relaxed.
Wu Jia picked up the rope and slowly wrapped it around Chen Jiawang, sobbing every few seconds.
“Tighter!” Li Tie roared in anger, causing Wu Jia to fasten her pace dramatically until Chen Jiawang was completely nailed to the wooden chair.
“Who are you?” Chen Jiawang asked as he stared back venomously at Li Tie.
“Hehe.” Li Tie finally let out a smile when he concluded the two in front of him were no longer a threat.
“Who am I? Haven't you heard all the police sirens earlier?” Li Tie relaxed and put Bai Ze down, who did not cry in the slightest, which Li Tie attributed to being traumatized.
“You mean… you’re that criminal?”
“To be precise, I’m that criminal who escaped from jail. Do you know what I did to get in there? Hehehe, rape…” The man said with a lewd smile as he scrutinized Wu Jia.
Although the man had awakened as a guardian, just like Chen Jiawang, he was completely unaware of the rules which guardians were bound to. After being chased by teams of armed police force, he fell into a panic. Just as he was thinking on how to escape, he laid eyes on Wu Jia and the fire of lust began burning within him. As he decided to make Wu Jia his last prey, he transported himself to another space along with her, but for reasons unknown to him, Chen Jiawang and Bai Ze were also transported.
“You… You…” Wu Jia was on the verge of an emotional collapse. She desperately sought refuge behind Chen Jiawang, but he could do nothing to help her as he was completely tied to the chair.
“Aren’t you a sexy woman! Look at you! Now I feel ashamed of myself. Why did I go to prison for someone who looked not even half as good as you do?” Li Tie picked up a tomato and chewed on it savagely, letting the juice spill out of his mouth and drip down his neck, making his appearance even more repulsive.
“I should thank fate for bringing you to me.” Li Tie wiped his mouth and spat out on the ground.
As the adrenaline from the police chase dwindled down, Li Tie began to concoct the next steps of his escape. He would be able to hide for three whole hours, which were more than enough to escape in a big city like this. After that, he would only need to hide for one more day before he could use three hours again to escape to safety.
Li Tie was now relaxed and focused more on enjoying the prey he had caught rather than his personal safety.
“So, why did you go to prison again?” Bai Ze’s innocent voice was heard.
“Oh, fearless aren’t you?” Li Tie turned around in surprise, only to see Bai Ze resume eating her apple.
“Because of rape. Do you know what that is?” Li Tie rolled up his sleeves and walked towards Bai Ze.
“Rape?” Bai Ze frowned in disgust.
“That’s when I…”
Bai Ze interrupted Li Tie with a slap to the face. The force of the blow sent Li Tie flying, and he instantly turned into a foggy shadow rotating at an impossible speed.
When Li Tie finally fell to the ground, he felt as if his eyeballs were about to fly out of their sockets. With Bai Ze’s exceptional control over her strength, she slapped Li Tie with enough force to send him flying away, but did not kill him immediately. After coming back to his senses, Li Tie instantly felt an irrepressible urge to puke.
The slap she delivered surprised everyone, including Wu Jia and Chen Jiawang. Wu Jia, in particular, could not even Bai Ze‘s movements. Instead, all she could see was Li Tie suddenly fly into the air before landing on the ground and puking. She was even beginning to wonder what the scene would have looked like if she had recorded it with her cell phone.
The metal door to the fruit shop was suddenly opened with a loud thud.
“What?” Li Tie said as he spat out a chipped tooth and stared at the newcomers.
‘I thought it was an isolated space? Why are there so many people here?’
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