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Chapter 374.2: Hand that Protects the Nation

    Ji Juechen leered at him, but did not make a move. He was a sword fanatic, not a fool.

    Nan Qiuqiu was the most anxious at the moment. She knew that her mother was imprisoned inside the city, but she could not enter it to save her. It would take a miracle to calm her down. Right now, she was like an ant on a frying pan. If not for Ye Guyi's consolation, she might actually have tried to fight her way inside.

    Xu Sanshi looked at Huo Yuhao, who was in deep thought, and said, "Yuhao, you have a plan, right?"

    Huo Yuhao said, "There's no chance, so we have to make a chance. The Academy has already attacked, but the news has yet to reach this city. The Heavenly Soul Empire and the Star Luo Empire will respond accordingly. The palace will know of this as soon as possible. With the tense situation at the border, the Sun Moon Empire has a few choices. First, they can take the prisoners here to the frontline as hostages. Second, if they are cruel, they'll kill them straight away. Third, they can station more soldiers and soul engineer legions at the border.

    "I feel that the first and third options are the most possible ones. After all, the Sun Moon Empire's war preparations are not yet finished. If not, they would have already killed all the people they have imprisoned. We have to enter before news of the attack reaches here and find opportunities to strike. What we aim to do is not to rescue them, but to help them regain their fighting abilities. As long as we're able to do so, we'll stand a much better chance."

    Xu Sanshi nodded and said, "Right, but how can we get in?"

    Huo Yuhao smiled slightly and said, "Let me think. If we can't even enter the gate, we would have wasted all our Ultimate Soldier training, right? You lot follow the trade delegation into the city, and I'll strike when they start searching you. At that time, the soldiers can only respond in one way, and that will be to stop the search and close the gates. Then, you guys can..."

    As he spoke, Huo Yuhao muttered a few quiet words into everyone's ears. They all nodded in agreement.

    "If our plan fails or we're exposed, it'll all depend on you to save the day, second senior brother," Huo Yuhao said to He Caitou.

    "Okay, that's fine with me. However, how do you plan to enter the city, little junior brother?" He Caitou inquired.

    A light shone in Huo Yuhao's eyes as he replied, "Don't worry, I have my ways. I'll go first. Be careful, everyone."

    With that, he turned to leave. Mingling with the trade delegation, he disappeared without a trace.

    The others also intermingled with the trade delegation and sauntered slowly toward the city gate as they prepared for inspection.

    Right now, everyone from the Tang Sect was in disguise. For example, He Caitou now had hair on his head, Xu Sanshi had a scar on his face, and Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu were disguised as villagers, a far cry from their usual beautiful selves.

    The line moved forward slowly. It was almost noon at this point, and many in the queue were consuming their rations. Under Huo Yuhao's instructions, those from the Tang Sect were in no rush. They followed the others patiently.

    At this moment, a group of soldiers on horseback dashed toward them from afar. Sand and dust flew into the air, and the traders who were in the queue had no choice but to dodge them. It was a chaotic scene.

    Xu Sanshi and He Caitou exchanged a look. The two of them had the same thought. Maybe news from the border has finally reached them? However, what will its impact be? This depends on the amount of pressure Elder Xuan is exerting at the border.

    After another two hours, it was finally the Tang Sect's turn. Among the six of them, Ye Guyi and Nan Qiuqiu stood at the front.

    At this moment, the two women were dressed as if they had come from the countryside. Nan Qiuqiu's dress was gray and very plain. Her clear face was dotted with freckles, and she looked very pitiable and moving. Ye Guyi was slightly taller than her, but Huo Yuhao made her look pitiful too. The two women walked side-by-side. Their simple, rural-looking outfits and their pitiful demeanor complemented their overall look.

    "The two of you, come over here," said a soldier who was stationed outside the gates, waving at them.

    Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi each had a basket. When they heard his words, they walked over immediately. At that moment, the two of them could not help but feel nervous. The soldiers were nothing, but there were so many surveillance soul tools around them, and two soul engineer legions outside the city. This was too much of a threat to them!

    Nan Qiuqiu swore in her heart, "Where is that bastard Huo Yuhao? It's almost our turn!"

    There was a huge soul power detector at the gate. With just one scan, it would detect the presence and fluctuations of one's soul power.

    "Brother, will this hurt us?" Nan Qiuqiu asked the soldier timidly.

    The gate was manned by a small team of twenty soldiers. They were split into two shifts, and the team leader was the one who spoke to Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi. He was armored, and a longsword dangled by his side. He looked cool and impressive, but he was ultimately still a hot-headed young man. At his age, he was naturally hormonally-charged. When he saw the pretty Nan Qiuqiu, his hard expression softened visibly.

    "It's fine. You'll just be scanned by the soul power detector. It won't hurt you at all. Just maintain this position, go on!"

    "Thank you so much, brother! You're so handsome," said Nan Qiuqiu. She said the last bit softly as she turned to look at him, batting her eyelashes.

    The small team leader's heart skipped a beat as he asked, "Where are you from, sister? You're pretty too."

    Nan Qiuqiu said shyly, "I'm from Radiant City. I live in its outskirts. Normally, I'll help my family in the fields and with the chores. I don't remember Sunrise City's security being so tight. What happened?"

    The small team leader looked at Nan Qiuqiu staring at him in pure admiration, and could not help but feel pleased with himself as he said, "There were some incidents in the city, so things are a lot more troublesome right now. It's fine. I'll order my men to move faster. You can go in as a group."

    "Wow brother, you're an official? No wonder you look so special," Ye Guyi interjected from the side.

    The small team leader smiled and said, "I'm just a low-ranked one. Go, go, are the two of you sisters?"

    Nan Qiuqiu nodded and said, "That's right! She's my cousin. There're six of us, as we wouldn't dare to travel by ourselves! Those three over there are my uncles, and that's my aunt." As she spoke, she pointed at Xu Sanshi, He Caitou, Ji Juechen, and Jing Ziyan.

    "There are six of you, right? Go and get checked together. I'll tell them to be faster. We're all trying to make a living. No one has it easy," said the small team leader. Evidently, he was giddy from Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi's praises and admiration. Instantly, he became much more magnanimous.

    Nan Qiuqiu's beautiful eyes shone and she said, "Brother, you're so nice. Are... are you married?" When she said the last bit, it was barely louder than a whisper. However, the team leader heard it.

    "Married? I'm a poor soldier. Who would want me?" the team leader chuckled.

    Nan Qiuqiu said in a rush, "Don't say that! Brother, you are so manly! How can someone not like you? I shan't talk anymore, as I'm in a rush. Here, take this..." As she spoke, she took out a coarse piece of paper and a pencil from her basket. She wrote a few, messy words on it before handing it over to the team leader.

    Faced with Nan Qiuqiu's watery gaze, the team leader's heart beat even faster. He took the paper from her. There was an address on it.

    "Sister, you are..."

    Nan Qiuqiu blushed as she said softly, "Moron." With that, she walked elegantly over to the soul power detector.

    The small team leader felt his throat tighten as he swallowed to himself. Many different expressions flitted across his face. No matter how dumb he was, he understood exactly what was going on at that moment. He could not wait for his shift to end so that he could bring Nan Qiuqiu and the rest of them straight into Sunrise City.

    Xu Sanshi, He Caitou, Ji Juechen, and Jing Ziyan followed the two women as they walked toward the soul power detector.

    Nan Qiuqiu only did so after she received instructions from afar via Huo Yuhao's spiritual power. If not, she would have exchanged a few more words with the team leader.

    Just when Nan Qiuqiu was five meters away from the soul power detector, a series of explosions could be heard in the distance.

    This caught the attention of both the trade delegations and the soldiers. Every single one of them looked in the direction of the sounds.

    In the nearby plains, one could see huge swathes of light flashing. The light shone in the shrubs and forests. No one could see what was causing it, but it made a huge ruckus.

    The small team leader, who was previously infatuated with Nan Qiuqiu, stood dazed for a few moments before he snapped to attention and shouted, "Quick, come in! Close the gates! There's an attack!"

    As he said that, he raced toward the gates.

    "Brother, brother, what's going on? I'm so scared," Nan Qiuqiu said faintly. At this moment, both Ye Guyi and she were trembling non-stop.

    "It's no big deal. Quick, enter the city with me. We have to close the gate soon. I don't know what's going on," the said team leader without thinking. As he spoke, he gestured to his subordinates to bring the soul power detector into the city.

    A joyous look flashed in Nan Qiuqiu's eyes. The six from the Tang Sect rushed into the city with the soldiers.

    When the gates closed, Xu Sanshi, He Caitou, Ji Juechen, and Jing Ziyan quickly slipped away into the city. Nan Qiuqiu and Ye Guyi, however, were in no rush to leave.
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