World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 52: New Level
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April 20, 2:04 pm, Beijing, China
"Come with us, or this girl will be shot!" the woman yelled, grabbing the server.
Immediately, Irade fell into a fighting stance, but she forced herself not to move. The entire restaurant had become silent. They looked between the Irade - who looked like she was about to run - and the trained operatives that bore the Chinese flag on their shoulders as they held a server hostage.
Just then, the man beside the woman shot his gun into the air, causing everyone to flinch.
"If anyone decides to move, or speak, they will be shot on the spot!" he yelled.
Smart. Using the momentary shock to compel people into staying silent. Furthermore, they had practically taken the entire restaurant hostage.
Irade balled her fists. Her mind was working a mile a minute.
How was she going to get out of this?
How was she going to save her co-worker?
What could she do in this situation?
What were her weapons?
What was her win condition?
What...did she want?
She glared at the woman, gritting her teeth. The woman glared back, resolute. Irade noticed that the woman had the gall to have eyeshadow on.
Really? Make-up? While on a SWAT team?
Irade snorted, then slowly relaxed her posture.
"Fine," she said, standing up. "I'll go with you. Just don't hurt all these people."
The woman sneered.
"You don't fool me," she said. "You've killed countless people of ours before. Why should I trust the word of a murderer?"
B****, you were the one who asked for me to surrender!
Irade bit tongue, calming herself. She needed to focus. Just focus.
It was only then that she realized that the atmosphere in the room had changed a bit. Before, the patrons of the restaurant had looked scared. Now, they were all looking scared...while trying to look away from Irade.
Aaah...so that's what it was.
It looked like the woman cared about how she appeared to the public.
In that case, what would happen if she forced the woman to do something against her own image?
Irade grabbed a plate from the nearest table, and flung it at the man. At the same time, she leaped towards the woman.
She watched, as if in slow motion, as the woman took out a taser gun and shot at her. She knew what was coming, but that still wasn't enough for her to brace for the electric pain exploding through her body. She screamed wordlessly for what seemed like years, before blacking out.
When she came to, she was being dragged unceremoniously from the restaurant as the patrons all clapped in relief. It was hard not to feel bitter about that; Irade knew that they didn't have the full story, but she wished they would give her more benefit of the doubt.
Then again, if she didn't know what she knew now, would Irade have acted any differently in the same situation?
No time to think about that. Irade quickly surveyed her surroundings.
She was being dragged by the wrists in handcuffs. These didn't feel like the same, weird handcuffs as last time; they were probably just regular ones for show. From the cool air on her face, she could feel she was outside, and from the rough feel of the ground beneath her, she could tell she was being dragged from the sidewalk onto the road.
"Zap her again," she heard the woman whisper to the man. "Last time I did it, it didn't last long."
He zapped her again, and Irade felt her body spasm again. Thankfully, she didn't pass out, which allowed her to keep pretending. She needed the element of surprise: they had faced her once, they would not underestimate her again.
She felt her body being lifted, probably to transfer her to some sort of military vehicle to contain her.
Irade could not let that happen.
Her eyes immediately snapped open, and she flew up. Luckily, she caught most of the guards off-guard.
Unluckily, she didn't catch all of them off-guard.
Irade was just able to see the woman standing back, aiming something at her, before she felt it.
Irade screamed, unable to keep [Flight] active. Her body convulsed as it hurtled through the air, unable to stop itself. She lost consciousness once more, only coming to when she hit the ground.
Her muscles were on fire, the mere thought of moving them brought tears to her eyes. She had been tased three times, all within the span of ten minutes. Her HP was lower than it had been in a while.
But she knew she needed to move. She could hear people around her murmuring. That meant that she had probably landed a bit away from the authorities, but that didn't mean she had lost them just yet. After all, she wasn't sure which direction she had been flying when her [Flight] had been forcibly canceled. They could be just around the corner for all she knew.
She needed more information.
Irade forced her eyes open. All she could see was concrete. She had landed face-down.
Whimpering she forced her head up, to see what was around her. Mostly people, standing back and pointing phones at her. They were all standing quite a ways back from her.
She grit her teeth. Yeah, alright, let's all make fun of the Uyghur girl.
Her anger gave her enough strength to block out the pain and start moving once more, albeit slowly. She crawled over to a lamp post, then used it to slowly get back up on wobbly legs. She fell once, sending a shockwave of surprise through the crowd surrounding her. Eventually, she was able to stand up on shaky legs.
Irade looked around, but could only see a crowd of onlookers surrounding her. Ignore those. Behind her was the road, which was already chock full of cars. She looked up to see a large, rectangular arched building, topped by a pagoda-like structure. Below it, there was a large sign reading:
Beijing West Railway Station.
Well, that answered where she was. Now to find somewhere to go.
In the distance, she heard police sirens.
Well, wherever she went was fine as long as she didn't go with those people.
Irade stumbled into the crowd, trying to move as quickly as she could, to lose herself in the masses. At first, the people around her gave her a wide berth, but the more she walked, the less people seemed to care about who she was.
Soon, she was lost in the crowds of people. She looked back to see a line of armored trucks stop in a line. Men and women in SWAT uniforms slowly began to come out.
Irade hobbled along as quickly as she could. She tried to activate [Flight], but she couldn't focus for long enough to keep it up.
What a terrible time to find out this weakness.
No, focus. Focus! There were other ways to escape. She just needed to use her brain. C'mon, think! Think!!
She walked into the station, past the guards, then couldn't take it anymore under the LED lights. She leaned against a wall, tears springing in her eyes. Her muscles were screaming at her to stop, while her head felt like it was wading through a swamp of semi-hardened mud. She wanted nothing more than to drop to the floor like a puppet with its strings cut.
Why was she still standing? Why didn't she just let them take her?
Why did she keep asking herself this?
Why hadn't she found a satisfactory answer to this yet?
Why was she running?
What was she looking for, exactly?
Groaning, she turned and looked up, just in time to see the noticeboard with trains and times on them. One particular train seemed to glow as she watched it.
Urumqi. Train Z70. Departing in 15 minutes.
Urumqi? What was it that they said about Urumqi?
Irade frowned, trying to remember. No, wait, she didn't have time for this! She needed to…
...she needed to run…
She looked back up at the sign.
Urumqi was a long way from here. In Xinjiang province, where she was born.
Of course, Urumqi was nowhere near Kashgar. But it was the capital of Xinjiang.
And it was where her father was from.
"Don't learn Uyghur from your father," she remembered her mother saying. "His Urumqi dialect is full of Chinese loanwords."
"If you are lost, remember where you came from."
Irade could hear the sounds of people shouting where she came from. She thought she heard a familiar, female voice. She didn't have much time.
However, if she bought a ticket to Urumqi, wouldn't they just stop the train? Wouldn't they expect her to go there?
At that moment, she made a decision that would change her life forever.
She rushed over to the ticket counter.
"One ticket, please," she said.
"Which train?" asked the ticket lady.
Irade told her.
"That train is leaving soon," said the lady. "Are you su-"
Irade explained what she wanted, to which the ticket lady responded by smiling sweetly.
"Soft Sleeper, Hard Sleeper, or Hard Seat?" asked the ticket lady, voice dangerously sweet.
Irade had no idea what that meant, so she asked for Soft Sleeper.
"That will be 1000 RMB."
Irade almost turned around and handed herself over to the people after her. Instinctively, her hands went into her pockets to search for bills. She didn't have that kind of money! She-
Wait. Her hand touched something papery and money-like. Only once she took it out did she remember her last paycheck from the owner. Her vision became blurry with tears as she realized that he had saved her again.
She would definitely pay him back one day.
She paid for her ticket, and looked back up at the large, electric timetable. 10 minutes. She had enough time.
It was at that moment that she noticed the woman on the other side of the train station.
Despite the vast distance between them, and the hundreds of people walking across the squeaky clean floor, their eyes met. For a moment, they stared at each other. Irade's gaze hardening into a glare as she felt a chill run up her spine. She was certain that the woman felt it too.
The woman yelled something, but at that same moment-
"Boarding call for Train Z70, passengers for Train Z70, please make your way to board on Platform 12."
A mass of people suddenly made their way across the general station, coming out of the stated Platform 12. Irade used the momentary influx of people to lose herself in the crowd, heading towards the platform. She managed to catch a glimpse of the woman reaching out to her before losing sight of her.
She ran, pushing past the crowds of people, to get to where she needed.
The self-service counter.
She had just bought a ticket to Fuzhou from the ticket lady. If the woman saw her, like Irade believed she did, then she would definintely talk with the ticket lady to ask where Irade was going.
Which meant now, while she was masked by the crowd, was the perfect time to buy her actual ticket.
It cost her another 900 RMB, which hurt her heart a little, but she got her ticket and headed to her train. Her boarding time was almost up. She had to hurry.
There. Platform 12. She hurried on; it looked like most of the passengers were already on. Only a single guard was on the platform, looking around with a whistle in his mouth. Irade sprinted towards the closing doors just as the man blew his whistle.
She managed to get on just as the doors closed behind her. At that same moment:
"Train G303 to Fuzhou has be stopped due to track issues. We apologize for the inconvenience."
Irade sighed with relief. Her plan worked.
A stern looking woman immediately asked for a ticket. Irade, still panting, handed it over.
After checking with Irade's ID that it really was her ticket, the ticket check lady guided Irade to her seat. To Irade's surprise, it wasn't actually a seat, but small compartment with four beds. It was also surprisingly luxurious, with a small screen on the far wall of each bed.
"Yours is the top left," said the woman, somewhat dispassionately. "Have a good trip."
With that, she left.
Irade walked into her compartment, and looked out the window. She watched as the city she spent most of her life in passed her by. Yet, for some reason, she didn't feel sad at all leaving.
But she didn't feel excited either.
She stayed standing like that for a while, watching the city go by, as she slowly made her way back to her motherland.
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