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770 Growth

 At the bar counter, Ma Dong was fiddling with the wine glasses, one after another. He currently looked like he was in his forties, and his distorted face was covered with horrible scars. No one would want to take a second look at this face.

His current name was Ugly Boss, the bartender and owner of the Scream Bar.

Right in front of him, there were several bounty hunters discussing their prey on the wanted list and exchanging information with each other. From time to time, they would laugh out loud as they imagined themselves getting rich. Ma Dong, who was on the top of the bounty list, was naturally the best prey in their eyes. He had low combat power, and it did not matter if they brought him in dead or alive.

\"I heard this guy fled to the Empire already.\"

\"It's a pity! He is such a good prey!\"

\"We can't rule out that the news is a smokescreen. I heard that the remaining Assassin's survivors rose from the ashes. Not long ago, they did a big job in Bierlia, making the Brooks family suffer heavy losses.\"

\"Heavy losses? Haha!\"

One of the bounty hunters sneered. Several others looked at him, and it wasn't until someone treated him to a glass of tequila that he slowly explained, \"I just returned from Bierlia. The Brooks family was almost entirely uprooted from there by the remaining Assassin members.\"

\"What's going on? How is that possible?\"

Assassin and Brooks were two big assassin families with similar strengths. In recent years, they had been competing in the field of assassinations. After Assassin's downfall, the Brooks family was enjoying their leading position and was the most merciless in hunting down the survivors of the former. It was obvious that one was rising in strength and one was waning. The Brooks family was in the rising period; no matter how bad the situation was, how was it possible that their roots would be affected by Assassin's feeble existence?

\"After all, Assassin is Assassin. Tu Mo is dead, now Death Lolly has risen. Over the years, Hasn't Brooks claimed that Assassin's traditional methods weren't exciting enough? This time they have really experienced excitement. The younger generation of the Brooks family were almost completely wiped out. Without a 20-year period of recuperation, the Brooks family will not recover from this.\"

\"That's impossible. The Brooks is also a family of assassins. There must be a backup plan for this kind of thing. Maybe those who have died are the unimportant people in the family...\"

\"Well, it's a pity that they met Death Lolly. No one has seen her Dharma Idol, but it's said that all her targets died in their sleep.\"

\"Death Lolly... Don't tell me it's Emily?\"

\"Who knows? Anyway, drive a dog into a corner, and it'll fight. Some families have too huge appetites.\"

\"Ugly Boss, get me another glass of tequila.\"

\"You still want to put it on credit? You currently owe me 1590 credits.\" Ma Dong did not move and continued wiping his wine glasses.

\"Hey! We've been friends for so many years. Let's not talk about money! It will damage relationships!\"

The Ugly Boss had a good relationship with most of the bounty hunters who liked to come here, and he was also the one in charge of releasing the underworld warrant in the neighborhoods in the vicinity.

All these were covertly planned by the Assassins.

No one cared whether an ugly person was uglier or had more scars. This was the best masked identity. Anyone could easily take over this identity. The Ugly Boss had lived in the Martial Emperor City for more than ten years, but in fact, this was already the fourth person posing as him, and no one managed to notice.

Ma Dong did not take refuge in the Empire. He was clear that whatever he could think of, those who were after him would also think of it. The most important thing in his life currently was revenge. If he wanted to do that, he had to stay in the Federation.

At three o'clock in the morning, after chasing out the last drunkard who had passed out in the bar, Ma Dong locked the doors, walked to the wine cellar and opened the wine rack. It was the oldest mechanism, an entrance to a staircase leading to the dungeon. He took a lamp and kept walking down. The air became more moist and colder. The moldy smell of the place, accompanied by the sounds made by rats, always made people's hearts beat faster.

The sound of the rushing water gradually grew louder. When he stepped down the last step of the staircase, an ancient sewer came into view.

Beside the damp water channel was a narrow, slippery path. On the walls, there were traces of old-time civilization, broken light bulbs and fuzzy signs...

This place was a relic from the old civilization era. It was underneath the Martial Emperor City. It was once a sewer, but now it had turned into an underground river. The water of the river ensured airflow in the area, but it was unknown where it came from and where it would eventually go.

This was the biggest secret the Assassin clan had in Martial Emperor City, and they had spent decades stationing themselves here.

Crossing over a long and narrow path, Ma Dong felt for a protrusion on the wall, gently turned it twice, and then pressed it down hard. With that, the wall slowly opened, as the mechanism clicked loudly.

Bright light began to seep out, and it could be seen that the interior was huge but dry and clean. It was the last of the secret bases prepared by the Assassins.

\"Young Master! You're here.\"

After careful scrutinization of Ma Dong's disfigured mask, a middle-aged man who seemed to be about 40 to 50 years old, released his fingers from his spear and greeted him.

\"Uncle Ming, is there any news of Emily?\" Ma Dong asked the man.

He had gotten into contact with Emily long ago, but Emily had already embarked on a path of her own, the path of an assassin. Maybe it was her destiny. Emily had always wanted to escape the life of an assassin, but she eventually accepted her fate and fell into an abyss of darkness.

The middle-aged man was the third \"Ugly Boss.\" Only the most loyal and those of direct lineage were eligible to assume that identity.

Uncle Ming shook his head without any expression. \"Young Master, that man named Gong Yi left you a message on the dark web.\"

Ma Dong opened the message while he looked at Uncle Ming. The content of the message was very simple. Wang Zhong had successfully casted his Heroic Soul and had entered the legendary dimensional Holy Land. At the end of the message, was a channel number to make contact.

Gong Yi was an influential force left by Wang Zhong in the Empire. Ma Dong had already known about the details of the situation, and Gong Yi also left him a secret code that was only known to Wang Zhong and himself. There was no sign of incredulity in Ma Dong. However, in the current situation, Gong Yi and himself were in the midst of being laying low in preparation for future battles; thus, it was not easy to keep in contact frequently.

Tolerance was one of the skills Ma Dong developed from his bloody past.

Ma Dong frowned, thought about it for a while, then shook his head. \"Let's wait and see.\"

After escaping death, he had also learned more about the situation in the Holy Land. If Wang Zhong had entered the Holy Land, then these things on Earth, no matter how troublesome, would hardly be able to affect Wang Zhong anymore.

Wang Zhong should be safe for now, but his safety was not completely guaranteed. The Holy Land was not a sanatorium nor a sanctuary. The situation faced by Wang Zhong was not easier than what he faced on Earth.

Naturally, for this, Ma Dong was not worried about Wang Zhong. That kid was simply a monster that would grow stronger with every strong opponent. It would be best for those in the Holy Land not to provoke him. He believed that Wang Zhong was no longer the same after having experienced those incidents during the CHF.

......

Murphy had a lot of properties in the Holy City, and he was also a person with strict requirements when it came to quality. At the end of each month, he would personally visit the various alchemy workshops he owned to check on the operating conditions of the labs, etc. Frankly speaking, he felt that it was beneath his dignity to produce such low-end soul tools, and he thought of it as an insult to his name. However, as a master of his domain, if he wanted to enter the realm of the Grand Masters, the prices of the resources and various unimaginable materials he needed were sky-high. Sometimes, it would even take a few experts at the Heavenly Soul Stage to help out at the same time. When it came to this, it was not enough to rely on human feelings and the forging of equipment for others. It had to be admitted that Leo was smart enough to help him solve his problems.

Leo was limited when it came to natural talent, but he was definitely a loyal soldier. In fact, Murphy also needed such a person to help him manage his businesses so that he could focus more on his alchemy skills and pursue the ultimate skill in alchemy. He had always believed that the realm of God could be reached with sufficient power and that it was even possible to take it a few steps further.

Of course, Leo and everyone else need to be spurred on; otherwise, their inertia would eventually ruin his reputation. As such, Murphy always had a serious look on his face when he faced his disciples.

\"Working is the true purpose of being alive. In this case, we must do our best at all times! If we don't challenge ourselves, we will go backward. We have to challenge ourselves our whole lives and not be afraid of failure! I expect this to be reflected in your alchemy works and also displayed in everything that is produced by Murphy's Alchemy Workshop!\" said Murphy. His disciples were rather devoted. It had to be noted that Murphy was a big shelter; as long as one bore this name, it would be similar to owning a protective talisman. Among his disciples, Leo was always the one with the best attitude, had the most pious expression, and the one who listened to him the most carefully - which was one of the main reasons why Murphy trusted Leo and why he felt safe leaving this branch in Leo's care.

A group of people followed behind Murphy as he continued to preach. The atmosphere was rather harmonious until they reached the 'D9' alchemy lab.

It was probably because his speech had ended, and this round of inspection was nearing the end, and it just so happened that this alchemy room was marked with an 'empty' sign; thus, Murphy conveniently pushed it open to take a look.

However, the moment the door was pushed open, the state of the lab left Leo at a loss for words.

It was supposed to be a neat and tidy alchemy lab, but this time, it was in quite a mess. The used thunder mauls were not placed back to their original positions, and the fire in the furnace was not completely extinguished. Although the user had already closed the furnace, he had forgotten to shut the vents. It could be seen that this furnace had just been used not long ago. As a result of the open vents, the flames inside the furnace had not been extinguished completely. This was an oversight that might cause an accident. It was not considered a huge mistake, but it was definitely not a small mistake either.

However, all those were not the most fatal mistake; the worst one was that the whole place was littered with garbage!

There was Glazed Crystal Glass scattered everywhere on the ground. They were thrown at random on the ground. Furthermore, some were already broken into pieces, with crystal sediments splattered on the ground.

This...

Leo felt faint and almost spurt out a mouthful of blood.

He glanced at the lab number quickly. 'D9', why was it so familiar? Why the hell was it so familiar?!? Wasn't this the lab he had just rented to that silly young man just now? The one which he had just earned some extra cash from?!

He had taken everything for granted. Anyone who rented a lab in Murphy's Alchemy Workshop would automatically clean up after themselves; otherwise, they would be blacklisted. This was common sense and common practice. However, it was obvious that both Leo and that idiotic guy had forgotten this common practice. One had assumed that it was natural to just clean up the place, while the other completely did not know about it.