Outside of the entrance to the 24th district, there were more than 200 Investigators present, stationed there because of the great unrest in the depths of the 24th district.
Su Xiao took out the store manager’s Kagune and gave it to Marude Itsuki.
With this many Investigators observing, Su Xiao was not afraid of Washuu Matsuri lying or reneging on their deal.
“Who is part of the reinforcement team?”
As the captain of the reinforcement team, Su Xiao’s orders would now supercede even those of members who officially had higher authority, like the Special Class Investigators present.
Just as he finished speaking, twenty Investigators stepped forward, some of whom were familiar to him.
Among these people, the most capable fighter was the Special Class Investigator Kuroiwa Iwao. Kuroiwa Iwao was slightly injured in the operation in the 11th district, so he was urgently transferred.
Next to Kuroiwa Iwao, there were Juzo Suzuya, Mado Akira and the rest.
Su Xiao was very satisfied with Juzo Suzuya’s skills, as long as he had a suitable Quinque, this kid was just as useful as a Special Investigator.
As for Mado Akira, she was a good assistant, but Su Xiao thought that it would be somewhat difficult for her to leave the 24th district alive, unless she was supremely lucky.
The others included First Class, Rank 1 and Rank 2 Investigators, who were pretty much sent as cannon fodder by Washuu Matsuri.
The First Class Investigators were serious and looked worried, while the Rank 1 Rank 2 Investigators looked eager to prove themselves. It seemed like they had never ventured deeper into the 24th district, and did not know the horrors down there.
“Is this everyone? Alright, listen up, once we are in the deeper parts of the 24th district, I only have one request to all of you. When you’re in a tight spot, don’t drag other people down with you, you understand?”
Su Xiao’s words surprised the present Rank 1 and Rank 2 Investigators.
“Byakuya-sama, how dangerous are the depths of the 24th area?”
A second-class Investigator couldn’t help but ask.
“As long as you fight with your all, the chance of survival is not small.”
Su Xiao did not tell the truth. Telling them that it would be quite lucky if, from the 20 people going in, five people were to survive, would lower the morale and thereby the combat power of those people, so Su Xiao kept it to himself.
“Ten minutes to prepare supplies and gather in ten minutes.”
Of the thirty people assigned to the reinforcement team, not all were present yet, as some Investigators had to come from areas quite far away.
Su Xiao would not wait for them anymore. The main combat power had already arrived, from those who had not come yet, the strongest was only a First Class Investigator.
Down there, First Class Investigators were only cannon fodder, one more or less wouldn’t matter.
As the members of the reinforcement team began to prepare their materials, Mado Akira came to Su Xiao.
“Byakuya-san, I have something to say.”
“Hm? What is it?”
Su Xiao was thinking about how to proceed in the deeper pars of the 24th district as he was suddenly interrupted by Mado Akira.
“If my research is correct, I seem to understand the routes in the 24th district.”
Su Xiao looked at Mado Akira in surprise. The terrain of the 24th district was constantly changing after all, and Mado Akira was only a Rank 2 Investigator, at most, she had been to the outermost areas of the 24th district after her graduation.
Although he couldn’t guess her reasoning, Su Xiao wanted to hear what Mado Akira had to say.
“It’s like this, my mother died in the 24th district.”
Mado Akira took a deep breath, then she continued to say:
“Because of that, I have always been concerned about the 24th district. I also know quite a bit about the 24th district. The reason why it is difficult to explore is that the terrain is constantly changing.
My father had explored the 24th district before, and left some hand-painted maps. When I checked those, and the maps published by the headquarters, I found that there are some regular changes in the 24th district.”
Su Xiao was getting more and more interested after listening to her. Could Mado Akira really know how the routes in the 24th district were changing?
“If you go deeper into the 24th district, can you still identify the routes?”
Mado Akira pondered for a while, she nodded then shook her head.
“I can probably identify the route for about an hour of travel. After that, I won’t be able to identify it, because of lack of information.”
Mado Akira’s answer had Su Xiao’s eyes brighten.
“This is a detailed map, drawn five hours deep into the 24th district.
I painted last time, so it is useless now. You can take it as a reference.”
It was undoubtedly a good thing that she could identify the routes in the 24th. Su Xiao did not expect Mado Akira to completely memorize all routes, as long as she could give him the general direction they had to travel in, that would be fine.
As he mentioned before, the 24th tunnel network was shaped like a funnel, the deeper it got, the wider, so the tunnel-network grew more and more extensive the deeper it burrowed. Naturally, the routes grew more complicated too.
Although the headquarters provided a tracker to Arima Kisho’s location, it was also necessary to find the correct route there and back.
Ten minutes later, the members of the reinforcement team gathered and stood neatly in front of Su Xiao.
Although the rank of Kuroiwa Iwao was higher than Su Xiao’s, as the captain of the reinforcement team and he had the right to order everyone in his squad.
“Byakuya-san, we have twenty-seven Investigator present, three are still on the way.”
Mado Akira took the role of his assistant, she had been a bit like Su Xiao’s secretary before.
“We won’t wait for the remaining three people. Now, I am going to arrange your positions, Kuroiwa Iwao, you rake up the rearguard.”
Su Xiao looked at Kuroiwa Iwao. He was a calm and capable veteran Investigator. He was suitable for dealing with unexpected situations.
“No problem, captain Byakuya.”
Kuroiwa Iwao put up no airs and graces. He also knew that if they had infighting now, the reinforcement team would be in an even more danger in the 24th district.
“Yuta, you will help him cover the rear.
Juzo Suzuya, you’re in the front with me. Mado Akira, in the middle of the team… “
Su Xiao arranged Kuroiwa Iwao at the end of the team. He and Juzo Suzuya would stay at the head of the team. Mado Akira’s power was weak, but she was able to identify the route, therefore, she was arranged in the centermost position, to keep her safe. The other Investigators were also arranged in suitable positions.
“That’s the general formation, let’s go.”
Su Xiao walked ahead as he and his team went down the entrance of the 24th district.
The nearby Investigators all observed them as they left.
“What a great guy, leading his own team so soon.”
Aura Kiyoko, the Special Class Investigator, looked at Su Xiao’s back, her beautiful eyes shined, no one knew what was she thinking about.
In the underground passageways.
Su Xiao had learned his lesson the last time, he had ten spare compasses in his inventory with him.
The last time, Yuna and Arima Kisho had one each, but they were both lost during battle. This time, Su Xiao had ten, enough to kick them around for fun.
“I haven’t been here for a long time. I’m looking forward to seeing how many ghouls we will encounter this time. I will definitely kill a lot.”
Juzo Suzuya smiled, not nervous at all, as if they were out for a picnic.
“Juzo Suzuya, is this the Quinque the executives assigned to you?”
Su Xiao looked at the two Quinque boxes that Juzo Suzuya carried. Su Xiao was somewhat doubtful, wasn’t it unlikely for CCG executives to be so generous?
“No, these are Mr. Shinohara Yukinori’s Quinque. He is recovering from an injury right now, but knows that I have to go deep into the 24th district, so he lent me his Quinque.”
Juzo Suzuya raised the two Quinque boxes and rubbed his cheeks on them, it seemed he really liked them.
Shinohara Yukinori’s Quinque? That might include ‘Shi’, the armor that consumes the users flesh and blood. If Juzo Suzuya used ‘Shi’, his strength would be greatly improved.
This was undoubtedly good news. Right now, Juzo Suzuya may be stronger than Kuroiwa Iwao in some aspects.
The sound of water droplets surprised them. Su Xiao immediately moved, a second later a drop of some dark green liquid dripped on the ground, causing the ground to sizzle and corrode.
That drop came from one of the luminous toxic plants on the wall of the tunnels. The juice secreted by this plant was highly toxic.
“Be alert, stay careful of the plant juice dripping down from the walls.”
Su Xiao just finished speaking as a scream emerged from the center of the team.
“Ah!! Something fell on my head, it hurts, save me!”
A Rank 2 Investigator touched his head and rolled on the ground. Soon, green smoke appeared from his head, something was eroding his scalp.
Su Xiao pushed the crowd aside and quickly walked to the Investigator. When he arrived, the latter was already poisoned.
The Rank 2 Investigator’s eyes were white, his blood vessels were enlarged, and his veins seemed to have turned light green.
In less than ten seconds, the Rank 2 Investigator had died. His eyes were opened, his mouth widened from screaming, his expression was very miserable.
This bizarre death obviously scared the rest of the team.
“Let’s go, be careful.”
The reinforcement team continued to move forward. Other than Su Xiao, Juzo Suzuya and the other high ranked Investigators, the remainder were staring at the roof and the walls of the tunnels.