"Remember what that CEO Scabba said? There might be some weaponry around to aid us." Lee An recalled that tidbit of information as he was catching his breath with Deng Long after since Brown had taken Grey away to the higher floors.
"But you saw how tough they were and you can probably tell that they are pretty smart too. They realised they could not win and decided to back off." Deng Long mentioned to Lee An that these monsters were not simple.
"All the more we should find the weapon cache." Lee An insisted and talked in the open transmission channel for CEO Scabba or Captain Bai.
"Ah yes, Cultivator Yak. Every floor will have a weapon cache and even larger one since you are near the vault basement. Look for a black button near the vault. I have activated the cache remotely for you to use. And please remember to protect that feather. It is very precious indeed." CEO Scabba switched to a private channel when he was talking to Lee An, after which he pressed a button on his phone to activate the weapon cache.
In the vault basement, both Lee An and Deng Long heard a click and decided to take a look around. In less than a minute, Deng Long found the black button, which was hidden behind an iron pipe. "If you put the button at such an inconspicuous place, how will the bank security manage to find it in time if they really needed it?"
"Perhaps, it is not meant to be found? Weapon maintenance is a pain." Lee An chipped in his thoughts but Deng Long did not bother much and pressed the button. A wheezing sound came from the iron pipe beside the black button and a section of the pipe slowly opened.
What was inside the pipe was a stack of talismans and two pistols. Lee An checked the talismans and found that there was a variety of provisional inscriptions. While inscriptions such as the blood explosion inscription on Se Lang's scythe were permanent, provisional inscriptions had a time duration attached to them. Depending on the skill of the inscriber and the intensity of the inscription ability, the time duration could range from five minutes to nearly a whole year.
"Hard-rock Armour, Healing Wasp, Wyrm Fire. Wow! Although these inscriptions are basic to middle level tiers, the inscription quality seems to be top notch." Lee An individually checked each of the inscriptions and thought about which combination would be most optimal for the upcoming fight.
"If the werejackals ran away to somewhere safe, it would be vital to choose something hard hitting. But if they had more comrades, I think an area of effect inscription would come in handy…" While Lee An was lost in his own private world, Deng Long was admiring the pistols. Although they were not strong, the broomhandle pistols used mostly during the world wars were famous for being the first few semi-automatic pistols ever to be created was a sight to behold.
The bullets for the broomhandle pistols were not the usual standard 7.63mm cartridge, instead the rounds were bigger and the tips were coloured bright red. Deng Long knew a bit about guns since he was in the police but these kind of bullets were still a first for him.
"Lee An, we are wasting time. The more time they have, the more coordinated they will be." Deng Long stuffed the broomhandle pistol into his trousers behind his waist, took a bunch of inscriptions from the iron pipe, and pasted it wherever he could on his weapons and body. Once pasted, a piece of provisional inscriptions embedded itself onto an item and also to a part of Deng Long's body.
It was strenuous for a cultivator to embed more than one permanent inscription on their body but provisional inscriptions were different. Because of their nature, as long as one had enough money to buy them, a cultivator could embed up to five different inscriptions. While it might seem like a small number, for policemen, it was a pain in the neck when facing a gang of rich mobsters in possession of unknown inscriptions.
"But if you do not find the right combination, you will not get the maximu- Wait don't! Let me choose my inscriptions -NOO!" Deng Long snatched the inscriptions that Lee An was holding and randomly stuffed them on Lee An and the provisional inscriptions were immediately absorbed by Lee An's body.
Unlike permanent inscriptions, which required a very intricate procedure to be embedded whilst also being harder to remove, provisional inscriptions were easier to put on and take off. It could be embedded at a moment's notice and could be removed based on the user's will. However, in Lee An's case, it would be a waste of such good inscriptions so he reluctantly held onto them even though they were not the best combination of inscriptions.
"Let's go." Deng Long patted Lee An's back and passed the remaining broomhandle pistol to him.
"Where is the VIP?" Jia Ying revealed her waxwood spear in front of Gold as he continued to savour his lollipop.
"Why, of course, he is dead!" Gold giggled with his lollipop in his mouth.
"The VIP was a ruse created to get special unit forces like you sweeties to come to me instead of the bank vault." Gold then placed his legs on the table and laid back on the chair to continue sucking his lollipop.
"Well, then I am sad to inform you that the vault was cleaned out by some other phantom thief. You have nothing left." Xue Ping managed to catch up and overheard the conversation.
"But you have the feather, right? All I want is that feather and nothing else. In fact, if you pass me that feather, I will give you 100 panda silver medals as a reward. Such a sweet deal, is it not?" Gold grinned.
"I believe you will be arrested before you even obtain the feather." Xue Ping wanted to show her badge as a sign of authority against this scum but then she remembered that this was just a dungeon. All she had to do was to beat him up nice and good. Hence, Xue Ping powered her metal gauntlet up with chi.
"Oh? You wish to solve this with violence? Are you sure you are qualified to kill the VIP? How about I give a call to my 'father' and get the other police units on standby to come charging in. Let's see how you will handle that!" Gold chuckled as he pressed a few buttons to make a call.
However, none of the girls was moving to stop him.
"Hello, father? Help! Apparently, the police had-" They noticed that Gold's voice changed drastically when he was talking but suddenly his handphone was shot out of his hand and Gold's right ear was ringing in pain. He yelled in agony as he looked outside the window, only to see a human girl with two giraffe silhouettes above her head had had her sights on him the whole time.
The girls, on the other hand, were snickering at Gold's 'secret' move. Jing Ru had informed them that she was going to try and kill him but she had underestimated the wind trajectory, causing her to miss a direct headshot. "It's okay, Jing Ru, you did your part quite nicely anyway." Yue Wen comforted her and asked her to continue to monitor the situation.
"Dammit! That Meomi said that she and that cat could handle the sniping part! Damn!" Gold raised his voice in rage and transformed himself to his werejackal form. "You want a fight, I will give you one. God of Jackals, embrace me in your realm and fill me with power!" Gold shouted with might and vigour, which caused translucent blue flies to fly out of his mouth.
The quantity of flies that came out of Gold's mouth was able to cover his entire body, causing Foxtrot B to be too scared to advance. They did not wish to test the unknown and did not wish to advance without caution. In seconds, Foxtrot B saw the golden furred werejackal quickly transform into a body with black sleek skin and a visibly stronger body.
"This is the blessing of the almighty jackal god. I shall use his blessing to snatch the feather of truth!! Behold! Black Armourskin of the Jackal!" Gold's voice was hoarse but it was tolling on the girls' heads. Gold took the opportunity to strike at them.
"Oh no, you don't!" Xue Ping was the least affected because of her cultivation grade so she quickly countered Gold's attack with a furious attack of her own. However, the impact of the clash caused the windows in the CEO office to be broken.
Yue Wen realised this fight was beyond the Grade 2's like Shi Hui and herself. Although both were Grade 2 Peak, nearing Grade 3, the power difference could be felt when Xue Ping clashed with Gold's enhanced form.
Fortunately, they could still support Xue Ping even though they were just Grade 2. Yue Wen enhanced her chi and was prepared to heal any wounds inflicted by Gold while Shi Hui was preparing her War Fan Art of Deception, hoping that her illusions would still be effective against Gold's perception.
"War Fan Art! Mirror Image of the Shadowy Swan!" Shi Hui cast her Shadowy Swan technique at Xue Ping and it created blurry images of her when she moved. The mirror image was able to absorb an attack or two but the probability differed with each attack.
Meanwhile, Jia Ying helped out by giving Xue Ping a few breathers and openings with her spear strikes as Gold was too focused on defeating Xue Ping.
"I counted ten." Lee An whispered as he peeked around the stairs towards the ground floor. "What? I counted thirteen." Deng Long replied. The two men were trying to gauge whether they had enough firepower to go against the entire pack of werejackals and to do that, they had to determine the enemy numbers.
"Shit, I think one of them sensed us!" Lee An pushed Deng Long back when he saw movement on their side. However, he was wrong, and it seemed that they had not been noticed by the werejackals yet.
"Then, we have to use the element of surprise to our advantage as much as possible." Deng Long took out his batons with style and dashed towards the ground floor. In a flash, Deng Long slammed his batons into the ground and suddenly, an enhanced oversized silhouette of his wobbling wombat appeared right in front of the werejackals. It startled the werejackals for a moment, which gave the massive panda enough time to bite one of the werejackal's head off and slash at another.
Deng Long then realised it was a combination of the inscriptions Biting Snake and Slashing Cutter in his batons that caused his cultivation animal to appear as a chi imbued silhouette and assist him. The adrenaline rush he was experiencing caused him to press on with the attack.
Lee An did not stand by twiddling his thumbs when Deng Long rushed in like an idiot against all the werejackals. He instantly activated the inscription that was embedded in his legs and a large fissure cracked the ground floor into two. Copious amounts of lava spewed out of the fissure and which burnt one of the werejackal to death.
The fissure separated the pack of werejackals into two, making it more advantageous for Deng Long and Lee An.
The werejackals were nevertheless unfazed by the drastic change in the situation and continued to attack Deng Long and Lee An.
"Dual Baton Art, Drumming Storm of the Wombat!" Deng Long dashed through four werejackals as he executed his attack. His simple speed boost inscription was embedded into his body and it allowed him to perform his attack two times faster than usual. Each werejackal he passed, he was able to deal at least ten blows to a different part of the body, causing major fractures and internal bleeding.
"Knuckle Knife Art, Cutting Punch of the Yak!" Lee An's weapons were inscribed with basic fire and ice inscriptions and the flurry of attacks with his knuckle knives were sufficient to bring down at least five werejackals.
In a minute, they slaughtered the whole group of werejackals, leaving Grey and Brown devastated.
Gold was still holding strong against the team of four girls. His black armourskin of the jackal had allowed him to fend off most of the attacks from the grade 2 and 3 cultivators. Only the really strong one with the heavy metal gauntlet on her hand posed a threat to him.
However, the lesser grade cultivators proved to be an annoyance to him after a while, since they were providing heals and buffs to their main damage dealer while the irritating female spear user was quick to notice openings and had tried to stab at him a few times.
"I should take them out fast." Gold took a step back towards a nearby wall and pretended to go defensive. Xue Ping, though, did not care for tricks, since her style of fighting had always been, and always would be straightforward. Her attacks followed this same straight-forwardness.
Unfortunately, Gold had roughly figured out her pattern of attack and the moment she got close again, he activated his other skill. "Hunt of the Golden Jackal!"
Xue Ping did not realise that what she attacked was just an afterimage of Gold, until she heard screams behind her, before realising that Gold had attacked the rest of her teammates. Gold was ruthless. He bit Shi Hui in the neck and tore a piece of her flesh away, leaving her to bleed to death.
Yue Wen managed to block the crucial attack but Gold had plunged his claws into her lungs, causing her to collapse and gasp for air. Jia Ying was the only one who survived his attacks since she was attacked last and had witnessed her comrades being savagely killed by Gold. It was only due to that and her quick reflexes that she was alive. The number of mock battles in school allowed her to develop a sense of combat awareness.
"Crafty!" Gold fell back and now directed his assault towards Xue Ping. However, in Xue Ping's eyes, he was already dead. "Intermediate Power Fist Art: Spatial Claw of the Prancing Puma." Every word of the technique she said was filled with anger, rage, and wrath. Her power gauntlet, which was usually closed for punching, opened up. Xue Ping curved her gauntlet into a claw and she just stood as steady as a puma waiting for its prey. This claw was also being projected into the air, the deadly claw of a puma slowly forming into shape.
Pumas were known to hunt down larger preys than them and this time, there was no exception to Xue Ping. Gold was at least 1.5 times bigger in size but that did not stop her from being confident in herself. The one she believed should be frightened was Gold as he dashed through the office like a bolt of lightning towards Xue Ping, thinking that she was still preparing her technique.
As soon as Gold was in Xue Ping's attack range, the power claw flew out of her hand to grab Gold's neck and strangled him. Like a telekinesis user, as Xue Ping bashed her bare fist into the ground, the power claw followed her direction and crushed Gold not just into the ground but also to the level below the CEO's office.
"Spear Art, Flying Horn of the Stag!" Jia Ying was merciless. She did not wait for the cloud of dust and smoke to settle to check on whether Gold was dead or not. Jia Ying immediately powered her spear with chi and threw her spear like how a stag fearlessly rushes at its enemy with horns pointing forward.
The spear pierced through the skull of the blackish gold werejackal and Gold could only tremble in pain as it slowly died.
"Dungeon Complete!" A female announcer spoke and coincidentally, that was also the time the rest of Panda Special Police Force rushed through the front doors of the First Panda Bank. Grey and Brown, who were prepared to fight Deng Long and Lee An, quickly dropped their weapons and surrendered to the overwhelming number of Pandas.
"Oh, I guess they completed it." Deng Long relaxed his stance and Lee An found a seat near the bank counter to take a breather. "Deng Long, I did not expect this dungeon experience to be this exhilarating. This is really money well spent." He placed his knuckle knives aside to wipe his sweat.
"But not without losses." Deng Long checked his phone to see the status of the team, only to find that Yue Wen and Shi Hui had died in battle.
Captain Bai walked in through the front door with CEO Scabba and they congratulated the two policemen for their valiant effort.
"I am sorry, but do you still have the feather?" CEO Scabba was quite anxious for his feather and since the dungeon was already done, Deng Long figured it was okay to pass the feather to him.
"Wait! Do not pass that feather to him yet!" Jia Ying shouted as she and Xue Ping arrived on the first floor through a working elevator. Lee An suddenly trusted his premonitions and took the sealed box away from Deng Long before he held his knuckle knives once more.
"What are you doing? This is the property of the First Panda Bank. Return that to me at once or I will tell Captain Bai to arrest you." CEO Scabba was getting pretty annoyed.
Xue Ping took the sealed box and smashed the box into pieces right in front of CEO Scabba "What are you doing!?" Captain Bai immediately load his shotgun and aimed it at Xue Ping as she took the feather out of the box.
"Is this feather really yours?! CEO Scabba!" Jia Ying shouted and her question was like a magic chant used to activate the feather. The feather, which had initially been dull slowly glowed and turned into bright silver.
CEO Scabba was not able to resist the feather's magic and spoke. "No it belongs to The Great Gentlebear and he said that he would give me 50% of what he had stolen if the heist incident was resolved. The werejackals and werecats were just expendables." Scabba then realised he said something he should not have and the entire Panda police immediately redirected their weapon towards CEO Scabba.
"I will take that confession as a testimony." Captain stared fiercely at CEO Scabba. The rat in question was quivering in fear. "You are under arrest, CEO Scabba. Good Job, Pandawans. You and your fallen comrades will receive your due rewards."
Just like that, Captain Bai snapped his fingers and all the surviving cultivators returned to Station 2. The customers that were waiting for their turn burst out into a huge cheer. Although there were casualties, their performance was nonetheless stellar.
"Well Done, fellow cultivators at Station 2. Come, follow me to the Ranking Board." Jin smiled as he beckoned the heroes of the day to the 'podium'.