Kieran was crawling, struggling to get to his feet. He felt like his body had been broken into pieces. Although he had tried his hardest to put a long distance between him and the explosion, he had still been caught in the shockwave and sent flying.
He felt like all his joints had been dislocated, and his HP had dropped by about 50 points.
If it was not for his E- Rank [Constitution] and his 200 HP, that shockwave alone may have gotten him into [Moderately Wounded] status.
It had all been worth it, though. Kieran took a deep breath and checked his mission bar.
[Sub Mission: Crazy Shuberg (Completed)]
Kieran had never even seen the guy. The underground gangster boss had died in the explosion.
A series of cheers came from afar.
Kieran managed to get up on wobbly feet. He waved at Leschuder, who was coming for him, signaling that he was okay.
"You crazy son of a bitch!" the Deputy said honestly before he sent two of his men to help Kieran down from the roof.
The men did not complain. Their eyes were filled with respect as they looked at Kieran.
His actions had impressed them immensely.
His shooting skill, his agility, the fact that he had saved both their Deputy and comrade, and last but not least, that suicidal attack that had blown the thugs straight to hell...
Every single one of those actions would have been enough to earn their respect, and Kieran had done all those things by himself.
Both the police officers and Deputy Leschuder had changed their opinion about Kieran.
Still, the Deputys stubbornness would not allow him to express his gratitude.
"Prepare to extinguish the fire! See if any of those bastards are still alive!" Leschuder ordered all his men that were still able to move.
They all thought that no one could have possibly survived the blast, but the fire still had to be extinguished.
Although it was a detached two-floor building, no one could ensure that the wind would not carry the sparks elsewhere.
Buckets of water were poured over the flames, and steam started to rise in the process.
Then from afar, a series of hastened footsteps were heard.
Despite the darkness, the uniform and the huge body of the leading man could still be seen clearly. Everyone could tell that it was Chief John with his reinforcements.
Everyone, including Kiera, saluted him as he approached.
Kieran got distracted by something else, though. As the fire was being putted out, he saw a white booklet glow faintly among the flames.
No further confirmation was needed. Kieran already knew what it was.
After all, inside the whole underground game, there was only one kind of book that could emit that particular faint glow. It was a Skill Book!
Through his earlier conversation with Lawless, Kieran had found out that Skill Books had their own ranks too.
They were divided into four known categories; White, Green, Orange, and Gold.
White color represented the Common Rank, where most of Kierans skills belonged, Green represented the Magic Rank, which was used for magical skills, Orange was Rare, and Gold was Legendary. As Lawless had explained, these colors were supposed to represent the skills in those books.
As for skills above all these categories?
Lawless did not know much about that either.
Until now, the underground games highest-ranking Skill Book had been a Gold Legendary one.
That particular Skill Book had caused a global-scale war to break out in the game.
Not a small conflict like the one between the Steam City and the Iron Chariots. That was a mere squabble in comparison.
The war that the Skill Book had caused had had an infinite death toll.
Kieran could clearly remember Lawless mentioning that incident. Sensing the fear behind his words, Kieran had not wanted to press the matter any further.
Other than the aforementioned Skill Book categories, there was one more special Skill Book, the faint Purple Skill Book.
Kierans Tracking was that kind of Special Skill.
A Special Skill could be very powerful or have very little use. It was not possible to determine using common sense.
Kieran had some experience on that matter.
His Master Level [Tracking] skill was not an offensive skill, but he had still incorporated it into his life.
He was not going to underestimate the value of the Skill Book just because it was White.
After all, his current strength had been built on different White Rank Skills that he had acquired along the way.
Furthermore, in the secret bazaar among the veterans, White Skill Books were priced somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 points.
As for higher rank ones?
Unless Kieran was crazy or somehow forced to sell them, he would definitely keep them for himself.
As a result, the moment Kieran laid eyes on the Skill Book, he forgot all about his pain and made a ridiculous suggestion, "John, have your men put out the fire faster, there might be some clues left behind!"
"Okay!" John just nodded at Kierans advice.
Their current friendship level allowed him to accept such suggestions, no matter how ridiculous they sounded.
Plus, John was having a lot of doubts about the case. How had Shuberg gotten his hands on that amount of firearms and explosives?
Low-level thugs did not normally possess tons of firearms.
The fire was extinguished swiftly.
The officers had done their job. After confirming that it was safe, the civilians came out to help too.
Some busybodies were even asking around about what had happened.
Kieran and John did not have time for them, though. They entered the extinguished building together.
Leschuder automatically ordered the rest of the officers to barricade the place and quietly watch as his superior and Kieran investigated.
Kieran entered the crime scene and quickly walked over to the Skill Book.
[Discovered Skill Book: Explosive Weapons (Explosives)]
[Do you wish to learn?]
There was nothing to think about. Kieran quickly agreed.
[Learned Skill: Explosive Weapons (Explosives)]
[Name: Explosive Weapon (Explosives) (Basic)]
[Related Attributes: Strength, Agility]
[Skill Type: Offensive]
[Effects: You know how to make homemade bombs, TNT, grenades and other kinds of explosive weapons, Increases Damage by 10%]
[Remarks: You better be sure that what you throw is not gonna backfire on you!]
After reading the skill notifications, knowledge was transferred into his body once again. Kieran nodded in satisfaction.
Grenades were one of his favorite ways to deal with his enemies. Now that he also had the related skill, he would be like a tiger with wings.
The only downside was that if he wanted to upgrade the skill, he would need to finish the dungeon and get back to the lobby.
When he had fully acquired the skill, he turned around and looked at John. His friend was still searching carefully around the burnt area, frowning at his findings.
Kieran knew what John was looking for.
After all, he was the one who had suggested the idea.
He had been after the Skill Book, but he could not have just entered the scene with John for fun to get it. Such behavior would have clashed with his identity in the current dungeon.
Kieran sighed as he joined his friend in his effort to find clues.
The results were obvious.
After a whole hour of searching, all Kieran had found was ashes.
John hadnt found anything either. The two of them looked at each other and gave up the search. They got up and headed out of the ruins.
"Maybe theres some hidden passage or underground storage area!" Leschuder was not ready to give up yet.
John was not either. "Send someone to clean the place up and dig for more clues underground!" he ordered Leschuder as he signaled for Kieran to return with him to the police station.
He looked like he wanted to discuss something with him, so Kieran did not refuse.
They arrived back at the station without any incident, and headed towards Johns office. As soon as John stepped inside, he started smoking.
Two cigarettes later, he still had not said a word.
"Is it so hard to speak?" Kieran asked John impatiently.
"Harder than you think. Just as I suspected, theres even more trouble," John said in a low voice, shaking his head.
"The military? Hmmm quite the trouble I see"
"And Ive kept encountering troubles with the military!"
Kieran sighed after the first sentence and soften the second so only he could hear.
Everything was clear now.
Shuberg had been after "Blackhand" Jimmys position in the territory ever since the man had gone missing. He had contacted some of his connections to ask for help, but naturally, his connections had asked Shuberg to do their dirty work for them in return.
As a reward, they had provided him with a big amount of firearms and explosives.
It was easy to guess who was able to supply Shuberg with such a huge amount of firearms.
No one else could have supplied such a huge amount of weapons.
The explosives had been disguised as homemade just for appearances sake.
Anyone who understood the situation would never have believed that those homemade explosives had really been made by Shuberg and his men.
If Shuberg had such skills, he would have been infamous.
Plus, if he had really made those explosives, the skill that Kieran had acquired would not have been [Explosive Weapon (Explosives)], but some kind of crafting skill instead.
Still that was not the worst of it.
Dirty collaborations between people in power and street thugs were a common occurrence.
What was unexpected was Shubergs nerve.
No matter how strong the underground factions were, they would never have dared engage with the police like that. Shuberg had done it though.
If it hadnt been for Kierans interference, things would have gone south and the military would have eventually turned up.
It was no coincidence that Shubergs connection was within the military.
Kieran would have been the first to suspect that there was something fishy there.
Kieran leaned back on his chair and made himself comfortable.
Then he looked at John and asked, "What are you going to do?"