Chapter 107: Garbage In, Garbage Out
The figure stood between Rooms 188 and 190, almost ten meters away from Shang Jianyao. He wore a dark cap, a blue top, and black pants. His leather shoes were slightly old.
The person was standing with his back against the wall. His hat was pressed very low, almost covering his eyes.
The shadow produced by the brim of his hat fell and enveloped his entire face, so Shang Jianyao was only able to see the silver-black metal tube in his mouth.
This metal tube was only the length of a finger, like a substitute for crude cigarettes.
Shang Jianyao’s heart palpitated, and he gave up on the attempt to take out his key. He bent his knees slightly and exerted strength with his waist, instantly entering a ready state.
At this moment, his vision suddenly turned black. It was not that he had fainted, but that the light around him seemed to have been sucked away by something.
Not only that, but he couldn’t hear anything.
Shang Jianyao’s current state seemed like he had returned to the first ‘island’ he had encountered at the Sea of Origins.
There was complete darkness and silence. Apart from himself, there were no other people.
A familiar fear spewed out of his heart again, making him tremble slightly.
Yue Qifan—who was leaning against the wall—immediately stood up and turned around. He quickly looked up and aimed the silver-black metal tube in his mouth at Shang Jianyao.
It was a blowpipe.
Unlike the simple wooden blowpipes made by wilderness nomads on the surface, this metal blowpipe had a relatively complicated mechanical structure. It was driven by springs and mechanisms. Therefore, it was not one to two meters long, perfect as a concealed weapon. Furthermore, it did not require real blowing. It could be fired by pressing a button with one’s tongue.
In a sense, this couldn’t be called blowing a dart because it could be activated with fingers.
Its real name was Dark Dart.
Yue Qifan used the most inconvenient mouth and tongue activation method because the Doctor of the Church had told him about how the target had the ability to immobilize a person’s hands.
Due to this, Yue Qifan didn’t use his hands. At the same time, he also knew the characteristics of Shang Jianyao’s two other Awakened abilities.
One was similar to Hypnosis, but there had to be a conversation. Furthermore, its effective range was very small. The other ability made one carry out irrational acts, and the effective range was between four to eight meters.
Due to this information, Yue Qifan kept a strict distance from Shang Jianyao.
He was currently nearly ten meters away from Shang Jianyao’s room, placing him outside the effective range of the two Awakened abilities—Conversational Hypnosis and Irrational Behavior. As for the ability that affected one’s hand mobility, Yue Qifan relied on blowing darts to avoid being affected. Every room here was two meters apart, so he could easily calculate the distance.
The reason why he did not choose to attack from a further distance was that, among his three Awakened abilities, Dream Journey—which covered the largest range—could only affect humans who were less than 11 meters away.
Yue Qifan’s plan was: At the most suitable distance, first use the Dream Journey ability, which stimulated certain memories of the other party and gave rise to a certain level of true illusion. It could make Shang Jianyao fall into a state of fear, confusion, and dementia, allowing Yue Qifan to control him temporarily.
He would then blow out a small dart, tranquilize the other party, and drag him into Room 196. He would then methodically use his Awakened ability, Memory Snippet Erasure, to read Shang Jianyao’s memories and erase all clues.
This was the best plan Yue Qifan had come up with based on his abilities and the items he had. After all, it had happened in a rush. The Doctor of the Church’s orders had come too quickly and too suddenly, leaving him no time to make additional preparations.
As for why he often prepared to blow a dart, it was because he used it to restrain the price he paid to a certain extent.
In fact, Yue Qifan felt a little strange. From his point of view, it was better to leave this matter to Xiong Ming. A cardiac arrest was the best way to silence and destroy clues.
Perhaps the Doctors of the Church don’t want to cause any more deaths and are afraid of attracting the attention of the company’s brass. Hence, they deployed an Awakened like me, who can erase memories… Yue Qifan’s thoughts raced as he predicted the direction in which Shang Jianyao would possibly dodge after coming to this realization. He then pressed his tongue against the mechanism at the bottom of the Dark Dart.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao—whose body was slightly hunched and trembling—suddenly laughed. “What a weak ability.”
At this moment, Yue Qifan was a little stunned. Why can he speak? At such a time, even if he’s not affected enough by Dream Journey and can come to his senses in time, he should dodge to the side or roll on the ground to avoid any subsequent attacks…
Why is he wasting such precious time talking? This is a completely abnormal reaction. Damn it. Why is he talking!?
Yue Qifan’s tongue had just pressed against the Dark Dart’s switch, but he failed to carry out the subsequent actions before he could exert any strength.
His forehead was covered in sweat as he opened his mouth and uncontrollably replied, “How can you call it weak?”
With a clang, the silver-black metal tube landed on the ground and bounced a few times.
However, Yue Qifan did not stop talking. “It should induce certain memories in you, making you immerse yourself in a certain scene from the past. If it’s well-designed, the segments will be tightly intertwined. It can even prevent you from distinguishing reality from illusion.”
Shang Jianyao was stunned for a moment. “Why are you responding to my mockery? I just had a brain spasm.”
Without waiting for Yue Qifan to speak, he suddenly understood and laughed. “The price you paid is that you have to respond to everything others say?”
“Do you think it will be that simple?” Yue Qifan answered in a tit for tat manner.
A dense layer of sweat had already seeped out of his forehead.
The price he paid back then was ‘self-discipline.’ But in fact, the price was not that high. Yue Qifan only lacked self-discipline in one aspect. That aspect was in ‘arguments.’
As long as someone started a topic, he couldn’t help but argue and debate. Even if he agreed with the other party’s point of view, he sometimes couldn’t help but clutch at one or two small details and argue with them.
Yue Qifan originally didn’t find anything wrong with this, or he wouldn’t have paid the price using ‘self-discipline.’ But as time passed, he realized that the price he paid was very dangerous.
After all, it was not always appropriate to argue with someone.
In an emergency, a second or two might decide one’s life and death. It was simply a waste of time to spare a thought for a debate. Furthermore, this would only worsen Yue Qifan’s social relations.
As a result, he custom-made this metal blowpipe through the parish. As long as he held it in his mouth and constantly reminded himself, Yue Qifan could control himself to a certain extent.
When a secret operation was needed, this blowpipe could be used as a weapon.
Of course, the price could not be completely avoided. Yue Qifan could only guarantee that he could barely keep his mouth shut as long as others did not mention anything related to him.
The operation he designed undoubtedly didn’t give the target a chance to speak. Yue Qifan also believed that no human would choose to speak instead of dodging or counterattacking when facing danger.
Who knew that he would encounter such a weirdo today?
Also, this weirdo was still mocking him. How could he tolerate this?
At this moment, Shang Jianyao—who was facing Yue Qifan’s question—gave a second response. “Is being stubborn your price?”
As Shang Jianyao spoke, he exerted strength with his ankles, knees, and waist simultaneously, pouncing at Yue Qifan like a beast.
He wanted to close the distance between them.
Shang Jianyao suddenly felt his body lose its balance. To him, such actions were a piece of cake. He wouldn’t make a single mistake, even if he did it a hundred times.
Unexpectedly, he inexplicably lost his balance in mid-air today.
Shang Jianyao fell to the ground.
“There’s no need to argue about the truth.” Yue Qifan took out another Dark Dart from his pocket.
Yue Qifan had prepared more than one weapon!
As he spoke, Yue Qifan smiled and pressed the switch.
His third Awakened ability was: Balance Hindrance! The effective range was six meters.
Shang Jianyao’s act of pouncing was exactly what he wanted. Of course, he never wished for such a development to begin with because the target’s Awakened abilities could be used at this distance.
Fortunately, the development was very beneficial to him.
A small metal dart shot out with a whoosh, heading straight for Shang Jianyao—who was on the ground.
Shang Jianyao only had time to adjust his position slightly and avoid being hit in the head.
The metal dart stabbed into the area between Shang Jianyao’s left shoulder and chest.
Shang Jianyao immediately jumped up, showing no signs of being paralyzed.
Facing Yue Qifan’s surprised gaze, Shang Jianyao plucked the dart out and threw it to the ground. He smiled and said, “I’ve been wearing bulletproof vests all this while!”
Although Wang Yafei and Shen Du were clearly not shot to death, Jiang Baimian still approved each team member’s acquisition of a bulletproof vest for safety reasons after Shang Jianyao officially intervened in the matter.
Firearms and bullets were strictly controlled within Pangu Biology. Jiang Baimian had to report in advance for real ammunition training and adhere to complicated procedures. However, not only was an item like a bulletproof vest—which did not have any lethality—easy to apply for, but the team leader could also call the shots as long as the team was equipped with bulletproof vests.
“Coward,” Yue Qifan argued. As he spoke, he suddenly turned around and ran.
Yue Qifan felt that he had no chance of winning in this situation. As for how to wrap things up later, it would be left to the Doctor of the Church to worry about!
But as soon as Yue Qifan turned around, a strong emotion rose in his heart. How can I flee? How can I give up just like that? How can I leave in such an embarrassing manner?
As his thoughts raced, Yue Qifan turned around and pounced at Shang Jianyao. His dark-brown eyes seemed to have turned pure black.
Almost at the same time, Shang Jianyao felt an invisible object swell in his mind. They rose into the sky like stars, densely covering all the surrounding areas.
Within every ‘star’ was a snippet of life that Shang Jianyao had experienced.
A beam of light drilled in from the outside at this moment, carrying a ‘star.’ It streaked across the sky and fell into the illusory Sea of Origins.
Shang Jianyao immediately frowned as if he was confused about what he was doing.
Yue Qifan snapped to his senses at the same moment, and his pupils suddenly dilated. Holy sh*t! Why didn’t I escape? I even used the Memory Snippet Erasure ability as an attack… Is this the Awakened ability that makes people do irrational things?
Yue Qifan instantly understood what had happened, and his heart palpitated. His ability, Memory Snippet Erasure, was not a combat ability at all. This was because Yue Qifan had to read a target’s memories in advance and mark scenes that couldn’t exceed three minutes for erasure in order to achieve precise effects.
It would take a lot of time, and the two parties had to be within three meters of each other.
Yue Qifan had only used his instincts to casually wipe away a portion of Shang Jianyao’s memories. He had no idea what the effects would be.
It was also difficult to cause any real damage to the target. After all, three minutes’ worth of memories was just too little.
Shang Jianyao frowned at Yue Qifan, who was wearing a very low cap. He didn’t say or do anything.
“…” Yue Qifan’s heart palpitated. Did I wipe away the memories of our battle just now? He doesn’t remember that we’re enemies, and he doesn’t even know that I attacked him…
Yue Qifan was delighted when he thought of this, and he straightened his back. He casually pretended to hum a song as he bent down to pick up the metal tube and the small dart from the ground.
After doing this, he lowered his baseball cap even more, preventing Shang Jianyao from seeing his appearance.
One step, two steps, three steps. Yue Qifan hummed a song and slowly walked into the distance.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao suddenly turned around and shouted, “Hey!”
Yue Qifan’s pupils dilated, and a cold sweat broke out on his back. He started running without thinking.
As Shang Jianyao watched Yue Qifan’s figure disappear around the ‘street’ corner, he made a terse exclamation and muttered to himself, “He can’t accept my evaluation of his singing standards?”
349th floor, Zone C, Room 12.
Jiang Baimian logged into her account and seriously wrote an email. After confirming the recipients, she moved the mouse and pressed the left button.