Chapter 110: Rules for Friendly Partnership
On the 646th floor, in the deputy minister’s office.
After Jiang Baimian knocked on the door and entered, she sat opposite her immediate superior with a smile.
Xenny was a woman in her thirties. She had long chestnut hair and a pair of chestnut eyes. Xenny wore a white shirt inside; a well-tailored black jacket that only had two buttons at her belly draped over it.
From her attire alone, Xenny looked smart. But her slightly curled chestnut hair and the faint smile on her face added a hint of warmth to her. It made others feel like they had an affinity with her and could trust her.
The Security Department’s deputy minister picked up the porcelain cup and took a sip. She then smiled at Jiang Baimian calmly. “I called you here mainly for a few matters.”
With that laid out, she picked up a document on the table. “These are the results of the investigations that you previously reported. What you need to pay attention to are the different confidentiality levels of different information.
“Determine which information can be used for chit-chat with ordinary employees, which ones can only be used for communication up to certain ranks, and which ones aren’t approved. They can only be discussed internally or higher-ranking employees with the corresponding clearance.”
Jiang Baimian instinctively stretched out her right hand and wanted to take it, but Xenny didn’t hand her the document.
Xenny tucked her hair behind her ear. “However, you won’t be using this document for the time being.”
“Huh?” Jiang Baimian could tell something was up and had a guess.
Xenny didn’t immediately explain. After handing the document to Jiang Baimian, she gently placed her elbows on the table. “You guys have done well regarding the Life Ritual parish. The corresponding rewards will be given after the preliminary investigations are concluded. When you receive the rewards will depend on the progress of the subsequent investigations. It might not be fast, so don’t be too anxious.”
She thought for a moment and added, “Tell your team member, Shang Jianyao, to cooperate with all kinds of inquiries in the next two to three days. This matter is handled by the management’s brigade. I won’t be able to interfere much.”
Xenny shared the same rank as the brigade commander. They were both part of the M1 management.
“Alright, I’ll remind him,” Jiang Baimian replied, feeling inexplicably guilty. She couldn’t guarantee that Shang Jianyao wouldn’t have a screw loose when being questioned.
Even Shang Jianyao couldn’t guarantee it himself, much less her.
Xenny clearly didn’t hear the hint of abnormality in Jiang Baimian’s tone. She then said, “The Board of Directors held an emergency meeting last night. They also confirmed Moat Town’s matter.”
“What was the result?” Jiang Baimian didn’t hide her concern.
Xenny smiled gently and said, “We’ll sign a friendly partnership clause first.”
Jiang Baimian heaved a sigh of relief when she heard that.
The term ‘friendly partnership’ was official terminology. In simpler terms, it meant: establishing a vassal relationship. Although this definitely couldn’t compare to the complete recruitment of Moat Town, Jiang Baimian still found it acceptable.
Xenny was in no rush to continue. She picked up the sky-blue porcelain cup, blew at the tea leaves floating on the surface, and took a sip.
After moistening her lips, she maintained her smile and said, “We will carry out a series of transactions with Moat Town. We will also send a team over to help train their armed personnel and establish a more effective command system.
“If they put up a request, we will also mobilize civilian staff to help them straighten out any internal management systems and eliminate many conflicts before they erupt. After that, the people we send over will slowly filter out the good seedlings and provide them with the opportunity to join the company officially.
“In ten years, if Moat Town and our friendly partnership continue and their performance is recognized, we can consider recruiting them as a whole.”
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly. “That’s good.”
This was an experienced and prudent plan that was more acceptable to Moat Town.
Without waiting for Xenny to speak, Jiang Baimian asked in enlightenment, “Minister, are you sending us to Moat Town to do the negotiations?”
This was probably why the intelligence review documents were temporarily useless.
“It’s really easy talking to you.” Xenny smiled and praised her. “You guys are the middlemen in this matter, so, of course, you will be the ones going. In a few days, bring a radio transceiver and the corresponding batteries over. If the negotiations bear fruit, leave the machine behind and give them a frequency channel. Get Moat Town to send us a report, and you will countersign with an agreed password as proof. If you can’t reach an agreement, you guys will bring the radio transceiver to Weed City.”
“Weed City?” Jiang Baimian was a little surprised.
This was a peripheral city of First City, located at the edge of the Monk Wastelands. It was a relatively open place with many active Ruin Hunters.
Wu Shoushi and An Ruxiang’s team—whom the Old Task Force had previously encountered—came from Weed City.
Xenny nodded. “That is your second mission. As you know, there are other Old Task Forces besides yours. We lost contact with one of the teams after they entered Weed City and sent the roundtrip telegram. It has been almost three weeks. We have gotten the company’s intelligence personnel in Weed City to investigate, but we haven’t received any feedback yet.
“Your mission is to cooperate with the intelligence personnel to figure out the truth behind the team’s disappearance. Take appropriate revenge or carry out your main duties as investigators based on the new clues discovered by the missing team.”
Their main duty as investigators was the investigation of the cause of the Old World’s destruction.
“Aren’t you overestimating us?” Jiang Baimian suppressed her urge to give it a try. “Our team has only been formed for three months. Besides, how long has it been since the last mission ended?”
Xenny looked at Jiang Baimian and smiled. “I trust you. Besides, the company has a certain level of strength over there. You can mobilize them.”
“Why do we—a newly established Old Task Force—have to do it? Can’t the company send a different team or other intelligence personnel?” Jiang Baimian was still a little confused.
As she spoke, Jiang Baimian suddenly came to a realization. “Minister, are you asking us to leave the company temporarily?”
Xenny nodded and praised her with a smile. “As expected of you.”
She retracted her elbows from the table and simply explained, “The investigation of the Life Ritual parish wasn’t that smooth. Many of the clues led to nowhere. This isn’t a problem that can be resolved in a short period of time. We are worried that the hidden heretics will take revenge after things calm down a little.
“And who do you think will be the most likely targets for revenge?”
“Shang Jianyao and me,” Jiang Baimian answered without hesitation.
Xenny tersely acknowledged it. “Although the company can use you as bait, I don’t think I can let you take the risk. You’re relatively fine. You live in the management zone where there’s strict control over all entries and exits. Besides, your father has always been secretly protecting you.
“But it will be relatively dangerous for Shang Jianyao. In addition, there’s a slight possibility of them taking out their anger on other members.” At this point, Xenny leaned back and silently exhaled. “Therefore, we’ve decided to make the easiest choice. We’ll send you to the surface and distance you from this vortex.
“Trust me, the matter regarding the Life Ritual parish is definitely a little more troublesome than you imagine. Go. Stay on the surface for a few months. When spring comes, the problem should be resolved.”
Jiang Baimian agreed with this plan and asked worriedly, “What about the other members’ families?”
Jiang Baimian was mainly referring to Long Yuehong.
“There’s no need to worry too much about that. How many degrees of separation is that? The heretics will not take out their anger on them. The ones who executed the pursuit are far more qualified for any retaliation. Besides, we will take care of them to a certain extent,” Xenny explained simply. “If they take revenge irrationally, we can quickly dig them out by their roots.”
Upon seeing that Jiang Baimian no longer had any questions, Xenny picked up the document and ended the conversation. “This is the information on that team. Take a look at it over the next few days. Then, draft a mission plan for me. Heh heh, although plans can never keep up with the changes when carrying out missions, we still have to follow the necessary procedures.”
Jiang Baimian took the document and smiled. “Can I apply for a military-grade exoskeleton or bionic artificial intelligence armor?”
“What do you think?” Xenny asked with a smile.
Jiang Baimian immediately looked deflated.
Upon seeing this, Xenny added, “If you can get your hands on a military-grade exoskeleton or bionic artificial intelligence armor, I can make the decision to leave it in your team.”
“Alright!” Jiang Baimian’s smile immediately lit up.
This made Xenny suspect that Jiang Baimian had been pretending to look deflated.
When Jiang Baimian returned to Room 14 on the 647th floor with the two documents, Long Yuehong and Bai Chen had already arrived.
She deliberately wore a solemn expression as she looked around. “Two things.”
Bai Chen’s expression turned a little solemn as she slowly stood up from her seat. Long Yuehong felt the muscles on his back tense up.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao’s voice sounded. “Team Leader, you’re laughing secretly.”
Jiang Baimian couldn’t maintain her expression any longer and scolded him jokingly, “How am I laughing secretly?”
“I guessed it.” Shang Jianyao had a serious expression.
“…” Jiang Baimian took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. She then said to Bai Chen, “We have received a reply on Moat Town’s matter.”
Upon seeing that Jiang Baimian’s smile didn’t have a hint of gloominess, Bai Chen secretly heaved a sigh of relief and eagerly asked, “What’s the result?”
Jiang Baimian repeated Deputy Minister Xenny’s words and said, “The mission of taking up the matter has been handed to us. We’ll set off in three days.”
Bai Chen had no objections to starting a partnership as a vassal first before considering full-scale recruitment. In a rare instance of taking the initiative, she said, “Even if they didn’t assign me the mission, I’d have applied to participate in it.”
Otherwise, she couldn’t be at ease.
“That’s pretty good,” Long Yuehong said, sighing with emotion.
He still had a fresh memory of the children in Moat Town studying.
Shang Jianyao inexplicably asked, “Can we apply for more canned food for making transactions this time?”
“You can trade a little more using your share, but it will be relatively more troublesome on the subsequent journey. It’s already winter, so there’s very little food.” Jiang Baimian laid out the pros and cons.
Bai Chen acutely asked, “Subsequent journey?”
It would only take more than a day or so for them to make a return trip. It was even possible that it might not even take a day. Hence, there shouldn’t be a need to talk about searching for additional food.
Jiang Baimian glanced at Long Yuehong and sighed. “Isn’t there a second matter? We still have to make a trip to Weed City.”
Long Yuehong blurted out, “How long will this take?”
He got along well with the girl he was recently introduced to. It might not be long before they confirmed their relationship.
“It will take one to four months.” Jiang Baimian smiled amiably and didn’t make any promises.