Chapter 116: Morning
Upon seeing that the room had been emptied again, Jiang Baimian walked to a wooden chair and smiled.
“From the name of our company, you can tell that our company does biotech research. Biology and medicine have always been closely related, so we are relatively strong in the corresponding field.”
As she spoke, Jiang Baimian had already picked up the wooden chair and walked to Tian Erhe’s bed.
During this process, her gaze casually swept past Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, Bai Chen, Li Zhengfei, the radio transceiver, and the window on the other side of the bed.
She had originally planned on letting Shang Jianyao and Long Yuehong return to the jeep and guard the Old Task Force’s most valuable assets, as well as the backup batteries and the large amount of food inside. However, she quickly gave up on the idea.
It is better not to separate the Old Task Force’s members in this night that is likely to have turbulent undercurrents. In any case, the company will make up for the lost car and the stolen items…
The most important people now are Mayor Tian and Li Zhengfei. The most important item is this radio transceiver that maintains communications with the company. With them here, there’s no need to send anyone to the jeep…
If anything really happens, it won’t be easy to run. We’d be easily surrounded, and scaling the wall won’t be easy… Behind this room is the perimeter wall. We can see the nearby fields. When the time comes, if we can’t hold ground, it’ll be easy for us to break out of the siege by jumping through the window…
It won’t be difficult for us to last until the company’s people rush over if we carry out guerrilla warfare there… Yes, the pistol and the corresponding bullets are with me… Jiang Baimian’s thoughts raced, having already considered the worst-case scenario.
Jiang Baimian then placed the chair by the bed and sat down. She introduced Pangu Biology to Tian Erhe, Li Zhengfei, and the two town guards in the room. She focused on the treatment that official employees received and the other vassal forces’ situations.
Of course, before Moat Town was officially accepted by Pangu Biology, there were certain things that couldn’t be said—including the underground building’s existence and the company’s entrance.
Among them, Jiang Baimian deliberately skipped the topic of genetic enhancement and other topics. She knew that many people in the Ashlands hated technology that they believed seriously went against nature and only brought about disaster. Furthermore, she couldn’t be sure if Tian Erhe and Li Zhengfei had such beliefs.
Although the name ‘Pangu Biology’ easily made people associate it with such matters, Jiang Baimian was not stupid enough to take the initiative to raise sensitive topics if the other party had no intentions of delving into the matter.
Tian Erhe’s mental state was clearly not as good as he claimed. After listening for a while, he would rest his eyes by closing them or sleep for a while. Li Zhengfei and Bai Chen originally wanted everyone to leave this room and let the mayor have a good rest, but Tian Erhe would always wake up quickly and stop them.
As their chat continued intermittently, the sky outside the window gradually lit up with a faint glow.
Jiang Baimian heaved a sigh of relief when she saw that they had held through the most dangerous period.
She did not rest the entire night. She only left her chair from time to time to stretch her body. However, Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen took turns sleeping to maintain their energy.
Jiang Baimian was just about to make her team members get breakfast when she suddenly heard the radio transmitter sound out.
“A telegram…” Jiang Baimian explained to Tian Erhe and Li Zhengfei before walking over.
Under everyone’s expectant gazes, she quickly translated the content.
She raised her eyebrows and said, “The company personnel are at the swamp’s entrance.”
“That fast?” Long Yuehong questioned on behalf of everyone.
According to normal procedures, the company should have only just started deploying the manpower and preparing the medicine. This would take about an hour.
If nothing happened along the way and everything went smoothly, the team they sent should arrive in the evening or slightly earlier.
They were a full day early compared to their expectations.
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and said, “It’s not rare for an army to fast march at night. Besides, the road conditions between the company and Moat Town are relatively good.”
She didn’t say that at least half the journey took place in the company’s territory. Many combat teams in the Security Department had long figured out the situation in that area. They wouldn’t fall into any pits, even with their eyes closed.
Of course, it was indeed easy for problems to arise when traveling at night. After all, one’s vision would be limited. However, humans had no choice at times. The situation forced by the environment was definitely not empty words.
Due to this, the higher-ups of Pangu Biology’s Security Department consciously added night training to the various combat platoons and companies.
This was the difference between a regular army and wilderness bandits.
Bai Chen voiced her guess when she saw that Tian Erhe and Li Zhengfei still looked surprised. “Could there be a team nearby?”
Jiang Baimian shook her head. “I emphasized that a doctor, drugs, and equipment are needed. The teams out in the field are unlikely to be equipped with that.”
At this point, she smiled at Tian Erhe and Li Zhengfei. “I’ll let you guess the distance between the company and here.”
The distance was how long it took for a team to fast march at night.
“That’s good too. I can be at ease the earlier they arrive.” Tian Erhe abandoned his worries and exhaled with a smile. He couldn’t help but cough a few more times.
Bai Chen patted his back worriedly.
Jiang Baimian glanced at him and said, “Let me usher them in. The route into town is winding. People who come here for the first time will definitely get lost.”
“Alright.” Tian Erhe didn’t find anything wrong with that.
Li Zhengfei thought for a moment and spoke to ‘Dog’ Ding Ce, who was guarding the room. “Ce, go with her.”
As he spoke, his gaze was solemn, and his head nodded slightly.
Ding Ce immediately understood what his boss meant. If he discovered something amiss along the way, he had to inform the people in town, even if he had to risk his lives.
“Yes, Boss!” Ding Ce’s blood boiled, and he puffed up his chest. He was a little scared, but he felt that it was worth it.
Jiang Baimian did not refuse and said to Long Yuehong, “You’re with me.”
Compared to ushering the company personnel, staying here was clearly more dangerous. Therefore, Jiang Baimian got Long Yuehong to follow her.
When the time came, Shang Jianyao—who was ‘good at making friends’—and Bai Chen, who was familiar with the environment, had a higher chance of survival if the situation in town suddenly changed.
“Yes, Team Leader!” Long Yuehong replied louder than Ding Ce. This was a habit.
After Jiang Baimian and the others left, Bai Chen said to Tian Erhe, “You should be at ease now, right? Sleep a little longer. They will take some time.”
She sounded like she was comforting a child.
“How can I truly be at ease until they enter the town?” Tian Erhe shook his head stubbornly.
He looked at Bai Chen and coughed. “I always wanted to ask you about this scarf you keep wearing.”
There was a stove in the room, so the temperature was not that low.
Bai Chen’s expression slightly changed before she smiled bitterly. “Something bad…”
Tian Erhe didn’t ask any further. He half-closed his eyes as if he couldn’t hold on any longer and needed to rest.
Upon seeing this, Li Zhengfei cast his gaze at Shang Jianyao as if he wanted to make small talk to pass the time. This might allow him to obtain more information.
However, Shang Jianyao used his finger to zip his mouth and whimpered.
“Huh?” Li Zhengfei was confused.
Bai Chen tried to guess Shang Jianyao’s intentions and explained, “He means that it’s inconvenient for him to speak.”
He might be afraid that his brain will spasm and ruin this slightly sad and solemn atmosphere… Bai Chen finished the rest of her sentence inwardly.
Shang Jianyao nodded heavily, indicating that it was indeed so.
Upon seeing that her guess had been confirmed, Bai Chen’s gaze at Shang Jianyao softened significantly.
She didn’t expect that this teammate with a mental problem had silently worked so hard and made such a huge sacrifice.
However, Bai Chen inexplicably felt that Shang Jianyao’s situation seemed a little worse than before.
Li Zhengfei couldn’t understand why Shang Jianyao couldn’t speak. He could only think that this was a more tactful way of refusing to reveal more information. He had no choice but to turn to look at Bai Chen, but Bai Chen got busy.
She cleaned up the spittoon, opened the door for ventilation, and cleaned up the room.
After an unknown period of time, Tian Erhe woke up. He turned his head and listened for a while before weakly asking, “What’s that sound outside? Are they here?”
Bai Chen took a few steps to the corridor outside. She held the railing with both hands and looked toward Moat Town’s main entrance.
There were no outsiders there yet. Only the faint sounds of ‘one, two, three, four’ and ‘one, two, three, four’ could be heard.
“The sounds outside are ‘one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.’” At this moment, Shang Jianyao mimicked what he had heard.
Tian Erhe’s expression quickly softened as his wrinkles unfolded one after another.
“The children are doing morning exercises…” he muttered to himself with a smile as his mental state seemed to improve.
Outside the swamp, Ding Ce saw the team sent by Pangu Biology with Jiang Baimian and Long Yuehong.
The cars that shimmered with metal and glass lights, the grayish-green uniformed warriors, and the weapons that gave off a brand new feeling deeply shocked him.
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and inwardly praised the person in charge of this matter.
The company is indeed very experienced… They know that such a takeover has to be done in a glamorous manner and subdue an enemy without a fight…
Moat Town, outside Tian Erhe’s room.
Bai Chen didn’t know how many times the mayor had urged her to go to the corridor to see if Jiang Baimian and the others had returned.
Finally, she saw the convoy slowly approaching the town and the familiar grayish-green jeep. Bai Chen quickly turned around and shouted into the room, “They’re here! They’re here!”
Tian Erhe instantly relaxed. He took a few breaths and turned to Li Zhengfei. “Arrange for people to maintain order. After we meet, gather everyone and announce this matter.”
Li Zhengfei had already stood up and answered, “I’ll do so right away.”
Bai Chen remained in the corridor. She pressed her hands against the railing and kept turning her head to report the situation to Tian Erhe like an excited young lady.
“They are passing through the gates.
“They are alighting.
“They are lined up and crossing the square.
“Everyone’s a little confused, but order is being quickly restored.”
At this point, Bai Chen suddenly stopped. She felt that the room was terrifyingly quiet without any response.
Bai Chen turned around and saw Shang Jianyao standing closer to the door, staring at the bed with a solemn expression. It was unknown when Tian Erhe had slid down. He was lying down instead of sitting.
An ominous feeling instantly surfaced in her mind. Bai Chen’s expression changed as she speedily ran in and squatted beside Tian Erhe.
She saw that the mayor’s face was bluish-black without any luster.
She stretched out her trembling finger and brought it to Tian Erhe’s nose.
After more than ten seconds, she suddenly retracted her hand and shouted, hoping to jolt something. “Mayor!”
This time, there was no response.
Bai Chen’s vision blurred as her knees lost support, and she fell to the ground with a thud. She grabbed the side of the bed and shouted as if her voice was mostly choked, “Grandpa!”
Under the gazes of the townsfolk in messy and dirty clothes, Jiang Baimian led the people sent by Pangu Biology through the mud houses, brick houses, and tents that had been haphazardly built.
Just as she reached the flag-raising platform, she suddenly heard neat and young voices coming from the building in the deepest part of Moat Town.
“When the Grand course was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled all under the sky; they chose men of talents, virtue, and ability; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony.
“Thus, men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their own sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. They showed kindness and compassion to widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease so that they were all sufficiently maintained…”
Note 1: From The Book of Rites