Chapter 117: Approaching
“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…
Long Yuehong sat on the left in the back and read a book in a low voice. After reading this, he looked up and looked ahead in confusion. “Team Leader, why doesn’t the company teach ancient texts like this? Does nobody remember?”
The book in his hand was exchanged from Moat Town using food.
At this moment, the setting sun’s strong rays were so blinding that Jiang Baimian had to wear her sunglasses.
She thought for a moment before casually saying, “I read it in extracurricular books when I was young. This means that many people still remember it. However, the company’s higher-ups might not want everyone to learn this piece of ancient text. This is to prevent everyone from pursuing a Grand Union society, which is unfavorable to management.”
“That can’t be, right?” Long Yuehong expressed his thoughts. “Although the company hasn’t achieved the rule of ‘a public and common spirit’ or ‘chose men of talents, virtue, and ability for the good of the world,’ it has at least secured competent provision for the aged till their death, employment for the able-bodied, and the means of growing up to the young. Uh, widows, orphans, childless men, and those who were disabled by disease are all sufficiently maintained.”
He forgot his words mid-way and could only look down at the book again.
Jiang Baimian laughed. “There’s a saying that goes: prevention is better than a cure.
“Look, an employee like you who hasn’t been officially employed for long knows that the higher-ups often abuse their power for personal gain and practice cronyism. This means that everyone still has a scale in their hearts. They don’t dare object to it on the surface, but they are secretly pointing their fingers and wagging their tongues.
“If generations of people have accepted ideas similar to that of a Grand Union society, how are they to maneuver? How is Big Boss to hand over power smoothly?”
Long Yuehong was a little convinced, but he didn’t find things that serious. “I don’t think anyone will directly revolt against the higher-ups, right? Everyone is rather satisfied with the current situation.”
Compared to the many wilderness nomad settlements in the Ashlands, Pangu Biology was internally stable and peaceful. As long as everyone worked hard, they would receive a certain level of remuneration. There was no need to worry about starving to death.
“Not necessarily,” said Jiang Baimian as she made the jeep turn and cruise along a small river.
Long Yuehong smiled and said, “How can there be people who are willing to make such a huge sacrifice to help everyone fight for power?”
After asking this question, he subconsciously looked at Shang Jianyao. Long Yuehong suddenly recalled that his good friend and colleague often talked about saving all of humanity.
“There are.” Shang Jianyao looked at him with bright eyes.
“…” Long Yuehong felt that he couldn’t argue with this fellow and questioned, “Weren’t you sleeping?”
During this period of time, Shang Jianyao would sleep from time to time during the day as if he had entered an intermittent hibernation.
Long Yuehong was not surprised by this. They had been traveling every day for the past half a month, and they basically had nothing else to do. Apart from sleeping, chatting, and maintaining physical fitness, there was nothing else to do.
“I was a little tired. I woke up to rest for a while.” Shang Jianyao spoke the truth that sounded odd. He recently entered the Sea of Origins to travel and search for the second ‘island.’
“So you’re not resting when you sleep?” Long Yuehong scolded jokingly. He suddenly had a thought and looked at Jiang Baimian’s back again. “Team Leader, why does Moat Town teach this text? As you can see, their higher-ups have their own thoughts. They don’t want the world to be fair, nor do they want equality…”
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged it. “Perhaps they added this into the curriculum to prevent such a situation from happening. Different motives can result in two different choices.”
In the passenger seat, Bai Chen glanced at her team leader and said in a moderate voice, “Actually, it’s not that complicated. When Moat Town was first established, they used whatever textbooks they had. No one thought too much about it before it became tradition.”
Jiang Baimian wanted to give Bai Chen a peeved glance, but her gaze was completely blocked by the sunglasses.
She laughed involuntarily. “You can’t undermine me while I’m trying to make a point!”
Jiang Baimian was still in a good mood when she said this because Bai Chen had gotten over the loss rather well. She thought that Tian Erhe’s death would leave Bai Chen unable to recover for a long time.
In the end, Bai Chen didn’t appear problematic the day after the handover and left Moat Town. She was just a little depressed.
In the past few days, Bai Chen was no different from before.
Jiang Baimian understood this very well.
Which wilderness nomad wasn’t accustomed to life and death?
As long as a wilderness nomad didn’t directly break down or end up having psychological problems, they would quickly stop having such matters affect their daily lives. Of course, they might still feel a faint pain in their hearts when recalling it in the future.
After ending the conversation, the jeep fell silent again.
What else did they have to talk about after spending half a month together?
Long Yuehong then looked out the window and saw the low-hanging lead clouds, the yellow wilderness, the brown soil, and the distant mountains and trees.
Apart from these, there was nothing. Not to mention humans, even animals were unwilling to reveal themselves.
This was the Ashlands’s winter.
After looking at such a scene for a long time, it really made one feel depressed and vexed.
In order to rush to Weed City as soon as possible and avoid any possible dangers, the Old Task Force had chosen a route that went through similar places the entire way. It had been more than half a month.
They took a long detour, not taking the usual route. They were also delayed for several days due to changes in environment and the harsh weather conditions.
“When can we meet people?” Long Yuehong slowly exhaled. Long Yuehong felt that he would one day go crazy if this continued.
“Then? Will you chat with them?” Shang Jianyao asked excitedly.
“Uh…” Long Yuehong thought for a moment and felt that he shouldn’t be so rash. “I just want to see someone else. Otherwise, I’ll feel like there are only the four of us left in the entire Ashlands.”
“Then, who will you choose? You have to make sacrifices for the sake of reproducing humanity.” Shang Jianyao seemed to be imagining the scene in Long Yuehong’s hypothesis.
Jiang Baimian was just about to stop him from continuing when Bai Chen suddenly said, “It’s better not to encounter anyone in the wilderness during this season.”
Long Yuehong had some experience and thoughtfully inquired, “Are nomads who enter the wilderness in such cold weather those without food?”
“Yes. And to be precise, they have a serious lack of food,” Jiang Baimian replied.
She then sighed. “When the time comes, it will be fine if they try to snatch from you. But if they kneel by the side of the road while carrying a child, begging bitterly, will you save them or not? If you choose to save them, how many days of food can you give them? How many people can you save along the way?
“After saving them, how will you feel if they think that they won’t be able to survive the winter with what’s given and decide to take the opportunity to snatch from you? They might even kill you and turn you into food reserves.
“Even if they know how to be grateful and don’t do so, wouldn’t you blame yourself if they turned around and killed other people you saved for their food to tide through the winter?”
These rhetorical questions were like sharp arrows that accurately stabbed into Long Yuehong’s heart, making his lips tremble and him unable to answer.
“We can’t save any of them,” Bai Chen replied on his behalf. “Our food is only enough for us to reach Weed City, and it’s winter now.”
“Unless you’re willing to starve to death, it’s best to go by the mantra: What you don’t see can’t hurt you,” added Jiang Baimian.
She laughed self-deprecatingly. “Individual strength can’t save the Ashlands. Back then, the Salvation Army’s founders only decided to unite after experiencing such situations time and time again. They wanted to establish an organization that is equal from top to bottom in order to save all of humanity.
“They wanted to use a strong collective to rebuild the social order and production system as soon as possible. They then wanted to accommodate more nomads, produce more food and other supplies, and use the snowball effect to grow stronger. What a pity…”
She sighed because the Salvation Army—established by idealists—had ultimately fallen.
“There will always be others to take their place,” Shang Jianyao replied with a serious expression.
Jiang Baimian didn’t continue the topic. She pursed her lips and said seriously, “It’s time to consider what to eat for dinner.”
Long Yuehong’s expression collapsed when he heard that. Shang Jianyao didn’t raise his hand to wipe the corner of his mouth either.
They only had three choices: Energy bars, compressed biscuits, or military canned food.
Although there were different flavors, it ultimately came down to energy bars, compressed biscuits, and military canned food.
After repeatedly eating such food for more than half a month, they inevitably felt unhappy and even a little disgusted when they heard such a question.
“I definitely won’t want to eat canned food again when we return.” Long Yuehong sighed sincerely.
The canned food was indeed delicious, but who could stand eating it every day?
Upon seeing that there was no response, Jiang Baimian looked at the setting sun hanging over the horizon and turned to Bai Chen. “Are there any suitable wilderness nomad settlements nearby?”
Although the company’s map indicated the relatively famous settlements in the area, Jiang Baimian felt that asking Bai Chen was more direct and convenient.
“Apart from trading food, what other requests do you have?” Bai Chen asked directly. She was very sure that her team leader was not someone who would change their schedule just for a change in menu.
Jiang Baimian smiled. “We’ll reach Weed City in a day or two. We have to make some preparations in advance. We can’t just swagger into the city, right?
“Even if the Life Ritual parish isn’t that extreme or powerful and doesn’t have any information on us heading to Weed City, we have to consider the factors that caused the other Old Task Force’s disappearance. Therefore, we should find a suitable wilderness nomad settlement and do some necessary disguises. For example, we can mix in with the caravans heading to Weed City for transactions.”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
Shang Jianyao clapped sincerely.
Long Yuehong also praised his team leader’s meticulousness from the bottom of his heart.
Bai Chen nodded gently. “Got it. Then, let’s go to the Rootless camp nearby. They should be here during winter.”
“Rootless?” Long Yuehong asked in confusion.
“Are they all eunuchs; they can’t spread their seed?” Shang Jianyao questioned.
Jiang Baimian also inquired with interest. “I’ve heard of Rootless, but I don’t know much about them. What’s the exact situation?”
Bai Chen smiled. “When you see them, you’ll know that they aren’t Subhumans or eunuchs. They are just a group of normal humans with unique customs and habits.”
“Yo, you’ve even learned to keep us in suspense,” Jiang Baimian teased. “Which way should I go?”
Bai Chen had long sat up straight and seriously pointed the way.