Chapter 122: Missionary
After hearing Ferlin’s question, Jiang Baimian gave a simple introduction. “A four-seater jeep. Gray-green.”
Ferlin thought for a moment and said, “It’s already dark. I’ll bring someone over tomorrow to take a look and come up with a plan. Also, let’s discuss how you want to enter Weed City and what kind of service you need us to provide. When the time comes, we’ll settle the tab. I hope you have enough canned food.”
Jiang Baimian could tell that Ferlin didn’t want to talk business now, so she gave up on the idea of further discussion. She smiled and patted Shang Jianyao’s shoulder. “If it’s not enough, we’ll use him as payment!”
Ferlin laughed involuntarily. “It’s not impossible. I was just wondering how to make my brother stay willingly.”
Long Yuehong was speechless, wondering if this ‘progress’ was too fast. Not only had Shang Jianyao gone from ‘stranger’ to ‘friend’ in just a few minutes, but he had actually evolved into a ‘brother!’
“You can marry your younger daughter to him,” Jiang Baimian suggested ‘maliciously.’
Ferlin and Shang Jianyao looked at each other and quickly shook their heads. “No, no, that won’t be right! How can a niece marry an uncle?”
Shang Jianyao solemnly echoed, “How can a brother be a father?”
The two of them looked at each other and nodded at the same time. Their friendship seemed to have sublimated to another new level.
Jiang Baimian smiled and turned her eyes before she continued coming up with rotten ideas. “Then, are there any wives left behind by deceased brothers?”
“How can they be leftovers? At this age and in such an environment, who wouldn’t want to find another companion? Besides, our caravan needs to have more children. In this day and age, it’s too easy for children to die young.” Ferlin thought for a moment and said, “My mother has been widowed for a few years, but that won’t be right.”
Realizing that the topic was gradually turning odd, Jiang Baimian looked around and inquired, “Caravan Leader, what food do you have here?”
She then added, “Something more unique.”
The Old Task Force had yet to have dinner.
Ferlin finished the wild tree fruit wine in his cup and laughed self-deprecatingly. “What unique foods can people like us—who have no roots—have? We travel the world and eat whatever is available. Heh heh, those with good culinary skills in the caravan know how to cook many different dishes.”
At this point, he changed the topic. “But after so many years, we still have a little of our own.”
“What is it?” Shang Jianyao spoke before Jiang Baimian could. His face was filled with anticipation.
Ferlin looked at the psychedelic lights outside the RV. “Compared to many wilderness nomad settlements, although we have no roots and drift everywhere, our business is doing pretty well. Most of the time, food is still guaranteed, and the corresponding variety can be considered plentiful.
“Every time we travel through the wilderness or the mountains and forests, there will be a little of all kinds of food left in the end. That makes things quite awkward. It’s impossible to cook every dish and make them a staple, right? It’s only one or two mouthfuls’ worth.
“To save time, my father’s generation began to cook them together. The taste isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible either. After we went to many places and saw more, our culinary methods gradually improved. It’s not bad now. We call it Hodgepodge.”
Jiang Baimian especially liked the culture of different places and said with great interest, “Then, give us four servings—large servings—please!”
With that said, she turned to look at Long Yuehong and Bai Chen. “You guys want it, right?”
“Yes, yes.” Long Yuehong nodded hard. For the current him, it was good as long as he didn’t eat energy bars, compressed biscuits, or military canned food.
“I might not be able to finish a large serving,” said Bai Chen after some deliberation.
“It’s fine. I’ll help you finish it. If we can’t finish it, there’s still Shang Jianyao!” Jiang Baimian spoke as if she were rearing a pig back home. In fact, she knew that Shang Jianyao had recently been roaming the Sea of Origins when he slept. Searching for the second island expended a lot of energy, so he ate more than usual.
“The four servings will cost you two cans.” Ferlin offered the price. He then looked at Shang Jianyao and said sincerely, “I gave a discount.”
“It’s fine as long as it’s delicious.” Shang Jianyao didn’t mind at all.
“That depends on whether it suits your taste.” Ferlin circled around the milky-white platform and walked to the kitchen. He opened the aluminum stew pot on the electromagnetic stove and scooped out four bowls of sticky things.
After he held the orange plastic tray and carried the Hodgepodge to Jiang Baimian and the others, they finally saw what the food looked like.
It was dark amber in color and looked as though it was a very sticky liquid.
Jiang Baimian stirred the soup with a spoon and realized that there were small pieces of meat cubes, flour lumps, slices of ham, diced carrots, and some unknown vegetables inside. It was a combination of various ingredients.
“There’s some of everything.” As Ferlin walked back to the milky-white platform’s back, he smiled and said, “The greatest characteristic of Hodgepodge is that the ingredients you eat are more or less different every time. It’s rarely repeated.”
“It depends on what’s available at the time?” As Jiang Baimian spoke, she realized that Shang Jianyao had already lowered his head and started eating. Therefore, she didn’t say anything else. She scooped a small spoonful of the dark amber soup, brought it to her mouth, and blew at it a few times.
She then tasted the food.
Her first impression was that it was fragrant, followed by a faint sourness, and then a perfect saltiness.
These three experiences mixed together harmoniously, suppressing the dazzling variety of ingredients and making them mild.
When she chewed, different tastes bloomed one after another when her teeth ‘met’ with different encounters.
“Not bad. Delicious.” It was Shang Jianyao who praised with his mouth full. If he weren’t busy using the spoon, he might have clapped.
“Yes, yes…” Long Yuehong replied, touched.
After a long and arduous journey, such a meal was enough to soothe his heart.
Jiang Baimian smiled and turned her head to look at Bai Chen.
Upon seeing that the gray scarf-wearing member was gobbling down the food with a faint look of satisfaction, Jiang Baimian laughed inwardly. It seems like there’s no need to help her with the food…
The Old Task Force quartet’s praises of Hodgepodge made Ferlin rather happy. He felt that they were indeed friends.
After dinner, Jiang Baimian looked around and saw that nobody was in the RV. She then asked, “Caravan Leader, has anyone asked you to keep an eye on some people’s whereabouts recently?”
Ferlin—who was washing the dishes—looked up and chuckled. “For example, people like you?”
Jiang Baimian did not feel uncomfortable at having her cover blown at all. She smiled and replied, “Yeah. People like us believe that our friends won’t betray us.”
“Friends might. It only depends on whether the pay is good,” Ferlin said seriously. “But brothers don’t.”
As he spoke, he raised his right arm.
Shang Jianyao didn’t mind that Ferlin’s palm was wet at all and struck his palm.
After completing the ‘ritual,’ Ferlin said to Jiang Baimian, “There’s nothing like that for the time being. There are people searches, but their characteristics don’t match yours at all. You should also know that we people without roots travel the world. Many members will also be part-time Ruin Hunters. If they want to find someone, they will definitely mobilize the entire caravan to help. It’s impossible for me not to know.”
“That’s good.” Jiang Baimian smiled. She then asked, “Caravan Leader, have you encountered any strange religious organizations recently?”
Ferlin thought for a moment and nodded. “Yes.”
Jiang Baimian and Bai Chen looked at each other and inquired, “Which religion is it? What’s its name?”
“It’s called the Eyes of Holiness. It worships the Kalendaria, Double Sun, that rules over July.” Ferlin didn’t hide anything. “They’re still proselytizing in the camp.”
July’s Kalendaria… Double Sun… Jiang Baimian asked in confusion, “Caravan Leader, are you just going to let them preach?”
Ferlin said seriously, “It’s impossible for me not to do anything. I also helped gather people, provided a venue, and prepared food…”
Upon seeing that Jiang Baimian and the others were gradually confused, the caravan leader laughed. “Because I’m this church’s deacon! The one closest to the Kalendaria in this caravan.”
Jiang Baimian was first stunned before she smiled. “I thought you did such business.”
“Yes, yes, yes.” Shang Jianyao indicated that this was also his opinion.
Bai Chen asked in confusion, “I heard that you guys don’t believe in any Kalendaria?”
“How is that possible?” Ferlin retorted. “We believe in all of them!”
He smiled and added, “As a caravan that needs to travel the world and deal with all kinds of factions, we definitely have to sing to the tune of wherever we go. We can’t be too extreme; otherwise, we won’t be able to make friends. Therefore, as long as someone preaches, we will more or less believe them.
“If it weren’t for the fact that the Eyes of Holiness forbids me from taking on part-time jobs, I might’ve been given the title of more than ten religions. I could be a Dream Guardian of Dawn’s Morning Star, a bishop of the Glorious Scale, or a Hexadite of the Crystal Consciousness… As long as my business partners are religious, I can be their brother in Kalendria.”
Long Yuehong was dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe that such a person existed.
Isn’t this too casual?
At this moment, Shang Jianyao asked with a yearning expression, “Which church’s Holy Communion is the best?”
“It has to be the Glorious Scale for me. Their fried chicken wings are top-notch. However, this purely depends on one’s taste.” Ferlin and Shang Jianyao exchanged insights with each other.
Upon seeing this, Jiang Baimian deeply suspected that Shang Jianyao could’ve become good friends with Ferlin even without using his Awakened abilities.
After discussing Holy Communion for a while, Ferlin said, “Among so many religions, the Eyes of Holiness’s teachings are the most suitable for us and also the ones that can move me the most. Therefore, I barely managed to join a religion. Sigh, I won’t be free from now on.”
He then tersely acknowledged. “We have a Mass at noon tomorrow. If you’re interested, you can come and watch. It’s right here.”
Upon seeing Shang Jianyao’s eagerness, Jiang Baimian hesitated a little. Ferlin smiled and said, “We don’t force our religion on others. It’s all voluntary. At least two-thirds of our camp doesn’t believe in the Double Sun. Of course, if you want to put on a show and show some faith, fine by me.”
“Alright.” Jiang Baimian agreed.
After chatting for a while, they bade farewell and prepared to return to the jeep.
When she reached the door, Jiang Baimian suddenly turned around and asked curiously, “Caravan Leader, I haven’t asked you about your caravan’s name.”
As colorful lights pulsated outside the window, Ferlin fell silent for a moment. “Hometown.”