Chapter 136: Unexpected Clue
Advanced Hunter, I wonder what areas he is advanced in… Jiang Baimian muttered to herself and waved her hand with a smile. “Thank you.”
Before the Ruin Hunters in line behind her became irritated, she took the initiative to end her inquiries.
After returning to the seats at the edge of the lobby, Jiang Baimian saw that no one was around and said to Shang Jianyao, “None of them match the age. We have to get Chen Xufeng to gather information on the family members of the guild’s higher-ups.”
“You can also ask them directly.” Shang Jianyao gave another plan without hesitation.
Jiang Baimian easily understood Shang Jianyao’s meaning. “Visit them one by one and ask if they’ve seen Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others?”
“Yes!” Shang Jianyao looked eager.
Jiang Baimian laughed. “If it were anyone else who suggested this, I would be worried about alerting the enemy or failing to get the truth from them. However, it’s different for you.”
They were Shang Jianyao’s potential siblings, uncles, aunties, godparents, etc. There was no risk of them lying or selling them out in the short term.
“Then, let’s wait here and see who we can encounter.” Jiang Baimian looked back at the stairs that led to the second floor. “Don’t be in a rush to go up. There’s a high chance that there are Awakened and genetically modified people in such a large Hunter’s Guild. We have to be careful.”
“We can make all of them friends,” Shang Jianyao suggested.
“They can then vouch for you with each other and form a cycle?” Jiang Baimian remembered that Shang Jianyao had mentioned some key points regarding Inference Clowning.
If a person ‘became’ Shang Jianyao’s friend and the people around him confirmed this, it would be very difficult for them to discover the truth and realize the mistake in the inference.
Of course, this was relatively difficult in practice. After all, it was impossible for Shang Jianyao to follow a person all the time and deal with everyone and everything they met.
For example, Ferlin from the Rootless camp would always treat Shang Jianyao as his sworn brother during the two to three days he often saw Shang Jianyao. Their rapport with each other also deepened this knowledge and gave the people around him a reason to accept him. But after the two of them separated for a period of time, even if the people in the Rootless camp didn’t suspect anything, they would just imagine that their Convoy Leader clicked well with the other party. Their occasional words might also make Ferlin instantly wake up and realize the truth.
This was also the reason why Jiang Baimian didn’t approve of Shang Jianyao abusing Inference Clowning.
Under the premise that they didn’t silence the other party, the affected people would realize their mistakes sooner or later. The more people who knew of this, the harder it was for Shang Jianyao to keep this ability a secret.
This was not inside the company, where it was sealed. The people everyone could come into contact with every day were basically fixed, so it reduced the possibility of accidents. The reason Shang Jianyao could make the Life Ritual parish’s members on the 495th floor constantly believe that he had joined through official channels was that the people involved had been ‘convinced’ by him, forming round-robin proof.
People who weren’t involved didn’t know what had happened and didn’t care about the exact details. As for the neighbors and colleagues they interacted with during daily life, the believers definitely could not discuss the parish with them.
The parish’s concealment helped Shang Jianyao cover up the traces perfectly.
Of course, with the current communication conditions in the Ashlands, Shang Jianyao would still be fine elsewhere as long as he didn’t do anything that caused a huge commotion, even if he revealed his abilities in one place.
Shang Jianyao nodded slightly in response to Jiang Baimian’s question. “This is very challenging.”
“When the time comes, will they choose you to be the next guild leader?” Jiang Baimian first joked before saying seriously, “You don’t know what abilities the Awakened here might have. It’s best not to take too many risks. What if they restrain you? For example, a deaf person or someone who doesn’t know how to make inferences and only wants to refute you.”
“Writing can similarly work on the deaf,” Shang Jianyao said seriously. As for the latter situation, he seemed unable to resolve it.
“That works too?” Jiang Baimian said thoughtfully. “The more accurate description of the key point doesn’t seem like a conversation but an exchange.”
At this point, she suddenly sighed. “What a pity…”
“Unfortunately, I don’t know sign language?” Shang Jianyao asked in a guessing tone.
“No.” Jiang Baimian smiled and was very pleased with herself. “It’s finally your turn to be unable to keep up with my train of thought. It’s a pity that there’s a distance restriction. Otherwise, you can complete a misdirection using a telephone or a telegram to communicate with someone remotely. What’s this called in the Old World? I think it’s—it’s a telephone scam? An Internet virus?”
Just as she said that, the Hunter’s Guild lobby suddenly became noisy.
Jiang Baimian looked back at the Ruin Hunters before following their gaze to the large screen hanging in midair.
The slow-moving missions on the screen stopped and fixed on one of them.
“Emergency mission: Find clues regarding Liu Dazhuang’s murder.
“Description: On November 23, 7:56 a.m., Liu Dazhuang was shot on South Street and died on the spot. The scene of the incident was three meters away from Red Silk Alley…”
“Reward: A clue that passes a review and is deemed valid will earn you at least 10 Oray, with a maximum of 500 Oray.
“Mission rank: C, 100 credit points.
“Mission requirements: Unrestricted.
“Commissioned by: Weed City’s City Defense Command.”
As it was an official organization’s mission, there was no guild guarantee. In Weed City, the City Defense Command was in charge of public security due to the large number of personnel it could deploy and weapon owners.
500 Oray was enough for an ordinary family to live a relatively comfortable year in Weed City. Even the lowest reward of 10 Oray could allow many Ruin Hunters—who were already in dire straits—to catch their breaths. After all, this was nearly half a month’s worth of food and rent for an individual.
Although Ruin Hunters didn’t really want Oray and hoped more for supplies, Oray’s credit was still acceptable in First City’s sphere of influence. Despite the fluctuations in value, the volatility wasn’t too exaggerated.
“This is the shooting from before.” Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze.
Bai Chen—who had already arrived at the Hunter’s Guild and was looking at the gigantic screen at the entrance—muttered, “Liu Dazhuang…”
“You know him?” Long Yuehong asked acutely.
Bai Chen nodded. “I didn’t see who it was just now; I didn’t expect it to be him. He’s a relatively famous intelligence peddler in Weed City’s underground market.”
“Intelligence peddler? No wonder…” In Long Yuehong’s limited knowledge, this was a high-risk occupation.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian swept her gaze and saw a few people enter from the side door.
The leader was slightly shorter than Jiang Baimian and wore a thick, camel-colored coat. Her blond hair was gently draped over her shoulders. Her eyes were light blue, and the pores on her face were slightly large, making her skin appear relatively rough. She was a woman in her thirties. She had average looks but exuded a charm.
In the blink of an eye, Jiang Baimian connected her to Christina, the vice president of the local Hunter’s Guild.
Jiang Baimian became increasingly certain when she saw many guild members salute her.
Jiang Baimian then turned her head and said to Shang Jianyao, “She’s here.”
Shang Jianyao confirmed his target and strode over.
Beside Christina, one of the three muscular men in black clothes stepped forward and blocked Shang Jianyao. During this process, his hand reached toward his waist.
“President Christina,” Shang Jianyao shouted in broken Red River language.
As Shang Jianyao had an outstanding appearance and didn’t show any hostility, Christina smiled kindly. “You can use Ashlandic directly. What’s the matter?”
Her pronunciation was perfect.
“President Christina,” Shang Jianyao said sincerely. “I’m a newly joined Hunter, and you’re a member of the guild. I’m an outsider, and so are you. So…”
These words—which sounded a little messy and illogical—made Shang Jianyao feel like a new hunter eager to cling to the higher-ups.
Christina said with an unchanged expression, “So… we have to help each other.”
She then smiled. “I have a meeting. Come to my office at 9:30. Room 308 on the third floor.”
With that said, she walked to the staircase. Just as she and Shang Jianyao passed each other, she suddenly stretched out her hand and secretly patted Shang Jianyao’s butt.
Jiang Baimian—who had been paying attention—was stunned when she saw this. Fortunately, she had a strong mental fortitude and did not show any abnormalities.
After Christina and her bodyguards disappeared, Jiang Baimian approached Shang Jianyao and suppressed her smile. “Any thoughts?”
“I was careless,” Shang Jianyao said truthfully.
“Oh?” Jiang Baimian vaguely guessed what Shang Jianyao meant.
“I should have called her Mom.” Shang Jianyao did a self-reflection.
Jiang Baimian lowered her head and chuckled. She composed herself and said, “It’s not your fault. She didn’t show anything wrong, and she’s clearly an old hand.”
After calming down her team member, she joked, “Are you going later?”
Shang Jianyao fell into deep thought. It was unknown what he was thinking.
Jiang Baimian restrained her smile and said seriously, “My opinion is not to go. There’s no mission that requires the sacrifice of a team member. We still have many solutions, and you have plenty of targets.”
“I can make her a little cornier,” Shang Jianyao said slowly.
“That’s also an idea…” Jiang Baimian nodded gently. “But we should consider it and be careful.”
As they spoke, the large screen in the lobby changed again.
“Emergency mission (status update): Find clues regarding Liu Dazhuang’s murder.
“Further description: Someone encountered a gunman in the building…”
The latter part was a portrait of the person drawn according to the witness’s memories.
It was a man who was not short. He wore a cap, and his eyebrows gave off a sharp feeling. His eyes didn’t seem to be fully open.
Jiang Baimian only took a glance before she suddenly froze. Although the sketch didn’t resemble the person in mind, she still made the connection with the person based on his main characteristics.
Lei Yunsong! The missing Old Task Force’s team leader, Lei Yunsong!