Chapter 138: Seeking Confirmation Carefully
When he saw the photo in Jiang Baimian’s hand, Long Yuehong was enlightened. Since the gunman was suspected to be Lei Yunsong, the gunman’s accomplice was very likely to be Lin Feifei!
According to the information provided by Chen Xufeng, after the other Old Task Force went missing, only these two members were suspected of being seen.
Why didn’t I connect these two matters together? Long Yuehong couldn’t help but raise his hand and slap his forehead. He felt that he would easily tense up when he encountered problems, and his thoughts became less active.
Shang Jianyao wasn’t surprised that Jiang Baimian had taken out Lin Feifei’s photo. He spoke in a tone that depicted his non-surprise that she had come this far. “Where should we begin?”
Jiang Baimian frowned. “Are you trying to say that you wanted me to ask around using the photos of Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei? How can the current situation be the same as yesterday? Besides, it’s not like we’re spreading the net wide. There’s no need to worry about alerting the enemy when it’s within controlled confines.
“Times are different.”
If they asked anyone if they had seen Lei Yunsong today, there wouldn’t be any latent dangers. All the Ruin Hunters in the city were looking for him. However, Lin Feifei required some thought because she had yet to be ‘exposed.’
Without giving Shang Jianyao a chance to ‘defend himself,’ Jiang Baimian swept her gaze across the various shops in Red Silk Alley and spoke first. “Help time me.”
She then walked to the spot closest to Yellow Corner Alley and shouted, “On your mark.”
When the second hand reached 0, Shang Jianyao raised his right hand with great interest and waved it down abruptly. “Go!”
Jiang Baimian lowered her body, swung her arms, and ran like a swift and fierce cheetah.
Long Yuehong watched this scene in surprise. Before he could think about what his team leader wanted to do, Jiang Baimian had already run out of Red Silk Alley and stopped beside Shang Jianyao.
Such a commotion naturally attracted the attention of the Ruin Hunters and passersby. However, they wore confused looks as if they were watching a fool.
“How many seconds did I take?” Jiang Baimian panted and asked.
Shang Jianyao retracted his gaze from his watch. “About four seconds.” He didn’t have an electronic watch or a stopwatch, so he couldn’t give a very precise timing.
“Back then, the gunman was still carrying a sniper rifle. There were also many obstacles on the rooftop. Four seconds shouldn’t be enough. Let’s take it to be five to six seconds…” As Jiang Baimian spoke, she came to the spot where Liu Dazhuang had fallen after being shot. She then took a few steps back toward the entrance of Red Silk Alley and muttered to herself, “The gunman also needs time to aim.”
After standing still, Jiang Baimian raised her hand and flipped her wrist. She looked at the electronic watch and walked into Red Silk Alley at Liu Dazhuang’s pace and frequency based on her memories.
“One… two… three… four… five… six.” Shang Jianyao cooperatively counted.
Once the six seconds were up, Jiang Baimian immediately stopped.
At this moment, Long Yuehong vaguely understood what his team leader was doing. Jiang Baimian was reenacting part of the shooting to determine Liu Dazhuang’s general location when the gunman’s companion discovered him!
Jiang Baimian didn’t do anything strange and beckoned Shang Jianyao over.
The Ruin Hunters watching moved their gazes away gradually. Only a few were still watching.
They believed that Jiang Baimian was attempting to reenact the scene when the incident happened. This had already been done by experienced hunters. They had failed to find any useful clues, and it lacked sufficient value.
After she no longer received any attention, Jiang Baimian smiled at Shang Jianyao. “It’s impossible for the gunman’s companion to use the walkie-talkie to notify Lei Yunsong as soon as she discovered Liu Dazhuang. Otherwise, the other party will notice and change their route in advance.”
As she spoke, she walked some distance forward.
Jiang Baimian stopped again and pointed at the street. “At this position, Liu Dazhuang probably won’t discover the accomplice if she turns her back and lowers her volume. Take the photo and question the stores around here.”
She looked at Long Yuehong—who was not far away.
“Me?” Long Yuehong silently pointed at himself.
Jiang Baimian nodded and said to Shang Jianyao, “Needs more training.”
Long Yuehong took a deep breath and walked to his team leader first. He quietly took Lin Feifei’s photo before entering an appliance repair shop by the street.
“Hello there…” Long Yuehong greeted nervously.
The boss of the repair shop was a man in his late twenties. His body was a little dirty.
The man replied without looking up. “I’ve never seen him. I’ve really never seen him! There are dozens, if not a hundred, people walking past my door every morning. How can I remember them? What Liu Dazhuang? I’ve never heard of him!”
Uh, some Ruin Hunters have already come to ask… Long Yuehong understood what was going on the moment he heard that. In order not to fail before his solo mission began, he mustered his courage and handed over a photo. “I’m not asking about Liu Dazhuang.”
In his nervous state, he thought of something and blurted out, “Boss, I’m a man, and so are you…”
The boss looked up in surprise and happened to see Lin Feifei’s photo. He then revealed a look of understanding. “Are you also smitten by her? Where did you get this photo from? You have a camera? This is good stuff!”
Long Yuehong was stunned for a few seconds before saying, “You’ve seen her?”
He has actually seen Lin Feifei! Team Leader’s foresight is amazing!
Outside the shop, not far away, Shang Jianyao—who was facing the road—suddenly muttered to himself in confusion, “When did he learn Inference Clowning?”
“This is called imitation. It was a lucky hit.” Jiang Baimian exhaled sincerely. Finding useful clues from the beginning made her feel that things should go smoothly today.
In the shop, the boss admired the photo and scratched his head. “It was this morning; it wasn’t that long ago. When I opened the door, she was already by the tree. She was shivering from the cold wind, and it made me feel sorry for her. Sigh, if it weren’t for the fact that I have family, I definitely would’ve let her come in and wait.”
Long Yuehong became excited when he realized that he had gained something. He quickly asked in confirmation, “Is it really her?”
“I just saw her. How can I be mistaken? I remember her mole.” The boss pointed at Lin Feifei’s left eyebrow in the photo.
Long Yuehong felt relieved and inquired, “What happened after that? Where did she go?”
“Didn’t someone get shot over there? It might have scared her, so she went back.” The boss pointed to his right. “She might live in this courtyard.”
Long Yuehong thanked him profusely and left the shop feeling accomplished.
While there was no one around, he walked to Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao’s side. As he returned the photo, he quickly repeated the clues he obtained from the inquiry.
With that said, Long Yuehong revealed an expression of heartfelt admiration and curiously asked, “Team Leader, how were you sure we could get any clues about Lin Feifei here?”
“I wasn’t sure,” Jiang Baimian replied with a smile. She looked at the Ruin Hunters outside the alley and quickly explained, “If we didn’t get any answers, it means that I was wrong. We’ll then combine the traces at the scene and investigate in another direction.
“The Old World has a saying: Make bold assumptions and verify them carefully. When it comes to searching for clues, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Every mistake means that you have eliminated a possibility and are getting closer to the truth. However, we can’t do this on the battlefield. If we make a mistake, there might not be a next time.”
“I got it,” replied Long Yuehong in a tone of ‘having learned something again.’ He didn’t stay any longer and left Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian before returning to Bai Chen’s side.
Jiang Baimian then looked at the courtyard that Lin Feifei had entered and smiled at Shang Jianyao. “Your turn.”
The target was the old gatekeeper guarding the courtyard’s entrance. He was in his fifties and wore a military-green cotton hat. He wore a blue top, black pants, and brown cotton shoes. It made him look very bloated, and the clothes didn’t match him at all.
“Can I use my abilities?” Shang Jianyao was in no rush to go over.
“Sure.” Jiang Baimian nodded. “Everyone here might be related to Lin Feifei and the others’ disappearance. We can’t be careless.”
Shang Jianyao first exhaled and watched it scatter into white fog. Then, he walked toward the courtyard that surrounded the building excitedly.
He soon arrived at the entrance and smiled at the old gatekeeper sitting in the sentry post. “Grandpa…”
The old man glared and interrupted Shang Jianyao. “If you want to ask something, pay first. You Ruin Hunters are each smarter than the other!”
Shang Jianyao could only swallow back the Inference Clowning speech he had prepared. He was not angry and asked excitedly, “I can ask anything?”
The old man was stunned for a moment. He had a nagging feeling that the fellow in front of him was a little strange. He deliberated and replied, “It depends on how much you can pay.”
“Grandpa, look.” Shang Jianyao put on a bargaining posture. “You’re a man, and so am I. You want to take the opportunity to earn some money, and so do I. So…”
The old man was confused for a moment before he sighed. “Sigh, poor people shouldn’t make things difficult for poor people. Tell me, what do you want to ask?”
“Have you seen this person?” Shang Jianyao handed him Lin Feifei’s photo.
“Yes. She lives in the courtyard.” The old man pointed at a building near Yellow Corner Alley. “See that? That one.”
“Which floor and unit is it?” Shang Jianyao probed further.
“I heard Old Zheng from that building mention that she lives on the second floor. The innermost room that’s by the main door. I don’t know if it’s right,” replied the old man.
“Thank you.” Shang Jianyao took out an energy bar and handed it to the old man.
This way, even if the old man recalled their conversation later, he wouldn’t suspect that he had been bewitched. He would only think that he had been bought over by food.
As expected, the old man immediately beamed when he saw the energy bar. “No, it’s fine.” He took it despite saying that there was no need.
With this transaction, the old man didn’t stop Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian from entering the courtyard.
After arriving at the corresponding building and going up to the second floor, Jiang Baimian was in no rush to find the target’s room. She patiently waited for a while.
After a while, a notification came from her walkie-talkie. Bai Chen’s voice then sounded. “In position.”
Jiang Baimian didn’t delay any further and walked along the corridor toward the door.
After taking a few steps, she frowned. “There’s no one in either room.”
In the deepest depths were two rooms. One was by the courtyard, and the other was by Yellow Corner Alley.
According to Jiang Baimian’s judgment, Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei were likely staying in the outer room as it made it easier to move. Bai Chen and Long Yuehong had gone to Yellow Corner Alley to prevent anyone from jumping out the window.
“No one.” Shang Jianyao repeated Jiang Baimian’s words.
Jiang Baimian then quickened her pace and came to the target’s room. She took off a small tool hanging from her belt and easily unlocked the slightly ancient lock.
The layout inside was similar to the place they rented. It also had a bunk bed with tables, chairs, and stools.
The room was very clean. At a glance, nothing that belonged to the tenant remained.
“Have you given up on this place?” Jiang Baimian did not slack off and began searching carefully.
Shang Jianyao lay on the ground and looked under the bed.
“There’s a piece of paper,” he suddenly said.
“What paper?” Jiang Baimian stopped moving.
Shang Jianyao stretched out his hand and took out the piece of paper. He stood up and unfolded it.
The next second, he and Jiang Baimian simultaneously saw the front side of the paper.
It read: “Thinking is a trap, and knowledge is poison…
“Don’t touch any more books…
“We can’t repeal the Old World’s mistakes…”