Chapter 149: Countermeasure
The city guards in the alley questioned a few passersby—who had returned home—and the bosses of the shops that were still open. They then went elsewhere; clearly, they didn’t find anything.
At this moment, the commotion at the city gates remained huge. It hadn’t subsided.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Someone knocked on Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao’s door.
“Who is it?” Jiang Baimian turned around and asked, not panicking at all.
“Me.” Long Yuehong’s voice came from outside.
Only then did Shang Jianyao walk over and open the door.
He and Jiang Baimian could sense two people outside the door, but they couldn’t confirm their identities. All they could do was ask. This was because their attention had been completely focused on the alley, preventing them from grasping if the person who knocked had come from the opposite room.
After Long Yuehong entered the room, he fearfully asked, “Will they come here to investigate?”
He was still relatively careful. After Bai Chen entered the room and closed the wooden door, he controlled his volume and asked the question.
Jiang Baimian replied confidently, “It will really be unbelievable if the people of Weed City can lock onto us like this.”
This calmed Long Yuehong down significantly.
Jiang Baimian looked at Bai Chen—whose eyes were slightly red and swollen but overall in good shape—and added with a smile, “It’s fine even if we are discovered. Don’t we already have a plan for retreat? However, we have to bring Auntie Nan and the others along and get them to open shop elsewhere.”
Their plan was: Rush into the courtyard before any hostiles did and drive straight to the end of East Street.
There was a city gate that was perennially closed. Relatively few city guards were stationed there.
When the time came, they could use the Death rocket launcher to blast open the city gate forcefully and drive away into the night.
In the Ashlands, this was not a rare occurrence. Many Ruin Hunters followed the rule of ‘might is reason.’ If forced into a corner, they could do anything. At worst, they wouldn’t come to Weed City in the future and would pay attention to any missions that had a warrant for them.
If one were stronger, they could also cull the Ruin Hunters that had taken on missions to capture them.
For teams like Jiang Baimian and the others—who came from elsewhere and had a large faction backing them—they could be a little more unbridled considering how they didn’t have any relatives or friends locally.
What has your Weed City’s rules got to do with us?
Of course, the premise for all of this was that one had sufficient strength. Otherwise, one would be killed on the spot before they could cause trouble.
Long Yuehong felt increasingly at ease when he thought of the contingency plan.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian changed the topic. “However, there’s something wrong with Little White. Eugene was attacked less than an hour after he met you, so it’s inevitable that people will suspect you.”
The dead bodyguard had been on the dance floor, not the two people that had protected Eugene inside the underground market.
Upon hearing this, Shang Jianyao clenched his right fist and slapped his left palm with a vexed and regretful expression.
“What are you thinking about?” Jiang Baimian asked.
“After controlling Eugene, I should’ve driven the car back and killed those bodyguards.” Shang Jianyao’s tone indicated that he was still not careful enough.
As long as they were dead, there would be no witnesses. Then, nobody would connect Bai Chen to the matter.
Jiang Baimian was speechless.
After a few seconds, she rubbed her temples and sighed. “That will cause too many uncertainties to arise in the matter. The longer the delay, the harder it will be for us to leave the scene undetected. Besides, those bodyguards aren’t weak. Even if you have Awakened abilities, you might not be able to kill them all. You might even put yourself in danger.
“If one or two of them escape, you might be exposed.”
At this moment, the commotion in the city gate area gradually subsided.
Jiang Baimian then asked Bai Chen, “Does Eugene have many enemies?”
“Yes. There are many who have conflicting interests with him and the motivation to kill him,” answered Bai Chen calmly. “Even if it’s limited to Weed City, there are many such people and factions.”
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly. “That’s good.”
She then asked about something else. “How many people are in Eugene’s slave-hunting team? How’s their firepower?”
Upon hearing this question, Shang Jianyao’s eyes suddenly lit up.
Bai Chen thought for a moment and said, “First City’s slave hunters are divided into two types. The first type is related to the army and can be considered a semi-formal organization. The second type works through corrections. They form their own team after obtaining a slave permit. Eugene’s slave hunters are the latter.
“But even so, he has 50 to 60 people, many cars, machine guns, and cannons that can destroy an ordinary wilderness nomad settlement…” Bai Chen fell silent for a moment before adding, “Eugene is a trusted aide of an Elder in First City’s Senate. His team might have controlled weapons.”
“No wonder…” Jiang Baimian said in relief. “No wonder Eugene’s slave hunters dared to attack Weed City.”
Of course, this was only her personal guess. She couldn’t be sure; after all, she hadn’t seen the situation at the city gate with her own eyes.
After slowly exhaling, Jiang Baimian frowned and said, “What I’m hesitating about now is whether I should let Little White go into the streets in the next two days. If we let her move about, someone will definitely get her to help with the investigation.
“Even if she’s less suspicious and was never seen at the scene, there will still be such a process. Besides, this isn’t the company’s internal department. The investigators will definitely ask about everything and use all kinds of means. They might even get Little White to bring them around this building. That will be relatively troublesome. We might be exposed if we aren’t careful.
“But if we don’t, won’t her sudden disappearance be even more suspicious?”
Bai Chen thought for a moment and frankly said, “I don’t know which one to choose either.”
“It’s fine; let me think about it. I’ll give you an answer tomorrow morning.” Jiang Baimian first consoled Bai Chen before looking around and smiling. “If I can’t figure it out, let’s discuss it together.”
Just as she said that, the lights in the room were switched off.
The few street lamps in the alley were swallowed by the darkness.
It was time for the daily lights-out again.
Upon seeing that the commotion outside had calmed down, Jiang Baimian made Long Yuehong and Bai Chen return to their rooms to sleep and stop worrying about this matter.
When only she and Shang Jianyao were left in the pitch-black room, Shang Jianyao suddenly said, “I have a solution.”
“What is it?” Jiang Baimian raised her guard.
Shang Jianyao calmly said, “Take advantage of the night to sneak out of the city and wipe out Eugene’s slave camp. As long as they are gone, the matter will be resolved.”
Without the victim’s associates, Weed City would probably just be perfunctory with the investigations.
“Good idea.” Jiang Baimian clapped, perfectly emulating Shang Jianyao. She then said, “The only problem now is: how can the two of us take down an entire camp’s armed personnel?”
Shang Jianyao seemed to have thought of a plan and opened his mouth. “First, I pretend to have a clue and talk to the guards at the camp entrance. I will then become friends with them.
“After that, I’ll get them to bring me to the camp’s current in-charge. I’ll then seize the opportunity and become friends with the person-in-charge.
“After doing this, using the excuse of having found a clue and preparing for action, I’ll get the person-in-charge to gather all the members at the place where they store the ammunition.
“Finally, we’ll each throw a grenade in to prevent any accidents.
“If you don’t think it’s enough with just the two of us and that it’s too dangerous considering a 1:30 ratio, you can get Bai Chen and Long Yuehong to provide support. A 1:15 ratio is within reasonable limits.
“Reasonable my ass!” Jiang Baimian cursed in exasperation and amusement. “Do you think you’re Master Jingfa—steel all over, unafraid of bullets?”
After cursing, Jiang Baimian frankly said, “Actually, this plan is really feasible. Although it’s very crazy, it seems like it can achieve its goal. The only problem is that the timing isn’t right.”
She said seriously, “If Eugene’s slave hunters can’t enter the city, and the person-in-charge has a certain amount of experience, he will definitely have all his subordinates armed for the night. Considering the many enemies and hostile factions they have, they will shoot anyone who dares approach the camp.
“Even if he didn’t give such an order, there will definitely be a sentry every few steps. On the way to meet the person-in-charge, you will encounter many slave hunters. Are you sure they won’t have a short exchange with your new friend and cause Inference Clowning to fail?”
Upon seeing Shang Jianyao’s faint disappointment, Jiang Baimian smiled. “Sleep in peace. I’ve already thought of a solution.”
“What is it?” Shang Jianyao asked.
Jiang Baimian laughed. “I’ll tell you in the morning in case you can’t sleep.”
The next morning, it was still very dark at around 6 a.m.
Shang Jianyao had already sat up and was waiting for Jiang Baimian to wake up and tell him what the solution was.
After a while, Jiang Baimian climbed down from the top bunk and excitedly said to him, “I’ve thought of a solution!”
Shang Jianyao looked at her and asked with a frown, “Didn’t you figure it out last night?”
Jiang Baimian was stunned until she recalled what she had said before Shang Jianyao slept. She then laughed dryly. “As a team leader, maintaining morale is always the first choice. Besides, didn’t I already think of it? There are always more solutions than difficulties!”
She put on a posture of ‘ask me what idea I’ve come up with.’
Shang Jianyao fell silent for a few seconds before asking, “Did you not sleep the entire night?”
“…That’s not important.” Jiang Baimian’s expression almost collapsed. She barely managed to maintain her tall, lofty figure.
Shang Jianyao then returned to the topic at hand. “What’s the solution?”
Jiang Baimian’s smile gradually widened. “Get Little White to cooperate with the investigation. However, we can make some preparations in advance and let the investigation proceed under expected situations, allowing the results to be under our control.”
Upon seeing the puzzled Shang Jianyao, Jiang Baimian smiled and added, “It’s true that Little White never attacked Eugene. This is something that can be verified.
“As long as you use Inference Clowning in advance to make her stop believing that we are companions and that she has never participated in the subsequent execution or even thought about it, she can pass any investigation, including any possible Awakened means.
“We will then wait until the investigation is over and remove the influence.” At this point, Jiang Baimian smiled like a fox that snuck off with a chick. “We can also time it so that the investigators are familiar with us. For example, Oudick, who is suspected to be capable of influencing dreams.
“Aren’t you experienced in keeping people lucid in a dream?”