Chapter 152: Dangerous Figures
After walking more than ten meters, Jiang Baimian smiled without turning around. “Given her reaction, she should’ve escaped the influence.”
Without waiting for Shang Jianyao to speak, Jiang Baimian said, “They sure are crude when it comes to doing things. I thought they would ‘question’ Little Red in passing, but it ended just like that. I made all the preparations for nothing.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” Shang Jianyao asked cooperatively.
“Of course, it’s a good thing.” Jiang Baimian smiled. “I just want to tell you not to be overly confident in your abilities like Oudick. You still have to carry out the necessary procedures; this can help you discover the flaws. Yes… Be it Inference Clowning or your other two abilities, they can be restrained to a certain extent when one is prepared. Or the effects can be reduced.”
Shang Jianyao turned to look at his team leader and replied seriously, “I still have companions that I can trust. They can protect my flank and back and charge together.”
“…Can you not have such a good memory? It’s very embarrassing to say that suddenly, alright?” Jiang Baimian tasted what ‘having a taste of her own medicine’ meant.
They walked into the Hunter’s Guild as they spoke, planning to grasp the changes in the situation brought about by Eugene’s death from the issued missions and find new clues regarding Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei.
Before she could scan the contents on the large screen, Jiang Baimian saw Oudick come down from the second floor and walk over.
She smiled and took the initiative to greet him. “Good morning. Any new clues?”
Oudick shook his head. “I didn’t find anything. What about you guys?”
Jiang Baimian frankly said, “We went to the bars last night and asked around. Nobody has seen anyone suspected to be Lin Feifei.”
Oudick looked at the two people opposite him and suddenly asked, “You guys aren’t behind Eugene’s matter, right?”
It happened to be a male-female duo, and they were in Wild Wolf Alley.
Jiang Baimian smiled. “I didn’t know this person until I was asked yesterday.”
Oudick’s gaze swept across Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian’s faces, which were cleaner and better-looking than that of most Ruin Hunters.
He then nodded indiscernibly. “You do lack a motive.”
Jiang Baimian was naturally unwilling to continue the topic. She smiled and said, “I can give you information regarding Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei, but you have to promise to exchange information of equivalent value.”
Oudick didn’t readily agree and asked, “Is this information you previously obtained?”
Oudick didn’t believe that the two people opposite him could find new clues faster than him. He had absolute confidence in tracking the target’s whereabouts.
“Yes.” Jiang Baimian smiled and nodded.
“Alright,” Oudick agreed.
Jiang Baimian looked around and pretended to be very careful. “More than a month ago, Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others visited a certain higher-up in the guild. I don’t know who it is.”
Shang Jianyao glanced at his team leader’s left hand in his pocket and didn’t expose that she was actually using Oudick to complete the investigation.
As an Advanced Hunter, Oudick always had the opportunity to interact with the local Hunter’s Guild’s higher-ups.
“Visited the guild’s higher-ups…” Oudick repeated thoughtfully with a slightly perplexed expression. He then politely waved his hand. “Thank you; see you again.”
“What about the information for us?” Jiang Baimian wasn’t surprised, but she was a little curious.
The corners of Oudick’s mouth twitched as he smiled. “I’ll tell you when I figure out which higher-up they visited and what they talked about. Isn’t this the information you want the most?”
“Deal!” Jiang Baimian’s smile remained the same.
After Oudick turned around and left, she sighed with emotion at Shang Jianyao beside her. “He’s still a little smart…”
“If he wasn’t smart, he would’ve died long ago just by relying on his abilities,” Shang Jianyao replied.
“That’s true…” Jiang Baimian nodded in agreement.
After scanning the missions displayed on the large screen, Jiang Baimian flipped her wrist to look at the time. She led Shang Jianyao out of the Hunter’s Guild, walked to Central Square, and found a bench to sit on.
After another 15 minutes, she stood up and said, “I’ll go to the library.”
“Is there a bathroom there?” Shang Jianyao suddenly asked.
“I guess so…” Jiang Baimian was not so sure.
Shang Jianyao nodded slightly. “Remember to observe later. People who like libraries can’t be unaware of this question.”
Jiang Baimian wanted to reprimand him for his strange theory, but she found it reasonable after careful thought.
Since the library was where she and Chen Xufeng ‘liaised’ and exchanged information, Jiang Baimian always felt that she couldn’t stay there for too long. She left in a rush twice, only paying attention to the possible escape routes if she encountered any accidents.
However, this would make her appear a little suspicious instead.
Why would anyone come out of the library in less than ten minutes without borrowing a book?
“Not bad. You’ve become more meticulous.” Jiang Baimian was not stingy with her praise. She then smiled and said, “When we were talking just now, I kept having the feeling that we had flipped our scripts.”
Shang Jianyao glanced at her curiously. “I just happened to want to use the bathroom, so I thought of this question.”
As he spoke, he stood up as well. Without waiting for Jiang Baimian to start reprimanding him, he added, “I tried to learn your way of thinking.”
Jiang Baimian’s brows eased. “Very good, but don’t abandon what makes you unique. Only then can we complement each other. Two Jiang Baimians definitely can’t compare to one Jiang Baimian and one Shang Jianyao.”
“You forgot Bai Chen and Long Yuehong,” Shang Jianyao pointed out.
Jiang Baimian looked up and couldn’t be bothered to argue with him.
After entering the library and asking the librarian where the bathroom was, Jiang Baimian leisurely strolled around the bookshelves. From time to time, she would pick up a book she had never read and flip through it, fully enjoying the joy of wandering the sea of knowledge.
After a long time, she walked to a familiar spot.
At the familiar spot, she picked up ‘Internal Revenue Code’ and took out the folded piece of paper.
She quickly unfolded the piece of paper and scanned through it. “The company’s feedback is as follows: The Anti-intellectualism Church is the same as the Church of the Fool All Beings and the Church of the Null Truth. They are religious organizations that believe in the Kalendaria that controls March, Last Man. However, they have certain differences in specific beliefs. The main areas of proselytization are mostly different, with some areas of intersection…
“This religion believes that the Old World’s destruction stems from humans’ thoughts and pursuit of knowledge. They hope to resolve this problem from the root…
“There are a certain number of Awakened among them. The abilities they show are very mixed, but it can be seen that most of them are in areas related to hypnosis and memories…
“Two years ago, this religion assassinated a Senate Elder—Sols—who was in charge of citizen education in First City. They suffered a huge blow back and disappeared for a long time…
“It’s said that the parishioner who led the assassination is still alive. He’s a very dangerous and extreme figure. He’s male—appearance and height: unknown. His nickname is ‘Father…’”
“Father… Hypnosis, memories…” Jiang Baimian silently repeated these words, and her expression became rather solemn. At that moment, she had a new understanding of Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others’ abnormalities.
After putting away the piece of paper, she wandered around the library for a while before heading out to meet Shang Jianyao, who had already finished using the bathroom.
Jiang Baimian didn’t mention the information that she had just received and directly brought Shang Jianyao back to Ah Fu’s Gun Shop’s second floor.
After closing the door, she took out the piece of paper and handed it to Shang Jianyao. “Take a look first.”
The weather was gloomy today, and there was insufficient light in the room. Shang Jianyao walked to the window before looking down at the paper’s contents.
Upon seeing that he had almost finished reading it, Jiang Baimian asked, “Any thoughts?”
Shang Jianyao said seriously, “I want to beat up the person named Father.”
Jiang Baimian was already accustomed to such words. “It’s not like he’s necessarily the one in charge here.”
“Just take it as a yes.” Shang Jianyao tried his best to persuade his team leader.
Jiang Baimian readily agreed and tersely acknowledged his words. “From the looks of it, Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others might’ve been hypnotized or had their memories tampered with. Therefore, despite having freedom of movement, they haven’t contacted the company.
“The problem is: where are the remaining three members? Why aren’t they anywhere to be seen? Why did the Anti-intellectualism Church hypnotize Lin Feifei and the others? It can’t purely be to use them as gunmen, right?”
Shang Jianyao disagreed. “With their intelligence, that’s a possibility.”
“That’s troublesome. I can’t infer such people’s train of thoughts…” Jiang Baimian said, in a dilemma. “But from the looks of it, the Anti-intellectualism Church only requests ordinary parishioners to give up on thinking. The Chosen Ones inside are in charge of guiding them; they shouldn’t be stupid.”
At this point, she recalled something. “Do you still remember your suspected attack back in the company?”
“I remember.” Shang Jianyao suddenly became excited. “Could it be that he’s a spy that the Last Man Church planted into the Arbiter of Fate Church?”
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and said, “Not really… From the looks of it, although most Awakened in every religious organization have abilities in the field of their corresponding Kalendaria, there are also many exceptions…
“I wonder if the Awakening can only be guided and cannot be controlled accurately. Or do the higher-ups intentionally do this to prevent their abilities from being restrained by hostile factions if they are too concentrated? In short, we have to remind Little White and Little Red to make preparations to prevent hypnosis or any influence on memories.”
When it was almost noon, Bai Chen and Long Yuehong returned and reported the various information they had obtained in the morning.
“Regarding Eugene’s disappearance, three people are now suspects. The first suspect is the family head of North Street’s Zhao Manor, Zhao Zhengqi. He is a member of Weed City’s Aristocratic Council and also does slave-hunting. He is a competitor of Eugene’s gang and has had many unpleasant encounters with him.
“The second suspect is Sun Jing—the younger brother of the underground market leader, Sun Fei. He owns a bar and a nightclub in Wild Wolf Alley. He has a group of thugs and is very influential. He is a suspect because his most beloved daughter disappeared more than two years ago, and Eugene is suspected to be behind it.
“The third suspect is someone in the Aristocratic Council. They deliberately made Eugene disappear, wanting to use this as an excuse to bring the slave hunters and First City’s troops into the city to achieve an unspeakable goal.”
After Jiang Baimian heard that, she said in amusement, “How convincing. If we weren’t the real culprits, I almost believed that it was one of the three.”