Chapter 156: Interweaving Clues
Jiang Baimian laughed involuntarily when she heard that. “You sure are confident.”
She then added, “This is also a good thing. At the very least, you can still be filled with confidence and infect the entire team when we encounter difficulties and become depressed. This is called idealistic optimism.
“Uh, did you say that before?”
Shang Jianyao nodded. “I don’t mind it when you quote me.”
Jiang Baimian rolled her eyes at him and walked out of the stairwell. Then, she looked around and thoughtfully said, “There might be some Anti-intellectualism Church believers in this courtyard. The people who warned Zeng Guangwang might be hiding nearby.”
Lin Feifei—who was ‘controlled’—lived here. Zeng Guangwang—who had been warned and had almost hung himself—also lived here. If it weren’t purely a coincidence, it meant that the Anti-intellectualism Church had many spies in the area.
Before Shang Jianyao could give his ‘suggestion,’ Jiang Baimian sighed. “Unfortunately, there aren’t any photos; otherwise, we could ask the guard. It takes too much manpower to go door to door and investigate; it’s not something we can complete. Furthermore, it’s easy to alert the enemy and bring about accidents.”
Shang Jianyao’s eyes lit up as he quickly said, “I can sketch out the person who warned Zeng Guangwang by following his description.”
“Forget it then.” Jiang Baimian recalled Shang Jianyao’s drawings and directly rejected his suggestion.
She thought for a moment and said, “Go to the Hunter’s Guild and find Oudick. He might have a way to extract the person’s image from Zeng Guangwang’s dream.”
“I hope so.” Shang Jianyao had a look of regret.
The two of them left the door in Yellow Corner Alley, turned toward South Street, and walked toward Central Square.
Just as they were about to turn toward West Street, a loud bang suddenly sounded from the side.
Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao reacted reflexively. One rolled and curled up behind a bench, while the other threw their body down on the ground, pretending to be a corpse.
This didn’t mean that they could block bullets in such positions, but they could avoid any possible attackers’ line of sight.
After the explosion, Central Square became noisy. Screams, loud shouts, and rapid footsteps sounded incessantly.
Upon seeing that no intense battle had broken out, Jiang Baimian left her hiding spot and looked at the spot where the explosion had occurred—it was Weed City’s public library.
This building’s glass windows had shattered. Black smoke and crimson flames spewed out.
The fire brigade—which wasn’t far away—quickly rushed over and used various means to put out the fire.
Several people covered in blood were carried out one after another. Some were still moaning, and some had already stopped moving.
Jiang Baimian glanced at Shang Jianyao—who had stood up—and a term surfaced in her mind: Anti-intellectualism Church!
She retracted her gaze from the relatively intact library and habitually observed her surroundings. Suddenly, her gaze stopped at a certain spot.
At the intersection of East Street and Central Square, a group of people—who had seen that the alarm had been lifted—were watching.
Standing at the edge of this group of people was a man in a black trench coat.
This man’s hands were in his pockets. He was about Jiang Baimian’s height, and he had slightly messy short hair. He looked very thin, and his face was abnormally pale as if he had just recovered from a serious illness or had yet to recover.
As if sensing Jiang Baimian’s gaze, he turned his head and looked over. His eyes were almost pure black; they were like an abyss that could bury a person’s soul.
The man’s lips curled up as he revealed an indescribable smile. He then squeezed into the crowd and disappeared from Jiang Baimian’s line of sight.
Jiang Baimian fell silent for a few seconds before turning to ask Shang Jianyao, “Did you see that?”
“I saw it.” Shang Jianyao’s arms had already assumed a running posture at some point in time, but his legs didn’t move.
Jiang Baimian immediately smiled. “I thought you would rush over and beat him up.”
Shang Jianyao glanced at Jiang Baimian strangely and frankly replied, “We can’t catch up.”
“Alright. This way, at least it won’t expose the fact that you know he’s a dangerous person.” Jiang Baimian looked at the library—where the fire situation was under control—and slowly exhaled. “I hope not many books are lost inside.”
This was the hope of many children in Weed City. A temporary teacher was enough to teach some things, but it was impossible to learn more without books.
Jiang Baimian didn’t say anything else. She led Shang Jianyao into West Street and entered the Hunter’s Guild.
She was just thinking about how she should leave Oudick a message if she couldn’t find him in the lobby when she realized that this Advanced Hunter was sitting at the edge of the area she and Shang Jianyao usually liked to stay in. It was unknown who he was waiting for.
Jiang Baimian walked over and smiled. “We have new clues.”
“Me too.” Oudick stood up while wrapped in his thick coat.
“Were you waiting for us?” Jiang Baimian came to a realization.
“You should wait at the door. That way, we’ll see you at a glance,” Shang Jianyao suggested enthusiastically.
Oudick ignored Shang Jianyao and directly said, “I’ve already asked which higher-ups in the local guild met Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others.”
Asked? He probably obtained the information with his dream abilities… Jiang Baimian calmly inquired, “Who?”
“Cui En—Vice President Cui En—who is in charge of Hunter’s Affairs.” Oudick pointed at the stairs that led to the second floor. “I’ll bring you to meet him.”
Jiang Baimian was in no rush to mention the man in the trench coat. She signaled to Shang Jianyao with her eyes to get him ready.
They then headed up to the second floor together and met the local Hunter’s Guild’s vice president, Cui En, in a small room—which only had a long table and a few chairs.
Cui En was tall and thin, with a large nose. Although his hair was sparse, it was still black.
Shang Jianyao observed him for a while before suddenly asking, “Have you dyed your hair before?”
Cui En opened his mouth and forgot the words he had prepared. After a few seconds, he proudly stroked his hair. “No.”
“Is that so…” Shang Jianyao seemed to be a little regretful.
Jiang Baimian deeply suspected that Shang Jianyao was regretful that he had failed to secure a hair-dye job for his sworn brother—Ferlin—who was also the Rootless’s convoy leader.
Oudick didn’t waste any time and broke the strange silence. “I’ve just spoken to President Cui. He met Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others about a month and a half ago.”
Cui En trusted Oudick, evidenced by the lack of bodyguards beside him. He pointed at the chair opposite the long table and said, “Have a seat.”
After Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao quickly sat down, Cui En sighed and said, “I originally didn’t want to mention this matter. It was worthless and would only bring unnecessary trouble and involvement. In the end, Oudick somehow found out.”
“It was about a month and a half ago,” said the vice president in reminiscence. “One morning, my assistant told me that someone wanted to visit me and discuss a large mission. I had nothing to do back then, and my assistant said that they seemed to have some background. Hence, I agreed.
“I then met Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others in my office. They actually didn’t have a large mission to talk about. Their goal was to know about Mechanical Paradise.”
“Mechanical Paradise?” Jiang Baimian was slightly surprised.
Mechanical Paradise was a large faction that had complete control over intelligent robot production technology and many factories. It was located in the coastal area south of Old Mountain Range.
Mechanical Paradise was relatively mysterious. Transactions with the outside world were mainly handled by its robot army, and none of the other factions had entered their area of control.
Pangu Biology was northwest of Old Mountain Range.
“Yes,” Cui En replied in confusion. “I don’t know why they wanted to know about Mechanical Paradise. They were even willing to pay a considerable sum for the information. Unfortunately, I don’t have much contact with Mechanical Paradise. Although the products in the lobby are all from Mechanical Paradise, the ones in charge of the corresponding matters are the Chief President and the local President. Therefore, I could only get them to try and find connections to go to North Street and visit the President.”
The local Hunter’s Guild’s president was Castellan Xu Liyan.
“No wonder…” Jiang Baimian resolved one of the questions in her heart—why did Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the others enter North Street?
They had gone to Castellan Manor to seek an audience with Castellan Xu Liyan, the Hunter’s Guild’s President.
Cui En picked up the white porcelain teacup in front of him and took a sip. “I haven’t seen them since, but I’m certain of one thing—they left North Street later.
“Since I was worried that this matter would bring unnecessary trouble to the President, I instructed my assistant and the relevant employees not to leak this information. I wonder how Oudick found out.”
It was obvious that Cui En held a grudge against Oudick for suddenly grasping this secret.
At this moment, Oudick nodded slightly, hinting to Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao that Cui En wasn’t lying.
Jiang Baimian looked at Cui En and smiled. “We roughly understand. Sorry to trouble you, President Cui.”
“It’s fine. If we can solve Liu Dazhuang’s murder through this, I will even express my gratitude.” Cui En stood up and sent Jiang Baimian, Shang Jianyao, and the others out of the room.
When they were outside and walking to the stairs, Jiang Baimian smiled and looked ahead. “Another exchange of information?”
“Sure.” Oudick didn’t refuse.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged it. “We found a temporary teacher, who was threatened by the Anti-intellectualism Church.”
She ignored the sequence of events and described Zeng Guangwang’s address and encounter. Jiang Baimian also mentioned that a man in a trench coat—who had a similar image—had appeared in the crowd after the library explosion.
“This style…” Oudick’s expression gradually turned solemn. “It’s very similar to Father, who was previously active in First City.”
Shang Jianyao’s expression became excited.
Jiang Baimian glared at Shang Jianyao, warning him to restrain himself before saying to Oudick, “Your turn.”
Oudick looked at the stairs in front of him and fell silent for a moment. “I didn’t come to Weed City by chance; I was invited. I didn’t investigate Liu Dazhuang’s death because I happened to bump into it or because he was an intelligence peddler.”
At this point, Oudick stepped into the stairwell and left a sentence: “He was secretly serving the castellan.”
Upon hearing this, Jiang Baimian felt all the clues intertwine in her mind. She didn’t seem far from forming the answer.