Chapter 160: Approaching
Jiang Baimian was already accustomed to Shang Jianyao going off the rails occasionally.
She didn’t say anything else and rushed to East Street with Shang Jianyao.
On the way, they encountered Bai Chen and Long Yuehong. However, they continued pretending not to know each other.
At this moment, many Ruin Hunters had already rushed to East Street and were searching the surrounding area for more clues.
The most critical area—Warehouse 1 to Warehouse 3—was sealed off by the city defense forces, and entry was temporarily prohibited.
Jiang Baimian looked up at the buildings around her. Upon seeing that snipers were in position at key spots, she nodded and said, “Rather professional.”
Even if the city guards didn’t know that Father was an Awakened, they still had to do their best in the face of such a person, who was labeled as ‘extremely dangerous.’
As she couldn’t enter the warehouse area for the time being, Jiang Baimian could only stand across the street with Shang Jianyao and wait while leaning against the wall.
After a while, a few Ruin Hunters—who had close ties with the city defense forces—received the news first.
This piece of news then spread through the guild hall.
“A basement was discovered in Warehouse No. 2. Signs of people living in the room were found—fresh marks. There are also several old pieces of printing equipment and a large number of pamphlets.”
Without needing to ask, Jiang Baimian could guess what was written on the pamphlets. It was nothing more than words like ‘thinking is a trap’ that were filled with spelling mistakes.
Jiang Baimian couldn’t help but complain to Shang Jianyao. “How many years has it been since it stabilized? Why aren’t the people in Weed City vigilant anymore? Energy is so precious, so why didn’t they discover the increased electricity usage in this area?”
Whether Warehouse No. 2 was private or came under Weed City’s jurisdiction, the corresponding management couldn’t escape the blame.
Shang Jianyao agreed with this very much. “They should be executed by cannon fire.”
Within Pangu Biology, everyone used electricity according to their energy quota. Thus, they could immediately discover and react to just a tiny blip in the readings.
Jiang Baimian was just about to ask whether Shang Jianyao had a deep impression of ‘execution by cannon fire’ when she saw Oudick walking over in a thick coat.
The black-haired, blue-eyed Advanced Hunter directly said, “The guards at the city gate recalled something. About an hour ago, a pale man in a black trench coat left the city.”
At this point, Oudick deliberately added, “He looked like he would’ve collapsed from an illness at any moment. This left a deeper impression on the guards.”
I know, I know… You actually saw it through a dream… Jiang Baimian immediately understood, and she asked with a smile, “You want two helpers?”
Since Father seemed to have left the city for some time, exchanging a few words didn’t change things.
“Your abilities are trustworthy,” Oudick said frankly.
When have we ever shown our abilities in front of you? Jiang Baimian grumbled inwardly before saying, “Is it because we look tall and can fight better?”
In the current environment, be it her or Shang Jianyao, they were considered relatively tall for their respective genders.
Oudick replied simply, “Confidence. You guys are very confident.”
There was no mistake about this. Furthermore, the duo didn’t seem like two rookies.
Someone who could stay sufficiently confident after passing the rookie stage definitely had some ability.
“I can’t wait any longer.” Shang Jianyao agreed with Oudick’s explanation.
Jiang Baimian didn’t say anything else and nodded. “Lead the way.”
Oudick turned around and quickly walked into a nearby parking lot before driving a red SUV out.
This car had clearly been modified. It had thick armor and bulletproof glass, making it appear very ostentatious.
“What a babe.” Jiang Baimian almost whistled.
Shang Jianyao helped Jiang Baimian make up for her regret.
This was a bad habit that they had developed during their two-day stay at the Rootless camp.
Jiang Baimian ‘whispered’ to Shang Jianyao, “I never expected a calm and reserved person like Oudick to drive such a car. Tsk, he might be very wild deep down.”
Oudick rolled down the window and spoke with a straight face. “Get in the car.”
With that said, he looked ahead and said, “Before you are that powerful, you have to use whatever car you get your hands on.”
After carrying out repeated modifications, it wasn’t that easy to abandon the SUV.
When Shang Jianyao opened the backseat door, he sincerely suggested, “If you dislike it, you can sell it to me. I have a group of friends that will definitely like it.”
Jiang Baimian—who had already gotten into the car—frowned slightly. “Why does that sound strange…”
At this moment, Oudick suddenly regretted hiring these two people as helpers. If it weren’t for the fact that the two of them were deeply involved, he wouldn’t have made such a choice. After all, it was good for one less person to know about the Castellan’s matters.
The red SUV drove back to Central Square, turned into South Street, and drove out of the city gate.
Although they had already heard Long Yuehong and Bai Chen describe the situation outside, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao still fell silent when they saw countless wilderness nomads gathered on both sides of the road, kneeling or sitting.
Under the cold wind, their faces were blueish-white, and there was almost no light in their eyes.
Further away in the dug-up holes and tents, some people were still lying there. It was unknown if they were alive or dead.
At this moment, the red SUV stopped.
With a whoosh, countless gazes looked over from all directions.
Oudick pushed open the door and walked to a man in his thirties, who looked relatively sober. He took out Father’s portrait and asked, “Have you seen this person?”
In the car, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao drew their pistols and guarded their flanks.
As the man in his thirties examined Father’s portrait, an older man in the crowd behind him stood up and approached as if he wanted to snatch the job. However, he staggered and fell to the ground before falling silent.
His face was pale, and his eyes were listlessly open.
Shang Jianyao sensed that this person’s consciousness had vanished.
With just a light fall, this older man died.
On the other side, Jiang Baimian also saw a few wilderness nomads sitting there before collapsing to their sides, never to get up again.
Amidst the howling winter winds, the withered yellow weeds around them either collapsed weakly or were swept into the air.
At this moment, the man in his thirties weakly replied, “I’ve seen him; very few people left the city today. He kept walking until he reached the end.”
Oudick nodded, took out an energy bar, and handed it to the man.
Almost at the same time, the pairs of eyes looking over were bloodshot and suffused with an indescribable glow.
After the man in his thirties received the energy bar, he quickly unwrapped it and folded it in half.
He thought for a moment and broke one half into two again. He then shook the little girl leaning on him awake and stuffed three-quarters of the energy bar into her hand before urging her, “Hurry up and eat! Hurry up and eat!”
The girl looked about seven or eight years old. Her face was dirty, and only her eyes were bright.
She was still a little confused, but she was very obedient. She took two portions of the energy bar—one long and one short—and quickly swallowed them.
The man in his thirties felt relieved, and he ate the remaining portion of the energy bar in a few mouthfuls.
He looked up and incoherently said to Oudick, “Thank you… Thank you…”
It was only then that Shang Jianyao saw the man’s face clearly. He was a square-faced and honest man with bronze skin.
Oudick didn’t stop. He quickly returned to the car and drove to the end of the crowd.
After a few inquiries, they confirmed that Father had turned left.
Just like that, they questioned people along the way and realized that Father had gone one big circle outside before heading to the northern city wall.
At the northern city wall was a city gate that allowed nobles to enter and leave.
“Yes, there was such a person.” The guard at the city gate looked at the portrait that Oudick handed over and said very firmly, “He has a passage permit specially approved by the Castellan. We didn’t dare to stop him.”
Father left from the south gate early in the morning and circled around before entering the city through the north gate? Jiang Baimian immediately became vigilant. This behavior is too abnormal!
Shang Jianyao tersely acknowledged it and spoke in a tone as though he completely understood. “This might be a form of training. Walk 100 steps after a meal to live to 99.”
Oudick ignored Shang Jianyao’s joke and voiced his thoughts. “Just past the north city gate is North Street.”
Jiang Baimian muttered to herself thoughtfully, “Then, why didn’t he enter North Street from the bridge behind the municipal hall? After all, he has a pass. Was what he did more concealed?”
“Possibly.” Oudick didn’t say anything else. He showed his pass and entered North Street.
At a glance, the street was wide, and the houses on both sides were buildings. Some were surrounded by a courtyard, and there were artificial mountains. Some had towering walls that included gardens. It was different from East Street, West Street, and South Street.
After asking the armed guards at the different manors, Oudick, Jiang Baimian, and Shang Jianyao followed the trail and arrived at a large building complex.
This was Weed City’s First Hospital.
There was also a Weed City’s Second Hospital on East Street.
“Have you seen this person?” Oudick took out Father’s portrait and asked the guard at the hospital’s sentry post.
The guard glanced at it. “Him? He comes here often.”
Oudick immediately asked, “Did he come today?”
“Yes. He came in about 20 to 30 minutes ago.” The guard pointed at the building in the innermost area. “He seems to be in charge of the old building’s renovation; he should be over there.”
After thanking the guard, Jiang Baimian and company entered the hospital and went straight to the old building that had been emptied and was awaiting renovation.
The old building was five stories tall, and all the outer walls were painted white. The lighting inside wasn’t too good, and it looked gloomy everywhere. Furthermore, it was filled with the unpleasant smell of antiseptic.
After walking for a while, Shang Jianyao and the others saw a child-like drawing on the green-white wall beside the stairwell in the hall’s depths.
This drawing was a stick figure with no facial features.
This ‘person’ stood there upright. On his hands—which were raised to his chest—were words written in chalk: “May you lose your intelligence too.”