Chapter 167: Returning to North Street
North Street, Castellan Manor.
After returning to his familiar home, Xu Liyan was no longer terrified and uneasy. He became calm and confident again.
“How’s the situation now?” he asked his assistant, who had rushed over.
His assistant was a middle-aged man in his forties. He had experienced the two eras helmed by Xu Erde and Xu Wugong, and he had seen several revolts and coups. At this moment, he was very calm.
“Mr. Oudick has already sent the criminal suspected to be Father over and wants to meet you. The wilderness nomads that rushed in have snatched plenty of weapons and food. They are gathering at Central Square as if they want to attack North Street.
“They are evolving into a real group from an unorganized state. The city defense forces suffered a heavy blow in the beginning. Several teams lost their establishment and were scattered in different parts of the city. They can only do preliminary defense and cleanup; the chaos might drown them at any moment.
“After the Castellan Guard—which you assigned—left First Hospital, the reinforcements went to North Bridge and the municipal building. They have already rendezvoused with the city guards there. With their weapons, it won’t be a problem for them to defend the area for a period of time. However, there are too few of them.”
This was relative to the large number of wilderness nomads.
Compared to his previous near-death experience, the current situation couldn’t be considered pressing. Xu Liyan clasped his hands behind his back and paced around before asking in a gentle voice, “Uncle Liu, what do you think we should do?”
Uncle Liu replied respectfully, “Organize more people.”
Xu Liyan nodded slightly. “Pass down my orders: Gather all the members of the Aristocratic Council to discuss countermeasures. All of them have to do something.
“Organize a batch of elite members to leave through the north city gate and circle to South Street to connect the scattered city defense forces and gather them together. As long as this matter is completed, those rioters are nothing to worry about.
“If it really doesn’t work out, we’ll just throw out the baby with the bathwater—get the drone team to bomb the city; don’t be afraid of destroying the city. Also, issue a mercenary mission to all Hunters and get the guild to shout through the loudspeakers.”
At this moment, many Ruin Hunters were also separated in different parts of the city. They couldn’t go to the guild in time to see the available missions.
“Yes, Castellan!” Uncle Liu replied respectfully.
Xu Liyan recalled something and quickly added, “Let Mr. Oudick come over.”
After arranging everything in an orderly manner, Xu Liyan requested Jingnian—who was beside him, “Zen Master, please ‘foresee’ the subsequent situation.”
A red glow flickered in Jingnian’s eyes. “Alright.”
The light in his electronic eyes froze.
After seven to eight seconds, Jingnian said, “Danger remains. The enemy has made subsequent arrangements that are related to the explosion. Patron, you mustn’t be careless.”
Before defeating himself and entering the Mind Corridor, his clairvoyant ability could only determine if something that could threaten his or his corresponding target’s survival was impending. He couldn’t see the corresponding scene or know where it came from; it was rather vague.
Xu Liyan nodded. “I’ll be careful, and I’ll get the guards to examine everyone’s bodies. Zen Master, I’ll go clean up and change.”
In the previous attack, he had rolled twice on the ground. Xu Liyan was alarmed and flustered, but he had also been seriously injured by Jingnian’s crushing weight. He had actually suffered a little bit of incontinence.
Even if he didn’t, he had to take the opportunity to clean himself up and adjust his mindset to deal with the subsequent chaos.
Jingnian nodded slightly. “I’ll guard the door.”
Jingnian had already checked Xu Liyan’s bedroom, balcony, and the garden outside—he didn’t discover any hidden dangers.
In the courtyard behind Ah Fu’s Gun Shop, the residents—who had repelled the first wave of attacks—began to barricade the several entrances with obstacles. They were prepared to build a barricade and seal the area to deal with the possible bandits that might come later.
Among them, although the men and women in their forties and fifties weren’t as nimble as young people, they dealt with the corresponding matters neatly and efficiently. They gave off the feeling that they were like fish in water.
This was something they often faced when they were young.
After Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao parked the large red SUV in the alley, they carried Lei Yunsong, Lin Feifei, and the two children into the courtyard before the courtyard was completely sealed. They then went up to the second floor and met up with Bai Chen, Long Yuehong, and the others.
After asking Auntie Nan and Gu Changle to take care of the two children, they entered a room and discussed their experiences.
“Are we still leaving the city?” Jiang Baimian asked after some deliberation.
Bai Chen fell silent for a few seconds before saying, “The most chaotic period has passed.”
“Yes.” Jiang Baimian agreed. “When we came over, we realized that the nomads were gathering at Central Square. They might want to attack North Street since that’s where most of the food is. When Weed City regroups, it’s only a matter of time before order is restored. They have plenty of weapons and ammunition.”
This was the most important trading center at the intersection of three major factions. Its defense system was built to withstand a large faction’s attacks for a period of time.
As long as the wilderness nomads didn’t attack North Street and completely paralyze the entire city with their large numbers and surprise attacks in the first wave of attacks, they wouldn’t have much of a chance.
Bai Chen continued, “As long as we aren’t attacked, it won’t be a problem for us to last until the situation stabilizes.”
Be it food reserves, weapons, or fortifications, they could last two to three days.
Bai Chen paused and hesitantly said, “Auntie Nan has many people with her. If we want to bring them all out, we have to organize a convoy. It’s too eye-catching, and it’s easier for us to be targeted.”
“I understand,” Jiang Baimian replied with a smile, indicating that Bai Chen didn’t have to feel embarrassed. “There are benefits to staying behind, and it’s not a bad idea for everyone to stay here. It’s just nice…”
At this point, she turned to look at Shang Jianyao. “Let’s see if we can wake Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei up. If we can figure out Wei Yu and the others’ whereabouts, we might have to take a risk in the city.”
Although Jiang Baimian called it a risk, her tone was very relaxed as if she was just going out for a stroll.
Finally, she smiled at Long Yuehong and said, “You did well today. You’re already a qualified warrior.”
When Long Yuehong unconsciously puffed up his chest, Shang Jianyao had already walked to the bed and assumed a posture of pressing Lei Yunsong’s chest.
This made Jiang Baimian roll her eyes helplessly, but she couldn’t be bothered to stop him. She simply let Shang Jianyao do whatever he wanted.
Lei Yunsong suddenly coughed and slowly opened his eyes.
The first thing he saw was a red name tag with golden words. It read: Pangu Biology
“Do you still remember this?” Jiang Baimian began to evaluate the other party’s condition to determine if she should make Shang Jianyao ‘befriend’ him.
Lei Yunsong’s eyes were clearly wide open, but he still looked groggy. His gaze was blank for a few seconds before a glow appeared, seeming as if he had finally woken up from a nightmare that had lasted for nearly two months.
“Are you guys from the company?” he asked anxiously.
“Make a guess,” Shang Jianyao replied with a smile.
Just as Shang Jianyao said that, Jiang Baimian pulled the back of his shoulder with her right hand.
“Do you still remember who you are and why you came to Weed City?” Jiang Baimian asked in response.
Lei Yunsong frowned; the muscles on his face slightly warped as if he were enduring an indescribable pain.
“I-I…” He suddenly sat up and panted. “Be careful! Be careful of that sickly person!”
After saying this, Lei Yunsong’s face was covered in sweat. It was wet, seeming as if he had washed his face.
Shang Jianyao nodded. “If he can escape.”
Lei Yunsong was still in a state of being able to see the light gradually, and he didn’t understand the meaning of this sentence.
After a while, he finally recovered. “I’m Lei Yunsong, a team leader of a small team in the company. I came to Weed City to investigate Mechanical Paradise’s mainframe. When we left Castellan Manor and walked out of North Street, we encountered a man in a black trench coat. He looked very thin and seemed to be sick…”
Lei Yunsong’s voice gradually softened as he spoke, and his tone was filled with fear.
“He hypnotized the five of you in one go?” Jiang Baimian was a little surprised. After their previous exchange, she could almost confirm that the fake Father could only hypnotize one person at a time.
“No.” Lei Yunsong shook his head. “I was the one who looked him in the eye back then. After returning to the hotel and sleeping, I sleepwalked out and saw him again. After that, I followed his instructions and waited until dawn to find an excuse and an opportunity to bring my team members to see him…”
After hearing Lei Yunsong’s recount, Jiang Baimian’s evaluation results were: After escaping the corresponding environment and being stimulated by familiar items, he should’ve been freed from the hypnosis and returned to normal.
“Do you know where Wei Yu and the others went?” Jiang Baimian asked about the most important matter.
Lei Yunsong shook his head in self-blame. “We were separated. Lin Feifei and I lived in the two buildings adjacent to South Street, and we did things according to that man’s orders. Little Yu and the others were taken away by him…”
“Then, do you have any clues?” Jiang Baimian asked.
Lei Yunsong frowned and recalled. “That person’s Hypnosis seems to have a time limit. He would come over to see us after a period of time with his makeup on to carry out another hypnosis session on us. At the same time, he will give us some orders.
“One time, he came a little late. I recovered quite a bit and vaguely knew that something was amiss. Thus, I specially went outside to observe his route. He should usually be at North Street. Back then, I even heard him talking to people using electronic products. He said something like ‘bring them all to North Street…’”
At this moment, Lin Feifei woke up.
After repeating the previous process, Jiang Baimian confirmed some of what Lei Yunsong had said.
“Both of you haven’t fully recovered yet, so have a good rest. We’ll make a trip to North Street and try our best to meet the fake Father. We’ll see if we can obtain Wei Yu and the others’ whereabouts from him.” Jiang Baimian made a prompt decision and decided to go right away.
Shang Jianyao immediately added, “We’ll return the car while we’re at it.”
Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei looked at each other when they heard that. They kept wondering if they had yet to escape the hypnosis completely or if the anesthetic effects had yet to wear off, causing them to be slow-witted and unable to understand what the other party was saying.
After leaving the room and arriving at the stairwell, Jiang Baimian spoke to Long Yuehong, who had followed her. “Stay here and help Little White. Yes, remind her to pay attention to Lei Yunsong and Lin Feifei. Although they look fine, there’s no guarantee that nothing will go wrong.”
“Yes, Team Leader!” Long Yuehong inexplicably felt like he had been entrusted with a heavy responsibility.
Jiang Baimian randomly found a window and jumped into the alley outside from the second floor. She then drove to South Street with Shang Jianyao.
She knew that wilderness nomads were gathering at Central Square in an attempt to attack North Street. Hence, she didn’t dare to take that route and chose to circle around.
Just like before, they left from South Street’s city gate and circled to North Street’s city gate. They used their special pass to successfully pass through the heavily guarded defense line.