Chapter 176: New Direction
After interrogating the fake Father—Guo Zheng—Jiang Baimian drove Shang Jianyao back to Central Square via North Bridge.
At a glance, she saw a smear of white.
In addition to the snow that had yet to melt, there were also white bed sheets hanging from different windows, chalk marks on the walls, and plain white cloth tied high above the door leaves.
In Weed City, this meant that a relative of the corresponding family had passed away.
Although Weed City had more supplies than most wilderness nomad gathering points, ordinary families were unlike the nobles; they couldn’t bear to turn their precious cloth into funeral clothes and tie them into white banners. They could only use all kinds of alternatives. Therefore, there was such a custom.
A bone-chilling wind blew past, and a large amount of white fluttered, filling the entire city.
Jiang Baimian wanted to sigh, but she couldn’t say a word after opening her mouth.
She fell silent for a moment before speaking to Shang Jianyao, who was in the passenger seat. “Let’s take a spin in the city.”
“Alright.” Shang Jianyao looked outside and didn’t object.
Jiang Baimian then turned the steering wheel and made the military-green bulletproof SUV turn into West Street.
On the way, they saw many people busying themselves. Some swept the snow by the side of the road, some repaired the damaged ground, and some repaired the shops that lined both sides of the street.
This was a relief plan implemented by Weed City’s City Hall and Hunter’s Guild. Everyone could receive the most basic supplies, but to get more and be better satiated, one had to provide labor in exchange.
This effectively prevented people without food from occupying a large amount of resources, and it took the opportunity to complete the reconstruction after the riots.
The busy people exhaled mouthfuls of white gas. It looked no different, but it naturally formed two distinct groups.
Jiang Baimian wasn’t surprised; this was an inevitable aftereffect of the chaos.
How could the original residents of Weed City accept foreign wilderness nomads easily?
Although the people who caused the deaths of their family and friends had been executed or transferred elsewhere to be slaves, to them, it was ultimately the outsiders who had caused all of this.
Therefore, when they looked at the wilderness nomads working hard, their eyes had a clear sense of repulsion and less obvious hatred.
Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and sighed with emotion. “This can’t be resolved in a short period of time. The bloodstains on the road can be washed away quickly, but the blood clot in their hearts won’t melt so easily.”
“It’s fine as long as they all become siblings.” Shang Jianyao sighed.
Jiang Baimian shot him a glance. “Does the realization of your dream of ‘saving all of humanity’ have something to do with turning everyone into siblings?”
“It’s a direction.” Shang Jianyao indicated that he had considered it.
Jiang Baimian pointed out the biggest problem. “Even true brothers know how to settle accounts.”
Shang Jianyao’s attention had long been diverted. He looked out the window and said, “There’s not much damage here.”
He was referring to the bars and nightclubs, including Wild Wolf Alley.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his words. “The bosses here have bouncers and weapons, and they are familiar with the terrain. It won’t be a problem for them to hold off the unorganized wilderness nomads for a while. Besides, this wasn’t the area that was immediately attacked. They had sufficient time to gather their manpower and make preliminary preparations.”
At this point, Jiang Baimian said meaningfully, “West Street has all kinds of riffraff. I wonder how many more religions and Awakened are hidden there.”
“For example, Awakened from the Evernight parish that can influence the hearts of others.” Shang Jianyao still remembered the information provided by Meng Xia’s husband, Zhang Lei.
Zhang Lei’s friend had encountered the Evernight parish’s Awakened in Weed City’s bar.
“That’s right.” Jiang Baimian suddenly smiled. “You haven’t even had the chance to join the religions here and taste their Holy Communion. Speaking of which, your Rootless brother left two days ago. Otherwise, you might’ve seen how the Eyes of Holiness’s Awakened deal with a large number of wilderness nomads.”
Shang Jianyao watched the car slowly turn around and said very firmly, “He left early because he sensed that the wilderness nomads might bring about great unrest.”
“When did you see him again?” Jiang Baimian was a little surprised.
In fact, she also believed that Ferlin would definitely be able to tell the latent dangers of a wilderness nomad gathering, given the Rootless’s experience of traveling the world.
“Brothers are of the same mind.” Shang Jianyao’s tone indicated that there was no way he didn’t understand Ferlin.
Jiang Baimian chuckled and drove the bulletproof SUV to East Street as she said, “I’ll take you somewhere.”
Shang Jianyao didn’t ask where; he only rubbed his stomach as a hint.
They entered East Street. When they were about to reach the end, the bulletproof SUV stopped. Beside it was a building with its own parking lot and courtyard.
On this building were two lines of words written in Ashlandic and Red River language: “Weed City’s Second Hospital.”
After parking the car, Jiang Baimian walked in with Shang Jianyao.
Painful groans sounded from all directions, making one feel uncomfortable all over.
The entire hall was filled with beds and futons. On them lay injured people from the riots.
They only did simple bandaging and ate conventional medicine. Those who were lucky could undergo surgery, and those who were unlucky could only depend on their luck for survival.
They weren’t only short of supplies but also doctors.
Many people couldn’t withstand their physical pain. They lay there or curled up into a ball, groaning softly, rolling around, or shouting.
From time to time, people would go silent and be carried away amidst their loved ones’ cries.
Shang Jianyao looked at this scene and didn’t speak for a long time.
“Too many people were injured…” Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and looked at Shang Jianyao beside her. “This is practically hell.”
As she sighed, she added, “Although the angels are busy saving people, there are too few of them. Furthermore, they might not be able to save them all. “Let’s take a look upstairs.”
When they went up to the second, third, and fourth floors, they saw that each floor was filled with injured people. The original patients in wards had been sent home as long as they weren’t seriously ill.
Jiang Baimian only discovered some seriously ill people on the fifth floor.
They were covered in white bedsheets and lying on beds in the wards or corridors. Most of them were unconscious, and thin tubes connected to an IV needle in their hand as though it was their last lifeline.
Jiang Baimian’s gaze slowly swept across the area. “These people can all be considered to be well off. However, they can only receive treatment at such a level when ill. This is still Weed City. If this were an outside wilderness nomad settlement, the good ones would be like Moat Town. There would at least be doctors who can concoct medicine and occasionally give injections. Ordinary ones can only rely on folk medicine. Whether one lives or dies depends on fate. The worse ones don’t even have any folk medicine…”
Shang Jianyao didn’t respond. He looked at the patients that were covered by white bedsheets, seemingly in thought.
Jiang Baimian smiled and said, “Compared to them, the hospitals in the company are much better. Not only are there enough doctors and nurses, but there are also sufficient drugs, equipment, and a complete medical heritage. There are even many laboratories doing research in the related fields.
“If you are seriously ill, you will most likely die in Weed City or in a wilderness nomad settlement. However, there’s an 80-90% chance of surviving in the company.” As Jiang Baimian spoke, her expression gradually turned serious. “Diseases are terrifying, and they are terrifying enemies that everyone has to face. But we definitely aren’t fighting alone.
“In this matter, as long as we can help each other and form a strong entity, a disease isn’t undefeatable. A strong entity can mobilize sufficient resources and produce sufficient drugs and equipment. At the same time, it can also set up schools and various laboratories to complete the inheritance of knowledge, the nurturing of talents, and the exploration of frontiers. It’s like a company.
“I think you might have to start from this aspect if you want to defeat your inner fear of disease. I don’t think it’s a sound method to rely solely on your willpower and/or be infected with an illness and get treated in real life.”
After their primary mission was over and the matter had come to an end, Jiang Baimian focused on helping Shang Jianyao challenge the ‘island.’ Therefore, she specially brought him to a hospital in Weed City to take a look, hoping to find some inspiration by comparing it to Pangu Biology’s hospitals.
After all, the easiest words to think of in humanity’s defeat of diseases were ‘hospitals,”doctors,’ and ‘drugs.’
Shang Jianyao listened carefully and slowly looked around. “That makes sense.”
With that said, he clenched his right fist in frustration and struck his left palm. “My train of thought is still not broad enough!”
Jiang Baimian stared at him suspiciously, wondering if he had warped her intentions.
Upon returning to the second floor of Ah Fu’s Gun Shop, Shang Jianyao immediately lay on the bed and massaged his temples before quickly falling asleep.
Beside the island strewn with haphazard rocks, Shang Jianyao’s figure appeared in the illusory sea that shimmered with light.
He was in no rush to challenge the island. He looked down at his reflection in the illusory aqueous light, and his eyes gradually turned dark.
“I’m a human from Pangu Biology; Pangu Biology’s main body consists of humans. So…”
After a pause, Shang Jianyao said in a deep voice, “I’m equivalent to Pangu Biology.”
After coming to this conclusion, he quickly climbed up the island.
Almost at the same time, figures appeared from the rubble crevices. They were draped in white bedsheets; their faces and bodies were completely hidden in the shadows.
Shang Jianyao looked at them and didn’t panic at all. He smiled and said, “You may have many people, but so do I. This is because I’m Pangu Biology.”
Just as he said that, his body turned illusory as countless figures separated from him.
Some of the figures miraculously combined together and formed a building with the word ‘hospital.’
The other Shang Jianyaos either wore white coats or carried stretchers. They swarmed into the crowd covered in white bedsheets and pressed them down one by one. They placed them on stretchers and brought them back to the hospital before injecting drugs into them.
The ‘hospital’ became busy and lively.
During this process, the figures—who were draped in white bedsheets and symbolized disease—seemed to be a little stunned.
The Shang Jianyao ‘doctors’ were gradually infected as they fell seriously ill.
Shang Jianyao constantly split himself, constantly creating new ‘doctors,’ new ‘drugs,’ and new ‘wards’ to make up for the losses.
After a long, intense battle, Shang Jianyao could no longer take it mentally and still lost.
Phew… Shang Jianyao woke up and panted.
“How was it?” Jiang Baimian—who was sitting on a square stool—asked in concern.
Shang Jianyao’s eyes lit up as he spoke. “I lost, but the direction seems fine. It’s worth exploring further.”