Chapter 181: Mission
The employee in the tiger mask didn’t say much. She spoke quickly as if she wanted to end the introduction as soon as possible so that others wouldn’t remember her voice.
Jiang Baimian smiled and asked, “After confirming the mission, I’ll bring my badge over to accept it?”
She already had a relatively deep impression of Redstone Collection’s customs, so she wasn’t angry about being slighted.
“Yes.” The employee in the tiger mask nodded heavily.
Just as Jiang Baimian and the others took a few steps back and looked at the large screen, the cloth-masked Gaudi asked, “Can I go now?”
“Sure,” Jiang Baimian replied casually.
Gaudi thought for a moment and emphasized, “After you leave Redstone Collection, you can’t tell anyone about the underground entrance’s location. You can only give a general range. Every person who can enter here must find a Redstone Collection resident in the ruins outside and have them lead the way.”
Shang Jianyao curiously asked, “What if someone finds their way here without anyone leading the way?”
“The guards will stop you and interrogate you about where you learned of the underground entrance’s location. They will then blacklist the people and factions who leaked the information to you.” Gaudi didn’t stutter as though he had said this many times. “If you are really lucky, they will allow you to return on your own and come back after finding a Redstone Collection resident.”
“How ritualistic,” praised Shang Jianyao.
Jiang Baimian agreed with this because she couldn’t tell if such actions could reduce external dangers.
This was closer to a religious ritual.
At this point, she also understood why Shang Jianyao’s sworn brother, Ferlin—the leader of the Hometown caravan—wouldn’t give them any specific location information.
Gaudi nodded with pride at Shang Jianyao’s praise. “This can please the Kalendaria, Eidolon Nun.”
He frankly admitted that this was a ritual.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao suddenly asked a question. “If every town resident has Viel’s ability to hide and outsiders can’t find them, won’t there be no new hunters or smugglers coming to your Redstone Collection?
“If that happens, Redstone Collection’s vitality will slowly weaken before it is eventually abandoned.”
You remembered the name quite clearly… I suspect that you want to play hide and seek with that Viel… Jiang Baimian couldn’t help but criticize inwardly.
Gaudi fell silent for a few seconds as if he had never pondered this question. After a while, he said, “Not everyone can reach Viel’s level. B-besides, if everyone forgets about Redstone Collection, it means that we hid well, and we will be rewarded by Eidolon Nun.
“We have farmland in the surrounding hidden areas. There are also many fish in the lake. A moment of forgetfulness won’t starve us.”
Jiang Baimian smiled. “But you won’t have any oil or other industrial supplements. Do you want to go back to the Old World’s agricultural era? People who have enjoyed the afterglow of civilization can’t adapt.”
“In the future, Eidolon Nun will lead us into the New World. There will be no more danger there, so there’s no need to be so vigilant,” Gaudi replied very firmly.
Jiang Baimian couldn’t persuade Gaudi otherwise, nor did she want to. She waved her hand and said, “You can leave now.”
“Thank you.” Gaudi—who was wearing a cloth mask—looked at them and left the Hunter’s Guild one step at a time.
After the distance between the two parties became sufficiently large, Gaudi suddenly turned around and ran into a safety passage by the side.
Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and asked, “Any thoughts?”
Shang Jianyao immediately said, “How inflexible. He was comprehensive in his vigilance, but he only cared about guarding against us and didn’t consider the danger behind him. If I had known, I would’ve thrown a piece of banana peel at his back. He definitely would’ve stepped on it and fallen with a thud. From then on, he’ll remember this lesson.”
Jiang Baimian laughed involuntarily. “First, you have to have a banana.”
In this season, such fruits didn’t exist in the Lake of Wrath’s climate.
She didn’t take Shang Jianyao down a notch because of this. Instead, she nodded in approval. “Although it’s very likely that Gaudi has already observed the environment and isn’t worried that he will step on something he shouldn’t step on if he walks backward, this direction of thinking is rather valuable.”
As she spoke, she looked at Long Yuehong. “What do you have in mind?”
Long Yuehong deliberated before answering, “Their philosophy sounds reasonable at first, but the more I understand it, the more extreme I find it.”
Jiang Baimian nodded. “Anything good will go in the wrong direction once it becomes extreme. This is also one of the reasons why many religions in the Ashlands can be spread. They package some very reasonable theories of the Old World into what they want and add a lot of personal interests into it.”
After evaluating Long Yuehong’s thoughts, Jiang Baimian looked at Bai Chen and smiled, asking, “Tell me something as well.”
Bai Chen thought for a moment and said, “I think their philosophy is a little similar to some of the Old World philosophy you’ve told us about. Oh… Small government doesn’t burden its citizens?”
After their cooperation in Weed City, the three Old Task Force members were much more relaxed than before on the way to Redstone Collection. Jiang Baimian took the opportunity to teach her team members some knowledge regarding the Old World.
“Indeed, but it’s also extreme.” Jiang Baimian smiled and looked around. “Remember, a single human is puny. Only by cooperating with each other can the collective be considered civilized.”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
Shang Jianyao clapped as scheduled.
Jiang Baimian couldn’t be bothered to look at him. “Alright, let’s find some missions worth taking on.”
She knew very well that, unless Shang Jianyao made ‘friends,’ they couldn’t buy a military exoskeleton with half of the supplies they exchanged for using Xu Liyan’s bulletproof SUV, even if it was an old model.
Therefore, her plan was to take on some guild missions at Redstone Collection and save up another batch of hard currency.
As the team leader, Jiang Baimian racked her brains to improve every team member’s strength and survivability. Hence, the Old Task Force was divided into two groups.
Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao remained in their spots. They looked at the missions displayed on the large screen. Bai Chen and Long Yuehong went to the surrounding tables to check the corresponding paper records.
Jiang Baimian deliberately said, “Actually, we can get your good brother, Xu Liyan, to provide one. Didn’t he say that he wanted to equip his guards and city guards with a few more after this matter?”
The military exoskeleton was lost at South Street this time, and it almost wasn’t put to use. The only good thing was that the wilderness nomads didn’t know how to use military exoskeletons.
Shang Jianyao shook his head. “Even blood-related brothers should have their accounts squared.”
“I’m relieved.” Jiang Baimian smiled.
“Although I’m more steel-hearted than you, my bottom line when it comes to morals isn’t low,” Shang Jianyao replied.
“Huh? What did you say?” Jiang Baimian touched her ear, not wanting to continue the topic. She knew that Shang Jianyao was referring to how she hadn’t killed the man who had killed Time-Honored Noodle Restaurant’s boss in order not to starve to death during Weed City’s chaos.
Shang Jianyao looked at Jiang Baimian’s left arm and wisely didn’t continue.
As they spoke, Jiang Baimian discovered an interesting mission: “Survey on Redstone Collection and the surrounding area’s Heartless.”
Jiang Baimian read the mission’s contents and said in amusement, “The reward is that you are in charge of basic protection during the mission. You will then be given half a month’s worth of food. You can choose any type of food you want, but you are personally responsible for the preservation of the food. Heh heh, that’s not strict. If it were to encounter someone like you who has a big appetite, the cost might double!”
Shang Jianyao replied seriously, “I’m only worried that they won’t be able to produce the food I choose.”
“Let me see who issued this… Fire Eye? Are these missions issued by code names?” Jiang Baimian gained a deeper understanding of Redstone Collection’s style.
Of course, this had definitely been reviewed by the guild; their credibility was still guaranteed.
At that moment, Long Yuehong walked back with Bai Chen, a document in his hand. “Team Leader, this mission isn’t bad.”
He handed the document in his hand to Jiang Baimian.
Jiang Baimian curiously took it and quickly browsed through it.
“Mission: Help Helvig retrieve stolen firearms.
“Description: Gunfire’s boss, Helvig, had a batch of firearms enough to arm hundreds of people. They were stolen from the lakeside district; it’s said that the bandits numbered almost ten.
“Reward: 1/5 of the batch of firearms.
“Mission rank: C, 100 credit points.
“Note: There are certain dangers. Please try your best to form a team.
“Mission requirements: Official Hunter and above.
“Commissioned by: Helvig.”
“One-fifth of that batch of firearms? That’s not a small sum.” Jiang Baimian’s eyes lit up slightly.
“Furthermore, the number of people is quite suitable,” Long Yuehong added happily. He felt that, with his team’s strength, it wouldn’t be a problem for them to fight three or even four people per person.
Shang Jianyao immediately ‘analyzed’ and said, “Maybe a hundred people were lying in ambush when the robbery happened.”
Long Yuehong no longer showed instant depression on his face like before. Instead, he asked in amusement, “How can there be a hundred people ambushing, only to have about eight people attacking?”
It would take at least 40 to 50 people to be normal. Only then would it conform to human logic!
“What if their leader is a mental patient like me?” Shang Jianyao said confidently.
Jiang Baimian interrupted him and thoughtfully said, “In the Old World, there’s a saying that describes such a situation. What’s it called? Uh, the bystander effect. Besides, there will be many people escorting that batch of firearms. Either the bandits are very powerful, or there were definitely more than eight.”
Without waiting for Long Yuehong to speak, she smiled and said, “However, we can still take the mission. It’s not like we won’t do our homework. If the opponent really has too many people, we can still invite other Ruin Hunters to participate.”
Jiang Baimian wasn’t worried that she couldn’t take on the mission because Bai Chen was an Intermediate Hunter.
After a round of communication, they accepted this mission in the name of Qian Bai Team. They obtained Helvig’s photo and learned where his shop was. It was on the third floor of the underground building, near the C1 Security Passage.
Without a doubt, Gunfire didn’t have guns or anyone.
“From the looks of it, we have to find the person who commissioned the mission first.” Jiang Baimian helplessly raised her right hand and looked at the photo—it was a chubby man in his thirties to forties. He had a pair of dark-green eyes and a shaved head.
“There’s no one here,” Shang Jianyao immediately concluded.
Jiang Baimian glanced at him and smiled. “Then, why are you still staying here and not going to the side to search?”
“It has to be handled according to the procedure. We can’t completely rely on our abilities,” Shang Jianyao replied firmly.
“Not bad,” Jiang Baimian praised sincerely.
As they spoke, Bai Chen and Long Yuehong had already spread out. One looked up at the ventilation duct, and the other carefully pulled open the cabinet.
A few seconds later, Bai Chen pointed up and said, “Something’s not right there.”
Some black cloth was poking out of the ventilation duct’s exhaust rail.
Jiang Baimian’s expression immediately turned solemn.
Since Shang Jianyao didn’t sense any human consciousness and she didn’t discover any human electric signals, it meant one thing: The person hiding in the ventilation duct was already dead.
He had been dead for a while.