Chapter 187: Folklore
Just as Theresa finished explaining, Shang Jianyao—who was beside Jiang Baimian—laughed. “It’s so interesting wearing a mask.”
Shang Jianyao spoke in the Red River language. Although he couldn’t be considered fluent, the Red River language had changed in many different places years after the Old World’s destruction.
Theresa’s accent was also different from the common one used in Weed City.
“What?” Theresa looked at Jiang Baimian in confusion, seeking an answer.
He means that, because of the mask we are wearing, you can only determine if a person is an Ashlander or of the Red River race by their commonly used language. This leads you into talking bad about Ashlanders in front of the few of us… It’s good to disguise yourself. When you disguise yourself to the point that nobody can tell the difference in appearance, things become interesting…
This is like a material embodiment of the psychology concept of a persona… Heh heh, how are you to distinguish between friend or foe and form alliances when Ashlanders all master the Red River language while you master Ashlandic? Will you form an Animal Mask Party, a Human Mask Party, or a Monster Mask Party? At this moment, thoughts flashed through Jiang Baimian’s mind.
Finally, these thoughts only formed one sentence: “He has never played with masks before.”
Without giving Theresa a chance to question any further, Jiang Baimian let out a terse grunt. “Was the cause of death given by the Public Security Department shock?”
Theresa nodded slightly. “They were brushing me off. I’m not convinced by this cause of death.”
The cause of death might not be fake. The point is what caused the shock… Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and asked, “Does Mr. Helvig have a history of heart problems?”
“No, he has always been healthy. He did well, be it running, jumping, or combat,” replied Theresa firmly.
Shang Jianyao raised his hand and—without waiting for Jiang Baimian’s permission—asked curiously, “You only mentioned his performance in running, jumping, and combat. What about other aspects?”
Theresa shook her head. “I was only giving a few simple examples. To be honest, he wasn’t too good in bed.”
Pfft… Jiang Baimian almost choked on her saliva. What the heck are you talking about!?
Long Yuehong coughed as well, and only Bai Chen remained calm.
Theresa then explained, “This is also a common problem for all our believers. We have to be constantly vigilant. Even when doing the deed, we have to pay attention to our surroundings and be wary of any abnormal reactions from our partners. In order to ensure our own safety to the greatest extent, everyone’s consensus is to reduce the time taken.”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
This time, apart from Shang Jianyao, Jiang Baimian was also clapping. She felt that it wasn’t enough to express her feelings.
She never imagined that the word ‘vigilance’ would change Redstone Collection’s daily lifestyle in such a profound manner when carried out to the extreme.
The only reason Long Yuehong didn’t clap was that he was stunned.
Even Bai Chen was a little curious. “Will you guys sleep together?”
“No,” Theresa replied truthfully. “Distance is our true friend. When someone has needs, they will need to make an appointment in advance.”
“What about children?” Jiang Baimian asked.
“They can sleep with one of their parents before the age of one. They have to part ways after that.” Theresa looked around. “Let’s not waste time on these questions.”
Jiang Baimian realized that she had been obsessed with understanding folklore and had forgotten her Hunter Mission.
She glared at Shang Jianyao. “What did you want to ask?”
“I wanted to know if Helvig is good at holding his breath,” Shang Jianyao replied matter-of-factly.
“Holding his breath… He knows how to swim; he’s average.” Theresa expressed her understanding. “In short, there’s nothing wrong with his body. Weiler also said that he didn’t discover any other problems.”
“Are Weiler’s autopsy results trustworthy?” Jiang Baimian quickly became professional.
If Helvig didn’t have any latent problems, there was a high chance that dying from shock was related to an Awakened.
At the very least, Jiang Baimian now knew about two abilities that could induce a similar cause of death.
Nightmare Horse’s Real Nightmare and the Arbiter of Fate’s domain, control of the heart.
“Although Weiler is an outsider, he’s also from the Red River. He won’t be too biased. Unfortunately, his skills are limited. He’s only an ordinary doctor, and his profession isn’t in this regard.” Theresa tried her best to voice her contradictory thoughts.
As Jiang Baimian nodded slightly, Shang Jianyao asked, “Why do you say ‘Ashlander’ and not ‘Ashlandic?’”
In the Red River language, the former had an additional suffix, which was even more awkward-sounding.
“The Ashlands belongs to everyone,” replied Theresa.
Jiang Baimian secretly clicked her tongue. “If we take on this mission, how will the payment be calculated?”
“I’ll go to the guild and combine this mission with the mission of retrieving the firearms. The reward will be half of that batch of firearms,” said Theresa without hesitation.
That’s plenty. After this mission—combined with the supplies we previously saved—we can almost buy an old military exoskeleton model… Jiang Baimian nodded. “We’ll do our best.”
She then asked, “What do you know about the firearms robbery? Are those bandits often active in the surrounding area, or did they suddenly appear?”
Theresa became a little agitated again. “It must’ve been done by that group of Ashlanders! They want to snatch back the arms trade business! Other than them, how can there be bandits with such firepower around Redstone Collection?”
After speaking in a slightly hysterical manner, she panted and said, “Helvig didn’t mention much about this to me when he was alive. He only said that those people had very strong firepower and tacit cooperation. They were all wearing masks and disguised. About ten people appeared, with some hiding in the dark.
“If you want to know more, you can return to the hotel camp and ask Lehman in Room 127. He’s a smuggler from United Industries, a business partner of my husband. He and his caravan brought this batch of firearms over, but it was snatched away not long after the transaction was completed.”
“Alright.” Jiang Baimian asked for more details. She then stood up, pointed at the ventilation duct where Helvig died, and said to Shang Jianyao, “Climb in and take a look.”
“Han Wanghuo has checked it; he didn’t find anything.” Theresa stood up as well. “He might’ve found something and destroyed it.”
“We won’t be at ease until we check it ourselves.” Jiang Baimian didn’t give up because of this.
Shang Jianyao immediately pulled a table over and took down the ventilation duct grill. He then shone the flashlight at the ventilation duct for a while before crawling in.
The duct wasn’t too dirty; people clearly hid here often. There were no obvious traces left.
Shang Jianyao crawled along the duct for a while. The deeper he went, the more cramped it became.
With the help of the flashlight, he carefully examined the area. Finally, he retreated and jumped onto the table.
“There’s no sign of any human activity.”
“Okay.” Jiang Baimian looked at Theresa. “Is the sheriff around?”
“He went to the area where the Ashlanders often hide. He said that there would be procedures that need to be followed no matter what.” Theresa couldn’t find any fault with Han Wanghuo.
Jiang Baimian heaved a sigh of relief. “Then, let’s visit Mr. Lehman first.”
“Alright, do it as soon as possible. I don’t know when he will return to United Industries,” urged Theresa.
Just as the Old Task Force quartet was about to walk out of Gunfire, Shang Jianyao suddenly turned around and spoke with the monkey mask on him. “Final question. Do you have children?”
“Yes, two.” Theresa was confused. “Why are you asking?”
“Body functions are normal,” Shang Jianyao evaluated in all seriousness.
Jiang Baimian knew that this fellow had a screw loose again. She used the topic to ask casually, “How old are the children?”
“The older one is 15, and the younger one is 12. We then agreed not to have any more children and used certain products produced by United Industries.” Theresa didn’t hide the truth.
After bidding the widow farewell, Jiang Baimian led Shang Jianyao and the others back to the fifth floor, prepared to enter the parking lot.
At this moment, she looked back at the silent Redstone Collection that seemed vacant and sighed. “It’s indeed necessary to accept the Vigilance Church’s beliefs here.”
“Why?” When Long Yuehong heard Gaudi’s explanation, he felt that they had joined the Vigilance Church too easily, even if the corresponding teachings did improve their chances of survival.
It wasn’t like they couldn’t raise their guard and hide themselves if they didn’t believe in the Vigilance Church!
Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and sighed with a smile. “Redstone Collection is a town formed by the DiMarco family’s exchange of supplies with the outside world. Its members come from everywhere. They speak different languages and have different customs. Their looks and characteristics are also different. They will definitely be divided into small enclaves.
“These small enclaves were mostly competitors because of the single trade source back then. They might’ve often had conflicts with each other. You assassinate me, and I assassinate you; you ambush me, and I ambush you.
“Normally speaking, this will slowly evolve into a situation similar to that of Weed City. But when the Vigilance Church arrived in a place filled with extreme mistrust between people, their teachings became like fish in water. Not only do they improve people’s chances of survival, but they also rationalize, sanctify, and soften this mistrust. This is why a relatively stable Redstone Collection exists.”
“Gaudi is of mixed blood.” Bai Chen pointed out a fact.
Jiang Baimian nodded. “No matter how hostile the two groups are, it’s possible that love will arise. There will also be neutral parties. Gaudi should represent the third-largest group in Redstone Collection, the mixed faction.”
As they spoke, they got into the car, left Redstone Collection, and returned to the hotel camp.
Room 127 was on the other end, closer to the small lake in the Old World’s park.
Outside this unsophisticated room were two muscular men. They were of the Red River heritage and were dressed in black. They were armed and stoic.
Shang Jianyao approached and ‘looked down’ at the other party. “We are Ruin Hunters; we are here for Lehman in our investigation of the firearms robbery.”
Shang Jianyao was the one to ‘make contact’ because he might need to make ‘friends.’
As he asked, Jiang Baimian scanned the area and realized that gazes were coming from several unsophisticated rooms around Room 127.
Lehman has many subordinates… As Jiang Baimian muttered to herself, a guard knocked on the door and entered the room to report.
After waiting for a few minutes, the guard walked out and said to Shang Jianyao, “Mr. Lehman has two sentences for you: First, we had already left back then. We have no idea what happened next.
“Second, if there are only four of you, it’s better to give up early and change missions.”