Chapter 197: Please
The cathedral guard who went to find Anhebus returned faster than Song He had expected because they encountered Anhebus’s trusted subordinate, Lopez—he was the one who had almost killed Baz in the morning.
Lopez was about 1.9 meters tall and could look down on most people in the Ashlands. Even Shang Jianyao—who had undergone genetic enhancement—was slightly shorter than him. Apart from being tall, he was also rather muscular. The pressure such a person exerted on another when they stood in front of them was obvious.
Lopez wasn’t a parishioner of the Vigilance Church, so he didn’t wear a mask and directly revealed his face.
Light-blond messy hair, light-blue eyes, distinct edges and corners, a stiff and rugged bearing, a camouflage-green army uniform, two United 202 pistols at his waist, and leather boots with steel nails embedded at the tip—together, they portrayed the muscular man’s appearance.
Jiang Baimian—who was standing beside Baz—said in Red River language, “He doesn’t look like a Red River person. He’s closer to an Icelander. Uh, he might be a Yargai.”
Iceland was in the northernmost part of the entire Ashlands, and it covered a large area. Many Red River people these days carried certain Icelander characteristics. According to some information from the Old World, many native Icelanders had headed south as a result of climate change. They entered the Red River area, conquered many local native tribes, and settled down. Over the generations, the Yargai people had become a branch of the Red River people.
Similarly, there were also Ashlandic people who had blond hair, fair skin, and tall and muscular builds. However, they slowly disappeared with time.
Upon hearing Jiang Baimian’s ‘whisper,’ Lopez couldn’t help but look at her in surprise.
He was indeed Yargai. But after the Old World was destroyed, there was a new round of intermixing regarding human species due to disasters, war, and migration. Coupled with the loss of all kinds of information, almost nobody would mention such matters in places other than places with more Yargais. They were usually treated as equivalent to the Red River people.
Lopez quickly retracted his gaze and bowed at the gigantic symbol deep in the hall. Although he wasn’t a believer of Eidolon Nun, he didn’t dare to be too impudent after entering the Vigilance Cathedral. After all, there were many pious believers in Redstone Collection, including his subordinates.
If he did anything to blaspheme the Kalendaria, he suspected that his subordinates would shoot him from behind before he could walk out of the cathedral. It was impossible to guard against such matters.
Furthermore, the large red signs warning of danger and the solemn and holy golden colors that covered the Vigilance Cathedral subconsciously made him feel reverence.
Song He—who was wearing a black robe—stood in front of the gigantic Eidolon Nun symbol and nodded slightly.
“You said you wanted to find Baz?” Shang Jianyao spoke in the Red River language.
Lopez didn’t answer immediately. He looked around and said, “Where’s Bishop Renato?”
Song He calmly replied, “The bishop is occupied with other matters. I have full authority to represent him.”
Lopez didn’t make any irreverent claims and showed his friendliness. “Harbinger, it’s very likely that Baz is related to Helvig’s death. My boss, Mr. Anhebus, is both a business partner and a very good friend of Helvig’s. He has been investigating this matter since yesterday.”
“Lies!” Baz refuted in shock and anger.
Lopez smiled. He first looked back at his subordinates—who wore all kinds of masks—before saying to Baz, “No murderer will directly admit that they did it.”
“There are—” Shang Jianyao, who was wearing a monkey mask, interrupted, “—some who admit as a way to show off, and some do so to cover up other matters.”
For example, Father.
Lopez glanced at Shang Jianyao and didn’t take the random interjection from a nobody to heart.
He looked at Song He and smiled. “Harbinger, can you guarantee that Baz isn’t the murderer?”
Song He fell silent for a few seconds. “It’s true that I can’t guarantee anything. Nobody can guarantee anything until we get to the bottom of the matter.”
Without waiting for Lopez to speak, he continued, “Baz also identified Anhebus as the murderer and gave a sufficiently convincing reason. You crafted the firearms robbery to deceive others and sent the batch of firearms into the mountains. At the same time, you pushed the blame to the Ashlanders and the Underground Ark. In order to seize this batch of firearms, Anhebus has a motive to kill Helvig.”
Be it Helvig or Anhebus, none of them dared to blatantly sell the firearms to Subhumans. That would make them public enemies of Redstone Collection.
Until now, there were only rumors regarding their sale of firearms to Subhumans. If Baz wasn’t Helvig’s trusted aide, it would be very difficult for him to know this secret.
Lopez suddenly laughed out loud after quietly listening to what Song He had to say. “Haha, this is the funniest joke I’ve heard this year!”
His laughter echoed in the empty and quiet cathedral, making Song He frown slightly.
“Please pay attention to your volume in the cathedral,” Song He warned.
Regardless of what was on his mind, Lopez didn’t dare to be impudent. He restrained his laughter and clicked his tongue. “Harbinger, you can’t be deceived by Baz. He must have framed Mr. Anhebus to get away with his crime.
“Over the years, Mr. Anhebus has been contributing to Redstone Collection’s fight against Subhumans. He has even used his social connections to purchase a military exoskeleton for the city. How is it possible that he sold the firearms to the mountain monsters? You need evidence!”
Baz immediately replied, “Apart from me, Mark and Castil know as well. They can testify!”
“Maybe you teamed up to kill Helvig to seize that batch of firearms and then framed Mr. Anhebus,” said Lopez calmly.
Song He raised his right hand and stopped their confrontation. “There’s no conclusive evidence now. You can say whatever you want. As a Harbinger, I won’t side with anyone. I can only guarantee that everything will happen under the Kalendaria’s watch.”
Upon hearing the words ‘Kalendaria’s watch,’ Jiang Baimian couldn’t help but recall her previous experience. Even now, she still had lingering fears.
Song He continued, “You can interrogate Baz, but it has to be done in the cathedral. I’ll bear witness. Similarly, Anhebus has to come to the cathedral to be personally interrogated. You can’t make the decision on this matter; go back and report to him.”
His words stopped Lopez from any potential argument.
If Anhebus comes, can you make him friendly and make him confess? Does this count as us completing the mission? Jiang Baimian muttered inwardly.
At this moment, Lopez—who couldn’t argue—diverted his attention and cast his gaze at the two outsiders. “Are you the foreign Hunters who took on the mission regarding the firearms robbery?”
After receiving an affirmative answer, Lopez smiled and said, “It’s very difficult to make any progress in an interrogation. I hope you can give an objective and fair investigation result as a third party.”
As he spoke, his gaze moved back and forth between Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao’s masks.
Without waiting for their response, Lopez turned around and walked to the cathedral door.
His subordinates didn’t follow immediately. They raised their arms, placed them in front of their chests, and took a step back.
After bowing, they chased after Lopez.
After watching them leave, Song He said to Baz, “The truth cannot be faked, and the false cannot be turned into truth. Stay in the cathedral for the time being. Since Viel is also here, you can exchange techniques on hiding.”
“Yes, Harbinger.” Baz was clearly relieved that the Church hadn’t abandoned him.
Upon seeing that there was no progress for the time being, Jiang Baimian pulled Baz to the side and asked in a ‘low’ voice, “Where do you think Anhebus will hide that batch of firearms? Everything will be clear once we find them.”
“I don’t know.” Baz shook his head in frustration. “Back then, Anhebus mobilized mercenaries under his employ. They were all foreign refugees and were led by Lopez.”
Jiang Baimian didn’t ask any further and said to Shang Jianyao, “Let’s take a spin again and see what clues we can find.”
After leaving the cathedral, the two of them walked to the abandoned building where Bai Chen and Long Yuehong were.
When they were about to reach their destination, someone stopped them.
From the masks, they could tell that these people were the Redstone Collection townsfolk who had been following Lopez—Anhebus’s subordinates.
One of the men in a spider mask held a submachine gun aimed at Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao. He raised his chin and said, “Our boss wants you to go over.”
Jiang Baimian wasn’t surprised at all and nodded slightly. “Alright.”
Shang Jianyao seriously emphasized, “You need to say please.”
After looking at the fellow in the monkey mask, Lopez’s subordinate—who had just spoken—snorted, turned around, and led the way.
The other two held weapons and flanked Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao.
After circling around a building, they saw Lopez.
The blond, stout man in a camouflage-green military uniform sat on the hood of an earthen-yellow, all-terrain vehicle. He smiled as he watched Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao walk toward him.
On each of his sides was a subordinate with a gun.
After the foreign Ruin Hunters approached, Lopez laughed. “You guys are very calm.”
“Could it be that you will kill us when the Vigilance Church is already involved?” As she spoke, Jiang Baimian looked around and swept her gaze across the top of the building.
“It’s impossible for the dead to point out their murderers. Didn’t that idiot, Baz, fail to prove anything?” Lopez leaned forward slightly and increased the pressure. “I made you come here because I have something to tell you…”
Just as he said that, he suddenly saw a figure jump over. The furry mask with a protruded mouth reflected in his eyes.
This figure’s movements were so fast and sudden that Lopez didn’t have the time to draw his gun. He could only raise his hands and block in front of him.
Lopez then realized that his arm uncontrollably swung to the side with a simple wave of the other party’s hand, revealing his chest and abdomen.
What tremendous strength… Just as this thought flashed in Lopez’s mind, the monkey-masked hunter lowered his shoulder and slammed him in the chest.
With a thud, Lopez’s vision turned black as he fell back.
Shang Jianyao bent his elbow and did an elbow drop.
Lopez’s stomach sank, and his upper body jerked up.
The next second, his neck was gripped by a hand.
He looked at the smug monkey mask and shouted in surprise and anger, “What are you doing?”
Under the aiming of the guns, Shang Jianyao said seriously, “First, you can’t insult my brother.
“Second, the hood isn’t used for sitting.
“Third, you need to say please.”
“…” Lopez almost couldn’t believe his ears. “Are you crazy?”