Chapter 206: Map
“Are you going to deliver firearms to the town guards?” Harbinger Song He was a little surprised when he heard Jiang Baimian’s words.
His room was very spartan. It was about the same size as the one Shang Jianyao and the others had stayed in at the hotel camp. There was no additional furniture; there was only a bed, a few chairs, a set of cabinets, a bookshelf, and a table with pen and paper.
What reflected his clergyman characteristics the most was the Sacred Emblem of Eidolon Nun on the wall opposite the bed—a darkness behind a white ajar door that seemingly hid a faint female figure.
This arrangement made Long Yuehong’s scalp tingle because he couldn’t help but imagine the scene when he slept: The Kalendaria hid in the darkness while quietly watching him.
Fortunately, the Sacred Emblem is on the opposite wall and not on the ceiling. Otherwise, there would be no way to sleep! As Long Yuehong muttered to himself, Shang Jianyao replied on Jiang Baimian’s behalf.
“It’s not a gift, but a transaction.”
Song He understood what Shang Jianyao meant and didn’t mind. He smiled and said, “I’m talking about escorting, not giving.”
“I misunderstood.” Shang Jianyao admitted his mistake. Even without a mask, he didn’t care about this.
The black-robed Song He nodded and sighed. “Regardless, I can sense your kindness. I’ll thank you on behalf of Redstone Collection’s residents in advance.”
He didn’t harp on the topic and directly said, “From the current situation, the merfolk and mountain monsters are attempting to break through from the ruins’ southeast. Han Wanghuo should’ve already organized most of the town guards to reinforce them.”
As he spoke, he walked to the desk, took out a map, and unfolded it. “Han Wanghuo’s plan is to set up a new defense line around Aiur Supermarket and Sixth Day Mall to stop the enemy. A large area of roads there have been seriously damaged, and many buildings have collapsed. If the merfolk and mountain monsters don’t want to take a long detour, they can only force their way through.”
Jiang Baimian quietly listened and reminded him, “Mountain monsters are good at climbing cliffs and cliffs. Such terrain can’t stop them.”
“Yes, Han Wanghuo has considered this. He wants to use this opportunity to set a trap.” Song He indicated that this was indeed a problem.
Jiang Baimian turned to look at the desk. “Is this a map left behind from the Old World?”
The city layout was very clear.
Song He tersely acknowledged it. “I found it when I first came to Redstone Collection; it’s a tourist map of the city itself. Look, the park where the town is located is called Redstone Park in the Old World. This is the reason why it’s called Redstone Collection.”
“Saying ‘is the reason why’ is a redundant sentence,” Shang Jianyao pointed out.
Song He laughed involuntarily. “I’m used to saying that.”
Jiang Baimian sized up the map and curiously asked, “You made quite the number of labels.”
There were many markings on the map. Some were red crosses, some were black circles, and there were all kinds of symbols.
The blank area on the side had the different symbols’ corresponding meanings.
“I’ve marked out which buildings have collapsed and which paths are impossible to pass through.” The elder—who had been in Redstone Collection for 40 to 50 years—suddenly sounded a little disappointed. “When more and more labels are added, I really find it difficult to mark it again when I look at the original map.”
Song He retracted his gaze and sighed. “My parents were survivors of the Old World, but they never lived through the years of war. They once taught me a phrase: ‘the blue sea turns into mulberry fields.’ I could understand the meaning—everything will be changed in time—but I didn’t understand it deeply. It was only when I began to make these maps and conduct field exploration…”
Jiang Baimian pursed her lips and laughed self-deprecatingly. “I asked so much because I wanted to borrow this map from you. Now, I can’t bring myself to ask for it.”
Song He was stunned for a moment before he laughed. “Take it. It’s not like I only have one.”
“Huh?” Jiang Baimian was a little stunned.
Song He casually explained, “I didn’t get the map purely for myself. Sometimes, townsfolk also need this.”
Jiang Baimian came to a realization. “Then, I won’t stand on ceremony.”
When have you ever been polite… Long Yuehong criticized his team leader inwardly, but he didn’t dare say it aloud.
Shang Jianyao looked at Song He and sincerely said, “Thank you.”
Upon seeing them put away the map, Song He smiled and reminded them, “If the enemy’s attacks are overwhelming, you don’t have to hold on. Retreat as soon as possible. Don’t worry; the town guards will do the same.”
Amidst Long Yuehong’s surprise, Jiang Baimian thoughtfully asked, “What’s the goal of the merfolk and mountain monsters’ attack on Redstone Collection?”
Song He looked at her in admiration. “They want to destroy the town, kill all the native humans, or drive all humans out of this ruin to occupy this place.”
“I see…” Jiang Baimian didn’t ask any further.
Song He added, “Once the merfolk and mountain monsters break through the defense line, they will definitely head to Redstone Collection and destroy it. It’s fine if it’s destroyed. There aren’t many supplies there, and people don’t live there at night. After we defeat the merfolk and mountain monsters, there are still several underground shops and bomb shelters in the ruins that can be used to rebuild the town.
“As for everyone, heh heh, they are used to hiding. It’s not easy for us to find each other, much less the merfolk and mountain monsters. When the time comes, they can rely on their familiarity with the environment. With seven to eight people in a team, they can take turns ambushing the enemy and tire them out. Unless the merfolk and mountain monsters can quickly destroy the entire ruin, they won’t be able to resolve this problem in the short term.”
Upon hearing Song He’s words, Long Yuehong was first surprised before he completely understood one thing. Why did the residents of Redstone Collection advocate hiding so much? Even if the hide-and-seek ritual looked ridiculous, it didn’t affect their devotion.
This was indeed one of their abilities to ensure their safety!
When he heard Jiang Baimian’s analysis, Long Yuehong had a preliminary understanding of the folklore here and knew its inevitability.
The Subhumans’ attack had now revealed the reason behind the townsfolk’s actions. There was no need to make any additional deductions.
As long as one hid well, they could escape an invasion, find an opportunity to counterattack, and have the last laugh.
In a large city ruin and with both parties having limited manpower, this was one of the best ways to deal with an invasion!
At this moment, Long Yuehong recalled something his team leader had said: Behind all the absurdities exist a reason.
In the southeast corner of the city ruin, Tan Tianen, Gaudi, and Scheler hid behind a collapsed building. They listened to the nearby merfolk and mountain monsters communicate in strange languages with various dialects as they walked over.
After they fled the high-rise building that was on the verge of collapse due to the bombardment, they imagined that they could use their familiarity with the terrain to widen the distance and return to their designated defense line. However, the merfolk and mountain monsters seemed to know where they were hiding and where they were going to pass by.
They successfully intercepted them.
Upon seeing the enemy approaching, Tan Tianen lowered his voice and said, “We can’t go on like this.”
This time, he used the Red River language.
Gaudi fell silent for a moment before saying, “It’s a little strange. We have to report this situation.”
Due to their vigilance, they didn’t get Mechanical Paradise to set up a local base station in Redstone Collection. They could only rely on walkie-talkies to communicate remotely.
Now, the distance between them and Aiur Supermarket and Sixth Day Mall had clearly exceeded the corresponding range.
After Scheler heard that, he gritted his teeth and said, “Let’s draw lots for one person to lure them away. The other two will go to the parking lot.”
With a car, they could quickly distance themselves and returned to Aiur Supermarket and Sixth Day Mall.
“Alright.” Gaudi took out a silver coin from First City. “Everyone will toss it once. Whoever has a different one will go.”
This made Scheler suddenly feel a little dazed as he recalled many things in the past.
The Vigilance Church would organize children of about the same age to play together and nurture their hiding abilities until they reached adulthood. Such a coin was often used to determine who was the hider and who was the seeker.
“I’ll go first.” Tan Tianen took the silver coin and casually tossed it before putting it in his pocket. He then said in a deep voice, “I lost.”
“Tianen?” Gaudi blurted out in surprise.
Scheler’s eyes widened in surprise as if he had just gotten to know Tan Tianen for the first time.
Tan Tianen turned his head to look at them and took a deep breath. “After I rush out, run in the opposite direction immediately.”
At this point, his gaze landed on Scheler’s face. With a stoic expression, he roared, “It’s my fault for liking your sister!”
Just as he said that, he turned around, picked up the automatic rifle, and rushed out of the hiding spot.
Ta! Ta! Ta!
As he fired, he moved in another direction. Although he was bait, he still tried his best to survive.
Upon seeing this, Gaudi and Scheler couldn’t be bothered with their inner emotions. They bent their backs and used the cover to run toward the spot where they had parked their cars.
Ta! Ta! Ta!
Tan Tianen was just about to roll into the building opposite him when everything he saw was suddenly ‘pulled’ out of the real world.
This was the same feeling he had when he almost drowned while learning to swim. The scene in front of him degenerated into shimmering images, and the sounds around him seemed to come from the horizon.
Tan Tianen’s thoughts gradually scattered. He seemed to be sinking in the water slowly, unable to breathe.
Before his vision returned to darkness, he saw a murloc.
This murloc was very tall, and his eyes weren’t bulging that much. He wore a crown made of tree branches on his head, and the grayish-black scales on his body seemed to have an aqueous glow under the moonlight.
After leaving the Vigilance Cathedral and moving the batch of firearms into the earthen-yellow, all-terrain vehicle, Jiang Baimian deliberated for a moment and gave out instructions using full names. “Long Yuehong, you and Shang Jianyao drive the jeep.”
This time, she didn’t fill up the passenger seat of the all-terrain vehicle. Instead, she moved the corresponding boxes to the backseat of the jeep.
“Yes, Team Leader!” Long Yuehong didn’t ask why, but Shang Jianyao eagerly opened the jeep’s door.
Jiang Baimian turned to Bai Chen—who was beside her—and said, “You drive. I’ll monitor the surroundings.”
As she still had to observe the commotion outside her perception range, she had to try her best to stay focused.
“Alright.” Bai Chen held a gun and sat in the all-terrain vehicle’s driver seat.
Jiang Baimian got into the car and took out her walkie-talkie. “You can turn on the lights and illuminate the way now. Listen to my orders when we approach the battlefield. Let’s set off!”