Chapter 214: Those Items
After the sky gradually lit up, Han Wanghuo put away the walkie-talkie and looked at Shang Jianyao and the others. “Their retreat has been confirmed. We just need to leave some people behind to guard and reconnoiter.”
He meant that this war had temporarily come to an end.
Although Jiang Baimian was wearing a mask, she still covered her mouth and yawned. She then put down the Death rocket launcher, stood up, and smiled. “Then, is our employment contract over?”
“If nothing goes wrong,” Han Wanghuo replied very carefully.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen also put away their weapons.
Jiang Baimian smiled. “We’ll stay in Redstone Collection for a few more days. Remember to pay the rest when the time comes.”
This included a military exoskeleton and a week’s supply of food for four people.
“No problem,” Han Wanghuo replied without hesitation. From his point of view, Redstone Collection might’ve been wiped out if not for the four ‘mercenaries.’ Of course, the premise was that the Vigilance Church couldn’t come up with a solution at the most critical moment.
Jiang Baimian looked at the strangely quiet Shang Jianyao and turned to Han Wanghuo. “We’ll be leaving first then. Uh, remember to inform us when the captives recover. I want to ask some questions.”
As a small number of casualties had occurred within Redstone Collection’s defense line, the Subhuman alliance couldn’t evacuate them when they retreated.
“Alright.” Han Wanghuo still had this bit of authority.
After leaving the defensive line and arriving at the parking lot, Long Yuehong was a little dumbfounded.
The area was quite unlucky; it seemed like an artillery shell had landed here. The yellow all-terrain vehicle’s windows were shattered, and the tires had gone flat.
The Old Task Force’s jeep was rather sturdy. Under the protection of the thick armor, bulletproof glass, special tires, and the vehicle beside it, it only suffered a few scuffs.
“We can’t drive this car anymore…” Jiang Baimian glanced at it and said thankfully, “Fortunately, it’s not ours.”
As she spoke, she walked to the jeep and opened the driver’s door. “I’ll do the driving. Little White has been up all night; we have to be careful.”
“It’s fine actually.” Under Jiang Baimian’s persistence day after day, Bai Chen had completely accepted her nickname.
Shang Jianyao took the initiative to ‘explain’ Jiang Baimian’s actions. “She’s still a little excited.”
“Whoa.” Jiang Baimian let out a disdainful sound. “You’re back in the game? Why did you look listless just now? Are you hungry?”
It was time for breakfast.
Shang Jianyao replied seriously, “I was thinking about something.”
“What was it?” Jiang Baimian regretted it the moment she said that. She quickly sat down and started the car.
This didn’t stop Shang Jianyao. He said from the backseat, “How do we make Redstone Collection’s people peacefully coexist with the merfolk and mountain monsters?”
“…That’s very difficult.” Jiang Baimian was stunned for a moment before she exhaled. “Even if you rely on Inference Clowning to make them brothers that don’t share the same blood and complete a round-robin validation, this effect won’t last long because you will eventually leave.”
If one didn’t rely on their Awakened abilities, they just needed to look at the corpses and the dark blood that dyed the ground red when they cleaned the battlefield and think about how many such situations had happened in the past to understand how difficult this matter was. At least a few generations of persistent effort was needed to resolve the hatred between them.
Shang Jianyao quietly listened and sighed regretfully. “Unfortunately, I can’t split out more ‘me.’ I’ll leave one here.”
Is your point the same as what I wanted to say? Jiang Baimian was speechless.
Their perspective was completely different.
As Long Yuehong watched the jeep drive through the city ruins and listened to his team leader and Shang Jianyao’s conversation, he took off his mask and said with a complicated expression, “A mountain monster said something to me before he died.”
“Oh?” Jiang Baimian cooperated by making an inquisitive sound.
Long Yuehong truthfully recounted the mountain monster’s response and his thoughts during its death.
Jiang Baimian listened carefully and sighed with a smile. “Have you gained a deeper understanding behind the meaning of our work? Only by figuring out the cause of the illness can we find a more effective method to treat this f*cked-up world!”
As she spoke, she almost lost control of her emotions.
Shang Jianyao then smiled. “So, are you guys going to save all of humanity with me in the future?”
Jiang Baimian smiled. “How can we miss such a meaningful thing? After we investigate the reason for the Old World’s destruction and find the pathology and treatment for the Heartless disease, we’ll save the world!”
Long Yuehong chuckled as well and didn’t answer like Bai Chen. He felt that he couldn’t shoulder such an endeavor. What he wanted to do the most now was to get his life straight.
After ending the topic, Jiang Baimian looked at the rearview mirror. “Take out all the items you got from the Awakened murloc. Why did I feel that something was amiss?”
“You have to shout ‘hey,’” Shang Jianyao emphasized.
“Huh?” Jiang Baimian couldn’t keep up with Shang Jianyao’s train of thought again.
Shang Jianyao explained seriously, “Didn’t you say that his team nickname is Little Red? Hers is Little White, and mine is Hey.”
“…” Jiang Baimian’s expression under the mask changed repeatedly. She was peeved and amused.
At this moment, she saw from the corner of her eye that Bai Chen’s facial muscles were slightly raised.
Their masks didn’t completely wrap around their faces. Parts of their faces could be seen from the side.
“Were you laughing?” Jiang Baimian flew into a rage out of humiliation.
Bai Chen pursed her lips tightly. She didn’t admit or deny it.
The atmosphere in the jeep became a little more cheerful because of this. Shang Jianyao then took out the dried fruit, some kind of plant root, a simply packaged green sweet, and a few thick needles.
Jiang Baimian looked back. “What’s all this?”
Are these items carried by a powerful Awakened?
Bai Chen turned around and studied the items for a while.
“These should be dried plums.” Bai Chen pointed at the black piece of dried fruit. She naturally didn’t dare to taste the unknown with her mouth; she only picked it up and sniffed it.
Dried plums? Jiang Baimian suddenly felt her saliva seep out.
As for what the plant roots and green sweet were, they couldn’t figure it out in a short period of time.
Just like that, they drove the jeep to the fortress-like Vigilance Cathedral.
At this moment, Harbinger Song He had already returned with the cathedral’s armed personnel. Compared to when they set off, this team had fewer people.
Upon seeing the four familiar masks enter the hall, Song He—who had just bowed at Eidolon Nun—asked, “I heard that you finished off the Awakened murloc?”
Jiang Baimian—who had already answered this question for the third time—tersely acknowledged it and nodded.
Song He sighed and said, “Without you guys, I would’ve considered abandoning the cathedral and letting Brand leave the room.”
“I thought you were a hidden powerhouse.” Shang Jianyao expressed his regret.
Although I think so too, don’t say it out loud… Jiang Baimian couldn’t stop him in time.
Song He was stunned for a moment, but he didn’t get angry. He smiled bitterly. “I was afraid that the price would worsen, so I didn’t dare continue improving myself. I’m already very satisfied with obtaining the Kalendaria’s grace; I can’t ask for more.”
Afraid… He previously mentioned that the older one is, the more timid they are…
While Jiang Baimian was in thought, Shang Jianyao took out the pile of items on the Awakened murloc and sincerely asked, “Do you recognize these?”
“Where did these come from?” Song He took a few steps forward and examined the items carefully.
“From the Awakened murloc,” Shang Jianyao replied truthfully.
Song He became more focused. After a while, he pointed at the crudely packaged green sweet and said, “This is plum candy from United Industries. The children love it.”
In a large number of wilderness nomad settlements, sweets were also a luxury good.
Plum candy? Jiang Baimian frowned slightly.
Song He continued to identify the items. “This should be a dried plum, and this is a needle. There’s nothing to say.
“Th-this is a type of plant root produced in the nearby forest. We call it ‘Eating for Nothing.’ It has a slight toxicity that can cause diarrhea, but it’s very refreshing. When I was young, I followed them to hunt in the wilderness. If I needed to stay up late and wait, I would chew a piece during my sleepiest period.”
‘Eating for Nothing’ meant that eating it was equivalent to not eating anything because it would be excreted very quickly and might even empty everything in the bowels.
After Jiang Baimian heard that, she looked at Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and the others. “Plum candy, dried plum, plant roots that invigorates the mind, and a thick, long needle. What can these mean?”
Shang Jianyao immediately replied, “Pregnant!”
“What has needles got to do with pregnancy? Also, which pregnant woman will eat something that can cause diarrhea?” Jiang Baimian couldn’t understand Shang Jianyao’s train of thought.
Shang Jianyao replied in all seriousness, “One is prone to constipation during pregnancy. Needles are used to sew children’s clothes.”
Jiang Baimian couldn’t find any flaws in Shang Jianyao’s explanation.
He was an official member of the Life Ritual parish.
“These should be used to invigorate the mind.” Bai Chen gave her thoughts in a timely manner. “Dried plums and plum candy can give a certain stimulation to keep us awake temporarily. Needles can also do the same.”
In order to stalk prey, she had slapped herself several times to prevent herself from falling asleep.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged her words and glared at Shang Jianyao. “That Awakened murloc carried so many similar items with him. This means that he often needs to stay awake. Did the price he paid have to do with being easily sleepy and easily tired?”
“Perhaps that’s the case.” Song He agreed.
Taking this opportunity, Jiang Baimian got to the point. “Harbinger Song, there was an anomaly after the Awakened murloc fell unconscious…”
She described the strange aura emitted from the Awakened murloc’s body after he fainted. She described the parasite-like squirming under his skin and emphasized that Shang Jianyao’s previous shots had encountered an invisible barrier and failed to hit the target.
Song He listened quietly and thought for a moment. “Are you trying to ask what’s going on?”
Without waiting for Jiang Baimian’s response, he hesitantly said, “I heard from the person who brought me into the parish mention it before. He’s now a member of the Terror Episcopal. He said that the powerful Awakened who have explored the depths of the Mind Corridor can leave their auras in the Mind Corridor or even in the real world. Such auras can be combined with items to produce a magical and terrifying effect.
“I suspect that the Awakened murloc had combined with such an aura. He probably hasn’t entered the Mind Corridor yet.”