Chapter 231: The Deceased
The two people that came out of the cave were wearing olive-green uniforms, and they each carried a submachine gun. They seemed to be the Underground Ark’s guards.
They looked around to make sure nobody else was around before carrying the heavy sack deeper into the valley.
Before long, they found a relatively soft spot and took out two shovels from the rucksack.
Jiang Baimian signaled to her team members and quietly led them down from their high ground to a spot not far from the two Underground Ark guards. She then suppressed her voice and said to Shang Jianyao, “Go.”
Shang Jianyao did not decline the responsibility. He rushed out of his hiding spot with the Berserker assault rifle and shouted at the two Underground Ark guards, who were digging a hole. “You’ve been surrounded!”
The two guards were shocked. They abandoned their shovels at the same time and pounced in different directions, attempting to find cover to dodge the first round of shots. But just as they completed the first step, they saw the Death rocket launcher’s black muzzle and the grenade launcher that was ready to fire.
As their thoughts raced, they stopped, raised their hands, placed them behind their heads, and slowly squatted down.
Shang Jianyao—who was wearing a monkey mask—walked over and smiled. “There’s no need to be afraid; we’re just here to make friends.”
The two Underground Ark guards looked up at the assault rifle in Shang Jianyao’s hand and silently lowered their heads.
The two of them were typical Red River people. One had brown hair, and one had blond hair; one had blue eyes, and the other had brown eyes. They both had beards, and there was nothing special about their looks. If one had to pinpoint a characteristic… One might have a relatively large nose, and the other had thick eyebrows.
Shang Jianyao then smiled. “Look, I didn’t fire at you and spoke to you calmly. I didn’t make you put down your weapons for me to slaughter you. So…”
Upon hearing this, the two guards immediately felt that this fellow was rather friendly. It seemed like he was really just here to make friends.
“Why didn’t you say so earlier? You scared us.” The guard with the larger nose, brown hair, and blue eyes was relatively braver; he quickly stood up.
“How may I address you?” Shang Jianyao showed his friendliness.
The guard casually said, “Just call me Joseph; he’s Paul. What about you?”
“Zhang Qubing.” Shang Jianyao used his fake name in the Red River language.
“Are you Ashlanders?” Joseph asked in understanding when he heard the translated name.
“Humans are humans. There’s no need to differentiate them into different groups.” Shang Jianyao emphasized his opinion.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian had already walked to the sack and squatted down. She then carefully pulled open the mouth of the bag to reveal the contents.
It was a corpse.
He was wearing a black suit. His hair was a little white, and there was a bloodstain on his chest.
“Butler Carl!” Jiang Baimian recognized the corpse. This was one of DiMarco’s three butlers, Carl; he was in charge of the firearms business.
He had just spoken to Harbinger Song He in the morning, indicating that they had never sold information to the merfolk or mountain monsters. Now, his neatly combed hair had become abnormally messy.
In just a few hours, he became a corpse.
“Butler Carl?” Long Yuehong repeated in surprise. He never expected the sack to contain such a corpse. He thought that it was a servant who had offended DiMarco.
Of course, strictly speaking, the butler was also one of the servants.
“How did Butler Carl die?” Shang Jianyao asked the two Underground Ark guards, who he had established a friendly relationship with.
This time, he didn’t directly ‘make friends.’ Instead, he used Inference Clowning to simulate the friendly effects of Harbinger Song He.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian had completed a simple inspection and had preliminarily confirmed that Carl had died from a gunshot to the chest.
The big-nosed Joseph’s expression darkened. “Killed by Mr. DiMarco.”
“Why?” Long Yuehong blurted out a question. He remembered that Butler Carl was a loyal person and was clearly a Vigilance Church parishioner. In order to help DiMarco run the arms business, he chose not to hide.
Paul—who had thick eyebrows—and Joseph looked at each other and hesitantly said, “After meeting the Harbinger from the Vigilance Church in the morning, Butler Carl has been wanting to meet Mr. DiMarco. Back then, Mr. DiMarco was resting in his room. It was only in the afternoon that Carl was allowed in. We don’t know what exactly they discussed; we only know that an argument broke out later. In his rage, Mr. DiMarco drew his gun and killed Butler Carl.”
As Jiang Baimian stood up, Shang Jianyao acted as a famous detective and tacitly asked, “Did you witness the subsequent quarrel?”
Joseph shook his head. “We only heard a sudden commotion inside. When we opened the door to protect Mr. DiMarco, he had already shot Butler Carl. He then casually mentioned the quarrel.”
Could it be that after Butler Carl finished his conversation with Harbinger Song and returned to the Underground Ark, he somehow recalled something and began to suspect that DiMarco had really sold the information regarding Bishop Renato to the mountain monsters? He then tried to seek an explanation, but he ended up infuriating the brutal DiMarco and was directly shot to death? However, this doesn’t match Butler Carl’s loyal image… A series of guesses flashed across Jiang Baimian’s mind.
Suddenly, she acutely noticed a detail. Thus, she asked, “No one was by his side when Mr. DiMarco spoke to Butler Carl?”
He actually needed the guards outside to enter and rescue him.
Joseph replied, “Yes, unless there’s something that needs to be communicated, Mr. DiMarco won’t let anyone stay in his room. He doesn’t like that.”
Shang Jianyao immediately clicked his tongue. “He really is an unqualified Vigilance Church parishioner.”
Upon hearing this, Long Yuehong realized a contradiction in the description.
As a member of the Vigilance Church, DiMarco was actually not afraid of being attacked when he was alone. He chose to have all the guards stay outside; he was too careless!
“Maybe his faith in Eidolon Nun is nominal.” Bai Chen felt that this was the most likely and most reasonable explanation.
The guard with thick eyebrows—Paul—quickly denied it. “No, Mr. DiMarco has always been very pious. He often wears a mask, and he has been wearing it every day for the past year. Apart from sleeping, he won’t take it off.”
Shang Jianyao immediately asked, “How did you know that he takes it off when he sleeps?”
Paul hesitated for a moment and said, “I-I just think so.”
Shang Jianyao stroked his chin and asked, “Will he sleep with women, uh—including men?”
“Yes, he has many women.” Although Joseph found the topic strange, he still answered truthfully.
Shang Jianyao—who was wearing a monkey mask—laughed. “Then, will he take off his mask when doing the deed?”
Joseph and Paul looked at each other and began to recall.
After a while, Paul said, “I heard a few maids that slept with Mr. DiMarco say that he sometimes wears one but sometimes not.”
“Yes.” Joseph recalled some rumors. “In the early years, Mr. DiMarco often didn’t wear masks. Recently, he seems to wear them more frequently.”
“When did this change happen?” Jiang Baimian asked.
“I don’t know.” Joseph and Paul shook their heads at the same time.
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and asked, “Did he wear it when he spoke to Bishop Renato recently?”
“Yes, he has been wearing it every day for the past year,” Joseph replied firmly.
In the past year… Jiang Baimian suddenly thought of something. It has been almost a year since Lehman’s friend, Lars, disappeared! This matter is getting more and more confusing…
As Jiang Baimian sighed inwardly, Shang Jianyao had already changed the topic. “What kind of performance do DiMarco and his ancestors have?”
What kind of performance? Joseph and Paul were a little confused.
Jiang Baimian’s eyes darted up as she exhaled and forcefully ‘explained,’ “How did DiMarco and his ancestors rule the Underground Ark?”
Joseph and Paul looked at each other, but neither of them spoke.
Shang Jianyao looked at them and smiled. “There’s nobody else nearby.”
As if he had found support, Joseph took a deep breath in and said, “Brutality flows in the blood of DiMarco and his ancestors. My parents are also from the Underground Ark. One was a guard, and the other was a maid. They tell me that a large number of servants are killed and buried in this valley every year for various reasons. Only a few lucky people are spared.”
“Are you and your parents the lucky ones?” Jiang Baimian asked cooperatively.
Joseph slowly shook his head.
“No. DiMarco and his ancestors rarely brutally kill guards and their families. Only in the first few years, when Mr. DiMarco lost his son, were a few guards executed for angering him. Under normal circumstances, guards will be given two to three chances when they make a mistake.”
“So he isn’t that crazy?” Jiang Baimian evaluated him without passing any judgment. “How did DiMarco lose his son?”
Joseph recalled. “Although Mr. DiMarco and his ancestors are very brutal, all of them love new life very much. From his grandfather onwards, every generation’s owner of the Underground Ark has a large number of partners and many children. They will then choose the most outstanding one to inherit the Underground Ark. Besides, they also encourage guards and maids to copulate and have children.”
“All…” Shang Jianyao repeated one word.
Joseph nodded. “That’s indeed the case. At least, that’s what my parents told me.”
He paused and continued, “The discontent brought about by the brutality has been accumulating. After Mr. DiMarco’s father fell seriously ill, the servants couldn’t hold it in any longer and started a riot. This resulted in many of Mr. DiMarco’s relatives dying. In the end, only a few survived.
“After quelling this riot, Mr. DiMarco became the Underground Ark’s owner. He found many partners internally, but to our surprise, he only gave birth to three children over the years. Among them, he loved the youngest the most. Unfortunately, this child died from an illness more than three years ago. During that period, Mr. DiMarco was no different from a madman.”