Chapter 65: Searching the Rooms
After hearing Qiao Chu’s words, Jiang Baimian and Shang Jianyao spoke at the same time.
Upon seeing that the other party had something to say, they shut their mouths again. The scene immediately fell into a strange silence.
After a few seconds, Jiang Baimian smiled and said, “You speak first.”
Shang Jianyao nodded seriously. “I want to use the bathroom first.”
“…Don’t you have any other thoughts?” Jiang Baimian was almost speechless.
Shang Jianyao didn’t think before answering, “I’ll also inspect the other rooms while doing so.”
“Inspect… Wouldn’t it be better to use the word ‘patrol?’” Jiang Baimian asked habitually. She then nodded in satisfaction. “Go ahead.”
As soon as she finished speaking, she turned to look at Long Yuehong. “When resting in such a sealed room, you have to remember to make sure that there’s nothing abnormal inside. This isn’t a problem that can be resolved simply by having night duty. This is because such an environment is cramped and filled with obstacles. It’s not conducive for escaping or fighting. Even if you can discover an accident in time, it will still be rather troublesome.”
At this point, Jiang Baimian subconsciously glanced at Qiao Chu, surprised by his lapse in wariness. Is this commissioner from the Eighth Research Institute too confident and not afraid of accidents, or is he just inexperienced in such matters?
Qiao Chu did not look at her. He took off the silver rifle on his back and pulled a relatively intact brownish-yellow chair in front of him. He then walked to the old coffee table and took out several pieces of tissue from the pitch-black box. After that, he turned around to wipe the chair that had accumulated dust.
Upon seeing this, Long Yuehong didn’t know if he should search the room with Shang Jianyao or help Qiao Chu clean up.
“Just remember it for now. Have a seat.” Jiang Baimian did not make things difficult for him.
Long Yuehong reflexively sat on the sofa. However, the grayish surface—the original color was unknown—suddenly sank before it tore apart with a crack.
Long Yuehong failed to sit still and almost fell into the sofa.
Jiang Baimian retracted her gentle gaze and glanced at her subordinate’s sorry plight. She chuckled and said, “Be careful. These are all antiques from 70-80 years ago or even older. Besides, I don’t know how much bacteria and viruses are in the dust. Although you have undergone genetic enhancement and have a physique that isn’t prone to diseases, you have to be careful.”
“Yes, Team Leader!” Long Yuehong stood up and loudly replied as he had done many times in the past.
“Team leader…” Qiao Chu repeated this term in a low voice with an indifferent gaze. He did not care much.
He had already cleaned the chair and sat down.
Long Yuehong and Bai Chen began to clean up the sofa, chairs, and coffee table. Shang Jianyao returned to the intersection between the living room and the dining room and walked toward the short aisle deep in the room.
At this moment, the room became dark as night fell.
The living room area was fine since the floor-to-ceiling windows were large. Even though there was no moon outside, the starlight still shone in a little, barely allowing Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and the others to see each other’s faces. After entering the aisle, Shang Jianyao could only make out the rough outline of things.
Shang Jianyao unzipped his camouflage backpack and took out a silver flashlight with a granular feel. He did not always hang the flashlight on his belt. Occasionally, he would put it in the Security Department’s standard backpack.
With the help of the flashlight’s orange-yellow light beam, Shang Jianyao saw the scene in front of him clearly.
On both sides of the aisle were brownish-red wooden doors, but they were asymmetrical. Their styles were also different. The one on the left was closer to the entrance. Above it was thick glass that prevented the interior from being seen clearly. The one on the right was almost at the end of the aisle. Its handle was brass colored, and some places were covered in green rust.
On the wall at the end was another brownish-red wooden door to the left.
Shang Jianyao first walked to the door on the aisle’s left because it was the closest. During this process, he drew his Ice Moss pistol to prevent any accidents.
Shang Jianyao turned the doorknob with the hand holding the flashlight. After pushing open the door, Shang Jianyao was in no rush to enter. He shone the flashlight in for a while.
He saw a sink, something that resembled a toilet in a textbook, a glass door that seemed movable, producing a section that contained a showerhead.
“Bathroom,” Shang Jianyao muttered before walking in.
From his point of view, he could see every angle clearly. Sometimes, he would jump up and look at the ventilation duct above. Sometimes, he would squat down and examine the small space between the toilet and the sink as if he thought that a person could be hidden there.
Finally, he only found some moss and a few ants in some dark places, but not much.
After finishing his inspection, he walked to the toilet and lifted the lid.
There was no more water inside.
Shang Jianyao tried the different buttons on the toilet bowl in a scientific manner and realized that they had lost their functions.
He straightened his body, twitched his nose dramatically, and took a few deep breaths.
“There’s no smell…” He came to a conclusion a few seconds later. It was impossible to tell if his expression was one of relief or regret.
He then tested the showerhead and confirmed that no water flowed out.
After completing the inspection, Shang Jianyao fell into deep thought. It was unknown what he was thinking.
After a while, he placed the Ice Moss pistol back on his belt and reached into the sink to pull out the metal filter. It was too rusted, and Shang Jianyao almost broke it.
After putting this item to the side, Shang Jianyao propped himself up with one hand and jumped up. He firmly stood on the sink and stepped to the side, appearing extremely balanced.
He then clamped the flashlight under his chin, lowered his pants, and aimed at the sink’s hole.
After relieving himself, Shang Jianyao jumped down and stuffed the metal filter back into its original spot.
In the living room outside, Qiao Chu frowned and pinched his nose when he heard the commotion. Long Yuehong and Bai Chen revealed complicated expressions.
Jiang Baimian did not hear any of this. She seriously distributed the compressed biscuits, energy bars, and other food.
Shang Jianyao left the bathroom and politely closed the door. He then walked to the end of the aisle with a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other.
At this moment, there was a door on his right and a door on his left.
He gestured with his pistol and flashlight and decided to choose the left door.
He was also very careful when opening the door.
The most eye-catching thing inside was a relatively wide bed. On the bed was a dirty, light-green bed sheet with two pillows covering the same pillowcase.
On the right side of the bed was a short cabinet. To the short cabinet’s right was a row of tall, dilapidated, cream-colored cabinets that reached the ceiling.
On the bed’s left side was a table with a sizable LCD screen and a black metal box.
Near the LCD screen were a mouse and a keyboard that Shang Jianyao recognized, as well as a dark-blue object covered in honeycomb patterns.
Further to the left of this table were the wall and a large windowsill. On the windowsill was a brown rug that had many holes—perhaps the work of rats. On the rug was a small wooden table.
Shang Jianyao held a flashlight and walked toward the windowsill from the aisle between the end of the bed and the wall.
He bent down and carefully searched for a while. Finally, he could only mutter to himself regretfully, “There’s no rat feces…”
This sentence echoed in the slightly empty room as if it carried some doubts.
Shang Jianyao then walked to the table where the LCD screen was placed and picked up different items with his gun-wielding hand.
As a graduate of Pangu Biology’s electronics department, it was not difficult for him to recognize the computer in front of him.
He tried his best to turn his head and look at the camouflage backpack behind him, giving up on the idea of stuffing such large objects inside.
Finally, he picked up the object that seemed to be covered in black honeycombs. It was only slightly bigger than a palm.
Coupled with his professional knowledge and his knowledge of the Rec Center’s small market, Shang Jianyao quickly confirmed that it was a small speaker—a speaker that could play music.
He quickly plucked out the wire on the speaker and completely pulled the item away from the computer.
After cleaning the dark-blue speaker with the bedsheets beside him, Shang Jianyao took off his camouflage backpack and stuffed it inside.
He wasn’t sure if the speaker could still be used, and he even felt that it couldn’t be used anymore. However, it didn’t matter. He knew how to repair the speaker as long as he could find suitable and intact components to replace the broken parts.
After wearing the camouflage backpack again, Shang Jianyao held the gun in one hand and the flashlight in the other. He checked every corner and the different items in the room.
He quickly circled to the other side. He bent down to look at the bottom of the bed before pulling open the bedside table’s drawer.
This short cabinet had a total of two drawers. The first one Shang Jianyao opened was the one on top. There was a dazzling array of items inside, but it was also filled with a putrid smell.
“Ultra Thin… Aspirin… Cold medicine…” He flipped through the items one by one before putting them back.
He then pulled open the drawer below. It was empty; nothing was inside.
Shang Jianyao stared at it for a few seconds before retracting his gaze. He straightened his body and walked to the closet.
After opening the closet door, he saw a black jacket, a white muslin dress, and other clothes with styles he couldn’t put his finger on. They hung there neatly. Other than the slightly unpleasant smell, they seemed no different from back when they were used.
Shang Jianyao recognized the dress because some women in Pangu Biology liked wearing such clothes very much.
It was something highly impractical. With all the energy from the environment being directed to the Indoor Ecosystem Zone—leaving only a small portion for the Residential Zone—long-sleeved clothes and long pants were the best choices. This also made work very convenient.
Only women from slightly more well-to-do families would use their contribution points to exchange for cloth and make such dresses for themselves following the dress styles worn by certain management families.
These clothes would be one of their most precious items. They only wore such clothes when they watched the end-of-year performances, participated in certain collective activities, or when strolling in some corner with their lovers.
Shang Jianyao subconsciously stretched out his hand and touched the white muslin dress.
Perhaps it was because the closet rod had long decayed, or perhaps it was because it was in a fragile balance, but the rod slid down with a swish the moment Shang Jianyao touched the dress. This caused many clothes to fall to the wooden board below.
Shang Jianyao silently stared at it for a few seconds before retracting his hand that was holding the Ice Moss.
He continued to check the drawers in the closet, but he didn’t find anything noteworthy.
He quickly left the room and entered the one on the right of the aisle.
This room was even smaller. It only had a not-too-wide bed, a row of milky-white wardrobes, and a desk with a desk lamp.
The bed sheet was blue with many golden stars on it. It was much cuter than the one next door. However, it also had many stains on it.
Shang Jianyao searched everywhere. Finally, he leaned over to the pillow and shone the flashlight back and forth.
After an unknown period of time, Shang Jianyao placed the flashlight on the bed and adjusted his position.
Under the light’s illumination, he then stretched out a hand and twirled out a long strand of hair on the pillow’s edge.