Chapter 81: Meeting Again
On a street not far from the City Intelligence Network Control Center, Jingfa—who was wearing a yellow monk robe and a red kasaya—was monitoring the surroundings, searching for the source of the previous explosion.
The building with a sizable courtyard suddenly lit up ring after ring, emitting a bright, yellow glow.
In the dark and silent city ruin, it was like a lighthouse that illuminated an eternal dream.
Jingfa turned his head and glanced at the building before rushing over with large strides.
The moment the lights lit up, Long Yuehong, Bai Chen, and Jiang Baimian instinctively closed their eyes to adapt to the sudden change in brightness.
Only Shang Jianyao tried his best to keep his eyes open, and he almost shed tears from the stimulation.
Jiang Baimian opened her eyes and nodded in praise when she saw this. “You’re very vigilant.”
“Because I don’t have sunglasses.” Shang Jianyao finally blinked.
Jiang Baimian couldn’t follow his train of thought and could only sigh. “I feel like I’m back in the company now…”
Back at Pangu Biology, they also lived in a building that relied on lights to illuminate everything. There were also spacious elevator lobbies.
The only difference was that this hall was spacious and empty. It was similar to the Rec Center in Pangu Biology. Furthermore, it was paved with seemingly extravagant black stone tiles. It also had a transparent and dreamy chandelier hanging from above.
“Is that so?” Long Yuehong—who was at the stairwell—didn’t dare turn his head as he guarded against the possibility of Qiao Chu coming up from the stairs.
“It’s brighter than the company,” Shang Jianyao described simply.
Jiang Baimian smiled at first before she frowned. “On such a dark night, there’s only one brightly lit building in such a city ruin. Won’t it be very eye-catching?”
Bai Chen—who was aiming at the three elevators opposite her—understood Jiang Baimian’s meaning and thoughtfully asked, “Team Leader, are you worried that Jingfa and the other Ruin Hunters will come over because of this?”
“You don’t have to worry about ordinary Ruin Hunters. You said that they would take the initiative to stay away from anything abnormal.” Jiang Baimian nodded slightly. “However, we already know that Jingfa is here. He has a special body, and his abilities embolden him. It’s very likely that he will be attracted here. He also hates women. Also, there’s a high chance that the Hyena bandits have entered this ruin. They like to circle around anomalies and wait for an opportunity.”
Shang Jianyao said thoughtfully, “This will depend on whose name sucks more, Qiao Chu or them.”
“Are you trying to say who’s more unlucky?” Jiang Baimian chuckled. “You sure have confidence in our Old Task Force. What if it’s the worst-case scenario? If they appear at the same time, we’ll be attacked from both sides—front and back.”
After spending so many days together, she had already figured out the relationship between a sucky name and a bad fate.
Just as she said that, Shang Jianyao suddenly asked, “How does Jingfa determine if someone’s female?”
“He’s already an Eternal. He definitely doesn’t rely on organs like a nose or eyes. Instead, he comes to a comprehensive judgment obtained by analyzing every aspect,” replied Jiang Baimian subconsciously. “Do you want to pretend to be a woman and lure him away before taking off your disguise? Haha, I find it a little difficult.”
Shang Jianyao replied seriously, “I’m just wondering what will happen if Jingfa encounters Qiao Chu.”
Jiang Baimian muttered in enlightenment, “Jingfa doesn’t hate women; he hates everyone who can trigger his lust and strike at his weakness. He can no longer relieve his corresponding desires. Qiao Chu’s Bewitchment seems to be indiscriminate. Not only is it useful against women, but it’s also very effective on men. Even animals are no exception.
“Once Jingfa encounters Qiao Chu, he will definitely be instantly bewitched. His mind has been warped for years, so he will only have one reaction: Rape the target that gives him a good impression and desires and let him die a tragic death…”
Jiang Baimian’s whisper was loud enough for everyone present to hear. Bai Chen nodded indiscernibly and said expressionlessly, “I’m a little looking forward to Jingfa meeting Qiao Chu now…”
“You’re so naughty.” Jiang Baimian laughed. She then restrained her smile and instructed seriously, “In short, you have to mind your surroundings while waiting for Qiao Chu to come up. You can’t let down your guard, and you have to be prepared for dangerous creatures to intrude at any moment.”
As she spoke, Jiang Baimian stood up and opened the window deep in the elevator lobby. Outside was an overgrown garden.
“If Jingfa comes in from the front door, I’ll use the grenade launcher to hold him back for a while. As I do that, take the opportunity to leave through the window. Our current firepower is insufficient to deal with a mechanical monk that is also an Awakened. This is something we have to admit. We can’t risk our lives.”
Jiang Baimian returned to her previous position, leaned against the wall, and squatted down. “Alright, Qiao Chu is about to come up. It will definitely be faster for him to go from the underground engine room to the elevator lobby than from the stairwell to the underground engine room.”
At least they were already familiar with the route.
Just as Jiang Baimian said that, she frowned again. “Can you determine how large the influence range of Qiao Chu’s Depression ability is? I remember that it can affect multiple targets. We can’t just consider Bewitchment and ignore his other Awakened abilities.”
Shang Jianyao immediately replied, “Such abilities should be weakened by obstacles like walls and metal doors.”
Jiang Baimian quickly said, “But we can’t be sure that it won’t affect us after it’s weakened. If Bai Chen is affected even from her position, how are we to snipe Qiao Chu? When the time comes, everyone will want to give up because of depression. We’ll be in our spots waiting for death.”
Before she could finish her sentence, she had already stood up. “We lack key information. This operation is suspended.”
“Shall we go to the roof to snipe?” Bai Chen suggested.
Jiang Baimian quickly asked, “How confident are you of sniping a target wearing a military exoskeleton? Only one of our guns has sniping abilities.”
Bai Chen did not put on a brave front. Her expression darkened slightly as she said, “I’m not confident.”
“Then, retreat immediately and find an opportunity later,” Jiang Baimian ordered.
“Yes, Team Leader!” Shang Jianyao and the others didn’t say anything else to avoid wasting precious time.
While observing the surroundings, Jiang Baimian muttered to herself in frustration, “Why is my train of thought affected to a certain extent despite escaping Qiao Chu? I’m not as logical as normal. I always seem to ignore some problems…”
At this moment, Xiaochong—who was carrying a red school bag—returned to the elevator lobby. He looked up in disappointment and asked, “You’re not playing anymore?”
“Next time.” Jiang Baimian pointed at the window. “Walk from here to avoid colliding with the people coming in from the front door. Shang Jianyao, carry Xiaochong and take point. Quick, someone’s coming.”
As she spoke, Jiang Baimian picked up the grenade launcher with one hand and aimed it at the main entrance.
Shang Jianyao picked up Xiaochong and ran two steps before jumping up and passing through the window to land outside.
Long Yuehong and Bai Chen climbed out of the window one after another.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian had already seen Jingfa, who was in a yellow monk robe and a red kasaya.
Jingfa ran over with bloodshot eyes when he heard the woman’s voice.
Jiang Baimian didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger and fire a grenade.
Flames rose from the main entrance as fragments flew everywhere. Jingfa subconsciously dodged.
Jiang Baimian seized the opportunity to run to the window and rush out with a leap.
In just a second or two, the mechanical monk—Jingfa—smashed through the glass wall in the main entrance area. With a crashing sound, he ran in from the side.
He was just about to fire a grenade at the window when his head suddenly spun half a circle as he looked at one of the elevators. He then ran over crazily, his eyes bloodshot.
The elevator quickly stopped on the first floor, and it slowly opened its hoistway door and gate.
Jingfa raised his arms and aimed all his offensive weapons at the interior. However, there was only a cold, grayish-black metal wall inside. There was no one inside the elevator.
The elevator door closed while Jingfa was dazed, and the elevator continued its ascent.
On the top of this elevator, in the dark shaft, Qiao Chu—who was wearing a military exoskeleton—quietly stood near the main steel wire rope.
He looked down, his lips tightly pursed.
In the elevator lobby on the first floor, Jingfa finally reacted. He seemed to understand something and crazily pressed buttons, attempting to summon another elevator.
In the courtyard behind the City Intelligence Network Control Center.
Jiang Baimian bent her back and quickly walked where the light in the building couldn’t reach. She quickly followed Bai Chen and the others according to the electric signals.
Shang Jianyao half-squatted in a corner and said in a deep voice, “Xiaochong disappeared.”
“Where did he go?” Jiang Baimian asked with a suppressed voice.
Shang Jianyao gave a brief explanation. “When we got here, I put him down. He said he wanted to pee. He rushed behind the trees and then disappeared.”
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment before speaking with a solemn expression. “It’s a little strange. Let’s leave this place as soon as possible.”
Shang Jianyao and the others immediately replied by using actions in place of words.
Under Jiang Baimian’s lead, they went straight to the side, attempting to climb over the fence and circle back.
They traversed the trees and flowers, getting closer and closer to their target.
At this moment, a desolate, hoarse roar sounded not far away. This roar was even louder than before as if it directly sounded in their ears.
Jiang Baimian and the others’ minds instantly turned blank. Their hearts seemed to be gripped by intense, familiar fear, preventing them from beating.
After an unknown period of time, they suddenly heard a gentle voice. “Don’t be afraid. Stay calm.”
Shang Jianyao and the others trembled slightly before finally waking up. They felt their fear receding like the tide.
They then looked in the direction of the sound and saw a person squatting in the fence’s shadows.
This person wore a loose black robe and had long hair draped over his shoulders. He had a very elegant beard, and his expression was gentle but a little solemn.
Shang Jianyao and company knew this person. They had previously met him in the wilderness—he was Du Heng, the man who called himself an antiquarian and historian.