Chapter 86: Reminder
In ‘Hyena’ Lin Li’s SUV, the driver didn’t dare divert his attention to look at his boss until he drove back to where the City Intelligence Network Control Center was located.
His heart sank when he saw the scene behind him, and a chill ran down his spine.
Lin Li had collapsed in the passenger seat at some point in time. His grayish-green beret was dyed red, and the stench of blood filled the air.
The driver subconsciously slowed the vehicle down and shouted, “Boss…”
Lin Li had zero reaction.
Only then did the driver finally confirm one thing: The boss—who had been in high spirits and casually wiped out a Subhuman settlement—was truly dead.
They were ambushed and killed while dealing with a team of four that didn’t appear to be very powerful. Furthermore, at least six people from his team had died, and nearly half of the core members had been lost.
This made the driver panic. As he controlled the steering wheel, he gulped saliva down his parched throat.
After the sprinkler car with melodious music passed by, he shivered and came to a realization. In any case, we’ve already gained enough. As long as we can escape the four-man team’s pursuit, we can leave this city ruin tomorrow morning.
Although we have lost our boss, the armored vehicle, heavy machine guns, and many members, we still have three cars at least, six to seven people, and a single rocket launcher. Furthermore, we still have sufficient firepower.
After selling the items we obtained this time, we can recruit five to six skilled wilderness nomads. It will then be another capable and powerful team. Although it’s definitely incomparable to the past, it’s still enough to bully the weak in the Ashlands.
Upon thinking of this, the driver’s expression gradually softened, and he even smiled.
As long as he seized the opportunity later and established his authority, he might be able to become the second boss!
If Lin Li could do it, why couldn’t he?
The driver’s cold heart quickly burned up because of his boss’s death. He turned the steering wheel and drove toward the other members.
The military-green armored vehicle drove heavily down the street toward the intersection.
With the help of the machine-gun mount and the bulletproof window on the door, Long Yuehong looked at the building to the side and idly counted the number of glass windows that had light coming out from them.
He didn’t dare stick his head out, afraid that he would have his skull blown off by a sudden bullet like the other bandits.
“There, look. There’s a Heartless there…” Long Yuehong suddenly spoke as he pointed into the air.
Jiang Baimian looked over and saw a figure sitting around a cement pole that propped up electric wires. He was holding tools and repairing the equipment seriously.
This figure was a man in dark clothes, who had a black pistol—which he had picked up from somewhere—at his waist.
Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and casually asked, “Was he the one who attacked us previously?”
She was referring to the attack they encountered on their way to the City Intelligence Network Control Center with Qiao Chu.
“I’m not sure.” Bai Chen shook her head. “Back then, there were too many Heartless.”
“That’s right. How can you remember the characteristics of so many Heartless in such an emergency?” Long Yuehong echoed.
“Forget it, forget it.” Jiang Baimian looked up into the air again. “He really does look like a skilled worker.”
Just as she said that, a large car drove over from the intersection ahead.
This car was large. Its entire body was painted a striking red. It had a total of six tires and looked very sturdy.
It drove along the road that was mostly blocked by abandoned vehicles, heading toward the armored vehicle.
“What should we do?” Long Yuehong was a little nervous. This was a situation he had never encountered.
“What else can we do? Do you want to crash into it?” Jiang Baimian glanced at Long Yuehong. “Although armored vehicles aren’t afraid of such situations, it will be very dangerous if we damage some components and can’t drive it anymore. How dangerous would it be if we have to walk?”
Without waiting for Jiang Baimian’s instructions, Shang Jianyao took the initiative to operate the vehicle. He made the armored vehicle turn into an alley diagonally ahead and made way.
“Yo, you’re that rational?” Jiang Baimian asked in amusement. “I thought you would take the initiative to slam into it to see who’s harder.”
Without turning his head, Shang Jianyao replied, “It doesn’t deserve it.”
“…” Jiang Baimian was speechless.
Just as she was about to find another topic, the red car drove over and sped into the distance.
A male Heartless in thick green clothes and a yellow helmet sat in the driver’s seat, holding the steering wheel with a stiff but focused expression.
Frankly speaking, Jiang Baimian wouldn’t even be sure that the other party was definitely a Heartless if not for her preconceived notions.
Light scattered from everywhere, making the Old Task Force’s four members fall silent.
The armored vehicle returned to the previous street. People occasionally came and went, appearing very lively.
As Jiang Baimian scanned the area, she suddenly saw a familiar figure. It was a green-eyed, blond woman in a grayish-blue robe.
Galoran, whom they had encountered in the wilderness!
“That Daoist priest…” Jiang Baimian muttered and signaled for Shang Jianyao to stop the vehicle. She then opened the door and shouted at Galoran, “Daoist Galoran!”
Galoran—who was strolling along the road—turned her head. When she saw them, she smiled. “Fate has led us to meet again.”
“Did you discover anything?” Jiang Baimian didn’t waste any time and got straight to the point.
Galoran nodded. “Leave as soon as possible.”
“Why?” Jiang Baimian asked.
Galoran looked up at the sky. “A Kalendaria’s leftover aura is here.”
A Kalendaria’s leftover aura… Jiang Baimian and the others repeated these words in their hearts at the same time, recalling the various abnormalities in the city ruin.
“Which Kalendaria is it?” After a few seconds, Shang Jianyao leaned back and held his body horizontal to the door.
Galoran sighed and said, “Master Zhuang.”
She then chanted, “The Celestial Worthy of Immeasurable for Blessings.”
“Why are you so sure?” inquired Jiang Baimian quickly.
The blond Galoran shook her head. “Leave at dawn.”
She didn’t say anything else and walked forward.
Jiang Baimian stared at the Daoist priest’s back for a few seconds before pushing Shang Jianyao back into the driver’s seat. Before closing the door, she said, “Drive; go back to the jeep. We leave this city ruin at dawn.”
The armored vehicle continued moving forward in the world of light created by the street lamps and building windows, heading back toward the tunnel.
On the way, they saw a man dazedly repairing a car, a woman constantly using a spatula in an empty pot, a child walking back and forth without doing anything, and Heartless doing all kinds of things.
There weren’t many Heartless. Bathed in yellowish or white light, they were like projections that originated from the Old World.
When another large car drove past and pushed many abandoned vehicles to the side of the road, Jiang Baimian silently sighed and smiled. “I finally understand why the middle of the road is still considered empty, allowing our vehicles to pass.”
“There might not be many of them to begin with.” Bai Chen stared for a while before saying, “If the Heartless from the beginning were like the current Heartless, they would definitely drive their cars away and park them at a suitable place…”
As they spoke, the armored vehicle returned to the street where they had set off from.
On the side of the road were signs with words like ‘foot bath,”supermarket,”barbecue,”hot pot,’ and ‘police.’ The words were clearly displayed under the light.
The brownish-yellow stone archway at the entrance to the dormitory district reflected a golden glow, making the remaining words ‘Yang’ and ‘Yuan’ appear somewhat noble.
In the seven to eight buildings inside, many windows also emitted different lights, dispelling a portion of the darkness.
After returning to this familiar place and seeing this scene, Jiang Baimian and the others suddenly felt a little warm and secure.
Jiang Baimian slowly retracted her gaze and instructed, “Turn in.”
Shang Jianyao retracted his gaze, let the armored vehicle pass through the entrance, and entered.
As many roads were narrow, Shang Jianyao casually found a spot close to the jeep and stopped the armored vehicle.
“Are we staying here tonight?” Long Yuehong felt that the armored vehicle gave him a sense of security.
Jiang Baimian smiled and said, “If it were anywhere else, such a choice would definitely not be wrong. However, there are many Superior Heartless and powerful mutated creatures in this city ruin. Their abilities are rather strange, and we might be affected if we aren’t careful. It’s very difficult to guard against them by simply assigning night duty.
“Such an armored vehicle is too eye-catching. It’s very easy to become a hunter’s target. When the time comes, not only will the armored vehicles be unable to protect us, but they will also become an iron cage that restricts us.”
Long Yuehong was shocked and quickly asked, “What should we do then?”
Jiang Baimian pointed at the building they had previously been in. “Go there and find a room without Heartless to hide in. During night duty, one person will be assigned to monitor the jeep and the armored vehicle. Once any creatures approach, immediately fire. To put it simply, use the jeep and the armored vehicle as bait.”
Long Yuehong opened his mouth to praise his team leader, but he realized that it wasn’t a good thing.
“Team Leader, he wants to say that you’re sinister.” Shang Jianyao took the initiative to help.
“I-I didn’t!” Long Yuehong denied it.
Jiang Baimian chuckled. “Being sinister is better than being stupid. Also, praise me for being smart and intelligent, understand?”
As they spoke, they alighted from the armored vehicle and took out many cans, biscuits, and energy bars from the jeep’s trunk. They then packed them into their respective tactical backpacks.
This way, they wouldn’t have to worry about a grenade destroying their food if they really encountered a powerful enemy.
After checking their surroundings, the four of them entered the first building. Under the bright light, they immediately saw a Heartless.
The Heartless was in his prime, and he wore a mess of clothes. His hair was messy and dirty, but it wasn’t too long. It didn’t reach his shoulder.
At this moment, the Heartless had just opened the door to a silver-black elevator. He was holding a tool and gripping the safety rope.
He looked up and glanced at Jiang Baimian and the others with his turbid eyes. Then, he quietly retracted his gaze and looked down.
Long Yuehong fell silent for a few seconds before blurting out, “He’s maintaining and repairing the elevator?”
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his words. “I think so.”
At this moment, Shang Jianyao suddenly said, “I’ve seen him. I saw him coming this way when I was on night duty…”
He paused and added, “Like a beast.”