Chapter 96: Shang Jianyao’s Countermeasure
Upon hearing Ren Jie’s answer, Shang Jianyao thought for two seconds before continuing to ask, “Who is the Doctor of the Church?”
Ren Jie smiled. “This isn’t something you should know now. When you become a Guide, the Doctor of the Church will take the initiative to summon you. When the time comes, you’ll know who he is.”
Shang Jianyao continued inquiring without being discouraged. “How can I become a Guide then?”
“By doing well enough.” Ren Jie was very patient when facing her new godson.
Without waiting for Shang Jianyao to ask again, she added, “As long as you perform well, the Doctor of the Church won’t ignore you.”
As she spoke, her expression became serious again. “The Doctor of the Church has always been watching us.”
At this moment, the people—who were returning one after another due to the street lamps extinguishing—passed by.
Ren Jie looked around and said, “Let’s talk about it another time.”
Shang Jianyao nodded slightly before quickly saying, “I really can’t say it out. Let’s forget about the matter from before…”
With that said, he turned around and left, not giving Ren Jie a chance to ask.
Ren Jie was stunned before she laughed. “This child actually gets embarrassed…”
The next morning after breakfast, Shang Jianyao came to Room 14 on the 647th floor.
Jiang Baimian came earlier than him; she was already flipping through some information there.
“You’re early?” Jiang Baimian looked up and laughed. “Do you want to practice spar again?”
She looked eager.
Shang Jianyao walked to her desk, pulled out a chair, and sat down. He didn’t make any small talk and directly asked, “Team Leader, can an Awakened’s ability cause cardiac arrest?”
“I’m not too sure. I don’t know much about an Awakened’s abilities,” Jiang Baimian replied in confusion. “If it’s not a direct cardiac arrest but an indirect method, I know of one. Heh heh, you should be able to imagine it. Yes, it’s the Nightmare Horse’s ‘Real Nightmare’ ability. Once one dies in a dream, the likely cause of death in reality will be cardiac arrest.”
“What if the person wasn’t sleeping but working?” asked Shang Jianyao without hiding anything.
“That detailed? It really happened?” With Jiang Baimian’s sharp intuition, she immediately sensed that something was amiss.
She then recalled the news on Newspoint last night and frowned. “Wang—Wang something? The Supplies Allocation Market PIC that died from a cardiac arrest? You suspect that he was killed by an Awakened?
“Is there any evidence? Many people in the company die from heart problems every year.”
Shang Jianyao frankly said, “I joined a parish in the company, the kind that often gathers and distributes Holy Communion. At the gathering yesterday morning, they accused Wang Yafei of desecrating the sacred duty of giving birth and abused his power for personal gain to punish a member of the parish.
“Back then, the Guide in charge of our floor said, ‘the Goddess will punish sinners.’ Wang Yafei passed away less than four hours later.”
“That’s indeed a little suspicious.” Jiang Baimian gave an honest evaluation before coming to a realization. “Wait, you said you joined a secret parish? Is this a religion that started inside the company or some kind of external intrusion?”
This was a big problem!
“They believe in the Arbiter of Fate, December’s Kalendaria.” Shang Jianyao’s tone was very calm as if he was discussing who the principal of this floor’s primary school was.
Jiang Baimian wanted to laugh when she heard that, but she felt a little strange. She didn’t beat around the bush and directly asked, “Since you think the parish is suspicious, go ahead and report it to the Order Supervisors. This is an act of meritorious service. You don’t have to worry about being implicated. Or can you not bear to part with that parish?”
“A little. Their Holy Communion is very delicious,” Shang Jianyao replied sincerely.
Jiang Baimian had long given up on the idea of arguing with Shang Jianyao. She forced a smile onto her face and asked, “Just because of this reason?”
Shang Jianyao fell silent for two seconds before seriously saying, “Most of the parishioners are good people. They joined the parish because of some sad experiences. They didn’t do anything bad. The main reason they gather is to find spiritual sustenance and comfort from each other.”
Jiang Baimian nodded thoughtfully. “Are you worried that they will be implicated and suffer severe punishment when the company finds out about the parish? If we ultimately prove that Wang Yafei died normally and that the entire matter is a coincidence, wouldn’t it really be unjust for the parish to be reported and punished?”
Shang Jianyao tersely acknowledged her words, agreeing that they were his concerns.
Jiang Baimian’s eyes slightly flickered before she smiled. “Are you willing to tell me the secret regarding the parish because I’m trustworthy?”
“Yes.” Shang Jianyao didn’t hide it.
The smile on Jiang Baimian’s face became increasingly obvious.
At this moment, Shang Jianyao added, “Even if you aren’t trustworthy, I can rely on my Inference Clowning ability to make you trustworthy.”
“…” Jiang Baimian narrowed her eyes and raised her left hand, letting the fine, silver-white electric arcs run wild in her palm. “Say that one more time.”
“Yes, you are trustworthy.” Shang Jianyao readily agreed.
Jiang Baimian lowered her palm and casually asked, “Why did you want to discuss this with me?”
“You’re smarter.” Shang Jianyao was rather honest.
Jiang Baimian smiled again. “Good that you know.”
She curiously asked, “If I were to let you deal with it yourself, what do you plan on doing about this matter?”
Shang Jianyao had long considered this question and smoothly replied, “Find the Doctor of the Church—who is above the Guide; find the person who issued the order; find the Awakened who executed the mission; find the parish’s high-ranking members who haven’t been acting appropriately and secretly kill them all.
“This way, the parish will be completely harmless. It will be where everyone will share their knowledge, worries, and food.”
He spoke as if he was going to the Supplies Allocation Market to buy some groceries on his day off.
Jiang Baimian was momentarily at a loss for words. After a few seconds, she said, “That’s a little difficult… An Awakened with the ability to cause cardiac arrest is not easy to deal with, especially in such a cramped environment like the company. Besides, there might not only be one Awakened in the parish. It might be the same for some of the higher-ranking members. It’s too difficult to kill all of them, and it’s highly likely that you’d be the one dying.
“In addition, it’s basically impossible to hide the truth after killing so many people. Do you think the company is just a decoration?”
Jiang Baimian continued with this train of thought. “Although you have the Inference Clowning ability, you definitely can’t compare to the company when it directs the investigations. They can mobilize all the resources to discover the truth and resolve the problem quickly.
“Therefore, my suggestion is still: Report to the company. As for the parish’s ordinary members, the company won’t punish them too severely as long as they didn’t do anything bad. The company will only teach them a lesson. After all, everyone is a precious resource. Besides, you can use your contributions to reduce their punishment.”
Upon seeing Shang Jianyao’s thoughtful expression, she added, “Everyone lives here, so they definitely want the company to be stable. If we keep covering up such problems and try to resolve them by ourselves, it will only worsen.”
Shang Jianyao stood up. “I’ll go to the Order Supervisory Bureau now.”
“Stop, stop! There’s no rush. I’m not done!” shouted Jiang Baimian quickly.
Shang Jianyao sat down again and looked at Jiang Baimian, waiting for her to continue.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged it. “Tell me everything again. Give me the whole story.”
Shang Jianyao recalled the incident without hiding anything. He even told her what time he went to the bathroom.
Jiang Baimian listened very seriously and did not interrupt Shang Jianyao’s recount, afraid that it would affect his train of thought and cause him to miss something. But even though she was already very familiar with Shang Jianyao’s style, she still slightly opened her mouth when she heard him take the initiative to call Auntie Ren ‘Mom’ in order to ‘gain’ her trust.
She felt surprised and amused.
“…Every time I feel like I know you well enough, you overturn my understanding again.” Jiang Baimian sighed helplessly. She then nodded slightly and said, “There’s something that doesn’t make sense.”
“What?” Shang Jianyao asked very cooperatively.
Jiang Baimian organized her words and said, “If Wang Yafei had died in two to three weeks—or a month from now—I don’t think there would’ve been any problems. It would’ve been a normal progression.
“But just after 6 a.m., the Guide labeled Wang Yafei as a sinner and said that the Goddess would punish sinners. More than three hours later, Wang Yafei died from a cardiac arrest. This brings about an obvious problem. All the members present back then will link Wang Yafei’s death to divine punishment.”
“Yes, that’s how it is.” Shang Jianyao confirmed Jiang Baimian’s words. “Everyone thinks so.”
Jiang Baimian smiled and asked, “Then, what’s their reaction? Is there reverence, fear, panic, and confusion?”
Shang Jianyao nodded.
Jiang Baimian continued speaking. “Under such an explosive emotional impact, different members will definitely make different choices because of their personalities and experiences. I admit that most people will become more respectful toward the gods and completely believe in the Arbiter of Fate, becoming extremely pious.
“However, a small number of members will definitely want to report this matter to the company due to fear, panic, guilt, and a sense of justice. You are one such example.”
Shang Jianyao thought for a while and roughly understood Jiang Baimian’s meaning. “If Wang Yafei’s death had happened a month later, everyone wouldn’t have suffered such a great impact. Instead, they would’ve made associations and guesses, becoming more respectful of the gods. But with such a huge impact, it’s very possible that different people will make different choices now?”
Jiang Baimian nodded solemnly. “This raises a question: Why are the parish’s higher-ups so sure that nobody will betray them? There are two explanations. First, they are religious lunatics. They don’t care about the consequences or their own safety. They only want to sentence the sinners.
“Second, they are confident that any betrayals and reports won’t succeed.” Jiang Baimian then looked into Shang Jianyao’s eyes and asked seriously, “Which one do you think it is?”