Chapter 97: Experience Counts
Shang Jianyao looked at Jiang Baimian without flinching. “It could also be a misunderstanding. The parish’s higher-ups didn’t do anything, and Wang Yafei’s sudden death was purely coincidental.”
Jiang Baimian immediately smiled. “Not bad. You even found a third explanation.”
After complimenting him, she changed the topic. “I was actually leaning toward this just now, believing that your parish’s higher-ups wouldn’t take such a risk. But after careful consideration, I still find them highly suspicious.”
Without waiting for Shang Jianyao to raise a question, Jiang Baimian deliberated and said, “Let’s first assume that it was indeed a misunderstanding and a coincidence and that you are a high-ranking member of the parish. Then, what will you think and do when you learn that Ren Jie said Wang Yafei is a sinner and that the Goddess will punish a sinner?”
Shang Jianyao thought for a moment. “I would think: So our parish is that impressive? So the Arbiter of Fate is this powerful? I never knew I was so impressive. I actually joined such a powerful parish and even managed to become a part of its brass?”
“… I shouldn’t have asked you.” Jiang Baimian raised her hand to her forehead. She thought for a moment and said, “If it really wasn’t Wang Yafei who was punished by the parish, and he had never done such a thing in the past, the higher-ups might really have such thoughts…”
Jiang Baimian then asked, “What other relatively normal ideas would they have after coming to this realization?”
Without giving Shang Jianyao a chance to answer, she continued, “On the one hand, will they be overjoyed and think that this matter can be used to show how resourceful the Arbiter of Fate is? Will it be used to make believers more pious, more obedient, and take the initiative to spread the faith?”
Shang Jianyao nodded, indicating that normal higher-ups would think that way.
Jiang Baimian continued, “On the other hand, will they be a little worried that this matter is too coincidental and too sudden? They might end up scaring some of their believers and make them overreact, such as reporting this to the company, committing suicide, or beginning to preach openly?”
Shang Jianyao thought seriously for a few seconds before nodding again.
Jiang Baimian heaved a sigh of relief. “Let’s assume that the brains of the parish’s brass are intact. What will they do after they have these two thoughts?”
She also didn’t make Shang Jianyao speak. She answered her question, “Immediately get your ‘Guides’ to convene another gathering. As they calm everyone down, they will preach the Arbiter of Fate’s holiness and power so as to prevent anything unexpected from happening and lead things in a good direction.
“But a day has already passed now, but you still haven’t received any news of a gathering. You have to understand that such urgent matters definitely can’t be delayed. They will be resolved immediately.”
Shang Jianyao tersely acknowledged it. “Maybe they were more stupid and didn’t think of that.”
Jiang Baimian smiled. “That’s indeed a reason. We can’t expect the enemy to be smart, take care of everything, and not make any mistakes all the time. However, the fact that your parish has been developing without any problems for so many years means that the higher-ups aren’t a bunch of pigs. Furthermore, Wang Yafei’s death is too much of a coincidence. Therefore, I’m more inclined to believe that they did it. They are either religious lunatics or have sufficient confidence.”
“It’s more likely to be the latter.” Shang Jianyao seemed to have switched back to a normal person’s train of thought.
“Yes… Either that or both,” Jiang Baimian agreed. “Pure religious lunatics would’ve been discovered and arrested long ago.”
She then looked at Shang Jianyao and reminded him, “I suspect that an accident will happen if you directly go to the Order Supervisory Department. This might be where the confidence of the parish’s brass lies, preventing all the betrayals from succeeding.
“Don’t be in a rush to report or investigate. Wait a while first.
“Wait a few days or maybe even a week. When the parish’s upper echelons feel that things have calmed down and that nothing has happened, they will let down their guard and stop being so vigilant. That’s when you can attempt to do something.”
Shang Jianyao frowned and said, “In a few days, there won’t be any traces left.”
The corpse, in particular, would soon be disposed of.
Jiang Baimian had clearly considered this problem and nodded slightly. “During this period of time, I’ll try to use my personal connections to find an opportunity to look at the surveillance footage on the corresponding floor.”
She casually explained, “You just said that Wang Yafei suddenly died around 9 a.m., and it isn’t the weekend today. At that time, most of the residents on each floor will be in the Factory Zone or the Indoor Ecosystem Zone. They will all be at their jobs, and the Residential Zone will definitely be very quiet.
“In such a situation, anyone who comes to the floor where Wang Yafei is the Supplies Allocation Market’s PIC will definitely stand out. The surveillance cameras at the elevator entrance will faithfully record his traces.
“There won’t be many people walking around during work hours.
“Yes, not only do we have to look at the surveillance cameras at the scene, but we also have to look at the cameras on the two floors above and below. An Awakened’s ability should be usable through the ceiling as long as it satisfies the straight-line distance.”
This was something Shang Jianyao had previously said, and Qiao Chu’s Bewitchment fully demonstrated this.
Shang Jianyao shook his head. “It can be used through obstacles, but the range will be reduced. Besides, there’s no way to determine who the target is. We can only determine which area within a corresponding range has people and the corresponding number.”
In other words, it was very easy for the Awakened to kill another person by accident and fail to achieve their goal if they attempted to ‘execute’ Wang Yaifei through the ceiling or upstairs.
“That’s true.” Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and said, “Wang Yafei will stay in a specific place at specific times, like his office for example? This way, one can perfectly kill him once they grasp the time and location… No, it’s only been slightly more than three hours since he became a sinner and suddenly died. It’s impossible for the Awakened to figure out his activity patterns. It would be too late even if they ask.
“Yes… We just have to look at the surveillance cameras of the particular floor to see who enters and leaves before and after the incident. No, it’s better to look at the three floors’ cameras. It’s better to be careful. After all, we can’t directly generalize your situation as a commonality among the Awakened.”
Shang Jianyao suddenly asked, “What if there’s no such person?”
“That means that the killer might also be working on the same floor or even inside the Supplies Allocation Market. Although the probability is very low, we can’t eliminate the possibility.” Jiang Baimian pursed her lips and said, “We can see if anyone approached the Supplies Allocation Market back then. We can also investigate the respective characteristics of the Supplies Allocation Market’s employees.”
At this point, she looked at Shang Jianyao and smiled. “Don’t Awakened pay one price to exchange for three abilities? Since they have paid the price, they will definitely display an abnormality. This is a clue.”
Shang Jianyao nodded before twitching his eyebrows.
Jiang Baimian immediately smiled. “Have you figured it out? It’s indeed a good idea to use a mental illness to hide the jump and abnormalities in one’s thoughts. However, this is also an abnormality in the company’s eyes. It’s worth tracking and observing.
“Don’t tell me you think the company’s higher-ups don’t even have the basic information on Awakened?
“Don’t tell me you think it’s so easy for them to give a pass on the abnormalities of a research project’s volunteer?
“Don’t tell me you think a person with moderate mental abnormalities can join the Old Task Force and casually head to the surface just because they applied?
“The company definitely wants to put you in different environments to observe your situation and determine if there’s anything wrong with you. I’m the observer.” Upon seeing Shang Jianyao’s expression turn more and more solemn, Jiang Baimian smiled and sighed. “Fortunately, I’m a soft-hearted person… Although I don’t know why you’re hiding it, you can hide it if you want to.”
Shang Jianyao fell silent for a moment before saying, “I can take people by surprise.”
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and changed the topic. “The investigation of Wang Yafei’s death will be conducted according to our plan. Patiently wait for a while before attempting to make a report. I’ll take the opportunity to conduct some peripheral and technical investigations.”
Shang Jianyao didn’t retort and whispered, “Be careful.”
Jiang Baimian smiled brightly. “I’ll definitely find another excuse and reason. I’m not stupid.”
As she spoke, she stroked her metal cochlear implant and smirked. “I almost didn’t hear you clearly! In the future, remember to be louder when you care about others.”
“Yes, Team Leader!” Shang Jianyao’s voice was full of confidence.
Jiang Baimian exhaled and pointed at the book on the table. “This is some information regarding the Old World. Take a look. From now on, we will read up on information and discuss it in the morning. We will train in the afternoon.”
Shang Jianyao took the book, found a seat, and sat down, reading it very quietly.
Before long, Bai Chen and Long Yuehong took the initiative to come over for overtime during their holidays.
In the evening, Shang Jianyao and Long Yuehong—who had eaten in the small canteen—returned to the 495th floor via elevator.
They had just approached the Rec Center when they suddenly heard a commotion.
The two of them didn’t say a word. They tacitly walked over quickly and saw two Order Supervisors in black uniforms escorting a person.
The person’s hands were cuffed behind him, and his face was extremely warped. His eyes were wide, turbid, and bloodshot.
Long Yuehong was shocked. “Heartless!”
Shang Jianyao recognized the person: Shen Du.
Further away, a child was being hugged tightly by his mother as he wailed. “Daddy, Daddy…”