Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 225
Chapter 225: Subduing the Enemy Without Fighting
The sun was already setting in the west, dragging out the two bicycles’ shadows as they zoomed across the path between the desolate farmlands and the withered trees .
As they cycled, Jiang Baimian suddenly gestured for Shang Jianyao to slow down . She then cycled to the side of the road, parked her bicycle, and plucked some relatively soft branches .
“What are you weaving?” Shang Jianyao asked curiously .
Jiang Baimian—who was not wearing a mask—smiled maliciously . “Preparing to carry out domestic discipline . ”
Shang Jianyao agreed deeply . “That’s right . Things have been getting to Little Red’s head recently; we have to let him know how difficult life is . ”
Jiang Baimian chuckled and placed the tree branches into the backseat . She didn’t explain further, got onto the bicycle, and said, “Let’s go . ”
When the sky was dyed the color of fire, the two of them returned to the dock .
Upon seeing them return safely, Long Yuehong—who was wearing the exoskeleton—heaved a sigh of relief . “How was it? Any discoveries?”
“There was something; we’ll talk about it when we get back . ” Jiang Baimian looked up at the sky . “We have to hurry; we can’t wait for the sky to darken completely . ”
When the time came, it would be difficult for them to determine the bearings on the lake . The merfolk would be even more elusive .
Although the Old Task Force had two human-shaped radars that could sense the enemy’s presence, this was still an era ruled by firearms . It would be relatively troublesome if the merfolk drove a boat over and fired rockets at them from a distance of 100 to 200 meters under the cover of night .
In addition, Jiang Baimian was unwilling to share the rather terrifying exploration experience in such an environment, lest it affected Long Yuehong and Bai Chen .
Bai Chen and Long Yuehong had no objections to her suggestion because the sun was setting with every second .
After Bai Chen loaded the bicycles and started the speedboat, Jiang Baimian sat down, took the tree branches she had previously plucked, and seriously began weaving .
“Team Leader, what are you doing?” Long Yuehong was also curious .
“Carrying out domestic discipline . ” Shang Jianyao deliberately took off his mask so that Long Yuehong could see his sunny smile .
Jiang Baimian smiled . “It might come in handy later . It’s best not to fight if we can avoid fighting the merfolk . ”
At this point, she paused and praised herself . “We are ultimate villains . We have to learn how to subdue the enemy without a fight . ”
Long Yuehong was confused . He didn’t know what weaving branches had to do with subduing the enemy without a fight .
At this moment, Bai Chen—who was in charge of steering the speedboat—whispered, “It seems like they want to deceive the merfolk . ”
Perhaps because the wind’s interference wasn’t that strong, so Jiang Baimian acutely captured this sentence and widened her eyes . “How can it be called deception? This is a tactical deception . ”
“What’s the difference between the two?” Long Yuehong subconsciously asked .
Shang Jianyao helped provide an ‘explanation . ’ “The latter sounds better . ”
“Great, now you guys are echoing each other . ” Jiang Baimian glanced at them . “It seems like I really have to consider enforcing domestic discipline!”
As they chatted and laughed, the speedboat followed its original route and sailed toward Redstone Collection .
Before long, Jiang Bohemian finished weaving a bracelet with half a thin branch .
“So you didn’t forget it . ” Shang Jianyao came to a realization .
Jiang Baimian almost choked . “What a terrible line . ”
“What do you mean?” Long Yuehong was confused and curious .
Jiang Baimian casually explained, “We found a tree branch bracelet in that temple, but we didn’t dare to take it . ”
“Yes, you can’t randomly take things from a place like that . ” Long Yuehong indicated that this was the way it should be .
After putting the tree branch bracelet on her left wrist, Jiang Baimian stretched her left hand in front of Bai Chen and gestured . “How is it? Am I skilled?”
Bai Chen immediately replied, “Don’t block my view while I’m driving . ”
She paused and added, “I could weave better than you when I was seven . ”
Jiang Baimian smiled casually . “How can it be the same? I didn’t even know what real trees looked like when I was seven; I thought they were similar to cotton . ”
The speedboat sailed for a while longer, and the sky turned darker .
Upon seeing the approaching lakeside, Jiang Baimian frowned slightly .
Shang Jianyao quickly said, “There are many people underwater . ”
“Heh, they’re pretty careful . The ones here might not be merfolk, right?” Jiang Baimian smiled and replied with a relaxed expression . “There’s about 30 . ”
“That many?” Long Yuehong wasn’t sure how much combat strength his old antique could unleash after entering the water .
At this moment, Jiang Baimian walked to the edge of the speedboat and raised her left hand in the direction with the most merfolk .
She shook her wrist and loudly said, “We went to the forbidden temple and obtained this item . You should know what your Oracle took back then, and you should also know how powerful he is . Want to give it a try?”
With that said, she turned her head and signaled Shang Jianyao with her eyes .
At this moment, the merfolk underwater weren’t too sensitive to the sounds outside . They could only barely hear the words ‘temple,”Oracle,’ and ‘powerful . ’ At the same time, they saw the tree branch bracelet on Jiang Baimian’s wrist through the ebbing water .
This naturally made them connect the dots and recall the Oracle’s terrifying performance .
Right on the heels of that, a large number of merfolk suddenly lost their ‘senses’ and couldn’t move their hands in the water .
This made them sink a little, but they quickly relied on their kicking legs to maintain their balance .
The truth was right in front of them, so they had no choice but to believe it . Furthermore, resisting a powerful enemy like the Oracle was something they didn’t want or dare to do .
Furthermore, they had just experienced a war and lost many people . They were definitely unwilling to have 30 to 40 young adults die for no reason .
The merfolk—who had experienced Hands Immobility—quickly informed their companions of the situation through hand gestures .
Seven to eight seconds later, they dived down at the same time, distancing themselves from the water .
Jiang Baimian then retracted her gaze and smiled at Long Yuehong, Shang Jianyao, and Bai Chen . “Like I said, subduing an enemy without a fight . ”
Long Yuehong was impressed .
Shang Jianyao suggested a new plan . “If we tell them that we killed the Oracle, will they be scared off?”
“There’s also a possibility of a suicidal charge . ” Jiang Baimian exhaled .
After this conversation, she confirmed one thing—Shang Jianyao didn’t feel any guilt or psychological burden from killing the murloc Oracle .
Indeed, when one’s life is on the line on the battlefield, there’s no need to take it to heart as long as one doesn’t deal any friendly fire . Yes, Shang Jianyao didn’t deal a fatal blow to them . If not for the sudden anomaly, he would’ve been prepared to capture them alive… Jiang Baimian canceled the psychological counseling session she had originally wanted to schedule .
The sky darkened . When only half of the sun was above the horizon, the speedboat returned to Redstone Collection dock .
In Room 05 of the hotel camp .
Jiang Baimian shared her findings with Long Yuehong and Bai Chen .
Long Yuehong felt a chill run down his spine as he listened; he couldn’t help but shiver .
He then glared at Shang Jianyao . “When did you open the door?”
What made him feel cold was the winter night’s wind that poured in from the outside .
“A minute ago . ” Shang Jianyao expressed his thoughts . “I’m helping you simulate the environment back then so that you can experience it . ”
“There’s no need!” Long Yuehong indicated that he didn’t want to experience it at all .
After Shang Jianyao closed the door, he sighed . “This sounds magical . ”
It didn’t make sense at all .
“That’s right . ” Jiang Baimian exhaled . “The lifeforms of the powerful Awakened deep in the Mind Corridor and even the Kalendarium are really puzzling . There are actually so many unimaginable things happening around them . Back then, I really felt that it might be haunted . ”
She looked around and continued, “This also tells us that we can firmly believe that science can explain everything, but we definitely can’t pretend that something that science can’t explain and verify doesn’t exist or define as erroneous . It’s even more so today since science is far from perfect . The spirit of science is to make bold assumptions and carefully verify them . It’s about seeking the truth; it’s not about anachronism, complacency, and blind resistance . ”
Clap! Clap! Clap!
Shang Jianyao suddenly applauded .
Jiang Baimian glared at him and looked at Bai Chen . “What do you have in mind?”
“When we return to the company, we have to request for the corresponding information,” said Bai Chen calmly . “In this regard, the company definitely has more information than us . The more we know, the safer our subsequent investigations will be . ”
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged it . “Unfortunately, we are outside now . We can only receive the company’s response if we encounter any specific problems . ”
She continued, “After this visit, I am certain that the Vigilance Church will send experts to explore the temple . Although we have a friendly relationship with Harbinger Song and the others, we still have many secrets . There’s no need to meet the Vigilance Church’s experts .
“In any case, our main goal in Redstone Collection has been achieved . All we have left to do is to gather information on Mechanical Paradise . It will be completed soon . When the time comes, we will leave directly . ”
Long Yuehong and Bai Chen had no objections . Shang Jianyao hesitated for a moment before nodding .
Jiang Baimian heaved a sigh of relief and smiled . “We have to find the real murderer who killed Helvig while we still have time . We can’t just take their firearms and not do anything . ”
Bai Chen deliberated for a moment . “We might have to reorganize the list of Helvig’s enemies . ”
“Yes . ” Jiang Baimian had just replied when she cast her gaze at the door .
Shang Jianyao quickly looked over .
After about ten seconds, someone knocked on the door .
Shang Jianyao put on the monkey mask and opened the door . He realized that the people who had come were the black-cloaked Harbinger Song He and the playboy forensic doctor from the Public Security Department, Weiler .
After entering the room, Song He looked at Jiang Baimian and the others and sincerely said, “I have a mission for you . ”
“What is it?” Jiang Baimian asked in confusion .
Song He glanced at Weiler and said, “We previously suspected that someone had sold information to the merfolk and mountain monsters, allowing them to know that Bishop Renato had been urgently transferred back to headquarters . We have now locked onto a suspect; we hope that you can conduct a secret investigation . ”
Jiang Baimian nodded in enlightenment . “Who is it?”
Song He sighed and said with a serious expression, “Han Wanghuo . ”