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/ Embers Ad Infinitum /

Chapter 434: New Direction

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Chapter 434: New Direction

Jiang Baimian deliberated for a moment and suddenly smiled. “There’s no need for that; we can’t trouble you. This will let the priest know that you didn’t succeed in roping in believers.”

That wasn’t actually the point. Not only had he failed, but he had also exposed the Mirror Church’s situation.

Jiang Baimian didn’t say it out loud, but she believed that Smith could understand.

Smith didn’t know if the other party was being kind or if she was utilizing her retreat as a way to advance and, in a way, threaten him. He hesitated for a few seconds before saying, “Aren’t you taking revenge on the Clam Dragon Church then?”

He wasn’t the only one surprised. Long Yuehong was also confused. What is Team Leader planning?

Jiang Baimian smiled. “We will naturally take revenge if we can; otherwise, forget it. In the Ashlands, it’s very foolish to insist that no losses are taken and that there are no grudges. It’s often a waste of time and resources. One might even lose their lives and their companions’ lives. As long as we’re still alive, it’s nothing serious.”

Clap! Clap! Clap!

Shang Jianyao clapped, stunning Smith.

“I can understand that.” After a while, Smith exhaled and said, “I’ve seen too many people blinded by hatred and become irrational, only to throw away their remaining lives.”

At this point, he nodded gratefully. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be of much help.”

Jiang Baimian looked around. “Then, we’ll take our leave. Bye.”

“One will eventually awaken from the dream.” Smith stood up, raised his palms, and shielded his eyes like a mirror.

After leaving the apartment and returning to the car, Long Yuehong—who had been holding back for a long time—couldn’t help but say, “Team Leader, are we giving up just like that? Are we really not meeting the priest?”

Jiang Baimian looked at the rearview mirror and smiled. “After discovering that the Mirror Church also believes in a Kalendaria, I didn’t plan on establishing contact with them.”

“Why?” Long Yuehong felt that even Shang Jianyao couldn’t understand his team leader’s train of thought.

Jiang Baimian made a terse grunt. “They believe in the Kalendaria and view the Clam Dragon Church as heretical. They have a sufficient understanding of Awakened, so that means the Mirror Church isn’t small in scale. It has no lack of powerhouses, and they definitely have a corresponding influence in First City. Do you remember? The ones working with First City to protect Oray’s descendants are Mind Corridor-level Awakened who are good at illusions. I suspect that it might be the Mirror Church’s higher-ups and that they have a deep partnership with First City.”

“That’s true...” Long Yuehong was shocked.

If Jiang Baimian’s guess was right, the situation might very well develop into them consulting a Mind Corridor-level Awakened on how to crack the Virtual World if they refused to give up on the Mirror Church.

They would be doomed right there and then!

Bai Chen echoed, “I also think we have to be careful in this matter. One can never be too careful.”

“This is actually an opportunity.” Shang Jianyao flaunted his newly learned mantra. “The more dangerous it is, the more one should take risks...”

He couldn’t finish the latter half of the sentence because of the team’s glares.

Genava also mimicked Jiang Baimian and cast a red glow at him.

As the jeep drove out of Haray Street, Long Yuehong raised a new question. “What should we do next then? We can’t continue with the Mirror Church, so where else can we get information on how to crack the virtual world?”

Jiang Baimian smiled and guided him patiently. “Think about it from a different perspective.”

Long Yuehong thought for a while and secretly glanced at Shang Jianyao and Bai Chen. He realized that they had seemingly come to a realization.

Why am I the only one who can’t figure it out... Long Yuehong was a little vexed.

The next second, Bai Chen—who was driving—took the initiative to ask, “Start with the Mirror Church’s enemy? The ones who know you best are often your enemies.”

“A child worth teaching.” The one clapping and smiling wasn’t Jiang Baimian but Shang Jianyao.

Jiang Baimian shot him a glance and smiled. “We can ask the Clam Dragon Church! They are a religion mainly made up of Ashlandics. They don’t have many believers in First City, so they shouldn’t have any connection with the Mind Corridor-level Awakened that protects Avia and Marcus. Besides, they are at odds with the Mirror Church. They might be willing to give some hints.”

That’s right. The Clam Dragon Church is also an expert in illusions... Long Yuehong completely understood Jiang Baimian’s train of thought. He then posed a practical question. “How do we make contact with the Clam Dragon Church?”

They were mainly active south of the Ashlands, and there were almost no believers in First City.

“You have to ask Old Ge this question,” Shang Jianyao replied on Jiang Baimian’s behalf.

Genava moved his metal neck. “I remember the Tarnan Hunter’s Guild’s telegram frequency. We can get their help to contact Abbess Zhou Yue.”

I’m really stupid, really... Old Ge was once mayor of Tarnan. Even if he didn’t know Nanke Convent’s telegraph frequency, he definitely knew the Hunter’s Guild and the various chambers of commerce... While Long Yuehong was a little depressed, he said in relief, “It seems like we can make it in time for the gladiator fights in a few days then.”

During working hours the next day, Jiang Baimian sent a telegram to the Tarnan Hunter’s Guild under the name ‘October Xue’ and asked them to contact Abbess Zhou Yue on her behalf.

...

In Tarnan, the local president—Gu Bo—picked up the telegram sent by his subordinate. His white hair was thinning, but his dark brown eyes remained spirited.

Gu Bo muttered in confusion, “Looking for Zhou Yue? Why are they looking for Zhou Yue when they ran away after causing such a huge commotion?”

He then grumbled, “Seriously, as Ruin Hunters, you don’t have any self-awareness or professionalism. If you want to get someone to do something, you have to commission a mission first! Sigh, on account of the care given by Genava, I’ll reluctantly do the errand.”

At Nanke Convent, Gu Bo met Zhou Yue—who was wearing a white robe that was tied with a hemp rope.

“You are...” Zhou Yue compared her height with the other party and guessed happily, “President Gu?”

The thin and small Gu Bo wasn’t happy that the face-blind patient had memorized his characteristics. He snapped, “Pretend not to recognize me next time.”

“Alright.” Zhou Yue readily agreed. “Everything is but a dream. Why so serious?”

Gu Bo took out the telegram. “October Xue and the others are looking for you.”

Zhou Yue’s eyes widened. “They’re here for the batch of smoked meat?”

Her heart ached a little as she felt the pinch.

...

With the help of the Tarnan Hunter’s Guild, the Old Task Force directly contacted Nanke Convent.

Jiang Baimian didn’t stand on ceremony and expressed that she would reserve the reward for her but that she had to answer one of their questions.

Zhou Yue said that she had to think about it seriously and reply at night.

After finishing this matter, the Old Task Force first went to First City’s Hunter’s Guild and commissioned the mission of finding Waite and the others’ families to return the supplies. They then carried the supplies they had gathered in Wasteland Ruin 13 and headed to the house of the Blackshirts’ second boss, Terrence, on Stern Street.

Terrence’s eyes widened when he saw such a large pile of expensive items. “W-where did this come from?”

October Xue’s team could actually gather so many valuable items so quickly?

Upon hearing his question, Shang Jianyao smiled. “We mugged.”

At this moment, Terrence actually felt a hint of coldness despite the hot summer.

“He’s joking. During our pursuit of the white wolf, we discovered a few ruins in the mountains. Our luck was pretty good.” Jiang Baimian picked up the cup containing iced Coke and drank a mouthful of it in satisfaction.

Terrence heaved a sigh of relief, wiped the cold sweat from his forehead, and seriously examined the pile of items. After a while, he got his subordinate to bring him a calculator as he tapped it.

“After this, there’s still 6,000 Oray left.” Terrence gave the results first before explaining, “I’ve already given your supplies the highest price...”

“Alright, but this 6,000 Oray will take some time.” Jiang Baimian nodded.

Shang Jianyao gulped down his iced Coke beside her, feeling very refreshed.

Terrence replied without hesitation, “No problem!”

He felt that his life was definitely worth 6,000 Oray.

...

At the agreed time at night, Zhou Yue sent a telegram back: “Apart from splashing water, you can consider closing the door and extinguishing the lights while the target is in the bathroom.”

“What weakness is this?” Long Yuehong was especially confused after hearing his team leader’s recount.

“People are always very fragile when they’re in the bathroom.” Shang Jianyao sighed with emotion.

Jiang Baimian thoughtfully replied, “I remember that Abbess Zhou brought a sack with her when she dealt with the Superior Heartless...”

She then said, “Also, I wonder if you’ve noticed that Marcus didn’t go to the bathroom like the other nobles during the colosseum intermission. He was in the nobles’ private room for two hours. Furthermore, he drank very, very little water.”

This wasn’t something worth paying attention to because it was common for adults not to drink water or not go to the bathroom for two hours. Back then, many people in the colosseum did the same, so Jiang Baimian didn’t consider it a problem previously. But now, she couldn’t help but suspect something when she connected the matter to Zhou Yue’s suggestion.

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