Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 586: ‘Wealthy’

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Chapter 586: ‘Wealthy’

Just as Long Yuehong said that, another boom sounded from the direction he was pointing in as if to verify his words. Right on the heels of that was the sound of gunfire that penetrated the rain.

“It seems like there’s a gunfight over there.” Shang Jianyao’s attention was instantly diverted as he guessed with interest, “Did someone attack them, or did they attack someone else?”

“Who knows?” Jiang Baimian wasn’t a deity; she couldn’t reenact the situation over there out of thin air.

She then teased Shang Jianyao. “What, do you want to go over and uphold justice?”

“What if it becomes a dogfight?” The honest Shang Jianyao was always direct. He then sighed and explained emotionally, “If I’m sure that there’s an innocent party being attacked, I’m willing to provide some help. Otherwise, why did I go through so much trouble to enter the Mind Corridor? But since we can’t figure out the situation over there right now, we might as well choose to watch from the sidelines to prevent making further mistakes. After all, such things happen more than once a day every day in the Ashlands.”

“You rarely say so much.” The one sighing with emotion wasn’t anyone else but another Shang Jianyao.

The honest Shang Jianyao said disdainfully, “You’ve raised both sides of the argument. In short, you’ll be right no matter what. Am I right?”

Upon seeing that the Shang Jianyaos were about to argue, Jiang Baimian took a deep breath and said, “Stop!”

She felt a throbbing headache. Ever since Shang Jianyao entered the Mind Corridor, she felt as though she was commandeering a company despite only having three team members. It was mentally exhausting.

The quarrels from ten Shang Jianyaos were as noisy as a hundred people!

Jiang Baimian calmed down and instructed Long Yuehong and the others, “Everyone, pack up and be prepared. Don’t be caught in the crossfire.”

“Yes, Team Leader!” Shang Jianyao was still the one who replied loudly.

Long Yuehong and Bai Chen didn’t hesitate to open the jeep’s trunk and carry out a box each. One of them contained the Chameleon series’ latest artificial intelligence armor, and the other was a relatively new M-45 military exoskeleton.

As part of the military exoskeleton’s functions overlapped with Long Yuehong’s T1 mechanical arm, he mostly wore the bionic artificial intelligence armor to maximize his strength.

Before the Old Task Force went out on this mission, they had switched the Chameleon bionic artificial intelligence armor they had seized for the latest model. They had also applied for a new Blackmarsh Iron Snake bionic artificial intelligence armor.

In other words, the Old Task Force currently had a total of three military exoskeletons and two sets of bionic artificial intelligence armor despite being a team with four carbon-based members.

Such excessive allocation was considered extravagant in the Ashlands.

If it weren’t for the fact that the Old Task Force had applied to modify the jeep and expand the trunk during their break, their items wouldn’t have been able to fit two boxes even though the bionic artificial intelligence armor didn’t occupy much space.

Due to the team’s equipment, Shang Jianyao even fantasized about testing the effects of a smart bot wearing bionic artificial intelligence armor.

After Bai Chen and Long Yuehong completed their combat preparations and began patrolling their surroundings, Jiang Baimian picked up the Blackmarsh Iron Snake bionic artificial intelligence armor while Shang Jianyao took out the AC-45 military exoskeleton.

Jiang Baimian’s current ability range was only 15 meters. Therefore, she preferred the Blackmarsh Iron Snake bionic artificial intelligence armor—which could completely wrap around her and had excellent bulletproof capabilities. This way, she could hide her consciousness and risk a rain of bullets to get close to the enemy.

The range of illusions in the Shattered Mirror domain was naturally greater than that in the Master Zhuang domain.

Shang Jianyao—who wore the military exoskeleton—could use a grenade launcher, a laser device, and an electromagnetic weapon to suppress the enemy from a distance of more than 100 meters while casting Limbs Immobility and Literary Hipster-Corny Person.

After buckling the last strap, Shang Jianyao looked up at Jiang Baimian and Long Yuehong and said, “Hahaha! You guys look funny wearing that!”

Although the bionic artificial intelligence armor was named after its functions—therefore, Jiang Baimian didn’t have a snake’s head, nor did Long Yuehong look like a large chameleon—Pangu Biology’s architects always seemed to hope that the armor would visually have the characteristics that matched the armors’ name. Therefore, the different smart armor had different styles.

Among them, the most exaggerated was the Lizard smart armor. Pangu Biology employees wearing them looked like humanoid lizards.

Chameleon and Blackmarsh Iron Snake were relatively fine, but the visor of the former was clearly protruded. The latter dragged a rather long tail that was said to be used to maintain balance during high-speed action.

“We’ve. Been. Through. This. Many. Times!” Jiang Baimian ‘reminded’ Shang Jianyao as she enunciated each word. However, she couldn’t be angry because she had already mocked Shang Jianyao when he used it previously.

The four of them guarded the jeep and watched the rain outside gradually thin until the gunshots and explosions subsided.

After a while, Long Yuehong heaved a sigh of relief after confirming that the night had returned to silence. “From the looks of it, no matter which side wins, they have no intention of causing further trouble.”

“The second group most likely doesn’t know of our existence, so they can’t do anything even if they want to,” the honest Shang Jianyao said.

Long Yuehong was momentarily speechless and resisted the urge to scratch the back of his head.

In order to maximize the T1 mechanical arm’s usage, the Chameleon bionic artificial intelligence armor’s right palm had undergone special modification. A gap could be pulled open to allow him to extend his hand.

Upon seeing this, Jiang Baimian asked Shang Jianyao, “What were you on about exiting without suffering any damage?”

Shang Jianyao immediately recounted how he had given up on the ‘strategy guide’ and chosen Room 912, only to encounter the cruise ship again.

“You sure have a rich desire of courting death.” Jiang Baimian sighed with emotion. There is clearly a ‘strategy guide’ available for reference, but they had to take risks in unfamiliar rooms!

That’s right, that’s right... Long Yuehong echoed in his heart, and Bai Chen nodded indiscernibly.

Shang Jianyao felt that this was a compliment. “Of course! If we keep following the strategy guide, it will be very difficult to gain anything additional. It will be difficult to discover the reason for the Old World’s destruction, the source of the Heartless disease, and the essence of the Mind Corridor. Just like before—if it weren’t for the fact that we didn’t follow the rules and made Little Red crawl to the window to look into the master bedroom, how could we have discovered Room 302’s abnormality?”

“...” Jiang Baimian was stunned for a moment. She actually felt like she had almost been convinced by this fellow.

She quickly found her logic. “Having a strategy guide doesn’t mean that there can’t be any additional gains, just like 101 and 205.”

At this point, Jiang Baimian suddenly laughed. “If Little Red isn’t special, nor if the Six Senses Beads doesn’t cause an effect the moment it enters the room, it means that anyone who looks at Room 302’s master bedroom from the window can discover the corpses and red blanket. If we continue on this inference, could we see the New World somewhere with something in between?”

“The door to the New World.” Bai Chen voiced her thoughts. “The window to Room 302’s master bedroom should be similar to it.”

Jiang Baimian let out a long grunt and turned her head to Shang Jianyao. “Don’t make any attempts for the time being to prevent any accidents. We’ll find a time tomorrow to see if there’s anything special.”

The rash Shang Jianyao finally chose to obey. “Alright.”

...

The rain and wind stopped, and the night passed uneventfully.

When the Old Task Force left the city ruin, the sun shone through the clouds and scattered its glow.

The team from last night had long left.

The Old Task Force’s jeep drove toward the Lake of Wrath for a few hours before entering a wide, desolate plain.

Jiang Baimian and the others were just about to head to a relatively less polluted river nearby to replenish their water supplies when they suddenly saw a convoy drawing water and cooking 200 meters away.

They had a total of six cars, mainly SUVs and mountain cars. They had nearly 20 people.

“The group of people from last night?” Jiang Baimian turned to look at Shang Jianyao in the backseat.

“The numbers are right.” The current Shang Jianyao was serious and rational.

Jiang Baimian pondered for a moment and said, “Let’s get water from afar then.”

In such a situation, they had to maintain a distance of at least 300 meters to prevent themselves from being unknowingly affected by the other party’s abilities.

After the Old Task Force found a spot by the river, a dark mountain car suddenly turned around and drove toward them.

When there were only about 100 meters between the two parties, someone in the mountain car stuck their head out and shouted, “We wish to know something!”

Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and nodded at Shang Jianyao.

Shang Jianyao immediately took out a blue and white loudspeaker and replied, “It’ll cost you!”

The other party fell silent for a moment before saying, “Alright!”

The mountain car approached. Long Yuehong and Bai Chen retreated to the trunk in preparation for any attacks.

The dark car stopped ten meters away. The two of them then pushed open the doors and got out.

They were all Ashlandic men in ordinary black clothes. One was in his late thirties, and he had a square face and thick eyebrows. The other looked a little younger. His eyebrows were like swords, and his nose was sharp.

The two of them walked with straight-backed postures and almost identical footsteps.

“How should I address you?” the older man asked calmly.

Jiang Baimian didn’t answer and instead asked, “What do you want to know?”

The older man nodded slightly and said, “How long does it take to get to Redstone Collection?”

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