Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 533
Chapter 533: Narrow Road
Jiang Baimian was just about to ask when she saw that the elevator had already reached the first floor and that the hoistway door and gate opened. She pondered for a moment and pointed ahead, indicating that they should enter the elevator first.
As there was no sound coming from the stairwell, Long Yuehong had no objections and followed Jiang Baimian into the elevator.
After Bai Chen and Shang Jianyao entered, Jiang Baimian pressed the number ‘6.’
Their destination was actually the eighth floor.
After the elevator started moving up, Jiang Baimian suppressed her voice and asked, “What were you guys listening to?”
As Long Yuehong inwardly praised his team leader for being careful, he recalled and said, “We heard a man and a woman talking about betrayal, the acceptance of most nobles, and about who and who’s not in power…”
Due to the environment, he could only pick up a few key statements. Bai Chen was confused as Jiang Baimian frowned.
Upon seeing that the elevator had already reached the sixth floor, Jiang Baimian controlled her urge to ask further. She led the three Old Task Force members out and walked up the stairs to the eighth floor.
This apartment building was considered good in the Green Olive Zone. It was divided into several stacks, and each stack only had four apartments on each floor. Jiang Baimian easily found the one described by General Phocas.
Shang Jianyao had long taken out the key he had found on the captive from his tactical backpack and opened the door with a click.
The living room was relatively large, but the decorations were rather simple. There was only an old sofa, a cupboard, three chairs, and a coffee table.
Jiang Baimian casually closed the door and asked the question she had been holding in her heart for a while. “What exactly did they say?”
Long Yuehong quickly repeated the conversation between the man and woman while his memories were still relatively clear. He even simulated the corresponding tone.
Finally, he gave his guess. “It’s likely that a faction in today’s chaos suffered an ally’s betrayal, and one of the survivors came to question the other party.”
“Does he want to die?” Shang Jianyao revealed an expression of admiration.
Long Yuehong could understand what his friend meant. The other party had already betrayed them, yet they still came to question others. Weren’t they walking into a trap and seeking death? Not only did this require one to give up on their intelligence, but it also required sufficient courage.
Jiang Baimian ignored Long Yuehong and Shang Jianyao’s conversation and asked in thought, “They will be accepted by most nobles in a few years and can slowly walk under the sun… Who’s not in power is the key… Which faction can you associate this with based on the first sentence?”
Bai Chen—who had a relatively deep understanding of First City’s situation—immediately replied, “Church of Paragon Desire!”
Many nobles secretly believed in Mandara and indulged their desires. The Old Task Force knew this, and Old K’s late-night party was proof of this.
“That’s why that person dared to come to question her. He does have some level of friendship with that woman…” Long Yuehong came to a realization. He originally wanted to describe the situation between the man and woman as ‘having sex many times’ and ‘often having sex.’ However, he felt that these words were too vulgar and finally switched to ‘friendship.’
“You tainted the word ‘friendship,'” Shang Jianyao commented bluntly.
Without giving Long Yuehong a chance to argue, Jiang Baimian thoughtfully raised the second question. “Who do you think the man is? The faction he belongs to can influence many nobles in First City and create an opportunity to make them accept the Church of Paragon Desire slowly. The faction he belongs to has suffered an extremely serious blow in this chaos. His status shouldn’t be low either. There’s a high chance that he’s an Awakened or has other abilities. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have come to question the other party, nor does he have the right to do so. The woman mentioned: ‘who’s not in power is the key…'”
When the stripped pieces of information were combined, Long Yuehong felt like the answer would rise to the surface at any moment. However, he was just short of the final and most critical point.
At this moment, Bai Chen suddenly said, “Asus—the son of Consul Gaius, Asus.”
Long Yuehong looked at his companion in surprise, only to see a strange feeling in her solemn expression.
“Why do you say that?” Long Yuehong subconsciously asked.
“He has a high status. His father was also the leader of the Conservatives and the most powerful figure in First City before the chaos. He’s directly related to ‘power…'” Bai Chen said several lines in one breath.
She fell silent for two seconds before continuing, “He’s at least a Sea of Origins-level Awakened, and he comes under the Mandara domain.”
“How do you know?” Long Yuehong blurted out before he received his team leader’s signal to stop asking.
Oh no… Long Yuehong vaguely understood something and felt very regretful. He remembered that after Little White was captured by the slave peddler, Eugene, she was sold to First City as a slave for a period of time before she found an opportunity to escape.
The corners of Bai Chen’s mouth twitched as if she wanted to squeeze a smile out, but she didn’t succeed in the end. However, her tone was still relatively calm. “This is because the price he paid is highly suspected to be sexual addiction. Furthermore, he has an item with abilities similar to the Six Senses Beads’ negative effects—a withered flower that can be used as a bookmark.”
The Six Senses Beads’ negative influence was Enhanced Lust. As an ability, it was most likely in the Mandara domain.
This time, Long Yuehong didn’t ask how she knew.
An indescribable silence filled the room.
After a few seconds, Jiang Baimian cleared her throat and said, “We long discovered that the Church of Paragon Desire seems to be cooperating with the Anti-intellectualism Church to create conflict and incite chaos. This is very unfavorable to the Conservatives for Gaius. Asus and his father didn’t notice anything previously? Or rather, the Church of Paragon Desire’s early actions were instigated by them. It’s equivalent to striking a nail into the enemy. In the end, the Church of Paragon Desire ultimately betrayed them?”
Upon recalling the conversation between the man and woman, Long Yuehong instinctively believed that it was the latter possibility.
“This bout of unrest in First City goes deep.” Shang Jianyao raised his hand and stroked his chin.
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He and Jiang Baimian stared at Bai Chen and Long Yuehong normally. They didn’t avoid anything and assumed a posture of seriously discussing the problem.
Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and said, “The saying ‘who’s not in power is the key’ is really interesting. I’m not sure what the lady wants to express, but if we consider this as a Kalendarium game, it can be interpreted this way: It doesn’t matter who affects First City as long as it’s not Master Zhuang, Shattered Mirror, or Subhuti…”
“Is this the attitude of September’s Kalendaria, Mandara?”
Bai Chen slowly nodded. “That’s possible.”
“From the looks of it, the Kalendarium might also be divided into factions.” Shang Jianyao recalled some entertainment material from the Old World.
Jiang Baimian tersely acknowledged his words and laughed. “The few of us mortals have started to consider problems at the Kalendaria level again. Uh… Let’s take note first. It’s useless now, but it might come in handy in the future.”
She then restrained her smile and seriously said, “One of the abilities in the Mandara domain is the Sixth Sense. The lady might’ve sensed that someone was listening in, so she didn’t continue.”
“They discovered us?” Long Yuehong hissed.
Jiang Baimian nodded indiscernibly. “If they move quickly, they should be able to see our elevator go up to the sixth floor. I’ve observed this place before; there are no surveillance cameras. In other words, they shouldn’t be able to track this room unless they blanket the area with their area-of-effect abilities. But if it’s really Asus, he’s definitely the new consul’s target for elimination. He can’t wait to hide. Once he can’t silence us very quietly, it’s unlikely that he will take the initiative to start a fight. Therefore, he will choose to leave this area quickly after failing to find us.”
At this point, Jiang Baimian turned to look at Bai Chen. “Little White, go to the window and carry out surveillance. If we can discover Asus, there might be a chance…”
She raised her right hand and gestured firing.
Bai Chen pursed her lips, picked up the Orange rifle, and nodded as she walked toward the window.
At this moment, Jiang Baimian looked to the side.
Opposite them was the stairwell.
“Someone is coming up—three.” She reported the situation she had sensed as per usual. As the numbers were wrong, she didn’t pay much attention to it.
But upon hearing her words, Shang Jianyao turned his right hand and tried to take off his tactical backpack. During this process, he quickly said, “There’s only one person.”
The bioelectric signals showed three people, but there was only one human consciousness! This meant that two people had deliberately concealed their consciousness!
Jiang Baimian easily understood Shang Jianyao’s meaning, but she suddenly felt an irresistible itch, one that she could scratch hard a few times.
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