Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 445: Bounty

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Chapter 445: Bounty

Jiang Baimian added the latter sentence because she knew that this was what Genava cared about the most.

On the one hand, he wanted to find the information and research results left behind by Oray and see if there was a way to remove the various restrictions in a smart bot’s core module to see if it could produce a soul. On the other hand, he wanted to know how this scientist suspected to be the Source Brain’s father thought of smart bots. This was often reflected in one’s last words.

“Therefore, we can either continue finding opportunities to come into contact with Avia or take the risk to go to Wasteland Ruin 13 and open that laboratory?” Long Yuehong didn’t like the two possible developments.

Both choices were too dangerous, many times more dangerous than the Old Task Force’s operation today.

They could keep the authorities in the dark regarding Marcus for 15 minutes. The Virtual World’s owner and First City’s higher-ups were likely aware that something had happened. With them being vigilant and prepared, this meant that with the Old Task Force’s current strength, their chances of success were extremely slim even if they could get Xiaochong’s help.

In comparison, the laboratory in Wasteland Ruin 13 might be safer. After all, Wu Meng and Xiaochong were of similar levels in the Old Task Force’s mind.

Of course, nobody knew what was hidden in such a place other than the dead Oray and the others.

Jiang Baimian deliberated for a moment and consoled Long Yuehong. “We can’t make the decision on this matter either. We have to report this to the company and see what their subsequent arrangements are.”

Shang Jianyao stroked his chin and smiled at Long Yuehong. “Actually, the company doesn’t mind letting you do these two things as long as you’re willing to die.”

Do you think I asked that question because I wanted to take the risk? Long Yuehong rationally gave up arguing with Shang Jianyao.

At this moment, Bai Chen frowned and said, “I thought we could get some important information from Marcus, but it only points elsewhere.”

Jiang Baimian smiled and said, “The term ‘Eighth Research Institute’ alone is significant.”

She paused and said, “Besides, if Marcus doesn’t have important information, will First City give him the Virtual World treatment? Just because he’s Oray’s grandson? Mind Corridor-level Awakened in the Shattered Mirror domain aren’t commonplace. Therefore, I think...”

Jiang Baimian looked around and said seriously, “The passcode ‘Messiah’ is very critical. It has a critical role.”

Long Yuehong and Bai Chen thought about it and felt that her analysis made sense.

Shang Jianyao smiled. “Unfortunately, they didn’t cooperate with the Anti-intellectualism Church. Otherwise, things would’ve been much simpler. They could’ve just deleted Marcus’s and Avia’s memories and not waste any more manpower.”

Jiang Baimian chuckled. “How do you know they aren’t fishing?”

“Their fishing technique is terrible if that’s the case,” Shang Jianyao commented sincerely.

Not only had the Old Task Force eaten the bait, but they had also successfully returned to the sea.

Jiang Baimian didn’t answer and looked out of the window for the weather. “Let’s get some food first. After this, we’ll go to the safe house to send a telegram to the company.”

“Alright!” Shang Jianyao was the first to respond. He was already rubbing his stomach.

As the quintet walked to the door, Shang Jianyao patted Genava’s shoulder and made a clang. “Are you looking forward to the information and words Oray left behind?”

He smiled at his smart bot companion and said, “When you obtain them, you will understand why Oray is wary of the Source Brain and why he left Mechanical Paradise back then. It’s not rare for father and son to become enemies.”

“The relationship between us isn’t really father and son either...” Genava replied according to his program, but he stopped before he could finish speaking.

...

The next morning, the Security Department’s Deputy Minister—Xenny—entered her office on the 646th floor. After methodically brewing some tea, Xenny checked the intranet and picked up the first document beside her.

It was a telegram from the Old Task Force.

Another telegram? Do they require funding or information this time? Xenny chuckled and muttered to herself. She really wanted to delay reading this telegram to the end, in case a not-too-difficult but relatively troublesome matter spoiled her beautiful morning.

When the time came, the minister might write a comment in his approval notice: “Minister Xenny, please explain why they applied for funding three times in a short month?”

Phew... Xenny exhaled, opened the sealed envelope, and took out the telegram inside. She quickly skimmed through it, and her expression gradually lit up.

“They broke through the Virtual World and obtained information from Marcus so quickly?” Xenny couldn’t help but say it out loud.

From her point of view, the chances of success weren’t high even if they sent a Mind Corridor-level Awakened. Otherwise, the secrets that Marcus and Avia had grasped would’ve long been retrieved after all these years.

Yet, the Old Task Force had actually completed this extremely difficult mission!

Even if they didn’t choose Avia—who was more ‘dangerous’ and harder to break through—it would be very difficult for them to come into contact with Marcus, get that passcode, and retreat from the Virtual World safely.

The Eleventh Old Task Force’s strength had exceeded what the company had estimated.

Xenny continued reading the rest of the telegram and unconsciously slowed down. She quickly figured out the key to success for the Eleventh Old Task Force—which was also Jiang Baimian’s team.

They first used the conflict between the Clam Dragon Church and the Mirror Church to get the price that the Mind Corridor-level Awakened was most likely to pay. Then, they recorded a sentence from the Dao and Electrical Appliance Repairs radio station as they waited.

After making the corresponding preparations, they edited the recording that retained its power into a song, making everyone who heard it have the urge to go to the bathroom.

“They actually came up with a way to record Wu Meng’s words? Don’t they know that this is very dangerous? Once Wu Meng notices, they will be in trouble,” Xenny muttered in surprise and amusement. “However, this is indeed a solution, but it depends on luck. Maybe they won’t encounter words they can use for days or even a year. Yes, I have to remind them to try their best to reduce such attempts.”

At this point, Xenny already understood the reasons behind the Eleventh Old Task Force’s success. Their strength didn’t rise explosively for no reason.

“Brain is indeed better than brawn most of the time,” praised the deputy minister. She then frowned. “They took action despite so many uncertain factors? They didn’t consider what would happen if they failed?”

As these thoughts raced through her mind, Xenny combined the various failures from before and roughly guessed what Jiang Baimian’s preparations were. She then picked up the porcelain teacup in exasperation and amusement before taking a sip.

As for Jiang Baimian’s team’s inquiry for any subsequent arrangements, it wasn’t something a Security Department deputy minister like herself could decide as it involved important matters. This had to be discussed by the Board of Directors.

...

In the morning, the Old Task Force quintet—who no longer disguised themselves—arrived at First City’s Hunter’s Guild.

Their goal today was to find Han Wanghuo and ask if the previous mission they commissioned had been completed by a Hunter—the mission to search for Waite and his companions’ families.

After finding the corresponding kiosk, Long Yuehong took out his commission form and his Hunter’s Badge and anxiously asked, “Any results?”

The female staff behind the window checked and said, “Yes. Do you need to talk to the person who completed it face-to-face or just look at the printed information?”

Long Yuehong was just about to say the first when he heard Bai Chen say, “Just the information is fine.”

Uh... Amidst Long Yuehong’s confusion, he raised another question. “I thought this matter was very simple. Why didn’t anyone complete it until today?”

“Yesterday,” corrected the female staff. She then added, “There were two completions previously, but we confirmed them to be fake. Some Ruin Hunters wanted to scam you of your supplies.”

“Huh?” Long Yuehong was momentarily confused.

Bai Chen explained softly, “Given the conditions, the guild will verify the results. Credibility is key to the guild’s operation.”

Is that so... It’s no wonder the Hunter’s Guild can develop to such a level... As Long Yuehong sighed with emotion, he waited for the information to be printed.

At this moment, Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian were idling as they looked at the large screen to see if there were any special missions recently.

They soon noticed a high bounty: “Capture any of them to receive 10,000 Oray. There’s no limit.”

“We can pay off the rest of the debt just by capturing one...” Shang Jianyao’s gaze moved up as he read the main content with interest.

Jiang Baimian also became a little interested.

The next second, Shang Jianyao scratched the side of his mouth and muttered to himself in confusion, “Sangri Drace... This name sounds a little familiar.”

The corners of Jiang Baimian’s mouth twitched as she couldn’t help but glance at the fellow. Isn’t this your fake alias?

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