Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 823 - Square

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Chapter 823 Square

Long Yuehong felt his blood run cold as he felt the light in the forest dim significantly.

The problem won’t be appearing on our side, will it? he thought.

Jiang Baimian-who was wearing a military exoskeleton-jumped to the top of the jeep and used the momentum to jump to a nearby tree to look around. After a few seconds, she slowly said, “It’s not only our forest that’s abnormal; the entire Ceningmis is also abnormal. The sky here has darkened significantly, and time seems to have frozen. The closer it is to the city, the worse the situation becomes.”

What froze wasn’t time but all kinds of activity.

Bai Chen guessed, “Hey and Old Ge encountered something in Ceningmis City that triggered a certain change?”

“That’s possible.” Jiang Baimian once again relied on the communications system attached to the military exoskeleton to contact Shang Jianyao and Genava, but to no avail.

She could only jump down from the tree and say to Bai Chen and Long Yuehong, “Little White, wear the last military exoskeleton. Little Red, wear the Blackmarsh Iron Snake. We have to stay sharp to deal with any deterioration in the situation.”

“Alright!” Long Yuehong immediately replied.

As he walked to the jeep’s trunk, he laughed self-deprecatingly. “I thought Hey and Old Ge didn’t encounter anyone from the Eighth Research Institute, but it turns out we were the ones who encountered them…”

With a whoosh, Jiang Baimian and Bai Chen cast their gazes at him at the same time.

“Put on the smart armor quickly,” Bai Chen urged him.

Long Yuehong quickly shut his mouth and strode to the back of the jeep.

Shang Jianyao and Genava quietly walked along the street and ventured deep into Ceningmis.

The illusions around them gradually increased. From one to two figures, they appeared everywhere.

They were Heartless, killing each other as if they had gone crazy.

In the outside world, the Heartless wouldn’t attack their own kind unless they couldn’t find food and were about to starve to death.

“From their dressing, it should’ve happened sometime after the Old World’s destruction.” Genava used the communications system to communicate with Shang Jianyao. This inevitably brought with it the rustling sounds of static, giving off the feeling that the communication would break off at any moment.

“What do you mean by dressing sometime after the Old World’s destruction?” Shang Jianyao asked any question on his mind.

Genava replied honestly, “The cloth is old, and the design has a sense of patching that seeks simplicity and pragmatism.”

As Shang Jianyao ran, he moved his neck up and down. “This should be the scene when Ceningmis was destroyed by the Heartless disease. It was recorded by the chaotic electromagnetic environment and constantly replicated.”

The general scene at that moment was naturally reproduced in Genava’s main module: Regardless of the reason, a sizable passage opened up between Ceningmis and the New World. The Heartless virus surged out, accompanied by an electromagnetic pulse.

“How tragic…” Shang Jianyao sighed sincerely.

He said in anticipation the next second, “Was the scene of that Old Task Force creating the ‘problem’ also recorded? That way, we might be able to easily investigate what happened back then!”

“Very likely. It depends on which scenes were recorded.” Genava agreed.

Shang Jianyao instantly accelerated and passed through the Heartless that filled the street. Genava reacted quickly and followed without leaving a gap.

During this process, Shang Jianyao still hid his human consciousness to prevent the Eighth Research Institute from sensing him from afar.

He and Genava ran for a while before approaching a square.

The faint fog in the square clearly became thicker, and the darkness was dyed with hints of black.

In such an environment, a lamp was lit; it was located in the middle of the square.

On the stone railing beside the dried-up fountain, there were rows of illusory bookshelves around it. Beside the bookshelf, behind a reading table, sat a man in a black T-shirt.

He had his head lowered and had it buried into his raised palms. His black hair was messy.

Shang Jianyao and Genava noticed at the same time that the ‘veins’ on this person’s neck bulged like warped earthworms crawling on them. His entire body trembled slightly.

This allowed them to sense the man’s pain without seeing his face.

“Another person from the New World.” Shang Jianyao slowed down, and his voice reached Genava’s ‘ears’ through the communications system.

“Yes,” Genava warned, “but he doesn’t seem to be in an okay state. He’s different from the previous ones, such as Flora, Barnard, and Wu Meng.”

The three of them appeared relatively relaxed. Although the first two had their individual problems, they at least didn’t show any obvious pain.

Shang Jianyao smiled. “Are you trying to say that I shouldn’t communicate with him?”

Genava didn’t deny it. “Yes, this place is filled with danger. You’ve already given up on identifying the corpses for the time being and only plan on quickly confirming the root cause of the problem. There’s no need to cause further trouble.”

“Understood.” Shang Jianyao smiled. “Do I look like such a rash person?”

Genava didn’t answer him.

Shang Jianyao then accelerated and crept forward.

His intention was so obvious and simple that Genava could tell at a glance: He wanted to sneak through the square filled with Heartless illusions and not attract the New World man’s attention.

In fact, he can’t see or hear you. You are even hiding your human consciousness so that he can’t sense you… Genava wanted to say that there was no need for that, but he ultimately chose to let him be.

Shang Jianyao—who was wearing a military exoskeleton-jogged to the other end of the square. Genava mimicked him and made himself appear more sociable.

Suddenly, the black-haired man sitting behind the reading table looked up. His expression warped to a hideous state as his slightly red eyes looked at Shang Jianyao and Genava.

At the intersection of the western mountains at the edge of Ceningmis.

Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen wore their equipment and warily monitored the situation in the distance and their surroundings to be prepared against any accidents.

Jiang Baimian casually sighed with emotion as she maintained high vigilance. “I wonder when Hey and Old Ge will return. I feel a chill staying here.”

She didn’t want her teammates to go overboard and mentally snap.

Bai Chen pursed her lips and said, “It’s best to camp in the mountains in the future and distance ourselves from Ceningmis.”

In this season, it was still snowing heavily outside the mountain. It wasn’t as suitable as the environment in the mountains, so Bai Chen didn’t suggest retreating to Icefield.

“Yes…” Jiang Baimian had just grunted when her head suddenly felt heavy.

Although she had never been drunk, she had read the corresponding experimental reports and different books. She had a certain level of understanding of such situations and felt that she was currently in a drunken stupor.

“Enemy contact!” Jiang Baimian forced herself to shout. At the same time, she quickly analyzed the current situation. In such a forest with sparse trees, a hypnotic gas won’t be too effective. If not for the fact that the wind has already ‘stopped,’ it might not have affected anything. Furthermore, I’m wearing a helmet and a visor to protect myself. Although I didn’t activate the anti-poison filter system, the situation shouldn’t be in such a serious state just as I discovered it…

It should be an Awakened ability, but I can’t sense the other party’s human consciousness or his bioelectric signals. This means that the enemy is very likely an Awakened at the Mind Corridor level. The range of his abilities far exceeds mine…

How should I respond… In her drunken state, Jiang Baimian’s thoughts gradually slowed down. Although she still clearly knew what she was doing and what she wanted to do, her reaction and thoughts turned sluggish.

Seizing the thought that came from experience and inspiration, she shouted at Bai Chen and Long Yuehong, “Hide behind the jeep!”

Long Yuehong and Bai Chen had also sensed the anomaly and followed Jiang Baimian’s orders by staggering to the back of the jeep.

They acted as if they were performing drunken boxing.

After two to three seconds, Jiang Baimian and Bai Chen—who had the help of the military exoskeleton’s comprehensive warning system

-turned their bodies at the same time, turned their heads, and cast their gazes somewhere outside the forest.

About 100 meters away from them, a figure appeared.

He wore equipment that was very similar to the Chameleon-type bionic artificial intelligence armor with certain differences. He approached Jiang Baimian and the others.

This concealed his appearance and genderhe was about 1.7 meters tall.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Boom! Boom!

Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen fired their grenades and blanketed the enemy with firepower. However, it was unknown if it was because they were in a ‘drunken’ state or if there was another reason, but their bullets and grenades deviated in an astonishing manner. They failed to effectively hit the target at all, only producing bullet holes and cannon holes in the distant mud.

The enemy in the bionic artificial intelligence armor laughed. “From the looks of it, you don’t have any Mind Corridor-level Awakened here. You made me worry for quite some time.”

This person sounded like a woman, and she spoke in the Red River language.

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