Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 854: Shortcut

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Chapter 854: Shortcut

In the backseat, Jiang Baimian laughed. “It definitely won’t be that simple. If we can find the Eighth Research Institute’s exact location just by capturing a commissioner and brainwashing them so as to fish out the internal employees in charge of escorting them, they would’ve long been ganged up on by many large factions.

“I suspect that when the commissioners arrive at the agreed meeting place, there will be a secret review before the employees in charge of escorting the returnees rendezvous with them. They will then use a method similar to the flipping of memories to determine if there are any problems with the returnees.

“Or perhaps, the Eighth Research Institute constantly monitors the rendezvous point and the surrounding area with the satellites that it still has. Once it discovers that something is amiss, it will immediately fire missiles to destroy both parties.

“In short, we have to formulate a series of plans for different situations to see if we can think of a way to bypass those restrictions.”

This wasn’t something that could be completed in a short period of time. Even Jiang Baimian herself didn’t have any clues.

In particular, Professor Qin from the Eighth Research Institute could clearly erase the corresponding memories on a large scale, and he had explored the Mind Corridor’s depths. The range of his abilities couldn’t be small. If he really hid in the dark and secretly examined Murray and Benito’s experiences from a distance, it was very difficult for the Old Task Force to discover him. The premise of being able to erase the corresponding memories on a large scale undoubtedly meant that he could read them.

More importantly, Professor Qin might not hide in the area around the rendezvous point. He could completely ‘ambush’ Murray and Benito’s return route in advance, making it impossible to guard against them.

Long Yuehong didn’t say anything else, and Shang Jianyao fell into deep thought.

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When they returned to the Fire & Iron Hotel, Spant had already replaced Gitis and began his night shift. However, the intelligence peddler—Gitis—didn’t leave. She sat on an old sofa on one side of the hall and stared at the door with unfocused eyes.

It was unknown what she was thinking, but it was only when Shang Jianyao crept in front of her that she suddenly woke up.

She slowly stood up and asked, “How was it? Was the information accurate?”

Shang Jianyao didn’t answer the question and revealed a look of enlightenment. “Were you waiting for us to return? Were you afraid that we’d renege on our debt?”

Upon seeing Spant look over curiously, Gitis lowered her voice and said, “Eight Grand Knight gold coins isn’t a small sum. Many workers take two to three years to save up that sum only by not eating, drinking, or raising children.”

Jiang Baimian immediately took two steps forward, took out the six Grand Knight gold coins, and handed them to Gitis. “We’re still short of two coins. I’ll give them to you in three days.”

As the Old Task Force had already paid most of the money, Gitis didn’t harp on the matter. She put away the gold coins and nodded. “You guys are very efficient; you completed the verification so quickly. Caught anyone?”

“No.” Jiang Baimian shook her head sincerely.

They really didn’t catch them. They only had a friendly exchange with Murray and Benito.

Shang Jianyao had a shocked expression as he looked at Gitis. “As the best intelligence peddler in Gesterbourg, shouldn’t you know if we captured the target before we returned? So there are times when you don’t know either!”

Gitis fell silent for a few seconds before saying, “Remember to pay up the rest in three days.”

Shang Jianyao was speechless.

Gitis ignored them and walked out of the Fire & Iron Hotel as if she were sleepwalking, disappearing from the street lamps’ illumination.

“What kind of information did you buy that actually costs that many gold coins?” Although Spant didn’t hear the Old Task Force and Gitis’s conversation clearly, he was a little surprised and curious when he saw them give his colleague several Grand Knight gold coins.

Jiang Baimian laughed and walked over. “We’ll tell you for two Grand Knight gold coins.”

“…” Spant weighed his wallet and gave up on his unnecessary curiosity.

Shang Jianyao approached and asked in concern, “Does she lack money?”

“I’m not sure.” Spant shook his head. “I only know that her parents have been sick. She often buys some drugs and biological agents.”

“I see.” Shang Jianyao nodded.

After chatting for a while, the Old Task Force returned upstairs and entered their room.

They didn’t immediately discuss how to use Murray and Benito to lock onto the Eighth Research Institute’s exact location. Instead, they discussed what was on their plate next.

Long Yuehong glanced at Shang Jianyao and said, “Murray and Benito might be recalled at any moment. We might not have the time to go to Ceningmis.”

This way, the search for Shang Jianyao’s father’s whereabouts had to be postponed.

“Maybe the Eighth Research Institute has already moved its headquarters to Ceningmis,” Shang Jianyao said casually. “I have no objections to which comes first on these two matters.”

Jiang Baimian nodded slightly and said, “We definitely have to make the corresponding adjustments to the plan depending on the exact situation. There’s no rush to change it now. Maybe the Eighth Research Institute doesn’t plan on summoning Murray and Benito back. Instead, they will send Professor Qin over and get them to help find another intermediary like Mor?”

This was completely possible, and the Old Task Force had a chance of capturing a Professor-level figure from the Eighth Research Institute in Gesterbourg.

There was a chance that such a high-ranking member knew the Eighth Research Institute’s exact location! Of course, he wasn’t a member of the Professors’ Association yet, so Jiang Baimian couldn’t guarantee that he knew.

Bai Chen pursed her lips and suggested, “In the next few days, we can continue visiting the remaining people on Gitis’s list while waiting for Murray and Benito to send us the news. We can try our best to obtain more information regarding Hey’s father.”

They still had three people that they had yet to visit.

Jiang Baimian deliberated for a moment and said, “In three days, we have to consider secretly monitoring or even protecting Murray and Benito if they don’t receive any useful reply from the Eighth Research Institute. This is because the Eighth Research Institute might have to carry out a review first and only contact them after confirming that there are no problems with them.

“Of the remaining three people on Gitis’s list, Smith hasn’t returned to Gesterbourg. We also have sufficient ‘friendship’ with him, so we don’t have to worry about a failed visit when the time comes. As for the local Knights’ vice-commander—Eman—and the Hunter’s Guild’s president, Frances, I plan on buying the corresponding answers from Gitis directly.”

“Huh?” Long Yuehong didn’t expect his team leader to choose to ‘slack off.’

Jiang Baimian smiled and said, “We have confirmed her intelligence-gathering abilities, and everyone knows that. Since we can obtain an important target’s honest answer from her by spending a Grand Knight gold coin, why should we waste time and take the risk to visit Eman and Frances? It won’t be too late to make an attempt when the answers we receive aren’t satisfactory or are doubtful.”

As Long Yuehong felt that this made sense, he also felt that it was too much of a shortcut. It would make the team lose their subjectivity. Over time, they would become lazy and lax in their thinking.

However, it’s not like you can encounter intelligence peddlers like Gitis just because you want to or like they’re everywhere… After some thought struggles, Long Yuehong chose to accept this plan.

This was indeed the most convenient and time-conserving method.

Bai Chen pointed out the biggest problem. “That will cost two Grand Knight gold coins, and we still owe Gitis two.”

The Old Task Force had no money.

The suite fell silent for a moment.

Jiang Baimian said after a while, “After Murray and Benito confirm that they have moved to a safe house, we’ll pass the information that Gitis gave to the sheriff named Yergai as if we found it out on our own. This can at least be exchanged for a Grand Knight gold coin. Then, we’ll take the opportunity to get some information and see if we can find clues pertaining to the Subhuti figurine and obtain some bounty.”

“What information?” Shang Jianyao asked curiously.

Jiang Baimian chuckled. “You’ll know when the time comes.”

The next morning, the five Old Task Force members got into the jeep and went straight to Gesterbourg’s Public Security Department after receiving a telegram from Murray and Benito through Genava.

This was located in the ancient castle, between the outer walls and the tower that acted as the main building.

Shang Jianyao and the others soon met Yergai.

The sheriff—who had already changed into a dark-blue uniform—sized up the Old Task Force. “Progress already?”

“Yes.” Jiang Baimian took out the portrait. “We managed to get the sniper’s appearance from questioning.”

It was indeed done by questioning.

Yergai took the portrait and examined it carefully.

“The sniper last appeared in the block where Mor’s house is. He’s suspected to be living in the same apartment as Mor.” Jiang Baimian took the opportunity to brief him on their experiences. “We found several witnesses in that area. We also pretended to be members of the Power Safety Council and went to check them one by one, but we didn’t find the target. Yes, there were a few rooms that were empty. Nobody opened the door.”

Yergai nodded slightly. “I’ll immediately organize people to investigate. If your information is valid, you will receive a Grand Knight gold coin as payment.”

Jiang Baimian didn’t question him and said, “Mr. Sheriff, we also want to photocopy some information from you.”

“What information?” Yergai asked warily.

Jiang Baimian revealed a harmless smile. “We just need to know about all the public security disputes, criminal cases, mental hospital admission records, and deaths in Gesterbourg in the past two months. If some of them have relatively high confidentiality levels, we just need to know that it happened.”

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