Embers Ad Infinitum

Chapter 584: So ‘You’ Are Here Too

Chapter 584: So ‘You’ Are Here Too

Upon hearing Shang Jianyao’s reminder, Long Yuehong subconsciously suggested, “Should we circle elsewhere?”

This ruin wasn’t large, but that was relative to Iron Mountain City, Swamp Ruin 1, and Wasteland Ruin 13. In fact, it could accommodate 300,000 to 400,000 people in the Old World.

In such a large place, the two teams could each keep to their side and not interfere with each other. They might not even know of each other’s existence.

With the Old Task Force’s current strength, Long Yuehong wasn’t afraid of conflict. He just didn’t like meaningless battles.

In the Ashlands, everyone lived an exhausting life. There was no need to gather together since everyone would be on edge and not speak sincerely.

If it were in the Old World, it would be fine if these two teams encountered each other. They might even be able to hold a party in accordance with Shang Jianyao’s wishes. But in the Ashlands today, order only existed in the major factions’ main settlements. Being weak was a sin during encounters in the wilderness.

There were countless greedy people because those who weren’t greedy were usually just short of starving to death in a few days.

Bai Chen—who was driving—glanced to the side. “We can wait a while. We’ll circle to other buildings when we’re closer to those people.”

Uh, why... Long Yuehong’s thoughts raced as he pondered over Little White’s words, and he quickly figured out the exact reason.

It seemed safe to turn around or take a detour, but it would reveal certain problems.

It was fine if the nearly 20-person team didn’t have Mind Corridor-level Awakened, but if they did, they would discover that the intruder had changed directions 100 meters away. This made it very easy for them to come to a conclusion: There’s a high chance that there are Mind Corridor-level Awakened among them, and their perception range is about 150 meters!

This was equivalent to them figuring out one-third of the Old Task Force’s strength and grasping Shang Jianyao’s maximum range before the two parties made contact.

By following Bai Chen’s suggestion, the Old Task Force would appear more like a strong team that wasn’t excessively strong. It would make the other party believe that there were indeed Awakened among them but that they were still in the Sea of Origins. They only sensed the other party when they were 30 to 40 meters apart.

The maximum range of Shang Jianyao’s abilities was therefore concealed, and the Old Task Force’s strength would also be greatly underestimated. The outcome was obvious once the other team attempted to target them.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

Shang Jianyao clapped for Bai Chen’s plan and said in a scholarly manner, “A game of deception I see!”

At this moment, the jeep was circling around a few buildings along a roundabout. The straight-line distance between them and the team Shang Jianyao had sensed didn’t change much.

Why use such a vulgar term? It makes Little White appear sinister and cunning... Long Yuehong criticized Shang Jianyao inwardly. It can clearly be described with better words!

Jiang Baimian suddenly laughed. “Actually, there’s no need. Little White, weren’t you more accustomed to displaying your strength from afar to intimidate the other party and avoid unnecessary conflict? If we position ourselves as a relatively strong team with an ordinary Awakened, and they happen to have Mind Corridor-level Awakened, won’t it incite their greed? They might take the initiative to start a relatively dangerous battle that might be fruitless. Why bother?”

As Bai Chen drove, she defended herself. “But this will expose the maximum range of Shang Jianyao’s abilities. This is one of the most important secrets of an Awakened.”

Jiang Baimian nodded and smiled. “Therefore, we just need to make a turn at a range of 70 to 90 meters. This exceeds the Sea of Origins’ limits while implying the bottom feeders of the Mind Corridor. This allows the other party to easily guess that there are Mind Corridor-level Awakened among us, but the range of our abilities is definitely more than that. Let them use their imaginations for the exact extent. The unknown is the most intimidating.”

“Alright.” Bai Chen changed her mind after some thought.

That’s for the best. There won’t be any conflict... Long Yuehong heaved a sigh of relief when he heard that.

Without knowing how strong the Old Task Force’s Awakened were, the team definitely didn’t have much confidence in gaining victory unless they had a powerhouse at the New World level. They could only choose to keep a respectful distance.

A powerhouse at the New World level has either left the Ashlands or is in a prolonged slumber. How could it be easy to encounter them...

“Stop! Stop your brain. Stop thinking!” Shang Jianyao suddenly felt terrified and turned to look at Long Yuehong.

“...” Long Yuehong held in his anger. “I didn’t think of anything.”

“Gosh, that won’t do. The brain will rust if it’s not used.” An unknown Shang Jianyao shook his head.

Long Yuehong chose to remain silent.

Bai Chen followed the plan that the four of them had come to an agreement on. After entering a 90-meter radius from the target’s location, she turned the steering wheel to another side of the city ruin.

Nothing abnormal happened along the way.

Shang Jianyao began to think about a question and raised it. “What if that team doesn’t have Mind Corridor-level Awakened and is a relatively common Hunter team or bandit gang?”

“...” Long Yuehong replied sullenly, “Then, what we just did was flirt with the blind.”

“There’s no need to mind.” Jiang Baimian—who was in the passenger seat—was rather open-minded. “As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Before long, the Old Task Force found a relatively sturdy and intact building a few kilometers away to get shelter from the rain.

After a simple dinner with the electric kettle, Shang Jianyao and Jiang Baimian fell asleep—one sitting in the back row and the other leaning against the passenger seat.

They had made considerable gains in their mind worlds recently.

Jiang Baimian had long grasped the application of several abilities. She left Star Cluster Hall, entered the Sea of Origins, and set foot on the first island of fear.

This island’s effect was that she fainted the moment she set foot on it. After being unconscious for a long time, she would automatically leave the Sea of Origins.

She still couldn’t find a way to overcome this fear after nearly two months.

After Shang Jianyao cleared the psychological trauma that included Iron Mountain City’s Second Food Company, he was originally facing a second psychological trauma and was thinking of a way to board a cruise ship that had long been abandoned. The room owner, however, seemed to have sensed his exploration and warned him by changing the environment to a certain extent.

Although this didn’t match the general outcome of the owner detecting the intrusion stemming from the repeated nightmares due to the clearing of multiple psychological traumas and deep exploration of their consciousness, the polite Shang Jianyao still chose to leave.

From that point in time until before the Old Task Force set off, he followed the ‘strategy guide’ provided by Pangu Biology, found two nearby rooms, and cleared three psychological traumas each. It was considered an incomplete exploration.

The ‘strategy guide’ didn’t recommend delving deeper because the risks were too high and the harvests might not keep up.

Even so, Shang Jianyao’s Awakened abilities had clearly improved.

The range of Thought Guidance was still limited to the other party’s ability to hear the corresponding sounds clearly, but the effects of transmitting them into the distance via electric waves were much stronger.

The range of Literary Hipster-Corny Person increased to 110 meters. Limbs Immobility was 150 meters, and so was electromagnetic interference. Matter Interference was 60 meters.

The improvement of these abilities wasn’t completely the same because the tempering effects of different psychological trauma in the different rooms corresponded to different abilities.

As for the number of people that could be affected, it reached 70. From this, it was obvious how effective the psychological trauma involving Iron Mountain City’s Second Food Company was.

After leaving Room 131, the Shang Jianyaos came to the corridor covered in a dark-yellow carpet.

One of them looked around and said to himself in a heavy tone, “We can’t always go to rooms in the strategy guide. That would be boring. Let’s find something that’s not recorded in the strategy guide this time. How about that?”

“Heh, why don’t you go to rooms like 101 and 205? Although they are in the strategy guide, excitement is guaranteed! The timid Shang Jianyao scoffed.

The most common scene in 101 was a mental hospital, and it was very dangerous. 205 was a dream of Dawn or Master Zhuang. It was grotesque and varied, and it was extremely dangerous.

The honest Shang Jianyao immediately replied, “First, 205 is too dangerous and not suitable for the current us. Second, the others aren’t nearby. We don’t know when we can find them.”

“Third, I’m really willing to visit 101 if it’s possible,” added the Shang Jianyao who sought novelty.

After an argument, the Shang Jianyaos finally came to a consensus: They would search for a room that wasn’t written in the strategy guide.

With a casual sweep, Shang Jianyao’s gaze landed on the room with the door number ‘912.’

It wasn’t in the strategy guide.

“It’s fate for us to meet.” The cyborg monk, Zen Master Redemption, spun the Six Senses Beads.

The Shang Jianyaos combined into one and came to 912’s door. He turned the handle and pushed it open.

As soon as he entered, a dark sea and a cruise ship covered in barnacles appeared in front of Shang Jianyao.

He laughed after a few seconds. “Interesting...”

This psychological trauma looked identical to the second psychological trauma in Room 522!

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