Embers Ad Infinitum is a web novel made by Cuttlefish That Loves Diving, 爱潜水的乌贼.
This lightnovel is right now ongoing.
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Chapter 317: Chatting Genius
After completing all the checks, Shang Jianyao waited in the lounge for a while and saw the researcher named Liu s.h.i.+yan push open the door and enter.
“Our Director Mei wants to have a chat with you.” Liu s.h.i.+yan paused for a moment and said, “It’s almost over once you’re done with the chat.”
“That fast?” Shang Jianyao was surprised.
What do you mean by fast? Don’t all the subjects want to leave as soon as possible? Liu s.h.i.+yan couldn’t keep up with Shang Jianyao’s train of thought and could only look at him in confusion.
As Shang Jianyao stood up, he said regretfully, “I thought you guys would take care of lunch. I haven’t eaten at your research inst.i.tute’s cafeteria; I wonder how it is.”
“…” Liu s.h.i.+yan finally decided not to respond.
Shang Jianyao looked around and said, “I’ll go to the bathroom first.”
The lounge had one.
This was a normal request, and it wouldn’t take too much time.
Liu s.h.i.+yan tersely acknowledged it and said, “I’ll wait for you at the door.”
Shang Jianyao soon came out of the bathroom and walked to Liu s.h.i.+yan’s side.
Liu s.h.i.+yan led him through the tightly shut doors and arrived at a brightly lit office that had warm hues.
In the office sat a middle-aged man wearing gold-rimmed gla.s.ses. His thick, black hair was slightly messy, and he wore a white coat in the same fas.h.i.+on sense as the researchers here.
“Sit.” The middle-aged man pointed at the chair opposite the table. “I’m Mei Shou’an, the person-in-charge of the C-14 project.”
“h.e.l.lo,” Shang Jianyao replied politely.
After he sat down, Mei Shou’an propped his elbows on the edge of the table and clasped his hands. “Let me give a simple introduction: the C-14 project is mainly related to Awakened. You’ve experienced so much on the surface, so you should know what an Awakened is.”
Upon seeing Shang Jianyao only smile at him without shaking his head or nodding, Mei Shou’an continued, “We believe that an Awakening is actually a special mutation in the human body. It will definitely cause a certain degree of change in a certain part of the body, and this should be discoverable through scientific means. Do you understand what I mean?”
Shang Jianyao smiled and looked at him without any intention of flinching, but he still didn’t say anything.
Mei Shou’an maintained his posture and smiled. “Don’t feel pressured. The company’s att.i.tude toward mutation and Awakening is positive and tolerant. It’s not like many factions in many places that believe that this violates nature and is a remnant of the apocalypse that needs to be completely eliminated to welcome the New World’s arrival.
“For Awakened, the company has always given them better treatment and arranged better and more important jobs. They are simply required to cooperate with us on a regular basis for some experiments. These experiments are meticulously designed so that the Awakened won’t feel insulted or hurt.”
After he finished speaking, Shang Jianyao frowned. “I don’t quite understand what you’re saying. What’s the point of telling me this?”
Mei Shou’an’s dark-brown eyes behind his gla.s.ses quietly looked at Shang Jianyao and stared at him for nearly ten seconds. Finally, he smiled and said, “That’s all for today’s follow-up, but there will be another one in six months.”
Shang Jianyao pointed at himself. “Then, can I leave?”
“Yes.” Mei Shou’an nodded.
Shang Jianyao stood up and waved his hand with a smile. “Goodbye.”
After watching him leave, Mei Shou’an wrote at the end of a doc.u.ment: “Recommended to be transferred to the secret observation list.”
After writing the comment, Mei Shou’an switched on his computer and logged into the corresponding account. He was prepared to submit this file. After all, he needed the other departments’ cooperation in the future.
At this moment, he realized that there was an email in his inbox. This came from a figure of authority that he didn’t dare slight.
Mei Shou’an opened the email and realized that there was only one simple sentence: “Stop tracking Project C-14’s Volunteer 32 in every form.”
This… Mei Shou’an frowned and cast his gaze at the doc.u.ment beside him in confusion.
After leaving the underground building’s research area on the third floor, Shang Jianyao raised his hands and dug his ears. Before long, he took out a lump of cotton from both sides.
“Unfortunately, I don’t know lip-reading. I don’t even know what he said…” Shang Jianyao muttered to himself and walked into the elevator.
He stuffed the two cotton b.a.l.l.s back into his pocket.
The elevator went up for a while before finally arriving at the 647th floor. Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen were waiting in Room 14 as they flipped through some files.
“How was it? Which tests were done, and what questions were asked?” Jiang Baimian—who was slumped in the chair—exerted strength in her waist and jumped up.
As Shang Jianyao closed the Old Task Force’s door, he described his experience.
After getting an idea of his and Liu s.h.i.+yan’s conversation, Jiang Baimian laughed involuntarily. “You’ll get beaten up like this!”
“He can’t beat me.” Shang Jianyao’s answer didn’t make sense, but he felt empowered to say it.
Jiang Baimian spat. “Besides, how do you know that yours is different from others? Do you have someone as a reference?”
As a Security Department employee who had been outfield many times, she had long become thick-skinned despite her lack of experience in this regard. She was the type of person who could joke around with the old, lewd soldiers.
Of course, when she encountered the experienced Bai Chen, she often didn’t know how to respond to the other party’s words or be hit in her soft spot. She would have no choice but to change the topic.
Just as she said the words ‘reference,’ Jiang Baimian’s heart suddenly palpitated.
As expected, Shang Jianyao cast his gaze at Long Yuehong.
Long Yuehong didn’t know whether to retort or be angry.
Fortunately, Jiang Baimian stopped Shang Jianyao’s subsequent words in time. “You saw Mei Shou’an?”
“Yes, I chatted with him after the inspection.” Shang Jianyao nodded.
“What did you talk about?” Jiang Baimian asked.
“I don’t know.” Shang Jianyao shook his head frankly.
This answer confused Long Yuehong and Bai Chen.
Jiang Baimian asked in exasperation and amus.e.m.e.nt, “Didn’t you say that you chatted for a while?”
Shang Jianyao took out the two cotton b.a.l.l.s. “Before I went to see him, I found an opportunity to block my ears. I didn’t hear what he said at all.”
Long Yuehong was speechless and curiously asked, “W-why did you block your ears?”
Shang Jianyao explained seriously, “Since he’s a scientist who studies the mysteries of the human body and presides over the C-14 project, I can reasonably suspect that he’s also an Awakened. If I block my ears, I won’t have to be afraid of Inference Clowning. I won’t simply become friends with him and tell him everything.”
Jiang Baimian slowly nodded. “That’s true.”
She had to admit that although Shang Jianyao’s actions were a little strange, they really had a certain meaning to them.
At this moment, Bai Chen was a little curious. “How did you communicate with him when your ears were blocked? Didn’t he notice?”
Shang Jianyao revealed a bright smile. “Most of the time, I only listened and didn’t say anything. When I felt that he had come to an end, I would say, ‘I don’t know what you mean by telling me this.’ When he showed an expression that was about right, I would ask, ‘Can I leave?’”
Jiang Baimian imagined the scene back then and inexplicably found it funny. “You really are a chatting genius!”
The Old World’s entertainment and the relevant doc.u.ments regarding Jiang Xiaoyue had enriched her vocabulary.
Long Yuehong laughed.
“Weren’t you afraid of missing key information? Maybe he would’ve said something valuable if you continued conversing.”
Shang Jianyao thought for a moment and said, “I don’t think he will make such a mistake as a scientist presiding over the C-14 project.”
That’s right… You know how to talk properly this time… Jiang Baimian had just sighed with emotion when she heard Shang Jianyao add, “You can’t always judge others by your own standards.”
He said this to Long Yuehong.
Long Yuehong felt insulted. He then saw Shang Jianyao eagerly ask, “Are you trying to say that you can insult my character, but you can’t insult my intelligence? Let’s go and have a one-on-one fight?”
Long Yuehong weighed the pros and cons and decided to keep his mouth shut.
Jiang Baimian’s eyes darted around as she paced back and forth. “I think it’s very likely that the company has already suspected that you’re an Awakened. After all, we’ve done too many things that exceed the standards of a normal four-person team. Furthermore, you’ve also shown mental problems that match the characteristic of paying a price. They might very well observe you in secret later. You have to be careful.
“However, I think you can completely take this opportunity to expose your ident.i.ty as an Awakened to the company. You’ve experienced so much outside, so you should know very well that the various large factions raise Awakened both openly and covertly. The company won’t treat you as an experimental subject. Yes, just pay attention to keeping certain things a secret.”
“We’ll see when the time comes.” Shang Jianyao clearly didn’t care if the company learned of his ident.i.ty as an Awakened.
He returned to his seat and flipped through the information he hadn’t finished reading.
When it was almost noon, Jiang Baimian switched on her computer and habitually checked her email. She then exclaimed, “Deputy Minister Xenny sent us an email.”
Just as she said that, Jiang Baimian clicked open the email and read it. “We are allowed to understand a portion of the information regarding Awakened based on our current clearance.”
Upon hearing this, Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen stood up. They ran behind Jiang Baimian and looked at her computer screen together.
The content displayed was: “According to all the information we have gathered, Awakened can be roughly divided into four levels: The first is Star Cl.u.s.ter Hall, the second is the Sea of Origins, the third is the Mind Corridor, and the fourth is the New World…
“The New World level is only our reasonable guess. At present, n.o.body has truly seen an Awakened who has entered the New World. However, experts at the Mind Corridor level believe that there is a door in the Mind Corridor that leads to the New World. Many religions claim that their leaders have entered the New World and are serving the corresponding Kalendaria…”
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