Chapter 43.2: A Windfall

The warehouse had already undergone renovations. Besides the original three above-ground floors used for storing goods, three new underground floors had been built, and Golden Earrings was on the third basement level.

She had changed into a uniform but hadn’t fully zipped up, exposing her neck while puffing on a cigarette in the office. The person beside her was neatly dressed and inquired about when she would investigate Shi Bu upstairs.

Snuffing out the mostly burnt cigarette in the ashtray, she reapplied her lipstick and replied, “Not investigating.”

Ever since the moment the person on the other end of the line believed her during the call, she knew that the person she was responsible for checking was not the person ranked twelfth.

Despite knowing the outcome, she still had to go through the motions and report to the higher-ups. Additionally, the task handed down earlier to find several experimental subjects hadn’t been completed yet. The number of people brought from the shop was just right, with a few extras, perfect for the next round of assigned tasks.

She casually tapped the keyboard a couple of times, gesturing toward the wall-sized surveillance screens, and said, “Look here. There’s nothing unusual with anyone inside.”

The monitors displayed footage from the rooms where the people brought in today were held. Most of them were sitting on their beds looking outside, while someone in the corner seemed to be feeling sick, but no one exhibited any abnormal behavior.

“If the person we’re looking for was in there, we wouldn’t have been assigned this task.”

If the organization’s target was truly inside, they wouldn’t have survived until now. But the fact that they were still alive was a significant point.

Her reasoning made sense, and the person beside her hesitantly nodded, finally understanding.

As it turned out, from the very beginning, this person had no intention of finding anyone. The preparation of the two buses was solely to bring back more people.

—She explained it clearly, and the two individuals outside the door understood it too.

Golden Earrings made a call to report the results. She said they hadn’t found the person they were looking for, and the tasks assigned previously had been completed. Tomorrow, they could deliver dozens of specimens to the laboratory.

The moment she hung up the phone, there was a knock on the office door.

She switched the monitor back to the nearby area and saw two people standing at the door, dressed in dark red clothes. They were carrying two people, both of whom seemed to have passed out—one in a wrinkled shirt and the other in a suit.

She said to come in.

The door opened, and the two people entered, laying the unconscious individuals on the side. Golden Earrings waited for them to speak, only to realize one of the unconscious people was a familiar face. Before she could react, everything went black before her eyes.

They glanced down to see Golden Earrings collapsing softly onto the chair.

Citizen Jiang, lowering his eyes, placed the other unconscious person on a separate chair and then removed the dark red clothes, returning them to their original owner, saying, “Thank you.”

He took back his wrinkled shirt from the other party. He didn’t wear it and put it aside.

He found his phone in a box in one corner of the office, first landing on the dialing interface and then, after a brief pause, turned and asked, “Do you know the number for the SIU?”

Shi Bu knew it and recited it fluently.

Jiang Yujin dialed the number but didn’t hit the call button. He temporarily set down the phone and asked, “How long will it take to alter the surveillance?”

It was common knowledge that videos were real and surveillance couldn’t be altered.

But Shi Bu could, so he provided a timeframe.

Jiang Yujin nodded and made the call.

To go out, the only option was to destroy this warehouse, but it couldn’t be him who did it, nor could it be Shi Bu. The only option left was the SIU.

The hotline of the SIU was available 24/7, and someone picked up within five seconds of dialing. Jiang Yujin leaned casually against the desk, glanced down, and smiled:

“Hello, we’ve been kidn*pped by unidentified individuals. There are many people here, armed, and we’re very scared. The coordinates here are…”

Shi Bu provided a number, and Jiang Yujin repeated the number.

The voice that initially answered the call was a woman with a pleasant voice, but it later changed to that of a man, a voice he recognized.

It was the voice in the floral shirt.

As Jiang Yujin watched Shi Bu adjust the surveillance footage and spoke on the phone, the person in the floral shirt provided personal contact information. Jiang Yujin hung up and dialed the floral shirt person’s personal number.

The other party asked about his current situation and an approximate estimate of the situation there. He selectively answered, emphasizing, “I’m only able to make this call due to various coincidences. I’m not sure if it’s entirely safe here.”

Finally, he added, “It’s too terrifying here.”

Shi Bu, who was still adjusting the surveillance footage, turned to glance at him, an expression laden with emotions.

Jiang Yujin automatically ignored the other’s gaze, claiming his phone was low on battery to save power, and promptly ended the call.

As the call ended, the surveillance footage was also adjusted. Shi Bu slightly turned to let him see the screen.

It could only be said that the alterations were indeed quite realistic.

They pretended to have an accident, attracting people on duty passing by outside into the room. They knocked them unconscious, changed their clothes, and then dragged them here. The actual events were manipulated to appear as if two people had barged into the room, knocked him and Shi Bu unconscious, and brought them to this office, leaving no trace of falsification.

Jiang Yujin praised Shi Bu, then casually picked up a few sheets of paper from the desk and handed them over, saying, “There are a total of six floors, and the floor plan is yours to handle.”

Shi Bu followed his instructions well, finding a pen amidst the cluttered desk and began sketching the map after taking the paper.

He hadn’t traversed the upper three floors, but he remembered the layout at the entrance. He had seen the lower three floors earlier when he descended; every corner was etched in his memory.

His drawing was rapid, almost mechanical, every line in its rightful place, straight and without deviation.

With nothing to do, Jiang Yujin grabbed a chair and sat down, casually opening Xiaoxiaole on his phone.

Just then, the person still sketching suddenly said, “I wonder what I should do if the person who’s supposed to deliver my prize money couldn’t find me in the store.”

A vein popped on Jiang Yujin’s hand as he made an error in the game. He looked up, expressionless, at the speaker and said, “Then guess if I want to kick you now.”

Shi Bu dared not say anything.

After playing a couple of rounds of Xiaoxiaole and failing to advance, his phone truly on the brink of dying, Jiang Yujin put it away and closed his eyes to rest.

After a while, or perhaps not long at all, he received another call from the person in the floral shirt.

After racking his brain for a while, Jiang Yujin finally remembered that the person was named Hu Li.

Hu Li and his group had reached the vicinity of the warehouse. Several vehicles were temporarily concealed in the nearby woods as they brainstormed a plan for the rescue.

According to the information revealed by the person on the other end of the phone, there are a total of six floors in the warehouse, three floors above ground with people detained, and guards on the sixth floor as well. If they forcibly intrude, it would be impossible to rescue all the captives simultaneously, resulting in at least half of them dying.

Hu Li didn’t mind sacrificing half, but it would be hard to explain this to higher authorities.

Negotiation was also ruled out as a priority. The effectiveness of negotiation depended on the counterparts, and for those at Zero, negotiation would only lead to greater losses.

Infiltration was the best option, but they had no knowledge of the place, increasing the probability of being discovered if they entered without proper planning.

“There’s a small door behind the warehouse used for garbage disposal. There’s a person guarding the door outside, and there’s another one in the half-meter tall grass outside the door with an infrared device.”

Through the earpiece came the voice, and Hu Li quickly gestured for the others, still trying to figure out a solution, to remain silent for the moment.

Jiang Yujin glanced at the surveillance footage, then lowered his head to look at the floor plan drawn by Shi Bu, saying, “Once inside the small door, there are boxes for cover, and there are patrols nearby.”

Light-colored pupils met the blue-tinged screen, moving slowly as he said, “Patrols seem to pass by every three minutes, two people per team, armed with guns and alarms. They’ll be back at the small door in about a minute and a half.”

He hadn’t been drinking excessively recently, his throat felt better, not as hoarse as before, revealing a bit of his original voice, surprisingly clear.

Listening to the communication in the earpiece, Hu Li glanced at the others in the car, silently signaling readiness with their gear, preparing to exit the vehicle soon.

In the office, Jiang Yujin quietly watched the surveillance, noticing someone in a SIU uniform appearing near the grass by the small door, then said, “Fifteen meters to the right.”

Someone walked through the grass in an instant, and the person immediately tw*sted the neck of the guard before he noticed the noise and turned his head. The person standing guard at the door was stunned for a moment when he saw the scene in the grass. Then he realized what was happening. Before he even raised the gun in his hand, his vision suddenly spun around and he lost consciousness.

Two individuals quickly changed into the guards’ clothes, picked up their weapons, and stood in the guards’ original positions as if nothing had happened.

Meanwhile, the others infiltrated through the small door.

Hu Li was among them, still listening to the voice through the earpiece: “About two minutes until the next patrol.”

If he hadn’t misheard, he seemed to hear a yawn coming from the other end.

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