Chapter 65.1 – Doubt
The high schooler didn’t go home for several days in a row. After Zhang Xin was transferred from the hospital in H City to A City, he basically shuttled between the school and the hospital. Xiao Pang’s home was close to the hospital, so he had been staying at Xiao Pang’s place recently.
Although it was called Xiao Pang’s home, in reality, only Xiao Pang lived there. Due to various considerations, when he was brought back home, he voluntarily suggested living independently. His parents agreed, but most of the time, they asked him to come home.
Young people like to live with friends, and Jiang Yujin expressed understanding. He only hoped that the high schooler would be polite when staying at a friend’s house.
Living alone again, but this time it was a bit different from usual. The barber shop owner downstairs didn’t get taken advantage of, and he managed to keep his food and vegetables.
Feeling inspired, he actually started cooking for himself. Whether it was delicious or not is another matter, but in any case, the barber shop owner was delighted not to see Jiang Yujin’s figure during meal times.
Jiang Yujin didn’t go out much these days, at most, he went out to buy groceries when there was no food. He had a leisurely mood, strolling in the nearby large supermarket in the shopping mall, and then sitting in front of the TV at home watching melodramas.
Once again, the food supply ran out at home. After changing his clothes, he was about to go out when someone knocked on the door.
Opening the door, he saw two faces that didn’t seem very serious.
Judging by their uniforms, they were from the SIU. One of them spoke somewhat awkwardly, “Boss Jiang, regarding the incident at Duolan Mountain last time, when the materials were handed over to the HQ, it was discovered that there might be a need to consult you again about some matters.”
Though they said ‘might,’ both of them were already at his doorstep, so out of politeness, he had to accompany them.
Jiang Yujin yawned, nodded, grabbed the keys from his room, and went out.
He followed the two into the car. Once in the car, someone said, “Handing over materials to the HQ is always troublesome; they scrutinize everything.”
After the incident, they had to cooperate with the previous investigators to collect evidence again. They were the ones responsible for this, and every time they sent someone to the HQ, they would get scolded.
Another person made a sound resembling that of a corporate worker and said, “A case that was already closed before was dug up again, and the vice-captain had to fly all the way to the snowy mountains for evidence.”
Jiang Yujin said, “Thank you for your hard work,” and then seemed a bit tired. He closed his eyes and added, “Call me when we get there.”
This is treating people like a taxi driver.
There was a distance between the agency and the SIU, and when he opened his eyes again, it was already half an hour later.
It looked busy here today, with many people coming in and out. Some were trying to argue with the guards at the entrance, but they didn’t get any response.
The person standing next to him after getting off the car said, “Other victims were found inside Duolan Mountain. Relatives were notified if the victims could be identified.”
In these days, relatives were coming and going, making the entrance lively. Some people, who got the news from somewhere, believed that their missing family or friends in H City must be inside Duolan Mountain, and they insisted on going in to take a look. The SIU certainly wouldn’t allow it, so they could only be stopped outside.
Jiang Yujin took a glance and then withdrew his gaze.
The evidence collection room was at the end of the corridor, and the process was formal and straightforward.
After all, he was just a victim’s family member who happened to go to the scene with the SIU. After arriving at the scene, he was only responsible for watching the car, and there wasn’t much to talk about.
After the last question was asked, the person collecting evidence nodded and said, “Thank you for your cooperation.”
After the evidence collection, Jiang Yujin could leave. He would go back the same way he came. The person who drove him here was already waiting at the door, but someone walked out into the corridor.
The person was wearing a flowery shirt, eyes slightly lifted, and from a distance, he started waving and said, “Wait a moment.”
So, the two of them stood in place and looked at him. As the person approached, Hu Li looked at the person standing on the side and said, “You go ahead and get busy. I’ll chat with Boss Jiang for a couple of minutes, and I’ll take him back later.”
The person standing on the side glanced at Jiang Yujin and then nodded.
Hu Li watched the person leave, and his gaze shifted to the person in front of him, smiling, “Want to come to my office? There are drinks and small cakes inside.”
On the other side of the city, Xiao Pang enjoyed free meals for both breakfast and dinner.
The influence of an unreliable father on a person is indeed significant. Even though Xiao Pang had witnessed Chen Jing’s demeanor in the agency before, seeing him calmly cooking in the kitchen again, constantly flipping the contents of the pan with a cold expression, still left Xiao Pang feeling amazed.
Moreover, the food was genuinely delicious.
After dinner, Xiao Pang voluntarily washed the dishes and then immersed himself in the laboratory.
The advantage of having this place to himself was that he could arrange the room as he pleased. He connected the space that was originally used as a study with the adjacent room, creating his own small laboratory, where most of the materials were stored.
He didn’t expect that the things he casually observed last time would be related to Zero, and he never imagined that there would be a branch of the organization there, completely beyond his expectations when Zhang Xin got injured.
Looking at it from a positive perspective, they gained more information, and Chen Jing even extracted the location of the Zero headquarters from the person sent by the HQ.
Perhaps it wasn’t accurate to say he extracted it; it was more like the other side had no choice but to reveal it. With a knife at their throat, anyone would be compelled to speak.
Inserting the USB drive into the computer, Xiao Pang turned his head and asked, “What does he mean by the ‘Vanished City’?”
As the matter was related to his own life, when the whip-wielding man disclosed the location of the headquarters, he didn’t hesitate and mentioned, “In the Vanished City.”
The Vanished City was probably not something he fabricated; it was a real place, and that was the only way to refer to it.
The SIU had already started their movements at that time, the situation was urgent, and there were areas of the lab that hadn’t been examined. Chen Jing didn’t have time to ask more questions and directly dealt with the person after the mention of the “Vanished City” without further explanation.
With the person dead, Xiao Pang had to figure out on his own what the term “Vanished City” truly referred to.
The amount of data imported into the computer was substantial, and Xiao Pang didn’t keep staring at the screen. Instead, he took advantage of this time to walk towards a corner of the laboratory.
In addition to what was already here, there was now a crimson mass tightly sealed under a glass cover. Outside the glass cover, there was also a black cloth, and the inside could only be seen after it was opened.
Describing it as a mass of flesh might not be entirely accurate; this thing seemed to be a product between animal and plant tissues, existing in a state of balance that was difficult to describe.
This should be a small part of something, but it still seemed to have a sense of self-awareness. It constantly wriggled inside the small glass cover, and Xiao Pang sometimes felt a strange sensation as if he himself was being scrutinized, hence the black cloth cover placed earlier.
This was something Chen Jing brought back from the branch’s laboratory. It had undergone layers of protection in the laboratory, and if Xiao Pang guessed correctly, it should be something crucial.
Although he had the object in his hands, he didn’t dare to take action lightly. For a few days after bringing it back, he only observed it with his naked eye.
He had an inexplicable premonition that the glass cover should not be opened easily. If opened, something irreversible might happen.
“The order of our future arrangements may need to be changed,” Xiao Pang said. “I think it might be safer to first inquire at the headquarters and then deal with this thing.”
Chen Jing shared his thoughts. He rubbed his forehead and said, “Currently, the most important thing is to know what the Vanished City actually refers to.”
The SIU was not interested in the reasons behind the continuous appearance of strange species, but they were actively engaged in combating anti-social organizations. They also needed to arrive before the SIU. If they lagged behind, the information would be sealed in the SIU’s archives and would never see the light again.
Xiao Pang nodded.
Glancing at the time, Chen Jing stood up and said, “I’ll make a phone call.”
It was already around mealtime, and he needed to check if the person in the agency had eaten. The other party was skilled at pretending, and if he wasn’t hungry, he wouldn’t eat without someone urging them. If someone urged him, he might go downstairs to buy some food.