Chapter 83 – Captain Jiang (1)

Jiang Yujin went to work at the SIU.

Between repairing a river that couldn’t be repaired at all and going to work, he decisively chose the well-paying job.

A salted fish that got up early was no different from a dead fish. Alarms set off one after another, the person lying in bed turned over, then continued to sleep. The alarm grew louder and louder, and only then did he sit up from the bed.

Mechanically changing out of his pajamas, Jiang Yujin, with messy hair, answered the phone on the living room table while brushing his teeth. It was a call from Hu Li, saying that he was already downstairs waiting in the car.

Casually messing with his hair a bit, at least making it not look so much like a chicken coop, Jiang Yujin finished his routine. There was breakfast in the kitchen, but he woke up too early and lost his appetite, so he didn’t eat it and went straight downstairs yawning.

Even if they lived in the same world, people were still different. Although both woke up early, the one stumbling down the stairs with a disheveled appearance had no love for life, while the person in the driver’s seat was refreshed.

Without Xiaoxiaole or trying to chat with anyone, Jiang Yujin quickly closed his eyes after getting into the car.  Later, he remembered that it wasn’t Driver Xu who was driving, so he opened his eyes, fastened his seatbelt, and closed them again.

Hu Li originally wanted to discuss branch matters on the way to the headquarters. However, in just a few minutes on the car, the person next to him had already slumped to the side, fast asleep.

“…”

Sleep quality was quite good.

Before the vehicle got closer to the SIU office, Citizen Jiang, who was sleeping soundly, opened his eyes.

It was just two streets away, less than ten minutes’ distance. Some people just woke up and started feeling carsick, squatting by the parking lot to reflect on life after getting off.

Hu Li went to the office.

It was the usual time for starting work, and the office, which used to be lively, was exceptionally quiet now, with very few people entering or exiting.

The number of strange species was rapidly decreasing. In theory, the work should have become less busy, but in reality, it was getting busier. Various finishing tasks required a lot of manpower and energy, and the reason the office was empty was that everyone had gone out on assignments.

The task of cleaning up the Zero branch was also assigned to them. Originally, it was supposed to be led by Xu Tonggui, but unexpected events kept occurring, and he had to urgently deal with other matters, so the task fell on Jiang Yujin’s shoulders.

Compared to other offices, there were still quite a few people in Team One’s office, at least it didn’t look as desolate.

There were no extra hands assigned to them, and this time, everyone participating in cleaning up the branch was from Team One. All of them sat in the office, and the number of people seemed barely sufficient, but compared to the branch they were about to clean, it appeared completely inadequate.

Tasks needed to be completed quickly, so they got to work early and aimed to finish early. After glancing at the office and confirming that no one was missing, Hu Li divided all the present people into Team One and Team Two. He was the captain of Team One.

Someone asked, “What about the captain of Team Two?”

Hu Li replied, “He’s outside.”

With the arrangements settled, everyone was already fully equipped, so they began leaving the office one by one. Hu Li stood outside the office, watching the others leave. His pocket buzzed with his phone, and someone sent him a message. He lowered his head.

It was a message from Xu Tonggui.

“…”

After reading the content sent by the other party, Hu Li fell into silence, his expression hard to interpret. He turned around and returned to the office.

He took the sweet red bean small bun and milk placed on Xu Tonggui’s desk.

After leaving the office and standing in the parking lot, the members of Team One saw a figure crouching by the roadside.

Seemingly aware of their gaze, the person crouching turned his head.

“…”

When their eyes met, the expressions of the people standing varied, while the person crouching by the roadside remained expressionless, lifeless. However, he still maintained basic courtesy and waved slightly when their eyes met.

Hu Li, holding the milk and sweet bun, appeared behind them. Following their gaze, he introduced, “This is the captain of Team Two.”

Someone raised their eyebrows high and said, “Boss Jiang?”

Those who knew the inside story had an instant reflexive palpitation upon seeing the white hair. They remained silent for a moment, wondering what methods the SIU had used to recruit this person.

In any case, it must have cost a considerable amount.

Jiang Yujin, who was brought in at a hefty cost, boarded the car again, with a new driver this time. He and Hu Li sat in the same row.

People in the back craned their necks to look over, but neither of the two paid much attention. Before the person beside him, who was attempting to fall asleep again, could prop up his chin, Hu Li handed the milk and small bun to him, saying, “Captain Xu sent you some energy.”

He hadn’t expected Xu Tonggui to be so busy, like a flying person, and take the time to send him a message just to have him deliver breakfast along with this inexplicable sentence.

Perhaps there was some mysticism behind this sentence that couldn’t be discerned.

The moment energy was mentioned, the person next to him instantly sat up, took the milk and small bun, and then opened his phone, completely devoid of the drowsiness from moments ago.

Hu Li: “…”

Hu Li felt that he still didn’t understand Jiang Yujin as well as Xu Tonggui did.

After depleting the game energy, this person finally had time to listen to him.

Hu Li took out a photocopied map and pointed to a location, saying, “The branch is right here.”

In the center of K City.

This branch was slightly different from the previous ones. It was a compilation of many scattered branches, which could now be called the headquarters.

The cleanup of the previous branches had been progressing steadily. Some branches had disintegrated before their cleanup, but others resisted stubbornly, thinking that continued research would yield results comparable to the headquarters. However, with a weak force, they were at risk of being discovered and breached at any moment, so they formed a temporary headquarters.

The drawbacks of the temporary headquarters were evident—it was too scattered and chaotic, with a mix of various people, making it easy to infiltrate and exit. The information they knew about this headquarters came from people who had escaped from within.

However, its advantages were also quite apparent. This temporary headquarters had absorbed many branches, giving them a significant numerical advantage. If it were just about the number of people, Xu Tonggui alone would have sufficed. However, the chosen location of this branch was excellent, right beneath the city center. Any slight explosion or collapse could pose a life-threatening risk, making it impossible to use forceful methods.

Violent dismantling was not an option, and the numbers weren’t enough for a direct confrontation. To take down this branch today, they had to think of alternative methods.

Jiang Yujin seemed optimistic at this moment, eating his breakfast with a carton of milk in one hand and a red bean small bun in the other. He said, “Let’s go in first and figure things out afterward.”

He appeared unfazed, like a leisurely individual enjoying life with a paycheck.

Indeed, he didn’t feel any sense of urgency. The journey from A City to K City was quite long. In the first half of the trip, he played Xiaoxiaole and had breakfast. In the second half, after changing seats, he engaged in gossip and chatted with others in the back.

Some people weren’t part of the SIU, but they knew all the gossip about it. Others were led astray by him, and the more they talked, the more excited they became, emitting bursts of amazed exclamations. The atmosphere in the car was lively.

It wasn’t until they got off the car that the people in the back reluctantly concluded their gossip. Others looked regretful, and Jiang Yujin patted someone on the shoulder, comforting them, “We’ll continue chatting after finishing the job.”

They got off the car on a street still under repair.

The person who had previously briefed the SIU about the information also shared the entrance to the branch that they knew.

For safety reasons, the branch changed its entrance periodically. Currently, there were two entrances in use. Due to the recent influx of people from other branches, security was tighter than before, making it difficult to infiltrate.

Since the two current entrances were not feasible, they planned to enter through an already abandoned entrance. Although abandoned, with some repairs, it was still usable.

At the center of the street, there was a narrow alley with trash bins and various debris. At the very end was a door.

The door was locked, and Hu Li smashed the lock with the butt of his gun. Jiang Yujin stood aside, applauding him softly.

“…”

This person seemed genuinely amused and had an inexplicable sense of leadership. Others joined in the soft applause, creating a momentarily silent scene.

Unable to retaliate against Jiang Yujin, Hu Li casually patted the back of someone’s head and grinned with fox-like eyes, “Let’s go in.”

Behind the door was a long staircase, a longstanding tradition of the Zero branch. Although he had anticipated it, Jiang Yujin still couldn’t bear to open his eyes.

He could already imagine how painful it would be to climb back up.

If only Xu Tonggui were here.

But Xu Tonggui wasn’t here; there was only Hu Li and a group of people who wouldn’t have his back.

Descending the stairs continuously, the outside noise became increasingly muffled, and the entire passage grew quieter.

In almost complete silence, gradually, sounds started to come from below.

There were voices and footsteps, gradually becoming louder and more chaotic.

They were almost at the destination.

The entrance was indeed abandoned, sealed with metal sheets, and the metal sheets seemed quite thick. Someone used a dagger to pierce through the metal and pry open a small piece. Through this opened section, they could see the situation inside.

To be honest, the geographical location here was quite good; they could get a basic understanding of the structure of this branch.

The branch formed a circular shape with sealed corridors, appearing to have several layers. Jiang Yujin also took a look and, after retracting his gaze, squatted down and looked at Hu Li, saying, “Let’s divide the tasks.”

Hu Li asked how to divide the tasks.

“Rock, paper, scissors. If you win, go to the right; if you lose, go to the left.”

A circle divided into two halves, left and right.

“…”

Under the watchful eyes of the group, the two team captains began playing rock, paper, scissors.

Jiang Yujin won, leading his Team Two members to the right.

Within Team Two, the reactions varied widely. Some felt completely at ease, while others had mentally prepared to have their families receive compensation. Despite some discreet reminders that Boss Jiang was actually quite reliable, they remained uncertain and even felt a bit suspicious.

As they pondered, Jiang Yujin remained silent, squatting in front and inspecting the corridor. After a while, he turned and said, “There aren’t many people in this corridor; we need to lurk.”

The decision was reasonable, and the people behind nodded.

“Alright, let’s go.”

The group of people behind watched as White Hair jumped out openly and swiftly.

“???”

Upon realizing, the people behind quickly followed suit, pulling out their guns.

A black shadow with white hair swiftly flashed through the corridor.

Before they could open fire, the people in the corridor silently fell one by one. They had no time to resist, call for help, or notify others. They died silently, falling to the ground gently, without making a sound even after death, their blood slowly soaking into the floor tiles.

…Was this what he meant by lurking?

The person standing at the end of the corridor set down the last person, wiped the blood off his face, and said, “As long as the living don’t discover us, it’s considered lurking.”

Jiang Yujin put away the dagger in his hand and complimented, “Your knives are indeed more effective than pipes.”

“…”

From this moment on, the group had a new understanding of the term “lurking.”

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