Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 590: Chu Ge

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Chapter 590: Chu Ge

“Bai Chen?”

Long Yuehong was almost stunned when he heard the loud shout. Little White’s acquaintance?

Bai Chen—who had originally given up on firing a warning shot because the other party was prepared to circle around her team—frowned slightly as if she were recalling who was opposite her.

“It’s me!” A head popped out from the modified passenger seat.

He was an Ashlandic man in his thirties. His beard was shaved rather cleanly, a rarity among Ruin Hunters.

The next second, he seemed to realize that it was very easy for others to snipe him if he rashly stuck his head out like this. Hence, he quickly retracted his head.

“He has a comical bearing...” Shang Jianyao evaluated truthfully. He originally wanted to use words he had learned from the Old World’s entertainment, but he still wasn’t in the right state of mind. He couldn’t be bothered to expend brainpower on this.

With this ‘fleeting glance,’ Bai Chen recognized the person. She turned her head to glance at Long Yuehong and Jiang Baimian and simply explained, “A Ruin Hunter named Chu Ge who teamed up with me to explore a few city ruins in the past.”

“Since you are acquaintances, let them come over and catch up.” Jiang Baimian didn’t mind.

Bai Chen nodded slightly and waved her Merfolk biological prosthetic limb at Chu Ge’s car.

She had replaced her left arm.

As the two cars slowly approached, Long Yuehong opened his mouth as if he had something to ask.

Jiang Baimian glanced at him and smiled at Bai Chen. “Why didn’t you continue on as a team?”

Bai Chen calmly replied, “He’s an ambitious person, and he wanted to try his luck with the factions east of First City. I had my own smart bot back then and didn’t plan on leaving the place I was familiar with. He then left with a few companions.”

Jiang Baimian looked at the two cars. “He’s doing pretty well.”

Ordinary Ruin Hunters couldn’t get their hands on heavy machine guns, much less two.

The modifications to the two vehicles made them more combat suitable. Without resources and connections, it was impossible to manage such modifications.

As Jiang Baimian spoke, the two cars with flamboyant banners flying on the sides widened the distance between each other.

The one in front accelerated and approached the Old Task Force, while the one behind slowed down and stopped relatively far away.

Although their banners were ostentatious, it was obvious that they weren’t religious in nature, nor did they belong to any faction. They looked more like haphazardly pieced together textiles from the Old World. For example, gorgeous scarves or exaggerated carpets from some brands.

These weaved together, causing the four flags to look different. They also reflected a wanton and ostentatious bearing that was at odds with the oppressive atmosphere.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

Shang Jianyao clapped.

Artists always admired artists.

This clapping stunned Chu Ge, who had pushed open the door and alighted. He didn’t know how to react.

He had a square head and couldn’t be considered good-looking, but he gave off a friendly feeling.

Chu Ge composed himself, sized up Jiang Baimian, Shang Jianyao, Long Yuehong, and the grayish-green jeep, and smiled at Bai Chen. “You’re doing pretty well now.”

As he spoke, two people—a man and a woman—alighted from the backseat of the modified vehicle.

The man was about the same height as Jiang Baimian. He wore a floral shirt and a golden necklace, and he exuded similar vibes as the flags attached to the sides of the car.

The woman was less than 1.7 meters tall. Although it was early spring and the weather was very cool, she was already wearing shorts and boots.

She had applied eyeshadow using expired makeup that she found in some city ruin. She also wore blush and looked like she had been through a tussle. Her facial features were rather beautiful.

The woman sized up Bai Chen warily before her gaze swept past Jiang Baimian. She was stunned for a few seconds.

“You’re doing pretty well too,” Bai Chen replied. She had no intention of introducing Jiang Baimian and the others.

Chu Ge didn’t mind and continued smiling amiably. “This is Shao Liang, and this is Mu Chi. Why are you here? Didn’t you say that you aren’t leaving the Blackmarsh Wilderness or the area around First City?”

Bai Chen replied concisely, “Times are different.”

Before Chu Ge spoke, Jiang Baimian added for Bai Chen, “When leaving a familiar environment and heading to a foreign place, one is either forced by the circumstances or had some advance understanding, made connections, and was sufficiently prepared. Which one do you think it is?”

The smoky-eyed Mu Chi was just about to speak when Chu Ge smiled and replied, “From the looks of it, it’s definitely the latter.”

“Who said so?” the honest Shang Jianyao retorted weakly. “Do I look fine?”

“...” Chu Ge was momentarily speechless.

Shao Liang—who was wearing a floral shirt and a golden necklace—had the bearing of an artist. Upon seeing this, he played with a dagger and said, “Sometimes, I’m in a worse state than you, but this can’t prove anything.”

“You like staying up too?” Shang Jianyao didn’t realize that the other party’s words were slightly barbed.

Shao Liang raised his eyebrows and smiled. “Of course. The night is hot and warm; it’s the time when we witness the trust between people. It can also be calm, empty, and filled with inspiration.”

This is the first time I’ve heard someone describe such a matter as mutual trust between adults... This is more excessive than the Church of Paragon Desire and the Church of Spiritual Transcendence... Long Yuehong criticized inwardly.

Without giving Shang Jianyao a chance to lead the conversation astray, Bai Chen asked Chu Ge, “Didn’t you say that you were going east of First City? Where are the others?”

The Lake of Wrath was south of First City, separated by the vast Iron Mountain.

‘The others’ referred to the Ruin Hunters who had followed Chu Ge to the factions east of First City in search of opportunities.

Chu Ge’s smile didn’t change, and he still looked rather cheerful. “Some of them settled down and became employees of the Orange Company. Some got themselves a piece of unpolluted land and organized a group of people to establish armed farms. As for me, I came to the Lake of Wrath for something.”

Bai Chen didn’t probe, but Chu Ge continued, “We’re going to Redstone Collection to participate in a meet.”

A meet? Long Yuehong was surprised.

Apart from large factions, it was rare to have meets elsewhere.

With order limited to large settlements, who could organize a meet with many participants from afar?

“Meet?” Jiang Baimian didn’t hide her curiosity.

Chu Ge smiled and said, “A parish assembly.”

Uh... Long Yuehong didn’t understand.

Jiang Baimian had seen similar terms in some of the Old World’s academic books. She guessed that it was a meeting used by religions to resolve religious disputes and important matters. It was also called an ecumenical council or general council.

But this fellow isn’t vigilant at all. He doesn’t seem to be from the Vigilance Church... Jiang Baimian muttered inwardly.

Redstone Collection was the Vigilance Church’s territory!

Bai Chen didn’t ask what the parish assembly was. She only reminded them on account of being acquaintances. “If you are heading for Redstone Collection, you’re currently going in the wrong direction.”

“We know.” Chu Ge smiled and said, “We just want to rendezvous with someone elsewhere first. What about you guys? Why are you here?”

“We are making a trip to Iron Mountain City’s ruins.” Jiang Baimian didn’t want to make things difficult for Bai Chen.

“Iron Mountain City’s ruins? You can just head southeast from Weed City. Why circle to the Lake of Wrath?” Chu Ge looked at Bai Chen in confusion. From his point of view, it was impossible for this person not to know the route, even if she had never really taken it.

Iron Mountain City’s ruins were one of the most famous ruins in the Chaotic Era. Although it had fallen into the doldrums for nearly 20 years, Ruin Hunters were still very familiar with its relevant situation.

Bai Chen nodded. “We are heading to Redstone Collection first to meet up with a teammate.”

“I see...” Chu Ge sighed thoughtfully. “Your teammate must be very strong...”

From Bai Chen’s words, he could tell that the other party’s friend had come to rendezvous with them alone.

Those who dared to travel the Ashlands alone were either in dire straits with no other way out or had considerable confidence in their strength.

“That’s right.” Shang Jianyao firmly believed in Genava’s strength.

Chu Ge and the others immediately felt choked.

Fortunately, Chu Ge was a social expert and quickly changed the topic by looking at Bai Chen and asking, “Since you guys are also going to Redstone Collection, let’s catch up later? Oh right, are you a Senior Hunter now?”

Bai Chen shook her head. “Just a little short.”

This was because the Old Task Force wasn’t that enthusiastic about completing the Hunter’s Guild’s commissions.

For example, they had never played the roles of Ruin Hunters seriously after completing the white wolf mission in First City. Therefore, Bai Chen was still an Intermediate Hunter.

Chu Ge politely didn’t ask any further. After exchanging a few pleasantries, he pointed in a certain direction. “We are in a rush. Talk to you later.”

“Goodbye.” Bai Chen waved her hand swiftly.

After watching Chu Ge and the others drive away, Jiang Baimian suddenly looked at Bai Chen and chuckled. “Little White, did he pursue you in the past?”

Eh? Long Yuehong immediately focused.

Bai Chen nodded. “When Ruin Hunters form teams to complete missions, single women have no lack of suitors.”

“Especially those who look good,” Jiang Baimian added with a smile.

Bai Chen continued, “However, such pursuits are mainly to have a few romps. If you really encounter danger or if the resulting gains are sufficiently moving, most of them will abandon you without hesitation or stab you in the back. Similarly, male Ruin Hunters don’t expect any woman they bed to value them more than supplies or that they won’t shoot you in the back. Only a few who withstand the test of time eventually become companions.”

Jiang Baimian laughed and mimicked some men she had met in the past. She reached out to hug Bai Chen’s shoulder. “Therefore, we are companions!”

Bai Chen struggled, but only for a moment.

Clap! Clap! Clap!

As Shang Jianyao clapped, Long Yuehong secretly heaved a sigh of relief.

...

The Old Task Force arrived at Iron Mountain when it was almost evening the next day. There was an entrance here that led to the Underground Ark.

As the honorary presidents of the Underground Ark Management Committee, they naturally had to take a look underground.

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