Embers Ad Infinitum - Chapter 902: Real and Fake

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Chapter 902: Real and Fake

In the courtyard’s patio were water vats and green plants. The air was fresh and slightly humid, making Shang Jianyao feel like he had come to the wilderness from a large settlement like First City.

“Sigh, I should be lying on the roof of the jeep at a time like this. As I watch the stars, I’ll be scolded by Big White for crushing the solar charger board. Little Red and Little White won’t help me either. They only know how to be all affectionate with each other and let Old Ge be in charge of patrolling alone…” Shang Jianyao muttered to himself as he examined the patio.

This was one of the Old Task Force’s daily routines.

The courtyard didn’t seem abnormal. Shang Jianyao even stuck his head into the water vat, but he didn’t discover any clues.

“Pfft, there’s really water!” He suddenly straightened his body and pulled his head out of the water vat.

After wiping his face, he walked to the main door.

The grayish wooden door was unlocked and ajar.

Knock! Knock! Knock! 

Shang Jianyao—who had climbed over the wall—knocked politely and didn’t immediately push open the door to enter. After knocking three times, he said in relief, “Since you aren’t responding, I’ll take it as you giving your tacit approval!”

Without waiting any longer, he stretched out his right palm and pushed open the main door.

Behind the door seemed to be a living room. The decorations were so ancient that Shang Jianyao couldn’t help but sigh. “A living zombie!”(Search N ewNovel *0rg)

With that said, he took two steps back and returned to the door. He looked up and muttered, “It’s not a protected historical and cultural site either…”

This was a term he had learned from the Old World’s entertainment.

The situation in the living room looked rather ancient. Opposite the door was a table, and there was a mahogany armchair on both sides. Beneath them were two rows of ancient-looking chairs interspersed with wooden tables.

“Could this be a part of a film set?” Shang Jianyao was immediately interested.

As he praised the New World for having everything despite its size, he circled the living room to search for the source of the slight commotion.

He wasn’t afraid at all!

After a while, he sat in the armchair on the left and looked at the two lanterns by the door that had lit up because of him. He muttered to himself in disappointment, “There’s no problem…”

Before he could finish speaking, his voice stopped abruptly. He turned his head slightly and listened attentively.

In the room on the left, a soft cry sounded.

Boohoohoo…

Shang Jianyao silently stood up and crept closer to the source of the sound.

Just as he arrived at the door, the lights inside lit up.

The two lanterns outside extinguished.

“Sigh!” Shang Jianyao sighed.

The light inside represented his consciousness.

He stopped hiding and turned the doorknob to open the door in front of him.

The side room’s layout was relatively normal. There were two bookshelves, a table by the window, and a bed opposite it. A chair and a stool were casually placed in an empty area.

The style of these pieces of furniture was relatively compatible with the compound, but they didn’t look old.

Shang Jianyao swept his gaze around and stopped at the table in front of the window. There was a photo frame there.

Shang Jianyao walked over and saw the details of the photo in the photo frame with the help of the light.

On it was a relatively young woman. She wasn’t beautiful, but she had a sweet smile, and her hair was casually tied into a braid.

Shang Jianyao studied it for a while before suddenly clenching his right fist and punching his left palm. “I remember now—we know this woman! That genius scientist, Lin Sui!”

Back then, Shang Jianyao had read Lin Sui’s Renwu interview in the Iron Mountain City Ruin trauma in Room 522.

“She has a room here too…” Shang Jianyao came to a realization. “But why aren’t there any lights or people? Why hasn’t she returned after leaving? What’s the source of the cries and other sounds?”

After asking themselves, they fell silent.

After a few seconds, Shang Jianyao began rummaging through the drawers and cabinets, searching for clues.

He gradually walked to the bookshelf.

Shang Jianyao looked over and realized that there were all kinds of books inside. Many of them were very technical.

He couldn’t help but raise his right hand and block his face as if he was afraid of being blinded by the light of knowledge.

After scanning through the titles, he silently turned to the bed. He didn’t even have the interest to flip through them.

Jiang Baimian traveled through the night according to her previous senses and approached the area where some Heartless lived.

This inevitably took some detours, but the general direction was right. There was no problem with the outcome.

Finally, she arrived at her destination. She hid in the shadows outside the window and peeped into the building.

A pair of male and female Heartless were lying on the bed, sleeping like normal humans. They seemed fine.

Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and sneaked elsewhere.

After rounds of reconnaissance, she realized that the Heartless she could sense maintained human habits. They slept on beds, closed the windows, and locked the doors.

In some houses, there were bags of rice, flour, and boxes of canned food, biscuits, and energy bars. This made Jiang Baimian suspect that the Eighth Research Institute had installed rails in the tunnel to deliver supplies to the Heartless in this small city.

She wasn’t in a rush to eliminate these Heartless because 90% of the targets were still missing. With this in mind, Jiang Baimian decided to leave the New World in reality and tell Shang Jianyao about the various abnormalities she had discovered.

Perhaps this could be a boon to the other party’s exploration of the mental ‘New World,’ and the gains there might help Jiang Baimian crack some of the mysteries in reality.

Of course, the premise was that the two places were closely related.

With the military exoskeleton, Jiang Baimian left the Heartless’s residential area. She then unsurprisingly confirmed that she was lost again.

The experienced her climbed up a telephone pole quickly, stood at the top, and looked around.

With the help of starlight and the night vision goggles, Jiang Baimian quickly determined the direction to the tunnel entrance.

I have to circle two streets, pass several intersections, and make many turns… The more Jiang Baimian evaluated the route back, the heavier her heart became.

She could already foresee that she would lose her way many times.

As her thoughts raced, Jiang Baimian had a countermeasure thanks to her experiences of failure—she planned on walking in a straight line. She would scale any walls and climb over any houses she encountered!

This could effectively prevent any mistakes in her choice. Coupled with the positioning function of her equipment, Jiang Baimian felt that she would get lost once at most.

After confirming the plan, she immediately took action. She quietly slid down the electric pole to the ground and carefully ran to the first house.

She suddenly stretched out her right hand and pressed it against the wall, planning on using the momentum to jump onto the roof of the building. But to Jiang Baimian’s surprise, the wall her right palm pressed against couldn’t withstand any force!

It was just empty air!

This made her—who had already shifted her center of gravity—unable to pull her body back. She involuntarily fell forward and slammed into the wall.

She passed through it and rolled on the ground.

Jiang Baimian had undergone genetic modification and was wearing a military exoskeleton, so she quickly stopped her uncontrollable tumbling and stood up. She then turned around and looked at the wall with a shocked and suspicious expression.

At the thought that this was the real New World and that the electromagnetic environment was rather chaotic, Jiang Baimian couldn’t help but make a guess. “The tall tower and houses Hey and I saw aren’t actually what this small city looks like. Everything here has been distorted, forming a large illusion. There’s both the real and the fake mixed together?”

Jiang Baimian walked back to the wall and gently stretched out her right palm for confirmation.

Her right palm penetrated the white-gray stone wall as if it had penetrated air.

Jiang Baimian walked forward step by step, passing through it until she returned to the spot where she had fallen.

There’s Shattered Mirror among the Kalendarium who controls illusions. It’s normal for such a strange thing to exist in the real New World… Jiang Baimian muttered silently.

She thought for a moment and stretched her right hand toward the wall again. She had to slow down this time and calm her mind to experience the feeling of penetrating the fake wall.

Silently, Jiang Baimian’s palm pressed against the wall, but she didn’t take another step forward.

It wasn’t that she didn’t want to but that she couldn’t.

The wall was hard and cold. It didn’t seem fake at all!

Jiang Baimian—who was walking in a straight line—spent some time returning to the tunnel before closing the heavy iron-black door again.

She sat cross-legged beside Shang Jianyao and extended her psyche to touch his consciousness.

After the same boring scene passed, Shang Jianyao waved at Jiang Baimian. “I have something to tell you!”

“What a coincidence; so do I.” Jiang Baimian’s heavy mood relaxed a little. She then exhorted, “Try your best to use code when it comes to the New World’s rules and secrets. If you can’t do so, use another term and use something else as a metaphor.”

“It has nothing to do with the New World’s secret. I entered Lin Sui’s house…” Shang Jianyao rambled on about his experience. “But I didn’t discover anything valuable, nor did I find the source of the strange commotion.”

Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and said, “Tell me what books are in Lin Sui’s room.”

Shang Jianyao revealed a troubled expression. “I can’t remember. Uh, I’ll try to materialize it. Take a look for yourself.”

As it was a consciousness-level exchange, he directly walked back to the room with the bookcase and had it appear in front of Jiang Baimian as he looked.

Jiang Baimian scanned it and thoughtfully said, “Lin Sui was also very interested in research related to human consciousness…”

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