"It's only 7:30!" Long Yuehong slammed the phone and gritted his teeth.
He wished he could rush back to the 495th floor now and beat Shang Jianyao up. Unfortunately, he wasn't the latter's match.
"We're just in time to have breakfast at the canteen." Bai Chen had been forced to wake up early countless times. Of course, her previous instances of being forced to wake up early were based on having to move in the middle of the night despite scheduling to wake up at dawn.
"Are you not going to sleep for a while longer?" Long Yuehong asked in concern.
There was still an hour and a half before 9 a.m. They could still get some sleep.
Bai Chen shook her head. "No, I'm completely awake."
Long Yuehong couldn't help but look back at the phone on the table. "I can finally understand the complicated feelings the protagonists in the Old World's entertainment have toward phones."
He pressed his cold right palm to his face and forced himself to calm down.
After breakfast, Long Yuehong and Bai Chen killed some time before heading out at 9:30. They carried the cloth, biscuits, and fruits they had bought in advance and took the elevator to the 495th floor.
It was Sunday, and many employees were active on the streets and in the Rec Center. A large number of them knew Long Yuehong. Upon seeing him hold Bai Chen's hand, they smiled meaningfully and greeted him enthusiastically.
Long Yuehong straightened his back and tried his best not to appear constrained and uneasy. He openly greeted his neighbors and led Bai Chen all the way to Zone C, Room 11.
Gu Hong already had the door open and sent Long Aihong and Long Zhigu to loiter around the corridor outside. They were to keep note of the guest's arrival.
"She's here! She's here!" Long Aihong shouted into the room and quickly walked toward Long Yuehong and Bai Chen. She smiled sweetly and said, "Hello, Sister-in-law!"
On the one hand, she was happy for her brother and was ecstatic to have a guest. On the other hand, she had heard her brother mention that her future sister-in-law had a high rank and had saved up a lot of contribution points. If she could build a good relationship with her, wouldn't she have another source of snacks in the future?
"Hello." Bai Chen recalled Jiang Baimian's teachings and prevented the smile on her face from being too stiff.
At this moment, Gu Hong had already walked out of the room and enthusiastically greeted, "Come on in. Why are you chatting at the door?"
We haven't had the time to chat, alright? Hypocritical woman. Long Aihong criticized her mother inwardly.
Bai Chen had previously mentally rehearsed the process of meeting the parents. She immediately nodded and greeted, "Hello, Auntie."
She couldn't change the way she addressed her before the marriage registration.
Gu Hong swept her gaze across Bai Chen's face and was rather satisfied. However, she felt a little regretful when she saw Bai Chen's height.
The smile on her face remained the same. "Come in. Come in."
Long Yuehong quickly held Bai Chen's hand and walked into the room with the gifts they had bought, handing the items to his mother. "Mom, this is from Little White."
"Gosh, you're too polite. There's no need to buy these!" Gu Hong smiled as she handed the gifts to Long Dayong.
Bai Chen suddenly found it surreal: This was identical to the scene her team leader had used as an example.
The subsequent development was about what Bai Chen had expected—everyone sat down and smiled as they chatted about how she and Long Yuehong knew each other and whether they had suffered a lot in the Ashlands.
Bai Chen replied frankly since it wasn't anything sensitive.
They chatted until it was almost lunch when Gu Hong finally stood up and smiled. "Let's chat as we eat. We can't go hungry."
"Alright, Auntie." Bai Chen heaved a sigh of relief.
Jiang Baimian had said that if the elders were relatively satisfied during the first parent-meeting session, they wouldn't test her by asking questions that could easily cause conflict. They would only talk about trivial matters.
Therefore, Bai Chen preliminarily believed that her performance just now barely passed. Long Yuehong's parents and siblings had a good impression of her.
Listen more, talk less; praise more, complain less; and smile more, move less. That was all.
While Gu Hong helped Long Dayong serve the dishes and Long Yuehong went to help because he was embarrassed to sit idle, Long Aihong finally found an opportunity to approach Bai Chen and ask with a suppressed voice, "Sister-in-law, why do you like my brother?"
"He's pretty nice. Why can't I like him?" Bai Chen said truthfully.
Long Aihong smiled and asked, "I mean, how did you guys develop feelings for each other?"
Bai Chen recalled and said, "We are together every day, often going through… Uh, often having to face danger together. He also appears very brave and shows his value in you. It's very normal for us to develop feelings for each other."
"I see… How romantic!" Long Aihong recalled scenes from Old World entertainment and sighed emotively with a yearning look.
Bai Chen didn't give the young lady a blow. She didn't even dare to say the words 'go through life and die together,' afraid that it would agitate Long Yuehong's family.
She only smiled and reminded her, "It's unlikely that you will be assigned to the Security Department."
"That's right…" Long Aihong let out a long sigh. She then looked at Bai Chen and said with sparkling eyes, "Sister-in-law, tell me about your adventures. My brother rarely mentions them."
"If there's a chance later." Bai Chen didn't refuse.
Long Aihong immediately beamed. "Alright, alright. Sister-in-law, you're the best!"
After receiving such treatment, Bai Chen suddenly felt like she was starting to blend into the family.
Outside Room 14, at the end of the corresponding corridor, a figure in blue clothes secretly watched Long Yuehong's house.
It was none other than Shang Jianyao.
"What are you doing?" Someone suddenly patted his shoulder from behind.
Shang Jianyao turned around and saw Jiang Baimian's familiar face.
"I thought it was the Order Supervisors." He clearly heaved a sigh of relief.
"Why are you sneaking around?" Jiang Baimian sized up the fellow in confusion.
Shang Jianyao quickly explained, "I'm just afraid that Little White will have stage fright and can't perform well. If anything really happens, I'll rush over and guide Little Red's parents and siblings to ignore the unpleasant scene and do it over."
Jiang Baimian said in exasperation and amusement, "You really value your friends."
"It wasn't easy for Little Red and Little White these past few years." Shang Jianyao suddenly spoke sincerely. He then asked Jiang Baimian, "Why are you here?"
Today was only Bai Chen's meeting of the parents, not a wedding banquet.
Jiang Baimian laughed. "You can care about Little Red and Little White, but can't I? I came over to see how effective it was and if there's a need for me to smooth things over."
"You're late. It's already over," Shang Jianyao pointed out.
Jiang Baimian gritted her teeth. "Life is always filled with all kinds of accidents."
"Therefore, you find yourself lost as you walk…" The honest Shang Jianyao was quickly pressed to the 'ground' by the other Shang Jianyaos.
Jiang Baimian slowly exhaled and looked past Shang Jianyao at Long Yuehong's house. She revealed a gratified expression when she heard the faint peals of laughter.
Jiang Baimian retracted her gaze and said to Shang Jianyao, "Let's go take a look at your room."
"What do you want?" Shang Jianyao was horrified.
Jiang Baimian rolled her eyes at him. "Let's talk about what happened recently."
Shang Jianyao came to a realization and looked around warily. "I'll go back first. Come over later. Remember—Zone B, Room 196."
You make it seem like a spy meeting… Jiang Baimian didn't interrupt Shang Jianyao's fun and watched him walk to Zone B.
In any case, what they wanted to talk about was indeed rather confidential.
After waiting for a few minutes, Jiang Baimian strode forward and calmly headed to Zone B.
Before long, she entered Room 196, where Shang Jianyao lived. She sized up this place that was only six square meters.
She didn't comment. She pulled a chair behind the desk by the window, sat down, and asked, "What are your plans regarding the Life Ritual parish?"
The reason Jiang Baimian found an opportunity to talk to Shang Jianyao about this was that she was worried he would ultimately be unable to calm down and make an irrational attempt.
Shang Jianyao's eyes lit up. "I plan on asking for your help."
"Help with what?" Jiang Baimian raised her guard.
Shang Jianyao—who was sitting by the bed—said with bright eyes, "If we don't take action, will the person who affected Little White and Little Red's dreams be unable to hold back and make them have the same dream again to transmit more important information?"
"It's quite likely," Jiang Baimian evaluated calmly.
Shang Jianyao smiled. "We all know that it's impossible to determine who's who through human consciousness. If the people affected in the dream weren't Little White and Little Red but you and me, could we have sensed the target in reverse, captured him, and interrogated him about his goal and the authenticity of the information regarding the Life Ritual parish?"
"In theory, yes." Jiang Baimian roughly understood Shang Jianyao's plan.
Shang Jianyao excitedly said, "Let's find an opportunity to disguise ourselves as Little White and Little Red and live in Little White's house, waiting to be affected by the dream. We can do this during working hours. It won't be easy to be discovered."
"But it's impossible to disguise ourselves every day. We have no way of knowing when the other party will come to affect our dreams." Jiang Baimian doused his enthusiasm.
Shang Jianyao thought about it and felt a little depressed.
Jiang Baimian scoffed. "A plan can't rely on coincidence or luck. The success rate of your plan isn't better than directly asking Mei Shou'an and Minister Xenny if they are members of the Life Ritual parish…"
As she spoke, Jiang Baimian suddenly fell silent.
Shang Jianyao seemed to have received a reminder as he clenched his right fist and punched his left palm. "That's right. We can ask directly!"
His expression gradually turned ruthless. "It's too risky and sudden to find Director Su, but we have sufficient and reasonable reasons to find Mei Shou'an and Minister Xenny. Use the excuses of going to Mei Shou'an to fulfill the previous promise of undergoing a body examination and the reporting of Little White and Little Red's dream to Minister Xenny. When the time comes, conceal the 'persuasion' in our conversation and obtain the most realistic answer."
"What if there's nothing wrong with them? It's impossible for you to maintain the effects of Thought Implantation all the time," Jiang Baimian asked in a deep voice.
Shang Jianyao smiled frankly. "If there's really nothing wrong with them and that we are the ones overthinking and being used, I will remove my Thought Implantation and accept the corresponding punishment.. Even if I lose everything and get locked up to undergo education, I have no complaints."