Chapter 734: What Do You Want From Me?
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The man buried his face in the grass as he huffed heavily. After a short while, he turned his face sideways, and Lin Sanjiu realized that his appearance had changed.
After the 300 route began to do its wonders, his previous unhealthy and weary face began to melt away. His eyes turned bigger, his nose became straighter, and his face grew rounder. Wide-eyed, Lin Sanjiu stretched her arm out and wiped his face. As she expected, a card that said “Single Use Mask: Ordinary Middle-aged Man Series” appeared in her palm.
She had used this Special Item before when she was at the Red Nautilus, and she had almost forgotten about it.
Even though a Special Item that could conceal a person’s face was not mainstream, it never disappeared from the Twelve Worlds.
“I wonder when was the first time I met you.” She withdrew her knee that was pinning the man’s neck down, so he scrambled up. However, the moment he sat up straight, he realized that something was wrong with the Special Items he brought and his face turned pale, “Hmm, now, you seem familiar. Where have we met before?” Lin Sanjiu inspected his face, but she could not place where she had seen him prior to that.
“Have we met on the plane before?”
“Yes, I’ve been trailing you these few days,” the chubby young man replied dejectedly, “What do you want from me?” He seemed to have realized the gap in power between Lin Sanjiu and him in a very short time.
“Well, this should be my question.” Lin Sanjiu squatted in front of the young man and stared at him. “Tell me what is going on. Who are you?”
The way she squatted was very unique. She had learned that from Hei Zeji. Speaking of Hei Zeji, Lin Sanjiu had to admit that he was indeed a genius in martial arts. Right now, in her current position, not only could she maintain her balance very well, but she could also lunge forward like a black panther if the young man suddenly retaliated.
Apparently, the young man was stunned by the immense pressure as he was sweating in fear. “F-fine then, I will tell you everything.”
Be that as it may, the young man only began to talk after he went through a quick bout of rumination. When he starting to speak, his two puffy cheeks quivered, making him look like a large squirrel. “Erm, before I tell you everything, I want you to know that this isn’t personal. We don’t harbor any malice towards you, and we’re just carrying out our work.”
“Work? What kind of work is that?”
The young man cleared his throat. He scratched his puffy cheeks and pushed his chest out as he said, “Yes, all of us are working under the same organization.”
Lin Sanjiu stared at him but did not make any remark.
“Ahem.” At this moment, the young man looked as if he was filled with both shame and pride. “I’m the action and planning officer of the Committee for Preventing Price Hikes and Inflation.”
“The Committee for Preventing Price Hikes and Inflation, otherwise known as ‘CPPHI’.”
‘They really have all sort of people in the Twelve Worlds.’ Tilting her head, Lin Sanjiu examined the young man from head to toe through narrowed eyes.
“CPPHI? What do you guys do?” Lin Sanjiu asked dumbfoundedly, “Does inflation exist in the Twelve Worlds too?”
“Whenever a certain community is big enough to keep the economy stable, several economic problems such as inflation and price hikes are bound to appear,” the young man replied rigidly. When he pulled his face, he looked like a squirrel that was resting after its stomach was filled. “Then, this is where our committee comes in. We are a group of specialized personnel that deal with and prevent those incidents from happening.”
Lin Sanjiu tried to search through her memory, but she could not remember whether there was such a committee amongst the organizations that kept the Twelve Worlds running. “How do you prevent it?” she asked, “And what does it have to do with me?”
“We pay close attention to the market activities, carry out multi-point manual monitoring, restrict and close supervision of huge cashflows, and so on to prevent the market from overheating, money laundering or inflation. We also make real-time macroscopic readjustments and control cashflow to stabilize the price…”
‘If only Puppeteer is here.’
“Speak in human language,” Lin Sanjiu said cooly.
However, it seemed like the young man had a little difficulty fulfilling her demand. He dilly-dallied for a long amount of time before starting to speak again, “Well, isn’t it obvious?”
Lin Sanjiu pulled out the pointer and aimed at the young man’s exposed arm.
The young action and planning officer suddenly rambled faster, “We’ve been closely supervising any trades that involve a large amount of money…Well, manual monitoring means after we get intel from our informant, we start following our target…”
The young man gulped loudly. “Then, we take all necessary measures to confiscate the excessive money from our target so that the flow of money in the market can be controlled.”
After listening to what he described Lin Sanjiu frowned and fell silent. She did not know whether she should be angry or laugh at this moment. “Your committee sounds all high and mighty, but in the end, you guys are just a bunch of robbers.”
“That isn’t the right word. You should say that we have made the redistribution of wealth possible, which is good for the development of the Twelve Worlds…”
“Bullsh*t!” Lin Sanjiu growled, silencing the young man to the point that he did not know where to place his hands. She went closer to study the young man again.
On the surface, he seemed to be quite proud to work for the committee, yet deep down, he felt guilty and ashamed about his doings. Lin Sanjiu marveled at the fact that two different emotions could appear and co-exist in the same person’s mind.
She drew her pointer away and asked coldly, “Who’s your informant?”
“Huh?” The young man tried to play possum.
“Somebody spilled my intel to you guys. Who is that guy?” Lin Sanjiu poked the pointer into his arm.
He gulped again and his face turned ugly. “I…I don’t know.”
As if he feared that Lin Sanjiu would not believe him, he threw his hands up as he quickly said, “My colleague contacts those informants, so I really have no idea who they are. All I know is the information provided by them.”
“Go on,” Lin Sanjiu commanded simply.
“The informant said you are rich, and you seem to have just bought a house. Besides that, the report said that you are pretty active in this region…”
Lin Sanjiu’s brows knitted slightly. “I seem to have just bought a house? Has your memory gone bad or was that what your informant told you?”
“Yes, that was what the informant told me. I felt it was strange as well,” the young man explained, “Either you bought it or you didn’t. Why must the informant use the phrase ‘seem to have’?”
Staring at him, Lin Sanjiu did not reply as she fell into her own thoughts.
Only four people knew she had just bought a house: Timo, Naga-ashi, the previous house owner, and the fatty in the organization. They knew very well that she had indeed bought a house, so they would never use ambiguous words such as “seem like”. In other words, only those who did not participate in the process would give that vague an answer.
Besides, nobody knew the location of her house, save for the previous house owner. Even if the previous owner turned against her and sold her information, why would he be ambiguous about it? It just did not make sense.
After all, even he knew the location of Exodus, he would not have known that she was active in this region. What if she just bought the house and just came to stay once in a while?
“What region do you mean?” Lin Sanjiu exerted more force and asked.
The young man glanced at the pointer that stabbed into his skin. He did not know what it would do to him, but he did not feel comfortable. He fell silent for a brief second before answering, “My colleague just made a mark on the map, so I’m not so sure as well, but the flight route is within the marked area. I’m very sure of it.”
In other words, Exodus was not inside the marked area.
Looking at this perspective, Lin Sanjiu came to a conclusion. The informant knew she was around here, but he did not know the location of her house.
This way, she could eliminate the previous owner from her list. However, she realized that she did not have many suspects on hand now.
It was like a multiple-answer question. Those who fit criteria A would not fit criteria B, and vice versa. She needed to find somebody who fit both criteria A and B, then he would be the informant that she was looking for.
“What a headache,” Lin Sanjiu mumbled under her breath. Ever since her grand prize had turned into a Veda, she had lost the ability to mimic him. In other words, she did not know him well anymore, hence she could not use his brain to help her connect the dots.
Fortunately, she still had a way. “Where is your committee?” Lin Sanjiu asked with a growl.
The young man’s expression changed. He lowered his head and mumbled, “We don’t have a fixed location. Even if you threaten me with my life, my answer remains the same.”
“Then, how did you guys contact each other?”
Like a worm, the young man wriggled but did not reply.
Lin Sanjiu scoffed before she activated the Planar World and touched his shirt. His face turned pale as he looked at his disappearing clothes. He stammered, voice laced thick with fear and embarrassment, “What do you want to do?”