Chapter 651: Genetic Research
Jiang Baimian had wondered if the Holm Fertility Center had a certain connection with the Northern Company prior to the expedition.
After all, Fan Wensi’s vegetable son was most likely connected to two Buddhist Holy Lands—Long River City’s United Steel Plant and Iron Mountain City’s Second Food Company. As a volunteer, he was sent to a certain place in the north for treatment. This inevitably made one form the connection with the Northern Company that attended the 29th International Biotechnica Expo in Fakh.
Therefore, as another Buddhist Holy Land, it was only natural for the Holm Fertility Center to have a certain connection with the Northern Company.
Now, this guess was confirmed. Everything was slowly amalgamating in a certain direction.
Jiang Baimian perked up and sized up the Northern Company’s vice-president, Oak, excitedly.
This person was more than 1.8 meters tall, with blond hair and blue eyes—a relatively commonly seen example of the Red River ethnicity.
Although he wore a smart suit and had a smile, Jiang Baimian felt that he resembled a researcher or technical personnel more than company management. This was a judgment made from minor details.
The small lock of hair behind Oak’s head stubbornly propped up his head, the tie that didn’t look well-folded, the relatively obvious pimple on the side of his face, and his hands that he fumbled to place somewhere indicated something.
Of course, Jiang Baimian didn’t dare to claim that her guess was definitely right. What if the other party was suffering from a handover from a night of drinking before and had some endocrine problems? What if he couldn’t tidy himself in the morning due to time and rushed off?
After memorizing Oak’s slightly rugged appearance, Jiang Baimian sized up the man suspected to be the director of the Holm Fertility Center beside him.
This man appeared in more than ten photos, so Jiang Baimian made this judgment.
He was about four to five centimeters shorter than Oak. He was relatively fat and had light-yellow hair. He wore glasses made of thin metal. Be it the hair gel on his head or the watch on his wrist, they matched perfectly.
“Kikhov.” Jiang Baimian read his name softly.
There was also a row of people standing neatly behind Kikhov and Oak. On the left was clearly a famous employee of the Holm Fertility Center, and on the right was a representative of the Northern Company.
Unlike the Holm Fertility Center’s row that was filled with people of Red River ethnicity, the representatives from the Northern Company included Ashlandics and Red Coasters. The former’s number was no fewer than that of the Red River ethnicity.
This reminded Jiang Baimian of the introduction to the nine research institutes by Tarnan’s lady boss, Aynor.
A research institute jointly established by the most powerful Ashlandic country and the most powerful Red River country before the Old World was destroyed. Its purpose was the future.
The members are of Red River ethnicity and Ashlandic. That matches… Jiang Baimian carefully examined these people.
None of them had their names labeled, so she could only memorize their looks.
At this moment, Long Yuehong had already overcome his embarrassment. He flipped through the books, photos, and pamphlets on the ground, hoping to find something noteworthy.
His eyes soon lit up when he saw the title of a pamphlet: Genetic Optimization for Certain Congenital Diseases in Pregnancy.
Isn’t this common knowledge? Long Yuehong—who came from Pangu Biology—simply flipped through the pamphlet and searched for similar information.
Before long, he had a stack of books and pamphlets like ‘The Effect of Genetic Optimization on Fetal Intelligence’ and ‘The Real Meaning of Early Genetic Optimization.’
If not for the fact that he was wearing the Blackmarsh Iron Snake bionic artificial intelligence armor and holding the Berserker assault rifle, Long Yuehong would’ve vaguely thought that he had returned to his childhood.
In that era, he often read such promotional material at his—paternal and maternal—grandfather and grandmother’s homes.
This was Pangu Biology’s effort to promote genetic enhancement. After everyone saw the results with their own eyes and experienced the benefits, such promotions gradually stopped.
However, Pangu Biology preferred to use the terms ‘genetic enhancement.’ The area represented by the Holm Fertility Center was accustomed to using ‘optimization.’
There was no right or wrong between the two, just a different choice of words.
Long Yuehong straightened his body and informed his companions of his discovery. “This fertility center also does genetic enhancement.”
Not far away from him, Shang Jianyao scoffed honestly. “Before the Old World was destroyed, genetic enhancement was an inevitable development. Many key achievements were rather mature.”
This wasn’t a domain that only Pangu Biology and the White Knights could enter.
After the Old World was destroyed, many large factions had consciously or unconsciously promoted the matter over the years. Many people treated genetic enhancement as a violation of natural selection with humanity intruding on forbidden zones reserved for deities. They believed that this was the root cause of the Old World’s destruction and the Heartless disease outbreak. Therefore, the corresponding technology became taboo in most areas. There was a high chance that they would destroy any valuable information they excavated from city ruins.
Pangu Biology was happy to see this happen, as were First City’s nobles.
After generations of optimization, feedback, and improvements, the current genetic enhancement technology grasped by Pangu Biology and the White Knights had long exceeded that of what the Old World possessed before its destruction.
Long Yuehong argued, “I mean, we can’t treat this place as a simple fertility center.”
“It’s naturally not simple. It’s also a Buddhist Holy Land!” Shang Jianyao said sincerely.
Long Yuehong chose to shut up.
Upon seeing this, Jiang Baimian shared how she had discovered the Northern Company’s visit to the Holm Fertility Center. Finally, she said, “The Northern Company came to the Fakh region to participate in the International Biotechnica Expo to showcase their latest results on genetic research.”
Bai Chen’s heart palpitated. “They then received an invitation from the Holm Fertility Center? Both parties decided to have some level of cooperation in the field of genetic research?”
“In theory.” Jiang Baimian recalled and said, “But given the date, the Old World was destroyed less than a week after the Northern Company finished touring the area and left the Fakh region.”
Regardless of the cooperation, that wasn’t sufficient time to fully develop it. In other words, even if the two parties did cooperate, it had nothing to do with the Old World’s destruction or the Heartless outbreak.
Long Yuehong tersely acknowledged it. “Then, it’s impossible that this place became a Buddhist Holy Land because of such weak connections with the Northern Company, right?”
If that were the case, the Fakh region’s International Biotechnica Expo would be even more sacred!
“This is the direction we’ll explore next.” Jiang Baimian didn’t make any judgment.
After a round of searching, apart from Shang Jianyao stuffing some ‘holy magazines’ into his tactical backpack, Jiang Baimian memorized the appearances of Northern Company’s Vice President Oak, Holm Fertility Center’s Director Kikhov, and the others, the Old Task Force gained nothing else.
After returning to the middle of the lobby, Shang Jianyao asked excitedly, “Can we begin?”
Jiang Baimian nodded and said to Long Yuehong and Bai Chen, “Go outside and look at the lobby through the window.”
This was their previous experience exploring Building 4, Room 302 in the steelworks factory ruins’ Residential Zone 2.
By the time Bai Chen and Long Yuehong took their positions, Shang Jianyao had already sat down cross-legged. He held the Six Senses Beads in one hand and unfolded the original medical record in the steelworks factory ruins with the other.
He ‘sang’ the contents of the medical record in a tone as though he was reciting Buddhist scriptures.
Everything inside the Holm Fertility Center remained normal.
After confirming this with Bai Chen and Long Yuehong through the walkie-talkie, Jiang Baimian signaled for Shang Jianyao to take out the small jade Buddha.
Shang Jianyao readily agreed. He reached into his pocket, took out the small, lake-green jade Buddha, and held it in his palm.
The surrounding area remained the same.
All the useful solutions the Old Task Force had used to explore Iron Mountain City’s Second Food Company had been useless.
“It doesn’t work…” Shang Jianyao held the small jade Buddha and stood up regretfully.
Jiang Baimian fell silent for a moment before picking up the walkie-talkie. “Little White, Little Red, you can come back now. Then, we’ll search the second floor and do the same again.”
After Long Yuehong and Bai Chen returned to the team, the Old Task Force members maintained their combat formation and walked up the stairs to the second floor.
The damage inside the Holm Fertility Center was indeed relatively light. This place was well-maintained; only a small number of tables and chairs had been overturned or deviated from their original spots. Black blood could be seen in a few places.
As they walked along the long and quiet corridor, Jiang Baimian and the others entered every room to search for clues.
After investigating one room after another, Long Yuehong habitually led the way into the room on the right just ahead.
The first thing he saw was an oil painting of a woman revealing her breasts. He then saw a large number of similar items and LCD screens.
Long Yuehong blushed and retreated from the room.
“What’s wrong?” Jiang Baimian asked curiously.
Shang Jianyao curiously went forward and came to Long Yuehong’s side to scan the room.
He slapped the Berserker assault rifle’s side and said, “I get it—this is the Sutra Room.”
With that said, he chanted a Buddhist proclamation. “Namo Annutara-Samyak-Subhuti.”
Jiang Baimian and Bai Chen instantly understood Shang Jianyao’s true meaning.
Suppressing her laughter, Jiang Baimian simply instructed, “Do a quick search. There shouldn’t be any clues here.”
As she said, the Old Task Force didn’t find any useful information in this room.
After leaving the area and turning into a corridor, Jiang Baimian swept her gaze and saw a name tag: “Center Director’s Office.”
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