Chapter 21: Chapter 21- Needless Routines
Translator: Dragon Boat Translation Editor: Dragon Boat Translation
Are you going to shoot all of us dead?”
All the interviewees in the building who had heard the question were stunned and their faces all turned pale. You Jilong’s face turned grim as he lashed out, “Who was that? Come out now!”
Ren Suo turned around to take a glance and caught a glimpse of a striking figure navigating at light speed through the crowd. However, there were too many people, and Ren Suo could not get a good look.
You Jilong scrutinized the large crowd in the hall which consisted of over 200 interviewees. His face remained solemn as he continued, “All of you, interviewees, will be proceeding to a training camp for a five-day-long basic training program. During this period, you will not be able to contact anyone outside. If you do not wish to participate, you may leave now, but you will automatically be deemed to have given up this interview opportunity.”
“We can’t communicate with the outside world either?”
The sudden news took all the interviewees by surprise. Someone asked, “But you didn’t tell us this beforehand!”
Ren Suo was enlightened; he finally understood why Director Ye had asked him to bring along extra sets of clothing.
You Jilong explained dully, “I know, but it was only three hours ago when the higher-ups relayed the instructions to skip the boring interviews and proceed directly to the basic training as a form of assessment. We will not be forcing anyone to attend either, so if you wish to leave, you may do so and return to your original post.”
Li Qingxuan raised her hand and asked, “We have only brought some clothes along but not our luggage and daily necessities like our toothbrushes and toothpaste. We won’t have the necessary supplies to stay there for five days…”
“The training camp has uniforms in all sorts of sizes, as well as a complete range of daily necessities. As for your undergarments, you may purchase them directly at the camp compound,” You Jilong replied monotonously. “The items are all supplied by the internal department and cannot be purchased outside. They are sold at half the price of the same type of items you find in the market, and several types of payment methods are supported, including UnionPay and Alipay. There is no need to worry.”
Another person asked, “What position exactly are we being interviewed for?”
You Jilong replied, “We will explain once we reach the training camp. For now, I can only say it’s a job in Branch 18 of the Ministry of State Security. Alright, those who do not wish to participate in the training camp, please leave now. Otherwise, when I call your name later, come out and queue up here.”
The crowd exchanged glances and one after another, a sizeable amount of people left the building. These people would have been newly assigned to a post in another ministry or department, and the benefits there could already be better than that in the Ministry of State Security. It was already confusing enough for them to be randomly called to show up for the interview at such short notice. Now that they had to fulfill such arduous and difficult conditions that were mandatory, they would naturally give up on this ‘opportunity’ without much hesitation.
Why would they choose to go through such pain when they already had a better job?
Within a few minutes, dozens of people had left the hall while Ren Suo naturally stayed put. He was becoming more and more curious about this Branch 18 of the Ministry of State Security. Furthermore, the benefits that he would receive at the Ministry was indeed better than that at the street office!
Li Qingxuan, Xie Qiansi, and Qiao Muyi also remained in the hall. Ren Suo thought that perhaps they had other intentions and reasons for staying put. The rest of the people, however, were either just going with the flow for the fun of it or were now curious about the ‘rumor’ that Xie Qiansi had been talking about.
You Jilong remained unperturbed as he looked at the over hundred people remaining in the building. He took out a name list and started taking attendance. He shouted, “Wang Fugui, Ling Huyao, Lai Haiwen…Come forward!”
Eight men stepped forward. They handed their identification cards to one of the men clad in black vests for verification. Consequently, the man then led them up to a large coach bus outside.
Ren Suo was checked by Li Dan, who still had the same sleepy look on his face. Dark circles encircled his eyes. However, he could still recognize Ren Suo as he said, “Oh, it’s you.”
Ren Suo laughed and replied, “The question I asked you the previous time, can you answer me now?”
“Hmm?” Li Dan hesitated for a short while and replied, “Well, you asked about how that guy was able to cause the rest to fall asleep…You will find out very soon, in just a few hours. Go up the bus, remember you’re in team 8.”
There was only one large bus left outside the building. The other buses had been filled up with people and had already departed. Ren Suo boarded the last remaining bus only to see that Qiao Muyi was already seated at the front. His face lit up and without asking for her permission, he proceeded to sit beside her––
“It’s better if girls sat together,” Li Qingxuan interrupted as she held Ren Suo back and sat down happily beside Qiao Muyi.
Without any choice, Ren Suo proceeded to sit directly behind Qiao Muyi. How was Ren Suo going to maintain physical ‘contact’ with Qiao Muyi for a good two to three hours and retrieve his key? At this moment, Xie Qiansi sat down beside Ren Suo. He instinctively blurted out in despise, “Isn’t it inappropriate for guys to sit together?”
Xie Qiansi could not be bothered to answer as he continued his conversation with Li Qingxuan and Qiao Muyi who were sitting directly in front. He took out his mobile phone to add Qiao Muyi on WeChat and he sent her the same statement that he had used before, “It would be beneficial for all of us if we keep in contact and help each other out…”
Although there were very few girls among those who turned up for the interview, Li Qingxuan and Qiao Muyi were indeed relatively pretty. It was no wonder that Xie Qiansi was so desperate to get into their good books.
The bus was now filled with people and a man clad in a black vest walked up. He said loudly, “If you want to notify your family, do so now. When we reach the training camp later, all of your mobile phones will be collected and kept away from you.”
“We can’t even use our phones?” A huge uproar exploded on the bus. In Xuan Nation where people had been accustomed to using smart technology in their daily lives, it would be an extremely rare sight to see teenagers not using their phones, much like it was rare to see online gamers not collecting their daily check-in gifts.
Everyone had thought that although they would be separated from the outside world, they would still have access to their phones. The people who thought they could just disable mobile data and had hastily activated short-term unlimited mobile data to download movies and novels also stopped in their movements.
Xie Qiansi was even more upset. He had created a WeChat group chat and added many people to the chat group, in hopes of using the messaging platform to interact with other people. Now that they were not going to have their phone with them, the group would be rendered useless…
Ren Suo, on the other hand, had no such qualms. Since he lived alone, all he needed to do was send a broadcast message to his family members and inform them that he would be going away to attend a civil servant training camp for the next few days.
Five hours later, Ren Suo and the other interviewees crossed out of Lianjiang City’s boundaries and were approaching Qing Ping Mountain Range. The long and grueling bus journey caused everyone to be tired and sleepy, and many of them had already adjusted their seats to a comfortable position and fallen asleep. At this juncture, Ren Suo observed that almost all the people around him had drifted off to dreamland, and he sneakily extended his hand towards Qiao Muyi…
“A key has been found.”
“The key is in a sleepy state. Starting to retrieve the key.”
“The key has already been formed. 303 seconds required to retrieve. Do not remove physical contact. 302, 301, 300…”
Oh? Now that Qiao Muyi was sleeping, Ren Suo only needed about five minutes to retrieve the key from her?
However, at this moment, Qiao Muyi shifted her body as she let out a soft grumble. She turned her head to see a hand on her shoulder.
Qiao Muyi saw Ren Suo fast asleep while leaning on her chair with his groping hand resting on her shoulder. She flicked a finger to push Ren Suo’s hand away.
“Physical contact has been lost.”
Ren Suo let out a whimper as he pretended to shift from an uncomfortable sleeping position and leaned back against his seat. Did Qiao Muyi wake up from her sleep by chance, or had the fact that he was retrieving a key caused her to awaken?
Regardless, Ren Suo now knew that a sleeping ‘key’ required a much shorter time to retrieve. It was a pleasant surprise since he still had a treasure chest that was waiting to be opened. He could not miss the opportunity to retrieve a key from Qiao Muyi. There would be plenty of chances to do so over the next few days at the training camp.
The sky outside darkened. Ren Suo’s growling stomach told him it was almost time for dinner. Just then, the large bus finally passed through a military security checkpoint and headed towards a hidden training camp between the mountains.
It had been a long ride. After sitting on the bus for numerous hours, Ren Suo could finally alight from the bus and stretch his aching legs. He could hear his bones and his entire body cracking.
“There are many buses here,” Ren Suo muttered as he saw more than ten of such large coach buses parked at the training camp.
“These people do not all come from Lianjiang City,” Xie Qiansi said, who was also slightly surprised. He continued, “The license plates of those buses show that they are from the nearby Yuanshan City and Pingjiang City…These large buses were all hired by the Ministry of State Security at short notice.”
Ren Suo added, “That means that all civil servants from the whole province who have met the criteria set by the Ministry of State Security have been gathered here?”
Suddenly, someone beside them said, “There are so many people here in this secluded place. When they shoot all of us dead, there wouldn’t even be a need to follow the routine for the disposal of the bodies.”