the door was opened and there was no reason for jiang fei to turn back and leave. however, as per ariel's detection, jiang fei waited for ten minutes or so to wait for someone to welcome them in.
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"good day, mr. jiang fei. i am the chief's executive assistant. you may call me wang."
a man introduced himself as wang. from the looks of his appearance, he was only a lieutenant. it was hard for jiang fei to read his expression in order to determine where wang's fealty lied. he could be pretending to obey the rebellion or perhaps he might have genuinely fallen to their temptation.
it did not matter since wang was not of his concern. jiang fei followed him down the underground facility, in hopes to meet general fan. they walked for quite some time and was led into a meeting room, the same room where fan yao had their "merry" conversation a while back.
"mr. jiang, please wait here while the chief gets ready," said lieutenant wang politely. he left immediately after that, hastily.
"anything different from the last time we've been here?" jiang fei asked.
"mhm… besides additional troops and a few level 5 auras, nothing much," ariel replied after a significant pause.
"how many are they? level 5s," jiang fei turned to isabella.
"i can sense 21 of them. one of them is exceptionally strong," said isabella after a long pause. unlike ariel who excelled in sensory skill, isabella had to concentrate for a bit to feel her enemies.
"exceptionally strong, you say?" jiang fei repeated her statement. in his mind, he guessed that should be the leader of the rebellion.
while jiang fei was left to himself with ariel and isabella to investigating the entire base, there was another group of "people", monitoring all three of them via a monitor.
"why are they here? did he found out about us?"
"unlikely. he is probably here to seek an explanation from us for attacking the martial artists."
"what is our next course of action?"
"i suggest letting someone else to deal with this. we cannot just let them sit there."
"i concur. let them stray away from the main path."
"z12-7, z12-8, please handle this problem."
"will do, sir."
two androids stood up from their docking station and immediately got ready to work.
a few minutes later, a man in his late forties, clad in military uniform, came into the room with two androids. the two androids were made to look like bodyguards but jiang fei knew the truth.
"you must be young fei. old fan had told me so much about you," said the middle-aged man. he shook jiang fei's hands and smiled. jiang fei, being at the highest alert, could detect a hint of coercion from his smile. his facial tics were very well hidden but to jiang fei's eyes, he might as well be crying for help. with that thought in mind, jiang fei knew that the higher-ups of the military had already been compromised.
"mr. jiang, this is our chief of staff, general yang xiao," said lieutenant wang after general yang xiao entered the room.
"greetings, general," said jiang fei, smiling back. although he understood the big picture, he needed to know details about the entire situation in order to slowly pick out the bad guy. there was a chance that these humans were being held against their will. he needed to make sure before he wreaked havoc to the entire base.
the two began to talk about unimportant matters and as they did, jiang fei caught yang xiao making involuntary jitters. whenever jiang fei tried to steer the topic about the underground base, or anything that had to do with his job, he would shudder for a bit, before attempting to change the topic.
"darling, i sense an electronic device implanted in his chest. i noticed a flow of electrical current releasing into his heart whenever you tried to talk about this underground facility," said ariel through telepathy.
having a keen sense of anything related to electricity, ariel had noticed the sudden changes in the man's body. at first, she merely thought it was normal human anatomy but after so many occurrences, ariel began to suspect foul play. she extended her consciousness towards the man and detected a small electronic device that was responsible for the sudden jolt of electricity.
"what an inhumane treatment! is that how they are planning to treat us humans? worse than animals in the zoo?"
"darling, don't get too excited. we both know that you're not as good at masking your emotions. more importantly, if you try to do anything, they might toggle the device intensity to the maximum to kill the man and anyone else."
"fine. i'll play along."
when yang xiao could finally relax, he noticed the sudden change of jiang fei's expression. he then tried to re-engage the conversation once more.
"fei, to what do i owe the pleasure of your company? we have been talking for sometime now and i'd like to not waste your time," said yang xiao in the most courteous tone. it was not from the heart but merely a script that he was forced to follow.
jiang fei arched an eyebrow. he was surprised that the man was even allowed to ask such a daring question. jiang fei, not knowing the truth, had thought that the androids were forcing yang xiao, which they did but jiang fei did not know that.
"i am here," he stopped for a moment to draw a deep breath, "i am here to ask you to stop all attacks on the martial artists alliance."
jiang fei was naturally spitballing it. at this moment, he knew for a fact that the rebellion knew their own shortcomings. although they wanted to attack them, they did not dare to make a move against the larger sects, sects with level 5 masters capable of decimating the entire country if provoked. their own level 5 androids were nothing more than children to them.
jiang fei came up with that ridiculous statement for the sake of buying time for 0542 to scan the entire base to locate where the higher-ups were locked.
"captain, i have their position!" 0542 reported after 10 minutes of "discussion".
jiang fei nodded subtly and quickly ended the discussion before they could even reach a proper conclusion.
"i do not care about what the military wants. you know what i am capable of. stop the attacks or we will retaliate. trust that i will not hold back on this," said jiang fei as he stood up and thrust out his hand to signal the end of the discussion.
yang xiao was utterly confused about the entire meeting but as instructed by his tormentors, he stood up, shook jiang fei hands, and sent him away.
"we will consider. please follow lieutenant wang," said yang xiao before he walked out of the room with the two bodyguards.
"mr. jiang, if you would please follow me. i shall lead you back outside," said lieutenant wang as he politely invited jiang fei out of the meeting room.
when jiang fei, ariel, and isabella walked out and away from general yang xiao, the two bodyguards that were escorting him shared a look. even though it was unexpected, they still achieve the result they wanted—for jiang fei to be led away from the path.
"0542, track down yang xiao and continue to do so until i say otherwise. make sure to inform me when he is being locked up," jiang fei ordered 0542.
"mr. jiang. i believe that we might have gotten off on the wrong foot. i believe that we should calm and solve our misunderstandings and work together. for the good of the country, that is," said lieutenant wang as he led jiang fei out of the base.
"believe me, i share the same sentiment but unfortunately, neither of us would back down," said jiang fei sarcastically. he had no idea which side was wang on. hence, it was best to just treat him as someone hostile.
just as jiang fei was reaching the entrance of the base, 0542 reported back. '
"captain, i have tracked yang xiao. he is currently being locked away!"
"good, time to rattle the cage. ariel, if you would be so kind?"
jiang fei nodded to ariel, winking at her. it was time to act.