I'm Not Shouldering This Blame

STB Chapter 75: Guarding a Tree Stump*

STB Chapter 74: Graffiti
STB Chapter 76: Sniper

(T/N: Guarding a Tree-Stump: the first half of the idiom “Guarding a tree-stump to wait for rabbits” meaning “to wait idly for opportunities” or “to trust to chance rather than show initiative”)

Johnson lost two book transmigrators enduring the cold and looking for the trail of the teenager in the snowstorm.

The snow was swept over the road, but the storm is too big, the ground quickly piled up a thin layer of snow. They found that Johnson’s footsteps disappeared on the trail of motorcycle tires. The pair of ghostly couple immediately concluded that “the protagonist was taken away by others”.

They hurriedly followed the tire traces and continued to chase them forward.

Under too much snow, the traces are getting shallower and was finally buried in snow. The lawyer Charlie is not willing and bend down, sweeping the snowflakes with his sleeves, and trying to identify those blurred lines.

A pit suddenly appeared on the snow. Katie fell, and there’s also a used shoddy animal trap in the bottom of the pit. After waiting for her to climb out, they found that the surroundings have changed. A big tree has fallen down, a mailbox was overturned, and the shop windows are broken, sounding the alarms.

“Abandoned World?”

Naturally, ability holders that enter the Abandoned World can come out again.

These ability holders are not necessarily nearby. Katie and Charlie don’t have time to think about who the others are. They haven’t been at the point of overlap, so they have nothing to do with this change, but their faces are hassled: The road is a mess, their only clue is gone.

During Christmas, various strange footprints appeared on the snow in two urban areas south of the Bangolo City*. Some people also found traces of monkeys climbing on the roof. The heavy snow left traces of these group of “ghosts”. After TV shows reported it, many people went out of their house, took pictures and sent it to social networking sites.

(T/N: Finally decided to name the city Bangolo City.)

The topic of “Christmas Elves” quickly became popular on Twitter.

People took pictures of family pets making funny poses beside strange footprints, and a massive wave of images with stuffed toys disguised as monsters appeared. At night, this was even mentioned in a European talk show.

There are also some photos that tried to follow the trend. People living in other countries also took similar images, joining in this popular craze. But they don’t have snow in the place where they live, so the traces are blurred. Plus, some bored people came up with fake pictures, and their statements didn’t receive widespread recognition.

As for the problem of Bangolo City, everyone thinks that an animal from the zoo escaped, or successful performance of a circus for Christmas. People are laughing, but only the ability holders and book transmigrators are frightened.

“Monkeys, mole rats, toothed wild boar!”

Red Dragon’s Leader Colonel Lu found the photos on the internet as some have spread out.

China and the rest of the world’s network is separated by a wall. Although some accounts often carry foreign news and pictures, most people who are online don’t know what happened outside.

The impact of the Abandoned World will be more severe in the future, and at that time, everyone will panic.

Colonel Lu has a headache, but he is in this position, so he must give confidence to those under him. When reporting to the leaders of the country, he must also show that the Red Dragon is actively responding. Sighs can’t solve the problem.

“The White House shows no movement, but some of their military satellites have changed, showing that our old rivals already know a lot of things.”

Haicheng is the most prosperous area in China. It’s normal for a military satellite to take photos, so what about the things that happened in Huai City? If the CIA said that they don’t know, who’ll believe it?

An old man who wore a star pulled out a file and push it to the center of the conference table, “There are more than 100 suspicious persons who have entered the country in December. It’s not yet possible to determine if they’re a member of an intelligence agency or book transmigrators. I recommend refusing the commercial delegation from the US and Europe. Although the impact is great but based on the news from Red Dragon, we may not be able to maintain the image of tranquility until next spring.”

“What are you saying?”

“Because of this photo……”

Colonel Lu looks dignified. The lights in the conference room became dark. A magnified photo appears on the big screen. The source is a Twitter user who lives in Bangolo City, Massachusetts, USA.

The photo shows the glass door of a hotel. The blizzard covered it with a thick layer of snow, and there is a clear area in the middle. Imprinted on it is a shape. With open wings, the feathers are clearly printed. At the same time, the claws on top of the wings are apparent.

Ordinary birds have feathers on their tails, but there are traces of bones here. Unlike a bird, it resembles a reptile with the slender tailbone extending from the spine.

Colonel Lu did not point out the comments below the picture saying that it’s fake. He narrowed the picture on the screen to the right half, putting a concept drawing of a corpse crow on the left half, and said the nature and threat of this creature.

“At present, China has not received sightings of the corpse crows, but the monsters in the Abandoned World are not regional. Soon, they will appear in China, and it’s a serious threat to the safety of ability holders.”

The two pictures disappeared. A line of words appeared on the screen, and a picture of a pesticide can.

Only a few strokes, painted yellow, and nothing else.

“Constantine Survival Spray can confuse the monster’s scent to blood.”

“The name of this spray is not important. If they can just research the formula, it can be produced in any country!” Colonel Lu takes the final report of today’s meeting, “A research institution called Constantine, according to our research does exist. There are more than one hundred companies with this name, and it’s doubtful that it’s only one company. It turned out to be producing a line of perfume. Red Dragon, according to the information on the internet, traced the company and found that it declared bankruptcy two years ago, and there was no more news.”

——in the book transmigrator’s layout, they were much earlier than the governments of all countries.

Such an important thing, American readers can’t ignore.

“Red Dragon caught an ability holder from the US in Huai City, named Jack. Although he refuses to explain, according to his reaction and a slip of the tongue, we judged that the US already has a large-scale ‘insider organization’. It’s not simple to buy the Constantine company. How much is this organization’s penetration into the government? Is it a partnership, or subordination? These are unknown.”

Colonel Lu finished with this sentence, “I am not very optimistic.”

Someone refutes next to him, “These book transmigrators have limited ability. I don’t think they can do anything big, not to mention manipulating the government.”

“They don’t need to deal with the government!” Colonel Lu speaks loudly, “If our world is a book, where is the protagonist? He is only 14 years old this year. This age will soon enter the rebellious period, and if he became a bad person, it’s hard to say what it will be like. Johnson Brown’s threat is like Jian Hua and Li Fei’s threat to the US. The latter two are adults, the former is still a child!”

Everyone’s faces changed.

An old man sitting in the foremost position spoke, his deep voice asking, “Now that you mention it……how are the two special attention targets of the Red Dragon?”

“Li Fei is a public figure, so it’s hard to avoid the attention of the book transmigrators. Red Dragon recently discovered that there’s a high probability that he’s building an ability holders organization because the other party can come and go freely in the Abandoned World, so monitoring and prevention is difficult. At present, Red Dragon has not taken measures.” Colonel Lu explains, “He is more dangerous than Jian Hua, and also more active. Although they’re the same S-class, on the Red Dragon’s special attention list, Li Fei’s level is the highest.”

“I know that Red Dragon is understaffed, but still, don’t ignore Jian Hua.”

“They……are currently living together. They should have reached an agreement.”

Colonel Lu’s good subordinate, Zhang YaoJin, is the stepchild of the CEO Liang Jun of the Star Entertainment Media. Zhang YaoJin can get the copy of the Movie Emperor’s itinerary without any effort, including some current situations.

If Major Zhang wish to do so, Red Dragon can also get a bill from the life assistant dispatched by Star Entertainment Media, and know what Li Fei and Jian Hua had eaten these days.

“When Li Fei participates in filming, at the place where they record the show, Red Dragon has sufficient staffing arrangements, ready to be dispatched and to cope with a sudden crisis!”

“……” In fact, everyone in the room wants to suggest that Li Fei made a temporary break but didn’t.

Thinking about it, even if they sent Li Fei and Jian Hua to the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, the Abandoned World’s monsters would not be less. With so many ability holders in the country, it’ll be too late to catch them.

“Let him reduce the chances of appearing in public, for example, what……commercials?”

The people who participated in the meeting did not quite understand the entertainment industry. At this time, Colonel Lu showed his ability as part of the GuangShi Administration for many years, “This point can be assured. Li Fei is an outstanding actor of the younger generation, so there is no need to do various programs frequently, but his identity is seriously exposed. Foreign ability holders and intelligence organizations will pay attention to him. If he suddenly disappears, the trouble caused will be greater. It will also expose our country’s mastery over the Abandoned World’s matters.”

Red Dragon still wants to wait for the rabbit!

Li Fei wants to get information from the Red Dragon. Red Dragon also intends to use Li Fei to attract people with ulterior motives. If they catch a spy from a foreign intelligence agency, that would be great.

Colonel Lu recalls Li Fei’s schedule——

Three days later is the New Year’s Eve Party of Star Entertainment Media.

***

A luxury car approaches the outside of the Star Entertainment Media’s headquarters in Haicheng, packed with reporters from the Entertainment News.

The fans shouted the names of their idols across the distance. They can only see the figure that steps down in the car from afar. Many people maintain order in the scene. Even if they held batons, they could only block the crowd.

Later, except for the frenzy, most fans are more willing to stay at home to watch the webcast.

The New Year’s Party for the entertainment industry is an occasion for competition.

But this is usually hidden from outsiders, a comparison of who can pat with some celebrity that came, what clothes to wear, and who’s peers with who. The rest of the show will be how much the Star Entertainment Media is willing to release. Generally speaking, the CEO will give a long speech.

Because the gossiping CEO has a face that’s not low value, so even if this official video is jargon nonsense, the click rate is not weak. Even in the entertainment circle, there’s a wave of weird powder——Star Entertainment President powder.

Year to year, they can only find idols in front of the lens. The annual New Year’s Eve Party is to the ultimate benefit of their group of powder, how can they miss it?

Stepping for the finale, Li Fei came out of the car.

The flashes are so bright that you could go blind. Jian Hua drives the car to the parking lot, staying away from the hustle and bustle behind him. He couldn’t help but rub his eyebrows.

Then he saw Major Zhang dressed in Star Entertainment Media’s Security.

“……”

Silently rolling down the window, Jian Hua waited for the “security guard” to point out where to park.

“Agents from the CIA are coming.” Major Zhang gestured to an area above the parking lot.

The special agent dispatched by the Red Dragon is Major Zhang?

Jian Hua is wondering, Major Zhang explained, “There are also two unidentified people. We have not found their exact origins, and there are suspicious people in the group of reporters outside. The launching ceremony of the 《Black Bamboo》 is not grand, and only informed insiders told reporters. But in today’s New Year’s Gala, the time and place are not secret. For sure, any kind of ghost can come out.”

Major Zhang does not wait for Jian Hua to speak, giving him a miniature device.

“Li Fei is being stared at. Only you can help us, please.”

***

After entering the venue, with Li Fei’s popularity and fame, he was crowded with people.

The “bodyguard” he brought this time is Geng Tian. Artists from the same company have seen him before, so no one is confused. In such an occasion, if Li Fei insists on making Jian Hua follow him, it’ll not be suitable for Jian Hua.

There is no secret in the entertainment circle. There are rumors from the 《Black Bamboo》 crew stating that he wants to get a newcomer as his double, and someone who is present must know.

Li Fei maintains an elegant manner and talks with everyone, watching the meeting place at the corner of his eye.

He is wondering. It’s reasonable to say that Jian Hua should have come a long time ago, and he estimates that he mixed in with the staff——they didn’t say anything about this, and it’s entirely speculation that Li Fei based on Jian Hua’s character.

There are too many people tonight so there may be more accidents.

Jian Hua will not be negligent. He will at least bring the “mushrooms”, and determine the security of the venue.

However, time passed by, and still not seeing that familiar silhouette, the confidence of the movie emperor is affected.

Excusing to go to the bathroom, Li Fei walks out of the crowd. He just received a text message from his loved one when he touched his phone.

“Don’t move and stay in the hall.”

“……”

STB Chapter 74: Graffiti
STB Chapter 76: Sniper
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4 thoughts on “STB Chapter 75: Guarding a Tree Stump*”

  1. Aww Li Fei misses his Wifey, but Jian Hua doesn’t seem bothered one bit XD
    Thank you for the chapter!

How about something to motivate me to continue....