“Everything is something that Captain Tang has personally proven in front of everyone. Don’t turn your head and no longer acknowledge it.”
Cen Buming took a step forward and tried to enter the room where Bai Liu was imprisoned.
The moment he reached the door where Bai Liu was imprisoned, there was a loud noise above his head. The ground shook for a while before someone stumbled in with a miserable face. He looked up at the group and said intermittently.
“Report!… The factory exploded, it exploded!”
Su Yang immediately asked, “Have all the people within five kilometers been evacuated? Not just the citizens but also the homeless people sleeping on the streets. Have they also been removed?”
The person gulped. “All the sweeps have been done and there isn’t even a single cat in the area. The aroma is still spreading and a second containment line has been prepared. We should be able to control the pollution range within 28 kilometers around the factory.”
“However, the members of the first line of defense…” The man looked sad. “They are all polluted.”
Tang Erda closed his eyes and his long-standing worries and fears all relaxed at this moment. Every muscle in his body collapsed and he fell backwards on the bench. His hands and feet hung loosely over the edge as he leaned back and stared at the dazzling incandescent lamp on the ceiling.
For a few seconds, Tang Erda couldn’t even hear the voices of the people around him calling out to him. There was only ringing in his ears combined with Bai Liu’s calm voice: [Captain Tang, leave it to me. I have a solution.]
This was the situation with the least casualties and most control that Tang Erda had experienced in so many timelines.
It felt unreal, like a dream given by the god of mercy.
Tang Erda raised his hand and touched his face. In the dull atmosphere, he suddenly laughed loudly and frightened the team members standing in front of him.
They turned their heads in amazement to look at Captain Tang, who was sitting on the bench, half covering his face while laughing. For a moment, they wondered if their captain couldn’t bear the bad news and was driven crazy.
Cen Buming raised an eyebrow as he looked at Captain Tang. “If Captain Tang hasn’t woken up yet, I will take away the Heretic 0006 who caused two large group accidents.”
Tang Erda lowered his hand and stood up, staring at Cen Buming with a deep gaze. “You can’t take him.”
“I will use the Prophet’s authority for the last time.” Tang Erda took off his ID card, placed it on the table and pushed it in front of Cen Buming. “I will mortgage myself as the captain to extract Heretic 0006, using my private identity to bind the heretic.”
“If Bai Liu does something wrong, I will take responsibility together with Bai Liu.” Tang Erda stared up at Cen Buming, who was facing him. “If you want to torture and kill him then you will have to torture and kill me.”
A long silence fell.
Su Yang stared at Tang Erda with shock. “Captain?”
Tang Erda didn’t look away from Cen Buming.
Cen Buming was silent for a few seconds. Then he slowly lowered his hand and picked up Tang Erda’s ID card indicating his captain’s position from the table. He looked at Tang Erda opposite him. “Captain Tang, it will be impossible for you to return to the bureau after binding to the heretic. You will no longer be the glamorous captain.”
“You must be responsible for guarding this heretic for the rest of your life. If the heretic does something wrong, you will share his guilt. Once you realize that you can no longer control him, you must kill him yourself and bring his body back.”
“The meaning of your existence is to allow this heretic to move outside like a human being. You are just a humanoid box or safety plug that traps this heretic.” Cen Buming asked in a deep tone, “Even so, do you still want to release Heretic 0006?”
Tang Erda stared directly at him. “Yes.”
“Even if, like the captain of the first team, you commit suicide after going crazy from being bound to Heretic 0006, you won’t regret it?” Cen Buming stared at Tang Erda.
“I won’t regret it.”
The Prophet’s authority referred to a series of special permissions once owned by the captain of the first team. The most special permission among them was to ‘bind a heretic and put it back into the human world to take care of it, taking full responsibility for everything it does.’
This was a very strange authority and ran counter to the main mission of the entire Dangerous Heretics Handling Bureau.
If the arrest of the heretics into the Dangerous Heretics Handling Bureau was a process of dehumanizing these dangerous heretics and treating them as dead objects then what was this authority that re-imposed the rights of human beings on these heretics and put them back into the human world?
This process was clearly dangerous for humanity.
So when the captain of the first team first proposed this authority, there was an extremely sharp question: [Who will be responsible for these heretics that have been put back into human society?]
[What if these heretics continue to kill and pollute others? Who will be held accountable for these consequences?]
So the captain of the first team proposed the ‘lifelong responsibility system’, also known as the ‘parental responsibility authority.’
It was advocated to let a released heretic be bound to a team member. This team member would assume all responsibility for this heretic: taking care of it, protecting it and educating it so it could integrate into human society, taking full responsibility for everything it did i.e. the team member was equivalent to the heretic’s parent.
As a parent who was looking after such a dangerous ‘child’, it was natural for them to closely monitor the child.
Therefore, the moment this team member became the ‘parent’ of a heretic, their main mission was to monitor this heretic for life. They no longer needed to exist as a member of the bureau.
No one wanted this authority and no team member was willing to take on such a responsibility.
They couldn’t understand why the Prophet had unrealistic fantasies that these evil and terrible heretics would become human, giving them sympathy and teaching them like a parent taught a child, expecting them to grow up to be ‘human.’
In the eyes of most team members, a heretic was a heretic, a monster was a monster. There was a clear dividing line between them and human beings. They were born evil and should be imprisoned and eradicated.
However, the Prophet always saw more of the future than they did. So in the end, this permission was given but only the Prophet used it.
The prophet removed the rights and obligations of the captain of the first team and the first heretic tentatively released was 0001.
Then he went crazy and committed suicide. Before doing so, he destroyed the file of Heretic 0001, brought it back to the Dangerous Heretics Bureau and sealed it forever in the deepest underground area of the base, allowing no one to explore its secrets.
This was clearly a failed attempt so the absurd authority was never brought up again.
However, it did exist and it was wrapped up in a large number of strange permissions that were passed to Tang Erda by the Prophet.
If Tang Erda wanted to use this parental authority on Bai Liu, he needed to step down from his position as captain and protect Bai Liu at all times, being forever responsible for everything Bai Liu did—including the current Rose Factory explosion.
Cen Buming threw Tang Erda’s ID card back. “A total of nearly 2,000 people were infected by the dry leaf roses, half of whom are our team members. How can you be responsible for this matter?”
“Bai Liu has a solution,” Tang Erda answered quickly.
Cen Buming sneered. “He is a bomber. Do you expect him to solve it for you?”
Tang Erda took a deep breath. Rather than answering Cen Buming’s question directly, he turned around and asked, “Can you let me go in and talk to Bai Liu first?”
“If you insist on binding to this dangerous heretic—” Cen Buming retreated from where he was blocking the door and glanced at Tang Erda with an unclear meaning. His tone was indifferent as he stated, “You naturally have the right to talk to your ‘child’.”
Tang Erda opened the door and walked in.
Bai Liu’s chin was propped up on his hands as he glanced at Tang Erda in a bored manner.
His gaze was on the empty part of Tang Erda’s right chest where the ID card used to be. Then Bai Liu looked up at Tang Erda with a smile. “Wow, Captain Tang has made a considerable sacrifice to take me out.”
Tang Erda turned the chair around and sat down. He sat up straight, his hands respectfully placed on the table. His head was lowered and he was silent. Compared to the relaxed Bai Liu, he looked more like the one who made a mistake and was being punished.
“I’m sorry,” Tang Erda said in a deep voice. “Thank you.”
The apology was for everything he had done before and the thanks was to thank Bai Liu for what he was willing to do after all this.
“It’s fine, you’re welcome.” Bai Liu smiled.
Bai Liu glanced at the glass. “How many people did the explosion affect?”
“The current number is over 1,000 and they are basically all team members.” Tang Erda let out a long breath. “However, the overall trend of the spread is under control and the situation is okay.”
“So you came in because you want to save these 1,000 team members?” Bai Liu lowered the hand holding his chin. He put his head on the table and tilted his head in a sleepy manner. “It isn’t impossible but I have a condition.”
Tang Erda followed his words. “What condition?”
Bai Liu might be talking to Tang Erda but he was looking at the one-sided glass as he smiled. “I never do transactions without vested interests.”
“If you want to cooperate with me and have me save people, you need to come up with something that can impress me.”
Tang Erda pushed open the door and walked out, looking at everyone outside. “You have heard of Bai Liu’s condition.”
They all had extremely complicated expressions on their faces and seemed overwhelmed by Bai Liu’s request. Only Cen Buming showed no emotion.
On the contrary, the captain seemed a bit interested as he stared at Bai Liu, who was sitting behind the glass and seemed to be sleeping on the table.
“It is interesting. I thought he would ask for money.” Cen Buming pursed his lips. “It turned out that he asked for us to open the door of Heretic 0001.”
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