Doomsday Wonderland - lightnovelgate.com
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"What? How do you know?" The siblings were shocked and couldn't help asking Lin Sanjiu the same question at the same time, almost inaudibly.
Lin Sanjiu steadied herself but she couldn't help peering out from the gaps between the bookshelves. White smoke rose from the previous attack and slowly spread out in front of Siri's work desk. Lin Sanjiu could see the shallow dent on the ground through the white smoke. Her gaze swept past the dent, landing on the multimedia section. She eyed the same spot for a few full seconds.
"Because… It was too illogical for them to risk coming to the central hall just to ask that useless question. I couldn't help myself, so I tested my conjecture," she replied softly.
Lin Sanjiu already had an idea in the beginning. The first two questions she asked were what the people from the north, west and south wings wanted. From Siri's answer, there was no problem with those questions. Speaking softly and getting Siri to reply with the microphone was also part of her plan. She wanted to create a sort of false association for the teams from the four wings: "The skinless human doesn't have a microphone, so we can't hear her. But we can hear Siri because Siri has a microphone, so we can hear Siri's answer."
Once people had a false association, it would become a cognitive blind spot. They wouldn't even consider the fact that posthumans could actually speak very loudly if they wanted to. Lin Sanjiu had learned this tactic from Hannie.
Truth be told, it was useful to exploit humans' natural cognitive biases.
When the woman from the south wing requested for Lin Sanjiu to ask Siri if the people from the east wing only posed one question, the situation changed.
After the woman from the south wing finished her sentence, Lin Sanjiu looked at Siri. This time, however, she did not parrot the question as per the audience expectations. Instead, she asked very softly and very quickly, "You can hear me right? Please do not use the microphone to answer. Please only provide your next answer to me."
Lin Sanjiu's non-existent heart thumped loudly. Siri stared at her expressionlessly and pushed away the microphone. Lin Sanjiu felt her heart settling back in its place.
"No," Siri spoke very quietly as if she understood Lin Sanjiu's intentions, "The east wing team did not only ask one question. They asked me another question."
Lin Sanjiu was so tense that her fingers starting feeling numb. It had only been two to three seconds since the woman from the south wing had asked her question. From an outsider's perspective, it looked as though Lin Sanjiu had just finished asking her question. That meant that Lin Sanjiu had the time to "cover up" her actions. A person can easily twist their question to receive a predetermined answer. "The team from the south wing only wanted me to ask that one question, right? Please use the microphone to answer me."
"That's right. That's the only question," Siri answered with a voice that sounded almost pre-programmed. Her voice rang out clearly from the speakers and caused a round of commotion. Admittedly, Lin Sanjiu managed her timing very well so everyone believed that the answer was directed to the question posed by the woman from the south wing.
"Now, without using the microphone, please tell me the answer to the second question they posed." Lin Sanjiu had never spoken so fast in her life. She was so nervous that it felt like her blood vessels were on fire. This was the main aim of her actions!
"I told them, 'The book, The Blooming Dawn, can be found in C section Bookshelf 76, 4th shelf, 7th book'."
When Lin Sanjiu had just heard Siri's answers, she immediately realized that she been standing in the same spot for too long. Before she could say another word to Siri, she turned and rushed toward the bookshelves. She had just taken her second step when some unknown person from one of the teams had destroyed the spot she was at.
After they heard Lin Sanjiu's account, the siblings were a little stunned. However, they still couldn't figure out how she came to the conclusion that Silvan had found a book.
"You have the beginning and the end of the story, you just miss the clue in the middle. Come on, it's not that hard," Lin Sanjiu didn't spell things out for the siblings, she just gave them a vague hint. As the kids were still young, she felt that it was a crime to just spoon-feed them without giving them the opportunity to think.
Rena held the spine of a book unconsciously. She repeated softly, "The Blooming Dawn… The Blooming Dawn… It isn't one of the target books. Ah! Oh! Ah! I know!"
She suddenly cried out and her face turned red with excitement. At the same time, Reno quickly jumped up and pulled his sister, "No, let me explain!"
The siblings had figured out the intricacies within the answers at the same time.
"We were searching in the wrong place!" Reno muttered, his eyes fleeting across the rows of bookshelves and he fixed his gaze at the Multimedia section. "Siri doesn't know where the target books are but she knows the location of every book on these bookshelves. That's to say…"
"The target books are simply not on the bookshelves!" Rena could hold herself back and blurted out her conclusion.
Her brother could only swallow back his words, feeling a little disgruntled.
"That's right," Lin Sanjiu smiled. Even though her smile was a little scary, the kids seemed very encouraged by her reaction. "Silvan definitely came to the same conclusion. He must have found a target book in one of the non-book section in the east wing… But, we just don't know which book it is."
"That's not it… Did you guys notice which direction the thing which attacked me came from?" she asked coolly.
"No… That thing did not travel in a straight trajectory. Instead, something like an explosion target suddenly appeared…" Reno said as he recalled what had happened, "It is impossible to know who attacked you."
"I am about 80% confident that the person who tried to attack me was Silvan," Lin Sanjiu said mildly. "When I was in front of Siri, I spent about three seconds longer than average to ask that additional question. Considering his ability to think, he must have noticed that something was amiss. He wanted to scare me away—but he was a step too late."
The two kids looked at each other and couldn't help feeling a little tongue-tied.
"Not only is he handsome, but he is a little difficult to deal with…" Reno said with almost a sigh.
"Let's ignore him. Anyway, he missed! There is no time to lose. Let's start searching in the non-books section," Rena gestured happily. "Isn't the multimedia section the best place to start!"
She was right. There were many non-books sections in the central hall: the entrance, Siri's work desk, the multimedia section, and the reading area with tables and chairs. The multimedia section was the closest to the bookshelves. They could reach that area after walking past bookshelf 100. However, the multimedia section was directly under the second floor of the west wing.