Chapter 322: New Schedule (Part 1/2)
October 28, 2096, 4:55 a.m.
Luo Nan's consciousness floated up from a muddled mass, only faintly there. Before he could open his eyes, the HexaEar cast some useful information into his mind, representing the start of a new day.
There were new adjustments to Sunday's schedule. There were off-site arrangements. There were updates on the repair pace of Gear. There was a briefing on his grandfather's mental condition. And there was an internal forum involving the discussion of the Logic World and its latest battle status.
The series of pre-filtered information lit up on the HexaEar's interface one by one. Luo Nan's thoughts scanned them over, absorbing the information one at a time. He didn't look at the information in detail, though. He just straightened up and stretched on the bed. He adjusted his posture slightly, letting his body, which was lying down perfectly straight, loosen a little.
Right now, he was lying in bed. His hands were clasped behind his head. His hands rubbed against the back of his head as he turned, making a brushing sound. The warmth of his palm seeped through the thin layer of hair to circulate on his scalp, but the heat was unable to seep further down. Instead, a subtle chill came out from within his scalp.
This feeling was quite wonderful. His skull felt absolutely empty, as if his brain tissue had dematerialized. All that was left was the eyes orifice, which was gradually becoming complete. The revolving and spiraling external neuron was faint as well, as if there was an invisible curtain in the way. It wasn't like it was two days ago, crackling like lightning and radiating light everywhere. But under fine observation, there really was an iota of a cold stream of air meandering between them.
Within a daze, this area simply sunk downward. It was unable to reach a bottom and just headed toward a different and bizarre dimension. A dark and cold wind just so happened to blow upward from within here. It flooded his skull with its chill.
There was simply a 'hole' sunken in his forehead...
Luo Nan groaned with his eyes closed. His consciousness drifted a bit. The dark and cold air became more like a long thread, and this thread pulled gray clouds and enormous waves. The clouds and waves surged into the base of his skull, bursting open thoughts that had been restrained in place, allowing Luo Nan to contain the vast heaven and earth, which were near unfathomable between illusion and reality.
Luo Nan slowly opened his eyes.
The room was dusky. There was only the residual light of the neighborhood's street lights coming through the curtains and windows. It gave the room a bit of luminosity, and it drew out faint outlines of the various furnishings inside.
Luo Nan's current progress in cultivating the eyes orifice already gave him night-vision and the ability to see the finest details in all its entirety. Then before he could even focus his vision, the structural grain of the ceiling above him could be seen without him even paying deliberate attention. His mind was just blank as he took in all this information. Eventually, his pupils focused, and he exerted some force with his waist to sit up.
This was his uncle's house, and he was in his room. His room wasn't that spacious, and the bed was quite large. Luo Nan put himself in a posture that tested his flexibility. It was like yoga, yet it was not. It couldn't be described as tao yin either. In any case, it loosened and livened the muscles, exercised the body, turning the entire body into a ball of meat. Luo Nan rolled from one end of the bed to the other.
There were only two constants during this process. One was the state of breathing; breath was continuous, living and dying at the same time. The other was the electric flame arising from the coupling of the eyes orifice with the external neuron. It crackled as it flared and radiated within the skull, and it cleaved down to the bottom of the heart and even the ends of the hands and the feet. The shock caused the entire body's pores to open, producing a prickly sensation. Sometimes there was even intense pain, and perception increasingly sharpened.
This morning exercise drill lasted forty minutes. Though every movement was done on the bed, it actually involved most of the body's bones, muscles, and tendons. It was rather comprehensive. Moreover, there was the coupling power of the two gears in the order frame itself. The coupling power affected the whole body. It was both tempering and torturous. The feeling was definitely not one of enjoyment.
By the time Luo Nan got off the bed, his entire body was damp with sweat.
The bedding and the like were naturally handled by the housekeeping robots. Luo Nan took a shower in the bathroom, after which he looked in the mirror half-fogged up by steam. He saw his own stick-thin body, as well as his eyes, which were densely covered in cracks.
The cracks in his eyes seemed to have shrunk a bit over the course of two days, but they were still quite horrifying in appearance. Lightning would occasionally circulate within them as well. Needless to say, he had to hide them.
Luo Nan picked up the lens case that was to the side and put on contact lenses. This toy's other functions couldn't be used, but its cosmetic effects were top-notch. Once Luo Nan had finished all his preparations, the neatly-dressed Luo Nan resumed the appearance of a young student. Only then did he head down the stairs and go out to start his regular morning run.
A whistle entered his ear just as he ran out of the gate. It came from the HexaEar, and what followed were ad hoc tactical directions. Luo Nan skimmed through the information in his mind, and he quickly turned his head. Fifty meters away, hidden in the shadows, he saw a tall and large figure extend an arm. The figure was pointing straight at Luo Nan's head.
"Bang! You're still a bit too slow!" Crag Burst grinned and laughed, revealing a mouthful of white teeth.
"A sneak attack? Are you sure?" Luo Nan laughed as well, conversing with Crag Burst via the HexaEar while running to meet up with him. Crag Burst wore exercise clothes, looking like a morning runner as well. The two ran shoulder to shoulder. Aside from their difference in height, they weren't different from the other runners with exercise partners.
It wasn't a coincidence that Crag Burst appeared outside Luo Nan's house. According to the course schedule arrangements, his morning was allotted for Crag Burst's "A Crash Course on Common Commands". Everyone was very clear that this was one of the measures of protection for Luo Nan.
Throughout the course, Luo Nan was ensured that there was constantly an ability user by his side. If something were to suddenly happen, the ability user could protect Luo Nan and fight in coordination with him.
Perhaps such thoughts and arrangements were already made when He Yueyin had drafted up the training courses. And Headquarters' actions had pushed these arrangements from the shadows into daylight.
Luo Nan didn't express an opinion toward this arrangement. Compared to himself, he was more concerned about the safety of his grandfather, his aunt, and his uncle—his family. The Society also made arrangements regarding this, but the effectiveness had yet to be tested…. Luo Nan would rather this be never tested in his lifetime.
"I checked the thread this morning. The topic has grown more and more explosively. Most people are blindly making a scene, but there are a few who have very valid points. You don't have a handle to post, right?" The friendship between Crag Burst and Luo Nan developed from fighting side by side. Luo Nan was very close with Crag Burst; he was different from the other teachers. He chatted and gossiped with Luo Nan before teaching, talking about the super popular discussion topic about the Logic World.
Luo Nan thought about the information he got this morning and shrugged. "Isn't it all just part of the strategy? It looks very effective to me."
It had already been over half a month since the night at Frost River Reality, and discussions regarding President Ouyang Chen's Logic World had truly started to heat up. It looked a bit slow in happening, but it was crystal clear to insiders.
It was all hype!
This was probably the logic behind it.
"Hey, have you heard of President Ouyang's Logic World yet? Spatial rifting to form a world by himself. That's being kick-ass!"
"That's really kick-ass. But this thing is way too big. I don't understand it."
"You haven't seen the thread? A bunch of people explained it there. It's super clear and logical. Seems like they're all Extraordinaries. Well anyway. Anyway, Old Man You replied!"
"Old Man You?"
"Yeah! Seems like he agrees with the original poster's words. However, seems like the original poster heard it from someone else and expressed it thoughtlessly. It's a bit curvy and tricky... so, Her Majesty Empress Wu doesn't agree."
"Whoa, she replied too?"
"The appearance of a graceful beauty. Two parties stand in opposition. Right now the two are no longer making any replies, but the following posts are noisy enough to flip the skies. Thousands upon thousands of posts have been made without end. They clamor to have President Ouyang personally explain it."
"Tsk tsk tsk. Now that, I gotta see!"
In this way, the comedic-sketch-like discussion was quite fake, but the thread was unable to withstand the effects of Old Man You's and Her Majesty Empress Wu's authoritative power. A feeling of eagerness for Ouyang Chen personally explaining his Logic World also arose. In a short dozen hours, relevant posts scrolled down the screen. The screen was filled with, "In favor of Old Man You”, "Long live Empress Wu", "Worship Old Man You", "Empress Wu is supreme", and so on.
Of course, the group of bored and leisurely people wouldn't let Ouyang Chen, the person who started this whole thing, escape that easily. They posted crazily.
"President Ouyang, come out and receive your guests!"
"Of those outside his laboratory, who has the courage to knock on his door?"
"Don't believe what people tell you until you see it for yourself. He's just talking big. Intensely asking before setting off fireworks. Ah no, the Logic World!"
Seven out of ten of these comments came from the circle of the Xia City branch. After Empress Wu successfully stepped into the ranks of Extraordinaries, the reputation of the iron triangle of Xia City grew more and more brilliant, giving the branch members a sense of pride. So, most of the posts were more like expressions of their closeness rather than debate, raising the team spirit of the Xia City branch.
In the eyes of those who had a mind, the post had a different meaning. Was the Xia City branch no longer wishing to cover the truth of the matter at Frost River Reality? Were they going to make a public announcement? Otherwise, why were they chatting about some Logic World?
So soon, the other cities with established Psychic Wave Networks joined in as well. Those who were following the post were mostly higher-end people. They absolutely wouldn't worship the iron triangle of Xia City, and they were disinclined to leave messages on that super-off-the-rails topic. However, they would occasionally swipe down a few times, wishing to see whether or not Ouyang Chen had said anything, whether or not any valid information was revealed.
And this was the result that the hype hoped to achieve. It was to take the attention of those with a mind and pull them toward the iron triangle, leaving Luo Nan's matter behind.
The three big shots of Xia City did this to divert pressure away from Luo Nan. It was also a patch for the matter that suddenly occurred two days ago.
Luo Nan naturally accepted this, because this was something he should do. In any case, there were two possibilities that this diversion-tactic could end with, and Luo Nan was not foolish enough to entrust all his hopes on this tactic. He just paid casual attention to it was all.
Moreover, the thread was thousands upon thousands of posts long, an extremely lengthy discussion. It confused people. It channeled people inside. It agitated people's emotions. Everything was mixed together. It made Luo Nan dizzy looking at it. It was better to keep a respectful distance from it.
In any case, Luo Nan found Crag Burst's attitude odd. "Aren't you the type of guy who hates this sort of bullsh*tting the most? How can you read it?"
"How can I not? It's very pleasing to the eyes!"
Crag Burst gave a thumbs up. "Her Majesty Empress Wu has done things quite nicely this time around. There's all sorts of personal photos of her. She's explosively beautiful. There's also the small group of girls in her office; they've lined up for photo shoots. This hasn't happened in the last ten years! Hurry and save the pictures! Remember not to save it on the Psychic Wave Network. Otherwise, as soon as Empress Wu is in a bad mood, whatever collection you have will all come to an end!"
"...." All right. Luo Nan now understood why the thread had heated up so explosively.
With that said, Luo Nan had known of Her Majesty Empress Wu, a legendary woman, for a long time, but he never had the fortune to meet her. He was very curious to see what sort of person she was, especially since she was be able to make someone of Zhang Yingying's temperament submissive and obedient.
The thought had just formed, and Luo Nan wanted to study the thread. He barely opened the web page via the HexaEar when Crag Burst unexpectedly shrieked, "F*** ME! MY CLOUD STORAGE!"