Chapter 338: Bottom of the Atrium
Currently, Gear attracted flies. Luo Nan recognized this.
Within Acumen College, Gear had always been tinted with a bit of a mysterious flavor. Even Xie Junping, a layman, heard of the nickname the Ritual Club. Rumor had it that Gear was very suitable for carrying out mystic rituals. And with Luo Nan making that move, every expert and professional would find it hard not to find Gear strange.
Actually, before the various spies crammed their way in, the Xia City branch of the Society had already made an assessment. They said that the layout of the building was out of the norm. As for the concrete places of interest, these results could not be obtained in a short amount of time.
Because of this, He Yueyin suggested that Luo Nan follow the principle of removing whatever was blocking the way. First release the people inside, avoid sealing off various locations, and let everybody guess around to their heart's content.
The matter regarding Headquarters was a lesson to be learned from.
This was an intelligent method, but it was also a move of withdrawal. For a week, Luo Nan acted in accordance to He Yueyin and the other's instructions. He acted as if he hadn't seen the actions of the spies, but he was actually agitated in his heart. He couldn't bear letting outsiders open access.
He couldn't stop the spies coming from all sides. He had to suffer in silence. But this didn't mean that he would treat the spies with a good expression.
He had a plan early in mind. He let the supervisor engineer talk and guide them in a stroll underground. And so, half an hour passed with Luo Nan not expressing any opinion, nor revealing any emotions.
Soon, night fell, and the supervisor and project manager were completely unable to get a feel for Luo Nan. They felt that there was no point in continuing. Hu Huaying was capable of reading Luo Nan's behavior by now. He gave a few words to deal with the situation and sent the supervisor and project manager away.
Hu Huaying waited for the outsiders to scram before asking, "Nanster, is this work not to your taste?"
Luo Nan shook his head. "I don't understand when it comes to the specialized matters, but besides that I'm not really dissatisfied. Just let them continue with the repairs. You know, this place is very meaningful to me. As long as nothing happens, everything is fine. But something did happen, so this place needs a few protective measures. I can't find outsiders for that job."
"Old Xie mentioned this before. So that's why this construction doesn't include the restoration of the defense system. He's thinking that you will want to personally design it…. You're certainly not lacking in experts."
Hu Huaying's laughter more or less contained a hint of flattery. Last week at Ocean Sky Cloud City, he personally witnessed how the flame of the young master of the He Family had been suppressed…. No, the flame hadn't been suppressed—the person extinguished the flame himself.
Each and every one of the people who revolved around Luo Nan was very mysterious, and perhaps, very influential. Most notable was He Donglou's sister. According to his hidden sources, that was He Donglou’s real sister of flesh and blood. She had just retired from the special forces in the military. Who would have expected that she was working with Luo Nan?
Hu Huaying had been a slightly suspicious in the past of how Xie Junping normally acted with his friend Luo Nan. But today was different. He was given the opportunity, and he was capable of doing things more fervently than Xie Junping by tenfold!
The Xie Family was Xia City's number one major business group, no two ways about it. There was a level of difference between the Xie Family and the Hu Family. When others came out with force, you had to strive to catch up. Tenfold was not an exaggeration.
Hu Huaying even thought a layer deeper: Old Xie didn't come out to greet Luo Nan today. He ran off to play some mystic arts with Sissy Du. Was this being overconfident that his relationship with Luo Nan was stable? Or did this imply going toward a different direction that was in accordance to one's fancy?
As Hu Huaying pondered, they walked as a group out of the fire escape passageway and entered some wide, open space. The lighting had dimmed. There weren't any lights on. The dark sky emerged above their heads.
Hu Huaying had leaned back against the wall of this place for many days. He was extremely well-informed of the layout and repair progress of the building Gear. He swept his gaze around and said, "This place, the atrium, is a bit messy. It is hard to avoid dropping some junk here during the renovations. You have to wait until the end before cleaning this place."
Luo Nan grunted and raised his head to look. Gear had seven floors underground and four floors above ground. There was also a half-open rooftop, for a total of twenty floors. They were currently on the lowest floor, looking at the peak of the large atrium several meters high.
The construction layout of Gear was unconventional. As for how it was unconventional, one needed an architect or someone in the know like Luo Nan to be able to explain. Even the directional angles were not completely the same.
In any case, from the perspective of the majority of people, the circular, cascading, and practically slanting internal structure of Gear was probably what would leave the deepest impression. Within this series of structures, the most eye-catching thing was the perfectly straight 'atrium' that linked all the floors together. Nothing else could surpass this in Luo Nan's eyes.
It was different from the vast majority of similar structures. The atrium of Gear was situated at the westernmost side of the building. Its edge was the outer wall of the building. Its height exceeded fifty meters, and it took up considerable space. If the lights weren't turned on and the angle of the rays of the sun wasn't suitable, the atrium would appear pitch-black from top to bottom. The darkness was quite terrifying.
Looking at it with a dark mindset, this was an excellent place to commit suicide.
The outer wall of the atrium was surrounded by bulletproof glass, probably to prevent such circumstances from happening. Not even the slightest of cracks was spared on each floor. It would require quite the skill to jump down.
From the bottom of the atrium, one could tilt their head upward and see the evening sky. The lights of the metropolis, aside from a ray of the setting sun, were what dimly smeared this place with the dusk’s colors.
The atrium was twenty meters in diameter. It was extremely spacious. But from an issue of height, it appeared rather slender no matter the perspective. Only when one reached the bottom to personally experience this place could one know just how large this space was.
Luo Nan gave Xue Lei a laugh. "This place is quite decent to train at everyday. The atmosphere isn't too stuffy, right? The rooftop can be closed when it rains. It's more convenient than the outside."
"It's worth a shot." Xue Lei grinned. He took himself to be a bodyguard since they entered Gear. He uttered not a word and was in a complete state of vigilance. In secret, he even operated the detection device allocated to him by the Society. This was to defend against anything of the construction team that might have been left behind in the dark and had yet to see the light of day.
Xue Lei relaxed now that he was chatting with Luo Nan. He copied Luo Nan, raising his head and looking at the sky. He suddenly thought of something. "Closing the rooftop. That must use glass as well, right? Then, this is like an astronomical telescope—"
"Actually, it does have this function." Hu Huaying remembered that information about this was included in the data. He immediately showed off, "It can be realized through an internal mounting module. The equipment room is on the sixth floor underground. Of course, we'll need to swap to a special lens as well. The retrofitting should be done in an hour. Of course, you can't change the direction of this telescope. You can only look at the small area above your head."
"An hour?" Xue Lei's heart stirred a bit. He really wanted to experience it.
Hu Huaying rushed to mend his words, "We can't do it right now. This function was added in 1991. The Order Club collapsed soon after construction finished. The nearly purchased equipment were all sold off. The depreciation cost them hundreds of thousands."
Are you playing with me!?
Xue Lei rolled his eyes. Before he could talk, Luo Nan laughed wryly, "Ruining it by adding something superfluous, like drawing legs on a snake."
Hu Huaying mind went blank for a moment. He honestly didn't understand what Luo Nan was talking about. In any case, he wasn't affected from parroting Luo Nan's words, "So, the legs of the snake were chopped off."
Luo Nan didn't say anything else. He quietly looked into the night sky. It was unknown where his thoughts drifted to.
Hu Huaying and Xue Lei locked gazes. They were just about to talk when Luo Nan raised his arm to look at his wristband. Luo Nan's brow furrowed. "Someone's looking for me. Third Brother, you and Xue Lei go ahead and chat. I'm going to pick up this call."
Hu Huaying really wanted to agree then drag Luo Nan and Xue Lei to eat dinner. He wanted to establish friendly relations. But he had seconds thoughts. With Luo Nan's introverted nature, he couldn't be impatient in playing friendly. What if he pushed things too far? So, Hu Huaying immediately said, "You do what you gotta do. I'll head on out first…."
Sure enough, Luo Nan didn't urge him to stay. He nodded and gave another word of thanks. Then he hurriedly walked into the fire escape passageway. That call of his must be very private.
Xue Lei and Hu Huaying took the elevator up, sending Luo Nan their farewells.
Soon, the silence at the bottom of the atrium was restored.
Luo Nan waited for the elevator to go up as he stood in the fire escape passageway. He didn't turn on his wristband communications. Instead, he subtly closed his eyes. His thoughts pulsed to arrive at the business hotel several dozen kilometers away.
His temporary partner Peony had used the rubberband to stimulate Ink, and this was sensed by Luo Nan. The reason she did this was very simple.
The meeting had finished.
Luo Nan looked at the time. It was around six p.m. right now. The meeting had lasted nearly nine hours.
Peony walked to the elevator, with Ink still on her shoulder. They paired up quite well, but things were different from when they arrived. There was another person in the elevator. It was none other than Long Seven.
The two people had no desire for further conversation, but Long Seven was paying a bit more attention than usual to Ink in the elevator. They exited the elevator as they arrived at the underground parking lot, and simply walked to the first row of cars. There was a super-car there. It wasn't low-key at all.
Luo Nan vaguely recalled that this was the location where Old Jin had parked. Where did the man and his car go?
Old Jin's ordinary SUV came speeding in during Luo Nan's moment of bafflement. He flashed his lights and stopped in front of Peony, who was standing before the elevator. He arrived right on the dot. Clearly, he hadn't wasted an entire day in waiting. He was eating a giant burger from who knows where. The fragrance was quite strong.
Peony let Ink ride shotgun. She sat in the back seat as before. Old Jin opened the window, dispersing the fragrance inside the car. Then he started the car, and he heard Long Seven call out at this time.
"See you tomorrow."
Peony waved her hand rather aloofly, and soon the SUV sped out of the underground parking lot.
Only now did Peony talk business. She spoke rapidly, "The meeting will continue tomorrow. I will send the related information and meeting records to the internal cloud space. Please check if you've received them."
Luo Nan wanted to ask the situation of the meeting in detail, but he thought about the behavior Zhang Yingying had revealed earlier on and hesitated slightly. In the end, he didn't say anything.
The car entered a state of silence. It was now Old Jin's turn to talk, "Where do you want to get off?"
Luo Nan remembered that Peony was probably a person from Acumen College. If he got off with her, he might draw this woman's suspicions. This must not happen. The firm hid his true identity. It would be better to hold this disguise until the end.
"I'll leave once we leave the parking lot."
"Then see you tomorrow."
They didn't perform any civilities. As soon as the car entered the main road, Ink jumped out the window, spread its wings, and flew into the night sky. At the same time, at Gear, Luo Nan logged into the cloud space and checked the meeting minutes.
The related documents came from Trigate Corporation. This company did matters in accordance to standards. The meeting minutes were very tidy and understandable.
Peony even made annotations line by line. She marked the important points. Luo Nan really didn't know where she got the mental energy and time. Aside from the data, she even wrote a few brief reports about the members of the meeting.
The focus of her attention was naturally Long Seven. Peony already obtained a preliminary conclusion, and the decisive point actually had to do with his fashionable ear.
In Peony's report, the material of Long Seven's earring belonged to some kind of super-plastic memory alloy material. It could morph greatly under high temperatures. It was a mechanical key largely preferred by Burners.
In other words, Long Seven was very likely a Deep Blue Walker.
In addition, this man was quite familiar with Xia City. He even possessed the special ability of radiation neutralization. Peony already locked onto the target.
He was Snake Seven of Sky Blue Security, a subsidiary company under Quantum Corporation.