Chapter 339: Within a Prison
Snake Seven’s identity was peeled open in just a few hours?
Luo Nan grinned as he examined Peony's report in detail. The report simply indicated how Snake Seven had once appeared during the Society's operation in rescuing Rui Wen. Of course, he appeared as an enemy of the Society.
Luo Nan didn't have a deep impression of this man. After all, seven or eight Deep Blue Walkers had mobilized that night, and many of them became casualties. God knows which one was which. Within Luo Nan's memories, the post-operation report did contain this codename. The codename represented the man's depth of involvement in this conflict, but nothing more. He was just one of the people who were on the opposing side of the Society.
Luo Nan didn't feel emotionally moved like "Oh, so it was him.” His attention deviated a little.
Luo Nan thought a level deeper. There was no reason for this Snake Seven, or this Long Seven, not to use similar methods as them. The focus of his analysis would certainly be Peony, but Ink was quite an eye-catching mark, being an enormous crow. Ink was at least 70% likely to be Long Seven's incision point.
Could Luo Nan still hide his identity?
Ink was quite high-profile on that night, especially during the prior half. There were certainly more than a few eyewitnesses at the underground fighting arena.
Luo Nan was furrowing his brow in contemplation when a refresh symbol appeared on the cloud space document. He tapped it gently, and the entire document was updated. There was instantly a lot more text.
Under careful examination, there was more detailed information on Snake Seven, and they were all laid out within the document.
So Luo Nan came to find out that Snake Seven was a very talented ability user. He was ambitious, seeking to become a Deep Blue Walker, so he entered Quantum Corporation of his own accord. He became a special test subject with his young age, and later he strongly requested entrance to the mobilization team. So, he was transferred over to Sky Blue Security.
The document even touched upon Snake Seven's personality, how he handled things, his family relations, and so on. This character, who Luo Nan once found mysterious, was exposed in complete daylight in the blink of an eye. Practically nothing was hidden from Luo Nan.
A fine strand of air seeped through the cracks between Luo Nan's teeth, cooling his heart as well.
He logged out from the cloud space. His brain was a bit messy, but there was a part that remained extremely clear. With Luo Nan's current reputation, special position, and role, the various intelligence agencies would never overlook him.
As one tiny clue could reveal the overall picture, looking at Snake Seven's life events, perhaps there were also files on Luo Nan atop the desks of the various intelligence agencies, endlessly refreshing with newer information. Each and every movement was likely to be completely exposed to the naked eye of others, just like with Snake Seven. Not even an iota of privacy remained.
Luo Nan stood at the bottom of the atrium in a daze. His wristband vibrated several dozen seconds later. Xue Lei was calling. "I'm practicing my punches in front of Gear. Give me a heads up when you want to go home."
"Oh," Luo Nan absently responded. Then he snapped out of it and expressed his refusal, "It's already dinner time. You can go back first. No need to wait for me."
School was already out by now. Xue Lei had worded his speech this way because he understood the tempo of Luo Nan's life. Right around this time every day, Luo Nan trained. His schoolwork and studies were all fixed to the dot.
"Going home alone is very boring. It's better to go together."
Luo Nan spat, "Then we split at the school gate?"
Luo Nan was currently living at his aunt's house. Xue Lei lived at Dual River District. Heading home, one would go west, while the other would go east. Things would be bizarre if they headed the same way. Ultimately, Xue Lei just had the thought of being a bodyguard in mind. He feared shameless enemies like Headquarters appearing.
Xue Lei also felt that he was being a bit absurd. He asked, "So when are you going to get your independence and freedom, man? You don't even need to go to the hospital for treatment anymore…."
“My aunt isn't scared of me going for treatment. She's scared of me suddenly needing rescue." Luo Shuqing no longer trusted Luo Nan's health. This account had gone bankrupt. It was also impossible to explain the concept of the coupling between flesh and soul to Mrs. Luo Shuqing. Luo Nan could only entrust his hopes to someone else. "My cousin will come back next week. With her present to draw away my aunt's firepower, I'll give it another shot."
The two chatted for a bit, and Xue Lei started shadowboxing.
Luo Nan really envied Xue Lei's current state. This week, Xue Lei had transferred school societies thanks to Xie Junping’s efforts. He had no worries besides acting as Luo Nan's bodyguard everyday. Xue Lei spent most of his time cultivating in martial arts. His time was spent quite productively.
Luo Nan's emotions fluctuated much more widely than his friend's. Especially now, being stimulated by the intelligence document, Luo Nan's heart was filled with agitation. He didn't have the mood to think about reality. He strolled a few steps at the bottom of the atrium, then looked up again.
Within his daze, the perfectly straight atrium and the ring-like night sky was like a prison, sealing him inside.
No! That was wrong! Why would there be a prison within his mother's work?
Luo Nan's thoughts changed once more when he thought about his mother. He looked at the atrium once more. The structure blended into itself. He looked up from below. This place was like an abyss that led to the realm of the starry skies. There was no limit to its destitution.
In the end, those few thoughts were born from his own fear. The prison was drawn by his own hands.
Luo Nan shook his head, dispersing the illusion. He looked at the time. It was a few minutes before the appointed time. He sat down cross-legged and recalled the breathing technique taught personally to him by Gym Master Xiu. He tried to quiet his mind.
The currents of his heart really did settle a bit with the passing of several breaths. Luo Nan even closed his eyes and practiced his circulation homework. The energy polished within his body, and the heart lantern of the eyes orifice blazed with splendor, gradually burning away the distracting thoughts in his mind to nothing.
Seemingly according to coupling theory, there currently existed a total of two relatively complete gears within Luo Nan's body and soul structure.
One was soul strength, driven and born from Formatting Theory. This power had long since exceeded the limits of what his physical body could endure. It was great and difficult to control. Luo Nan relied on the Hollow Depository function of the external neuron to barely form a stable structure. Although he did this, the soul strength leaked and overflowed at all times. It was truly like an iceberg that stood tall within the ocean. It was vast and overwhelming. Towering and imposing. Its pressure absolute.
Luo Nan gave it a name: God Gear.
The other was the eyes orifice. It was the product of a technique imparted by Xiu Shenyu. Relying on the natural marvels of the human body and borrowing his special circumstances, Luo Nan created a completely new vehicle of transferring and refining soul strength. The result was the heart lantern of the eyes orifice, and it excited the potential of the human body.
Luo Nan named it Body Gear.
According to Gym Master Xiu's teachings, achieving success in cultivating in the eyes orifice was only the beginning in cultivating the fleshly body. Compared with the towering iceberg in the ocean that was the God Gear, the Body Gear was merely a small reservoir. It could only play an auxiliary role in regulation.
Right then, within Luo Nan's body, an embryonic form of an order frame was established from the God Gear and the Body Gear. Through the technique of coupling, the gears engaged together for mutual influence.
The frame had been formed, but it was simple and crude. Luo Nan still relied much on external forces. Without the suppression from the external neuron, Luo Nan was guaranteed an instant annihilation.
Even with the quelling of the external neuron, electric flame circulated, and energies exchanged and clashed between the God Gear and the Body Gear. Several waves of thunderclouds and stormy winds swept through everyday. There was no point in telling others the suffering Luo Nan endured.
These dangers were hidden in Luo Nan's body, and these dangers didn't leave even an ounce of room for trial and error. Luo Nan had little say. He was forced to use the most concentrated of manners to engage in cultivation. He had to cultivate his foundation with extreme care, to amend the frail balance between his body and soul.
All trivial and distracting thoughts had to be scattered as ashes into the wind as soon as he began cultivating. It was actually quite effective in dispelling his negative emotions.
There was no concept of time as Luo Nan entered the meditative state. Luckily, Luo Nan recalled that he still had cultivation lessons. He just did some maintenance on the eyes orifice structure, dispelling the excessive strength of the interference power's electric flame, and he ended this homework assignment.
He left his meditative state. His senses were exceptionally sharp, yet his mind was at peace once more. The surrounding information all coalesced inside, and he felt a marvelous sound permeate into his ears. Tick tock tick tock. Like the fine ticking of the hands of a clock, which rotated in circles without beginning nor end.
Luo Nan wasn't the least bit surprised. From his perspective, this was the sound of Gear breathing.
There were fifteen main halls within twelve floors above and below ground, particularly above ground, including the atrium. Together, they were like a well-calibrated machine. Every component operated smoothly, unhindered. The teeth of the gears meshed and fused together. This was the only way such a harmonic rhythm could be formed.
From Luo Nan's perspective, this was the sound of nature. This was the reward from his earnest cultivation. He smiled subconsciously as he listened to the clear and orderly beat.
But noise cut in a mere handful of seconds later. It was a static sound. At first, there was only one, suddenly affecting the beat. But the noise continued to spawn several seconds later. It was like the sudden insert of the dry cawing of birds and frogs during the performance of a band. The noise undulated at random, turning a perfectly fine performance into a nightmare.
Luo Nan suddenly opened his eyes. The sound of nature existed no longer, but the noise remained.
They were layers upon layers of overlapping radio waves. The sources came from various corners of the building. Surveillance cameras, tapping devices, optical cables, antennas... all sorts of forms. They gathered all sorts of information and transmitted it out. They were like pairs and pairs of cold and dark eyes, spying on Luo Nan's each and every action from various angles.
It was like a prison.
Luo Nan raised his head. The darkness could not obstruct his gaze that was augmented by the heart lantern of the eyes orifice. Through the solid glass, a certain security camera located on the underground third floor was pointed right at him. It did this openly.
There were monitoring equipment doing work all around him. This was absolutely not the only one.
The corner of Luo Nan's lips crinkled. He wanted to rage, but he inexplicably felt that things were absurd and ridiculous. The corners of his lips rose subconsciously as he thought of how he was worried about Long Seven discovering his identity, and how his thoughts became an omen.
What ought to come should come. Luo Nan squeezed a dry and hoarse sound out of his mouth. He had just dispelled those negative emotions, but they suddenly descended back upon him like a storm. The rumbling thunderclouds crackled down into his heart.
Bang! The security surveillance camera shattered to pieces on the underground third floor. Similar sounds of shattering resounded in the various corners of the building at the same time. Of course, there was also the muffled sound of circuit breakers tripping.
Direct means brought about crude results.
The sparse lighting within the building of Gear suddenly went out. Then the central control system automatically operated, activating the backup electrical line. But very unfortunately, it failed.
Even the listening devices were destroyed. With how concentrated they were, it would be hard for even the backup system to escape this fate.
Luo Nan stood within the darkness, coldly feeling everything.
But then Xue Lei came calling him. His voice changed into one of nervousness. "Report your position. Connect mentally!"
"I’m all right."
Luo Nan didn't know how to explain to Xue Lei. The wristband vibrated once more to start the central control system on manual operation mode. It asked him if he wanted to use repair robots for emergency repairs.
Luo Nan easily agreed and found an excuse, "The quality of the construction work of those people is completely awful…. Yeah, it's like this."
The HexaEar vibrated at this time. Bamboo Pole was online on the Psychic Wave Network. He was quite punctual according to the teaching schedule, and he sent a greeting to Luo Nan. This was the usual procedure between them, but the message Bamboo Pole left today was a bit odd.
"Are you mad?"