Chapter 344: Unobstructing the Liver (Part 3/3)
"Were you looking for me, Mr. Luo?" He Yueyin's voice came through the HexaEar. Her voice was low and hoarse. She was probably quite weary.
Luo Nan mumbled, unable to respond at the first instance. He had recalled the 'example' Bamboo Pole gave earlier, and he knew that He Yueyin experienced a lot of stress. Luo Nan felt a bit embarrassed for constantly bothering her.
"Mr. Luo?" Although He Yueyin spoke with a questioning tone, her attitude remained gentle.
"So it's like this, Bamboo Pole just mentioned that..."
Luo Nan did his best to make a long story short. He told He Yueyin about the matter of Bamboo Pole making extra money by representing Her Majesty Empress Wu in recruiting him. Naturally, he asked He Yueyin for her opinion in the end.
He Yueyin didn't respond immediately. She was silent for about half a minute before speaking. She didn't rush to answer Luo Nan's question, but instead inquired for more details. This included the examples Bamboo Pole spoke of that Luo Nan was a bit embarrassed to say. She asked all these details one by one.
Luo Nan was ultimately pressured by He Yueyin to recount the situation at the time. He felt very awkward, feeling like he was a little guy sowing discord among others.
He Yueyin didn't really care about this. She thought things over for a while before saying, "Mr. Luo, are you mulling over whether or not to join? Or are you mulling over Her Majesty Empress Wu's intentions?"
She hit the nail on the head with those words.
Luo Nan already pondered on this matter for quite some time, and now he was forced by He Yueyin to recollect these events. Luo Nan's thoughts were more or less clear: Why should he join the Hidden Indigo Firm? Zhang Yingying had introduced him in the past. This firm's main business was providing services for the rich and powerful big shots of Xia City. They sought rich suckers and established interpersonal relationships for business with them. For investments and the like.
This wasn't the life Luo Nan wanted. Unless there were generous rewards….
There wasn't really anything Luo Nan could hide. He immediately responded, "I don't understand Her Majesty Empress Wu's thoughts…. Hmm, hold on. I don't think she's in a rush to recruit me."
A light bulb went off in his mind just as he spoke, changing the latter half of his words as well as their meaning.
He Yueyin didn't express an opinion for Luo Nan's change. She asked, "Why do you think so?"
"You know that the firm did an outsourcing of work a few days ago. This sort of method suits me. At the very least, it's more suitable than joining the firm. If she didn't outsource this work to me, I might have really joined them in my poor financial state. She has this better method that would certainly influence the recruitment, but she's not using it. Don't you think so too?"
Luo Nan became a bit diffident as he spoke. He urgently sought He Yueyin's opinion.
He Yueyin responded, "There are no problems with your overall reasoning."
"I just need to correct one point. According to Her Majesty Empress Wu's temperament, the business opportunity you obtained should be a type of compensation."
Luo Nan expressed his confusion.
He Yueyin explained for him, "Looking at your narrative of the circumstances, Bamboo Pole's assessment toward Her Majesty Empress Wu is quite an appropriate one. Her Majesty Empress Wu engages in the rule of law with all her matters, while not engaging in ethics. She appears to not be bothered about the trifles in the day to day, but she is actually extremely strict. She treats others and herself this way."
This wasn't merely it. Bamboo Pole had mentioned this point in his past lessons. He had even given a few examples. But Luo Nan's mind went a bit off-track the instant he thought of Zhang Yingying. He really was incapable of imagining how that sister was able to survive under the pressure of such a strict boss. It was very difficult to establish a relevant impression.
Now, He Yueyin said similar things before his eyes and was unable to change his disbelief. "Strictness is strictness. The more I hear it, the more I don't want to join. How is this related with compensation?"
"Because of Headquarters." He Yueyin exposed the truth with a few words, "The operation Headquarters carried out against you was done after Her Majesty Empress Wu and President Ouyang decided to protect you. The situation had been critical, and although Black Beetle was the reason for the offensive that was coordinated inside and outside our organization, oversights are still oversights. Her Majesty Empress Wu is exacting on both herself and others. She feels that mending the pen after the sheep is lost is still something that needs to be done. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult for Yingying to give this several million credit project to you, even if Yingying is different from a normal person."
Luo Nan suddenly understood. "No wonder!"
In other words, good things just didn't fall out of the sky in this world. The restless feeling brought about by the great generosity of the business reward vanished like a puff of smoke.
So it was an exchange for using his life!
Of course, the principles of Her Majesty Empress Wu and Zhang Yingying's care and attention were still engraved in his mind.
After He Yueyin explained the reason for the compensation, the conversation changed topics once more, "Based on what you said about this recruitment, Her Majesty Empress Wu probably doesn't have much expectations from you entering the Hidden Indigo Firm. Her attitude is expressed clearly by letting Bamboo Pole convey her intent."
"Her Majesty Empress Wu is a well-known progressive. In the last few years, she devoted her efforts into establishing completely new rules of society, allowing ability users to seamlessly integrate into normal society. Naturally, it is easier for younger people to exert influence when it comes to realizing and spreading her theories. In fact, she likes to teach potential youngsters who have made a name for themselves."
"Bamboo Pole mentioned this before…. Um, so you're saying Her Majesty Empress Wu is showing appreciation for me?"
A rarely heard chuckle came from He Yueyin, "'Showing,’ that's a good usage of the word."
Luo Nan's mind wound around a circle. "You're saying that she's 'showing' not to me, but to others as a widely advertised display?"
"If it’s not, would Her Majesty Empress Wu have conveyed her words through Bamboo Pole? Would Bamboo Pole allow you to openly ask others for advice? This is to spread public opinion. This is to expand influence. It is a declaration of her stance specifically toward those who have a mind. With this, if the people of Headquarters still want to make a move against you, they will need to consider the factor of Her Majesty Empress Wu getting deeply involved. Bamboo Pole spoke very correctly. Official business and private business are ultimately different. The greatest ideal takes into account both private and public interests."
Luo Nan finally understood the winding maneuvers within those schemes. He let out a long breath of relief, but he still felt some complex emotions. "So, the so-called recruitment is just in name. It's hollow, I say!"
He Yueyin's voice turned gentle. She spoke softly, "Mr. Luo shouldn't undervalue himself. Her Majesty Empress Wu is strict on others and on herself. Her scope of vision is extremely high. If Mr. Luo's level isn't enough, she wouldn't even give you a glance, let alone adopt this stance. Frankly speaking, this too is an expression of goodwill, as well as an investment for the future."
"It's all right, Sister Yueyin. I'm not someone who's super sensitive. I know my position. With Her Majesty Empress Wu clearly verbalizing her protection over me, what else can I hope for?"
Luo Nan responded with a brisk tone. After dispelling the confusion, he felt truly embarrassed to be taking up more of He Yueyin's time. He said, "Sister Yueyin, I feel much better after you've explained things. You must be busy on your end. I'll let you hurry back to your work. I have homework and evening classes as well."
"It's nothing. It was just some business work. I already finished. On the contrary, you're so packed with homework lately. How can you endure it?"
"It isn't a problem. Uh, so you don't mind?" Luo Nan suddenly realized that he had narrated Bamboo Pole's example and assessment back to He Yueyin. Bamboo Pole's words couldn't be said to be good. Of course, Luo Nan was really quite the fool to be asking her.
"Mind what? It's just Her Majesty Empress Wu taking the chance to strike a blow."
"Bamboo Pole wants you to consult with many people. He's certainly factored me as one of those people. Those words were mainly spoken for me to hear. This is probably because I've been too hasty in my actions within the branch."
"Sister Yueyin…." Luo Nan didn't know what was good to say for a time. From Bamboo Pole's assessment, he knew that He Yueyin experienced an enormous amount of stress. If another Extraordinary expressed their disapproval, He Yueyin might become even more encumbered with dealing with affairs in the future.
He Yueyin comforted Luo Nan in his worries about this, "You know your position, and I know mine. Bamboo Pole said that my goals are much clearer than yours. Actually, he's wrong. Your goals are just as clear. It's just that many aspects are involved when it comes to realizing them. Like the interchanging of darkness and light, it's far too complicated. It's hard to get started."
"Yes, this is the truth."
He Yueyin's words really did speak to the bottom of Luo Nan's heart. His goals, whether it be his grandfather's reputation or his mother's work of art, all involved many layers and many powers that entwined with each other. He didn't have the strength to break them, nor did he have the blade to cut through this tangled mess.
It was as if He Yueyin could hear his thoughts. She said, "Since the situation is like this, there is no harm in me telling you an old saying: A sharpened blade is half the work of cutting a tree. If you really don't have a way to get started, then you can just sharpen your blade. Hone a sharp blade, for there will be a day of troubles."
"Mm, I know, Sister Yueyin. I will certainly work hard." Luo Nan couldn't help smiling upon speaking. He felt like a little student promising to study hard.
He Yueyin didn't mind. She spoke softly, "Your ability to mentally interfere with matter has just manifested. This is of the utmost importance. You must be careful. You're no longer willing to visit Bai Xinyan, but there's no harm in running to the Divine Yu Gym more often. Their techniques in cultivating the energies of the body are quite impressive."
"Yes, Gym Master Xiu is really a wealth of knowledge," Luo Nan spoke with sincerity.
He Yueyin paused a bit, before suddenly asking, "Are you still cultivating the eyes orifice?"
"Yes, Gym Master Xiu said that when I get initial success with the eyes orifice, I must consolidate it until I understand yin and yang from the inside and out."
"Then I need to cultivate the ears orifice and the mouth orifice. The three essentials must be cultivated to completion. Coalesce essence, energy, and spirit. Only then can I proceed to the next step."
He Yueyin gave a soft grunt of approval before saying, "Nine orifices, three essentials. Through the inner organs, coalesce essence and energy, and purify the mind. This is the proper cultivation path. There's no harm in cultivating in earnest. But you need not bother with strange tales and absurd arguments, delirious ravings and daydreams.”
"Huh?" Luo Nan didn't understand what He Yueyin meant by delirious ravings and daydreams. But by the time he snapped back to reality, He Yueyin already bid him goodnight and ended the call.
This was quite odd. Why did she suddenly say such words?
It seemed that He Yueyin was very familiar with Gym Master Xiu.
Luo Nan maintained a faint awareness amidst his confusion. He heard the sound of a door closing on the first story. It was Mo Peng. He had his fill of fun outside, entering the house free of worries. This reminded Luo Nan that he had to eavesdrop on the dialogue between his aunt and uncle. But when his soul strength covered the house, he discovered that his guardians were lecturing Mo Peng in the living room. They weren't talking about Luo Nan's matters for now.
Luo Nan listened for a few minutes without gaining anything of value. He simple collected his mind and proceeded to do work. He finished his homework and took out the basic physics exercises that Worker Zhai had prepared for him. He pondered, tackling the problems.
His energy was fine and thorough from the meshing of the God Gear and Body Gear, allowing his concentration to reach a level that few could attain when he truly put his mind to it. Soon, two hours passed, and it was already past ten at night.
Luo Nan stretched his back in accordance to the tao yin techniques taught to him by Gym Master Xiu. He loosened his joints, relaxing and stretching level by level. His body, wrapped in muscle, bone, skin, and flesh, cracked and crunched endlessly for a moment. Warm moisture circulated at the same time. It was extremely comfortable.
"Blood is sufficient in the fascia as it is drawn from the liver, meaning that the liver is full of blood right now. Things are gradually maturing. Perhaps maturity will happen in the next two days."