Chapter 351: To the Cloud (Part 3/3)
The facts proved Luo Nan's worries to be true.
When he entered the out-of-body state through his usual method of extracting his soul, the external neuron didn't react whatsoever. It remained a long serpent of lightning, spiraling within his head. It gave off an unperturbed feeling that went along the lines of "You can come and go, but I'm going to stay here."
Yet it would be an injustice to say that he lacked all control over the external neuron. The moment Luo Nan used a more traditional method, the stirring of thought, the external neuron changed places within his head. Its curling lightning flickered and flared, echoing from afar.
Just by looking, Luo Nan knew things wouldn't be easy.
Luo Nan made a few strokes with his pen on the loose-leaf notebook. The problem still remained, but an idea grew clearer in his mind.
The out-of-body state. Using telepathy to spur action. These all appeared to be matters of the mental plane, but in fact, this assumption was wrong. Disregarding the out-of-body state, according to the recent theory he learned, telepathy should actually be something like the guiding of energy through intent.
Luo Nan went on to describe the relationships between several essential elements. Call all the energy that could be accumulated by the human body to be 'vital energy.’ Vital energy circulated through the entire body, gurgling like water. The external neuron was a parasitic life form; it was a fish that lived in the water. And Luo Nan's thought was like a small stone.
Thought itself didn't possess the power to directly push the external neuron, but it could strike the water to incite waves. These waves were large enough to startle the fish, causing the external neuron to affect changes.
As for why the external neuron could accurately assess Luo Nan's thoughts, it might be because the external neuron was capable of making intelligent judgments, or there were even subtler mechanisms at work. Luo Nan was subjectively inclined toward the latter.
"So from this perspective, I will need to use the interference power that resides between the mental and material planes in order to drive the external neuron…. Then I have no other option. I'll need to reverse the flow of energy?"
Luo Nan practically broke out laughing.
The most effective method Luo Nan had in achieving interference power was coupling the God Gear with the Body Gear formed from the heart lantern of the eyes orifice. The overwhelming dominance of the God Gear versus the Body Gear was the cause of his current problem. It was a problem of direction. Before, Luo Nan always exerted power from the mental plane toward the material plane. Now, he had to do something unmaintainable. He had to do the reverse.
Theoretically, there was nothing stopping Luo Nan from adjusting the direction of application of the order frame formed from coupling the God Gear and the Body Gear. The initial work had to be carried out within his own head, and for the sake of caution, Luo Nan had to exercise strict control over the intensity of interference.
The glow of the heart lantern of the eyes orifice flickered, no longer illuminating above and outside heaven and earth. The glow no longer illuminated through the inner organs. Instead, the heart lantern of the eyes orifice and the lightning serpent of the external neuron shone upon each other, gradually infusing a wisp of warmth.
The external neuron rumbled in vibration, crackling as it flared with lightning. It appeared to be a bit uncomfortable. It would occasionally coil up. It would occasionally pierce around. It would occasionally stretch out. It was like a transforming heavenly dragon, magical beyond compare.
If he were to disregard the consequences, what he was doing was truly akin to playing with a novel toy. It was utterly fascinating.
Luo Nan saw that the form of the external neuron constantly changed, but he noticed that its nature didn't change. It remained the core frame for the God Gear, the vast ocean iceberg structure's power running deep, but it was stable in its heaviness.
One question: As the core of the God Gear, was the God Gear of the material or of the mental?
Luo Nan didn't have a clear answer, but he did have an unexplainable understanding. The distinction between the material and the mental wasn't that clear, at least in this very moment.
Luo Nan carefully experienced this feeling. The flow of intensification of interference between the mental plane and the material plane, the flaring of the heart lantern of the eyes orifice's blaze. It had gradually become a furnace to smelt and refine the true gold that was the external neuron.
Without heat, one wouldn't know the temperature of the fire. Without heat, one wouldn't know the metal's nature.
Similar feelings stirred within Luo Nan when he followed Gym Master Xiu's teachings in refining life essence. Only when one truly put his hands to the task could he receive certain information, could he brand certain impressions.
Perhaps this principle could be used upon the external neuron?
In any case, Luo Nan immersed himself in this process of refining true gold. He was completely oblivious to the passage of time. This lasted until the HexaEar began to push information to him, vibrating against his eardrum. It sent a clear notification to him.
A new day had begun.
Right now it was 4:55 in the early morning. According to Luo Nan's daily routine, it was already his morning exercise time.
"Oh shoot!" Luo Nan was startled awake. He smacked his head with his notebook in shock at the time.
Or maybe I should spend some more time refining?
The thought barely formed, just to be suppressed by Luo Nan. It was already time for his morning sessions. Gym Master Xiu always had been strict about matters of impulse making a mess of his tempo. He warned Luo Nan, expressively prohibiting it.
He couldn't push the schedule back. Recently, he strictly followed his schedule in work and rest. The security measures set up by the Society were done in accordance to his schedule. Sudden changes would cause a lot of people trouble.
Needless to say, he aborted his plan on exploring the two gears.
Luo Nan couldn't help feeling depressed. He could only suppress his impulse and adjust his mind, using the tao yin he learned early on to sort through these tiny weed-like emotions.
A few bumpy minutes later, the powerful force of inertia pushed him back on the right track. His morning session was forty minutes long, and his morning run took around twice the time. Luo Nan returned home at seven, and his uncle had finished making breakfast as usual, waiting for Luo Nan so that they could start eating.
His aunt was in the living room. Her head was lowered as she fiddled with her wristband. Her face had slight makeup, and she didn't have the dispirited feeling one might expect out of someone who had a hard time sleeping. She saw that Luo Nan had come home and nodded at him with her jaw. "Today, there's something your uncle needs to do a bit early. Today's morning rhythm is faster because of this."
"Oh," Luo Nan responded. He couldn't help pondering things in his mind. How could he make his aunt and uncle feel at ease? He would have to trouble Secretary He for this.
Luo Nan headed upstairs to wash up. He reached the stairs, where he saw Mo Peng come over yawning. Mo Peng gave Luo Nan a bleary-eyed, "Morning," as he headed down the stairs.
They merely brushed past each other, and Mo Peng remembered something. He went, "Hey!" and reached out to grab onto Luo Nan's shoulder. But his fingers weren't even able to touch Luo Nan's clothes when his palm cut across. Mo Peng very nearly sprained his shoulder.
"Why are you running!" Mo Peng complained loudly.
"You're just too fat." Luo Nan turned to look at Mo Peng. Currently, the level of his body's movements was as different as heaven and earth when compared to Xue Lei’s and Crag Burst’s with their physically enhanced bodies. But he was strengthened by the heart lantern of the eyes orifice. Little fatties like Mo Peng, who lacked tempered bodies, could only dream of stopping Luo Nan.
Mo Peng pointed at Luo Nan with a fat finger. "Oh, okay. So it's in with the new and out with the old. You're just living off one person but helping others in secret. Something good just happened, and to think, I wanted to tell you."
Luo Nan rolled his eyes and headed to his room.
"The hell, man! You've just been hanging out with that Leister all day and everyday. Haven't you ever thought about when was the last time us brothers have gone out for some fun?"
Luo Nan already entered his bedroom, so he said in passing, "I'm in Acumen College. You're in Sixth Middle. If you want to hang out, just skip class and come over!"
Mo Peng gave him a big thumbs up. "My bro is psychic!"
Luo Nan finally looked him in the eyes. "You've... been skipping class?"
"Quiet, quiet!" Mo Peng jumped in fright. It must be known that his mother was in the living room. He pushed Luo Nan inside. He was about to say something, but when he saw just how clean Luo Nan's room was, he couldn't help mocking him.
"Perfectionist. OCD. Neat freak."
Luo Nan prepared to kick this guy out.
Mo Peng shrunk back. "All right, all right. I'll talk about proper matters. Have you received the compensation from Frost River Reality yet?"
"It's because of that time at the city center. With all the chaos. They're giving every customer on site higher membership status as compensation. Those who aren't members gain membership. Those who are members go up completely to the next level. Other than that, they're giving out luxurious gift bags or something. Have you gotten yours yet?"
From Luo Nan's perspective, there weren't any good memories of Frost River Reality. He entered the bathroom and adjusted the water temperature, asking in passing, "Then so what?"
"So what? After an increase in membership status, the cost is at least twenty percent off, okay? And there's the coupon they've sent us. It's practically eighty percent off. Stacking these two together means that it's practically free. It's the best time to go out and have some fun…."
Luo Nan sneered, "Y'all can go if you have the guts. Just don't go looking for me the next time you enter the police station."
"We certainly won't have the mood to go to the Frost River Reality in the city center, but haven't they opened a branch near your school, in other words, Cloud City Water Village? Their equipment is supposed to be the best out of the whole city. Bro, the time to show off has come—hey, hey, what are you doing!?"
"Showering. Out of my way." Luo Nan gave Mo Peng a push. Right now he could easily crush this chunky littler brother with his current strength. He simply pushed him out the door.
Mo Peng didn't give up trying to convince Luo Nan, "Running and training like this everyday, even if you get some muscle, what use is it? It's better to take the social route, so you have the chance to show off. Still don't understand? This is a group date. I promise that I will bring the highest quality girls from Sixth Middle. You can't abandon the people of the Mo Family, of the Luo Family. At the very least, you must—"
"Let me know when you can truly make it happen. I'm pressed for time."
"Listen to me, bro. With the few friends you have, Mom will certainly be worried about you forever. You'll be a mama's boy forever. Oh, I mean aunty's boy…. Hey, what about that apartment in Blue Bay? Are you going to let it collect dust?"
Luo Nan had always wanted to go out and live by himself. This wasn't a secret in his home. However, the earthquake in September and his repeated trips to the hospital last month had ruined his hopes.
But Mo Peng didn't know the reason why Luo Nan wanted to live by himself. It was mainly for the sake of synthesizing drugs in secret. At this time, he had no motivation to do so. Plus, Luo Nan went through a series of incidences where he offended major powers. Luo Nan really didn't know if it was better to move out and thereby draw firepower, or to stay near family to better assist them in case something happened.
It was really annoying to think of these matters. Luo Nan simply closed the door, ignoring Mo Peng's shouts outside. He entered the bathroom to go shower.
The HexaEar suddenly transmitted information to him the moment he stood under the showerhead. It was none other than Zhang Yingying.
The message was very short. It consisted of two sentences.
"Be more active! Don't let people look down on you!"
This message came out of nowhere, and Luo Nan replied with a question mark. Zhang Yingying didn't respond. It seemed that she was still brooding over the message he sent yesterday.
Fortunately, there was a document attached to the message.
Luo Nan browsed through the document as he showered with warm water.
This was an internal report Peony made to the firm. There was no doubt that it was related to the search task of the Mutant. Luo Nan could see that Peony had a better grasp over the comprehensive situation after brewing in thought over the course of the night. She already proposed a program of action of the greatest feasibility.
Luo Nan was certain that he would be incapable of producing such a plan if it was required of him.
But the document was different from the one shared yesterday in the cloud space. This report was presented to the high-level members of the firm to read. It contained more sensitive details.
For example, an evaluation of the partner.