Chapter 355: Little Monkey
Luo Nan chatted quite happily. Most of their words were said in jest, after all.
His consciousness hung upon Ink's body. They were still in a meeting over yonder, which was not surprising. There was merely the addition of a meal. Peony and Long Seven behaved very professionally, and Ink took the opportunity to show off an important element to his enormous body.
This crow ate nearly the same amount of food as a man.
After the meal, the party of people had another meeting on the roadside. Ink stood very steadily atop the roof of the ordinary SUV, its roof rack perfectly matching with Ink's thick claws. It was just that Ink's head hung down. It had already entered a half-sleepy, yet awake state.
The bird had been quiet and calm for a long period of time, and it was affected by digestion. This used up a considerable amount of the bird's physical and mental energy. Acting like this was against its nature as well. So Ink shivered and made two loud caws the moment Luo Nan's telepathic mind cut through. It flapped its wings to fly without the slightest hesitation. In the blink of an eye, it soared under the lofty skies lit by the glow of the sun.
Ink's pitch-black feathers felt refreshed under the rays of the sun. Trembling in the wind, they were suffused with a luster of dark indigo. It looked quite dazzling. The exceptional contrast of shadow and light fused together, causing Intelligence Officer Axel Thue to click his tongue in wonder. He couldn't hold back from voicing his suspicions with a tone of teasing.
"This crow is mighty and imposing, and it understands human nature. It can be considered an excellent beast."
Ink flapped its wings after Axel Thue's voice fell, turning directions. It flew far away, soon vanishing into the distance.
Axel Thue blurted out, "Uh." He put a hand to his forehead as he looked into the skies. "What happened?"
Peony didn't even raise her head. "You can ignore it."
Ink spiraled in the skies for a while and found its target. It changed its direction slightly, and soon arrived above the old road that went through and out the city. It followed the road as it flew ahead.
Seizing the initiative did not necessarily require him to immediately go boss around the members of the action team. Such heavy actions were shameful, and Luo Nan was unable to do it.
His many years of experimenting on his body had forced him to develop a cautious personality. As long as his head didn't run feverish, he didn't mind collecting extra information and material to be used for making decisions.
The action team was doing such matters, but unfortunately, the field was far too different from Luo Nan's expertise. He couldn't be useful. Luckily, Zhang Yingying had urged him on from many different sides, letting him see the truth in time. Otherwise, he would have continued to follow behind the behinds of the action team, only to waste his time in the end.
Of course, before he could begin with anything, Luo Nan first had to test for the upper and lower bounds of Ink's abilities, especially Ink's range of perception. This gluttonous fellow must not fail to meet his expectations.
Luo Nan had experienced three different circumstances that affected his mental senses: the out-of-body state, the merged body and soul, and using his believers as fulcrums. The discrepancy between the range of his senses during these states were distinguished by orders of magnitude.
Using as basis his out-of-body state, where his senses could reach a range of twenty kilometers, the normal merged body and soul state would have a limit of two kilometers. Following this, using Ink, one of his believers, as a fulcrum should yield a limit of around two hundred kilometers. If Luo Nan deliberately augmented Ink, then this limit could be increased even further.
However, Luo Nan already learned from his prior experiences that Ink, with its brain capacity, was unable to handle information that was too complicated. 'Packet loss' and 'dropped frames' were common occurrences. A period of time was needed to adapt as well.
Honestly speaking, Luo Nan should have done this work a couple of days ago. But Luo Nan had far too many things to attend to that he completely forgot. He pushed this back until today.
"Then let's measure the lower limit…. Huh?"
When things came to pass in reality, the situation that occurred was a bit unexpected. Where was the packet loss?
Something like high-speed magnetic rails had opened up between Luo Nan's main body and Ink. No switching was required to transmit the information. The information just went straight to the destination. No, actually, there didn't even seem to be the process of transmission. The distance of space was warped for some bizarre reason.
This feeling was odd, yet familiar.
Luo Nan spent a bit of time in recollection and barely remembered that something similar had happened back at Frost River Reality. He had formed the star river from the Life Sketches, and he had used this method to pull the Wraith Sign to him. The Wraith Sign had evolved into a colosseum, to slaughter the Human-Faced Arachnid raised by the Order of Justice.
The Wraith Sign was a Darksider life form; after all, it was an existence belonging to the mental plane. It made sense that he was able to summon it. But Ink possessed a material body. The circumstances were very different, yet the effects were reflected in the transmission of information.
In any case, with the existence of this connection, the only element left that could restrict Ink's sensing ability was the limits to what its body could endure.
This made things a lot easier.
Ink had been the test subject Luo Nan most commonly experimented with during the period of time when he was doing experiments over and over. There was naturally quite some magic to Ink for it to be able to live smoothly and steadily until now. And it had already stepped to the next level in Luo Nan's Formatting Theory System. It was on the office worker level. The connection between Ink and Luo Nan was even more inseparably close. This further catalyzed its underlying abilities.
Luo Nan was eager to start testing.
Ink turned into a streak of shadow as it flitted past the buildings on the sides of the old road. Luo Nan felt like Ink was as a scout in a strategy game. The fog of war was peeled away everywhere Ink passed, revealing a path that was a couple hundred meters wide.
But the scene revealed in reality was desolate. There was something more luminous to the eyes. It was the drifting and changing star river.
Luo Nan didn't have any definite thoughts of doing anything. He was just displaying his personal strength. After all, his personal strength had pushed Cat Eyes into changing her development path from long-range perception to all-encompassing perception. Just based off this, Luo Nan felt that using the Life Sketches to build the starry sky was the best thing to do right now.
Luo Nan opened up a small piece of the starry sky, using Ink as the core. This piece resonated with the vast and hazy star river of his main body's senses, covering the existence of all living beings within.
For fear of incompleteness of his clairvoyance, Luo Nan sincerely scanned every set of stars, not wishing to overlook any detail. Peony didn't contact him during this time, and since things remained as such, Luo Nan continued to scan down the road at a speed of around eighty kilometers per hour.
Luo Nan scanned for half the afternoon. The school societies activity time was about to begin. Luo Nan reckoned that Ink had nearly flown all the way back to the main city district, yet he was unable to reap any gains.
Luo Nan began to become aware of the difficulty of this work. He didn't have a clear direction, so he could only continue scanning until the end. A scan radius of three hundred meters was already at the peak of Xia City. But with how big Xia City was with its city center and its outskirts districts, this method of his was far too stupid.
Ink's sensing radius is too small. Should I switch bodies and come?
It happened right when he was mulling over this matter. A special response flickered within his senses, coming out of nowhere.
Luo Nan was elated. He didn't care whether it was the target or not. His attention instantly focused over. Under the starry sky formed from Life Sketches, a dot of light fell down, marking a spot on the star atlas. The surrounding scenery reified in layers, revealing the concrete setting.
Luo Nan sighed when he saw the view. He felt very disappointed.
This should be the recycling stratum of the Forestwall District, and a stream of people was gathered in this area. The target that Luo Nan had found was not a Mutant. It was a middle-aged man. He wore quite a particular set of robes, looking a bit like Fairchild. The pale gray color gave off a plain appearance.
The middle-aged man was located in an enclosed house. It wasn't a large house, but its arrangements gave off a brimming feeling of ceremonies. The man stood at the front of the stage, reading text to others in the room, acting like a priest.
Luo Nan had acted far too hastily with his 'gaze.’ He was too close to the material plane, and the motion triggered was a bit large. The middle-aged man seemed to detect it, his head leaning slightly in a bit of confusion.
Such a scene immediately caused Luo Nan to think of secret orders. This place truly appeared to be a religious location.
Yes, it turned out that the middle-aged man was an ability user.
The number of ability users in Xia City, with its Explorers Society, orders, government, military, as well as various financial groups, didn't even add up to two thousand people. Their numbers weren't large nor small. Luo Nan's luck must be good to just randomly bump into one. Or was his luck bad?
Also, the difference between ability users and normal people was great when it came to the levels of their Life Sketches.
Ah man, I'm really such an idiot.
Back at school, Luo Nan smacked his forehead. Ink, who was flying in the air, had its wings nearly cramp up. Luckily it recovered amidst a fall, fiercely flapping its wings to restore altitude.
Nothing had come to mind for a whole afternoon. The Life Sketches of ability users were special, and those of Mutants were naturally far different. This was an obvious fact. He had obtained similar verdicts in the past, but today, he actually wasted a whole afternoon!
Luo Nan was sick of his own head.
It was Luo Nan's own fault for stumbling across someone else's sermon, and Luo Nan was unwilling to cause side issues to arise. But he subconsciously performed another scan the moment he sought to cancel his focus, and he felt a sense of familiarity for some unknown reason. He concentrated his mind once more, and he saw someone familiar.
Yes, this one was a bit familiar-looking. He saw him today. It was the kid who jumped out in front of the action team members back at the reservoir in the morning. The kid wanted them to go after the gangs in the region.
This kid appeared to be six years old at most. He was mixed with the adults in the room, appearing rather conspicuous.
He can't actually be here... to take lessons?
Xia City's traditional political power was quite strong. When it came to religious faith, minors had to step back while adults had the freedom of choice. A little kid running over from far away to listen to a priest's sermon was very unconventional, even if his parents were accompanying him.
The thought just churned, and Luo Nan didn't think deeper. It had nothing to do with him, after all.
But Luo Nan had a sudden realization when he saw the kid. It seemed that he had flown a bit too far, a route of an hour or so. He wouldn't be able to coordinate with Peony if something were to happen.
He decided to go back the way he came.
At the same time, this priest of an unknown sect called an end to today's session, perhaps because his mind was uneasy. The group of people left the room in an orderly fashion.
The kid made his way outside, wrapped within the crowd of people. He rightened an electric scooter on the roadside, and rode it down the old road to the west.
Huh? He's by himself!
Luo Nan discovered this irrationality. Plus, it was obvious that the electric scooter the kid rode had been modified. Using Ink's speed as a reference, the scooter's speed was absolutely going over fifty kilometers per hour. This speed, on a simple structure that was completely open, was simply as fast as lightning.
Watching, Luo Nan broke out in a cold sweat for him.
There weren't many cars on this abandoned old road, but that was because not many dared to. Those who often went on this road had connections to gangs. They charged and shoved through, seeking stimulation.
What the heck are the kid’s parents doing!?
Luo Nan thought for a while. They were going on the same route, in any case. He might as well follow the kid. It was better to be safe than sorry. His mind wouldn't be at peace if something truly did happen.
Ink flew in the skies above, the kid completely unaware of it. He stood on the scooter, holding onto the handlebars. He looked quite free soaring at high speeds. He did some fancy zigzags when he met slopes, moving around as agilely as a monkey. His sense of balance was truly formidable, enough to engender admiration in Luo Nan.
Well, I'll just call you 'little monkey' then.