At the very least, Ye Chong could focus on comprehending his current situation!
The episode this time lasted longer than the last one. As the pain gradually dwindled into nonexistence, Ye Chong was already soaked in sweat, akin to being fresh out of the shower. Ye Chong’s face was devoid of color. He stood up trembling, not deploying Shang immediately, merely sending a mental reassurance to the anxiously waiting mech. He was back to his normal self, only that the sweating had slightly weakened his body.
A middle-aged man came to him, his jaunty profile lit with a little smile, dressed in a light green robe. His physique screamed frailty to Ye Chong!
The man spoke first, "You collapsed before my doorway. Seeing as you were in trouble, I had moved you into my house. Please forgive my insolence!" His voice was unhurried, with a calming effect.
Ye Chong noticed then that he was indoors, and thanked the man, "You have my thanks for saving me, mister!"
The middle-aged man smiled, "It’s nothing much, don’t worry about it! I am Jia Zhuo. Relax, this place is safe. Your injuries were quite serious, please have a seat and rest!"
"Thank you!" Ye Chong sat down as suggested. As he sat, he noticed his muscles, sore from the episode. "It really is more serious than last time," thought Ye Chong to himself.
Jia Zhuo offered an unfamiliar cup of verdant green liquid to Ye Chong. He said courteously, "Please enjoy!" and waved with his arm by way of inviting him to try it.
"Okay!" Ye Chong took the cup and finished it in one go. The bright, verdant Six-Inch Green was bland with a light tinge of bitterness, and tasted like water in Ye Chong’s mouth. Ye Chong did not suspect the Six-Inch Green to be harmful to himself. After all that had happened, if the other party was hostile to him, he would not be able to defend himself.
Beside, Ye Chong was quite certain that this man was one of the mysterious mentalists of the Orbits.
Seeing Ye Chong’s manner of finishing his drink, Jia Zhuo laughed demurely. "You must be from Haleyson!" Ye Chong’s confusion was obvious, and Jia Zhuo explained, "This is the most common drink found in Haleyson. People usually drink it in small sips to appreciate its flavor. Those who drink them in huge gulps are usually newcomers. It tastes like water if you drink it that way!"
Ye Chong understood then, and concisely said , "It’s good!"
Jia Zhuo apparently noticed his guest’s difficulty with words, and so he asked, "So, you quite suddenly collapsed just now , what happened?"
Ye Chong was quiet for a moment before replying, "I have a strange illness!" While he did not know how the mentalist was able to relieve his pain, if he could learn how to do it himself, it might be able to cure him of the poison from Black Cove’s silver liquid, or at least reduce the pain.
Ye Chong had a quick discussion with Shang in his mind.
Shang said, "Ah, Ye, this guy here might be able to help you!"
"Mm, I know that!"
"Then let’s tie him up and interrogate him! How’s that?" Shang bared his evil mischief.
"Mm, will he speak under interrogation?" Ye Chong was not confident with the method.
"Hehe, Ye, don’t you worry. I have 756 interrogation strategies stored in my database, of which 177 of them do not require any tools. Psychology is my specialty! Hehe, I can even make him spill everything about his previous life, and the life before that !" Shang, with his devil’s tail in full view, did not forget to quote a familiar script from the movies!
"First, we have to get him under our control!" Ye Chong began to consider the possibilities, and said, "But I’ve heard that mentalists are strong, what if I killed him? We know too little about mentalists!"
"You’re right!" Shang sounded a little dejected. "Unfortunately, I can’t help you with that, or we would have definitely captured him alive!"
"Mu once talked about the principle of equal trading. Since he helped me earlier, it doesn’t seem … appropriate! To treat him like this!" Ye Chong did not fully understand Mu’s explanation of the principle, and was now uncertain of himself.
"Ah, right, how could I forget! Ye, it’s because you didn’t remind me earlier that a kind PSI like me nearly committed a grave mistake! Mm, to repay a debt is seventh on the list of criteria to be a real man. The seventh, a very important criteria …" Shang spoke emptily, and discreetly hid his devil’s tail out of sight.
Poor Jia Zhuo was not aware that he had dangerously grazed past the fate of a living hell.
As Ye Chong mentioned his condition, Jia Zhuo grew interested, "Oh, a strange illness? What are the symptoms? What’s the cause?"
"The episodes come irregularly, the symptom is pain, the cause is unknown!" Ye Chong’s mechanical way of answering invited a look of disdain from Shang. While Ye Chong knew his condition was due to the silver liquid, he felt it inappropriate to mention it, and so had left it out.
Ye Chong’s answer was too plain, and Jia Zhuo knitted his brows despite himself. "Mm, are there any other peculiarities?"
Ye Chong vividly recalled his experience. "Mm, it felt like my mind was suffering. This time, even the muscles were sore. Also, my brainwaves were blocked, and I couldn’t link with any brainwave-driven mechanisms, such as mechs!"
"Oh! There’s such a thing!" Jia Zhuo was clearly surprised by the symptoms. He frowned for a long while before sighing and speaking apologetically, "Ah, my apologies. I’m not a professional doctor. I’m not familiar with the symptoms."
"Okay!" Ye Chong asked abruptly, "Are you a mentalist?"
Jia Zhuo paused, before smiling in reply, "Yes! I’m a mentalist!"
Ye Chong asked, "The chilly feeling in my head, was that you?"
"You mean this?" Jia Zhuo did not move, but Ye Chong could feel the chill spreading in his brain, just like when he was having an episode; this time he was conscious, and the feeling was more obvious, as though his brain was thoroughly cleansed with spring water, and it felt soothing.
Ye Chong was startled, as anyone would when something appeared out of the blue in their mind. He asked curiously, "How did you do that?"
Jia Zhuo laughed a little. This was not the first time he was asked with that question.
Mentalists were, in fact, mental strength practitioners. Through vigorous training of one’s mental consciousness, the potential of one’s physical body could be enhanced. That was why they often had skills unique to them. Unlike Black Cove’s emphasis on physical strength, they were a strong force in a different aspect! Jia Zhuo’s demonstration was only the most basic and common application of a mentalist’s skills, used for calming a person’s mind, called Mind Cleansing.
Ye Chong, who had never experienced anything like it, was understandably startled.
As he was reminded of his conversation with Hak about the origin of mech pilots and the 3 main schools of pilots, he could not help but ask, "Secret arts practitioner?"
Jia Zhuo was surprised. "So you know about them too. Haha, it’s not really much of a secret. Secret arts practitioners are the forefathers of mentalists. Back then, the secret arts practitioners split into two. Those who did purely mental training became mentalists, like me; the others are called mentalist pilots, mech pilots who undergo mental training."
"Mentalist pilots!" It was a new term for Ye Chong. He imagined how a mech pilot with special mental powers could fight in a battle. What would it be like? Ye Chong was moved by the thought.
"Haha, mentalist pilots are not well known. They usually dwell in mentalist sanctuaries, rarely going out." Jia Zhuo noticed Ye Chong’s bafflement and explained.
"Hmm, I don’t know what to make of your illness, but you can try your luck in Zeuth zone. There’re many strange characters there, you might gain something unexpected!" Jia Zhuo went to his table and wrote something on a piece of paper. He then passed the paper to Ye Chong. "These are the addresses of some capable doctors whom I personally know. You can try them, but they’re mostly eccentric, and may make queer requests of you, so watch out! Even if they fail, do not worry. The area is full of capable people, so long as you search patiently, it is highly likely that you’ll meet a doctor who can help you."
Ye Chong accepted the paper with gratitude. "Thank you!"
Jia Zhuo smiled warmly and waved his hand in dismissal. "It’s nothing, I can’t help you much! It’s all up to you!"
Abruptly, Ye Chong asked, "Mm, can you teach me Mind Cleansing? I’ll trade you for something!"
Jia Zhuo smiled apologetically. "While Mind Cleansing is the simplest of mental power application, it’s still difficult to learn! Beside, without the mentalist sanctuary’s approval, I can’t teach it to anyone!"
Ye Chong replied with an "Okay."
Shang complained in Ye Chong’s mind, "I should’ve known. We should’ve just tie him up and interrogate! I believe he will speak!" Silence fell for a few seconds. He then excitedly said, "Ye, I’ve got a good plan!"
"What plan?" Ye Chong asked curiously.
"Hehe, this guy’s nice to you, best not to make our move! But there must be more than one mentalist around here, hehe, if we’re to capture another mentalist, then it’s not a violation to the principle of equal trading!" Shang instigated.
"Hmm, that makes sense!"
"Right? Of course my plans make sense! I’m not as a dull as that fool, Mu. Hehe, a mentalist pilot, must be fun!" A certain devil’s tail began to wag in excitement!
Ye Chong bid farewell to Jia Zhuo, and asked about whether there were any mentalist sanctuaries in Zeuth.
Jia Zhuo thought Ye Chong was interested in becoming a mentalist, and pointed out the location of the mentalist sanctuary in the Zeuth zone enthusiastically. He even told Ye Chong the addresses of a few capable mentalists, suggesting that Ye Chong could visit them for lessons in mentalism when he had time!