Robert looked at Ye Chong, more impressed than ever. The young man was calm and modest, humble despite his achievement - he was definitely full of potential!
"Windstar? So you actually have business in Windstar, what could it be? If you have any problems, don’t hesitate to let Nan know, I have some influence on that planet!" Robert said smilingly.
"Thank you for your concern, Sir!" Ye Chong thought these social etiquettes were a bore, but unfortunately, they were a cultural norm.
"Haha, you’re part of the family, don’t worry about it!" Robert laughed heartily. Only Bai Linan, who knew his employer well, understood that his employer had no intention of giving up on Ye Chong. Based on his experience, his employer would probably come up with something else later. That thought was enough to make him groan inside. He could only hope that his employer’s tricks do not offend Ye Chong, or Ye Chong would probably kill again, as he was inclined to!
Due to heavy casualties suffered by the security team, Shang Xin’s requested backup arrived in just a few minutes. The grand formation of mechs garnered the attention of passersby's, looking up towards the sky. Other mechs in the air gave a wide berth to the mechs, and were very much surprised. Were these not mechs from the Shang family? They were all battle mechs! What made this aggressive defense necessary? How could anyone on planet Richie still dare to meddle with the Shang family?
The people in the city gossiped about the possibilities, and insiders who recognized that the mechs were all elite guards of the Shang family concluded that something serious must have happened! Intel was sought and shared throughout the city!
The mech security team of the Shang family came faster than the police. The violent battle had terrified all the passengers who were disembarking from other hatches, and most of them had called for the police!
Once they arrived, the mech security team of the Shang family brought the situation under control. Shang Xin also performed capably, and Duan was impressed by these members of the same profession.
Shang family’s security team took charge of the docking zone, and began to assert authority over the people present. This exercise, however, was repulsive to everyone not of the Shang family. Robert shook his head as he observed the security team’s arrogance. While the Shang family was now a wealthy entity, it was still far from being an aristocratic family. The subordinates were all behaving like upstarts, very different compared to even some wealthy families with some history!
The police finally arrived and, after some discussion with the Shang family, agreed to let the Shang family continue on. This made Robert realize the profound influence of the Shang family on Richie!
Soon, under the escort and protection of a large team of mechs, Robert and his company arrived safely at the Shang family. However, Robert’s intention for a low-profile visit was now turned into a huge affair.
Shang Zhangming, the current head of the Shang family, greeted Robert in person at the entrance! Such a grand ceremony at the Shang family was unprecedented!
Shang Zhangming was a large man with an athletic build. Under his fringe were sharp eyes that looked as though they could see through anyone. His black windbreaker matched an elusive and cold smile, his aquiline nose and slightly arched brows framed by freshly shaved cheeks. While he was not particularly handsome, he was definitely charismatic and made a deep impression in all who met him!
Robert left the ship and immediately approached Shang Zhangming with a smile. "To think that Lord Zhangming would personally be here to greet me, you are too kind!" While Zhangming looked younger than Robert, Robert still spoke with deference.
"Brother Robert, don’t say that, it is an honor to welcome you here!" Shang Zhangming stepped forward as well, smiling as he spoke with a distinct metallic voice that was surprisingly pleasant.
Ye Chong looked from behind Robert at Shang Zhangming, but almost immediately, his attention shifted to a few bodyguards standing behind Shang Zhangming. Their posture and formation all showed high professionalism, and their eyes spoke of long experience in the field. Ye Chong would not underestimate them.
Robert and Shang Zhangming exchanged some quiet pleasantries before moving inside with interlocked arms.
The setup in the main hall was enough to surprise even Robert, as he was used to extravagance. At the center of the main hall was an extremely precious imperial jade sculpture of a Double Step Grass Dragon’s skeleton, shining with a crystalline luster. Its eyes were sapphire gems, glowing with life under the illumination. Imperial jade was rare, and a large bulk like this one was one in a million. Molded by the unrivaled craftsmanship of this skeleton sculpture, the work looked almost alive, and was definitely a priceless treasure!
Draperies spun from Aroma beast’s gold fur that almost reached the floor, emitting a faint and pleasant scent. Aroma beasts were endemic to Richie, fist-sized animals that were rarely found in the wild, and one of Richie’s protected species. Its fur was soft to the touch and in elegant gold, naturally emitting a strange fragrance.
These two things were very, very expensive. The subordinates who came with Robert were all astounded and mystified by the scene.
Shang Zhangming swept a seemingly innocent look across the people following behind Robert.
These people all responded differently as they entered the main hall.
Robert betrayed only a slight surprised before resuming his usual demeanor.
Bai Linan and Duan were quick as well, only showing their surprise for about 5 or 6 seconds. The remaining guards, however, were still wearing greedy looks.
What interested Shang Zhangming the most was the young man standing behind Bai Linan. The young man’s expression had not changed ever since he entered the main hall, maintaining his cool exterior throughout, as if unaffected by his surroundings.
Who was this young man? That was what Shang Zhangming would like to find out.
Of course, Robert noticed the expressions of everyone else as well. He was satisfied with Bai Linan’s and Duan’s tight self control. However, when his eyes reached Ye Chong, they gleamed at Wang Xing’s expression! He was still looking steady as usual. To have him as one of his own would be a most wonderful prospect! At that moment, Robert’s desire to recruit Ye Chong was stronger than ever! However, on the surface, Robert betrayed nothing on his face.
Shang Zhangming and Robert chatted heartily as they moved into the inner rooms. Arrangements for Robert’s security team were swiftly dealt with by Shang Zhangming’s subordinates.
Robert’s security team was ushered to a separate wing of the building. As Duan entered the wing, he immediately arranged for his subordinates to position themselves at strategic locations. Of course, Ye Chong was now unoccupied, and since his relationship with Bai Linan was exposed, no one treated him as a security guard anymore, but as an honored guest. Ye Chong even got his own room.
The room was fitted with various facilities, such as the helmet and photon processor required to access the virtual world. After Mu’s inspection, the photon processor was found to be hyperlinked to the virtual world. The Shang family had installed some restrictive mechanisms, but that was easy enough for Mu to deal with.
Soon, Mu had laid down a series of feints and hidden traps. When Mu gave the green light, Ye Chong immediately hyperlinked to the virtual world. He and Mu had two main goals. Firstly, Wang Xing’s fabricated background must be more extensive to avoid suspicion if he was ever investigated. Secondly, they must find Wang Weixing. While Lu Caite had said that Wang Weixing was most likely at Windstar Hospital, that was before Lu Caite entered the Orbits, which was a long time ago. Wang Weixing’s current location should be further investigated. Besides, Lu Caite mentioned that his teacher was very famous, and should be easy to look up in the virtual world.
The fabrication task was left to Mu, as Ye Chong could not help with that. However, confirming whether Wang Weixing was still at Windstar Hospital was something that Ye Chong could handle.
Ye Chong entered the virtual world, and was welcomed by the ever present dazzling bright screen. For some reason, Ye Chong was reminded of his first time entering the virtual world, which was also his first time meeting the outside world! He thought of the content life he had training at the NR Training Center! If not for the stellar flare, he would probably continue his innocent way of life!
All of a sudden, he felt a yearning towards his old life on the trash planet. What a carefree life!
Ye Chong shook his head, trying to refocus himself. He stepped forward, and remembered the way he entered the virtual world for the first time, like facing a powerful enemy. Ye Chong smiled at the memory. He could hide his feelings much better now.
If Bai Linan could see Ye Chong now, he would probably thought it was a ghost instead! Ye Chong could smile? Why would such an expression appear on Ye Chong’s face? He would never believe it!
Now was not a good time for reminiscing. There were far more important things at hand. Ye Chong began to search for the community of Windstar Hospital. For such a big medical institution like Windstar Hospital, it must have its own community. If he could find it, he would be able to gather news of Wang Weixing. Of course, it would only work if Wang Weixing was as famous as Lu Caite claimed.
Soon, Ye Chong found the hospital’s community. Windstar Hospital was a large medical institution comprised of medical treatment and research components. The community was large, its members mostly medical practitioners and patients. Most doctors were here for collaborations. Every day, there would be volunteer doctors to help the public. Of course, to seek proper diagnosis, patients would still have to visit the hospital.
Once he entered the main hall, he saw a self-service inquiry server system. Ye Chong approached the inquiry server and activated it.
"Good day, how may I assist you?" A holographic projection of a beautiful young lady in white medical uniform came out. She smiled kindly and spoke with a sweet voice.
"Is Mr Wang Weixing in the hospital?" Ye Chong asked.
"I’m sorry, Professor Wang Weixing has left to join this year’s medical volunteer program last month. According to schedule, he should be returning in 83 days. If you want to, I can arrange for an appointment with another doctor!" The lady’s words were like a bomb exploding in Ye Chong’s head. This was very bad news to him.
"Please tell me Professor Wang Weixing’s exact schedule!" Ye Chong asked, unwilling to back down.
"I’m sorry, since Professor Wang Weixing had attended the program in a private capacity, we do not know of the Professor’s exact schedule!" This was another blow to Ye Chong.
"Ye, this does not look good!" In the virtual world, Mu materialized out of thin air.
"Yes, 83 days, it’s not too long, we can go to planet Windstar first, and try with other doctors first. Besides, I think my episodes are getting less intense!" In truth, the odd condition was not a huge danger to Ye Chong. The episodes were getting less frequent, and the symptoms were less violent. However, Ye Chong dared not relax himself. Who knew what was really going on? If he actually died from this condition, it would be such a shame!
Ye Chong had high hopes for Wang Weixing, whom he had never met, hoping to cure his condition once and for all. However, it seemed that Wang Weixing was not in the hospital. It was truly disappointing for Ye Chong!
Mu left silently like the way he first appeared.
Ye Chong left the Windstar community in a bad mood. He cruised aimlessly in the virtual world. There was nothing for him in the real way at the moment, and the thought of mixing with those hypocritical people out there was unappealing to Ye Chong.
The virtual world was now more prosperous than ever. Ye Chong felt that the crowd was larger everywhere he went!
Everything was dazzling and sparkling. The market oozed a sense of modernity, and even those smaller shops lacking in grandeur had their own unique quaintness.
Suddenly, Ye Chong saw a flash of light and narrowed his eyes reflexively as his pupils contracted. He looked closely, and found that it was but a holographic broadcast suspended in the air.
Ye Chong laughed. Since when had he become so sensitive as he was before? He was about to take a step forward when something caught his attention.
Ye Chong stopped mid stride, lifted his head, and looked!