Chapter 117: Unfurling the Star River (Part 2/2)
Papercut's startled cry represented the inner thoughts of absolutely everyone in the encrypted channel.
Though this thin figure had moved quickly, none of the people within the encrypted channel had missed it with their eyes and ears. The sudden change was seen clearly. A thin person had clearly burst out from the exploded corpse.
The surveillance screens were switching between feeds quite quickly. They switched continuously across areas but they were only able to catch fleeting shadows of the figure. This situation continued for around five seconds before the feed turned dark. From this point on, all of the surveillance cameras were done for.
Papercut rushed to ask Bamboo Pole, "What's going on?"
Bamboo Pole was helpless. "Don't ask me. First, someone just directly took over the surveillance system using the highest privileges through official channels...Then the Order of Justice probably destroyed the cameras physically. Well, I've done my job. I can pull out now."
Everyone ignored Bamboo Pole's bad joke as their minds were still flickering with the scene from earlier. A figure had leaped out from an exploding corpse.
Undoubtedly, the debate from earlier was now concluded.
However, it was extremely quiet inside the encrypted channel. Whether it be the party involved, Luo Nan, or the viper, Zhang Yingying, no one spoke a word. They were clearly considering Red Fox's mood.
It was good of them to do so but Bamboo Pole and Papercut still decided to hold onto Red Fox tighter after glancing at each other. They wanted to prevent Red Fox from doing anything irrational in case he took it too hard.
"The police are here," Red Fox spoke this sentence coldly. Their actions were too conspicuous. They stood out from the stream of people and they looked like civilians catching a thief with their arms restraining Red Fox. The police officers who were controlling social order at the site had discovered them. They approached with their hands on their guns.
Let alone police officers, Papercut did not dare to let go if even an emperor came over because he did not know how to convince Red Fox to cooperate. In the end, Bamboo Pole spoke with psychological methods in mind, "Real strong men accept it when they lose in a bet."
"Do with me what you will." Red Fox was surprisingly frank, causing Bamboo Pole and Papercut to look at each other in surprise. They felt an incoming headache since Red Fox was being so calm right now. They were unable to judge him.
With just a shake of his shoulders, Red Fox slipped free from their grasp. He did not do anything else, though. He just calmly spoke, "That fellow is Ghost Thunder. I've met him once."
"Shoot! So it's actually a big shot!" Papercut understood now as easily as it took to tear a piece of paper.
Ghost Thunder was one of the most famous of the Oblatum Knights of Xia City's Order of Justice. This fellow's most famous ability was to turn most matter into terrifying explosives through contact with his hand. It synergized quite well with his excellent movement speed. Whether it be in an all-out assault or in a stealthy assassination, he was a character that brought terror to people.
After the military drone had inexplicably verified the corpse, the drone had spurred the terrifying character to show himself. No one knew who Ghost Thunder would have as his next target.
"The military has good timing," Bamboo Pole muttered under his breath but he soon felt that was something off. Someone had a strange reaction when the military drone had entered Frost River Reality. He turned to face Bamboo Pole. "What did you say just now? Play for keeps? Who was playing for keeps?"
Bamboo Pole did not answer him immediately. He first sent a message in the encrypted channel. "We've met up with Red Fox. You guys be careful. It's Ghost Thunder!"
"Now, no one should have any objections toward the validity of Mr. Luo's all-encompassing sensing ability."
He Yueyin was the one who spoke. She was in a situation where Zhang Yingying had apprehension toward her. No one ever expected that He Yueyin, the person in charge of the mission, would have no fear of making things big by speaking so bluntly.
Papercut thought, "Crap," and instinctively grabbed Red Fox. However, Red Fox did not budge at all and remained completely expressionless.
Could it be that Red Fox had truly accepted his loss? Or did someone drug him?
Papercut withdrew his hand in embarrassment. In the encrypted channel, He Yueyin had yet to understand the situation with Ghost Thunder. After raising the topic of Luo Nan's all-encompassing sensing, she gave out orders. "Starting from now, all communications need to be done via the encrypted channel. Mr. Luo. Cat Eyes. Confirm the radius of your all-encompassing perception’s current range."
"55 meters." Cat Eyes responded bluntly. This number was ten percent higher than her normal performance.
"80 meters." The inhibition of Luo Nan's nerve activity had faded away by now and Luo Nan had broken free from having a deaf ear to the external world. He had heard He Yueyin then hesitated before he reported a relatively conservative number.
Since Luo Nan was not certain the needs of her mission at this time, he chose to exercise caution. This number was the limit when balancing living bodies with purely the material plane. He was a bit stronger than Cat Eyes in this aspect but there was quite the difference if compared to the last operation where he reached a sensing radius of 500 meters.
Sure enough, He Yueyin was a bit surprised. "80 meters?"
Luo Nan was just about to explain when Zhang Yingying revealed her violation of accessing classified information. "Gee, remember the report said 500 meters, right? However, Luo Nan was in an abnormal soul-attached state at the time. Right now his body and soul are merged as one, yet he is able to maintain 16% of his sensing radius. The Shield of Truth is this useful?"
Luo Nan blinked. This number was acceptable? He could not refrain from asking, "Is 16% normal?"
"What a noob!" Zhang Yingying curled her lips in disdain but she explained, "The sensing range is affected in the body and soul merged state due to the limitations of the material plane. A mentally enhanced ability user will find the difference to be huge when compared to mental forms like the attached soul state, out-of-body state, and so on. Typically, it is normal to have the sensing range in a merged body and soul to be between 8% and 10% of a pure mental form."
"In turn, for a perception specialist like Kitty, things will change when she reaches the Architect level. Kitty will be able to enter the out-of-body state whenever she wishes and she will have an explosive increase in her sensing range. A ten-fold or even a twenty-fold increase is possible. By then, you won't amount to much."
Cat Eyes did not comment on Zhang Yingying's praise. She lacked all reactions completely.
Luo Nan slowly nodded. He now had a rough understanding of his own level of power. Zhang Yingying's reasoning was correct. The Shield of Truth blessing was a vital support to the range of his current sensing. An 80 meter radius of sensing was the result of relying on a fleshly body with powerful resilience.
However, Zhang Yingying had used the wrong number. 16% was not the sensing range he was able to maintain. It was 10% or maybe even lower.
Last time, when his soul left his body, his Wraith Sign had strengthened twice with two consecutive sacrificial rituals back in Jack's arena with Rui Wen. The range of his mental senses had reached 800 meters at the time. Additionally, his Wraith Sign had a successful hunt yesterday, causing his soul strength to shoot up once again. The upper limits of his sensing range had probably increased as well but he did not dare to try it out.
Currently, Luo Nan's natural sensing range was only around 10 meters. Using an upper limit of 800 meters to calculate, a ratio of only 1.2% was preserved. This was lower than the typical lower bound of 8 percent by six to sevenfold. It was simply tragic. The degree of imbalance with his body and soul had already reached such a stage.
Increasing the strength of the fleshly body was not something that could be accomplished over the course of a single day. Urgency would not change anything. However, Luo Nan had reason to believe that his ratio of sensing range would not remain hovering around the 1% when the effects of the Shield of Truth were to fade away. He believed that this ratio would increase substantially.
As for how much it would increase, Luo Nan would need to look at his Life Sketches and see whether or not he could find new interpretations that were rationally consistent with this old world. This currently seemed like a feasible direction to take:
Draw a sketch. Extract a configuration. Use the most basic of dots and lines to portray an approximate yet clear-cut outline. This was the Life Sketch.
When the sketch was simplified to the extreme, living spirits were portrayed one after another, formed from concise dots and lines like with Cat Eyes and Zhang Yingying. They became like constellations on the star charts that were used in ancient times. They jumbled out everywhere in the deep abyss of space and revolved and moved around Luo Nan as he acted as the core.
And this star atlas was expanding endlessly deeper and wider. Its current scope already spanned over a hundred meters. It completely enveloped Area A of Frost River Reality.
Luo Nan was about to engross himself within these marvelous changes when He Yueyin's orders appeared within the encrypted channel. "I want the locations of all the gunmen of the Order. Dispose of them in the shortest time possible."