Chapter 21: One’s True Colors (Part 1/2)
A soft electronic bell rang in the distance. It was now eight in the morning. The act of a new day began once more, revealing the morning scene of bustling inefficiency.
Luo Nan waited a long time for the ardent person to come back, but he saw that several of the thugs who had been knocked silly to the ground were starting to recover their strength. He didn’t want to fix this giant mess, so he just simply turned around and walked away.
He didn’t ask to see who was the person targeting him, partly because he didn’t believe that these thugs really knew what was going on behind the scenes, and partly because he was able to form an approximate conclusion from looking at the needleless syringe and its special solution contained inside.
The classroom teacher was lecturing within the classroom. Not a single word was heard by Luo Nan’s ear. Instead the notebook laid open in front of Luo Nan and the fluorescent pen was tracing the abstract symbol. He made use of the color matching function within the software to change the lines into a dark red color. There seemed to be no difference whatsoever between these lines and the lines within the Fixed Space.
Luo Nan stared at the symbol drawn on his notebook. He automatically felt a corresponding response with the burning wraith.
This symbol was quite the marvel. When Luo Nan tried to reconstruct the burning wraith’s definite form anew from its core, he had an inexplicable feeling that any additional stroke would ruin it; it would be like drawing legs on a snake.
How could a mere dozen or so entwined and coiling lines already describe all the characteristics of the burning wraith? The details were all fully packed; it was impossible for Luo Nan to even begin.
He gripped the pen, wishing to draw but was unable to, causing his stifled heart to be uncomfortable. Then Luo Nan simply stopped seeking perfection. He sketched out lines in a casual and relaxed manner, and the pen moved freely with a mind of its own. All the while his mind was lost in thought; he was thinking of the reason for the abstract symbol’s appearance.
The burning wraith had been surrounded and annihilated on the warship. This was an undoubtable and undeniable fact. But this symbol that appeared on the chains within his visualization was truly real.
Luo Nan deliberated over thoughts, but could only come up with a single reason: The heavily chained crow had analyzed and acquired the marvels of the burning wraith’s core layer when the burning wraith was under its control. Even though the burning wraith had been annihilated, its core characteristics were left behind as vestiges upon the chain, giving the chain an additional ability.
And so the warning that was issued due to the crisis this morning was not done by the heavily chained crow, but rather this symbol of the burning wraith. This was likely due to the burning wraith’s extremely sensitive nature towards fear, savagery, and other negative emotions. Luo Nan had borrowed this property for his own use to become quite the special skill.
Luo Nan could also feel the symbol’s existence become a bit stronger than before now that the crisis was over. Even now the symbol seemed to continue to restore in strength.
Could it be that the burning wraith could rely on this symbol to resurrect itself?
Luo Nan’s thoughts stirred in his mind. If things really were like this… Oh my, there would be nothing better. The combat strength of the burning wraith had already been fully revealed upon the warship. If he had this kind of “bodyguard”, why would he fear those campus thugs? He would just turn around and enter the professional society. He would have one more ace up his sleeve. He would feel much more relaxed.
Was there a way to increase the recovery speed of the burning wraith? Oh?
Luo Nan suddenly felt the tip of his pen go astray. He looked at his notebook and saw that the perfect abstract symbol had already been drawn to a mess. It looked like the burning wraith, but there was something completely wrong about it.
But, it seemed like he could still draw some more.
Unexpected thoughts and ideas like those of demons and ghosts sprouted in Luo Nan’s mind. They combined with an inexplicable burst of inspiration to make Luo Nan suddenly interested.
Luo Nan had been reducing his drawing most of the time. All the structures, lines, and shadow layouts were being simplified to leave behind and prominently display the most basic core characteristics of the source material.
He could only recall of one instance when he made an addition to the drawing. That was when he made a breakthrough and implemented “My Heart’s a Prison”. He only had an abstract idea back then; the drawing had lacked the essence for a matching form. But details were padded out through unending bursts of inspiration, building a grand structure at the last moment and drawing out the heavily chained crow from within.
The current situation was somewhat similar to yesterday’s.
He did not have as much insight, but as long as he had a clear idea on the general direction, he could still generate a considerable amount of relevant details and clues.
Luo Nan continue to patch and repair here and there on the botched drawing. A certain image that had been hidden deep in his mind and had yet to be formed was now slowly becoming clearer and clearer.
An indistinct structure finally appeared on the notebook. It was unexpectedly similar to the architecture of Acumen College’s campus.
The drawing was sloven and indistinct. Anybody who saw it would likely be completely baffled. They would just consider it to be a botched and incomplete drawing.
But Luo Nan knew that this drawing was already completed. All his insights and known knowledge were already crammed inside, and the most important answer had also emerged from within:
The outline of a character had finally formed in the core zone, in the location of the abstract symbol…… It was a sheep in wolf’s clothing. This fellow had exaggerated limbs and actions to conceal the fear it had in its heart.
And there was more…...
Luo Nan stared concentrated at the drawing. There seemed to be a layer of flowing flames on the surface of the dark red lines. The illumination of the flames made him a bit dazzled. He had an estranged feeling similar to the time when his soul had left his body, when his mind and body were separated. However, being under this state made several of the indistinct information contained within the drawing become clear in an instant:
The target was located approximately 3 kilometers away somewhere in the southwest direction on campus. The corresponding campus building would be…… the Medical Department!
Luo Nan was in a daze while the clear and distinct information was gushing and leaping into his brain.
Could it be that this was a psychic technique? It was simply like a journey within a dream. Various elements were gathered and pieced freely together, but a relatively clear solution was actually the end result.
Anyway he didn’t know whether this was a real psychic ability, nor did he know how this technique operated.
Oh yea, the Medical Department. Luo Nan suddenly remember that yesterday he had booked an appointment for a physical. The time was…… Alrighty then. He had missed it.
Nevertheless, recollection would always comes out as a string of memories. Luo Nan also recalled the time when he logged into the Secret Star Forums yesterday; there was a netizen by the name of U-Soul who was also affected by the burning wraith. He said that he would bring his wife to the hospital for a physical. What sort of things were discovered?
Luo Nan really wanted to gather all relevant information on the burning wraith. Since his flexible screen was ruined, he used his wristband to connect to the miniprojector on the school’s desk and to connect to the worldwide web. He went to the Secret Star Forums to look for news.
When Luo Nan first logged in, he nearly didn’t recognize the forums. The entire forum was filled with a grave and serious dark grey color. There were no other colors whatsoever.
The central interface had turned into gloomy black hole horizon. It’s topic was:
Unconcluded Investigations. A Close Martyr.------ Centralized Grieving Post for U-Soul.
Luo Nan was stupefied for a moment. He opened the post and heading the post was a news exerpt. The general idea was:
A couple who resided in the R&D district had gone to the hospital for a physical yesterday afternoon. Because of an escalated argument, the wife was suspected to have a psychosis break out. She lost her reasoning and stabbed her husband. It was a human tragedy.
Below it was a rougher, darker, and heavier font:
Warning! Warning! Warning! The effects of the Nightmare Incident has exceeded our expectations. Everyone must be on alert to think of all possible methods to ascertain the cause!
Luo Nan stared at this piece of news all the way until the end of class.
Students moved and turned to create a loud clamor. They went separately to their next classes. Luo Nan stood up and left the classroom as well, but he wasn't heading to his next class. He was heading to the Medical Department located 3 kilometers away.
However, he was suddenly hit with a small dizzy spell upon walking a short distance out of the classroom.