Chapter 22: Information Meeting (Part 2/2)
Hu Yuli forced a smile across his face: “Indeed, we did report it as a drug theft from the laboratory, but that was just a mess created by a staff member. We didn’t recognize the seriousness of the situation at first. We placed importance on searching for drugs…… Now the facts are clear that doing so was a complete mistake.”
“So it really was fake?”
Off stage, Zhang Yingying had carelessly twisted her wound, causing her to grimace in pain. Anyway, she wasn’t easily convinced of Quantum Corporation’s excuse. Part of it was due to her trust in her own intelligence channels and another part of it was due to her lack of confidence in how Quantum Corporation has been handling things all this time.
She talked in a low voice with Susan: “This fellow has been lofty and indifferent all along. He has Burners and the Deep Blue Platform at his disposal. He always loved to ignore us, but today he’s kowtowing on the ground. He’s certainly hiding something.
Susan nodded her head, then she shook her head: “Let’s see how the president responds.”
Hu Yuli’s explanation obviously wouldn’t convince the crowd. Doubting words were repeatedly spoken off stage, causing this business big shot’s head to sweat. He was gradually being overwhelmed.
Ou Yezi lightly knocked the podium with a gavel at this moment. His voice wasn’t loud, yet it made the entire conference room rapidly quiet down.
Everyone. Since we don’t have faith in Quantum Corporation’s explanation, let’s not waste further time with this matter. Seek the answer on your own free time. Quantum Corporation wishes for our society to intervene with this matter, to help them deal with the issue with the virus spread. They should respond with the appropriate sincerity.”
“Of course. Of course.” Hu Yuli didn’t care about what Ouyang Chen wanted. He would first make a promise for now then talk more about it later.
Ouyang Chen’s eyes bore into the crowd. He spoke calmly: “Mobilization of the society is not compulsory. A majority agreement among the society members is required to organize an operation. And so now I shall state a justification in support of mobilization. It’s very simple. According to reliable information, this Human-Faced Arachnid was the first live specimen that was sent from that ‘Gate’.”
Some people in the crowd were stunned and had yet to recover:
“A Gate, is it that Gate?”
Hu Yuli’s pupils unexpectedly enlarged in an instant. His body rushed to stand up straight, but right when his butt left his seat, Ouyang Chen swept a cold gaze over him. His sudden impulse was extinguished. He was paralyzed on the seat, unable to stand up anymore.
And right at this moment when the attendees finally had the crucial information sink in, a rumble suddenly sounded forth. People had directly leapt up and started to inquire loudly:
“Ouyang. Is the Gate you’re speaking of that one?”
Ouyang Chen adjusted his glasses once more: “The source of the mutant species, the starting point of the new age. Thanks to Quantum Corporation, that which we’ve always doubted, that door whose existence had yet to be proven, has finally been locked on.”
“Where is it? Where?”
“We can determine that it lies in the southern central region of the Mariana Trench of the Pacific Ocean. The society hopes that Quantum Corporation can provide concrete coordinates and data. Obviously this would require us to engage in further discussion. Let’s return to the main topic for now.”
Ouyang Chen’s gaze swept in a circle, sweeping across each person’s face: “Among the seated are Martial Arts Families, Sorcerer Bloodlines, Clergymen and Monks. In this new age, we together are known as the Awakened. Our strength has been increasing over the past 50 years, our abilities becoming more powerful. Our own efforts are a part of this, but there is also that which is hard to explain, the ‘X-Factor’.”
“Why were the limits of power, which were originally difficult to surpass, released starting from the year 2059? How is it that we pulled away and created such a large disparity between us and ordinary people? Why did the powers and abilities of legend appear on ourselves one by one? What did we pay? What did we gain? Is what we paid unequal to what we gained? Do we truly dominate our own fates, or are there certain unknown gods controlling everything?”
“We thirst to understand this secret. We demand to know the reason, but we are unable to find the answer all this time. And now what seemed to be a dead-end road suddenly had its obstacles swept away. This road is placed anew in front of us. I do not wish to miss this opportunity and I think that everyone thinks the same.”
Rumbling and rolling noisy voices echoed within the conference room. Yet Ouyang Chen’s words still remained smooth and calm:
“First, I will be naming this operation by the society with the codename Broken Net. The incorporeal demon has weaved an enormous net. It is trying to hunt for prey within this enormous metropolis. We need to cut it down.”
“Yet now I shall refer to it as a ‘Road Sign’. We have spent several dozen years searching to no avail. It was only until the emergence of Formatting Theory did humanity pursue a new page in evolution. This is a theory for the ordinary person. We as Awakened have lagged behind. This is unavoidably embarrassing.”
“As Awakened, we must increase our pace. We fundamentally should be leaders. We need to grasp firmly onto every opportunity and act as brave explorers. Then we will tell others what the road ahead is like, we shall tell which direction humanity should move towards…… There is a Road Sign ahead of us right now. Glory will forever be in our hands!”
The electric vehicle reached its stop with a beep, waking Luo Nan from his sleep.
When drug withdrawal reactions start, time wouldn't pass that easily. The damned elective style school along with his earth-shaking course schedule caused Luo Nan to switch between five classrooms for five classes for his major, spanning across four different buildings. Over the course of the entire day, Luo Nan moved back and forth between the northern and southern part of campus.
He didn’t feel it was much back when his body was in a good state, but today’s running back and forth made Luo Nan’s head a muddled mess. He sat on the inner-campus electric shuttle in a dazed half-asleep state.
He slapped his cheeks to stimulate his consciousness, then he slowly got off from the vehicle.
The time right now was 3:40 in the afternoon. It was also the time when societies were active. Luo Nan’s destination was the Precision Electronics Interest Society. There were skillful experts from electronic manufacturing companies employed all year round over there. They were open for teaching maintenance and repair. It was also a paradise for DIY lovers.
Luo Nan’s goal was obviously to get his damaged flexible e-ink screen repaired. The damage to this intimate device gave him a feeling that was worse than the drug withdrawal response.
However, he seemed to have spent all his luck on his Divination Drawing in the afternoon. The professional repair and maintenance teaching was already underway in the Precision Electronics Interest Society. They were thriving and flourishing. Today they employed certain super-experts, repairers, and enthusiasts from the industry. The professional hall was packed to the brim.
He squeezed through the crowd for twenty minutes, and only just now did he manage to get a reservation number.
In the end, Luo Nan could not stand being packed in the flowing crowd of people within the hall. He ducked his way outside to breath fresh air. However the feeling of dizziness along with his excessively sensitive senses invaded his mind in this moment.
The rays of the afternoon sun pierced through the canopy of trees along the road, falling onto the side of Luo Nan’s face. For the first time in his life, he felt that the autum sun was scorching hot. Half of his face felt like it was about to combust; he could even smell the charred fumes of flesh burning.
This was without a doubt a hallucination.
Luo Nan stayed to the side of the road, standing strait like a nail. His lips were faintly squirming as he chanted the twenty word mantra. The words flowed into his heart like a cold stream flowing down his throat. It took the messy thoughts that dazzled his mind and cleansed them, drowning them one by one.
Things took a turn for the better just then. A shadow had streaked across his half drooping eyes.
Luo Nan suddenly opened his eyes, startling the person who waved their hand. That person retreated half a step, bringing an elbow down between the two.
When the action was completed, that person figured out that their actions were excessive. Awkwardly laughing, the person spoke: “You alright there fellow student?”