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Chapter 30: Bu Qingwen (Part ½)

Xie Junping nearly fell head first after receiving this shadowy scare. He was in an completely sorry state and he couldn’t help but curse with a foul-mouth.

Luo Nan had been able to see things clearer since he had the sensing capabilities of the heavily chained crow: “It’s an animal of the wetlands. Seems to be a muskrat……. Are there any other exits asides from the route we took to get inside?”

The muskrat was a more commonly seen animal in the wetlands jungle of Acumen College. A fully matured muskrat had a length of thirty to forty centimeters. Its tail was about twenty to thirty centimeters long. The one that had skirted by was smaller than a normal muskrat by more than half. It seemed like it wasn’t a fully matured yet, but its movements were seriously nimble.

Xie Junping spoke through gritted teeth: “This place absolutely wasn’t abandoned for just one or two years. I fear that it's been a long time since this place has become a critter’s nest or something. Be careful not step on some animal shit…...”

His last word was spat halfway out and was then forcefully sucked back in.

The illuminating beam of light just so happened to cut into a spacious area. Xie Junping could now see a circular chair that utilized the empty space to the largest degree, two stools placed randomly to the side, wall lights carved inside the tree wall, and a few exquisite wall hanging bookshelves and decorations. Anyone who looked at this would see that this room was setup to be a resting area.

How big could a hole in a tree be? The usable area before their eyes absolutely didn’t exceed three square meters. Obviously it was impossible to place down a bed, but this exquisite layout had utilized the special characteristics of the tree’s ring shaped space to the greatest degree. A hint of leisure unfolded before them.

Xie Junping immediately forgot his preceding words. He clicked his tongue repeatedly: “To create this leisurely area. I don’t understand.”

“There’s another floor on top.” Luo Nan pointed at the stone steps that continued to extend above, continuing to move forward.

“Why do I feel that this project is not the least bit lacking when compared to Gear? Especially since it was able to be kept a secret for so many years. Mouths were sealed way too tightly.” Xie Junping followed Luo Nan, climbing up. His impression of this place was turning a bit better.

The two reached up a floor higher while they were talking; this was also the upper most floor of this tree-hole cabin. The layout here was much simpler, looking a bit spacious at first glance. There was only a table carved into the tree wall and a stool modified from an irregular growth of the withered tree in front of the table.

The surface of the table was very clean with only a circular plate placed on top of it. Xie Junping recognized it to be the base of an old photo projector album. It probably already had its battery drained, extinguishing the projection. But it should provide extremely straightforward clues with just a recharge of electricity.

Luo Nan’s attention was on every location within the hollowed tree.

He fumbled around and took out quite a few clamps, braces, and other fantastical oddities. Most of them were set up centered around the table. It was clear that this was a workshop room from each and every angle. As long as the corresponding equipment were installed, it would be completely possible to perform research work here. It was quite sufficient for any designer.

Xie Junping was to the side looking with interest. He squeezed his way inside and it seemed like Luo Nan wasn't able to pull out any more support devices and the like.

Luo Nan moved directly in front of the table, not wanting to be squeezed in with Xie Junping. There were no wall-hanging installations here, in accordance with this area being the most spacious. But through careful observation, Luo Nan could see an irregular long circle of grain that took up an area that was roughly one square meter large.

He reached out with his hand to touch it, exerting a bit of force. The inner bark wall of this area actually unfolded like a scroll painting. It opened up on two sides.

The illuminating light of the sky shot inside at the next moment.

The change in lighting caused Xie Junping at the side to suddenly turn his head. They had actually spent more than half an hour in torment in the laboratory room and in the tree cabin; it was already around six o’clock. Night had already descended upon Xia City, causing the light of the outerworld to be fairly dusky.

There was only the emergence of a fuzzy outline of Gear located several hundred meters away within the gloomy night of the marshlands jungle. It was impossible to see clearly with the naked eye.

But for some unknown reason, Luo Nan felt quite moved at this moment.

Perhaps this was due to him being at the Observation Platform? The information provided by the designer of Gear was understood perfectly clearly.

Then Xie Jumping suddenly burst out with great laughter to the side: “Signal! I have signal!”

Luo Nan ignored him, looking through the window of this observation platform to continue to look at Gear in the far off distance. The fuzzy scene revealed to his naked eyes wasn't special, but a planar map of the building still existed with his mind. It included the impression of the viewing angle from before.

Luo Nan had a sudden realization as soon as he mentally collected all these elements. It was as if the distant building had been eroded by a whole era of civilization. Only this corroded shell remained standing against the forces of nature, having underwent heavy and great changes.

Traces of the arrogance of industrial era of order were all over every edge and corner of the building. It was inharmonious with the naturally muddled environment. But in the end, it achieved a compromise within this boundless darkness.

This sudden rise of emotion made Luo Nan open his notebook in an instant. He used his florescent pen to portray lines that captured the visual impression assaulting his face.

When Xie Jumping finished cheering, he turned around, saw Luo Nan's actions, and grew a bit angry.

Did this guy really have a drawing addiction?

But soon his feelings changed to be a bit at ease. Yup, this sort of foolish and passionate character shouldn't be a grim and ruthless fellow.

Xie Junping walked back to Luo Nan lightly and quietly. He extended his head to look and was met with simple and even crude lines. If he hadn't known the depicted subject ahead of time, he absolutely wouldn't have been able to make the link between the drawing beneath Luo Nan's pen and the building in the jungle ahead of him. Yet when he realized what this drawing was depicting, he unexpectedly felt quite moved. Most notably was the twisted structure within the rippling water. It seemed to express a certain primordial and incorporeal force.

Alrighty then. If he's not Picasso, then he’s Van Gogh?

Luo Nan drew his sketches with a quick hand. Soon he closed his notebook and let out a sigh of breath in satisfaction.

Luo Nan already had a thicker interest in this building  now. He couldn't help asking: “Who’s the designer of this place?”

Xie Junping shrugged his shoulders: “I’m pretty much stumped by your question. This building has at least twenty years of history to it. I was just a small baby when this thing was built. And you weren't even born yet. However man……. Haha. With signal we can talk about anything. The AI will absolutely have basic relevant information.”

Xie Junping had been stifled broken through this experience; the heavens and earth had ignored him during his greatest time of need. He connected online while raging through gritted teeth, receiving his temporary authorization from the Student Council once more. From this moment on, he held the absolute ultimate power against that damned laboratory once again.

“There will be a day, be it morning or evening, when I will stuff that old geezer Yan Hong and let him have a good taste… It doesn’t matter what gutter he’s hiding in, I’ll…….”

During his unyielding display of hate, Xie Junping was finally able to start each of the various laboratory system modules once again. He also searched for relevant information and found the original design drawings that had been stored as digital records. They included the designer’s name.

He used the powerful capabilities of his wristband to project the result as augmented reality; an image appeared floating in the air:

“Sole Designer: Bu Qingwen. Wow! Looks likes she’s a girl from the signature. The characters are so pretty!” Xie Junping twisted his head over and sized out the furnishings within the tree house, but he was unable to see anything that displayed a specific and distinct female style. However the resting room on the floor below, with its exquisite and cosy setup, seemed to be enough to verify Xie Junping’s theory.

Xie Junping’s tiny excitement wasn’t worthy of receiving a response from Luo Nan. Xie Junping turned his head to look and was met with Luo Nan staring motionless at the designer’s name and handwritten signature displayed on the hologram. 

Luo Nan’s breathing was practically one with the surrounding air; it was completely frozen.

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