Chapter 47: Luo Yuandao (Part 2/2)
Mo Peng’s short and stout body moved forward, looking like a plump and silly groundhog. This sort of appearance was so unbecoming that Luo Shuqing glared at him coldly from behind:
“The ignorant and incompetent shouldn’t speak without thinking!”
“How am I ignorant and incompetent? Are my outstanding grades in all seven subjects just given to you all to be ridiculed?” Mo Peng had an expression of being wronged. Clearly he just wanted to liven the atmosphere. Why did he deserve this bad rep?
Only his own father understood him, understood that Mo Peng could no longer bear being on the receiving end of his menopaused old mother. He just wanted to join in on the fun. Mo Peng’s father explained with a few words to bring Mo Peng into the conversation: “Students and office workers are only codenames. They each have their specific implications. Were you ever interested in this?”
To avoid dear mother, anything would become interesting.
Mo Peng spoke brazenly with snickers: “Aren’t I interested now? Back in the day my bro kept seeking to teach me about this thing. And today, the seeds that he planted have sprouted……”
He seized Luo Nan’s notebook into his own hands upon speaking and looked at the flexible e-ink screen. He spoke amazed: “What kind of effect is this? Looks likes its been soaked in water?”
Mo Peng’s description was extremely appropriate. Right now it was as if the second layer interface of the drawing software was submerged in the muddy waters of a river. The five level pyramid structure within, which looked similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, was nearly entirely immersed beneath the water. It looked like there was a dusky layer of film. It was so much so that the “cards”, Luo Nan’s sketches, had increased in blurriness.
Luo Nan also found this bizarre. But he could faintly feel that what he was seeing was related to his body’s abilities. He didn’t want to talk deeply about this, so he took his notebook back and closed it:
“It’s nothing. Just an effect from the screensaver……”
This sort of lie was really easy to detect, but Mo Peng understood Luo Nan’s awkward nature really well. He knew that Luo Nan didn’t want to talk about it, so he didn’t ask. He continued to use the society format diagram as a life line:
“Brother. My teacher! Expound and bequeath your knowledge and clear my doubts. Yes. I mean you. Tell me what the meanings of those codenames are. The seeds in my heart have already blossomed to grass……”
Luo Nan glanced at his uncle, who was adjusting the car’s AI functions at this moment. It seemed that he wouldn’t be participating in this conversation between youngsters. His Aunt sitting in the back looked over calmly. Her gaze made it seem like she was lost in thought.
The atmosphere in the car was a bit delicate.
Luo Nan thought for a bit, then he spoke lightly: “The original intentions of this model during establishment was to have it explain the effects, impacts, and structure of relationships of an individual in a Social Format……”
Mo Peng went blank. Luckily this grandson of Luo Yuandao still had some basic idea towards Formatting Theory, even though he held no interest in it: “You mean social structure right? How to word this…. The methods that exist to influence the individual, to naturally transform the composition of the human collective?”
Luo Nan gave a thumbs up to Mo Peng upon hearing this response. That wasn’t the exact meaning, but Luo Nan would save quite a bit of words in explaining.
“Every country, tribe, region that comprise of a human collective will certainly have its own particular Social Format. New social individuals are produced endlessly in the corresponding estate through the format. At the same time, heaven and earth are naturally transformed, new resources are gathered, providing to the existence of society. Society is required to operate in such a way to exist.”
“Every social individual will be branded with the format of their society, but each individual will push back against the Social Format to some degree.”
“Student refers to the Learner. Learners can only receive the teachings of the Social Format in a unidirectional manner. They aren’t complete social individuals yet, so they pretty much can’t produce any utility in the society.”
“Office worker refers to the Worker, the basic social individual. They possess the ability to survive independently. They maintain the basic operation of the Social Format.”
“Technician refers to the Promoter. Their superiority over the Worker lies in executing optimizations in the Social Format. They are able to upgrade the efficiency of the format’s operation.”
“Clergy refers to the Cognizant. They have a relatively complete recognition towards the Social Format and they’ve begun to consciously exploit the power the Social Format.”
“Politician refers to the Changer. They are higher level Cognizants. They exploit the Social Format and consciously engage in altering the format with intentions of maximizing the benefits for themselves……”
Mo Peng didn’t have outstanding grades over seven subjects for nothing; he was a student of great ability. He immediately spoke upon getting to this point: “It sounds like this is some variation of social theory. There is a problem though. Is there a basis on how people are partitioned into this social hierarchy? Is there a uniform standard?”
Luo Nan listened to Mo Peng and was speechless. But at this time, he felt the gaze of his uncle turn over here. Luo Nan raised his head and looked right at his uncle. They looked straight at each other, and Luo Nan revealed a smile that contained a bit of bitterness.
“The standard’s me! I am the standard!”
Inside an independent ward of Anhai Medical Treatment Center, Luo Yuandao held a rectangular block and placed it lightly on top of a wall of blocks that towered half his height.
His fingers were trembling, changed from an illness with his nervous system. His body was practically destroyed by this disease. He used to be quite tall, but his stature had long since collapsed down. He was just skin and bones now, having lost so much weight that he was like another person. He looked incomparably weak.
Luo Yuandao had yet to hit eighty years old this year. In the current era, he had made his first steps into old age. Some people his age still didn’t retire.
But as for himself, Luo Yuandao was already approaching the limit, the end, of his life. He was standing stubbornly, continuing to build his work of art.
Though his fingers and his arms were trembling, the blocks were placed upright and fit snugly in place. He arrived at this result from over half an hour of control. He was determined to never give up so long as the outcome was incomplete. He maintained this resolution all the way until his work was completed perfectly.
The face, which was so withered it looked faminous, exposed a smile. Luo Yuandao was clearly extremely satisfied with the composition in front of him.
In reality, short constructed walls of blocks were not just in front of him, but to all sides of him as well. Luo Nan and Mo Peng could only talk to Luo Yuandao with these walls in between them.
Next to Luo Yuandao was a middle aged woman who was extremely patient. This was his advanced special care nurse, Xing Hong. She saw the final block be put in place and asked him softly:
“Mr. Grandpa. Since this piece is done, how about we rest?”
Luo Yuandao disregarded her. With this good mood of his, he wouldn’t be so stingy as to ignore the questions of his two grandsons. His mouth split into a grin and his head looked like a giant laughing skull:
“Obviously since I created this theory, I am the standard for determining all that must serve me. Why you ask? All living beings are made for me, for my mind is the universe! I... am the collective master of all living things! I… am the core of the universe!”
Mo Peng looked away in embarrassment. Ordinary people would find it extremely hard to accept the logic of this paranoid and crazy old man. Mo Peng was bearing it very painfully right now. His father, who used to accompany him by his side all the time, seemed to have gone to inquire on the condition of the old man; he wasn’t here. Mo Peng didn’t dare to utter a single word, and he felt all the more uncomfortable.
However there was someone who made Mo Peng feel even more uncomfortable, his little brother cousin that stood besides him. His cousin looked to be extremely engrossed and even a bit fanatical!
Luo Yuandao lifted another wooden block, held it in front of his eyes, and continued preaching: “I know the truth of both heaven and earth. I can bestow the root natures of every living being. Take this wooden block. It’s square, but it can also be circular. Square, circular are all just its external form. I can even change the root nature that it’s endowed within. What does that make its external form!?”
“I used it to build this palace. This is my domain. If I wish it to be square, let it be square! If I wish it to be circular, let it be circular!”
The wooden blocks toppled when he finished speaking, but this time this was due to him speaking overly excitedly. Without a proper location to place the block, the block fell down from his hands towards the ground.
Luo Yuandao reached out in reflex to grab the block, but he was unable to keep his balance with his weak body and he fell headfirst forward.
The people in the room cried out in surprise. Luo Nan rushed forward by instinct and supported his grandfather up. But his forward momentum had been to great. He had destroyed the building block wall with blocks flying all over. Then after the chaotic crashing sounds of blocks falling every which way, the room turned deathly silent in an instant.