IRNDGL - Chapter 55: Doris' Seed
Feige and Leonard exchanged glances.
After a moment's hesitation, it was Leonard who spoke up. "Feeling out whether a Supreme-rank entity is overly dangerous requires greater prudence."
Feige nodded in agreement. "Moreover, what's most important currently is to resolve the Magic Ovum Mirror. Now that Morphey is dead, Scarlet Cult would be in scattered disarray. Remaining White Wolf remnants would find it difficult to continue and now would be the best time to pursue them."
"Firstly, Secret Rite Tower and Joseph's report are that it was Morphey who first made her move and Doris counterattacked. Till now, the bookstore has never voluntarily shown any aggression.
"And through Scarlet Cult's offensive, we are able to at least determine that the bookstore isn't on their side. It's just a pity that Doris didn't leave any survivors, otherwise we would be able to get a better picture of this Scarlet Cult operation.
"The matter of the Magic Ovum Mirror is of top priority. Therefore, getting Ackerman to feel out the bookstore is a good choice, even though I have to admit that we are making use of him."
Andrew chimed in, "We have to determine the bookstore owner's modus operandi and approximate intent. This isn't something that can be just described as 'friendly'. We must be responsible for the millions of citizens in Norzin.
"This incident has to make us reflect on ourselves and what exactly were we doing."
He gazed out to the gloomy curtain of rain beyond the balcony, as if staring at something beyond the thick clouds. "Our Truth Union's importance isn't just to seek truth, but to maintain order. But when an organization becomes an authority and gains excessive power, corruption would stem from within."
Feige and Leonard's hearts skipped a beat, as if vaguely realizing something.
Andrew's hands clutch the balcony railing as he gazed at skeletal remains in the middle courtyard. "The failure of our surveillance network is unquestionable, leading to Scarlet Cult and White Wolf being able to avoid detection. However, the question is... where is the problem?"
The two others immediately stood up.
What the vice-chairman meant was—Were there spies within the Truth Union?!
Andrew sobered up and said with a penetrating gaze, "The public's trust in the Truth Union will take a massive beating if we do not handle this matter well and we might not be able to bear the consequences."
"This is a list of staff who have interacted with the Aether Network within the month, from when the Magic Ovum Mirror appeared. I believe in your characters and the two of you men I trust most, yet distanced from the command core. Now, the Truth Union lacks a self-monitoring structure and I hope the two of you can help.”
Leonard and Feige took the list from Andrew with slight shock and hesitance.
"Don't worry, this is also Chairman Maria's intention as well."
Andrew then added, "She has already signed off on this list. If it weren't because she's trying to break through to Supreme-rank, she would be the one authorizing you two herself and there would already have been proper preparation of this plan."
As the other two browsed through the list, they discovered that Chairman Maria's stamp of authorization was on it. These aetheric traces couldn't be forged.
"That will be it, we first get Ackerman to investigate and if need be, we don't fear a Supreme-rank," Andrew went on. "After all, even a god will die one day. Only the truth is everlasting."
If Secret Rite Tower's evaluation had been 'hostile' instead of 'friendly', it wouldn't be an investigation, but rather, a mobilization of full force power to wipe the bookstore off the face of Norzin.
The power of individuals was a thing of the past. Although the number of Destructive-ranked beings in Norzin could be counted, if it really became a fight, even a Supreme-rank would have to consider the Truth Union's Aether Annihilation Cannon. That alone could cause great harm to a Supreme-rank entity.
The reason why Scarlet Cult and White Wolf had been able to hide for so long was because they could run very well and also because the Truth Union had been weak...
Under uncertain conditions, the Truth Union was incapable of employing highly destructive weapons and could only rely on the aetheric network and manpower to capture criminals.
Now that the Aetheric Network had been tampered with, the circumstances were now dicey.
Originally, the Truth Union had planned to use a space disturbance technique to retain the black magicians when Morphey had appeared. However, the appearance of Doris had made them halt and observe the fight.
The other two men kept the list away and repeated, "Only the truth is everlasting."
"Reporting live from the scene. A gas explosion occurred on 21st to 23rd Avenue last night. There were numerous casualties and the financial damages are estimated to be in the millions.
"According to experts, this was a result of a combination of harsh weather, factories' lack of supervision and being in a state of disrepair. Thus, a chain of explosions occurred and the fire spread rapidly. Also, the flooding followed caused buildings to collapse...
"Fortunately, our fire control and rescue teams arrived on scene and carried out rescue operations promptly. On top of that, the heavy rain also hampered the spread and the blazes were finally halted before 23rd Avenue. As you can see, the road has become a clear divider. On the left are perfectly undamaged houses while the right side is in ruins.
Lin Jie heard the next door neighbor's television broadcasting this news when he came down early in the morning to open shop.
He froze for a moment. 23rd Avenue... Isn't it this street?
He opened the door and through the rain, made out many machines in operation, bright lights flashing and indistinct shouts from people. The scene across the road was indeed in ruins.
There were also a bunch of bystanders watching the scene from the side.
Lin Jie even saw the news reporter that was currently going about the news story.
"How did an explosion suddenly occur while I was sleeping?"
Lin Jie frowned, he must have slept really well for him to remain undisturbed when a gas explosion happened across the street.
Besides entertaining the young elf lady Doris and selling 30 books in a single sitting as well as her chasing away a group whom Lin Jie suspected were coming to do a check on unlicensed shops, nothing else had happened yesterday.
The night had been peaceful, yet today morning, there was news that a gas explosion had occurred just opposite him.
Life could really be magical at times.
"Fortunately it stopped across the road. Otherwise, my transmigration journey might have just ended right here," muttered Lin Jie to himself as he shook his head.
Then, Lin Jie recalled what he had said about 'everyone's collective effort and united will, the situation will definitely change for the better in the future'. To think that such a calamity occured the next day.
Could I be a... jinx?
Lin Jie coughed twice and casually closed the door as if nothing happened and returned back.
Jinxes are merely superstition. No way, no way...
He returned back to his seat at the counter, turned on the lights and the heater, and sat a kettle to boil for brewing tea. The only thing different from his routine was Lin Jie specifically watering a potted plant placed on the counter.
While Lin Jie called it a potted plant, it actually seemed to be a pot of soil.
Before Doris left yesterday, she had given Lin Jie a seed.
According to her, it was probably rather precious and had its own thoughts, desires, and other mystical whatnot that fascinated young girls.
Lin Jie thought that purifying the air of the bookstore wasn't a bad idea. Thus, he had found an old pot and planted the seed in it. He too, had no idea how long it would take for the seed to sprout.
Lin Jie patted the pot and said earnestly, "If you really have your own thoughts, then grow into something beautiful."
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