IRNDGL - Chapter 124: Lawless Fanatical 'Truth-seekers'
Langdon Hood was an absolutely faithful 'Truth-seeker'.
He was a part of the Truth Union's Mechanical Department and a Pandemonium-rank scholar who was a subordinate of Rowell Feige. Hood was well distinguished in the field of firearms and was also a lover of heavy firepower.
As a reminder, the Head of Mechanics Feige and Head of Alchemy Rowell, were the old pals passing sarcastic remarks about each other in Andrew's office previously.
Feige's close relationship was met with a lot of questioning and alienation from many scholars after Andrew was impeached and put on surveillance.
Moreover, the attack on Machine Loop indicated a severe dereliction of duty on Feige's part. If it hadn't been for the other Vice-Chairman's determination to seize control and pin all responsibility onto Andrew, Feige might have already been kicked to the bottom.
Of course, the main reason was that the 'Clay Idol' Project exhausted a great deal of manpower, material, and financial resources, and its best results had been stolen away.
All the remaining specimens and even related laboratories and storehouses were basically destroyed and the losses were immense, leading to a furious sentiment throughout.
In the entire Truth Union, there had been many that opposed the 'Clay Idol' Project from the beginning. Now that dissension was rife, the 'Clay Idol' Project was canceled to cut losses and the funding was channeled towards developing more practical exoskeleton suits.
In short, this attack had worsened the already awkward and strife-laden situation within the Mechanical Department. Feige was even more disconsolate than ever. He buried himself in isolated research and did not care about anything for some time.
Feige's subordinates suffered too. With no funding and no projects, they were completely idle till the new project took over them.
In this sort of situation, the information concerning the bookstore that Andrew had divulged to the ‘Truth-seekers’ suddenly became the primary objective of these scholars.
In reality, even if Andrew’s order hadn’t been overrode, they too would still have wanted to go to the bookstore either way.
For these ‘Truth-seekers’, there was nothing more fascinating than knowledge.
And if there were such a thing, it would only be even more knowledge!
They were like fanatical zealots of a religion, relentless in their pursuit for knowledge and weren’t afraid to use any sorts of means to gain, seize, or steal knowledge.
Some people in conflict with the ‘Truth-seekers’ termed them ‘soul suckers’ to express their contempt for the morals of this group.
However, the 'Knowledge-preachers' nor Secret Rite Tower had any way of imposing sanctions on them as what they pillaged was merely knowledge and not the lives, wills or souls that would cause harm.
And the victim's stolen knowledge wasn't irretrievable, it just needed to be relearned.
It could be said that this was a group of lawless fanatics that threaded a fine line on the boundary in which transcendent beings weren't allowed to do anything to ordinary folk.
After all, if the 'Truth-seekers' actions were considered a breach of regulations, then the actions of erasing the memories of ordinary folk would be even more serious.
In the Truth Union, the numbers of 'Truth-seekers' were roughly one in twenty, whereas the 'Knowledge-preachers' faction that wished for the widespread dissemination of knowledge numbered at one in a hundred.
Thus, 'Truth-seekers' were a large portion of the Truth Union's scholars that couldn't be underestimated.
These people weren't fools and it would be unwise to see them as normal. Some of these knowledge fanatics were so obsessed with learning that they couldn't function properly most of the time.
On the contrary, they were ambitious, perverse, reckless, and sometimes indifferent towards human life.
They were truly a bunch of 'lunatics'.
By the time Andrew's order was intercepted for the second time, a squad of 'Truth-seekers' led by Hood were already on 23rd Avenue.
They had cautiously chosen to observe first.
In the information provided by Andrew, the bookstore owner's prowess was still uncertain. Therefore, Hood was extremely curious and thus observed for a longer time.
In fact, after watching for about a week and a half, Hood felt that the bookstore owner didn't seem to act like how a truly powerful being was supposed to be.
Putting aside everything else, having the Ash Chamber of Commerce to do renovations was just overkill. Totally unlike a powerful being!
It was one thing to be lazy, but wouldn't such a task be merely a trifle for a high-level powerhouse?
Going through this entire process was surely much more troublesome.
To say that the bookstore owner found it amusing and entertaining was probably the only explanation though it wasn't a strong one.
However, there seemed to be a contradiction with the mysterious bookstore owner's persona of one who liked recommending books to others because the party from the Ash Chamber of Commerce didn't bring any books away despite them coming and going multiple times.
After observing for some time, few of the 'Truth-seekers' eventually verified that this group from the Ash Chamber of Commerce had been specially here to do renovations.
This was very strange indeed.
A bold guess started to form in the minds of some of these 'lunatics' — Perhaps this bookstore owner, feared by many, and said to be the one behind the summoning of the ancient elven king, actually had no power.
Powerless didn't necessarily mean he was an ordinary being.
But perhaps, he might have lost or had his power limited for some reason.
This discovery excited the bunch of 'lunatics' and they looked forward to the operation with great anticipation. After some rounds of discussion, they decided to take action tonight by infiltrating the bookstore andprobing into the knowledge of the bookstore as well as its owner.
Another thing of concern was the bookstore owner's assistant.
As a subordinate of Feige, Hood had been involved with the 'Clay Idol' Project before.
While his area of expertise wasn't in the study of creation, Hood had worked in the laboratory for a short while when the 'Clay Idol' Project was shorthanded.
He had an inkling of those artificial humans from back in the lab. And even more coincidentally, he seemed to have seen this assistant before.
Hood was almost convinced that the scar on this assistant's nape must have been a result of removing the barcode.
'Truth-seekers' from the Truth Union pried open the door of the bookstore. Like a bunch of robbers, they were here to pillage the most valuable thing—knowledge.
“You bunch stay downstairs and check the books. Retreat immediately the moment you realize something amiss. Got it?"
Having finished giving out instructions, Hood raised his gun and slowly made his way up via the stairs.
The lightweight exoskeleton armor didn't make any sound and the cloaking function didn't just hide him but also covered all traces, making him as stealthy as a cat.
Hood's own conjectures were even more reinforced by the fact that the bookstore owner hadn't even set up any basic defensive spells.
Moving ever so carefully, Hood finally came to Lin Jie's bedroom.