Against the Fate – Chapter 9
Chapter 9: North Luna Office
Cui Ming commented, “Later on, the female protagonist and many of the other heroines live together with the male lead happily ever after.”
North Luna glanced at Cui Ming, opened the book to the last few pages, read for a while, and then closed the book. “Did you read this book before?”
“Then how do you know the ending?” North Luna was surprised.
Cui Ming replied, “The letters are so small, the book is so thick, and the paper is so thin. If there is only one woman, the author can’t write this much.“
What Ding Ze used was memory; what Cui Ming used was speculation.
“What do you think of this book?“
Cui Ming took the book and opened it up to the last page. After glancing at the price, he said, “The author died many years ago, nobody owns the copyright, and after a comprehensive analysis of the paper and the printing, I think the price is too expensive.”
North Luna was unable to respond. She asked, “What kind of books do you like to read?”
Cui Ming replied, “Military books, as well as mystery novels.”
“What do you pay attention to?”
“Pirated books are vague, have a lot of wrong words, and are cheap. Although the price of genuine books are more expensive, the printing and the paper is better, and the most important part is that genuine books in libraries often have discount promotions, so that the actual price is not much more expensive than the pirated ones. Also, if all People read pirated books, then there will be no books, that’s why from the beginning to the end I stole… bought genuine books.”
North Luna didn’t want to talk with Cui Ming anymore, and looked at Ding Ze. “What about you?”
“I do not buy books. I only borrow books. I have no other choice but to read a book in under an hour.“
North Luna again didn’t want to talk about this anymore, instead she asked Cui Ming what kind of views and opinions he had after reading that many military and detective books, and why he even read this kind of novels. Cui Ming babbled on and on, and changed the topic for Ding Ze. Ding Ze got encouraged by Cui Ming, and they discussed about buying books, lending books, the price of books…
Having eaten good food, North Luna leaned backwards and closed her eyes for a break. Ding Ze went back to his seat, before lying across three chairs and taking out a lit cigarette, enjoying the happiness tobacco brought with it. North Luna casually said, “Ding Ze, Aura can only defend against external attacks, it can’t stop the growth of internal cancer cells.“
Ding Ze smiled, as if he’d discard the cigarette into the rubbish bin. Half an hour later, he squinted his eyes and peered at the sleeping North Luna and Cui Ming, before he collected cigarette and continued to smoke. Don’t smokers know smoking was harmful? No, they all knew. But “When in the smoking world, you can’t do as you like.“(1)
The next morning, the train station first stopped in the Dawn City, and the three got off the train. North Luna went into a coin phone booth to make a phone call, talking for around 3 minutes. She hung up on the phone, and the three hailed a taxi. Ding Ze said toward the driver, “Fort Street.”
In a poor remote area of Dawn City was Fort Street, where Northern Luna Office office was located. Northern Luna Office was inside a desolate two-story building. The offices on first floor were open-styled, and a lot of people were at work here. Outside around the building was an iron-supported staircase leading to the second floor. The second floor had a conference room, a reception hall, four manager offices, and lastly also a general manager office.
This was contrary to Cui Ming’s expectations. In Cui Ming’s imagination, there were only two people in Northern Luna Office, North Luna and Ding Ze. Cui Ming ascended the iron staircase to the second floor along with the others, and whispered, curious, “Are they cultivators?“
“No,“ said Ding Ze. “There are two big work sectors in Northern Luna Office, paparazzis and private detectives. Managers are in charge of finishing the work. The team gets 90% of their work’s profit, and the managers 10% for their daily expenses.”
Cui Ming did not understand: “Why?”
Ding Ze opened the door, and the three entered the general manager room. After Ding Ze closed the door, North Luna said: “Because of information. Even though the chance of a cultivator being born is only 1 in 50,000, Eternal Planet is inhibited by more than 100 million people, so the amount of them is still rather big.”
Cui Ming understood. “You train upcoming cultivators, and they are obliged to help Dawn City, they are like Dawn City’s spies, on the other hand they are not paid by you, but by the Dawn City’s government.”
“Maybe.” North Luna didn’t comment any further.
The area of the general manager office was 150 square meters. Besides two desks, there were also two rows of a sofa with three seats and a writing board. North Luna took her own seat and gazed at Cui Ming, “For now you can sit and relax, at night I’ll take you to visit a person. Depending on the results you can stay or can’t stay here. I explain a little bit, if the diagnosis says you can’t help, then resisting is futile.”
Cui Ming sat down and said: “I still think I have the ability to help.”
“Let’s hope so.” He’s not without strong points, at least he was very optimistic.
Ding Ze left his coat on the table. In front of it was a pile of files written using a typewriter. He took some files and cast a glance at them before his eyes fell on a specific spot. He didn’t know whether he’s just showing off or whether he really can read this fast, but his reading speed is very fast. For one piece of paper with tightly packed words he only needed 15 seconds. North Luna took a book out of the drawer and was absorbed into the book. There wasn’t anything important to do.
Cui Ming was bored, so he looked at Ding Ze, and tried to determine whether this guy had a superhuman memory or not. Before he could come to a conclusion, Ding Ze face became imposing. After earnestly reading the document, he carefully took photos out of an envelope according to their number to look at them. North Luna didn’t raise her head but asked, “What’s the matter?”
“The Lincoln villa has paranormal activities. We asked private detectives to investigate, but it was fruitless. They took some pictures of the scene, but whether outsiders invaded or not, no final verdict conclusion has been made yet.” Ding Ze looked at the photos, then at the files again.
Ding Ze didn’t answer, stood up and walked to the front of the board and pinned a photo on it with a magnet, held it towards the sun and inspected it for a while. Cui Ming and North Luna also followed. The ground on the photo has some black spots.
Ding Ze took out a pen and a ruler and connected the black spots on the photo. A hexagonal magic array appeared. Ding Ze said, “According to the private detective investigation, the spirit of all people in Lincoln villa is bad. Even though it’s autumn and the temperature didn’t change much, there are many people who caught a cold or a sickness. Drivers and gardeners have even been hospitalized.”
North Luna asked, “Where is the place inside the villa?”
Ding Ze stuck another dozen villa photos, a finger pointing at the three-story high building next to the main building. “The fourth room on the third floor. This story is a place for the servants in the villa to rest in, but no one lives on the third floor. The driver and the gardener lived in the fourth room on the second floor.”
North Luna asked, “What kind of magic circle is this?”
“I don’t know, I can’t say anything with only the photo,” Ding Ze said, “During their patrol, the security guards spotted a fire on the fourth room on the third floor, so they went up to check it out, but there was nothing at all. After they went downstairs and patrolled around, they saw a fire on the third floor again. This time they left one man behind, the other went upstairs. There was no sound for a long time, so the security guard went up and saw his companion fainting on the third floor. After the security guard woke up, he said he suddenly fell asleep, and doesn’t know what happened.”
“Can you deal with it?”
“No problem,” Ding Ze answered, picked up his coat and pointed at Cui Ming, “Good luck.”
“Thank you,” Cui Ming smiled and responded.
- A famous line in wuxia: When in the Jianghu, one cannot move freely (人在江湖，身不由己)