Professor Tang’s remark was like a stone that was tossed into a peaceful pond. The best maintainers and refiners of the Dragon Snake Space Zone all jumped to their feet.
“It’s impossible. Whose adjustment could be so brilliant that absolutely no trace was left behind and nobody noticed anything wrong?”
“Also, what Professor Tang said just now is too unbelievable. Squeezing out seven percent of the potential that even the original designer Wu Yaxuan neglected? That’s—that’s too—”
“There can’t be such adjustment techniques in the world. Zhao Tongtian is an expert in the Core Formation Stage anyway. He is at the tip of the pyramid in the thousands of fellow Cultivators. Who is a crystal suit adjusted for if it is too much for him to use?”
“The most critical thing is, except for Sha Yongming in the beginning, and then Master Chu and Professor Tang later, there wasn’t a fourth person who touched the crystal suit at all!”
Nie Siyuan, the manager of the Maintenance Department, stepped forward and solemnly said, “That’s right. Fellow Cultivator Tang, please take a look at the video of the test field for the past six hours. After you helped Zhao Tongtian adjust his crystal suit next to the field, he seemed to be given the ultimate treasure in the world and wouldn’t take the crystal suit off at all after he put it on. He was training all the time until something happened to the crystal suit. If there was indeed a fourth person who touched the crystal suit, when did it take place?”
Shua! Shua! Shua! Shua!
Every frame of the picture on the test field was enlarged, especially the period in which Professor Tang finished the adjustment and handed the crystal suit back to Zhao Tongtian.
It could be clearly seen that, other than the overjoyed Zhao Tongtian, the dumbfounded staff, and the speechless bystanders who were almost worshipping Professor Tang, there was not a fourth person who ever approached the Azure Thunder, much less touched it!
Professor Tang zoomed in and slowed down the speed of the picture. She observed carefully second by second, only to discover no anomaly at all.
Looking at her hands in a daze, and recalling the subtle and yet concrete feedback from the inside of the Azure Thunder, she shook her head slightly.
Was it possible that her senses were wrong?
It was impossible!
Pondering for a moment, Professor Tang slowly said, “Master Chu, Manager Nie, please take a look yourselves. It’s mainly about the output sensitivity of the crystal reactor.”
“What!” Chu Chongjiu and Nie Siyuan were both alarmed. “Somebody modified the crystal reactor of the crystal suit?”
There were two integral, precise, and stable units in every crystal suit, namely the crystal processor, which was responsible for control, and the crystal reactor, which was responsible for the output of power.
They were equivalent to the brain and the heart of a human being.
According to the unspoken rule of the refiners and maintainers of crystal suits, the crystal processors and the crystal reactors were all built into fully enclosed ‘black boxes’.
For a brand-new crystal suit, and such an advanced one at that, the crystal processor and the crystal reactor would rarely be opened for adjustment unless it was sent back to the original manufacturer for maintenance.
That was because the two units were too important and sophisticated. If the maintainer did not boast a profound understanding about the goals and methodology of the original designer and an expertise in refining as good as the original designer’s, it was possible that mistakes would be made. Chances were that the two units could not be installed again after they were dismantled, or that their original performance could not be restored despite adjustment after they were installed again.
The Azure Thunder had been delivered to this place because of the malfunctions of the shoulder and the arm and because it was time for its regular maintenance. Naturally, the crystal processor and the crystal reactor were not dismantled.
Even Chu Chongjiu and Professor Tang also abided by the tradition of the refiners. They only performed modifications to the components on the surface and did not reach the level of the crystal processor and the crystal reactor.
But right now, Professor Tang was claiming that somebody had touched the crystal reactor of the crystal suit?
Chu Chongjiu and Nie Siyuan were both appalled, looking as if they had run into ghosts.
In fact, they would not have been so horrified even if they did run into a ghost, which was anything but unusual nowadays. The Nether World Sector, for example, had an entire world of ghosts. What was strange about them?
However, adjusting the crystal reactor of the Azure Thunder, such a high-level crystal suit, quietly through uncanny techniques while escaping the attention of so many observing refiners was definitely beyond the description of ‘appalling’!
Chu Chongjiu and Nie Siyuan both extended their hands into the empty chamber of the Azure Thunder. One on the left and the other on the right, they stuck to the circuit of the spiritual energy output in the crystal reactor.
For Cultivators of their level, their hands were already the best test equipment. By sensing the feedback of the spiritual energy unleashed by their hands, like the bats identifying obstacles through the soundwaves they released, they could keenly perceive the surroundings.
With a gloomy face, Nie Siyuan said to his disciple, Sha Yongming, “Increase the power output of the crystal reactor of the Azure Thunder.”
Hum, hum, hum, hum, hum, hum…
The Azure Thunder shivered slightly. The crystal reactor immediately utterly a weak noise.
As the power output was moved up from one phase to another, the two masters of refining, who were from different worlds but equally respected and experienced, widened their eyes at the same time. Their eyebrows and their beards seemed to be shaking off from their faces.
“It—it is true that—”
There was not the slightest hint of blood on the two masters’ faces.
“You sense it, too, don’t you?” Professor Tang’s voice was full of astonishment. “The crystal reactor of the Azure Thunder has been adjusted by someone. The extreme output and sensitivity of the spiritual energy have both significantly increased. It is now even… so keen that it is multiple times faster than the reaction speed of a Core Formation Stage Cultivator such as Zhao Tongtian! Before he finished a thought, his crystal reactor was already responding automatically! No wonder he felt that needles were stinging his back!
“It is so for the Core Formation Stage Cultivators, but for the Nascent Soul Stage Cultivators whose reaction speed and thought generation is faster, the crystal suit might be very suitable. However, I cannot guarantee that with certainty!”
“But…” Chu Chongjiu’s throat was letting out meaningless noises, and his face was as horrid as that of a zombie. “Who did it? When and how was it done?”
“I don’t know. I truly don’t.” Professor Tang looked at the dark, empty chamber of the Azure Thunder as if it were a black hole. “Perhaps it was remote manipulation. The person’s spiritual energy snuck into the inside of the Azure Thunder and adjusted the super tiny circuits in the crystal reactor after recalculating the distribution of the spiritual energy out.”
“Remote manipulation?” Chu Chongjiu and Nie Siyuan looked at each other and shook their heads subconsciously. “That’s impossible. Remote manipulation is a basic technique for high-level Cultivators. But it is generally used to control flying swords, bullets, and the like. The smaller the object and the shorter the distance to move, the more difficult the whole operation will be!
“There are millions of control chips and more than ten thousand super tiny components in every square inch inside the crystal reactor. Redistributing the crystal wires that can be thinner than a hair and the chips that are smaller than millet through remote manipulation? That’s too unbelievable!
“Moreover, the crystal reactor is a ‘black box’ that is under heavy protection. To resist the intense blow and interference of spiritual energy on a battlefield, it is often carved with five to seven protection and buffer rune arrays on the outside, which makes the crystal reactor essentially impregnable! How could the guy have bypassed so many layers of defense and snuck into the crystal reactor through remote manipulation?
“The most critical thing is, even if such a ‘super adjuster’ did exist, when and how exactly did he accomplish this? After all, the crystal suit never left us or Zhao Tongtian from beginning to the end!”
Professor Tang grew more and more confused after hearing Chu Chongjiu’s questions. She was looking at every bystander on the surveillance picture with trance and reverence. Shaking her head, she said, “I don’t know. It is certainly impossible that the guy did it when Zhao Tongtian was in the crystal suit. After all, the shield of light membrane on the surface of the crystal suit was automatically functioning. Then, maybe, when Uncle Chu and I were performing the adjustment, he sent a… hidden force into the crystal suit that could be activated later.”
“Professor Tang!” Chu Chongjiu could not help but exclaim. “Are you suggesting that, when the two of us opened the plate armor and the maintenance panel of the crystal suit, poured our spiritual energy into it, and performed the adjustment work with full attention, there was another refiner multiple times more brilliant than us, who sent a hidden force into the crystal suit without alerting anyone, both escaping our attention and infiltrating the defense rune arrays of the crystal reactor to perform certain delicate operations on the mustard-seed level. Also, through certain… unbelievable techniques, the result that the sensitivity is significantly increased was delayed and did not surface until half a day later when we had already left?”
Professor Tang was lost for words. “Well, about that…”
She also felt that what she had said was absurd. How could such a thing happen in the world?
“Alright.” Staring at the Azure Thunder thoughtfully as if it were a fiend that had crawled out of hell, Nie Siyuan suddenly said, “Thank you for your help. Now that the source of the ‘fault’ has been identified, let’s call it a day. Such a fault is not to be rectified in our humble workshop. I will suggest that the owner of the crystal suit delivers it to the original manufacture so that the original designer and crafter will be able to repair it together.”
“Manager Nie?” Professor Tang raised her eyebrows and looked at Nie Siyuan, not sure what he meant. “Have we finished the investigation? We don’t know who did this yet!”
Nie Siyuan took a deep breath. His eyelids were shivered slightly because of his fear as he struggled to say, “Whoever he is, whenever and however he did this, and whatever his purpose is, I am not interested at all. Also, a piece of advice. I think that it will be best for you if you don’t look for the answers, too.
“There are many secrets in the world, but for some of the secrets, you will wish that you had never heard them after you learn them. There are also many people whom you wish you had never met after you see their real faces!
“It was reckless of me to involve the two of you into this. Please forgive me! Now, do you understand what I’m saying?”