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Translator: Sean88888 Editor: Elkassar1
The Miner took a sip of coffee, closed his eyes and seemed to be choosing his words carefully. After a while, he said, “To be honest, our encounter was not a coincidence. Do you believe that?”
“What do you mean?” Sheyan asked with a frown.
The Miner started explaining, “We’re all people from the Empire. Although we’re restricted by the confidentiality agreement, we can still ally together through tacit understanding, especially under the intentional arrangement of the Empire. Plus, we can obtain first-hand data, so 17 months ago, we found that the rate of increase of your Dow Jones index was rather shocking….”
“Wait a minute!” interrupted Sheyan, “If I remember correctly, isn’t the Dow Jones index something used for the stock market?”
The Miner smiled. “Yes, it is, but the colleague of mine who established this database has the same name, so he decided to name the database so… This system can be used to make a general assessment of a contestant’s improvement in power coefficient after each world. In general, the power of a surviving contestant will increase rapidly in the early stages after entering the Nightmare Realm, but after that, the rate of increase will rarely exceed the 9% threshold.”
There was a glimmer in Sheyan’s eyes. “Then, how much was my rate of increase?”
“The comprehensive assessment shows 18.4%. You can understand that as, every five worlds, your power will almost double,” answered the Miner very seriously. “This figure is almost the highest recorded outside of the Apostles.”
“Almost?” Sheyan narrowed his eyes, “In other words, there’s someone better?”
“I’m sorry, it’s not that I don’t want to tell you, but I can’t,” the Miner replied with a wry smile.
As he said that, he formed the shape of a gun with his right hand and aimed it at his head.
“I believe there are also certain restrictions on you combatants. For example, using the active abilities obtained from the Realm in the world you originally live in should have very serious consequences. It’s the same for us. If we divulge a secret, our head will explode like it’s hit by a .78-diameter steel core bullet. So, in order to not give us sanitation workers more pressure, why don’t we change the subject?”
Sheyan shrugged. “Okay. I understand your difficulties. So after you guys found that my….Dow Jones index was doing pretty well, you took the initiative to approach me?”
“Correct,” confirmed the Miner, “Because according to our assessment, the probability of you being a Chosen spoken of in the rumours is over 80%…. Your innate ability even works on the Realm!”
Sheyan grinned but did not make any comment on the Miner’s statement. Instead, he took his cup of coffee and sipped it slowly.
“A Chosen is nothing special. They also need others to protect them in order to grow.”
If Sheyan’s party members were listening, they would surely know that he was talking about Sanzi. Even Sanzi himself would not find anything wrong with this statement. But when it fell on the Miner’s ears, he of course took it as a tacit confession.
He laughed. “A Chosen gets preferential treatment from the Realm, so I’m sure they have more inside information than others, and there will be more benefits when we cooperate. That is the fundamental reason why I sought you out for a deeper cooperation.”
Sheyan glanced at the Miner and suddenly asked, “What is your relationship with the Big Ben Research Institute?”
The expression on the Miner’s face turned stiff. He paused for a long time before he asked, “What do you mean by this question?”
“I don’t claim to know everything about the inner workings of the Empire, but I do know some things. A group of people like you would never escape the ever-present eyes of the Big Ben Research Institute.”
The Miner remained silent for a moment before he replied. “We used to be the pawns of the Big Ben Research Institute, but we are now complete enemies with absolutely no hope for reconciliation.”
“Why?” asked Sheyan curiously.
The Miner answered flatly, “We have the protection of the Realm, but the royal family wished to have complete control over us. They captured our family and threatened us to make us disclose the secrets we know. If we do as they say, it will only result in our head exploding…. But if we don’t, our whole family would die. So, all of us who are still alive are coldblooded bastards who put our own lives above our entire family’s, and mortal enemies of the Big Ben Research Institute!”
“I see,” Sheyan nodded in understanding.
The Miner stared at Sheyan and told him seriously, “The people from the Big Ben Research Institute are inhuman and ruthless. They serve only the royal family of the Empire and will do anything in order to achieve their goals. If you plan to cooperate with them, you will undoubtedly be conspiring with hyenas.”
“Thanks for telling me,” Sheyan nodded. “Okay, so what do you want to know?”
“The Nightmare Realms….or, to be more precise, the Noah Realms. What do you think they are? Mechanical beings? Biological creatures? Or existences we can’t even begin to comprehend?”
Among the questions the Miner asked Sheyan, this was the one that left the deepest impression.
At the time, Sheyan had no answer for the Miner, because this was something he had never thought of, a territory he had not ventured into.
The Miner obviously did not expect Sheyan to have an answer for him either. He simply told Sheyan, “According to our research, the Noah Realms are very strange biological existences made up of a mixture of mechanical parts and organic flesh. They possess strong self-healing ability, but require assistance from helpers for certain key components of their mechanical structures, just as crocodiles needed Egyptian Plover birds to help them clean their teeth.”
“Originally, these helpers should have been created alongside the Noah Realms by the great power that designed or manufactured them. The Noah Realms and the helpers should have a symbiotic relationship, like ants and aphids. The ants care for and protect the aphids from predators and parasites, while the aphids produce a sugary food for the ants. But, for some reason, these helpers were currently nowhere to be seen, so in order to avoid their own demise, the highly intelligent and independent Noah Realms started producing enhanced humans, while at the same time, select those who can replace the helpers among the contestants. This is the origin of the Chosens.”
After hearing the Miner’s analysis, Sheyan was immediately able to judge that it was not a lie, because the analysis was too reasonable and thorough. Someone who did not have a deep understanding of the situation would definitely not be able to say these things.
So, in return, Sheyan told the Miner some of his experiences.
After thinking for a while, the Miner said, “Since we can be certain that the Realms are unique living creatures that have terrifying power – so terrifying that they can travel through time – we can easily infer that the amount of energy they spend must also be extremely terrifying. Therefore, according to the law of conservation of energy, the Realms should also need to absorb a terrifying amount of substances from the outside to maintain their activities, as well as their living necessities.”
“You’re right,” Sheyan nodded. “From what I know, the Empire has to provide a shocking amount of minerals, fuel and various other materials to the Realms.”
The Miner flashed Sheyan a grin which made him feel extremely uncomfortable, as if he was mocking Sheyan for being ignorant.
“That’s just what it looks like on the surface, Mr. Seaman. You’re making a big mistake if you really think that the Nightmare Realms can’t do without the supplies from the Empire! If the Realms could be so easily controlled by the Empire, they would have long become the Empire’s servants and be split apart! In truth, the materials provided by the Empire for the Realms are only like seasonings in the kitchen. With them, the Realms would live a higher quality life, but even without them, they can still survive!”
Sheyan was shocked when he heard the Miner’s claim, because if the information he gave was true, then Sheyan could immediately foresee a problem. That was, since there were multiple Realms, and if there were limited living resources, then the distribution of living resources must be an issue!!
The most straightforward example can be found on the Earth. The reason World War I and World War II broke out, when distilled down to its essence, was none other than to gain possession of the limited resources on Earth! As for the more recent war in Iraq, it was pretty blatantly for the sake of oil!
When he thought of this, Sheyan hesitated, but in the end, he could not help asking, “If your theory is true, then the relationships between the various Noah Realms are not as peaceful as we think?”
“Peaceful?” the Miner scoffed and said mockingly, “Mr. Seaman, you should be one of the few who have benefitted the most from the Realm Battlefields. However did you get such a naive idea?!”
“When a contestant dies, they will be reclaimed by the Realm they belong to. All the rewards you get after you kill a contestant from another Realm are created by the Noah Realm you belong to using its precious source energy! You can consider source energy as a kind of life force that can be replenished. If not for the sake of encouraging you to kill more contestants from other Realms, why would it go to so much trouble?”
“Then… what’s the purpose of a Realm War?” Sheyan asked in shock.
“A low intensity Realm War, of course, is for the sake of speeding up the growth and evolution of the contestants,” answered the Miner.
“But a high intensity Realm War has taken on a whole new meaning…. You can assume the Noah Realms to be like aircraft carriers. They have no attack power, or maybe, they’re restricted by some sort of rules which prohibit them from directly attacking each other, so their destructiveness comes entirely from the fighter jets they carry. In other words, the strength of a Noah Realm is reflected in the strength of the contestants under it! If my guess is right, the high intensity Realm Wars have become an arena for the contest between the Noah Realms, where a powerful Noah Realm will use its strength to gain more living space and survival resources for itself!”
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