Chapter 57: The Mundus Crystal
“Hey fella come here. We have the results of the stone’s inspection.”
Situated in the Skyfire Underground, the library stood as it always had. The Keeper sat upon his rattan deck chair with his fingers playing over the clay teapot in his hands. He looked at ease.
Lan Jue had come directly from his jewelry store after sending Zhou Qianlin to the base of her mountain-top home. It had been a full day, one that had filled him with a sense of contentment, and now that he’d heard from the Keeper he was beginning to think today was indeed his lucky day.
“What was the result?” Lan Jue stuffed his hands in his pockets and moved to the Keeper’s side.
The Keeper shut his eyes for a moment. “I’ll start simply by saying that if you found the vein this come from, you’d make an unimaginable fortune.”
“Oh?” Lan Jue’s eyes lit up. “What did you discover?” For the Keeper to even start with this sort of evaluation, he must have found something significant.
The Keeper continued. “I wont go through the entire analytical process, you wouldn’t understand anyway.”
Lan Jue smiled as his elderly counterpart went on. “As for the results, we did discover that were this ore to be refined, it would create a particularly special crystal. The crystal’s capabilities would be immense, and beyond that it would be possessed of a truly astonishing peculiarity in energy transformation.”
“Simply put, energies injected in to the stone will have its impurities extracted, releasing only energy in it’s purest form. I call it Mundus Energy. If you were to incorporate it with some sort of procedural structure, you could create an astounding energy purification system. And the mundus energy it exudes could be used in any form of modern scientific pursuit.”
“What about conversion speed and power grade,” Lan Jue inquired.
“Conversion is exceptionally fast,” the old man responded. “You could charge a tenth-class mecha from empty to full in ten minutes. I went through my databanks, and no power gem like this has ever been recorded. It is quintuple the capabilities of the closest equivalent gem. It had to be recorded, so I called it the Mundus Crystal. Were we able to find a suitable means to develop this, it would catapult human science and technology in to a new era.”
Even Lan Jue’s trademark composure was shaken following the Keeper’s explanation. It took all he had not to gape like a moron.
“However,” The Keeper proceeded despite Lan Jue’s stupefaction, “make no mistake that this Mundus Energy isn’t without it’s dangers. Converting energy at it’s quickest rate gradually causes the gem to weaken. Through my experimentations I’ve determined that were this stone of yours refined in to a Mundus Crystal it would enervate a top-level mecha three times before being irreparably damaged, and rendered useless. As a result I thought it cannot be classified as an A-level stone – a C at best, though of course a very special C. The analysis shows it’s stored energies aren’t any different from a normal A-ranked stone. It has no capability of self-repair or other function – simply it’s one special quality.”
Lan Jue was not disappointed by the Keeper’s designation of C-rank. On the contrary the fire in his eyes only grew as the old scientist went on. He had no shortage of stones to compress energy, strengthen attack or harden defenses. But this stone, with it’s ability to restore energy so quickly, was something altogether different, something he needed.
“Another interesting aspect we uncovered, however, is the energy it produces is pure enough that even our Disciplines can absorb and assimilate it. This caused my original C assessment to be upgraded to a B. Regrettably the sheer enormity of it’s energy output means only seventh-degree Talents or higher would be capable of using it. Otherwise it would likely be A-ranked.”
“I’ve already submitted the results and the name to the Power Gem research association. I hope you don’t have any objections?” The Keeper looked at Lan Jue.
“None,” Lan Jue replied. A history making power gem with a name they patented, certainly it would be beneficial to him. Once it became known to the populace everyone would want to mine it for themselves. They’d be bound by the rules of the patent, and would need his authorization. It was a policy adopted by all of the great alliances to incentivize exploration and public benefit. And with the Keeper’s help, the whole process was sure to go off without a hitch.
“You’d better hurry and find the vein, then. When you do you’ll be a rich man. I’ll be fine with thirty percent of the final sales.” The Keeper had sat up at this point, his eyes glimmering.
Eeeeeeeee–! At that moment the harsh resonance of an alarm blasted through Skyfire Underground.
“Hm?” Lan Jue and the Keeper shared startled expressions.
It was an alarm rarely heard, a red alert indicating a conflict the Skyfire Enforcement Team couldn’t handle. It meant the Skyfiire Council itself had to intervene, requiring at least one member to make their presence felt.
It was the responsibility of a Council member to drop what they were doing immediately and tend to the problem.
“I’ll check it out,” Lan Jue growled. There was a flash of electricity, and suddenly the Keeper was standing alone.
A blazing halo of crimson fire stormed around Mika, but it was a fire devoid of heat. The Zeus’ Jewelry Store of Skyfire Underground rose behind her.
Beside her stood a dozen officers of the Enforcement Team. Several more in uniform lay scattered on the ground.
Opposite them stood six figures. Five were clad in silver leather, their faces concealed with hoods. They appeared to be lead by a man in similar uniform, though his was gold.
“Hand over the ore. We’ll pay ten times your asking price. We have no interest in causing trouble in Skyfire Avenue, but if you continue to deny us I can’t promise we’ll remain so polite.” The rumbling voice of a silver-clad assailant wafted towards the others.
The ridicule on Mika’s face was clearly apparent. “The nerve! You dare to cause trouble on Skyfire, in our shop. If you want the stone you’ll have to deal with me.”
A chilling voice hissed from beneath the golden hood. “If that is the case, then this establishment holds nothing of interest to us.”
“This toad’s halitosis is making my eyes water.” Lan Jue’s lackadaisical voice matched his easy stance, having appeared without notice. He placed a hand upon Mika’s shoulder, and immediately her roiling fires extinguished.
“Boss.” A look of pleasant surprise dawned on Mika’s features. She grinned as she greeted him. “What are you doing here. It’s nothing I can’t handle.”
Lan Jue sighed. “How could I not! When a tiger sleeps too long others forget he has claws.”