1462 The Union Government’s Request For Help
After listening to Jiang Shan's explanation, Lin Huang pondered over it for a moment before inquiring further.
"You said they lost contact one after the other—so that means during the journey communication was still taking place?"
"Yes, it was," Jiang Shan affirmed, then added, "You're also aware that there's no signal in a vast majority of the areas in the Peaceful Ocean; it's only possible to get a signal in a handful of place. That's why we gave orders to the second and third exploration teams to report back the moment they reached an area where there was a signal, whether they discovered any anomalies or not."
At this point in his narrative, Jiang Shan's voice paused for a moment, "However, this is the strangest part of the entire matter—all the messages that came back to us said that there was nothing out of the ordinary.
"Once the teams descended into the sea, apart from the first time when the number of people reporting back to us was normal, every other time the number of people sending back messages was always less. But not a single one of the messages that we received mentioned discovering anything unusual. It's like they never realized that the number of people in the team had gotten smaller.
"Not only that, once we discovered that the number of team members was decreasing, we sent out a warning and an order to retreat to those who were still sending back messages as usual, but we never received any responses. There was no way of connecting to any video call requests and communication calls; by the time we received news from them and tried to call them back immediately, there was no way to get through either. Their messages were only able to come through occasionally, and communication became entirely one-sided.
"We were only able to watch mutely as the minutes and seconds ticked by, seeing the number of people sending messages back decreasing continuously until finally, we lost contact with every single one of them."
Upon hearing this, Lin Huang furrowed his brow and sank into a long silence. Only after a while did he speak again.
"From what you've described, I can think of three possibilities.
"The first is, they fell under some sort of illusion and weren't able to discover that the numbers in their team were decreasing.
"The second is that something masqueraded as a member of the team, then more and more of the members were gradually replaced.
"The third possibility is that the people who sent messages back weren't the actual team members themselves.
"Another thing is that you mentioned there was no way for the other party to receive the messages that you sent out, and that both voice and video call requests could not connect—communication flow was only one-sided. This doesn't seem like something a creature living long-term in the deep sea would be able to do; they don't even know what an Emperor's Heart Ring is.
"So, either this is caused by human agency, or it's caused by monsters of high intelligence that have previously come into contact with the human race. Of course, the possibility of influences from the environment itself can't be ruled out entirely either. "
"Is there any possibility that… the dimensional gateway you mentioned has been discovered, and invaders from the great world are breaking through into our gravel world from the Peaceful Ocean?" Jiang Shan hesitated for a moment, before directing his question at Lin Huang straight away with some amount of worry.
"My feeling is that the chances of that are fairly low." Lin Huang shook his head, but in his heart, he knew that the chances of that happening were absolutely zero.
Aside from the fact that there was currently no dimensional gateway on the Peaceful Ocean seabed any more, even if there really was one, any spatial fluctuations from another world teleporting into the gravel world would not be able to be concealed from the world will. If anyone teleported over, Lin Huang would sense it the moment it happened.
The only thing was, since Lin Huang had previously concealed the truth from the Union Government, he could not come forward now and tell them the actual situation. He could only find other means of vetoing the possibility of Jiang Shan's suggestion.
"The Thousand Snake Sect and Myriad Tribe Palace definitely won't find out so quickly about the failed invasion launched by Teng Ran's group. Not only that, the Thousand Snake Sect already has no more powerhouses above virtual god-level. If Myriad Tribe Palace were to invade, they would have sent their troops over the first day they discovered the existence of the dimensional gateway. They wouldn't need to wait for six months without any doing anything.
"If any other organizations in the great world discovered the gateway, at most they would explore for one or two days. Once they had confirmed that there were no issues with the dimensional gateway, they would have launched a general offensive right away—there would be no need to wait this long."
"This matter has already caused all the high-level personnel in the government to panic; we've lost a majority of our Virtual Gods and we have no way of sending anyone else out there to investigate." Jiang Shan's expression was full of anxiety. "I'm at my wit's end already… I hope that your Majesty might be able to lend us a hand and help us solve this crisis!"
The way Jiang Shan addressed Lin Huang had also changed. Previously he had always used the title "Emperor Lin", but now he referred to Lin Huang as "Your Majesty".
"Chief Jiang, there's no need for that. This matter definitely has something fishy about it; two Virtual God rank-9s have already gone missing, so it's useless for you to keep sending people out there." Lin Huang nodded slightly. "Since I'm still in the gravel world, I'll make a trip there and help take a look at things for you."
Only after hearing Lin Huang's answer did Jiang Shan feel vastly relieved.
At first, he had been afraid that Lin Huang would decline, or seize the chance this matter afforded to demand an exorbitant price while talking terms, but Lin Huang had not done so. In fact, he had agreed to look into the matter without hesitation.
If this had been previously, Lin Huang might actually have put forward a few terms and conditions to exchange his services for some cultivation or information resources. However, as far as the Lin Huang of the present was concerned, the Union Government did not have anything that he found desirable or that he wanted.
Another reason Lin Huang had agreed so readily to Jiang Shan's request was that the entire gravel world was already his own God Territory. Resolving the gravel world's issues meant resolving the issues of the God Territory within him.
Once he had agreed to look into things, Lin Huang then enquired about the details of some other matters before disconnecting from his call with Jiang Shan.
Lin Xin returned to the living room only after seeing that Lin Huang had finished his call.
"Brother, did Chief Jiang bring up anything important?"
"A problem's cropped up over at the Peaceful Ocean," Lin Huang explained briefly. "I need to make a trip there."
"Can I go with you?" Lin Xin asked immediately, "I'm already Virtual God rank-9 so I should be able to help out."
"It's better you stay in Wanbao City and wander around to see if there's anything you want." Lin Huang shook his head, smiling. "The situation over there is somewhat complicated; I'll feel better if I go alone."
"You don't need to worry, though. If it's something quick, a day should be enough to resolve it; if it's something that takes more time, two or three days should be sufficient to sort it out." Lin Huang had just finished speaking when something occurred to him. "I'll summon Little Witch to accompany you."
By the time the words left his mouth, he had already crushed Witch's card in his right hand, and her form was rapidly coalescing in the room.
"Little Witch!" As soon as she saw Witch, Lin Xin's mood suddenly improved exponentially.
When Witch saw Lin Xin, she became excited as well.
Seeing the two girls rapidly begin chatting together, Lin Huang then pulled out two storage rings and passed one each to Lin Xin and Witch. "Inside these rings are some Divine Stones. If there's anything you want to buy, just get it—don't feel you can't afford to spend the money. Little Witch too, buy whatever you want to buy!"
Within each of Lin Huang's two storage rings were around a million Divine Stones, enough to buy even a complete set of top-notch god relics.
Moreover, apart from the three God Weapons that Lin Huang currently had on him, the rest of his equipment was fundamentally all top-notch god relics, so he had no need to spend any money in this respect.
Around a million Divine Stones' worth of pocket money was definitely enough to spend.
Now that Lin Xin had Witch to look after her, Lin Huang could finally stop worrying. Even though his own sister was already a Virtual God rank-9 and her abilities were in no way weak, he was still afraid that Lin Xin might be at a disadvantage.
After he had settled Lin Xin's affairs, only then did Lin Huang bid the two girls farewell. With a wave of his hand, he stepped into the Dimensional Whirlpool…