Of course, Lin Jie knew what a philosopher’s stone was.
As a folklorist who also researched the occult and mystical, such an object of great symbolism representing the ultimate pursuit in alchemy was definitely no stranger to him.
The obsession over the philosopher's stone by alchemists of the western hemisphere was similar to how Chinese taoists would have a fixation over the Pills of Immortality and various other longevity elixirs.
Humans had always hoped to create a material capable of granting any wish, but in reality, besides this stone, they ended up creating all sorts of absurd doohickey. In a certain sense, this could also count as granting all their wishes…
And in Azir, the concept of alchemists, philosopher’s stone, etcetera were all somewhat all pages of the same book, though none have managed to succeed.
Something noteworthy was how the philosopher's stone was also claimed as the fifth element… which was aether. Lin Jie often would often wonder whether the two might just be two different sides of the same coin.
With his thoughts having led to this point, Boss Lin’s creased eyebrows loosened up as he contemplated further. He had a few conjectures regarding Jerome being the mole planted inside the Truth Union by the Path of the Flaming Sword.
The Path of the Flaming Sword was more complicated than he thought.
It was a secret, ambitious organization created to seek the power left behind from a mythological age with the power to back it up.
Lin Jie’s previous experience of giving Young Mike a beatdown had allowed him to gauge that this organization might already have some grasp of transcendental power, albeit lacking in strength.
After all, how could Lin Jie be able to beat actual transcendental beings with the shoddy basics he had picked up from a mere few months of training under Silver?
However, it was without a doubt that their strength was overwhelming with regard to an ordinary human.
Hence, assuming the Path of the Flaming Sword’s remaining ‘angels’ were around Michael’s level—though Lin Jie found it ridiculous how these chuunibyous viewed themself as holy—the existence of this organization was more than capable of endangering the whole Norzin, like a ticking time bomb. (Even though Lin Jie hadn’t properly managed to gauge their strength since Gabriel had died too quickly while Young Mike fled)
Not to mention that this organization even employed advanced espionage strategies and planted moles in every other organization.
There wasn't much needed to be said about the Church of the Dome. This corrupt power had been completely under the control of the Path of the Flaming Sword.
Cherry had recently discovered her brother Congreve's supply of contrabands to the Path of the Flaming Sword, and the resolution of that matter was still yet unclear.
Now, even a scholastic organization like the Truth Union had also been exposed…
It wasn't that hard to imagine that the Norzin Police that Joseph and Claude represented might be teeming with moles from the Path of the Flaming Sword too.
With the allies being sitting ducks in the light and enemies hidden in the shadows, the situation didn't seem especially optimistic.
Fortunately, the mole within the Truth Union had now been removed, just that he probably wasn't the only one...
But in any case, Andrew is really merciless, huh, to just get rid of the guy like this, thought Lin Jie.
Jerome seemed like a rather ruthless person since he could make a direct order to assassinate a young lady like Prima. Therefore, in a situation of fierce resistance, ending the life of such a dangerous perpetrator isn’t out of the question.
But back to the main issue; researching the philosopher's stone isn't something unexpected for an organization such as the Path of the Flaming Sword, whose main objective was to pursue transcendent powers.
From information he had gotten from the book he borrowed and other research notes, even the Truth Union was also researching philosopher's stones.
I’m afraid that this philosopher's stone doesn’t actually transmute metal to gold, nor does it provide immortality. Rather, it is simply a physical condensation of aether refined via certain methods. Lin Jie rubbed his chin and mused.
The construction of his dream realm was accomplished with his control over aether. Theoretically, if he were to master and utilize his method of making the dream realm descend into reality, then altering reality according to his will wouldn't exactly be an impossible feat.
Thus, this conveniently matched the characteristics of the philosopher's stone.
The Path of the Flaming Sword are probably the only ones who have the power to actually create philosopher's stones. Hence the stone left at the crime scene brings about another possibility—The Path of the Flaming Sword had acted preemptively and silenced the mole to prevent information being leaked.
With this line of thought, Lin Jie raised his head and questioned, "How did Jerome die?”
How did he die…
Shouldn’t you pose this question to yourself?!
Though this was what popped up in her mind, Prima still answered truthfully, “He was killed by someone. He was lying dead in his own office by the time the Truth Union found him.”
That should be right then. Lin Jie nodded his head.
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He just knew that it was unlike Andrew to straight out get a person killed. It turned out that the Path of the Flaming Sword had got to Jerome first.
Looks like the Path of the Flaming Sword is especially vigilant... Things really aren't that simple.
Lin Jie had just requested Andrew to bring Jerome over and the latter was dead in the next moment. The lead he had was practically cut off.
Haa... Someone like Young Mike who wields transcendent powers isn't to be underestimated!
Lin Jie then asked, "What about your sister?"
Prima hung her head in slight dismay. “My sister’s whereabouts are still unknown…”
Lin Jie consoled her for a bit, then proceeded to inform Andrew that there were definitely other moles besides Jerome in the Truth Union.
Surely whoever murdered Jerome must have also been someone from the Truth Union.
Besides that, Lin Jie asked for the philosopher’s stone to be delivered here at once. He, too, wanted to learn more about it.
On the other end of the call.
Andrew listened to the soft-spoken female voice and answered respectfully.
After hanging up, he observed the bustling office.
Jerome’s corpse… No, just a bag of skin. The only reason why his remains were only being moved out now was because the room had to remain uncontaminated for the purpose of checking for aetheric traces.
All unrelated personnel, Vice-Chairman Andrew included, were gathered nearby the crime scene to sate their curiosity.
The one currently in charge of this situation was Diamante.
Currently, Andrew was hiding in a corner reporting the situation to the bookstore owner. “I will send you the philosopher's stone as soon as possible.
"Do you have any other instructions?
"Oh, alright… Margeret’s whereabouts are still being investigated.
"I’m afraid we will have to dig even deeper since there are still moles around. I have a few suspects in mind, but I will need even more authority to further my investigation.”
Andrew could faintly catch the voice of Boss Lin on the other end of the call, immediately followed by Prima saying, “Be careful.”
He instantly understood that this one-sided conversation was almost concluded.
He now knew that it was only Prima on the phone now.
“Prima… Your name is Prima, am I right? Once you’ve recovered, would you perhaps be interested in temporarily filling out for your sister?” Andrew asked abruptly.
Prima hesitated, to which Andrew gave a further elaboration, “It isn't my place to tell you this, but it's highly likely that your sister is in a bad spot now. Even if she does make it back alive, she probably wouldn't be able to continue holding on to her position.
"Now that Jerome has died, there are vacant positions at the top of the Medicine Department. Don't you wish to help out Boss Lin much more?”
There was a burning look in Andrew's eyes as he said it.
Among the crowd of scholars nearby engaged in fervent discussion stood Hood, the nephew of President Maria. He appeared to be staring at Andrew while deep in thought.
At this point, Andrew looked up and met his gaze.
As their eyes met, a sudden spark of connection sent trembles down their spines.