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The Ultimate Evolution Chapter 992

Chapter 992: Readily Solved
Translator: Sean88888 Editor: Elkassar1

Sheyan greedily gulped down his food while he reached over to take the stack of information from Zi's hands. He looked over it carefully.

Not that he didn't believe in Zi's judgement, but he had to confirm things like this for himself - following the herd blindly was never his style. There was not that much information in the folder, only about six A4 sheets in total, but each of them was densely filled with letters. Sheyan could not help but silently mock the secret service. Was their budget so tight that they couldn't afford to use a few more pieces of papers?

Zi had long acknowledged Sheyan's extraordinary ability in laying out strategy deep down in her heart. As a former party leader and a proud person, she was looking forward to her views being affirmed. She looked at Sheyan expectantly, hoping to hear the words of approval.

Sheyan swallowed his last bite of rice while staring seriously at one of the A4 paper, then looked at Zi who had a hopeful gaze in her eyes.

"Um....can you order another delivery of the rice? It's really good."

Zi: ....

Half an hour later, Sheyan, who had three servings of the rice, was finally full. He said lazily, "Well, Zi, you're not exactly wrong, but we have to consider our future moves. If we just follow the same route taken by our opponent in this mission, we will put ourselves in an extremely passive position. Even if we manage to complete this step after considerable effort, who's to say that the mastermind hadn't sabotaged the next step in the mission progression?

Zi gave him an angry glare.

Sheyan smiled and did not pay her any heed. "So, I suggest that we focus our attention on the clue that the opponent likely hasn't discovered - the microscopic SOS signal. I only managed to discover this abnormality in the realm after repeatedly requesting for the analysis of the metal nut with my rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Drubal didn't seem like the party leader, so he shouldn't have such a high rank. I have ample reason to suspect that he did not discover this piece of clue when he was performing this mission. That was probably why his mission evaluation rating was so low."

"You mean, we should focus on things that can perform microscopic engraving?" asked Zi after a short contemplation.

Sheyan answered, "Correct. Take a look at this photo."

Sheyan showed them a high resolution photo of the SOS engraving on the metal nut's thread. Under the powerful magnification, the gap between each pitch on the thread was as wide as the Californian wilderness. The engraving was very clear and thorough, and the letters showed an obvious style of personal handwriting.

"This SOS signal is obviously not the work of an amateur. If any of us here were to carve an SOS signal on the wooden table, it will definitely look as ugly as the scribbling of a three-year-old."

Sheyan knocked a finger on the oily table and exclaimed decisively, "The person who wrote this message is an expert in the art of micro-carving!"

Zi said with a pout, "Okay, then. Tell me what you found."

"At first I thought I'll be able to find a special kind of precision lathe used for micro-carving on the list, but unfortunately, there's no such thing," said Sheyan. He continued confidently, "But that couldn't stop me! I started to make deduction based on the most basic of common sense. It's impossible to make microscopic engravings on a metal nut with just the naked eye, correct? "

Maybe all this talking had made Sheyan thirsty, because he stopped to drink some coffee before he continued, "Based on this line of reasoning, I found one, two, three.... four objects on the list of warehouse items which gave me a pleasant surprise. They were all either high-power microscopes, or objects that can be used for magnification purposes. It's funny, we were still worried about not having any answer a moment ago, but now we have multiple choices - although most of the choices are likely wrong."

Sanzi held his chin with his palm and asked with a hint of excitement in his voice, "What should we do next, then? Look for everyone who had access to these four objects one by one?"

Sheyan smiled, but he shook his head.

"From the highly secretive manner the sculptor used to ask for help, we can already infer a few crucial points. First, we must understand that no one will simply inspect an ordinary metal nut under a high-power microscope for no reason. Even us, who knew that there must be something weird about the nut, almost didn't find the engraving. So, we can deduce that there was most probably an intended recipient for the metal nut. Only that particular person will inspect the nut under a microscope.

"What does that tell us? The only reasonable explanation is that the engraver and the person intended to receive the metal nut must be mutual acquaintances, and they must be acquaintances who knew each other through micro-carving. The engraver would tell the recipient, this is my latest work, behold my awesome skills, check out the masterpiece I made on it.... and if everything goes as planned, his secret message will be successfully transmitted."

"Second, in this highly advanced civilisation where communication means are abundant and the laws are thorough, even reaching out to the president shouldn't be very difficult. And yet, our engraver still chose such a covert method of communication. This could only mean one thing -- the surveillance on the engraver was likely much tighter than we previously thought."

"These two points may seem inconsequential, but they play a very important role in our screening process. In order to micro-carve under a microscope, the area around the microscope platform cannot be enclosed or semi-enclosed because there must be space for the carving tools to operate. With this in mind, we can eliminate two of our choices. These two appear to be microscopes used to observe biological samples, so the area around the platform is an enclosed space that's shut tight in order to prevent contamination. They don't meet the requirement for micro-carving operation.

"This is our target! This high-power microscope manufactured by the Renedine Factory in Alaska! And the reason it was retired to the storeroom was because it...was...rusty..."

Sanzi interrupted Sheyan with a dry cough. He said, "Isn't your deduction too far ahead, brother? We have four choices. After you've ruled out two of them, there should be two more, right?"

Sheyan sighed. "The maximum magnification that the remaining microscope is capable of is 50x. Making a carving like this requires a magnification of at least 1000x. This isn't rocket science, Sanzi. Use your brain."

Sanzi stuck out his tongue and did not say anything else.

Sheyan looked around and asked, "Does anyone have anything else they would like to add?"

Mogensha and Reef shrugged. Zi looked indignant and seemed like she was going to say something, but found that she could come up with no retort. Sheyan then said while holding the stack of information, "Renedine high-power microscope, in use from March 1987 to January 1992."

"Application: Inspection."

"Location: Quality control department of workshop III."

"Photo attached."

After reading these information out loud, Sheyan closed his eyes as if he was organising his thoughts, then uttered slowly, "The person we're looking for is someone who once worked in the quality control department of workshop III. The person probably had a rather unusual life experience, is not a heavy drinker but is addicted to smoking, quiet, and balding. Oh, and one more thing - one very important thing - he's left-handed."

This time even Zi was surprised.

"How could you possibly know so much?"

Sheyan laughed. "Although everything in the warehouse has been destroyed by the violent explosion of negative energy, there are still a lot of trails if we look close enough. I believe that we're all in agreement with the first two points?"

"As for him not being a heavy drinker but is a heavy smoker instead, the reason I deduced that is because the guy is being closely monitored but still had to keep a huge secret inside him, so the pressure on him must be enormous. He must find a way to relieve the pressure. The most common ways are smoking and drinking, but long-term drinking will dull his nerve response and also cause his hands to shake. That's totally unacceptable for a micro-carving enthusiast like him, so he can only seek comfort from nicotine."

"Likewise, balding is also a symptom of tremendous psychological pressure. As for being left-handed, we can see that from this photo of the microscope. The image is a little fuzzy, but it's not difficult to see that the left handle of the microscope had been grasped so frequently that the paint had fallen off. I believe the reason is obvious."

Zi suddenly exclaimed, "He could've secretly used his colleague's microscope to micro-carve."

Replied Sheyan, "It's possible, but the odds are slim. First, he's closely monitored. Second, Renedine high-power microscopes aren't cheap; it's an especially expensive piece of equipment at the time. The microscope operator will have their salary deducted for any accidental damage to the microscope, so they will usually take care of it very well. It's not very easy to get in contact with others' microscopes, so...."

"After what we've done tonight, I suspect the security of the Knox Factory will be even tighter tomorrow. It'll probably be really difficult for us to perform any investigation," said Mogensha with a frown.

"Which is why I have no plans to go to that damn place tomorrow." said Sheyan leisurely. He continued, "According to my investigation, the Knox Factory doesn't seem to provide any form of accommodation for its employees. Now that we have a clear target, we just need to pay a visit to the head of the factory's personnel department, or....the person in charge of the quality control department of workshop III. The whole operation won't take too long, regardless of whether they're willing to cooperate.
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