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Chapter 4

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 4: Foreign Medicine

    Larbre Studio  Larbre Studio

    The night sky blanketed their surroundings, and the cruise ship slowly sailed on the boundless ocean using a dim light as the only source of illumination.

    In a luxurious suite on the high deck of the cruise ship, Gu Jun sat before a study table. He studied the small box of medicine before him and frowned. It had been more than half a day since he had received this box of medicine as a mission reward, but his doubts had only increased.

    It was a small square paper carton, and the packaging was no different from any conventional flu medicine. However, the text printed on it was neither Chinese nor English, and he was unable to recognise what language it was.

    3

    The box contained only one row of medication which was packed in aluminium foil. There were only five round white capsules.

    There was no manual either, and the unrecognisable font was similarly printed on the aluminium foil.

    "I do seem to have some impression about it," Gu Jun mused to himself. "Was it the language of the words inscribed on that rock pillar? Or is it some other language in the world?"

    He had searched the internet for an entire night to compare the unknown inscriptions with more than a dozen mainstream languages ​​and hundreds of other dialects, including rare obtuse languages that were seldom used nowadays. None of them was even remotely similar. It was as though this unknown language is not a product of human thought.

    

    4

    Gu Jun vaguely sensed that the words do not belong to any Earthly language. Still, human beings had thousands of languages. Perhaps his faint intuition may be proven to be false.

    1

    However, brainstem tumour-targeting drugs? There were not many pharmaceutical companies on the planet that have such pharmaceutical capabilities, only a few pharmaceutical giants did.

    15

    If this was a medicine manufactured in this world, then the text on the box should at least be English, German, or French.

    In addition to the mysterious text, there were identical patterns on the upper right corner of both sides of the box. The size of the logo was similar and seemed to be the trademark. This pattern looked like the side view of a marine creature.

    It had a whale-like body with sharp jagged dorsal and tail fins, but the pectoral and ventral fins had weird limb shapes.

    3

    Like the mysterious text, he was unable to discern what kind of creature it was. Still, the more he studied the image, the more he found that the pattern revealed an unspeakable frenzy.

    1

    After thinking about it for a long time, his head started to hurt. Gu Jun took a look at the time and found that it was nearing midnight.

    1

    Previously, the system had mentioned that the Mission Log would be refreshed at 00:01 daily.

    The clock's second hand slowly ticked by as Gu Jun watched impassively. The moment it passed the '12' numeral, he immediately opened the Mission Log. Indeed, it had been refreshed, and a new set of missions was displayed.

    1

    [NORMAL mission: Use an intravenous infusion needle to thread through a rubber tourniquet and successfully thread the needle 1000 times to practice your stitching skills. Mission reward: 1 box of human brainstem-tumour targeting drugs. The efficacy can extend the host's lifespan by five days.

    2

    DIFFICULT mission: Successfully treat 100 pediatric patients today. Quest reward: 1 Carlo anatomical scissors

    3

    ABYSSAL mission: Complete the dissection of 1x Zombie within one week. Mission reward: UNKNOWN]

    6

    "The Mission Log refreshes every day after midnight, huh? Isn't this forcing me to stay up late every night? Oh, my poor liver..."

    4

    Gu Jun murmured inside his heart. The ABYSSAL mission was still the same. It seemed that although the Mission Log was refreshed every day, the ABYSSAL-level missions would not always change.

    The conditions for the DIFFICULT mission could not be fulfilled on the cruise ship;. In contrast, the clear requirements for the NORMAL mission were rather straightforward. Only a scalp needle and a rubber tourniquet were required.

    Thus, Gu Jun made a call to the service crew and requested for these two items. He told them that he wanted to practice stitching. He was a distinguished VIP guest, and such a small request will naturally be met with no objections. Soon afterwards, a waiter brought the requested items. The items were stored inside a small box.

    As soon as he received the items, Gu Jun accepted the NORMAL mission and immediately began doing the desk.

    2

    The rubber tourniquet was the common type: a yellow, hollow rubber band. When you pierce it with a needle, it will resemble the sensation of puncturing a blood vessel. Therefore, a tourniquet was the first step of learning how to stitch for all nurses. Gu Jun had not received systematic nursing training. However, since he was given many injections while experimenting on animals, he was no stranger to intravenous infusion.

    2

    He took a scalp needle and carefully started threading through the tourniquet while maintaining an entry-angle of 30-40 degrees. He had tried it before, but it was not considered a "success" due to not being precise enough.

    After more than two hours of labouring, "1000/1000" was finally achieved. Gu Jun had torn a bunch of tourniquets in the process, and his right arm was sore and aching all over. He had committed the mistake of overusing his hand after midnight.

    2

    At this time, Gu Jun heard a now familiar jingle in his head.

    [NORMAL Mission-Mission Completed!]

    [ Proficiency for the Hands of Dexterity has been increased, and the current level is 1 (1500/5000 Proficiency)]

    [Mission rewards have been distributed: 1 box of human brainstem tumour-targeting drugs. Effects: The host's life could be extended by five days.]

    Once again, Gu Jun felt something heavy weighing in his pocket, and he curiously stretched his hand into his pocket and retrieved another box of pills. A closer look at the two boxes revealed that a few characters printed on the boxes were printed differently. It should be the numbers, batches, production dates and information of that ilk.

    6

    If he had been a linguist, he might be able to discover more points of divergence. However, Gu Jun could only tell the difference in the medical information.

    This looks a lot like temozolomide. Gu Jun took out two rows of ten white capsules inside the two boxes of pills. He repeatedly flipped the boxes around, studying the information from every angle.

    Temozolomide was the most common drug against brain stem tumours. However, there were many types of brain stem tumours. Temozolomide treats glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma. Unfortunately, he was suffering from a medulloblastoma, and there is no medicine against that on the market.

    4

    Moreover, it was unknown what constitutes the ingredients of these capsules. Still, obviously, it was a chemical-based drug. A small molecule drug. In theory, oral use could pass through the blood-brain barrier and have an effect on tumors. It should be okay to use it.

    The real question was was this really a "human brainstem tumour-targeting drug"?

    Gu Jun grew more and more uneasy as he contemplated, quietly gazing out at the still sea outside the balcony. What he seemed to be seeing on the ocean's surface were the rough waters and those indescribable delirious illusions. He saw a monster who was breaking free from the cage of the abyss. It needed sustenance and a living sacrifice.

    "What if I am just livestock? What if these medicines were traps set by monsters? What if death was not the worst possible outcome?"

    6

    The notion made Gu Jun's heart throbbed for a while. He stood up and looked at the sea, tightly clenching the pills in his hand.

    The devil will tempt you with what you desire the most.

    That mysterious rock pillar at the bottom of the sea, this strange power... Does the research of my parents have anything to do with this?

    Gu Jun paced around a few steps. Although the Hands of Dexterity was effective, it does not mean that the same could be applied to this box of medicine. Even if his life was destined to be a short one, he felt that he needed to be calm and rational in every situation. That was because the irrational choice of losing his cool would often result in disastrous consequences.

    This prudence for the unknown has overshadowed the previous excitement of extending his lifespan.

    What's more, as a medical student, experimenting on his own body was not something he dared to try.

    I got it!

    Gu Jun thought of a way to test if these two boxes of medicine were really as effective as they were made out to be.

    I must hurry! His lifespan only had 59 days remaining. This reminded him of the torturous countdown to the damned college entrance examination.