Chapter 15: The Malformed Corpse
Larbre Studio Larbre Studio
Gu Jun looked into the storage tank. Within it, he saw a light yellow formalin solution almost filling it to the brim. An adult human body was soaked inside. This cadaver was a male body. Owing to the formalin, his skin was pale with a light tint of yellow. This was due to the epidermal pigment cells having been soaked in formalin.
The head, body, and limbs were all intact. However, something was sticking out to Gu Jun's eyes.
"Huh?" a loud gasp escaped Cai Zixuan who came to the storage tank.
This cadaver's upper left limb was abnormal. From its appearance, the elbows, wrists, and fingers were seemingly twisted. It's as if they were broken and then reattached abruptly. It's almost like the limbs of another creature. This hair-raising sight had stumped the elite medical students that gathered, leaving them unable to pinpoint the exact disease this cadaver had suffered from.
Was this man a victim of accidents? But, none of his other parts of the body was damaged, broken, or missing.
Seems like it's only the left hand. Which means, this is a malformed cadaver?!
"Haha, we are fortunate today." First to break the silence was Xu Hai. "In my opinion, this cadaver had suffered from some congenital malformation."
If this arm's deformities were a sign of congenital malformations, it pointed towards abnormal development as a fetus within the womb. This prominent malformed skeletal structure was rare, even amongst the limited numbers of malformed cadavers. It was atypical. Just like a conjoined twin, they were few even across the entire globe.
Furthermore, their combined knowledge could not identify the malformed cadaver in front of them.
"Shall we decide on this?" Zhang Haoran asked.
While there were almost a hundred cadavers stored within the mortuary, there was no need to open the other storage boxes and interrupt the peace and tranquillity of the deceased. After all, the probability of seeing a malformed corpse was thinner than a hairline.
"Yup, this cadaver should be good." Cai Zixuan said in agreement, nodding as he stepped aside to get a trolley.
On the other hand, an indescribable unease stirred within his mind as Gu Jun's eyes focused on the malformed left limb.
No, something is off.
Suddenly, the ominous sentence within Li Yuerui's footage ran over and over inside his head.
The fruits of darkness sprouts, shrouded by the darkness of the Abyss. The parasites of death will live with the Heavens and Earth forever.
On the malformed limb, an ominous pattern snaked across its skin. Within each stroke, a slight wriggle could be observed.
"Cai Zixuan, come and help me." Withdrawing his scrutinizing eyes, Gu Jun paced to another tank and gripped the handle tightly to pull it up without delay.
"Oh." While he was perplexed, Cai Zixuan rushed over to Gu Jun's aid without being reminded. By his side, Xu Hai stayed silent as he crossed his arms and his head shook.
What an amateur. Never seen a body before?
Within moments, a pungent and putrid stench of formalin gushed out. Looking at the cadaver inside, Gu Jun's heart skipped two beats.
It's another malformed cadaver?! One with a twisted limb too!
Not only that. Another perfectly maintained body with the same ominous crawling up the upper right limb.
"This.." Cai Zixuan was dumbstruck. From behind the two of them, Zhang Haoran and Xu Hai's eyes widened three sizes. Their jaws dropped to the ground.
What… what a coincidence…
"Zixuan, come with me!" Gu Jun yelled, putting down the tank cover. Then, he walked to another storage tank right next to it. Together with Cai Zixuan, they opened the tank cover again.
Xu Hai and Zhang Haoran followed behind. Together they viewed the tank's, horror surged up to their spines and paralysed any form of speech. Even as a medical student, they felt the temperature around them drop 3 degrees.
This was the corpse of a child, one with a malformed skeletal structure. Both the arms were twisted horribly till it was tough to look at.
"That's impossible…" muttering in disbelief, Xu Hai struggled to find a logical explanation.
Facing the child's pale white face, Gu Jun's expression turned ice cold. As if he was possessed by the spirit of a maniac, he set out on a frenzied craze and pulled lids after lids.
One… two… three...
By the side, the trio observed. Their faces gradually lost color. With every lid opened, their faces were turning paler as their common medical knowledge was torn apart by what they saw.
The flames of panic were raging within their hearts. When more than half of the fifty storage tanks present were opened, they found, to their horror, that all of them contained malformed bodies!
Whether it is male, female, adult, or child. The body was complete, but the limbs were abnormal.
"Could it be that these deceased were all subjected to nuclear radiation?" still muttering to himself, Xu Hai could only think of such a possibility.
Hearing that suspicion, Gu Jun quickly shook his head in denial. He knew it was not. In fact, he was absolutely sure. He had seen this hair-raising twisted limbs before.
They were all over that laboratory he saw in his visions. On the floors of the laboratory, rotting corpses were strewn all over. All of them had possessed such deformed limbs.
As he dug deeper into his thoughts, pain pierced into his head like needles. The more he thought, the more excruciating they got. The same feeling enveloped him. The noises around him dissipated. In their place, a rush of visions crashed mercilessly into his head.
As unpleasant odours plagued the air, Gu Jun pulled himself together and looked around. It was dark and dull. All the storage tanks were gone and were replaced by a sizable dilapidated pool. Inside, a dirty and yellow formalin solution filled it to the brim.
Gritting his teeth, he endured the pain inside his head and forced himself to see more clearly. He saw studs nailed on the poolside. On them, chains snaked along and hung into the pool.
The studs and the iron chains were rusty and mottled, probably having gone through several long merciless years.
Through the turbid water surface, Gu Jun vaguely saw the end of every iron chain. There, a corpse was tied and soaked in water. Breathing deeply, he clenched his jaws as his eyes narrowed. Those were humans.
Suddenly, the water in the pool violently rippled. From within, the corpse reached out. The deformed arm clawed at Gu Jun's face. Looking at the arm with widened eyes, the twisted bones were evident.
"Tycoon Jun! Tycoon Jun!" Cai Zixuan's voice shattered the vision. Shaking his head vigorously, Gu Jun wheezed heavily.
"You alright?" concerned, Xu Hai asked. "Do we need an ambulance?" On the other side, Zhang Haoran's voice echoed.
While everyone was shaken down to their core by the successive appearances of similar and supposedly rare malformed cadavers, none of them had broken out in shrieks and cold sweat like Gu Jun.
"I'm fine." Gu Jun took a few deep breaths as he calmed his thumping heart. Seems like the trigger to the visions had no relations to the location. However, until now, he could not decipher the purpose of these peculiar visions or could he find a clue as to where the laboratory was at.
"What happened? What happened?!" through the mortuary doors, Mr Cui rushed in. His giant beer belly was popping through the frames. The moment the sea of half-opened lids entered his line of sight, curses and anger burst forth from him. "ARGH! What the heck is wrong with you kids? You think this is fun? Are you picking a wife?"
As curses flowed from him endlessly, he walked over and glanced into the boxes. Immediately, his word curbed and his flabby cheeks shuddered in shock.
While he may just be a management team member. He too, studied medicine.
"Mr Cui, what's the matter?" asked Xu Hai.
"What's the matter? Isn't it just some deformed bodies? Don't make a fuss." Mr Cui stutteringly said and lightly brushed his shock. However, his chubby face was still tight and tense and his tone was a lot weaker. "I heard the corpse guides say that this group of bodies was selected. We have to cherish the peculiarity. All of the nation's malformed cadavers are probably concentrated here. With this competition helmed by the state, there are no resources that cannot be obtained. You! Quickly pick one and put the covers back."
Hearing the half-assed explanation, Xu Hai, Cai Zixuan, and Zhang Haoran were skeptical.
Was the management really attaching such great importance to this medical skills competition?
"Come on! Let's get moving!" Once again, Xu Hai pulled the team together. "I think we should stick with the first cadaver we opened."
Looking at the massive collection of malformed cadavers, Gu Jun was sure. There was indeed a peculiar power working behind the scenes.
This competition... It was his best shot at getting into this mysterious world.
First, he had to seize this chance to practice his dissection skills and spur the development of his Hands of Dexterity. At the same time, convince Professor Gu to give him a chance!
Immediately, Gu Jun opened the system in his mind and browsed his Missions Log.
[DIFFICULT Mission: Within 3 days, complete a dissection on a malformed human. Mission Rewards, 1 Incomplete Anatomical Reference.
[Mission Accepted! Current Dissection Progress: 0%, Time Remaining : 71:59:58 ]
Time remaining? 72hours?
Considerations swirled within Gu Jun's mind. It seemed like DIFFICULT and NORMAL missions had several different limitations. NORMAL missions requested the completion within the day, while DIFFICULT mission would end within the next 72 hours.
71:58:59. as the numbers ticked on unceasingly, Gu Jun's heart thumped a little faster. Looks like he should have waited until he could actually begin dissecting before accepting the mission.
This time, he had to rush.