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Chapter 33

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 33: The Chosen Few

    Larbre Studio  Larbre Studio

    "Are they better than us?"

    The figure leaned over the table stationarily, muttering in an undertone. As the heavy sentence reverberated throughout the dungeon, the figure stood stationary for a few moments. From the voice, Gu Jun could feel an unshakeable depressive confoundment. Gu Jun's eyes narrowed as his burning gaze tried to focus onto the face of this figure. He had to find out if this person was human. Alas, the vision began to blur and the oil lamp suddenly slaked, cutting off his view.

    At the last moment, a harrowing sight of the corpse leaping onto the figure etched deep into Gu Jun's mind.

    "AH!" the intense shock jolted Gu Jun back into reality. With heavy breaths, he pulled himself together as his trembling hands struggled to keep the scalpel in his grip. Every time he witnessed the vision, he felt a massive portion of his stamina draining from his body.

    "What happened?" Wang Ruoxiang caught onto his odd behaviours.

    "Nothing." Looking at her gentle expression, Gu Jun turned to Cai Zixuan and smiled wryly. Calming his mind, he asked them, "Don't you think from this chest, this creature seems like a better and more refined human?" Not waiting for the perspective of his teammates, Gu Jun turned to Professor Qin. He asked loudly, "Professor Qin, how would you rate the potential intelligence of this creature?"

    Based on their anatomical structure, this creature was easily superior to humans. Could it be that even their intelligence… Is that why the figure who drew the reference was walking by the edge of despair?

    

    More importantly, how did the department even get this specimen?

    This question from Gu Jun silenced all the chattering from the venue, turning it to a pin drop silence. Every student and professor could understand the purpose of this question with ease. They too yearned to know the answer.

    "Gu Jun, I am heartened to hear you asking this question," Professor Qin sternly replied. "However, I cannot reveal this to you here. In the future, you will find out."

    While he did not explicitly state it, anyone could tell that this creature had a substantial level of intelligence.

    First the Banyan Malformation Disease, now an irregular species. As if a new void of coldness shattered the universe and the crowd was sucked into it, shrouding them in a dark and grey gloom.

    Seeing how the nominees had stopped working, Professor Qin gently reminded, "Students, there are only 15 minutes left. Come on, get moving!"

    Immediately, everyone shot back into action. Gu Jun too withdrew all his other questions and thought. He led his fellow teammates to expertly finish this test.

    The last 15 minutes flew by. As the bell signalling the end sounded, all the competitors had to stop regardless whether or not they were pleased with their work.

    "Thank you, everyone, for your hard work and efforts," Professor Qin said at the end. "Everyone did rather well."

    These words were not words of encouragement. In this test, Gu Jun's team had unexpectedly removed the Lamellar Bone at exceedingly fast and precisely speed. From there, the other groups followed suit and entered the chest area without additional difficulties. For the first time, no team ended up dismembering the specimen.

    It was also for this reason that, after some discussion, the judges decided to select a few more people with exceptional skills.

    Less than ten minutes later, the final list of the chosen few was displayed on the big screen. There were a total of nine students.

    Gu Jun, Wang Ruoxiang, and Cai Zixuan were the three names at the top of the list. To everyone's surprise, the entire team of three people had emerged as the top 3 amongst this considerable pool of talents! There was one more person from Eastern University, Ma Jiahua from the school team led by Professor Yu. He was a sixth-year student in the eight-year clinical program.

    Two students were selected from Qingyun University, Sun Yuheng and Yang Ming; one Jihua Medical College student, a girl named Zhou Yi; one Dongyang Medical College student, Cheng Yifeng; and one girl from Eastern University School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jiang Banxia.

    6

    As the crowd saw this result, surprise stained everyone's expression. At first, Professor Qin had said that he would only select two or three people, but now the judges were overwhelmed with joy. Seems like this event was a massive haul for them.

    While this competition was a great victory for Eastern University, the atmosphere was very calm and controlled. The students of Eastern University did not seize the opportunity to throw slurs and jeers at Qingyun University. As the emcee announced the end of the morning's 2 round tests, he initiated a round of applause for the competitors. Under his guidance, all the spectating professors and students followed suit and acknowledged the outstanding performance of all participating students, especially the nine selected students standing in the field. From his position, Gu Jun could see the proud and warm smiles from Professor Gu, Xu Hai, and He Yuhan as they applauded vigorously for his team.

    1

    However, the dejection of the faces of the unsuccessful students were evident, especially the school team members of Eastern and Qingyun Universities. While they were fully convinced of Gu Jun and Wang Ruoxiang's abilities, they could not accept the fact that Cai Zixuan was chosen over them. If this prematurely aging bald head was not leeching off Gu Jun, then on what basis was he better than them?

    5

    As Cai Zixuan emotionally sighed, "Sometimes, fate will arrange your life clearly."

    4

    "Students." Professor Qin's eyes glanced at the nine students. "For now, go back and sort out your mood and thoughts. We will see you tomorrow morning."

    1

    The 9 of them nodded in response and prepared to disperse. Suddenly, Gu Jun asked, "Professor Qin, can I continue dissecting this specimen? I want to find out more about this irregular species."

    As of now, he was only 35% complete with the dissection. This time. The mission demanded a far more precise and in-depth degree of analysis.

    Gu Jun was much like a gem in the eyes of the judges. Furthermore, Gu Jun had packaged his request to sound like an earnest thirst for improvement and knowledge. As expected, there was no reason for Professor Qin to deny him. In fact, Professor Qin was impressed and nodded in satisfaction. "Of course, whoever wishes to continue can do so. These specimens are yours."

    3

    As such, all nine students remained to continue the dissection. First, they did not wish to look lazy in comparison. Secondly, this creature did indeed pique their interest.

    1

    As the long morning finally came to a close, Professor Qin left with his panel. The other students continued with the regular and conventional Clinical Skills Competition under a separate group of judges.

    As he watched the disappearing backs of Professor Qin and the judges, several other worries plagued Gu Jun's mind.

    I may be selected now, but there are some changes about the situation.

    In his mind, his parents surfaced. Should the event involving his parents be a concern for the department, there would be nothing he could do about it. His biological link to his parents was not something that he could not change. Should he take the initiative and report this to them? However, he could not predict or control the consequence of doing so.

    What if father and mother are villains in the eyes of the department? What if they were never noticed by the department and I end up shedding light on their research?

    Countless worries churned in Gu Jun's mind. At this moment, he wasn't even sure of his own pedigree or if his parents were still alive or if they were good- or bad-natured.

    4

    For the time being, there was only 1 thing he could, adapt and pretend that he didn't know anything. Once he successfully entered this mysterious circle, then he could try to investigate what organization Laisheng Company was and find out what he should do.

    The second change is my brainstem tumour. Gu Jun did not know whether the department would find out about this lethal tumour. At the moment, there was only 1 medical record of it in the back-end database of Eastern University Affiliated Hospital. While only the hospital could reveal this, he must still have prepared a plan to deal with the worst-case scenario. After all, he could not escape the compulsory detailed medical examination before joining the department. Currently, his brain stem tumour would no doubt "occupy space" in his brain X-ray, and there was no way to hide it.

    For now, Gu Jun moved to the backstage of the stadium with the others to continue the dissection. The iron cage of the deceased BMD creature vanished without a trace, leaving only a pungent smell to prove its existence.

    For the next six hours, from 11 am to 5 pm, Gu Jun dwelled in his maniacal dissection mode again. In this period, he never left the dissecting table even for a single moment. His team carefully removed various organs down to the smallest and most delicate details, even the blood vessels were not spared. As time trickled along, the degree of completion of the mission also increased little by little; from 35% to 50%, then to 85%, and finally to 99%. When he dissected another vein in the chest...

    A musical and comforting bell rang in his mind. With it, a familiar system message board popped up.

    [Current Dissection Progress: 100%, DIFFICULT mission - Mission Completed!]

    [The Proficiency of the Hands of Dexterity has risen! The current level is second-tier(1000/30000 Proficiency)]

    [Mission rewards are waiting to be collected: 3 pages of complete Diagnosis and Treatment Journal. Click to receive your rewards.]

    Just like the previous one, Gu Jun did not immediately collect his rewards. While the incomplete anatomical reference was somewhat like a softcopy in his mind, there was still a chance that these diagnoses and Treatment Journal pages were physical copies.

    Thud! Gu Jun placed the blood vessel forceps onto the dissection table and took off his gloves and mask. He turned to Wang Ruoxiang and Cai Zixuan and said, "You guys continue with the dissection, I will go back first."

    "Huh." Cai Zixuan looked blankly at Gu Jun. The intense fatigue he felt had already thrown him into a daze. Since the few slices of bread he had in the morning, he had not eaten another gram of food. "We dissect? If not for you, Tycoon Jun, who would be doing this now?"

    Since some time ago, Wang Ruoxiang had already excused herself and rested by the benches. Now she stood up. "Gu Jun, Professor Gu had said to wait for everyone before leaving. He wants to bring us for a meal."

    "You guys wait for them. Just text me the address later on Wechat. I will be there." Washing his hands by the sink, Gu Jun left hastily.

    Now that Gu Jun had received the offer from the secret department, his identity shifted to something different. Some staff accompanied him out of the stadium and had even arranged a particular car to take him back to the medical school of Eastern University. Naturally, his 2 phones that were taken away during the previous inspection were returned. Immediately, he checked them. Fortunately, they were not touched during his absence.

    On the way back, the staff sternly warned him not to leak the information he saw and heard in the stadium. Should any unsatisfactory conduct be done, he would not only lose his offer but also be held accountable.

    "No worries. I will keep it confidential," with a stern face, Gu Jun solemnly promised that he really didn't have the idea of spreading the details.

    Leaning onto the car door, Gu Jun looked out at the comparatively peaceful bustling city. At this time, the sun in the sky was still shining brightly high up in the sky. In his view, the busy town kept falling back and showed sights of mothers pushing strollers on the streets and teenagers riding and sharing bicycles. There was also an uncle walking the dog and a grandmother dragging her grandchildren away...

    I also hope that those monstrosities will always be kept a secret.

    4

    Gu Jun thought to himself.