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Chapter 80 - : Strange Audio Signal

Plague Doctor
     Chapter 80: Strange Audio Signal

    Dark clouds started to gather above Gu Rong Village, a sign that a heavy storm was coming. Another storm was already ravaging the emergency unit’s command central. It spread to Phecda’s branch in the Eastern State and then the national headquarters! The tree hole tunnel that connected Gu Rong Village and the abnormal space had collapsed!

    Every single word that the Demon Hunters said was intercepted by the command center in real life, including the jokes made by Uncle Dan. Even though the restored voices sounded strange, like they did not belong to humans, the people in the command center tried their best to focus.

    “Ah Jun, can you… understand this?” Xue Ba said.

    “Yes,” Gu Jun replied. Right then, the voices suddenly became incredibly distorted, and outside the barracks, the withered banyan tree suddenly snapped and fell. After the initial panic, the emergency unit quickly took hold of the situation and came up with a solution. A group of Action Department soldiers had already been deployed to inspect the banyan tree, and the members from communication research team were trying their best. The signal did not disappear completely, but it became incredibly weak, making it even more difficult to restore. There was a main commander in the emergency unit; he was a member sent by the headquarters, Yao Sinian. He was over sixty and had a head full of white hair. He had first encountered abnormal energy several decades ago. There were six other vice commanders inside the unit. Some of them came from the headquarters, while others were from the Eastern branch. Among them, the words of the leader of Investigation Department, Meng He; the leader of Scientific Research Department, Dong Wenrui; and the vice leader of Action Department, Guo Dajun, carried the most weight.

    Currently standing at the space next to the command center, Yao Sinian and his vice were discussing the latest development. Those who were not present in person were tuning in remotely.

    “This Gu Jun is highly suspicious,” Leader Meng said darkly. Even though the Review Department had given Gu Jun a pass, as more information surfaced and things turned for the worse, Gu Jun’s existence became more precarious.

    “For now, we cannot eliminate any possibilities, but we must not jump to any conclusions either.” Yao Sinian had considered that and had gone through Gu Jun’s files before. Lai Sheng Company said that they knew Gu Jun better than he knew himself. Yao Sinian also knew another version of Gu Ju. Even though the boy was clearly hiding things from them, it was also due to the complexity of his background that they should not come to quick conclusions. “Based on the information that we have now, Brother Gu is on our side. We must not wrong him, especially at this moment, damping the morale of him and his team.”

    Hearing what Commander Yao had to say, the rest nodded. It was unwise to discuss things like Gu Jun’s loyalty when they had no evidence to prove it one way or another. Once they had come up with new emergency solutions, people came back with the latest report. The big banyan tree had been put back in place by the Action Department. The abnormal energy in the tree hole had dissipated, but the abnormality around the area still existed. In the meantime, they had recovered the communication. The restoration was much less complete than before, but they could at least pick up some terms.

    

    Yao Sinian and the vice commanders immediately rushed back to the command center. The large barracks became crowded. One side was filled with large equipment like wireless receptors, and before them were several monitors. They showed blurry video signals as well as the wavelengths of the various soundwaves. There were computers in the room to identify the pitch of the different speakers. When they walked into the barrack, there were strange, intermittent voices. Other than that, the place was silent. A group of workers were seated before rows of computers. They perked up their ears to listen. The computers were doing their best to decipher the message.

    “That is not dead… Eternal lie… Strange eons… Death may die…” The sound was occasionally shrill but, at other times, like a low growl. It sounded like the whisper of a ghost coming from deep inside the forest. This was different from the voices of the sixteen members of the teams, and the data was continuously changing. It was impossible to tell who was speaking, and most of the content had to be filled in through context. But once Yao Sinian heard these few terms, his gray brows arched high. “It’s the couplet written by the Mad Arab.”

    Why would this couplet appear now? The commanders were at a loss. Then the strange voice began again.

    “This is Xue… Abdul Al… The Nameless City… Underground tunnel…”

    With regards to this Mad Arab, even with his high access, Yao Sinian did not know that much because they only had that much information on him. But this was a symbol of misfortune. A trail of extremely strange events had been following this Mad Arab’s couplet.

    “Could the abnormal space in the high wall be the Nameless City?” Leader Meng mumbled with confusion. To their knowledge, the Nameless City was just an Arabic legend, a contradictory legend at that. The place was supposed to be a ruin but had an extremely majestic range of castles. In any case, there was nothing inside the abnormal space with high walls.

    Or perhaps they were there in the past. After the passage of time, could they have been levelled into nothingness? But that was just speculation. The thing that caught more attention was ‘the underground tunnel’. The Demon Hunters appeared to have found a new exit. But in this situation, further exploration felt more like they were being led further into a trap.

    The group’s hearts were sinking, and time was passing. Then a figure hurried in. It was Elder Qin from the Medical Department. Everyone greeted him with a nod. He had just rushed there in a helicopter. Elder Qin used to be the leader of Medical Department, and he was currently half-retired. His main responsibility was cultivating new talent. He was well-respected in the Eastern State and was old friends with Yao Sinian. Since Gu Jun had come with his personal recommendation, now that something like this had happened, Elder Qin was summoned there to get his opinion.

    At the same time, the audio signal became more unstable. Occasionally, it would give off agitated fluctuations, and the voice of the team became more distorted. The people in the barracks could not tell whether it was one person speaking or multiple people…

    “Something… watching…”

    “Underground… Subterrain giant worms…”

    “Lin Mo…”

    “Abnormality… Argh!”

    The wail echoed through the command central. The blurry videos on the monitor appeared to have blood splatters on them. Their faces shifted. The members who were in headphones responsible for the audio recovery felt like the scream was piercing through their hearts. The wailing was coming intermittently, but it had not ceased. Were they ambushed by subterrain giant worms? Was the ambush at the base of Lai Sheng Company repeating itself?

    Then came the faraway sound of gunshots and chaotic screaming.

    “Retreat into the tunnel…”

    “Ah Jun, come and help!”

    Many people felt oppressed enough to curse. Leader Meng could not hold it in anymore and cursed. Someone was injured!

    The voice added quickly, “Heavy injury… suffered… Retreating…’

    “How is the medical condition of the team?” Yao Sinian turned to the vice commander, Yang Mu, from the emergency unit’s medical team. However, knowing this information would not help anything.

    “Very bad.” Vice commander Yang shook his head. “The main doctor is Luo Dan, the nurse is Zhang Huohuo, and Gu Jun can be the assistant. There aren’t many of them, but that is enough; however, they do not have the necessary equipment. The medical supplies taken in with the team were only enough to conduct a normal field operation. With regards to the wound caused by subterrain giant worms, amputation is the only option.”

    In the planning of this mission, medical necessity was ranked third, so they had few medical supplies with them. With what was happening, the sacrifice of the team member… appeared to be inevitable.

    “There is no sterile space, and the surgery is not an easy one. The wound can get easily infected,” vice commander Yang added and then shook his head. “It’s too difficult…”

    The environment examination of the space surrounded by the high wall came back to be harmless, but no one knew what the condition inside the ‘underground tunnel’ was.

    “Difficult but not impossible,” Professor Qin said. “Luo Dan has the skill, and Gu Jun can help. Amputation won’t be too difficult for them.”

    At the same time, the surprised gasp of a technical worker caught everyone’s attention. After the Demon Hunters entered the underground tunnel, the signal became much clearer. The voices were no longer distorted, and the reception was back to normal. They could hear that Uncle Dan and Gu Jun had helped the wounded member, Lin Mo, stop the bleeding on both of his legs. Then they injected him with anesthetic before they assessed the injury. Lin Mo’s lower left leg was heavily injured. The right leg had come out of the attack much better. The two immediately started to discuss possible solutions.

    “The right leg can be saved… Uncle Dan, I just did a similar surgery yesterday. I am confident that I can save this leg of Lin Mo’s.”

    “Kid, there is no microscope here, and there is no surgical light! How do you expect to find the parasite?”

    “According to the files I read yesterday, the young parasites are immobile for one hour of infection. They will slowly form sacs on the infected tissues… After the sacs are formed, they will only then gain the ability to reproduce and fester… and the young parasites are supposed to be easy to spot. They are visible to naked eye. The surgical light can be constructed by having the four flashlights staged at four angles. Therefore, within this one hour, we must try to clean his right leg as best as we can and then amputate the left! If we are unable to do so in an hour, then we have no choice to amputate the right leg as well.”

    “Hmm, okay then… There is a chance for that, but the risk is going to be huge… Ah Mo, I will leave this in your hands. Which procedure would you choose?”

    Listening to these conversations, the people at the command center were shocked, especially the ones from medical department. Even Vice Commander Yang and Elder Qin were stunned.

    ‘Gu Jun, do you know how difficult the procedure you have suggested is? Cleaning all the young parasites in one hour, that can only work in theory!’