99 The Words on the Paper

    Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Lonelytree

    "Xiao Jun, we have some things that we need to tell you."

    Gu Jun's wavering consciousness was floating in the darkness. A barely discernible female voice was guiding him forward. It was his mother. The image before him became clearer. It was his childhood home-the warm living room, the sofa, the television, the fridge and the potted plants. Gu Jun remembered this as the last day he had with his parents before they went out to the sea. At the time, he was less than ten. After that, he was kicked out of his own home and was sent to the orphanage. According to legend, before a person died, they would see the scene that planted the most regret in their heart.

    A very tall man and a woman with long hair stood there. Their faces were hidden behind a layer of blurriness. Gu Jun managed to capture some details that had escaped the younger version of himself. There appeared to be some fear in their mannerisms.

    'Fear? Why? Wasn't it their goal all along to go searching for mysterious power at the Longkan Subvolcanic Belt, or is there another reason behind it?'

    As he remembered it, his mother told him gently, "We are going to sail soon. We might need you to stay at a place with other children for some time..."

    Gu Jun heard a childish voice say, "Then, how long will you be gone this time, and when will you return?"

    "Soon." His mother hesitated. He felt that in that moment, he really could feel the sadness in his mother's eyes. She was truly unwilling to leave him behind. "You have to focus on your studies and listen to the adults. After all, you need to study hard if you want to become a doctor in the future. Should you face any trouble in the future, remember to never give up, okay?"

    "I know," the boy answered. He huffed angrily and turned to walk away. "I'm not as important as that boat anyway."

    Gu Jun felt his consciousness being pulled away. He trailed behind his younger self, who was causing trouble for his parents who were packing up. He was banned from entering the study. He thus found his way into his parent's bedroom. Inside their closet, he found a ball of crumpled paper inside the pocket of a coat. He opened it up to see.

    "Xiao Jun!" His mother's yelp of surprise appeared from behind him. She rushed over to grab the piece of paper away. "Go back to your room and play. I need to pack the clothes now."

    Gu Jun snapped with shock. He did not think much of this incident when he was small, and he had completely forgotten about it later, categorizing it as one of the disruptions he had done to stop his parents from leaving. He did not remember this part during the hypnosis either because, in his mind, all the important stuff was inside the study, which he was banned from entering. But earlier, he had clearly seen a nautical chart on that piece of paper and some words. The words were squeezed together and written with a black fountain pen. The handwriting was rather hasty, and they were repetitions of one strange sentence.

    [ Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn]

    [ Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn]

    [ Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn]

    'This is not the foreign language, so what is it? How do you read it? Is this part of 'those documents?' Gu Jun's mind sharpened from shock and apprehension. The pictures that he had drawn when he was young, he thought they were part of the foreign language, but Lai Sheng Company already knew the foreign language, so why would they need that from him? In fact, their mastery of it was so good that they could evoke it for spell incantations.

    The pictures and drawings he had done should have been handed over to the company already. 'Those documents' could point toward other secrets, probably the real result his parents had gotten from their nautical research.

    His parents probably belonged to another force inside Lai Sheng Company. They secretly revolted against the organization or at least had a different goal from those people in black and red.

    Yet, whether their goal was good or bad, why they had joined Lai Sheng Company, why the split, and the reason they travelled to the Longkan Subvolcanic Belt...

    The meaning of that sentence and how that was related to the fact he was made the vessel for both the contradictory sides of Landon as the Son of Steel and the Son of Misfortune...

    So many questions ricocheted in his mind.

    Suddenly, a blow of air entered his lung. Gu Jun choked on the breath and snapped out from his dream, but the strange sentence on the paper was still branded before his eyes.

    "He's up... He's up, Uncle Dan. Gu Jun is awake!" He could hear Lin Mo's voice shouting with excitement. His eyes opened to the sight of the ruined shrine, and he was lying on top of the stretcher.

    "Ah Jun, do you know who I am?" Uncle Da rushed over and very happily conducted a series of vital checks. Xue Ba, Lou Xiaoning, and the rest surrounded him as well. There were looks of relief. Gu Jun first suppressed the memory that he had just recovered as he listened to Uncle Dan recount what had happened earlier. After his heart stopped, they performed an emergency resuscitation, and with an injection into the heart, he finally regained his breath and heartbeat. But he had been unconscious for more than three hours already. It had been very dangerous earlier; a cardiac arrest was the most serious emergency. Given the best circumstances, in which the procedure was performed by the best doctor and within four minutes of the incident, the success rate was only at a measly fifty percent. If it was over six minutes, then it would have been less than ten percent.

    When Gu Jun's heart resumed beating, they moved onto another worry, namely that the temporary lack of oxygen to the brain would cause serious nerve damage. If that had happened, the man would have been lost to a permanent coma.

    "Uncle Dan, just one question. Who performed CPR on me?" Gu Jun asked.

    "Who else but me?" Uncle Dan answered. "Don't worry, you're not even close to the worst thing I've sucked."

    Gu Jun was silenced. 'Okay... that is really not something I needed to know... I suppose this is the price I need to pay for brutely forcing a spell.'

    His brain felt like it was pounding like drum, much worse than before he took the brain-tumor targeting drug. It was unclear how long the influence the dark energy would hold on his mind, if it would even dissipate. In that case, then the spell ruin would have ruined him as well.

    As Uncle Dan finished all the inspection, Gu Jun forced himself to sit up and saw that there were Demon Hunters clearing the battlefield. He turned to Xue Ba. "Captain Xue, what's the update?"

    Just as he brought that topic up, he could see the happiness slip away from the members' faces. Xue Ba sighed. "There were 111 people in black and four in red. They are all dead now."

    Those who survived Gu Jun's onslaught were captured initially, but they all uttered some foreign statement and expired. With Gu Jun's explanation, he confirmed it was part of the Mad Arab's poem. He began to recite some, and his face paled again. Uncle Dan immediately stopped him from going further.

    The mutated wolf stopped appearing. Xue Ba went ahead with gloves and mask. He used the military knife and very unprofessionally sliced open one of the carcasses. The skin, flesh, and organs were typical of a common wolf. These wolves were like the Jinmenken; just had slightly mutated but had no trace of abnormal energy on them.

    After Uncle Dan rescued him, he went with Zhang Huohuo to dissect the faces of the people in red. The question they wanted to answer was: 'how come they all look the same?'

    Some of their faces were crushed in, and others were still well preserved. There was no sign of any plastic surgery. It appeared they were all born that way.

    "I have a feeling... that these people are all blood-related, like perhaps they came from the same father or mother," Gu Jun said darkly. These people should form the central pillar of the Lai Sheng Cult, probably the reincarnations of the people from the foreign civilization. His parents, however, belonged to another party within the organization, probably related to that sentence that he just remembered.

    There had to be different forces within Lai Sheng Company because there were more than ten people in red kneeling toward the banyan tree, but there were only four of them here. Technically, they should all have been there to reap the reward.

    "This is strange." Uncle Dan was confused. "Some of them are as old as eighty, but the young ones are less than thirty. Could they be grandparents and grandchildren?" Only

    But facial similarities over two generations? Even DNA transference through one generation would not account for such similarities.

    "I mean, they might be the descendants of some kind of existence." Gu Jun expanded on his hypothesis. "And they are definitely not normal humans."

    Xue Ba and Uncle Dan nodded slightly. In any case, they were no closer to the truth. There could be more answers. They would find out more with DNA analysis. Unfortunately, they were too weak to carry so many dead bodies back with them. They could only make do with some tissue samples, but Xue Ba insisted on cutting off the leader's head and carrying it with them. The Demon Hunters moved to oblige. They inspected the bodies, collecting samples and fingerprints. Interestingly enough, the mysterious gang of people had different fingerprints.

    It was another mystery whether there were still other living parties within this abnormal space. This was because the team had not gone out to explore the strange and silent forest of banyan trees. These trees could be carrying Malformed Banyan Disease. Xue Ba planned to put on one of the remaining three protective suits to go and take a look after they had finished cleaning up the battlefield. After all, they still needed to find their way home. The team had not escaped from the desperation of the lack of supplies. Gu Jun was also in a state where he needed water to sustain his recuperation.

    Gu Jun was told to rest after the Demon Hunters went off to do their work. However, lying on the stretcher, Gu Jun was unable to calm his mind. He was fixated on that crumpled piece of paper and many other things. Half an hour passed just like that.

    Xue Ba returned. His jaw was set in a serious expression as he told Gu Jun, "Ah Jun, we found something on the leader earlier. We didn't show it to you before because of the state you were in. Now that you have recuperated somehow, we need you to take a look at it. See if you can find any clues that can help us leave this place."

    "Oh?" Gu Jun frowned as he sat up. This object must have been something important for the man in red to carry on his person.
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