100 Source

    Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Lonelytree

    Xue Ba handed the objects wrapped in clean cloth over to Gu Jun. "This is it. Five of them appear to be pieces of parchment paper. They have foreign characters on them."

    Gu Jun accepted them and unwrapped the cloth carefully. They revealed a small stack of yellowing paper. The paper was from the foreign civilization. They were made from the same material as Landon's blueprints and Raybundy's diary. They looked akin to parchments, but they were not. His thumb rubbed softly on the paper. It felt strange under his touch. It felt like he had come into contact with something familiar from his past. Like when he was holding the Carlot Scalpel, he was certain these things came from the foreign civilization.

    The scalpel was 'supposedly' found buried behind the stone wall. Then, it was kept inside the team's first aid kid. When Gu Jun's was casting the spell, only Xue Ba had been conscious enough to realize Gu Jun appeared to be holding the scalpel when he was doing so. With regards to this, Gu Jun's explanation was that he had triggered some subconscious memory through contact with the scalpel, and it had helped him break the imprisonment of the spell.

    "Can you understand what's written here?" Xue Ba asked. "But stop immediately if you feel any discomfort, or else I'll get an earful from Uncle Dan again."

    Xue Ba was cornered. It was not that he was not concerned about Gu Jun's safety, but if the exit was still not found, the Demon Hunters would all die.

    "Are those incantations for spells?" Lin Mo peered their way with interest. It appeared like the whole school of knowledge interested him greatly. The other people were still busy scavenging all over the battlefield. Lou Xiaoning, who was still under surveillance, could only stand to the side while she watched Uncle Dan and Zhang Huohuo conduct the autopsy with boredom.

    "Probably not..." Gu Jun skimmed through the first page and came to that conclusion. "They appear to contain information about the banyan trees."

    The parchments were extremely ancient. The words were readable albeit blurry. It was clear that it was not written by the people from Afterlife Cult, so the question became how they fell into their hands. Currently, Gu Jun had a vocabulary of over 1,500 foreign terms. That was enough for him to comprehend the content of the parchments. Therefore, he hunkered down, read through them, and translated them on the spot into English.

    The papers contained intermittent sentences; they felt more like a travelogue. There did not appear to be clear connection between each sentence, but they all referred to the same thing. A deep undercurrent of chaos and fanaticism could be read between the lines. The writer must have been in quite a state when they wrote this down.

    "There are only banyan trees and stones in this city, but what would I expect? The city is famous for the trees, especially the one in the city center." The term 'banyan tree' was naturally a liberal translation. Gu Jun believed that they actually referred to the giant trees with the twisted branches around the shrine, but for human beings, 'banyan tree' would be the closest translation.

    After hearing the first sentence, Lin Mo could not help but slip in a question. "Could the city in question refer to the abnormal space surrounded by high walls? The banyan tree at the city center is the trunk of that dead tree?"

    "I'm afraid so." Gu Jun nodded with contemplation.

    Xue Ba turned to lecture Lin Mo. "Please don't interrupt until Ah Jun finishes."

    Gu Jun continued to recite.

    "The stone path is covered in blood. They have bled for four days, and they are still bleeding.

    "Will the tree cough? Does the tree have blood?

    "I notice that on the consecrated ground of the Goddess of Life, the mountain of carcasses has melted to form a new life form.

    "The shrine has been shattered. The citizens who were the first to escape and block the exit failed to escape death.

    "Many famous characters from Carlot Academy have conducted their coming of age ceremony here. Rikers has always been a cradle for medical geniuses."

    "Carlot Academy?" This time, it was Xue Ba who did not take his own advice because he was reminded of something else. "Didn't you say the scalpel has the brand of Carlot on it?"

    "Yes, they should point toward the same thing..." Gu Jun frowned. The papers were clearly describing a horrible tragedy, but there was a lack of regret or sadness in the tone. The more he read, the more unsettled he became.

    "Other than being the capitol, Rikers is famed for its medical study. Everyone says the Goddess of Life has blessed this place.

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    "People have always valued the stones of Rikers, but what about the banyan tree?

    "Why couldn't people like the banyan trees?

    "A kind of disease related to the banyan trees, a new life form like the ones created from the mountain of carcass, that sounds wonderful. I am sure it will be beautiful.

    "It must be interesting to create the illness here.

    "A new kind of life form.

    "Will there be pain? The birth of life cannot be separated from pain."

    At this point, Gu Jun stopped, his face paled. 'Create the illness'. Xue Ba tensed, and Lin Mo pushed on his glasses. Their faces were downcast.

    The Malformed Banyan Disease was created by someone.

    Coming up with a disease was not something new. Throughout human history, civilizations had used maladies to take down their enemies. In the modern age, biochemical warfare was the best example. But... how did someone create a disease as strange as the Malformed Banyan Disease, and who was the creator?

    Gu Jun had a hypothesis in his heart because he had already seen the illusion of the people worshipping the banyan tree. His heart tightened, and he continued to read.

    "If the decayed past will not fade away, the new chapter will not arrive.

    "The sickness will bring change because change will lead to vitality.

    "There are many big banyan trees around the shrine. They have been around for several dozen thousand years. It is time for change.

    "People say sickness is bad. How foolish can they be? Only by opening one's eyes will one see the truth.

    "Birth, old age, sickness, death-the cycle of life. If one does not accept sickness, one will never understand the truth of life.

    "Human beings consume other lives to grow, so other lives can also consume human beings for growth. That is only fair."

    As Gu Jun read through the sentences, his veins were pulsing with chills. There was some familiarity that spoke to him in the words. To make things even more confusing... in a certain way, he could see the reasoning behind these claims.

    "The seed of illness has been spread. I shall sit inside the banyan tree to admire the results.

    "Pluck away their limbs to replace with the branches and leaves of the banyan tree.

    "These banyan trees can allow different worlds to witness the same light.

    "Illness is a kind of salvation; death is a frivolous concept.

    "Only pain can lead to creation; only ruination can bring forth ascendancy.

    "They have created light.

    "I have created light."

    Gu Jun saw the signature at the bottom of the page, and his face paled even further. He should have expected this. The people from the Afterlife Cult worshipped the banyan tree, placed him inside the tree hole, and spread the Malformed Banyan Disease; that was all to summon the demon.

    Gu Jun pressed his hands against his pulsing head. He was reminded of the first time he saw those strange human-banyan tree mutations inside the stadium. Brightness blinded his world like lightning. The grotesque beauty, the intricate design...

    'A life form that can become its own living ecosystem, a great spire that is built upon a ruin... Is that the light mentioned in the paper?'

    "Ah Jun? Ah Jun?" Seeing the state he was in, Xue Ba quickly asked, "Are you alright?"

    "Captain, we'd better get Uncle Dan over here," Lin Mo said urgently.

    Gu Jun looked at the eerie large trees around them, and they stared lifelessly back at them. He turned to glance at the signatures on the various pages.

    "Son of Misfortune."
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