186 Medal and Will

    Chapter 186: Medal and Will

    The first five days of the new year flew by in a blur. It had been fifteen days since the mission to the Dreamlands. The Nightmare Illness had disappeared without a trace in half a month. While the communication channels at Eastern State were slowly reopening, the Medical Department had long since moved their focus to the rehabilitation of the patients and their respective research. The forty-seven dreamers had finished their quarantine yesterday. Their physical checks came back perfectly, with the exception of fatigue among the slightly older members.

    However, compared to the other Phecda members who had been infected by this Nightmare Illness, fatigue was nothing. There were fifty-six members from the Medical Department and seventy-two members from both the Scientific Research and Action Departments who were infected. Eight of them had unfortunately passed away while the rest had undergone lobotomies. The latter included people like Prof Qin, Zhou Jiaqiang, and Zhu Ruiwen. Other than that, twenty-three medical professionals had suffered from mental trauma during their operation on the patients. Song Yilong, Chen Xinfeng, Juo Jun, and Huang Yanyu were among the first batch of doctors to participate in the lobotomy. Unfortunately, the doctors at ICU were unable to rescue them.

    139 members were heavily injured, and twelve died at Phecda's Eastern State Division, but the total death toll was thirteen. The last was the member who had sacrificed himself from the Special Mobile Force, Gu Jun. There was a hall at the base of the Medical Department. It was sparsely decorated and could accommodate over nine hundred people. It was normally used to hold various activities and ceremonies, but for today, the hall was solemnly decorated. Black curtains hung on the stage, and the stage was surrounded by floral arrangements sent over by the people. The nine hundred seats were filled with guests dressed in their funeral attire.

    This was a memorial that Phecda had organized for the members who had died in this incident. The event was livestreamed at the same time at the headquarters and other divisions across the country. On the stage, the pictures of the thirteen members were given center stage. Under their frames hung the Hero's Honor Medals that were awarded to them by Phecda. This circular medal represented Phecda's honor toward those who had rendered great service to Phecda in their lives. They were exquisitely designed and were adorned with Phecda's logo. In the pictures, all of them were wearing their doctor's coats. Some were filled with smiles while others appeared unfazed.

    The picture right in the middle showed the face of someone who was youngest among all of them. He had the wisp of a smile on his face. Under his picture frame hung the Hero's Honor Medal but also another star-shaped medal. It was glittering from its golden material and it had red stripes. It was the Phecda's Medal, awarded to those who had contributed greatly to the organization. Needless to say, the recipients of this great honor were all persons of great import within the organization.

    Due to Gu Jun's contribution in both the Malformed Banyan Disease case and Nightmare Illness case, as well as his contribution in bringing back a spell book for Phecda, the decision to award him with such an honor was unequivocal. In fact, a statue of the young man would be placed outside the surgical building of the Medical Department. The only thing that would have made this more of a celebration was if the award recipients were there to receive the awards in person, but that was not to be.

    Right then, the host Yao Sinian moved to the podium that was set next to the stage. As he announced the start of the memorial, funereal music rang out within the hall. Without any prompting from Yao Sinian, all nine hundred people in the hall stood up. They lowered their heads in respect to the thirteen faces on stage. Joining in on the ceremony were the members from the headquarters and other divisions. The family, friends, and colleagues of these heroes were seated at the front row of the hall. After a period to digest the news, they had managed to somehow move on already, but caught in this spectacle, their eyes started to rim with red. After the funeral music ended, as they slumped back into the seat, their hearts relaxed slightly.

    "Ladies and gentlemen." Yao Sinian started his eulogy. His face lined with age twitched with emotion. "I am sixty-two this year. The average age of these heroes is just thirty-eight years old, the youngest among them being only at the age of 21, but their courage and determination far surpasses someone like myself. They are heroes that we should all strive to look up to."

    The guests were silent as they listened to Yao Sinian's eulogy, paying respect to the heroes respectively, Song Yilong, Guo Jun...

    The atmosphere inside the hall lowered until it was the turn for Gu Jun. At that moment, Prof Qin, Prof Gu, Elder Tong, Xue Ba, Lou Xiaoning, Uncle Dan, Wang Ruoxiang, Cai Zixuan, and the rest were all staring at that smiling face in the picture. The forty-seven Dreamers knew the details, but even the others knew that it was Gu Jun's sacrifice that had won them the victory over Nightmare Illness. The Phecda's Medal was proof of that.

    "Before heading toward Wrangel Island, Gu Jun wrote an undisclosed will," Yao Sinian said. "We shall read it out now."

    Gu Jun had no family present, but he had seniors that he respected, friends that he was close to, and comrades whom he had been in life and death situations with. They had been asked to read Gu Jun's will, but all of them rejected it. It was too cruel a demand to make of them. Therefore, it was a nondescript male member from the Recreational Department who walked to the podium. Under the hall's scrutiny, the member took out a piece of paper and started to read in a thick and calm voice.

    "Time to head toward Wrangel Island. According to procedure, I have to write a will. I don't know why I'm even doing this. It's such a waste of time. I've written so many of the same already. Couldn't they use one of those instead? Just change the name and location, and it's a go."

    When the first sentence was read, a trace of smile appeared on the faces of many people.

    "This kid..." Elder Tong grumbled under his breath.

    "As a doctor, I am far more familiar with death than a common person. I know how helpless people can feel as life flits away, and there is nothing they can do about it. I have experienced that multiple times in the surgical room already, and each time, it has changed me. Should I die, I hope there are people who mourn me. In any case, do not let that bog you down for too long. Just mourn me for a little bit and then let time do the rest. The scar will heal. When facing death, time is the best medicine. I am not worried about you. It's time to go. This should be enough. Hopefully, this mission will be a success."

    The recitation ended, and the hall was filled with silence. Some took in choking deep breaths while others wiped away their tears. It was clear that the will was written in a hurry. Gu Jun must have been going through the motions when he wrote this. He did not go into any details. He probably did not have time to even sit down to compile a complete will. But such a simple will had the energy to shatter the listeners' hearts.

    'Ah Jun, of course, there are people who mourn your death.'

    'Dirty-minded Jun? Dirty-minded Jun?' Wu Siyu channeled her mind to call his name. 'They say you're dead, and they're reading your will. Now is the time to correct their mistake.'

    But like always, there was no reply, only silence. Gu Jun was not showing up. Then it could only mean that he was really gone already... but...

    After Gu Jun's will was read, Yao Sinian continued with the eulogy. Then it was the turn for the family of each sacrificed member to take the stage to give a speech. But by then, Wu Siyu had already spaced out. Even when Prof Gu and Elder Tong took the stage to eulogize Gu Jun, she was not really listening. She almost fell asleep in her seat. When she was asked to give a speech about Gu Jun a few days ago, she had firmly rejected it. At that moment, she was pondering a question. 'Just mourn me for a little bit. How long is a little bit? Would a little bit mean forever in the foreign language?'

    With these thoughts filling up Wu Siyu's mind, she occupied herself elsewhere until she heard the funeral music around. Yao Sinian then took the stage one last time to announce the closing of the memorial service. Then, Wu Siyu stood up and exited the hall.

    "We will help Ah Jun fulfil his wish," Cai Zixuan said with forced energy. His bald forehead was shining. "I wish to join the Special Mobile Force too."

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    "I have already applied to join the Spell Department," Wang Ruoxiang said seriously. Gu Jun had personally proven how medical knowledge and spell knowledge could be a good pairing. Based on what he had told Wu Siyu, all Carlot Doctors from the foreign civilization were spell experts. Wang Ruoxiang understood that the world was not going to be saved with just medical knowledge. The Spell Department would open its doors to talents from all over the country, and then the selected members would be gathered for special training. The department would also continue their research with Angell's Order. Elder Tong did mention that the Dreamers would be given priority to join the department.

    "I did the same."

    "Me too."

    Both Xue Ba and Lou Xiaoning spoke up. Spells would be a great addition to their arsenal in the field.

    "Oh, my application to move to the Recreational Department has been approved," Wu Siyu suddenly said, but she added with a sigh, "But I am still affiliated to the Spell Department."

    Every department had members from the Recreational Department to deal with their miscellaneous tasks, and it was no different for the Spell Department.

    When they exited the hall, the sun was already setting. They chatted among themselves as they headed into the setting sun. After this day, life would pick up again.

    'If only Gu Jun was still here with us,' they thought, 'he would have been a great asset to the Spell Department and the international organization that is already in the making. Hopefully, he is enjoying himself in heaven...'
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