271 A Shot of Streptomycin Sulphate

    The fog rolled onto the plain and the wild grass danced like demons. The girl gradually slowed down. The ponytail stopped swaying. She dragged her tired body towards a small tree and sat down to rest. The girl turned her head back and saw a person striding her way.

    "Ellie, hello." Gu Jun suddenly materialized before the small tree. He could not tell whether this was real or not. When he was in the middle of the chase, Gu Jun had a feeling that this little girl was a key character in this whole incident. If she could be saved, then maybe the ritual could be interrupted. Looking at her young face covered with barely discernible splotches of pustules and blackspots, Gu Jun hoped that he could still salvage this young life.

    "Doctor, are you here for my bloodletting?" The girl asked with hollow blue eyes, "Or to whip out my sins?" These were common methods used to cure the Black Plague in the middle ages. Bloodletting was the common solution to any kind of illness and whipping to ask for God's forgiveness was the same. The question held no emotion, there was a detachment that did not match the girl's age. Her pair of eyes reminded Gu Jun of the many eyes on the thousand-eyed worm. Gu Jun wavered under her scrutiny, the two forces within him tussled...

    It was then that Gu Jun realized he had not completely lost himself since the two forces were still fighting for dominance. This reminded Gu Jun that he had his own fight against the thousand-eyed worm. The worm consisted of more than a single soul, it was an amalgamation of many wandering souls. Perhaps these souls still had their consciousness left, after all, the ritual had not been fully realized, which hopefully meant that the plague could still be stopped.

    "No, I'm not here for either of those." Gu Jun shook his head. "Neither of them will be useful, they are mere products of idiotic desperation."

    "But isn't that part of the dawn of a new era?" The girl asked as the black blotches spread on her face.

    "You mean to say that the plague will change human history." Gu Jun argued, "But plague is not the only way to usher in big changes. Even though I am a doctor, I know other fields can also usher in such changes as well, like advancement in science, or the invention of the printing press or the assembly line." Many thoughts raged in his mind but his consciousness slowly calmed down amidst the storm. He noted a medkit appeared next to him. It was the medkit that the Problematic Team had brought with them into the Dreamlands. To deal with possible infections, the kit was stocked with different antibiotics. Gu Jun opened the medkit and took out a bottle of streptomycin sulphate. He pumped the syringe with a dosage of 25 mg to match the girl's less than 15 kg weight. He explained. "This is streptomycin, it is perfect to deal with the bacillus pestis bubonicae that causes the Black Plague. I will give you two shots each day and you'll be back on your feet in one or two weeks."

    "What's the point?" The girl's eyes were still hollow. "Death is inevitable."

    "Indeed, we will all die in the end. But as doctors, our role is to delay the inevitability so everyone can have a fair chance at enjoying the gift of life." Gu Jun was reminded of what the cart driver said, doctors are not god, they are just humans.

    "You sure are stubborn." The girl grumbled softly as hesitance appeared in her eyes. "You could have gained the power of God..."

    "But will I still be myself then?" Gu Jun chuckled. "If not, then I'd rather surrender that power. I wish to be resolutely Gu Jun and not something else." He readied the syringe and was about to prepare the girl for the shot when the latter pulled back in a hurry.

    "Why do you insist on hanging onto that despicable humanity?" The girl's splotchy face struggled with difficulty, "It is the thing that blocks your way towards ascendancy."

    Actually Gu Jun had been asking himself that. This was not the first time the Afterlife Cult and R'yleh Cult had posed him that question either.

    'Why am I holding onto humanity?' Previous images flashed before his eyes. Be it the foreign civilization, the prehistoric age or the modern age, the nature of humanity had not changed much. Indeed, he was shown the uglier side of humanity, like pus and filth, it disgusted him but... Gu Jun knew that there was more to humanity than that... Take himself for an example, two years ago, he lived his life between sins but now somehow, he had become the Phecda Hero.

    "Humanity is so complicated that I cannot give you a clear answer now. Perhaps I am being stupid, but isn't that part of being human?." Gu Jun walked forward to grab the girl by her right arm. He pulled her dirty shirtsleeve up. "But I am sure I will not like a world that is filled with terror and pain. After all, I have taken the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor is there to undo the pain inflicted upon humanity." The girl's arm was very bony, and it too was covered with pustulating protrusions and black splotches. "For me, to head towards actual ascendancy, the only way is through the elimination of human pain."

    Gu Jun dabbed a cotton ball into povidone and applied it generously around the injection spot. "People like Hua Tuo and William Morton are the real great ones. Do you know, before they invented and came up with the usage of anaesthetic, undergoing surgency is no different from being tortured. But with their contribution, we humans know how to use science to counter pain. Oh, speaking of which, the discovery of anaesthetic is also a turning point in history, it also heralds the dawn of a new era, wouldn't you agree?" He stuck the needle into the girl's arm and pushed in the drug. "Compared to a world which begs the divinity for power, I prefer to live in one that derives its power from scientific exploration. I don't think I want to walk in Landon's path."

    "Hmm..." The girl's expression shifted. Her pair of blue eyes shone with creepy light. Theoretically speaking, a shot of streptomycin would not react so fast but at that moment, the pustules and splotches on her body and body rapidly disappeared. However, the struggle on her face grew more intense. The light in her eyes glowed and tears started to flow...

    "Doctor," Suddenly she asked in a tone that finally matched her age. "Then can you save my mother as well?"

    A complicated feeling rose in Gu Jun's heart before he nodded, "Of course, as a doctor, I will try my best by any patient sent my way."

    "My mother is the village tailor, she knows how to make beautiful dresses." The girl said with a smile. "She said she will make one for me when I grow..." Before the girl could finish, Gu Jun saw the world around him change again. He was placed back into the House of Worm. The thousand-eyed worm before him growled madly. Its limbs flail about but its movement was conspicuously slower than before. It appeared as if it had been heavily hit.

    Among its many eyes, the pair of blue eyes on the top of its head took on the brilliance of humanity.

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