276 Giant Tree Shadow

    Shrouded in dark fog, the shadow stood on deck. Based on its silhouette, it looked like a giant tree.

    "Hmm..." Granted Wu Siyu would often see some unusual things due to her synesthesia but this was something different. Its voice reminded her of Dirty-minded Jun. She turned to ask the people around her, "Can you guys see this giant shadow? Can you hear it speak?"

    "It's me!" The voice spoke again, "I'm Gu Jun, I've travelled here from the Dreamlands through a mental connection with the Lai Hwa Tree acting as the medium." Then the shadow slowly materialized. Cai Zixuan, Xue Ba were the next to notice it. Xue Ba immediately reported to the command central, "We're accosted by an unknown shadow, it claims to be Gu Jun! However there are some who fail to see or hear the shadow in question." Its existence was not captured on the ship's radar and surveillance either.

    A ripple of shock travelled through the headquarters. Elder Tong and Yao Sinian did not expect something like this. With the experience from last time with the Yellow Brotherhood, they treated this with extra caution. Elder Tong responded urgently, "Be careful, it might be a mental projection by the enemy. Continue your mission to retreat, do not get pulled into the battle by it!"

    Wu Siyu's nose twitched and a certainty came over her. He might turn into a kangaroo or a tree, but his taste was not going to change. Her mood brightened and she felt refreshed. Even her voice sounded clearer, "Do you mind growing bigger, that might help scare the enemy."

    "Let me try." Instantly the shadow of the tree grew for another inch. Its luscious branches covered the whole deck. This impertinence in face of battle helped Cai Zixuan recognize his old friend as well. He gasped in pleasant surprise. "Tycoon Jun, it's really you? How did you end up here?"

    To be fair, Gu Jun had no exact answer to that question. He only knew that he had borrowed the connection with the Lai Hwa Tree to arrive here. His sensory stimuli at that moment were quite complicated. On one hand, he could sense his physical body sitting at the plain in Dreamlands but on the other hand, he could feel everything that happened on the ship, it was like he was dreaming or had entered an illusion. The sensation was blurry, flimsy yet somehow real. Was this reverse dreaming? He had no clue. Regardless, the Lai Hwa Tree seedling was more precious than he thought. Looks like it was not just a normal tree even in the foreign world. Then again, it was a 10 star reward for an abyssal mission, he should expect nothing less. At the same time, he had a feeling that he was able to use the seedling in this manner had everything to do with the two forces within his body...

    After these ideas settled in his mind, Gu Jun said, "I've come to help you deal with all these monsters." Everyone on deck realized that since Wu Siyu announced the arrival of the giant shadow, the fish monster had suddenly stopped their advancement. They growled angrily and evaded the gunfire but stopped all aggression. Were they too made apprehensive by the appearance of the shadowy tree?

    "What kind of plan do you have in mind?" Wu Siyu asked the big tree.

    "Retreat now!" Xue Ba roared. They were running low on mental power, a drawn out battle was not beneficial for them, and Elder Tong had given them a direct order. No matter the giant tree was Gu Jun or not, it had provided them with a percent chance to retreat by holding the fish monsters back.

    Gu Jun studied the fish monster closer, he realized he could see better than when he was a mere human, it was as if every single leaf on his branch was an eye. He could take a panoramic view of his surroundings, the fog did nothing to obscure his sight. He could see the flow of air around him and strange lines which looked like electromagnetic waves. It was the latter which influenced people's mind. He could also discern some indescribable minor distortions in the space that caused the bullets to miss their targets. The bullets were consumed by small pockets of dimensional opening before making contact with their targets. Essentially the bullets were transported to another dimension. He turned towards the sea and discerned quite easily some of the ghost ships were just an illusion...

    Before he knew it, the sea breeze carried his field of vision out into the ocean. It allowed him to peer into the actual ships. He could see a combination of both monsters and humans walking on deck. 'Are those cultists from R'yleh Cult or Afterlife Cult? There are too little of them here to account for the whole organization but they must have sent in their best units for this mission.'

    As his eyes landed on the Seagull... Gu Jun's heart quivered. For some reason, he could not tell whether this particular ship was real or not. The last time he saw a vision of this ship was inside the video Lee Yuerui had taken at the Longkan Seabelt. However, the last time he was on it personally was when he was 10, that was already 12 years ago. Suddenly many memory fragments bubbled up in his mind, some of them he thought he already forgot. He saw the younger version of himself running on the deck, playing inside the captain's cabin and turning the captain's wheel... He could hear the sound of his father and mother's laughter... They sounded so warm back then but now it had been polluted by blood and the occult. Gu Jun was suddenly reminded of something his father once said, "Our work is to maneuver this ship to find the truth!"

    'Truth?' A fire burned through the memories and it lit up the bitterness of his pain. 'Truth is harming these innocents and bringing in pain and destruction? For the pursuit of this 'truth', you can sacrifice your own child?' Gu Jun was still unwilling to believe his parents were this kind of people. Perhaps... like Xiao Liang, they started as serious researchers but had lost their way in the process.

    Suddenly a fish monster leaped out from the sea and the heavy sound as it landed on deck interrupted Gu Jun's thought. It hissed at Gu Jun and something clicked within Gu Jun's mind... This sea monster... it was the 'Deep One' mentioned in the abyssal mission. He had nothing but a hunch to support this but his hunch had always been accurate.

    "Atal has told me about this kind of mutated creature before. They are called the Deep Ones, they are a kind of deep sea creatures who worship the Great Old One, Cthulhu." Gu Jun announced to the retreating troops. "My plan is very simple. I will work together with Siyu to break down the enemy's control over the dimension and then the rest of you should be able to take them down with a blanket fire. Just promise me, you'll leave me at least one complete body for autopsy."

    "Huh?!" It was like a question mark appeared above Wu Siyu's head. She had no idea she was capable of something like that.

    "You have a plan? Can it work?" Xue Ba hesitated. Was this really Gu Jun or the enemy's trap?

    "Well, there's only one way to find out." Gu Jun could not be sure himself. He came up with this plan because when earlier he looked into the sky, he saw a spot that was akin to an eye of the storm.


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