278 Excitemen

    The fog dissipated but the artilleries were still unloading. A large missile was fired from the shoreline base. The enemy ships were blown into smithereens. They floated in pieces on the sea surface. The illusory ships, including the Seagull, dissolved into the fog before disappearing completely. Seeing the ship from his memory evaporate, Gu Jun felt both disappointment and relief... he did not favor the possibility of facing those two individuals on the battlefield.

    After Siyu casted the giant Ancient Seal, Gu Jun could feel his connection to the Lai Hwa tree fraying. He would return to Dreamlands soon. He updated the rest about his team's situation over at Dreamlands. Xue Ba in return updated him about the weakening of the legionella pneumophilia. That brought Gu Jun plenty of comfort.

    "I'll have to return to my body now." Gu Jun could sense the power of the trees weakening. "Remember to leave behind a complete corpse of the Deep One for me..." However, based on what he saw on the battlefield, that request might be hard to oblige. Under the focus fire of the crewmates, most of the Deep Ones had died a horrible death. Only a small amount managed to escape back into the ocean. They probably would not be missing dryland for quite some time. Wu Siyu did not join the battle, she had been staying inside the tree's shadow so she too could feel the connection breaking. She lifted her head to say, "Dirty-minded Jun, we're all waiting for you to return in person."

    "Of course, and I promise you it won't take as long as last time..." Gu Jun said as his voice petered away. Then the giant tree dissolved into the darkness like it was never there to begin with. The battle had been won so the retreat was called off. The researchers continued their study into Drug No. 1 and the new strain of legionella pneumophilia while others threw themselves into works like saving the wounded, controlling the epidemic, maintaining the order... All in all, there was plenty to be done yet.

    Overall, the victory rejuvenated everyone on the ships and back at the command central. The fear, terror and despair was wiped away by a ray of hope. They were blessed with faith that they would be able to obtain the final victory.

    At the same time, back at the Northern Continent of Dreamlands, Gu Jun's eyes flew open.

    "Ah..." He immediately crumbled to the ground. His mental power was drained and a heavy stone pressed down on his heart. His teammates hurried towards him and called for medical attention. Wang Ruoxiang immediately rushed over. Seeing Gu Jun's purplish face and slight convulsion in his body, she asked the nurse urgently, "I need a cardinala ampoule stat!"

    "It's fine, I'll survive..." Gu Jun eased his breathing. He made a mental comparison and realized the 'reverse-dreaming' was not as draining as his previous parapsychological endeavours. This was evidently a part of the system's help and intervention. When he was on the mission with Xue Ba's Demon Hunters, he needed human resuscitation for his heart to beat again but now he only needed a few deep breaths and his heartbeat returned to normal.

    Gu Jun then shared the good news on the waking world with the rest, it was meant to provide encouragement especially to those wounded. In a situation like this, the patients' survival instinct was very important. Mind over body as they say. Gu Jun collected himself and returned to finish the suturing on Uncle Dan.

    "Uncle Dan, you have to hang in there." He said self-deprecatingly. "You don't want me to give you mouth to mouth, right? I'm sure you'd prefer those pretty girls from the club, speaking of which, you still owe me a trip to one." He joked to try to lighten the mood.

    "You have a deal. We'll do that when we return this time..." Uncle Dan chuckled but his face grimaced from the pain.

    "You salacious old coot, watch your wound." Lou Xiaoning chided. "And that was what you said last time. Stop raising flag and jinxing yourself."

    Uncle Dan grinned before adding, "Don't you worry about that. Even at my age, my 'flag' is still being raised daily."

    The dirty joke made everyone laugh. But once again it flew over the head of the land's travellers, they laughed because the others did.

    "Doctor Wang, what did Uncle Dan mean by that?" Peacock whispered to ask Wang Ruoxiang, "What's so funny about flag raising?"

    Due to her limited understanding of Chinese, Kathlyn did not get it either, "I guess it's a double entendre?"

    "Well..." The smile hung awkwardly on Wang Ruoxiang's face. "You know how jokes work, it's no longer funny if you spell it out."

    Undeniably, the news of their latest victory helped brighten the mood. Even though they were still not yet out of danger, they could make jokes and have fun. Even the barren plain no longer felt so eerie. Laughter was good for the soul.

    The dreamers rotated batch after batch, after the wounded were all taken care of, the medical members woke up in the real world. Throughout this process, Wang Ruoxiang repeated the journey to lead people in and out of the Dreamlands. The researchers brought in new updates. The marine had obtained full victory, the cultists did not launch a counterattack and the crews were already cleaning up the battlefield. The physical channel at Jiang Xin Municipal had collapsed and once it did, the subterrain giant worms all tunnelled back underground. However, the greatest news was the discovery of the changes to the legionella pneumophilia from the sample that the doctors took from the patient's latest blood and saliva sample.

    This was concrete proof that the destruction of the thousand-eyed worm regressed the evolution to the new strain, the epidemic could now be cured. Gu Jun was thankful for the news but he did not let his guard down. The closer they were to the end, the more cautious they had to be. The Lai Hwa Tree had almost faded in his sea of consciousness, he tried to sense it again but there was no response.

    Finally Wang Ruoxiang's mental power reached its bottom and her sweet dream bubble burst from exhaustion. The special bond between them lost. Now Wang Ruoxiang could not enter the Dreamlands that easily anymore, much less bring others with her.

    The number of people dwindled on the plains. The medical units had tried their best but with their lack of equipment and medicine, there was only so much they could do. The surface wounds of Uncle Dan and the rest had all been dealt with. As long as the wounds were not infected, no one faced the need of amputation; but the result of Ma Feng's surgery was not that ideal...

    "Guys, don't let me burden you..." Ma Feng mumbled. He regained consciousness after the blood transfusion, but his face was still pale, he had not left the danger zone.

    Gu Jun turned to demand from the Zoogs. "Do you have any idea how to save his life? Anything that could work, your people have saved me with a life-draining vine before, is there anything like that here which can help my friend? If you help us, we will repay you with luxurious gifts."

    "Well..." The Elder Zoog patted his head. Once he heard 'luxurious gifts', he said hesitantly, "I do have an idea..."


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