309 Awakening

    The figure of the young woman blurred as if melting into the darkness.

    'Who is she?' Gu Jun was confused, 'Why would she be inside Xie Yiman's mental world? What is the connection that they share? From the information that she shared... She was a livestreamer but she was probably not a famous one based on the fact that she thought paying for a skin allergy treatment was costing her too much. If this patient had gone to the hospital, where is she now? Is she among the 156 patients within Phecda's monitoring?' Suddenly a thought crossed Gu Jun's mind, 'No, we've been assuming that Xie Yiman is the Patient Zero and the one with the most serious condition but what if that is not true? What if this young girl is the real Patient Zero?'

    "Miss, I wish to help you!" Gu Jun said immediately, "I will do my best to help you."

    "You can't." The girl replied, her voice bogged down by depression like fallen leaves decaying in autumn, "There are simply too many problems..."

    "But..." Gu Jun wanted to continue his persuasion when a giant impact slammed into him. It felt like he was being run into by a car. His mouth opened to evoke a scream as the girl disappeared among the darkness... Suddenly, the illusion ended and so did the itchiness.

    "Ah!" Gu Jun came to and sucked in a cold breath before his breathing came unevenly. Beside him, he could hear Deng Ximei gasping for air as well. Uncle Dan and the rest were still focusing on waking up Xie Yiman. Gu Jun looked at the patient and then at her vital signs. Her heart rate and blood pressure had risen but not yet to the danger zone. He asked, "How was it?"

    "You were away for 5 minutes." Uncle Dan reported. "Earlier there was a drastic change in the patient's haemodynamic, but it has evened out now."

    "I saw Xie Yiman..." Deng Ximei's knees buckled. "She was unable to move and the itchiness brought her plenty of pain. She was at the verge of a breakdown, I did what I could to share in her pain... but I appeared to sense another person there."

    Gu Jun nodded thoughtfully. 'I did not see Xie Yiman or Deng Ximei... and Ximei claims she did not see the other girl? Wait, could the girl be Deng Ximei?' Deep inside his heart, Gu Jun still had his reservation about Deng Ximei... that was to be expected for someone who was paranoiac. He missed Wu Siyu, he needed confirmable information. After about 10 minutes, Xie Yiman woke up. Due to the effect of the muscle relaxant, she could not move her limbs. The good thing was the convulsion had stopped but the bad thing was her open eyes spoke of endless pain and her lips opened to groan weakly. Initially, they planned to inject some atropine to ease out the muscle relaxant, to help the patient's recovery. But every drug has its side effect and Xie Yiman just suffered from a disturbance to her haemodynamic. Gu Jun did not dare to apply more drugs into her body. Since her vitals were in the acceptable range, he planned to let her be. The dosage of the anaesthesia that they used was not high so Gu Jun hoped for the patient's body to digest it naturally. Therefore, he only had the nurses help massage the patient's limbs.

    After a while, Xie Yiman could finally speak. She groaned helplessly, "Help... help me... let me out..."

    "It's okay now." Gu Jun comforted, "You're back from that place, everything is okay now." But no matter what he said, Xie Yiman did not respond with clarity. She kept mumbling incoherently. Clearly she was under the influence of hallucination. Normal patients would suffer from hallucination after an induced coma so this was no indicator that Xie Yiman's mental state was broken. They would have to wait until the drug left her body to make the next assessment.

    Gu Jun had the nurses scratch Xie Yiman's face, and this appeared to be effective. The groaning died down. Uncle Dan and the rest sighed in relief. It appeared like an induced coma was not the way. If not for Gu Jun and Deng Ximei's mental intervention, Xie Yiman probably would not be alive now. The discussion was heated at the headquarters. Was this a unique case? One sample case was too little, more experiments had to be done to be sure.

    Temporarily, they won't be getting anything new from Xie Yiman. Gu Jun walked out from the sickroom and communicated with the command central, "Xie Yiman is not our Patient Zero, there is another person. It's a young girl and she's a new livestreamer. She has visited the hospital and was diagnosed with skin allergy. She committed the visit at midnight. Please look for her now, she is very important!"

    The command central immediately moved into action. They compared the description with the 156 patients under their monitoring and none of them matched! This patient was still out there!

    If she visited a public hospital or private clinic, due to her symptoms and rare consultation hours, it should not be too hard to locate her but that too required some time. Gu Jun hoped that they would not end up finding the girl's death notice...

    "Dirty-minded Yu, I need you to come over here now. I need your help." He then made another call. There were too many surprising developments in this case.

    "Okay." Wu Siyu's voice came from the phone. "Do you want me to bring some boxed meals for you?"

    "Bring some barbequed pork with rice." Gu Jun said, "Everyone in the team needs the boost in energy."

    "I'll throw in an extra chicken leg for you." Wu Siyu added.

    He called Dirty-minded Yu over not for the food but for another mission. Gu Jun wished to ask Deng Ximei more about the spirit barrier and Dirty-minded Yu's presence could act as a living lie detector. After their chat, Deng Ximei handed over the songs and poems as well as portraits of other Spirit Children that she could remember but she did not provide any new information about the spirit barrier. She claimed that she did not know how to describe it. She only knew how to utilize it but not the theory behind it. Phecda still did not know anything about the spirit barrier.

    Gu Jun had his suspicion.

    The fact was that the Afterlife Cult should already know about Deng Ximei's association with Phecda but they still insisted on performing the ritual of the Conqueror Worm whom Deng Ximei had deep ties to. First there was the strange video and then now this illness. Did they run out of ideas or there was an ulterior motive? Gu Jun leaned towards the latter and he wondered what kind of role Deng Ximei would play in it...

    Soon Wu Siyu arrived with members from both the Spell Department and Recreational Department, bearing delicious food. Without wasting any time, Gu Jun pulled Deng Ximei to the side. Wu Siyu hugged the girl like a sloth and laid her head in the crook of Deng Ximei's shoulder. Wu Siyu shot a glance at Gu Jun, "I'm ready now, fire away."

    'Couldn't you make this less obvious...' Thankfully her synesthesia did not require the forming of a mental bond so, in spite of appearances, this should work fine.

    "Ah Mei, I'm wondering if you can impart the technique of your spirit barrier to the patients." He asked, "To help them block out the itching stimulus."

    "...I can't." Speaking of this topic, Deng Ximei's usually serene face evoked with emotion, "Spirit barrier is not usable on everyone, the user has to have some spiritual talent and a barrier takes time to build. At the very least, it will take a month... And with the mental state of the patients, I don't think it is possible."

    Wu Siyu shot Gu Jun a look. He caught it, Dirty-minded Yu's perception was that Deng Ximei was not lying. To be honest, he also did not think Deng Ximei would be that good of a double agent. So the bigger possibility was that the Afterlife Cult had mastered some other information about the Conqueror Worm that eluded Deng Ximei, information that they probably procured from other Spirit Children...

    At that moment, Uncle Dan rushed over and said urgently, "Ah Jun, this is bad! Xie Yiman is showing new facial deforming symptoms!"


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