Chapter 797: Guanyin, Queen of Heaven

    Chapter 797: Guanyin, Queen of Heaven

    Hua Li frowned. "This is good, but also troublesome. A hundred million people. Our bastions can accommodate them, but it's like housing a hundred million ticking time bombs. One misstep and it can all blow out of control."

    Kang Hui nodded his agreement. "I also feel we can't bring them onto the ships. We don't know if there are alien spies among them, and the ones that take human form are their strongest. We can't afford any trouble from within. I recommend leaving them where they are, containing them on the planet somehow."

    Lan Qing's face was solemn, this was a problem indeed. They'd had a plan, but part of it had been contingent on some of the humans having avoided mutation. Now it seemed all of the survivors had been tainted by the aliens. This was a problem because these unfortunates now had to be contained and fed, and given adequate space.

    The three bastions had brought along a lot of energy reserves for the fight, but its food stores were limited. Providing for so many people was impossible - maybe over the short term, but no one could know how long this war would last. Sending them to another planet presented a whole other set of problems, since they couldn't know how much trouble a hundred million aggressive mutants would cause. Then there was the time it would take to send them all.

    What to do? It was a problem Lan Qing was struggling to resolve.

    "Bring Lan Jue in on the conversation, see if he has any suggestions. He knows the aliens better than anyone." Hua Li suggested.

    "Right." Lan Qing dialed in the number to his brother's communicator.


    "I understand." Lan Jue quickly grasped the breadth of the problem his brother was describing. "I think Hua LI's right, we can't bring them onto the bastions. We are humanity's last hope, destroying the aliens has to be our main priority. We can leave them on the planet for now and figure out what to do with them later. We can also contact the Eastern and Northern governments to send food and aid, they shouldn't be too reticent to help with that. We just won a major victory, they won't have any choice but to help us."

    Lan Qing nodded his head. "This is an option, but remember it isn't just this planet we have to consider. There are seven others where we can expect similar situations, and we don't have enough soldiers to even keep an eye on them. We couldn't even if we had twice the amount of forces. Not when we have the alien home worlds still to fight."

    Lan Jue's face scrunched in thought. He seemed to come to a prompt decision. "If we can't control them then we simply don't try. Once we take care of the progenitors on these planets we just ignore the infected for the time being. We leave them to their own devices until the alien menace is handled, then we can tackle that problem. These mutants are hardier than normal humans after their infection, they'll be fine for a while."

    The others mulled the idea for a moment. It seemed like the best option.

    Suddenly, Zhou Qianlin's voice intruded. "A-Jue, can you bring one of the infected here to me? I feel like there's something I might be able to do for them."

    The other three heard her as well. When he heard the voice a small smile spread across Lan Qing's face. He knew then that their breakthrough had been a total success, and Zhou Qianlin had awakened.

    Hua Li was surprised by the revelation and rapidly blinked his eyes. "Qianlin's back?"

    Lan Jue nodded, smiling.

    Only Kang Hui was out of the loop. "Who is this? She has an idea of how to handle the infected?"

    "I'm not sure," Lan Jue replied. "She and I have just ascended to Paragon. Her powers are focused on healing, so we can give it a shot and see if there's some way we can help them. Keep the line open, we'll try now."


    Lan Jue raced off. A few moments later he returned with two infected victims, a man and a woman. Both of them had had their spirits sealed away by Luo Xianni's powers and had slipped into a coma-like state.

    When Lan Jue put the two of them before Qianlin, something strange happened. Even before she did anything the two victims seemed to sense her presence. They shook and jerked violently as a purple mist steamed off of them. As the toxic cloud was dispersed by the wind their bodies also began to change, shrinking back to normal proportions as the purple hue that tainted their flesh receded.

    "This..." Lan Jue had believed her when she said there may be a chance she could help them, but he did not expect the presence of her aura to be enough. It was incredible.

    He shut his eyes and extended his perception toward the infected humans, searching their bodies for mutations. Quickly he discovered that they both had something like a Core nestled in their chests. Both were fractured and an energy spilled from them, manifesting as the purple mist they'd witnessed. The toxic cloud dissipated without foundation wherever it drew near to Qianlin, all without her needing to do a thing.

    Without this aberrant Core altering them, the victims' bodies quickly returned to normal. Their blood flow slowed and the abnormal swelling of their organs was reversed, followed by the rest of their bodies.

    Qianlin waved her hand, birthing a wave of white light that settled over the two of them. Instantly the rate of recovery hastened. In a few short minutes they were back to normal.

    Lan Jue and the others he was connected with watched the whole thing. The four men gaped at what they saw. This perplexing dilemma that faced them was dealt with after almost no effort, and in short order.

    Lan Jue performed another quick check of the victims and discovered no residual problems. They were healthy as could be, but for the fact their spirits were still locked away. That was the only thing keeping them asleep.

    Lan Jue called out. "Driver, bring more of the infected over here."

    But Qianlin shook her hand. "No need, I'll handle it." As she spoke she took a single step forward, remaining close to Luo Xianni. A white aura sprang up around her and slowly began to spread out. As it did an image appeared at her back, the dharmic manifestation that looked so much like her.

    The image grew to several times the size of Zhou Qianling, its white gowns fluttering in an unfelt wind. As it hung suspended in air, arms spread, a saintly aura flooded the arena. All of a sudden the white aura surged in all directions.

    The Driver, Gourmet, and Pharmacist had been grappling with the problem of how to deal with these poor souls when suddenly that white light swept by. To them it felt like their protogenia was stirred to life and all traces of exhaustion washed away. The Driver felt it with particular sensitivity. After gaining insight from Lan Jue's breakthrough his powers had been tempestuous and wild, but the white light set them at ease.

    They watched bewilderment as the mutated humans began to change, their monstrous appearance melting away as mists poured from their orifices. All traces of the poison were borne away by the white light and wiped from existence. The demon-like casualties were returned to normal before their eyes.

    "This is..."

    They were stunned as they saw the biggest humanitarian problem ever faced handled without explanation. Then they saw the image floating in the sky. The image of Qianlin was rich his holy emanation, suspended above them like a faerie goddess.

    "This... this is a living Guanyin!" A stunned Pharmacist said aloud to herself. She had a great deal of faith in her own Domain, but upon seeing Qianlin's she couldn't help but be filled with admiration.

    Not only was she beautiful, but her presence brought with it a breath of nourishing warmth. Pathogens and evils of all sort were cleansed in the light of her aura, and the whole arena was blessed.

    The three Paragons felt the urge to bow their heads in worship to the image, to say nothing of the normal forces that had come to join them.

    "Guanyin, Queen of Heaven. What do you think of this name for a title?" The Gourmet offered. 1

    The Driver's smile was a ringing endorsement. "Not bad, it suits her."

    The image returned to Qianlin's side, that welcoming smile ever present on her perfect features.

    "That sounds fine."

    Lan Jue took her into his arms and gave her a gentle kiss. "My love, you are incredible. The Gourmet thought we might call you Guanyin Queen of Heaven. I think that's a fitting name."

    "I wouldn't dare blaspheme the goddess of mercy," Qianlin hurriedly said.

    But Lan Jue was insistent. "How is this blasphemy? You help bring the goddess' light to all people. Helping so many honors the Buddha and brings happiness."

    Qianlin couldn't help but smile. She was a good person, and there was nothing more pleasing to her than saving lives.

    1. Guanyin is an oft-worships goddess of healing and mercy in Chinese theology.
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