Xiao Lou heard Ye Qi’s words and went over to take a closer look into the bottle. He saw that Shao Qingge, who was the size of a thumb, was lying on the bottom of the bottle with closed eyes. He really seemed to be asleep as he lay there without moving.
He felt doubts and asked Yu Hanjiang through the heart channel. “The bugs parasitize humans. They should swallow the human consciousness, become aggressive and continue to spread and multiply. I have never seen a mutated bug just go to sleep.”
Yu Hanjiang, “…”
He had also never seen a bug that slept after mutating!
Yu Hanjiang frowned and stared at the bottle for a while. He found that Shao Qingge didn’t wake up and couldn’t help saying, “Didn’t Chief Shao say to use him as a sample to observe? Perhaps the infection of the bugs isn’t so simple.”
Shao Qingge might’ve jokingly said to use him as a ‘test product’ but in fact, after he was infected and became a bug. everyone could indeed observe some of the traits of parasitism from him.
Xiao Lou touched his chin and thought about it.
Long Sen scratched his head. “He really fell asleep? As expected from Chief Shao. It seems that after the bug entered his body, it assimilated his consciousness? He wants to sleep because the bug can’t get up?”
Old Mo put forward another view. “After all, he has been reduced in size and the bug in his body might’ve also shrunk. For example, it was originally a big crab and the pinchers could pinch a human finger. Now that it has been shrunk by several hundred times, it has become a little mosquito. What type of offensive power does it have? It can’t even exit the mineral bottle so it can only sleep, cough…”
Old Mo smiled at everyone while wondering if anyone agreed with his words.
Xiao Lou nodded approvingly after hearing it. “Indeed, Chief Shao is smaller and the bug in his body will also be affected. It has been reduced by hundreds of times and naturally has no offensive power. It can only sleep and rest. Perhaps this is the reason.”
The group looked at each other. They always felt that everyone leaning toward the bottle and staring at Chief Shao sleeping in the bottle was a bit strange.
Yu Hanjiang spoke softly. “This matter can be discussed later. The reduction in size can last for 8 hours so let’s think about the next plan.” He looked around. This fenced wasteland had hundreds of square metres. It should be land that a real estate developer bought for the construction of residential or commercial areas.
The land hadn’t been developed yet and no one was around.
If the bugs tried to chase them, all the forked roads were blocked and the back roads blocked. They wouldn’t be able to pass and it wouldn’t be easy to find the escape route of Yu Hanjiang’s group. Even if they slowly dug at the ground and did a grid search, the exit that Yu Hanjiang found was five kilometers away. It would take time for the bugs to cover all five kilometres of land.
Yu Hanjiang thought up to here and said, “We are safe for now. There are no buildings within five kilometres for the bugs to hide in and the underground passage has been sealed with marble. The bugs will have to search for a long time in the ground to find up. We should stay here first. Set up tents and rest for the night. Tomorrow, we will see if the situation needs to be changed.”
They agreed with Group Leader Yu’s opinion and set up tents.
The ground was covered with snow. The quality of the tent card was very good. There was a layer of isolation plastic at the bottom. This meant they wouldn’t be soaked by snow but it wasn’t much different from sleeping on the snow. Perhaps they would get a cold.
Xiao Lou thought of a method. He summoned Bai Juyi and used Old Charcoal Seller to generate a charcoal fire. Then he used Compass to make several small heaters, one for each tent, to keep everyone warm. The charcoal fire didn’t last long and fuel had to be added to it. This was where Old Mo’s wood plank card came in handy.
Old Mo smiled. “It turned out that the biggest effect of my Solid Wood Flooring card is to turn it into firewood!”
Good or bad, it was an A-grade card. Every time it was split by Group Leader Yu and Professor Xiao to add to the fire, it was really the most undignified card.
Everyone tried to adjust the atmosphere so that Ye Qi wasn’t too sad. Even so, Ye Qi’s face was always pale and he held the mineral water bottle cautiously out of fear of throwing Chief Shao.
Xiao Lou knew this person was uncomfortable. After making the stoves, he walked over and comforted Ye Qi. “Xiao Ye, don’t worry too much. Chief Shao will be fine. He will be in this transformed state for 8 hours so take care of him. If you have time, try to communicate with him spiritually. The Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings can last for 24 hours before it is refreshed in the early morning.
Ye Qi nodded. “Yes.”
It was 4 o’clock in the morning. He and Shao Qingge had connected at midnight so there were still 20 hours for the connection to be maintained. Once it reached midnight the next day, this channel would end.
If Chief Shao was unconscious at the time then there was no way to continue using the skill.
After returning to the tent, Ye Qi placed the bottle next to the pillow so it was like Chief Shao was sleeping next to him. He turned to the side, gazed at Chief Shao in the transparent bottle and asked, “Chief Shao, can you hear me?”
Ye Qi continued to repeat the question despite not getting a response. “Can you hear me?”
The little Shao Qingge in the bottle always seemed to be sleeping soundly. His eyes were closed and he was motionless. The little guy who was as big as a thumb made Ye Qi feel sad for a while. He whispered, “Sleep well, I’ll watch over you from your side.”
The little person in the bottle turned over and continued to sleep. Ye Qi fell silent. He was afraid that Shao Qingge would be cold at night so Ye Qi placed the bottle in his arms. This way, the bottle would be heated and Shao Qingge wouldn’t be so cold.
In the tent next door, Xiao Lou took out the senior contract book. He hadn’t dared to take it out in front of his teammates because he was afraid of the worst.
Yu Hanjiang knew his thoughts. He stared into Xiao Lou’s eyes and whispered encouragement. “Turn it and see if he is still present.”
Xiao Lou nodded, took a deep breath and turned directly to the third page. At that time, Shao Qingge and Ye Qi had signed their names on the third page.
Now Ye Qi’s name was next to… ‘Shao Qingge’ written in large characters.
Xiao Lou was instantly relieved and his face finally showed a smile. “He is still there. He isn’t dead!”
Judging from the experience of the team from the Distant Association, a dead teammate would disappear from the contract book. Xue Qing and Cheng Ziyang had burned to ashes in the flames so the secret room judged they were dead. The captain died and the contract book was transferred to Gao Xiao. The names Cheng Ziyang and Xue Qing had disappeared.
However, Shao Qingge’s name was still here. It proved that Shao Qingge wasn’t dead.
Xiao Lou hadn’t dared to check in front of his teammates. After all, it was only Yu Hanjiang’s speculation that an infected teammate would be fine after passing the instance. If they were infected, would they be judged dead? How could they continue to lead their teammates through the game if the names of the infected teammates weren’t on the contract book?
In fact, the two of them had this worry but neither of them mentioned it. They were afraid that if Chief Shao’s name wasn’t present, Ye Qi would collapse and the others would be hit hard.
Fortunately, this worst case scenario hadn’t happened. Chief Shao was still okay even if he was infected.
Looking at Xiao Lou’s relaxed smile, Yu Hanjiang also couldn’t help smiling before he said seriously, “Maybe our guess is wrong and Chief Shao’s words are the key. He asked us to treat him as a test subject. Through him, we can observe the bugs and truly understand the principle of their parasitism.”
Xiao Lou speculated. “In other words, the bugs invaded the human brain but didn’t actually cause human brain death. After all, in our medical knowledge, brain death can determine clinical death and a death notice issued. Chief Shao’s name wouldn’t be on the contract book if this was the case. People in a coma aren’t brain dead. Their brain cell activity is low and it is more like they are sleeping.”
Yu Hanjiang stroked his chin thoughtfully. “You mean, the bugs didn’t eat the human brain cells. Instead, they put the human consciousness into a deep sleep so as to control the human body?”
Xiao Lou nodded. “It feels like the consciousness of the bug and the consciousness of the human are competing for the body. Those with a weak resistance are controlled by the bugs and those with a strong resistance might end up with the bugs directly causing a cerebral hemorrhage or the bugs being assimilated like Chief Shao?”
Yu Hanjiang, “……”
So the bug assimilated into a sloth after entering Chief Shao’s body?
Yu Hanjiang’s mouth twitched and he really didn’t know how to evaluate it.
However, Xiao Lou’s inferences did have some truth. After all, so many of the first batch of people infected with the bugs in the Second Hospital died. Currently, they didn’t know how to explain it. It made sense if it was because the human consciousness resisted too strongly.
Xiao Lou added, “I initially determined that the human brain cells were eaten by the bugs due to the CT film in the hospital. On the film, there were many white spots in the head of the infected person. Since the spots covered almost all the brain tissue, I subconsciously thought the brain cells were eaten. Now it seems that the bodies of the bugs are sensitive to CT rays. They parasitized the human brain so when a CT scan is taken, they cover the normal brain cells and the image will just show white spots.”
In theory, a person shouldn’t survive with so many bugs in their brains. However, the setting of 8 of Spades was originally very strange. The unknown bugs were similar to the zergs in science fiction worlds. At the very least, they could prove using Shao Qingge that the parasitized humans didn’t die directly. Shao Qingge’s consciousness was still present. He was just temporarily asleep.
Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang were relieved by this thought.
Yu Hanjiang whispered softly, “You have been tired from dealing with the bugs for so long. Go to sleep first and we will talk at dawn.”
Xiao Lou was indeed very tired. The experience tonight was really thrilling. So many bugs were burned to ashes by the gasoline explosion. Then a large number evolved and dug their way out of the ground…
If it wasn’t for everyone’s caution and being prepared in advance, they might have become the food of these bugs.
Xiao Lou gently sighed. “Ye Qi’s eavesdropper has been given to me. I will put it outside on the fence just in case.” Before he could act, Yu Hanjiang took the initiative to say, “It is too cold outside. Let me do it. Go and rest.”
Yu Hanjiang quickly turned and left. He jumped a few times with the light footwork card and set up the bug on the edge of the land. By the time he returned to the tent, Xiao Lou had already taken off his jacket and sweater and was lying in bed.
The temporary stove was placed at his feet.
Yu Hanjiang opened the quilt and lay down. He looked at Xiao Lou and found that Xiao Lou was already asleep. He had fallen asleep in seconds. It seemed that he really was tired. Yu Hanjiang smiled, extended his arms and gently held Xiao Lou in his arms.
It was better to take the initiative to hold Xiao Lou instead of Xiao Lou finding him in the middle of the night because of the cold. He held Xiao Lou to sleep and there was also heat. It wouldn’t be so cold even if they were lying on the snow.