Xiao Lou suddenly had a headache.
In the depths of his mind, something seemed to suddenly awaken. It was like seeds breaking through the ground and sprouting rapidly. The severe pain pulled at his nerves one by one. It was so severe that he closed his eyes and pressed both hands against his temples. His shirt was instantly soaked with sweat.
Yu Hanjiang saw he had turned pale and hurried to hold him, asking in a worried voice that was slightly hoarse, “What’s wrong?”
The pale-faced Xiao Lou shook his head madly. “There are many messy scenes in my mind…”
There was a lot of blood, the same faces as himself and the cries of children. It was a place that was scarier than hell.
Xiao Lou’s eyes were bloodshot as those who looked exactly like him pulled at each other. The children’s nails became the sharpest knives as they stabbed at their own kind. There was blood all over the room.
He gasped with exhaustion. His strength was gradually consumed and his wounds were bleeding. His consciousness blurred but he knew that once he fell, he would die immediately.
What to do? Why did Father call him to this place that was more terrible than a nightmare? Who were these people? Why did they look like himself? Father asked him to find a way to live. What should he do?
Seeing one child after another fall around him, he became wise and thought of an idea.
Xiao Lou ran to a corner, lay down and pretended to be dead by covering himself with a corpse. The pungent smell of blood made him almost unable to breathe. He looked up and met a pair of eyes. The eyes belonged to a five year old child. The child who died without closing his eyes looked exactly the same as himself.
Xiao Lou, “……”
After suddenly awakening from the nightmare, Xiao Lou found the familiar hotel skylight overhead. Through the glass, he could see the stars in the sky. He stared at the sky in a daze until a familiar voice entered his ears. “You are awake? Does your head still hurt?”
The voice was low and gentle. It was Yu Hanjiang.
Xiao Lou came to his senses, frowned and wanted to get up. Yu Hanjiang immediately helped him, placing a pillow behind his back so he would be more comfortable. The other team members weren’t present. This was the bedroom in the hotel where he and Yu Hanjiang were staying. Xiao Lou wondered, “Did I fall asleep?”
“To be precise, you were unconscious. You fainted from the pain. I was worried about you so I took you to the bedroom and kept watch while you slept.”
Xiao Lou looked at the watch on his wrist.
They had returned to the hotel at 3:30 p.m. and it was already 3:30 a.m. He had passed out for 12 hours. Yu Hanjiang hadn’t even changed into his pyjamas. He just sat by the bed to guard Xiao Lou. Xiao Lou’s heart warmed and he gently held the other person’s hand. “I remembered what happened when I was five years old. The keepers probably let me restore my memories because we reasoned out this key information.”
Yu Hanjiang looked at the other person’s still pale face and asked in a low voice, “The Gu?”
Xiao Lou nodded, his voice trembling slightly. “There were 100 clones and only four survived in the end. Father put all the children together and had everyone compete for survival. I saw so many children who looked exactly like myself and was scared…”
This memory was vivid like Xiao Lou experienced it himself.
Competing with 100 ‘selves’ in order to survive was crueler than the mass murders in horror movies.
Yu Hanjiang gently hugged Xiao Lou. “How did you survive? You don’t have the bug genes in your body. You shouldn’t be able to beat those clones in hand-to-hand combat, right?”
Xiao Lou smiled bitterly. “I hid in the corner and pretended to be dead. I covered myself with the corpse of another child and they stopped attacking me. Many of the clones were just released from the nutrient solution and couldn’t even speak. Compared to them, the only advantage I had was that I lived in human society for five years and had more knowledge than them. They have been in the nutrient solution and grown to the age of five. They only had their nature and instincts.”
In other words, the five year old Xiao Lou survived the Gu raising project by relying on IQ. Others relied on their physical strength. Their genes might be the same but the culture medium was different. There would be subtle differences when they grew up.
Since the clones released from the laboratory hadn’t yet experienced human education, their IQs were at the infant level. It was just that their growth rate was accelerated by the nutrient solution and they became five year old children.
The emperor put these children together to find the best ones to continue to train. The defective products were destroyed directly…
It was indeed a cold-blooded and brutal Gu raising scheme.
Perhaps in the eyes of the emperor, these children were just ‘private goods’ raised by him and he had the right to ‘select the best’.
The group of five year old children might’ve had no emotions at the time but Xiao Lou couldn’t help feeling cold all over when he remembered the bloody scene of countless identical children competing for survival.
After that selection, Xiao Lou went through deep hypnosis and forgot everything.
Yu Hanjiang hadn’t expected the emperor of the Locke Empire to be such a madman! He said in a deep voice, “The emperor put the clones together and selected the best ones to continue training. He couldn’t even let go of his real son? What if you were killed in that selection? Does the emperor feel that a prince who can’t cope with the clones with a baby’s intelligence doesn’t deserve to live?”
“Probably. After all, those 100 clones really did have the IQs of a baby. If I couldn’t solve this problem then he probably would’ve abandoned me.” Xiao Lou lightly pressed a hand to his temple and calmed himself down. “Let’s not talk about the ethical issues of this matter. I have found some details from the memories of my five year old self that should be useful.”
Yu Hanjiang softly told him, “I will pour you a glass of water. Your voice is hoarse.”
He got up and poured a glass of warm water for Xiao Lou. Xiao Lou took a few sips to moisturize his throat. FeelingOnce he felt much better, Xiao Lou cleared his throat and continued speaking, “First of all, there wereare a total of four children who survived the selection, including me. There are two clones of me in the palace clones we have previously seen in the palace added up to three. Where is the remaining clone?”
Yu Hanjiang speculated, “Will he be secretly hidden by the emperor?”
“There is this possibility. However, it is also possible that someone took him away.”
He paused and added, “In addition, they are still human after adding the bug genes. They don’t have the ability to fuse together and upgrade. In other words, when a clone kills a clone, he won’t ‘eat’ the other person to upgrade. Dead is dead. On the other hand, the clones have obtained the healing ability of the bugs. The wounds on their bodies can recover after a period of time. I found this out during the selection. It is just that some clones healed quickly while others healed slowly.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “What about climbing and jumping?”
Xiao Lou shook his head. “No, they still have to walk upright. This might have something to do with the gene fragments that were screened when the cells were copied. A hybrid fusion of species is already complex technology. There is a risk of mutation.”
Just the healing ability alone was already powerful.
Normal humans would have to go to the hospital to be bandaged and treated. Meanwhile, the clones just had to wait to heal if they were injured.
Xiao Lou said, “My concern is whether a clone’s self-healing can regenerate a limb or internal organs, they will be regarded as ‘undying’. They will never get sick and there will be no need to go to the hospital. They also aren’t afraid of fire like the bugs.”
Yu Hanjiang’s expression sank. “This is similar to the ancient emperors who cultivated into immortals.”
“Yes.” Xiao Lou said helplessly. “At present, the research on clones is only at the first generation and no one knows if the second generation of clones will mutate after they combine with normal humans. As I said before, the insertion of artificially modified genes into the human genetic sequence is likely to trigger a butterfly effect, creating a variety of genetic problems that can’t be solved.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “We have to stop this.”
“My sister saw only my clones. However, the Noah’s Ark project didn’t only take my genes. There are other clones. In order to stop this, we must find all the clones.”
Yu Hanjiang wondered in a low voice, “What should we do after finding them? Destroy them?”
Terrifyingly, most of today’s clones were adults in their 20s. They had lived in human society for so many years and had their own ideas and consciousnesses. There was no obvious difference with humans apart from their genes.
How could they destroy these self-aware clones?
What was the difference between this and killing someone?
Xiao Lou took a deep breath. “It won’t work to simply destroy them. There must be another way. Let’s find all the clones first. Stopping the Noah’s Ark project should be the method to clear the secret room?”
Yu Hanjiang agreed. “Okay. One of your clones is missing. We must find this fourth ‘Xiao Lou’ as soon as possible. Secondly, we also have to investigate the legend of the invisible people that your sister mentioned. They must know something about the people who rescued Brother Jiu and Tang Ci.”
Xiao Lou frowned. “My sister said they are marine life. The water area of this planet exceeds 50%. What types of marine life are there?”
Yu Hanjiang said helplessly, “Let’s take our time and search slowly. We will always find a clue if we investigate along the beach.”
Proofreader: Paranoid Kitten & Fictional Reality