The central hall, the core screen, Bai Liu’s small TV.
Wang Shun looked at Bai Liu’s small TV in the core promotion and couldn’t help sighing. People were really different. This guy could actually climb so fast against league players like Miao Feichi and his father. It was only the first day of the game and Bai Liu had already climbed to the core promotion screen.
The number of likes and recharges that supported Bai Liu’s rush up was mainly due to the middle stage where Bai Liu confronted the Miao Feichi father and son. The audience of Miao Feichi and Miao Gaojiang were cheering and celebrating that they would soon kill Bai Liu. The Scavengers Guild also bought a paid advertisement for this moment. Due to the blessing of various factors such as many big name players not opening a live broadcast, Miao Feichi’s audience charged him points like crazy and sent him to the king promotion position.
Yet soon, Miao Feichi fell from the edge of the king’s promotion. It was because Bai Liu wasn’t dead. Not only was he alive but he took the opportunity to mix into Miao Feichi’s team.
Fans of Miao Feichi and the Scavengers Guild who bought the promotional advertisements were dumbfounded. All the situations they created ended up as a wedding dress for Bai Liu. The audience rushed to Bai Liu’s small TV. Even those who were hostile or unhappy toward him rushed out and couldn’t be stopped. Most of them had figured out what was going on and stayed with Bai Liu’s small TV.
The extreme rise in the number of viewers and the rising data quickly sent Bai Liu to the core promotion position. It wasn’t just Bai Liu. Even Mu Ke’s small TV gained a wave of this Miao Feichi bonus and he successfully rose from the multiplayer area to the central screens.
There were doubts, confusion and reasonable discussions among the audience. Bai Liu could mix in with Miao Feichi’s team and last time, he successfully killed Puppet Zhang, a reserve player of the King’s Guild. Now no one thought that this newcomer was easy but the main argument was still—awesome is awesome but he is too crazy. He kicked over the iron plate.
“It is useless to mix in with their team. It is okay for Bai Liu to control Puppet Zhang by using his control technique to leapfrog his level but he can’t use an F-grade panel to control Miao Feichi and Miao Gaojiang. Most of the S-grade skills aren’t good enough. Moreover, Miao Gaojiang is very alert. I heard that Miao Gaojiang watched Bai Liu’s videos hundreds of times and summed up many things about Bai Liu’s ability to control others. One of them is that Bai Liu’s control skill is very limited. A medium should be used and both parties should agree to it. So as long as they don’t accept any of Bai Liu’s things, they should be okay. Still, Bai Liu’s trick was very beautiful. Under several layers of cover, he really fooled Miao Gaojiang. Tsk, this newcomer is like a beehive briquette. He has a lot of cleverness. What does he do in reality?”
“After all, Miao Gaojiang has played against the King’s Guild who likes control and the doubles match was successful. I don’t think they are likely to be controlled by Bai Liu.”
“Look at this situation. Bai Liu is ready to play the grab-and-run tactic this time. He will use everything to get the clues for the main task first and then clear the game.”
“Isn’t it more appropriate to play this tactic with Mu Sicheng? Are these two people falling apart? It is like they’ve taken the wrong medicine. They are each bringing newcomers with them. I’ve never seen God Mu bring a newcomer with him and now he brought a husband and wife in one go…”
“Don’t look down on the couple. The two newcomers brought by Mu Sicheng are of high quality. One can resist monsters and the other can kill them. The husband and wife have a good degree of cooperation. They are good candidates for the doubles matches. I think that if they are trained well, they won’t lose to the Miao Gaojiang duo.”
“The quality of the newcomer brought by Bai Liu is also good but his personal skill is poor. He can be trained to the gathering intelligence side. Isn’t Wang from the King’s Guild taking that direction? He has a database which is really useful. Ah, these newcomers are really good! I can’t find such potential newcomers. I f*king wanted to gain Mu Sicheng this year and chased him through three instances without being able to say a word to him. He ran fast and the old me couldn’t breathe chasing him. Now looking at this group of newcomers, I want to collect them all into my guild!”
“Get lost. Your thinking is too beautiful. You want to do this but do you think they are willing?”
“They are really good players but unfortunately, I think they will still die. Miao Feichi’s grass pig, bah, pig, ah, that’s not right. Damn, I was really taken away by Bai Liu. In any case, the attack of his knives is very high. I remember it was 3,147? He almost killed me in the competition before. Bai Liu can’t go against him with a pure newcomer. However, if Bai Liu goes to the league then his crappy panel will rise a bit. He can really kill all sides if he uses it well.”
“…I kinda want to recruit this kid. His skill is very interesting. He can copy the skills of the players under his control? It is just that the duration is too short. I don’t know if it is because of Bai Liu’s physical strength or his skill limitation. He could only use Mu Sicheng’s skill to fight against Miao Feichi for a few minutes…”
Wang Shun was a bit surprised to see these players surrounding Bai Liu’s small TV and giving reviews. The ordinary viewers also gazed at these players with surprise. They didn’t dare to force it and just discussed among themselves in the back row. It was because many of the players standing in front of Bai Liu’s small TV were familiar faces from last year’s league. Some of them were high level players of the top 10 guilds. Thanks to their presence, the ordinary players didn’t dare speak at will, just like when Mu Sicheng used to be in front of Bai Liu’s small TV.
Miao Feichi’s provocative promotion not only attracted ordinary audiences but also the league players on the same level as Miao Feichi. They paid attention to what Miao Feichi wanted to do. Then after Miao Feichi’s first collapse in Bai Liu’s hands, this attention fell to Bai Liu’s side. In other words, Bai Liu had now attracted the attention of a large number of league players.
Wang Shun stared up at Bai Liu on the small TV and sighed. Bai Liu was a solo player with a brilliant performance. Had he started to attract the attention of the major guilds during the time when the support season was becoming hot?
To be honest, if it wasn’t for the King’s Guild being hostile to Bai Liu at the beginning, Wang Shun would’ve definitely looked at Bai Liu. Unfortunately, now—he sighed again.
However, Wang Shun heard that Mu Sicheng was bringing two newcomers with him and had a strange feeling. Bai Liu was bringing a newcomer and Mu Sicheng’s side was as well. If he added the newcomers, Bai Liu and Mu Sicheng, the number happened to be exactly five, just like a league team. Why did it feel like Bai Liu was raising new players to attack the league…
Wang Shun soon shook his head in amusement and threw away this unbelievable idea. How could this group of pure newcomers who had just entered the game possibly compete in the league? Bai Liu would only take pure newcomers to the league if he was crazy.
However, it seemed that these newcomers would be recruited and raised by the major guilds. It wasn’t known what teams he would see these new faces on in this year. Wang Shun was a bit uneasy at the thought.
Inside the game.
Mu Ke pushed the hospital bed back to its original position. When he pushed it, he ended up pushing the corpse of the monster patient into a corner. The patient exuded the very strange smell of plants. The patient had released a strong smell of fungal decay within a few minutes after Bai Liu left. It was moist, hot and dense. The smell was so strong that Mu Ke had to cover his nose.
The plant patient cut to death by Miao Feichi was leaning in the corner and the shadows cast by it in the dim light were very disturbing. After being cut to death by Miao Feichi, it was even longer. The hands and feet were long and thin like slender metal poles. Mu Ke roughly estimated that if the patient stood up, it would have to bend to walk normally in the ward.
The plant patient’s rating was only A. After several blows from the S-grade Miao Feichi, it was impossible for it to survive.
Mu Ke quickly looked away from the patient. After all, it was very uncomfortable to watch such a thing for a long time. This type of monster that looked like a cross between human and inhuman would arouse his uncanny valley effect if he stared at it for too long. His mental value hadn’t recovered in this short amount of time and he didn’t want to mentally pollute himself.
There were books everywhere in the ward. Fortunately, they were undamaged but they were stuck to the ground because the room was very wet. This didn’t prevent Mu Ke from reading them. He carefully picked up the books one by one and arranged them. Then he lifted up the bookshelves that had fallen to the ground and placed the books in the order he had seen them before. He used a pen to direct his gaze and quickly started reading.
The books here were the same as Bai Liu previously speculated. There were all types of special notes. Since this was the ICU and more than one patient lived here, the notes had different handwriting. Mu Ke read very quickly because he only selected the places marked with notes to read. His hand and eyes moved quickly, his gaze only stopping on each page for a second or two. It was almost similar to the ‘Quantum Mechanics Calligraphy Reading’ on the Internet.
It wasn’t known how much time passed but Mu Ke’s eyes were red as he let out a long breath. He sat on the bed and murmured to himself in a daze, “I’ve finished the first time going through it.”
After reading so many notes, Mu Ke could basically determine that this ‘life recovery medicine’ was as the name suggested—it was a Chinese medicine formula that could cure a hundred diseases described in the notes. It was just a folk prescription because it hadn’t undergone experiments.
The terminally ill patients had been tortured by their diseases. They had gone to many hospitals and doctors and tried various treatments, only to fail. They were told by doctors and hospitals that they could only give up treatment and go home to live better. In other words, go home and wait for death. The patients became desperate.
These patients were unwilling to give up. Some wealthy and powerful patients built their own private hospital because they didn’t believe in the doctors’ diagnosis. They were even full of resentment for the doctors who said there was no cure. Thus, the hospital had only nurses and no doctors. These patients trying to save themselves were the doctors.
Indeed, many of them had read a lot of medical data of various treatments for a long time. They did have a certain amount of medical knowledge. It could be said that after they had been sick for a long time or after the disease progressed to the point where the doctors said they were unable to be saved, they started reading books on their own to help themselves.
Generally speaking, they believed in themselves more than the doctors, or they believed more in people who had the same disease as themselves.
‘God won’t fail those who persevere’—Mu Ke was excited when he saw the notes on the pages. Finally, under their desperate prayers day and night, a mysterious patient got a Chinese herbal prescription from an unknown place. After the verification of several patients, the prescription proved to be effective in relieving their symptoms. This excited the desperate patients and they called it the ‘life recovery medicine’.
However, due to various reasons such as ‘the mystery isn’t passed on’, ‘it must not be passed on directly to others’ and ‘directly informing people and letting it spread outside will lead to disaster’, they couldn’t directly tell the newly admitted patients what the prescription was.
It wasn’t that they never passed on this life recovery medicine.
The method of ‘passing the prescription’ between old and new patients was quite obscure and vigilant. First, the patient needed to be terminally ill and on the verge of death, as well as having the money to support a child. After doing good deeds, they would be allowed to be admitted to this hospital. It wasn’t just that. The new patients had to withstand the test of patience. These people had a large bookcase prepared in each ward. If the patients could finish reading the books, they could find the ‘life recovery medicine prescription’ hidden between the lines of the books.
Mu Ke felt like it was a secret code transmission. They seemed to be afraid that this folk prescription would spread and bring disaster to themselves, so the people who knew the prescription must be in the same camp as them. This reminded Mu Ke of the strict review and membership system of the underground clubs involving some gray areas for the rich.
Mu Ke put together a rough ‘life recovery medicine’ based on the notes and quick reading. He found the vast majority of ingredients in this life recovery medicine prescription but he was missing the most important one. He looked through all the notes in the book. Most of the records were vague and mentioned that it was ‘one-to-one’. This meant it was different for each patient, highly exclusive and not easy to obtain.
However, there was no note that specifically mentioned what this ingredient was. Mu Ke’s expression became heavy.
It was already very deep in the night and it wasn’t known when the horizon would start to lighten. This made Mu Ke a bit anxious. This was obviously the most important thing in the life recovery medicine so why were there no relevant descriptions on the pages? Moreover, how could these patients not take any notes when they saw the description on the ‘medicine primer’ page? Under such dim lighting, the patient would have to look for it again if a little trace wasn’t made to locate this place. Mu Ke even searched the folds of the pages but didn’t find anything.
“No…” Mu Ke muttered. “Wait a minute!”
If there were no folds or notes at all, there was another possibility. It was that the thing on the page was too important to the patient. The patient was more likely to tear off the page and hide it for repeated observation, rather than leaving folds or notes.
Although it wasn’t allowed to destroy the books, this was only a rule for players like them, the new patients. For the monster patients, i.e. the old patients, they might not necessarily have this rule. It was because once the life recovery medicine was passed on, the books were no longer useful.
However, Mu Ke had searched the beds and cabinets here. He had searched all the places where paper and book pages might appear. He didn’t even let go of the toilet.
If this page was really torn out then the only place where it could be and the only place where Mu Ke hadn’t looked was…
Mu Ke’s gaze slowly shifted to the pocket of the rotting monster corpse. His gaze moved from the plant patient’s drooping head to its dry, skin that had withered like eggplant in just a few hours.
Mu Ke slowly gulped.
He took a deep breath and walked over to the patient in the corner. The withered skin of the patient looked like there were slender worms under the skin. There were low flowing lines on the patient’s blue-purple face that finally sank into the patient’s pupils. The patient’s long, empty pupils gradually shrank and the lips covered with corpse spots opened slightly. The saliva in his mouth was visible and mucus dripped from the corpse’s sharp teeth, falling onto his index finger that was down by his side.
The patient’s finger suddenly moved.
It was just that these movements were extremely slight and they happened in a dim corner. The visibility in this ward was extremely low. Mu Ke was this close but he didn’t notice anything wrong with the corpse that had been dead for a long time. It was because there was nothing abnormal about this corpse. He just felt that the smell of rotting plants in the ward was becoming stronger, as if something was madly growing.
“What a strong mushroom smell…” Mu Ke’s nose twitched and he waved his hand in front of it in disgust. The smell of mushrooms inexplicably reminded him of the mushroom smell coming from the disabled children at the welfare home.
Mu Ke crouched down. He ignored his fear and discomfort of the dead body and placed his hand into the patient’s pocket. He did touch a stack of paper but more than the stack of paper, the thing that made Mu Ke feel creepy was—
As his hand reached into the pocket, his hand could feel the pulsing underneath. This pulsation grew faster and faster as Mu Ke reached into the pocket.
The patient had a heartbeat. This plant patient wasn’t dead yet.
Mu Ke felt like he had been placed in an ice bucket. He felt cold from the top of his head to his chest. This monster had its brain completely cut apart by a player of Miao Feichi’s level but it actually wasn’t dead. In the end, what level was this monster? Mu Ke didn’t want to think about what this represented. Mu Ke took a few deep breaths in a few seconds as he forced himself to calm down.
This patient clearly had not been breathing. Mu Ke had confirmed it as soon as Bai Liu and the others had left. A creature with a heartbeat that wasn’t breathing. What in the world was this heartbeat?
Mu Ke couldn’t think too much. He quickly grabbed the papers and pulled back his hand.
He just had to get enough information to pass onto Bai Liu. Then even if he died in the hands of this strange patient monster, he still had 50% of his health left with little Mu Ke. He believed that Bai Liu could complete the task and take little Mu Ke to clear the instance.
Mu Ke brainwashed himself a few times before taking a deep breath, lowering his head and opening the papers.
“Blood ganoderma lucidum, a type of ganoderma lucidum that requires the blood of pure boys or girls. It is also a variant of the panacea mushroom and is rumored to be able to ‘give life to the dead and flesh to bones.’ It is also known as ‘blood tai sui’ or ‘demonic tai sui.’”
“It is recorded in the Compendium of Materia Medica that this medicine can be consumed for a long time to lighten the body and prolong the life of immortals… the Shennong Ben Cao Jing records that this medicine can supplement energy and cure knots in the chest…”
“The investors can choose children with pure blood, pour their blood onto the fungus bed and sleep on the fungus bed of the child’s blood day and night. The fungus bed should be damp and light avoided. If you sincerely hope to recover from your disease, you should get the special medicine to induce the blood ganoderma lucidum to enter the body. If the blood ganoderma lucidum isn’t destroyed then the body won’t die and life will be prolonged. The more pure the blood of the child, the stronger the ganoderma lucidum in the body. If the blood of the child is impure, the ganoderma lucidum will be impure…”
[System prompt: Congratulations to player Mu Ke for completing the main task: find the life recovery medicine.]
[System prompt: Congratulations to player Mu Ke for triggering the new main task, cultivate your own blood ganoderma lucidum by using the fungus bed in the hospital to extend your life.]
“F*k!” Mu Ke couldn’t help swearing. “What the f*k is this?!”
During the period when Mu Ke was reading, the red lines writhing under the patient’s dried skin suddenly moved faster. The red ‘line marks’ that were like creeping mycelium spread from the patient’s heart to his limbs. Soon, some bloody lines even appeared on the back of his hands.
These capillary-like, beating bright red lines filled the plant patient’s body, puffing up the patient’s pale, bruised skin. The patient turned into a slender corpse with peristaltic ‘blood vessels’ in the blink of an eye.
Only the eyes were black and white. The skin in all other places was red. All these tense blood vessels were still writhing like the muscles were turning inside out. The blood lines also existed on the ground between the patient and the bed, spreading through the whole ward like a virus. Finally, these creeping ‘blood vessels’ led to the bed.
The red ‘blood vessels’ became thicker and beat more vigorously, as if conveying blood to the hospital bed. The entire ward was shrouded in a strange dark red light. It seemed like something was sprouting under the straw of the hospital bed. Then bright red mushrooms emerged from the rotten straw. These mushrooms kept growing and eventually became the size of a millstone. There was a head and a tail, like an undeveloped embryo.
This pile of fungi, like a heart, was beating regularly. On the hospital bed, it emitted a strange red fluorescence. There was no disgusting bloody smell. On the contrary, it gave off a very comfortable smell—the aroma of food.