Chapter 654: It’s Better to Be Prepared
Red-eyed python? The one wrapped around Wu Meng?
Although Long Yuehong had never really seen this terrifying python and had only heard Ferrington describe it, the stark characteristics made him instantly make some connections.
Long Yuehong became even more afraid when he thought that the python’s attack might be Wu Meng’s doing.
He trembled in fear, and his limbs went limp. He felt suffocated and couldn’t muster any will to resist. Even the thoughts in his mind seemed to be frozen, but there was still flowing water under the ice, just that it couldn’t affect his body.
Long Yuehong had a vague guess.
This was a mutated creature—its abilities were in Eidolon Nun’s domain, allowing it to induce fear in the target. Although this couldn’t compare to Extreme Terror, which could directly scare people to death, it was enough to break down the prey’s resistance.
Similar to Long Yuehong, Bai Chen—who was wearing the Chameleon—was also frozen in her spot. She didn’t immediately raise her Orange rifle to aim.
Jiang Baimian revealed a pained expression. The muscles on her face were slightly warped as if she was using all her strength to resist the intense feelings that came from the depths of her subconscious.
Only Shang Jianyao didn’t show any fear. Instead, he had a calm expression as if he had facial paralysis. He didn’t look like any of the Shang Jianyaos.
“Remaining staid even if the sky fell!”
Before entering the cave in the North Shore Mountains, the Old Task Force had made many preparations for possible encounters. Among them were precautions against the Awakened abilities they had previously encountered and found indefensible—terror, bewitchment, and friendliness.
The preventive method was Thought Implantation.
Of course, the effects of Thought Implantation became more problematic with an increasing number of overlapping effects. Therefore, the Old Task Force’s strategy was for every member to receive a specific ‘thought’ to resist the corresponding abilities. This would prevent the entire team from being affected, resulting in nobody being able to step forward to wake their teammates up—just like how they were previously controlled by Qiao Chu.
Among them, Shang Jianyao might not be that afraid or might even appear excited when he encountered the fear that came from the bottom of his heart—even during normal times. Therefore, after a mutual discussion, they decided to let him resist any fears in case there was nobody to stop him when they encountered a situation that required fear and vigilance.
In fact, Jiang Baimian’s Stimulation Disorder could achieve a similar effect with limited durations. It couldn’t satisfy the hours of exploration. It required constantly replenishing energy along the way, and it was too troublesome. Furthermore, Jiang Baimian’s mental strength couldn’t keep up since she was still in the Sea of Origins.
In addition, Shang Jianyao had been forced to reduce the effects when he used Thought Implantation on himself. This allowed him to remain calm even if the sky collapsed for targeted scenes that could bring fear and not other situations to prevent having his normal judgment and reaction affected.
The calm Shang Jianyao raised his hands and pulled the trigger with his firearm trained at the floor-to-ceiling window.
The Berserker assault rifle immediately spewed out crimson flames.
Amidst the gunfire, the floor-to-ceiling windows shattered, and blood bloomed from the red-eyed python’s body.
The mutated creature’s mouth suddenly opened to its greatest extent as it let out an indescribable howl, making the invisible fear become increasingly obvious.
It swung its body back and slammed into the trees outside, causing them to totter.
Faced with such an opportunity, Shang Jianyao didn’t take the opportunity to attack. He took a few steps forward and ‘reprimanded ‘the other party. “You cheated! You have no limbs!”
He seemed to have failed to use Limbs Immobility on the red-eyed python.
The red-eyed python had previously hidden its consciousness and approached stealthily. It only appeared when Jiang Baimian sensed its bioelectric signal just moments before it ‘entered’ Shang Jianyao’s detection range.
The red-eyed python clearly didn’t hear Shang Jianyao’s reprimand. Even if it did, it might not understand. It was rolling around in pain at this moment, almost squeezing out the sap from the tree.
Although its scales weren’t as sturdy as the Blackmarsh Iron Snake’s, they had a certain level of defense. Coupled with its thick skin, its injuries did not seem fatal.
Just as Shang Jianyao decided to switch abilities, a white wolf rushed up from the third floor.
Jiang Baimian—who was resisting her fear—failed to give a warning. The wolf named Bai Xiao hid its consciousness again and only revealed itself when its Bewitchment was effective, pouncing behind the Old Task Force members.
Its original plan seemed to involve carrying out a pincer attack with the red-eyed python to finish off the enemy in the shortest time possible. But by the time it appeared, its companion had already been repelled.
At this moment, Long Yuehong turned around. The eyes under his goggles were bloodshot, and he didn’t look like he had been bewitched at all. Instead, he seemed to have a grudge with the white wolf as though it had snatched his wife and killed his son.
He stared at the other party and fired crazily.
He was the one chosen to resist Bewitchment!
According to Shang Jianyao’s private theory, there was no need to implant ‘thoughts’ in Little Red. He could directly challenge all the Bewitchment effects unless the other party had transformed into Little White.
In order to maximize the effects, the thought that Shang Jianyao implanted for Long Yuehong was: “When you are Bewitched by a certain creature, you should clearly know that the person you like will also be bewitched by ‘him.’ Therefore, the best solution is to kill ‘him’ and turn ‘him’ into a specimen for collection.”
At this moment, not only did the hatred and desire in his heart help Long Yuehong defeat his Bewitchment, but it also allowed him to escape the influence of ‘fear.’ If it weren’t for the fact that Shang Jianyao didn’t have the luxury of time, he definitely would’ve applauded him.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Bullets shot out of the Berserker assault rifle one after another, stirring up dust and sparks.
Unfortunately, the white wolf seemed to be more careful than the red-eyed python—it didn’t pounce without regard. Upon realizing that Long Yuehong’s reaction wasn’t right, it immediately jumped toward the flight of stairs heading down.
Its tail was struck by a bullet, and its body lost its balance. Thus, it fell heavily on the stairwell railing and fell down with a series of thuds.
Long Yuehong and Shang Jianyao were just about to chase after their respective ‘enemies’ when the lights on the Holm Fertility Center’s fourth floor instantly lit up. They became a contiguous whole with a brightness that could almost rival the sunlight outside.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The calm Shang Jianyao turned his body and shattered the fluorescent tubes in the room.
Long Yuehong was stunned for a moment. Considering his companions’ safety, he also destroyed the lights in the corridor.
As their Fear and Bewitchment subsided, Jiang Baimian and Bai Chen recovered one after another and helped their teammates deal with this floor’s out-of-control lights.
With a sizzling sound, the remaining lights went out. The Holm Fertility Center returned to normal, apart from the floor strewn with glass.
Jiang Baimian quickly ordered, “Check yourself and see if you have any strange thoughts.”
She was worried that she or her teammates had been unknowingly affected by Wu Meng.
At this moment, the red-eyed python and the white wolf had already disappeared and evacuated the area.
After a round of self-checks, the four Old Task Force members confirmed that Wu Meng had only saved his pets.
Shang Jianyao’s implanted thoughts were written in the comparison notes. It wouldn’t fail because of the ‘self-checks,’ but everyone knew that their teammates had similar external thoughts to which they would give a reminder the moment they left the ruins.
Jiang Baimian exhaled and said in a deep voice, “I wonder what Wu Meng will do next. Let’s go to basement one quickly to complete the search and evacuate while there’s still enough time.”
When the time came, they could come back the next day if they didn’t find anything.
“Yes, Team Leader!” Shang Jianyao suddenly became excited.
His excitement made Jiang Baimian and the others inexplicably tremble.
After a few minutes of searching, the Old Task Force found the cryogenic storage in the basement.
Standing in front of the storage’s iron-black door, Bai Chen thought for a moment and said, “There’s no way to open it unless the power supply is restored.”
“Restoring the power won’t do either. I’ve tried it, and the components inside the door are seriously damaged.” Shang Jianyao indicated that he had silently helped the team eliminate a wrong solution.
Jiang Baimian didn’t hesitate and nodded. “Stand back. I’ll blast it open.”
After all, it had been nearly 70 years. It was unlikely that the biological materials inside were still active.
As he walked behind Jiang Baimian, Shang Jianyao revealed a thoughtful expression. “Could the reason the Holm Fertility Center became a Buddhist Holy Land be that Subhuti or Master Zhuang’s reproductive materials are stored here?”
“…” For a moment, Jiang Baimian, Long Yuehong, and Bai Chen didn’t know how to answer.
Shang Jianyao stood still and turned to look at the iron-black door of the cryogenic storage. He eagerly asked, “Then, is it considered a holy relic?”
Jiang Baimian only had one thought at this moment: I need to stay away from this fellow to prevent myself from being implicated when the Kalendarium smite him!
Jiang Baimian took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. She then placed the rocket launcher over her shoulder.
A rocket flew out and blew up the iron door.
As the dust settled, Shang Jianyao walked over and excitedly said, “I’ll help you scout the way!”
Jiang Baimian thought for a moment and didn’t stop him.
Shang Jianyao came to the cryochamber’s entrance and walked in from the collapsed ruins.
Suddenly, a green glow lit up in his pocket.