Chapter 28: A Life or Death Struggle
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“Holy sh*t! No wonder I couldn’t formulate an antidote! Antidotes do nothing for viruses! Only vaccines can fight them!” Chen Lie’s curses rang out in his office. Huo Shaoheng closed his eyes. He was normally calm in times of emergency,, but at the moment he felt like he was choking. He didn’t doubt Chen Lie’s words, nor did he think he was exaggerating. Chen Lie was the brightest of medical officers in the Empire and had majored in Viral Bio-Weapon Theory for his doctorate degree. Chen Lie had the most authority, whether it was on natural or synthetic viruses.
Ding! The scanner emitted a crisp sound and completed the transfer of all the scans. Huo Shaoheng’s brain whirred and he made a mental note to change the plans. None of the men had predicted that things would be this serious.
Chen Lie promptly opened the last file that was sent over. With the assistance of the auto-translation software on the computer, he read through the last set of ‘effectiveness comparison’ data. His face went from grey to white. Even his lips had paled. He let out a shaky breath and spoke to Huo Shaoheng. “The effectiveness of this virus is astounding. According to the last set of ‘effectiveness comparison’ data, anybody injected with this virus had died within half a year to a year later.” He paused and looked at the data before he explained further. “These were all women from the Empire. They had all died of illness. Just typical illnesses. And there were no traces of abnormality found. In other words, this type of bio-weapon has now distinguished itself as an invisible killer.”
Huo Shaoheng’s expression became more grim as he adjusted his glasses. He asked quietly, “Then why is H3aB7 said to be the top class aphrodisiac?”
“The aphrodisiac element is probably a side effect discovered when they were studying the virus. This kind of thing is a common phenomenon in the history of drug development. The infamous little blue pill, the male potency drug Viagra, was originally developed as a wonder drug to treat hypertension and angina pectoris, or chest pain associated with heart disease. However, the researchers found that it induced erections and exceptionally increased male potency. It worked even better as a sexual stimulant than as a treatment for heart and blood pressure complications. So it instead became what we know today as Viagra.” Chen Lie sighed. “I’m guessing this H3aB7 was developed much like Viagra. That’s why it’s known for its side effect. This also allowed them to mask its true effects when they were testing the virus dosages during clinical trials, I assume.”
It was purely coincidental that they had uncovered this huge conspiracy. Chen Lie got cold sweats thinking about it. Although he had been previously interested in H3aB7, it was only because as an insider to the industry he, like most others, believed that it was an aphrodisiac. Not many people paid much attention to such a low class substance. Even though Chen Lie had been extremely curious about it, he had not gone out of his way all to obtain the pertinent data. If Gu Nianzhi had not been poisoned with it, Huo Shaoheng, the highest ranking officer in the Special Operations Forces, would not have personally traveled to Japan to attain the primary data from Oda Masao.
Without the primary data, they would have never known that these Japanese scientists had come such a long way in targeting the Empire’s citizens with a specialized virus. Huo Shaoheng was the only person with access to the amount of resources and opportunity necessary to arrange this mission. Although it seemed like only three people were participating, they actually had the support of over 1000 personnel.
Huo Shaoheng remained silent for a long time on the other end of the line.
Chen Lie became worried and spoke up. “Boss! Listen carefully. This is a virus! And what is characteristic of viruses? Endless encroachment and destruction, until the body’s immune system is completely destroyed! If we can’t create a vaccine, not only is Nianzhi’s life is threatened, but all the females in the Empire can become a target for this specialized virus!”
Huo Shaoheng’s heart hammered against his chest, as though it were repeatedly trapped and released by the string of a tightly drawn bow.
“Can you develop a vaccine if I give you all the data and the natural viral copy?”
“Theoretically, that shouldn’t be a problem—” but before Chen Lie could finish his sentence before Huo Shaoheng had already hung up.
In that instant, he had reached a decision: considering that Oda Masao had concealed his status, the Japanese Army believed they had H3aB7 in the bag. There was also how the CIA and MI6 had attempted to reach out and rope in Oda Masao. Huo Shaoheng concluded that this man was irreplaceable in the development of this virus. In the field of high technology, the person possessing a specialized skill set was always the most valuable. The loss of such a talent could cause certain industries to regress 50 years or to be even completely eliminated. Oda Masao could be made unnecessary if Chen Lie could develop a vaccine.
Huo Shaoheng transferred a call to Yin Shixiong. “The circumstances have changed, the target must be eliminated.” Yin Shixiong had been holding a oil-paper umbrella and lazily eating onigiri1 under a cherry blossom tree when he received the order. His eyes instantly lost their relaxed look, glinting in the gentle pink light. He replied, “Roger.”
As an officer of the Special Operations Forces , and also as Huo Shaoheng’s personal secretary, he had been long accustomed to never question his commanding general and to only comply, comply, and comply!
Compliance was the unquestionable duty of all soldiers.
Before him were trees heavy with pale pink cherry blossoms, the thin and tapering branches swaying with the overflowing clusters. They looked almost like snow-laden branches, and when the gentle breeze came, Shinjuku Gyo-en2 looked like it was caught in a cherry blossom rain.
Embracing the shining sun, the clear sky formed a beautiful backdrop. In such exquisite scenery, many Japanese people couldn’t help but dance beneath the trees. Melodious music coupled with the drifting petals made the scene beyond gorgeous.
However, Yin Shixiong didn’t feel an ounce of relaxation. If Huo Shaoheng had suddenly ordered the elimination of Oda Msao, then something was very wrong. Yin Shixiong closed the oil-paper umbrella and languorously stroked it from the the tip to the handle. He had applied on the tip a highly toxic poison specially developed by the Empire. It was colorless and odorless. As soon as it was injected, it would enter the bloodstream and circulate to the heart, causing death from what would appear as myocardial infarction. No amount of medical attention would save the unfortunate victim.
He bent his knees and stood up, holding the umbrella as he slowly walked along the flower strewn pathway. Oda Masao was in high spirits, singing and dancing with his post-grad students under the cherry blossom trees. It was his happiest and most exciting time of the year. Shinjuku Gyo-en was becoming more boisterous; more people were singing and dancing, and crowds were forming. In a group of merrymakers dancing and singing under a tree nearby, a few people took too big a step, tripped on the uneven ground, and then fell over. This movement pushed Yi Shixiong, who happened to pass by them. Yin Shixiong used the momentum from this as leverage and fell forward towards the dancing Oda Masao. He surreptitiously raised the umbrella he had been using like a cane, and lightly stabbed at Oda Masao’s calf.