Chapter 103: Found
The group swiftly ran to the emergency department. The dean had ordered all the mutants to be on night shift, so the staff working the emergency department were all mutants. After the group took down the department head, not a soul was left in the emergency department. All that remained on the floor was the emergency phone's unceasing ringing with 911 calls.
"What a piece of shit," Guan Ling said, "The department head ignored everything to deal with us. He closed the emergency department so the hospital couldn't admit any patients. I don't want to think about how many emergency patients couldn't get help in time tonight."
Cao Qian sighed, "He treats everyone in the hospital as his lab rats. He doesn't care about ordinary people's lives at all."
The first hospital was currently too dangerous. Even if they picked up the phone, it was useless. If patients came to the hospital now, they might die even faster. Hopefully, they could call other hospitals in time.
Xing Ye said, "Stop thinking about the phone. Let's search quickly."
"What are we searching for?" Yan Hebi asked.
Xing Ye replied, "We're looking for something that the two opposing fate players, the measles patient and Ge Kuangyi, wanted to find but couldn't."
"In that case, it's my turn to shine." Guan Ling rolled up his sleeves, "You opposing fate players aren't any good when it comes to finding things. But what exactly are we looking for? Ah, whatever, I'll just go and look around."
Xing Ye pondered for a moment and said, "The two opposing fate players found something important on the 19th floor. They found a trail and knew they needed to find something in the emergency department. The measles patient suddenly fell ill and fainted, so he failed to find it. But Ge Kuangyi had a whole day, so why hadn't he found it?"
"According to the surveillance footage, he passed by the emergency room several times during the day, but there were too many doctors and nurses, so he couldn't investigate deeply. When he wanted to come at night, he fell ill," Yan Hebi explained.
"Weird. It's something that can't be found during day or night. What could it be?" Xing Ye rested his hand on his chin, lost in thought.
His condition was already quite poor. Guang Ling approached and asked, "Boss, do you want me to treat you? It's past 4 AM now, so I can use my starting ability."
"Not yet," Xing Ye declined, "I can bear it for a while, and the effect won't be significant even if you do use it. You mentioned you can only use your ability three times. We need to save it for critical situations."
"Something only following fate players are lucky enough to find..." Yan Hebi said, "I wonder what exactly it is."
The group busily searched the emergency department's offices, wards, and staff rooms, but couldn't find anything. The emergency department's phone continued to blare loudly amidst the otherwise eerie silence.
Yan Hebi noticed Xing Ye standing motionless by the phone. He asked with concern, "You should sit down and rest."
He touched Xing Ye's arm and found his body incredibly hot. It felt like his fever had already reached 39 degrees Celsius, an already almost unbearable temperature for most people.
"I'm fine," Xing Ye took out a bottle of rubbing alcohol from his bag, poured it onto his hand, and casually rubbed it on his forehead, "It's just that the phone's ringing is really irritating, and it's giving me a bit of tinnitus."
He swayed, and Yan Hebi quickly held Xing Ye in his arms. Xing Ye truly felt tired and weak. Otherwise, he wouldn't have allowed Yan He Bi to hold him.
Fortunately, Yan Hebi was a gentleman. He pulled out a chair and helped Xing Ye to lean against it. He didn't touch any inappropriate places, missing his chance to discover the truth.
Xing Ye sat on the chair, propping his head against his hand to stay awake. Time was running out; the medical staff were evolved humans, and would likely wake up soon. Once they were awake, they would notify Director Wang. Given their current strength, it was difficult to defeat Director Wang.
In the face of Director Wang's speed, even if Yan Hebi used his fastest speed to activate his QR codes, it would be useless. Whether it was the rings of fire, batteries, scalpels, or carbon monoxide, Director Wang could easily dodge out of the way.
With their group's QR codes and special abilities, the only way to defeat Director Wang was for Cao Qian to sacrifice herself and hold her back, while Yan He Bi used the real "Carbon Monoxide Leak." Cao Qian would trap Director Wang within the range of carbon monoxide, and both of them would perish together.
This was the only combat strategy Xing Ye could think of at the moment, but it was not feasible. He couldn't sacrifice his companions so easily. So, Xing Ye chose to stall and put his hopes on what the two opposing fate players wanted to find.
But what exactly was it?
Xing Ye was quietly thinking it over when the emergency phone rang again. His mind seemed filled with the sound of buzzing flies. His head felt heavy. Then suddenly, he toppled to the ground.
"Xing Ye!" Yan Hebi couldn't catch him in time and could only watch Xing Ye fall from the chair.
He thought Xing Ye had fainted, but to his surprise, this fall seemed to clear Xing Ye's mind a bit. With Yan Hebi's assistance, Xing Ye managed to stand up.
The emergency phone rang again.
"So annoying!" Yan Hebi grumbled, "Why won't it stop ringing? Let me take this call, I'll tell the patients we can't send an ambulance and they should call other hospitals."
Send an ambulance?
"Wait a minute!" Xing Ye's eyes lit up, "That's it! The ambulance! The thing that can only be found with luck in the emergency department is the ambulance. Because no one knows when the ambulance will be dispatched, and the two opposing fate players are unlucky. By the time they got here, the ambulance they were looking for had already left."
"I see!" Guan Ling and Cao Qian came over, saying, "The emergency department's ambulances are parked in the underground parking lot of this building. It should still be considered as part of this building, so we can go inside!"
The group rushed to the parking lot. Of course, the hospital couldn't only have one ambulance. Looking at the row of ambulances, they didn't know where to start looking.
At that moment, the mirror in Xing Ye's bag moved. He took out the mirror, turned his back to Yan He Bi, and opened it. The mirror had writing on it: Ambulance with the number ending in 91. I have a strong urge to search in there.
There was no time to find the keys to open the door. Cao Qian kicked open the ambulance door and the group went in. Guan Ling turned on the defibrillator and found a QR code on the bottom label.
"That should be the QR code we need." Xing Ye said.
The group simultaneously turned to Xing Ye, indicating for him to take the QR code.
Xing Ye didn't hesitate. He picked up his phone and scanned the QR code, putting it in his inventory. A prompt appeared on his phone: "Ambulances can't save everyone, you know."
"Strange, how did those two opposing fate players know there was a crucial QR code in the emergency department?" Guan Ling wondered.
"I'm not sure either," Xing Ye replied. "Let's head to the 19th floor."
He lost balance for a moment. Guan Ling said anxiously, "Boss, I think you should let me treat you."
"No need," Xing Ye said. "Ge Kuangyi held on yesterday; I should be able to as well. I'm not trying to show off, it's that the real challenge starts after we reach the 19th floor. You've witnessed Director Wang's strength, and she has many formidable subordinates. Your three heals might not be enough. It's best to save it for later."
Hearing Xing Ye's instructions, Guan Ling reluctantly stopped insisting.
However, they still had to climb up to the 19th floor. For the others, it might just be tiring, but Xing Ye could barely walk anymore. Leaning against the wall, he breathed heavily, as if every breath was a struggle.
Yan Hebi wanted to help, but Cao Qian was quicker. She hoisted Xing Ye on her back and hurried up the stairs.
Guan Ling patted Yan Hebi on the shoulder. "Brother, your agility can't match Cao Qian's. She's the leader when it comes to combat strength."
Yan Hebi felt depressed, but he couldn't help but agree. In this team, Cao Qian was better boyfriend material than him.
Panting heavily, they reached the 19th floor. Passing the 18th floor, they heard some noise coming from inside. So, they trod softly and ascended the 19th floor without making a sound.
The 19th floor was an odd place. It used to be an office floor for the staff of the Infectious Disease Department. Due to the department's nature, the hospital separated the office area from the wards, resulting in this two-floor setup. But a few days ago, the department head suddenly merged the infectious disease wards and offices with the 20th floor, leaving the 19th floor vacant.
According to the department head, this floor would have a significant purpose in the future and was under renovation, hence the removal of surveillance cameras.
As a patient of the Infectious Disease Department, the measles patient was the first to know about this change. So, on the first night, while his fever was still low, he went to the 19th floor.
The emergency exit door on the 19th floor was locked. Yan Hebi used his master key to open it. The door opened with a rusty creak, the sound piercing in the quiet hospital at 5 AM.
Normally speaking, the sound of the door shouldn't be hearable from a floor below. However, nobody knew just how strong the evolved humans' powers were. They weren't sure if this distance could block their hearing.
They had to hurry!
On the empty 19th floor, every office door was wide open.
"There are so many rooms on this floor. Which one is the right one?" Cao Qian said anxiously.
Xing Ye weakly opened his eyes and pointed at a large room at the end of the hall. "That room is directly above the director's office. Let's go in and take a look."
They walked in and looked around the spacious room. Yan Hebi faced a wall and said, "I remember the department head's office had a room connected here. There should be another room behind this wall."
Cao Qian was about to kick it, but Xing Ye hurriedly cautioned, "Don't, it'll be too loud. Check the windows for any mechanisms."
The team quickly checked each window. Guan Ling accidentally bumped something, causing the wall to silently swing open.
The 19th floor had no lights. At 5 AM, the outside world was slowly growing brighter. Faint light filtered through the windows, revealing the room behind the wall.
Two glass containers came into view, each holding a mutilated alien form.
The reason for calling them mutilated was because parts of their body were very clearly missing as if someone had deliberately sliced them off.
The alien organisms bore some resemblance to the monsters the department head's group had turned into. Their bodies were semi-transparent, with fluid circulating through them. However, they didn't dissolve into the liquid solution inside the glass containers. They just drifted quietly under the glass, utterly silent.
The room was filled with all kinds of tools the four couldn't recognize. Some of the cutting instruments resembled the wounds on the mutilated aliens, hinting at what the creatures had experienced.
There was nothing explicitly terrifying about the scene, yet it was precisely this eerie stillness that sent a shiver down their spines.
"So, these are the two parasitic monsters?" Cao Qian whispered, "I thought the system said the monsters were the culprits behind the hospital infections."
Guan Ling added, "They look really pitiful.... and I thought we were going to have a big battle."
Yan Hebi turned away, refusing to look at the two creatures who barely even had their eyes lef and murmured, "So, this is the real ending."
This hospital had never been invaded my aliens. Everything was a result of human greed.
The department head discovered these two alien creatures and somehow brought them back to the hospital for research. He held dual doctorates in medicine and biology, so when he discovered unknown life forms on Earth, it was only natural to study it further.
During his research, the department head discovered that the alien's cells could fuse with human cells, transforming humans into a different species. He was the archetype of an ambitious scientist and madman, conducting experiments on himself and becoming a mutant.
Somehow, he also discovered a way to control other mutants. He infected people around him bit by bit, intending to spread the mutation through patients and medical staff in the hospital. He planned to slowly infect everyone in society and become the ruler of a new human species.
Perhaps at the start, the department head wasn't so ambitious. Becoming a mutant likely changed his perspective.
In this process, he might have infected a pregnant woman and caught the attention of Obstetrics Director Wang. She must have found a way to absorb the mutant energy from the pregnant woman, birthing the first evolved human.
Director Wang's discovery should have been for the greater good of humanity. Evolution was a wonderful thing, so she began to act in secret, amassing power against the department head. A strange balance developed between them within the hospital.
Director Wang was powerful, so powerful that the department head had no way to fight her. Her strength likely came from consuming or refining the placenta of infants collected from the delivery room into medicine. However, her materials were limited, and thus, only Director Wang was incredibly powerful. Her staff's strength was just average and wasn't anything to fear.
Both used the aliens to alter humans. One created obedient mutants in masses by infecting people, while the other used childbirth to change the genetics of humans, generation by generation.
On the surface, Director Wang did seem relatively kind. If they followed the surface-ending route, they would eliminate the department head, handing over the disc and the hidden code to Director Wang. With the department head's research data and the bodies of the two aliens, she would undoubtedly further human evolution. Everything she did was for the benefit of the human race.
The choice the three following fate players chose wasn't wrong. The surface ending wasn't too bad. Director Wang might have employed extreme methods, but compared to the department head, she was much kinder and her ideology was more in line with the common good.
Xing Ye, still on Cao Qian's back, pointed at his head. "I can hear their voices. They're begging us for help."
No wonder the two infected players with fevers had come to the 19th floor, close to the true ending, and discovered the crucial clues. Before death, the system granted them a single opportunity, voices that only the infected could hear.
The measles patient on the 20th floor and Ge Kuangyi, while sneaking into the director's office on the 18th floor, both heard the cries for help. They might have not been able to enter this sealed room, but that didn't stop the sound from reaching their ears.
"What are they saying?" Cao Qian asked. She could feel Xing Ye's temperature rising more and more on her back and her heart tightened in concern.
Xing Ye's temperature was likely already over 40 degrees Celsius.
No matter how Xing Ye breathed, it felt as if his lungs couldn't absorb enough oxygen. He struggled to say, "They're saying, 'Kill me.'"
The surface ending was beautiful: generation by generation, humanity would grow stronger.
But who would listen to their voices? Nobody cared how they arrived in this world or how they were used. If they followed the surface ending, this would be the two alien creatures' fate forever— unable to even die as they wished.
Xing Ye said, "I don't care what the future of this world is. All I know is that the true ending yields more points, so I need to trigger it."
What was the point of thinking so much? Their goal was clear. Regardless of what was right or wrong, they only had one choice.
Xing Ye continued, "They're saying that there's enough power on the first floor of the third building to kill them. They're asking me to find it. No wonder those two players rushed to the emergency department."
For plotline missions, a copied QR code usually wouldn't suffice. They needed the original QR code.
Xing Ye's hand slowly moved toward his phone, but at that moment, a kindly and gentle voice sounded from outside the door, "So it was here. Well done, you've saved me a lot of effort."
Director Wang, accompanied by a dozen medical staff members, stood at the door, eyeing them greedily.