Chapter 97: Preparing for the Battle Ahead
As the team's vanguard, Cao Qian thought for a moment and said, "I want to know what kind of danger we will be facing. The system said there are two parasitic mosnters in the hospital, but you said the situation's likely even more dangerous. Why do you think there are more parasites, and how many enemies do you think we'll face?"
Xing Ye took a deep breath, "If I'm not mistaken, at least 30% of the patients in the hospital's inpatient department have already been transformed into parasitic monsters and are under the control of the department head. The situation with Director Wang is different. I have a guess at what's going on, but I'm not certain."
"What?" Yan Hebi was in disbelief, "At least 30%? Have we been messing around in a haunted hospital this whole time?"
Xing Ye nodded, "Yes, most likely. Think about it carefully. Earlier, we thought we could filter out potential parasitic monsters and players using the hospital's medical records. However, all we actually found were players and the only parasite we found was the measles patient."
"What about Director Wang's department? Doesn't that skinless lizard born from that pregnant lady count?" Guan Ling asked.
Xing Ye said, "That's a different form and it doesn't pose a threat to us right now. We can verify my guess by examining the women at 2 am tomorrow, but either way, the Gynecology and Obstetrics Department is harmless to us for now. We need to focus on the Department Head's faction. Yan Hebi, do you remember what happened when we asked the nurse at the Infectious Disease Department this morning?"
"I remember, she said she had an argument with her boyfriend." Yan Hebi said.
Xing Ye nodded, "That's the key. She said she didn't know why her boyfriend was arguing with her, accusing her of never picking up the phone when she had never even heard it ring before. It seems like a normal argument, but think about it this way: what if she never hears the phone because she turns into a monster at night?
"When we went to the nurse's station last night, there wasn't a single nurse there. It's not just the infectious disease department. Apart from the Gynecology and Obstetrics department, we didn't see any nurses in the hospital. In the surveillance footage, we saw the measles patient turn back into a human before a nurse came and took him away. That nurse wasn't the same nurse Yan Hebi had scouted out earlier.
"Therefore, I believe that many of the hospital staff have already been parasitized."
"If it's like that, why did the Department Head want to infect other hospital staff?" Guan Ling asked, "I heard him instruct a nurse to collect saliva and respiratory droplets and sneak it into the drinks of other hospital staff. Doesn't that mean that there's still a considerable amount of hospital staff still in the incubation period and aren't completely parasitized?"
Xing Ye nodded, "In the day, sure. But not necessarily at night."
He asked Yan Hebi to bring up the work schedule for the past two days and compare it to the originally scheduled shifts. Cao Qian examined it for a moment before saying, "There are too many people who changed shifts. Most people wouldn't change shifts unless there was an important reason to avoid messing with their circadian rhythms. However, there's been frequent shift changes over the past few days. There are even a few who have worked through the night and continued to work the day shift today!"
Xing Ye nodded, "Right, and today's the day with the most shift changes in all. I have reason to believe that by tonight, we and the people in the Gynecology and Obstetrics department will probably be the only uninfected people left in the hospital."
"No way. What about normal patients? What would happen if they encountered a monster in the hospital? It won't be good if too many people know about it, right?" Yan Hebi asked.
"There's a large store of sleeping pills in the hospital. The occasional use of one wouldn't have much influence on the body, no?" Xing Ye said, "Of course, there are some illnesses that make it hard to fall asleep even with the aid of a sleeping pill. Those patients can be supervised. As long as the department head controls those areas effectively, it's fine. My guess is that the monsters are concentrated near my ward, the department head's office, and the Infectious Disease Department's staff room."
"Now that you mention it..." Yan Hebi pointed at the surveillance camera in front of Xing Ye's room. He replaced tonight's footage with a loop of previously recorded footage, but they could also use the laptop to view the security feeds in real time. "Tonight, there is an unusually high number of staff in the psychiatry department."
The four looked at the laptop and saw a slew of hospital staff going back and forth outside of Xing Ye's ward, seeming to be busy at work.
Guan Ling gulped, "I was just thinking we should find Ge Kuangyi to remind him we can cooperate and think of a solution to this together. But now, it seems we're helpless..."
Cao Qian picked up a shred of paper Xing Ye had torn off earlier, "Was this what you were worrying about earlier?"
Xing Ye nodded, "At the start, I didn't think of it and thought there were only a few monsters in the hospital. My original plan was to guard Guan Ling in the staff room and gather more information, but with what we know now, that path won't do."
Cao Qian clenched her fists, "If that path won't do, does that mean there's still a path we can take?"
Xing Ye nodded confidently, "Yes! There are still two paths we can take. The first option is to hide tonight in the Gynecology and Obstetrics department. I suspect Director Wang and the department head have a tacit understanding of one another. They may not work together, but they won't fight either. We can hide in the gynecology department to play it safe tonight, but that'll also mean we'll be dragging the game on. Tomorrow, one of us four will definitely be parasitized. The other option is far more dangerous: we can break into the department head's office, find the cipher key for the CD, and decipher its contents. If we do this, we may be able to solve the game before six am tomorrow morning and save Ge Kuangyi's life!
"But I need to remind everyone that right now, it's already half past nine in the evening. Tonight's operation will be far from a short one. If we act rashly, then when the clock strikes midnight and I lose my memory, I might become your biggest burden."
The three, originally eager, fell silent.
Xing Ye might not be the strongest in their team, but he had long become their pillar. If he loses his memory midway through, it'll be a destructive blow to them.
Xing Ye extended two fingers. "Option one: we can risk it all and break into the department head's office, potentially ending it in a death fight with the parasitic monsters."
"Second, we can hide in the Gynecology and Obstetrics department. Ge Kuangyi will die tomorrow, the department head will have hidden or destroyed the cipher key, and one of us will be actively infected. Of course, the cipher key might not be the only way to find the true ending. We might still be able to reach the true ending following the second option, but it'll mean abandoning one team member and Ge Kuangyi."
Cao Qian laughed, "You've already said so much, let's just take the risk of you losing your memory. I vote in breaking into the department head's office."
Guan Ling spoke, "When I was in a team with Di Kuang, every round, he would leave behind somebody useless to be the sacrifice. Every victory we had was bought using the corpses of our teammates. I hated it, but back then, I was weaker. I thought that since I was a healer, I wouldn't be abandoned by Di Kuang, so I just watched on as Wu Yu and the rest were pushed around. I hated myself for it. I hated those strategies that always involved abandoning or sacrificing somebody."
Yan Hebi also nodded, "Little Yiyi, no matter what you decide, I'll follow you! I'll be your strongest supporter."
Xing Ye smiled and couldn't help but rub the mirror.
As long as they worked together, they could do anything.
"Alright!" Xing Ye quickly wrote some things down and showed everyone, "This is our battle plan tonight. Among these is a contingency plan for if I lose my memory and counter-measures. I hope everyone can memorize it."
Yan Hebi scratched his head, not used to Xing Ye's fighting strategy, "Weird, aren't I playing a fighting game with special abilities and stuff? Why does this battle plan make me feel like I'm cramming for a test?"
Cao Qian was very sympathetic, "Just memorize it. Once you've memorized it, you'll discover when you've prepared for a fight, your power can reach a level greater than you've ever imagined."