Chapter 98: The Fatal Blow
The four walked out of the hospital ward and saw the corridor was filled with hospital staff. It was almost ten pm at night, yet they were all congregated around Xing Ye's door. No matter how you looked at it, they were monitoring them, and doing so brazenly at that.
Seeing the group come out, a doctor walked over and asked, " Xing Ye, where are you going?"
Xing Ye said suspiciously, "Who are you?"
The doctor said, "I'm your primary doctor! Oh, right, you must've forgotten. Anyways, everyone's heard about the incident you caused in the Gynecology Department today. I want to have a talk with you."
"A talk with me in front of so many people?" Xing Ye looked around. There was at least ten hospital staff scattered around the corridor, as well as a few psychiatric patients. They were all wandering in front of his door late at night instead of sleeping. "There's no need to talk, Doctor Guan's already lectured me enough. I know now that I was wrong, and I won't do it again. I'm going to walk Doctor Guan back to the Infectious Disease Department now, can you not block the way?"
"Ah, the Infectious Disease Department. You should hurry then, it's already ten. Go to rest early, it'll be dangerous if you sleep too late." The primary doctor said sinisterly.
"Got it." Xing Ye said casually.
The four pushed through the crowd. Whether it was the hospital staff or the patients, their eyes were all filled with malice as they looked at them. Fortunately, none of them chased them and just watched as Xing Ye's group entered the staircase.
"They didn't follow us..." Guan Ling gave a sigh of relief when the door behind them closed.
"That's because they're confident we can't do anything." Xing Ye looked at the surveillance camera in the corner of the staircase.
Yan Hebi frowned, "The staircase never had surveillance cameras before. These are recently installed and aren't linked to the existing surveillance cameras. Otherwise, I would've seen them earlier."
"As I expected." Xing Ye didn't show any signs of alarm, "They must've realized we were moving through the staircase today, so it's no surprise they'd want to immediately install some monitoring cameras. Actually, the cameras aren't all that bad. Without them, my primary doctor probably would've followed us to confirm where we were going. Do you guys want a monster trailing us?
The three all shook their heads.
"Why aren't they following us?" Cao Qian asked.
"Because their intentions are only to monitor my ward. The department head's office and the Infectious Disease Department are their key protected areas. I said I wanted to go to the Infectious Disease Department, so of course they have no need to come with us." Xing Ye said.
The group passed through the corridor on the 17th floor and went to the 18th floor. The Infectious Disease Department was on the 20th floor. They didn't go there, instead using the elevator to reach the 18th floor.
The hallway was dead silent and the wall lights were all off, like nobody had ever existed here before.
The quieter it was, the more oppressive the atmosphere felt. The four walked to the department head's door. Xing Ye nodded at Yan Hebi, who pulled out Master Key and opened the department head's door.
The moment the door opened, the four swiftly retreated behind both sides of the door. It went just as Xing Ye expected: when the door opened, an enormous tentacle flew out from the door, sprouting a sticky, corrosive liquid. It likely wanted to kill them in one quick surprise attack but didn't expect Xing Ye and the others to dodge so fast.
Yan Hebi leaned on the side of the door as he recalled what Xing Ye said earlier: if the department head's door was hard to open and took a while even with the Master Key, they needed to be cautious. People would always relax for a moment after accomplishing a hard task. That moment was the best target for a sneak attack, so they had to be prepared for an attack upon opening the door.
Just as Xing Ye said, the monster would make a surprise attack. When it missed the surprise attack, it would be surprised for a moment; that was the best chance to strike!
After the tentacle's corrosive slime sizzled away and the door was left open, Cao Qian jumped on the door like a cat struggling to maintain its balance. Her body whirled, silver light glinting from her hands as countless bloody cuts appeared on the tentacle.
She was using "Surgeon's Scapel", a prop-type QR code Cao Qian found in the operating room for amputation. Despite its small size, the scalpel possessed tremendous power. It was capable of restraining any organism made of flesh and could even cut through tough bones. Its only drawback was its short reach, requiring close combat to use. It lasted for three hours, 90 minutes with Redrawing Pen. Xing Ye drew ten copies for Cao Qian. She was using two of them now, with the other eight hanging around her waist for easy replacement when her current scalpels were used up.
The scalpel had an inherent suppression effect on carbon-based life forms, just like how Peaceful Spirit's Tune could restrain resentful ghosts and Puppet's Play could control machines. Even the campus world's Di Kuang with his Copper Skin Iron Bones likely wouldn't be able to block Cao Qian's scalpels!
After several blows of Cao Qian's whirling attacks, blood was pouring out from the tentacle. It made a high-pitched hissing sound, stabbing at the four's eardrums.
After succeeding in her attack, Cao Qian immediately retreated behind the door, using it as a shield. At the same time, Guan Ling charged out, bangs sounding in the air as he landed several shots in the tentacle. With Guan Ling's luck, the remaining sixteen 50% accuracy bullets in Cao Qian's Hundred Shot Gun meant at least ten shots would hit.
The tentacle failed its ambush and suffered two heavy blows. It tried to retreat, but there was no way Xing Ye would miss the opportunity. While Cao Qian and Guan Ling were attacking, he had already started drawing more QR codes!
Yan Hebi had five QR codes that he didn't know the uses of. He gave them all to Xing Ye to test, so Xing Ye could learn each one's effects and use them at the best moment.
Among the five QR codes, two fo the were obtained from a crazy circus world: "The Unlucky Animal Trainer's Ring" and "The Exposed Magician's Body Cutting Machine."
"The Unlucky Animal Trainer's Ring" was an animal trainer's performance prop. The user must be a human and the target must be a non-human creature (excluding resentful spirits, machines, and other non-carbon-based life forms). Upon activation, it would create a chain of rings of fire to tame the beast. But due to the trainer's persistent bad luck, the rings would always hit the creature being tamed, leaving severe burns. The original QR code created ten rings, with a duration of five minutes. Redrawing Pen's copy created five rings with a duration of 150 seconds.
The 18th floor's lights were still off. The group had been fighting in darkness the whole time when five rings of fire suddenly appeared, illuminating the hallway and burning the tentacle monster.
The intruders were unharmed, but the tentacle monster, under 30 seconds of continuous siege, screamed in agony under the flames. Seizing the chance, they bravely rushed through flames and into the department head's office!
Cao Qian was leading the vanguard. She recalled Xing Ye's plan, which noted: a large and eye-grabbing attack will often make the enemy overlook what's right beneath their feet and other such blind spots. As the vanguard, you must remain vigilant against hidden threats.
When she walked near the screaming parasitic monster, a creature identical to the measles patient suddenly crawled out from under the giant tentacles. It was covered in pustules and charged at Cao Qian.
At the same time, several monsters rushed out from the corners of the department head's office. Sure enough, there was a trap waiting for them.
These creatures were different from the tentacle monster. Their most terrifying aspect was the unending stream of corrosive pus that sprayed from their bodies. The attack was like a rain shower of acid, minute and concentrated, impossible to evade. Even a drop would cause intense pain!
There was no way for Cao Qian to avoid the attacks, but she was prepared and pressed forward regardless. Earlier, Xing Ye had asked her if she wanted to wear acid-resistant clothing since the hospital had some in stock. It could at least protect crucial areas from being injured, but Cao Qian refused.
In a true fight, it all came down to who was more ruthless!
She just shielded her eyes to prevent the acid from burning them. As for the rest of her body, no matter where she got injured, she ignored it. With blades gleaming in both hands, she charged forward, striking the vital points of the parasitic monsters. The monsters were just rushing forward, relying on their physical superiority. They couldn't compare to Cao Qian's limitless strength and agility. By throwing all caution to the wind, Cao Qian had already killed several of them.
The room was filled with the stench of burning objects and the sound of sizzling flesh as the corrosive acid burned through everything. Cao Qian didn't seem to fear pain as she relied on her flesh and blood human body to cut down the monsters one by one. In an instant, she killed eight monsters. But at this point, her hands were already completely ruined, and could no longer hold the scalpels.
Yan Hebi accidentally got acid splashed on his arm. Even the small amount caused him to gasp in pain. Cao Qian, standing among the corpses of the monsters, was already no longer recognizable. Only her eyes were shining brightly, reflecting the fire's glow.
With the fire's light, they could finally see the enormous tentacle monster's whole appearance. It was actually several parasitic monsters joined together. Their four limbs tangled together in a grotesque manner. They seemed liquid as their limbs stretched longer and longer, thinner and thinner until they joined together at the tip, merging into one giant tentacle.
Now, the fire was spreading from the tentacle onto their bodies. The tentacle seemed to have completely absorbed their strength as they withered under the flames, powerless as they screamed in agony.
"What the hell is that!" Guan Ling felt sick. He finished off the last few creatures with his gun. There were still eight bullets left in the Hundred Shot Gun.
All the monsters in the department head's office had been eliminated. After confirming there were no more monsters, Xing Ye inspected the bodies of a few of the creatures and said, "These monsters have the same features as humans. We can kill them by targeting vital organs such as the heart and brain, so they're not too difficult to defeat.
"The frightening thing is the almost liquid-life flexibility of their bodies and their ability to spray corrosive acid. We don't have any protective QR codes to resist the corrosive attacks, so we can only take the wounds. I suspect these monsters are only rudimentary, freshly converted and not fully evolved.
"The tentacle isn't fully merged, but we can see the liquid nature and fusion ability of the monsters from it. We need to speed up. By tomorrow, we might encounter more advanced and evolved monsters. It seems the longer we drag this world out, the stronger the enemy grows and the weaker we become."
Xing Ye saw Cao Qian could already no longer stand and immediately told Guan Ling, "Heal her."
Cao Qian waved her hand and cleared her throat, "Guan Ling already used A Shattered Mirror Put Together on me at 4 am today. He can only use it three times within 24 hours. After healing me and Ge Kuangyi, there's only one use left. There are still five hours until 4 am, so we need to save it until we really need it. I can still hold on."
"Heal her." Xing Ye said, "This is my fault, I didn't plan enough. Let's heal you first, then talk."
Guan Ling followed Xing Ye's order and healed Cao Qian.
After getting healed, Cao Qian looked at Xing Ye. "Don't make that expression. Your plan went great in the beginning and I also agreed to it. Everything's for the sake of victory at the end, isn't it?"
After saying that, she looked at the monitoring camera in the corner of the department head's office. It wasn't there when Guan Ling visited the department head during the day.
All the monsters lying in ambush had been taken care of. Logically speaking, there should be more monsters coming to besiege them, but there were none.
"If they aren't attacking anymore, the enemy must've seen our strength through the camera and knows normal monsters aren't enough to deal with us. They're likely preparing something big, so we need to speed up and find the cipher key." Xing Ye said.
Yan Hebi, with his QR codes, and Cao Qian stood guard in front of the door. Guan Ling, with his high luck value, and Xing Ye searched for the cipher key.
Xing Ye wasn't actually the one looking. He held the mirror in one hand and used Redrawing Pen with the other, drawing twenty scalpels in a row. He handed them all to Cao Qian.
"I was careless." Xing Ye said, "Next time, you should try to avoid direct combat. Just use the scalpels as throwing knives."
Cao Qian took the scalpels, "Using them as throwing knives is too expensive. Each one's a hundred points."
In that brief period of time, Xing Ye had already drawn twenty scalpels, consuming 2000 points.
Cao Qian tied all the scalpels to her waist. The knives glinted silver in the darkness.
Guan Ling searched everywhere, but couldn't find anything. Xing Ye knew there was no way he could compare to following fate players when it came to finding things and didn't try to test his luck. Instead, he used the time between drawing QR codes to rotate the mirror around the room, allowing him to see the whole office.
"The bookshelf!" The mirror suddenly said, "The best way to hide a tree is to put it in a forest."
Xing Ye opened the bookshelf and used his phone's flashlight to help him see. All the books were about medicine or politics.
"That book!" The mirror pointed at one of the storybooks on the shelf.
A storybook here among all the other books was indeed odd. Xing Ye grabbed the thin book and flipped through it before understanding, "This is the cipher key. I roughly understand what's in the CD now. We need to go the 19th floor in the first building!"
"Let's go!" Xing Ye told the group as he grabbed the book.
Suddenly, Guan Ling spoke. "There's a lot of water on the hallway's floor."
"Water?" Xing Ye frowned, "Let's go quickly, something must be coming here!"
Cao Qian and Yan Hebi had been vigilant in guarding against monsters but failed to notice the water on the ground was gradually increasing. They only noticed it now.
Xing Ye's group carefully avoided the liquid on the ground and took a few steps toward the emergency sign. However, it was already too late.
The water on the ground seemed to coagulate as if controlled by an invisible hand, forming a tentacle that blocked the path to the emergency exit. The tentacle slammed heavily against the door, the strong acid corroding and leaving a black mark on the iron door.
"That's crazy..." Yan Hebi exclaimed in shock.
They watched as the water on the ground finished merging together to form a monster covered in tentacles in the middle of the 18th-floor hallway. This monster was actually completely transparent, showing its whole body was composed of corrosive acid. Touching it meant certain death.
Each floor of the hospital was very tall- even the department head's 18th-floor office had a height of 4.5 meters. The monster's enormous body reached the top of the ceiling and each of its tentacles was tens of meters long. One of them even reached out to block the emergency exit door.
The monster was so big that it dominated the entire floor. Any contact with its body would mean being corroded by its acid. In the face of such a monster, scalpels and rings of fire were all useless. The saying, all schemes are useless against absolute force, had never been truer.
They were pushed into a corner and their situation was desperate.
The giant monster released a gleeful sound that resembled human laughter, but every noise it made stabbed at their eardrums and caused them immense pain.
"You... if you had just stayed in the staff room obediently, I would've let you become one of our companions. Now, die!" The department head's voice emanated from somewhere on the massive monster's body as one of its tentacles lunged toward Guan Ling.
"We're just waiting for you! Boss!" Guan Ling shouted.
Xing Ye, who up until now had always been drawing QR codes under the three's protection, rushed out and threw a small metal box into the midst of the tentacles.
"Hahaha, what can a little box do... Ack!!!" The monster suddenly shrieked, its body shining with light as it writhed on the floor in pain.
"Leaky Battery" was a prop-type QR code Yan Hebi had obtained in some chemistry lab world. The defective battery would frequently leak electricity and continuously convert the surrounding chemical energy into electrical energy until its electrolytes were depleted. It was extremely effective against strong acids and could generate electric shots with a voltage of up to 500 volts. With Redrawing Pen, it reached a max of 250 volts.
With the monster's enormous size that basically occupied the entire floor, a single battery was far from enough. But while the monster struggled, Xing Ye kept throwing batteries at it, creating 250-volt shocks one after another. The acid kept melting as bursts of electricity lit up the 18th floor, accompanied by the monster's increasingly wretched cries.
Cao Qian charged forward and kicked open the door to the staircase. The group rushed in, hiding behind the wall as they watched the enormous monster.
After fifteen batteries, the monster's cries became even more unbearable. After an hour of continuous electrocution, it could no longer sustain its form and melted down into dozens of individuals on the floor. The department head was at the very bottom, completely charred from the electric shocks.
Everyone exchanged high fives. They won!
The reason why Cao Qian was willing to throw all caution to the wind against the monster earlier was all for this moment when the boss appeared. When Xing Ye saw the condition of the measles patient in the video, he had already determined this type of monster might have liquid properties. However, he didn't expect them to have the ability to merge together.
He had suspected the department head had a big card up his sleeve, so he had never used the batteries. All the waiting was for this moment, to deal a killing blow!