Book 2 Chapter 16.4

Book 2 Chapter 16.4 - Growth

When the floating display screen moved away on its own, a faint sharp hissing sound suddenly sounded within the laboratory. It was unknown what type of thing it was that made this noise, but it was quite clear that the shouting sound was full of unendurable suffering. 

In front of Helen, the little thing that was originally silently submerged at the bottom of the glass jar began to shake all over, and all of its feelers stood perfectly straight! It seemed to be under extreme pain, and from time to time, there were eye-grabbing protrusions on its body that would then return to normal. It was as if there was something that was repeatedly clashing with it inside its body. The waves of cries and shouting inside the laboratory were all transmitted from this little thing. 

Helen’s face became pale white, and her lips had long lost color. Her lips continuously twitched about, as if she could personally feel all of the pain this little thing was feeling. 

After just a few seconds, the little thing’s suffering reached its limit, and its body suddenly expanded. It increased to almost double its original size, and then cracks began to appear on its back. Then, the cracks began to weave about its body. A wave of red blood rushed out from the cracks, immediately dyeing a large portion of the surrounding green culture fluid red. 

It cried out miserably while spewing out blood. Only when the rich bloody paste was spat out for more than ten seconds did it gradually weaken. By now, it had already turned into a thin piece of skin. It supported its ten feelers powerlessly as it drifted inside the red cloud within the culture fluid. 

Helen buried her face inside of her arms, and only after a long time had passed did she raise her head again. 

The current Helen had recovered her cool-headedness, as well as her precise and ice-cold machine-like expression. She stood up and silently summoned an intelligent system. The screen continuously flickered with several dozen images of this little thing, and below it was a table. Helen used her finger to write in the corresponding position:

Experimental subject number 5:

Final bulk, 29.81 cubic centimeters, 98% increase from experimental subject number 4. 

Form data collection, see attached. 

Meals: Six times, increased once. 

Reason for death: genetic collapse.

After filling out these things, Helen slowly disassembled the glass culture jar tubing and connectors, and then she carried it out from the laboratory. From the way she was carrying the glass jar, it was almost as if she was carrying an infant. 

Not long after, Helen returned to the laboratory again. The lights inside the laboratory were as white as paper and shone straight down on her pale white face. It was almost as if the air conditioning was malfunctioning, because the laboratory was abnormally cold. One could clearly see that the knuckles on Helen’s beautiful hands had turned a faint cyan color. 

She was carrying a new glass jar, and the inside was similarly filled with green culture fluid. 

She placed the glass jar in the same position on the laboratory platform and then fastened it in place in a similar method. Helen then walked towards a large safe in the corner of the room. After inputting more than ten series of passwords, the heavy alloy door slowly opened and released a lump of hazy cold air. Behind the alloy door wasn’t that much space. There was a container divided into square openings, and in every single space was a transparent test tube. The insides of the test tube were filled with green liquid. 

The five spaces in front were empty. 

Helen’s fingers gently caressed each of the spaces, as if she was caressing something that she treasured greatly. Then, she opened the sixth space and pulled out the tube inside. She then closed the door. 

The test tube was placed on the access opening on top of the glass jar. Then, together with the connection of power, the green liquid in the test tube slowly slid down into the glass jar. 

The intelligent system next to Helen automatically produced a new table, and in the first line appeared: test subject number six. The other columns were all blank, and only the feeding section had the words ‘currently carrying out first feeding’ flickering. 

Only after watching the culture liquid that didn’t have the slightest ripple did Helen slowly sigh and draw her eyes away from the nurturing vessel. 

At this moment, everything she experienced today replayed in her mind one after another. Helen’s face suddenly changed slightly. She quickly reviewed what she said to Persephone through the communications channel, and then she said softly to herself, “This is bad, I said too much to her!”

Helen immediately calmed down. She then brought over an intelligent system screen and tapped a few times on it, bringing up a torrent of information. She propped up her chin and stared at the continuously flickering screen, looking rather pensive. 

At the center of the Town of Trials’ church, a heavy-armored Madeline was seated on the high back chair. Her right hand supported her head as she looked somewhat lazily at the projected screen in front of her. 

The information on it similarly poured down like rain. 

Madeline wasn’t like how she normally was. When she returned to the church, she would always remove her helmet, but right now, she still wore it as if she was still fighting outside. 

It was already late into the night. From the roof’s colored windows, faint rays of light scattered downwards, unknown as to where they originated from. As the dusky radiance landed on Madeline’s body, it was as if there were butterflies around her sinister-looking armor. 

Ding dong! Madeline lightly tapped on the armrest, and not long after, Peperus walked in, asking, “What is your distinguished self’s order?”

A faint white mist was released from the gaps in Madeline’s helmet. Her voice was similarly bone-chilling cold. “I have something to temporarily take care of. You should make some preparations. We will depart in ten minutes.”

“However, your distinguished self is currently in a special phase, how can you go out…” Peperus was clearly shocked. 

“You should go and make preparations.” Madeline’s voice was ice cold, but her tone of speaking was normal and gentle. However, this didn’t mean that her order could be ignored. 

“I will obey your distinguished self’s order.” Peperus respectfully bowed and then left to make preparations. 

“Peperus…” Madeline suddenly called out to her. 

Peperus turned around and asked, “What else does your distinguished self require?”

Madeline silently sat there, as if she was thinking about many things. Only after a moment had passed did she wave her hand and say, “Nothing, you can go and make preparations.”

As a result, Peperus left the church doors. When she walked out from the church, her heart rate was still a bit uncontrollably fast, and her face carried even more so a bit of hesitation and flusteredness. When she thought back to what she had just seen, she recalled that Madeline’s waving motion seemed extremely exhausted, as well as a bit dispirited and sluggish. 

The wind was extremely cold. The air Peperus exhaled formed white clouds. She suddenly raised her head and gazed into the sky. 

The sky above the Town of Trials was eternally clad in night.

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