Here it comes again?
An infant floated in a glass tank filled with transparent liquid. A group of over ten researchers surrounded it enthusiastically.
“That’s the only surviving test subject! Chief Chu, we’ve finally done it… Ten years, we finally got a surviving subject after ten years!”
“Yes, the government has become impatient. Dozens of billions over ten years… but we finally achieved it.”
“Born with the knowledge of a researcher, unparalleled intelligence, a strong body, resistant to all diseases, a mind that never gets tired or weak. This is a super human…”
As the researchers discussed excitedly, the old man was the only one who didn’t participate in the discussions. He looked at the little life inside the tank tenderly, then placed his hand on the glass.
The little life, as though he felt it, tried to reach that hand with his little hand. Yet he was just created and could only move his fingers. The old man laughed out loud as he saw this.
Xuan stared at the pale woman calmly. Two large pistols appeared in his hands.
“Then let me verify my last conjecture…”
He started firing at the woman. And it looked like he didn’t even need to aim, every shot accurately hit her forehead. A few seconds later, the woman’s head was crushed.
Yet it seemed that the woman had no physical body. The bullets went through her body and hit the wall behind her. Her body restructured like it was made of fog, including an intact head.
“Immune to physical damage? Illusion? Or perhaps… Arnold, attack!”
Gunfire lit up the dark area on the side. Her whole body was covered with bullet holes and it didn’t restructure like last time. The holes on her body expanded slowly and the silver bullets that went through her quickly darkened. Finally she disappeared under the heavy fire.
“As expected… no rewards. And it takes a large amount of magical bullets to eliminate a ghost…”
The magazines in his pistols dropped to the ground and Xuan replaced them with new magazines. “Arnold, be cautious of your back, the ghost is likely to attack the one that damaged her.”
As the big guy was about to turn around, out of nowhere a pale hand reached out from behind, and along with it appeared the woman with a twisted face. She looked at Arnold then he stopped moving, but his body was trembling, his skin also started turning pale white.
“… Physical contact causes you to lose control of the body?”
Xuan started shooting and crushed her head at once. She wasn’t able to restructure her head due to the magical bullets. Yet her body could still move. As she embraced Arnold from behind, the skin that was in touch with her body had turned gray. He could only look at Xuan with his eyes.
“Must attack every part of the body…”
Xuan closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again he started firing. Shooting Arnold along with the woman. Arnold died instantly, the woman also disappeared.
Inside a military base, a little boy was turning a Rubik’s Cube emotionlessly. After he got all sides to the same color, he dropped it on the ground and started with another puzzle. The meter length jigsaw puzzle formed without any mistakes.
“Very high intelligence, his memory can retain the location of every piece. Instead of a human brain, it’s more like…”
“Like a computer, right? And this child has never even smiled. That emotionless face feels so creepy.”
“Not only has he never smiled, he doesn’t feel pain, and no sense of touch, smell, or taste. Also because we stressed him being mentally strong during the genetic modification, his body lacks some chemicals. He won’t feel depressed because his body doesn’t have the chemicals, he won’t feel pain nor happiness, he won’t feel fear, and he won’t have sexual desires…”
“Just like a robot. A genetically modified human without even a desire to live. Is this the super human we hoped for? Maybe he is thinking of killing himself right now. If it is me… I don’t think I could last a second. Life like this is too painful.”
“That’s enough! All of you shut up!”
As the researchers talked behind a glass wall, an old man shouted. He stared at the researchers behind him and everyone avoided his eye contact.
The old man opened the door next to the glass wall and walked over to the boy. The boy took a look at him then moved his attention back to his puzzle.
“Xuan, want to see the stars?”
“Yes, you can only see them outside the base. Ha, even though you have knowledge of the stars but they aren’t something you can describe with knowledge. You must see them with your eyes to realize their beauty… Let’s go, I’ll take you to see the stars.”
Xuan raised his head and looked at the sky. Stars… really weren’t something that could be describe with knowledge. Every time he looked at them, a little bit of knowledge disappeared and was replaced with unexplainable beauty.
A pale hand appeared next to Xuan’s neck. As the hand was going to touch him, he suddenly flipped forward while firing nonstop. By the time he landed, the woman behind him disappeared again.
If Zheng and Yinkong were here, they would be surprised that Xuan was in the unlocked state. After he crushed the woman, he replaced the magazines on his pistols.
“Still no reward, does the number seven hint at…”
As Xuan was pondering, the kakaka sounds came from all sides. Countless pale white arms appeared on the edge of the roof, then almost a hundred white women climbed up. They started crawling toward Xuan while making the sounds.
“The ghost becomes stronger after every wave… I’ve killed it three times so this is the fourth wave?”
Xuan started running at a direction while shooting nonstop. By the time he emptied the magazines, all the women in front of him disappeared. He replaced the magazines again and turned around to the other women…
“Ha, so Xuan, how does it feel being outside for the first time?”
“… It’s dark.”
“Of course it’s dark compared to the base. Let’s go, there’s a grass field nearby. We can lie there and look at the stars.”
The old man held onto the little boy’s hand. The boy’s face remained expressionless the whole time they were walking, even though the old man tried to make him laugh. Finally they laid on the grass and looked at the sky.
“Haha, isn’t it beautiful? There are no lights here so we can see the stars easily. If it was in a city, we wouldn’t be able to see them with just our eyes…”
The old man kept talking to Xuan but he stared at the sky without a word. Then the old man fell into a silence. “Sorry, it’s my fault. I thought a person born knowing everything, feels no pain, and mentally strong would be the new type of super human, but…”
“Even though normal people make mistakes, they can correct themselves. They know how to adapt to this world, to improve themselves. They will start off weak and make numerous mistakes, but as long as they have the desire to improve, as long as they are still alive, they will keep improving and advancing. And they have desires. Desires for money, to reproduce, to dominate, to save, to live… I was wrong. I seized all your desires and didn’t even leave you with a reason to live. I was wrong…”
The old man held onto the boy and broke down crying. He touched the old man’s tears and felt as if his own eyes got a little wet. Yet tears just couldn’t come out no matter what…
“By modern medicine, human emotions are controlled by hormones and neurotransmitters…”
It feels like being covered in a thick armor made of flesh. No senses of touch, pain, smell, taste. Can only distinguish the world through vision and sound. No emotions, so don’t know how to laugh or cry, yet forced myself to think of these expressions. I have to keep thinking what expressions and actions to use…
I’m tired. Really want to walk out from this armor, to smell the world, to taste delicious food, to feel the sense of touch and hardness, to be injured and feel pain, to be happy and laugh, to express my true self…
But it isn’t possible anymore. Even God can only repair damaged genetic code and there is no damage in my genetic code. It’s just modified since the beginning, no way to repair it…
So, I’m tired. Don’t want to think about what expressions to use anymore. If I can calm down and don’t have to think, don’t have to simulate, just fall to sleep quietly, that would be good enough…
Xuan was shooting at the women nonstop. His pistols were extremely powerful, every shot blasted away a part of a woman. It only took ten shots to kill one of them. Yet there were still over twenty women crawling toward him. Two pistols just weren’t enough to kill all of them.
Xuan shook his hands and the magazines fell out of the pistols. Two new magazines took their place by the time they reached the ground. When the women were only a few meters away from him, he suddenly ran over to the wall, used the wall to jump up and over the women. His pistols also finally finished killing all of them.
“The fourth wave!”
Xuan looked around him. He was very sensitive to danger after unlocking his genetic constraint but somehow he wasn’t feeling any danger at the moment… Was that it for the Ju-On?
“No! Still no reward, no notification. It will continue…”
As he took guard of the situation, a series of shoji suddenly appeared on this roof. The shoji slowly opened up and behind them was a regular bedroom. A man and woman were having a heated debate.
The man then started hitting the woman. He took a knife from a table and stabbed her. She fell to the ground with her eyes wide open in disbelief. Yet that man didn’t stop there. He started dissecting the woman’s body. The body was twitching nonstop, but those eyes stared at Xuan without moving. This woman’s face was exactly the same as those ghosts and the blood on her face made her more horrifying.
Xuan watched everything in silence. He had replaced the magazines in his pistols again. When that man suddenly turned his head around, Xuan opened fire at him. Yet the magical bullets didn’t crush the man this time, they went straight through his body.
Xuan stopped shooting. His senses told him that there was nothing in front of him, No physical object closing in, no bedroom, and no danger. He watched as the man slowly walked toward him then the man raised his knife and slashed at him.
‘Danger! This feeling…’
Xuan immediately jumped backward but the knife still cut off a part of his chest. No, not cut off but rather the flesh and clothes on his chest disappeared… Then he felt his intestines weighted down and along with it a feeling of bloatedness.
“The attacked part disappears then goes into my intestines. How did he do it? Not physical and not a mental attack… A spirit-type attack that’s unexplainable by science.”
Xuan fired at the man again, yet it was just the same as before. The bullets went through his body. His senses told him again there was nothing around, and no danger.
“It can’t not exist. In other words, attacks are normally ineffective. Only the moment he attacks you…”
Xuan held out an arm toward the man calmly. Then as this man slashed the knife at his arm, Xuan shot at him with his other hand. His arm disappeared and at the same time the man was crushed then disappeared like the other ghost.
“… Feels so bloated. I still prefer delicious looking food…”
Xuan was still in the unlocked state. His arm stopped bleeding shortly after. He shook the other hand and replaced the magazines on the pistol again
“The fifth wave is… over!”
He waited in place for a few seconds, then the sense of danger was getting stronger and stronger, as if the ghost was attacking him. Yet when he looked around, there was nothing. This sense of danger gradually reached his limit.
“Invisible? Or is it… inside my body?”
Xuan felt his internal organs convulsing. Blood gushed out of his mouth and nose. Then he vomited out a mouthful of blood and fragments of organs.
“So this is the sixth wave? Attacking organs from inside…”
Xuan smiled and without hesitation he pointed the pistol at his stomach and pulled the trigger.
“Do you see it? He’s pondering those four unsolved math problems again. I don’t know if he has any desires other than a thirst for knowledge…”
“Shh, keep your voice down. He’s already the associate leader of this research team. Once Chief Chu passes away, he will be the one in charge… Aren’t you scared he will get you in trouble?”
“Heh, you probably don’t know. How will this zombie-like person know to get others in trouble? He probably doesn’t even have the desire to do it…”
Xuan was reading his notebook silently. He could easily pick up the whispers around him with his hearing but compared to the math problems in his hands, he didn’t even have the desire to take a look at them. He just wanted to do the calculations silently…
The old man’s hair had turned white after all these years. He lay on the sickbed and looked at Xuan who was sitting beside him silently. The young man was looking at him emotionlessly, as if these two people were just strangers to each other.
The old man’s hands were filled with IVs. He tried hard to open his mouth. “Xuan, do you still hate me?”
“Why hate?” Xuan said calmly. “Why should I hate you?”
The old man laughed bitterly. “Yeah, why should you hate me? You can’t hate me… If you actually hated me, then maybe I can leave this world peacefully.”
Xuan opened his mouth for a bit, but he finally said calmly, “They said you’re going to die. Is there… no more way to save you?”
The old man shook his head lightly. “With our current technology, I am fortunate enough to be able to talk to you now… Xuan, don’t be like us and try to change human nature with technology. What a mortal’s wisdom, always filled with resentment toward life. Yet who can realize that our weaknesses, our desires, our defects are the most valuable gifts the world gave us… Xuan, I’m sorry. If I could do it again, I’d wish to give you a real childhood, a normal life. I’m sorry…”
Xuan’s eyes dimmed down. “Is that so? You’re dying soon… when will you die?”
The old man suddenly lifted himself up and shouted, “You want to die too, right? No, you have wanted to die for so long, right? Is it because I am constraining you? That’s why you’re living in such pain… You want to kill yourself after I die? Or find someone to kill you? No…
“Xuan, I still have a lot of unfinished research. Yes, so many technologies yet to be developed, like the Gauss long distance canon, the stable hydrogen fusion reactor, the high efficient battery… Xuan, finish all this research for me. Promise me, you can’t die before our team gets these technologies! Promise me!”
Xuan looked at the old man silently. It wasn’t until the old man started breathing rapidly that he nodded his head. Then the hand that was holding onto him slid off…
“… Son, if you don’t have the desire to live, then live on with my desires. Just one last time, let me constrain you one last time. Live on, no matter what happens…”
Xuan lay on the ground and watched the starry sky. The sky’s beauty was really indescribable. He could only stop all the thinking when he looked at the stars. They were the only times he could really calm down.
“That’s not a constraint, Father… I’m really too tired. Let me calm down a bit…”
Not far away from Xuan, a pale woman of over ten meters tall slowly stood up from the shadows. This woman was the main body of the Ju-On, Kayako.
Xuan closed his eyes before the huge ghost crawled over to him. His face had a calm and peaceful smile…
“Zheng, this is my last hint… Thank you…”
End of Volume 3: Shadow of the Grudge
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