Era of Disaster

Chapter 176

Chapter 176: Hypersomnia Stage


Was there hope in Hamilton?

Just when everyone might have thought so, something big happened there as well. Although it wasn’t a case of complete destruction like in New Christchurch, it was still quite severe.

In Cambridge, south of Hamilton, a group of people found a large-scale research facility. Initially, these people went crazy with joy, but unknowingly, they somehow released the experimental monsters inside. Although it had been three years and the majority of the experimental monsters had already died, those which had managed to survive were all incredibly ferocious LV2.1 Incomplete Metamorphose monsters.

When these LV2.1s were released, they immediately began their slaughter and frenzied devouring of everything they could find. The people who released them immediately ran for their lives but ended up drawing them to Hamilton.

Through a bitter and desperate battle, three out of the five LV2.1s died, but the last two managed to escape. Everyone initially thought that things had ended like that, but in due time, they realized that those two LV2.1s treated Hamilton like their food store. From time to time, they would suddenly appear to devour a few people, and casually leave after that. Due to their absolute difference in strength, as long as they didn’t run into the city center, they basically wouldn’t encounter any worthy opponents.

With this kind of situation, although Hamilton was in better shape when compared to New Christchurch, everyone there lived in constant danger.

...

Bai Yi’s team had lost contact with the outside world, and after walking for three days they finally reached the Rakaia River, which was close to Mount Hutt. This river was rather large, but it wasn’t a single complete river1. Small sand bars could quite commonly be seen sticking out like miniature internal islands in the middle of the river, splitting its flow into many streams. This could be said to be a kind of unique scenery.

As for why they needed to take three days to cover this distance, it was of course due to their injuries slowing them down. Even walking for such a long distance by road, they hadn’t encountered any evolved lifeforms, and it was easy to infer that they had all been lured to New Christchurch. This was actually both a good and a bad thing; the bad thing about it was that Bai Yi’s team almost couldn’t find anything to eat along the way. Luckily, there were still two chefs in the team. Setting aside Bai Yi, Betsy was an even more professional chef, and it was still quite easy for her to make some meals from the vegetation available.

Over these three days, the incidents in New Christchurch and Hamilton shook the entire world. Of course, ‘the world’ only referred to the world of a small group of people; 99% of the normal population didn’t have the qualifications to know about these things.

It was still easier to understand what had happened in Hamilton, as that was a completely man-made disaster. However, the invasion of New Christchurch by countless monsters and the total destruction of the city was much more shocking. The number of people who escaped from the city had probably not exceeded 10,000. Tales of the sight of massive numbers of monsters covering the earth and skies were spread by word of mouth by these lucky survivors. What was this scene, a tide of monsters? Why would these evolved lifeforms gather together to attack evolved humans?

Other than Bai Yi’s team, probably nobody else knew the true reason for this incident.

Precisely because the reason was unknown, it caused many people in the outside world to feel incomparably worried and fearful. A bunch of so-called ‘experts’ even tried to use ecology, psychology, biology, and many other disciplines to try to explain this phenomenon. One must know that the activated cells had been proliferating toward the outside world for a while now. If animals would really unite and attack humans after assimilating with the activated cells, they had to think of how to deal with that situation.

Of course, Bai Yi and his companions wouldn’t know about all these things. Moving northwest along the Rakaia River, they entered the Southern Alps and finally approached Mount Arrowsmith at the central area of the mountains. After following Bai Yi for nearly two weeks, Betsy and the other newcomers finally knew why his team had chosen to come to this place.

This was an unfamiliar valley. Inside the valley were some active evolved lifeforms, and at the bottom of the valley was a small lake some 500 meters in diameter. Most importantly, at the bottom of the valley wall was a giant hole. After entering through the hole, one would find a steep but magnificent underground karst cave. However, the surprises didn’t stop there. After walking a distance, the air slowly became warmer, and through a crack in the rocks, all of them discovered that there was lava slowly flowing underneath them.

“This is a small, dormant volcano, and it has never erupted before in the past. This will probably be where we will be staying for a long period of time, so everyone can make themselves at home. However, try your best not to approach the volcano; even if it doesn’t erupt, it’s still quite dangerous,” Bai Yi reminded them.

At this time, a shuffling sound came from deeper inside, and a giant armored human came rushing out.

This armored guy shouted to Bai Yi from far away, “Hi, Bai Yi, you guys are back! I thought that something happened to you guys!”

“This is Ulisses. This regularly shaped cave you see now was dug out by him.” Bai Yi still tried to compose himself and introduced this armored guy to the rest of them. At this time, Ulisses suddenly realized that Bai Yi’s face wasn’t looking too good and that he didn’t see Heloise and a few others with them either. Ulisses had survived in New Zealand for so long, after all, that he immediately knew that something had definitely happened.

Ulisses was one of the Brutal Phase humans locked up in the prison back when Bai Yi's team had arrived in New Christchurch. While helping to hypnotize many people, Bai Yi had also been expanding his influence at the same time and choosing people. However, Bai Yi hadn't let Ulisses join the team directly, but rather, gotten him to stay outside while maintaining close connections with him. Ulisses had caught Bai Yi’s eye precisely because of his ability to bore through the mountain, and after some observation, Bai Yi felt that he was trustworthy as well. Hence, he had left the mission of restructuring the mountain interior to him.

Ulisses did not hurriedly ask them about what had happened but introduced himself to Betsy and the others instead. “Nice to meet you. I am Ulisses.”

“Nice to meet you too. I am Betsy.”

“Bellamy.”

“Romain Cristot.”

After everyone had finished making their introductions, Bai Yi told Ulisses about everything that had happened in New Christchurch. Naturally, Ulisses went completely dumb upon hearing the news, and couldn’t believe that something so big had happened. Looking at Woolf, who seemed quite dispirited, Ulisses went to pat his shoulder lightly, trying to console him. Other than this kind of simple comforting, Ulisses didn’t know what else he could do.

However, they didn’t have the time to continue moping about such matters. After resting for a few days, Bai Yi took the lead, and the people in the team gradually entered the Hypersomnia Phase.

Bai Yi was the first one, followed by Momo, Woolf, Sharpei, and Pupu. They were the first companions that had gathered together and had received Bai Yi’s hypnosis to enter deep level sleep from the very start. As for Melvin, Alodia, and Nancy, their progress was a lot slower, and they would probably require another stretch of time before they entered the Hypersomnia Phase.

Although it was called the Hypersomnia Phase, that didn’t mean that all they did was sleep. At the start, the signs were just that they felt like sleeping a lot. The number of hours they slept each day slowly increased, until by the end they could sleep for one or two days at a go, or for even longer periods of time.

The mission that Bai Yi gave everyone was to sense their souls!

LV1-3 Hypersomnia Stage was the first stage where one could sense their own soul for the first time, so they must definitely grab hold of this opportunity! Yeye had consolidated some data from previous experimental subjects, but they would definitely find some differences when they experienced it for themselves.

Bai Yi himself couldn’t describe what was going on; it was as if his body was communicating with his soul. His consciousness should have been completely silent from such a deep level of sleep, but he just had this vague feeling.

Moreover, the experiences that Bai Yi and the rest had were far too different from the information recorded about Hypersomnia Stage lifeforms in Yeye’s database. In Yeye’s records, although evolved lifeforms loved to sleep after entering the Hypersomnia Phase, they couldn’t sleep well, and a majority of them couldn’t even achieve a normal level of sleep. If one really had to describe it, then it was just like insomnia: staying wide awake even though the organism was so tired. The body clearly wanted to sleep, but sleep simply evaded the lifeform no matter how hard it tried.

Precisely because of this reason, all Hypersomnia Stage lifeforms treasured every opportunity to fall asleep completely. If somebody dared to wake them up from their hard-to-attain sweet dreams, practically all of them would have a disposition that said, ‘wake me up and I’ll kill your entire family’.

However, their situation was completely different: it was very easy for them to fall asleep every time, and they would always sleep for a long while. This was especially true for Bai Yi; at the start, he would still appear once every one or two days, but toward the end, he wouldn't even appear after a whole week. And after they all appeared again, all of them had the same reaction—that is to say, extreme hunger!

None of them had imagined that they would experience this binging state again, and there were no such records in Yeye’s database. After those experimental subjects woke up, there weren’t many changes to their appetites?

The rest of them felt that this was completely natural; after sleeping for a few days and starving, it would be strange if they weren’t hungry. However, only Bai Yi and Momo could vaguely feel that this wasn’t the only reason. During the long periods of sleep, their bodies and souls were making certain final adjustments. These adjustments might seem small and mild, but altogether it was actually an incredibly complicated process and consumed a large amount of energy.

There didn’t seem to be any activity going on during deep level sleep, but the adjustment of the body and soul was actually an unimaginably large project.

No matter what, they had to eat when they were hungry, and this created plenty of hard work for those who hadn’t entered the Hypersomnia Stage. Fortunately, they had another chef there in Betsy, and food was now no longer lacking in New Zealand. Every time after Bai Yi and the few others fell asleep, Betsy and the remaining people would start to prepare food, calculating how much food they would need when the others woke up after a few days, or dozens of days.

While preparing all the food, all of them couldn’t help but sigh. It was really very hard to get through. Every step after assimilating with the activated cells was extremely difficult to pass through.

LV1-1: Binging Stage!

LV1-2: Brutal Stage!

LV1-3: Hypersomnia Stage!

Thinking about it carefully, they had to face many difficulties at every stage. In comparison, a state like that of the Hypersomnia Phase was already relatively better. However, if there weren’t anybody to protect them, then it wouldn’t be easy either. One must know that a person had basically very little resistance to danger once they fell asleep, and Bai Yi’s team could sleep for more than ten days at a time.

***

Editor's Notes:

  1. The Rakaia River is an example of what's known as a braided river, wherein the flow of water forms so-called braids around sedimentary islands.