Chapter 234: Southern Island
Bai Yi’s team rested in Napier for a night and started to search again seriously the next day. If people had stopped there before, then there should have been some signs. After searching meticulously, they finally found an extinguished bonfire just outside of the city. They didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. All of them had unthinkingly gone straight to the center of the city to search without knowing if Eleanor’s team had entered the city in the first place.
After finding the extinguished bonfire, Bai Yi followed the tracks left behind north.
After chasing them for half a month and losing their trail multiple times, Bai Yi’s team finally caught up with them in the mountain ranges at the center of the northern island. From the looks of it, most people understood the Metamorphose Stage quite well now and Eleanor’s team had spent time searching for different ingredients along their journey to supplement their bodies’ transformation.
Eleanor’s team had eleven people, each with their own roles within the team. From afar, one of Eleanor’s team members sensed Bai Yi’s team’s approach. However, Bai Yi never intended on hiding their presence in the first place.
A woman landed from the sky and said to Eleanor, “Team Leader, there’s some people close by. From the looks of them, they seem to be coming in our direction.”
“Could they be just passing by?”
“Doesn’t seem like it. They are heading straight for us at a fast speed.”
“Find a place to stop and be on alert. We’ll see exactly who it is,” Eleanor said to his teammates after thinking for a moment. There were lesser and lesser people on the Devil Isles now, so it was quite hard to meet other evolved humans. Eleanor felt that his team treated others quite well and they didn’t really have enemies either, who would be looking for them?
Eleanor stopped at a hillside. It didn’t have as dense vegetation as other areas and they could see far away from there. From a kilometer away, Eleanor could already see Bai Yi’s team running toward them. Their direction of travel didn’t change at all, heading straight for his group and by now Eleanor knew without a doubt that their target was his group. When they were about 200 meters apart from each other, Bai Yi’s speed slowed down, as did the rest of his team. Eleanor observed this group of people from afar, his left hand gently touching the hilt of the blade by his waist.
Bai Yi raised both his hands and smiled to show that he didn’t have any malicious intent. It couldn’t be helped. Anybody would be on guard if a whole group of people charged straight toward them.
“I’m sorry, but is there somebody called Eleanor here?” Bai Yi asked.
The opposite side heard Bai Yi’s words and half of them immediately looked toward the man standing in front. This man looked quite similar to Bai Yi, and he had even fewer abnormal characteristics than Bai Yi. After all, Eleanor had taken the Prototy original form drug before he had fused with any genes. The gazes of these people led Bai Yi to ascertain that the man was Eleanor.
“I am Bai Yi. Is this Team Leader Eleanor? I only have some questions to ask you. I don’t have any ill intent.”
“Bai Yi!” Eleanor looked at Bai Yi.
Was it this guy? The one who distributed the information inside the research facility to everyone and obtained great prestige for free? Eleanor was one of the top researchers at Tongariro National Park Research Facility, so, in reality, he knew even more than they did but he had never thought of doing so. Eleanor thought of this matter and immediately felt a sense of something being stolen from him by Bai Yi. But of course, this feeling wasn’t strong. It was just a little bit of dissatisfaction.
“So you are Bai Yi. Why are you looking for me?” Eleanor asked.
“It’s regarding Doctor Wang.”
“Doctor Wang!” Eleanor appeared very shocked to hear the name. It had been more than eight years since he had last heard it. Suddenly hearing this name again, he had a strange sense of nostalgia. Thinking about all the arguments he had with Doctor Wang back at the research facility and their situation now, things had changed so much.
“I’m surprised that you actually know about our relationship, but I’m very sorry, I don’t know his whereabouts,” Eleanor said.
“I’m very serious about this. We are looking for Doctor Wang because of the drug to regain human form. Not the Prototy original form drug that only let us retain our human form, but the drug that can truly let us return back to our normal human appearances.”
“You actually know about the Prototy original form drug!” Eleanor was getting more and more shocked. From what he knew, the Prototy drug had only just been developed right before he left the research facility, and no other research facility should have had the drug. “It’s useless, I don’t know how you became aware of the Prototy drug, but at that time the Prototy drug had only just been created. It actually hadn’t even been completed yet. There isn’t a more effective drug that can allow people to regain their normal human appearances.”
“I know. That’s why I want to look for Doctor Wang. From the looks of it, I doubt you continued to research after leaving Tongariro National Park Research Facility. However, if it’s that person, he might really have continued to research. Don’t tell me you don’t want to completely regain your normal human appearance?” Bai Yi replied.
“Regain my human appearance? Don’t I already appear to be human now? Even if I returned to human society, nobody would treat me as a monster as long as I don’t expose myself intentionally.” Eleanor started to laugh loudly.
“What about your companions?” Bai Yi said plainly.
Eleanor’s laughter gradually quietened down, and he looked at Bai Yi seriously.
“You can indeed return to the human world, but why haven’t you? Because you know that even if you did so, you would still be an abnormality. No matter how similar you look to a normal human, you are still an evolved human in the end. If you leave this society of evolved humans, you will feel a sense of loss from being an outlier. Only after we find Doctor Wang, find the drug that would allow everyone to regain their human appearance, and assimilate into the wider world would we be able to feel the value of our existence,” Bai Yi said.
“Are you trying to brainwash me?!”
“No, I’m not. I am just describing a reality.”
“Why are you so sure that we would be able to get the drug to regain human form if we find that guy? I admit that guy was slightly better than I was back at the research facility, but you can’t be sure that he definitely succeeded in developing such a drug! Perhaps he has given up on the research over these eight years, or perhaps he has already died long ago!” Eleanor said unhappily.
“He wouldn’t have abandoned his research because he took the main computer, Sunlight!” Bai Yi said. “As for whether he’s alive or not, we can talk about it after we find his trail.”
“Sunlight. So, you went to Tongariro National Park Research Facility after all,” Eleanor stared at Bai Yi.
“Yes, we went to that research facility,” Bai Yi nodded.
“Do you know that when I first heard about the information regarding LV1-1 to LV1-3, I wondered what bastard released that information? I really felt that somebody robbed something that belonged to me,” Eleanor walked toward Bai Yi, not a trace of emotion on his face.
Both teams slowly tensed up as Eleanor walked over. One misstep and the two teams would probably start a chaotic battle.
Eleanor came within three meters of Bai Yi. This was a dangerous distance for anybody, life or death would be decided in an instant if either of them decided to make a move.
“Seriously, I was one of the people in charge of the research facility, but it was actually an outsider that exposed the information. Let’s go. You don’t want to continue talking over here, right?” Eleanor said and turned around.
“Well I’m sorry then, you’re the one who didn’t do so in the first place,” Bai Yi followed up and walked beside Eleanor.
“It pisses me off just talking about this! In the beginning, when I escaped from the research facility, the entire country fell into chaos. It was already difficult to survive, who would think of doing this?!” Eleanor grumbled angrily. However, Bai Yi actually felt that his attitude was quite adorable. At least, he wasn’t that kind of petty person; otherwise, there would definitely be some casualties if they started fighting.
“Don’t you guys know about fusing with genes from other animals? Yeye had quite a big database of genes with which to fuse. As long as you guys fused with those genes it shouldn’t have been hard to survive.”
“It’s precisely because we know that we didn’t dare to fuse with the genes. I only wanted to return to the normal human world back then, and that Prototy drug had only just been created at the time. At the time, it hadn’t even gone through the preliminary tests. Who would want to use himself as a lab rat? If the Prototy drug was ineffective, what would we do if we became monsters after fusing with those genes?” Eleanor said.
“We decided to fuse with other genes for a very simple reason. Rather than fusing with random genes in situations not within our control, it was better to actively fuse with some more useful genes. For example, gaining the physical strength of an ant, the nimbleness of a cat, or regeneration and things like that,” Bai Yi said.
“Hmph, you guys are quite smart. It was precisely because I knew about all these that I was too careful not to fuse with anything,” Eleanor had an expression full of complaint. In the beginning, when the country had just started to change who would have known that the entirety of New Zealand would transform into the Devil Isles now?
“Honestly speaking, I don’t know where that guy went either. However, just as you said, since he took the main computer Sunlight, he would definitely not give up on his research. I think the most likely scenario is that he found a more hidden research facility to continue his experiments,” Eleanor said to Bai Yi after the two teams found a more suitable place to talk.
The guy that Eleanor mentioned was, of course, Doctor Wang. Both teams listened to the conversation very closely.
“That’s unlikely. In truth, the United Nations provided us with the locations of all 121 research facilities. Our mission was to search them for signs of Doctor Wang. We didn’t finish searching all the research facilities because of some matters on the way, but the United Nations would have other people working on this too. Doctor Wang couldn’t be in any of the research facilities,” Bai Yi shook his head.
“He’s not there?” Eleanor furrowed his brows.
Bai Yi didn’t disturb Eleanor. He was definitely trying to recall if there was any useful information or news. However, there wasn’t much headway even after Eleanor thought about it for three days. Over these three days, the two teams got familiar with each other and Woolf even blabbered about the energy cultivation diagram that they had obtained.
After another two days, Eleanor finally recalled something.
“Go to the southern island. I remember Doctor Wang saying before that he had a student who was researching about something in his own house,” Eleanor said.
“The southern island?”
“En, southern island. We’ll go as well,” Eleanor nodded and added on at the end. “And that energy cultivation diagram, you can’t be stingy with it. Aren’t you always so generous? It shouldn’t be a problem to give my teammates some pointers, right?” Eleanor pointed to his own team members.
Team Leader, you are really a genius!
Eleanor’s team almost exclaimed out loud. Looking at how Eleanor intentionally hid the exact location, Bai Yi knew that Eleanor wanted to take the chance to extract some benefits from him.