Chapter 238: Shortcoming Of Awareness
Although Doctor Wang said that they would be free once the research was complete, Bai Yi never entertained the thought of being released early. What a joke, Bai Yi knew quite a lot about activated cells now, and he understood that every aspect of activated cells research was horrifyingly complex. Even if they tried to research and understand just one thing, many other more complex problems were bound to emerge in the process. To understand the entire system of evolution caused by activated cells truly, Bai Yi couldn’t even estimate how much time was needed.
Hence, it was impossible to be released before three years.
However, they didn’t feel that it was too bad working for Doctor Wang because he was truly a genius. By following him, they gained a lot more information and understanding about activated cells, and this was beneficial to them. Of course, they had to be on continuous guard with him in case he tried to trick them into becoming his lab rats.
Doctor Wang’s only research topic was eternal life!
This was the origin of activated cells research and its final purpose. Of course, they still had a long way to go before reaching this mystical goal. Hence, Doctor Wang’s main priority now was to figure out what exactly the LV3 stage was and how to reach it. Based on his insight, he felt that they might be able to touch the edges of eternal life if they continued to evolve.
The direction of Doctor Wang and Bai Yi’s team’s research weren’t too different as they regarded the physical body, soul, energy, awareness, and the absolute life field. These five aspects gradually changed during the Metamorphose Stage. Without shame, Doctor Wang made Bai Yi reveal all of his findings. Of course, Doctor Wang wasn’t selfish and brought out all of his own knowledge. He consolidated their respective notes in order to form a more complete picture. If there was something that had already been thoroughly studied, there was no need to spend additional effort to study the same thing again.
After compiling the data, everybody realized that their understanding of the LV2 Metamorphose Stage was really not trivial.
They had basically understood the physical body and energy now, just that they weren’t able to control the direction of the changes. They also knew more about the soul than the outside world because of Momo. What remained to be understood were the absolute life field and awareness.
Based on Doctor Wang’s theory, the absolute life field was the manifestation of a complete living thing. To put it simply, as long as the physical body, soul, energy, and awareness grew stronger in balance, the absolute life field would naturally become stronger as well. If any of the four was lacking, then the absolute life field’s ability to grow stronger was limited no matter how hard one tried. Hence, consuming the Great Stink Bomb Fruit had initially enhanced the absolute life field of Bai Yi’s team a lot, but when consumed again, the effects of it became very weak.
“I’m not too clear what awareness is, but I have created a few scales of measurement for it: the strength, precision, and malleability of awareness,” Bai Yi said.
“Awareness, huh? My team named it mental power,” Eleanor said.
“I initially called it divine sense, but we can just label it as awareness. My forms of measurements aren’t too different from Bai Yi’s strength, precision, and malleability. From what I have observed so far, the thing limiting everybody from entering LV3 right now is awareness. Do you guys have anything to increase awareness?” Doctor Wang asked.
“Meditation!” Eleanor replied. It was a very standard thing in western magic systems.
“How do you meditate?”
“I don’t know.”
“You dare open your mouth when you don’t know? You were still a researcher before, aren’t you ashamed of speaking with substance to back you up?” Doctor Wang immediately lectured Eleanor.
Doctor Wang continued, “I initially labeled this emergent property of the consciousness as divine sense and also wanted to use some cultivation methods to enhance it. However, the main focus of my research was still on the physical body; this was the easiest change to observe after all and I didn’t spend much time on the changes in our consciousness. I think that we’re heading in the right direction now, we just have to figure out how to cultivate our awareness.”
“You! What’s the difference between the meditation I talked about and the cultivation method you mentioned?” Eleanor countered angrily.
Doctor Wang only rolled his eyes at Eleanor and didn’t explain.
The rest of them laughed at their interaction. At a glance, they knew that Eleanor couldn’t win against Doctor Wang. It was expected since Doctor Wang had always been above Eleanor back at the research facility.
With the two of them here, at least they didn’t have to worry about the atmosphere becoming dry and boring. Although there were small arguments here and there, everybody still carried on with their research. Of course, they couldn’t spend all their time theorizing about something as intangible as consciousness and awareness since research had to be done regarding the physical body, energy, and soul as well. It would be a lie to say that they understood more than a small portion of these elements.
As for the fruit that Momo consumed, when everybody found out about its effects, they decided to name it the Provenance Fruit. The fruit allowed the lifeform’s physical body, soul, and energy change in a particular direction. In reality, the ice attribute recipes and formulas that Bai Yi’s team created on the snowy mountain had similar effects but were much weaker compared to the Provenance Fruit.
Since they couldn’t figure out how to cultivate awareness, their mission was to complete the attribute medicines that could change a lifeform’s attribute in a certain direction first.
“Regarding this, you guys should go and pick a fruit for me,” Doctor Wang said.
“It’s a special mutated fruit that grows on the mountain range next to the sea. I picked two of them last time. If the fruit that your daughter ate is called the Provenance Fruit, then this fruit should be called the No Attribute Fruit. This kind of fruit has no fixed attributes, but it contains the compounds needed for various attributes to form,” Doctor Wang said.
“You just thought of this name, right? You definitely came up with it on the spot!” Eleanor hooted.
“So what if it is? I initially wanted to give you some information about this fruit, but now you guys can just go and bring it back. The more the better,” Doctor Wang said shamelessly.
“Where is it?” Bai Yi asked.
“On the southern side of New Zealand on the inland portion of Dusky Sound. You guys will find it when you get there.”
“What kind of tree is it?”
“You will know when you get there,” Doctor Wang said and added casually, “right, also, be careful. Last time twenty plus of my people died there. They basically got wiped out, but I believe that you guys will definitely be safe. No matter what, your strengths are already among the top in the evolved human community.”
Bai Yi and Eleanor’s eyes both squinted. This was probably Doctor Wang’s true motive in dragging them to work for him.
“Let’s go!” Bai Yi said. No matter what, they were already on this boat and couldn’t abandon it so simply.
“What do you think Doctor Wang’s attribute is? I still can’t believe that he could successfully research so many things,” Eleanor said to Bai Yi on the road.
“I’ve worked with him for many years. Based on my understanding of him, he couldn’t possibly have successfully found out so many things. You must know, the equipment in the research facility back then was very abundant, and even then, the progress was very slow. With such crude conditions now, how could he manage to figure out so many things?” Eleanor said as he jumped from one tree to another.
“Well...” Bai Yi wanted to say something; instead, he suddenly drew Red Kiss and swung it toward the ground.
Eleanor immediately reacted as well, but even so, a black barbed vine still viciously pierced into his thigh. The rest of them were in a similar state, suffering the brutal attack at practically the same time. The black barbed vines instantly erupted from the ground, seeming like it would only stop when all of them were dead.
“Leave this place!” Bai Yi said as he grabbed hold of Eleanor and flew into the sky.
Very quickly, the rest of them managed to escape from the range of the black vines as well. However, right after they managed to escape, the injured ones all collapsed onto the ground. Bai Yi suddenly recalled that right before leaving Queenstown, Doctor Wang had given him a kind of medicine. Apparently, that guy had long guessed that something like this would happen and gave Bai Yi the antidote in advance.
Bai Yi immediately took out the antidote for them to use, but just when he passed the antidote to Eleanor, Sharpei barked loudly.
“Get up!” Bai Yi shouted and stabbed Red Kiss into the ground.
Eleanor wasn’t an idiot. The moment Bai Yi shouted he jumped up in spite of the pain. Sure enough, black vines erupted out of the ground that had been safe a moment ago. Bai Yi’s Red Kiss hacked through the ground, but the black barbed vines that were about as thick as a thumb remained intact after Bai Yi’s strike. The group of them then retreated a kilometer before stopping and panting for air.
“What was that?” Somebody asked after they came to the side of the river and rested on the exposed rocks nearby.
“Probably the plant that Doctor Wang was talking about,” Bai Yi said.
“That damnable bastard Wang! He purposely hid the information about the plant from us, I almost died!” Eleanor yelled angrily. After drinking the antidote, Eleanor realized that his thigh looked like it had withered away and was missing a big piece. He was that close to death just now.
“He purposely didn’t tell us about this. Marcia, come along with me to see what’s going on,” Bai Yi said to Eleanor’s team member who could fly. Marcia heard Bai Yi but looked at Eleanor first.
“Go with Bai Yi but be careful.”
“Sure,” Marcia nodded.
Bai Yi and Marcia flew into the sky and headed toward the place where they had been attacked. On the surface, the place looked like a very common mountain ridge and there wasn’t anything strange about it. Otherwise, Bai Yi and Eleanor wouldn’t have been caught so off guard. However, now that Bai Yi and Marcia came specially to look for clues, they realized that this place was extremely quiet. There were practically no sounds of any creatures at all.
Marcia followed Bai Yi and flew in a big circle around the place. After a while, Marcia realized that Bai Yi was ascertaining the range of the black vines. In a range of twenty plus kilometers, there were practically no signs of any large creatures. However, there was a faint sweet smell in the air and Bai Yi suddenly felt like there was something delicious in the area.
The temptation of taste!
It was probably a large scale carnivorous plant!
In the end, Bai Yi stopped above the marine trench called the Dusky Sound. Bai Yi and Marcia looked carefully before their gaze stopped on a tree that was more than twenty meters tall.