Lei Lan and hundreds of other girls were sent into a mountain in the west of the Gold Crow Kingdom by big birds which had grown huge vesicles. They received training to be nurses in a school that had recently been established.
A large batch of soldiers were training together with them.
Both the nurses and the soldiers had to learn how to test whether or not someone was a carrier of the Demon God Virus with a kind of newly-invented beetle. They also needed to learn the operations of thirty-seven types of syringes in order to treat different types of demons. Moreover, they learned to purge an area with fire spray or frost spray to make sure that the place would not be scourged by the Demon God Virus.
In the school, Lei Lan witnessed the horror of the Demon God Virus for the first time.
Not only were the demons who contracted the Demon God Virus extremely hideous, their insanity and madness were a major shock for her, too.
As the days went by, the atmosphere in the school became graver and graver. More and more patients, in uglier and uglier appearances, were shipped to the place through the fully-enclosed biochemical slots.
It was said that the epidemic had been escalating exponentially in the Nether Spring Kingdom ever since the first patient appeared. After only several days, seven highly-populated cities in the north of the Nether Spring Kingdom fell.
The disease was reported in the Gold Crow Kingdom and even Heavenly Path City, where demons of different species lived together.
The only exception was the Sea Dominator Kingdom. Since its territory was too large and its population too small, and it was difficult for the Demon God Virus to spread in the seawater, the Sea Dominator Kingdom luckily escaped the disaster.
With everything coming to the point, it was no longer an option to retreat. Teachers in the school all said that it was an unprecedented catastrophe in the history of the Blood Demon Sector. Only through joint efforts could the virus possibly be suppressed. Otherwise, there would be no survivors.
Lei Lan could do nothing except hold back her panic and dedicate herself to her studies. Since she was smart in the first place, she became the most distinguished intern nurse very quickly.
At that time, more and more nurses and soldiers were arriving at the school to learn the necessary skills.
Two months ago, it was still a temporary school established in the middle of nowhere. But now, tens of thousands of students had joined.
It never occurred to Lei Lan that she would run into her young brother, Lei Chuang, who was in the latest batch of soldiers to come to the school.
The vigorous young guy had craved to join the coalition army of demons from a young age. However, he had been bewildered by his big brother Lei Qi in the end. Claiming that he had realized the truth of the Pantheon of Demons, he had fled into the forests when the enlisting officers came to the village.
But as it turned out, when the sister and the brother met again, he was wearing a brand-new military uniform as an antichemical soldier in the coalition army of demons!
Lei Lan was stunned by her younger brother.
Lei Chuang, however, simply slapped off the dust on his uniform and told her with a smile that he was now truly a soldier of the coalition army of demons. However, before he joined the army, he had already been a member of a new organization named Skyfire.
According to him, after he joined Skyfire, he learned a lot of new concepts and felt that his world had been renewed. In fact, he joined the coalition army of demons because his supervisor asked him to, and he was actually there with a task.
His task was to disseminate the new concepts that he had learned among the bottom-level soldiers of the coalition army of demons.
The ‘concepts’ that her younger brother told her frightened Lei Lan.
The ‘same-origin’ theory, demons originally being human beings, Ba Yanzhi’s story, Zhang Niuer’s All that iconoclastic talk was in utter disagreement with the legends of the Pantheon of Demons. They were even more outrageous than the canards of the Blade of Chaos!
Lei Lan was so shocked and scared that she dragged her brother hard, begging him not to stir trouble anymore. Was it not enough to have one rebel in the family? Must he make it two?
Now that he had joined the coalition army of demons, he should work hard and dutifully in the army. That was the right thing to do!
But Lei Chuang was not bothered at all. He told his sister that Skyfire today was totally different from the Blade of Chaos in the past. It was backed by the big shots in the leadership and was a half-public organization. Many of the supervisors pretended that they did not know the activity of the organization and even intentionally indulged its members to spread in the army.
Not just that, even the arrest warrants targeting the members of the Blade of Chaos were no longer taken seriously. Many of the previous members of the Blade of Chaos, after joining Skyfire with a random alias, would be able to swagger on the street as if they had become someone else, and nobody would come to capture them.
Lei Chuang said that their big brother was one of them. He had joined Skyfire with a lot of other members of the Blade of Chaos. He was now even a secondary captain of the Furious Flame Squad.
At first, Lei Lan scorned at her younger brother’s statements. Government cooperating with the rebellions? How was it possible?
However, as the epidemic spread out, everybody panicked. In the school where soldiers of different clans and species gathered, the ‘same-origin’ theory and Ba Yanzhi’s life story were heard by more and more people. Eventually, they seemed to become a ‘secret’ that everybody knew but pretended that they did not. Even the cleaning lady of the toilet would grimace at Lei Lan mysteriously, drag her into a corner, and ask her in a low voice, “Did you know that a long, long time ago, there was a guy named Ba Yanzhi?”
While new ideologies were popping up every day, Lei Lan finished her training and went to the frontline of the epidemic as a certified nurse together with a batch of antichemical soldiers, including her younger brother.
After she left the school that was secluded from the outside world, the destructiveness of the Demon God Virus became more and more apparent to her as she went further north.
Many towns had been emptied and torn apart. The bloodstains on the dilapidated buildings made them look like graves that had risen from the ground.
The more serious the epidemic in a place was, the more open the activity of Skyfire would be. In many unhabituated areas where all the living souls had been devoured by the virus, Lei Lan even saw warriors wearing badges of Skyfire walking in broad daylight, but the coalition army of demons next to them would do nothing about them!
In the meantime, Lei Lan grew more and more familiar with a name ‘Saintess Jin Xinyue’.
The further she went north, the more frequently the name was brought up. It was said that she was a goddess who was born by the arrangement of fate with the mission of salvation. Her blood had been blessed by all the deities and devils in the universe and boasted the amazing ability to counter the Demon God Virus. As for herself, she was working on the frontlines of the epidemic day and night without resting. The honorable silver-blood demons, the humble black-blood demons, and even the ‘filthy’ chaotic-blood demons had all received her meticulous treatment.
Lei Lan had seen photos of the Saintess Jin Xinyue on the broken walls of many towns in the epidemic area.
In the pictures, Jin Xinyue had burnt hair and eyebrows. Pitifulness was written all over her face. She was wearing a white robe that was riddled with holes and dyed gray by the smoke and dust. She was embracing a dying child of the black-blood demons closely. Her hands, which seemed to be made of jade, were a sharp contrast to the child’s limbs that were as dry and thin as firewood.
There was no sign that she was disgusted by the dirtiness of the child at all. Instead, she was lowering his body and kissing the forehead of the child to soothe his pain.
The photos confused Lei Lan.
She remembered that she had met a saintess named ‘Jin Xinyue’ before. However, the saintess looked vastly different from the one in the photos.
The one on the photos, with her eyes brimming with sympathy, was enough to win the worship of the public.
That was exactly what happened, too. For many low-level demons who had lost their home because of the epidemic, and even a lot of soldiers of the coalition army of demons, it almost became their routine to worship Jin Xinyue’s photos.
There was even an absurd rumor that, when the virus came close, one’s odds of being infected would be lowered if they were chanting ‘Saintess Jin Xinyue’ in their heart.
Lei Lan, as a nurse, knew that it was nonsense. However, she could not stop the illiterate low-level demons from believing the theory.
Many low-level demons were even wearing pendants that were wood badges and sachets carved with the name of ‘Saintess Jin Xinyue’. It was said that the pendants could keep them away from all diseases.
By accident, Lei Lan discovered, to her surprise, that the pendants were actually distributed by Lei Chuang and other members of Skyfire!
It was not hard to guess that rumors about the ‘Saintess Jin Xinyue’ had been spread by them, too.
Lei Lan burst into such fury that she went to lambast her brother immediately. She asked him why he was promoting superstitions. As an antichemical soldier, he should have known the rudimental knowledge about viruses. How could a few cheap pendants keep the most dreadful Demon God Virus away?
But her brother offered an explanation with a smile.
“Right now, the Demon God Virus is breaking out everywhere. Everybody in the Blood Demon Sector is panicking. The order in the epidemic area has gone out of control, and the order outside the epidemic area is about to fall, too. Sometimes, a groundless rumor is enough to cast an entire town into extreme fright!
“In the meantime, the antidote and the vaccines targeting the Demon God Virus are still being produced, and there aren’t enough doctors and nurses. The solutions are too far away to solve the imminent trouble. It is impossible for us to control the epidemic shortly.
“The pendants and the name of Saintess Jin Xinyue indeed cannot cure anybody, but at the very least, they can calm everybody down, stabilize the order, and give everybody hope.
“Faced with such a disaster, order is more important than anything!
“More importantly, the name of ‘Saint Jin Xinyue’ will be etched to everyone’s heart in such a way. Then, when the antidote and the vaccines are produced on a large scale, we will be able to summon everything for treatment under the name of the saintess.”
Lei Lan was lost for words after hearing the explanation. She pondered for a long time but came up with no rebuttals. Therefore, she simply allowed them to do their job, however reluctantly.
They went north just like that, until they arrived at Gloomy Bone City in the Nether Spring Kingdom.
Gloomy Bone City was not in the epidemic area. It was still under the control of the coalition army of demons and served as a base of supplies.
Nobody was clear how the virus broke out exactly.
But when Lei Lan realized what happened, the city was already surrounded by miserable screams, as if the gates of hell had been opened. A huge batch of uncontrollable mutants were walking on the street!