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Star Rank Hunter Chapter 357

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Chapter 357: The Music That Summons The Devil In The Heart, “Rhapsody of a Rainy Night”


It had only been four hours had pa.s.sed since the first case was identified, but the virus had gotten to all nine big research bases already. The patient zeros had almost all mobility, and they felt as hopeless as their own test subjects. It was because their biggest hope, the task force made of the greatest minds in virus research on this planet, had succ.u.mbed to the virus themselves.


It takes only an instant for a person to leave a state of life and enter a state of death, but this virus seemed intend on prolonging the process as much as possible. They could feel the virus robbing them of their control inch by inch, and there was absolutely nothing they could do to stop it. It didn’t rob them of their consciousness, but that only made the suffering and waiting for death to claim them that much worse.


The nine big research bases weren’t the only ones who were experiencing problems. The good news was that it wasn’t a virus outbreak. The bad news was that the s.p.a.ce station and the patrol fleets were experiencing severe signal interferences, and it had reached the point where they couldn’t even send out a request for help. The electromagnetic interferences had actually begun before the virus outbreak, but at the time they thought that it was simply a result of unusual stellar activities or exceptional electromagnetic storms and paid it little heed. Now though, they were really starting to panic.


The persons-in-charge of the nine research bases, the patrol fleet captain, and the s.p.a.ce station’s chief administrator were all working their a.s.ses off to keep the situation under control right now. They were the highest leaders.h.i.+p of this planet, and it was their responsibility to maintain control no matter what. Specifically, the PICs would keep their respective bases under control, and the patrol fleet captain and the s.p.a.ce station chief administrator would prevent anyone from escaping to s.p.a.ce.


Right now, everyone in the patrol fleet and the s.p.a.ce station were thanking their stars that they weren’t on the planet. Although the nine research bases usually stuck to their own researches, that hardly meant that there wasn’t any communication between them at all. Occasionally, personnel would even travel from one base to another via s.p.a.ceplanes. In their opinion, that had to be how the virus had spread to all nine research bases. The situation wouldn’t have deteriorated nearly as much if they had entered lockdown sooner… or so they thought.


The patrol fleet captain wrote all his thoughts into his report so that the technicians could send them to the higher-ups after the communications equipment were fixed. He thought he might get a promotion from this.


The guy would’ve been lynched if his thoughts were known to the people on the planet. As an outsider, he couldn’t even begin to imagine the panic that was besetting everyone in the nine research bases. The only reason things hadn’t broken down completely was because the guards were still maintaining order. Although Cillin had set loose some groups of failed test subjects, there were ultimately more guards than there were failed test subjects, not to mention that the researchers were no combatants.


Speaking of which, the PICs were starting to suspect that someone was working against them. For starters, someone had released the failed test subjects from their confinement to create more chaos. Two, the drugs that were normally used to suppress them had suddenly failed without reason. The effects were either greatly diminished or completely useless.


When the researchers a.n.a.lyzed the blood samples that were recovered from the dead bodies of the failed test subjects, they discovered that they had all developed a certain level of drug resistance. They could’ve chalked it up as an coincidence if it was just one type—after all, it wasn’t uncommon for a test subject to undergo unusual biological changes after an experiment or ten—but the reality was that the failed test subjects had developed drug resistance to nearly all of their suppressants. Even if they weren’t completely immune, the suppressants’ effects were much more diminished than before.


There was no way this could’ve happened naturally!


So, the question became whodunit. Who had the ability to release the test subjects from their cages? Who had the ability to make them resistant to their suppressants in such a short time? And finally, could they be the ones behind this virus outbreak?


Most researchers believed that someone was behind the anomaly surrounding the failed test subjects, but not the unknown virus. Maybe it was because they were overly confident in their abilities, but they didn’t believe that anyone was capable of creating such an overpowering virus; one that they couldn’t even begin to cure. If even Miracle couldn’t figure this out, who else could possibly create such a thing?


Their arrogance wasn’t completely misplaced, however. The personnel of Miracle quickly showed why they were a galaxy-famous corporation in GAL. Dissenting researchers were suppressed by force, and charismatic figures stepped out to calm panicking minds. Their efforts were also aided by the fact that the virus outbreak, while bad hadn’t yet entered the worst case scenario. In the end, they were able to turn the situation around and even set themselves on the path of improvement.


But of course, Cillin wasn’t going to let them recover this quickly.


The leaders were heaving sighs of relief inside their heads and enjoying a tiny bit of reprieve when suddenly, a music started playing not just on the nine research bases, but also the patrol fleet and the s.p.a.ce station.


The sounds of raining and the soothing tune that accompanied it was something everyone in the galaxy had heard before. It was the opus magnum of a composer from several hundred years ago called “Rhapsody of a Rainy Night”.


The rhapsody described the composer’s transformation from shyness to burning pa.s.sion during a romantic, rainy night. It had wowed the entire galaxy upon release and even started a trend where people intentionally sought out the romance of rainy nights. It was so beautiful and compelling that it even became one of the very, very few legendary works that survived the pa.s.sage of time. To this day, people could still identify its name just by listening to its very first verse.


But why was this melody being played now? Who in the world would want to pursue the romance of a rainy night at a time like this?


At first, everyone thought that it was the higher-ups and their stupid ideas again. However, what happened next quickly informed them that that wasn’t the case.


Plop— plop—


It sounded like the droplets dripping down a roof and splas.h.i.+ng against a puddle of water.


However, everyone who knew “Rhapsody of a Rainy Night” knew that this sound effect didn’t exist in the original music!


At the same time, nearly every hologram or display in the nine research bases, the patrol fleets and the s.p.a.ceport except those that weren’t turned on in the first place began playing an unknown video:


A muddy, brown liquid slid down a pale white background until it splashed against a surface. It rippled outward and formed an oval spot that looked just like the spots on the skin of an infected patient.


Plop—


Plop—


The timing of the unnatural splas.h.i.+ng sound synced perfectly with the video. Every time it plopped, a mud-like spot would appear on the screen.


The music was supposed to invoke a sense of emotional comfort. Its rhythm was slow and comfortable for that reason. But with this modification, and in their current situation? All they could feel was an iciness like nothing they had ever felt before sliding down their backs, and a sudden tightness in their scalp that screamed only one emotion: fear.


It was just the beginning. Like a drizzle that was slowly fading away, the rhapsody reached the end of its solemn, sorrowful stage and entered the calm before the storm. In the background, the sound of pa.s.sersby stomping loudly against puddles of rainwater began, and every step felt like someone was pounding away at their hearts with a hammer. Slowly but surely, the suppressed emotions rose from the depths of their hearts.


The plopping sounds quickened, and their heartbeats seemed to quicken with it as well.


The screen grew dirtier and dirtier. It looked all too similar to the worsening symptoms on the patients’ bodies.


The drizzle had turned into a furious downpour. This part of the music was supposed to herald the beginning of pa.s.sion and excitement, but instead it inflicted upon its listeners a kind of boiling panic they didn’t know existed, until now.


It felt as if their surroundings had gone out of focus. All they could hear was the modified “Rhapsody of a Rainy Night” and the brown rain dripping on the screen, no, their skin and leaving brown spots on them. The moment contact was made, each spot began eating away at their nerves earnestly, numbing their bodies and draining away their energy. Was… was that death they just felt? Was he close by?


No! No I can’t stay here I’ll be caught by the rain!


I need to leave!


I need to leave this place now!


The quickening raindrops had rapidly worsened their already stifling anxiety. The pressure kept building and building and building until finally...


Madness was bad, but unleashed madness was the worst.


Every person was a combination between an angel and a devil. When fear suppressed logic, and the angel fell aslumber, the devil would awaken and bring forth madness.


What Cillin did was basically a form of mental suggestion plus a pinch of hypnosis. By employing a mental version of frequency disruption and signal a.s.similation, he had transformed the famous rhapsody from a soothing music into a summoning ritual that brought forth the devil in a person’s hearts.


For several hundred years, “Rhapsody of a Rainy Night” had brought comfort, romance and pa.s.sion to its listeners. Today, it opened the Pandora’s box that lies at the bottom of its listeners’ hearts.


The devil awakened.


The hard won reprieve instantly dissolved into chaos; one that was even greater than before.


If the composer of the music was still alive, would he pa.s.s away with an even bigger smile on his face, or would he fight Cillin to the death?


How many things could a person do in their life?


A lot.


How much destruction could a person wrought?


Immeasurable.


This virus was just an imitation Cillin had created based on the formation and pathogenesis of the Zebra Virus. He had even lowered its harmfulness it so that it couldn’t be fatal no matter what. Of course, he hadn’t done it out of pity toward Miracle. There were plenty of innocents, soldiers, and academicians like Mo Heng who were trapped inside the research bases, and he didn’t want to kill them even by accident. The few fatal cases that had occurred was a result of internal strife and had nothing to do with his virus whatsoever.


Had Cillin spread the real Zebra Virus and not produced the cure, every person on the planet would’ve died, and the planet itself would become ground zero. There were no powerful research organizations like the RAS or the Black Viper in GAL, so the virus would’ve spread uncontrollably to countless planets and Sectors for a very, very long time to come, and it would’ve resulted in a level of death and devastation unlike the world had ever seen. A galactic war would’ve seemed like a joke next to it.


All virus researchers believed that a virus possessed the kill potential of an entire GAL army, but most people treated it as an interesting hypothesis at best, and a laughable joke at worst. If such a day did arrive though, would it sound the death knell of all of humanity?


Cillin didn’t mind showing these people that the real pathogen could kill, but for now at least, he didn’t intend to become a sinner who would be remembered unto eternity. The imitation virus he engineered had a self-destruct timer of around 24 hours. The exact time might vary depending on the victim’s const.i.tution, but it should plague its victims for at least 24 hours. Four hours had pa.s.sed since the start of the outbreak, so there were still twenty hours left on the clock.


That was enough time to do a lot of things.

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Star Rank Hunter Chapter 357 summary

You're reading Star Rank Hunter. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Chen Ci Lan Tiao, 陈词懒调, Lazy Cliché. Already has 20 views.

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