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Li Yiming had a dream. He dreamt that he was falling down from the sky in a ball of fire, being consumed by the flames like a meteor. He could see glaciers, oceans, deserts, and mountains slowly become bigger and bigger. Just before he landed, he was caught by a giant hand, saving him from impact. Then, a gigantic golden hammer suddenly appeared and smashed his body. However, instead of feeling pain, Li Yiming felt as if all the impurities were being removed from his body with every stroke of the hammer, giving him a sense of warmth and comfort.
The scene then switched, and Li Yiming found himself in the middle of a battlefield between gods and demons, surrounded by bloodthirsty monsters. Without the slightest tinge of fear, he felt excited for the thrill of combat.
Then, the scene switched again and a placid surface of the ocean was laid before Li Yiming’s eyes. The water was of a crystalline blue, and he could see all the way to its bottom. As he sank into the water, a teardrop fell from the corner of his eye. Li Yiming could feel the despair, dejection, and sadness contained in it. After a very long while, the blazing sun eventually evaporated the entirety of the ocean, leaving the seabed exposed as well as a stone pillar.
“Hey, what are we doing here? What's the point of taking care of this corpse? It's been a year since he’s been in a coma.” As Li Yiming woke up from his dream, a low voice was heard on his right.
“Still better than going out on missions. Haven’t you watched the news? Four agents died on duty only this month.” Another voice was heard.
“You can't say things like that! Isn't this the best time to contribute to the country? That was our oath when we entered the agency…”
“Forget about it, you? Protect the country? With what, your few thousand a month salary? If you have the time to spare, how about you go find yourself a girlfriend? Otherwise, your lineage is going to be over.”
“Hey! What are you… Ah!”
“What’s the fuss all about? Getting riled up at a joke?”
“No… It's him… he’s awake!”
“The dead guy, behind you!”
The two young agents stood there and stared at Li Yiming.
“Where am I?” As Li Yiming opened his eyes, he found himself in a hospital room, tubes connected to all corners of his body. In front of him stood two young men dressed in black.
“Quick! Inform the secretary!” One of the agents instantly rushed out of the room. The other ran to the wall and pushed on an emergency call-out button.
When Lin Lu arrived in the unit, the tubes connected to Li Yiming had been removed, and he wore a white jacket which resembled a lab coat, its loose collar revealing his muscular chest. Having spent much time in the past year studying Li Yiming, Lin Lu thought of him to be a very mysterious figure, whose accomplishments after graduating college could not be described with just a few words. From her studies, Lin Lu had the impression that Li Yiming was more of a warm, radiant young man with a pleasant character. However, the young man she saw threw back a bone-chilling cold stare.
“Are you awake?” Lin Lu smiled as she walked toward the bed. She signaled toward the three medical personnel and the young agent, who all seemed very nervous, to leave the room.
It took a while before a response came from Li Yiming, as he was still deep in his own thoughts. ‘Sage, Heavenly Vein, thunder skills, Bai Ze… It’s all here… But why is my new Talent also here?’
“You've been unconscious for an entire year,” Lin Lu said as she examined Li Yiming closely. It seemed like whatever he had experienced over that year had changed him completely.
“An entire year?” Li Yiming asked with a hoarse voice.
“Yes, one year and twenty-one days to be exact.” Lin Lu nodded and poured a glass of water for him.
“Did you guys save me?” Li Yiming sipped the water after inspecting the cup. The water tasted somewhat sweet and soothed his anxiousness.
“You could say that. You were unconscious when we found you. This is a special medical facility dedicated to National Security.”
“Where did you find me?” Li Yiming asked the most important question.
“In the backstage of the music festival venue.” Lin Lu focused on discerning any potential tell-tale signs.
“Was there anyone else?”
“No, only you. Also, we couldn’t find that girl called Shao Xian…”
“Thank you for answering.” Li Yiming nodded.
‘Nothing? Nothing after an entire year spent in a coma? What happened to him during the year?’ Lin Lu suddenly realized that Li Yiming was abnormally calm for how long he had spent unconscious.
“A lot has happened over the past year…” Lin Lu sighed.
Li Yiming stared at the wall in front of him as his thoughts raced. ‘Backstage? So the sports stadium didn’t get destroyed? Does this mean that I’m back to reality?’
“Over the past year, the world has been flooded with supernatural occurrences,” Lin Lu revealed the truth to Li Yiming.
“What?” This revelation caught Li Yiming’s attention.
“Abnormal seasons, monsters, impossible crimes…” Lin Lu gave as much detail as she could.
“What else?” Li Yiming pressed on. Although he had recovered his strength as a sage, he felt like something was missing.
“Snow in the middle in June, and the Southern Sea froze overnight. Monsters in the desert up north, and a huge sum of cash vanishing from a bank in a western city…” Lin Lu said.
“Yes, an entire squadron of border patrol was wiped out overnight. The only clue we have is some remaining surveillance footage of a monster with three legs, six wings, the head of a wolf, and the body of an ox.”
‘Three legs, six wings, the head of a wolf and the body of an ox? Am I still in a domain?’ Li Yiming had a hard time imagining such a monstrosity.
“When the ocean froze, three fishing ships were caught in the ice. A giant snake attacked them, but someone cut the monster into two with a single slice.”
“A single slice?”
“Yes, as witnessed by all one hundred thirty-five crew members on board.”
“What happened to the body?”
“It's being studied at the research center. DNA analysis showed that it doesn’t belong to any species known on Earth.”
Li Yiming brushed his forehead with his right hand. The most recent event he could recall was being attacked by Mr. Xie, and he was unable to remember anything that had happened afterward.
“Don’t you have anything to say?” Lin Lu asked in all seriousness.
“What are you expecting?” Li Yiming put his hand down. He finally realized what was wrong: he was unable to feel any emotions.
“An explanation. An explanation for the two hundred seventy-two soldiers, nineteen agents, and ninety-three civilians who died. This is why we have spent so much time and effort trying to save you. We’ve been closely monitoring your body the entire time, it's not possible for an ordinary person to maintain such levels of biological activity after a year spent in a coma.”
“As you said, I’ve been in a coma for the past year.” Li Yiming said impassively.
“The man who killed the giant snake showed up later. He rescued some civilians from a car accident,” Lin Lu added.
“What do you want?”
“The country needs you, I would like to invite you to join National Security.”
“Help me find someone, and I’ll accept all of your demands,” Li Yiming said after a long silence.
“Liu Meng.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter