What It's Like Being a Vampire-Chapter 227 - : Listen, the Sound of the Horn

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Chapter 227: Chapter 227: Listen, the Sound of the Horn

Translator: 549690339

In the public statements given by current and former employees of “Divine Technology” on various platforms, Xiang Kun had hardly seen any mention of Lu Cheng’an. Most of them referred to the heads of various branches and their two CEOs.

Judging from various remarks, no one mentioned that “Divine Technology” was tracking and researching any mutants. Even looking at Divine Technology’s layout, they didn’t seem to have much investment in biotechnology.

However, considering previous conversations he heard which mentioned the signing of a confidentiality agreement, it seemed that few people knew the inside story, and those who did would not blabber. And even those who knew the relevant details, how much they actually knew was uncertain. At least according to the conversation he overheard outside the hotel in the village, they didn’t really know what the project they were working on was for.

Xiang Kun was very curious and cautious when it came to “Divine Technology” and Lu Cheng’an, but he wouldn’t expose himself just for the sake of investigation. He needed to plan for the long term and slowly find clues.

Like for instance, the dead body of the wild boar, and the ordeal encountered by Host Xue and his team. “Divine Technology” had taken notice and sent people to investigate, suggesting that there were likely to be more findings.

If they made any discoveries, they were bound to arrange for more people to explore the area further. There was a chance they would locate the territory where the mutated spider formerly roamed and controlled, and perhaps even find the old nest of the mutated spider in the cliffside cave.

Although they would not be able to locate the mutated spider or its body tissues, given their modus operandi – shipping out even the rotting boar corpse and soil samples – if they could confirm that it was the spider’s nest, everything inside would most likely be transported back.

If so, the “traps” he had previously set up inside the cave could serve their purpose.

Then, without having to make the effort and take the risk to investigate now, he would naturally be able to find out where those items end up.

However, if they couldn’t locate the spider’s habitat or the cliffside cave, or if they couldn’t ascertain any connection between these places and the entities they were pursuing, it would prove that “Divine Technology” and the organization behind it had limited understanding of vampires and mutants. Their assessment and tracking capabilities would be negligible and, as a result, the threat to Xiang Kun would naturally diminish.

Last night when checking the data Alice had collected, there was some information on the follow-up news about Host Xue and his team as well as online discussions.

Some media had received part of the video footage taken when Host Xue and his team entered the Qinling Uninhabited Area for the second time. However, there was nothing unusual in these videos, let alone any content about them mistakenly eating poisonous fruit or getting lost in the forest.

Official notes provided detailed information about the wild fruit that the team had consumed, even including relevant pictures. They stated that eating this poisonous fruit would cause symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, aphasia, hallucinations, and confusion. In severe cases, it could lead to death. As to why the field survival expert acting as their “guide” didn’t recognize the poisonous fruit and let the three of them eat it, the news explained that they might have mistaken the poisonous berry for an edible one.

However, the three of them did not die directly from the poisonous fruit, but under its influence, they stripped naked, abandoned all their equipment, and eventually died of cold and hunger after getting lost in the mountains.

But through the memory fragments of the mutated spider that Xiang Kun obtained, he knew those people, like the leopard used as bait, were all deceived into eating the fruit created by the “Transformation Branch”, and their abnormal behavior, including swallowing other poisonous fruits, was influenced by this fruit.

The mutated spider did not feed on the blood of Host Xue and his team, it merely let them die of cold and hunger while it observed from a distance.

From the memory fragments of the mutated spider, Xiang Kun couldn’t directly read its thoughts, but he could infer its intentions based on numerous fragments.

Xiang Kun believed that the intelligence of the mutated spider was indeed much higher than he initially thought. It was likely that the spider could determine whether or not the people entering the mountain had detected its presence and whether or not they posed a threat to it.

The reason the spider killed Host Xue and his team was not due to its desire for blood, but because they had encroached upon its territory and could potentially pose a threat to its survival. This threat did not stem from them individually, but rather from humanity as a whole.

It probably had a certain degree of understanding of human strength, as many memory fragments consisted of it observing human dwellings from a distance, spying on towns, and monitoring humans entering the mountain from hidden spots in the forest. Once it had the ability to graft “Transformation Branches” and “Reformation Branches” onto plants, this observation probably expanded far beyond the memory fragments that Xiang Kun saw.

In fact, Xiang Kun reckoned that many of the mutated spider’s memory fragments he had obtained possibly came from sensory information detected by the “Transformation Branches” and “Reformation Branches”.

These memory fragments, when he first woke up, presented themselves as a void to his senses, a void similar to what Xiao Pingguo sensed in her dreams, but in a way that encompassed all senses from hearing, smell, to vision.

It was as if there was a folder titled “Mutated Spider Memory Fragments” filled with video files. When opened, they would display individual memory fragments. However, a small portion of the files lacked extensions, and no software could open them. Yet they indeed existed there.

At first, Xiang Kun thought that there was a problem when he obtained the spider’s memory from the blood, which resulted in those memory fragments being damaged and not completely acquired.

However, after his latest blood feeding, Xiang Kun’s unique integrated cognitive mode had been enhanced further. And after he whimsically developed cognitive models for these “void” memory fragments, he suddenly realized that these “void” memory fragments might not be incomplete memory fragments at all. Instead, they were probably information that the mutated spider had obtained through the grafting of “branches”. Just because Xiang Kun was not the mutated spider and lacked certain functionalities to decode the information transferred by the “Transformation Branches” and “Reformation Branches”, he couldn’t “read” these memory fragments correctly.

It was as if one had opened files without extensions in Notepad, finding a heap of gibberish. You know they indeed contain “content” and “information”, but the method you used to open them was incorrect.

Xiang Kun knew earlier that the mutated spider could gather information through those “branches”, but he wasn’t exactly sure what kind of information it could sense. It probably wasn’t simple visual information, and might not be sound or smell either, but rather another form of perceptual information.

Could it be electromagnetic waves?

Xiang Kun felt that after he had learned to read and sense these “void memory fragments,” he could probably upgrade his cognitive skills even further, and maybe even obtain more feedback from objects he had “Super Sensory Contact” and “Emotional Infusion” with.

What originally seemed like “garbage files” could turn into “treasures”.

After reaching the station, Xian Kun took a taxi to the address Xiao Pingguo provided on WeChat.

Although it was Christmas day in the West, it was not a public holiday in China, so Professor Li Yang still had classes. The one who opened the door for Xiang Kun at Xiao Pingguo’s home was a middle-aged woman whom Pingguo referred to as “Aunt Yang”.

Xiao Pingguo’s home was quite large, with a three bedroom and two living room layout. But similar to Xiang Kun’s house, there was very little furniture, the decorations were simple, and it looked spacious and clean. There were no excessive stools or chairs cluttering the place, every item was placed in its proper position, and almost all the furniture, such as tables and cabinets, had their edges padded.

Xiao Pingguo was naturally overjoyed at Xiang Kun’s arrival, and equally excited to see “Glitter” again after nearly half a month. As soon as Xiao Pingguo opened the cage, Glitter flew onto Xiang Kun’s arm and started chirping energetically.

“Uncle Xiang, ‘Golden Twinkle’ is just too cunning! It can pretend to be dead! It scared me so bad before, I thought it was ill, I almost cried! And, it’s such a picky eater! Especially picky!”

As Xiao Pingguo was settling Xiang Kun down, she began to recount the many fun things about ‘Golden Twinkle’ over recent days. She had actually mentioned all these to Xiang Kun through WeChat before, but now that she was “seeing” Xiang Kun, she couldn’t help but talk about them again.

Aunt Yang, who had been polite but slightly guarded when first welcoming Xiang Kun in, relaxed considerably seeing Xiao Pingguo’s unusual excitement and cheerfulness. She poured Xiang Kun a cup of hot tea and then lovingly helped Xiao Pingguo smooth down her somewhat messy bangs.

Despite it being their first encounter and little dialogue having occurred since Xiang Kun had stepped into the house, Xiang Kun inferred from his understanding of “Aunt Yang” that she indeed cared deeply for Xiao Pingguo. Her affection for this blind girl was clearly more than out of her duty as a caregiver to her employer.

After a while, Xiao Pingguo brought up a pile of computer-related questions. To Xiang Kun’s surprise, judging from her questions, her knowledge of computers had greatly improved during this period, indicating that she had been self-studying.

Although he had already completed “Alice”, he was still willing to continue teaching Xiao Pingguo, who showed an interest in computer science.

Xiao Pingguo was blind but remarkably intelligent, with strong memory, comprehension, and abstract thinking skills. She often grasped things at first teaching. Teaching her was very fulfilling for Xiang Kun.

Thanks to multiple experiences of Xiao Pingguo’s dreamland, Xiang Kun had a clear understanding of her unique cognitive pattern and thinking method, often able to provide explanations and analogies that she could easily understand.

For example, focusing more on tactile descriptions rather than visual ones, and associating more with things that she could touch, rather than “see”.

So listening to Xiang Kun explaining issues was just as easy for Xiao Pingguo. It felt even more efficient than when her dad was teaching her, she had an inexplicable feeling as if Xiang Kun has also been blind before and can empathize with her.

Thus, Xiang Kun, who was supposed to pick up ‘Golden Twinkle’, ended up giving Xiao Pingguo an impromptu computer lesson for over an hour at her house.

However, when “Aunt Yang” was about to cook, Xiang Kun had an idea. He told Xiao Pingguo to play with ‘Golden Twinkle’ first, while he went to the kitchen.

“Hello, are you making fried eggplant? Xiao Pingguo visited my house before and liked my cooking. So, I want to make a dish for her this afternoon.” Xiang Kun politely said.

“Aunt Yang” had seen Xiang Kun patiently “lecturing” Xiao Pingguo and had a good impression of this young man. Still, she had doubts when she heard he wanted to cook for Xiao Pingguo and hinted:

“You are our guest. Just chat with Xiao Pingguo. I’ll handle lunch. If you do the cooking, Professor Li will blame me when he comes back. Don’t take this personally, I’ve been cooking for over 20 years. I even had a little restaurant near their school. I guarantee you will like the taste.”

She was indirectly saying that her culinary skills were definitely better than Xiang Kun’s.

As soon as Xiang Kun walked into the kitchen, he saw that “Aunt Yang” was a seasoned cook. But he was sure the dish he was going to make would suit Xiao Pingguo’s taste, since she and Professor Li had eaten his food twice before. He insisted: “Let me try it and you can oversee?”

Seeing Xiang Kun’s insistence, “Aunt Yang” had no choice but to step aside and watch Xiang Kun start cooking.

An expert can be judged by his actions, and as soon as “Aunt Yang” saw Xiang Kun’s efficient food prep, she knew he definitely cooked frequently, and felt reassured.

By the time “Aunt Yang” walked out of the kitchen, Xiao Pingguo had already stood by the kitchen door. She obviously knew it was “Aunt Yang” through the scent and footsteps, and chuckled, “Aunt Yang, Uncle Xiang is also great at cooking, especially rabbit meat. Last time when my dad and I visited Uncle Xiang, he made several dishes with rabbit meat, which were all very tasty. Uncle Xiang said he’s planning to open a rabbit-based restaurant in the future.”

By the time Professor Li returned home, Xiang Kun was just stepping out of the kitchen, having cooked four dishes even though he originally planned to make only one.

Seeing the dishes, “Aunt Yang” was full of praise for Xiang Kun’s cooking skills without even having tasted them.

Professor Li felt a bit awkward. After eating twice at Xiang Kun’s house, he had intended to invite Xiang Kun to their house to return the favor.

He hadn’t expected that even at his own house, it was still Xiang Kun who ended up doing the cooking.

But there was no denying that Xiang Kun’s food was delicious. Even with ordinary ingredients and regular seasoning that was already available in the house, the resulting taste was incredibly delightful.

After dinner, Professor Li originally planned to take Xiang Kun and Xiao Pingguo to visit some local attractions.

But Xiang Kun suggested visiting the park outside their community instead.

After arriving at the park with Golden Twinkle’s birdcage, Xiang Kun let Professor Li and Xiao Pingguo sit on a long wooden bench, then he sat down next to them.

“Xiang Kun, would you be interested in visiting our school?” Professor Li, with a smile, suggested. Sitting in the park, listening to the chirping of the birds and the surrounding sounds, smelling the fragrance of flowers and grass, was Xiao Pingguo’s favorite pastime. He thought that Xiang Kun was probably just humoring Xiao Pingguo by coming here. Xiang Kun himself, in his opinion, could probably find it quite boring just sitting here.

However, Xiang Kun, separated from him by Xiao Pingguo, smiled and said, “Professor Li, why don’t you go to the school first if you have a class this afternoon? I’ll keep Xiao Pingguo company, chat a bit, and then later I will send her home back to ‘Aunt Yang’.”

“No, I don’t have any classes in the afternoon. I was just worried you might get bored here…”

Xiang Kun then suddenly said, “Professor Li, did you hear that? The two short horn sounds just now?”

Professor Li frowned, thought for a few seconds, then with some confusion and curiosity, shook his head, “What horn noises? No, I didn’t hear any.” Saying this, he instinctively looked around. They were quite far from the main road after all.