I couldn’t explain that we had been parasitized by a fish since it would be too difficult for them to understand. I needed something simple and dangerous that would keep them from going in.
Fatty was pulled up next, but he was too weak to stand up. I heard someone ask, “Where’s Professor Wang?”
“There was an accident!” I shouted. “There’s something in there. Don’t go into the water! We’ve been poisoned!”
As we were lifted up and sent out, someone was still asking about Professor Wang. I recognized that it was his assistant’s voice, which was full of despair.
The sun was shining so brightly when I was carried out of the tunnel entrance that I couldn’t see anything and had to close my eyes. Accompanied by a medical officer, we were carried to a car which sped along the road.
I could actually sit up and do some things, but the medical officer was much more efficient. Once he started taking my basic vital signs in the car, I began chanting, “There are parasites in the vitreous body of my eyes and in my intestines. My muscles are also melting.” I felt someone pull my eyes open.
I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the doctor start making some phone calls.
I didn’t know how long it took to get to the hospital, but the doctor gave me some very bitter pills in the car. Then, I was quickly anesthetized and had a gastrointestinal endoscopy.
When I woke up, my eyes had already been operated on, and the gastrointestinal endoscopy had been done for about six hours. During the endoscopy, all of the small fish in my intestines were clamped to death with forceps, and then sucked out one by one.
I heard from the doctor that they performed cataract surgery to remove the small fish from my eyes. Almost all of the embryos had been attached to the part of the eye wall where light hit, but they had all avoided the pupils (1). The fish turned out to be very small and transparent.
Because Cysticercus cellulosae and Toxoplasma gondii (2) were also parasites that settled in the vitreous body, the hospital had corresponding treatment methods. Otherwise, there really wouldn’t have been a way to solve this strange situation. But when these small fish died, almost all of them dissolved so quickly that there wasn’t any evidence except for the photos from the gastrointestinal endoscopy. They looked at these photos and said that the fish resembled parasites, so it would have been difficult to explain what was wrong.
These small fish had small suckers on their mouths, which were firmly fixed to the skin. A female doctor with a pleasant-sounding voice said that the fish were probably a parasitic tropical catfish. There could still be some in my urethra, so I needed to find a kind of tea made from the fruit of a South American tree and drink it to dissolve the fish. That was what the local indigenous people did.
I didn’t drink this kind of tea in the end, but it didn’t matter. Our bodies kept leaking fluid, which seemed to be the result of our muscles melting. Later, it was discovered that Fatty and I both had severe muscle dissolution, which caused our urine to almost look brown.
This stopped soon after the parasitic fish problem was resolved. It seemed that after being parasitized by this fish, the body’s muscles and fat would be melted by some substance the fish secreted. It was just like spiders. Spiders didn’t eat meat, but injected digestive juice into their captured prey’s carcasses. After digesting the carcasses outside of the body, they sucked the prey dry.
As I wondered if these parasites were really causing my muscles to dissolve, I couldn’t help thinking about the “statue” with many hands. I didn’t know what it was, but since it had so many hands, was it a creature similar to a spider?
When I felt a little better, I started recording my statement. I knew that there was nothing to hide, so I only told the truth. Moreover, we had a pathological report to back us up. They examined Professor Wang’s body, so the hospital’s records would be able to confirm our claims.
My conclusions were as follows:
- It was impossible to use a water pump to pump out the accumulated water in the passage because it was connected to the underground river.
- There were strange fish that attacked people and other things in the muddy water, both of which were very dangerous. At the same time, there were parasitic fish in the water. None of these fish seemed to be native to the area and had the characteristics of some tropical fish. This seemed to indicate that the Extreme Sea’s water temperature would be higher in certain sections, and may even be heated with geothermal energy.
- Professor Wang’s theory was correct and there were countless cultural relics inside.
- Professor Wang had passed away.
Professor Wang took the risk and ventured in after us. I didn’t know why he couldn’t wait for us to come out; if he had, he would still be alive. But there was no way to go back and tell what he had been thinking at that time.
There must have been some hidden secrets in there, but time had been short, so we’d probably never know.
In the following week, the stitches were removed from our eyes. Someone helped Fatty over to my bed so that we could discuss the issues that had come up.
Professor Wang had been our only contact, so no one paid any attention to us after we left the archaeological team. An accountant who handled the reimbursement of medical expenses was the only exception. Because of this, we no longer knew about the subsequent excavation of the Taoist temple.
I figured that this matter would be suppressed for a long time before it was revealed as a huge archaeological discovery. But before that happened, there was no telling how long we’d have to wait.
The map and forest of stone epitaphs in the Taoist temple’s back hall were almost like a pompous display of power. It would be a huge project to find and inspect all of these ancient tombs. And according to Professor Wang, there were three huge world-class tombs mixed in among them. Based on our statements, I didn’t know which method the archeological team would use to break through the water-logged passage and enter the Taoist temple. But once they got inside, it would take at least a few years to sort out all of the treasures.
But all of this had nothing to do with us the moment we rushed out of the water.
<Chapter 17><Table of Contents><Chapter 19>
(1) See my lovely black arrow for the area of the eye that I think he’s talking about (or at least that general area):
(2) Cysticercus cellulosae is a tapeworm. It’s a small, sac-like vesicle resembling a bladder so it’s sometimes called a bladder worm. Info here. Toxoplasma gondii are single-celled parasites. Info here.
One thought on “Chapter 18”
they didn’t talk about that at all in the drama. could it become in the future, a ‘sequel’ (an extra) to reunion ( or rather another prequel)?