Daily Disposable Persona - Chapter 58
Late at night, a message was posted on the Miskatonic app.
【Request for Help】Unidentified alien species appears in New York, USA
@Investigator Saugus: 【picture】【picture】
On the other side of the planet it was the middle of the night, but all of North America still had the sun on its back. Only the metropolis of New York City, known as the city that never sleeps, was under a curtain of darkness, as quiet as if it were entirely depopulated.
Then the empty streets suddenly flooded with horrible monsters. They walked with their backs bowed and their hands stretched in front of them. They were like zombies from a post-apocalyptic movie, a sight that made one’s skin crawl.
Several investigators who were sitting late at night in MU frowned.
“How could ghouls show up so brazenly on the streets of New York?”
Hoshino Kota took a sip of coffee as he walked into the conference room in his pajamas and slippers. When he saw the image on the projector, the scruffy uncle sharpened his gaze.
Every investigator who’d taken a biology class was familiar with ghouls.
There was a large population of ghouls in the Dreamlands. They worshipped Nodens, the Lord of the Abyss, and lived in a subterranean region beneath the main continental plate of the realm. Their lair was capable of moving between the real world and the Dreamlands.
MU had a good relationship with ghouls as well as nightgaunts, the result of establishing friendly diplomatic relations. Every year, MU sent a research team to explore the depths of the Dreamlands. If they encountered any danger along the way, ghouls would offer assistance. That was one reason the ghouls’ language was offered as an optional course at MU. Occasionally professors would take students to interact with ghouls in person.
Compared with the ghouls in the Dreamlands, real-world ghouls were far more dangerous.
Ghouls in the real world lived in the underground sewers of major cities. Generally speaking, they wouldn’t appear in front of people voluntarily unless they’d made a contract with cultists or witches, in which case they would carry out their orders.
“The time the stars will return is drawing near. Maybe the ghouls have been summoned by their Lord.”
Darwin stepped into the conference room with a tweed coat hastily draped over his body. There was a serious expression on his face.
“None of that matters. What matters is what the US authorities intend to do.”
Anastasia put away her fan. The Russian beauty had a sarcastic look on her face. “Such a big disaster in New York, yet they refused help from the occult world. What are those politicians thinking?”
Every nation had an agreement with the occult community. Whenever an abnormal phenomenon happened around the globe, the first requirement was to report it to the Spire Council.
And yet, after such a terrible event happened, the first choice of U.S. authorities was to hide the news and warn investigators stationed in New York.
If an investigator hadn’t been attacked by ghouls and given no choice but to post the story on the Miskatonic app, it was likely the occult world would still be in the dark.
“Those damn politicians!”
Another investigator had a gloomy expression. “Don’t they know how many innocent citizens will die as a result? Those are ghouls! They can assimilate human beings!”
That was the scariest part. If the matter wasn’t handled quickly, it was possible that all of New York would become a city of zombies wearing human skin.
“It’s not like the United States stood by and did nothing. After the situation got out of control, they secretly sealed off all of New York City.”
An investigator said, “Just three hours after the occult world got the news, they announced a leak at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in New York State. They issued an emergency notice to the public to leave as soon as possible after quarantine.”
“But ten hours earlier, their president gave a speech to reassure the public and said all the rumors were unfounded.”
“Isn’t that how the United States usually operates?”
As Anastasia sneered, her chest heaved violently. It was clear how angry she was.
Among the people present, she was the most upset. It was because she’d been in a similar situation before, deceived by the authorities.
“It’s already 2019, but it’s hardly been thirty years since the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. I guess people forget the pain as soon as the wounds have healed.”
Silence fell in the conference room. Even the U.S. authorities, who’d just connected, didn’t speak.
The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 wasn’t a tragedy just for the occult community, but for the entire world.
The incident began when a superior independent species known as the Color Out of Space entered the atmosphere from elsewhere in the universe and landed in the territory of Ukraine. It just happened to end up near the fourth generator unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union.
The Color Out of Space was in a debilitated state. It began to eat, and it was insatiable, plundering nearby life force in a frenzy. It didn’t even spare basic carbohydrates. In the end it evaporated all the water used to cool the nuclear reactor. This was what caused the subsequent reactor explosion.
The tragedy could have been avoided. That night, in the small town of Pripyat, which was only twenty-five kilometers away from the nuclear power plant, several people saw colorful star fragments falling in the night sky, like a shooting star with a long tail, descending in the direction of the nuclear power plant. Residents reported the incident to the Soviet General Administration.
Even worse, after the Chernobyl leak, Soviet authorities chose to conceal the matter for the sake of their international image. The occult world was kept in the dark.
The damage caused by the Color Out of Space not only led to the explosion and containment leak of the nuclear reactor, it also ravenously absorbed all nearby life force. The area was razed and turned into a dead city.
The follow-up to the incident was so grave that it exceeded the imagination of all countries on the planet. Since then, the incident was taken as a warning to be written into the history of the entire occult world, a permanent reminder to future generations to never make such mistakes again.
Anastasia was Russian, but before the collapse of the Soviet Union, she was a Soviet citizen. Unfortunately, she was one of the thousands of victims of Chernobyl.
At the time of the nuclear plant disaster, Anastasia was less than ten years old. The radiation changed her body and contributed to her early awakening.
It was fortunate that she awakened because it saved her life. Later, in order to make sure the tragedy would never happen again, she went to Miskatonic University, then chose to go to graduate school while working as an investigator. Finally, she became one of the surviving senior investigators.
“Investigators are urgently requested to travel to New York. We can’t allow this matter to get any worse.”
Darwin snuffed out his cigarette. “Ghouls who live in the real world usually believe in one of the Great Old Ones. If we don’t stop them, the consequences can be imagined.
“Now that this has happened, we can only do our best to keep it from getting worse.
“I suspect this won’t be easy to resolve. We can see from the pictures how serious the situation is in New York. We should contact the nine Monarchs. Humanity shares a common destiny—in the face of the evil gods, we must stand united.”
Fortunately, the situation hadn’t deteriorated to the point where the occult world wasn’t able to intervene. They still had time to deploy their teams.
“No, it’s not nine Monarchs anymore.”
Just as the people in the conference room were about to leave to begin emergency preparations, an investigator with a document in his hand entered the room. There was unconcealed excitement in his voice. “The Chinese Dragon Group just confirmed that humanity has a tenth Monarch.”
A new Monarch-level Awakened was so significant to the human race that joy appeared on the faces of all the investigators present.
“Who is it? Could it be that captain of the Dragon Group who was stuck at Auxiliary level?”
“Out of the ten Monarchs, China accounts for three. Worthy of such an ancient Eastern country.”
“No,” the investigator denied. “The new Monarch-level is very young, apparently just a teenager. The name is Zong Yan.”
For the last half a month, Zong Yan’s mind had been confused.
He went to get water after class, then took a copy of 《The Will to Power》 and read it at his desk.
But by the time the bell rang, he hadn’t even turned a single page.
The black-haired teen took out a bookmark, put the book aside, and looked out the window with his head propped in his hand.
In senior three, physical education was relatively unstructured. Art and music classes in Qingyang Senior High had been cancelled for the seniors. Only classes for lesser-known languages, which were needed for college entrance exams, still remained.
Due to the intensive learning conditions, there was an added physical education section in senior three. The most important change was that physical education teachers no longer gave instructions, but directly opened the activity room and let students choose their own equipment for exercise.
A lot of boys played basketball with their shoulders huddled together, while girls played badminton or volleyball.
Zong Yan turned over the physics paper beneath his hand and his melancholy deepened.
Half a month ago, he agreed to an evil god physics tutorial from Yog-Sothoth. And then he got punked.
It turned out that the textbooks of the Great Race of Yith liked to toy with people’s minds. Zong Yan took in so much knowledge at once that his entire body erupted with pain. He accidentally triggered his Second Awakening early.
That’s what members of the Dragon Team told him the next afternoon.
The Dragon Group’s detection devices picked up traces of a violent awakening source. At first they thought a powerful monster had descended on Jiangzhou. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be Zong Yan’s Second Awakening.
The speed left He Yuan and Si Yan shocked, as well as all of the Dragon Group’s senior management.
Zong Yan had his first awakening just a few months ago. Such a short amount of time had passed. How could he awaken again so soon?
No one would dare to believe that kind of speed, let alone the fact that Zong Yan had been Monarch-level from the start. No one was brave enough to speculate what state he’d reach after Second Awakening.
The Dragon Group wanted to take Zong Yan back for a systematic test to determine his peak ability level.
Zong Yan: …
Avoid, duck out, no need! I’m just a weak, pathetic, helpless counterfeit goods Monarch. It’s okay if we just pretend, is it really necessary to test, you think I don’t need any self-esteem?!
In the end, the Black Pharaoh, whose video game had been interrupted, waved his hand and tampered with reality. The Dragon Group members quietly went away. Their plan to test the new tenth Monarch was safely buried in the back of their minds.
But the tenth Monarch was still crowned.
Zong Yan’s Second Awakening was the best news the occult world had received in a while.
But Zong Yan didn’t pay much attention to those things. He was more concerned about what happened to him while he was unconscious.
All he remembered was a splitting headache, his entire body was in excruciating pain, and his mind was about to split into pieces.
It wasn’t the first time Zong Yan experienced that kind of thing. After using the Azathoth card a second time he had a similar reaction. It was agonizing.
But this time seemed a little different.
Hot… so much scorching heat all over his body.
It was like he’d been thrown into the searing, sun-baked land of the Sahara desert. Like a fish desperate for water he was about to die under the scalding waves of heat in a sea of sand.
It was by no means a pleasant feeling. Zong Yan might be afraid of cold, but this was far beyond the temperature range he could tolerate. Any higher and the proteins of his body would begin to lesion, and then he would die gloriously in his bed.
It was at that moment that an ice-cold spirit suddenly invaded his mind.
Zong Yan was being roasted by the flames. He didn’t hesitate at all, but immediately dragged this supreme spirit into the sea of his consciousness with all four limbs and refused to let go.
It felt so good.
In a haze, Zong Yan felt like he’d been wrapped in something, then emerged in the vastness of the universe.
There was a sphere formed from millions upon millions of brilliant lights, a miracle of continuous aggregation and fission.
He couldn’t have said why, but on seeing this huge sphere he felt inexplicably close to it. So Zong Yan very cautiously stretched out a thinking tentacle towards the entity and touched it.
And then, and then there was no then.
When Zong Yan woke up, he saw Nyarlathotep’s severed limbs tumbling to the ground. Apparently that guy had tried to invade his mind again, but suffered consequences beyond description.
And the Lord of Time and Space was still floating in the air, looking over with eyes that were full of meaning.
Zong Yan: …?
But he didn’t care about any of that. He was more worried about his physics score.
Speaking of which, there was some bad news.
That was because the physics of the Yith race was too advanced, and the physics taught in senior high school only included a small portion of human physics. When doing questions, Zong Yan often thought in a super-hyperactive way, and ran himself into a dead end.
Therefore, strictly speaking, his physics performance didn’t improve that much. Instead he wrote so many dialectical formulas that even the teacher couldn’t understand, which made it impossible to argue that his answer was correct. Instead of advancing he retreated.
From 35 points, he regressed to 25.
The author has something to say:
Zong Yan: You give back my physics score!! Give me back my 35 points!!
witch – 魔女 – mónǚ – Alternatively: sorceress, succubus, female demon, female ghost
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant – The Indian Point Energy Center permanently ceased power operations in 2021 (Wikipedia)
the rumors were unfounded – 空穴来风 – An empty hole invites the wind — weakness lends wings to rumours; There is something behind this; Wind comes from the hollow cave — being not a groundless rumour
Worthy of such an ancient Eastern country – Sorry but this part made me lol. As did the section in Chapter 16 where MU students were stunned that Zong Yan ate his food with little “Harry Potter wands” (AKA chopsticks). Like seriously…? Hahaha
The Will to Power – 权力意志 – A book drawn from the notes of Friedrich Nietzsche after his death, published in 1901 (Wikipedia). It contains an example of the “Nietzschean affirmation” of life, an embrace of the terrors of nature and history, as opposed to a Buddhistic negation of the will and the world in general:
“If we affirm one single moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence. For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event—and in this single moment of affirmation, all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed.” (source)
Any higher and the proteins of his body would begin to lesion – 再高一点蛋白质就要病变 – This may be a reference to heat shock proteins generated when the body is in heat shock or under similar stress
Transliterated names, titles, and places—new in this chapter:
New York – 纽约 – Niǔ Yuē
USA – 美国 – Měi Guó
(Investigator) Saugus – 索格思 – Suǒgésī – Alternatively: Soggs, Sorgus, Soguth
Indian Point Nuclear Reactor Nuclear Power Plant – 州印第安角核反应堆核电站
Soviet Union – 苏联 – Sū Lián
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant – 切尔诺贝利核电站
Pripyat – 普里皮亚季 – Pǔlǐpíyàjì
The Color Out of Space (previously mentioned in Chapter 38):
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