Hao Ren was wondering if this underground facility was a part of a spaceship.
Lily peered through the window glass, her tail wagging in the air. "Whoa... look at that high-tech stuff."
Andaherr came before the metal door and clumsily fiddled on the control panel on the side of the door. "Why didn't you go in with them?" Hao Ren asked.
"This facility has been dormant for too long. According to Vogus, some equipment in the core had been shut down due to mechanical failure, and they did not manage to restart them in time. Without that equipment, which was the controller, they could only manually closed the door from the outside," Andaherr explained. She was not very familiar with Tannaean technology though she had learned a thing or two about technologies on Earth. "Someone had to stay back. That'd got to be me."
"Why you?" Vivian asked, looking at Andaherr suspiciously. "I do not doubt anything but just feeling that it made no sense."
Vivian's doubt was understandable especially when Andaherr was an elder of the demon hunters. It did not matter whether Andaherr volunteered it and how much the Ancattero family trusted her, the job should not be on her shoulder. It was even more puzzling when Andaherr had no clue how to operate the facility as they could see how she bungled now. It would only be more appropriate for the technician of the Ancattero family to do the job, Vivian so thought.
Andaherr sighed. "Because I could cast myself the Mind Shackle spell. At that time, the Shades of Chaos had almost overrun the realm and many people, including me, were affected. We fought the shadows back with our will, and we finally got to the sanctuary. We didn't know how long we could hold on. We had to make sure that the one person who stayed behind wouldn't lose his mind and screw up, such as cutting off the power supply to the life support system, before the door shut. I was the best candidate for the job."
Andaherr had left out many details, but one could guess why she made such a decision at that time. When possessed by the Shades of Chaos, thoughts, and loyalty were meaningless, the only person with the strongest mind would survive and whether that person was a demon hunter or an otherworldling was irrelevant. They had decided to choose Andaherr, who was still fully awake, to complete the job. After shutting the door to the hibernation chamber, Andaherr would cast herself the Mind Shackle spell to prevent the Shades of Chaos from possessing her, and if worse comes to worst, she could self-terminate anytime.
Andaherr fumbled with the control panel for a while before finally figuring out the way to open the door. As the heavy alloy door slid open slowly to both sides with a clonk, a gust of freezing air rushed out from the inside.
Lily felt the cold air hitting her on the face was refreshing. Perhaps she was thinking of her hometown.
They stepped into the hibernation chamber. Hao Ren and Vivian quickly went up to one of the nearest freezers, which was slender, oval in shape, with metal on the base and a transparent crystal and metal frame on the upper part forming an egg-shell-like structure. A cold mist was flowing out from the bottom of the freezer and spread out to the surroundings and under their feet.
Each freezer housed a Tannaean, eyes closed, and immersed in a jelly-like solution. They all looked like they were sleeping.
"The freezer is leaking." Hao Ren looked at the white, chilly mist under their feet, brows knitting together. To the layman, the low temperature in the hibernation chamber was normal because it was consistent with the 'atmosphere,' but Hao Ren thought otherwise; it was a system failure. The oval containers were the freezer. These freezers had to maintain a low enough temperature to keep the Tannaeans inside alive. Keeping the temperate low outside the freezers was a waste of energy, it was not part of the design. There was only one reason for the existence of cold air in the room: system malfunction.
"The cooling pipes are too old; they're leaking," the MDT said. It had found the source of the leakage. There were refrigerant liquids and jelly-like substances leaking out from the bases of the freezers. "Start the wake-up procedure immediately!" the MDT said.
Andaherr was already at it. Standing at the console at the end of the room, she pulled the level to initiate the freezer shut-down procedure. But thick ice was covering the surface of the console. Lily had to thaw the control panel first with her Flamejoy. The internal of the control panel was not affected though. Soon, the freezers opened as airlock valves released the pressure.
A hologram popped up on each of the freezer showing the current state of the system. Almost every hologram was flashing its alarm; life signals in many of the fridges were weak.
Vivian immediately lunged forwards, getting the Tannaeans slowly on the floor. Some were slipping out and falling. She called out to other demon hunters, "Hurry up, help them!"
The demon hunters could not care less about racial difference now. They quickly went up to help the Tannaeans. There were a few hundred Ancattero family members in the freezers when the freezers opened, they slid and fell out all at the same time. It was chaotic. Hao Ren and Vivian held a Tannaean out of the fridge. A strange jelly-like substance covered the Tannaean, and his body was cold. However, Vivian found the Tannaean still had pulses. "This one is still alive!"
Hao Ren looked up; there were just not enough hands. He reached into his dimensional pocket and took out his secret weapon. "All right, people, keep calm. We have some little helping hands here!"
A few curious demon hunters came up to see what Hao Ren was up to. Space cracks began to appear around Hao Ren before hordes of mechanical tentacles emerged from the inside. The silver metallic monsters were making a series of weird sounds and started picking up the frozen Tannaeans on the floor. At first glance, it was as if there was a squid lair in the room and Hao Ren was the lair itself.
The demon hunters almost jumped out of their skins. If not for Hao Ren had given them a heads-up, they would have drawn their weapon by now. "What are these things?" Andaherr asked in amazement.
"It's called technology!" the MDT hovered in the air and issued instructions to the tentacles using a blue light beam. "Lift them to the outside, where it's airier than the inside. Treat those I've marked first. Is anyone good at Fire Magic? We need you. White Flame, stop looking at others, I mean you! Any others who are good at giving out heat?"
Y'zaks and Y'lisabet each carried a huge lava ball and walked to the outside. Hao Ren quickly stopped them. "Wait a second! Y'zaks, your lava ball isn't suitable for this!"
Happily, Lily held up her Flamejoy. "What about mine?"
Hao Ren looked at the sharp claws in her hands and the zealousness on her face. "Maybe next time," he said.
Lily glared at him. "You don't trust my claws, do you?" she asked.
"I just don't trust your brain."
Lily's claws could not help it when the frozen Tannaeans needed more delicate handling. Other than barbecuing, Hao Ren would not let Lily roast anything else.
With the help of the autonomous robots, the rescue work went smoothly. The frozen Tannaeans had been transferred to the outside. Hasse had set up an enchanted barrier at the doorway to prevent the freezing air from leaking out to the outside. Although the hibernation freezer system had malfunctioned, the safety mechanism of these oval containers seemed to be working, as all Tannaeans were still alive.
The hall outside the hibernation chamber was filled with frozen Tannaeans. The demon hunters, Wayne, and Hao Ren were working together, helping each other. Vivian saw the scene and could not help but mumble, "Are you guys not friends now?"
Suddenly, Andaherr called out not far away, "Vogus is here! He is still alive!"