Chapter 474 - Coma
"She's in the hospital. Critical care unit." Mo Wu rubbed at the bridge of his nose.
"Is she… I heard she's in a coma," prompted Tang Wulin, hoping it wasn't true.
Mo Wu's face contorted in grief. His entire body sagged, the weight of the world upon his shoulders. "The medics managed to preserve her life but we don't know when she'll wake up."
The familiar sensation of drowning was back, yet Tang Wulin pushed it to the far recesses of his mind. This was no time to lose himself to sorrow. But he couldn't ignore the fact that the brain was an extremely complicated and weak organ. Unlike soul masters, ordinary people did not have the luxury of spiritual power to protect their brains. It would take a miracle for Mo Lan's brain to recover completely from the abuse it had sustained.
"The doctors and soul master medics can't do anything?" Tang Wulin asked, grasping for any straws.
Mo Wu heaved a sigh. "They've tried everything. Nothing worked. It's just too difficult to restore someone's mind. The best they can do for now is preserve her life."
Tang Wulin turned to Zhen Hua. "Uncle-master, is there anything you can do?"
Mo Wu's eyes lit up. As a Divine Blacksmith, he might know a soul master powerful enough to heal Mo Lan.
After a moment of thought, Zhen Hua said, "I can't let a hero's sacrifice go unrewarded. Administrator Mo, I will do my best to help her. Let me make a few calls. I'll be back in a moment."
Mo Wu laughed, deep and hoarse, and with one look it was certain he had brightened, shrugging off the greys that had colored his being. While he had put up a brave front as an administrator of Heaven Dou City, Mo Lan was still his daughter! His life would lose all meaning without her. Zhen Hua's help rekindled the dying embers of his hope. He clung to it. If Zhen Hua's contact still could not save her, then that would be the moment he despaired.
A few minutes later, Zhen Hua returned. He said to Mo Wu, "I asked a Titled Douluo healer to come treat your daughter. Let's hope for the best."
Mo Wu rejoiced, bowing his head again and again as he thanked Zhen Hua.
In terms of cultivation difficulty, food and healing-types ranked the highest among soul masters. A healing-type Titled Douluo was as rare as a unicorn! The best healing-type Heaven Dou City had to offer was a Soul Sage. That was a difference of two whole soul rings. With a Titled Douluo treating her, the chances of Mo Lan's recovery were high! But if a Titled Douluo failed, then Mo Lan's fate was sealed. Even so, Mo Wu couldn't help but desperately cling to this thread of hope.
"There's no need to thank me," Zhen Hua said. "I just happened to be here and have the ability to help, so I did. The Titled Douluo should be here in about an hour. Get ready to receive her."
"Uncle Mo Wu, can you take me to see Big Sis Mo Lan?" Tang Wulin asked.
Mo Wu nodded, his eyes still red with tears. He glanced at Zhen Hua, wondering what the man's plans were.
"I haven't seen my friend in a long time. I'll come with you and wait for her arrival. I don't have any plans today anyway." He had to see things through the end.
Mo Wu couldn't express how grateful he was to Zhen Hua. As a Divine Blacksmith, Zhen Hua was undoubtedly one of the busiest people in the world. There was no way he hadn't had any plans for the day.
Mo Wu called for a car to take them to the Heaven Dou Hospital a few blocks away. This was where Mo Lan was being treated. Careful to not cause a disturbance, he brought his guests in through the VIP entrance, then led them straight to the critical care ward.
Due to Mo Lan's condition, they weren't allowed into her room. They could only watch her through the thin glass wall.
Tang Wulin's vision blurred as he took in the sight of Mo Lan. He could barely recognize her. Her head was swollen and her features deformed, layers of gauze covering the worst of the worst. Tubes and wires ran through her, hooked up to a monitor, sustaining her life.
"Big Sis Mo Lan…" Tang Wulin couldn't hold it back any longer. The tears flowed, down, down. His shoulders shook as much as his hands.
The last memory he had of her, not the red and still body crumpled on the cold ground nor the white of her face as the life flashed dimly in her eyes, but the real Mo Lan, full and healthy, was when she had brought him to the private room. She had hugged him as she shed her own tears, those of joy and thanks and not the bitter taste of sorrow of his own. He closed his eyes. Opened them again. She still lay there, silent. Hooked up to a hundred different things, life hanging on by a single thread.
A quick glance at Mo Lan, and Mo Wu had retreated to a corner, one hand covering his face and the other pounding the wall like a defeated drum.
Zhen Hua's expression hardened at the sight.
Tang Wulin clenched his fists tight, his head lowered as tears trailed down his face. He hated how weak he was. How he failed to protect Mo Lan. And most of all, he hated how vicious that evil soul master had been. You damn scum of the earth! Never again! I'll become strong and protect everyone I love! You won't get to hurt someone like you did to Big Sis Mo Lan! I swear on it!
"Why you cry?" someone asked in a childish voice.
Tang Wulin widened his eyes. A toddler stood closeby, a little over three years old. He tugged at his pants and looked up at Tang Wulin with large, innocent eyes.
Tang Wulin was taken aback. He crouched down and looked the boy at eye level. "Big Brother is a bit sad right now, so I'm crying. What's your name? Where's your mom and dad?"
The boy blinked a few times. "Mommy sleep. I wait." He seemed to deflate upon saying those words.
Tang Wulin trembled, legs giving in beneath him. He's Big Sis Mo Lan's son! He sniffed. He rubbed furiously at the tears that seemed to overflow in the face of this child's innocence.
Nodding once, he opened his arms wide. The little boy seemed to take the hint, edging closer to him, until their feet brushed. Tang Wulin threw his arms around the small boy, hugging him tightly, as if he were afraid any looser an embrace and the boy would disappear. He choked back sobs, saying, "Your mom is just tired. She'll be better in no time. She just needs to sleep some more."
The boy didn't resist Tang Wulin's hug. "I want mommy."
Tang Wulin's heart sank. He decided to pick the boy up, but just as he was about to stand, he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't pick him up," someone said with a hoarse voice.
Tang Wulin turned to see a handsome man in his late twenties. This man was doing his best to hold back his tears. He gave Tang Wulin a curt nod. "Don't let my baby see his mom like that."
Realization hit Tang Wulin like a speeding bullet. With how small the boy was, he couldn't see Mo Lan through the glass. Tang Wulin's heart felt like it was being wrung out. He's just a child but his mom's already…
Releasing his hold on the toddler, Tang Wulin stood up. "Mister, it's all my fault. I wasn't able to save Big Sis Mo Lan."
The man sighed, shaking his head. "Don't blame yourself. If it weren't for you, last time she would already have been… She would never listen to me. She always said that if everyone hid because they were afraid, the Federation would go down in chaos. She always put others before herself. She…" He broke down in tears.
The boy looked up at Tang Wulin, then at his father, and began crying as well. His father quickly crouched and hugged his son, patting the small head. "Don't cry baby. Everything is fine. It's all fine."
Tang Wulin stood there in shock. Every since he was young, he wanted to become strong so he could be like one of the heroes of legends. Later he wanted strength to find his missing family. But now, he wanted strength to protect those he cherished and bring justice to the world.
If he had strength, he could have prevented this tragedy. But there was nothing he could do now. He was powerless to help Mo Lan as she lay there, her fate uncertain. All that was left was to pray. This sense of powerlessness pained him.
I have to work harder! The hopelessness of the situation twisted into something else, a fire rekindling his resolve.
He would never let something like this happen again. Never.