Chapter 66: I Am Not A Merman (III)
“Dr. Cui, have you found something?” Qin Yuan asked the very emotional Dr. Cui when he arrived at the laboratory.
Dr. Cui pointed at the screen and said with disbelief, “The blood we drew from Flames and other tissue samples contain a miraculous compound. Through our repeated tests, we found that it can quickly promote cell growth and evolution, restore damage and even change the genome of an organism. I am certain that there is a significant change in the DNA of Flames compared to the dolphins two hundred years ago. I should say, he has evolved from them.”
“Does this alteration endanger Flames in any way?” Qin Yuan asked worriedly.
“At the moment, we have not found anything dangerous. On the contrary, if our speculations are correct, Flames should be even more healthy and long-lived than earlier dolphins.” Dr. Cui paused, then spoke again, “I think that the dolphin epidemic two hundred years ago, rather than being a natural disaster, perhaps was more of a cruel natural filter. Over the last four hundred years, humans have suffered from a global FD virus invasion. It has snatched away over a hundred million lives. The people who survived, not only had the basic foundation of their body greatly enhanced, but their body functions also underwent different levels of development. The universal belief is that this kind of development is some kind of special form of evolution.”
Qin Yuan coldly interrupted him, “This so-called evolution permanently damaged humanity’s ability to reproduce and the population’s birth rate is on a straight decline. In the last year, the number of children born did not exceed forty-million. This is surveying the entire world. The situation is critical.”
The current human life expectancy was at about 180 years, yet the birth rates were reduced six-fold. Only one in every five couples would bear a single child. Even using In Vitro Fertilisation and other scientific methods, the rate of pregnancy still only at 37%.
“I believe that humanity will be very quick to solve this problem.” Dr. Cui was rather confident about it, so he did not care too much. At the present time, he was more concerned about the two remaining dolphins.
Qin Yuan did not plan to go into a deep discussion and switched subjects, “How old is Flames?”
“He’s around twelve or thirteen, right in the age for maturity.”
Matured at twelve to thirteen? From what Qin Yuan knows, the average lifespan of wild dolphins were about fifty years. According to a human standard, Flames should still be a child.
“Does this mean Waves is not Flames’ child?” Qin Yuan asked again.
“No.” Dr. Cui answered, “We’ve already done a DNA test, they are not directly related. There might be other dolphins living in the ocean, but our exploration team hasn’t found them.”
Hearing that Waves wasn’t Flames’ child, Qin Yuan felt the strangest sort of smug happiness bubble in his heart.
After he exited the research room, purely out of habit Qin Yuan headed for the pool.
At the moment, Flames was leading the small dolphin around and leaping out of the water. That cheerful and lighthearted scene caused his cold face to soften without his permission, not that he noticed it to prevent it.
Qin Yuan looked up at the gloomy sky. There would be a rainstorm in two days, he needs to start preparations early.
The next day, Shang Ke and Waves were led to the inner pools of the base. There, several areas were zoned off into separate enclosures hosting several different types of marine life.
The change in the weather sent the marine life in the base into unrest. They transmitted to each other information in a language that humans could not understand.
Dark clouds covered the sky, causing the light that streamed through the skylights to feel gloomy. A strong, blustering wind blew off the sea and the waves rolled, smacking heavily into the surrounding reefs and sending large splashes of foam into the air.
Shang Ke and the small dolphin hid in the underwater channel. On both sides were set firm metal walls and the exit was blocked by a metal fence. On the opposite side of the exit was an underground waterway that led deeper inside the base. No matter how violent the waves were, they would not be harmed staying here.
Shang Ke kept the small dolphin protected beneath him, swaying lightly with the waves as the right and left side of his brain took turns sleeping.
After an unknown stretch of time, a world-shaking crack echoed from above and the entire base began to tremble. Following that, the sound of objects breaking.
Countless pieces of broken glass, shards of wood and metal shrapnel fell into the water.
Shang Ke quickly swam to the fence and could vaguely make out the blazing light of fire on the water’s surface. An explosion.
From what he had gathered, the base had a solar-powered defense wall, capable of resisting level five hurricanes and below. Even if the energy runs out, there wasn’t anything that could trigger an explosion that large in the buildings, and certainly not so close to the enclosures.
Shang Ke turned around and followed the underwater channel toward the interior of the base. The small dolphin followed closely by his side.
Very soon, he found countless floating pieces of destroyed equipment and industrial trash in the normally clean waters. A great flood of seawater poured into the base and countless marine creatures were sent spinning all around. Seeing such a scene, Shang Ke immediately understood that the defense wall of the base had been destroyed and more than half of the base was under water.
Shang Ke led the small dolphin through a broken glass window and swam into the sea. They would only find out what happened once they reach the surface.
As it turns out, a commercial transport plane had unexpectedly crashed into the top of the base. The might of the large explosion destroyed the base’s defensive wall with ease. Over a hundred egg-shaped life-saving cabins floated on top of the water. Shang Ke guessed that they were a part of the plane’s emergency measures, each one housing a passenger safely inside. However, most of the cabins were damaged. A number of people had already been washed away by the waves, and the rest were doing their best to struggle to stay afloat.
Shang Ke’s eyes widened as he stared at the scene. He couldn’t believe that the base that was in perfect condition only hours ago was now broken beyond repair. The fire caused by the explosion had already been extinguished by the waves. The sky remained dark, as if a monster was opening its jaws, preparing to swallow everything…
“Flames and Waves are still under the base!” Dr. Cui shouted anxiously toward an unstably flickering screen. He and a dozen staff members had hidden in the evacuation room before the explosion. The defensive system’s mainframe was located there and it was separate from the main base, so the defensive wall defending it was intact.
Under the doctor’s orders, the staff quickly connected to all the surveillance cameras they could. Once the scene was revealed, everyone was stunned.
What they saw was a dolphin rushing courageously through the waves, throwing a lifesaver onto a victim, then biting the rope that was attached to it and dragging the victim quickly toward a relatively safe spot in the back of the base. The dolphin quickly disappeared.
But in a moment, it appeared again and headed for another victim, dragging him to the safe zone.
One, two, three… Flames was like a heroic lifeguard, rushing into the waves and saving victims one by one. It, who should be waiting for rescue, was instead doing its best to save the surviving humans.
This scene moved all who were watching.
That strong and healthy body, braving the waters and fast as lightning without any fear of the challenges of mother nature. In the dark, the glint of light blue light was like an ocean spirit, so beautiful it took their breaths away.
However, not everyone could appreciate Flames beauty. Most of the victims did not know Flames was coming to save them, so when they saw Flames nearing them, they would start to struggle in fear and resist.
Flames was able to swim through the waves unobstructed, nimbly dodging all sorts of obstacles. But in front of the victims, who had lost all rationality from fear, Flames appeared a monster and was bruised by their struggles. One of the victims was even holding a dinner knife and viciously slashed a bloody injury upon its back when it came to save them.
Flames twitched in pain but did not give up on saving him. Bearing the pain, Flames delivered him to the safe place.
The base people were both angered and saddened watching Flames, their hearts filled with worry and indignity for the harm it suffered. At the same time, they were shocked at its bravery and kindness. Even if they were human, it was impossible for them to do what Flames was doing.
The injured Flames was visibly slower as it moved through the water, the flow of blood staining a red trail behind him. Under the blue light, it looked exceptionally, demonically beautiful.
“We can’t let Flames stay out in the water anymore, otherwise, it will die of blood loss!” One staff member impatiently yelled.
Dr. Cui steadied his mind and spoke, “Don’t worry, the healing ability of dolphins is very strong, the blood flow will quickly stop. However, we should bring Flames back as soon as possible. Lin Zi, K, prepare the rescue equipment.”
The ones called both nodded and immediately started on their task.
However, the movement of humans in water was very clumsy. Forget saving people, it would be impressive if they could keep themselves safe.
After trying a few times, they finally gave up and returned to escaping. They would think about this when the waves had settled somewhat.
“Strange, there aren’t anymore victims around, so why is Flames still wandering around?” Someone frowned and looked at the screen.
The Flames in the screen was clearly very tired, in that past hour, it had saved over forty people. Now that there weren’t any more people stranded in the water, “it” should be finding a place to rest.
Dr. Cui watched Flames making rounds around the base. Even when Flames was obviously moving slower and slower, it did not stop.
He muttered to himself, “Flames… could it be trying to find us?”
Everyone was very moved when he heard his suggestion, and looked back at the weary figure in the ocean. They were shocked speechless.
Flames was looking for them? It thought they were in danger?
“Dr. Cui, use the sound wave!” A researcher shouted out.
Dr. Cui suddenly wisened up and activated the sound wave simulation system. A sound wave outside of the human hearing range spread out in circles from their point, vibrating at a special frequency in the water.
Flames quickly became aware of the noise and after swimming in a few circles to gauge distance and direction, slowly followed the sound wave to its source.
Everyone revealed pleasantly surprised expressions at the scene. However, right at that moment, a large wave raised above Flames like a mouth and swallowed it in an instant.
Their expressions froze instantly. They could no longer see Flames’ figure on the screen.
“How is the situation? Are there any casualties among the staff members?” Once Qin Yuan received the news, he disregarded any dissuasion and rushed over to the base, despite the risks. Once he was there, he was met with the bleak expression of everyone.
Dr. Cui gloomily answered, “We’re all fine, but…”
“But what?” A bad premonition rose up in Qin Yuan’s heart.
“Flames is gone. It was washed away by a wave.” A researcher couldn’t help but sob.
“Wasn’t it in the safety of the water way?” Qin Yuan asked coldly, “How could it be washed away by a wave?”
Everyone turned away their gazes away from him as one, not daring to look at him in the face.
Dr. Cui sighed, turned on the screen and replayed what had already happened.
Qin Yuan watched silently as the video placed, his expression ranging from surprise to anger, to worry and finally, to deep contemplation. Only that spirit-like figure was still reflected in his eyes.
He stared at the video and said in a definite tone, “I believe that it will be fine.”
Once the waves were calm, Qin Yuan immediately put together divers to form a large-scale search-and-rescue team to find Flames.
The dark clouds scattered and the blue sky shone and with the sea once again calm, it was like everything that had happened was but a nightmare.
In a shallow section of the sea, around three miles away from the base, a weary Shang Ke was resting underwater. The injuries on his body were gradually healing. If this scene was caught by Dr. Cui and the others, they would be amazed at his exceptional rate of regeneration.
Right at that moment, Shang Ke felt something shifting in the surrounding water. By the time he returned to his senses, his body was already trapped by a large net.
Shang Ke was startled awake.
Bloody Hell! Can’t he get a nice sleep? It really is getting annoying!
He turned his body and quickly made for the surface. Before the people above closed the net, he propelled himself out and over, before diving back into the water with a splash.
A cry of alarm could be heard behind him, and right after the cry was someone shouting, “Such a large fish! Hurry up, don’t let it run!”
Shang Ke looked toward them, but what he saw was a pike shooting at him. Just when he was about to land back into the water, the pain of something stabbing into him shot through his body. He let out a cry as his body lost balance and hit the water.
“We hit it, pull it up!” A fisherman on the boat yelled gleefully.
Shang Ke was quickly dragged out of the water and hit the deck with a bang.
Shang Ke couldn’t help but struggle. He felt very unwell after leaving the sea. The continuous flow of blood dyed the deck a dark red. He raised his head but could only see vague figures of men.
You lot are in big trouble now! Shang Ke roared in his mind.
“What kind of fish is this? I never seen it before.” A man kicked at Shang Ke’s back a few times.
“Maybe it’s something rare.” Another man ordered, “Put it into the tank first, don’t let it die. We can use this as a sacrifice to the Sea Emperor.”
“Yeah!” Everyone cheered.
Soon, Shang Ke felt someone lifting him and roughly tossing him into a meter long tank. He could only curl his body into the narrow space, breathing with difficulty in the shallow seawater. The pike in his tail was not removed and pain attacked him with a vengeance as he gradually lost consciousness.
Shang Ke suddenly thought of his mission—become human food.
Perhaps, it will be completed sooner than he thought…