Chapter 68: I Am Not A Merman (V)
After Shang Ke’s injury was mostly healed, he could finally go into the sea outside of the marine building to play freely. However, he was currently very distressed due to the additional mission the system announced. He had no idea how to go about it.
He took note of the punctuation the System pointed out to him. He gathered that what he needed to find wasn’t really the mermaid or merman he was imagining. But this mission was even harder to complete without a clear-cut target. For example, would finding a portrait or statue of a mermaid or merman work? Would finding a sunken ship named “Merfolk” work? Would he, a dolphin with a human soul, count?
There were really too many things that could be tied to merfolk. Hell if he knows what will fulfill the requirements. Furthermore, while he completes the mission, he still has to heroically court death. If he first finds the target (rather than disaster finding him first), then does that mean he needs to create an opportunity for himself to court death?
Alas, the plot holes of life. Well, plot ditches.
Shang Ke raised his head, his face the image of deep contemplation as he observed the vast sea.
When Qin Yuan arrived, he happened to chance upon this scene of Flames, who appeared to be in deep thought, flitting about distressed under the fading light of sunset.
Qin Yuan suddenly recalled the fact that dolphins were animals that loved freedom, and that raising them in an enclosed space would make them feel unhappy. But if they were allowed their freedom, then it was hard to make sure they were safe. Furthermore, Qin Yuan was nowhere near willing or ready to part with them.
Shang Ke seem to sense Qin Yuan’s arrival and immediately cast away his strange worries, quickly swimming to him.
Qin Yuan rubbed his head and softly asked, “Do you want to go out to the sea?”
Shang Ke’s eyes shone brightly: You could see that I want to go out? As expected, we really are spiritually connected!
“Alright, as long as you promise me one thing, I will take you out to the sea.” Qin Yuan used a firm, if doting, tone.
Tell me! Shang Ke raised one of his flippers onto the shore and slapped the ground rhythmically while showing a face of full attention and excitement.
Qin Yuan eyes unconsciously landed on the slapping flipper, “…It’s like this, I will clip a location device to your dorsal fin. Then I will get a submarine and a squad of combat divers and accompany you. Then, when you’ve played enough, come back home with us. What do you think?”
Completely no problem! You are my financial backer (or feeder), I will listen to you! Shang Ke shifted his head over and rubbed against his leg, a wide smile on his dolphin face.
“Hm, then it’s decided.” Qin Yuan discovered for the first time that interacting with animals could be simple. His Flames was really so smart and considerate!
Qin Yuan did as he said. He sent out three ships the very next day to scout a good route and prepare emergency measures, then he went out with a tagged but happy Flames to play in the sea.
Waves was left in the marine building as a form of insurance. As long as it was there, he did not need to worry about Flames swimming away, being tied by guilt.
Shang Ke followed Qin Yuan’s speedboat and cheerfully charged into the vast sea. The pitiful little Waves was duped by a couple of sea turtles and lost the chance to go out into the sea for a breath of fresh air.
Shang Ke leaped through the air, splashing countless droplets of water, exposing his graceful and beautiful body to the sky.
Qin Yuan supported himself on the rails as he welcomed the sea breeze. He watched with a gentle gaze at Flames leaping, frolicking, darting and rolling around in the waves, feeling incomparably happy. It was like all of his worries were being carried away with the tide.
Qin Yuan did not notice that this scene of him taking Flames out for fun was caught on camera by a nearby ship. After it was published online, all those who had placed attention on Flames acted as if they were shot with chicken blood, and the website almost exploded.
【As expected of Director Qin, other people walk their dogs or cats, but he walks dolphins.】
【There is no one more free and excellent than him.】
【Director Qin, one person savoring a dish isn’t right, dolphins belong to everyone!】
【Post above +1】
【Furthermore, my dear friend who did the filming, can’t you get a bit closer? We get such a rare chance to be so close to Flames but it was all wasted!】
【You think I don’t want to? Director Qin is too OP, he arranged a corvette to sail nearby. My boat barely turned a degree towards them to get closer and it was blocked by them!】
【Is it really that extreme?】
【It really is that extreme!】
【Then dive and get closer.】
【Hehe, are you taking the submarine and fully armed combat divers underwater as decorations?】
【Corvette, submarine, combat divers. Director Qin probably spent at least two million taking Flames out. 】
【I am willing to donate another million, and let a Qin someone know that not only he has the financial resources to provide for Flames!】
【Then I will give a small contribution of three hundred thousand.】
【As a poor man, I do not seek to raise Flames. I wonder if it’s willing to provide for me instead?】
【If you were to turn into a female dolphin, it may give you a glance.】
【No, I heard that dolphins are bisexual, so even if you were a male, it might be possible to get Flame’s favor.】
【That’s wrong upstairs, dolphins don’t even care about species. As long as they like it, even if it was a turtle, they will not care.】
【(⊙０⊙) I have been enlightened.】
【…So the meaning behind that is basically that Director Qin can become Flames’ mating target?】
【I seem to have discovered something incredible…】
The online discussion suddenly took a turn in a rather obscure and inescapable direction. Qin Yuan was still oblivious to the fact that he was already being treated by the people online as the first of Flames’ chosen mating targets, and was given the title of ‘Empress’. Following along was a long line of ‘concubines’ waiting to snatch his position.
Shang Ke played for a bit then submerged himself into the sea. He shouted several times in all directions and used echolocation to explore the situation in the vicinity. The hearing of a dolphin was far keener than their vision. By testing the wavelength, frequency and amplitude of soundwaves, they could find the dimensions of an object, as well as the distance to it, and if it was moving, it’s direction and speed. Even if they were blindfolded, they could still move through the water unhindered.
Shang Ke wanted to use this method to search the area. If this world really has merfolks, then he should be able to find some traces of them. Even if he can’t find any, he can use the sounds to carry a message to any possible merfolk in the vicinity.
In addition to this, he could echolocate shipwrecks, merfolk related objects and any organisms similar to them, they were all within his search parameters. In short, he was not letting go of any chances.
Qin Yuan accompanied Shang Ke through the sea until dusk. He took a look at the sky’s color and whistled at the sea.
Not long after, Shang Ke emerged from the water.
Qin Yuan shouted, “Flames, it’s time to go back.”
Shang Ke leaped once and splashed his consent before he took the lead to swim in the direction of the marine center.
Although he did not find anything that could potentially assist him in finding merfolk, Shang Ke still took the chance to play and enjoy himself out in the open.
When they got back to the marine building, Shang Ke waited for Qin Yuan to get off the speedboat then swam up to him, swaying his head like he knew something mysterious.
When Qin Yuan walked over to him, he immediately opened his mouth and made noises somewhere between yips and coughs.
Noticing at his strained appearance, Qin Yuan squatted down and asked in concern, “What’s wrong?”
Shang Ke placed his flipper on his hand, then spat out something out on top.
Qin Yuan stared down and found out, much to his astonishment, that it was a simple and unadorned sapphire ring.
Surprise filtered through his eyes as he looked back at Flames, “Where did this come from?”
He found it in the ocean of course! What do you think about using this as an engagement ring? Shang Ke’s eyes curved happily as he stared at Qin Yuan.
The clogs in Qin Yun’s mind clicked together and he guessed the origin of the ring. He smiled and asked, “For me?”
Shang Ke nodded.
“Thank you.” Qin Yuan took the ring and slipped it directly on his left ring finger.
Shang Ke cheerfully whistled: Putting on the ring means you accept my proposal, you can’t renege. In this life, I’m afraid I can’t wear a ring from you. In the next life, I hope you will give me one and fulfill that desire of mine. If I have fingers by then.
Shang Ke’s dark blue eyes were pure and sparkling like the precious stone on Qin Yuan’s ring,
Qin Yuan’s heart warmed, and he couldn’t help but hug Shang Ke, placing a kiss on his snout.
This warm scene, embellished by the sunset, was caught on camera by a sailor not too far offshore, forever fixated on that beautiful, split-second scene.
A couple of days later, caving to the intense demand of the outside world, Qin Yuan finally decided to allow Flames and Waves to appear in front of the public. To prevent them from being agitated, Qin Yuan specifically chose a suitable body of water and limited the number of people to fifty, allowing only three reporters to enter under the provision that they lose the flash on their cameras.
As a national treasure, Shang Ke had long since been prepared to be observed by people, so he did not particularly care. At the same time, he felt that it was a great chance to allow Waves to adapt to having more humans around.
Under the guidance of Qin Yuan, a group of people arrived at the pool Shang Ke and Waves were in.
A whistle sounded and the two dolphins leaped up out of the water in sync, passionately welcoming the visitors.
Everyone immediately squealed (softly—loud noises were prohibited) in excitement, followed by a wave of cameras going off.
The people on shore were observing the dolphins, while the dolphins were observing the people on shore.
Shang Ke said to Waves, “Look at that person’s apparel, so flowery and random. Even us as dolphins have better taste than that.”
Waves looked at his own glossy and brilliant skin and silently agreed.
“And that one, with hair like he has been struck by lightning. Does he not know how to properly brush and tidy up his appearance?”
Waves then looked up at Shang Ke’s shiny head and imagined how he would look like with a single curly hair. He immediately began to tremble in disgust and fear.
A bald head was really the prettiest!
When Waves looked towards the people on shore, his eyes were full of sympathy.
“Ahhh, they are really too cute!” A girl couldn’t help but screech.
Waves jolted and splashed back into the water, frightened by the noise. Shang Ke placated him and he finally emerged from the water again.
Qin Yuan’s face did not change and he coldly reminded that girl, “Miss Wang, please do not make loud noises. It is to avoid frightening the dolphins.”
“Ah, sorry.” The girl covered her mouth and said softly, “I was so excited I couldn’t control myself.”
Qin Yuan did reprimand her further, noting her sincere apology.
Waves was a bit nervous at first toward this group of people’s arrival, but under Shang Ke’s guidance, he began to relax and play very happily. He made all sorts of cute expressions and movements, becoming more and more lively making everyone overjoyed. A lot of photographs were taken.
After visiting time was over, Qin Yuan prepared to lead everyone out. But, a child pulled his father to a stop and began to make a racket about not wanting to leave. His father softly scolded him, but the child immediately started to cry loudly.
Qin Yuan frowned, about to call for some people to deal with the boy, only to see Flames suddenly swimming over and whistling at the child. While the child sobbed, he looked over at Flames.
Flames raised his tail and kicked a floating ball toward the child’s feet, smiling at him.
The child stopped crying and looked toward his dad, but his dad looked at Qin Yuan. Qin Yuan nodded at him, and the child’s dad picked up the ball and handed it to his son, telling him, “Give this ball back to Flames, then tell it bye bye.”
The child held the ball and walked in front of Flames, carefully handing the ball back to it.
Flames moved closer and rubbed the child’s hand, then balanced the ball on the tip of his beak and twirled about in the water. Finally, it winked at the child out its left eye.
Everyone was thoroughly melted by cuteness. How could there be such an adorable creature in this world? It was simply rule-breaking!
The child also laughed, his two small hands clapping together joyfully.
When his father came over to pull him away, he did not cry and cause any more trouble. He only waved his hand at Flames and followed after his dad reluctantly as they left.
Their first public appearance allowed Shang Ke and Waves to obtain a new wave of fans. Flames’ last action of making a child happy of its own volition moved everyone. And thus, the public obtained a new understanding of Flames’ intelligence and kindness.
Merman/mermaid/merfolk, the combination of characters is ‘fish’ and ‘man/person’