Chapter 75: I Am Not A Merman (XII)
Shang Ke slowly opened his eyes, drums pounding at his skull from the inside. It was only after the pain had subsided a little that he noticed he was in a large tank of water. A group of researchers stood by it, and the head of them was the research leader.
He instantly recognized that his situation was dire. Going by what he remembered from before he lost consciousness, he had been swimming freely under the water until an acute pain bloomed from around his waist. He had been hit by something thin and sharp, which had knocked him out. He guessed it was a tranquilizer dart of sorts. It was obvious now that the research leader schemed against him.
It was strange though. The dolphin research project had been progressing very smoothly. He had been so cooperative that he couldn’t be any more cooperative. Must this guy really use such means?
“Hehe, Flames, or should I call you ‘Hai Yan’?” The research leader looked him over like he was appreciating an art piece.
Shang Ke’s confusion instantly cleared up. The research leader knows of his identity and plans to monopolize the credits and benefits of the discovery.
He carefully observed his surroundings. He was not in the familiar research institute where he had been situated. He did not know what means the research leader had used, but he was rather curious as to how they had smuggled him out of the marine building. He was currently in dolphin form, so not only was he huge, but he was very heavy.
“From today on, you are the most important experimental subject of our new research group. We will make sure to not waste a single cell from your body.” The research leader spoke with false kindness, his hands clasped behind his back, “As long as you cooperate with us and help us complete our experiment, the entirety of humanity will extend their gratitude to your sacrifice and contribution towards the future.
Can you cut with the bull already? Get to the point!
Shang Ke turned away, too lazy to deal with him. He had more than the courage to face death, but even when the time came for him to die, it needs to be in an extremely heroically and brave manner. There was no way he was going to let this guy take advantage of him.
The research leader seemed to have already foreseen that he would not cooperate, so he had people push out a smaller water tank. Hearing the sounds of activity, Shang Ke turned back and was horrified to see that the two little mermen had also been smuggled out. When the two of them spotted Shang Ke, they immediately stuck their faces to the top of the water tank, anxiously watching him.
Shang Ke frowned. Did the research leader take the chance while Qin Yuan was abroad and have his people empty out the entire marine building?
“Alright.” The research leader patted the smaller water tank and spoke with a smile, “I want to see you turning from a dolphin into a human again. Do it now.”
Although he smiled, the threat hung clear in his words.
Shang Ke was not interested in revealing his naked self in front of all of these people. However, with the little mermen in the hands of the enemy, he did not have a choice.
“You’re not willing?” The research leader pressed a button and the water temperature in the small tank started to rise. The two mermen crowded together in the tank for comfort, staring at Shang Ke in confusion and fear.
The research leader did have other means to make Shang Ke transform. He had prepared several drugs to get him drowsy and try to force it. But a twisted part of him wanted to push down and break Shang Ke’s wild nature and force him to behave the old fashioned way.
He didn’t expect that Shang Ke would not take the bait. He hadn’t even considered that he would object violently, banging himself against the sides of the tank. Once, twice, three times, as if he did not care for his life at all. The water tank started to shake under his constant attack, the water splashing back and forth.
“Stop!” The research leader bellowed.
Shang Ke did not pay him any mind and continued slamming himself against the tank with all his might.
“Damn it! Inject him with anesthetic!” The research leader ordered and one researcher immediately clicked away on the control panel.
A drill-shaped metal instrument was raised from the top of the water tank, followed by a laser beam aimed at Shang Ke.
Shang Ke moved nimbly and quickly scuttled to the top, dodging the laser. At the same time, he produced a sharp whistle. The whistle he produced was not something humans could hear, but it could affect the operations of electronic equipment. The metal instrument started to creak mournfully and they immediately went on a glorious strike.
The people outside the tank were utterly stunned. They had not expected that the whistling of dolphins could carry such destructive abilities.
The research leader’s face was dark and he shouted, “Pour the anesthetic straight into the water! Let’s see how long he can persevere!”
He was going to throw his everything onto this dolphin. If he couldn’t break him now, there was no way he would cooperate in future experiments.
One of the researchers hesitated, “Leader, shouldn’t we use a gentler method? Dolphins are rather emotional animals. If you torment it too much, it might commit suicide.”
“Don’t treat him like a normal dolphin.” The research leader coldly replied, “Do as I say. Starve him for a few days, then we can continue with the next step of our plan.”
The researcher was helpless and could only follow his instructions.
Shang Ke sunk to the bottom of the tank. Although he had already planned to become an object of experimentation, and also planned to heroically sacrifice his life for humanity, it was not in this kind of sullen and defeated way.
Under the influence of anesthesia, Shang Ke once again lost consciousness…
Qin Yuan hurried rushed back to the country and looked over the cameras. He could not believe that the little mermen and Flames had been smuggled out despite the layers of security. He didn’t even need to think to know who did it. The only one who could. The research leader was the only one with the internal authority, no one else.
“Dipson, you better pray that Flames is fine!” The desire to murder him was truly lit within him at that moment. Just imagining what kind of torture Flames might be suffering through made him unable to control the rage within his heart.
Qin Yuan had the news that Flames was taken away by the people of the research institute made public. On one hand, it allowed them to criticize their inhumane methods and exploit the public opinion to pressure them. On the other hand, it helped them increase manpower to find the tracks of the research leader. Qin Yuan had dug into his background before. To dare to snatch Hai Yan from his hands, the only power capable of that was under the banner of some base of the research institute. It would be the place Flames was being kept.
The news that Flames was missing immediately aroused the rage of the masses. They were actually using Flames as the subject of an experiment? He had saved so many people in that disaster, he was so much like a child and he innocently trusted and was close to humans. But his end was to become an experimental subject, despite all of that?
They had originally believed that after they had saved him from the group of fishermen, he would never receive such treatment again and could happily live at the marine building. They did not realize that he hadn’t yet escaped from the evil schemes of humanity! And this time, it was under the banner of doing it for scientific research, boldly imprisoning Flames.
This so-called research, could it not be done under the supervision of the masses? To sneakily perform experiments, they were clearly prepared to use every disgusting method they could think up.
Information on the research leader, Dipson, was quickly discovered by the masses, alongside some cleverly disguised information on him. The most horrific information was on Dipson’s experimental methods. He was completely unscrupulous. Who knows just how many animals had been tormented to death by him? His reputation in the research field was not too great, but because of his mastery over his skills and his backing, he was able to forcefully insert himself into many important research projects.
After finding out all of this, the populace was beyond shocked and completely enraged. Would Flames return, let alone alive, after landing in the hands of this kind of person? What research could be so important that it was worth sacrificing one of the only two remaining dolphins on the planet?
In only two days, marching protests were organized all over the world in succession with a demand that Dipson safely return Flames. The dozens of people that Flames once saved worked even harder than others to fight for power for Flames.
The dolphin’s fan club encompassed the entire world and every social class, from the rich, powerful and influential officials above, to the common people below. His harem was enormous, their power astonishing, and they were able to provide backing to their demands.
Dipson did not predict that Qin Yuan would draw support from the public to smack the country’s face, without any regard to the country’s position. His research was officially approved by the country. To obstruct his research was to go against the country.
Dipson had clearly underestimated Qin Yuan’s influence. If Qin Yuan dared do this, then it meant he was fearless of the higher-ups coming to raise hell with him.
With the support of the public, Qin Yuan led an armed party and forced his way into Dipson’s research institute without any misgivings.
Under the double pressure of public opinion and Qin Yuan, Dipson was abandoned by his backers. He was unwilling to hand Flames over. The evolution of humanity from the result of his experiments was within his grasp. His heart was trembling and his blood boiling.
He forcefully slammed the half-conscious Flames onto the experiment table and took out a surgery knife that emitted a cold light. He looked down at him, eyes dark and steady…
By the time Qin Yuan made it to the research institute, he was too late. The bitter scene that met him scared him out of his wits.
Flames lay on the experiment table with over half of of skin and flesh peeled open. Almost two thirds of his blood had left his body, and he was left a withered husk. His muscles had lost flexibility and he looked like a fish corpse gnawed and half-eaten by birds and beasts.
Qin Yuan froze on the spot, his mind registering only the ring of his nervous system, unable to believe that the ‘destroyed corpse’ in front of him was his Flames. His happy and lively Flames. Time seem to stagnate at that moment, and he could not find the will to confirm his life or death.
It lasted until a happily stunned and surprised voice broke the silence, “Boss, he’s still breathing!”
He’s still breathing?”
The voice seemed to have come from far away, but Qin Yuan gradually pulled himself together. He staggered over and bent down to get closer to Flames, and noticed that he really was still breathing.
Qin Yuan’s heart started to beat again and his voice cracked as he said, “Quick, prepare emergency treatment!”
Shang Ke had been starved for three days and he held no strength in his body. But because of the anesthetics, he did not feel too much pain when Dipson cut him up.
However, after he became clear-headed and took in his own devastated appearance, he felt close to stabbing out his own eyes. Where can one still find the cute dolphin? He was nothing but a piece of dried, skinless fish like this! Even plastic surgery couldn’t save him. He could only hope his regeneration abilities were strong enough to restore him.
The only point he could rejoice about was that Dipson had not dug out his internal organs, otherwise, it would have been absolutely impossible for him to survive.
Fucking hell, he was glad that he was a dolphin. If he had been in human form, the sight of his missing flesh and drying blood would have resulted in a deep mental scar and left him traumatized forever!
“The little mermen are safe, you don’t need to worry.” Qin Yuan sat by the water tank and watched the weak Flames, his heart distressed and fearful.
A warm light flashed through Shang Ke’s eyes and he lightly swished his tail.
Qin Yuan placed his hand on the glass, his head leaning against it as he spoke in a muffled voice, “I’m so sorry, Flames.”
His eyes drooped, covering up the glint of tears that were beginning to form.
Shang Ke looked helplessly at him, knowing that this man had cracked open his own heart from worry about him. He wanted to tell him: It wasn’t your fault, I am the one trying to court death. In order to stay in this world, I will do my best to complete the missions, and do my best to survive. Then, I will stay by your side for the rest of this life.
Qin Yuan looked at Flames limpid eyes. Even though he was horrifically injured, his eyes were still so warm, and he ended up the one being consoled instead.
He felt even more pained at that, and hated Dipson even more.
It was a pity that they let the bastard escape, and with the flesh carved from Flames!
Qin Yuan would not let him off. Even if he had to turn the world upside down, he would find him. Then, he would impart all of the pain Flames had felt back on to him, tenfold.
Shang Ke was injured badly this time, and Qin Yuan had planned to keep it confidential from the public. However, it was still leaked out in the end. The medical personnel who liked Flames could not hold back from it when they saw the devastated state Flames was left in. In no less than two days, dozens of pictures of Flames’ state were in circulation.
Although the public had guessed that Flames would be tormented, they had not thought that it would be this bad.
Within hours, the entire world was furious. They used their own power and searched for Dipson everywhere.
Dipson was determined to be successful in his research on dolphin genes, so he had to find a secret place to continue his research. Once his research came into fruition, he could return proudly and let everyone know of his results.
However, Shang Ke made a choice that he had not imagined he could.
“Spread the information that the dolphin gene is capable of raising fertility to the masses.” After his injuries had recovered somewhat, Shang Ke transformed, and those were the first words he said to Qin Yuan.
As an experimental subject, rather than becoming a chess piece used to satisfy the desires of a small portion of people, why not boldly reveal himself to the world? And under the checks and balances of the various powers in the world, he could be a magnanimous sacrificial dolphin.
If they could obtain the desired results of their research from him, then perhaps Waves and the small mermen could obtain freedom in the future.
Shang Ke had just made his resolve when the voice of the System wrang through his mind: 【Completed additional mission 1—Find Merfolk. Ten years of detain time is granted.】