Chapter 28 – The Chinese Language Is So Hard

Sea Monster Alliance
ZFX
52 Chapters

Editor: Sammy

Proofreader: XavierForest


Abyss scratched its head with its tentacles and floated towards the surface. 

The sudden weight against the lifeboat caused it to tilt sideways as Na Lin screamed and scurried back. A-Min, who was sickly to begin with, fainted, while Li Shao’s eyes bugged when they landed upon the semi-transparent, brightly-coloured slime… thing. It was tossed onto their boat by the sudden wave of water, and seeing as how it was gradually sliding off, half of its body was probably still submerged underwater. 

The young man who possessed a water ability accidentally touched it and immediately fell to the side, convulsing violently as his mouth began to foam.   

That was when An Li noticed the frightening stingers which covered the creature’s thin tentacles. 

“Sea… sea monsters!!” 

No one managed to keep a cool head, screaming at the top of their lungs. This was the last straw in their eventful, post-apocalyptic lives.  

“Calm down, it’s just a jellyfish!” The captain hollered, desperately trying to calm the crowd down. 

A mad glint glowed in An Li’s eyes as a ball of fire appeared out of thin air and slammed into the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish’s transparent exterior skin layer. 

【Owww—】

An Li froze, and the fireball disappeared just as quickly as it had materialised. Where did that shrill scream come from?!

Nereus twitched hard from the pain, almost flipping its entire body around below the surface. It wasn’t very heavy— just some tens of kilograms— nor was it very strong since it couldn’t pull anything forward, but it was, nonetheless, a sea monster. With such a status, its viciousness made tipping a boat a piece of cake. 

Humph! I’m gonna smash this, smash this to pieces! 

“Oh no! An-Jie!”  

Na Lin lost her balance and was the first to fall overboard. 

Panicked as she was, Na Lin released a jolt of her ability the moment she plummeted underwater. In a matter of seconds, Nereus slipped back into the water as its body twitched from the electricity— much the same as poor Abyss, who’d just floated up to the surface. A series of crackles sounded on the outer layer of its skin; the octopus couldn’t tell if the prickling sensation was meant to make it feel good or ticklish. Its eight tentacles waved uncontrollably, shooting out from the waves.   

“Ahh!! There’s another one down there!” 

“It’s the giant, blue octopus!!” 

“HELP!!” 

Almost no one, not even the ability wielders, could calm down when they encountered such horrifying monsters.  

However, An Li was the odd one out. With a swift swish, she kicked Li Shao – who was so frightened that he’d dove over in an attempt to hug her legs – away. Over ten basketball-sized fireballs materialised and engulfed the octopus’ tentacles that were out of the water. 

【Ahh— that hurts!】

Abyss didn’t dare enjoy the prickling sensation of electrified water any longer and dove back into the ocean. It had to descend more than ten metres before all of the balls of fire were finally extinguished. Abyss’s round, black eyes gazed upon its reddening tentacles, shaking them back and forth because of the pain. 

The waves continued to toss as the colour quickly drained from An Li’s face— a result of over-exhausting her ability, and her spiritual energy by extension.  

She’d definitely heard another voice hollering and crying about. 

“An… An-Jie?” Na Lin asked as she clung to the side of the lifeboat for dear life, desperately trying to climb back aboard. “Who spoke j-just now?” 

Li Shao dizzily pushed himself up and questioned idiotically, “Huh? Wasn’t it you who just shouted?” 

Below the surface, Nereus’s twitching tentacles gilded over the things that had fallen off when a corner of the boat was dunked into the sea. 

Pft, bottles, that’s Abyss’s lovey-doveys… Paper bags… and… this? THIS?!  

Three headless, big-eyed emperor fish were cradled between the jellyfish’s many tentacles as they shakily poked at the corpses. Nereus’s infrasonic waves suddenly adopted a much lower hertz, which not only allowed it to travel further, but also resonate at the most harmful frequency. The captain immediately fell over, clutching his head in pain.  

【Damn you humans! You killed my babies!】

The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish splashed out of the sea even though the sun had already set, and Nereus still lost about half of its size as water rushed out of its body. Moreover, it didn’t have the strength to push itself any higher and could only roar with anger. 

【Abyss! Flip that boat over! My fishies… wuwuwu—】

【I’m not going! My tentacles wuwuwu—】

As two bone-chilling voices bawled simultaneously, An Li had to use every ounce of her willpower to stand her ground. Besides her, Li Shao, and Na Lin, the only other person who was still upright was a pale-faced, middle-aged man with a wind-related ability. All the other ability wielders were moaning in pain, their hands clutching their heads. The physical and mental strengths of these people were tired and weak from the start; A-Min, especially, was on the brink of death because of the monsters’ overbearing ‘strange capabilities’. 

It was at this moment that a distant, melodious song pierced through the bubbling chaos and echoing waves. 

The whole world seemed to lull at its arrival. 

“No, no…” 

Insuperable fear struck An Li, forcing her to— almost in a mad trance— pinch her fingers until crimson blood began to flow down her arm. The pain stimulated her senses and was just barely enough to let her escape that permeating sense of relaxation and comfort. She couldn’t faint for she could tell that the creeping sensation of security was brought only by death. 

【Oh crap, it’s Siren! Flee!】

In her fuzzy mind, An Li heard the two voices hurriedly converse between each other. Thank the heavens for her unyielding determination allowing her to crack her eyelids open. 

A beautiful patch of a light silvery colour on the ocean surface was what greeted her sight.  

Is that…? 

Siren was also looking up at An Li with curiosity as it lifted its finned arm to brush its long, wet hair out of its eyes. Under the waning moon, the merman appeared indescribably bewitching. A light, airy song floated towards the serene moonlight; it brought an earnest invitation, welcoming people to walk into a vine-covered forest and lose themselves inside the bizarre wonderland.   

A merman? Mythological creatures actually exist? 

An Li swayed, about to fall over at any second. However, she was utterly shocked when she saw the man who rose up next to the merman. 

Xia Yi? It’s Xia Yi?! 

Finally arriving above the surface, Xia Yi took a deep breath and viewed the four raft-like rubber lifeboats. He also heard the screams that had now turned into gradually-disappearing whimpers and saw Li Shao and An Li…  

These are the people who escaped from the Thalassa Goddess? 

Xia Yi couldn’t hear the song, but he could tell that something wasn’t right. He turned towards Siren and noticed that those amethyst eyes, which looked misty underwater, were staring intently in An Li’s direction. The gaze was too sharp and focused to be pure curiosity, instead… Wait, didn’t a cheetah, waiting to pounce on an antelope, possess that same kind of glint in its eyes? 

“Siren!” 

Although Xia Yi didn’t release infrasonic waves, his pronunciation of the name was very accurate. No matter what kind of language he was using, no one would misunderstand. 

Startled, Siren’s song disappeared. The merman then, clearly at a loss, gazed back at Xia Yi. 

A wave of bewilderment washed over Xia Yi after he called out the name. 

What am I doing? Yes, saving people, that’s right… because Li Shao and An Li are there, and I know them. But this is the apocalypse, and even without these sea monsters, they might die from a lack of food and fresh water. Still… 

As much as Xia Yi disliked living with a crowd, or having too deep of a relationship with anyone, he wasn’t indifferent to the point where he could stay beside monsters that killed or ate other people!

An Li promptly regained her consciousness, followed by Li Shao and others. All of them stared at the merman and Xia Yi in disbelief.  

【You called my name?】

Siren inched closer to Xia Yi, unhesitantly curling its arm around his neck. The merman gently chuckled against Xia Yi’s ear.  

The whole scene looked like Xia Yi— screw him— had suddenly won the lottery or something! Not only did he survive after jumping into the ocean, but he also encountered the supposedly non-existent mer… man? Most importantly, this merman was ‘cuddling Xia Yi tenderly’ of its own accord. This had to be a hallucination due to their near-death experience, right?! None of this was making any scientific sense!   

Li Shao rubbed his eyes again and again. 

Na Lin’s eyes were twitching as they flickered between Li Shao and Xia Yi. The only reason why she even knew such a nobody was because of how awful Li Shao was at his job. She couldn’t understand what sort of singer or actor— hell any artist in general— would want an assistant like that! And now?!  

An Li shivered. Though the others hadn’t noticed it, she realised that this merman was speaking in the same fashion as those sea monsters— its voice wasn’t audible by ear, instead sounding directly in her head.  

Even though she was shaking with fear, she still fulfilled her duties as a friend. “Xia Yi! Run! That’s a sea monster!!” 

Siren half-tilted its head and glared at An Li. Despite not understanding her words, the woman’s anxious and terrified expression was… hmm… looking delicious. Yet somehow, its appetite had vanished and was replaced by an inexplicable anger. 

【She knows you. She is worried about you, correct?】

Xia Yi still wasn’t used to the close contact and turned away subconsciously. This infuriated Siren even more; it pressed its entire body against Xia Yi and buried its head in the human’s neck. Cold fingers caressed its treasure’s shoulder and back. 

Water rolled off of Siren’s pearly skin, and the hazy moonlight enhanced the merman’s inhuman but enchanting charm— Li Shao was almost drooling at the sight. In comparison, Xia Yi looked much worse. Technically, he had fine features, except there was no way he could fix his appearances throughout the past few days. His hair was a mess, there was stubble on his chin, and his clothing was deemed much worse than that of An Li and Li Shao because he’d been submerged underwater all this time.  

【You know my name, but I do not know yours. That will not do. Tell me. I know you can understand me!】

Siren was staring at the gawking people with an expression that resembled disgust. 

How odd… for their brooding, fearful, and alarmed emotions should be appetising. Yet somehow, I do not wish to remain here any longer. Why do I desire to sink into the depths of the sea and take my human as far away from them as possible?

After a moment of silence, Xia Yi figured that nothing could come of him sharing his name and so he quietly said, “Xia Yi.” 

This pronunciation… that woman said it earlier. 

Siren was unsuccessful at mimicking the strange syllables using infrasonic waves. Parting its colourless lips, the merman stared at Xia Yi and called, “Shaye?” 

This wasn’t infrasonic waves. It was a literal voice with a harmonious tone. Normally, anyone listening to this voice would feel themselves floating above the clouds. Xia Yi, however, wasn’t captivated. On the contrary, he was startled.

“Siren?” 

So a merman could talk? 

Xia Yi’s surprised reiteration clearly put the merman in an excellent mood. As if it had found precious gems, Siren refused to let go of its treasure and repeated the name again. 

“Sha Ye?”  

“…It’s Xia Yi.” The poor human was quite confused, for he never knew that his name could be uttered in such a weird way. 

“Shayi?” 

It’s… fine. Xia Yi felt that it was too ridiculous to expect a merman to correctly pronounce a Chinese name.  

Anyhow, the strange, bone-chilling energy that he’d sensed earlier had disappeared, meaning that Li Shao and An Li wouldn’t inexplicably die in the stomachs of the sea monsters. That was good enough. As for going over like one would do in a typical setting and asking, ‘How have you been since we parted ways? What’s happened to you guys? Why am I staying together with a bunch of non-humans…’ That was definitely not something Xia Yi would do. 

The only thing he could think of doing right now was leaving as soon as possible. 

That choice should be the safest one he could make for Li Shao and An Li; given his predicament, it was difficult for Xia Yi to empathise with others’ situation, thus, the thought of whether Li Shao’s group still had enough food or water didn’t even cross his mind. 

Without another word, Xia Yi turned and dove back into the sea. This time, Siren didn’t have to carry him, rather, the merman swam next to him as they left the lifeboats behind them. Underwater, Siren’s long, silver hair tickled Xia Yi’s shoulders and cheeks, and occasionally, his ankles would bush against the gently swaying tail. 

Siren’s temperature was very cool, so the human-like warmth that usually discomforted Xia Yi upon physical contact wasn’t present. 

【Shayi, come to Challenger Deep with me!】

“Where is Challenger Deep?” This was the second time that Xia Yi had heard this foreign name. 

【A really beautiful place.】Siren only understood the repeated name in Xia Yi’s sentence, so it thought the human had agreed to its proposal. The merman happily nuzzled its treasure’s face with its cheek. 

Suddenly, a tentacle covered in blue rings appeared out of nowhere and halted them in their path. 

【Siren?】Abyss waved all eight of its tentacles angrily. 【How could he go to Challenger Deep?! That’s our home!】

【And what objections do you have regarding my decision?】

【I—I… Hold up! He can’t go to Challenger Deep! He’ll die on the way! The water pressure is too great there.】Abyss looked up as it spoke. 【None of us dare to bring our treasures there. My bottles… Nereus’s big-eyed emperor fish…】

Before the giant octopus finished its tirade, the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish threw itself over again. 【My poor babies… they’re dead… wuwuwu!】

【Those three fish of yours were killed by humans, so why are you coming to me?!】

Siren and Xia Yi deadpanned as the jellyfish and octopus tackled each other again, rolling around in the water. 

【Didn’t they become Siren’s meal already? Who else can I find?! You! It’s your fault! I told you to help me but you didn’t! I… I’m going to see what octopus tastes like today! Hmm… wait? Why do you smell so good?】

【…Fuck!】

Leave it up to Nereus to slap a sore spot… Couldn’t it see that the octopus’ tentacle tip had already been seared to ‘rare’? Oh wait… nevermind… Only box jellyfish had 12 pairs of eyes while all other jellyfish had none =___= 


Surprise Mini Scene: 

Nereus screaming at Abyss: I’m going to knock your teeth out!  

Abyss: I don’t have teeth… 

***

Abyss screaming at Nereus: Are you blind?! Humans were the ones who killed your fish! 

Nereus: I don’t have eyes…

zfx

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1 thought on “Chapter 28 – The Chinese Language Is So Hard”

  1. Nereus and Abyss are always good material for a good laugh lololol But still, poor Nereus gots his pets eaten D:
    And I like it how XY just dove down again instead of speaking to the others lol

    Thx for the ch (ㅅ˘ㅂ˘)

    Reply

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