Chapter 39 – About “Like”

Sea Monster Alliance
ZFX
52 Chapters

Editor: Bubbles

Proofreader: XavierForest


Due to various reasons, special ability users had categorised and separated themselves based on ability type and strength. After all, conflicts were bound to occur. While ability users often considered themselves to be better than the average man, they were far more cautious with their own lives.

To them, the apocalypse was a hope-filled opportunity. Despite not having electricity or delicious meals, their lives now were far better than how they’d been pre-doomsday. No matter where they went, ability users were regarded with reverence. Even those who’d staunchly remained in their countries soon found themselves to be more valued by their respective leaders.

Before the apocalypse, a number of ability users were barely hanging on: some might’ve not possessed the capital to even imagine purchasing a house, or they might’ve had their entire family depending on a measly income, while a few had never been able to find a single date in their lives. But now, they had everything. As long as the city wasn’t in ruins, ability users could pick any house they liked; in places where order had fallen to chaos, they could take anything they wished from any store on the street. Overnight, everyone realised the reality and weight behind the saying ‘strength is power’.

However, the disruption of communication had affected even the new sources of national governments. They could only divide the abilities into two rough categories: ‘attack’ versus ‘assistance’. For example, An Li’s ability would’ve fallen into the former, wheeras Li Shao and his immense strength would’ve qualified for the latter. Though ‘attack’ seemed to be more impressive, the majority of those who had some sort of influence in the apocalyptic world dreamt of having an ‘assistance-based’ ability. The reason was simple: they were useful, but not so powerful that they’d become a sizable threat.

Water-related abilities, for one, were life-saving when diseases and plagues appeared in dozens of regions.

Wind-related abilities were also admired because their wielders could easily escape danger by floating up to a tree or some other high space.

These rough guidelines were, however, tossed out the window upon the appearance of the ability user named Zhou Liang. Countless people suddenly realised that there was no such thing as ‘attack’ abilities; instead, everything was solely based on the wielder’s sheer power. With the same water ability, some people could only use it to produce clean, drinkable water. Zhou Liang, on the other hand, could freeze water into ice and shoot icicles like bullets. If he happened to be in a place with a lake or river, not even an army of hundreds could do much damage to him— they’d all be washed away.

What was even more dangerous was the fact that those who had weaker abilities had seen little improvement, but at the same time, the stronger the ability wielder was, the quicker they seemed to improve their control over their power. Other than that, powerful wielders had also found the most efficient way to utilise their abilities or were staying in areas suited to their strengths. When combined together, these changes gave off the illusion that these ability users were indeed becoming more powerful day by day.

Throughout the entire world, what other environment was easier to find than a water-filled terrain?! Those with fire-related abilities could hardly camp out by a volcano, and it was virtually impossible for those with wind-related powers to reside in a place that suffered from hurricanes all year round. None of those places were suited for humans, often accompanied by a lack of food and terrible natural surroundings. No comparison was possible between these places and a simple lake or river.

Even so, due to the previously raging radiation and currently spreading plagues, not a single water-user who knew how to swim decided to float around in bodies of water 24/7. Even those who were a step ahead of the rest had only just begun their plans of moving to the seaside.

Having never survived through the beatings of raging waves, these water-users’ techniques and mastery over their abilities were miles behind Xia Yi’s.

As for the wielders who’d been stuck out at sea… Well, it was a pity that even ability users were human too. How could they survive through the series of disasters that the apocalypse and that tsunami has brought? Just because they couldn’t drown didn’t mean they were immune to things like shark bites. The ocean was dangerous in obviously more ways than just currents and waves. If these ability users had only stayed in shallow waters or by the shore, then they would’ve received a completely different experience.

Still, Xia Yi had no idea about the changes to societal dynamics that were presently taking place on land.

This cruiser has been laying on the seafloor for nearly half a century, but it was made with fine materials. Despite having rusted all over and been crushed to distortion by the water pressure, its frame was still maintaining its general structure. It was located pleasantly, right on the route to Challenger Deep.

Sea monsters were very lazy creatures. Having no natural enemies, they had no need to exert much effort in finding food. They thus embodied a comfortable and contented spirit. They also needn’t worry about the change in water pressure; if they so wanted, they could travel to any place on Earth – the Arctic, Antarctica, the tropics, and the temperate zone – as nothing could stop them.

【Life is a long and relaxing journey of travel,】Thaumas, the sea turtle, proudly said. With that, it detached itself from the group and left.

Before Xia Yi could ponder the philosophy behind its words, the crab replied in disdain, 【That’s because you can’t go to Challenger Deep!】

Sea turtles weren’t fish, but reptiles. Unfortunately, that meant they needed to rise to the surface for air.

The most that Thaumas could dive was around a thousand metres deep. While all of the sea monsters were lazy, if one had to rank the laziest out of all of them, the one at the top would have to be Thaumas. Frankly, the sea turtle just had a slow nature paired with slow movements, and every few hours, it had to resurface for a breath of air. For Thaumas, this was equivalent to repeatedly climbing up and down the stairs. It did nothing else everyday… just floating up, then sinking down… If the sea turtle had to do that too many times, it’d practically die from fatigue!

【Are you finding Thaumas to be a little stupid recently?】Abyss muttered to Nereus.

Does it mean ‘old dunderhead’? Xia Yi humoured mentally when he heard the comment.

【Old Dunderhead? Woah, the human language is so vivid!】The squid’s giant head appeared at the side of the hull, giving Xia Yi a good fright. He couldn’t help it, for the scene looked too similar to that of a horror movie.

It’s terrible… Why is it that thinking about things has suddenly jumped from ‘thinking about it’ to ‘saying it out loud’?

【Yeah, it seems to have trouble distinguishing directions. When Siren called us, Thaumas didn’t arrive.】

The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish bobbed near the sunken cruiser, acting as a source of light. To be fair, Xia Yi felt that this ‘light’ shouldn’t take on the responsibility at all because it was literally a neon lamp. The colours kept changing and even projected a swirling pattern; in all honesty, it made the surroundings look like a dance floor.

The one who would usually get lost was Ceto, which was mainly because the oarfish wasn’t used to shallow seas. It was a creature of the abyss, meaning that it actually couldn’t see things as well in a well-lit environment. Meanwhile, the great decrease in water pressure would make the oarfish feel like it was drifting when it swam; a slight movement could cause a big impact, and given how long its body was, it was easy for Ceto to stray from the right path. That was why it was no surprise that it would swim like an underwater rollercoaster.

As they neared Challenger Deep, the oarfish began to return to normal. Its vision was sharp and its movements steady, allowing it to accurately ambush any creature. In fact, when the long ribbon of silver swam over, the sperm whale – who had been devouring the giant squid – immediately fled for its life. Pieces of leftover squid floated about in the water, and Ceto didn’t hesitate before snatching them up at lightning speed. Its sharp teeth tore into the chunks, gnawing happily at the now-shredded corpse.

This oarfish had a very long mouth and extremely sharp teeth, except its amazingly-powerful teeth consisted of a grand total of two.

Acts like robbing another creature of its food was typical of not only sea monsters, but also every other organism in mother nature. The real grace was not chasing after the sperm whale and gobbling it up as food, too. So, the whale was actually quite glad to have escaped successfully. Unlike humans, it wouldn’t grow resentful because it had lost its meal. ‘The strong lived while the weak perished’— that’s how simple a world the ocean was.

Eurybia flipped out from the side of the hull. Bending with the flow of water, the large mollusc was a marvelous sight of queer beauty. The edges of its streamlined body layered together, swaying gently and fanning out like the hem of a dress under the glowing light. However, this graceful fluidity was destroyed the moment the colossal squid opened its mouth.

【Ceto, does it taste good?】

【Better than you.】The oarfish began coiling itself around the bottom of the cruiser, spinning around and around until its head laid on the crooked mast. It was as if the sunken vessel was nothing but their playground.

Eurybia wasn’t as timid as the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. Using its tentacles to smack the oarfish’s head to the other side of the mast, the squid continued,【How would you know? You’ve never tried!】

【Humph, coming from Antarctica, your flesh must be extremely tough. Practically frozen into stone!】

【…】

The temperature of the deep sea wasn’t that much higher than the coldest regions of the Antarctic seas!

【You? I wouldn’t eat you even if you gave yourself to me for free!】The oarfish peered at the squid.

【But I’m very interested in how you taste,】Eurybia dumbly said.

Xia Yi was flabbergasted.

These sea monsters had no idea that their words contained a whole other set of connotations! Even he, someone who usually could not pick up innuendos at all, was starting to feel something off. If someone said such things in public, they wouldn’t even be hinting, they would be blatantly suggesting!

【Eurybia, how can you be so spineless?!】The crab angrily waved its pincers.

【Spineless? What is that?】

The crab was momentarily taken aback by the question; it then knocked its shell with its pincers (This thing’s head grew on its body, so just think of it as smacking its forehead).

【I don’t know… Learned it from Thaumas. It’s apparently something that you have to have!】It grunted.

Abyss propped its tentacles against its body (Another one whose head and body were essentially the same thing. Seeing as how the octopus’ eyes grew at the bottom, it was basically resting its ‘chin’ on its ‘arms’). 【Sounds like… a spine? Bones?】

Without missing a beat, Eurybia declared, 【Oh, then I definitely don’t have it. I don’t have bones!】

There were only a few transparent pieces of cartilage that supported the squid’s body.

But you have teeth, which counts as a type of bone, right? And maybe barbs could count as well…

Xia Yi silently laid back down, water surrounding him. Above, there was nothing but boundless currents. Some of the fish had really long and wide fins. When they swam past high overhead, their fins rhythmically flapped up and down. The even and carefree movements almost resembled that of soaring eagles.

He continued to create dense layers of water to alleviate the pressure, as well as to maintain his body heat in the deep sea. Eventually, it became as natural as breathing, turning into an unconscious action. Even when his focus slipped, no disturbance would occur in the water layers. Despite that, Xia Yi still didn’t dare to sleep.

He was afraid of losing control of his ability in his sleep.

Yet when he looked up at the waters above, the serenity gave off the impression that the world had disappeared. There were no worries— only the illusion that his being was infinitely magnified. Frankly speaking, this was the best place for an eternal sleep.

Xia Yi didn’t know what he really needed. All he wanted was to keep silent and have the whole world forget that he was still alive. In fact, he didn’t even know what purpose being alive served.

Light silver hair floated in front of Xia Yi.

Despite there being layers of water in between, those cold scales pressing against his arm was still an odd sensation.

【Siren.】

The merman was lying on the cruiser’s deck right beside Xia Yi. It wasn’t hard at all because lush algae served as a cushion for the two.

For a moment, Xia Yi was enchanted by the amethyst irises behind the rippling water. Merfolk were beautiful creatures, so bewitching that they didn’t seem real. Xia Yi couldn’t help but reach out and touch Siren’s cheek.

Then his hand was promptly caught.

Though the touch wasn’t as obvious with the layers of water serving as a buffer, he still couldn’t pull back.

Xia Yi seemed to be looking at Siren, or he could’ve been looking into the vast sea behind the merman.

【What do you like about me?】

Before Siren could answer, Xia Yi closed his eyes and asked another question.

【Do you even know what ‘like’ is?】

Clearly, Siren had no idea. ‘Like’ was a human terminology and meant something completely different than what choice of food was preferable for a sea monster. For humans, ‘like’ and ‘being liked’ appeared to be a very important relationship. However…

【Do I need to know in order to like you?】

Xia Yi stared blankly.

That was a question he had no means of answering.

zfx

Haiiiii! I'm your not-so-local translator here at Dummy Novels. This isn't YouTube so I can't say like-comment and subscribe, but you get what I want ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) (comments, just comments please). Ping me on our discord server for literally anything, and see you around for the next chapter!

If you find any errors (E.g. spelling, inconsistent terms, broken links, etc.) , please let us know through our discord channel

Support Dummy

Your donations will help fund a part of the site's costs and management. You can find individual translators' ko-fi under each chapter^^

Join our discord channel

2 thoughts on “Chapter 39 – About “Like””

  1. They have their own disco ball in the team lololol

    Good question. But if you don’t know what ‘like’ is or what it stands for how will you know if you like him or if he’s just an interesting novelty to you that could be discharged anytime? Haa, dunno xDD

    Thx for the ch ٩(。˃ ᵕ ˂ )و

    Reply
  2. I like (now I’m scared to use the word ‘like’, but whatever) how Xia Yi has his own little group now and he understands them more than humans. Cause let’s be honset, humans are strange. Lol that spineless comment got me laughing. Bioluminesence is super cool, I bet that jelly looks awesome

    Reply

Leave a Comment