Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 2
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
As a predator, what would dumbfound him the most?
Sui Xiong believed that the answer to this question was that he could have defeated anyone in the world, but his legs were too short to catch up with his prey, which was exactly the problem he was now facing.
He was trying his best to run in the water, hoping to catch up with the big fish in front of him, but no matter how hard he tried, the distance between him and the fish kept increasing, which soon made him desperate. Therefore, he had no choice but to give up. He stopped running with a sigh.
Not too long before, while hunting for food, he’d successfully caught and eaten the souls of over ten small fish, but hadn’t managed to catch a single big fish. He couldn’t name these fish, but it was clear that the bigger they were, the more agile they became. As for the small, dumb ones, they didn’t even notice when he was right next to them, so he was able to catch them without much effort, extracting and then eating their soul. But the big ones were a different story; they could instantly sense his existence, as well as how dangerous he was, so every time he tried to approach one, it would quickly swim away, leaving him far behind.
Of course, he tried to approach his target quietly, but it was no use. It seemed he was a firefly in the night, too obvious to hide himself sufficiently. He also tried to chase his prey, but he was too slow.
“It’s such a waste of time!” he said to himself when he failed to catch his prey again. “This doesn’t work, it doesn’t work at all!” Therefore, he had no choice but to redouble his efforts on the small, dumb fish.
Although the soul of a single small fish wasn’t much, eating enough of them would probably be fine… He wasn’t proud of being the big guy bullying the small guy, but he would need to if he was going to survive. In nature, didn’t every creature, no matter what kind of carnivore it was, always attack the old, fragile, sick or disabled every time? Sui Xiong wanted to reassure himself with this idea, but it brought him little consolation.
Carnivores in nature probably weren’t as intelligent or sentimental as he was. They didn’t have the same combat effectiveness (CE) to defeat everything else in their path; their life was a simple cycle of hunting and resting, and they had no time to feel sorry when they saw flowers falling from the trees in spring or the trees withering in autumn.
Standing among the dead fish, which were floating around him in disarray, Sui Xiong let out a melancholy sigh. “The balance of the ecosystem will be destroyed if I always hunt the small fish!”
A few hours later, he realized he was wrong when he saw a school of fish so big that he couldn’t see its end. Though he was a small body-type predator, when compared to the giant school, he could never destroy the balance of the whole ecosystem despite how many fish he ate.
In the distance, there was a giant whale with an unicorn horn roaring. The amount of food it ate for a meal would be enough to last him at least half a year. If it had not destroyed the ecosystem yet, he certainly would not.
Sui Xiong suddenly felt he was in awful danger, as if he’d been stung by a thorn, or more specifically, as if the point of a needle was touching his eyeball, and one small move would render him blind. Where was this danger coming from?
Sui Xiong looked around, trying to find the answer, until he saw that the danger was right in front of him. Despite all the delicious fish right under the whale’s eyes, it somehow ignored this potential feast, pushed them aside with its huge body, and swam straight toward him.
“Sh*t!” he cursed, turning around and immediately fleeing.
Just as the saying goes “one could never escape the retribution for his misdeeds”. Earlier, he was the predator; now he’d become the prey.
Looking at the giant whale, he knew it was impossible for him to fight. There was only one option, and that was to run. However, he soon stopped running.
With his short legs, how could he run away from this incredibly fast whale?
Of course not! It was absolutely impossible! Then what should he do? Facing this life and death situation, Sui Xiong thought very hard.
Question: if you were alone in the wilderness and you had no vehicles or weapons, and a ferocious beast was running toward you and planning to make you its dinner, what would you do?
I was waiting for your answer online, kind of hurry, be quick.
Well, this was bullsh*t anyways, because he obviously couldn’t connect to the internet, so no matter how long he waited, he’d never get the answer to that question. The whale, however, was the only thing he could possibly wait for, and it wouldn’t take long for it to catch up.
All sorts of practical and impractical ideas crossed his mind. Sui Xiong looked around as if he were crazy, trying to find a way to survive. But unfortunately, his mind drew a blank. If only he could go deeper, then he could try to hide in the crack of a stone at the bottom of the sea, where he would be safe. No matter how strong it was, the whale could never turn the whole seafloor upside down. But Sui Xiong could still only dive to two meters and no further.
Or if he could fly high into the sky, then he could escape the onrushing whale. He could even make a funny face at it, laughing at its incompetence. But he couldn’t fly either.
In fact, earlier he had tried to fly but could only jump and temporarily float above the sea. Even if his soul was weightless, he could only reach a maximum height of two meters. If he were on Earth, a standing vertical jump of two meters would definitely set the world record. No one could defeat him in Olympic competitions, and he would become a legend.
However, in his current predicament, the two meter height of his jump basically meant nothing. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t even worth mentioning, because when the whale opened its mouth, the gap between its upper and lower jaws would be over five meters.
“Is this the end? If I am devoured by the whale, will I be transported back to my home?” As the whale got closer and closer, Sui Xiong became too nervous to stop talking nonsense.
Right at this moment, he noticed a big jellyfish swimming slowly on the sea. Compared to the jellyfish he’d eaten earlier, there was nothing special about this one except its massive size. But somehow, like a lightning bolt flashing across his mind, making things clear and bright. He immediately knew what to do.
Maybe…it would work if… Instantly, Sui Xiong tried as much as he could to shrink himself into a ball, running into the jellyfish. Everything around him began shaking, and after a short while, the shaking stopped, and everything became quiet again. The blue sky, the emerald green seawater, the small portion of food; it all seemed the same.
He didn’t have time to dwell on what had just happened, so he ate the soul of the jellyfish. Guided by the jellyfish’s memory, he struggled to swim. He swam very ungracefully. If there was a clown competition in the jellyfish’s world, he would have won a gold medal for the least graceful swimmer.
After a while, not far from him, the water began to rumble. A huge body was circling around the water, as if looking for something. It seemed unable to find what it wanted, so it went back into the water.
He’d guessed right! The whale could not find him when he possessed the body of the jellyfish and was no longer a bodiless soul.
When the whale went underwater and disappeared, Sui Xiong felt relieved, but not completely. He struggled to move his tentacles, heading in the opposite direction of the whale.
He didn’t swim too fast, but he didn’t dare to stop either, even for a moment.
He kept swimming without knowing how much time had passed.
Seeing the sky gradually darken, he finally felt a bit reassured. It was dark, the seabirds had gone back to their nests, and the fish had gone to sleep too. Did this mean he was safe now? He wasn’t sure; he’d never studied marine biology before, so maybe this was just baseless conjecture. However, for him, the night was a good time, especially since in every fairy tale, ghosts liked the night.
Floating on the sea, he rested for a while. Then he thought about leaving the jellyfish’s body since it was too fragile to swim quickly. If he was going to possess something, that something should at least be a big fish. But he soon discovered that there was a problem, a very big problem—he could not leave the jellyfish’s body!
Actually, he couldn’t leave it completely. Its thin and fragile body, which before seemed able to be broken to pieces by a single wave, now became extremely firm. No matter how hard he tried to pull himself out of it, he was still hopelessly stuck inside the jellyfish’s body. Rather, he would be pulled back into it whenever he stopped trying to escape, and he would become even more jellyfish-like.
He tried for a long time, but it was futile. Still, he kept trying until the moon reached the middle of the sky. “I’m doomed. I’ve become a jellyfish,” he sighed while looking at the sky, accepting his cruel new reality.
Before being transported here, he had read a story about Eight Fairies. Among these fairies, there was one called Li Tieguai. Li once possessed a beggar’s body, and had remained a limp beggar ever since.
While reading, he had laughed at Li for his stupidity. He thought that if he had the chance to possess something, if not the emperor, he would at least chose a big stone in Mt. Huaguo.
However, now it turned out that he had possessed a jellyfish, thus becoming a creature stuck near the bottom of the food chain. This totally sucked!
After feeling sorry for himself for awhile, Sui Xiong soon perked up again, because he was getting hungry. Sighing and moaning wasn’t going to help him; now the most important thing to do was to find food.
“What does a jellyfish eat?” he asked himself. When he had absolutely no idea what the answer might be, he decided to forage.
What does a jellyfish eat? I’ve learned nothing about this! Could it be fish? Looking at his fragile body and thin tentacles, he shook his head. What fish!? He himself was the one to be eaten by fish.
Plankton then? Looking around anxiously, he couldn’t find a single plankton to feed on.
As his hunger grew and grew, so did his anxiety. What if he couldn’t find any food? He would starve to death. If that happened, would he be able to completely leave the jellyfish’s body? Maybe…he was just daydreaming… Sui Xiong dwelt on this and became very annoyed.
Right at that moment, he suddenly felt startled, as if something was staring at him. Although it wasn’t as intense as when he was targeted by the whale before, he still felt quite uncomfortable. It was like a tiny stone had slipped into his shoes and hurt his feet every time he took a step.
Looking down, he saw a flock of fish tearing up and eating every jellyfish on the sea one by one, like a gust of autumn wind sweeping away the fallen leaves.
These fish were not big—the biggest one was no bigger than a palm—but they were quite fiercely.
Swimming into a patch of moonlight, they opened their mouth. Their white teeth reflected the moonlight, which left Sui Xiong feeling cold and concerned.
Clearly, they were the jellyfish’s natural enemy.
Sui Xiong was shocked, but he soon calmed himself down. It was impossible for him to defeat a giant whale, but did it mean he would also be defeated by a flock of small fish? Who knew who would end up being eaten!