Cthulhu Gonfalon - Chapter 6
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Translator: Nyoi_Bo_Studio Editor: Nyoi_Bo_Studio
“Alas, those who are bulky also have problems!” a huge monster near the coast was sobbing.
After leaving the ice trench in the deep sea, Sui Xiong set out for the land he’d seen in the memory of the giant whale and arrived at the coast very soon. The scenery here was less than ideal. The beach was a black tidal land, giving off a rotten smell that could be smelled from a great distance. It was almost a huge muddy pond.
Sui Xiong detested this environment, but he had no other choice. According to the memory of the giant whale, all that was known about the vicinity was a black tidal land such as this, wherever one went. The giant whale wasn’t very curious; it had just habitually cruised around in the sea. But even so, it’d also been cruising along the coast for two or three days. The places it had passed weren’t different at all.
So Sui Xiong could only sigh, manipulating his huge deformed jellyfish’s body and trying to swim towards the shore. He didn’t worry about a lack of oxygen or drying out because this jellyfish was dead anyway, and what happened to its body wasn’t important. Moreover, its skin was thick after repeated strengthening, and it was also covered by the tough skin from the giant whale, so it was sealed off enough to prevent water loss.
However, Sui Xiong had overlooked a major point. Once he landed, his massive body weight as a huge monster became a major problem without the buoyancy of the sea. He soon found out that even when only the upper body was out of the water (when the body wasn’t entirely out of the water), his massive weight had already caused the weight-bearing tentacles to sink deep into the mud on the beach. For him, taking each step was very complicated. It would be nearly impossible for him to move when he was entirely out of the water.
Perhaps he could laboriously use great strength to hack a way forward step by step, even though every step would leave a big pit on the ground. However, this plan was not only a waste of power but also silly. He was left with two choices: walk, or dig…
Sui Xiong really didn’t want to do something so stupid, so he tried to think of a way to solve the problem. Eventually, he came up with a solution that was not actually a solution. Since his body was large and heavy and very inconvenient for him to move, he needed to make the body smaller and lighter. He could decompose some of the muscles and bones, which formed the body, into nutrients and then condense the body to reduce its size and weight.
This plan directly contradicted common sense from what he’d learned about biology and the conservation of mass. It was absolutely impossible on Earth. But it was not impossible in this world. It was just complex, and the process of transformation meant using up many nutrients. Sui Xiong didn’t want to be wasteful, but if he wanted to land, look for people, and learn more about the world, he had no other choice.
The huge sea monster trembled and quickly shrunk. After a while, it had shrunk from the size of a hill to less than one percent of its former size. According to the whale’s memory, Sui Xiong’s new size was about the same as a small fishing boat used by ordinary fishermen. He wanted to shrink further, but at the moment his body had shrunk as much as possible. Except for the necessary skin and bone structure, the rest was almost entirely composed of highly concentrated nutrients, leaving no room for further compression.
“It’s still a bit big, but it’s the best I can do…” he sighed. And so this jellyfish, which would still be considered a behemoth in the sea, stepped forward and landed, supporting its body with a mass of tentacles and crossing the muddy beach.
The muddy beach was now no obstacle for Sui Xiong. With the tentacles churning along, he soon passed the beach and entered the woods by the sea. The woods here were rather weird. The ground and vegetation were all grey-black, with the only difference being the shades of black. Walking in the woods, he could feel that the air was filled with an eerie power that made him feel somewhat uncomfortable, leaving his mind muddy and confused.
“Such weird magic. According to the memory of the whale, it has never seen such a place. It seems to be unique to land.” Moving forward, Sui Xiong sensed the oddness of his surroundings. “Strange, how can there be so few creatures in the woods? Clearly, the woods are full of lush vegetation, but there are so few insects to be found. What’s happened?”
His soul was so strong that even the whale, whose age was unknown, bowed to his superiority. Even though he hadn’t deliberately enhanced his sense of direction, he was very aware of slight changes within a few miles. Following his intuition, he could see that the woods lacked animals and insects even if they had luxuriant foliage, which he found somewhat astonishing.
In the vast natural world, wherever there was a plant, there should be plant-eating herbivores, which in turn meant there should be carnivores that ate the herbivores. That was how the food chain worked. Even without animals, at least there should be highly adaptable insects around. However, these woods completely contradicted his knowledge of biology, so it was almost too weird to describe.
It was worth noting that it had been a long time since he’d arrived in this world. He had traveled many places in the boundless sea. He had also gained some of the memory of the whale by eating its soul. But neither in his travels nor in the memory of the giant whale had he encountered such a strange phenomenon. Coupled with the air imbued with the same weird magic that even the whale had never seen, Sui Xiong had a vague but ominous feeling.
“Isn’t this ghostly place the so-called ‘Forbidden Place’ that was formed because of chaotic ancient magic?” There were “forbidden places” in this world, where horrible, powerful and even perverted monsters lived, or the chaos of magic was unbearable, making it a forbidden zone of life that the overwhelming majority of creatures could only avoid and observe from afar. For example, the ice trench that Sui Xiong had visited not long before was a forbidden place.
Judging by their odd appearance, the woods seemed somewhat “forbidden”. However, it had not occurred to Sui Xiong that this world actually had such a weird “forbidden place”—without much impact on plants, but very unfriendly to animals. What was worse, the body he was currently possessing was an animal’s.
Aware of this, he immediately became alert, raising his awareness of his surroundings and not daring to relax for a moment. His natural state was, in fact, a soul, which meant perhaps he didn’t need to be afraid of the dangers in this “forbidden place”. But who could say it wouldn’t be worse for a soul? As the saying goes, caution is the parent of safety!
After walking carefully for awhile, he didn’t encounter any danger, and more insects appeared around him. Sui Xiong realized that he might’ve been too afraid and had made a mistake. Maybe the woods only had a few animals and insects because they didn’t like the environment beside the sea, not due to any danger. Sui Xiong had made a fuss about this weird phenomenon but ended up laughing to himself about it. Fortunately, he was alone, so there wasn’t anyone else to laugh at him for making something out of nothing. Smiling in a self-deprecating way, Sui Xiong finally calmed down and moved on.
These dark black woods were so enormous that he failed to walk out of them even though he walked from the time he landed until it turned dark. As the sun set and the moon rose, Sui Xiong found a vacant space in the woods to rest for the time being, even though he could still move freely at night.
Moving during the day and resting at night was a habit that made great pains to keep. He did this less out of a need for safety and more out of a desire to keep some trace of being “human”. During this period of time, Sui Xiong found himself increasingly accustomed to the monster’s lifestyle, becoming oblivious to his old way of life. This made him a bit nervous, so he deliberately retained some of the habits of a human being. It served only to remind him that he was not really a big monster but in fact still “human”.
No vegetation grew in the vacant space in the woods, and the soil was exceptionally black. The turbid magic in the air became thicker. Although Sui Xiong chose to rest here, he also wanted to test this place to some extent. If there really was anything weird in the woods, then it would be in a vacant space like this. He paused under a big tree on the edge of the vacant space, waiting patiently.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long before the last rays of the sunset disappeared in the sky, and bizarre changes began to happen in the woods. The ground began emitting streaks of black gas in a haze that gradually covered the forest floor. Sui Xiong clearly saw that the black gas emitted from the vacant space was thick. It didn’t plume but instead was emitted in streams like small geysers.
He became alert and prepared for a fight.
As more and more black gas filled the air, the turbid chaos magic in the air gradually became thicker too, especially above the vacant space. The magic slowly condensed until it became visible to the naked eye, interweaving with the black fog and transforming into a flowing whirlpool. After a while, the ground slowly cracked, and black skulls popped out one by one.
“What is this? A natural disaster caused by dead souls?” Sui Xiong was surprised for a moment. He’d never expected to actually see this fantasy stuff. He then carefully observed the skulls but found that they didn’t cause him much concern. They didn’t seem very strong. He waited for a moment and saw more and more skulls and skeletons pop out and gradually compress into a dense pile. But he simply stood still and seemed to be in a trance.
“These skeletons… what’s going on?” Sui Xiong didn’t act rashly and continued to wait patiently.
When the pile of skeletons reached a certain height, they stopped emerging from the ground. But the turbid chaos magic in the sky gradually gathered toward them. Sui Xiong keenly felt that although it happened slowly, the skeletons absorbed the magic bit by bit.
This situation lasted all night until the moon was about to set and the dawn gradually appeared on the horizon. Suddenly, the ground cracked again and all the skulls disappeared underground. The thick magic with the black gas had also dispersed. When the sun shone again, the woods regained their original appearance.
Sui Xiong didn’t leave but stayed next to the vacant space and waited for the next night. The next night, the same bizarre magic ceremony occurred again. When the sun shone again, and the skulls once again returned underground, Sui Xiong couldn’t help but laugh.
This was really weird but very interesting!