Chapter 57.1 I can’t figure out how to cook
Lin Xiao Puppy, tragically coveted, was left behind on the shore while everyone else eagerly jumped into the sea. He stood there, watching the sun slowly descend and enjoying the briny scent of the ocean breeze. Three grinning referees fixed their eyes on him.
The referees, three men of different shapes, were all focused on Lin Zhaohe. They playfully teased him, attempting to lure him over with their playful remarks.
However, Lin Zhaohe wasn’t really a dog. So, in response to their greetings, he disdainfully scoffed and turned away.
“Oh, what a cute little doggie!”
“Just let me have it. If you can’t even take care of your own son, why bother raising a dog?”
“Is my son even worthy of being compared to such an adorable little dog?”
Lin Xiao Puppy, a cuddly and furry creature, quickly became a crowd favorite in the fusion area where people were accustomed to weird-looking pets.
Meanwhile, three individuals had already ventured into the deep-water zone. Mr. Li, an excellent swimmer, seemed right at home in the water. He effortlessly dove into the depths, not requiring any breathing breaks or assistance. He gracefully glided to a depth of over ten meters. His legs moved like the fins of a fish, leaving elegant ripples in his wake.
Zhuang Lao and Lin Yan followed closely behind. Zhuang Lao was unaware, but Lin Yan’s mask allowed him to hold his breath for more than half an hour, enabling his body to perfectly resist the pressure from the seawater. They effortlessly trailed Mr. Li, showing no signs of exertion.
Other participants gradually joined them, each employing their own strategies to safely reach the survival zone.
On a rocky outcrop covered in dense seaweed and various marine creatures, Lin Yan noticed something strange. Unlike regular seaweed, these specimens displayed vibrant and diverse colors, appearing highly hazardous. Lin Yan spotted a Juyou maneuvering through them, moving closer, only to be halted by Mr. Li.
“Can your body resist powerful toxins?” Mr. Li communicated effortlessly with Lin Yan and the others underwater, utilizing unique sound waves.
Lin Yan shrugged, conveying his uncertainty about his resistance capabilities.
“In that case, never mind,” Mr. Li said. “I advise against trying. I’ve encountered this poison before, and although it’s not fatal, it inflicts agonizing pain. The toxicity gradually diminishes after two weeks… it will undoubtedly hinder your progress in the competition.”
As they conversed, some fearless individuals charged forward. It was then that Lin Yan realized the so-called seaweed was, in fact, living organisms disguised as seaweed. The colors on their bodies indicated their level of danger. The unfortunate individual who dared to touch them received a jolt, transforming their body into an uncontrolled missile, wildly thrashing and colliding. Lin Yan witnessed their contorted expression, their body convulsing and spasming uncontrollably, seemingly on the verge of losing consciousness.
Mr. Li expressed empathy, “If you can endure the pain, their taste is actually quite good…”
Lin Yan vehemently shook his head, signaling his lack of interest in consuming such strange creatures.
Mr. Li shrugged, and the three continued swimming forward. After a while, the quantity of seaweed decreased, and there were noticeably fewer Juyou creatures than before. Lin Yan looked around but couldn’t spot a single one.
“They like to hide in the sand,” Mr. Li explained. “When we search in the sand, we must be cautious because Juyou creatures usually coexist with some highly toxic creatures… Once we find a Juyou, never attempt to catch it with your hands. Kill it outright, and make sure it’s completely dead before touching its skin.”
Lin Yan agreed.
However, despite being extremely careful, an unexpected incident was inevitable.
Lin Yan carefully observed the surface of the sand, hoping to detect any signs of living creatures from its subtle movements. But as his body traversed a patch of gravel, he inadvertently touched something, causing a massive gaping mouth to suddenly emerge from beneath the gravel. In the blink of an eye, it swallowed him whole.
Seeing this, Zhuang Lao frowned, about to step forward and help, but Mr. Li stopped him.
“It’s fine,” Mr. Li said. “That fish is harmless and won’t harm Lin Yan. However, watch out for some smaller creatures.”
As expected, not long after the fish swallowed Lin Yan, its body began to tumble in the water. A sharp glimmer emerged from its abdomen, splitting the fish in half. Lin Yan emerged from the fish’s body, covered in blood. He appeared somewhat disheveled at first glance but remained unharmed.
Seeing that Lin Yan was safe, Zhuang Lao no longer paid attention to him and began searching for his own prey. He gracefully moved his body, swimming through the gravel like a seasoned fish. Soon, he found his target—a faint orange color concealed among the fine sand, seemingly the elusive Juyou they were looking for.
Zhuang Lao drew his dagger and swiftly thrust it into the area where the orange color appeared. His speed was remarkable, unaffected by the slight delay caused by being underwater. In the next moment, red blood spread through the water as he withdrew his dagger, revealing the impaled Juyou.
Just as the dagger pierced the Juyou, it hadn’t died completely yet. Its body continued to sway, attempting to use its tail to strike Zhuang Lao. But Zhuang Lao wouldn’t allow it. With a swift motion, he severed several tails with his blade.
“No!” Mr. Li, unable to warn him in time, could only express his heartache. “Don’t cut off the tails—”
Zhuang Lao: ?
Mr. Li: “The tails are the most succulent part of the Juyou… If you cut off the tails, it won’t meet the requirements.”
“Why didn’t you say so earlier?” Zhuang Lao looked helpless.
“I didn’t have a chance,” Mr. Li had no idea Zhuang Lao would act so quickly. “Never mind, let’s continue searching.”
The three resumed their search, unaware that several people had inexplicably gathered around them. These individuals seemed to be casually swimming nearby, occasionally coming up for air. Everything appeared ordinary, but Mr. Li signaled to Zhuang Lao and the others.
Being experienced individuals, Zhuang Lao and Lin Yan understood the message without words.
Soon, luck smiled upon Lin Yan as well. In a patch of fine gravel, he discovered traces of the Juyou. The underwater environment did not hinder his movements. Swift as lightning, almost the instant he spotted the Juyou, his dagger thrust forward.
Blood spread in the water as Lin Yan successfully captured the Juyou. However, before he could rejoice, the people who had been following them made their move.
One of them was incredibly fast, almost like a bullet traversing through the water. In an instant, he reached Lin Yan’s side, attempting to snatch the dagger with the impaled Juyou from his hand. Unexpectedly, in such a short span of time, this seemingly harmless young person before him had reacted.
His wrist was seized by someone, not exerting much force but rendering him completely immobile, as if cast in iron. He turned his head and saw a pair of pitch-black eyes silently gazing at him through the water ripples.
Underwater, Lin Yan couldn’t speak either. Bubbles escaped from his mouth, conveying his sincere thoughts in a gurgling manner.
The person who came to snatch his game unexpectedly managed to comprehend. Lin Yan seemed to be expressing disapproval of such behavior, but without anger. Faced with this kind gesture, the snatcher instantly turned from embarrassment to anger, thinking, “Who do you think you’re fooling by acting like a good person?!” He drew a weapon with his other hand and lunged at Lin Yan, but he sidestepped the attack.
Had it been Mr. Li or Zhuang Lao in Lin Yan’s place, this person would probably be dead by now. Fortunately for him, Lin Yan had the temperament of a saint. He evaded his strike, still not angry, and looked at him with sympathetic and caring eyes, as if asking, “Is this how you think you’ll secure a spot in this competition?”
This person was being driven mad by Lin Yan’s gaze. He wished he could stab him to death immediately, slashing relentlessly. But the more frantic he became, the less effective his attacks were.
Lin Yan effortlessly dodged all of the person’s strikes while sincerely gazing at him. He gestured with the hand holding the Juyou, seemingly saying, “If you really want to go, perhaps I can give you this fish…”
The person was quite young, just a child. Upon seeing Lin Yan’s expressions and gestures, his reaction intensified. Even in the water, it was apparent that his eyes were becoming red-rimmed. He even hated himself for understanding the meaning that Lin Yan wanted to convey. If he could speak, he would have roared, “I don’t need your pity!!”
Lin Yan felt at a loss as he looked at him, whose eyes suddenly reddened. He tentatively handed over the fish in his hand, indicating that it was for him, urging him not to cry.
The child slapped the fish out of Lin Yan’s hand with a snort, turned his head away, and wore an expression that said, “I don’t want your stinky fish.”
Lin Yan: “?” Then why did you come here?
As the two of them struggled to communicate, a tremendous shockwave suddenly hit. The once crystal-clear seawater instantly turned turbid, and amidst the flying sand and rocks, a massive tidal wave pushed everyone away.
“Who the hell did this?!” Mr. Li, witnessing the chaotic mess in the disturbed waters, erupted in anger. He steadied himself and quickly identified the culprit amidst the murky water—a certain individual holding a huge cannon, grinning widely. Around his waist hung a fresh Juyou, apparently caught by himself, as he intended to disrupt the other participants’ line of sight. Without hesitation, he pulled the cannon’s trigger and fired another shot, turning the already murky seawater into a massive vortex. Not only the Juyou creatures, but almost all the fish were swept into it.
Mr. Li cursed in anger and charged straight towards the person. The individual was already prepared, swiftly turning around and attempting to escape, vanishing in the blink of an eye.
Mr. Li grinned maliciously and said, “Now you know to run?” He accelerated, his body transforming into a black shadow. In an instant, he reached the person carrying the cannon, kicking him over into the water.
The person was taken aback by Mr. Li’s unexpectedly fast speed. The smugness on his face turned into terror. He quickly aimed the cannon at Mr. Li and fired. He knew the power of the shot well enough. From this distance, an ordinary two-dimensional character would be blasted into pieces.
Unfortunately for him, Mr. Li was no ordinary 2D character. He opened his mouth, revealing a mouth full of sharp teeth that turned into a pitch-black abyss. He directly swallowed the yet-to-be-ignited cannonball, and after finishing it, he even let out a satisfied belch.
The man was left dumbfounded, trembling as he stuttered, “Y-you are…”
Mr. Li: “Anything else? If not, I’ll take action.”
The man cried out in anguish, “Big Brother, I was wrong!”
It was too late to apologize at this point. Mr. Li reached out and grabbed the man’s throat, examining him closely. “You don’t look appetizing at all. Ugh, how repulsive.”
The man struggled in pain but couldn’t budge Mr. Li’s grip in the slightest.
Mr. Li observed the person before him for a moment and determined that he was not a remarkable ingredient. He snatched the Juyou from the person’s waist and casually flung them aside. “Boring.”
The man was thrown forcefully, his vision filled with stars, nearly fainting from the impact.
Due to the man’s disruption, chaos ensued in the surroundings. Mr. Li searched for a while but couldn’t find Zhuang Lao and Lin Yan. He decided to give up searching and turned to go ashore. After all, with the capabilities of those two, completing the mission shouldn’t be a problem.
Indeed, Zhuang Lao wasn’t greatly affected. After the startle, the Juyou creatures swam out from the depths of the murky water, providing an opportunity for Zhuang Lao. He swam into the turbid seawater, closed his eyes and focused for a moment, and amidst the flying sand and rocks, he located his target.
On the shore, Lin Zhaohe had been waiting idly. Suddenly, he felt as if a thin veil had been draped over his body—soft and delicate, seemingly harmless, yet his body stiffened, unable to move an inch.
Fortunately, this sensation was fleeting. Everything quickly returned to normal, but the faces of the others now bore expressions of fear. Lin Zhaohe overheard the murmurs among the hosts, wondering whose aura it could be. Could they have invited an extraordinary judge this year?
In the next moment, Lin Zhaohe saw Zhuang Lao and Mr. Li appearing by the seaside, their bodies drenched but not appearing disheveled. They each held a large fish with orange-red scales and nine tails.
“Boss, you’re back!” Lin Zhaohe wagged his little tail happily, welcoming his boss’s return.
“Hmm, did the little puppy wait for me obediently?” Zhuang Lao bent down and patted Lin Zhaohe’s head.
“Yes, yes! Lin Zhaohe is very happy.”
Mr. Li pondered for a moment and said, “Lin Zhaohe, it seems like you’ve completely immersed yourself in this role.”
Lin Zhaohe’s smile froze on his face.
“But that’s the consequence of alchemy,” Mr. Li said. “If it takes too long to change back, a person will assimilate into being a dog. Judging by your progress, in another month or two, you’ll truly become an authentic little puppy.”
Lin Zhaohe felt a sudden sense of urgency and said, “Let’s speed up the process. Life is precious. I don’t want to trouble the boss to take me for vaccinations in the future.”
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