Chapter 1308: Friend or Foe?
The elephant saw the bird come for it, and so it turned and used its trunk in an attempt to bat it away. The bird was swift with its talons, though, and it grabbed the trunk neatly. Then, with a quick turn, the elephant was pulled upwards into the sea.
The elephant struggled the best it could, not wanting to go with it. But its resistance was futile, and it kept on getting pulled until the gravity flipped and it fell into the blue.
Han Sen wished to stop it. The elephant was his prey, and Han Sen had exhausted quite a bit of effort in trying to defeat it mano-a-mano. But unfortunately for him, the bird was too fast, and it was too late for Han Sen to stop its s.n.a.t.c.h.
The bird disappeared beneath the surface of the sea, taking the elephant with it.
Strangely, Han Sen noticed something else this time, though. He saw the bird transform into a fish the moment it took back to the water.
“What the—? That thing is just like the red bird. It can turn into a fish when it takes to water?” Han Sen frowned, as a few other thoughts and theories crossed his mind.
Perhaps it was because the elephant had been born in the area, but Han Sen noticed it had not been taken under and finished off. In the water, it was left alone by the fish-bird and allowed to swim towards the peak of the mountain which touched the water.
But before it could get there, the fish opened its mouth that was laden with teeth and took a big bite out of the elephant, then swallowed it.
The elephant was bleeding profusely following the bite, but overall, the wound was mild.
Then, the fish opened its mouth again. And almost to its surprise, the hardy elephant began thras.h.i.+ng at the waves of the upset sea.
Han Sen did not expect them both to be fighting in such a manner.
But regardless of what might have been occurring, the elephant was at a disadvantage. It might have been able to swim, but it wasn’t very proficient with the act. And no matter how strong it was, it wouldn’t last very long in the tumultuous water.
Just as Han Sen thought this was about to end, though, a howl came from someplace on the mountain.
There was a white turtle, the size of a mortar, swimming towards the two that were engaged in a fit of battle.
Han Sen took a closer look at what was going on and noticed there were in fact six turtles. They had all come to a.s.sist the elephant.
They were all super creatures, too. They had not opened their tenth gene locks, but their sh.e.l.ls were st.u.r.dy. Whenever the fish-bird tried to peck them, they’d pull their heads and limbs back inside their sh.e.l.ls, the defensive properties of which seemed ample enough to protect them.
The fish-bird also received a few bites from the pesky turtles, amidst the rumble that was currently on-going.
With the helping hand it received, the elephant was able to rea.s.sert control over itself and continue its struggle to swim towards the safety of the mountain.
The fish looked angry over the intrusion and the fact that the elephant was getting away. So, it turned into a bird once more and grabbed two turtles in its beak, then it tossed them into the sky.
Han Sen heard two katcha noises, indicating their fall was not a pleasant one. Taking a look, he was able to see that the sh.e.l.ls of the two unfortunate turtles had been wholly broken.
The other four turtles thought it best that they now scram, and so they did. They returned to the mountain as hastily as they had left it.
The bird was not keen on letting them and their transgressions get away scot-free, so it tried going after them. The turtles were small, though, and try as the fish-bird might, circling the mountain from above, it lost sight of them. So then, it turned towards another target. It was going to go for Han Sen.
Han Sen knew it was not a foe to be trifled with or underestimated, so he kept his ten gene locks open in antic.i.p.ation of its coming a.s.sault. Lotus Empress prepared herself to fight, too, while the Fish King readied itself for a departure to the sea above.
But then, the strangest thing occurred. Just as Han Sen was ready to unleash a barrage of attacks upon the approaching bird, it stopped short of him and dropped two dead turtles on the ground before him.
The bird let out a brief squawk and returned to the sea, motionless. It appeared just as it used to, when it had been following Han Sen and his companions on their journey.
Needless to say, everyone was a little taken aback. They were shocked to see the bird-fish had delivered two of its kills to Han Sen.
Lotus Empress was very confused, in particular.
“Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps that wasn’t Sea Ghost after all.” Lotus frowned, after issuing her best attempt at an explanation.
Han Sen looked at the red bird next, and thought to himself, “They can both shapes.h.i.+ft between bird and fish. Perhaps they’re related? Maybe the big bird-fish wants to take care of the little red birdy-fish.”
He wasn’t going to let the turtles go to waste, so the next thing Han Sen did was pick them up.
After removing their sh.e.l.ls, he received another two Life Geno Essences. After that, he cleaned up the flesh and gutted them, then prepared them as food. If their flesh was edible, that would prove they were second generation super creatures.
Sea Ghost continued trailing Han Sen and his fellows after that, but it did not attack.
Under its protection, for that was what they now a.s.sumed it was, they reached the island in safety and without further incident.
“Why is Sea Ghost protecting us, I wonder?” Lotus Empress asked Han Sen.
She thought he might have an answer, but the truth was, he didn’t. And not being sure of what Sea Ghost was thinking, he could not reply. So, instead, he decided to ask Bai Yishan something.
When he became a surpa.s.ser, he was sent to an abandoned shelter near the Endless Sea. The path they traversed was a shortcut he himself had devised and developed.
Bai Yishan told Han Sen about the Elephant Sutra and the research he had been conducting, and then asked Han Sen what he had been practicing.
“Professor, you cannot abandon your research. There’s something really tangible behind all this. There is a meaning to your research. As for what I have learned, it is a skill of the Xue family. It is not suitable for just anyone to learn, however. If your research and development of a new hyper geno art is a success, it will benefit humanity. I know it will. Don’t give it up,” Han Sen said, with a soft and rea.s.suring voice.