Recap of last chapter: Lin does not kill the shapeshifting cell and the water suddenly starts turning to ice which causes Lin to lose a lot of the cells.
Chapter Eight End of Winter, Beginning of Summer
Coldness, this was the only thing in this expanse of water.
Lin’s acid ejectors and cone-shaped cells had all been sacrificed in the spreading ice. Only 91 diggers had survived. They formed a sphere that protected Lin’s observer from being affected
The world outside this sphere was already a world of ice. Through the transparent bodies of these diggers, Lin was able to see that this was not the blue liquid water of before, but a motionless crystal mirror.
Lin’s cell group had been heavily impacted by these seemingly beautiful crystals. Even though Lin did not know why the last remaining diggers were unfrozen, Lin did not want to stay here.
Lin had the diggers start to move in an attempt to leave this place.
Some of the diggers were glued to the ice but if they twisted slightly, they would detach themselves.
These diggers seemed to have evolved. In the past, the cells would be freeze if they came into the slightest contact with the ice, but they were much more resilient now.
However, when they moved, Lin could clearly feel the coldness when the outer membrane of the cell touched the ice … …
This seemed to also be a kind of pain, but it was different than other kinds of pain. Lin did not feel a strong desire to escape the pain but this feeling made Lin want to shrink into a ball and remain unmoving.
However, this feeling did not affect Lin’s activities.
This expanse of water was frozen and the only remaining portion of water that was free was this little place where Lin was with its ninety two cells. All the water surrounding this place had formed impenetrable ice.
Maybe it could dig through this?
Lin had the diggers use their denticles to scrape the ice but other than producing a few shards, they were of no help. It would be almost impossible to break through the entire expanse of ice.
Lin didn’t know what to do.
The decrease in its cell group had caused its intelligence to decrease greatly. It was unable to ponder anything complex.
But even if Lin had the intelligence of a cell group of one thousand, it would not have a solution. At this time, it could only wait.
Luck or death.
It didn’t know how much time had passed. Lin knew the term time but did not know what it represented. However, Lin could feel the effects of time on it.
First … … hunger.
It was the first time Lin experienced hunger. There seemed to be a feeling in Lin’s thoughts that called it to search for food to replenish the expenditure of energy due to movement.
Lin had the diggers stop scraping the ice. It lowered its activity level to decrease its energy consumption. It was still able to understand this rationale.
But, the lack of movement did not mean that they had paused. The cells were still using up energy, even though this was at a much slower rate than when they were moving.
Lin continued to wait. It did what every organism should do and when an organism could not do a thing, remain still. They would wait to see if the surroundings would produce something that they could do.
In the process of waiting, several diggers used up all their energy. This was another kind of pain. It was different than other pain. When the energy was all used up, the cell membrane and the nucleus would start to wither, shrivel up, and then die.
Lin had the other cells eat the corpses of the cells that had no energy left. Their deaths could help give more time to other cells.
The phenomenon of death by starvation caused Lin to have a new thought.
Every time a cell ate, it would quickly digest what it ate and then divide. They would quickly use up the energy they obtained.
However, what if it could store energy? If there was a way to store energy in the cells, Lin would not have to fear if it encountered a situation like this again.
Lin thought of a new term … … fat.
Even though it did not understand the details, the term seemed to represent food that was stored.
Then next time, it would try to see if it could store food.
If it could survive this … …
With this thought, Lin remained in a motionless state. All of the cells were the same as they floating silently in the water.
The icy cold was draining Lin’s mind. The coldness made Lin want to sleep forever like this … …
But Lin would not give up. Even though the wait was long, but luck would come … …
Lin’s observer found that a crack appeared in the ice layer in front of him … …
Warmth, Lin felt something that was not the same as ice. This new feeling awakened every one of Lin’s cells. Lin found that there were more and more cracks … …
Under Lin’s gaze, the ice crystals slowly cracked and became countless large pieces. These ice pieces started to slowly shrink, just like the process of food being digested. They decreased in size, and then completely disappeared in the water … …
These ice crystals appeared out of nowhere, and froze everything. Then they instantly disappeared. If it wasn’t for some shards of ice that had not yet melted, Lin would feel that nothing had ever happened.
There were only 77 cells left, including Lin’s observer,that had passed this danger.
They now had immunity against the great cold. This disaster had almost killed off Lin’s cell group but Lin also became stronger.
Lin’s mission right now was to find anything that it could eat to recover the size of its original cell group. These cells which had used up large amounts of energy were slower and more fragile.
Lin’s cell group swam in the water. Even though the ice had melted, the water was still cold. Lin reached the place the enormous food had been before. This white food was covered in a layer of ice. It seemed the ice had affected this place as well.
Lin had the diggers try to break apart the ice layer on the surface of the food yet no matter how they twisted, they could only slice off some shards. It was difficult to create any damage to the ice layer.
What hadn’t the ice here melted, and it was so hard … …
Lin did not know why but it could feel that this place was slowly becoming cold again. The ice shards floating in the water showed signs of increasing in size.
Maybe this place would be frozen again.
When this thought appeared in Lin’s mind, it instantly took all of its cells to leave this place. Lin didn’t want the past situation to repeat.
Lin’s only hope was to once again go into the deep blue to search for new food and a warm place.
Warmth … …
Lin could feel that the water in one direction was different compared to the other water and it held warmth that made Lin feel comfortable.
Right, this was the area the shapeshifting cell that fled in.
Not long after the cell group swam, Lin found the transforming cell. This enormous being had not escaped the danger of being frozen. There was a layer of thin ice over its body. The enormous body was slowly floating in the water without any signs of life.
Even though the ice seemed to have melted, this cell seemed unable to wake up again
Lin had the diggers go forward. The thin layer of ice on the shapeshifting cell was fragile and easy to break. The diggers could easily cut through it. The body of the shapeshifting cell that was still soft was exposed in front of Lin.
Lin only had this one thought.
The diggers started to feed on the shapeshifting cell’s body. It used its old method of the denticles to cut down pieces before slowly engulfing them. After they replenished their energy, the damage caused by the cells slowly faded and they became energetic again.
Then it was cell division. The number of diggers slowly started to increase.
But Lin did not forget what it had thought about before.
It needed to store energy. Lin needed the stuff called fat to guarantee that the cells could still survive periods of time without food.
There was also something else.
Lin hoped that it could find the acid ejectors and cone-shaped cells that had completely disappeared in the ice disaster.
Translator Ramblings: I’m seriously uncertain what length of time this chapter encompassed. It is obvious that the water froze but I don’t know how great Lin’s metabolism is nor is it indicated how long the “hibernation” seems to have been. It seems that Lin just slowed down all cellular activity … … and magically acquired freeze tolerance.