Recap of chapter 19: Lin created a giant tentacle of cells by connecting cells together in order to not get washed away by the water currents.
Chapter Twenty Evolve!
The water current still ruthlessly swept across the entire rock, this time even stronger than before.
All the cells here were washed away by the current and disappeared into the distant dark blue. However, Lin’s enormous tentacle still stood upright at the center of the rock.
Every time, the rush of the water current would cause the giant tentacle to bend, and many cells would tear.
But Lin did not plan to retreat. Every time, it relied on constant repair and cell division to boost the tentacle up again to face the next water current.
Lin knew that its cells would evolve in such a dangerous situation. Every time it was wounded, they would be come stronger!
The constant repairs used up a lot of food, so Lin had all the fat cells connect to the tentacle. This way, they could transfer energy fastest.
The other idle cells were send towards into the cavern to transport new food to feed to the fat cells.
The water current still swept the rock, and the time between waves was growing shorter. A while later, when the next water current came, Lin’s tentacle bent with the wave, but this time, it did not bend as severely as before.
There was a significantly less number of muscle cells that were torn apart. Most of them had become more resilient over the attacks of these water currents and were able to endure a higher shearing stress.
Lin was happy at the appearance of evolution.
But the water current did not allow Lin more time to be happy. They came faster and faster, one after another.
However, Lin did not fall. Every time, it could repair the tentacle faster.
By the end, the water current was almost constant. There was no time before its blows, but currently, Lin did not need to repair.
Its tentacle was so strong that it was able to remain undamaged even in such a strong flow.
Lin had succeeded. Lin had taken a big step on the road to evolution.
Was it happy? Yes, Lin found that it had a new term.
Lin now had one less threat. Right now, the only threat in Lin’s memory was that abrupt and fast-spreading ice.
Lin believed that if it had to face that cold terror again, it could win!
The water current continued for a time before slowly decreasing in strength and then calming down. The entire area once again became calm.
Lin opened the top of the tentacle. Large amounts of cells swam out and Lin started to take complete control of this area.
Due to the water current that had washed away all the cells on the rock, Lin didn’t even need to fight to easily take over 100% of the rocky area.
Lin started to plan on creating more tentacles on the rock. This way, it could more easily take control of the entire rock.
The tentacles could be used to hunt, in addition to defending against water currents. It only needed to suck in other cells, and then use dissolving fluid to kill them. It was so easy and convenient. Lin planned to put the stinger cells on the outside of the tentacle for them to grow. That way, it would form a terror tentacle covered in fatal stingers.
… … That wasn’t right.
Lin suddenly thought of a better idea.
En … …
Right, fencing off the entire rock was more useful than creating many tentacles. It would leave more space for Lin’s cells to swim inside.
Lin did as it thought.
Lin had large amounts of basic cells swim to the edge of the rock, and layer together along the edge. After they gathered together, Lin had them evolve to become soft and resilient like the outer membrane of the tentacle. This way, strength and the ability to move would both be guaranteed.
However, there was no use in a flat and wide structure to move and it could not move like the giant tentacle.
Lin felt that this was temporarily alright. Movement was good.
The foundation was made using large amounts of fat cells that gripped onto the rock underneath.
Lin found something interesting. While the cells could not dig up the rock, if some cells went into the cracks and continued to divide, they might push the rock into cracking.
It was possible to for them to establish a firmer hold on the rock using this method.
Lin’s observer also started to look at the edges of the rock as it observed the cells coming together.
The edges of the rock were very smooth but there were still many cracks or projections that Lin’s cells were able to grab and use to form “walls.”
If one looked down from the edge, they would only see a rocky wall that descended deep into the water. Lin could not see what was under there. Lin might go explore at some other time, but not now.
What was next was eating and growing … …
Lin’s cells increased rapidly. They quickly consumed all the white gel on the rock. Lin’s wall of cells around the rock was quickly built up. During this time, Lin did not encounter water currents, nor any strong cell groups. There were some small cell groups that occasionally appeared and, without exception, became Lin’s food.
What was worthy of mention was the luminescent microbes in the cavern. They were cells that were not afraid of Lin any longer, and started to mix with Lin’s cells to eat. However, Lin would push them away. In this time where it urgently needed food, Lin would only give the cell group enough food to survive, and nothing else.
The cells grew slowly like this … … the wall was finally completed after multiple nights passed.
In the process, Lin felt that one layer of cells was not thick enough, so it added a few more, increasing the amount of time spent.
The cell structure that surrounded the entire rock formed an enormous dome that covered the entire rock. There was a large hole in the middle for Lin’s tentacle to stretch out.
Lin had created many little holes on the surface that could be opened and closed for cells to move. There were many of these holes on the outer layers for cells to be quickly put in to be repaired and heal.
However, some of the damage could be repaired just with the division of surrounding cells.
With such a safe defense, Lin did not need to worry any longer about the water currents. However, it took a great amount of food to support the enormous number of cells that made up such a great shield.
As a result, Lin had the cells stay motionless most of the time. As long as the cells did not move, they almost didn’t need food.
But even so, the white gel inside the cavern and on the outside surface of the rock was enough to support the cell group and some extra, but was not enough for Lin to expand its cell group.
Lin made a new plan. It had some cells stop all activity, and then had other cells digest them. This way, it could obtain a great amount of energy at important moments.
This was used on those cells that had lived for a long time. Their deaths could give more room to cells that had recently divided. Lin knew that a cell’s evolution rate on its own was never as fast as when it divided into new cells. Also, as a cell lived, the damage it obtained everyday would accumulate. For example, friction wounds from brushing against rock.
In the end, they would grow weaker than normal cells.
But new cells would inherit all the best qualities of the old cells, and would usually be stronger, and not any of the shortcomings.
Therefore, this method of eliminating cells could switch out some of the very “old” cells, and allow Lin to evolve while not increasing the size of its cell group or its food consumption.
What could this plan be called? A new term appeared in Lin’s mind.
Yes, it was a great plan to eliminate old cells, and give new, and stronger cells space.
If one did not eliminate the old cells, and stopped division, then the food would be used up. Of course, when there was enough food, Lin would not use the “Longevity” plan.
However, Lin still wanted to increase its cell group. It realized that it wasn’t enough just relying on the white gel that came out of the rock.
But there would occasionally be cell groups of various sizes that would come close to the rock. Lin decided to hunt them.
However, these cells were not easy to catch because they would leave after swimming to Lin’s outer shield and finding that they could not go in. Lin didn’t know which direction they would appear from.
But there was something that needed to be solved, what was attracting these cells to come?
Yes, it was the white gel. Since that was the case, why couldn’t Lin use the white gel to tempt them into a trap?
En … … trap?
It was a good term … …
Translator Ramblings: So when you eat pieces of yourself, is it still cannibalism or just self-mutilation? I wish I can get spontaneous abilities and parts like Lin just by thinking “evolve.” A second pair of hands would be useful.