This chapter has been brought to you by me, and WanderingGummiOfDoom.
Last chapter recap: Lin invades and explores the destroyed oval worm.
Chapter Eight New Nutrient System
Lin finished exploring inside the oval worm’s body. There didn’t seem to be anything consumable left inside this worm except the cells in the tentacle like passages.
These passages spread through the entire oval worm’s body including the segmented limbs. They were in every corner except around the esophagus’ position. However, Lin thought that the ones around the esophagus were destroyed by the virus.
At the start Lin did not know what was the meaning of that enormous thing all the passages connected to. After observing for a while, Lin gave up and started to eat them.
As Lin’s devourers bit open these passages, Lin gradually started to learn their purpose.
The passages had many fats, oils, fragments of food, and many immune cells in addition to large numbers of blue cells.
These immune cells did not look like the ones that Lin saw before. They were extremely small and just slightly bigger than the viruses. They were most likely the reason that the passages were not affected by the viruses. They would secret a sticky substance that could prevent the viruses from coming close.
But why would the other organs in the oval worm’s body destroyed by the viruses? Lin thought that this kind of immune cell was only responsible for defending the passages and the immune cells that were responsible for defending other organs were blocked off by Lin’s units so the other organs were destroyed.
Lin didn’t know why these immune cells stayed in the passage and didn’t go to other places. That wasn’t what Lin was most concerned about.
Lin wanted to know the purpose of these passages, and see how the composition of the oval worm was different from its own cells.
These passages most likely were used to transport nutrients so they spread all over the body.
The effectiveness of transporting nutrients was good. Lin’s transportation method was to have the connected cells come into contact with the fat cells and then they would pass nutrients among themselves. It was much slower. For example, the large devourers would take a long time to be filled with nutrients.
Also, what confused Lin the most was that enormous thing at the center of the passages. Lin found after eating a part of that thing that it was made from cells similar to its muscle cells. This meant that this thing could contract or expand like a pump to quickly spread the nutrients and cells in the passages all over the body.
What was a “pump?”
Lin ignored this strange term. This structure was really good.
Yes, if these passages formed a circulatory structure and a position for food to be placed, if a central structure like this expanded and contracted, the cells inside the passages could move faster and transport nutrients to the whole body.
The oval worm definitely had a place to store food which was connected to these passages but Lin didn’t find one. It most likely had been destroyed by the viruses.
So a structure like this was more effective.
Lin’s devourer were either purely muscle cells with offensive cells for mouths. They were extremely effective against single cells but they were used up quickly and became excited. They had to be replenished for a long time before they could become active again.
The mothership’s ectoderm was made out of a kind of hardened cells. Because they were hardened, they couldn’t move and didn’t use energy. However, the tentacles that moved the mothership were made purely of muscle cells. If Lin constantly moved, it was easy to become exhausted.
But if a structure like this was added, the muscle cells might be weaker than before, but they could be active for a longer period of time, and the damaged places could be quickly repaired.
It would be a good feeling. While the amount Lin ate was not enough to repair even 30& of the mothership, it felt it was worthwhile to kill this worm. It had learned many things. If the other parts hadn’t been destroyed by the viruses, Lin probably would have learned even more.
Lin decided to not use viruses next time.
As Lin thought all this, the cells almost finished eating everything inside the body of the oval worm.
The surrounding ice was slowly melting and Lin had almost finished repairing the mothership. While there was very little of the oval worm that could be consumed, Lin had large numbers of fat cells stored that were enough to repair the entire mothership.
The group of green cells in the “rearing pen” on the ectoderm of the mothership had managed to survive the danger because they were on the side that the oval worm hadn’t gotten to. Lin found that they were doing well. Through the light that came through the ice layer, they had divided and grew in number.
Lin considered whether to get some more into the rearing pen.
However, the most important thing at this point was to make that circulatory structure.
After repairing the mothership, Lin started to build the passage structure inside the mothership it had learned from the oval worm.
First was the muscle cell structure at the center that could rapidly contract and expand. Lin found it had a new term to describe this structure.
The heart was primarily divided into two layers. The upper layer was responsible for drawing in water, and then squeezed and released through the lower layer in order to achieve circulation.
Then it was the structure of the passages. Lin had the basic cells form these passages. They were interconnected and the ends were connected to the inside wall of the outer layer of the mothership. They could send nutrients to the entire mothership at any time.
Lin once had the rear half of the othership form tentacles that could absorb nutrients. They would consume food and then pass it between cells. The efficiency could not compare to the passages that transported nutrients using water.
The passage structures were called “blood vessels.”
It felt slightly strange but Lin decided to use this name.
Lin did not plan on putting so many cells in the blood vessels like the oval worm. This way, it had more space to transport food.
Speaking of food, Lin formed an oval-shaped structure and called it a “pouch.” This pouch could open and close and it was connected to the blood vessels. Usually, food was stored in the pouch. The food would be carried away from the pouch by the blood vessel cells to replenish cells at other places. At the same time, fat cells could be put in.
Lin usually finished working when it finished thinking. Right now, the inside of the mothership looked like a space criss-crossed with passages. However, Lin felt that this structure had a shortcoming. Once the blood vessel was damaged, the things inside would uncontrollably flood out. In a situation like this, Lin had to stop the heart from beating and wait for the blood vessel to be repaired before the circulation could resume
So Lin needed stronger defenses to stop the enemy from attacking these blood vessels.
Speaking of defenses, this was Lin’s greatest pain.
While the outer layer Lin had created could stop all kinds of attacks from single celled creatures such as spikes and toxins, it had been easily torn apart by the oval worm.
The outer shell of the oval worm was extremely hard. While it did not move as nimbly as the Lin’s tentacles, Lin could not damage any places other than the joints.
Lin didn’t just have to study the interior of the oval worm. It also had to understand the outside.
How did it grow such a hard outer shell? Lin’s cells could not reach such a hardness, not even the diggers or cone-shaped cells.
Maybe it could evolve this kind of ability by digging constantly like it had before?
But Lin did not want to wait for so long. It wanted to know how these hard shells were constructure right now.
From appearance or feeling when Lin bit at it, this thing did not seem to be constructed of cells.
Lin could not understand it at all, couldn’t eat it, and couldn’t get a piece to see how it was constructed.
Since this was the case, Lin decided to use it. Maybe by using this, it could help Lin evolve.
How to use it?
Couldn’t Lin just have its cells go into this shell? The viruses had destroyed the cells inside the oval worm but didn’t damage the shell at all.
… … Yes!
Lin might be able to get it to move like when it had been alive!
It only had to use its cells to form constructs inside! Put muscle cells into the segmented limbs, the muscles would move. Then put a heart and blood vessel structure into the shell … …
While Lin didn’t know what the other organs of the oval worm were, that wasn’t important. Lin knew that the muscles and nutrients were the basis for movement.
If it put in enough cells, it could “resurrect” the oval worm!
Editor’s note: So let’s recap here a chitin exoskeleton, immune system, centralized circulatory system, digestive system, and because it is a large multicellular organism with specialized cells – ostensibly a reproductive system. All of this is to say, Lin is way behind on the evolutionary arms race. Although arguably sentience is a huge cheat up to start with.
Also, I am working on the project now.
Also, FYI. The small blue cells are likely hemolymph a type of cell that carries blood but uses copper instead of iron, giving it a characteristic green-blue colour. But I find it odd because hemolymph is found in arthropods (insects and crustaceans). Also, in most cases hemolymph isn’t contained in a circulatory system but acts more like our interstitial fluid and bathes tissues and is moved around indirectly due to muscle contractions rather than a centralized muscle like a heart. Point is, this worm is so freaking advanced for this point in evolution it is crazy.
Also, let’s be clear here. Lin is wearing the corpse of it’s kill as armor. Not making, wearing. Tool use!
Translator Ramblings: WanderingGummiOfDoom has pretty much said it all about this chapter. And his edits on
Virtual heart beating video this time now that we are introduced to this organ. Don’t watch if you might be squeamish.