Last chapter recap: Lin defeats the salamander and starts following the helmet fish.
Chapter Forty Three The End of the River
Lin did not think for long before it had the Leviathan follow the helmet fish up the mouth of the river.
Of course, Leviathan did not care about salinity and other factors. When other organisms swam, their organs would continuously exchange all kinds of materials and nutrients with the outside water. They were unable to tolerate any changes in the water.
But Leviathan did not have a nutrient system that was directly connected to the water. While it had the ability to absorb water and spout water, the water would not go into the blood or other circulatory systems. Leviathan relied on a small type of cell to gather the nutrients and food from the water. These cells were an evolution of the gatherer who could separate the benign and malicious materials in the water. They could also judge which materials the Leviathan needed and the amounts.
In other words … … when entering the river, the gatherer would gather more salt and less water.
The Leviathan followed the helmet fish to swim deeper into the river. There were not many organisms in the water, only some small ones on the riverbed sand. No hunters here could threaten this group of helmet fish.
Other than Lin … …
Lin did not know how long the helmet fish would swim so Leviathan created an eyeball on the back of the Leviathan. The Leviathan floated to the water surface and observed the changes on land.
Leviathan had never created eyeballs before in this period of existence. It seems to purely live through its smell and touch senses. Lin felt this was almost incredible.
The burning ultraviolet light now did not seem to be very harmful. Even though the daylight was still bright, Leviathan did not feel anything when out of the water.
There seemed to be some large rectangular stones along the two sides of the river which blocked Lin’s sight. Green things grew on those rocks. They looked like hard and slender tentacles with splits at the ends.
They seemed to have climbed onto land. Just like the algae, these were the evolved forms of light eating cells. They had evolved along a completely different path compared to ordinary organisms. While they had systems like blood vessels, they were not willing to evolve a heart, muscles, a brain and other similar organs. Because they had no muscles, they could not move. They could only spread their reproductive cells by relying on the flowing water. Their reaction speed towards the surrounding environment was slow. But even so, their lives were not any worse than other organisms which had brains.
They seemed to have been the ones which created oxygen. While their reaction was slow, they could respond against the organisms with brains which liked hunting them. This was really wondrous. Climbing onto land must be one of the strategies to avoid being hunted.
These organisms could be described using another term … … “plant.” They were very different from the “animals” that moved quickly.
However, Lin had characteristics of both plants and animals. This felt very interesting.
Leviathan followed the helmet fish into a special area.
The water up ahead was blocked by enormous rock walls. However, this was not the end of the river because the cracks between the enormous rocks showed the flow still continued upwards. But these rocks had fallen into the river and blocked the river.
The destination of the helmet fish clearly was not this place. However, their bodies could not go through the cracks in the rock. They swam up to the water surface, and jumped upwards to the top of the enormous rocks out of the water.
The helmet fish waved their fins and cumbersome heads, attempting to climb over the enormous rocks blocking the river.
Why did they not just reproduce here? Why did they have to climb?
Lin felt puzzled watching the helmet fish on the rocks. However, this also proved the ultraviolet light was not harmful any longer.
What about Lin? Should it also jump up? Leviathan looked through Leviathan’s memories. It did not seem to have the ability to go onto land. In the billion years it had lived, it had never been close to land.
However, Leviathan had occasionally landed on land before and had survived climbing back into the water. Maybe Lin could try. Even the helmet fish could climb over this by moving its fins. There was no reason Leviathan could not.
Lin had the Leviathan float up to the surface, and then suddenly opened its water spout to jump up and land on top of the rocks.
While Leviathan only had two tentacles at the moment, the suction pads on the surfaces could provide great power. They could even pull the three meter body along land.
Leviathan was surrounded by the laboriously climbing helmet fish. There were still ten meters before they could reach water. Leviathan had a large body, but with the suction pads, Leviathan climbed faster than those helmet fish. When Leviathan climbed halfway there, some strange beings appeared ahead … …
The long flat bodies were more than a meter long. The ends of their forelimbs had enormous pincers with teeth. The tail parts were slightly curved with a sharp hook at the end. These were clearly predators. These organisms originated from a nondescript limbed organism. Lin had seen those organisms before, and had not expected they could now climb onto land.
They had their own name, “Brontoscorpio.”
Such a strange name. There were three of these scorpions who seemed to be waiting here to ambush the helmet fish.
This could be dangerous … …
The brontoscorpio had eight eyeballs on their heads. Lin did not know how their vision was, but they were clearly staring at Leviathan.
Lin felt this would be troublesome … …
Leviathan was enormous and these scorpions seemed wary of charging forward. However, they spread out and surrounded Leviathan in three directions.
Leviathan did not have any new cell types that could fight on land. But Lin used the old tactics. Leviathan had openings on the sides of its body and on its head. Other than the tail, it did not have a dead spot.
The exploding bombs with their powerful acids hit one of the scorpions in front of Leviathan. In pain, the scorpion twisted and retreated. The other two organisms avoided Leviathan and went to grab the nearby helmet fish.
They did not seem to be working together and left separately?
Lin did not think too much. It took the opportunity to climb into the water. Even though it had the exploding bomb, facing three enemies was troublesome.
This place was the spawning grounds of the helmet fish. A vast round water body. This should be called a “lake.”
After the Leviathan, many other helmet fish jumped into the late. The brontoscorpios seemed to only grab a few and could not stop the helmet fish from coming here to spawn.
The helmet fish school swam into the sand and mud at the bottom of the river. They used their helmets to dig out small holes. Each pair of fish had their own hole, and then they released large numbers of cells.
Some were very large and spherical, about a centimeter in length. The other kind was extremely small and had a small tentacle-like tail. Those were the size of simple single cells. There seemed to be two terms that described the differences, “male and female.”
The ones that released spherical cells were female, and the ones that released small cells were male. When female and male cells came together, they could create descendants with the advantages of both.
After the helmet fish released their cells, they would die. This was just like the flat fish. Lin found that most organisms had a limited longevity. They were unlike Lin who would occasionally deconstruct the older cells. When their longevity ended, all the cells in their body would die, starting from the brain and spreading all over.
They were not attacked, nor were they infected by viruses. This seemed to be determined by their own cells. An organism could only live a set amount of time, and then they had to die and leave the position to their descendants.
A flat fish’s lifetime was about ten years or so. While they may die early due to viruses or parasitic worms, no matter what, they could not live longer than ten years. All the cells were set to die at that time. The helmet fish were more unique. They would only die after spawning. Before that, they would not die.
The corpses of these helmet fish would not be wasted. They would become food for newborn fish.
Lin did not come here to just watch them reproduce. It wanted to set a base here to study how this place was different from the sea water.
Lin’s bases were now very different than in the past. The center would be a sphere thirty centimeters in diameter. Then it would spread out in a green carpet that would cover the entire area.
The structure of the green carpet was much simpler. It was primarily two transparent layers of shell which contained the green cells and some small defensive units.
The green carpet would not affect the helmet fish. Lin rarely attacked other organisms now. It was more valuable to observe them than eat them.
After putting down the base seed, Lin suddenly felt something special … …
This was … …
The interior of the base seed contained some very sensitive tentacles. Lin had designed them to observe the changes in the surroundings. They could calculate how the environment would change through gathering information on the movement of the seabed, water temperature and other things. Then Lin could prepare beforehand.
The moment Lin put down the base seed, they could feel … … something strange.
Translator Ramblings: Lots of new things in this chapter: actual plants, osmosis, migratory fish, sexual reproduction…
and this scorpion-like organism.
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 15 “Bombardier Beetle”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 14 “Forest Hunter”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 13 “The Twisted Forest”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 12 “The Green Terminal”
- 4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 11 “Devour”