Last chapter recap: Lin kills the worm.
Chapter Twelve The Green Terminal
Lin faced the vast desert. Having lost this worm “guide,” Lin had completely lost sense of direction.
But the worm had to be killed. Otherwise, it would have kept on producing acid until it dissolved Leviathan.
Lin did not want to stay at the lake. It never liked small places. It didn’t know when the moisture here would be used up. Then everything here would disappear.
The worm’s destination would not be this place. Lin did not feel such a large organism would live at this small lake that could disappear at any moment. It should have a further destination.
Lin did not know how the worm navigated because it did not have something like magnets in its head. If the worm did not have memory of places it had went to before, then it had to have powerful perception. Lin knew the worm did not have powerful perception so it must have had memories.
But where should Lin go? It could only go with its feeling.
Lin assembled a special tentacle on the back of the Leviathan. This was primarily made from the olfactory system used to smell the fine water droplets in the air. This way, Lin could know were the nearest water was.
Leviathan swung the tentacle. Walking around the worm, Lin sensed the water in the air.
…There seemed to be more moisture this way.
Leviathan went northwest along the smell. Suddenly, Lin sensed that its foot hit something. When it stretched out its eyeball tentacle to look, it found this was a piece of the scorpion the worm had vomited up.
…Scorpion? Speaking of it, the scorpion should not be an organism of the desert. But it roamed the desert in search of water and prey to live? These organisms should have some navigation method…
Maybe Lin could find it?
Lin searched through the pile of pieces. However, the desert scorpion was so damaged Lin could not find anything useful.
Oh…Lin had to rely on itself?
Leviathan used tentacles to flipp over the last piece of armor. Just when Lin was about to throw it away, it found something stuck to the back of the piece.
Lin placed the piece on sandy ground. These were a few dozen small white balls. Each was only three centimeters across. These things had not been dissolved by the worm’s dissolving fluid.
These were clearly the desert scorpion’s eggs. While they looked fine, they were probably dead.
As Lin was thinking this, suddenly, the shell of an egg opened and a small scorpion that looked the same as the big scorpion came out.
It was still alive? Lin felt shocked. It watched as six of the eggs split and a group of small scorpions came out.
After they were born, they did not run in another direction. They climbed up the Leviathan’s leg. All of them climbed up the Leviathan.
What were they doing? Did they mistake the Leviathan as a larger scorpion?
This was pretty interesting. Maybe the large scorpion would carry the small scorpions like this. Maybe the small scorpions had a way of finding a water source?
…It did not seem to be. They just laid on the Leviathan’s back, and did nothing. Lin still had to rely on itself to search.
Swinging its tentacle again, Lin sensed air.
As a hot gust of wind blew by, Lin finally smelled a scent. This feeling was not water, but plants. Lin did not know what kind of plant, but that direction…clearly had life.
Then it would go. The worm shell here would be left behind as a base for this lake. It was going to find a truly suitable habitat!
Leviathan turned towards the target. The armor on its two sides opened a crack and two enormous pairs of wings stretched out.
These were the wings Lin had created that mimicked the meganeura. The wingspan reached 8.6 meters. Each wing was equal to the length of the Leviathan. They could usually be in their soft state and be folded within the Leviathan. When they met the air, they would gradually harden and become giant wings that could let the Leviathan fly!
Lin waved the two pairs of wings. As the giant wings flapped, the sand gusted up. The small scorpions huddled together on Leviathan’s back as though they knew what was happening next.
However, nothing happened…
Lin found that while its wing movement were correct, the same as the meganeura, it could not fly at all.
Lin was not surprised by this. As expected, did it weigh too much? Or were the wings too small? But Lin felt the wings were already large enough. How large did they have to be? Wings too big would get in the way on the ground.
Lin had some descriptive term now, mostly “kilogram,” and “ton.” Leviathan was about a ton or so. The dragonfly was about a kilogram and a ton was a thousand kilograms. This was much heavier than the biggest flying organism Lin had seen up until now.
Then how about trying harder? Lin opened the water spout at the Leviathan’s tail. It shot out compressed air. At the same time, the legs started to run. Working with the flapping wings, Leviathan charged out like it was flying.
This feeling was pretty good!
Leviathan sprinted on the desert, but even though it was very fast, it still couldn’t break free of the ground. No matter how hard Lin flapped the wing or how fast it ran, it could not rise.
Never mind, just leave it like this. This was much faster than before, and felt relaxed.
Lin continued to move through the desert in this “flying method.” This was much faster than the worms who dug through the ground and used up less power than normal running.
The small scorpions on the back were still there. Lin found they had not been thrown off. Some of the daring ones were climbing around the armor. They seemed to have strong barbs on the tips of their legs that could prevent them from falling off.
Lin did not pay much attention to them and moved even faster. In Lin’s calculation, it would reach the destination before night came.
The scenery faded away as Lin ran. With the strong muscles and perfect nutrient supply, Lin felt no tiredness at all. When the sky was turning dark, large patches of green appeared at the limits of Lin’s sight.
Lin had to sigh at its current speed. If it had stayed inside the worm, it didn’t know how many days this would have taken.
As the Leviathan came closer, the things Lin saw grew bigger and clearer. In the end, they formed a line of green countless kilometers long.
The green plants stretched up to the sky like giant tentacles. They were twisted together as they reached up, over a hundred meters tall, even bigger than the spiked pillars. At the top, they had many branches covered with green leaves. These enormous plants stood in front of Lin like a giant wall, and occupied all of its sight.
This area should be called a “forest.” While Lin seemed to have mentioned the term before, Lin only understood its meaning now. These thick plants that looked like tentacles twisted together seemed to be called “trees.”
Tree? These seemed to be organisms and were not stone spikes covered with moss. The moss had even been planted by the Aztec insects. This region was very large, and just by eye, it was far greater than the spiked pillars.
Lin planned to call these trees “twisted trees” because they were like tentacles twisted together. Lin did not know if the two trees twisted together were one organism or two.
There must be a lot of organisms here. Lin could hear all kinds of strange sounds coming from the forest. Many meganeura flew about the trees. Lin even occasionally saw large arthropods climb up the thick trunk. There was a thick layer of moss on the forest ground where many small arthropods were active.
Sucking in the clean oxygen floating from the forest, Leviathan put away its wings and walked among the twisted trees. The burning feeling from the desert had disappeared to be replaced by a refreshing feeling. Going through the desert was worth it.
In the forest, looking up, the dimming daylight passed through the gaps between the leaves. They shone as brightly as stars in the night. They swayed with the leaves. Some small reptiles passed through the mottled lights. They chewed on the ground moss. Some other arthropods were attempting to join but they did not notice a diving meganeura which easily caught a slow reptile. But when the meganeura was returning to the canopy, it accidentally hit a fine white web. No matter how it struggled, it could not break free. Then, an enormous eight-legged arthropod slowly came close…
This place was filled with life and abundant organisms. This was no longer the poor and small spiked pillar woods that the Aztec insects had planted, but a new world.
Here, there would be a new start…
Translator Ramblings: These ‘twisting trees’ might be Lepidodendrales.
- 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”