Global Evolution - Chapter 143
"We have no idea so far;these bastards aren’t afraid of us at all!" the clones screamed. "We aren’t the almighty Willow - it’d be great if we were! But this centipede doesn’t seem to be a threat to them."
Chang kept pointing his gun at the birds without firing. He didn’t want to irritate them, but at the same time, he wouldn’t allow the birds to take advantage of him either. Therefore, he was fully concentrated on defending. "They’re just super annoying;they aren’t as aggressive as the species I’ve dealt with before, but their eyes unnerve me."
"Just keep in mind to not cause injury to them or us. Otherwise the blood will wrack their nerves," Qing shouted. "Or should I say that the blood will drive away their last hesitation."
"I’ll try." Some monkeys with wings were circling between the branches;they even held rocks and sticks as weapons. It seemed like they were ready for a surprise attack.
"I have a good idea." Chang jumped off the centipede and ducked into the jungle. "I’ll be right back."
He scurried away between the thin gaps among the trees, not catching much attention from the birds. After all, he was all alone while his group was gathered with the centipede. The target size was quite different in scale.
Chang dashed forward for two hundred meters and directed the flock's attention— with a gunshot—to himself, and the birds turned their heads in an orderly manner.
The bullet tore a bird, the corpse splattered in the air, and blood misted and damped the surroundings. This kind of blood bomb couldn’t be more irresistible to the ravenous flocks.
He ran right after he shot the poor bird, for one animal was not going to distract the flocks for long enough.
Chang soon shot another bird to create more chaos.
He did so a few times until the predatory vibe grew among the beasts. The flocks went into a mania, plundering the corpses from all directions. Since the initial number of preys was small, many of the birds which didn’t get a share of flesh started aiming for their peers. Chang’s gunshots ignited the massacre of the flocks, one going against each other.
Later, riots were provoked like fireworks in the sky. The flocks around the centipedes were soon intrigued by the noise;they gave up on their original target and peace was returned to the group of travelers.
Fifteen minutes later, the sky was clear when Chang came back from the battlefield.
"Finally, there is some light." All the leaves on the branches had been bitten off by now. "The jungle is already tightly weaved, and the flocks even blocked the last beams of light we had. Wasn’t that upsetting?"
"Don’t you have night vision?" the clones stated.
"How do you know?" Chang asked back.
"Your pupils reflect light like cat eyes do. We aren’t stupid." The clones again spoke in the same tone. "To be honest, the Modifier worked pretty well for you. We think you have acquired quite an amount of extra abilities. This is a reverse evolution;you’re retrieving the abilities of animals towards the root of the evolutionary tree. How capable are you now?"
"I did improve a lot from those practical abilities;I can beat up more than a hundred organisms at my level. However, my body is still fragile compared to my capabilities." Chang recalled the last time he had fought Xin Liu. "Although I have additional abilities, I probably couldn’t take a punch from that little amphibia in the face."
"It’s a process, Chang. When you start acquiring insects' abilities, your physique will have an incredible boost," Qing said, sitting on the head of the centipede. "Don’t ever underestimate yourself, EMs are rare by their nature, and you were modified by Qing Shui in person. Have some faith."
"Yeah, we’re all looking up to you. Your potential is still unclear, which means you may have a larger room for improvement than any of us. You know EMs in perception category are rarer compared to others. And you were enhanced in almost every aspect you can imagine. In some sense, you are one of a kind," Shui encouraged.
"Otherwise, why do you think Qing Shui would have ever cared about improving you? Chang, it’s your identity as an EM! He was obstructed by himself when bonding with you and Jing," Shui Qing laughed suddenly, "however, you need to know that you are mighty. The Modifier he gave you was the best out of all he made. Besides Jing, you are at the top of the perception category we know so far."
"Reverse evolution." Chang contemplated on this phrase while walking to the clones. He still didn’t let down his guard when coming to sit at the centipede’s head.
Their conversation attracted attention from other people on the centipede.
"What exactly do you mean by reverse evolution?" Chang asked. "When the Modifier alters my gene sequence, does it follow some kind of rules?"
"Yes. Imagine this, the Modifier will help you reorder a small part of your genome at a time. In the beginning, it’d be easy as it only needs to alter a tiny portion of your gene sequence and you will acquire abilities from another mammal - as they have the highest similarity to a human regarding gene structure.
"For example, I can see that you are already able to see in the dark like a cat, and that’s due to alteration of your genes that control the morphology and structure of your retina. However, can you imagine getting an ant’s strength? Ant may seem small to you, but they indeed have one of the sturdiest bodies in nature considering their size.
"To become as strong as them, changes will have to be made to all your bones and muscle structure, as well as your organ arrangements.This is reverse evolution;this is your future."
"…" Chang could only nod.
"But you don’t need to be scared or upset. The biggest advantage for species at a lower level is that they are good at survival. It’ll take a long time for you to get to that point - you may even stop evolving at some point, we don’t know. But isn’t the future amazing?
"If you could divide yourself in half and remain alive like earthworms, you wouldn’t need to worry about getting killed easily anymore! Hmm, then we’d also need to think about how to keep your copy intelligent as well…" Qing said. He poked Chang’s arm with his elbow. "Son, long way to go."
"Oh come on, since when are you old enough to call me son." Chang patted the three-year-old’s head.
"We are older than you." The clones spoke together when Chang expressed his frustration. "The cells in our bodies came from Qing Shui, and the age of them is almost thirty years old. Therefore, though we’ve spent less time growing, you can say that we are almost thirty years old already. And that’s why the lifespan of clones is much shorter than of their cell provider."