Thanks to Lin Dong for supplying corrected chapters.
Chapter Six Amoeba
Was it supposed to face the endless world of water again? Or should it continue to stay here and eat?
Of course it would stay here and eat. Why would it leave? If it left, there were too many uncertain factors. Lin did not want to take risks.
So Lin decided to completely devour this enormous food. This way, it should have tens of thousands in its cell group. No, maybe it would reach a billion.
Lin was unable to imagine this number before, but as the cell group expanded, the information that it could receive in its thoughts increased greatly.
But Lin did not consider one matter … …
Lin’s cells started to feed on the enormous food starting from the hole it had dug. The acid ejectors continued to dissolve large amounts of food and the remaining cells dug, tore apart and used all the methods possible to feed on the food.
Lin’s cell group started to expand. After the cell group reached one thousand, Lin’s observer was almost unable to keep all of them in the field of view.
Lin once again felt puzzled. Why was this cell that possessed the ability of sight unable to divide out another cell that possessed sight? The cells that split from the observer cell were still the most basic and normal cells.
And these cells would slowly evolve into diggers due to the method of feeding. In the end, it still wouldn’t have the ability of sight.
Just as Lin was puzzling over this, something special once again appeared in its vision.
An enormous blue object lay on the vast white plain the food formed. This object seemed to be alive and its body was moving constantly.
However, its movements did not cause any damage to the food underneath it. Lin judged that it was not actually feeding. This organism was very strange. Its body did not seem to have a permanent shape, and it continued to change, like … …
Lin didn’t know why this term suddenly came into its thoughts, but in the next instant, it found an even more accurate term … …
It was a descriptive term.
Lin did not have any ideas about this cell because it really was too large. If a thousand of Lin’s cells were piled up together, it would not be half the size of this cell. Lin had to give up his thoughts of attacking.
However, why did it have to attack when it saw other organisms?
But, what to do if not attack?
Lin did not understand.
Lin continued to observe the shapeshifting cell that was still moving. It soon found that some little things were swimming over from nearby.
Those small things were about the same size as Lin’s cells but their bodies were elliptical and a green color. These were probably a kind of cell.
Yet when these green cells came near, the cell suddenly reacted. Many protrusions suddenly appeared on its surface that reached towards those green cells.
No, rather than say it reached out with projections, it was more accurate to say it had changed a part of itself into the protrusions.
The green cells did not dodge. They were easily caught by the protrusions. Then like the cell engulfing things, the protrusions sucked the entire green cells in. The swallowed green cells slowly followed the protrusion towards the center of the shapeshifting cell.
The shapeshifting cell now appeared faint green as well. Because it was highly transparent, Lin could see what was happening to the green cells inside this shapeshifting cell.
These cells gathered in a place inside the cell close to a black sphere. That was probably the nucleus of the shapeshifting cell. Then the bodies of the green cells started to shrink until they disappeared.
Were they digested? But Lin could not see what digested them.
Speaking of that, it was the same when Lin digested food as well. The food would strangely shrink and then disappear. Lin could not see what was actually doing the digestive process.
There were many green cells that floated by. The shapeshifting cell only grabbed a portion. There were still large numbers of green cells floating in Lin’s direction.
They were not a threat to Lin but what made Lin nervous was that enormous shapeshifting cell actually followed the flow of green cells and was moving over.
Lin only had this thought about the speed of the shapeshifting cell. The enormous body continued to shift and propel the shapeshifting cell forward. It was much faster than Lin’s cells when they swam.
Run away? Fight back?
Lin did not plan to run away. It had experienced many battles and its cell group was very strong now.
It would face the other directly.
Right now, there were 97 acid ejectors. Lin was full of confidence.
The acid ejectors all charged out under Lin’s control. At this time, the shapeshifting cell seemed to know that something was coming near it, and it sped up.
Lin felt very curious about this sensory ability. The shapeshifting cell clearly did not have sight. Otherwise, it would have seen Lin already. Then how did it know the position of the food? This clearly was not based on contact because it knew that the green cells were present before it sent out the protrusions.
The strange cells of the past also did the same and would react to things that came near it.
Lin had a thought about obtaining this ability because it was still unable to produce any observers at the moment.
The shapeshifting cell felt the acid ejectors come near. It attacked first. It first divided a large part of its body that appeared soft into numerous tentacles that grabbed at the acid ejectors.
When the acid ejectors neared the tentacles, they sprayed out large amounts of dissolving fluid from the mouth on the cone. The moment the shapeshifting cell’s tentacles touched the dissolving fluid, they started to corrode. The shapeshifting cell also seemed to feel pain and its tentacles recoiled.
At this time, Lin started its second wave of attack.
This was made up of three hundred cone-shaped cells. The “drill” of these cells had become extremely hard after they had constantly burrowed through the inner parts of the food. They could easily break through the harder parts of the food that Lin had to rely on the acid ejectors to dissolve before.
The shapeshifting cell did not freeze. It could fight back. It merged all the little tentacles into several enormous tentacles. These tentacles would still rot when they touched the dissolving fluid but they would not fade clean away upon contact.
Relying on the large tentacles, the shapeshifting cell caught a few acid ejectors and sucked them into its body. The acid ejectors gave the inside of the cell some damage but it was overall harmless.
At this time, the cone-shaped cells had neared the shapeshifting cell. They used their long denticles to pierce into the outer membrane of the shapeshifting cell and started to spin.
Spinning was something Lin found on accident. This could allow them to more quickly dig for food and the cells that spun a lot even gained some small oval fins at the tail end to help it spin.
The shapeshifting cell’s outer membrane had large pieces taken off by these cells but it still did not retreat. It used its old method of reaching out with its tentacles to try to suck off the cells that were drilling holes into its body.
However, the cone-shaped cells had the denticles that had a strong ability to cut. Even if some were sucked in, they could drill a hole and run out.
But there were still many that were sucked in. Lin was able to feel the cells that were sucked in but they seemed to be restrained by something and unable to move.
The digestion started. That was the pain. When the digestion finished, Lin was completely unable to feel a thing.
Right now, almost half of the acid ejectors were eaten and there were only two hundred cone-shaped cells left.
Lin felt that its method of attack was wrong. Even if it could wound the other, it was still not very plausible to attack something that was more than two thousand times as large as it was.
However … … continue to attack.
This time, Lin even had the diggers stop feeding and partic.i.p.ate in the fight against the shapeshifting cell.
Translator Ramblings: The first ill.u.s.tration of what might be an amoeba was made by a scientist called August Johann Rösel von Rosenhof who named it the little “Proteus” after the Greek G.o.d of the sea that is ever-changing, flexible and can a.s.sume many forms. The “tentacles” are actually pseudopodia, but Lin didn’t have another epiphany so I decided not to use that as the term in the chapter.