Chapter 200: It's Been Five Years
Apparently, Augustine's appearance was the last unexpected event, and he didn't even interact with anybody else but instead disappeared after those few words with Bai Yi. After Augustine disappeared, Alodia ran over from one side and looked at Bai Yi angrily.
"Uncle Bai, really! Don't tell me you don't know that there are Iron Hookworms in the lake? Why are you doing something so dangerous!?" Alodia lectured Bai Yi. After Bai Yi had rejected her kiss the previous time, Alodia hadn't said anything either and had only started to take care of Bai Yi's daily activities even more meticulously. Bai Yi hurriedly apologized, and his easy-going appearance made Alodia unable to continue lecturing him, even if she wanted to. However, she didn't know what had happened just now at all.
Without the secret schemers, and without the parasites, everything else seemed to proceed on track from then on. All their resources were devoted to the development of the Tranquil Medicament, and all the effort finally produced results.
The Tranquil Medicament produced decent results during all the batches of tests. The failure rate was still quite high at the start, but after a few improvements, the success rate basically reached at least 80%. Although there was still a chance of failure, nobody could complain either. The research and development of any drug was an extremely complicated process, and everyone knew that it was already very good to have produced such a result.
In the end, they still didn't have enough Tranquil Grass, so Bai Yi and a few others went into the lake to collect some more again. Although they already had the poison composition to counter the Iron Hookworms, everyone had still developed a kind of phobia toward going into the water.
Although the development of the Tranquil Medicament was a success, Betsy and the others were on the contrary somewhat disappointed. To them, successfully completing metamorphosis wasn't a problem; what they had wanted was a way to make up for their deficiencies and undergo a perfect metamorphosis. However, the effects of this medicine were already clear now, and it didn't have the effect they were hoping for. Although they were disappointed, Betsy and the others didn't really display it on the surface either. Actually, they were still quite glad inside; no matter what, the success of this medicine was a good thing for everybody.
As for those companions who had failed in metamorphosis and completely lost their minds, they didn't kill them either and only expelled them out of the area. Hopefully, they would have the chance to recover one day.
The most important thing now was that these 1,400 plus people who had entered LV2 could now completely control their emotions and rationality, and they would never lose control and go berserk again. They could now finally try going back to the human world.
After everyone entered the Metamorphose Stage, Bai Yi immediately gathered the ten plus leaders among the evolved humans and started to discuss this problem in detail. Nobody objected to the general goal of returning to the human world, but how to go about doing this exactly wasn't a simple issue.
Bai Yi sat in the main seat and started speaking first, "Anybody has any opinions? Feel free to speak up."
Bright hesitated for a while before standing out to speak after Bai Yi asked. "Australia isn't too far from New Zealand: it's only about 2,250 kilometers away. If it was before, it would be an easy thing to reach Australia by either plane or ship, but it's very difficult now. Firstly, we can consider the airplane, but we can basically eliminate that option. Maybe some of us here have some knowledge about airplane construction, but probably none of us are some kind of professional aerospace engineer. Furthermore, we don't have the conditions required to build an airplane in the first place. Secondly, there's the sea route..."
These issues were actually quite common sense ones, but since somebody brought them up, the others listened to them seriously as well.
"If we go by sea, that would also be very difficult. Activated cells spread from New Zealand first, so there must be many terrifying aquatic evolved lifeforms gathered around the waters of New Zealand. Normally speaking, the chances of meeting with these aquatic creatures aren't high, but once we met them we would be very down on our luck. However, I have never seen any seaborne evolved lifeforms before, so I don't have much of a direct impression of them," Bright said, and shook his head.
Truman chuckled and said, "Aquatic evolved lifeforms, haven't we seen them before? There's so many in Lake Hāwea, many of us saw them before while collecting the Tranquil Grass."
"If it's really just at that level, we really don't have to worry, hahahaha!"
"To speak about it, we have all basically been operating on land; we really haven't seen many seaborne evolved lifeforms. Even back in New Christchurch, I only saw a land shark once, and it was about 20 plus meters long." After somebody started the topic, everyone else started noisily joining in the discussion. After getting through metamorphosis, everyone's moods seemed to become much more relaxed.
Bai Yi didn't try to put on airs and make everybody behave seriously, but just rested his chin on his left palm, and said casually, "Too small!"
"What is too small?" Lucretia asked.
Bai Yi smiled and said, "I mean that land shark back then was too small. Other than that, I would advise you guys not to compare the aquatic creatures in Lake Hāwea to the aquatic creatures in the sea. Perhaps the stage of evolution of the activated cells would be similar, but the aquatic evolved lifeforms in the sea have a natural advantage in size. The kind of impact from facing off against their gigantic size, you would only know it if you saw it for yourself."
Another guy heard Bai Yi saying this and couldn't help but ask curiously, "To think of it, I heard that your team seemed to face a seaborne evolved lifeform before; what was it like?"
"That… wasn't a pleasant experience." Bai Yi chuckled bitterly.
The rest of them got curious as well. "Tell us. At least we would have a better impression of what to expect."
"OK, I'll tell you guys." Bai Yi raised his hands in surrender without any trace of the airs or arrogance of a leader.
"Actually, at the start, my team was only active on the North Island of New Zealand, but we ended up crossing the Cook Strait to come to the South Island. Unfortunately, in the end, after just a few dozen kilometers of travel, we met with a seaborne evolved lifeform; it was a gigantic golden sea serpent." Bai Yi gave in to everyone's request and started to talk about their experiences back then, letting those who had never seen a seaborne evolved lifeform have a better impression of them in their minds.
"Sea serpent? How big was it?"
"This... I don't know how long it was exactly, but I would estimate it to be more than a hundred meters long. Just the diameter of the cross-section of its body was close to ten meters wide." Bai Yi drew a circle with his right hand in the hall. Everyone was stunned upon hearing his words, and suddenly Truman started to laugh out loud.
"Hahahaha, Bai Yi, you are joking right!? I might have believed you if you said that it was a whale of that size, but for a sea serpent to be so huge..." Truman was still laughing at the start, but very quickly he couldn't laugh anymore because Bai Yi wasn't laughing.
Bai Yi only said softly, "I'm serious!"
Truman couldn't laugh anymore; his face couldn't help but turn serious, and he sat up straight to listen to Bai Yi explain in detail. The rest of them were more or less the same; seemingly, seaborne evolved lifeforms were much more terrifying than they had imagined.
"We were riding in a heavy cargo ship back then, weighing 25,000 tons, and more than 180 meters long. That sea serpent took the cargo ship as its prey and wrapped around the ship itself a few times. Honestly speaking, at that time all of us thought that we were dead for sure. To be able to survive in the end, a large part of it was really due to luck." Bai Yi slowly described their experiences back then.
When they heard that Bai Yi had actually fought inside the mouth of the Sea Serpent Emperor, all of them swallowed their saliva. If his luck had been just a bit worse, wouldn't he have been crushed into meat paste?
"It's just like what I said before: their stage of evolution might be similar to ours, but when it comes to body size, these seaborne evolved lifeforms have an absolute advantage over us, especially in the sea itself. Many of you guys haven't been LV2 for long, so you probably aren't too familiar with the changes in the Metamorphose Stage. When you reach LV2, you can control matter through the use of the absolute life field. Rose, you can control water, right?" Bai Yi looked at a girl.
The girl who got called was surprised for a moment before nodding. "Oh, yeah!"
"Can you demonstrate it a bit?"
"OK." Rose nodded and pointed her hand at the teacup in front of her. From more than ten centimeters away, the tea inside the teacup starting spinning and turned into a ball of water.
"You guys saw it as well: control of matter. What do you guys think, would there be a LV2 seaborne evolved lifeform that could control water? There don't have to be many of them; it would be very bad even if we met just one," Bai Yi said. All those seated here were smart people; Bai Yi didn't have to elaborate more on what 'very bad' meant.
"To summarize, we need to find a suitable mode of transport—heavy cargo ships, and definitely not just one, as that is too dangerous. New Zealand had a navy, right? Does anybody know where the fleet was based? Other than that, we can't recklessly jump into Australia like this; at the very least, we must understand the attitude of the outside world towards us evolved humans. Hence, going ahead to scout for information is very necessary..." Bai Yi slowly said. He minded what Augustine had said quite a lot—that the human world didn't have much goodwill toward evolved humans.
"Navy ships, right? I do have some knowledge." Somebody raised his hand to express that he knew some information.
With Bai Yi's explanation, all of them raised their level of caution and didn't have relaxed and carefree looks on their faces anymore. All of them started to seriously discuss how to return to the human world, and other related matters.
"It's been five years!" Bai Yi stood by the seaside, gazing at the vast ocean. In that direction was Australia.
Behind Bai Yi were Momo and Sharpei, and even further behind them were more than 1,400 LV2 evolved humans gazing toward the direction of Australia. These evolved humans came in many strange shapes and appearances, and many of them were directly challenging the limits of human imagination. Who would know that these monsters had purely been humans before?
Everyone looked across the sea, far into the distance, at the landmass that they couldn't see now. They were finally going to return to the normal human world; how would normal humans treat them?