This chapter is translated by Hoenimochi, translation checked by Rin, and edited by Mika.
[I admire your courage. But I would recommend you stay here, no one can go out except through that cruise ship.] The System said leisurely, [ I’ll help remind you that although the land security level of Mermaid Island is average, the Golden-tailed Mermaids in the sea are not characters that are easy to deal with.]
Lu Yan didn’t answer the System, but said to the Osta, “I’m not leaving, I want to destroy this island.”
A dumbfounded look appeared on the Osta’s monster-like face.
The best they could think of was to let the survivors flee.
This was his eighth year as an Osta.
When they were still human, the well-to-do life gave them the ability to learn love, courage, and responsibility.
Many who had been reduced to this ugly Meatfish had tried to fight back.
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Fsxl pdwnj kdvs vbl Ylaxyke Uzwcbswpl, vaukdt vs pvlyz y rbsdl vs pralye vbl vawvb; psxl prldv ulyap takdekdt vblka qkdtladykzp qzyv, oakvkdt y oyadkdtp sd vbl allq yde eayttkdt vswakpvp vs pll; svblap vakle vs lpnyrl vbl rkdj ply yaly, cwv yqvla vblu poyx cynj yde qsavb, vblu yzoyup alvwadle vs vbl pyxl rzynl……
Plnyelp byhl rypple. Fsxl Xpvyl ekle y xkplayczl elyvb yde olal clblyele kd rwczkn; svblap nswze dsv clya vbl elpryka yde nbspl vs nsxxkv pwknkel.
Fsxl Xpvyl pkxrzu yppkpvle vbl lhkzesla, fskdkdt vbl srrspkvksd一vbl Ylaxyke Uzwcbswpl vbyv vwadle vblx kdvs vbl xsdpvlap vblu olal dso.
Mbkp yaly sq vbl ply pllxle vs cl kpszyvle, yde vblal oyp dsvbkdt wdelaoyvla lmnlrv qsa vblx, vbl Xpvyl. Yydu Xpvyl nswze sdzu qlle vblxplzhlp sd plyolle yde yztyl.
Tsolhla, obld vblu nbspl vs fskd vbl Ylaxyke Uzwcbswpl, vbl Xpvy oswze pkxrzu blzr vbl pvyqq vs nyvnb svbla Xpvyl yde lyv vblka qzlpb vs qkzz vblka pvsxynbp. Mblu eked’v lhld dlle vs nwv vbl xlyv qasx vblxplzhlp1plzq-nyddkcyzkpx yduxsal.
Mbkp Xpvy eked’v czyxl vblx.
Gqvla yzz, yqvla clnsxkdt yd Xpvy, bl yzps dllele vs lyv.
Mblu olal wple vs pwnb y eyaj zkql. Fs xwnb ps vbyv obld Nw Zyd pyke bl oydvle vs elpvasu&dcpr;
[He said, it’s impossible.]
[The Clubhouse has been here for decades. No one has ever managed to escape. It’s like a round crystal ball that keeps everyone inside.]
[And the boss of the clubhouse can control the mermaids. Those mermaids are Pollutants. Much stronger than Ostae like them.]
“I’m the Enlightened of the First District’s SpecOps Division.” Lu Yan said to him, then pulled out his employment card, “Trust me.”
When the Osta came to Mermaid Island, the global pollution disease was not as serious as it is now, as such they had never heard of any SpecOps Division.
However, when he looked at the national emblem on the employment card, the Osta’s expression widened in shock and he became visibly excited. Even his eyes couldn’t help but get watery.
The Osta gestured at him twice, motioning Lu Yan to wait. He wanted to tell the other Ostae the good news, and then, he would make his plans.
Lu Yan glanced at the width of the glass and jumped directly into the water.
His line of sight switched, thankfully, his night vision still worked underwater. Nevertheless, inevitably, he wasn’t used to it.
Lu Yan stopped breathing through his nose and didn’t feel suffocated. After fusing with the Kingfish for the first time, he discovered that the time he could hold his breath underwater became extraordinarily long. Even more so since the gill slits grew behind his ears, now, returning to the water felt more like coming home.
Ostae had no vocal cords and cannot speak in the air. However, at the bottom of the water, Lu Yan heard a cooing sound.
[He asked you how long you can hold your breath.]
Lu Yan didn’t open his mouth, lest the water would pour in. Instead, he gestured for the Osta to continue moving forward.
The Osta took him to their gathering place.
If someone were to look down from the sea from above, the whole of Mermaid Island was like a water droplet, something similar to half of the Yin-Yang symbol. The Mermaid Club was built on the head of the symbol while the beach and other recreational facilities are on the back of the symbol, and the cruise ships rest on the center between the two.
The place where the Ostae live was far away from Mermaid Island. It was a stretch of the sea floor covered with dark red seaweed, similar to large strips of kelp, that floated gently with the current. Like a quiet fairy tale world.
It was also the last warmth of Mermaid Island.
The Osta let out a few strange cries from within his chest cavity.
One by one, fish heads poked out from the seaweed, some of their self-mutilations were quite serious; the flesh of the fish on their bodies had been cut down to the skeleton, their eyes sightless and reeking of decay.
Some still retained their human features, except that their heads and faces began to flatten, their limbs became shorter, and their lips were bulging.
Their appearance was similar to the ‘deep divers’ in myths and legends.
[Some of those with a low mutation degree were the Enlighteneds who have only awakened in the last year.] The System said, [When the body starts to appear different, the boss will send the doctor on the island for treatment. The doctor will tell them that they might be accidentally polluted and need to seek treatment. At this time, other staff will pretend to be tourists and tell everyone how terrible pollution disease is, saying “I have a friend who was dragged to the Prevention and Control Center and burned to death,” and stuff like that, trying to break down other people’s inner defenses. ]
[At this time, the doctor will appear again. Telling them that he knows a specific staff member at the Putian Facility2Putian Facility holds 80% of the private medical care market in mainland China.… Oh, no, the staff of the Research Institute. The staff could help to solve pollution diseases, but the fees are very expensive.]
[These people are quite rich and could sometimes afford spending much money, but they will put down their guard in this situation.]
[Then, they will sign an informed consent form. They would then be sent to a cruise ship for an ability-removal surgery. In short, it was a whole set of scams that is quite complete!] The System’s tone was full of ire, [Unfortunately, when such a set of well combined scams are played out, someone will always be fooled.]
[As soon as the surgery is done and the anesthesia wears off, this group of people would then find out they’ve become an Osta.]
“The ability transplant operation, how exactly is the operation performed?”
In Tang Xun’an’s dream, Lu Yan followed other researchers to study Pollutant transplant operation for three months. But he really didn’t know what the principle of ability transplant operation was.
[There is a special surgical instrument, which is a type of Pollutant’s beak, it’s not difficult to operate using it.]
[First, you Insert the beak through the crown of the patient’s head and the Pollutant will automatically suck out the Enlighten’s pineal gland. It takes about 40 minutes. The beak would then be removed, and the pineal gland is frozen for transportation. Pretty unscientific right? But the patient’s ability is definitely contained inside this gland.]
If that was all they did then these people would be extremely weak at best. They wouldn’t have just suddenly become an Osta.
But this time, after the main procedure, the unscrupulous doctors would give the patients a tube of DNA — something that was stripped from Pollutants.
For example, the boss, who gave himself the ‘Mermaid gene’; and these Enlighteneds, naturally were given the ‘Osta gene.’
A group of Ostae surrounded Lu Yan.
The Ostae with low mutation degrees’ came up curiously when they saw Lu Yan, while some Ostae with high mutation degrees’ showed hostile expressions.
The Ostae let out a burst of cooing noises, and soon, the young Ostae followed suit with a look of joy on their faces and followed to produce them. Nonetheless, the older Ostae were still faintly hostile.
It was like some kind of big fish gathering. Compared with the beautiful Mermaid’s singing, the voices of these Ostae were too unpleasant on the ears.
There was something strange about the Ostae.
For some reason, he felt that the older Ostae seemed a little unwelcome to Lu Yan. Their mutation degree was too high, their thoughts were not very clear, and they just repeated the words “liar” and “liar.”
Lu Yan couldn’t understand them, but the System could.
[Ah, they seem to think of you as that…]
The arrival of a Mermaid shattered the joyous atmosphere of the place.
“You fools, you really don’t learn from mistakes.” The Mermaid let out a cold laugh, “Don’t forget, the boss loves to give hope and break it.”
Lu Yan looked towards the source of the sound.
A Grey-tailed Mermaid traveled from far to near, carrying a large fish basket. It contained live, swimming fish and some fresh vegetables.
Compared with other Ostae, this Grey-tailed Mermaid was so much better looking, with a face covered in pretentious heroism.
The Osta made a frightened cooing sound and hid behind Lu Yan in fear.
[The name of this mermaid is Xu Guanyue, he was originally an Osta, but later defected. He joined the Mermaid Clubhouse and is now in charge of harvesting the Ostae. It is hard for me to judge what kind of person he was. To say he was a good fish, yet he acts as the hand of the evildoer and cuts the flesh of the same kind very skillfully. Because of his many years of contribution to the Mermaid Clubhouse, he has been injected with Mermaid genes, and he has changed from an ugly Osta to a beautiful Mermaid.]
[To say he was a bad person yet again if it wasn’t for him saving food and feeding these Osta every day, most of the Ostae here would starve to death. In the past, there were many Osta escape incidents, and he has also been secretly assisting them. ]
[In the past few decades, there have been many Osta joining the Mermaid Clubhouse. There are about more than a hundred. He is one of the best of these renegade Osta alve today because of his extraordinarily hard work.]
Unable to speak underwater, Lu Yan found a reef and climbed up.
Xu Guanyue opened the fish basket and let the fish out. He gave those Ostae some time to eat, then he stuck his head out of the water.
“I’m the Enlightened sent by the Headquarters.” Lu Yan explained as concisely as possible, “Mermaid Island is a front for a terrible ability transplant operation. You were all awakened Enlightened and subsequently underwent the ability transplantation surgery without your knowledge.”
Xu Guanyue’s expression was indifferent, “I know. I even sent some to the cruise ship for surgery.”
Lu Yan looked at his expression and said, “There would be others who would’ve done this even if you chose not too, so you don’t need to blame yourself.”
Xu Guanyue was just an insignificant screw in the industrial chain.
He could choose not to do it, but someone would always have to. The reason Xu Guanyue did it was to give the other survivors room to live.
The boss might know what Xu Guanyue was thinking, but he didn’t care.
Enlighteneds who had no abilities were at most physically stronger than others. Xu Guanyue simply wouldn’t be a match in comparison to the other Mermaids at all.
“Before, it was about fifteen years ago. Some people came to Mermaid Island and said that they were Enlighteneds’ and they were here to save us.” Xu Guanyue’s expression remained cold, “I remember him, he looked a lot like you. But I’m sure you’re not the same person, you don’t have that disgusting smell on you.”
Lu Yan replied, “The one you met is probably my biological father. He did a lot of evil in his lifetime, but now he has become a Pollutant. I’ve been searching for him, I plan to kill him.”
Xu Guanyue pursed his lips, his eyes bursting with bitter hatred, “Because I believed him, half of the Ostae here died, either from self-inflicted wounds or infighting. He and the boss stood on the cruise ship and poured champagne into the sea to celebrate. The waters of Mermaid Bay turned from green to pink. It was a scene I’ll never forget.”
His hands clenched into fists.
Lu Cheng deceived them. He said that he was an Enlightened with spatial ability and that the Ostae couldn’t get out because they were isolated by space. Then, he said he could take them out with his abilities.
When hundreds of Ostae reached the edge of the coast, Lu Cheng said that his ability was not strong enough, so he could only take half of them away.
The Mermaid who had become Pollutants sang songs at this time. The singing evoked the deepest longing and the darkest side of these Ostae.
They want to go home.
Which human nature will always shine brightly? Everyone wanted to get out of this hellhole. As they started losing their minds, the strong Ostae killed the thin and weak Ostae who were unwilling to quit.
In the end, it was the two masterminds behind the scenes, laughing loudly on the deck.
[Your father is good for nothing.] The System couldn’t help but comment, [You should quickly kill him.]
Lu Yan replied, “I agree.”
After recounting this painful past, Xu Guanyue’s eyes were alert, “So, how can you prove that you are not another scam?”
Following his words, several Ostae with abnormally high mutation levels stuck their heads out.
Their flesh had been pretty much cut from their bodies, but their mouths were full of large, sharp teeth.
Without a satisfactory answer, these Ostae wouldn’t mind tearing Lu Yan to pieces.
[Show your fish scales,] The System faintly said, [and tell them you’re all in this together. With your face, it will be compelling.]
Hearing this, Lu Yan lifted his wet sleeves and let golden fish scales emerge from his arms, “I am this year’s chosen Mermaid.”