Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Chapter 209: The Flora Planet That Does Not Have Animals [Part 2]
“Is there no chai tou (prize)?” The gray cat asked.
“Chai tou?” Sigma scratched its head. It was only when it accidentally touched Dough that it stopped the gesture. It was obvious that it didn’t understand what ‘chai tou’ means.
The gray cat, Snowball and Dough exchanged knowing glances with each other. They obviously knew what each other was thinking as they descended into a wily laugh at the same time.
“Alright, we’re gonna win every scrap from Cary’s cabinet!” The gray cat yelled loudly.
“Yeah, we’ll not leave even a scrap behind!” Cillin, Eudy and Beaver pondered to themselves as they watched their departure.
“The Lovages could fly?” Eudy narrowed his eyes.
“It sounds like they can, that’s for sure,” Beaver said. None of them actually knew this until just now, “Do we want to go take a look?”
Cillin looked at the remaining work and said, “These can’t be delayed. Are you sure you can return in an hour if you head out now?”
Beaver shook his head, “Never mind then. Let’s finish the inspection first.”
The trio immediately began working on the remaining tasks. Although their speed had gone up, none of them had done a sloppy work. What should’ve taken three hours to complete was done in just half an hour.
When Cillin, Eudy and Beaver were done tidying the tools, they walked out of the base.
There were plenty of observers who were watching the battle unfold. From time to time they even broke out in cheers and roars, although they were obviously reserved for the non-humans. There were many people who were even teasing Cary.
“Udoze, get your ass over and help me already!”
Cary was just about to blow his top inside his fighter; these bastards were just too difficult to deal with. The layer of mud covering up his observation windows completely – the results of many mudballs flung by Snowball and the others – was a testament to just how badly Cary was faring.
Almost every time Cary’s fighter was struck, the human group on the ground would let out a huge roar of approval. Smoke gushed out of Cary’s head, and finally he couldn’t help but request Udoze’s help to share some of the enemies’ firepower.
Udoze was just rising into the air on his fighter. And Cary was being attacked from three sides on air just when Cillin, Eudy and Beaver walked out of the base. Two Lovages were carrying Snowball and the gray cat – Dough was hanging around the gray cat – and Sigma was flying over from the third side.
These days, Sigma was as excited as a kid who had just been set on the playground the moment it started playing. Snowball and the gray cat weren’t weaklings either. As for Dough, it would occasionally swing its tail and toss a small mud ball at Cary’s fighter.
“Those Lovages are really agile on air,” Eudy said.
It was the truth. If the gray cat had failed to communicate with Sigma and open the entrance to the base, and if the reinforcements had engaged the Lovages, they might not have been able to gain an advantage. After all, no one thought that these fellows were capable of flight back then.
There was an opening on each side of the Lovage’s back. Cillin hadn’t thought that they were wings at first because these fellow seriously look too much like terrestrial insects, but it would seem that Sigma’s master had planned thoroughly when he designed the Lovages. If Cillin wasn’t mistaken, these Lovage guardian beasts should be able to swim freely inside water too.
The Lovages were a product of genetic engineering. Normally, it was incredibly rare to find a natural triphibian species. These Lovages were very suited as guardian beasts.
Udoze’s participation in the air battle did take off some heat from Cary’s fighter, but it was obvious that Sigma had also become even more excited that before. Moreover, Sigma’s shot were just as accurate as the gray cat’s. Although the intervals between their throws were extremely short, and they looked like they weren’t aiming at all, in reality both of them had made hundreds and thousands of unconscious calculations in their brains before tossing out the mud balls along to the most likely trajectory.
Cillin had been studying the robot, Sigma all this time. Although plenty of GAL robots wore human outlooks, it didn’t change the fact that their insides were mostly mechanical. The Robert Family was a lot more advanced in that their AI were more human like, and Czedow was even closer to humans than the Robert Family’s robots were.
However, Czedow was considered more alike to humans only when compared to the Robert Family’s robots. He had the better divergent thinking. Cillin had to admit that Sigma was the robot that was more alike to humans if compared with Czedow.
A human’s mind was imperfect, and there were ever so many flaws in a human’s behavior. Some people were childish, and some people were reserved. Sigma was more alike to a human child be it in terms of its tone or thoughts. What differed it from a human child was that its obvious robotic exterior.
Sigma would become anxious when it encountered an urgent situation, and Sigma would become excited when it encountered something interesting. Unlike Czedow, who looked more like an adult who had many worldly experiences under his belt, Sigma would display its ‘feelings’ on its face openly. A robot’s character was the leisurely choice of a designer, and a child like character like Sigma’s normally didn’t get much attention at all.
Sigma neither had a liquid nucleus chip nor a CPU. Cillin’s research revealed that inside Sigma’s head where a brain would be, there was a thing that almost looked like a human brain. Cillin was seriously stunned when he saw it.
Just what kind of a person Sigma’s creator was? He actually treated Sigma like a real human being!
The more Cillin understood about Sigma’s thought process, the more he grew interested in Sigma’s ‘birthplace’. While their technology and civilization might not necessarily be vastly ahead of GAL’s, they must have their own strengths. At the very least, their ability to create a robot’s thoughts was more special than GAL’s.
Just when would ‘Shortcut’ finally be complete?
In the end, Cary lost everything inside his storage cabinet while Udoze lost one third of it. After the air battle was over, the participants and even the two Lovages had gathered together to split the goods. After all, they did play a part in the victory. The Lovages let out strange cries of happiness after they got their food and went back to their underground caves. This event caused the gray cat and his gang to recommend themselves into any duels where prizes were involved, but of course no one in the Sixth B Squadron was stupid enough to agree after that fight.
After the temporary base was fully built, they had to send out some men to check out those planets with energy reactions when they were searching for a suitable planet earlier. This was so that they could collect more energy ores. Energy supply was an absolute necessity in any base.
Besides that, the field personnel also had to gather food and hunt some game. The process to cultivate food inside the base was just beginning, and it couldn’t sustain the entire Sixth B Squadron daily needs as of now.
Cillin and the rest would be setting out to search for energy ores and food, but Sigma couldn’t leave as Its responsibility was to protect the base. The Lovages couldn’t leave as well. The base was their roots, and they wouldn’t leave even if they were all dead.
That being said, thanks to a vast network, the gray cat could ask Czedow to stream their activities live to Sigma inside the base.
Sigma was uninterested in energy ores, but it was interested in digging them. It was why it stared enviously at the large screen as the group dug out the energy ores. Why couldn’t it be a mine digging robot?
Cillin’s group had also discovered some edible flora on the planet where the mining had taken place. They were very rich in nutrients, and could be eaten as long as their poisonous sacs were removed.
Cillin had even demonstrated to Sigma how to remove the poisonous sacs. His demonstration caused Sigma’s fingers to move nonstop as if it could actually feel the plants on the screen.
Sigma was very much absorbed in watching the activities when a sudden cry of ‘eeyah’ rang from behind it.
It was a little Lovage who was born not long ago about ten centimeters of height. Adult Lovages didn’t normally frequent into the base, and such entries had only decreased after the Sixth B Squadron had shown up. However, this newborn Lovage was different.
Sigma had injected a chip into this newborn Lovage after it was born. A chipless Lovage was a literal ‘retard’, and after the injection the Lovage acted more or less like a child would. It was curious about everything, and it often ran circles around Sigma. This was because it thought of Sigma as the safest character to hang around at the core of its consciousness.
The little Lovage had been looking for Sigma, but it discovered that Sigma had been staying inside its room recently and not gone out to play. That was why it had ran inside.
The Little Lovage jumped onto Sigma’s arms. Its pairs of nippers were small but powerful, and its suckers were strong too. It stood very steadily on Sigma’s arm.
“Meow, the little Lovage has arrived!” The gray cat at the rest of the animals greeted the little Lovage.
“Eeyah eeyah——” The little Lovage was very happy to see them. It jumped once on Sigma’s arm to show its excitement.
Cillin didn’t disturb the two parties’ video chat. After he was done cleaning and processing the plants in his hands, he collected some of their seeds and their poisonous sacs too. They were rare medicines to come by.
This planet was very strange, and its planetary habitability was in between Rank B and Rank C. Protective suits were unnecessary where the flora was concentrated, and vice versa.
The places where food was scarce contained energy ores, and some other people were busy mining and collecting them. Cillin was currently at a place with great concentration of flora.
The reason Cillin thought that this planet was strange wasn’t because it sat in between two ranks of planetary habitability. He thought it was strange because it had no animals at all.
Most of the plants on this planet had advanced evolutions, but not only were there no animals to be seen, they couldn’t even find a single insect. The evolutionary history of life of this planet was obviously different from other planets.
The fact that there were no animals on this planet meant that the competition between plants was extremely intense. They had evolved all sorts of things to live longer than their peers. If a tree didn’t have the ability to move, vines would ‘strangle’ them to death by stabbing their thin thorns into the tree’s trunk and absorbing its nutrients. However, these vines moved quick only when they were climbing vertically and not horizontally. The trees that were caught by these vines only needed to move once to be able to escape their grasp. In fact, if the vines had too tight a hold on the trees, they would snap because of the tree’s movements and wilt over time.
There was also a fruit that looked like a pomegranate. The top part of the fruit would expand and fire many tiny seeds when it sensed danger. Cillin had been attacked by these fruits when he came here earlier. Cillin even saw a nearby vine who got close to the fruits being crushed by the fruits’ ‘bullets’.
This really was a very peculiar place.