What It's Like Being a Vampire - C.225 - : Electric Mastery Flight

What It's Like Being a Vampire

C.225 - : Electric Mastery Flight

Chapter 225: Chapter 225: Electric Mastery Flight

Translator: 549690339

From the memory fragments of the mutated spider he had acquired, Xiang Kun knew that it had attacked, and devoured two mutant plants.

The first mutant plant was a tree, which seemed to be capable of secreting a liquid on its trunk that attracted certain mammals. When these animals appeared to use their tongues to lick the fluid on the tree’s trunk, the tree would extend tiny thorns into the animals’ bodies to suck their blood. During this process, the animals being drained of their blood were not aware of it.

When the animal finished licking the liquid off the tree’s trunk, the blood-sucking process would stop. The animal then could be seen obliviously leaving the scene, visibly weakened and dazed, even stumbling and staggering. Although the memory fragments from the mutated spider didn’t contain what happened to these animals ultimately, Xiang Kun could infer that they wouldn’t survive long.

From the memory fragments of the mutated spider, Xiang Kun saw three instances of this scenario. It was evident that the mutated spider had taken an interest in that tree, observing it covertly for a while before making its move.

In the memory fragments of the mutated spider, Xiang Kun did not find how it specifically dealt with that mutated tree. However, he did find an image of a tree encased in loads of spider silk, with its branches being manipulated and controlled. The mutated spider had extended its sharp elongated mouthparts into the tree trunk, absorbing something.

The other mutant plant was a vine, which attracted other animals by bearing fruit. In contrast to the mutant tree, this mutated vine had a significantly stronger ability to fight, besides its deceiving attribute.

Just as Xiang Kun had experienced corrosive liquid, this mutated vine had it too. However, the lethality of the liquid was not as strong as when a mutant spider had set a trap for Xiang Kun – it had later evolved and integrated its own venom mechanisms.

Nevertheless, in the memory fragments, Xiang Kun viewed an extremely fierce battle between the mutated spider and the vine. The spider’s body was obliterated by half, leaving just its head and its two front limbs entangled tightly with a mass of vines.

From the fragments of the memory, he couldn’t even distinguish who had won or who had consumed whom.

Of course, these memory fragments were acquired from the mutated spider, which was enough to indicate who survived at the end.

From the memory of the mutated spider, Xiang Kun saw parts of the spider’s body and occasionally its reflection on the water surface. He could tell that before the spider disposed of the mutated tree, its size was half of what it was later, its mouthparts had significantly changed, but there were no green roots or the like on its body. When it was dealing with the mutated vine, it had grown to about the size of a washbasin, and there were no green roots on its body then either.

Xiang Kun deduced that the mutated spider had first dealt with the mutant tree, then devoured the mutant vine. The green roots growing on its body, those weird “Transformation Branches” and “Reconstruction Branches,” were evolved and acquired abilities that happened afterward.

In the fight with the mutated spider Xiang Kun did not discover that it had any abilities of the mutant tree, and he didn’t come across any evidence of its use in the spider’s memory fragments either.

Thus, Xiang Kun inclined toward the conclusion that the mutated spider did not acquire the mutant tree’s abilities. However, after gaining some of the mutant vine’s abilities, its body had undergone major mutations, such as the green roots extending from its body.

From this, Xiang Kun believed that for a mutant to gain another mutant’s unique abilities through blood, unless they were of the same kind sharing a similar structure, it would require major body mutations for rapid adaptation.

Just like directly plugging into a computer a peripheral, instantly giving it a particular function.

After Xiang Kun drank the blood of a certain mutant, it was equivalent to dismantling and selling it, exchanging it for money, and upgrading his own “computer” configurations. As for new abilities, he had to first comprehend their principles and then make improvements according to his own situation.

The functions achievable by his own “hardware” could turn real after modifications to the “software.” Those he couldn’t accomplish, then slowly buy parts for the “hardware” modification, bring out those functions without drastically changing the form…

Without a doubt, in terms of difficulty, modifying would be a lot harder than plugging in. Moreover, the actual functionality might not necessarily surpass those instantly gained, or the performance of the capabilities might differ.

However, there is one thing that the former cannot compare to, and that is compatibility, as well as the possibility of deriving and expanding other functions based on known principles and strengthening existing functions.

For instance, Guo Tianxiang’s “Direct Eye Projection of Self-Fear” evolved into “co-manifestation” when it came to Xiang Kun. Although the mode of expression is different, its influence is actually stronger.

Xiang Kun hypothesized that the reason he has not yet been able to acquire Guo Tianxiang’s ability to hypnotize people directly with sound is likely due to a conflict between his original body structure and certain abilities with this hypnotic capacity. Once he identifies and resolves these specific clashes, he should be able to master this ability or derive other related abilities.

Returning to the mutated spider, after studying its memory fragments and later viewing related information about spider flight, Xiang Kun believes its flight relies more on the electric field. Xiang Kun thinks there is a definite possibility of achieving this without changing his body structure.

Over a hundred years ago, people discovered that “spiders can fly”.

People sometimes find a swarm of spiders suddenly appearing on the deck of a sea-going vessel, carried over by the wind. These spiders can ride the wind for dozens or even hundreds of miles, moving from one place to another, even “crossing oceans to see you”.

Observations revealed that some small spiders would climb to high places, raise their abdomens, spin a silk thread, and then let the wind “pull” the thread, dragging the spider into the air. People began to view the flight behavior of spiders as the exploitation of air currents, with the silk thread acting more like a parachute.

However, last year, researchers Erica L.Morley and Daniel Robert from the University of Bristol proved via artificial electric fields that spiders not only harness air currents but also use the earth’s electric field for flight.

They placed spiders in a sealed container isolating air flow and external electric fields, and then applied an electric field inside it with the same intensity as the natural environment.

They then observed that, even without air currents, the spiders still took to the air. Moreover, they were able to control the velocity of the spiders’ flight by adjusting the electric field’s strength.

Through further observation and experimentation, they found that the spider’s leg hairs can likely detect the electric field. At the opportune moment, they would “shoot” silk into the air, and the silk’s tip carrying a large number of negative charges would use the ambient electric field for flight, harnessing electricity to fly.

However, this only works for very small spiders. After all, the lift obtained by using the silk thread to borrow from the electric field is actually quite limited.

The mutated spider is definitely not categorized as a “small spider”, and its body is not light enough, hence, to take flight, it needs far more force than an ordinary small spider, something that cannot be achieved by merely releasing a silk thread.

Therefore, the mutated spider was unable to take off directly when being pursued by Xiang Kun before. It had to run to the edge of a cliff. After vaulting into the air, it then found a way to utilize the electric field to aid in its glide.

However, on that night during a thunderstorm, the mutated spider had access to a stronger power source.

The electromagnetic circuit between the earth and the ionosphere is called the atmospheric potential gradient. Normally, this electric field is 100V/M, but during thunderstorms, it can reach 10000V/M or even higher.

It must be that the mutated spider has evolved a special structure that allows it to “charge” itself in thunderstorms, enabling its body surface to carry sufficient charge. Then by borrowing this force, it rises, the strong charge ionizing the surrounding air, causing it to glow and appear like a UFO.

Moreover, based on its flight state, it is evidently able to very accurately control its flight direction and condition.

Although the memory fragments derived from the mutated spider obtained by Xiang Kun included scenes of it harnessing electricity to fly, it is not yet known how it “charges”, how it controls flight, and how this ability evolved.

However, Xiang Kun knows that the two most important aspects of flight are sensing the natural electric field and “charging” oneself with enough charge, and then rising with the help of this force.

Moreover, when compared to the weight of the mutated spider, Xiang Kun’s present weight of over 100kg required a significantly larger amount of force to fly, thereby necessitating a much larger electrical charge as well.

Firstly, regarding perception of the electric field, according to the materials Xiang Kun has viewed, spiders perceive changes in the electric field through the minute fluff on their legs. Assuming that mutated spiders also use this method, how could Xiang Kun replicate that?

As soon as this thought came to him, he rolled up his trousers, observed his irregularly positioned leg hair in comparison to his straight, modest arm hair. Even though both types of hair were on his limbs, their structures and functions were evidently different. Spider leg hair is a sensory organ to the arachnid, yet his own leg and arm hair didn’t appear to have undergone any mutation or change. There was no sensory feedback from his leg or arm hair whatsoever.

He felt it was necessary to understand the principles of the mutated spider’s flight because some of the “energy” that he’d acquired internally were due to mutations. However, if he wanted to replicate and reshape those abilities, he did not necessarily need to completely conform to their original structure. Just like how internal combustion engines are utilized in vehicles—it could be a two-wheel motorcycle, a four-wheel car, a tracked tank, or it could be an airplane.

So after his most recent act of blood-drinking, Xiang Kun started to construct a cognitive model of “Electric Mastery Flight” based on his witnessed experiences of the mutated spider flying, the relevant memory fragments about the spider flying, the information he found online, and the principles he deduced from it all.

Then he started to adapt this cognitive model to himself, looking for any deficiencies, and determining what improvements needed to be made in detail.

It felt as though he had established a specific target and was assigning himself various tasks, like challenging a difficult level in a game.

However, when he tried to construct a comprehensive cognitive model about himself, he blacked out, losing consciousness momentarily.

This lapse in consciousness was brief, only lasting for several tenths of a second. Since he was standing at the time, he didn’t fall over but merely teetered slightly.

The experience let him realize that the amount of data needed to build a full cognitive model about himself must have been too vast. His brain had refused the very thought out of protective instinct.

Perhaps once he developed such a capability, he could directly control his own mutations, maybe even discover the root cause of his mutations.

Therefore, Xiang Kun could only start with the “Electric Mastery Flight” cognitive model he had established. Based on the conditions required, he would continue to slowly perceive what parts of himself needed improvement.

Meanwhile, he also tried to build a cognitive model about the electric field that permeates the universe.

Next task was about “charging” himself. Xiang Kun tested the sensation of electricity by touching a power outlet at his home. It made one thing very clear: If he touched a live wire, he would get electrocuted just like anyone else, and not get “charged”. (※Don’t imitate this stupid behavior, kids.)

So, he was still relying on the brand-new cognitive model that he received to try to build a model for charging himself.

Recently, Xiang Kun had often been going up to the rooftop to experiment more with his body and surroundings in order to refine his cognitive models.

From the party at Tang Baona’s house this evening, Xiang Kun gained more experience on how to manage a complex cognitive model—if there were too many objective variables and insufficient accurate data to establish a precise model, it could be broken down into several simpler-sided cognitive models. Influencing more familiar models could boost the operation of the entire system, thereby collecting data to refine other cognitive models.

For example, tonight’s chat scene with ten people could be classified as an entire cognitive model. Xiang Kun could further divide the nine people other than himself into nine individual cognitive models and further divide each person’s food preferences into new cognitive models. By affecting them through food as an entry point, he could further influence the entire conversation through a few well-understood individuals. Each part could be continuously divided and reconstructed.

Using this method, Xiang Kun who was standing on the rooftop, faintly discovered how he might perceive the electric field within the universe—vision, smell, hearing—no single sense could clearly establish a detailed cognitive model of the surrounding electric field. However, this did not mean that these sensory inputs did not provide any feedback about the electric field.

Just like mentioned before, you are always receiving a great deal of information. It’s just that you can’t truly understand the information without the appropriate “decoder”.

But now, thanks to the blood of the mutated spider and the brand-new cognitive model he received from this round of mutation, he was slowly integrating a complete electric field cognitive model by establishing various sensory cognitive models of the electric field.

The weather forecast for tonight predicted light rain. Although storms were rare in their city this season, there would still be substantial changes in electrical potential. Xiang Kun believed this was a good opportunity for his cognitive model to make a breakthrough.

Inside Tang Baona’s house.

Judging by the simple cleaning up everyone did prior to leaving and the fact that they even washed the dishes together, there was nothing left to tidy except for the trash.

Yang Zhen’er was lying on the sofa showing off to Old Xia through voice messages, “Oh my, the crispy pig’s elbow made by Chef Xiang tonight has greatly improved again. It tasted amazing, not a single piece was leftover. Did you see the neat and clean bones I photographed? Everyone was saying it was fabulous! Have a wonderful Christmas, my dear little sister!”

“You’re really not acting your age, are you?” Tang Baona took the cloth bag brought by Xiang Kun that day and prepared to go to her room, throwing out a response in passing.

“That’s exactly it!!” After sending the voice message, Yang Zhen’er jumped up and stopped Tang Baona, “What’s in the bag? I noticed earlier that there was a wooden box in the bag that Chef Xiang brought! Could it be a Christmas present?”

“Hehe.” said Tang Baona as she started walking away.

“Hehe? What do you mean hehe?! Stop right there! Did Chef Xiang only give a Christmas present to you??” Yang Zhen’er quickly followed her into the room, “Isn’t there any justice left in the world?”

“He said that he didn’t expect Santa Claus to come so soon. He only managed to prepare one gift and would make it up for yours. Also, isn’t your birthday coming soon…” Tang Baona said while taking out a little wooden box from the bag.

“A Christmas gift is a Christmas gift, and a birthday gift is a birthday gift, the two can’t be blended together!” Yang Zhen’er came closer and asked curiously, “What gift is it this time?”

The wooden box was obviously handmade by Xiang Kun as well. After Tang Baona opened it, they saw the wooden sculpture placed inside.



Both Tang Baona and Yang Zhen’er looked at the wooden sculpture with a surprised expression on their faces.

The palm-sized wooden sculpture was styled in the Q-version big-head fashion often depicted in anime, looking quite adorable. But they were easily able to discern that the little chubby face, wrapped in a quilt, with pigtails, wearing round glasses and with droopy eyes that were semi-open sleepily, was a Q-version portrayal of Tang Baona!

“Hahaha! It does look a bit like you! And what’s this glass made of? Wood or plastic? Incredible work Chef Xiang! Tsk tsk, I can’t stop laughing! Let me take a picture!” Yang Zhen’er could hardly contain her excitement as she snapped photos with her phone.

Meanwhile, in Citong City, after listening to her cousin’s bragging voice message, Xia Libing simply replied with a “Merry Christmas, you’ve put on another five kilograms” and closed WeChat. She then opened the previous recording of the “video” to watch quietly.