Deep Sea Drifter Diary

Deep Sea Drifter Diary

Chapter 12 - Chapter 12

By this point, Xia Chuan and Dennis finally realized that all their assumptions about "what a normal person would do in this situation" were completely useless when it came to Shen Lan. This guy simply did not follow common sense and was always striving to go against it.

Dennis hugged his black backpack in disbelief and chased after him for another dozen meters or so, his feet almost stepping into the seawater lapping the shore.

He craned his neck to look around the sea, then hugged his backpack and ran back with one foot deep and one foot shallow, sitting back down behind the boulder.

He pointed his thumb towards the sea and said to Xia Chuan, "He... he really jumped in, disappeared as soon as he dove in, it's really weird!"

After saying that, he swallowed his saliva and stared blankly for a while, then seemed to remember something and lowered his head to rummage through his bag. After only a few moments, he suddenly raised his head to look at Xia Chuan, his lips trembling, "Chuan... you don't think he's really a ghost, do you?!"

Xia Chuan gave him a cool look, "What kind of nonsense have you been studying in the lab all day?"

"It's a different matter..." Dennis argued, "I do energy efficiency calculations, although I occasionally visit the biology group next door, but that's just to chat with Professor Linton, and nine times out of ten he's telling me about his little dinosaur babies. Now that I think about it, it's a good thing I listened to some of it, otherwise coming to this kind of ghostly place would be like being in the dark--"

He glanced at Xia Chuan and rubbed his nose, adding, "Well, I guess being able to tell what kind of dinosaur it is doesn't seem to be of much use."

Xia Chuan didn't respond to him, but instead scanned the surroundings.

The wind and waves on the sea still showed no signs of stopping, and the sound of the tides came one after another, never ceasing. The temperature also gradually dropped along with it. Although it couldn't be described as "cold", it was still chilling to the bone, especially for two people who were soaking wet all over.

Dennis was almost counting his goosebumps as they popped up one patch after another. He rubbed his arms, and just as he was about to shiver, he saw Xia Chuan stand up, leaning against the boulder.

"You... why are you suddenly standing-- eh? Where are you going?" He had only said half of his sentence when he saw Xia Chuan suddenly walk towards the direction of the woods.

He hesitated for a moment, but still hugged his backpack and followed, "Chuan, you don't want to go into the woods, do you?"

As soon as he finished speaking, he saw Xia Chuan turn his head and raise his hand at him, making a "stop" gesture. Dennis was very obedient and stopped in his tracks without a second word, even holding his breath.

Dennis stopped, but Xia Chuan himself did not stop, and instead continued to walk a few steps towards the woods. His legs were straight and slender, and when he took big strides, he walked very fast, but his landing was light and steady, like an agile and elegant black panther, silently walking to the edge of the woods in the deep night.

It looked fine from a distance, but when he got closer, Xia Chuan felt that the trees in this forest were all ridiculously tall, looming overhead in a dark and oppressive manner, with a very strong sense of pressure.

There was really no daylight at night, and it was so dark that even the outlines between the trees were indistinguishable, let alone identifying what kind of plants they were. However, Xia Chuan's purpose in approaching them was not to recognize their species.

He walked around the edge of the woods, carefully searching the ground between the trees with his eyes. Dennis, who was standing still in his original spot, didn't even dare to move his neck, and could only wait for Xia Chuan to return, stiff and apprehensive.

After a while, Dennis finally saw Xia Chuan leave the woods and walk back, and he breathed a sigh of relief.

It wasn't until he got closer that he realized that Xia Chuan was holding a pile of dry branches of varying thicknesses in his arms, and who knows how long he had spent in the woods picking out these not-too-damp ones.

Back at the boulder, Dennis very conscientiously dug a pit in the ground, while Xia Chuan piled the dry branches on top of the pit. His stacking of the branches was no less skilled than Shen Lan's, with just the right gaps, neither too dense nor too loose.

After stacking the wood pile, he took Dennis along the coast to gather a bunch of rocks of various sizes. He placed the two largest ones on either side of him and Dennis to block the wind, and used the slightly shorter ones to half-surround the wood pile, blocking both the diagonal wind and some of the firelight.

With everything arranged, he finally pressed his somewhat dully aching back and sat back down against the boulder, reaching out to pat the black backpack in Dennis' arms, saying, "Lighter."

Dennis rummaged through his bag for a while, found the lighter from his waterproof bag and handed it to Xia Chuan, feeling for the first time that having a bag on him when going out was the most fortunate thing in the world.

However, Xia Chuan took the lighter and turned it around in his hand, but did not go to start the fire. Instead, he unceremoniously pulled open the mouth of Dennis' bag, his pale, slender fingers rummaging inside for a moment, and then pulled out Dennis' leather-bound notebook from the still-unsealed waterproof bag.

"Hey-- that's my diary." Dennis called out instinctively.

Xia Chuan didn't even lift an eyelid, and said lightly, "I'm not bored enough to want to peek at the contents of your diary." With that, he opened the notebook, tore out a blank page from the middle, and then handed the notebook back to Dennis, folding the page in half as he did so.

He held the paper in his left hand, turned the lighter in his right hand, and with a flick of his thumb, a thin, warm yellow flame lit up.

Xia Chuan singed the corner of the paper with the lighter, then tossed the rapidly burning page onto the stacked dry branches.

With the help of the paper for ignition, the dry branches quickly caught fire and began to burn quietly. Because the number of dry branches Xia Chuan had found was not too many and the thickness was just right, the resulting fire was not too big or too small. With the rocks blocking it, it was just enough for two people to warm up and dry their soaked clothes, but not so conspicuous as to attract unwanted things.

They had essentially used the rocks to surround themselves in a nest, with a not-too-big, not-too-small fire inside. The dry branches crackled as they burned, but were drowned out by the sound of the ocean waves and did not seem out of place. The heat dissipated with the flickering flames, warm and cozy, making the soaked clothes feel less cold and sticky, and instantly making the two of them much more comfortable.

Dennis rummaged through his bag for a while, and very considerately took out the previously opened bottle of soda and the medicine pack and handed them to Xia Chuan. In the current situation, Xia Chuan didn't have the time to study why his healing ability had become stronger.

Since the anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications were effective for his injuries, he continued taking them. The wound on his lower back significantly affected his agility, so the sooner he could recover, the better.

However, this time he didn't take the pain relief pills, only swallowing two anti-inflammatory tablets with a tiny sip of water before handing the items back to Dennis. Then, with his arms crossed, he leaned against the boulder and closed his eyes to rest, his breathing even and light, barely audible, as if he had fallen asleep in an instant.

Dennis carefully scanned the surroundings, thought for a moment, and scooted closer to Xia Chuan's side, nearly pressing against him as he sat. In this situation, the fact that this ancestor beside him, with his frighteningly strong psychological endurance, could rest calmly was something Dennis couldn't do. Let alone sleep, Dennis now felt that even blinking was a dangerous act, as if the moment he closed his eyes, a huge creature would dart out from the woods and bite off his head with a howl.

Although he was also very tired and sleepy, he could only force himself to stay awake by pinching and squeezing himself, torturing himself for a while. Finally, he couldn't resist taking something out of his bag to pass the time—

It was a black box, about the size of a large-screen mobile phone on the lid, and about ten centimeters high. One side had a simple electronic display, while the other had a row of knobs, red and yellow, filling up an entire palm.

When Xia Chuan saw this gadget before, he was completely baffled, having no idea what it was used for. But Dennis skillfully adjusted the row of knobs, some of which he turned several times without hesitation, while others he fine-tuned bit by bit with the tip of his finger.

From time to time, he would pick up the adjusted black box, hold it to his ear to listen for a while, then frown and continue, doing who knows what strange things.

It turned out that this hands-on activity was not much better than spacing out in terms of rescuing Dennis from his heavy drowsiness.

He hadn't fiddled with it for long before he started nodding off like a chicken pecking at rice. In the end, he simply hugged the black box as a hard pillow, curled up and lay on the lid, falling into a deep sleep...

After an unknown amount of time, the sky began to show a hazy light. The storm gradually subsided, the waves calmed, and just as the entire coast seemed much quieter, the black box in Dennis's hands suddenly emitted two "buzzing" sounds. The sound was slightly lower than the flapping of a mosquito's wings.

Even if someone was awake, a moment of distraction could easily cause them to overlook the sound, let alone if they were asleep.

However, Xia Chuan, who was leaning against the boulder, suddenly opened his eyes. His eyes were originally a light brown color, and with the flickering firelight reflected in them, they appeared exceptionally clear and bright, without a hint of sleepiness, clearly not the appearance of someone who had just woken up.

He frowned and sat up straight, then raised his hand to push Dennis's head aside and took the black box that Dennis was hugging.

Although Xia Chuan's movements were not large, they were definitely not small for Dennis. However, even after being moved around like this, Dennis still did not wake up. He only waved his hand as if shooing away flies, muttered a couple of indistinct words with a frown, then changed his posture and curled up to sleep again.

Xia Chuan looked at him with admiration: "..."

Xia Chuan had only seen the black box in his hands a few times in total. It looked a bit like a voltage and current meter used in laboratories, but with many more knobs and a different screen.

His slender fingers held the black box, turning it front and back, left and right. Then he turned to the side with the screen and carefully looked at the display for a while—just like the design of the black box, the display on the screen was also extremely simple. There was only a single line, fluctuating like an electrocardiogram.

Of course, it was difficult to discern the cycle.

The amplitude of the fluctuations was so small that at a glance, it seemed no different from a straight line. Only upon closer inspection could one see the tiny fluctuations on it.

However, there was not even half a letter of explanation on the screen as to what this fluctuating line corresponded to. The workmanship was so simple that it looked like a semi-finished product.

Xia Chuan frowned and looked at it for a long time but couldn't figure it out. He could only stuff it back into Dennis's arms.

He glanced left and right. The entire coast still seemed to have only him and Dennis as the two larger breathing creatures. Shen Lan, as he himself had said, had gone with Xia Chuan and the others. After diving into the sea, he had not appeared again, and it was unknown where his so-called landing place was in the sea.

Previously, Dennis had jokingly and fearfully said, "He's not a ghost, is he?!"

Although Xia Chuan had mocked him verbally, he had other thoughts in his mind. He felt that Shen Lan certainly couldn't be a ghost. After all, in a nonsensical direction, he at least had feet and a shadow, so what kind of ghost could he be? But as for whether Shen Lan was human... he really didn't dare to be certain.

Although this definition sounded equally absurd.

Just as Xia Chuan's thoughts were about to run in a philosophical direction, he vaguely smelled a scent of sea brine soaked in moisture. This fishy smell came faintly and inexplicably, as if it had silently come ashore and drifted to Xia Chuan's nose.

Normally, even if the fishy smell by the shore was strong, after resting here for a night, he should have long adapted to this scent and become numb to it, barely noticing it. But now, this smell suddenly became strong, and there was only one possibility—

Xia Chuan abruptly stood up, turned around in a swift and light motion. When his feet landed, there was almost no sound, like a feline with paw pads.

He stepped on a rock, leaned against the boulder, and glanced towards the sea. With just this one glance, his whole body tensed. However, he slapped his palm over Dennis's upturned face and said in a low voice, "Get up!"

Dennis was startled awake by the slap, the black box in his arms rolling to the ground. The sharp corner happened to poke his sole, causing him to cry out in pain. Hopping on one foot, he fully woke up.

Seeing Xia Chuan looking towards the sea, his first reaction was, "What's wrong? Did that guy turn into a floating corpse and drift ashore?"


I'm Windwalker, your friendly neighborhood translator who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good book. When I'm not translating, you might find me hiking through nature or curled up with my cat. I hope my translations bring as much joy to you as they do to me!

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