Emperor of Yancheng Lake - Part 2
The crab farmer brought me to a shallower area, and then, he took out a small pink bottle and placed it next to me for me to smell. The scent was incredibly pungent; I only took a sniff, and it felt like my antennae were going to be numbed. But, strangely, at the same time, I felt an inexplicable emptiness.
“Go!” The crab farmer threw me into the water with a ‘swish’, “Go and mate!”
“…Ugh!” My eight legs were kicking around in the air, but it was of no use at all, and I plunged headfirst into the clear lake water.
As soon as I fell into the water, I felt that something was wrong with the atmosphere around me. When I looked up, there were about twenty Alpha hairy crabs worth more than five taels, staring straight at me, as if they were going to eat me alive. For male crabs, those above five taels are generally Alpha crabs, those below three taels are Omega crabs, those with 4.5 to 3.5 taels are Beta crabs, and crabs in the range of 5 taels to 4.5 could be both Alpha and Beta and the same goes for 3.5 and 3 taels.
Before I could even react, the group of Alpha crabs swam towards me! They were swimming and fighting at the same time, the battle was intense, and the water was filled with the severed legs of crabs. However, they paid no attention to it, continuing to swim vigorously towards me.
I was frozen with fear at the scene, and my heart cried out for help.
—Suddenly, a powerful force emerged behind them. It was the so-called ‘supreme pressure’ of the top-tier Alpha, as mentioned by the crab farmer. In an instant, the majority of Alpha crabs were immobilized by the overwhelming presence, and only five fearless Chinese mitten crabs continued their dreamy approach towards me. However, each of them had only moved an inch closer to me when the claws of the Alpha crab that came from behind soundly snapped each claw in half with a ‘click’! I was too surprised to express it; to be able to snap the claws of a five taels crab in one go, what kind of sharpness was that?!
I recognised this voice. It was the ‘Emperor’ of Yangcheng Lake whom I secretly looked at every day.
Then, I saw him. I had never observed him so closely before. I knew he was tall, but I hadn’t realised he was this towering. His crab roe was so abundant that it bulged the crab shell, the perfect image that I aspired to be, flawless in every way.
I don’t know what happened, but as soon as I saw him, my whole body became even hotter, and I couldn’t move at all.
“…” He looked at me, his soft, feathery cheek pieces rising and falling violently, indicating that he was experiencing rapid breathing at the moment.
I felt a bit scared, but more than that, it seemed like anticipation.
“You.” The Alpha Crab of the eight taels said, “How can you just… casually be in a place like this? Don’t you know your pheromones are vinegar-flavoured? Also, it’s got a hint of minced ginger. Paired with the flavour of your crab meat, there is simply no creature that can resist.”
“I, I, I…” I explained in a panic, “The crab farmer made me smell something and then dropped me. It was not something I could control.”
“So that’s why—” said the Alpha crab of the eight taels, “It’s a good thing a crab farmer just caught away a lot of Alpha Crabs, otherwise I might not have made it in time to save you. Now, they are under pressure, so they also caught Alpha crabs. Who would be willing to eat only Beta crabs if they could afford to eat Alpha crabs? Naturally, they would request larger crabs.”
“Well, thanks to that…” I paused, and after a moment, I hesitantly asked, “So, what should I do? I feel really uncomfortable all over now…”
The other party was silent for a while and asked, “Do you have a crab you want to bond with?”
“…” I looked at him blankly.
He suddenly became irritable, “None, huh? In that case, I can help you get through this period. Make a decision quickly.”
However, before I could figure it out, he stretched out his claws and pulled me over, “If you agree… then shed your shell.”
“…” I knew I was worthless, so I obediently shed my shell.
His embrace became tighter.
Finally, as our minds began to clear, he asked me, “Can I mark you permanently?”
“…But we didn’t know each other before.”
“I’ve known you for a long time.” His cheek hairs tickled me. “Every day, you try your best to eat fish, shrimp, and algae, hoping to grow a bit, but you still only weigh about 2.5 taels.”
“But, I still want to be your Alpha.”
“…” This sentence made my heart beat loudly.
After the permanent marking, he still held me close and said, “You haven’t moult yet, and I will always be there for you. Of course, even after you shed your shell, I’ll still be by your side. Though I do think that it’s annoying to have to shed my shell every time, and it’s kind of nice not to shed it all the time.”
“…” All the time…I thought of that word, my face reddened.
Another crab passed by, seeing me red instead of the usual blue, and asked with concern, “What’s wrong, buddy, you boiling?!”
Your donations will go towards site costs and management.
Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.