Emperor of Yancheng Lake - Part 3
After that, the two of us had a lot of ‘ahem’ moments.
It didn’t take long for me to become pregnant with Little Crab, and we were both very happy.
“Give birth to many, many little crabs,” he said to me, “take over the entire Yangcheng Lake!”
“Yeah!” I said ambitiously, “Let’s take over!”
He found me a lot of small fish and shrimps, and each one was of the highest quality. He said, “Pregnant Omega should have an Omega-3 supplement.” The Omega-3 was deep-sea fish oil, which contained nutrients. Some substances were also found in freshwater fish, but the content was not that high.
I eat very diligently, wanting to give birth to the very best crabs.
During this period, there were fewer and fewer crabs in the lake. Entering October, humans had begun to eat crab roe, and the demand for Alpha male crabs was getting stronger and stronger. Every day, many Alpha male crabs waved a tearful goodbye to us. At the same time, many Omegas were also captured, because some people like pregnant Omegas, which had both crab paste and crab roe. They said that the combination of crab roe, crab paste, yellow and white was very delicious.
“We…” I said worriedly to eight taels Crab, “We won’t be captured too, right?”
“No.” He kissed me, “The crab farmer said that we two are safe because they still expect us to give birth to good crabs.”
Upon hearing this, I felt relieved, and I hugged him again, looking into his eyes.
At the moment I didn’t want to be worth anything at all. In the past, crabs like me who were only 2.5 taels would drag down the large Chinese Mitten Crab gift boxes because the smallest gift box, priced at 200 yuan for 8 pieces, was also said to contain only 3 taels of male crabs. If they were to put me in the gift box, the other ones would have to be bigger, 3.2 or 3.3 taels, to make up for it. Now that I had become an Omega, I could be sold at a higher price, but I didn’t want to be bought out.
One day, a wealthy man came to Yangcheng Lake. The rich man requested to eat the best pregnant Omega and was willing to pay a lot of money. The crab farmers showed him several Omegas, but he wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
“Isn’t there something better or smaller?” the wealthy man asked with a frown.
“That…” On the shore, several crab farmers looked at each other, “No more.”
“No, you keep looking for me. I want about 2.5 taels.” The rich man said.
Of course, neither of us knew about this conversation at the time.
Later that night, a crab farmer came out and found me without much effort—they had installed a locating device on me.
He took out his tools and tried to fish me out.
Probably sensing something was wrong in the atmosphere, the eight taels Crab hugged me tightly, without a single gap between the bodies, and he was naturally captured along with me.
“…” The crab farmer separated us, sighed, nodded my head and said to me, “I don’t want to give you to others to eat, but I really, really need money now.”
“…!!!” The eight taels Crab heard it, and the whole crab’s demeanour changed. He pushed me towards the lake with all his strength and then rushed over sideways. Facing the crab farmer, he pointed his claws at himself and kept gesturing to the crab farmer.
The eight taels Crab knew very well that he himself was very valuable.
The two of us could not get away; he was making an exchange.
Seeing this scene, I hurriedly pulled him and asked him to go back quickly. At the same time, I yelled at him, “Hey… are you crazy? What are you doing!”
But the eight taels Crabs stubbornly refused to leave. He said, “Naturally, I want to protect you and the little ones. 2.5 taels crab, promise me that you’ll be okay in the future.”
Over there, the crab farmer asked the eight taels Crab doubtfully, “…What do you mean? Do you want to be eaten instead of him?” He couldn’t understand the conversation between us and was just making assumptions based on the eight taels crab’s movements.
The eight taels Crab nodded.
The crab farmer hesitated, “But… the wealthy man wants to eat crab roe, crab paste, yellow and white… Ah, I’ll just ask him.”
After saying that, he took the two of us to meet the rich man in his room, and explained the process to the rich man, telling him that the eight taels crab was the largest in the entire Yangcheng Lake.
“It’s so interesting.” The rich man stretched out his hand and flicked the shell of the eight taels crab. “Alright, I’ll listen to you, and let that be my meal. I generally won’t make things difficult for anyone. However, for this trip, I have to taste something different.”
The crab farmer actually felt a little guilty, and his smile looked very forced, “Well, um, you can take him away tonight, and don’t let other crab farmers know.”
—Just like that, I was released back into the lake by the crab farmer.
And my Alpha will never come back.
After that, I worked harder to eat fish, shrimp and algae, waiting for my baby to be born in a few months. The larvae transformed from crab eggs need to moult five times, and it took about 35 days to mature into crab seedlings. The crab seedlings then shed their skin once more to become young crabs. I wanted to increase my nutrition and eat more Omega-3 to ensure that many crab eggs could be hatched, and also to ensure that all the larvae were strong and could successfully turn into crabs, and they would also be the best crabs. When they became good crabs, I would tell them how tall and strong their father was.
I was so busy that I didn’t have much time to grieve. But, every time I had a little leisure time, I began to miss him.
I really miss him.
Everything around was so familiar, but the most familiar one was no longer there.
On the twentieth night after he left, I saw him again in a daze. Recently, I had this hallucination from time to time, and then, after waking up, my heart was ice cold.
“You’re here…” I said to him.
“Well, I’m here.” The eight taels Crab seemed very tired, and the whole crab was different from before.
“You seem very tired.” I said to him.
“Yes…” He seemed to be struggling to even speak, “It took me twenty days to come back. After being thrown into the steamer, I pushed open the steamer lid, carefully hid myself, and they couldn’t find me… Later, I hid behind the shoe rack and ran away the moment his wife opened the door. His family lived in Shanghai, and I moved at night and hid during the day because I was afraid of being discovered. In the end, I finally found the bus station, rushed out before the bus left, and slipped into a passenger’s bag, following it to Yangcheng Lake Station… Today is the twentieth day of my escape, and I finally jumped into Yangcheng Lake again… Thanks to the rain a few times in between, I could find puddles, otherwise, I would have died on the road… Also, fortunately, I am the biggest and strongest crab. I can open the lid and travel long distances. Yes, fortunately, I am the biggest and strongest crab.”
I was so excited that I no longer felt sleepy. I pinched myself with the claws, and he was still there; I pinched myself with my claws again, and he was still there.
“You, you, you…” The great joy of losing and finding him again washed over me. I couldn’t believe it. Even the tone of my voice changed. “You, you, you… you ran back to Yangcheng Lake from Shanghai?!”
“…!!!” I rushed forward to hug him.
Unexpectedly, he dodged back.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked.
“I…” he said, “I’m not sure you still like me.”
After saying that, he silently took out his right claw. I saw that his big and majestic right claw in the past was no longer there, leaving only an ugly fracture.
He continued, “At the Shanghai Bus Station… when I rushed out to dig into the guest’s bag, someone stepped on me. I used the claws to block, and the claw…was gone.”
“…” I feel very distressed. His claws were so sharp that they could cut off 5 taels crab in one go, which was what he was most proud of. He used the thing he was most proud of to resist harm, but it ended up shattering into pieces.
Fortunately, with this move, his body slipped out.
“Also…” he added, “after being steamed, running such a long distance, and working for such a long time, my health is not good, and I can’t see clearly with my eyes.”
“When I was looking for you, I overused it, and now it seems like I can’t see it clearly anymore…”
“So,” he asked, “are you still willing to let me be your Alpha?”
“If you don’t want to, we can think of a way to remove the marking.”
“You…” My heart hurt so much, as if I was being pulled and twisted by something, and was about to be crushed.
I swam over a few times and looked at him who used to be the emperor of Yangcheng Lake but was now in a miserable state. I faced his shadow, struggling to find focus, and said with a slightly trembling voice, “Eight taels, you will always be the most perfect in my heart”
For those who wanna know the effort of eight taels
From Shanghai to Yancheng Lake if he be walking all the way
if he takes the bus, but hey he’s a crab so it’ll take longer but that’s how far he gotta travel, lol
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