Plant name: First-class victoria
Plant needs: none
Plant vitality: very high
Plant status: first-level peak
Plant evolution condition triggered, please select plant evolution direction.
The evolutionary direction of the victoria was the same as that of the big willow tree, offering two options: 1) Water purification +20% 2) Carrying capacity +20%. Lu Lingxi’s eyes fell on the second variant. He knew that the victoria had a high carrying capacity; a leaf with a diameter of about 1.5 metres could carry a weight of 60 kilograms. In its native country, it could even be used as a small boat. But for Lu Lingxi, the +20% carrying capacity of the victoria was of no practical use. He looked at Yan Yue inquiringly, who nodded in support of his choice of the first variant.
As Lu Lingxi chose to confirm, the white panel disappeared.
Yan Yue sensed it keenly, “Confirmed?”
Lu Lingxi nodded. The two of them didn’t go back to the small courtyard immediately, but sat on the steps by the pond like they did the day before yesterday. Lu Lingxi was a little curious, “Big Brother Yan, what do you think the victoria will look like after it evolves? Will it be like a big willow tree with a developed root system or will the leaves become bigger?”
Yan Yue didn’t know much about victorias, but he felt that the latter was more likely than the former.
Lu Lingxi was worried when he heard it, “How should I explain to Uncle Li tomorrow if the leaves become bigger?”
Things that had not yet been determined could make the young man so worried. Yan Yue smiled in his heart as he was about to reassure Lu Lingxi, when his eyes suddenly changed and fixed on the pond’s water surface. With the victoria in the pond as the centre, the surface of the water began to ripple outwards, wave after wave. Lu Lingxi noticed it too, and just as he took a glance, he was pulled by Yan Yue to get up and take several steps back. Considering the movement of the big willow tree when it evolved, Yan Yue was worried that the evolution of the victoria would bring about a small “tsunami”. His fears were not unfounded, as the ripples on the surface of the water grew faster and faster, and the tremors grew larger and larger, as the leaves of the victoria began to stretch in all directions, sending waves onto the steps where they had been sitting before.
Although he had been prepared, seeing the evolution of the victoria for the first time, Yan Yue still felt a bit of a shock. Even knowing that the evolution of the big willow tree had produced an earthquake didn’t make him feel this way. He realised with unparalleled clarity that some irreversible changes were taking place in this world, and the white panel on Lu Lingxi seemed to be the driving force, or the source, of everything.
This realisation caused Yan Yue’s expression to turn solemn, and countless thoughts came to him in a flash, but when he turned his head to look at Lu Lingxi, the young man looked innocent, staring nervously at the water, his thoughts simply focused on the victoria’s evolution, not even realising what this evolution he had brought about meant. In the young man’s eyes, victoria’s evolution = water purification = environmental improvement, with no other messy thoughts at all. Yan Yue watched and suddenly smiled. After the young man had told him about the panel at the beginning, he wondered why the panel had picked the young man out of the billions of people in China, out of the billions of people worldwide? Because the young man liked flowers and plants? Because he loved nature?
Not to mention the whole world, there were many people who loved flowers and plants and nature in the whole country of China, why did the panel pick the boy? Yan Yue had never been able to find the answer, but just now, with a feeling of enlightenment in his heart, he seemed to understand. It was because of the boy’s simplicity. No ambition, no complicated thoughts, just using the panel as a handy tool. When he thought it through, the gloom on Yan Yue’s face disappeared and his eyes gradually softened. He reached out and rubbed the boy’s hair with a doting hand, deciding to stop thinking those mediocre thoughts and just let everything go with the flow.
The two of them stayed at the pond until after ten o’clock, and the tremors in the water didn’t stop. The good news was that although the victoria’s leaves had gotten bigger, it wasn’t exaggerated and should be able to fool Uncle Li tomorrow. The bad news was that the water in the pond spilled out quite a bit, so they reckoned they’d have to refill it tomorrow.
Lu Lingxi was a little sleepy and let out a small yawn. Yan Yue saw it, held his hand and said, “Let’s go back.”
“Okay.” Lu Lingxi nodded obediently.
“Dahei, let’s go.” Yan Yue called to the pond.
From the moment he saw the pond, Dahei jumped down. Although the movement of the victoria’s evolution was quite loud, Dahei didn’t seem to be afraid, but on the contrary, was excited and played very happily in the waves. When he heard Yan Yue calling him, Dahei pricked up his ears and slowly swam back to the shore, jumping out of the water with a gentle leap. He calmly shook his body, scattering water droplets all around, squinted at Lu Lingxi and gave a low bark.
Lu Lingxi laughed, inexplicably understanding what Dahei meant. Dahei probably also felt that he had eaten too much, so he would swim around in the pond to consume what he had eaten, just like humans would go for a walk. Dahei had obviously digested almost all of it and was just telling him so.
“Dahei is good!” Lu Lingxi stroked Dahei’s head and praised him without hesitation.
Dahei barked again and trotted ahead of the two of them.
When it was time to go to bed at night, Yan Yue shut Dahei out of the room. He rummaged under the flower pot and pulled out the mat that Dahei had used last time, signalling that this was where Dahei would sleep at night. Even if it was hidden, it wouldn’t work. Yan Yue’s reason was very good: Dahei was soaked in water, and there was no hairdryer here, so it was not convenient for him to go to bed when he was wet. As for why he had to sleep outside, Yan Yue raised his eyebrows slightly and looked at Lu Lingxi with a hot gaze, the implicit meaning in it very obvious.
Lu Lingxi thought of what he had promised Yan Yue earlier and the tips of his ears reddened uncontrollably.
Without Lu Lingxi to speak for Dahei, Dahei, aggrieved, carried the mat to the door, lying on it blocking the door, like a black door god. Yan Yue hooked the corners of his mouth in satisfaction and closed the door. The lights in the room quickly dimmed and in the darkness Yan Yue kissed Lu Lingxi. Just like last time, he turned the young man over and over and kissed him, coaxing Lu Lingxi in a low voice. Lu Lingxi blushed a little and stretched out his hand. Yan Yue’s breathing became heavy as he lowered his head and kissed Lu Lingxi on the forehead, coaxing, “Good boy.”
After a good night’s sleep.
The next morning, Yan Yue got up refreshed, remembering that he had to fill the pond before Uncle Li arrived. It was not yet six o’clock and it was a bit dark outside. Yan Yue gingerly dressed and lowered his head to give Lu Lingxi a very light kiss on the lips. Lu Lingxi didn’t feel Yan Yue’s movement at all, and was sleeping soundly curled in a ball under the blanket. His exposed body was covered with kiss marks, the sight that almost made Yan Yue lose control again.
Yan Yue suppressed the throbbing in his heart and gently opened the door. Dahei immediately got up and squatted in front of him. “Don’t wake up Xiao Xi.” Yan Yue whispered. He didn’t know when he had gotten used to talking to Dahei as if he were human. It was as if the notion that Dahei might not understand was completely absent from his mind.
Dahei squinted his eyes, passed by Yan Yue and jumped onto the bed in a flash, quietly lying beside Lu Lingxi. Yan Yue felt relieved and carried the hose towards the pond.
When Uncle Li arrived, Yan Yue had already refilled the pond. The victoria had made a lot of noise last night and almost half of the water in the pond had been lost. Uncle Li looked at the victoria in the middle of the pond somewhat strangely and said to Yan Yue uncertainly, “Is this leaf different from yesterday, why does it feel a bit bigger than yesterday?”
Yan Yue looked at it several times in a very cooperative manner and affirmed, “It is the same as yesterday.”
Uncle Li wondered if he had misremembered, feeling some self-doubt.
The two of them had almost finished tending to the plant nursery before Lu Lingxi rubbed his eyes and got up. He had gone to bed late yesterday and Yan Yue had tossed and turned him for a long time, so Lu Lingxi was really sleepy. When he looked at the time, it was already after seven o’clock, so Lu Lingxi didn’t go to the plant nursery, washed his face and cleaned up, hugged Dahei and went out with him.
The evolution of the victoria had shown him a direction. Just as the purification of the land depended on terrestrial plants, the purification of the water required aquatic plants. It was a pity that the victoria was too big and conspicuous for him to transplant it into the Lingshui River. In case any villagers asked about it, it would not be easy to explain. But there were other aquatic plants apart from victorias. Just as the willow tree was not the only terrestrial plant that could evolve to purify the soil, Lu Lingxi was sure that there were other aquatic plants that would evolve in the same direction as the victoria.
He contemplated what he could plant in the tank at home, something like the most common water plants and some algae such as moss. If these plants could really evolve to do the same thing as the victoria, they could be spread on a large scale in China. This would be much more convenient than promoting victoria.
Lu Lingxi suddenly stopped at this thought, called Dahei, and said, “Let’s take a trip to the river.”
There were usually some water plants growing in the small river, and he remembered that last time he seemed to have seen a lot of eelgrass growing at the bottom of the Lingshui River. Eelgrass, also known as vallis, was an underwater plant belonging to the aquatic plants, with stolons (a creeping horizontal plant stem or runner that takes root at points along its length to form new plants), mostly growing in streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. The last time he saw the eelgrass at the bottom of the Lingshui River, Lu Lingxi didn’t care about it, but just now he suddenly realised that the fact that the Lingshui River was already so polluted and the eelgrass was still alive was proof that the eelgrass had some resistance to the toxic and harmful substances in the water of the Lingshui River. If he transplanted some eelgrass from the bottom of the Lingshui River, the direction of evolution might be the same as victoria’s: to purify the water.
Lu Lingxi moved as soon as he decided, taking Dahei with him and running all the way towards the Lingshui River. Before the two of them reached the river, they smelled a foul smell from afar. Since he had the panel, Lu Lingxi was very sensitive to this kind of pollution smell and frowned in discomfort. He ran a few more steps and saw a black river.
The current Lingshui River was not spiritual at all (Lingshui – Spirit Water); it could totally be renamed as the Heishui River (Black Water River). Lu Lingxi endured the odour and dispersed his mental scan, fixing it on a clump of eelgrass at the bottom of the river. He was about to find a wooden stick to pick out this clump of eelgrass when he suddenly glanced at the state of the eelgrass on the panel.
Plant name: Mutated eelgrass
Lu Lingxi froze; this was the second mutated plant he had seen, and he didn’t expect to come across it under such circumstances. But what exactly was the meaning of the column on plant needs? Lu Lingxi was a little confused.