ITDO - Chapter 1 - Jesus Lizard
“Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz….”
A mosquito-like insect was flying around within the lush foliage. Suddenly, an earth-colored lizard emerged from the dirt, opened its mouth, and shot out its tongue in a flash. It brought the insect back to its mouth, and then quickly burrowed back into the dirt, using its camouflage to hide and wait for its next meal.
The lizard clamped its mouth shut and swallowed. It felt the deliciousness transmitted by its tastebuds and the feeling of fullness in its stomach before sighing in a very human way.
The lizard was named Louie. He was once a social animal who had graduated from Shangjing University for less than two years. He suddenly woke up one day to find out that he had become a lizard.
With regards to being turned into a lizard, Louie did not feel much regret. Being an orphan, no one would care much if he went missing or died. Even his corpse would probably remain undisturbed in his apartment until the stench became too much to endure for the people living there.
Thus, he was quite accepting of his current situation. Even if he stayed as a human being, he would only become an ordinary cog in society until he decayed and rusted in old age - finally becoming dust that no one would remember.
‘Human beings are truly adaptable. I can even accept eating insects.’
Louie, who had eaten his fill, continued to bury his body under the dirt. He slightly squinted his eyes to rest for a bit. Not making any unnecessary movements was something he had learned after becoming a lizard. Other than being able to decrease his body’s energy consumption, it also prevented predators from finding him as he used his camouflage to protect himself.
In the beginning, when Louie found that he had become a lizard, he could accept everything about the situation. The only thing he could not accept was the need to eat insects to fill up his stomach. His human consciousness made him feel that eating insects was a very disgusting behavior, but as time went by and his hunger grew, the desire for insects only grew along with it. Finally, he could not endure anymore and caught his first insect meal.
It was then that Louie discovered that perhaps because his body was now a lizard, his tastes had become different from those of a human. As he tasted the insect, he unexpectedly felt that it was delicious. It was then that he had truly accepted that he was a lizard and began his life as a lizard.
Inheriting all the abilities of a lizard and having the mind of a human, he lived in the rainforest with good food. His life for the past month was considered easy.
Louie knew neither where this rainforest was, nor whether or not it was even still on Earth. Because he was now a lizard, he could not sense the external temperature, but he could see that the entire place was a tropical rainforest and guess that he was somewhere around the equator.
“Sigh, if only I could be a lion or a tiger, I would have been able to become the hegemon of the grassland and the mountains. Even if I wasn’t a lion or a tiger, becoming a panda wouldn't be bad either. That way I would only need to act cute to be able to live a life of happiness.”
Louie was lying on the mud as his thoughts flew elsewhere and began to think of nonsense.
He was now a lizard and a very small one at that. Even when he was drinking water earlier, he was able to instinctively recognize his own species from his reflection.
He was a Jesus lizard - also called Christ lizard. It was a lizard with a name far grander than its ability and was just a bit higher than insects in the food chain. The reason why it was called the Jesus lizard was that it could run on water with its legs.
In the Bible, Christ was able to walk on water, so the lizard with this ability was named after him. The reason why Louie knew about this lizard was that he had been watching Animal Planet after he had just resigned from his job and was taking a break at home. The program was about various female animals with delicate features. It just so happened that it also introduced this wonderful animal to him.
The reason he was able to recognize his own species was due to the urge to run that he felt when he looked at the water source.
Even so, Louie felt that it was useless. Other than using the ability to escape predators, what other meaning was there to it? Would other creatures just kneel before him and call him ‘God’?
‘This body is too small, and there are a lot of predators. Staying here will be difficult. What should I do next?’
Louie would be frowning if he still had eyebrows.
After becoming a lizard for more than a month, the feeling of novelty had long passed. Now he was facing the tropical rainforest filled with dangers that could threaten his life at any time. Louie could only feel that it was more like a doorway to hell, and a demon might jump out anytime to finish him off. He needed to be careful otherwise he could lose his life.
After becoming a lizard, he had one more thing to fear----
That was, how long could a Jesus lizard live?
Animal Planet had not discussed this topic, but based on the size of his body, Louie did not feel that he would live long. If he was a normal lizard, he would not have a sense of self and question about his lifespan, but the tragedy was that his mind was that of a real human.
With modern medical technology, human life expectancy was 60 to 70 years, and Louie who was in his 20s should have at least 40 to 50 more years to live, but now that he had become a lizard, he did not think that he could really live 40 to 50 more years. It was especially so in this tropical rainforest where it was difficult to live to the end of his life.
The horror of death loomed over Louie’s heart, making him anxious inside, but now that he was a lizard, he really didn’t know what to do about it.
Suddenly, his instincts as a lizard alerted him to danger, and his slender vertical pupils quickly turned to appraise the potential hazard.
A lizard’s eyesight was not that good, but its perception of moving creatures was exceptionally keen. With his blurred vision, Louie perceived where the danger came from.
On a tree branch not far from him, there was actually a snake coiled there. It flicked its tongue and gazed coldly at Louie.
‘Oh no, it’s a snake!’
Louie’s pupils shrank for a moment. A lizard of his size was exactly a snake’s delicacy. Even a human foot would be able to crush him to death. Defeating a snake would be impossible.
Escaping was the only way Louie could think of to get out of this predicament.
As a lizard with a human mind and soul, other than having the instincts of a lizard, Louie had the intelligence of a human being. He had searched for a habitat close to a water source for fear of encountering danger. This way, he could escape at the first opportunity.
He did not bother asking why he could be found by snakes. There was no such thing as foolproof protection in nature. Even chameleons could be found. With just his own earth-colored skin, it was absolutely impossible for him to hide from the eyes of predators forever. Not to mention, Louie remembered that snakes do not seem to rely on their eyes to find prey.
While Louie was letting his imagination run wild, his instincts caused him to flee in an instant and move at the fastest speed towards a water source. The snake was flabbergasted as if it did not expect its dinner to run so fast. It quickly chased after its prey as it moved through the underbrush, unwilling to easily let its dinner escape.
Louie ran through the grass on all fours. At this time, his heart flashed with faint sorrow and fear.
This was the first time he had to escape from his natural enemy after becoming a lizard. After the novelty of becoming a lizard passed, he finally felt the terror of being one, and that was the terror of having his life and death decided by fate. As a lizard, just a super small Jesus lizard, there were countless predators inside this tropical forest. Wanting to live in such a place was extremely difficult.
Though he ran as fast as he could through the grass, he could feel that the snake had not given up on chasing after him. Louie’s heart was filled with extreme fear. If he was a human, his heart might have already jumped out of his mouth. Whether it was being a lizard or being a snake, Louie would never want to die like this.
Insects were flying around everywhere. If it was the usual Louie, he might have thought of having a delicious meal, but he did not dare think like this. If he was any slower, he might just become that bastard’s meal.
Under this kind of fear, Louie’s lizard body ran at its peak speed. Not long after jumping over underbrush, he saw the flowing water ahead of him. He was so ecstatic that he sped up again.
When he reached the water source, his instincts as a Jesus lizard came into play. From running on all fours, he pushed himself up, and then stomped quickly with an inelegant posture. In the blink of an eye, he had run across very far on the water.
On the other hand, when the snake reached the shore, it could only flick its tongue as it watched Louie tread on water and disappear far away in the blink of an eye.
At this time, Louie’s heart relaxed a little. He knew that the snake should not continue its chase, but he did not dare stop. He continued to use all his power to run on water. Although he knew how to swim as a Jesus lizard, his small size in such waters was more dangerous. It was very likely that he would become some fish’s dinner, so he could not stop his legs. He needed to get to land before he ran out of stamina.
Suddenly, Louie’s eyes lit up when he saw a small island in the center of the flowing river. Naturally, it was only a small island from his perspective. For large animals, it was only a large rock.
But for Louie, this ‘small island’ was just the right place for him to take a break. He quickly ran to the ‘small island’. Like a lizard, he could not continuously use ‘the walk on water skill’. Its stamina consumption was too huge. With this island as a resting spot, he could wait and recover his stamina before running back to land.
When he reached the ‘small island’, he still did not dare stop for too long on top of this open bare rock, as it would be easy for birds to spot him. If he was accidentally eaten by a bird, he would not even be able to cry about it.
As a creature at the bottom of the food chain, Louie’s life was very miserable. There were too many predators. Other than being able to bully those insects, he could only run away in the face of some aggressive animals.
He got on all fours and searched the ‘small island’, hoping to find some crevices and other places where it was relatively safe for creatures of his size.
However, after searching around, he did not find a place of refuge on this ‘small island’, but he was able to find a crack between the rocks.
The crack was dark and deep to the point that the bottom could not be seen at a glance. It was as if its darkness was connected to hell. However, this analogy was only for small animals like Louie. For larger animals, it might just be a crack in the rock.
Louie stood in front of the seemingly deep crack and hesitated for a moment. He carefully compared the safety of going in or staying outside, but he soon made his mind and slipped into the crack.
By the size of the crack, even if there were other creatures inside, they would probably be about the same size as him. At that time, he would still be able to fight. If he had stayed out, he would be found by birds. Even if he was able to walk on water, the enemy could fly!
After drilling into the crack, Louie slightly moved a certain distance. The crack was extremely narrow, probably a few centimeters wide and ten centimeters high. Louie could only barely get in, but he suddenly saw light at the deepest part of the crack.
“What is that thing?”
The light could not be generated by itself, and the instantaneous bright light was so blinding that it did not look like it occurred naturally. Louie hesitated for a moment before his intense curiosity urged him to continue crawling forward.
Just like that, he crawled a few meters before his head suddenly knocked on something that caused a metallic sound.
“Is this the end?”
He knocked on the barrier in front of him with his claws. By the sound of it, it should be some kind of metal.
“Was this the object that just let out that bright light? Could it be some kind of rare and exotic mineral?”
Louie thought so, but he was inwardly disappointed.
He was now just a lizard. Let alone rare minerals, even if he had a hundred tons of gold in front of him, he would not be able to find any use for it.
Just when he felt that things were dull and was prepared to crawl back to the entrance to take a rest, the metallic object once again lit up.
Now that he was so close, Louie could feel how dazzling the light was. His vertical pupils shrunk as if the light had directly stabbed his eyes and made him blind. In addition to the blinding light, he could even vaguely feel that he was completely surrounded by the light.
At this point, a voice that he could not understand echoed in his brain.
“Unknown creature found. Requesting for a scan……”
“Scan successful. Unknown creature’s soul and flesh possess a certain uniqueness, suspected to be a product of Terran Civilization……”
“According to the Terran Civilization’s <Intelligent Life Law>, highly intelligent creatures with a special mission will be allowed to ‘survive’ as part of the first criterion. Genetic matching is now requested……”
“Requesting genetic matching……”
“End of genetic matching. Unknown creature with a 12.6% genetic fit. According to the first criterion, request to start the ‘God Creation Project’......”
“Request successful, starting species transformation……”
“Species transformation target, San Soliel world’s magic creature -- Dragon!”
Louie lost consciousness immediately after hearing these words. Before he passed out, the only word that came out of his mouth was ‘crap’.