Chapter 3 – The momentum

The shark reacted immediately. Once it got stung by Tim, it jerked its head left and right, then it quickly swam away. A two-inch deep stab was quite effective from the looks of it, very painful.

“Feels like I stabbed that f***** with my ass,” He joked, while in utter stress.

However, he couldn’t have killed that shark with one stab alone, it was impossible. So necessarily, Tim was still in danger!

The shark circled back, within half a minute. It was either looking for trouble, or a meal, but either way this was really problematic!

The shark had to be at least two meters long, and it seemingly had powers too. Its fins left a line of fire across the water, regardless of how fire wasn’t supposed to lit up down here. It was scary, and overall, Tim didn’t stand a chance! He stabbed the thing, by pure luck to begin with, it had nothing to do with skill.

Seconds later, it charged towards him! The shark exploded with speed within a couple of seconds, and it would be a terrible idea to stand in its way. Tim was aware of the latter, so he sank within the sand as much as he could, and hoped for the best!

Apparently, the shark wasn’t so smart. Once Tim was out of sight, it swam right above him, as it had lost track of its target completely. This was good, it bought him some time.

However, Tim couldn’t hide in the sand for long. He was too deep within it, and was suffocating already; He did not want to die this way, not at all.

For that matter, he ended up emerging from the sand. He hoped that the shark had gone away already, but that was not the case. It floated right behind him, so Tim decided to swim away, with all of the power and speed he could summon right now!

“F****** hell! Being a fish is hard.” He thought.

The shark didn’t notice him immediately, so he got a ten second head start. The little stingray was as enthusiastic as he was scared, and although he wasn’t the fastest swimmer, he did see a potential hiding spot.

He saw a tiny hole, about ten more meters away, and got really excited about it. If he could hide in there, then virtually no one could hurt him, he’d be safe!

However, a few seconds later, he heard a couple of tail-flaps, which could only mean one thing! The shark saw him, and now it was chasing him, unfortunately!

Moments later, the enemy floated right above his head, and then dove down for some reason. This completely disrupted Tim’s momentum, and he was forced to swim downwards along with the shark!

In a bizarre fashion, his barb somehow met with the enemy’s flesh again, and it slid across the surface of the enemy’s white belly. He scratched that belly accidentally, without a doubt, but that was enough to irritate the shark.

It tail-smacked Tim as a result, which under this setting, felt like he was just hit by a truck! He didn’t suffer any broken bones, but he did feel quite disoriented.

The system announced, [Health, -22 points.]

“F*** you, flamy-ass fish! If I survive this, I promise to find you one day and rip your guts out… I promise.” He spoke, but could merely cause a few tiny bubbles, even if he shouted.

This slap, however, came with a bit of an advantage. The hole he tried to swim in, was just a meter away now. He mustered up some strength to swim towards it, but his luck may be running out soon!

The shark had made a U-turn already, and started approaching. It clapped its jaws, with this utter hunger and need to destroy the stingray in front of it. Tim was scared shitless, but right now, there was nothing he could do to stop or as much as harm the shark!

At this point, the little stingray gave up. He stopped swimming, and just waited for his death.

Within the following few seconds, however, the unthinkable happened. A strange, roundish head poked out of the very hole, which Tim had tried to swim in! At that speed and momentum, the creature managed to dig its jaws in, right into the shark.

“F****** hell!” He squeaked, in surprise.

Everything about this clash was accidental. He was sure that this creature had tried to eat him instead, but he had no time to mutter that over right now.

The magnitude of the two, bigger animals, flipped him around like a pancake, several times! He had no orientation whatsoever, and for a few seconds, he was even back to back with that damned shark!

This situation was terrifying, so instinctively, he started fighting for his life. He started stabbing the shark, to the point where he managed to flip himself around. Then, with the best of his abilities, he started both stabbing and biting the shark as well. He wanted to cause as much damage as he possibly could!

“Who’s the boss now, fatty!” He whispered, and for a short moment, he was even enjoying himself.

What happened next, however, was even more surprising than that creature’s pounce. While he was stabbing the target like a maniac, the system spammed an important, and surprising notification in his mind.

She said, [Flame-finned mako shark, identified. You snagged a few mouthfuls of meat from this shark, so now you have a fraction of its power.]

“Huh?” Tim mumbled, as he continued to attack the shark.

The system followed along on what she just said, as she added. [My calculations estimate that you’ll have flaming fins for yourself, for about three days. Note that every kind of power that you steal from other creatures, though useful, it’s still temporary.]

Tim was distracted by the system, just slightly. This distraction, however, made him lose his grip on the shark. So he was tossed away from battle within seconds, and crashed right near the hole which he had tried so desperately to get in.

This hurt, and the system was quick to announce. [Health, -10 points.]

“Stupid hole! Stupid shark!” He complained, and then barged in the same hole he cussed.

Moments later, the system accumulated the damage he had suffered this past minute. [You’ve lost 32 points of health, which is almost critical for a stingray of your size.]

Furthermore, she added. [Your Health Bar now is 55/100. You’ll feel numb for a while.]

“It’s not that bad, it’s not that bad…” Tim tried to convince himself.

His Health Bar was low, yes, but at least he won’t be hunted anymore. The shark and that creature will end up killing each other, most likely, so he had this little den all to himself.

This hole was bigger than he imagined, about a meter wide, so it was a good spot to live in. It was a little ugly, but that didn’t matter much.

However, as Tim tried to distract himself from the pain, he noticed something very interesting. He saw a whole, green brick on the bottom of this den, which radiated a faint light of the same color.

It was just a bit bigger than him in size, but as far as common sense was concerned, bricks weren’t supposed to be green! He wanted to touch the brick, but its light, although faint, still managed to hurt his eyes.

The system warned him too, she said. [Stay away from that, I have no idea what it is.]

It sounded unusual for the system to not know something, Tim was stumped. Nevertheless, he heeded her advice, and just steered clear of the brick. There were plenty of other spots to lie down on, and he was no experimental scientist, he wasn’t so curious.

Within a few seconds, he decided to heed the command and just floated away. He had no idea what exact purpose such a brick could have. And it was even more difficult to understand why it was in this den, but right now he did not want to think about it.

He wanted to feel home here, but something wasn’t right. The brick burned his eyes a bit, yes, but he could feel that something else was wrong.

With the little power he had, he floated towards the exit, to have a look at the surroundings. He saw that two-meter long shark, and noticed that the creature it was fighting was an eel.

That eel had lived in the very hole Tim was in right now. It protected the brick for some reason, and by that alone, he figured that it wasn’t the best idea to live in this den himself. At least, not for long. There was just something very odd about that brick, and he didn’t want to find out what it was!

Right then, the system interrupted his train of thoughts. [That fight won’t last long, Timothy. If you want to swim away, now’s your chance.]

“Right right,” He thought.

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Afterwards, he busted out of the hole, and then spotted a glowing, red coral reef close by. A coral reef could give him more advantages, when it came to avoiding huge predators, as it was a mazzy, rugged place.

Tim was beaten and bruised, so technically, he shouldn’t be able to swim all that much. However, he did steal a bit of power from that flaming mako shark, and subconsciously started using it.

The flaming tips on his fins made him swim faster all of a sudden. Tim barely sloshed around, yet he swam at a steady pace of 10 km/h! This was a lot for a tiny stingray, so he reached the coral reef in seconds!

Afterwards, he slipped through a bush-like sea plant, and then swam down further within it. This reef offered tiny tunnels, and within this tunnel, he found a sizable, foot-wide spot where he could properly relax in.

Five minutes later, he could see that same mako-shark, poking its nose on the bushy sea-plant, which Tim recognized as the entrance. Fortunately the shark couldn’t fit in, so he remained safe.

However, Tim couldn’t fall asleep if a shark was poking around, so he found a much safer escape route. He found another tunnel within this foot-wide den, and this tunnel was much smaller than what he was used to already.

The snug tunnel wasn’t a problem for him, however, as he was a squishy stingray. He practically crawled through this tunnel, only for a short moment, before another opening revealed itself.

This place was far bigger, about three meters wide, and it was mostly isolated. Big shark’s wouldn’t be able to get in here.

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He was surrounded by red, protective coral here. But at the very bottom of this cave-like place, there was sand, and he noticed how a bunch of small, spider-like critters crawled around down there. They didn’t seem dangerous, and Tim was still hungry, as the damage he withstood took a lot out of him! He had to munch on the spiders!

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