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The white whale came down into the mushroom forest, and its crash landing sent many mushrooms flying. It finally slid to a stop when it came up against a line of mushrooms that were a few dozen meters tall.
But the mushrooms they did break, releasing a rainbow-colored mist. When Han Sen and the others looked closer, they could see a nearly infinite abundance of rainbow-colored spores forming the foggy veil.
The little red bird was angered. It flew straight out of the white whale’s mouth and flared into its fire phoenix form. Its scary phoenix fire immediately turned the area into a burning hellscape. Many of the mushroom spores were burned to ash, and the white tiger that had assaulted them was surrounded in flames.
The white tiger jumped to escape the blazing inferno. It hovered in the air, opened its mouth, and fired cannonballs at the red phoenix.
As the cannonballs approached, Han Sen could see that they were actually mushrooms. The red phoenix opened its mouth and released another torrent of fire, which easily incinerated the incoming mushrooms. They combusted and exploded, and streams of spores erupted from them like fountains.
The explosions were beautiful, but within a second, the phoenix had reduced the mushrooms and their spores to dust.
The white tiger fired out many more mushrooms. Each of them was turned to ash by the little red bird. The white tiger started to look afraid of the little red bird’s fire, and it started to believe it had incurred some fairly bad luck. The little red bird gave chase to the now-fleeing felon.
“Bird Brother, go get him! Bird Brother is strong.” The pirates could see that the little red bird had gained an advantage. They were so happy for the little red bird, they all cheered loudly and gave the bird their support.
Some of the white tiger’s fur was singed by the little red bird’s fire. It kept meowing pitifully as it fled. Its white fur started to turn black in the heat, and it suddenly lowered its head toward the ground. Like a drill, it dug into the ground and disappeared someplace below.
The little red bird flew around the area, but it was unable to see the white tiger anymore. So, it flew back in a much happier mood.
The pirates quickly opened the door and welcomed the little red bird back inside.
“Brother Bird is so powerful… Brother Bird is like the best bird ever. That crappy tiger p*ssed itself when Brother Bird went out to greet it.” The pirates said, trying to ingratiate themselves with the little bird.
The little red bird puffed up its chest to look big and cocky, like the big brother it was being revered as. It seemed as if the praise of the pirates had gone to the creature’s head.
Upon seeing it, Han Sen shook his head. “Even a bird can’t ignore sweet talk. The little red bird was once an innocent little thing, but now it has fallen.”
The little red bird had been a nightmare for the white tiger. The crew needed the bird’s protection, so no one dared to offend him. But when the bird flew back to Bao’er, it made sure to look polite. It didn’t dare to act cocky around her.
Han Sen looked around. Aside from the white tiger, there were no other xenogeneics in the vicinity. The white tiger had been suppressed by the little red bird. So, for the time being, they were safe there.
If the white tiger had survived on the island, then they should be able to survive there as well. They would figure out how to escape later.
Fang Qing Yu and Ning Yue felt relieved. This place was strange, but it was better than the black sea. At least they weren’t in any immediate risk of death.
“I wonder if those mushrooms can be eaten. They do look delicious.”
“The better looking they are, the more poisonous they are.”
“But we are high-class pirates. Why would we be afraid of poison?”
The pirates talked amongst themselves, but suddenly, one of them screamed. He sounded so scared, and he said, “Mush… mushroom…”
“What is so shocking about mushrooms? They are everywhere.” Another pirate laughed, but everyone still looked at the pirate that had just screamed.
That pirate looked very shocked. His fingers shook as he pointed, and in a trembling voice, he said, “There’s—there’s a mushroom on your head.”
“Whose leg are you trying to pull here? Why would my head have a mushroom on it?” The pirate didn’t believe the claim. But when he touched his head to be sure, his face changed.
Han Sen and the others all looked at the pirate. His head had a mushroom. It was a white mushroom that looked like an egg.
“My… my head… has a mushroom…” That pirate touched his mushroom and screamed.
“What are you afraid of? Maybe Brother Bird accidentally dropped it onto your head,” the ex-captain pirate shouted at the distressed pirate. He reached his hand out to pull and tug at the pirate’s mushroom.
“Aah! It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!” the pirate screamed in pain. The other pirate pulled harder at the mushroom, lifting the man’s entire body, but the mushroom didn’t come off.
The white mushroom on his head seemed to be attached to his scalp.
Han Sen frowned. He looked at everyone’s head, and he was given a fright.
“You… your head has a mushroom, too… and you, as well… argh!” Everyone’s head now had their own mushroom. The sizes and colors of each were all different.
Suddenly, aside from Bao’er and the little red bird, everyone’s head had a mushroom.
Han Sen used his Dongxuan Area to look at the mushroom on his head. It was the size of a fist, and it was pitch-black. It was like a little umbrella. The mushroom cap was quite large, but the stalk was very thin.
The scariest thing about it was that the roots of the mushroom were inside his head. They were like vines, tangling around his brain.
Han Sen looked at Ning Yue and Fang Qing Yu. They both looked the same.
Ning Yue’s head had a fat, pink-and-white capped mushroom. Fang Qing Yu’s head had a rainbow polka-dot mushroom. The pirates all had different mushrooms, too.
But when Han Sen looked at them all with his Dongxuan Area, the mushrooms were attached to all of their brains.
“Argh! What the hell are these mushrooms?” A pirate tried cutting off his mushroom with a knife. He barely managed to pierce the skin of the mushroom, and even that was so painful that it had him rolling around on the floor.
“I don’t want to be a Mushroom Man!” Ning Yue looked into a mirror. Seeing she had a mushroom, she couldn’t help but weep.
Bao’er tried to bring her comfort by saying, “Little Miss Ning Yue, your mushroom looks quite nice. You could join a mushroom beauty contest for sure.”
“I don’t want to be a Mushroom Man! I don’t want to join mushroom competitions!” Ning Yue cried.
Han Sen tried to pull his mushroom, and when he did, his expression changed. When the mushroom was moved, it was like he was tugging his brain. His will was strong, but it still felt incredibly painful. He almost screamed and his face turned all pale.
“Brother Fang, do you know what this is?” Han Sen asked Fang Qing Yu.
Fang Qing Yu’s face turned white. He tried pulling his own mushroom, but he looked bitter. He shook his head and said, “I honestly don’t know what this is. I’ve never seen anything like this before. There are many xenogeneic parasite mushrooms in this world, but their spores are always breathed into the lungs to enact their parasitic mischief. I’ve never heard of mushrooms attaching themselves to people’s heads.”
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