His nerve was tensed, as alarmingly he looked around constantly.
The humidity of air chilled his chest. The forest grew denser as he walked on.
There were all sorts of plants, peculiarly disturbing, that it felt like a nightmarish visit to a botanical garden. The sun could never reach the place, yet the plants grew so well it was creepy.
The greenish leaves, the colorful flowers, alluring yet soul-taking.
Ye Chong's heart was racing. He took a look at the plants. His alchemy knowledge had convinced him to take a deep cold breath in fear.
Glitterbloom, Haemovine... Dartelion?
Where am I, what is this, is it hell?
Ye Chong froze. His muscle tightened, feared to make even the slightest move. His glance eventually reached that grayish brown tree ahead of him. There was a sprout, with a body of blue stripes and countless silvery tubes all over it, that made it looked like a handle of wind chimes. Ye Chong's heart skipped a beat again, he knew he should never make one step further.
He recognized that plant.
Scientific name - Argentubus Arecales, people call it "Pines of Spider Web", with a sensory proximity about 7 to 10 meters, carnivorous. Once an animal approaches the plant, the tubes would fire projectile like spider webs that contain spikes which give off deadly poison to paralyze the prey.
In Lunatic Guan's encyclopedia entry, Argentubus Arecales is typically rated as a Level 4 hazard. Those tubes were horrifying enough to Ye Chong that he would give a Level 4.5 for it instead. Not because of its effect but its appearance, the illustration in the entry had only a few tubes over the body, while this particular sprout... had tons, so many that he lost count.
He grew cautious and thanked Lunatic Guan in his mind. If it was not her knowledge, he probably would have been buried along with the beautiful flowers, enjoying a premature death. He took a careful observation at every single spot in the woods while his mind kept exclaiming how fortunate he was to avoid that one plant trap ahead. If he mindlessly walked just one step to the front, he would have been dead.
But luck would never be always by his side. He would not gamble his life on this.
No wonder there was no animal here. No way any animal would have survived in a place like this. The place was literally a dangerous-plant-go-round where 80% of Lunatic Guan's registered hazardous plants could be seen here.
Even Ye Chong began to suspect if Lunatic Guan was once here and was scared to death like him.
These plants had simply made the forest a typical deadly forest.
He looked behind and checked out how many ways he could die based on the types of plants there. He got afraid that it already felt like a miracle when he remained in one piece after walking mindlessly for so long.
So how do I leave this hell? Ye Chong was puzzled. The only relief was the fact that he needed not to worry those snipers and chasers. Since this place was obviously a hazardous deadly zone, only outsiders like he himself would foolishly enter. The locals probably never would even consider to come here.
It would be impossible for him to back away now. Practically he had already lost his sense of direction. The woods were so dense that every trace he made as he advanced was gone. Without experience or assistance of any apparatus, people would simply lose their way here. And Ye Chong was sure that he did not come all the way here in one straight line.
There was no longer the concept of "backing away" and "advancing forward", either of those felt literally the same to him. Maybe he would end up circulating the place as he walked.
When the situation had gotten to its worst, somehow it would become calming at the same time.
The first thing was not to find a way out. That would sound a little far-fetched for the moment. So, instead, he should be figuring how he would survive in here.
Lunatic Guan's microchip contained massive amount of information, along with the mechanism to help automatic analysis. It was so convenient that people could just carry it around, use it like a pocket dictionary that saved all the hassle figuring things out.
If one fails to prepare, one prepares to fail. The chip prepared Ye Chong. As advised by Lunatic Guan, he should remember everything so that he would truly harness the knowledge and not let her knowledge go to waste, which he did and these knowledge he remembered had become the sole key to his survival in this dangerous forest.
Ye Chong regained his calmness and began observing again.
His brain ran fast, soon realized his situation was not as terrible as he first imagined. Compared to those haunting troops and those assassins sniping him at any second, he was more willing to face the forest. The forest was dense and was filled with dangerous species, but there were also quite a handful of them being edible. The edible plants not only was succulent, but also highly nutritious, which could last him for quite sometimes - that would determine his basic necessity fulfilled and ultimately it meant he had already bought enough time for himself.
He would need the time to familiarize himself with the forest, to have a better understanding on the characteristics of these dangerous plants. He might have a massive encyclopedia in his head, but that did not mean he totally understood every single entry of it. He recognized the plants merely because he had seen their visuals as he skimmed the encyclopedia before. There was no in-depth investigation nor practical exposure. And this little gap between theory and practice could cost his life.
He had the patience to prepare himself.
He carefully avoided the Dartelions, the edges of the leaves were easily the blades of an actual dart as the cuticle was so hard and sharp that it could leave a cut by just sliding through it. Dartelion's fatality was not known for its sharp leaves, the content of its tip however was the one to look out for as it was coated with a kind of enzyme that would prevent blood from clotting. You might be bleeding till you died at that one scratch you made on your careless mistake.
According to the description in the microchip, some alchemists would actually utilize the tip of Dartelion by coating their weapon with its secretion.
Avoided the Spider Web, Ye Chong proceed very, very sluggishly, with his eyes carefully looking out for the dangerous plants around and... below. There were sprouts of Haemovines hanging in the air, at where they spread their trochal disc, suction cup-like structure to entangle their preys. As much as its appearance suggested, once the prey was entangled, it would deflate as the vines enlarged dramatically. Much of a draining attack.
Ye Chong was finding the place much more intense than Trash Planet-12.
He held his steps again, as stumbled upon a giant Vinesack which visibly was about few hundred years old. Its leaves were dense, with peculiar appearance as if the two leaves were tightly stuck together from edge to edge, leaving the tip unstuck however, making them like a sack, a sack between the vines. Thus its name Vinesack.
Ye Chong first observed the trunk of the tree, making sure that there was nothing funny - especially plants like Haemovines - on it. And he advanced forward.
He was eyeing the sacks on the tree. As the tree aged, these sacks would darken, their toughness would increase, making them a natural container. He picked the darker leaves which seemed to be at least alive for already a few decades, the darkest among them all. Pretty close to fall, since most sacks would fall naturally after the age of 50.
Withdrew his dagger, he sliced and ... realized the leaves remained firm on the tree despite his pull. He thought he could break almost everything by accident after snapping alloys like titanium yet the leaves remained in whole piece.
He gave few more cuts and successfully removed 6 to 7 pieces of them. These natural containers would be what he needed exactly at the moment. He then took a few fine vines to strap them over his waists.
The juices of the tree could be a perfect ingredient for growth-inducing component, sadly he lacked the necessary apparatus for extraction, so he got to let it go.
Now with the containers he could collect water and food, even some alchemy production for his daily life.
The forest might be dangerous, but it also was considerably a heaven for alchemist.
Sigh, if only he had the most primitive alchemy apparatus...