Chapter 331 - Variant Beasts
TL: xDh20, LifeisaJourney
“Did you know that in front of us is the mountain’s peak? You might not be able to see it now, but that spot is the best place for an outlook. It is this mountain’s highest point. Once we find our destination, it will be easy to travel down that path. Even though we are surrounded by the jungle, at the very peak, it will show us our way down to the stream.” Liu Gan pointed in a direction covered by the thick blanket of the forest.
Hearing Liu Gan explain himself thoroughly, Han GuangMing was able to calm down even if he wasn’t able to see the peak himself. It proved that Liu Gan didn’t have any problems with his state of mind. It only meant that he was in a bad mood. There was no one more experienced than Liu Gan in the field of exploration in deep jungle. He wasn’t the type to get lost.
The forest ground was covered with a slippery mixture of mud and rotting leaves. Walking in this setting had to be done carefully. All it took was just one wrong footstep to sprain an ankle. Even if the sprain didn’t ruin the ankle, randomly grabbing at tree branches could lead to unimagined problems. The branch could be a snake or some sort of variant beast.
After two hours, Liu Gan was still leading his group through the wet jungle. When they were at the foot of the mountain, they started reconsidering the question of how large this jungle was!
Without a map, Liu Gan was unable to confirm his location. Relying only on icons and the map Su Nina had described to him earlier, he used them as a basis for his decision to head southeast.
The time was around noon. Sunshine penetrated through the thick cloud canal. Without the thick clouds getting in the way, sunlight was very strong. The water on the ground of the jungle evaporated. The temperature soared up thirty degrees Celsius as humidity filled the air. Like being steamed in an oven, this feeling was unbearable.
Liu Gan’s group had been dwelling in the freezing cold climate in the south, so the immense heat created doubts in their mind, doubts that it was the winter season. Rather, it brought new beliefs that it was the thick cloud layers blocking out the sunlight which were causing the entire world to rapidly drop in temperature. The areas with sunlight were the only areas that still felt warm. Places like the jungle with high air temperature stood out even amongst all the other strange places in the game.
The design of the weather system in this game was astonishing.
As they continued on foot, they took off all the thick clothing they had on. Even their innermost shirts were soaked in sweat.
Out of nowhere, Liu Gan stopped walking. He was staring at a nearby tree with branches as thick as his arm. He shook a branch a few times, then a dagger appeared in his hand as he held it near the tree’s roots. He used a rock as a hammer and the dagger as a chisel. Eventually, a long branch was cut off; whittling away the outer bark, it became a good spear.
After escaping from the underwater laboratory in a hurry, nearly all the personal belongings they had on them were lost. It was necessary to create weapons from nearby resources. Liu Gan had seen this tree species before. Even though it was quite thin, it was very durable. It was a very good material for creating spears or lances.
As the group stopped to rest, they each borrowed Liu Gan’s special dagger and copied his method to obtain their own spear. As a result, each of them had a weapon in hand when they resumed their march toward the peak.
“When will we be able to get out of here?” complained a few members, as they were about to deplete their supply of drinking water. They were losing stamina fast. Their eyes were filled with fatigue.
“This whole plot of jungle is huge, we will reach the end sooner or later. We will be able to reach it,” Liu Gan nonchalantly replied. In the meantime, he continued to move forward.
Being stuck in the jungle with a minimal view of the sky created a feeling of claustrophobia. Along their journey, there were quite a number of animals. Some were still normal, that would run away from the group. There were others that had mutated into different shapes; they had rotting skin that was similar to corpses. These mutant animals had no fear, they were lurking in hiding for an opportunistic time to strike their prey.
The only good thing was that these variant beasts only had the strength of normal zombies. So, they weren’t a huge threat.
With the existence of these weak zombified variant beasts, then there had to be stronger and larger variants. Now that the group had removed their thick layers of clothing and protective wear, the greatest threat to the group wasn’t the variant beasts… It still hadn’t appeared yet. In fact, it was something small that could be found alongside their body.
For instance, a cluster of variant mosquitos.
These mosquitos experienced mutations, and became even more sinister looking. Along with their mutations, a behavioral change also took place. They were faster than before, but like kamikaze planes would still charge forward. Even if they got caught in between slapping palms, if the crushing force behind the hands was not strong enough, it wouldn’t be enough to kill the mosquitoes.
After being bit, the familiar round red bump would appear. It would be itchy beyond compare. The common solution would be scratching until the skin festered. It might be easier if they just cut off the bitten area. The only lucky aspect is that after being bitten, there weren’t any symptoms of infection. On the wrist watch for infection status, it would say normal. Only the health condition status would gradually decrease.
Aside from that, every step had to be carefully made through the soft leaves on the ground. Extra attention was required for their footing, as even an ordinary looking stick of wood could be a camouflaged Variant snake. All it took was just one bite from the snake. Even if the virus didn’t change you, the poisonous venom would be lethal.
Within the jungle, danger lurked everywhere.
“Shh…” Liu Gan suddenly signaled. He must have heard something dangerous as he warned the group.
Every member held their breath. After the area was quiet, it was possible for Liu Gan to hear movement noises on the ground. It was as if something close to the surface of the ground was moving at a high speed towards them. Normal people wouldn’t have been able to detect this frequency, but Liu Gan was level 9. He sensed something dangerous was about to occur.
As the sound indicated that the distance was close, Liu Gan ordered them to be silent. That was when other people first noticed the abnormality… A Variant poisonous snake lunged off from the ground at the weakest member of the group, Zhao Meng. The variant was at least two meters long, its thickest part as big as Liu Gan’s arm.
Liu Gan was prepared for an ambush; he threw the spear in his hand and it instantly pinned the snake’s body to the ground. The snake’s triangular head was only 30 centimeters away from Zhao Meng when it spat something out toward Zhao Meng’s face. It nearly hit its target.