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Chapter 333 - Competition for Survival

TL: xDh20, LifeisaJourney

Due to the damp air, the vines that had wrapped themselves around the bark of the tree had moss grown all over them. After expending so much energy from walking, trying to climb up the tree wasn’t going to be an easy task.

Liu Gan sat down to rest, while Han GuangMing and others tried to climb the giant sequoia tree. No one was able to climb up and stay there for more than a few minutes. Climbing this tree required a different strategy than regular tree climbing due to the sheer size of this tree. For inexperienced climbers or unathletic people, it would be a very difficult feat.

It was very important that they climb up the tree since it was the only way they could find the path out of this jungle. Even if it was an impossible task, Liu Gan would have to accomplish it himself.

As an experienced former rock climber, Liu Gan couldn’t use the same technique for rock climbing with tree climbing. Rock climbing required finding the pivot point on a ledge for sturdy grip, but tree branches and vines were slippery. On top of that, his body was quite heavy, so they could snap and break off at any moment.

With the properties of Liu Gan’s body, even if he fell from a dozen meters, it wouldn’t be a serious injury. Heights greater than that would result in a fatality since the tree was at least a hundred meters high.

With everyone else just standing at the foot of the tree, Liu Gan started climbing. By the time Liu Gan reached twenty meters up, he had disappeared from view. A few normal monkeys were dancing on the branches, but Liu Gan quickly passed them as he kept climbing.

As Liu Gan sat down on a tree trunk to catch his breath, a Variant Monkey appeared above. It howled a few times at Liu Gan, then rushed violently for Liu Gan. Swinging between branches, it quickly closed in on Liu Gan.

Liu Gan also moved like a monkey as he swung between branches, leaving behind him trails of broken twigs with every shake of the branches he touched. Avoiding the Variant Monkey’s strike, he dodged it with a swing by holding onto another branch. In the same swing, he came back around and kicked the Variant Monkey.

The Variant Monkey gave a terrible howl of pain, but it disappeared from view after the kick. It never returned to bother Liu Gan after that. The branch that Liu Gan landed on started to crack under his weight, cracking noises could be heard.

Liu Gan grabbed onto two nearby vines to stabilize his body before the branch snapped or else he would’ve been fatally injured from the fall.

Liu Gan was able to find another peaceful location to take a break before he continued climbing. While climbing, Liu Gan had realized something important with his surroundings. All these trees at of the mountain peak had thin and long branches. It would be hard to see the sun of the tree before he reached the crown of the tree.

Sunlight in The Trembling World was a valuable commodity. It was only this section of trees that received the blessing of the sun. Only this region had a cloud canal that allowed sunlight through to the surface. With the strength of this sunlight, even a few hours a day was more than sufficient to sustain the jungle.

Only the trees that grow the highest will be able to receive the rays of the sun, so trees strove to grow as tall as they could. Then, they could cast a shadow to block out other trees. There was only one options for the trees; take up the space or have the space taken by another tree. Even though this was a biological plant, the competition for survival was extreme. Other plants won’t grow if there’s not enough sunlight or if they weren’t high enough to receive the sunlight.

Even a strong wind would break the weakest branch first.

Soon, Liu Gan reached the 40 meter mark on his climb. However, his position wasn’t high enough. He still couldn’t see anything. He had to reach the tree’s crown quickly. After another half an hour had passed, Liu Gan used up his remaining stamina to reach the tree crown a hundred meters up.

This summit section of the tree was flourishing with life. Branches were solid and thick. Even the twigs branching out were thick and strong, and could withstand Liu Gan’s extremely heavy body weight. Prior to entering the Trembling World, Liu Gan had never experienced climbing trees to this height before. A hundred-meter high tree was such an amplified height.

Standing at the very top branch of the tallest tree, Liu Gan witnessed the landscape scenery with its natural beauty. Liu Gan wasn’t in the mood to enjoy the magnificent sight. He was only looking for a way out of this labyrinth of a jungle. There was only one thing he wanted most, and that was to meet up with Yin He at the Biochemical Intelligence Research Center. To do that, he had to climb safely down this tree and lead his team out of the area.

The moment Liu Gan looked at his surroundings, his heart dropped.

Using this giant sequoia tree as an outlook, no matter which direction he turned it was an endless view of jungle. Even in the direction of the sea he had came from, it  disappeared from view. This was definitely a limitless terrain of jungle. Even Liu Gan started to wonder if his sense of direction was faulty.

Liu Gan used the sun’s location to pinpoint his own location, based on the time it took to move and the direction it was heading towards. The conclusion was that his course thus far was correct, he had maintained a southeast direction.

Carefully looking for a way out of the jungle, Liu Gan noticed something peculiar with a certain region where the mountain and the jungle met. Studying that region, there was a line of divided land. On one side the trees were very tall, on the other side the same type of tree was shorter by ten meters!

That dividing line was a river, a rather wide flowing river. The river forcefully split apart the jungle, leading to the difference in growth rate.

Now that Liu Gan was able to observe the situation, he still needed to rest for a few more minutes to recover his strength. Once a portion of his strength recovered, the way down was a lot easier than climbing up. Due to the slippery nature of the vines, he could even slide down partway. As long he didn’t pick a vine that broke easily, he wouldn’t take too long to go down the tree.

“Elder Liu, what is the situation like up there? Did you find a path out of this jungle?” shouted a few people on the ground below as they saw Liu Gan coming down.

“Yes, but there is still a ways to go.” Liu Gan didn’t tell them about the sight of endless jungle. If he told them about it, their morale was going to drop and they wouldn’t want to continue walking.

Even Liu Gan felt a little hopeless when he saw his surroundings filled with jungle trees. Even though he had found a river, no one can say for sure this river would be the path that led out of the jungle.

 Without the PDA, Liu Gan still remembered a few things about the map he saw. There weren’t any clear indicators about how much terrain the jungle occupied, and Northern NinJing region was several times larger than the southern region.

TL Note: Yes, sequoias get that tall in real life; they don’t grow in hot jungles; they are pines; don’t have branches starting that low on their trunks, nor vines; and don’t grow in SE Asia. Happily, video game logic gets to ignore all of that.

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