The team departed again the next day when it was still dawn. Luo Yuan noticed some sadness in Wang Xiagiang’s eyes as he gazed at her. She sensed his sight, looked up at him with a glance and immediately lowered her head without saying a word.
Luo Yuan wanted to say something but hesitated, and sighed. After half an hour, the team finally went on the express highway. On the road they could see smashed heavy trucks everywhere instead of consumer cars. There were countless of materials on the road- including ingots, grains, machineries, instruments, and even plenty of guns and ammunition.
Before the collapse of humanity, this express highway was the only route connecting Hedong City with other places. Day or night, there were a lots of trucks passing by this highway. Unfortunately, it had also being affected by the outbreak. Luo Yuan tried to gather some weapons but couldn’t carry all the ammunition with him. He took only three boxes of bullets and hanged them on the giant lizard. Now everyone had a gun, they were all 95 military-type rifles. Other than that, there was even a sniper and Luo Yuan gave it to Chen Xianfeng.
Although he might not be as capable as Luo Yuan in terms of combat skills, at least he could help in shooting in case there’s any battle. The nearer they got to the giant tree, the more amazed they felt. From the middle of the trunk onward, there were multiple giant roots that went deep into the ground. All the surrounding roads had been uplifted with its growth. Even though the building at the suburb area had already collapsed, Luo Yuan could see that the giant tree was still growing.
The team took a quick rest at noon and continued their journey. They finally entered into the shaded area of the tree when it was about 3pm. The sky was completely eclipsed by a boundless number of green leaves. This was the world of birds! There were countless large and small mutated birds inhabiting the giant tree and they were tweeting away endlessly. The air was so fresh that everyone felt revitalised.
This was definitely a fairyland to stay in, if only there were no mutated birds, snakes and all different kinds of weird creatures that lived in the giant tree. None of them had the mood to enjoy the beautiful scenery as they noticed that this was almost an independent ecosystem that housed countless of mutated creatures living therein.
The ground was covered with feathers and excrements as well as skeletons of mutated beasts. Luo Yuan could find almost any grade of materials there. He picked up a few two meter long light blue feathers. After becoming an evolved human, he could vaguely feel the power of the property, like how thick the earth is and how moist the water is.
“Tail feather of a Storm Bird”
“Rarity: dark blue.”
“Weight: 3 grams”
“Additional Capacity: Balancing airflow.”
“Evaluation: The Storm Bird is a peculiar variant of creatures which naturally hates storms. Whenever storms appear, you can always see it chasing it away. It has the natural ability to quell storms, and this ability is fully embodied in its feathers. It only requires a small amount of wind energy.”
Excitement could be seen on Luo Yuan’s face. Aside from his saber, all his other equipments were still in the light blue rank. He wanted an upgrade for so long but had never found the right materials. Unexpectedly, he has found it now! Luo Yuan paid more attention to the feathers on the ground and found a few more similar ones. He managed to find several other blue-level feathers, but there was only one with properties he desired out of the six feathers found. Luo Yuan still collected it though it was a fire series material. As the west was located in the plateau, the air was so thin and the temperature during the day and night were extremely cold. Adding this feather into quilt or underwear could help keep them warm.
"Look, there is a fruit over there." Cao Lin suddenly whispered with excitement.
Luo Yuan raised his head and saw a fruit the size of a head hiding in the layers of leaves. Its surface was a combination of green and red which looked very attractive. Apparently the fruit had been noticed by someone else as there was a gigantic green mutated bird standing like a stone on branches not far away. Its eyes were half-closed, staring at the fruit over and over again while paying attention to its surrounding.
Since the outbreak, Luo Yuan rarely saw any plants or trees with fruits or food. Even the former artificially cultivated corn had an unfavorable production rate. On this the giant tree, he could hardly see any other fruits except for this one. Of course there might be some hidden ones in the leaves, however, in Luo Yuan observation, if this fruit could be noticed by such a powerful creature it must be very precious.
Luo Yuan was already thinking of how to retrieve the fruit but he soon changed his mind. The gigantic bird was obviously not easy to deal with, especially now that there are so many ordinary humans with him. If he started a battle, many people might be sacrificed especially people whom he cared about like Huang Jiahui, Wang Xiaguang and Wang Shishi. If any of them became casualties it would hurt him. At this time he was shocked to discover that the fruit suddenly ripened at an incredible rate- from half green, quickly turning into pure red with a special scent released into the air.
"Don’t look at it anymore, keep walking to the shelter in front." Luo Yuan instructed with a heavy heart. He knew that this fruit would cause a lot of trouble with such a heavy fragrance, and he estimated that it would soon attract other mutated creatures. He also noticed that his giant lizard was also attracted and kept staring at the fruit up above its head.
In fact, the scent affected even ordinary humans. Everyone was attracted and had the desire to taste it. At this time, suddenly, a red and yellow giant bird flew towards the fruit. The next moment, they could hear a sharp pitch from the two giant birds which were fighting with each other. Only then did they get to their senses and rush to the shelter in front.
After running for a while, Luo Yuan realized that his giant lizard was not following them and still looking up at the fruit. He quickly ran back angrily. At this moment, there was a notification from the task system: "F-Level mission, seize the fruit of the Heaven’s Pillar Tree."
"Damn it!" Luo Yuan cursed with a bad feeling.
As he expected, the battle between the two giant birds was too intense. It caused the ripened fruit to fall down from the tree. The giant birds were not fast enough and could only watch it fall helplessly. They attempted to catch it but it was too late. The giant lizard was very excited and ran frantically towards the fruit. In an instant, it had swallowed the entire fruit!
Since the fruit had already been eaten, Luo Yuan could not help but accept the task given by the system. The next moment, a task completion notification came into the system. This was the fastest task completion ever, but to Luo Yuan, he knew that the task had not even started. The blue-class green giant bird that had been waiting beside the fruit for long time was furious! It gave up on its previous opponent and targeted the lizard instead.
The giant lizard growled repeatedly and prepared for the fight. In the past, it had fought almost every day with other mutated creatures and had already accumulated a lot of battle experience. It did not panic even. The moment when the giant bird tried to strike it, the lizard moved its body and successfully dodged the attack.
The giant bird caught nothing but made a 2 meters long dent on the road. Luo Yuan did not have enough time to check on the system notification but noticed that the giant bird had not gotten up yet. He quickly picked up several spears and moved forward at lightning speed. In just one second, his speed had reached its peak. When the giant bird was trying to get back up again, he lifted a short spear, and with all his might, threw it at the giant bird! At this moment, Luo Yuan was 15 times more powerful in term of speed, strength and agility than the average person- almost like Superman. With this powerful force, the short spear that had hit the giant bird caused it to fly a few meters away. It was startled and growled angrily. It quickly fanned its wings repeatedly in an attempt to fly up again.
But what came the next was another short spear which hit it. Luo Yuan threw the short spears one after another without any pauses. By the fourth one, the giant bird could not balance itself anymore and fell to the ground heavily. Luo Yuan was surprised because he knew that the short spears were sharp enough to pierce through even a rhino with thick skin. However, this blue-class mutant bird, although it looked exhausted and had lost a few feathers, had no visible wounds on its body. It fanned its wings crazily and tried to fly again but was too late.
The giant lizard moved at a high speed towards the bird, bit on its slim neck, tore its throat and did not give the giant bird any opportunity to counterattack. It was always a fact that, no matter how strong the flying creatures were, when they fought with the ground creatures, once they fell on the land, it meant their death approached. Even though the giant lizard was still one level lower than the giant bird, it was winning the battle. The neck of the giant bird was now broken. It struggled, but failed to get up.
A few seconds later, the giant bird’s head was completely ripped off by the lizard. Blood splattered everywhere. Luo Yuan could hardly see any wounds on the lizard apart from a few scratches on its chest. Unexpectedly, it was unhurt from the battle. The other red and yellow giant bird which fought with the green giant bird earlier had been hovering in the sky when the battle was ongoing but now it fled the area when it witnessed what had happened.
This battle was unexpectedly smooth and did not take even half a minute with the help from a mutated creature. This time, the giant lizard had no interest in the bird’s flesh. It walked to one side, and growled several times. Its eyes sparkled and it seemed abnormally excited with overflowing energy. In fact, only now did Luo Yuan recall that the giant lizard had swallowed a fruit from the Heaven’s Pillar Tree. Although he was unsure of the power of the fruit, he was certain that all these unusual reactions from the lizard were triggered by this fruit.
He opened the property panel and found that the lizard had leveled up. After this fight it gained almost 8 experience points. Luo Yuan looked at its status and a word appeared that was out of Luo Yuan’s expectation.
Luo Yuan looked at the giant lizard cheerfully, and said “It’s finally evolving”!