After dinner, Luo Yuan closed the door to the shelter and removed the bullets from all the cannons. He then he used his knife to cut a few pieces of concrete from the highway to block the bullet holes of the cannons. He had to be extra careful because he was worried that small mutated creatures would sneak in without anyone noticing. It would be a lot riskier if he did not put extra effort to seal the cannons.
When it came to nightfall, it was almost impossible to see any light under the dense shade of Heaven’s Pillar Tree. The noise in the surrounding was very quiet as well. The shelter was too small to set up tents but fortunately, there were enough beds on the first floor which were left over from the army men who stayed there before. Luo Yuan carefully wiped his knife and put it on the bed.
"Let me wash your feet." Huang Jiahui took a basin and placed it next to Luo Yuan’s feet.
"I will do it myself." Luo Yuan replied with discomfort and continued, "Where did you get the water from?"
Huang Jiahui smiled and insisted. She grabbed Luo Yuan’s feet, took off his shoes gently, and said, "This is the water we use to wash our face. I think it is clean and I have mixed it with some warm water."
She put both his feet into the basin and gently scrubbed them. "Do you think we are too burdensome to you? You don’t actually need to take all these risks and could have reached the West much earlier if you went without us.” She suddenly said.
In fact, it scared her a lot today seeing how strong Luo Yuan was. She felt insecure and afraid that Luo Yuan might leave her alone one day in the future. Everyone heard what Huang Jiahui had said and turned to look at the two of them.
Luo Yuan could sense her abnormal feeling towards him. He sighed and said, "No, please don’t think this way. No one is burdensome here. Without you, I would not have any good meals to eat, no one to talk to, and no one to wash my feet!"
"Today is the first time I washed your feet.” Huang Jiahui replied and smiled.
"You can wash it every day.” Luo Yuan said firmly.
Cao Lin, who was lying on the bed, kept tossing and turning. In fact, she was the one who felt most insecure. She was neither an evolved human nor someone who had an intimate relationship with Luo Yuan like Huang Jiahui and Wang Xiaguang. Other than just helping with some unimportant tasks like cooking, mopping the floor and doing laundry, she could not help in anything else. There was no reason for Luo Yuan to keep her in the team and protect her.
She would do anything to let Luo Yuan care about her more. She would not hesitate to have sex with him or do something even more shameful to attract him. However, Luo Yuan never had those intentions with her and he normally does not even look at her. She found that Luo Yuan was not a lascivious man, so she had given up for a long time. But today, she started to worry again and realized that she should have done that before.
"Something is not right… I should take the initiative to be closer to him.” Cao Lin pondered as she touched her face and then her breasts.
Nothing happened during the night but no one was able to sleep well. The next morning when Luo Yuan woke up and walked out from the shelter, he was stunned by what he saw. A strange mutated creature was lying near the shelter. The atmosphere that surrounded it was somewhat strange and uncomfortable. He almost wanted to attack this creature but he was too familiar with its scent.
During the night, the giant lizard had undergone a tremendous change! It doubled in size and its scales turned from light green to dark green with some added complex geometric patterns. The horns on its head almost disappeared with only the middle one still prominent though it had changed from black to jade with a spiral shape. Luo Yuan also noticed that it had three eyes that were arranged in a triangular order. It looked very strange with some mysterious prestige. In addition, it had 4 toes instead of 3, and the color of its feet became darker with the metal texture.
The giant lizard noticed Luo Yuan’s presence and lifted its eyelid. It looked at him differently. Only after a long pause did it stand up. It was not as frightened of Luo Yuan as before and its actions seemed to be very provocative with its powerful strength and enhanced self-confidence. Luo Yuan was too excited with the changes of the lizard and was not aware of these unusual characteristics.
Suddenly, it sneezed and white smoke was emitted from its nostrils. There were flames inside the smoke and the temperature in the surrounding had increased! Luo Yuan quickly stepped back. He opened the properties panel to check on the new properties of a giant lizard and as expected, there were tremendous changes.
“Fighting beast: Forest lizard."
"Level: Dark Blue.”
“Skills: Biting: 19; Tearing: B; Striking: tail strike; Proficiency: 0; Survival skill: 18;
Observation; Breathing: 2”
“Natural ability: Sense of danger, Fire Breath”
“Loyalty: 61 (there is risk of betrayal if less than 60; full value 100)”
“Unassigned attribute points: 1”
“Unallocated technique points: 6”
In summary, its level was upgraded from blue to dark blue; its agility remained the same but its strength increased by 2. Other properties had increased by a little- tearing, striking, and observation. The rest were all newly added skills. It was not surprising to have tearing, striking and breathing skills. In the past there was not much that the giant lizard could do. It only had biting and tail striking skills. Luo Yuan never saw it use its claws to attack before. Now, its sharp claws and the horn on its head have massively evolved. It is definitely not just for decoration! The only thing that Luo Yuan could not understand was the observant skill.
"Is it because of how I trained the lizard in the past? Or has its intelligence simply increased after evolving?" Luo Yuan thought in his mind.
Anyway, it was a good to have a smart giant lizard. Luo Yuan did not think further after this since it already had the ability to challenge dark blue class mutated creatures. Hence, other dark blue class creatures should be not be a threat to it anymore. Unfortunately, the dexterity of the lizard remained the same so Luo Yuan had to manually increase it. But suddenly, Luo Yuan noticed the loyalty points and was shocked!
"How come it dropped below 60? It is even lower than the first time I defeated it."
He looked up and noticed there was hostility in the giant lizard’s eyes. Luo Yuan thought angrily, “Luckily my prestige still has a deep impression on it… Otherwise it would have become a traitor.”
"Damn, it really is a beast! Fortunately there are still some attribute points unassigned, otherwise, it would be a disaster and definitely more difficult to defeat again." He was angry and felt like he wanted to kill it but he stopped himself. He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. Now that the lizard had no fear towards him anymore, if he chose to ignore, it would definitely be out of his control and attack him instead. He had only two options- leave it or defeat it again.
It would be a huge loss to him if he left it behind. The journey would be more challenging without the lizard as its gigantic size actually scared a lot of small mutated creatures away. After pondering about the benefits it would bring, he chose not to give up on it. Fortunately, its loyalty points were still within a controllable range and thus it should not be too difficult to defeat it again.
After he made his decision, Luo Yuan walked towards the giant lizard. It instinctively felt threatened by Luo Yuan’s movements and growled as a warning. It still had a deep impression of how strong Luo Yuan was and thus it dared not simply start to attack him.
But the closer Luo Yuan got to the giant creature, the more he noticed the hostility in its eyes getting stronger and its loyalty level also slowly declined.
Luo Yuan was sweating… he was nervous. He firmly held onto his knife. In any case, if the lizard really started to attack, he had the firm intention to kill it. The creature was getting irritated and kept growling repeatedly in an attempt to scare Luo Yuan away. Due to its evolution, those growls actually generated powerful sound waves which had an effect on Luo Yuan.
Everyone was alerted by the loud sounds of the giant lizard and rushed to check it out. Huang Jiahui almost fainted after seeing the intense scene.
"Let’s go upstairs and bring the cannon down!" Huang Jiahui suddenly got to her senses and quickly shouted.
Huo Dong, Lin Xiaoji and Chen Xianfeng quickly ran to the second floor. The cannons were considered medium-sized weapons. Ordinary people could hardly move them, however, their strength had been increased because they had consumed mutated meat over a long period of time. This type of cannon was somewhat rare. Even Huang Jiahui as an ex-police officer, had not seen it before.
Fortunately, it was not too complicated to use and after brief discussions, they had set up the cannon in front of the shelter ready to shoot the giant lizard.
"Calm down, take a deep breath." Huo Dong murmured with his hands trembling. Sweat could be seen dripping down his face.
Luo Yuan remained calm and slowly took out of his long knife. The giant lizard felt threatened by this and breathed heavily with white smoke coming out from its nostrils. It was 6-7 meters in height but Luo Yuan was only 167cm tall. It could easily tackle him down and eat him, however, it slowly moved backward. In contrast, Luo Yuan kept walking towards it with heavy footsteps. He raised his left hand and pressed on the giant lizard few times. This was a fairly familiar gesture to it as it had been suffering from pain in order to remember this gesture.
“Get down.” Luo Yuan ordered.
The giant lizard looked at Luo Yuan with hesitation and stayed stationary for a while. However, it eventually slowly lowered its head and lied down on the ground. Luo Yuan could tell that its hostility level had increased even more at that point. He walked next to it and touched its head but in the next second, he punched its head hardly with his fist. Its loyalty level had dropped down to 45 from 61 by this point and it looked angry. The lizard opened its mouth to shoot a flame of fire at Luo Yuan. The temperature was not too high but it was extremely powerful and the road was damaged with a one-meter burn mark.
Nevertheless, it was dizzy again and almost fainted as Luo Yuan stood on its head with his hands tightly clutching on its horn while repeatedly punching its head over and over again. "It is too late for you to beg for forgiveness. If I don’t take this chance to give you a hard lesson, you will forget about it again." After synthesizing with the Heart of the Ghost Tree, he now had a will power of 15 points. Even though the giant lizard has a strong defense, it couldn’t match Luo Yuan’s attacks. The lizard was getting dizzy and its body started wobbling.
Third punch, fourth punch… Tenth punch, eleventh punch…
When it came to the fifteenth punch, the giant lizard finally collapsed. It sobbed and begged for mercy. Luo Yuan sneered and continued the punch, “It is too late now to beg for mercy, if I don’t do it you will forget about it in future.” The giant lizard tried to resist, but soon it was pressed down by Luo Yuan again. Luo Yuan did not stop punching until he realized that the lizard had no response anymore and already fainted.
He finally stood up and felt relieved. This was a very dangerous move as it was now a dark blue level mutated creature and was very strong. Luo Yuan opened up the properties panel and found huge changes in its loyalty points- which had now increased to 75. This was a number that he had never seen before. It seemed like the lesson had completely wiped the wildness away.
Luo Yuan jumped down from the lizard and noticed the cannon set up in front of the shelter. He was shocked. He knew how powerful the cannon was and luckily they did not use it otherwise they would have killed him along with the giant lizard due to their unfamiliarity with the weapon. Huang Jiahui ran to Luo Yuan with her pale face.
Luo Yuan could feel her body trembling. It was apparent that she was too worried about him. He felt warm and patted her back and softly said, "I am alright. Don’t worry."
After a long time, Huang Jiahui finally let go off Luo Yuan. She wiped her teary eyes and said, “It is your giant lizard, right? Why did it attack you just now?”
"I was just trying to test its capabilities out since it has just evolved." Luo Yuan laughed. It was not necessary to tell everyone the truth as it would only create fear. Huang Jiahui looked at Luo Yuan suspiciously. She felt something strange but she did not think further since Luo Yuan looked relax.
"Don’t think too much. Since everyone is awake, let’s depart again once the giant lizard wakes up." Luo Yuan quickly interrupted her thinking. They walked back to the shelter.
Huo Dong hesitated but said, “Can I bring the cannon along with me?”
Luo Yuan was stunned and surprised, "Are you able to carry it? It is heavy. You have to bring the bullets as well."
Huo Dong looked at Lin Xiaoji and Chen Xianfeng and said, "Chen Xianfeng, Lin Xiaoji and myself can take turns to carry them and we will not delay the journey."
"I can help too." Ning Xiaoran added with her reddish face. “I am stronger now.”
"I can help, too.” Cao Lin also said.
Wang Xiaguang looked at Cao Lin in a surprised way. She was shocked with what Cao Lin had just said. Luo Yuan glanced at everyone and could understand what was in their minds. To be honest, Luo Yuan never expected any help from them as they were mostly ordinary humans. He saved them and brought them along because he still had humanity in him despite his evolution. After all, he is strong enough to fight all the mutated creatures thus far and he never needed help from any of them.
Since they offered to help, he was happy to accept their offer. He nodded his head and said, “Alright, let’s bring it along with us.”
They quickly packed their luggage while Luo Yuan walked outside and kicked the giant lizard but it still had no response. Luo Yuan aimed at its nose and kicked it again. Finally, the lizard woke up. It was about to roar but noticed Luo Yuan standing in front of him. It quickly stood up in fear. Luo Yuan thought that it would not betray him anymore, thus he added the remaining points from yesterday to its agility. It immediately jumped to 15.
The giant lizard seemed to sense something different from the upgrade. It roared excitedly and looked at Luo Yuan admirably. Luo Yuan had never seen this expression before so he quickly checked its loyalty points and it was now at 80! It was a breakthrough!
The system then prompted, “After a long time, finally, you own the ability to train a mutated creature”. On the properties panel, it showed "Skill of training mutated creature: 0" at the last line of the capabilities page.
Luo Yuan was surprised. He never knew there was such a skill. It must be one of the reasons that there was a spike in the loyalty points of the giant lizard. However, it was somewhat useless to Luo Yuan since there was no need to retrain the lizard anymore with its current high level of loyalty. He reassigned the capability of the giant lizard by moving 5 points away from its biting skill. The system then showed: "Proficiency in biting: 0". He hesitated for a while and finally assigned the remaining 4 points to breathing skill. He could foresee that this skill would become the most powerful attack skill it had.
After completely assigning the remaining points, Luo Yuan ordered it to get down again and hung a large parcel on its neck. The poncho from before was almost torn off from yesterday’s fight. Luo Yuan synthesized it with the Storm bird’s feather so that it would be much more durable.
Luo Yuan turned his head and saw Huo Dong and the gang carrying the cannon with 3 boxes of the bullets. They looked exhausted. He shook his head and offered to help, "Well, you can’t walk too far carrying all these, come on, bring one of the boxes over and put it inside"
Luo Yuan took down the parcel from the lizard’s neck and opened it. Chen Xianfeng appreciated it and ran over. However, when he came closer to the giant lizard he felt uneasy, so he slowed down and walked gently toward Luo Yuan. Luo Yuan wanted to put the bullets into the parcel but he thought that it could cause a severe loss if the bullets exploded. The poncho might not be torn but all the materials inside would be destroyed. He took out another poncho and synthesized it with some extra feathers. He then hung two parcels on the neck of the giant lizard.
The two parcels collectively weighed about 200 kg but it felt like nothing to the giant lizard as it could actually bear a weight of more than 10 tons. After two hours, they finally got out from the shade of Heaven’s Pillar Tree.
Suddenly, the ground tremored. Luo Yuan looked around and found that it was not only the area around the Heaven’s Pillar Tree but the entire east of the city that was shaking. He could see several buildings in the distance begin to collapse. Smoke and ashes surrounded the city from afar.
It was the first time they witnessed such a strong shake with at least a magnitude of 4. The giant lizard was irritated by the tremors and the mutated birds also flew away from the Heaven’s Pillar Tree. They could hear mutated beasts roaring from where they were standing and there were a few gigantic mutated birds flying in the sky. Luo Yuan was worried just looking at all these scenes.
"What just happened? What is wrong?" Luo Yuan was confused. This magnitude of tremors could not have been caused by the big tree. He felt insecure and worried seeing all these abnormalities.