The night was dark.
Lightning stroke and thunder roared in the sky while it rained cats and dogs.
Large raindrops fell on the leaves, making endless noise. They sounded like hurried knocks.
Luo Yuan was drenched as soon as he got out of the cave. The giant lizard lay quietly in the rain, water dripping down its smooth scales and forming a small pond where it lay.
Luo Yuan took a glance at the lizard sleeping soundly under the storm before he charged into the rain. He ran through the forest until he came across a large rock. His sword smashed it in quick strokes, the rock becoming 40 – 50 centimeters in diameter.
Then he chopped a large tree and dug into a section of its trunk, making a simple wooden bucket.
The rain got heavier, raindrops beating down on his face and making opening his eyes a real challenge. He took off his clothes, allowing the storm to wash his battered body. It had been two days since he had last showered, and his body was already smelling of dried sweat and blood.
As he showered, the wooden bucket was filled with rainwater. Luo Yuan put on his clothes again and returned to the cave, carrying the bucket of water and the stone ball.
The fire in the cave burned bright. Nobody had gone back to sleep, even though dawn had yet to come. Even weak Wang Xiaguang was staring at the ceiling blankly. The atmosphere was dull and silent.
Luo Yuan took off his clothes again to shake the water off. The garment was now synthesized with Storm Bird’s feathers, so it dried extremely fast, leaving behind no sign that it had ever been in the rain. Luo Yuan put everything on again and cut the stone ball into two pieces. He dug out the inside part to make a large wok, and then placed it above the fire, pouring water inside it.
Huang Jiahui and Cao Ling took over the task, washing all the clothes that they could find.
The flame licked the bottom of the stone wok greedily, boiling the water within minutes. Huang Jiahui boiled all the clothes for several minutes to disinfect them.
When she took them out, the water had turned black.
Huo Dong poured it outside the cave and boiled another pot to wash the clothes until they were white.
Everyone washed their wounds carefully with them, scrubbing the fabric clean and repeating the process. Lin Xiaoji had to bring fresh water five more times before everyone had finally cleaned their bleeding wounds and wrapped them up.
Considering the lack of medicine during that apocalyptic era, unless the most basic hygienic standards were met, there would be countless deaths.
Wang Xiaguang was the weakest among them. She could not even stand or take care of her own wounds. Huang Jiahui didn’t want Luo Yuan to help her, so she did it herself.
After she wiped down Wang Xiaguang and bandaged her wounds, she realized that the girl was shaking. Her lips were a freezing purple color, the back of her clothes was damp, and the straw under her was also wet.
Huang Jiahui flipped the straw. The soil underneath was so damp, it had almost turned into mud. She quickly brought more straw over and put it under her.
Wang Xiaguang looked at the hustling Wang Jiahui. “Thank you!”
Huang Jiahui sighed. Her feelings were mixed. She turned to the corner and poured a bowl of blood Luo Yuan had gathered earlier, handing it to Wang Xiaguang to drink. “Thank Luo Yuan. He asked me to take care of you,” she said softly.
Wang Xiaguang’s cold body warmed up. She looked better after drinking the dark blue level blood. She looked at Huang Jiahui in confusion. “Thank you, anyway.”
Huang Jiahui paused for a moment before she walked away.
Moving forward was impossible under the heavy rain. Plus, most of them were injured.
Luo Yuan was only feeling slightly better than the previous day. His body still protested in pain every time he moved too much.
Rain dropped down from the walls of the cave and into the wooden bucket, making an irritating sound.
The cave was getting damper, water coming in from everywhere as the ground turned muddy.
Luo Yuan had inspected the whole cave carefully, but except for a few spots, it seemed to be safe over all. The inside of the cave was not bad, and neither was its location. The soil inside was sticky though, so it did not collapse as easily.
However, this was only one of their problems – they were running out of firewood quickly.
The forest was cold and damp. The weather remained rainy, and moist wind kept blowing into the cave. Most of them would never have survived if not for the fire. They had not eaten much the whole day, so everyone was famished.
Lin Xiaoji went out once, but he did not bring back anything. The insects had long gone into hiding to find shelter from the weather. It would be extremely hard to find their hiding spots considering their survival skills in the wild.
Luo Yuan did not move. He was not their babysitter after all. It was impossible to do everything by himself, and it was not that dangerous outside anyway. It was the perfect time for them to train.
Seeing that Luo Yuan showed no intention of moving, the rest of the men went out in search of food. Around noon, they finally discovered some insect eggs the size of chicken eggs.
The women seemed to have linked the eggs to the maggots, because they paled once again. Cao Ling and Huang Jiahui ignored their disgust and washed the eggs before cooking them in the stone pot. Some of the eggs began to hatch under the rising water temperature, but they were promptly killed as it rose even higher.
During the apocalypse, the perseverance of mankind was no longer the same as before. Everyone ate the eggs despite feeling nauseated. Even Wang Shishi finished hers. In fact, they all realized that the eggs did not taste bad once they tried them. They were almost pure protein. Because they were mutated beast eggs, the flesh was chewy and hard to bite.
Food was as scarce as before, but they were not as hungry anymore.
Luo Yuan toyed with the Heaven Pillar Tree bark hesitantly. No matter how much mutation it went through, the tree bark still consisted of plant fiber, meaning that it was neither flexible nor tough. It was obviously not a very good material for sharp weapons. Its best function was defense.
However, Luo Yuan thought it would be a waste not to try to synthesize it with the sword.
This was Luo Yuan’s first time coming into contact with such a high-level material. It was possible that he would not get a second chance anytime soon.
Besides, the sword was getting blunter. It depleted too much of his Willpower whenever he fought against a dark blue level creature, let alone an even more powerful one.
Synthesizing the bark into his sword would probably not increase its sharpness, but it would at least make it more powerful than a dark blue level sword.
Simply put, it was a question of attacking or defending himself.
Luo Yuan thought about it long and hard, and ultimately decided to synthesize it into the sword.
No matter how strong the protection of his clothes was, it would not have much of an effect against mutated beasts. On the other hand, a strong attacking power would bring more immediate results.
“Heaven Pillar Tree”
“Ability: Energy Absorption”
“Remarks: The Heaven Pillar Tree is a magical being. It can absorb any kind of energy, including life energy, and grow rapidly, regardless of the circumstances. Its surface is tough and its defense is strong. It can absorb a certain amount of energy, and it is a high-level protective material.”
Luo Yuan used Identification once more before he synthesized the bark with his sword under everyone’s watchful eyes.
His ability to synthesize mutated materials into weapons and clothes was no longer a secret. Everyone just assumed it was an ability Luo Yuan had because he was an evolved person, so he did not need to hide it anymore.
Luo Yuan mumbled a quiet ‘Synthesize’, and the tree bark gradually turned a lighter color.
It took far longer than usual to synthesize. Luo Yuan stared at the sword seriously as its dark blue color slowly faded away. A layer of fine dark blue dust floated around the handle as the whole sword burned.
Vapor buzzed wherever the sword was touched by the soil.
Everyone watched the process without blinking, disbelief written all over their faces. No one dared make a sound, afraid to disturb Luo Yuan.
The whole process took about half an hour. Under everyone’s astonished gaze, the Heaven Pillar Tree bark turned into dust. Luo Yuan blew the dark blue dust on the sword away, revealing a black sword.
Its black color seemed to be able to absorb light. Even the fire dimmed a little near the blade, giving it a mysterious aura.
Luo Yuan lifted the sword, trying out the feel of it. It was three times as heavy, but it was still manageable with his 13-point Strength. He held the sword with both his hands and slashed through the air a few times.
The air buzzed from the friction of his high speed.
He was moving so fast, nobody saw his arms move. They were already used to it, but their hearts still surged in wonder.
Luo Yuan stopped, panic flashing across his face. He took a deep breath and used Identification on the sword.
“Life Harvesting Sword”
“Material: Alloy, Heaven Pillar Tree Bark”
“Attack: 30 – 34”
“Special Effect 1: Attacking Speed +1”
“Special Effect 2: Life Absorption (Passive), absorbs a certain amount of active energy from the attacker and replenishes the energy of the holder of the sword.”
“Equipment Requirements: 14-point Strength”
“Remarks: This is a Life Harvesting Sword. It will bring you endless energy when you kill your enemy.”
Luo Yuan was delighted. His guess had been right. The sword’s attacking power had only increased by 5 points. That was a complete mismatch to its green level status compared to the sword’s previous level-up pattern. It should have been light green level instead.
Luo Yuan had expected it though. The 5-point increase had already exceeded his expectations.
What made him happy was the life-absorbing ability that had replaced its useless freezing ability. If what he had read was true, this would be an unbelievable ability. He would always be able to recover from his injuries as long as he had an enemy.
Too bad that he could not find any beast outside, otherwise he would have tested the Identification description.
Luo Yuan played with the sword a little more before finally putting it away longingly.