As thoughts passed through his mind, his blood vessels unclogged themselves one after the other. However, there was nothing he could do for vessels that had healed incorrectly. If Luo Yuan wanted to repair his injured muscles, it could only be done by breaking his muscle fibers and reconnecting them.
However, Will could not be used to harm one’s body as the human body would subconsciously protect itself. Unless he hypnotized himself, it could not be done. Even then, it would have to be a deep hypnosis.
Luo Yuan knew nothing about this, so he put it off until next time.
Less than five minutes later, when he felt that his Will had depleted by half, he snapped out of it. Depleted amounts of Will would heavily damage his conscious state and his capabilities – an undoubtedly risky thing to do during such dangerous times.
As the shine in his eyes faded away, he slowly stood up.
He felt unusually light, perhaps because of his unclogged vessels. He tested his muscle movement, but he did not feel any improvement.
He was not disappointed, though. Improvement had always been a gradual process; he’d be weirded out if it happened too suddenly. Besides, he was already feeling better than ever.
He turned and looked at Zhou Yicheng. The man was still unconscious and pale, but in a much better state than before. He looked alive at least, breathing regularly as pus stopped seeping out. He was on the way to a full recovery.
The most critical moment had passed. The life force of the dark blue level beast had dragged him back from death’s grip.
Luo Yuan sighed in relief. He looked at the beast with a turn of his head and noticed that it was dying.
“Water, water,” Zhou Yicheng murmured, his parched lips moving although his eyes were shut tight.
There was no water where they were, and Luo Yuan was too lazy to ask the others to send some up, so he brutally slashed the beast’s throat open with the dagger by his hip, and fresh blood gushed out from the cut, not unlike a fountain.
Zhou Yicheng instinctively gulped the blood down, his cheeks flushing with the amount of blood he consumed.
Barely thirty seconds later, his stomach was bloated as blood refluxed out his mouth. Luo Yuan dropped the beast back on the floor and put the Zhanmadao’s handle back into the man’s hand.
After such extreme amounts of torture, the mutated beast finally succumbed to its injuries.
Its life force did not end after it died. It continued being absorbed for a long time, finally disappearing after half an hour. The beast’s carcass did not harden like usual corpses but became softer instead.
Luo Yuan went back down, carrying the dead beast. The soldiers quickly surrounded him.
“How’s the Battalion Commander?” Their faces looked anxious.
“It’s nothing serious; he’s pretty much stable now. Go up and see,” Luo Yuan said.
The soldiers did exactly that, rushing up to where Luo Yuan was before.
“Clean this. We’ll have it for dinner tonight.” Luo Yuan shook his head with a smile as he tossed the beast down.
“Is it still edible?” Huang Jiahui asked, pointing at the creature.
“Should be.” Luo Yuan was not sure either. Absorbing life was pretty literal, but the definition of life was kind of vague. The most basic form of life was made of protein and nucleic acid, but the combination of both could not be called life; otherwise, dead bodies would be classified as living things as well. That was the reason why life remained the biggest mystery in science.
When they skinned the beast though, everyone held their breath as the body seemed to have decomposed on the inside. Its tendons had snapped, and its flesh clung to its skin. The tissue broke off easily when Huo Dong gave it a light tug. It looked like minced meat when he pinched it.
Everyone exchanged a look of disbelief. The flesh of mutated beasts was tough. Not even Luo Yuan was able to press it into minced meat.
When they put the meat into boiling water, it dissolved completely, leaving a pot of murky soup. The soup was bland and tasteless, with a sandy texture.
Luo Yuan suspected that the beast’s DNA had been damaged. It was clearly inedible, so he went out to hunt once more. It was early enough.
Nightfall came quickly, and the weather turned gloomy. Everyone went to sleep soon after dinner, while there was still light.
Luo Yuan sat by the door like usual.
His thoughts agitated him, making it difficult for him to meditate. This was a rare occurrence following a level-up. Usually, he was able to find his peace within minutes, but that night he was still restless after three hours.
He stood up half an hour later and gave up.
It was still raining outside, and the next day would most likely be the same. Just as Luo Yuan was about to find a corner and finally head off into a slumber, a small shadow came out of the tent. Noticing him, it went back inside in fear.
After a whole minute, the shadow sneaked out once more, hesitating as it looked at Luo Yuan’s back.
Luo Yuan chuckled. He had already sensed that she had been rolling around in the tent, unable to fall asleep.
“How come you’re not asleep? What is it?” he asked gently as he turned around.
“I… I need to pee,” Chen Jiayi stuttered in reply. She had not expected Luo Yuan to turn around so suddenly.
“Then go quickly. Any corner will do. It’s not dangerous here,” Luo Yuan said.
“Oh.” Chen Jiayi seemed to need to pee as she ran to the nearest corner immediately. Not long afterward, she returned. As she walked to the tent, Luo Yuan called out to her, “Come over, let’s chat.”
Chen Jiayi did not know what Luo Yuan wanted to talk to her about. Her expression seemed worried as she dragged her steps, trembling like a frightened rabbit.
“Are you that scared of me?” Luo Yuan asked with a smile.
“N… No,” Chen Jiayi answered quickly, lowering her head. Her hands were wrenching the hem of her clothes.
“Then lift your head up. You won’t survive the apocalypse much longer being this timid. The first thing you need to do is overcome your fears,” Luo Yuan said a bit more seriously. Being this timid would do her no good. Even Wang Shishi was not as shy as she used to be anymore.
“I… I… Uncle, I will be brave.” Chen Jiayi lifted her head at once, her face paling as her trembles became violent. Tears threatened to fall from her eyes.
Luo Yuan had not expected to scare her so much with just a few words. He waved her away as he said, “We’ll see how you behave. Now go back to sleep, and don’t toss and turn. We have to leave early tomorrow morning.”
Luo Yuan’s words had apparently put an enormous amount of pressure on young Chen Jiayi as she walked back uneasily, tears flowing profusely down her cheeks. She stood by the entrance of the tent for a bit before she suddenly walked back over to Luo Yuan.
Luo Yuan looked at the girl questioningly. “What is it?”
“I… It’s not that I can’t sleep, I… I just sense danger.” Chen Jiayi forced herself to lift her head up, revealing her tear-stricken face.
“Don’t scare yourself. Just go to sleep.” Luo Yuan did not get her meaning at first. When he did though, his smile disappeared. “You mean you can sense danger?”
“Y… yes. Very, very big danger.” The girl did not know how to describe it. She just kept gesturing with her hands as she said worriedly, “It’s… approaching quickly.”
Luo Yuan paced around, his heart sinking. The more he thought about it; the more things seemed out of place. Maybe that was why he couldn’t find peace. “Are you evolved?”
“I… I don’t know.” The girl took a few steps back, shocked by Luo Yuan’s serious expression.
“Are you usually able to sense threats?” Luo Yuan asked, guessing that the girl was evolved, but she did not know it.
“Plenty of threats, big and small. But not as big as today. Not even like this afternoon,” Chen Jiayi replied with a sob.
Luo Yuan lay on the ground immediately and listened quietly. Suddenly he shouted loudly, “Everyone wake up! We’re leaving in five minutes!”