Slowly, Luo Yuan noticed something bizarre. Up to that point, Mu Wenwen had not even been attacked once. She was somewhere near the middle, yet she had not been attacked, even though Wang Xiaguang and Cao Lin who were walking in front of and behind her respectively both had been. It was as if the mutated beasts could not see her.
He suddenly realized that he had not been paying a lot of attention to her. She barely ever took the initiative to speak and she usually preferred to be alone. She was like a gust of air, her presence was as if she was inexistent.
He could not believe that he himself had actually ignored this relatively beautiful, extremely dangerous, evolved woman. If her abnormality had not been too obvious this time, he might not have noticed it.
He could not help but look back at her direction a few times. She doubtfully raised her head to stare back at him. Her black and white pupils were like clear spring water, an overwhelming temptation that captivated people. Luo Yuan took a glance at her, and dared not look again. If this was a concealment technique she was using, it was very professional.
It was definitely not easy to do it. The human body was a very complex force field, continuously emanating brainwaves of various frequencies. As the infrared waves caused by an electromagnetic field of electrochemical reaction and temperature got stronger, this composite force field got stronger too.
Luo Yuan was superhuman in many ways, so the strength of the force field he released was almost comparable to that of light green mutated beasts. No matter how hard he tried to control it, he was still like a torch in the dark. Shiny and bright, able to be spotted at first sight, even when he was standing in a crowd. After all, brainwaves could be restrained by Will, but the intense electromagnetic field of electrochemical reaction and infrared waves produced by his strong body could not be completely eliminated.
Therefore, regardless of how hard he tried to hide or control himself, his aura stood out more than a normal person’s.
He could not understand how she did it. It might be related to her ability. After all, such a concealment technique was completely beyond Luo Yuan’s understanding.
Suddenly, there was a commotion. Commander Xia pointed towards some tree stumps up ahead and said, “Look, Brother Luo. What’s happened to those trees?”
Luo Yuan pulled back from his thoughts and looked in the direction the Commander was pointing at in shock.
From where they were standing, they could see tree stumps everywhere. There were hundreds of tree stumps of similar height with no sign of being broke off. They looked like they had been chopped off with tools instead.
Luo Yuan’s expression turned grave. Before the apocalypse, such a scene would have been normal because illegal logging had been quite widespread. However, they were currently facing the apocalypse, and this was an extremely dangerous ancient forest with no trace of human activity around. Under those circumstances, it was strange to see so many tree stumps.
“Let’s go and check it out!” Luo Yuan said.
Soon, they reached a tree stump about 1.7 meters in diameter. Although the tree must have been very large, they were not astonished to see that there were plenty of it inside the ancient forest.
New seedlings of about three to four meters had grown from the tree stumps. According to the growth rate of plants, the trees should have been cut down a few days ago. Commander Xia walked carefully forward, chopping off any branches to expose the tree stumps completely. When he took a closer look, he was stunned for a moment. Finally, he said with a grave expression, “I’m afraid this was not done by man. The blade used to chop off this tree must have been about half a meter wide. The scar of the cut is too coarse, so the tool used was obviously not sharp enough. However, if it was still able to chop off such a large tree, it must have been very strong.”
One needed extremely sharp tools when it came to chopping trees. People usually used axes. A weapon with a half-meter wide blade could not have been used by a human.
“Is that a drag trail?” Huo Dong said suspiciously, pointing at a long print on the ground. “What would the mutated beasts want the wood for?”
“Perhaps to use as firewood?” Lin Xiaoji said with a hollow laugh.
Nobody found it funny.
“To build nests or make weapons. Both seem plausible,” Luo Yuan said seriously. “There’s one thing we know for sure. This type of creature must possess a certain level of intelligence if they know how to use tools.”
Commander Xia felt his heart become gradually heavier. He responded only after a while, “If they really are intelligent creatures, there must be a lot of them. This area has traces of logging, and there could be even more ahead. There must be at least of hundreds of them, possibly even more.”
Everyone’s faces turned pale. Although the weather was hot, they felt a chill go down their spines.
“Let’s leave right away! We wouldn’t want them to find us,” Zhao Yali said in panic.
“Alright, we’ll talk about this later,” Luo Yuan said. He knew nothing about the abilities or the number of these mysterious creatures, so it would undoubtedly be very reckless of them if they kept going. Besides, he had a group of encumbrance with him.
Hearing his words, everyone let out a sigh of relief.
The team quickly turned around. On the way back, Luo Yuan picked a tree with large leaves and collected the leaves they needed. They reached their campsite in less than ten minutes. Everyone looked worried and stressed, as if a giant stone was pressing on their hearts. Anyone would feel that stressed if they’d just found out a time bomb ready to explode at any time was in the area.
The place was too close to them, only about half an hour’s journey away. In fact, it was less than three kilometers if one were to walk in a straight line. If Luo Yuan jogged, he could get there within five minutes.
They put the leaves inside the cave, walked to the shade and sat in a circle with their brows knitted.
“What if we leave?” Huang Jiahui suggested worriedly.
“And go where?” Luo Yuan asked, recovering from his thoughts.
“Away from here. Let’s look for another place, or leave this mountain. We have been here long enough,” Huang Jiahui blurted. She still yearned for a normal life and the rehabilitation area was not too far away. Perhaps they could reach it in half a month.
“I’m afraid we can’t do it in such a short time. The high temperature is making us sweat profusely, so we need lots of water. If we don’t store enough water, we can’t go anywhere,” Commander Xia rebutted before Luo Yuan could say anything.
Everyone looked disappointed as signs of worry appeared on their faces.
After Luo Yuan pondered for a while, the trace of a cold smile formed on his face. “Let’s not do anything rash yet. Let me check the situation out first.”
Huang Jiahui seemed to want to advise him against it. Her lips moved, but in the end she just sighed. She knew perfectly well that she could not stop him.
The Zhanmadao flashed through as a large tree fell with a loud crash.
After the dust had settled, Luo Yuan walked up to the tree, cut the trunk in half and held it straight, swishing his Zhanmadao around continuously. Five minutes later, a big section of the trunk had been turned into a heap of sticks.
Luo Yuan picked up a stick, weighed it and used his knife to scrape off the burrs on its surface, sharpening the tip and making it even shinier. Then he carefully put it into a large leather sack. One by one, he scraped and sharpened the sticks until the sack was full. When he put the sack on his back, the ground sank slightly under his feet.
Fortunately, the straps of the sack had been made using the skin of a mutated beast, otherwise, the sack would have been torn open by the edges of the sticks.
Luo Yuan tried to walk for a few steps before he ran. The sack weighed about 200 kilos, but it so light that he felt as if he was not carrying anything. He finally stopped after a few tries, took out his Zhanmadao, and let it hang on his waist.
“Be careful. Don’t risk coming back right away if it’s too dangerous!” Huang Jiahui shouted worriedly as she watched Luo Yuan prepare to leave.
Luo Yuan nodded, glanced at the women, and walked directly into the deep forest without turning back.