It was still daylight, and some giants could still be out hunting, so it was not a good time to start the massacre. Besides, they might not be able to bear the massive casualties and fear, and try to flee in disorder. In that case, chasing after them or ambushing them would be too much trouble.
Intelligent creatures were different than normal mutated beasts. Their wisdom allowed them to know how to use tools and have a certain degree of organization and discipline. As a result, they could still beat him, even though they were weak. A hasty attack would definitely not be a wise choice on his part.
Luo Yuan observed the surrounding topography carefully and retreated prudently.
After half an hour, he was back at the campsite and was getting questioned by the group, who had been eagerly waiting for news. When they heard about the existence of intelligent creatures, a large tribe with thousands of them in particular, they were shocked, and the atmosphere turned unexpectedly serious.
Human beings were an intelligent part of the universe, and deserved the title of the overlords of the Earth. Although humans were currently losing against the rampage of the mutated beasts, they still felt proud for being the only intelligent creature on Earth. Despite the fact that mutated beasts were stronger, when it came right down to it, they were mere beasts without any intelligence. If humans persisted enough, they would eventually win the war. However, this sudden news had crushed all their pride.
It turned out that humans were no longer the only intelligent species on the Earth.
If a group of intelligent creatures stronger and wiser than human beings had showed up, how could humans maintain their pride? Perhaps the day of their replacement was not too far.
The news cast a chill over everyone.
“I can’t believe the world has changed so much!” Huang Jiahui said after a while. She looked as if she was in a trance.
The news Luo Yuan had brought had shocked them all. Although the various clues and traces they had seen along the way had somehow prepared them, the confirmation still made everyone panic.
“We must kill them all before they evolve!” Commander Xia suddenly said with a serious expression.
“Yes, they are too close to us. There might be a conflict at any time,” Huo Dong said as he tried to control his fear.
Luo Yuan nodded slightly and said, “It seems that we all have a similar idea. Let’s act tonight, and kill every single one of them. Everyone has to go.”
He had been pondering it on the way back and had changed his original plan. If the giants tried to escape in all directions, he would not be able to kill them all, no matter how fast he was.
Besides, they were not as weak as they used to be. They might not be able to fight one on one, but they could still work together and bring down a few of them. Wang Shishi might not be able to face green rank mutated beasts easily, but she could be a killing machine when facing blue rank mutated beasts. Her efficiency was even higher than Luo Yuan’s. If she was around, he could most likely complete the mission.
“What about the kids?” Huang Jiahui asked.
“We’ll bring them along too. It’s safer than leaving them alone in the cave.” Luo Yuan clearly understood Huang Jiahui’s worries. “You don’t have to worry. You’ll just take care of any of them that try to escape. It’ll be very safe!”
The decision had been made, and nobody dared doubt or oppose it, even if they were feeling afraid or reluctant. They did not even dare express their emotions on their faces. Luo Yuan’s authority was too deeply rooted into their hearts. Even the few soldiers that had just joined the group not long ago remained silent under his gaze. They felt that he had a stronger authority than their own senior official. The anticipation of the upcoming battle made them feel stressed, so they tried their best to prepare.
The apocalypse had stretched people to their limits. Even those that used to be couch potatoes had transformed into true survivors after struggling for half a year.
Time passed by quickly, and soon the sky turned dark.
By the open space in front of the cave, a skinned mutated beast was being roasted, emitting a tempting aroma. Liquid fat dropped on the campfire, and sparks shot up, producing cracking sounds. The glimmering lights revealed everyone’s worried, fearful faces.
“It’s burning!” Luo Yuan said.
They all snapped out of their reverie and fumbled to take the grilled meat off the barbeque stand. Obviously, they were still unsettled by their earlier shock.
Luo Yuan frowned, but he quickly relaxed his brows. To be honest, he had also been very shocked when he’d first seen those creatures. He had barely been able to control his urge to kill them. Even if there was no such mission, he would still have wanted to wipe them off. That urge seemed to have come out of nowhere and could be felt inside his bones and genetic material. Perhaps it was the natural instinct of an intelligent species that had just met another intelligent species.
Soon, they finished their dinner. Luo Yuan looked at the time and realized that it was already 7 p.m. The sky was already completely dark, but he decided to wait for three more hours. At 10 p.m. sharp, he stood up, reached for his Zhanmadao and thrust it somewhere next to him.
“Put the fire out, and let’s go!”
The group put out the campfire, picked up their weapons silently, and got ready to go.
Huang Jiahui picked up a long sword, bent her head to check her watch, and then walked up to Luo Yuan. “It’s only 10 p.m. Isn’t it too early?” she whispered.
It was indeed early for humans during the apocalypse; the night was still young.
Luo Yuan shook his head. “That place is a long way from here, and we’ll have to go slower because it’s dark. If some kind of accident occurs, we’ll take even longer to get there. We need some extra time to react. Besides, those giants are not human. They should already be sleeping.” Luo Yuan took a look at her before he said softly, “Be careful. Better stay close to Wang Shishi.”
Huang Jiahui nodded as she said seriously, “Don’t worry about me. I will be.”
The team climbed up on the giant lizard and set off.
Roar after roars came from the distance, occasionally mixing with pained cries and growls, frightening them even more. Under the shade of the dense forest leaves, the tussock appeared completely dark. They could see pairs of glimmering lights on the shrub from afar. They were the eyes of mutated beasts hunting for prey. The large size of the giant lizard made them hesitate to go near them, though. They just kept wandering around the area.
At night, the forest was a more lively and dangerous place than during the day. Most carnivores were active during the night hours. Because of the high temperature they had been experiencing lately during the day though, some herbivores had also turned nocturnal in order to adapt to the harsh environment.
The giant lizard had to go slow, and it seemed impatient along the way. It could not help but roar a number of times. Although its roars were deafening, its size still kept them safe along the way.
Half an hour later, the group had finally reached the valley.
That place was not too far from the tribe of the giants. Luo Yuan had the group dismount from the giant lizard, because its movement would be too loud. In order not to alert the giants, they left it there while the rest of them walked.
It was very silent along the way, unexpectedly different from the atmosphere in the forest.
Maybe it was because of the frequent appearance of the giants, but barely any mutated beasts were living in the area. As a result, they did not come across any dangers along the way.
Not long after, they saw the dim light of a fire. Its scorching heat made the temperature rise suddenly.
Lin Xiaoji wiped his sweat off. His body was completely covered, so the heat wave made him sweat profusely. He complained in a low voice, “Aren’t those mutated beasts afraid of the heat?”
“It’s a method to defend themselves. With the fire burning, no mutated beasts will dare come near. Some sentries far from the military base use this method too. A burning fire is more effective than any machine guns or cannons. It seems that these mutated beasts are smarter than we expected,” Commander Xia said with a serious expression.
Luo Yuan did not pay much attention to their conversation. He carefully listened to their surroundings for a while before he turned his head and said, “It seems that some giants are keeping watch. I’ll check the place out first. Follow me only when I give you the signal.”
Although the rest of them had not heard anything, no one doubted him. They looked shocked, and their faces had turned serious.
“Brother Luo, let me come with you and help!” Wang Shishi said suddenly.
Luo Yuan hesitated. It should be safer there, so they would not have a problem without Wang Shishi. Besides, it would be really difficult to kill several giants by himself without alerting the rest of them who would still be sleeping. Luo Yuan nodded. “Alright, come with me. I’ll need your help later on.”
Wang Shishi nodded her head in excitement.
They crouched as they walked forward slowly. It was getting hotter and hotter as they progressed, the heat almost burning their hair. After a while, Luo Yuan stopped and listened carefully. He pushed aside the dried grass, producing a soft rustling sound, but thankfully he did not attract any attention.
“Have you seen them? Can I see them, too?” Wang Shishi whispered. She was curious about how the mutated beasts looked.
“Shh!” Luo Yuan observed the area carefully. After a while, he turned to her and said solemnly, “There’s a total of 13 giants on guard. I didn’t expect this many. I’m afraid there might be trouble.”
A group of giants was sitting on the hillside randomly, occasionally checking their surroundings.
These giants were stronger and taller than the rest. Every single one of them was about seven meters tall, and their muscles were so big that they almost tore their skin apart. Although they were sitting randomly, they were still emitting a valiant aura. These were not common giants. They were warriors.
Suddenly, a rustling sound was heard from somewhere not far away. A giant stood up in alert and looked around, producing some weird sounds. It sounded as if it was communicating with the others. Then it took a long spear the size of a bowl and walked forward carefully while the others looked around them vigilantly.
These giants were extremely careful and vigilant. In fact, anyone living deep inside the forest with danger lurking in every direction would have done the same. If they did not, they would not have survived this far.
The giant carefully walked towards the source of the sound, surprised to find a dying mutated beast there with its stomach torn open and its guts dropping all over the place. A long trace of blood could also been seen. The most terrifying thing was that the giant did not know where it’d been heading or where it had come from. It was a huge surprise, indeed.
The giant licked its lip, revealing its two sharp tusks.
Even for a warrior like that giant, meat was precious and rare. They could not get it daily, because they had to risk their lives to find it. However, that did not affect how alert it was. It carefully checked around the area, and when it confirmed that there was no movement around, it excitedly picked up the mutated beast by its neck and walked back to where the other giants were.
As soon as the giants saw the mutated beast, there was an uproar. Their faces seemed to transform with happiness; one of them tore open the beast’s stomach, pushed its hand in and pulled out the heart, giving it to the strongest giant in respect.
The giant seemed very pleased. It showed a flicker of a ferocious smile as it put the heart into its mouth and bit it with its sharp teeth. As it chewed the heart, fresh blood dripped down the corner of its mouth, making it to look even more ferocious.
Maybe this was some kind of special etiquette or sign, because as soon as the giant swallowed the heart, a feeding frenzy began. The feeding giants looked extremely intense as they tore the beast into several parts and put them into their mouths to tear and bite. One impatient giant acted like a wild beast, which only proved that, although these giants were intelligent creatures, they were still pretty animalistic.