Everybody grabbed their bags and ran for their lives. The moment the cockpit’s door closed, the wall collapsed. Countless mutated ants flooded in like spring water, filling up the cave within seconds.
Luo Yuan took a glimpse and felt his scalp tingling. "Come on, we need to run!" he shouted. He knew that the cockpit’s metal door would not hold against the mutated ant’s sharp teeth any longer. They all ran out of the aircraft anxiously, slowing down their footsteps when they saw the giant ape moping around in the distance.
The ape was seven meters tall standing up and three meters tall squatting down. Its muscled body intimidated them even from a distance. "Don’t stop running! This is the new Battle Beast I adopted!" Luo Yuan said loudly while gesturing for the giant lizard to lower its body.
The lizard snorted and lowered itself immediately. Everybody ran towards it in shock and climbed up on the lizard’s back clumsily. The beast seemed to know that something was wrong and ran towards the forest without hesitation.
Noticing that Luo Yuan had left, the giant ape stood up and caught up with them quickly. Thanks to its painful lessons, it knew it would be a nightmare if it did not follow the short fellow and stayed there.
Sitting on the giant lizard’s back, everyone felt slightly relieved. They turned their heads to glimpse at the strange beast from time to time. It had the appearance of an ape, with golden brown hair all over its majestic body and hands that extended lower than its knees. It was shining bright under the dusking sun. If it were holding a baton, it would have been easily associated with a wild mythical character.
However, its expression ruined its stunning appearance completely. The way it walked betrayed its uncertainty and made it looked like a wretch. When it noticed everyone looking at it, it took on a flattering expression that made the situation awkward. Apparently, the giant ape treated Luo Yuan’s companions with the same fear it treated Luo Yuan himself.
"Boss Luo, look!" Lin Xiaoji shouted. Luo Yuan turned his head to look, and frowned at the wreckage of the aircraft that was being devoured completely by the mutated ants. From a distance, it looked like it was covered by a thick layer of turquoise carpet, the carpet spreading and wiggling like waves.
Everybody was affected by the sight. Their scalps were tingling, and even the two mutated beasts were acting up. Fortunately, the ant tide was spreading slowly and did not cause any major uproar. Eventually, they were not able to see it anymore as they kept moving forward. They were all relieved.
"It would be great if we had some gasoline. We could burn them once and for all!" Huo Dong said.
"Gasoline? Even if we did have some, we would not waste it on them. There’s insufficient gasoline in the reconstruction area," said Commander Xia.
"The reconstruction area is in trouble. Isn’t there a large gasoline field there?" Hua Jiahui asked in confusion.
Commander Xia shook his head solemnly and said, "There is a gasoline field in Taklamakan, but it can’t be used in large quantities anymore. There are more than 10 million military teams as we speak, including those in reserve. Let’s not even talk about the transportation trucks, the tanks, and the armored vehicles. The self-propelled artilleries alone are hundreds of thousands. And that’s just the land force, we haven’t even taken the air force into account. They use as much gasoline as the land forces. The amount of gasoline is barely enough. As a matter of fact, they also lack food, ores, coal…"
Huang Jiahui and Huo Dong stopped talking. It felt as if a huge rock was pressing down against their hearts. Luo Yuan kept quiet. He had an urge to take a look at the reconstruction area. It was a most magnificent era, despite the fact that humans were the most cruel they’d ever been and it took everything they had in them to survive.
He knew that he could not keep running forever. If he wanted to live, he had to learn to face all obstacles.
He could not save all humankind himself, he didn’t have that ability. As a part of humankind though, he had to work together with others and give it his all.
It had been a week since they’d moved back into the cave. After the thunderstorm, the plants had been growing rapidly. Everybody had plenty of spare time outside their training, so they got busy clearing the weeds in a one-kilometer radius around the area every two or three days. After a week of housekeeping, the area looked completely different. The mutated bird had not made an appearance yet, and they were not sure whether it was dead or just afraid. According to Luo Yuan, it was most likely the former.
Meanwhile, the ant tide had mysteriously disappeared four days ago, as suddenly as it had appeared. Nobody knew where the ants had gone. Maybe they were hiding underground. Luo Yuan made a trip there to check, but there was nothing but a mess left.
There were bones everywhere within a 10-kilometer radius, and the area looked dead. Both the mutated creatures and half of the plants had been destroyed. Those plants that survived had been chewed down to their core. The ants were savages. They had eaten anything and everything except the rocks.
Luo Yuan was really relieved by their disappearance. Although their speed was not fast or threatening, they would usually appear out of nowhere without warning. They covered a wide amount of ground, so once one was surrounded, there was nowhere to run unless one managed to clear a path by killing them. Plus, their density was really high when they stacked themselves on each other. They could not be compared to the usual crowd of mutated beasts. If their range of attack was slightly better, even Luo Yuan might not have been able to survive.
After all, there was only a limited number of times that he could use the Earth Stomp. After a few times, it would be completely used up, and if it did not manage to get him out of range, only death would be awaiting him. Perhaps they had been lucky, because the ants had been coming from a point that allowed them to escape easily.
Apart from the aftershock of the ant tide, the day was unusually peaceful, giving everybody a sense of harmony. Compared to the lake, which was filled with high-level mutated beasts, that area was deserted. Almost no one was passing by besides the occasional low-level mutated beast that gave Huo Dong and the rest an opportunity to train.
Meanwhile, Luo Yuan took the chance to experiment with his new special ability. That special ability had come with the upgrade. Initially, Luo Yuan had not noticed anything. He had only discovered it when he had been managing his skill points and realized that there were three special abilities on the attribution panel. There was a special ability given for every five upgrades. He had acquired the identification technique at level zero when he had first gotten the system, and the synthesization technique at level 5. Now that he was on level 10, he had acquired the detection technique.
Luo Yuan was excited at first because he thought he recognized that ability from games he had played. The detection technique would make him unilaterally transparent, which would be a big advantage in battles. Later on, though, he discovered that this technique was not the mysterious ability he knew from games. The message received was so simple that it was almost crude. The specific property points and skill points were no exceptions.
The detection technique was like a search engine connected to a mysterious databank. For instance, if Luo Yuan was to use it on an unknown plant, he would see this:
"Name: Serrated Grass"
"Remarks: A non-poisonous, very common mutated plant found in the Northern hemisphere. It has thick tubers with certain edible values and slightly bitter leaves with a minimal healing effect."
Although the message was simple, it was not completely useless. Of course, the identification technique could be used for the same purposes, but one only provided specific knowledge while the other provided general knowledge. Distance also made a difference. The identification technique required physical touch, while the detection technique could sense anything within 50 meters of Luo Yuan. This would make his life much easier when it came to data collection, as well as ensuring his survival and strengthening his danger avoiding abilities.
Luo Yuan looked at Huo Dong, who was training in the distance. He used the detection technique quietly on him.
"Remarks: This is a member of the human civilization on Earth. His intelligence fluctuates between +9 and +11. He has a weak physique, but excels at thinking and creating. He has reached level-two civilization peak and possesses certain potential."