As time passed, the sun got hotter. Chen Jiayi, who had been exposed to the sunlight, stood still, as if she had been petrified.
Only when Wang Shishi called her, did she finally react. It was like she had suddenly come alive again.
She remained stunned for a while, but she quickly turned her body. Her face was covered in moss, and her senses seemed fuzzy. She looked at everyone in surprise through a pair of bright, dark eyes.
Everyone subconsciously took a step back and looked at her in terror. So did her friends, Deng Chao and Zhong Chujiang.
Chen Jiayi’s bright eyes instantly dimmed. She felt concerned and inferior to everybody else.
Luo Yuan noticed her reaction with relief. It was a normal reaction to have, so that meant that she had not lost her sanity yet. She was different from a mutated human.
"How do you feel now?"
"My body is warm and comfortable. I’m just a little bit thirsty," Chen Jiayi answered his question quickly.
She did not dare lie to Luo Yuan. She replied honestly, although she was still in panic. She had seen the fate of Chen Xianfeng, and she thought it might be her turn now. She had been abandoned once though, and she did not want to be abandoned again.
"It seems like photosynthesis might be possible," Luo Yuan thought. He turned to Wang Shishi and said, "Please go get a glass of water."
Wang Shishi quickly went to get it.
Luo Yuan turned to Chen Jiayi again. She was too young to know how to hide her emotions yet, so everything was shown clearly on her face. He could see that she was afraid, so he tried to comfort her, "Don’t be afraid, I just want to understand your condition."
Noticing that Chen Jiayi seemed a little relieved, Luo Yuan went on to ask, "Are you able to keep this thing inside your body?"
"You mean the moss?" she asked, freezing for a moment. When she saw Luo Yuan nod, she closed her eyes and soon all the moss was sucked back in, exposing her pale green skin.
She seemed somewhat thinner. Apparently, the parasite had consumed some of her fat, but the most eye-catching thing on her was her skin, which had become so smooth, it was slightly reflective under the sun.
That, in combination with her strange color, made her exude a mysterious charm. Even Luo Yuan could not help but stare at her.
He was amazed. This was the first time he had seen such a phenomenon. Not only had the parasite not killed her, but it had also formed a symbiotic relationship with her. Perhaps this only happened with plants that caused a mild effect.
He had to check if it was infectious though, because he did not fancy walking around in green skin. Luo Yuan tried to use his identification technique, but the results were quite rigid. The information categorized her as a normal female, so he had to use an indirect method.
"You can re-release the moss now," he said.
Chen Jiayi nodded obediently. Soon, the moss had reappeared on her body. She actually seemed to enjoy this state. Even her eyes were shining.
"Take some moss back!" Luo Yuan said.
Chen Jiayi did not refuse. She reluctantly pulled a cluster from her body. The moss seemed to be stimulated as the part in that area was pulled back quickly, retracting inside her body until it was re-exposed again.
Luo Yuan was careful not to touch the moss. He let her sit on the ground before he used the identification technique again.
"Parasitic Green Moss"
"Rarity: Light Blue"
"Weight: 3 grams"
"Additional Abilities: None"
"Remarks: This is a rare parasite that can survive on its own. It can have a perfect symbiosis with species with a specific blood type, and is able to slightly improve the host’s main attributes. The parasitic green moss loses its parasitic aspects after becoming a parasite for the first time, and does not regain them until after the death of its host. "
When he realized that the green moss had no more parasitic properties, Luo Yuan relaxed around Chen Jiayi.
When Huang Jiahui saw him attempt to touch the green moss though, she stopped him, "Don’t touch it!"
"It’s alright," Luo Yuan waved her off as he picked up the moss and rubbed it gently. That cluster of moss was still considerably lively. When stimulated, it immediately curled up into a ball.
"Don’t worry, I have the ability to identify some biological elements. Once this thing becomes a parasite, it has no parasitic properties anymore. Except for the weird skin color, there is no other impact on Chen Jiayi’s characteristics, which is certainly a good thing."
In fact, most of them had known that Luo Yuan had this ability, but they’d never had confirmation. Now that he had finally acknowledged it, everyone was relieved.
Chen Jiayi was the most excited among the group. She had been very nervous that she’d be judged by her companions, yet now that the judge had pronounced her innocent, the stone on her heart had finally been moved away, and she started crying tears of joy.
When she calmed down again, Luo Yuan tested her Strength, Dexterity and other capabilities. Last but not least, he tested her self-healing ability. After getting her consent, he cut her arm slightly with his knife.
He found that her Strength and Dexterity had reached the same level as Huang Jiahui’s. Considering that she was only twelve years old, and thus not mature enough yet, this was a huge improvement.
What surprised Luo Yuan the most though, was her self-healing ability and the defensive ability of her skin. When he’d cut her, he had clearly feltl resistance against his knife. He had discovered that underneath her skin there was a dense network of light green filaments. The gap between the filaments was barely visible, yet it was connected very closely to her skin.
Even Luo Yuan did not have such good defense.
What was even more surprising, was that after the wound had been made, she had not bled much. When the knife had left her skin, the countless filaments within it had begun to form bonds with each other. After half a minute, he’d wiped the blood on her arm only to find that her wound had disappeared, leaving behind only a shallow trail of blood.
Her self-healing ability was even faster than Lin Xiaoji’s. Luo Yuan subconsciously glanced at Lin Xiaoji, who was standing among the group, and found that his face looked gloomy.
However, Luo Yuan was clear on the fact that this self-healing was just an illusion. It would basically force a wound to close, which was certainly not the same as truly healing.
Still, the parasitic effect was extremely powerful, especially considering that it was only a light blue level parasitic moss. Chen Jiayi’s potential to improve was enormous. She could generally be compared to a normal mutated human.
Of course, she’d have to bear with the green skin and the strange looks she’d get from others.
When Luo Yuan proposed to have everyone try the parasite, he had not expected anyone to agree. However, their answers surprised him. The few soldiers who had experienced the brutality of the battlefield wanted in, and Cao Lin and Huang Jiahui also wanted to try.
He seriously had underestimated the desire of ordinary people to become powerful. During the cruel era of the apocalypse, the stress and mental depression the average person experienced while trying survive was something no one could understand. In that devastating environment, no one was concerned about their skin color. That was a trivial matter as long as they could become stronger. People would even turn into monsters so long as they did not lose their minds.
Unfortunately, it was not so easy with parasites. Even if someone cut themselves and stuffed the moss into the wound, the moss might not want to take root there.
According to the identification information, it seemed like the moss required a specific blood type in order to become a parasite.
The storm the previous day had not affected the temperature. It was still about 50 degrees at noon. The forest, which had been fully nourished overnight, was exposed to the heat, causing a transpiration phenomenon. The air above the woodland was extremely distorted, making everyone feel as if they were hallucinating.
However, that high temperature felt quite pleasant to Chen Jiayi, who sat directly under the hot sun and did not move an inch from nine in the morning, except to drink water a few times. She did not even have lunch.
Perhaps it was a side effect from the parasitic moss, but she kind of acted like a plant. Unless someone woke her up, she could easily just sit there for hours.
Under the high temperature, their firewood dried up by noon. It was all moved into the cave by the group, piled up like a hill. Luo Yuan took out his lighter to burn it.
The fire was soon alight, the flames going directly to the top of the cave. The moss caught up in flames instantly burned to death.
The moss around the edges seemed to sense the danger and quickly compressed into a thin layer, sticking closely to the ground as it crept toward the dark corners, trying to escape from the high temperature.
Still, its movement was apparently too slow, because it only took a short time for it to dry up and become yellow, completely losing its vitality.
While all this happened, Chen Jiayi had still not moved an inch or reacted in any way.