People could see because objects reflected light into their retinas, and their retinas transmitted the signal to their brain via their nerves. Therefore, mere observing did not transmit any energy, but it was different if there was emotion or Will involved.
Having felt the enmity just now, Luo Yuan had turned around on purpose.
"I didn’t know that there were wanderers here, too!" He thought to himself. He looked in the distance before he immediately shifted his focus.
He had been used to such enmity in the wild, so he did not mind it at all. Each time a stranger entered the area of those wanderers, they would be extremely vigilant and they would guard themselves against them. This had become their natural instinct.
Luo Yuan briskly walked forward, feeling an indistinct urge as he sensed the faint breathing of both the giant lizard and King Kong.
However, their breathing seemed to have changed and become more oppressive and obscure than it used to be. This made Luo Yuan surprised and dubious.
After walking for a few kilometers in twists and turns, a valley finally appeared before him. Compared to the abundant sunshine and the sparse plants of the Gobi Desert, the valley was like a totally different world. Its inner part had an abundance of plants, and it was dimly lit. A small, two-meter-wide river flowed through it, refreshing the air with humidity.
Various bizarre flowers, plants, and weird trees with old rattans gave the valley a sense of vitality. It was really difficult to believe that this place was so close to the Reconstruction Area, which was located in the heart of the desert.
When he got there, the traces of the giant lizard and King Kong became particularly obvious. Lots of giant footprints could be seen on the ground, but the footprints of the lizard seemed to be one size bigger.
Luo Yuan stopped to look at the giant footprint carefully. Its diameter was almost one meter, which surprised him.
The footprints of the giant lizard had always been huge, but not as huge as this. They had used to be about half a meter in diameter, which had already been terrifically huge. It was about the same size as the pillars in the lobbies of some luxurious hotels. The new footprints were one meter in diameter, which might have been rare even during the Cretaceous Period, the era of the dinosaurs.
Luo Yuan’s expression changed. The only explanation was that the giant lizard had evolved.
He suddenly patted his own head as he realized how easy it was to check on the giant lizard’s status. He pulled up the Attribute Table. He had been living in peace lately and had stayed away from fighting, so he had not taken much notice of the lizard. He only remembered it when he needed to use it.
It was exactly as he had expected.
"Battle Beast: Dragon Lizard"
"Level: Level 3 (Light Green)"
"Sensory Perception: 6"
"Skills: Biting: 12, Tearing: 13, Striking: 11, Tail Strike: 15, Survival: 18, Observance: 8, Breathing: 15"
"Natural Abilities: Sense of Danger, Fire Breath, Speedy Recovery"
"Loyalty: 72 (Risk of betrayal if less than 50, Full Value: 100)"
"Unassigned Attribute Points: 0"
"Unassigned Skill Points: 0"
He had not expected that after not seeing the giant lizard for so long, it would have quietly leveled up to light green level and changed its name.
Luo Yuan frowned. He didn’t know whether he should be surprised or happy. Its Strength, Physique and Sensory Perception had been enhanced slightly, but what surprised him the most was its Intelligence, which had risen to 7 points, increasing by 3 points in total.
Was it a mutated beast trend to become stronger and cleverer as they evolved? Luo Yuan suddenly realized that he could no longer use the phrase "wild beast" to describe high-level mutated beasts.
The giant lizard had originally been just a lizard, which according to the evolution theory was just a low-level reptile. However, its Intelligence level had definitely surpassed mammal Intelligence, with the exception of humans.
Nevertheless, this low-rank creature had had its Intelligence level increased to 7 points when it had leveled up to light green level, so it was now comparable to a three to four-year-old child. The changes in higher-rank mammals had to be even more astonishing.
Suddenly, the ground started vibrating slightly, followed by a loud howl similar to a car horn coming from afar. The howl caused the air particles to vibrate.
A breath that Luo Yuan was familiar with was heading towards him.
The valley was suddenly in turmoil. There was movement in the shrubs and tussocks as numerous mutated beasts ran in all directions as if a catastrophe was coming and they needed to save their lives.
There were a couple of cracking branches and collapsing trees, and a giant pathway about three to four meters wide was formed amidst the dense forest. Suddenly, an enormous, ferocious beast appeared.
It was an extremely large lizard. Its body was completely covered in green scales, shiny and glossy, as if it was wearing a layer of emerald green gems. Its huge skull seemed to have no flesh at all. Other than a layer of dark grey skin, it consisted solely of an exoskeleton, which made it look like a ferocious monster.
The giant lizard was about 10 meters tall and 15 meters long. If a human stood in front of it and raised their hand, they would not even reach its knee.
Still, its hill-like body was neither corpulent nor redundant. It looked like detailed art. Even its ferocious skull had a unique beauty about it, which could linger in one’s brain after seeing it.
When the giant lizard saw Luo Yuan, its expression changed and it suddenly increased its speed, causing a strong wind and an oppressive aura to blow against his face. Its heavy, 10-ton body caused a strong quake with each step it took, producing a strong vibration in the river water nearby.
If a normal man met such a creature, they would have collapsed from fear and been rooted to the ground. One would have had to have a strong Will to even be able to turn around and run. However, Luo Yuan had lots of experience with creatures like that, so he was already immune.
Nevertheless, this time was different as he felt a high pressure coming from the giant lizard that he had never felt before. He consciously held onto the handle of his sword, radiating his body force and getting ready for the worst. He scanned through the lizard’s loyalty silently and exhaled in relief.
"Luckily, it’s still above the safety line!"
As that thought popped in his mind, the giant lizard stopped somewhere four to five meters away from him. It did not make any other movement, showing its extraordinary lightness, which was disproportionate to its size. Luo Yuan was surprised to see it. Such behavior was way beyond his imagination.
He was in a furtive alert when he saw a head the size of a small round table lower and intimately touch his chest, crying joyously.
Luo Yuan was relieved. Meanwhile, he felt a coldness on his back and he unconsciously broke out in cold sweat. He could not help but admit that the giant lizard was stressing him greatly. To a certain extent, it was no longer green rank.
This was because the attributes of the giant lizard had completely restrained Luo Yuan.
Why was Luo Yuan so strong? His terrific weapon skills, Will and Physique were some of the reasons, but the main reason was his Dexterity.
It was a very special attribute, whose each level up was very impressive. In other words, Luo Yuan thought that all level ups of other attributes were actually maximizing his Dexterity.
This was because Dexterity allowed him to enter the dimension of time.
A second for others was 7.5 seconds for him, so the world seemed slower through his eyes. That was certainly not because the world had actually gotten slower. He was the one who had entered a different time dimension.
In a meaningless second, a human could perhaps have an idea, but that idea would not have a complete form. However, a second for some bacteria could be their whole life, starting from division, preying, growth, and ending in maturity and reproduction.
If bacteria could think, that second would be their whole colorful life. It was another depiction of a time dimension.
However, the Dexterity of the giant lizard was stronger than Luo Yuan’s, as it had reached 16-points now. Before, Luo Yuan had still been able to suppress it, because its Dexterity had been only one point higher than his, and the lizard could not maximize it because of its low Intelligence.
Even though it had a Dexterity of 16-points, it could only utilize about 13-points. It was better if it moved in a straight line because it could rampage through anything. However, if it had to move within a small range, it could not react due to its low memory capacity.
Its low Intelligence made it appear weaker than a normal mutated beast and far from Luo Yuan’s performance, who could kill a green rank giant beast with only 15-points of Dexterity.
However, with its Intelligence leveled up, it seemed to have acquired a new processing system that made up for its weakness. As a result, its Strength had suddenly become stronger. Luo Yuan could not even imagine how strong it was. Nevertheless, it was unbeatable by a light green level mutated beast.
King Kong came next. The two giant beasts lived together, but King Kong seemed to have been suppressed by the giant lizard completely. It was fearfully hiding in a corner. It dared not go near the giant lizard and it kept looking pitifully at Luo Yuan.
What left Luo Yuan speechless was how King Kong’s loyalty had increased after not seeing him for about twenty days. It was even higher than the giant lizard’s, reaching 82 points.
Luo Yuan tried to connect with the giant lizard to remove any feelings of alienation. He was a pragmatist, so he knew that he could no longer use his previous indifferent attitude towards the lizard considering its high value. He had to be gentle with it instead.
He stayed in the valley for a few hours and observed the territory with the giant lizard. He could sense that the lizard was very excited. It acted like a kid who had gotten a good grade and could not wait to show their parents.
His heart was moved and he paid the lizard several compliments. Immediately, its loyalty increased by two points.
The giant lizard did not understand the language of humans, but Luo Yuan’s long-term lessons involving blood and tears had made it understand some specific commands as well as the mood of its master. It had learned under pressure, so it had developed the ability of observance. If its master pulled the corners of his mouth up, it meant that it was doing something right. On the other hand, if its master remained expressionless or his face darkened, it meant that it was doing something wrong. In that case, the best way to protect itself was by laying down on the ground and whimpering.
When the sky became dark, Luo Yuan turned and left under the unwilling eyes of the giant lizard and the sad eyes of King Kong.
He headed back at an inconsistent speed, so it was already later than 11 p.m. when he got back to the Desert City.
Even though the city gate was closed, the guards knew Luo Yuan and had a special record for when he went out, so they opened the gate after talking with their superior.
The Desert City was mostly deserted and quiet, like a ghost city. There were only two times during the day when one could experience the noisiness of a city.
One was before 8 a.m. and the other was the time Luo Yuan got back.
It was a peak hour and people went back home from work. Workers in uniforms could be seen everywhere on the streets.
Some peddlers also took this opportunity to sell various things by the roadside in an effort to improve their lives. Most of them were still wearing their uniforms, obviously having just gotten off from work. The stalls only had a few items. Other than various foods such as meat, vegetables, and snacks, there were some handmade goods, too.
The materials were taken from the area, and most of them were made from wood, but there were also some bones, skin and fur.
Among the products were various types of handmade leather purses, daggers made from mutated beast claws, as well as some handmade benches, wooden pails, bowls, chopsticks, etc. It was too dazzling to look through everything.
The whole street was filled with the sounds of people bawling about, bargaining and arguing.
The atmosphere seemed to make people feel like this was not the apocalypse, but a noisy farmers’ market.
"Thirty grain coupons? This is too expensive, you’re robbing people! If I didn’t think that this feather was beautiful, I wouldn’t even pay one buck for it!"
"Take it or leave it, it’s up to you, but it’s definitely worth its price. It’s a trophy I got in a battle. Half of us died and all we got were these few feathers. I won’t sell it for anything less," a depressing voice responded.
"So you got injured and retired from the army? I’m sorry for what I said, but it really is not worth that price. After all, it can only be used as decoration. You’ll only get one cent if you sell it to the skin and fur recycling station. I’ll buy it for five bucks. Honestly, I don’t think anybody would pay a higher price than that," the person who was speaking said in a nicer, more gentle tone when they realized that the peddler was an injured, retired soldier.
"Thirty bucks! I risked my life for it, I won’t sell it any cheaper," the peddler replied. No flicker of emotion could be heard in his voice, though.
Curious, Luo Yuan walked over.
The peddler was a burly, middle-aged man with a prosthetic limb in place of his left leg. His face was emotionless, and he pursed his mouth. He seemed too stubborn to change his mind, even though the buyer was trying to negotiate with him.
Luo Yuan shifted his focus to the feather on the stall.
He was surprised by what he saw. The feather was about two meters long and approaching a terrific three meters. He had seen feathers longer than this, but those had been tail or wing feathers. This was merely a normal feather. Judging by its shape, it was probably from the stomach or the back of the bird, which were usually three to four times smaller than wing feathers. Luo Yuan could imagine that the owner of this feather had been an enormous creature.
Other than the supporting hard black tube in the middle, the feather appeared to be light green and very pure. Under the dim streetlights, it was radiating light. One could even see a weak radiance being emitted from it if they had sharp eyes. It was definitely something special. If this had been prior to the apocalypse, the price of this feather would have been sky-high because of its high ornamental value. Now though, even though it attracted lots of attention, very few people were interested in buying it.
The buyer refused to quit. He tried to bargain a few more times, but the peddler did not want to reduce his price at all, so he eventually had to give up.
The peddler loved the feather so much that he was obsessed with it. The feather was heteromorphic, so it had to originate from a rare high-rank mutated beast. However, its price was too high to be worth it. After all, 30 grain coupons could provide an adult with sufficient food for a month. Even though the man was a professional technician, it was still a huge sum of money, so he had to consider it.
When he gave up and turned away, a voice suddenly came from behind him and made him stop.
"Can I see it?"
"Help yourself!" the retired soldier said.
Luo Yuan reached for the feather and delightedly performed the identification technique on it.
When the previous buyer saw Luo Yuan pick up the feather and hold it as if it was nothing, he was slightly shocked. Others might not have noticed, but when he’d picked it up just now, he’d had to use all his strength as the feather weighed more than 100 catties.
"How much?" Luo Yuan asked as he put the feather down gently, without even gasping for breath.
"I want it, but you have to come get the money from my house. I don’t have enough on me right now," Luo Yuan said. He hardly ever carried money with him as he barely had any places to spend it.
The retired soldier took a glance at Luo Yuan and hesitated. He would have agreed if Luo Yuan had been a normal person. As an old soldier who had fought against death though, he still had enough strength and nerve, even though he had lost a leg, so he could protect himself from any attack. However, Luo Yuan was not a normal person. He could pick up that feather easily, so this meant that he was very powerful.
As laws and regulations were strict during the apocalypse, very few crimes occurred. He was not that worried, so he nodded after a short silence.
"Wait, wait! I’m sorry to ask, but what are you buying this feather for?" the previous buyer asked. He was reluctant to see something he loved get bought by someone else at a higher price.
"Decoration, don’t you think it’s beautiful? Luo Yuan answered.
The previous buyer nodded mechanically. When he recovered, the two men had already walked away, and all he could see was the radiance emitted from the feather moving with the movement of the man’s arm. It produced a fading, yet beautiful light effect. The man felt disappointed.
After Luo Yuan had paid the peddler, he had gently taken the feather to his bedroom. It was dark, but the light in his room was not on.
The radiance emitted from the feather was the only source of light.
Luo Yuan discovered that its light was not reflected. It was actually emitted from the feather itself. Luo Yuan knew that this had to be caused by a certain power, and such treasure was definitely not meant for decoration. Using it like that would be a waste of the resources of nature. Plus, this precious material was something that could only be found by accident. With such a high-level material, his clothes could finally be leveled up again.