Chapter 232: Devil Vines!
The Mechanized Infantry Brigade Station covered a very wide area, with its back facing the mountain and verdant greenery surrounding it. There was even a small brook leading to who-knows-where beside the camp. The scenery could be described as enchanting, an extremely beautiful scene.
However, as Yue Zhong gazed at the picturesque scenery, his heart was on full alert. It was too quiet for his liking, the entire station was truly too peaceful.
Yue Zhong and his team had travelled for such a distance, and the noise from the vehicle fleet had attracted the zombies, yet now that they had arrived at the camp, there were absolutely no disturbances at all. It made no sense whatsoever.
It must be made clear that there were supposed to be over 3000 soldiers garrisoned in here, and Yue Zhong was already prepared for a huge battle: even if he had to sacrifice 100 people, he absolutely had to claim this military station. However, the eerie silence gave him goosebumps.
"Don't tell me that this camp has already been opened?"
The inauspicious thought flashed by in Yue Zhong's mind.
However, upon closer inspection, he immediately saw where the strange phenomenon was occurring. Inside the camp, there stood many bizarre trees that were extremely tall, as though reaching for the heavens, with each of them easily over 20m in height. Their leaves were different than those of before the apocalypse: there were some that bore resemblance to ferns, some that looked like banana leaves, and some that reminded Yue Zhong of vines. It was an extremely strange sight, as though a mutated botanical garden was putting on an exhibit of some sort.
"Stay here while I go check it out!"
Yue Zhong left some orders as he activated his Encompassing Body Armor and immediately rushed into the encampment.
In just a few moments, Yue Zhong entered the military camp and he immediately saw a few Type 9 Attack Helicopters parked on a landing strip. However, beside those incomparably valuable helicopters was an extremely tall tree with countless vines that wrapped tightly around them, to such an extent that those helicopters were already deformed.
(TL: not too sure about the actual name of the helicopter so just take it with a pinch of salt for now)
"My attack helicopters!!!"
Seeing those helicopters bent out of shape by those vines, Yue Zhong's heart felt like it was bleeding. If he had those helicopters, dealing with that bastard Lie Tianyang would be as simple as firing a few guided missiles to send him straight to hell.
Yue Zhong looked at those helicopters and he hesitated for a moment, before drawing his Dark Magic Blade and walking straight over to them. If that tree did not pose any threats, then he would not spare any expense to salvage whatever could still be saved from those helicopters.
Yue Zhong carefully approached the Mutant Plant: right as he was about 5 metres away from the helicopters, his sense of danger immediately went off and he retreated hastily.
The vines that were scattered across the ground all shot up together, and were now shooting towards Yue Zhong like countless tentacles.
As the Dark Magic Sword in Yue Zhong's hands erupted with blade images, he cut off those countless vines one by one; however, due to the sheer number of them, Yue Zhong was forced to defend with his life. He was ultimately still hit by 6 of the vines, resulting in them rigidly piercing 6 small holes into his Bone Armor.
After chopping those 6 vines in half with one slash, he retreated even further, creating a 40m distance between him and the tree. Only then did Yue Zhong get out of the range of those vines.
The attack range of the Mutant Vine Plant was only 70m, and so once Yue Zhong had gotten to the 90m mark, the vines could not do anything about him.
"What monstrous vines!!"
After he had succeeded in escaping, Yue Zhong took a careful look at the Mutant Plant and his eyes had a tinge of fear to them. If it had been anyone other than him, even someone like Zhuo Yatong wearing a Level 2 Defence Armor would have been instantly pierced by the vines, and would subsequently become nutrition for the Mutant Vine Plant.
Yue Zhong finally understood why there wasn't a single zombie corpse lying around. If the entire military camp was filled with these terrifying Mutant Plants, the number of corpses wouldn't even be enough for these plants to feed on.
Yue Zhong took one more look at the Mutant Plant, which he had named 'Devil Vines', before deciding to give up on all notions of trespassing the area. He turned around and headed further into the camp. Although the Devil Vines were 'as many as the hair of the ox', wanting to destroy them was not completely impossible; however, it would require at least 2 days, and Yue Zhong could not afford to waste his precious time here.
(TN: as many as the hair of the ox = idiom meaning countless)
Yue Zhong proceeded carefully throughout the camp whenever he came across a Mutant Plant. However, not all the Mutant Plants were aggressive or carnivorous: for example, the Divine Spring Tea Plant in Yue Zhong's possession was also a species of Mutant Plant. Long-term use of its tea leaves by normal people would have the effect of boosting their 'spirit power', yet the Divine Spring Tea Plant was not aggressive in nature.
Yue Zhong carefully touched the branches of a giant tree that seemed to form a cloud-like shape. The huge tree was similar to the very rare Sequoia species and it did not display any form of aggression. Hanging down from the branches of the gigantic tree, there were many black fruits the size of fists.
Yue Zhong thought for a moment before extending his hand, making a bone spear shoot out and pierce through a branch that had 6 of the fruits, causing them to fall down.
When the black fruits landed in Yue Zhong's hands, they immediately exploded. From each fruit, a sharp seed the size of a knuckle shot out explosively, with 2 of them shooting towards Yue Zhong.
Those sharp seeds bombarded Yue Zhong's body before immediately ricocheting off one by one. Their explosive and penetrative power were similar to that of a normal rifle bullet, hence they were not able to do any harm at all to Yue Zhong.
"They're quite similar to hand grenades! Who knows, maybe these fruits can be used as substitutes for grenades."
Yue Zhong looked at those fruits and had that sudden thought; he climbed up the tree swiftly and plucked 2 black fruits. However, he exerted a little too much force and those fruits instantly exploded, shooting out their sharp seeds in all directions.
The moment those sharp seeds hit the other fruits, they triggered further explosions, resulting in a chain reaction; it wasn't long before the entire tree was filled with fruits exploding one by one and countless seeds shooting everywhere like rain, leaving Yue Zhong with no way of dodging them whatever.
He could only lower his head and let the seeds rain down on his body. Using the Encompassing Body Armor coagulated from White Bones, Yue Zhong was able to protect himself from the entire barrage of seeds from the huge tree.
A huge number of the Mutant Tree seeds hit Yue Zhong's Bone Armor and bounced off, and so the ground was littered with a layer of them.
"Seems like it won't work, the explosive fruits are too unstable. They can't be used!"
Yue Zhong jumped down from the Mutant Tree and thought to himself dejectedly.
He then climbed down from the tree and continued to advance. Right after Yue Zhong passed by another huge tree, his sense of danger immediately went off, as a huge Mutant Water Snake suddenly shot out from the grass patch with its bloody mouth opened wide, intending to chomp down on him.
Yue Zhong stared fixedly at the Mutant Water Snake, and with a slight movement of his body, he dodged its attack. He followed up with a swing of his blade just 7 inches away from its head, decapitating it and causing fresh blood to spray everywhere.
After the Mutant Water Snake was killed with one strike, its body struggled for a while before it collapsed lifelessly onto the ground. A Skill Book appeared beside its carcass.
[Congratulations on rising to Level 38, you have gained 2 enhancement points.]
When the experience orb from the Mutant Water Snake entered his body, Yue Zhong finally rose up in level again. When he was defending Clear Wind Camp, despite having killed many Mutant Pigs, he was not able to level up; however, he was just one step away from the next level, thus the killing of this Mutant Water Snake was naturally the final push for him to successfully reach the next level and gain enhancements.
"Add 2 points to Agility!"
Yue Zhong chose to increase his agility. All martial arts would only be impenetrable if they were fast; speed was extremely important in battle.
After Yue Zhong killed that Mutant Water Snake, it was like he had hit a hornets' nest. From all corners, many large Mutant Water Snakes slithered out one after another, preparing to strike at Yue Zhong. As those snakes slithered around in the underbrush, they seemed to be monsters choosing which humans to devour and they looked extremely sinister.
As Yue Zhong watched a few dozen Mutant Snakes slither over from all directions, a hint of shock flashed past his eyes:
"Is this a snake's nest? How come there are so many Mutant Water Snakes?!"
Although Yue Zhong was shocked, he did not lose his composure. Even though a few dozen Mutant Water Snakes might look quite frightening, the current him was completely capable of taking them down.
Yue Zhong's figure explosively retreated, luring the 13 snakes over as he darted amongst the trees, appearing one moment and disappearing the next. He then suddenly increased his speed, and rushed towards one of the Mutant Water Snakes.
Having reached 72 points in Agility, Yue Zhong could now unleash a terrifying speed and before the Mutant Water Snake could even react, Yue Zhong had leapt over it and slashed down at the back of its neck, causing it to die on the spot.
(TN: so the actual term here isn't actually 'neck' here, but rather '7 inches'. This comes from the Chinese saying, 'to hit a snake you must hit it 7 inches from its head'. Of course, this sounds quite awkward when put into a sentence, so I've used neck instead. Wait... does the snake even have a neck? Nvm, lol)
After getting rid of that Mutant Water Snake, Yue Zhong's figure flashed several times in succession. He appeared in front of another Mutant Water Snake, and raising his sword up high, as Yue Zhong swung down viciously and beheaded it.
After Yue Zhong had taken out 2 Mutant Water Snakes in a row, the other 3 Mutant Water Snakes nearby finally reacted, stretching out their heads as they opened their jaws wide and shooting towards Yue Zhong like arrows.
Yue Zhong shifted his body and dodged all 3 attacks; then, as his figure flashed several times in succession, there came a flash of 'bladelight' and fresh blood poured out of the 3 Mutant Water Snakes' necks.
Yue Zhong's continuous strengthening of his Agility had now let him reap generous rewards: he constantly dashed about in the forest like a demon, suddenly jumping out from time to time with his blade raised high and killing one or two Mutant Water Snakes. Proceeding like this, he managed to take them down one by one, whilst the Mutant Water Snakes were unable to do anything about him.
After killing 7 more Mutant Water Snakes, the rest of the snakes finally got frightened, and they started slithering back to the bizarre forest.
Yue Zhong swiftly followed, intending to kill all of them; their bodies were all full of treasures, and he did not want to let even a single one off.
He continued his pursuit and managed to slaughter another two of the snakes, before the remaining four burst into the depths of the bizarre forest, which was full of Mutant Plants.
Those 4 Mutant Water Snakes quickly escaped to an extremely tall tree with a diameter of 10m. It had flourishing branches and a lush foliage that blocked out all the sunlight nearby, and the tree was covered entirely in countless pink flowers.
Surrounding the huge tree, there were two Mutant Water Snakes over 30 metres long with a small bulge on their heads; they were currently devouring those pink flowers upon the tree.
There was also another enormous snake coiled around the top of the tree; when compared to this snake atop the tree, even a beast as large as a normal Mutant Water Snake seemed insignificant. It was thus clear that there was a huge, terrifying monster coiled around the top of the tree.
Beneath the gigantic tree, there were countless human bones, making the scene seem like that of a demon's lair, which gave off an extremely horrifying feel.
[Level 43 Mutant Beast: Mutant Elite Water Snake!]
[Level 53 Mutant Beast: Type 2 Mutant Water Snake!]
The moment Yue Zhong laid eyes on those 3 monsters, his Eyes of Perception activated and all the information regarding the beasts flowed into his brain.
"Damn it! To think that there are such monsters here!!" Yue Zhong's face immediately turned pale. He could still hold his own against the 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes, but he had no confidence all in being able to beat the Type 2 Mutant Water Snake.
He had experienced first-hand the fearsome power of Type 2 beasts, the most recent being the Type 2 Mutant Black-scaled Boar: even after exhausting all his means, he could not even leave a single scratch on its body. If he had made the slightest mistake, he would have been killed by it. He was naturally unwilling to provoke such a terrifying beast. Facing an opponent that one could not beat and still wanting to rush headlong to fight it was not courage; rather, it was extreme stupidity.
The 4 Mutant Water Snakes slithered up to the 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes and began to let out agitated hissing noises.
Those 2 beasts immediately stopped swallowing the pink flowers, simultaneously swivelling their heads around to stare at Yue Zhong coldly. They suddenly uncoiled their bodies and shot towards Yue Zhong like arrows.
Yue Zhong was startled, immediately turning tail and fleeing. Facing 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes and a Type 2 Mutant Water Snake on top of that was the equivalent seeking death.
When the 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes moved, their speed was extremely explosive; even though they possessed huge bodies, they were as quick as they were large, and the dense forest could not slow down their speed at all. Yue Zhong had 72 points in Agility yet he had no means of shaking them off- instead, they seemed to get closer and closer.
"Damn it!" Yue Zhong eyed the 2 beasts which were getting closer, before opening his right hand and shooting a bone spear to propel himself into the air, making him fly up onto one of the huge trees.
Those 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes did not falter, swiftly climbing up that huge tree and opening their mouths, preparing to bite down on Yue Zhong.
The speed of those 2 Mutant Elite Water Snakes far surpassed that of normal Mutant Water Snakes, and as Yue Zhong was placed under immense pressure, he activated his Shadow Steps Skill. His speed breaking past the 100 point mark, Yue Zhong dodged the incoming attacks by a hair's breadth.