Chapter 7:Forest Hunting
Alex walked out of the eastern gate of the Scarlet city and soon realized that he had come to the wrong place accidentally.
It was an evening last time when he had entered the city and had gone straight to a tavern to look for lodging to log out, and not bothered to remember any of the interior landscape of the city.
Now that he had randomly come out of the eastern gate, he realized that he had actually entered the city through the western gate. But that shouldn't matter to him that much.
'Whatever. I just need to hunt some monster that's all,' he thought. The east side of the city was also covered in forests, the same as the west side, so he should have no problem in finding the monsters.
He walked into the forest and started looking for any signs of a monster. Suddenly, he saw something.
It wasn't a monster, but a small tree. For some reason, the tree was nothing special. It was easily overlooked in this large forest, but he couldn't do so. Something about this tree called to him.
So, he did what his heart told him to and slowly walked towards the tree. The tree itself was about Alex's height, making it look like a little growing tree. But it already had big leaves and was sprouting a little fruit.
Alex saw a name appear on top of the tree when he came close to it.
[Dwarf Berry Tree
Bears the 'Dwarf Berry']
"The dwarf berry?" Alex looked at the only fruit sprouting in the tree. He reached his hands forward and touched the berry.
He didn't get any more information than that. This felt the same as when he touched all those materials in the entrance exam for the Hong Wu sect.
'Is this an alchemy material? Is that why I know the fruit's name?' he thought. He believed his conjecture to be correct. So, he plucked the fruit and kept it in his inventory.
He couldn't tell how good this material was, or if it even made anything useful, but he still decided to keep it.
He found a few more alchemy materials along the way. So he picked whatever he could and kept it in his inventory. After walking a bit longer, he finally found a monster.
It was a deer with blood-red fur on it. It had dark black eyes and sharp thorn-like antlers on it. Alex got a little frightened when he saw it. Then he looked closely to check what level it was at.
[Carmine Coated Deer: Skin Tempering 6th realm]
The deer was 4 levels higher than the fox he fought in the western forest. But, that didn't matter to him anymore. After all, he was 16 levels higher than when he fought the fox.
He quickly brought up his weapons panels and equipped his sword. The steel sword gleamed brightly in the scattering sunlight in the forest.
The deer saw him, and turned towards him, preparing to charge. Alex got his weapon ready.
The deer suddenly started running towards him, directing its antlers towards him. This monster was much faster than the one he had fought yesterday.
But, for some surreal reason, it didn't feel like the monster was very fast. In fact, he almost thought the deer was running in slow motion.
Alex realized at that moment all of his senses were amplified. He could hear the trees and leaves in the forest rustle in the wind. He could smell the different plants and even the ground in the forest.
He could feel the subtle change in air pressure and temperature that he couldn't normally be able to tell. He could see the colors in the forest much more vividly than he could just a minute before.
Similarly, his sense of time was amplified as well. The deer that was charging intensely, felt so very slow for him.
He slowly raised his sword. It was only slow for him. In reality, this action was very fast.
As soon as the deer reached him, he swung the sword down.
The deer's left half split, and fell away from its right half. It was cut precisely through the middle in one hit. Alex was used to seeing farm animals butchered so he didn't get disgusted seeing the innards of this monster.
'I don't get the pill I got from the fox yesterday?' he thought. He was looking forward to getting the pill that gave him 2000 Qi yesterday.
He proceeded to open his inventory and check the antlers. He brought them out but didn't see their names pop up.
'Is this not an alchemy material?' he thought. That must've been why there was no name to it. He put it back into his inventory and kept the deer corpse with him as well.
After there was nothing left to do, he started to wonder, 'what happened to me during that fight? Is it because I'm a cultivator now?'
Along the way, he found few more alchemy materials and some other monsters. He managed to kill every single one he fought in one strike.
None of the monsters he fought were above the Skin tempering realm, and whenever he got into combat, he started to get into this bizarre experience where all of his 6 senses amplified. So, he easily killed those monsters.
Sun was starting to go down, and the moon was coming up. It was time for him to leave the forest, and return back to his lodging. But on his way, he saw something. In a small ground that looked like a natural flower field, there was an unusual flower, growing amid a bunch of other normal flowers.
He only thought the flower was unusual because he felt something unusual about the flower. 'Is that an alchemy material? Is that why I can tell it's different from the other flowers?' he thought.
He decided to pick it up, so he went closer. Suddenly, he heard something moving along the ground. He immediately turned to look behind him, but there was nothing there.
He slowly looked to his left and started scanning the land with his eyes. But, aside from plants and trees, he could see nothing else in the forest.
The sound was still there. He looked towards the ground and saw a small brown snake slithering among the fallen leaves. He immediately jerked back.
Having worked on a farm did not mean he was no longer afraid of snakes. A game was no exception. Especially one as realistic as this.
But, he couldn't back away. There was something about that flower that made him think it was too important to skip out on. So, he readied his sword.
The slithering snake finally showed itself fully and was now looking straight at him. Alex looked at the name floating on the snake and frowned. The name itself wasn't the problem, it was the cultivation.
[Earth Snake: Muscle Tempering 3rd Realm]
It was only 3 levels lower than him. He didn't know how much difference each level made, so he started to get worried. Still, the flower was way too captivating for him.
So, he took a deep breath and focused. Suddenly, he felt the time slow down once more. All of his senses worked in overdrive.
The snake however didn't seem to be slowed down. It slithered towards him at nearly regular speed. 'Is the snake too close to my level, so it's just as fast as me?' he thought.
He swung the sword down once more, but the snake easily slid out of his attack path.
The snake jumped at him, baring its two fangs, but he too was pretty fast and easily dodged it.
Once more he tried to attack the snake, but once more it dodged him. The snake was just way too fast on the ground. He couldn't hope of touching it as long as it was slithering in the ground.
'Hmm… if it is impossible to catch this snake while it's slithering, then what about when it's not on the ground,' he thought. He felt like he had come up with a perfect plan.
He once more attacked the snake in order to aggravate it to attack himself. The snake did as expected, and lunged at him once it got to a close enough range.
Alex immediately sidestepped and swung his sword at the mid-air snake. It couldn't dodge while jumping, so it took the sword right to its neck.
The snake hit the ground with a large thud, scattering a lot of trees and dust. But, Alex felt unsatisfied. He hit the snake with a sword, but there was resistance on his swing, unlike the other times.
The snake slithered out of the place where it was sent to, with only a small wound on its neck. It would seem that Muscle Tempering realm monsters weren't that easy to deal with.