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HC Volume 1: Chapter 10

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Volume 1: Chapter 10 – The Bloody Jungle

[Gnome Earth Gauntlet] (Ordinary Black Iron) Rank 3, Defense +1, Agility +2, Durability 15/15.

[Gnome Leather Armour] (Ordinary Black Iron) Rank 3, Defense +5, Magic Resistance +2, Durability 20/20

Zhang Mu immediately put on the gnome gauntlets, increasing his defence by 1. Originally, he would have received 5 points of damage, but with the gloves equipped, he would now receive 4 points of damage. While somewhat insufficient, it was still better than nothing. Overall, the equipment raised his agility by 2, which was not bad at all. It could increase his speed significantly.

The gnome leather armour actually raised Defense quite a bit. Originally, he would receive 10 points of damage. After equipping the gnome leather armour, he would only receive 5 points of damage. The common monsters in River City were weak and puny, so as long as one didn’t get surrounded by monsters, it was improbable for one to have any life-threatening experiences to worry about.

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“The dropped equipment is fairly decent,” Zhang Mu nodded his head in satisfaction. “Now, let’s open the chest to see what’s inside.”

Fatty fumbled for a second before finding the button that opens the box. Excitedly rubbing his hands together, he exclaimed, ”I’m going to open the box guys! Everyone watch closely!”

——
Gold Coins: 20

[F Rank Skillbook: Harden Skin] [Fine Iron Round Shield] (Ordinary Black Iron Grade), Rank 3, Defense +8, Agility +8, Durability 30/30 Class Requirement: Shieldsman, Knight, Swordsman.

[Ordinary Low Class MP Pills x 5] Restores 2 MP per second, lasting for 10 seconds.

——

The treasure chest had a 100% chance of giving medicine or gold coins, as well as a low probability of giving equipment. It also had an extremely low probability of giving skill books or other rare items.

Zhang Mu then distributed the treasure spoils to everyone, “The gnome leather armor goes to Fatty.”

Fatty exclaimed in a surprised tone, “You don’t even have an armor. Why give this one to me?”

Zhang Mu shot Fatty a glance and said, “The berserker’s attacking power is very high, and is the main strength of the team. Oftentimes you have to break through enemy lines, and fight close quarters. If you think the Leather Armor is going to be a hindrance to you, then give it back.”

Fatty suddenly interjected laughingly, “Who said I didn’t want it? I have to have this armor, or this oldest brother won’t be able to release his full power!”

The skill book and iron shield were given to Sun Bing.

Sun Bing, scratching his head and shyly remarked, “You must have made a mistake in distributing the items. I’m the most useless person here after all.”

“You need the skill book and shield to unleash the full power of your Knight class. After all, you are essential to the team.” Zhang Mu says, handing Sun Bing the items, “These items will only restrict us since they don’t fit our classes. Plus, we already have more than enough equipment and items for ourselves already. Don’t refuse these items. Take them.”

Sun Bing’s whole face lit up with gratitude; he then started flipping through the skill book.

[Harden Skin] F Rank Skill, highest level 3, hardens the skin temporarily, making one lose the sensation of pain. The whole body’s defence increases +5, agility decreases by 20%. After activation, every 5 seconds will decrease MP by 1. This skill has no cooldown.

Hardening the skin, which decreased the sensation of pain in addition to raising defense, was an essential early skill for Shieldbearers and Knights. Sun Bing was a knight, which had high defence and health. He had the Taunt skill which matched perfectly with his skin hardening skill. With the assistance of his fine quality shield, even elite monsters should be a piece of cake for him to handle. Even if Zhang Mu wasn’t there, the four of them together could kill an elite Wandering Warlock Gnomes now.

Zhang Mu handed one of the MP pills to Qin Min and three to Leng Yun. Leng Yun was an elemental master who had a skill that let her temporarily become a Priest. Priests required a sufficient amount of magic so they could use their abilities.

Overall, the spoils from the treasure chest were quite plentiful. Zhang Mu did not greedily keep all the items to himself, however, making him look like a rational and reliable person. Without a doubt, he created a good image of himself to the others. It wasn’t Zhang Mu’s intention to simply be generous; he knew that this place was dangerous, and over half of the players had died here already. In addition, the dangers in Jiang City cannot even compare to what was up ahead. With a reliable team, his chances of survival were much higher, and they could work together to defeat powerful monsters, obtaining better treasures.

These petty treasures couldn’t be considered much anyways, it was better for them to be investments for future gains.

“This armor is so sturdy,” Fatty says while pinching the leather, “We really had a good harvest this time. If this could happen a few more times, that would be awesome.”

Qing Min snorted, “Treasures chests are definitely not so easily found. How could you expect them to be so easy to find?”

Treasure chests really were not so easily found. it took extraordinary luck for one to encounter them.
Zhang Mu knew the location of many Black Iron Chests, Epic Chests, and special treasure locations. However, all were near Dawn Camp and could easily be found by other players, so they had to hurry to the camp as soon as possible.

The five of them broke into the door of the supermarket, finding tons of chocolate, candy, biscuits, and drinking water inside. They quickly wrapped up and took the supplies. For the time being, they didn’t have to worry about food and water.

Night gradually fell, and all around them scary howls of monsters and beasts echoed. While the sound resonated from all directions, the west especially filled the air with fierce screams, making for a foul and creepy atmosphere. The five players discovered a storage room and broke apart a couple wooden benches to make a small campfire. At least with this small light, they had a sense of warmth and security.

Fatty opened a bottle of beer, strung a couple sausages over the fire, and boiled some water. Zhang Mu rested his eyes. Sun Bing took a smoke, and Leng Yun sat in a daze. All of them sat without a word.

Qing Min broke the silence with, “Everyone stop doing your own things, let the captain speak a few words.”

Everyone looks over, then unconsciously stared at Zhang Mu, who was not only their captain, but their spiritual leader as well.

Zhang Mu casually asked, “Fatty, where’s your family?”

Fatty spoke, “Fuck, forget it. I don’t even know where my drunk of a father is, or which prison he is at now. At the very least, I eat my fill and live contently. I don’t have any close relatives to worry about.”

“Fatty’s life really is not easy.” Qing Min interrupted with a sigh, “Zhang Mu, what about your family?”

Zhang Mu, leaning against the wall and looking at the dying fire, said, “My family’s in the city, I have a sister but she’s not my blood relative. When I was young, my family died in a car accident. Later, an orphanage took me in. When I was roughly ten years old, I was adopted. My new parents were very kind, good hearted, and honest.”

Qing Min voiced sadly, “Captain’s life was really rough. I have a younger sister as well. Her name was Qin Xiao Shi, and although she was only in high school, she was very beautiful! However, I don’t know… how’s she doing now.”

Zhang Mu suddenly spoke, “Hey Fatty, pass me a cigarette.”

“I thought you didn’t smoke?”

“Shut up.”

Zhang Mu lit the smoke in his mouth, and since he wasn’t a regular smoker, his body couldn’t adjust. He coughed a few times.

Leng Yun sat across from them. Her eyes stared brightly toward Zhang Mu. Perhaps she also could empathize with his situation and was in the same boat. In her memories, her mother was a beautiful and kind woman, but her father was a dirty playboy, playing with girls every other day. Out of anger, her mother ran away from home. Afterwards, her father started being more cruel to Leng Yun by beating and cursing her, perhaps venting his frustration. Her only close relative was her grandmother.

“My family has two kids.” Sun Bing softly spoke, “My son is eight years old. My daughter is five years old, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to meet them again.”

These children have no way to protect themselves from the dangers. They were mostly likely already gone.

Qing Min comfortingly spoke, “Sun Bing, don’t be sad. As long as they live, there is hope.”

Zhang Mu added, “Exactly, as long as they live there is hope. Let’s reach the camp before dawn. There we can rest easy for a while.”

Arriving at Dawn Camp was only but the beginning.

Whether humanity could overcome this obstacle and survive in this period of strife and cruelty was very hard to say. In Zhang Mu’s memories, Jiang City was wiped out in 70 days. This time, the question was whether Zhang Mu could use his memories to change history and prevent humanity’s destruction.

Not too far away was the Bloody Forest, a very dangerous place that the five of them had to venture through on their journey. Zhang Mu couldn’t guarantee that they’d all make it through the forest alive. Fatty, Leng Yun, Sun Bing, and Qing Min would all need luck to make it through safely. Sometimes, luck could be as important as strength as well.
…………

Early next morning, the five players prepared supplies and equipment before setting off.

Each person carried a backpack filled with food, water, flashlights, lighters, and other tools. They planned to leave this resting area and continue their journey on the road leading west.

Dark clouds blanketed the sky, and there was a light breeze. It wasn’t especially hot or cold, and the road, as expected, looked like it had gone through an earthquake. Cracks filled the road. Weeds canvassed the ground. Some wild plants even grew to a meter tall. This was like a desolate wasteland. Occasionally, there was a car at the roadside, but that was all. Besides that, there were no other traces of human life in this area.
After walking for an hour, a sight appeared that flabbergasted the four other people.

Up ahead, the road led into a vast and lush forest. It just suddenly appeared in their vision. The forest exuded a sort of primitive, barbaric air. The size of this forest was enormous, and even though they were far away, the group couldn’t see the end of this forest. Behind it, they saw buildings which rose up to the sky to form a large, bustling metropolis. In the front was an ancient, barbaric forest while in the back were tall buildings from human civilization. This contrast truly was beyond human comprehension.

Fatty broke the silence, “This forest is so big! Do we have to go through it?”

Zhang Mu cautiously took out the dagger from his backpack. Determinedly he said, “Yes, we must go in.”

The group of five entered the Bloody Forest. After a couple hundred meters, the road abruptly disappeared. The environment quickly turned into a forest.

The trees of the forest were extremely tall and shrouded the sky. The environment was quite hot and humid. After walking for just a bit, the players began to sweat. There was a faint odor in the air, and the ground was blanketed with leaves. With every step, one’s foot would crush the fresh layer of leaves on top and reveal the old, decaying leaves underneath. All year round the leaves would continuously pile onto the ground, forming new layers and pushing old ones underneath. Tree roots would coil around enormous broken logs. The trees were so enormous that five people could wrap their arms together around the slippery, moss covered trunks.

How did it in anyway resemble a forest that had sprung up overnight?

Zhang Mu announced, “Everyone, let’s take a five minute break. Qing Min, scout out ahead.”

Since they all traveled nonstop, they were exhausted.

Zhang Mu was wiping away his sweat, but suddenly he flung his dagger. The blade flew right past Leng Yun’s cheek to a nearby tree trunk.

Leng Yun was startled, turning around to see the dagger pinning a thumb sized snake to the tree. The bark of the tree and the skin of the snake were the same color, making it very difficult to distinguish. If Zhang Mu was even a little bit later, Leng Yun would have leaned on it and been bitten.

“Thank you!”

Zhang Mu glanced over at her. Leng Yun was heavily panting. Her sweat soaked her clothes and outlined her sensual curves, especially her ample, plump chest. Her two cheeks were flushed, and her hair became somewhat messy from the perspiration. Even without styling herself, she looked beautiful..

“There are many venomous snakes and poisonous insects in this dangerous forest; be careful!”

“Yes!”

Leng Yun’s heart warmed, and she nodded.

“Captain!” Qing Min rushed back with a flock of fleeing birds, panic written all over her face. “A little over 400 meters from here, there is a monster!”

They were at the edges of the forest, yet they encountered a monster so soon?

“Let me take a look.”

Zhang Mu brought a few group members with him, slowly advancing towards the location of the monster. Not long after, while hiding in the bushes, they found the monster Qing Min was talking about. It was a 400 kilogram black bear; its head and body were approximately three meters long and it looked very strong.

[Berserk Black Bear] (Black Iron Elite) Rank 5, HP 320, Magic 100, Attribute ???, Skill ???, Basic Info: Originally an ordinary black bear, it had since been corrupted by darkness, becoming extremely violent.


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