Although Ren Xiaosu had a gun with him, his location would immediately be identified if he fired a shot. In that case, the Qing Consortium’s people behind him would all get attracted, and it would really be over for him once he got caught in between them and the Experimentals. Moreover, if the Experimentals attacked from a close distance, a gun would be of less use than a dagger.
He instinctively moved his hand to the dagger Yang Xiaojin had traded him for food. However, this action shocked Ren Xiaosu a great deal. The dagger was no longer there!
Ren Xiaosu started thinking back. When Yang Xiaojin split up with them, she had pretended to accidentally bump into him. The dagger was probably stolen away by her at that time.
Ren Xiaosu did not know whether to laugh or cry. This girl was really not one to accept being on the losing end. She had clearly said that she’d trade the dagger for his food, yet she actually stole it back?! Where did the trust between fellow human beings go?
How heartless of her…
Ren Xiaosu felt that Yang Xiaojin’s skill at stealing must also be very high, as no one in town had ever managed to steal Ren Xiaosu’s stuff without him knowing.
He gave a mental sigh. What should he do now that he didn’t have the dagger?
What Ren Xiaosu didn’t know was it would be very difficult to cut through the skin of these Experimentals using an ordinary blade. Even a bullet fired at it would instantly be stopped by the muscles under the surface of their skin.
Direct headshots wouldn’t work either since the toughest bones in the body are part of the skull. These Experimentals had always been unafraid of the threat of bullets, unless they were shot in the eye.
However, the speed of these Experimentals was far different from Ren Xiaosu’s. There was almost a zero percent chance that he could hit them in the eye with a shot.
His firearms proficiency was only at the advanced stage, not the perfect stage.
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu felt a brush of wind behind him. He reflexively bent over as a noxious gust of wind went over his head.
Once Ren Xiaosu stabilized his footing and looked to see what it was, he was shocked to discover that an Experimental had somehow gotten close to him, but there were no chains on this Experimental’s arms.
It had become his mindset that the Experimentals would have chains on their arms, and it would be possible to know of their presence once they got close. However, Ren Xiaosu had not expected that not all Experimentals would have chains on them. Furthermore, an Experimental without chains could even travel in a forest without making a sound. Just this fact alone made it terrifying!
When Ren Xiaosu felt around on his back, he frowned. He had still gotten scratched a moment earlier, and there were five lines of blood.
He started reminiscing about town. Although it was also rather dangerous there, people would only take advantage of you if you showed your weakness to them.
But it was different here. Everywhere there were people looking to end you!
Ren Xiaosu tried to retreat. But with each step back, those four Experimentals took two steps forward. At some point, Ren Xiaosu realized the appearance of these Experimentals here was not a coincidence. They were coming for him!
Those four Experimentals were all crawling on their hands and legs, while the unchained Experimental had silently crawled into a tree looking just like a large spider.
Ren Xiaosu could not understand something. Just what kind of a place could turn a living human being into something like that?
At this moment, a platoon passed by just several hundred meters behind Ren Xiaosu. However, it seemed like they had lost track of Ren Xiaosu’s whereabouts. So they were unaware of the situation Ren Xiaosu was in even though they were only a few hundred meters apart.
Ren Xiaosu was observing the reactions of these four Experimentals. When the platoon passed by, the Experimentals all stopped in their tracks. It was as though they also didn’t wish to be disturbed by the troops during their hunt!
Ren Xiaosu got a strange feeling about this, but he didn’t have the time to explore it. While the Experimentals were distracted by the combat troops, Ren Xiaosu decided to order his shadow clone to attack them.
Ren Xiaosu decided he would strike first!
He was hoping he could lure these Experimentals over to where the Qing Consortium’s troops were. However, he was more worried those few hundred people would annihilate all of the living creatures in their line of fire.
Compared to the few hundred Qing Consortium troops, Ren Xiaosu was more willing to face these four Experimentals!
When his shadow clone rushed at the three Experimentals on the ground, the Experimental in the tree leaped down at Ren Xiaosu.
Ren Xiaosu took a small step backwards. The muscles in his left leg tensed up the moment it landed on the ground, and all of the strength in his body was raging. When the Experimental got in front of him, Ren Xiaosu threw his fist out at his opponent and punched as hard as a cannon shot.
But he had underestimated the dexterity of the Experimentals. His opponent twisted its body in midair and forcibly avoided Ren Xiaosu’s punch. It even managed to stretch its hand out and grab hold of Ren Xiaosu’s arm!
Ren Xiaosu was startled before pulling back his punch and taking another small step backwards. At the same time, he raised his leg and kicked the Experimental several meters away. The Experimental laid on the ground and twitched a little before getting on its feet again to jump at Ren Xiaosu!
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu felt a burst of pain throughout his body. The tearing feeling going through his bones made him break out into a sweat as his muscles started trembling.
He saw his shadow clone tussling with the three Experimentals as they ripped and snatched at the crouched shadow clone’s body. One of the Experimentals was even biting on the shadow clone’s waist!
The shadow clone had enough strength to lift up an Experimental with a single hand. It picked one of them up and slammed it ruthlessly onto the ground. However, this Experimental was even hardier than Ren Xiaosu imagined. It didn’t even look like it was hurt after being slammed like that!
This was the disadvantage of not having a weapon. Ren Xiaosu couldn’t kill off these Experimentals, so it would be difficult to say who might end up dying.
Ren Xiaosu wanted to get home, even if the path back was filled with blood and thorns.
Because there were no sharp objects to kill the Experimentals with, the shadow clone’s strength eventually ebbed away due to the fact that it was facing the three terrifying monsters of the Experimentals at once.
These monsters were biting onto the shadow clone and not letting go. Ren Xiaosu felt like every bite was bitten on his own body.
The unbearable pain was being transmitted to his central nervous system from various parts of his “body” and was generating a complex array of signals that ran wild through his neural network. This in turn affected the normal function of his willpower.
Raising his hand became slow, and his hands were trembling as well. The Experimental in front of him had many of its attacks blocked by Ren Xiaosu, but it gradually realized its enemy’s actions were starting to slow down and become weaker.
Ren Xiaosu’s eyes had reddened. He endured the severe pain and was nearly in tears.
In all his years, Ren Xiaosu had never cried before. He never even shed a single tear. He grabbed a tree branch next to him for support and caught his breath. Everyone here was hellbent on killing him.
The Experimentals wanted him dead.
The Qing Consortium also wanted him dead.
But importantly, he didn’t want to die.
The shadow clone was not omnipotent. Or perhaps, no superpowers in this world were omnipotent.
Ren Xiaosu needed a weapon, even if his gratitude tokens only stood at 93.
He said to the palace, “Give me the weapon.”
The voice from the palace said calmly, “You have 93 gratitude tokens at the moment. Unauthorized to unlock the weapon.”
“Hey… I said give me the weapon.” Ren Xiaosu’s voice sounded like it was sinking into the ocean. “I’m telling you now that I’m dying, so give me the weapon.”
At this moment, time seemed to have frozen. Ren Xiaosu saw the Experimental that was leaping at him slow down, moving so slow that it looked like it was stationary.
The voice from the palace finally said, “Detecting the smell of death. Do you want to activate the seal?”
Ren Xiaosu said in confusion, “Activate what seal?”
“Then what is the price for activating this seal?”
“Lose what?” Ren Xiaosu said in surprise, “You have to at least tell me what I’ll lose, right? Only then can I decide whether I want to activate the seal or not.”
Ren Xiaosu suddenly sneered at the palace. ‘How much blood have I bled in the wilderness in all my years of survival? How many tree roots and wild vegetables have I eaten? Yet you’re telling me now that I will have to lose everything? Why do I have to listen to you! Based on what! And besides, do you know what everything represents? Gold, money, the gun I have, Yan Liuyuan, Sister Xiaoyu, and even these clothes I’m wearing! You’re just a lousy palace. Why would you need my clothes?!’
The palace did not speak anymore. Ren Xiaosu felt a little awkward. Shouldn’t it at least haggle?
Ren Xiaosu looked at the forest in the night, then looked at that intent to kill that was getting ever closer. The frozen “time” was gradually beginning to thaw while the speed of the Experimental that was leaping at him was becoming faster.
That Experimental opened its mouth to reveal a set of vicious teeth as it tried to devour Ren Xiaosu’s organs and even suck all of his blood and marrow dry.
‘Am I really on the verge of death?’ Ren Xiaosu thought as he stared at it.
But he still hadn’t lived yet!
The next moment, a wan smile appeared on Ren Xiaosu’s face. ‘Isn’t it just seven thanks?’
He said calmly in his mind: “I want to thank myself seven times.
“First, I want to thank myself for never shying away from an opportunity.
“Second, I want to thank myself for not being afraid when facing danger.
“Third, I want to thank myself for not compromising in the face of adversity.
“Fourth, I want to thank myself for being principled in the face of temptation.”
Ren Xiaosu’s mental voice was getting louder and louder, to the point of being thunderous as it shook the entire palace.
“Fifth, I want to thank myself for never being hypocritical.”
In that instant, Ren Xiaosu heard his own heartbeat beating loud as a drum.
“Sixth, I want to thank myself for always staying clear-headed and never hesitating.”
He heard the sound of the wind again as it brushed against his skin. The researchers in the city who were inside the research lab suddenly raised their heads. They detected a huge energy surge in the north that felt like the rising sun!
Ren Xiaosu said calmly and determinedly, “Seventh, I want to thank myself for always keeping my head up and taking on whatever the quagmire of life throws at me!”
The voice from the palace stayed silent for a moment before saying, “Gratitude received from Ren Xiaosu, +7!”
“You’ve received rights to unlock the weapon. Confirm unlock?”
“Unlock!” Ren Xiaosu roared.
Suddenly, it was as though the “lock” on time melted away. Ren Xiaosu watched quietly as the Experimental before him came leaping at him. He stuck out his hand and grabbed at nothing, as though he had gained some sort of inexplicable power.
The next moment, a black saber appeared in Ren Xiaosu’s hand. In that instant, Ren Xiaosu grit his teeth and swung it horizontally with all his power. The muscles in his body were pumping hard to the extreme, and the veins on his forehead were pulsating nonstop!
With a slash, the tearing sound of leather and skin reverberated through the forest. That originally ferocious Experimental was split in two by the black saber!
Ren Xiaosu was enraged. Life and death, that was basically the essence of everything in this world!
The look in the Experimental’s eyes was one of confusion. It seemed like it couldn’t understand where the saber in Ren Xiaosu’s hand had come from, nor could it understand why one slash was all it took to end it.
Pale yellow blood trailed down the black saber and dripped onto the ground of decomposing leaves. Ren Xiaosu held the saber up and looked at the battlefield.
For some reason, when Ren Xiaosu held this saber that had appeared out of thin air in his hands, another saber also appeared in his shadow clone’s hand.
That black saber and his black shadow clone seemed to merge perfectly into one entity.
The second the shadow clone’s saber appeared, the three Experimentals engaging it wanted to give up attacking. But it was already too late for them.
The shadow clone swung its saber down and split the Experimental in front of it in half. It did not stop, taking a quick step forward and holding down another Experimental by its neck. That Experimental was being pressed ruthlessly against the ground and could not move.
The Experimentals had great strength, but when one was held down by the shadow clone, it was as though it was a helpless beast on the verge of death. The shadow clone chopped off the Experimental’s head.
The last remaining Experimental escaped into the forest, but Ren Xiaosu knew it wouldn’t get all that far.
Ren Xiaosu stood in place and stared into the darkness of the night before him. The pain he had suffered earlier was still stimulating his nerves, but this was the first time he experienced the joy of the battle!
So this was what it meant to be a supernatural being.
At this moment, the voice from the palace said, “Side Quest #2 has been activated: Collect 1000 gratitude tokens to unlock the intermediate form of the weapon.”