Scorching heat haunted the forest until the air grew too humid and hot.
Between the translucent purple blade-like front limbs was a struggling Rank-4 forest viper. One was a Rank-7 Violet Jade Mantis that was close to the size of a human. Its wobbling triangular head opened and closed its dark green mouth, engrossed in enjoying its delicious "snack"!
A beam of azure light emerged from a bush nearby, before it sunk precisely into one of the Violet Jade Mantis's crystalline compound eyes that resembled jadeite.
The bronze crossbow bolt stood out among the splashes of green insect blood.
Its hardened, triangular tip was as deadly as a handgun bullet when used at close range. It was more than enough to punch a hole in the mantis's triangular head!
[Killed Violet Jade Mantis (Ordinary Rank-7, Common). EXP gained: 21]
"Dang. Still nothing!"
"As expected, it's hard to obtain loot from killing a creature with a lower level rating?"
The Violet Jade Mantis, whose head had been blown away by the bronze crossbow, struggled for several minutes before finally stopping. Its entire body was covered in camouflage paint—grass juices—and Ji Ye, who was holding a bronze crossbow in his hand, walked out of the shrubs with a disappointed look in his eyes.
Such a huge praying mantis looked like a piece of art; any wing or carapace would probably be auctioned according to the standard of jewelry on Earth, instantly beating the likes of pearls and diamonds!
Unfortunately, this… was not Earth!
Everything began about a month before, when every single human being on Earth had simultaneously received an odd message.
[The Land of Inheritance is now open. A population of one million shall be selected as the "pioneers".]
While not sure whether he was lucky or not, Ji Ye had become one of the chosen million. He had been thrown in this foreign and boundless place full of strange terrains and even strange and dangerous creatures.
Paralyzing Black Wasps, Ghostface Butterflies, Flame Patterned Scorpions, Golden Lions…
As an ordinary human who had been evaluated as "Ordinary Rank-5" and without any starter knife, Ji Ye had managed to survive up to this point.
Most of his success had been due to his particular profession—being a full-time streamer who devoted most of his time to wilderness survival shows and extreme sport challenges.
And of course, quick reflexes that pulled him out of approaching danger.
When he bent down to recover the bolt from the mantis corpse, his eyes focused suddenly as he quickly leaped sideways.
Another pair of scythes almost a meter in length missed him by an inch, chopping the dead mantis into three parts.
An elite Violet Jade Mantis!
Ji Ye, who had managed to dodge the fatal sneak attack with the help of the changes in the lighting on the ground, quickly turned around with a grave expression.
This was a Violet Jade Mantis that was a lot larger than the one on the ground. If it stood up, it would probably be slightly taller than the 1.82-meter-tall him. Compared to the mantises on Earth, its horrifying pair of sharp "blades" had green blood that belonged to the same species dripping down!
Thankfully, just like its more adorable counterparts on Earth, the mantis was more of a hunter than an actual fighter.
After its sneak attack failed, it did not continue to attack. Instead, it stopped moving like a block of wood!
Still, Ji Ye was sure that the Violet Jade Mantis's pair of emerald complex eyes formed by thousands of small eyes had completely locked onto him. As long as he moved, he would launch a new wave of even more ferocious attacks!
A strange standoff happened between the two.
Although Ji Ye's expression was a little solemn, his eyes did not show much panic.
This was because he had experienced too many dangerous situations in the past month.
After taking a breath as quietly as he could, he raised his weapon and took aim with his bronze-colored crossbow.
Almost at the same time as Ji Ye shot out the first triangular bolt with a strong gust of wind by pulling the trigger of the bronze crossbow,
The Elite Violet Jade Mantis also moved!
A pair of sword sheath-like wings behind him stirred up a violent wind and instantly launched into the air. Even though a green hole was left in its neck by the bronze crossbow bolt, its body that had held up the huge blade didn't have its speed affected as it charged towards Ji Ye.
Ji Ye turned to one side and escaped faster than the quickest sprinter recorded by sports history.
Ji Ye skillfully held the crossbow steadily despite his running; he unleashed two more bolts that were aimed at the bleeding wound on the Violet Jade Mantis's neck.
[Bronze Bulldozer Crossbow]
[Ordinary Rank-6, Uncommon]
[Description: Can preload five bolts]
The successful attack made two more punctures on the monster's neck up-close.
However, the Violet Jade Mantis was even faster than him.
After the two bolts were shot, it had already caught up to him.
A pair of purple scythes that were much more exaggerated than the mantises on Earth slashed at Ji Ye's head as it hummed through the air!
In the face of danger, Ji Ye suddenly crouched down. Without minding the wet and grimy ground, he rolled across it. Although his actions were somewhat unsightly, he managed to dodge the fate of being beheaded!
A fourth shot accurately landed right between the previous wounds, tearing a giant hole on the elite Violet Jade Mantis's neck.
Furthermore, the wound caused by the bronze crossbow bolt that shot out from a very close distance had formed almost a single hole with the three prior crossbow bolts.
As the Violet Jade Mantis turned its triangular head in Ji Ye's direction in a bid to continue attacking…
Even if it was an elite creature, it was impossible for it to continue attacking its prey with its neck snapped off!
At least, the Ordinary Rank-7 Violet Jade Mantis couldn't do it.
After retreating more than ten meters away, Ji Ye watched as the Rank-7 Elite Violet Jade Mantis randomly attacked the surrounding plants before its death, its head askew. He was breathing rapidly and had one hand firmly on his chest. Blood was seeping out from between his fingers.
Although his actions were extremely decisive, the battle earlier was like a movie.
However, this was not a movie, but a real life-and-death battle.
How could he perfectly dodge a top-notch insect-type hunter, who was born with two large blades and a 'Maximum Basic Blade Technique' and was known for his swiftness and speed?
The wound from his shoulder to his chest was more than a foot long. It reached deep into the bone. This was a serious injury that could be fatal even in a modern hospital!
Biting his slightly chattering teeth, Ji Ye quickly reached out and took out a white jade pendant from his pocket and pasted it on his wound.
As he said the incantation, some milky-white light spots fell from the white jade pendant. When they came into contact with the wound, they immediately stopped the bleeding and healed his wound.
[Healing Pendant (Bound)]
[Starter accessory. Uses magical power to treat external wounds.]
Even though the wound was healing amidst the pain, the pendant slowly lost its glossy sheen and grew dim.
Furthermore, the remaining pale red scars and more than ten similar scars were undoubtedly enough to prove how difficult and dangerous his past month was.
However, every adventure and life-and-death battle represented an opportunity!
[Killed Violet Jade Mantis (Ordinary Rank-7, Elite). EXP gained: 55]
About two minutes later, the Purple Jade Mantis, which had gone mad before its death, finally stopped moving. A message appeared in Ji Ye's mind.
Along with this message, a gray-white light suddenly appeared on the top of the Rank-7 Elite Violet Jade Mantis's one-meter-long purple blade-shaped forelimb.
Then, it rapidly shrunk in the middle, turning into an adult fist-sized grey ball of light.
Moreover, the pair of transparent wings on its back that could change color along with the environment had also shrunk into another ball of light.
Finally, a third grayish-white ball of light appeared on the triangular head that was snapped off!
"Finally. Spoils of war!"
"Indeed, one needs to hunt dangerous Elite creatures!"
Ji Ye, whose face was pale from the intense pain, did not look happy after seeing this.
In this Land of Inheritance, there were rules similar to the games on Earth. After killing creatures, there was a chance to obtain the spoils of war from them!
Most of the spoils of war were related to the targets that were killed. As for the items, they were varied.
For example, technology, magic, fantasy, immortal cultivation…
There were even things from Earth!
There was one time when Ji Ye found a can of Redbull from the body of a Rank-5 reddish-brown snail that was the size of a millstone.
That's right, you didn't read wrongly. A can of 250ml 'Red Bull.' It was still within its expiration date.
He wondered if Red Bull's producer should be happy or worried that they could obtain such hard-core advertisement in this alternate world.
[You obtained: Violet Jade Dual Blades, Mantis Stealth Coat Mark-1, Seven-Sided Mantis Fist]
After recovering from his injuries, Ji Ye walked to the side of the Elite Violet Jade Mantis's corpse. After touching it with his hand, he learned the information from the three light blobs.
The Violet Jade Dual Blades was the first light orb.
It was a short-range weapon made of violet jade that was similar to a military bayonet. The structure could perfectly adhere to the forearm, and the edges that could be flicked out were nearly transparent. It could be said to be extremely stealthy, and it was extremely useful in battle!
In the second orb was the Mantis Stealth Coat Mark-1.
It was a fitting trench coat that could cover a person's entire body. It could automatically camouflage and change color according to the surroundings.
As for the "Seven-Sided Mantis Fist" in the third ball of light,
It was an item from Earth, similar to the 250ml Red Bull.
Ji Ye remembered that this seemed to be a fist technique created by a martial artist from the Qing Dynasty. Although it was not as famous as Taiji or Wing Chun, it was still an existence that could occupy a spot in traditional martial arts!
"A skill, nice!"
After seeing the Seven-Sided Mantis Fist for the first time, Ji Ye revealed a look of joy.
The rules of Land of Inheritance were similar to that of a game. Naturally, one had to learn this "martial arts." The benefit was that one did not need to spend years to master it like on Earth!
In fact, a notification popped up in his head when he touched the third orb.
[Use experience points to learn 'Seven-Sided Mantis Fist'?]