"My hand has almost recovered," Mo Yan said while checking out the bandage one last time, "We should get to the top of this tree; those assassins might find us any moment now."
"Let's get going," Fang Chen nodded, "But isn't it weird that they still haven't been able to find us? I mean… they weren't that far behind us, and we have been resting here for about half an hour. Did they get lost in the forest or what? Aren't assassins supposed to be good at tracking?"
Mo Yan nodded, "Yes, they are indeed supposed to be quite skilled. But considering how we were able to escape easily from their captivity earlier today and how that assassin tried to attack by charging into the cave… I have a feeling that our enemies are not as competent as their occupation requires."
Fang Chen nodded, "Yes, that assassin was quite naive… He saw you jump into the cave, and like an idiot, he came in front of the cave without thinking properly. His carelessness gave you a huge advantage and cost him his life."
Mo Yan stared at him for a moment before asking, "So, you saw everything?"
"Yes," Fang Chen nodded, "I had just come out of the snow when I saw you shouting my name. But before I could call out to you, I saw the assassin aim his arrow at you. Fortunately, he missed the mark and also didn't notice me. That's how, when he was trying to send that arrow inside the cave, I distracted him by throwing a snowball at his back."
"Oh…" Mo Yan thought for a moment and then asked, "I did hear a 'thud' and noticed him turning his head back. I don't know what got into me, but I instinctively knew it was the perfect opportunity to strike that assassin."
Fang Chen agreed.
At that time, if Mo Yan hadn't taken the chance, both of them most likely wouldn't be sitting here discussing the events.
"But you didn't tell me; how did you manage to get out of the snow…?" Mo Yan brought back the question eating away at his brain.
Fang Chen shrugged, "I got lucky. The snow around me wasn't too tight, so I was able to move my head. So, I spit in front of myself. When the spit came back right on my face, I knew I was facing the sky."
"Oh… that's an ingenious idea." Mo Yan nodded.
Fang Chen just smiled. He then raised his head and observed the tree they were sitting under.
"What is this tree?" He couldn't help but ask. Although he had worked on creating lots of parts of the game, he didn't remember all the setup and information about this world.
"This is Avalon Wood," Mo Yan answered, "These are rare but unique in the Avalon Mountain Range. As ƒar as I know, less than 50 such trees exist in the whole forest, and all of them are considered landmarks."
"...What‽" Fang Chen frowned, "Are you saying that we're under one of the most unique spots in the whole forest? Have you forgotten that we're being chased and the enemy will come here for us? Couldn't we have chosen something else?"
Mo Yan shook his head, "No, it's just not worth the risk for them. Don't worry, we will be safe here."
The frown was still stuck on Fang Chen's face. But after a moment of thought, he sighed.
The whole world-building of the game was done pretty early in the game development, and he really couldn't recall most of the information.
Fang Chen tried to remember but couldn't recall anything about such a tree. 'The name feels very familiar, but why can't I recall this tree if it's so unique?'
"Let's not waste any more time," shaking his head, he said to Mo Yan.
Mo Yan also nodded back and stood as he flexed his fingers.
"As good as new. Let's go up."
As he finished his words, Mo Yan began to climb up the tree. Fang Chen followed him soon after.
Getting to the top was not hard. Although the tree was clearly the tallest amongst all other trees in this part of the forest, it was also quite dense. The assassins surely wouldn't be able to find them unless they themselves climbed up.
"What if the assassins also come here?" Fang Chen asked.
Mo Yan shook his head, "They won't. Actually, there's a good reason why we're taking the risk of climbing this tree. Come, I will show you as we get to the top."
Fang Chen nodded and continued their climb to the top.
Even though finding spots to place their feet was pretty easy, it took them more than ten minutes to just reach the halfway point.
"Don't make any noise from now on," Mo Yan suddenly said in a hushed voice, "We must not make any noise until we get to the top branch."
Fang Chen lightly nodded.
Just as he had taken two steps, he noticed Mo Yan pointing his bandaged hand at something.
Following the direction of the hand, Fang Chen saw something bluish hanging on one of the thin branches.
"That's this tree's fruit. Don't eat it; it's poisonous. The name of thi-"
"Crown Fruit," Fang Chen suddenly interruped.
"Huh!!‽" Mo Yan frowned. 'He remembers the name of this fruit?'
Indeed, Fang Chen had remembered the name of the fruit. He remembered the fruit very clearly because it was one of the most poisonous fruits in the game AND the most sought out antidote!
A poison that was the most potent antidote for other poisons.
Of course, there was a catch. And that was one extra ingredient needed with the juice of this fruit to turn this poison into the antidote.
What is that ingredient, one might ask? It's Blood.
Not human blood, but the blood of a particular beast—the Red Crown Python—the most dangerous beast species in this whole Avalon Mountain Range!
And where would one find such a beast? On the Avalon Wood Tree.
Just as Fang Chen was putting things together, Mo Yan nudged him to stop moving.
Hen instantly stopped and noticed Mo Yan staring at something.
And this time, as he followed the direction, his eyes landed on something coiling around the branch. The realization hit him in an instant.
Red Crown Python. The most dangerous beast in the region.
It was sleeping right in front of them.
Mo Yan put a finger on his lip and warned Fang Chen not to make any noise.
This serpent's mouth alone could get wider than the average height of a young man. No sane man would want to face it, especially if the men are as weak as these two guys.
Another thing to note was the head of the serpent. On its head, there was a naturally formed Crown Symbol. All beasts have one or other characteristics which show their range of strength.
Seeing that this Red Crown Python had only one Crown, it was a no-brainer that this was a Level 1 beast. But it was still way more powerful than the two of them. Well, there is no point in counting Fang Chen's strength.
So it would be the best course of action to silently cross this spot.
While Mo Yan continued climbing up slowly, Fang Chen was, on the other hand, still staring in the python's direction.
It didn't take too long for Mo Yan to notice that Fang Chen hadn't moved from his spot.
He waved his hand to bring Fang Chen's attention, but the latter seemed to be lost in his thoughts.
'What's wrong with him…?' Mo Yan frowned.
Fortunately, the Red Crown Python was not too high level. It also meant that its intelligence and instinct level were low. This was the main reason why Mo Yan had chosen this specific tree. As for how he knew this information, only he knew.
A few meters below Mo Yan, Fang Chen suddenly moved.
But instead of relieving Mo Yan, Fang Chen's actions stumped him. The latter was not moving up, rather, he was going away from the truck, onto a thick branch.
'The fµck is wrong with him!'
Mo yan cursed under his breath, 'If the assassins don't kill me, this guy will be the reason for my death.'
Just then, Fang Chen looked up and mouthed a word.
'Sword?' Mo Yan frowned. 'Why does he need a sword?'
Fang Chen didn't have a sword because all their weapons were taken away by the assassins when they attacked their carriage. Even Mo Yan only had a few weapons because he had been thoughtful enough to grab something to defend himself before escaping from captivity.
And that was how he had gotten his hands over the knife which he used to kill one of the assassins earlier. He also had a sword, but it was still in the sheath because he was more comfortable with smaller weapons.
Below him, as Fang Chen asked for the sword once again, Mo Yan took it from the sheath and threw it at him.
But when he threw it, the sword's pommel hit a small branch, making a small noise.
"Fµck!" Both of them whispered as Fang Chen caught the sword and immediately turned towards the sleeping Red Crown Python.
As for the beast, it had its head raised and its sleepy eyes were staring at Mo Yan.
Both of them knew that if they made another sound, it would be the end of them.
Mo Yan gulped. He and the python were staring at each other, and he was so scared that he had forgotten to breathe.
'Just hang in there,' Fang Chen spoke internally.
Mo Yan clenched his fist. 'Fµck, it was because of him that this happened!'
If Fang Chen hadn't suddenly moved away from the main trunk and asked for the sword, they wouldn't be undergoing this risky situation.
Fang Chen, on the other hand, also knew this. It was unfortunate that the sword made the sound; this wasn't something they could have predicted.
And as for why he was moving away on a branch instead of quietly going upward?
It was for the Crown Fruit!
As long as he got his hands on the fruit, dealing with the python wouldn't be hard. And the python was not the reason why he took this whole risk.
Without wasting any moment, Fang Chen began to run towards the fruit.
The branch he was running on got thinner with every step he took, but this wasn't the most worrying problem.
The problem was that the Red Crown Python was now alerted!
It had turned its head towards him, and was now looking at him running on the branch.
It took a moment or two to register in the beast's slow-witted brain that the human was going after the Crown Fruit!
But this much time was enough for Fang Chen. As soon as the fruit came within his range, he slashed the sword, cutting away the fruit in half from bottom!
In the next moment, he was already in the air, grabbing the half-cut fruit as it fell down.
But as soon as his hands clasped the half-cut fruit, a huge mouth appeared in front of him!
The Red Crown Snake had viciously attacked!
AN: The scene at the end of the chapter is similar to this picture to the paragraph comment here.
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