Chapter 22: A Transformation Potion?

The sky was blue and the branches of the trees overhead crisscrossed. As they continued forward, Zhen Jin and Zi Di felt the temperature plummeting. When they found a place with a wide field of vision, Zhen Jin observed the distance and discovered a snowy trail. That’s a snow-capped mountain. What the hell, there’s a snow-capped mountain on this island!

Based on the Hog’s Kiss’ route, this island should be situated somewhere in the tropics. Rainforests were the norm in such regions. But here, there were not only forests but also snow-capped mountains. If Huang Zao’s words were to be trusted, then there was also a desert here.

“My Lord, look over there. Those are Huang Zao’s tracks!” Zi Di discovered.

Zhen Jin inspected before nodding. “We are close to finding him and perhaps the rest of the exploration team is with him.” They adjusted their route. During their trek, they had discovered not only Huang Zao’s footprints but also the markings left behind by the exploration team.

There were pine trees blocking their path ahead, so Zhen Jin raised the scythe in his hand and cut the branches that dangled to the ground one after the other and continued walking. This scythe was made from a bent spider leg. In addition, Zhen Jin, with the help of Zi Di, had made several spider polearms and a longsword.

These new weapons were extremely sharp and made Zhen Jin’s and Zi Di’s travel much easier. The battle with the spiders had given a great boost to Zhen Jin’s weaponry. The quality of the steel longsword he had before was a far cry from the excellence of the spider longsword.

If it were in the past, Zhen Jin would have been very happy, but now he did not care as much. These days, he was pondering over his transformation. His hands had abruptly transformed into the claws of a monkey bear.

Afterward, he did not tell Zi Di the truth but rather prevaricated with much clumsiness. Zi Di did not pursue it. His fiancée’s tacit understanding with him touched his heart. But what exactly had happened?

The first thing he thought of was transformation spells. Druids could shapeshift into wolves, bears, or even dragons, mages could turn others into sheep, and rogues had their methods of camouflage.

Could I be not only a Templar Knight but also have other occupations? He quickly dispelled this notion. Regardless of the kind of spell, it still required a casting process. However, the transformation of his hands was fluid yet there was no spellcasting involved. Moreover, there was also the magic and battle qi restriction on this island.

Then, is it a bloodline awakening? Bloodlines were often accompanied by distinct characteristics. The bloodline of Emperor Sheng Ming was the Sacred Hall bloodline. The members of this lineage all had silver-white pupils and snow-white wings. Half-bloods with elven and human blood had pointy ears. Human nobles with demon or devil bloodlines usually had horns.

But why did my hands look like that of the monkey bear? Could it be that he awakened the bloodline of the monkey bear? Regardless of whether or not such a bloodline existed, was it not too much of a coincidence?

Therefore, is the greatest possibility the makeshift potion Zi Di concocted when she was trying to save me? Zhen Jin speculated that the irreplicable potion that saved his life was likely a type of transformation potion. At the time, Zi Di had infused a large amount of the monkey bear’s blood into him and blood was the main ingredient in transformation potions.

Perhaps when his life was saved, the effects of the transformation potion remained latent in his body and only when he faced the spider and was on the verge of death did the effects of the potion burst forth.

Zhen Jin felt this was the most likely possibility and with it as a basis, he speculated further, Is there still efficacy of the potion remaining? Can it activate for a second time? If it can, how long will it last? He hoped he was still capable of activating this transformation.

It was a trump card. An extraordinary one that he had relied on to kill a terrifying Silver beast. Even if there were various favorable factors that led up to it, it was impossible to deny that the claws had a terrifying offensive power. As for the consequences of taking this transformation potion, such as power erosion or bloodline contamination, he had no choice but to cast them aside for the time being.

All that mattered was that their survival was assured. These hidden dangers could be settled after seeking purification from a Temple clergyman in the future when they were safe.

The wind picked up, the trees rustled, and the forest stirred with waves of shades of green. The wind seemed to blow from over the snow-capped mountains as it brought with it a sharp chill. This did not trouble Zhen Jin and Zi Di. Their clothes were thin but they carried with them many lumps of hot ore. They continued onward. A trickling mountain spring appeared before them.

“This should be groundwater,” Zhen Jin guessed after observing. “The spring water is very clear and cold.”

He did not hurry to drink it despite the fact that their water reserves had long since dropped to a dangerously low level. Water in the wilderness was not so safe. Taking the risk to drink this water might cost one their life.

“There are many animal tracks here. There shouldn’t be an issue.” Zi Di’s finger touched the mud around the spring then her expression suddenly changed. “Wait a minute, Lord Zhen Jin, look over here.”

They saw a large number of human footprints on the other side of the spring. The footprints around the stream made it clear that once, many people crouched there to gather spring water.

“Excellent. These footprints are still fresh. It looks like the exploration team is nearby. But for now, let’s first fill up our empty water bags,” said Zhen Jin.

They began collecting water. Fortunately, they had found water canteens. Without them to store water, exploring the wilderness would have been very inconvenient.

Zi Di crouched on the ground, stretched out her arms, opened the small mouth of the canteen to its limit, and immersed herself in collecting water from the spring. Zhen Jin made a deliberate posture as he gathered water. He did not immerse himself in gathering water but had his head raised, glancing from time to time at his surroundings as he filled the canteen.

In the wilderness, there were many beasts that stalked waterholes for prey. Once their prey dropped their guard as they drank water, these beasts would strike like lightning. Human armies also had a similar drill. While drinking or filling water, one must always keep their heads up to prevent being snuck up on by enemy troops.

Which was why when the enemy appeared, Zhen Jin was the first to notice, and so he alerted Zi Di. The two arose. One, two, three… Some came out of the forest, some from the high rocks, and some from their hiding places in the underbrush. Soon, the two found themselves surrounded.

Many of these men wore sailor clothing and had tanned faces from exposure to the wind and sun. Each one was armed, mainly with scimitars but also with swords, spears, even bows and crossbows.

A Bronze elite walked out of the crowd and up to Zhen Jin and Zi Di. Zhen Jin’s eyes glinted at the sight of this man.

Zi Di’s face flushed with displeasure. “It’s you! Hmph, we’ve caught you at last, Huang Zao!”