Chapter 85: I am a Green Lizard
CHAPTER STATUS: UNEDITED
The night forest was quiet, with only the occasional unknown beast howl or the song of a nightingale being heard.
Via a crack in the trees, one could see the bright moon in the gathering darkness.
Three hammocks were already built.
At the oasis, Zhen Jin had transformed into a spear scorpion leader and hunted many green acid lizards. With the green lizard stomachs acting as water pouches, Cang Xu and the others focused their labor on making hemp rope and coarse cloth.
They first made hemp rope of unequal sizes and then used the thinnest hemp rope to weave coarse cloth.
Using the coarse cloth and the hemp rope, they made hammocks.
Because the oasis had comparably few supplies in it and because it took a lot of labor, in the end Zhen Jin and others only made three hammocks.
However, although they had five people, they didn't need to use so many.
Every night, there were at least two people keeping watch. In the small group of five, there were just three that could enjoy the hammocks.
With the scare supplies, these three hammocks were very precious assets to the small team.
In the middle of the three hammocks was a burning fire.
Without the effect of wind, the fire emitted an orange light and occasionally spat out a few sparks with a crack.
The surroundings had already been carefully inspected by Zhen Jin and there were no signs of fire-poison bees.
Because Zhen Jin nearly lost his life to the fire-poison, he was naturally on guard against it.
However, in reality, even if Zi Di had promptly informed Zhen Jin of the fire-poison bees’ existence then, Zhen Jin did not have the ability to scout out his surroundings.
Speaking of which, Cang Xu, Lan Zao, and those in the exploration team who met Zhen Jin did not know about the fire-poison bees. They repeatedly lit fires in the forest yet were not attacked by the fire-poison bees.
Eating dinner satisfied the five people.
Currently the group had adequate food reserves. Even though after coming out of the oasis, the five did not replenish their food and water supplies that much.
They prepared a lot in the oasis.
After finally entering the forest, a place with far more abundant supplies than the desert, everyone’s worries about food and water declined.
Cang Xu was next to fire as he stared at the map in his hands. He was old and had declining vision, he had one hand holding the goatskin map and one hand on his lenses as he pressed the map close to his eyes.
Sometimes, his eyes would shift across the map and he would talk to himself as if he were calculating something. His hand would also respond as it drew lines in the soil.
Sometimes, he would take out a charcoal pencil and cautiously add black lines to the map.
The charcoal pencil he used was a burnt piece of firewood that had been cut thin.
After some studying, Cang Xu started to smile and reported to Zhen Jin: “Lord Zhen Jin, we are making fast progress. According to my assessment, as long as we keep walking, we will reach the place where we entered the forest within one to two days.”
It was mainly because of Zhen Jin’s protection that the exploration team’s advancement greatly surpassed Cang Xu’s expectations.
“However, I also have some bad news——we do not have much pink potion left.” Said Zi Di, she had been grinding some materials when she heard Cang Xu.
The materials she was grinding had been collected in passing during the journey.
Among them were iron feather bird feathers, blood, the moss that poisoned Bai Ya, and more.
The forest had ample resources; the desert could not match it at all.
However, the main ingredient of the pink potion was a hot and shining ore. That ore was the food of monkey tail brown bears.
And Zi Di was unable to gather this material.
The exploration team needed the pink potion to mark the path forward. Doing this not only prevented everyone from getting lost in the forest, it also sometimes served as a signal for help.
“How long will it last?” Zhen Jin asked.
Zi Di had long calculated it and directly answered: “Based on using the most frugal usage, it will last three days.”
Zhen Jin nodded and after thinking for a while, he replied: “That is enough time, we do not need to deliberately look for ore, our primary objective is still to reach where the team first entered the forest.”
No one had any complaints.
After the things that had happened, Zhen Jin had supreme authority and influence among the five people.
After deliberating again, Cang Xu, Zi Di, and Bai Ya slept in the hammocks.
Tonight, Zhen Jin and Lan Zao were on watch.
In the desert, two people would alternate with each watching for one half the night.
But in the forest, one’s field of view was obstructed because of the trees everywhere, thus it was adjusted to have two people keeping watch.
The night scene became more and more dense.
The forest seemed deeper and more frightening.
Predators usually fed during the night.
This made the forest far more dangerous at night than during the day.
Lan Zao was vigilant and if the wind blew the grass even a little, he would respond somewhat.
Bai Ya and Lan Zao recovering greatly eased Zhen Jin’s burden.
Zhen Jin felt energetic, despite acting as the vanguard during the day and keeping watch during the night.
It really wasn't that his endurance was upgraded, rather it was because the green lizard eyes were so effective!
Any concealed threat in the forest could not hide in front of Zhen Jin.
“With regards to practical value, the green lizard eyes are absolutely ranked first.” Zhen Jin had a deep impression of it.
If he didn’t have the green lizard eyes, the young knight could only slowly forge ahead, slowly explore, have a tense state of mind, and passively guard against any sneak attacks.
With the green lizard eyes, Zhen Jin could find the threat, actively control the situation, and actively allocate his stamina and energy.
There was an enormous disparity between how much stamina and energy a person used in a passive state of affairs and how much they used in an active state of affairs.
It was a qualitative change.
Suddenly, the shrieking of an ambushed animal disseminated from the forest.
Lan Zao immediately became alarmed, he put his hand on his sword and pinched himself.
But at that moment, squeaking came to a spontaneous end and no longer arose.
Lan Zao scowled with a grave expression.
Without a special bloodline, although Lan Zao was a bronze level elite, he did not have night vision. He could only use the feeble flame to examine his surroundings.
In the distance, he could only see pitch-black, he could not distinguish anything in the darkness or the evil wolf or viper it concealed.
In the dark forest, a scene pertaining to survival was underway, the hunter and the prey.
The fire of the temporary camp dispersed many beasts but seemed to attract some existences.
Something in the dark forest was getting increasingly restless. Sometimes, the sounds of broken twigs were heard. Sometimes, a mysterious roar was heard.
Lan Zao nervously stood up, he seemed to sense something slowly and stealthily approaching the camp.
“I will go scout it out. If the situation requires it, I want you to shout loudly without delay.” Zhen Jin explained to Lan Zao.
“Yes master.” Lan Zao immediately responded.
Zhen Jin made his way through the darkness and quickly faded away from Lan Zao’s field of view.
He also did not have night vision; thus, he activated the magic core.
His field of view radically changed.
The hue of the night forest was even more gloomy, without wind, life that moved about emitted red, yellow, green, and other colors that were more conspicuous during the day.
During the day, Zhen Jin had one human eye and one lizard eye. But at night, in the dark forest, human eyes were worthless, thus he transformed both eyes into lizard eyes.
Zhen Jin first patrolled around the camp surroundings, precisely killed any beasts, and temporarily cleared out any threats near the camp.
After that, he looked in a specific direction and went deep into the forest.
After going a certain distance away from camp, Zhen Jin slowed his steps and started to undress.
He stripped naked, then he climbed up a tree and carefully arranged his clothes on top of it.
After that, he firmly remembered the location.
If he forgot, he could only return to camp naked. This kind of situation would be very awkward if Zi Di and Cang Xu found out
Zhen Jin climbed down to the ground, examined the area around him, and after confirming there were no people around, he activated the magic core.
The mysterious and strange blood red magic from the magic core rushed forth and rapidly covered Zhen Jin’s entire body.
In the red light, Zhen Jin’s human form seemed to collapse like snow in the sunlight as it then transformed into the form of a lizard.
The red light rapidly dissipated, Zhen Jin had disappeared and was replaced by an acid green lizard.
The acid green lizard had four robust limbs, a long tail, and was green from head to toe.
Zhen Jin examined himself, he could only see himself as a weak green outline in the lizard’s field of view.
“My field of view is lower, but it is greater than the spear scorpion’s.
Zhen Jin suddenly tried to sniff the air and suddenly found the lizard’s sense of smell was far keener than a human’s.
“The air, it's as if……water has a scent?”
He slightly gaped, spat out a huge purple-black snake tongue, and succeeded in issuing a serpentine cry.
Zhen Jin then controlled the vigorous lizard limbs and body to walk around in the dark forest.
Zhen Jin walked very smoothly.
Because the green lizard had four legs, it felt close to how a human crawled on the ground.
Another reason was that this was not the first time Zhen Jin attempted to transform into a complete green lizard. Earlier in the desert, he took advantage of the time he was on watch alone to transform many times.
“Anyways, this is still very different from a human using their hands and feet to crawl.” Zhen Jin stopped walking and silently summed up his experience.
He turned his head and looked at his behind.
The biggest thing he could distinguish on his behind was his thick and solid lizard tail.
When transforming into a scorpion leader, the slender scorpion tail stuck up and did not affect Zhen Jin much. However, when he transformed into a lizard, the lizard tail was very thick and long, it seemed to be a hindrance as it dragged across the ground.
Most of all, when Zhen Jin walked forward, the lizard tail would slightly shake to the left and right. This swaying affected Zhen Jin’s balance, the faster Zhen Jin went, the more pronounced the affect.
“When the acid green lizard runs, not only are the limbs and the torso coordinating, but also the tail. Regardless of whether it is walking or running, all of its parts move at a perfect and natural rhythm.”
“Perhaps lizards would be clumsy the moment they drill their way out of its eggshell. However, as time passes, they will gradually grow up, experience what it is like to eat food, flee, make amusing noises, and more. After these activities develop their skills, they will automatically grasp this rhythm of movement.”
“But I do not have that.”
“I am like an infant lizard that was just born, but I have a mature lizard’s body.”
“Despite me utilizing the night and training myself repeatedly, I cannot properly grasp how to run as a lizard.
Zhen Jin felt his tail was quite the hindrance, but he didn’t know what to do.
It was like when he was secretly practicing the spear scorpion form, he still could not turn at high speeds.
In the end he was a human, the time he had spent transforming into the forms of magic beasts was too short.
“There really is water here.” Zhen Jin followed the scent of water and found a small pool.
“As long as I have sufficient training, I can completely grasp the green lizard form at some point in the future!”
Zhen Jin’s heart encouraged himself and began to train himself near the pool.
He first shook his thick and long tail and produced a whooshing sound.
Afterwards began to charge at a large tree and after brushing past it, he used his tail to attack the tree.
The tree consequently swayed slightly, the lush branches swayed even more, and the tree leaves rustled, however none of the leaves fell.
Pop pop pop……
In a series of sounds, Zhen Jin used the tree to train his tail.
After a spell of training, he began to alter his pattern of attack.
He first charged at the tree, then he used his limbs to suddenly change his orientation, and then used the enormous inertia of his body to fling his tail at the tree.
The tree swayed, large amounts of tree bark fell, and the branches echoed as if they were in a gale.
That attack was much more ferocious than prior ones.
“With that kind of firepower, even if calvary is charging me, I can fling them from their horse.”
“Eh? That’s not good.”
“The lizard’s four limbs are too short; I cannot reach the rider.”
“Perhaps I can attempt to lift my body in a high posture in the split second I fling my tail. Thus, the tail can hit a higher area.”
Zhen Jin thought about that and attempted to try it.
The outcome of the first attempt was that he did not restrain his strength. He lifted up his legs too fiercely when he swung his tail and ended up on his back.
On the second attempt, he incorrectly adjusted his strength, he had made progress in reducing his strength, however his forward momentum increased which led him to faceplant into the mud.
Zhen Jin’s four feet pushed the ground, his mouth opened to spit out mud and grass, then a spurt of gas came from his nose that shook his head and cleaned out his nasal and oral cavity.
The next two attempts were failures, but they did not discourage him, rather it motivated him even more to keep trying.
After trying several times, Zhen Jin’s movement became more proficient, however after thinking a bit, he stopped training that way.
“Although I can hit a higher area, the back half of my body is suspended in the air which leads to the force of the swung tail being much weaker than swinging it on four legs.”
“In addition, suspending the back half of my body in the air will cause me to slow in the air. It is too much of a flaw.”
Zhen Jin was well acquainted with how knights fought, and he quickly simulated a scene in his mind.
A cavalryman was charging him as his powerful green lizard body went up. Just as they approached, he suddenly stuck up the back half of his body and flung his tail at the cavalryman.
But at the same time, the cavalryman thrusted their spear and seized the opportunity to aim at……uh……the green lizard’s buttocks.
Zhen Jin thought of that but did not want to imitate it.
Adjusting his drifting attacks again, Zhen Jin engrossed himself in training.
Zhen Jin constantly opened his mouth to breathe air.
“I twisted my tail!”
The tail seemed to be in deep pain, the pain from the somewhat swaying tail felt like an iron whip striking him all over and thrashed Zhen Jin’s mind.
Under this kind of situation, Zhen Jin could only stop training his tail and start training another part.
He crouched to the ground, raised his neck, and swelled his Adam’s apple into a spherical bag.
The spherical bag rolled from his neck and into his oral cavity.
Zhen Jin opened his mouth wide.
After a moment, a ball of green acid shot from his mouth.
The green acid accurately hit a tree.
The thick tree being corroded by the acid sizzled and emitted a pungent and thick smoke.
After a few breaths, a large hole was corroded in the tree trunk, the trunk could no longer support its foliage as it fell to the ground with a groan.
Zhen Jin retreated a few steps and continued to shoot other trees.
He violently ejected liquid and nearly hit every target accurately, only one of them scrapped the tree bark and hit a rock.
After a few breaths, the trees suffered a calamity and for a moment, there was an unbroken rumble.
The rock also unfortunately suffered a calamity, although it had a small size, it too went up in smoke. This was normal, the lizard acid could corrode granite, what was an ordinary stone. If it were the acid of a silver level green lizard, an iron level spear scorpion would instantly lose its life and only a silver level spear scorpion could withstand it.
Spitting so many times also made Zhen Jin feel weak, his head could not help but droop and his spirit was somewhat downcast.
Shooting green acid was not how green lizards usually fought, rather it was its biggest trump card.
Only if a green lizard had no alternatives would it use that trump card.
But as far as Zhen Jin was concerned, such a long range weapon suited him the most. Because he still had the Bai Zhen Clan’s gift of accuracy. Despite practicing only a few times, the acid Zhen Jin shot was more ferocious than an actual green lizard, anything he shot would almost always hit its target.
After taking a breather, Zhen Jin gradually regained some strength.
His entire body felt weak.
His four robust limbs felt soft, and his lizard body became heavy.
At the same time, Zhen Jin sensed he had a dry mouth and tongue.
He was dehydrated.
Green lizards had great amounts of water inside them that could be synthesized into corrosive acid. This implied that after a green lizard shot acid, it would be dehydrated.
At the moment, even if Zhen Jin wanted to shoot acid, he could not for the time being.
Because his body lacked water, the synthesis speed of acid also dropped to rock bottom.
Zhen Jin stepped over to the water pool.
The pool was not deep, and the green field of view did not detect any lifeforms in it.
But Zhen Jin had a prudent motive, he did not immediately drink water but decided to work out how green lizards dealt with water.
Zhen Jin first extended his snake tongue, licked the water, and finding that there were no problems, he drank a big mouthful of water.
A great amount of water flowed in this stomach; Zhen Jin then painstakingly stored it into his three stomachs.
“That really quenched me.”
Zhen Jin secretly sighed, he then began to control his internal organs to try and speed up the production of acid.
The water stored in his stomach was squeezed out, flowed into the sac under his neck, and started to change into acid.
“At this rate of change, I can have a full sac of acid in roughly a night. Like before, shooting twenty times is not a problem.
Zhen Jin had already discovered: when he transformed his human form into a complete green lizard, his acid reserves were only half full.
After training for several times, he also gained the ability to shoot acid.
Under normal circumstances, when a green lizard shot their acid, they would often go empty after a single shot, at most they could shoot two or three times.
But every time Zhen Jin only shot out a small ball, he meticulously controlled nearby muscles and thus raised the number of times he could shoot.
Zhen Jin lowered his head again and drank water.
This time was unlike the last time he drank water, this time he controlled different organs and muscles.
This time, the water directly entered his poison sac and not through his esophagus and into his stomach.
This was how green lizards took in poison.
After suffering the venomous sting of the fat ball flying fish, the green lizards could take poison from each other and thus detoxify themselves.
In addition, absorbing the poison would store it in the venom sac, where not only was it unlikely to endanger other organs, it also could mix with the acid to form a more fearsome venom.
This kind of situation was not rare in nature.
Cang Xu had mentioned a type of desert beetle in hindsight. The beetle preyed on ants and deliberately gathered formic acid. By the time the beetle encountered a predatory meerkat, it could shoot out the formic acid it had collected into the meerkat’s face, thus allowing it to flee.
After lying next to the pool without moving about for a long time, Zhen Jin’s body felt cold
The temperature of a lizard also had a large effect on its mobility.
This was the reason why at daybreak, the green lizards would hurry over to the granite boulders and use the boulders’ temperature to warm their bodies. After their body temperature rises, their mobility would be stronger.
“Tonight's training is almost finished.”
Zhen Jin returned to the trees.
The trees had fallen to the ground, most of them had been corroded, but there were still some branches and leaves remaining.
The acid’s corrosive ability had clearly weakened.
After all, under Zhen Jin’s meticulous control, the quantity shot was greater, but the amount of acid each ball shot was smaller.
Even if these trees will certainly corrode cleanly, Zhen Jin could not wait.
He touched the remnants of a tree trunk and activated the heart core.
A red light formed and twisted around the tree, in an instant it recycled it and left only some carbon ash behind.
Even though the tree was ordinary, it was still a lifeform.
As long as it is a life form, the bloodcore could absorb it.
But it could only convert a small amount of magic.
After processing all of the trees, Zhen Jin’s heart core also did not have the ability to transform into a tree.
“The acid damaged the tree’s life essence, thus I absorbed very little of the corresponding bloodline.
“If I directly absorbed a great number of trees, I should be able to transform into a tree.”
Time was nearly up.
Zhen Jin returned, transformed back into a human shape, climbed up the tree, and put on his clothes.
It was worth mentioning that the hole on the back of his trousers had been fixed.
Zi Di had unexpectedly found Zhen Jin secretly fixing it and helped him repair it.
He returned to the temporary camp.
“Master, you came back!” Lan Zao looked at Zhen Jin, his wrinkled brows immediately relaxed, and his gaze showed clear admiration.
Not long after Zhen Jin had left, he had heard a rumble that sounded like trees toppling over.
“Master you must have certainly caught some ferocious beast and fought it hand to hand.”
“With such a violent impact, the beast hidden in the darkness must have surely been formidable!”
“But now my master has returned without a hair missing or even his clothes damaged, or even a bloodstain.”
“Worthy of one that grasps the power of the spirit.”
“Even though the dark is pitch-black, it cannot block my master’s steps!”
“I know that on this island, my master can only rely on the strength of his corporeal body……if he could truly activate his battle qi, what kind of scene would I behold?”
Lan Zao closely gazed Zhen Jin without blinking and with increasing fervor.
Zhen Jin coughed: “What is your situation here?”
“The camp was very safe under your hand master.” Lan Zao immediately answered.
Zhen Jin nodded, Lan Zao’s gaze was a bit unbearable: “You stay here and continue to patrol about, I will survey the other side.”
“Yes master.” Lan Zao immediately agreed.
His gaze followed Zhen Jin’s back until a tree hid Zhen Jin.
“Master has gone through a fierce battle, yet like the clouds and the wind, he is calm and collected, this is the demeanor of the strong.
“Or perhaps in other words, the fight in the darkness only allowed him to stretch out his muscles and bones.” Lan Zao’s heart was full of praise.