A plant's life
6 What a lovely meal
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A plant's life
Author :AliM
© Wuxiaworld

6 What a lovely meal

In this short span of time, John had formed a net under the new prey in sight. A flash of time later the net rose from underneath ground to close around the animal. Being trapped in this device spelled one's doom.

Sharp Claw had been an explorer for long; listening to his instincts, he jumped.

How could John not calculate the simple actions of this rabbit? The net was designed to be closed in the air, where prey was defenseless.

Sharp Claw sneered in his heart:

"How can a wooden prison hold the mighty Sharp Claw? I have no time to play with you. OUT OF MY WAY"

He kicked, clawed and chew for freedom. The woods were unusually thick, but he was unyielding. With finding George in mind, he went into a frenzy of taking sizeable bites to leave faster.

"Why am I losing energy this fast? Something is not right, I m feeling very sick"

Alas, it was too late to realize the trap. Slowly, he stopped his strife. Flashes of memories started to pass by, invisible to all but Sharp Claw. A happy childhood, finding love, loss of happiness, a ray of hope named George, his loyal partner of expeditions Long-eared Lila. To his last seconds, he did not notice the strange light passing Lila's eyes when he gave her simple compliments.

"Now is the moment of truth"

When the target started to act weaker, swarms of branched invaded it through the skin; like little drills. There came a loud sorrowful shrill, before silence shroud all again.

Extracting everything with utmost speed and precision, John started to work on the next steps.

Sometime later a group of rabbits was traveling at a fast pace, they shared a close resemblance with George and Sharp Claw. Leading them was one with extremely long ears. If Sharp Claw had been there, he would have recognized her as Lila, Long-eared Lila.

Lila Shouted: "The trail goes towards that side, but I can't hear any movement. We should hurry, the scream gave me a very bad feeling"

Mar the optimist responded: "Lila, you know Sharp Claw the best; we will follow you. Let's go faster. Don't worry he will be, at worst slightly hurt. He is Sharp Claw after all"

The other 4 members shared a simple look before rushing towards the said direction. This group had been formed of the best explorers in the community with two goals in mind. First, asses the danger, notifying elders if needed. Second, save Sharp Claw and George if possible. These goals explained their numbers, as it was neither few nor many.

Arriving at a garden filled with dead plant and two sizeable lumps of roots; the group stopped.

"This garden is giving me the creeps" mentioned Strong Thaddeus, the strongest rabbit in community.

"I have a bad feeling about this" added Long-legs, fastest of them. She had tagged along in case there was a need for one able member to run fast, informing elders.

"The only redeeming part of this field is the small beautiful flower I see in the middle," Sharp-eye Bal told everyone.

Fluffy tail, the only member with some hair on her long grey tail; kept quiet, as she could not speak.

"We will go in for a brief check, to see which way we have to go next" Long-eared Lila added, before leaving for the strange garden.

The rest followed suit. With no clues to be found, they became restless; so, they separated covering the extra ground.

Suddenly they all became restless, starting to scan surrounding for dangers. However, not paying attention to the ground, led to their demise.

"I have made all the preparations, so now only timing remains"

John started to concentrate on new territories he had gained access to, completely oblivious to the rescue group not far from him.

Once they neared energy sensors, John began monitoring them. Just when he was about to make his move, he witnessed a change in targets behavior, they suddenly became alert.

"This discovery is very valuable; the sixth sense might be connected to the mana imprint. It has to be more thoroughly examined"

John had never been found of gambling, so with attained energy. He made many traps underground, specially designed against rabbit race. He had gotten the inspiration from the actions of Sharp Claw, like how he came to find George. There was always a possibility of coincidence. However, after studying mana closely, some conclusions had been reached. Consuming mana was extremely beneficial for plants, and from the imprint within his past two kills, animals. Mana was targeting specific functions for each species differently, and it had diverse levels of purity. Since it was responsible for the evolution of all, the distribution had to be carefully monitored. Otherwise, there would be a large possibility of uncontrollable mutations. In this short span of time, John had used modern science to analyze many functions of this dungeon.

"While taking mana from around is beneficial, it especially targets plant reproductivity; the symbols have much higher purity, but they are meant for livestock. As a possible effect of imprints, animals have higher intelligence and sense of danger"

This discovery needed more evidence, and there were 6 specimens near him; which he had planned to lure over. As he had made Sharp Claws' death very painful in order to attract some of the others.

Still, now was the time for action, so he deployed small branches around their leg, stopping the movement. These branches were not easy to break, giving him the short time needed for the second part. Sharp cones made of roots were located all around John, like short swords. He had made many to cover all the field, he could not have known the number of rabbits that would react to the bait. Sharp cones penetrated preys, once inside, thin branches were expanded from them to cover the heart and brain.

With John's supreme control over his clone, making this trap only required a considerable amount of energy.

Long-eared Lila tried to move but the branches had held her legs firmly.

Strong Thaddeus said: "Don't worry, I'll break these punny branches in a se… UGH"

He did not have any time to finish his boast before sharp pain drove all thoughts but fear out of him.

This trap had been designed to make the prey suffer the least; it was not mercy from John, but simple calculation. Any animal with instincts would leave this area if a group was warning them.

This energy was required for his future actions. Using the life energy, he made his core much stronger, while the imprint mana was used to cover half the ground of 8 neighboring gardens.

"These animals were adults since they were level 3 more energy was extracted. Soon I will find the layer of these creatures", he needed more test subjects and energy!

2 more weeks past, now only a quarter of fields were left for taking. He was slowly making progress. Trying to avoid detection, John took only slight energy of every plant. However, due to the sheer number of them, the resulting life energy was sufficient. While life force refined John's core, mana was used to sprout roots.

A week later, by pushing neighboring life for more energy, John reached new walls.

"I have 9 squares under my control at the moment, it is time to put some strains on the garden to hasten my growth. I may need additional firepower; thus, I must stop cultivating core to focus on roots and poison. I can imagine a big herd, what a lovely meal!"

After losing her husband, Ver had never been the same. With only care for her son in mind, she worked hard and raised him. But her son's naïve way of life had her anxious most times, so she kept a close watch at all times. However, without regard for all of this dedicated mother's teachings, the son had gone missing.

Var thought: "George has been gone for the longest time; Sharp Claw should be back with him soon. I will take better care of him this time, so he won't think of the outside world. He has to be alright. I can't take another loss, what am I thinking? He is alright"

While thinking of this a loud scream broke the silence of a peaceful night.

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