649 Increasing Difficulty
As the Mighty Ape was clambering up, Lin Huang heard an odd sound that he could not identify. It sounded like a collision on the ground. It was so insignificant that nobody could probably notice it. At first, he thought it was just the sound of the wind, but soon he sensed something had entered his territory.
"Is there something in the bark?!"
Lin Huang clearly sensed that something was moving through the cracks not far above. They were not moving fast, but there were many of them. Looking at the way they traveled, they did not seem like humans.
"Be careful," Lin Huang was alert as he warned the Mighty Ape. He had a couple of telekinetic flying daggers in front of him.
He heard from Yao Lan that killing monsters on the Stairway Tree would earn him points. Since the moving objects did not look like humans, they must be monsters then. The Mighty Ape took a few leaps and climbed more than 1,000 meters high. Just when it was bounding in the air, a couple of white silk threads shot out of one of the cracks, heading towards the Mighty Ape. A couple of silver lights flashed in the air and sliced the threads, then shot towards the cracks where the threads originated from.
Soon, groans were heard. Lin Huang instantly killed the monsters that had attacked the Mighty Ape. He knew that the monsters would attack, so he reacted as soon as they made their move. He had no idea what the monsters looked like; all he did was to identify their locations with his Territory skill and killed them with his flying daggers.
It was a battle model that he had come up with earlier which seemed to work for now. However, the coverage area was small at the moment. Even since Lancelot had leveled up to immortal-level rank-2, his territory coverage had increased from 1,000 meters to 2,000 meters together with Lancelot's Sword Dao Territory, but he thought it was still insufficient.
After killing the faceless monsters, Lin Huang was not relaxed at all because he felt that something was wrong when he heard the groans. Just when he wanted to get the Mighty Ape to leave the area, the monsters that were hiding in the bark cracks acted up. The groans of the dying monsters were like pebbles that were tossed into the calm water, creating ripples.
Within the coverage of his territory, Lin Huang sensed that all of the monsters that were hiding in the bark were starting to dash out.
"Let's get out now!" Lin Huang shouted at the Mighty Ape when the threat intensified. The ape seemed to sense the danger as well, so it started climbing as fast as it could. Standing on the ape's shoulder, Lin Huang finally saw how the monsters looked like.
Worms were coming out of the cracks of the bark everywhere. Although they were crystal white in color, they had a sticky mucus on their bodies which was disgusting. The worms looked like maggots that were hundreds of times bigger. The smaller ones were two meters long while the longer ones were above five meters. As they got out of the cracks, they crawled sturdily towards Lin Huang and the Mighty Ape. Some of them stuck their lower bodies to the bark and spat white threads at the Mighty Ape.
Lin Huang did not hold back anymore as he got all 300 of his flying daggers to cut off the threads and kill the worms, clearing a path for the Mighty Ape. However, Lin Huang was horrified when the tens of worms exploded upon being killed. Green mucus shot everywhere before the carcasses disappeared. The corrosive slime sizzled as it clung to the bark and green smoke danced out of it.
Lin Huang activated his Dark Mirror that looked like an umbrella and held it on top of his and the Mighty Ape's head. A few drops of the green mucus fell on the ape. After switching the Dark Mirror to transparent mode, the ape's vision was no longer blocked and it started climbing up again as it ignored the corrosive pain from the mucus. Meanwhile, Lin Huang was controlling his hundreds of telekinetic flying daggers to kill the worms as he defended themselves with the Dark Mirror.
Without the Dark Mirror and the flying daggers, Lin Huang might not have been able to go through the fourth checkpoint as the least powerful worm was on gold flame-level while many of them were on immortal-level rank-1 and rank-2. There were tens of thousands of them in Lin Huang's field of vision and they were coming everywhere for him and the Mighty Ape. The mucus that was produced after the worms exploded was extremely corrosive. The Mighty Ape was unfortunate to get a few drops on it and those spots were now bald. Its skin was decaying too. Luckily, the wounds were small and with the Mighty Ape's Enhanced Regeneration, the corrosion on its skin was healing albeit at a slow pace.
Within the short seven to eight minutes, Lin Huang had killed at least thousands of worm monsters while the Mighty Ape managed to pass through the worms and complete the fourth checkpoint. After they got through, the worms did not come after them and returned to the cracks in the bark. In less than 20 seconds, the barks that were filled with white worms were nowhere to be seen. It felt like everything had just been a figment of Lin Huang's illusion. If not for the wounds on the Mighty Ape's skin caused by the green mucus, he would have really thought that it was all an illusion.
"There are already immortal-level monsters at the fourth checkpoint. Although the worms were slow and their defenses were weak, there were just too many of them and the corrosive effect was terrifying. It's not easy for an immortal-level rank-4 person to win this," Lin Huang concluded about the fourth checkpoint. The higher he climbed, the more respect he had for the people who made it to the 60th to 70th checkpoints.
After breaking through the fourth checkpoint, Lin Huang rode on the Mighty Ape and got to the fifth checkpoint soon. They encountered a star-beaked bird beast that Lin Huang had never seen in the monster encyclopedia before at the fifth checkpoint. It was in between immortal-level rank-1 to rank-3 and was remarkably agile. The Mighty Ape suffered at this checkpoint while Lin Huang remained safe thanks to the defense of the Dark Mirror.
It was proven that the no-fly condition on the Stairway Tree only applied to humans and summoning monsters, but not the local creatures on the tree. The bird beast was flying territorially at this checkpoint. After passing the arduous fifth checkpoint, Lin Huang rode on the Mighty Ape's shoulder and passed through the sixth, the seventh, and the eighth checkpoints…