654 The Second Monster Horde
It was still the Tentacle Beetles that attacked in the second monster horde. However, they were different this time. Standing near the branch, Lin Huang noticed that the Tentacle Beetles were almost twice as fast compared to the first wave. Moreover, they were more than double the sizes before, and all of them were roaring curiously. Lin Huang also noticed that what used to be white spots on their backs were now bloody red spots.
"Collective Infuriation?" Lin Huang could not understand what he was seeing. He did not find it odd as he had never seen such a monster in the monster encyclopedia, so he had no idea what kind of ability the monsters had, and the individual phenomenon was not surprising to him. What he found astonishing was the tens of thousands of monsters becoming infuriated together. It was his first time witnessing this. The infuriated Tentacle Beetles were different from before as they were now all pumped up.
Before the beetles even got to the branches, from tens of meters away, they started jumping toward the people. Now, Lin Huang finally understood why the hunting teams retreated to a distance before the second monster horde arrived, leaving a gap between the trunk and the branches. If they had been standing where they were, many of the beetles would have attacked them directly from behind.
As soon as the first batch of Tentacle Beetles pounced down, they did not charge toward the beetles immediately. Instead, they waited for the beetles to come nearer to attack them.
"Follow us from behind. Don't go among them. If you step into their jumping territory, they'll jump at you in a frenzy. No matter how powerful you are, you'll be drowned by the mass of beetles." After Zhou San explained it to him, Lin Huang finally understood why the other hunting teams patrolled the perimeter around the beetles without going in.
Lin Huang nodded and started killing the monsters together with Zhou San's team. He remained relaxed with his single flying dagger. However, Zhou San and the rest were not as laid-back as before. The infuriated Tentacle Beetles were not only exuberant, but they were also at their peak performance whereby their speed, strength, and defense levels were doubled and even tripled compared to before. Even the regeneration of their tentacles was a few times quicker than before. They almost fully healed within a second.
Their 12 tentacles dashed forward, some of them pliable like rattan while some were hard as thorns. They used various modes to fight the humans that were coming for them. Zhao San and the rest were pressured since the Tentacle Beetles were infuriated as they were now challenging to kill compared to the kills they made in a single blow earlier. Now, Zhao San needed at least three slashes to kill one beetle. His movement was just mediocre, and avoiding the tentacles became strenuous for him.
Although Jiang Xin's moved like a phantom, her efficiency had dropped immensely. Ever since the beetles' defense became more powerful, she failed to pierce through the connecting thorax of the beetle's head and back in one slash. Now, she needed two to three attacks to kill one beetle. The entire team saw a drop in efficiency, including the most powerful hunk with the giant ax. Although he was still destroying the beetles in a blow, his weak movements made him clumsier than Zhao San under the beetles' siege.
Lin Huang looked away from Zhao San and the rest while he studied the other teams. They were experiencing the same thing. In the first monster horde, everyone was like a warrior dashing into the beetles. They were glorious and brave. However, they now looked serious and tensed. They would avoid the creatures as much as they could whenever the beetles moved. It was apparent that they had lost the courage they possessed before.
Lin Huang became the most relaxed person in the battle. He was the only one who was calm. The flying dagger floated in front of him like a living thing as it pierced through all the monsters that attempted to come near him. His strategy remained the same whereby the flying dagger would pierce through the beetles' mouths and come out from their heads which exploded. A radius of ten meters around him was empty. He followed not far behind from Zhao San and the rest. Whenever tentacles surrounded them, Lin Huang would kill those monsters for them. Besides that, Lin Huang did not interfere with their battle with the monsters at all. They knew that if Lin Huang were to kill the monsters together with them, they would not be able to touch any of them at all.
Soon, more than two hours had passed. The second monster horde finally came to an end when it was past 11 p.m. The hunting teams retreated immediately as soon as the monster horde stopped.
"So, are we giving up now?" Lin Huang raised the question as he followed Zhao San and the rest to leave the place.
"Retreating is a better solution." Zhao San did not explain any further.
The 28 hunting teams soon came to a fork in the branch and proceeded to the branch on the right.
Zhao San finally explained further, "Most of the monsters will go along the main branch to look for humans. That's the reason why we come here to reduce the number of monsters that come for us. Fighting here is less pressure than fighting on the main branch."
Lin Huang finally understood that the main branch was like the main water pipe while they hid in one of the smaller pipes. The monsters were like a stream of water flowing toward the main pipe, so hiding in the smaller pipes would mean fewer monsters.
"That's a great idea."
Lin Huang had to admit that the idea was brilliant especially to relieve some stress off everyone.
"One senior from Division 6 came up with this idea more than 20 years ago. It was said that many people were disqualified from this round of monster horde due to the number of monsters, so they decided to give up. As soon as the second monster horde ended, they either logged out of the virtual world or retreated to the isolated space in the leaves." Zhao San was proud when he recalled the senior who came from the same division that he did.
"The senior made it to the 63rd checkpoint and stayed there until he was 40 before he retired from the Genius Union."
As he listened to Zhao San, Lin Huang could not help but think about Division 7. He thought of his sister Lin Xin and his friends such as Leng Yuexin and Yi Yeyu.
"If I manage to make it to the 63rd checkpoint one day, all of the newbies from Division 6 will definitely remember my name," Zhao San said to himself.
"Isn't your name Zhao San? It's a number. How difficult it is to remember that?" The man with the giant ax teased.
"Damn it! My name is Zhao Shan!"
Soon, a loud voice came from not far away as the both of them exchanged banter.
"Buckle up! The third monster horde is coming!"