783 The 56th Checkpoint on the Stairway Tree
The second half of the journey in the Secret Forest went smoothly.
It was not because the challenges on the 55th checkpoint were easy. Instead, Lin Huang had taken significant advantage of the situation as the capabilities of his Territorial skill and his Divine Telekinesis were not suppressed, allowing him to avoid the danger.
The Mighty Ape carried Lin Huang along and was guided by him. They did not encounter any obstacles on their way.
At about 4 p.m., the both of them finally passed through the Secret Forest.
The moment when the Mighty Ape swung through the Secret Forest from one of the tree branches, Lin Huang's facial expression changed. Before recovering to its original body size, he instantly recalled the Mighty Ape back into its card form.
The next second, he returned to his original state.
As he landed on the ground, he crouched down and hid in the bushes. He restrained his aura, studying the object that had caused him to turn grave through the gaps between the grass blades.
It was a massive hornet nest that was black. It was less than 300 meters away from where he was hiding.
After analyzing it for a couple of moments with his Divine Telekinesis, Lin Huang was relieved. "Oh, it's just an abandoned hornet nest. It scared me!"
The reason why he had recalled the Mighty Ape was that he had spotted the horrifying hive at first glance. If the Mighty Ape returned to its original body size, it would definitely become the Combat Hornetdemon's target within such a short distance.
Fortunately, the hornet nest was abandoned. Lin Huang was relieved when his Divine Telekinesis detected that there was no Combat Hornetdemon in the nest.
The abandoned hive could actually do no harm to Lin Huang, but he simply did not like to attack passively.
Instead of being attacked by a swarm of Combat Hornetdemons the moment he entered the 56th checkpoint, he would prefer to be the one who started the fight once he was ready so that he would be on the winning side.
Shifting his gaze away from the abandoned hornet nest, Lin Huang began to sense what was happening within the region covered by his Territory skill. He combed through the area with his telekinetic skill as well, overlapping with the area covered by his Territory skill. He could sense anything that was within a four-kilometer radius as if he was monitoring everything from God's perspective. He could even see what each Combat Hornetdemon was doing through the exterior of the nest.
"The hornet nests are densely distributed. There are 13 hives within a four-kilometer radius. Except for the one that's nearest to me, there are Combat Hornetdemons gathered in the rest of the nests." Lin Huang stood up, activating his Ocular skill, and headed towards the nests that he had just detected. In fact, all 13 hornet nests were clearly visible.
However, Lin Huang knew very well that he would not be discovered easily because the 56th checkpoint was somewhat similar to the 55th whereby the both of the checkpoints were rich with flora. As long as he hunched his body a little, he could hide in the bushes.
Confirming that he was temporarily safe, Lin Huang then summoned Bloody.
Bloody saw the hornet nest not far away from him as soon as it was summoned. Just as it was getting ready to fight, Lin Huang's voice was heard.
"Don't worry. It's an abandoned hornet nest."
"Is this the 56th checkpoint?" Bloody observed for a while, realizing that not a single Combat Hornetdemon was found near the hive. Only then did it begin to let its guard down.
"Yes, it is. I need you to check the distribution of the hornet nests. After locating the hornet queen, please check if there are any hornet guardians on security patrol." Since the area that could be detected by Lin Huang was very limited, he needed help from Bloody's Leech Pods in order to expand the area to monitor their whereabouts.
The hornet guardians he mentioned were directly under the hornet queen. They were triple mutated Combat Hornetdemons as well as having a combat strength of immortal-level rank-9. They were brutal and had the courage to fight even if they encountered an imperial-level despite not being able to fight them. However, if three hornet guardians were to fight together, they were capable of dealing with an imperial-level face-to-face.
As for the hornet queen, she dominated the hornets. The queen bred hornets and hornet guardians. Under normal circumstances, the hornet queen would not leave their nest or fight. It was said that the hornet queen would only give birth to a new generation and had no ability to fight. Somebody had also once said that the hornet queen actually possessed remarkably terrifying abilities and surpassed the abilities of the hornet guardians. However, she would not easily engage in a fight.
Of course, there were also the ordinary hornets which were what Lin Huang encountered in the Secret Forest. Their combat strength ranged from immortal-levels rank-7 to rank-9, and they were double mutated monsters.
After instructing Bloody, Lin Huang appeared at the bottom of the abandoned hornet nest in a flash. He raised his head and carefully observed the hive.
The lotus-shaped hive looked like a dried lotus from which its seeds had been extracted. The only difference was that it was slightly bigger. From the front, the hornet nest had a diameter of about 150 meters long, resembling a small hill. However, Lin Huang felt like it did not seem as large as the one that had hung from the tree branch in the Secret Forest. He was actually right. If the hive in the forest was magnified 1,000 times more massive, its diameter from the front should be approximately 300 meters. The diameter was double of what he saw now, and its volume was about eight times more.
Although there was no honey in the hive, the value of a complete hornet nest would be comparable to an ancient relic. Aside from being highly valuable, many insects liked to stay there. Imperial Censors who owned insects as pet monsters would be more than happy to pay a high price for it. Besides, after the hornet nest had decomposed, a rare constituent could be extracted for detoxification purposes. The extracted compound could be used to make an expensive broad-spectrum antidote which was effective for 80% of the known poisons.
Despite Lin Huang being really eager to store the hornet nest in his storage space, he decided to put that idea on hold.
The nest was too huge. If it disappeared, perhaps the other 12 hornet nests would find out that something was wrong. The rest of the nests within 20 kilometers would realize that something was off.
Suppressing his desire to take the hornet nest away, Lin Huang sat down quietly and patiently waited for the detection analysis from Bloody.
After about half an hour, Bloody finally opened its eyes.
"The hornet queen's nest is very far away from us. It's 1,000 kilometers away. Also, I can't detect any hornet guardians leaving the hornet queen's nest and patrolling."
"What about humans?" Lin Huang asked. He did not want anyone to see him summoning ten monsters at the same time.
"Two humans are trying to level up. The one who's closest to us is about 350 kilometers away."
After getting the updates from Bloody, Lin Huang grinned.
"Since the hornet queen and the hornet guardians have shut themselves up, and the human who's nearest to us is also 300 kilometers away, this is undoubtedly the best time to collect points."
"Xiao Hei, summon Bai, Tyrant, Charcoal … Lancelot!"
After finishing his words, Bai, Tyrant and the rest of the monsters appeared right in front of Lin Huang at almost the same time.
It took Bloody about half an hour to delegate the tasks to them. Bloody then repeatedly reminded them about a few of the things that they had to be aware of. After making sure that there was no other issue, it then nodded its head at Lin Huang.
"Are you ready?" Lin Huang gazed at each and every one of them.
"I'm ready!" Bai and the rest answered confidently.
"Begin the massacre!"
After receiving Lin Huang's order, Bai and the rest rapidly headed towards the first hornet nest.