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When he woke up, Wilbert rubbed his bleary eyes. The sweat that had accumulated on his skin over the past few days had solidified over night and made his whole body feel stiff.

After checking the vine was still tightly fastened around his waist, Wilbert wipes the dew off the branch and carefully stood up to stretch.

The previous night, he had climbed a sturdy tree with branches that ran parallel to the earth to sleep on. In the tree, he would be safer from large predators. The vine around his waist was to ensure that he did not plummet right down to the ground if he rolled over in his sleep. Fortunately, his worries had been unfounded, and he had slept peacefully.

Although sleeping in the tree was primarily to avoid large predators, large predators did not just include animals—Wilbert had seen players in the forest.

Well, he had not spoken to them, so he could not be sure, but they certainly seemed like players from how they interacted.

Furthermore, the way they moved through the forest was unusual. Wilbert had to fight his way through the bushes, and it was not like was weak—he had lived in a small village his whole life. However, the players moved through the undergrowth with ease. It was as if the plants that they walked through were made of clouds and moved out of the players' way of their own accord.

The presence of players in the rainforest added further pressure to Wilbert, who was already scared of danger jumping out at him. He knew that he should not just a group of people by one or two bad apples, but those were some really bad apples. Plus, Wilbert felt that they all seemed to give off a weird vibe.

After stretching, snacking on some breakfast that he had foraged, and descending the tree, Wilbert set off the what he assumed was toward the north.

Unbeknownst to Wilbert, standing in the bushes behind him was red-haired man holding a spear.

"What's an NPC doing here?" he muttered to himself.

"Players, welcome to the Jante Forest event. The recommended level for this event is 20 to 30. If you are not in this range, please try again after the next recent."

The chat window popped up with a long announcement message.

"This week's event will be a treasure hunt. If you find the treasure within twenty-four hours (in-game time), you will certainly jump leaps and bounds past your peers."

Those gathered within Jante Glade, a clearing at the very heart of the rainforest, started discussing the announcement in excitement.

"I thought I'd be behind my friends because I started so much later than them, but if I participate in events like this, I should catch up in no time."

"That's only if you find the treasure."

"Anyone done this before? What's the treasure?"

"I've not heard of this event before, sorry."

"Me neither."

The players gathered were all relatively a low level compared to many of the regular players in the game. In order to make sure that players could join the game at any time and be able to catch up to the top players, beginner events like this and similar events for various levels were held regularly in game, and the lower the level of the mission, the more frequently it would be held.

Amid the discussions, a timer appeared on their screens, counting down.

[23:59:59]

[23:59:58]

The discussions quickly stopped, and the players made to disperse in all directions.

"Wait!" one player called out. He made his character flick his red hair to the side. "For those of you who have participated in such events before, don't you think this event feels different? I might have some useful information."

After leaving his tree, Wilbert had come across a couple of brown wolves. He had intended to leave them be and quietly pass by, but the wolves had seen him and begun to chase him. Left with no choice, Wilbert had summoned his sword and shield, and by stunning one with [Basic Shield Bash], he had dealt with the one at a time with a well placed [Basic Jab].

[You have killed a Jante Vicious Brown Wolf (Level 12).]

[You have gained 245 XP.]

[You have killed a Jante Vicious Brown Wolf (Level 12).]

[You have gained 245 XP.]

[Congratulations, you have levelled up.]

'Hmm… that felt easier than before, the movements and attacks. Is it because I assigned those attribute points? Surely numbers can't actually affect the real world… I should just stop getting surprised by stuff like this.'

However, that was not the end of his troubles. Just as he was about to assign his two new attribute points, he heard rustling from the bush behind him.

"Fuck off," he muttered to get rid of the box in his sight as he turned around.

It was another brown wolf. Apparently the pack had noticed two missing members, so this wolf was tracking them down.

The moment that Wilbert noticed the brown wolf, the brown wolf saw Wilbert, his bloodied sword, and the two wolf corpses.

"Hooowwwwlllll!"

It craned its neck up to the sky and howled like crazy. Before it had even finished its call, dozens more howls reverberated in the surroundings as if answering the call to battle.

'This is bad.'

Wilbert briefly thought about silencing the wolf, but he shook his head and simply started running. In his mind, he had two options—fight the wolves or escape the wolves. Naturally, although he had killed two wolves with relative ease earlier, he was still new to combat and was not confident in his skills. Besides, he did not want to fight if he could avoid it anyway. He, more than most, understood the pain that came with every death.

'Maybe I should try to find another tree to climb.'

Alas, as he thought that, a wolf jumped out of the bush in front of him. He veered to the right, but there was another wolf. Every turn he made led to another wolf.

He was surrounded!

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LordArmyChicken

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