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Chapter 22

With his new found treasure Lwanda found traversing through the forest way easier. Like a red streak the monsters in the forest caught only slight glimpses of him as he jet passed leaving nothing but a blur behind.

Lwanda used his new traversal technique to his advantage, he collected the essentials he needed along his journey. It barely rained in this place despite it always being green so Lwanda had to look for a source of water and storage.

He'd struggled looking for a storage device for the longest time but to no avail. He ultimately decided on traveling along the large beautiful river that flowed through the forest. Its water was always as clear as crystal and just a sip left him feeling refreshed for hours, he was certain just like the monsters here this river and its water had an extraordinary mystery behind it.

Well, that was evident as contrary to basic logic and physics the river seemed to flow in reverse, flowing up the mountain in which Lwanda was headed. This blew Lwanda’s mind because he couldn't even begin to imagine how that was possible.

“Is there some sort of force pushing it or pulling it up the mountain?”

No matter how hard he thought Lwanda never found an answer, a case like this was just beyond his comprehension, but then again that also applied to the creatures here.

During his days through the forest Lwanda had seen more and more weird and crazy things. Different animals and sometimes plants from earth all mutated, all different. There seemed to be endless droves of them each species mutated in a specific way no matter the distance between them.

Lwanda originally thought due to his basic understanding of mutation he would at least find a few variations in the animals but he’d absolutely found none so far. All the members of a specific species mutated in the exact same way no matter the region in which he saw them in, no matter the surrounding environment nor the distance between them. This was quit shocking to Lwanda, but what shocked him even more was the plants.

Lwanda didn’t have that much knowledge on the plants that once inhabited earth, he only knew the little he picked up from his father and the basic info given when he visited the plant museum, but that was enough to identify some of the plants he saw. They seemed to be the same as those from earth but just like the animals they mutated and some had some elements of being sentient.

Some plants were docile while others were extremely vicious especially the mutated carnivorous plants that had mutated to be stronger, faster and larger than most of the smaller species like the monster rats he’d met before. Lwanda knew to stay clear of them as they were a new form of enemy.

Days passed and Lwanda kept journeying, never staying in the same place for too long. Traveling so close to the river had its downside as most creatures would be settled along the river banks but Lwanda saw this as a positive as he had more chances to observe and study the creatures in this place.

“Having information about one's enemies is just as important as fighting them”

Lwanda knew this wasn’t the life he’d known he needed to quickly adapt in order to survive, there was no other way around it.

Each blow he received, each thrashing, each roar, each scare, heck even in the moments he was completely overwhelmed by unrivaled power and fled, all those were teachable moments for Lwanda, lessons that helped him live longer, survive better.

Time passed by quickly and Lwanda was on his two-week mark on this strange planet. Although not entirely he had grown accustomed to the creatures and things in this place, he knew when to fight and when to flee. He knew what to eat and what to avoid, the latter being learned the hard way.

Life was in itself way better as he even found a calabash like fruit growing and used it as a storage for his water thus significantly increasing the range in which he could explore on his journey.

All seemed dandy except the one itch that never left Lwanda’s mind. Just as he’d suspected the black veins rippling through his body did need immediate attention but with no way to address them, he’d casually put it off, a decision that came back to bite him now more than ever.

With each meal he took; animal or plant the darkness in the veins intensified and with it Lwanda felt his health deteriorating fast. Contrary to his expectation of feeling down and low he was just the opposite, every time he ate something, his body went through a small change and he felt stronger, faster and more powerful, but still he felt his health wasn’t doing so great.

The disease and the symptoms were like polar opposites a fact that Lwanda had trouble wrapping his head around at first, but given everything he’d experienced here he quickly took it for what it was.

“It is what it is”

“I guess one day I'll just drop death brimming with power

Haha what an ironical way to die hahaha

Lwanda let out a cold laugh void of any emotion. His time here had changed him, he was nothing but a shadow of his former self, the smile he always wore on his face was gone, the gentle aura he had to his person was gone all that was left was a desperate wild being capable of doing anything to survive, cold to the bone.

“With how things are now, the broken arm doesn’t seem too bad”

Lwanda chuckled as he stared at his arm, the pain was almost gone but the damage was still there. He'd credited this odd phenomenon to the mutations going on in his body as well.

Mutations... yeah, he knew that’s what was going on. Just like the first time he ate the eagle meat he’d been changing with each meal, it was obvious there was something in the creatures here but with no other options he closed his eyes and ate anyway. He figured if things got worse the beings in the shadows would intervene, they did have their usefulness after all.

“It's taking you guys a while, I'm almost dying here, when are you going to do something about my state”

Lwanda spoke as he flicked his middle finger to the sky, he had nothing but hate for the beings behind this but he still needed their convenient help from time to time. As things progressed Lwanda was growing desperate, he knew he didn’t have much time left.

Although he was now strong enough to split open a massive boulder with his bare fist all that was going to be for naught if he died. Death, a topic that left Lwanda conflicted, it terrified him, the uncertainty and unpredictability of it scared him more than anything else on this wicked planet but then again there was the beings in the shadows, he hated being played with and sometimes he hoped he’d just die so that it could all be over. So that he could deny them the pleasure, those bastards

Lwanda walked for a while lost in thought, he’d scanned the area a while ago so he knew there wasn’t anything dangerous at least not in his current vicinity, at least not to his current self. He loved such moments as it gave him time to think, something he couldn’t do while launched in battle or desperately running for his life.

With his thoughts all messed up Lwanda didn’t notice the environment slowly changing. The further in he walked the more barren it became, deprived of life. Everything around seemed to be dying and it got worse the inner he walked.

“Huh?!”

Lwanda exclaimed finally noticing it.

In his time here this was the first time he’d seen something like this. This forest was almost magical, with the backwards flowing river, the evergreen vegetation despite not getting rain. It seemed like the forest itself was filled with life energy. So how was this possible, how was it possible that the land here was so bare, everything dead or struggling to survive?

“This is strange”

Lwanda looked further ahead, the land was completely bare, even compared to a desert this place was worse, it was like all the life was sucked out of it.

“But by what? what can do something like this?”

Lwanda spoke in a shrilled voice. He was getting a bad feeling about this.

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Patroba Jonzz

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