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Chapter 33

From the summer like tall trees with green leaves, to the autumn like shedding of golden leaves or maybe the spring like blooming of different colored leaves, Lwanda observed it all. Barely 20 meters into the forest and he could already feel this wasn’t an ordinary forest. All the trees seemed to be independent of each other and the climate around them in general. Every single one of them seemed to have their own unique climate cycle in which they followed. It was common to see a lush blooming tree barely two meters away from one in the deep winter; completely withered and no leaves whatsoever to be seen.

It was magical, Lwanda watched the falling golden leaves and couldn't help but be mesmerized. The gentle sway by the passing breeze, the random yet perfectly timed dews dropping to the ground, Lwanda couldn’t help but stare wide eyed at the sight. This was something he’d never seen before. Trees were a rare sight back on earth let alone magical trees like these that seem to have their own mini climate around them.

Lwanda picked some of the fallen golden leaves.

**kutcha**

Under a light squeeze the leaves crumbled into tiny pieces and slipped through his fingers before landing back on the ground from where they came. He took a deep breath taking in the air around him, in this one magical and mysterious place he could feel all the seasons simultaneously, all the blend of different scents all at once and Lwanda indulged in the feeling. He stood still, his arms raised high and wide, basking in the warm sun rays that passed through the light canopy before landing graciously on his face. The loved the feeling; the peace and quiet, the calm before anything popped off, the feeling of not having to deal with anything and just stay there enjoying the sights and scents he found pleasing. In a world where most things tend to be out of his control it was always a welcomed sight to have such moments where he could be himself and indulge in his interests, being as carefree as he possibly could.

Pheew!!”

Lwanda let out a long sigh, he opened his eyes that had been shut as he took in the beautiful ambience. One stride at a time he set off in search of food and water. After his experience with the jaguar, he was extremely cautious, he realized the creatures in this place couldn’t be underestimated, he knew whatever he’d seen so far was but the tip of the ice bag, there was still so much left to see and experience, he couldn’t get careless less he loses his life.

“The creatures in this place seem to have different levels of powers and abilities. The stronger the creature the more powerful the abilities will be, just like the eagle before, it was mighty and it also had the ability to control electricity, the panther had the ability to enhance and augment, the jaguar on the other hand had the ability to cloak itself plus there was that super speed thing, but I'm not sure if that is a general characteristic of his or something brought about by its crystal.

Speaking of crystal, do they get their powers from the crystals or do they naturally possess the powers and they just so happen to consolidate into crystal form for some reason?

Plus, there are some beasts that have crystals but they don’t seem to do anything, at least for now, hmm this is all so bizarre”

Lwanda pondered on the creatures he’d run into so far; all were vastly different with their own expertise, but one thing was for certain; they were in way too different leagues.

“I wonder what I'll meet next, hope it's not something troublesome”

Based on his experience in this world Lwanda readied himself for any possible encounter, caution was the key and in the situations he knew he didn’t have a shot at he’d quickly flee, his life was after all the most important thing.

Traveling for three days he often listened to his gut, in places he found the vibe to be a little peculiar he’d always take a detour, choosing to go around the spot. He didn’t mind the extra work, one; because he valued living and second; every inch of the forest was breathtaking so he just thought of it as taking the scenic route. In his three days journeying he’d run into giant deer two meters tall with large intertwined antlers; almost like tree roots, the antlers shone in a lime green color leaving a dim haze in the area around them. The giant, seemingly peaceful creatures lived in herds enjoying the sprouting grass as they occasionally played lovingly with the other members of their herd. When they spotted Lwanda the whole herd stared at him simultaneously almost like they were of the same mind. Their brown eyes fixed on him, trying to analyze the strange mysterious creature before them. In that fleeting second of calm Lwanda could see the tranquility in their eyes, he was mesmerized by the deep brown eyes and in that moment, he felt like staying there forever just to stare into those eyes.

The beautiful feeling lasted just but a second before the gentleness of the deer completely vanished, the calm air about them was replaced by a savage bloodthirst, the lime green shine on the antlers was gone too; replaced by a deep bloody shine. In but a second the peaceful creatures turned into wild uncontrollable beast that smashed each other trying to get to Lwanda. Drool dripped from their mouths and they raced at him like madmen. Lwanda sighed and couldn’t help but think; “Are all the creatures in this world crazy”

The ensued fight was intense, Lwanda had to pull all the stops to barely make it out alive, fighting against those crazy deer with no regard for self-harm was one of the worst encounters he’d ever had. After hours of clumsy fleeing, he finally managed to lose the herd even going as far as to kill one of them. When he cycled back to collect the carcass, he was surprised to find another deer feasting on its kind.

“I really hope I never run into them again”

Lwanda was disgusted, the cannibal nature of the deer coupled with the tremendous effort needed to deal with them led him to hope he’d never run into them again, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d wanted something so badly before, however reality is often disappointing; in the coming days he ran into nothing but the crazy deer and his experience could be summed up in one word ‘hell’.

Sitting on the moist ground, leaning against a tree trunk, Lwanda stared at the carcass before him. Sweat trickled down his body, occasionally landing in the deep stub, bite and tear wounds all over his body. He frowned at the stinging pain from the wounds. A look of deep loathing and frustration covered his face as he panted for air. His breathing was wild, he looked in disdain at the creatures before him, some dead while some gasping for their last breath. The environment around him was in a mess, tree trunks were charred, some had huge parts of them blasted off, the ground in different intervals gouged. This was the battlefield in which Lwanda fought his fifth herd of deer. In other instances he’d been lucky enough to spot them sooner and flee, the most he’d done was shake off one or maybe a couple of persistent pursuers but this time all hell broke loose, he’d finally used up all his luck, in his attempt to flee from one herd, who would have thought he’d run into the den of another herd.

Lwanda gnashed his teeth at his shitty luck, flashes of the fight played in his mind and he couldn’t help curse a thousand times.

“Goddamn crazy deer”

Lwanda was furious, more so because he had to use his valuable vine sup, this wasn’t what he expected when he embarked on his journey and he hated every second of it.

Lwanda sipped on the vine sup and almost immediately he could feel the strange energy flowing within him, the wounds all over his body slowly began closing up and healing.

“It worked faster this time”

Lwanda was a bit surprised, the last time he used the vines it took a while for it to be effective but this time it worked almost instantly.

“Is it because my body changed? Or is it a long-term effect of using it the first time which makes every subsequent usage more efficient?”

Try as he might he couldn’t find an answer, in times like these Lwanda truly feels just how much he still doesn’t know about the world he’s in.

“Forget it, I'll continue journeying, the truth will reveal itself eventually”

Lwanda made use of his shard knife to skin and cut the meat, he found the deer disgusting but this was survival, he didn’t have the luxury of being picky with his food.

After roasting the meat and eating to his fill, he quickly packed up and left, he didn’t want to stay too long in case the smell attracted more creatures. After two more days of journeying, he finally found a water pond, Lwanda was elated. He waited until the pond was empty and quickly took a bath before fetching some water and leaving.

The subsequent journey was peaceful, after leaving the deer territory, he would occasionally meet other predators but Lwanda was quick to flee or fight. With his new strength he found it way easier to fight.

One week after he left the water pond, in a wide stretch of land filled with massive trees and warm sunshine, Lwanda stood still staring at the long and wide walls before him. The walls were thick and black and seemed almost endless. Along the endless black were deep gouges that left wide scars, Lwanda couldn’t imagine what was strong enough to leave claw marks on such massive walls. The black walls emitted an endless heat, the closer you got to them the higher the temperature. Standing a good 200 m away from the wall Lwanda could feel the heat. Sweat occasionally trickled down his head as he tried his best to focus his attention on the black massive inferno like walls before him.

**Rumble*rumble**

Lwanda’s eyes widened in shock, the massive imposing black walls started moving.

“No...no...please no!!"

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Patroba Jonzz

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