4.6 Billion Year Symphony of Evolution Volume 3 Chapter 14 “Forest Hunter”

Chapter 13 | Table of Contents | Chapter 15

Last chapter recap: Lin explores the forest, the moss, and the crystals.

Chapter Fourteen Forest Hunter

Lin had stayed two days in the forest of twisted trees and studied the environment here. Even at night, it was as bright as day. The bright crystal dust on top of the moss meant the forest would never have true darkness. Many organisms here did not have concepts of day and night. They were living in the light at all times.

In the forest, there was a small river just two meters wide. Wondrously, the other side of the river was completely different.

Maybe it was due to the land. The soil here only had scattered patches of moss. The light of the stars could not illuminate the vast forest. In the place where light could not reach, there were only complex twisted shadows. This was the world of the predators. They hid in the darkness, waiting for the prey to come close. Only a few predators would step to the other side filled with light.

Lin called the dark half the “dark land” and the mossy part the “flashing forest.” The river was the dividing line.

Some strange arthropods shaped like scorpions, with long narrow legs and sharp fore limbs, charged out of the forest, sprinting across the river. Splashing their way, they boarded the flashing forest. These arthropods were only thirty centimeters long and were called “hunters”. They were the first troops Lin created after coming here.

Lin had changed its previous plan. While having the Leviathan go to explore was interesting, after seeing the rapid evolution of the surrounding organisms, Lin thought the simple exploration plans of the past were no longer suitable. If Lin encountered unknown and great threats, it would be hard to escape.

Therefore, Lin decided to use a plan that was not limited to one unit. It created an army to explore the surrounding area before taking over with the green carpet. Leviathan itself would not move, and exist as a moving base.

The hunters lowered their bodies and slowly moved on the moss-covered ground.

In the dark night, there were fewer predators than during daytime. The light came from the ground, and it was hard for predators to hide their bodies…unless predators who could change color.

When quickly expanding the army, using the nutrients of the green carpet was too slow so Lin must hunt other organisms to obtain nutrients. The hunters focused on the organisms who were grazing on the moss nearby. These round arthropods were about a meter long, and covered all over in hard armor. They had a name, “beetle.” But beetle was a general term. Lin had seen many beetle organisms in the forest. To distinguish between them, they could not all be called beetles. Then this special one would be called the “moss-eating beetle.” The moss-eating beetles were small and medium beetles, very suitable as targets.

The hunters gave off the same light as the moss. They did not just change color. Lin had them gather the crystal dust to sprinkle over themselves. This way, they would merge as one with the surrounding environment. The moss-eating beetles did not notice they were coming close.

When the hunters were a certain distance from the moss-eating beetle, the hunters all charged out. The moss-eating beetles reacted quickly. They immediately opened their back shells. Four enormous wings spread apart. Before they flew up, one hunter leapt onto the moss-eating beetle’s back. The sharp forelimbs immediately cut multiple wounds on the wings.

The moss-eating beetle flapped its wings but because of the wounds, it could not rise up at all. Then the other hunters leapt as well. They used their forelimbs to stab into the moss-eating beetle’s body and leg joints.

The hunters easily killed the beetle. Green fluid came out of the damaged joints and it fell to the ground.

The hunters were different from the temporary troops Leviathan usually created. They possessed an entire set of organs and a circulatory system. So they could eat the beetle on the spot, then store some of the nutrients in their abdomen to carry back.

Three of the hunters were responsible for feeding on the spilled blood of the moss-eating beetle. The rest were responsible for cutting open the armor. This was very hard so it took a lot of effort.

Some small reptiles smelled blood and came close. They moved around the corpse, trying to get close and eat a bit of the blood. Lin sent two hunters to drive them away. Lin had no thoughts of sharing.

The fish were the strongest organisms in the ocean, and the reptiles, as the evolved form of fish on land, were very weak. Most of them were plant feeders or scavengers. Lin noticed that this place was primarily giant arthropods. But Lin had only explored a small part of the twisted forest. Maybe other places would have other wonderful organisms.

The hunters split open the beetle’s abdomen and gathered together to eat. Lin knew the corpses would attract small reptiles, and some powerful organisms. For example…an organism called “cockroach.”

This type of organism was large and fast with blade-like mouth parts that could quickly slice their targets. Some of the flyers that Lin had released before had been eaten by the organisms called cockroaches. The cockroaches were one of the predators active in the flashing forest. Because they were so fast, even if the prey found them in advance, they could not escape.

Luckily, the moss-eating beetle was quickly eaten to an empty shell. During this time, no other organisms were attracted. After the hunters left, the small reptiles came over and burrowed into the moss-eating beetle’s shell to find scraps.

The hunters quickly returned. They crossed the river and returned to the entrance to the cave of the dark land.

Lin had enlarged the hole it had dug before. The place felt suitable as a base. It was now more than ten meters deep and three meters wide. Lin had mixed chitin into the inner layer soil to stop the hole from collapsing.

After the hunters returned, they formed the nutrients into small balls and spat them out. Other than absorbing the amount they needed, the extra nutrients would be brought back to Leviathan.

Leviathan used the gatherers to eat the nutrients balls. At this time, the little scorpions sleeping in the hole seemed to smell food. They charged out and used their pincers to grab the nutrients to eat.

Lin did not stop them. It felt that raising these scorpions was pretty fun. These organisms were smart. They could discern between the troops that Lin created and other organisms. So they knew not to attack Lin’s gatherers.

The scorpions stopped eating after one or two. Their food intake was very small but in reality, they grew quickly. Some of them had shed their shells as they grew bigger. The present arthropods all seemed to grow by shedding shells. Lin felt this was a waste, and the shedding time was dangerous. Lin usually would not increase Leviathan’s weight. It would only dissolve the Leviathan at special times and then reorganize.

Lin collected all the nutrient balls and digested them. Other than creating more troops, Lin added three bombers to the hunter troop. These were shaped like scorpions, about thirty centimeters long. Their curved tails did not end in poison stingers, but armor dissolving exploding bombs. Most of the targets right now were arthropods, and the ability to penetrate armor was necessary.

Lin felt the shape of the scorpions were the most perfect form it had seen up to now, suitable for both attack and defense, and did not affect speed. It felt so practical.

Leviathan had Leviathan create some more diggers to help enlarge what was now a large cave. The hunter troop continued to hunt for prey.

When the first hunter stepped out of the cave, Lin sensed it being caught by something and was instantly dragged into the sky. Before the hunter could see clearly, its head was crushed. The remaining hunters walked out of the cave. Then they walked up, they could only make out the many twisted tree trunks in the darkness. They could not see what had attacked the hunter.

This forest was really full of monsters…

While Lin had stayed here two days and nights, it had only seen a few organisms. Lin did not know at all the organism from just now. Lin’s cave was on the border of the light and dark — right beside the river and closer to the dark. The organism may have come from the dark lands. Lin had not explored it greatly, and it had been hunting recently in the mossy flashing forest.

Should it give chase? Lin could sense the captured hunter being gnawed away by something, but it would not be eaten up quickly. It did not seem very profitable to enter the dark lands for just a hunter, but to guarantee its safety, Lin had to defeat this organism that could ambush right at Lin’s cave entrance.

But Lin did not want to send out an army to attack the target. The risk was too high. There was the chance of all of them being killed. Lin had to think of another method …

As Lin was thinking, Leviathan created a shining flyer that flew towards the twisted forest.

Chapter 13 | Table of Contents | Chapter 15

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