Chapter 5: Chapter5-Heading to Yarrow

Taking a deep breath, Harrison sought to steady the turbulence within.

Swiftly, he made his way out of the village, recognizing the paramount importance of seeking refuge.

Returning to his home no longer topped the list of his priorities in the oppressive shadow of the Red Mist, where danger could lurk in every concealed corner.

As he neared a vehicle, an alertness suddenly gripped Harrison.

The ground betrayed more footprints than just his own.

Swiftly drawing a baton from beneath the car, he scanned his surroundings with vigilant eyes, his heartbeat racing.

"Who's there? Show yourself!"

Two decades on the battlefield had honed Harrison's instincts to razor sharpness.

For a man of his profession, anticipating danger and devising means of self-preservation were fundamental.

Given that it was only the fourth day since the descent of the Red Mist and monsters were yet to emerge, these prints could only belong to another survivor.

"Hey, man, take it easy," a voice drifted from behind a nearby low wall.

From the shadows stepped a man, sunlight casting upon his sunburnt, tanned skin.

Disheveled hair, a tattered military green jacket, and two bags slung over his shoulders spoke of his journey on foot.

Harrison's gaze intensified, a hint of recognition flashing across his eyes.

To his astonishment, wasn't this David, the famed 'Soul Harvester', a Level 100 master?

Such elite masters, frequently featured on various TV programs, inspired the masses, urging them to persevere against adversity.

David was perhaps yet to realize that his fate had been altered by Harrison, with fortunes already snatched away.

The tension in Harrison's eyes gradually faded, yet his internal vigilance towards David remained undiminished.

In this new world blanketed by the Red Mist, the human psyche evolved with each passing day, full of uncertainties.

"Friend, could you help guide me to the nearest city?" David inquired.

In recent days, he had distinctly felt his physical condition strengthen since the emergence of the Red Mist.

Previously, he could cover only fifty kilometers a day, but now, he could effortlessly traverse two hundred.

While he had skimmed through various online discussions, it seemed everyone had experienced a similar bodily enhancement.

Yet, having spent a considerable time in the remote expanse of the Gobi, this was his first face-to-face human interaction.

Encountering Harrison, David could barely conceal his excitement and anticipation.

Harrison nodded subtly in response.

While masters of the hundredth level possessed extraordinary abilities, their characters and moral compasses weren't always trustworthy.

Regarding David, his past actions seemed relatively transparent, making him appear credible.

It was rumored that David possessed a unique S-level talent that allowed him to enhance any equipment acquired in battle up to +10 levels, greatly augmenting its base attributes.

Befriending him might greatly benefit Harrison's future spoils.

"Follow me," Harrison stated, a trace of detachment in his tone.

David, a smile brightening his face, quickly reorganized the bags he carried, placing them delicately into the car's trunk. "I can't thank you enough, my friend!" he expressed genuinely.

...

The sound of the wind slicing around them filled the air as Harrison's car sped along the Gobi's highways, traveling at a pace so swift it would make thunder seem sluggish.

Their destination: Yarrow, nestled on the boundary of the desert and the oasis.

From their current location, they were approximately 300 kilometers away from their destination, and it seemed that the fuel in the car would suffice.

Without any urgent pursuit, Harrison took the opportunity to stop and inspect every mysterious chest they stumbled upon during their journey.

Though the rewards from these chests paled in comparison to the legendary Diamond Chests, they were undoubtedly a significant boost during these early stages of adventure.

Within the vast expanse of the Gobi, Harrison had already unlocked 78 Bronze Chests, 34 Silver Chests, 13 Gold Chests, and a rare 3 Dark Gold Chests.

From these, he had garnered a plethora of rewards: various potions, gleaming gems, enigmatic equipment, ancient scrolls, precious materials, and most prized of all, skill books.

Among them, there was one skill book—a fire skill named "Scorching Beam."

This skill could harness the power of fire to unleash a blistering ray, inflicting severe burning damage upon foes.

Exclusive to magusclass players, this treasured ability was a gem found within a Dark Gold Chest.

Harrison recognized his good fortune.

From the memories of his past life, the value of a skill book was immeasurable.

Since skill books would vanish after use and couldn't be shared, they remained a rarity in the game world.

Harrison had plans for these spoils.

He intended to trade items that were valuable now but would become commonplace later for more skill books.

As long as he kept abreast with the latest intel and market trends, leveraging this information gap would ensure a steady accumulation of skill books in his inventory.

On the road, Harrison continuously unlocked those luminescent chests. Each opening was accompanied by a mystical sound, revealing the treasures within.

David, standing beside, couldn't hide the gleam in his eyes as he looked upon these treasures, yet he made no requests.

He was well-aware that there were lively discussions online about these chests, their value becoming akin to gold bricks in popular discourse.

But he understood even more that the vehicle they were in and the hope it embodied was a gracious gift from Harrison.

In the barren expanse of the Gobi Desert, had it not been for Harrison, David might have long been reduced to a lone spirit beneath the sands.

Along the way, Harrison and David shared their respective tales. David hailed from the south, having traversed mountains and rivers over two years.

He relied on the generosity of his livestream viewers to fund his travels, accepting their donations in exchange for food and shelter.

But when the world took such an anomalous turn, a single thought dominated his mind: to return to his birthplace, where his parents awaited him.

Within the game, Harrison and David became friends.

The game's design was remarkably user-friendly, boasting a trading function that allowed for the seamless exchange of items, no matter the geographical distance between players. n-)0Velb1n

Consequently, in the previous world, the first industries to face unemployment and collapse were those in the delivery and takeout sectors.

But since live animals couldn't be traded, the transportation sector was spared a cataclysmic blow.

Harrison's reason for befriending David was straightforward: he might require his help in enhancing equipment down the line.

Doubling the base attributes of one's equipment was a talent many would kill for, and Harrison wasn't concerned about David's potential progress in the game.

Upon reaching Yarrow, they found its streets eerily devoid of people.

The majority had taken refuge in their homes, choosing safety as they remained uncertain about when the Red Mist would dissipate.

While the onset of the Red Mist hadn't incapacitated electronic devices, it significantly diminished the potency of modern weaponry.

Firearms, for instance, had been reduced from their deadly lethality to merely causing a purple bruise upon impact.

Its firepower was now barely distinguishable from an air gun.

In just two days, the Red Mist would fully dissipate.

Mutant flora and fauna, Underground Caves, Enchanted Realms, Dimensional Fissures, and more would emerge.

That would mark the true commencement of the game.

From that point on, each day would be marred with ceaseless carnage.

Human society would undergo a monumental transformation.

Strength would reign supreme, relegating ethics and morals to mere afterthoughts.

Still, for a new order to genuinely settle, it would take at least two years.

By then, the world's population would dwindle to 4 billion, with 3 billion having perished in the tumultuous interim.

By that time, everyone would grasp the ruthlessness of this game!