Chapter 36: Chapter 36: Radio Station
With a hard smash, Song Jian’s fist slammed into the pale gold trunk of the pine tree. Its tough exterior was as unyielding as steel, creating a numbing sour pain that spread up his wrist and throughout his arm.
Unfazed, Song Jian continued to batter the tree with his fists.
After about ten minutes, the trunk of an ordinary tree would have been gathered completely, but this pine tree didn’t budge an inch.
Right when Song Jian believed this pine tree was impenetrable, a piece of bark the size of a palm flew away from the tree, transforming into a beam of white light that flew elegantly into his inventory.
System: You’ve gathered 10 units of wood.
“Is it that efficient?” Song Jian was pleasantly surprised. Usually, gathering willow trees would yield no more than two or three units at a time, but this pine tree had produced ten units of wood in one go, several times more than any regular tree.
Spurred on by his excitement, Song Jian started punching the tree with increasing speed.
The pale-golden pine tree was extraordinarily tough, making it several times harder to gather than regular trees. But the yield of wood was correspondingly bountiful.
System: You’ve gathered n units of wood.
System: You’ve gathered 9 units of wood.
System: You’ve gathered 2 units of dense pine wood (LV3 wood material).
System: You’ve gathered 12 units of wood.
Every successful gathering added about 10 units of wood to Song Jian’s inventory.
Ignoring the multitude of system prompts, Song Jian focused all his attention on punching the pine tree.
Unexpectedly, it was only when he inadvertently checked his inventory that he realised he had indeed obtained 6 units of dense pine wood.
“Dense pine wood (LV3 wood material), material for crafting furniture and utensils; cannot be taken out of the game.”
“Furniture? Aren’t all the furniture ready-made in a safe house? Do I need to make them myself?” Song Jian wondered inwardly.
While he was unsure about how to craft and what the uses of furniture would be, the title “LV3 wood material” was a clear indication that the dense pine possessed much better quality than commonplace wood materials.
As Song Jian continued to gather, the originally five to six meters high pine tree, now shone with a faint golden glow and had shrunk to less than two meters tall; and half of the day had already passed, being around three or four in the afternoon.
After replenishing himself with some food and water, Song Jian stood up and proceeded to gather wood from the pine tree. Opportunities like these were rare, as there was only this one peculiar pine tree within the entire forest.
An hour later, Song Jian received a notification from the system.
System: After rigorous training, your skill “Brawling (Fist-Strike) (Basic)” has been upgraded to LV4.
System: After rigorous training, your skill “Chopping Skill” has been upgraded to LV4
“Has it been upgraded to level 4 so quickly?” Song Jian was taken aback.
Clearly, gathering high-quality wood significantly increased his skill proficiency. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for his already level 3 basic skills to level up within such a short span of time.
It’s important to note that all skills require more proficiency to level up the higher they are. This makes it increasingly difficult to level up, unless one is willing to spend skill points.
With a crisp breaking sound, the remaining one meter of the pine tree shattered spectacularly, turning it into a white light that flew into Song Jian’s inventory.
This singular pine tree contributed nearly three hundred units of wood and 10 units of dense pine wood to Song Jian’s inventory, simultaneously raising the levels of his two passive skills by one.
“In a short while, I should be able to gather stone materials as well.” Song Jian rubbed his palms, feeling the resilience and strength spreading from his knuckles and whispered inwardly.
The faint golden light of the pine tree had dimmed, reducing it to a mere tree stump.
However, another object had appeared on top of the stump. It appeared to be a small box.
This small box was military green in colour, with several obvious buttons and knobs on its surface along with a forearm-length antenna.
“Civilian Radio (Special Item), effect: able to receive and send channel information; use condition: can only be used when placed within a safe house.”
“What’s this?” Song Jian touched the metal surface of the radio, examining it closely.
No matter how Song Jian fiddled with it, the radio didn’t show any signs of life.
“It looks like it can only be used once the safe house has been set up.” Having glanced at the usage conditions, Song Jian stopped fiddling with it, and placed it into his inventory.
Time passed swiftly, and before nightfall, Song Jian returned to the villa. After gathering from the pine tree, Song Jian had managed to stock up over one hundred units of other wood materials. By now, Song Jian had already collected nearly two-thirds of the wood needed for the villa’s renovation. At most, two more days would be required to gather enough of the three thousand units of needed wood.
At night, Song Jian played with his newly acquired Tusk Fang Stinger, as howls from the mutating zombies outside echoed around the villa, causing him to appear lost in thought.
Being at level 5, along with his newly-acquired dagger, Song Jian could already face off against mutated zombies easily even when they attack in groups.
“It’s such a waste to do nothing at night. It would be better to go out to hunt mutated zombies, obtain some materials, and level up my skills,” Song Jian thought.
All active skills needed frequent use to gain proficiency until skill points would allow them to level up. Passive skills, on the other hand, had no such limitation. Provided that one remained patient, they could level up without the need for skill points.
Despite the decreased spawn rate of the mutated zombies, Song Jian could still use them to train his skills.
As this thought struck him, Song Jian immediately got up and walked towards the street outside.
The street was filled with the shadowy figures of mutated zombies. During the day, these horrifying monsters wouldn’t rise unless disturbed by a loud noise, which gave one the impression that they weren’t many around. However, when night fell, Song Jian realised, there were, in fact, a bewildering number of monsters lurking around him.
“The main quest requires exterminating all the monsters within a one-kilometer radius of the safe house. Looking at it now, this task is harder than building the safe house itself,” Song Jian thought to himself.
As soon as he left the villa, three mutated zombies detected his presence. Their mouths let out low growls as they staggered towards him.
The speed of the mutated zombies was about the same as an ordinary human jogging; they weren’t particularly fast, but they were extremely resolute and possessed excellent endurance- they could chase a person for miles without stopping.
Instead of using the Earth Teeth Assault skill, Song Jian brandished his dagger and charged towards the nearest zombie. He thrust his weapon straight into its skull then swiftly yanked it out, cutting a slash across its neck. Before the zombie could react, Song Jian stabbed its back with his dagger.
The smooth sequence of movements felt like a rehearsed pattern and carried out flawlessly in quick succession.
The three consecutive attacks immediately turned the zombie, with only a little over a hundred hit points, into a pile of ashes.
Without bothering to glance at the item it had dropped, Song Jian charged towards the next zombie.