He sat back on Tyrant’s shoulder and they retreated. Lin Huang noticed that Fatty was missing.
"What the hell is Fatty doing? Please don’t tell me that he was looking for me."
The footprints on the ground were covered by sand. It was almost impossible to trace where Fatty had disappeared to. Lin Huang turned his head toward the direction of the Undead Worm.
Lin Huang recalled the Sand Monster when they reached the sand dunes. He then climbed to the dune’s crest with his head jutting outward, looking in the direction of the Undead Worm but it was no longer there and Fatty was nowhere in sight too.
"The Undead Worm disappeared…" Lin Huang frowned. He did not know what happened. "It would be impossible for Fatty to reach here in 10 minutes. Perhaps he escaped somewhere else."
Lin Huang summoned Tyrant again and they looked around. However, he still could not find Fatty and eventually, he gave up.
Tyrant and Lin Huang ran towards the north. Lin Huang was heavy-hearted, worried that Fatty might have died and his body may never be found.
In the following hours, they encountered a few monsters during their journey to the north. However, Tyrant was able to defeat all of them and they finally arrived at the foot of the Snowy Mountains before sunset.
Lin Huang set his tent up and proceeded to sit quietly on the sandy ground. He leaned against a large rock and took out some dried meat to eat from his storage space.
Fatty cooked the smoked meat during the barbecue they had a couple of nights before and insisted that Lin Huang took some with him for the journey since it would be inconvenient to cook near the iceberg once they began their climb.
Lin Huang then ate the dried meat and drank plain water for dinner. At night, the sky turned dark.
The sky was full of stars. Suddenly, Lin Huang saw meteors shooting across the sky. He thought of a common saying, "Everyone has a star that represents their life. When it falls, they die. They’ll become a meteor and shine one last time."
"Fatty, if you’re no longer with us, when I’m stronger, I’ll take my revenge on all the monsters in this desert for killing you." As soon as Lin Huang finished his sentence, he poured libations of plain water from the jug on the ground in front of him. "Let’s drink plain water first. I’ll buy you some liquor after the assessment ends."
Lin Huang then took a look at the sky and saw another meteor passing through the sky. As the meteor faded into the clouds, Lin Huang summoned Tyrant to keep watch beside his tent. Finally, he entered the tent to go to bed.
"I need a good rest tonight to energize myself. I’ll start my climb tomorrow morning." Lin Huang slept without taking off his clothes and shoes.
It was a peaceful night.
When Lin Huang woke up, it was only seven o’clock in the morning. He washed up and prepared himself for the journey ahead of him.
At the foot of the Snowy Mountains, the slopes were gentle. It was not covered in a thick layer of snow. Tyrant carried Lin Huang and this allowed him to conserve his physical strength.
"Don’t worry, take your time."
Tyrant’s body size was not suitable for climbing mountains. Lin Huang could only take a ride on flat terrains. When the hill got steeper with regions that were covered by snow, Tyrant’s weight caused the mountain to crack.
Tyrant carried Lin Huang and walked for less than an hour before reaching a height of 3000 meters above sea level. If they climbed any further upwards, they would reach the regions covered in snow.
Lin Hung then summoned Bai and Tyrant was recalled.
Bai had silver hair. It had been waiting patiently for instructions.
"Let’s climb together. When I get stuck, help me a little through the hard parts." Lin Huang knew that climbing the Snowy Mountains was the toughest task in this assessment.
The Snowy Mountains were elevated 6,000 meters above sea level at its lowest point. At the mountain peak, it was 12,000 meters above sea level.
The route set by the Hunter Association was one that led to one of the main peaks of the Snowy Mountain. It was around 8,000 meters above sea level.
Lin Huang had never climbed the Snowy Mountains before. This was a huge challenge for him and to make it worse, he was the only candidate that had not achieved iron-level. Whichever it was, either physical capabilities or stamina, he was definitely weaker than the rest of the candidates.
If he had not acquired the Robust passive skill that allowed a two-time increment in his physique, Lin Huang would absolutely have no confidence to pass this stage.
Lin Huang was considering transforming Bai by wrapping its Blood Power around him so it could pull him up. In the end, he reasoned with himself that perhaps the challenge might be good for him.
Upon receiving Lin Huang’s instruction, Bai nodded its head. Bai turned its body and headed toward the rock wall that was covered by snow and used its bare hands to climb it. At the start of the journey, it seemed doable as it was only a height of just two meters. Lin Huang put on his gloves and followed behind Bai.
Bai was a quick climber but Lin Huang was not and so, Bai had to constantly wait for Lin Huang every two meters. Lin Huang thought that it was easier to climb behind Bai as he would leave movement trails on its pathway for Lin Huang to follow. Both of them were almost similar body size so anywhere Bai could climb to, Lin Huang could do so as well.
In the afternoon, Lin Huang and Bai only managed to climb around 600 meters before stopping.
If it were a distance on flat land, they would have reached their location in less than 10 minutes with a consistent walking speed but unfortunately, both of them spent more than five hours to reach this height.
Lin Huang was exhausted and suggested, "Let’s find a resting place to energize ourselves."
Bai nodded its head and quickly transformed. Its Blood-powered wings were transformed into blades, cutting through the rock walls as it grazed the surface. It cut out rocks that were two meters long and two meters wide. The blood-powered blades continued to pierce through and in the process, it dug out a rock wall with a layer of ice on it before both of them slid into the hole.
The hold was deep, its depth around 10 meters.
The wind outside the hole howled and grew louder. Fortunately, it was still warm inside the hole.
Lin Huang leaned against the wall and sat down. He then ate the dried meat for lunch once again.
He was about to share with Bai but then remembered that it only drank blood.
He ate another fist-sized piece of dried meat and drank some water. After getting enough rest, he gave Bai a signal, waving to it that it was time for the both of them to set off again.
Bai led the way and together, they climbed 700 meters within five hours. This time, they had arrived at a safer place compared to the first phase of their climbing journey.
He looked at the sky. Even though the sun had not set yet, Lin Huang refused to continue the journey. They set up camp on the mountain, preparing for a good rest so they were able to continue their journey early the next morning.
He was now at around 4800 meters above sea level.
After the tents were set up, he started a fire to cook dinner.
The sky got darker and the flames were burning bright. Lin Huang could not help but miss Fatty’s cooking skills as he smelled the smell of raw meat.
There was soup boiling in the pot. After a few hours, a meaty fragrance filled their surroundings and that was the signal for Lin Huang to have dinner.
He used a ladle to scoop the meat from the pot and onto his plate. After a few bites of the juicy meat, Bai moved abruptly and returned with a furry, little white monster in its palm…