Chapter 50: Wicked Beanstalk
“Bai Yi, you can communicate with them?” Not just Woolf, but even Heloise and Mavis were both extremely shocked.
“Remember our guess just now? Living things that assimilated with activated cells will become ‘smarter’. In the clash just now, these hummingbirds judged that ‘they can’t defeat us’. So when I released them, they didn’t continue attacking us either. This can only prove one thing… These hummingbirds are really intelligent!” Bai Yi looked at the hummingbirds flying off with a slightly heavy expression on his face.
Evolved lifeforms becoming more intelligent… they just didn’t know how intelligent would they become.
“Let’s continue searching for other useful animals.” Bai Yi said, and the group of them continued their task.
- A huge ant 3 centimeters long
- A 20 centimeter long centipede
- A palm-sized spider with patterns on it.
These were the considerably useful animals that they’d found in the end. The others were either not too useful or had already become food for other animals. During the Binging Stage, probably more than half of the animals here were already eaten.
However, what gave the few of them a pleasant surprise was that they found a small garden. Although it was small, many of the plants inside was edible.
Actually, ever since the activated cells proliferated, they hadn’t really starved yet. Food had always been sufficient, although they hadn’t had vegetables in a long time.
“This is a Chinese toon, it’s edible, but you can only eat the sprouts.” Bai Yi pointed at small tree more than 3 meters tall nearby.
“Can the leaves also be eaten?” Woolf was quite surprised.
“Of course!” Bai Yi said and continued walking inside.
“This is a dwarf lilyturf. Its stem tuber can be eaten, though it’s normally used in medicine.” Bai Yi pointed at a small plant on the floor. Although this was a small garden, there weren’t many types of vegetables that could be consumed in great quantities. Many of the plants were edible, but the volume was too small. Things like sprouts and stuff, other than changing up the taste, couldn’t be used to allay one’s hunger.
“This isn’t bad, sweet potatoes! Woolf, help me to dig them up!” Sweet potatoes were high in starch, so it was definitely much better than sprouts at relieving hunger. Bai Yi said this to Woolf, but found that he had already headed farther inside. Bai Yi didn’t have a choice but to do it himself. Luckily, Heloise and Mavis weren’t so carefree like Woolf was and followed close by. They immediately helped dig up the potatoes, they had to treasure every bit of food they could find now.
“Bai Yi, this can be eaten, right?” Woolf ran back, carrying two giant green beans in his hands.
“Green beans, everybody knows that they can be eaten!” Bai Yi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Then I’ll go and pluck more!” Woolf said and ran back. Bai Yi watched Woolf’s actions and in that moment, he could only smile helplessly.
Bai Yi was quite far away so he didn’t realize that the beanstalk was shockingly huge, and the vines curled around each other like a nest of snakes. Woolf had always been eating meat these few days and he was growing tired of it, he immediately headed to the giant beanstalk after seeing the green beans.
Woolf was completely oblivious to how the vines were slowly closing, surrounding him as he walked past them.
The few of them were digging the sweet potatoes out when suddenly they heard a loud cry of help from Woolf. The three of them immediately looked over in Woolf’s direction and sprinted over.
From far away the three of them saw that a few vines had wrapped themselves around Woolf’s body, pulling him towards their center. Woolf’s arms and legs were all bound, and even his greatsword couldn’t be drawn. Seeing the three of them run over, Woolf immediately shouted for them to be careful.
That should be said to you, you idiot!
The three of them immediately drew their swords and fiercely hacked away at the thick vines. These vines were as thick as a person’s forearm. Small and thin barbs grew on their surfaces, and they were extremely tough. Luckily, the swords they’d gotten from Old Harvey were sharp, and very quickly they hacked apart many vines. After these vines fell on the floor, they still wriggled as if they had life left in them.
Not long after, Woolf was rescued successfully, and he immediately wanted to draw his greatsword to vent his anger.
“Wait, let me check you first!” Mavis stopped Woolf from acting.
“Why? I’m fine! I just got pricked a few times.”
“Just a few pricks can cost your life. Let me check if you don’t want your organs to become a puddle of liquid.” Mavis said angrily. Her tone alarmed Woolf greatly. It can’t be... This can kill me too?
“If I didn’t guess wrongly, this beanstalk has already become a carnivorous plant. There should be some hemolytic poison inside those barbs, which can cause its prey to dissolve from the inside and absorb its nutrients.” Bai Yi looked at Mavis’ worried actions and immediately deduced this based on a normal carnivorous plant.
“That’s precisely the case!” Mavis nodded.
“No! Save me, please save me Doctor Mavis!” Woolf instantly started to act pitifully.
“Stop acting, this poison isn’t too severe. After all, it’s only been 10 odd days since New Zealand changed. However, if you still dare to be so reckless in the future, then I may not be able to save you in the future!” Mavis said, and injected Woolf with a shot. Bai Yi looked at the first aid kit; there weren’t many medical supplies left inside of it.
Bai Yi picked up a green bean on the floor and plucked out a pea. It was extraordinarily plump, and as big as a thumb. Bai Yi put it into his mouth and slowly chewed.
“Bai Yi, didn’t you say that it was poisonous?” Woolf instantly said in shock.
“Keep quiet you idiot, I know more about food than you.” Bai Yi was really helpless in dealing with Woolf.
“Perhaps due to becoming a carnivorous plant, the nutrients in this green bean is much more abundant than in normal green beans, so it’s a decent source of nourishment.” Bai Yi swallowed the pea and concluded.
“Ok then, didn’t you want to vent? Come, pluck more green beans in addition to the sweet potatoes and Chinese toons. We can make quite a few dishes when we go back.” Bai Yi said to Woolf.
“Leave it to me!” Woolf nodded. At this time, Mavis also gestured that Woolf’s body was fine. Woolf immediately grabbed his greatsword and started going crazy. The vines that the three of them took effort to chop broke like pieces of paper in front of Woolf’s overwhelming strength.
Inside the beanstalk, Woolf saw a big pile of yet-to-be completely dissolved animal bones, and he suddenly felt another wave of fear.
This beanstalk was extremely huge, and they plucked about half of its green beans. Woolf had initially wanted to kill this beanstalk, but Bai Yi stopped him.
“There’s no need to destroy it completely. Overall, this beanstalk is a decent source of food. Now that all lifeforms in New Zealand have entered the Binging Phase, there definitely isn’t enough meat to go around. We need these fast-growing plants to support the entire New Zealand food chain. Just leave it here. If anybody else comes here after us they can get some food as well.” Bai Yi explained.
“If you say so, but I think the probability of people getting eaten by this beanstalk is greater!” Woolf jibed.
“Are you talking about yourself?” Heloise laughed and said.
“I was just careless, careless!” Woolf retorted meekly. Everyone immediately burst out laughing again, and started to look for containers to put the foodstuff in. During this period, the group of hummingbirds flew over again, but this time they only circled nearby for a while, then flew away.
When night fell, Bai Yi’s group finally returned back the school building. Seeing Bai Yi’s return, Momo and Sharpei both ran over excitedly.
Hong Qi Hua and the rest also came to help carry the foodstuff that Bai Yi’s group found, and everyone was surprised at the harvest they got. Such a big bag of green beans and sweet potatoes! Even if they were in the Binging Phase, it was enough to eat for two meals.
“Plants are also evolving. This beanstalk evolved into a carnivorous plant, so everyone needs to be even more careful. The New Zealand in the future will be even more dangerous.” Bai Yi reminded everyone.
Bai Yi only reminded them briefly, as by now everyone had already come to understand the danger they faced. Repeated reminders would just seem like nagging.
While Bai Yi’s group was gone, Hong Qi Hua and the rest didn’t laze around either. They found the school’s canteen, though the place was in a mess and there weren’t any foodstuff left to be found. However, cookware could still be found, and there was still some gas left as well. Overall, it would be quite a convenient place for them once they tidied it up a bit.
Everyone got in the cars and changed their location to the left side of the school, right beside the canteen.
Bai Yi, Heloise, and Sara started to cook a meal using the simple ingredients they’d found, while the rest of them tidied up their things and relaxed. Woolf was just as he always was, chattering noisily and bragging about his ‘battle accomplishments’. This included the great battle against the evil hummingbirds, and how he slayed the wicked beanstalk.
The two kids Little Warner and Momo let out gasps of shock from time to time listening to him, making Woolf feel very pleased with himself.
The rest of them saw Woolf showing off in front of the kids and did not expose him either. With the change in New Zealand, everyone had a lot of stress piled up in their hearts. If there wasn’t anything to relieve this stress, then it would crush them sooner or later. Fortunately, everyone was glad that the people in the team were all good people. No matter what the world turned into, they would definitely be able to stay strong and pull through!
“Food’s ready!” Bai Yi shouted at the bunch of people.
“En!” Momo and Sharpei reacted first, even at home these two were absolute gluttons. The two of them ran towards Bai Yi while the others smiled and followed behind them.
The lights were switched on, which was still all thanks to Otorohanga Middle School’s independent power generator and the aroma of the food wafted through the canteen. Although the facilities and tools were basic, Bai Yi was still a chef. Doing his best to let people eat delicious food was the job of a chef.
The group of them gathered around, eating delicious food and chatting with each other, carrying relaxed smiles on their faces.
People who could sit together and enjoy delicious food had always been true friends!