Chapter 242

Chapter 242

“Forest, dessert and now, rolling plains? We really are going for a theme with this platform aren’t we?” Arthur grumbled to himself as he sat at the edge of the platform he’d just ascended. He wasn’t hanging his feet over, rather facing inwards as he cycled his breath and pulled at the energy surrounding him, cultivating the energy to restore his stores while he cooled down.

The plains were significantly cooler than the desert he had most recently traversed, though without shade he knew he would dehydrate eventually. One of the first courses of action then, while he was relaxing, was figuring out if there was a stream here.

Plains generally meant water, though whether the platform bothered with such simple logic, he had no idea. Thus far, he had yet to pick anything out. The waving long strands of grass and the gently rolling hills hid a lot though, so he wasn’t exactly surprised.

At the same time, while waiting, he kept an eye out for trouble. The first few platforms rarely had aerial attackers. In fact, overall, the floor had few enough of those creatures that he, for the most part, ignored scanning the sky. More importantly, he had to try to recall what kind of monsters were in the plains. No helpful rhyme this time, or at least, no single one. There were at least a dozen that Arthur could recall off the top of his head, with minor variations, the plains and savannah’s being close enough that he often got them mixed up too.

“Deer maybe?” Arthur shrugged. How dangerous could a bunch of herbivores be? Sure, there might be some concern with the number involved; but so long as they didn’t attack him, he would leave them alone. From what he recalled, the various deer and deer-like animals were considered relatively safe, just requiring the tower climber to go around them.

Not an issue.

Feeling another slice of energy bubble upwards, Arthur called out the first part of his screen just to check. He could, of course, just feel the level of energy within him; but it was a lot simpler to use the screen when he had the time. It also helped him get a better feel of what he was actually feeling, rather than just relying on his senses.


Cultivation Speed: 2.474 Yin
Energy Pool: 14/24 (Yin)
Refinement Speed: 0.1421
Refined Energy: 0.181 (29)


Problem with all these brightly lit areas, he was having trouble pulling in new points. Th fifteen minutes he’d been seated, getting his breathing back under control and cooling down while cultivating had only seen a single point being added to his energy pool.

Of course, he also had a much larger pool than he had started with, but it did mean that he’d need a break. Hopefully, when the biome changed on the next platform, he’d find a place with a little more Yin energy.

Discarding the thoughts for now and corking the half-empty water bottle, he struck out for the nearest hill. It was foolish to outline himself on the top, especially against intelligent enemies, but the higher vantage point would give him a chance to spot a water source.

Anyway, it was really unlikely he’d meet anything too intelligent. Not just yet at least.

It took him three hills and nearly an hour of walking before he spotted what he had expected. He was, at a rough guess, about another three hours away from the edge of the platform; an easy walk which would put him into early evening. A small concern, especially as he was tired already; but at least he could see in the dark unlike others.

In the meantime, the pool of water running to the east – assuming forward was north – was exactly what he needed. He probably wouldn’t use the pool itself for his water, but it had to have a source and that would work well enough.

It was when he had managed to make his way down into the bottom of the rolling gully when they attacked. Of course, the numerous holes throughout the ground was clue enough about the kind of monsters he could expect in these lower areas, and so when they came dashing out; all tiny fur bodies edged with metal; he was ready.

The clash of his spear head with metal fur sent a shock through Arthur’s hands, his spear point skidding a good inch before it finally caught in a fold of skin and muscle. The blade slid within with ease after that, passing through gaps in the metallic fur, leaving the groundhog squealing and dying.

“Cute and evil.” Arthur snorted and flicked the blade sideways to knock another creature off course as he hopped forward, careful of his footing to dodge a couple. He hated these swarm attackers, though at least after he dispatched another four with only minor lacerations on his leg – and even more damage to his trousers – the rest fled.

Recalling the warnings from the past, Arthur made sure to grab the bodies and head up the hill, depositing them there first before he attempted to skin the creatures. The largest mistake newbies made was skinning in the midst of the holes, where the groundhogs would wait till the climber was distracted before launching their attacks again.

Not particularly nice, but effective.

Pocketing the stones, Arthur returned to making his way to the water, edging around the warrens when he could and dealing with he monsters. Dispatching the metal-furred groundhogs grew harder as his weapon was blunted with each clash.

“Going to have to sharpen this…” he grunted, testing the edge with his thumb as he finished the ascent for the last hill before reaching the water source.

Of course, as any hunter could tell you, water sources were a great place for animals to gather. Both a boon and a problem, since predators had a tendency to hang near such sources.

In this case, he didn’t see any – unless they lurked in the water itself – but Arthur did spot another problem.

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Climbing the Ranks is a LitRPG cultivation novel by Tao Wong that publishes serially on Starlit Publishing. While the whole novel will be free to read, you can purchase a membership to receive chapters weeks in advance of the public release.

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