Chapter 3: The Source of the Thorns

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Digging like a ladder sideways downwards revealed that the sand, as in the game, would fall without support.

So, digging at an angle was pointless.

He thought the sand under his feet was so dense that it shouldn’t be like in the game.

There was no other choice but to dig vertically downwards, so at least the surrounding sand wouldn’t go into the center, and when he used a tool to dig the sand, everything turned into a sand cube next to it as well.

As for the hole at the top, the sand would definitely slide down and hit itself, so he took wood and recreated a simple wooden hatch.

After digging about twenty boxes, when there were no more sand cubes under his feet but hard sandstone, Rayne finally stopped digging and looked up towards the hole, which was already quite far away, hoping that the sand wolves wouldn’t find him.

The wolves were howling closer and closer, and their footsteps could be clearly heard near the mouth of the cave, and even the sound of claws scratching at the door.

Rayne was so nervous that he held his breath to keep from making a sound.

It wasn’t that he was a coward, if resources were plentiful and there were enough materials for weaponry to set traps, it would actually be possible to fight these beasts head-on.

The problem was that now, with nothing, there was really no way to rely on the small materials in his hands.

The sand wolf loitered overhead for a long time, finally leaving after three hours.

When the wolf howls and footsteps became more and more distant, Rayne did not dare to go out directly, but stayed hidden in the hole and waited quietly.

As expected, half an hour later came the sound of sand wolves prowling above again, and they hadn’t given up yet.

So, it was decided to stay underground for a while until he was sure it was safe.

With cactus meat to eat, he could satisfy his hunger and thirst a little, and since the he was already tired, he could take this opportunity to rest and refresh himself.

The sand wolves wandered around where Rayne had dug his hole until midnight, when there was nothing else to do they finally left.

After sleeping underground until dawn, Rayne felt very lonely up there, so he used the sand cubes stored in his virtual backpack to pad his feet and continued to jump back near the entrance of the pit, carefully opening the wooden hatch that had lost half of its durability and checking his surroundings.

Just in case, he also opened the virtual map to check the hostile red dots around him.

Having experienced the threat of sand worms and sand wolves had made him more cautious, knowing that this was not a game where one mistake could cost him his life.

Those wolves had indeed left, or at least were nowhere near him.

Confirming through the virtual map, he had unlocked three areas, the Desert of Despair, the Sandworm Territory and the Desert Wolf Den.

The Sandworm Territory was in the eastern part of the Desert of Despair and the Desert Wolf’s Den was in the northern part of the Desert of Despair, and he was right at the intersection of the three areas, having been chased by the sandworms yesterday and accidentally getting hit.

If he wanted to leave the desert, he had to follow the system instructions to the east.

But he didn’t want to enter the sandworm territory again, it was too scary there, and the terrifying giant sandworm could dig out of the ground at any time.

He also couldn’t stay in the desert wolves’ den; if the wolves returned, he wouldn’t be able to leave.

He could only head east from the Desert Wolf’s Den area to the misty area north of the sandworm territory and pray to be safer this way.

Exit the hole, grab the wooden hatch and run before the sandwolves appeared.

After nearly two hours of walking east, he finally entered a new area.

[You have entered the Source of Thorns!]

Some sea buckthorn trees could be seen in the distance, slightly greener compared to his current location.

Rayne quickened his pace, and the further he went, the more buckthorn trees he found.

Animals could even be seen running through the trees in the distance.

Rabbits, lizards, gerbils, elephants, and some unknown birds.

The gathering of so many animals means that there must be a water source near the buckthorn forest and this could be a desert oasis!

Of course, apart from these animals that can be seen, there could be other dangerous predators nearby, such as the herd of desert wolves seen earlier.

The other good news is that the terrain is slightly different from the Desert of Despair, although it is still sparse and real rocks can be found here.

If you have a rock, you can craft a stone knife.

With stone knives, you can craft basic defense weapons such as stone spears and stone arrows, as well as other basic props.

Rayne picks up all the stones he sees on the road and stores them in her virtual backpack.

Two stones can make a stone knife for cutting things, or a stone axe part for chopping, a stone splitter part for mining, a stone shovel part for digging, a stone hoe part for farming, etc. Adding twigs and rope would make a stone axe, stone crusher, stone shovel and stone hoe.

Of course, only one part can be used, but it is less efficient.

Rayne started by taking two stones to make a stone knife first.

It was actually two stones that were turned into the most basic stone tools by hammering them. Rayne had a system manufacturing function, and there was no need to master the actual manufacturing techniques of stone tools, as long as the blade was in full production progress, it could be done automatically.

After making the stone knife, he took out a long branch from her virtual backpack and processed it through the stone knife to make it into a wooden spear, obtaining the most basic defense weapon.

Then, take another long branch and roll it into a linen rope with 5 pieces of linen to instantly make a simple wooden bow.

Then use a stone knife with the branches to make some basic wooden arrows. With all the ranged and melee weapons, he has some resistance against ferocious beasts that might not always be able to fight back.

He can also hunt small animals for food.

Slinging his wooden bow on his body, Rayne entered the buckthorn forest with her wooden spear in hand, watching his surroundings and warning off predatory animals while chopping with his wooden axe to get more buckthorn wood, twigs, and seeds.

As expected, he found plenty of buckthorn berries on the way, which he could eat right away.

Sea buckthorn berries were so sour that Rayne tasted them lightly and considered using them as a condiment.

After gathering a few ingredients and waiting for his wooden axe to break, he continued his search for water.

Following the path of most animals, water sources were not hard to find.

In this hot desert area, the animals also have to drink constantly.

After a long walk, guided by the animals, Rayne finally found a waterhole near a buckthorn forest.

It wasn’t very big and the water was murky, but it was where all the animals gathered.

From an elevated position, he looked down and saw that in addition to a large number of herbivores, there were also lions, wolves, wild dogs, and, most frighteningly, two huge crocodiles, at least five meters long, swimming back and forth in the waterhole.

Totally unsafe!

This desert oasis was also very dangerous and too scary!

Nonetheless, Rayne had to go forward to fetch water.

He needed to drink water, and cactus meat alone wouldn’t be enough. He had to drink enough water if he didn’t want to die of thirst, and he had to fetch water in front of these animals!

But not just anything, he had to watch out for lions, wolves and wild dogs, and be careful to stay out of their hunting range.

He also had to watch out for two large crocodiles, which could easily swallow him with their mouths wide open.

Above all, it was important to establish a temporary settlement nearby before dark.

This side is all sandstone terrain and digging a basement is not a problem.

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