That was the only word that Sophie could use to describe the primal wilderness of the forest.
Gentle moonlight beamed down through the treetops and illuminated the plants beneath with a soft glow.
Small insects chirped loudly in the underbrush and Sophie's golden eyes could see their hidden burrows and nests.
It was important to conserve her qi reserves, so she was just travelling at a normal pace towards the treasure.
One could not assume that there was only one copy of the treasure map in the supplies and others might have already reached the location.
Sophie was fully prepared to engage in combat.
The Spider Whisper Art circulated automatically in Sophie's body, which gave her a source of seemingly boundless energy.
Sophie's movements became faster and faster until she was little more than a shadowy blur zipping through the night.
There were two blaster pistols strapped to her h.i.p.s securely while her remaining supplies were safely placed inside the backpack on her back.
"I wonder what the treasure is," Sophie mused to herself.
Could it be rare pills, weapons or even armour?
Sophie consulted the parchment once more and discovered that the waterfall was only five hundred meters away from her current location.
She slowed down her run and started to approach the area more cautiously while her pointed ears perked up to detect any strange noises.
Four hundred meters.
The overwhelming roar of the waterfall crashing into the rocks below was mixed with the panicked shouts of students.
Three hundred meters.
Sophie could now make out what the students were saying, and their words sent a small shiver down her spine.
"Get away from the third head!"
"HelpI think it bit my"
"Son of a bitchI'll kill you!"
Two hundred meters.
Sophie was having an internal conflict over whether or not to proceed in the direction of the treasure.
There were clear sounds of battle along with screams of pain and distinct golden lights that indicated the elimination of unlucky students.
Someone. or rather something was the cause of this ruckus.
One hundred meters.
Eventually curiosity won out over fear and Sophie decided to climb one of the trees to move above the battling students.
She would take a look at the situation and see if it were possible to fish for opportunities in these troubled waters.
The trees in the forest were quite sturdy so Sophie wrapped her arm around one of the branches before scaling rapidly upwards.
She hopped skillfully from branch to branch without making a sound before she came to the entrance of a clearing.
There was a medium sized waterfall that flowed down a steep cliff into a deep blue pool of water below.
Strangely enough, the water did not form a river but just poured into the hole where the water level never rose.
It was like the pool was some sort of bottomless pit.
Over sixty students were scattered around the pool of water that formed under the waterfall with varying expressions of fear or excitement.
The numerous equipment that lay uncontested on the ground indicated that the numbers had once been even higher.
It appeared that not everyone had formed teams as the solo students were on the outskirts of the clearing.
Sophie frowned in puzzlement as there seemed to be no visible signs of conflict between the students and everyone was just staring intently at the waterfall.
"Everyone stay on guard!" yelled one of the students leading a squad.
On guard? On guard against what?
An enormous jet of water sprouted into the air from the pool and rose several feet above the ground.
A monstrous beast emerged from the pool with fearsome momentum and immediately lunged forward and swallowed five students.
"What the" Sophie could only trail off in shock at the creature before her eyes.
The monster was serpentine in nature with a long and slender body that was the size of a two-story building.
Three snake heads were attached at the neck with each having their own special characteristics.
The left head resembled a viper's with blue fangs that cooled the air into frosty wisps of gas. Sophie watched as it bit one the students and caused his body to turn into an icicle.
What was terrifying was the fact that he had died before the barrier device had activated!
The head on the right resembled a cobra's with purplish- yellow fangs that gave off small sparks of lightning.
It appeared to the most aggressive of the three heads and grabbed students in its mouth before swallowing them whole.
Sophie could not tell if this act allowed them to survive before the barrier activated or caused their death in the digestive tract.
The middle head seemed to be the most passive one and just hung back while watching the other two attack the students with an expression of disdain.
It's appearance was similar to that of a garter snake with fangs that were bright red in colour and caused the temperature around them to significantly increase.
In ordinary years, a beast of this power level would not have been allowed inside the testing grounds of the university exam.
But the recent increased ambition of the higher uppers in the military advocated successfully for the students to be exposed to more danger in the exam.
It was to be a trial of fire to weed out the weak and cause the strongest to survive.
There were a total of twenty such danger zones hidden on the planet and the monitoring team aboard the starship watched each carefully.
Certain students were not allowed to die so the barrier devices would be remotely activated in a life or death situation to avoid backlash from their powerful families.
Ordinary participants would not be afforded this luxury.
"Run! Run while you still can!"
Who knows which students started the first call to retreat but several abandoned the notion of fighting the monster and fled away from the clearing.
The numbers dwindled down to only a few brave teams that were eager to see what sort of treasure was hidden behind the guardian beast.
The snake-like beast was in no means invulnerable and the attacks of the students had caused small wounds to form around its body.
With each cracked scale, the remaining students fought even harder than before.
Sophie's figure was well hidden in one of the trees as numerous thoughts raced across her head.
Her mind seemed to be split into two vastly different courses of actions.
One part of her wanted to flee the scene immediately while the other side of her wanted to.
Sophie pressed her fingertips on her temples in pain as her eyes shifted from their golden hue into the blood red tinge.
"Ahh!!!" came an anguished scream.
A dark shadow fell above the tree that Sophie was hiding in and she could see the middle head ignoring all the other students and staring directly at her.
Sophie's predatory eyes gleamed back in the darkness as her perfect night vision saw a student only fifty meters in front of her being ripped into two separate pieces.
Meanwhile the creature hissed softly and moved slowly towards her location.
The three headed creature had only a basic sense of intelligence but could sense a bloodline threat from the two-legged human hiding in the tree.
It was an instinctual urge to flee from this human that caused the creature to treat Sophie as a threat to be eradicated.
Sophie bent her knees in preparation to meet the challenge while her fangs extended outwards while giving off a menacing air.
A few students noticed that the beast was now distracted and fired off surprise attacks which cracked some more scales.
Green blood oozed out from the wounds.
The snake-like monster roared in pain and all three heads swiveled around briefly to bite the nearest couple of humans before turning back to face its formidable enemy.
The beast sniffed the air in confusion a few times but could not detect any traces of the two-legged girl who was just in front of its eyes.
Sophie had long since fled in the opposite direction.
What challenge? What love of treasure? What hunger?
I just freaking saw that monster slice a student in half and the swallow a few others whole.
This young miss has fully mastered the great Dao of Running Away!