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Chronicles of Primordial Wars

Chapter 112 - The Rat Wood

Translated by Lesyt Team: Sunyancai
Edited by Ilesyt


From the mountaintop until they finally stepped out of the region of the tribe, Caesar received much attention.

When they were walking down along the Path of Glory, people on both sides almost all fixed their attention on Caesar.

Why was the wolf accompanying the hunting team?

Were they out of their damn mind?!

Such an abnormal thing would totally keep people talking about it for a long time in the tribe.

During Shao Xuan’s first hunting mission, Lang Ga told him that his only task would be to “keep up”. He would not need to do anything else, except for keeping up with the team. Hence, now, the first challenge that Caesar faced was also the same, to keep up.

When people in the tribe first went into the wild for hunting, they would depend on their trainings and guidances from their predecessors. However, when Caesar stepped into the wild, he would more rely on his animal instinct.

According to that instinct, Caesar did not fear or flinch, facing all unfamiliar surroundings. Instead, he became more and more excited.

Even though he had been “locked up” in the tribe for almost two years, for he grew up in the tribe, his wild nature got aroused, more or less, when he entered the forest. In the wild, Caesar was running like a gust of wind. If it weren’t for the hunting team’s rules, he would totally howl or something.

At first, Caesar was very curious about the surroundings, and kept sniffing around. However, after he had been warned by Shao Xuan a few times, he began to keep his curiosity under control. Under the command of his instinct, he closely followed the hunting team, and did not drag the group.

Sometimes, people in the hunting group were travelling on the tree branches. Caesar couldn’t get on the trees, so he ran down on the ground beneath all the branches. When in bright places, he would subconsciously slow down a little bit, but in the darker places, he sped up in running. Those were some natural instincts hiding in Caesar’s blood. While he was in the tribe, the nature didn’t come out, but it became quite obvious when he entered the wild.

Seeing that Caesar was not left behind, nor was he acting abnormally, people in the hunting group became much relieved. In the middle of their journey, Caesar even managed to lure away a big wild beast from the hunting group, and then easily headed back when he ditched it.

After traveling over a mountain, they reached the first location. They would go hunting early in the morning after a night’s rest.

When heading down the mountain, Lang Ga said to Shao Xuan, “You keep an eye on Caesar, Ah-Xuan. There are a lot of traps in this neighborhood. Watch out, so he doesn’t step into one…”

Before he could finish the sentence, Lang Ga saw Caesar walking into the area of numerous traps, sniffing around. He seemed to be wandering around, but he successfully avoided all the traps.

People in the hunting group slowed down a little to watch him.

In fact, there were very few ferocious beasts around the mountaintop. Setting traps here was mainly to defend themselves. If any big beasts or ferocious beasts chased after them till here, they could use the traps to fight back.

However now, Caesar was taking a walk in there, without a single sound of traps being triggered.

Was that a coincidence?

It shouldn’t be. Caesar was walking in a field of traps, and they were nothing to joke about at all. However, up to now, no trap was triggered.

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People looked at Lang Ga instead. Lang Ga blushed, and his eyebrows twitched a little as well. Obviously, the current situation was far beyond his expectations.

“I’ve taught him something about identifying traps, and we had done many practices in that field.” Shao Xuan said calmly. He had long predicted that those traps wouldn’t be threatening to Caesar. While they were in the tribe, training on how to avoid traps was a compulsory course to Caesar, every single day.

“So…it…it can avoid traps?” Lang Ga swallowed, for he found the truth hard to accept.

If even animals could learn how to avoid traps, then what’s the meaning of setting traps? To entertain people?

“I will alter and upgrade all the traps in the afternoon when we get back!” Lang Ga said seriously. He did not pay much attention on those traps in that area, for there was a low chance that they would used during the whole year. Every time when they came to the first location, all he would do was to check on the traps to make sure they were still effective, and to check whether there were little animals who had stepped into them by accident.

Mai found Lang Ga’s reaction very interesting, “Fine, animals know it’s important to learn things. You need to be more careful about the skill you got, Lang Ga.”

When heading down the mountain, Caesar didn’t wander away from Shao Xuan to go on his own little trips. Instead, he kept close with Shao Xuan, guarding against the surroundings.

Last year, three thorn black winds had been wiped off from this mountain, but other ferocious beasts would have entered this place and set their homes. So, they couldn’t be too careful.

“There’s a hole, Mai!” Ang, who was in charge of the vanguard, whispered.

All the others were thrilled by Ang’s report.

“Where is it?!” After confirming that there was no ferocious beast around, the crowd quickly gathered around Ang.

Shao Xuan approached as well with Caesar. He saw Ang push aside some knee-deep grass, and then reveal a middle-sized hole on the ground.

“They came out!” Ang said with excitement.

The “they” that Ang was referring to was some green rodent. Hunting warriors called it the “grass rat”, for they looked like a ball of green grass. Their fur was in the color of green, and it was quite thick, just like grass. When they stayed still in the grass, they would be very difficult for the warriors to spot. Both in the day and at night, they would come out for food and mating.

The reason why people in the hunting group were so excited was that in such seasons, a special plant would grow on the bodies of grass rats – the rat wood.

The rat wood was a kind of parasitic plant, and its parasitic phase was in its premature stage. The seeds of rat wood looked quite similar to some nuts that the grass rats loved to eat. Every year before winter came, grass rats would travel a lot to almost everywhere in the mountain to collect food, and then store the food in their holes that could be meters deep. When they had plenty of food and other supply, they would hide in their holes for the whole winter, eating and shitting.

However, the basin down here had a different climate from the climate on the other side of the mountain. No snow would fall, and the temperature was not that low. Even so, the grass rats living in this area retained their habit of hibernation.

When it was almost wintertime on the other side of the mountain, the grass rats in the basin would start storing food and go back to their holes to prepare for winter. In the whole cold season, they would spend most of their time sleeping. In the gaps of sleeping, they would go to their “basement” for food, and then fall asleep again.

The seeds of rat wood would start sprouting after they were eaten by grass rats. Some days later, they would burgeon out from the skin of grass rats, and grow into some little plants that looked similar with their fur. All the energy that rat wood needed would be from the grass rats themselves. Since they lived underground, there was no sunshine.

After a whole winter’s growth, when the season ended, grass rats would come out from their holes again, and the rat wood seedlings would be strong enough to start their own journey. When it was ready, the seedling would dislocate from the grass rat, and begin to lignify and grow. That would usually happen within fifty days after the winter ended.

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Shao Xuan had seen the rat wood in the forest, and they were large. It was hard to imagine that all those great trees started their life journey on the skin of grass rats.

Rat wood, before lignifying, was very beneficial if people ate it. Kids who ate the seedlings of rat wood would have a much stronger physique, and would be awakened at an earlier time. Of course, quantity also mattered in such a situation. The more you ate, the more effective it would be. Even if they didn’t awaken earlier, it could help build one’s physique.

Many warriors in their hunting group had non-awakened kids back at home. For them, their kids awakening earlier meant one more warrior in the family who could participate in hunting missions one year earlier. There would be more food as well. In the meantime, for those who had already been awakened, the seedlings of rat wood could help with detoxification. It was even more effective than the mixed herbs that they used normally.

People up in the mountain side or mountaintop surely did not care for that plant, but for people living down in the mountain foot area, the rat wood’s seedling could be very appealing.

The difficult thing was that grass rats were tough to catch. They were too good at concealments, and once they left their holes, they would be no where to find. Also, one hole might have more than one entrance. If you guarded by one entrance, it might just as well exit through another entrance, unless you blocked all the entrances of the cave. The second thing was that, timing was crucial. If the seedling of rat wood dislocated from the grass rat, then it would be of no use.

Mai took a close look at the entrance, and said calmly, “Judging from the soil, it should have already been half a day since they came out.”

Hearing that it had already been half a day, people immediately became less excited. How could anyone find them when they had been wandering around for half a day?

“Can Caesar help us find them?” Ang glimpsed at Caesar and asked Shao Xuan.

“We can give it a shot.” Said Shao Xuan.

At his words, the crowd became excited again.

“Can it really help?”

“How would it do that? The wolf has never seen a grass rat!”

“Okay, okay, we just let Caesar try it first.” Mai stopped the others from asking all those questions. The two kids in his family had already been awakened, so he did not need the seedlings for his kids anymore. However, due to its detoxication effect, it was worth trying to find them.

Under Shao Xuan’s command, Caesar went to the entrance of the hole to sniff, and then walked around the hole. He seemed to have confirmed something. Although Caesar had never seen a grass rat in his life, he identified its smell around the hole.

Caesar walked towards a direction, and then looked back at Shao Xuan.

“They should be over there, uncle Mai.” Said Shao Xuan.

“Follow!”

People followed Caesar’s pace. They were not fast, and sometimes when there were ferocious beasts lingering around, Caesar would give a warning.

Caesar seemed to be quite excited while tracking. With him speeding up, Shao Xuan knew that they were getting close to the grass rats.

Whoosh!

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Caesar shot out like an arrow, and jumped high to leap over a row of bushes, and drilled into a pile of grass that was even higher than a human.

“Caesar!” Shao Xuan was a little worried. He was afraid that Caesar might have become too excited, so that he might ignore some dangers hiding behind the grass.

The grass was dense, and no one could see what was hiding inside, or know what was happening inside. After Caesar rushed into it, there was a hasty rustling.

“Squeak!”

Soon enough, Caesar jumped out from the bushes again.

Seeing Caesar, people’s tense muscles loosened up a little bit. But quickly, their focus was on the green fuzzy ball that Caesar was carrying in his mouth.

“It’s a grass rat!”

“Quick, quick! Ah-Xuan, check the grass rat, see if there’s still a rat wood on its body!”

All the warriors were very excited.

Caesar held the grass rat between his lips, but he did not kill it or even wound it.

Shao Xuan took over the grass rat from Caesar’s mouth. If it weren’t for the green fur, the grass rat would only be the size of two fists. However, with the green fur, it grew three times bigger than its original size.

Weighing the grass rat in his hands, Shao Xuan could feel that it was a bony one. Perhaps it was only that skinny because of the rat wood’s parasitism.

He did not see any bald spots on its body. After a careful search, Shao Xuan laid his eyes on a special “fur” that was a little thicker than the others. He put his stone knife back on his waist, and grabbed the “fur” with his bare hands to check near the root of the green “fur”. There was a thin lignified circle. Shao Xuan was positive, “It’s still there!”

He passed the grass rat to another warrior besides him, so that the other warrior could cut down that fur-liked green seedling of rat wood, and then he looked around.

When Caesar was digging into the grass, he got some creepy feelings. Luckily, Caesar came out soon. However now, the creepy feeling grew even stronger instead of fading away.

Glimpsing at Caesar, he noticed that the wolf’s hairs were standing on ends, even though a moment earlier, he was excited with the grass rat.

“Uncle Mai!” Shao Xuan shouted out in a low voice.

Mai was watching his men cutting off the rat wood. Seeing Shao Xuan behaving like that, Mai realized that something was wrong, and he immediately made a gesture to the others with his hand.

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