Since this area was the main source of stone for the tribe, surely there would be plenty of fine stones which could be easily made into tools. Naturally, totem warriors were privileged with the first choice of stones to be gathered, since it was their training ground. Afterward, the weaker people, including Shao Xuan, would have a chance to “pick up the leftovers”.
The phrase sounded quite demeaning, though it described the situation perfectly.
Normally, others in the tribe would “pick up the leftovers” upon the hours of dinner, when it was almost sunset. This was because only at that time would the majority of the warriors stop training and rest. However, in other times of a day, the training ground would become a rather dangerous place for those who had not awakened their totem power. The stray stones scattered by the smashing of the totem warriors’ fists against rocks were basically bullets for the vulnerable. Thankfully with Mai’s earlier instructions, it would be much easier and safer for Shao Xuan to reach the destination.
A fine stone could trade for a lot and Shao Xuan certainly did not intend to let the opportunity slip away.
Together with Caesar, Shao Xuan traveled the road which Mai pointed out earlier. While doing so, rumbling sounds came from the training hills, stones being shattered somewhere. From above, in the direction of alternate paths, much larger stones were rolling down the side of the mountain. It would be very risky if Shao Xuan were to have walked there in the instance that Mai had not informed him of the safe route.
Shao Xuan continued walking as he casually fixed his messy hair and shook off the stone chips caught onto his clothes.
The place Mai trained himself was close to the top of the hill. Since this was the totem warriors’ training ground, no gentle path had been excavated and it proved to be difficult to traverse. Shao Xuan’s arms, hands, and feet were bleeding when he finally reached the correct area.
The wounds did not concern Shao Xuan, for they would heal after a few days’ rest. It would all be worth it if he managed to find some fine stones.
It took a lot of strength to reach this place and Shao Xuan definitely would not have been able to climb the mountain if he hadn’t eaten breakfast this morning.
Stones of different sizes and various shapes were lying on the uneven ground, while on the opposite side of the cliff there were holes of different depths with traces of indentation at the edges of the rock face. Shao Xuan assumed that there must have been harder stones embedded in the holes he found before Mai dug them out and brought them back with him to make hunting tools out of. Hard and fine stones were not widely distributed in the mountains. In fact, they would be formed into clumps, with some of them on the surface of the mountain and some buried deep inside. Warriors could not tear up the mountain, so finding these fine stones would ultimately depend on their luck. This is why Shao Xuan earlier made the remark that Mai had good fortune when he returned.
Aside from the holes, there were fist and foot marks on the cliff. This was where Mai trained himself.
Totem warriors developed particularly hard fists. Shao Xuan would break his fist if he struck even the most vulnerable part of the cliff, while the stone would remain intact.
The hardest stones with suitable shape were already picked out by Mai. Mai aimed for those which consisted of advanced materials, but there were still some stones of an average quality left which Shao Xuan could use.
Without a second thought, Shao Xuan made Caesar responsible for surveillance, while he took his time to find stones which could be traded for food. He had to hurry before someone else arrived to rob him of his findings.
Shao Xuan picked up a long shard of stone. It was half a foot in length with an irregular shape and not particularly large or heavy. Shao Xuan knew that the quality of a stone did not depend on its weight. There were many types of stone present here that Shao Xuan hadn’t seen in his former life. Even employing common sense from his past life would prove to be useless in this world. All the knowledge Shao Xuan mastered was still new to him, he accumulated this from his experiences over the past six months. Unlike the experienced warriors, who could evaluate and grade a stone by its texture and appearance, Shao Xuan knew nothing of how to identify a stone’s quality for he had no rich experience in this field. So he utilized a primitive method in which he would find a stone of suitable shape to work on and use his stone knife to hack at it to see if it would leave a mark on the stone. Normally, the shallower the engraving, the better the quality of the stone.
Shao Xuan raised his knife high and struck the edge of the stone. After a loud crack, a slight mark was made on the stone. Shao Xuan was very delighted, for he identified that it could be made into arrow or spearhead. Stoneware armor smiths could decide what to make the stone into, all Shao Xuan needed to do was to find a good one and trade the stone in for food.
After placing the stone into his animal-skin bag, riddled with several holes, Shao Xuan planned to keep looking, however Caesar detected something abnormal.
Shao Xuan carefully moved towards Caesar and looked in the direction that he was indicating. There were three kids, about ten years old, stronger and taller than Shao Xuan.
Shao Xuan’s old acquaintances as well as old rivals, and they would always rob Shao Xuan of his belongings. Those three little bastards!
They were not from the “orphan cave”, but from families living in the mountain foot district. They would usually hang out together and began robbing Shao Xuan only a few days after Shao Xuan woke up in this world. At first, Shao Xuan did not change his mindset and often did things as he did in his last life. He would hold back to some extent even when he fought back. This mercy and kindness resulted in the loss of all his meat jerky that he worked so hard to find, and the scum beat the crap out of him.
Afterward, Shao Xuan understood the reality of the situation and adapted. It was just like the first day when he woke up in the cave and looked out to find children
fighting each other for food, with the eyes of wolves. Shao Xuan then changed his attitude towards them.
While recuperating, Shao Xuan had a profound reflection and after that decided he would no longer hold back when fighting with them. The rule within their tribe was no killing and no disabling. So no one would interfere if no one was killed or disabled. The residents of the mountain foot district were already used to this barbaric rule.
Shao Xuan did not know if the tribal people belonged to some kind of special race, they had strong healing abilities even though they looked similar to the people from his former life. A man could stand on his own feet again after a few day’s rest even after he was badly injured. After one or two months, his body would be as good as new. That was also the reason why people in their tribe did not care for fighting, for in their eyes, a fight for reasons such as this was merely a small issue that was far less important than finding food.
As for the three kids, Shao Xuan was neither as tall nor as strong as them and he was not as well-nourished as them. What could he use to compete? It requires a ruthless mind and a strong strategy to fight, especially when outnumbered.
Shao Xuan pressed down Caesar’s head a little, but Caesar was still showing his teeth fiercely towards the oncoming kids. Shao Xuan had to squeeze Caesar’s mouth and whisper, “Wait a second!”
Looking around, Shao Xuan chose a hidden place for the animal skin bag containing the stone he picked up. Then he quietly moved to the back side of the cliff and said to Caesar, “You must deal with ‘Ye’, okay? You know who ‘Ye’ is, yes?”
Some warrior had once said that most beasts living in the deep forests were quite smart, and the stupid ones would be even harder to train. Caesar belonged to the smart kind, and this would not be their first time working together. Even if Caesar got confused, it wouldn’t matter who he dealt with, for Shao Xuan had decided to handle the leading bastard called “Sai” himself, for it would be a lot easier once he knocked Sai down.
Caesar kept his body close to the ground and hid behind a giant boulder, this showed he understood Shao Xuan’s command.
It seemed that all wild beasts by nature are capable of stalking with stealth, pouncing fiercely and executing a fatal strike. Their instincts are aroused by hunting, even if one was a wolf brought up as a dog.
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