After Lang Ga and the others left, Mao nervously walked back and forth in the cave. After pacing for a while, he rubbed his head in frustration, because he still didn’t know what to do. He looked around to find something to distract him, and noticed Shao Xuan was sitting on a straw mat behind him, cross-legged, staring blankly.
“Hey, there!” Mao shouted at his direction, “How can you not be worried?”
Mao had no good feelings about Shao Xuan, but it was not the time to turn every personal grudge into a battle, let alone that there were only two of them in the cave right now. Without someone to talk to, he would feel extremely worried, and he assumed that he would feel better if he had something to do or could chat with someone.
Shao Xuan looked up at him and said, “Would it help them if I worry? For people like you and I, we would be asking for death if we go out, because we would become targets before we could get close enough to that beast. Should we go out and be their burden?”
“Have I said anything about going out?” Mao shouted angrily. Even though he did want to go out and see what was happening, he felt embarrassed since Shao Xuan just poked holes in his thoughts and laid out the flaws plainly.
“So if we’re not going out, what’s your plan?” As he finished the question, Shao Xuan pointed to those meat chunks that Lang Ga chopped, yet did not have the time to roast, “Instead of worrying and doing nothing, you’d be better off roasting the meat.”
“No!” Mao was furious, seeing Shao Xuan behaving that way. He felt that Shao Xuan was a heartless person, and Mai and the others had all given him kindness for nothing.
Shao Xuan did not continue to pay attention to Mao, but in fact, deep down in his heart, he was not as calm as he seemed. He knew that something was happening, so he felt frustrated that his hands were tied and there was nothing he could do to help.
There was a small bow beside Shao Xuan that Lang Ga made, which had vines twined tightly together. The rope used as a bowstring had been soaked with animal blood and some kind of grass extract. It was pretty firm and durable, and the smell of grass perfectly covered up the smell of blood. So it was quite difficult to be discovered when hidden in the grass or trees, since it just smelled like plants. Although these kinds of bows were not very lethal to the beasts in this forest, they were very effective when used to drive animals in a certain direction. Earlier today, Lang Ga used those bows and traps to drive the little wild boar in Shao Xuan and Mao’s direction.
It was such a pity that these bows were too small, and that there weren’t sufficient materials to make stronger bows and arrows which could bear the erupted strength of a totem warrior. Ground bows, narrow spaces, traps, all these things had little effect on large-sized animals or Ferocious Beasts, so most of the time, hunting relied on human skill.
Shao Xuan sighed silently. He wondered how Mai and the others were, and secretly hoped that this time there would be no casualties…
Hunting was filled with risks. One second it would be calm and peaceful, yet a second later one could be standing on the edge of a cliff, and might accidentally fall into the abyss, with no remains to be found.
Compared to that, life inside the tribe was cozy.
No wonder that old Ke had said that one should definitely enter the woods if he wanted to accomplish something. Living inside the tribe would never provide you with such pressure. However, in the forest, the cruel law of nature was “kill or be killed”, and you had to constantly fight for survival.
In this place, ferocious beasts outnumbered humans by a lot, and it was extremely hard if one wanted to obtain food and survive in this dangerous forest based on his his own strength. Indeed, warriors from the tribe had their own special skills, but it was rare for a single warrior to be hunting alone in the depths of the forest. Individuals could only survive using teamwork and relying on each others’ strengths. For example, when they were dealing with the four-fanged wild boar together earlier, and now when they are fighting against the Thorn Black Wind together.
Becoming an experienced hunter from a new warrior was a long and arduous path.
Shao Xuan decided to stop thinking about this, for he knew it was not helpful at all. He cut off a small piece of meat from one of the bloody meat chunks beside him, and pierced a little hole through it with a stone spear. Then, Shao Xuan skewered that meat with a half-meter long stick and began to roast it above the fire. After searing the outer layer, Shao Xuan put the stick higher above the fire to prevent the meat oil from leaking out.
Mao walked in circles, attempting to alleviate the anxiety he was feeling due to not know what to do. As he looked in Shao Xuan’s direction, he asked in a bitter tone, “What are you doing now? Roasting the meat to eat by yourself?”
If he was roasting the meat for the hunting team’s later use, he would not have roasted just a small piece of it. However, judging from Shao Xuan’s actions, he obviously cut off such a small part of it to eat himself!
“Yes.” Shao Xuan answered slightly. He was indeed a little hungry, and he felt that the energy he got from the last piece of meat he ate had already been used up. Since they had nothing to do for now, he chose to stuff himself first, since man can’t do anything on an empty stomach
Mao’s face twitched. He was still a little stuffed at the moment. Earlier, when they ate two pieces of meat of the same size, Mai had calculated the amount they could eat safely to avoid indigestion. If he did not move much, he wouldn’t need to eat for the rest of the day. However, Shao Xuan was roasting a piece of meat again!
“You should stuff yourself to death!” Mao said with resentment.
Shao Xuan ignored Mao’s comment, but he did feel hungry despite not having done much.
By the time Shao Xuan finished roasting the meat, Mai and the others hadn’t returned yet. After he finished eating the second piece of meat, the feeling of warmth and drowsiness hit him again. Originally he had planned to wait for Mai and the other warriors to come back, but with his eyelids’ getting heavier and heavier, he felt that his brain was full of chaos. Shao Xuan could not resist the sleep anymore, so he said to Mao, who was still walking in circles by the entrance, “I need to get some sleep now. Wake me up if anything abnormal happens. Do not go out by yourself.”
Seeing that Shao Xuan was about to go to sleep, Mao became even more furious. He pointed at Shao Xuan with his finger and tried hard to ease his pounding heart. He could teach him a lesson by fighting, but eventually, he calmed down.
While Shao Xuan was sleeping soundly, Mao kept on pacing. After pacing for a while, the meat he ate before was digested some more, causing Mao to feel sleepy too. Mai and the others still hadn’t returned, and he could not go out. With no other options, he laid down by Shao Xuan’s side and fell into a deep sleep while still worried.
It grew darker outside, and the sun was about to set. There were only slight traces of lights on the mountains remaining, and they were fading away.
The noisy forest slowly quieted down. Almost all the diurnal animals returned to their shelters, while nocturnal animals began to come out.
In the meantime, Mai and the others were pretty upset for being blocked down at the mountain foot.
Normally, Thorn Black Winds had a strong sense of territory, and only one Thorn Black Wind would live in a certain region. There was only one lake down at the mountain foot area, and the surroundings of the pool would be considered by a Thorn Black Wind as its own territory. So in principle, there should be only one Thorn Black Wind here, and they had encountered an adult Thorn Black Wind during the last hunting mission.
However, now, there were two adult Thorn Black Winds blocking their way!
Lang Ga and the other four warriors lowered the pressure when they joined them. They even brought some herbs from the cave on the mountainside. Some of the herbs were used to treat wounds, while others could be used to deal with the Thorn Black Wind. The mixed herbs from the Shaman smelled terrible, slowing down the Thorn Black Wind’s attacks.
Faced with two Thorn Black Winds, the thirty-person hunting group was still at a disadvantage. Luckily, those two Thorn Black Winds could not deal with them either. So most of the time, these beasts would only watch them from afar, but they would go and stop anyone who attempted to run up the mountainside.
“Mai, I feel like something’s wrong!” Qiao, back to back with Mai, stared at that Thorn Black Wind hiding behind a few trees afar and said in a hurry.
“You almost chopped down the tail of the Thorn Black Wind last time. But based on my observation, none of these two’s tails have any wounds.”
During the last hunting mission, Mai’s hunting group spared no efforts and they at last drove that crazy Thorn Black Wind away. Mai had even almost chopped off its tail.
The wound should have been near the tip of its tail, and it had been only thirty days since it was inflicted. Even if Thorn Black Winds had the ability to recover quickly, it was still not possible for there to be no mark at all. However, these two Thorn Black Winds clearly had no traces of wounds on their tails at all!
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