“What the fuck!!”
“This is the one from last time! It is! It must be the one! The two Thorn Black Winds down the mountain must have been called by it as well!”
Taking what happened down the mountain into consideration, now people had figured out some of the clues. However, they never expected that the beast they encountered last time would be so persistent!
In the past, they only knew that Thorn Black Winds had a stubborn character and were very territorial. To their surprise, it could also call for others’ help to take revenge. People always say that you may get stuck with an unwanted guest if you invite random ones into your home. Those two helpers down the mountain probably would just take the place by the pool.
To everyone’s surprise, the Thorn Black Wind from last time would rather lose its territory to get its vengeance!
“I knew it… I knew that it would not easily let go.” Qiao stared at the chaos and murmured depressedly.
During the last hunting mission, Ah-Fei was tagging along Mai’s hunting group together with another kid. They were brought to the mission by the other mid-level warriors. In accordance with the rules in the past, if the new guys were brought in by mid-level warriors, Mai would not reject their participation. The other teams did the same as well.
Later when they were hunting in that basin, Ah-Fei set his eyes on a baby Thorn Black Wind which came out during the daylight, alone. Perhaps its parent was sleeping by the pool, while the little one did not sleep. Out of curiosity, it came out during daylight, and chased a fox to somewhere far from that pool. Ah-Fei and the others found it there.
Compared with adult Thorn Black Winds, newly-born babies were of course easy to be dealt with.
In the tribe, newly-awakened warriors would wear the quarry they hunted during the last year in the next ritual ceremony on Snow Festival, to compete with each other. Even though the Shaman and the Chief did not include that into the ritual ceremony, it had gradually became a publicly recognized standard practice.
That was the problem.
Ah-Fei insisted on hunting down that baby Thorn Black Wind. With the help of a few other warriors, he succeeded in killing it, but just when they were skinning the little one, the big one came.
That’s when the trouble began.
The ferocious beast found its baby dead at the scene, no wonder it went crazy and chased after the killers as if it was the end of the world. Those few mid-level warriors guarding the kids could not fight against those endless attacks from a crazy adult Thorn Black Wind, so they shouted out for help. After quite a few warriors were injured, they finally managed to get rid of the big one. Also, Ah-Fei did not have the chance to take that baby Thorn Black Wind’s body, for the big one would still haunt them if they had took with them that little one’s body.
The two badly-injured warriors from last hunting mission were hurt during that incident. If Mai hadn’t arrived on time, they probably would have lost their lives.
The reason that they did not bring those kids from the last hunting mission except for Mao this time, was because they were worried similar incidents might happen. Shao Xuan was an exception, for Mai valued his ability and he wanted him to get used to the environment sooner. Also, Mai figured that Shao Xuan was sensible and obedient. So he brought him along in his hunting group. Hence why there were only two kids in the whole hunting team this time, and those two kids were both in the protection of his hunting group… If anything happened to them…
One was the kid that awakened early and had the Shaman’s favor; while the other was quite talented, being the son of the hunting team leader, and grandson of the Chief. It would be a great strike for the tribe if any of them died out there. If both of them died in the accident, they would not have the courage to go back to the tribe, for they would not be able to face the Shaman and the Chief.
“It racked its brain, just to get back at us by killing the kids in our group!” A warrior punched at the cliff angrily.
Last time, they killed its kid, and this time, it came after the human kids. It didn’t care about coming out of hiding during daylight, climb up the mountain and risk losing its territory doing so.
Indeed, you should never underestimate Ferocious Beasts.
“We should not have taken this road.” Mai was filled with regret in his heart, for somehow he had underestimated the Thorn Black Wind. There would’ve been new unknown dangers if they took a new route, but if he had anticipated such an incident, he would rather take those risks!
However, now there’s no time for regret. After examining all those marks and traces, people began to go up the mountain searching for the kids as separate smaller groups. It was dark at night, so searching was not easy, and they had to be aware of other threats at the same time.
Shao Xuan and Mao almost used all their energy to escape.
For Mao, even when he used his totem power and got a much better sight, he could not see the path clearly at night. The two crescent moons were totally blocked by a thick layer of clouds, and the surroundings were completely dark.
Shao Xuan went in the front and he asked Mao to follow his steps. At least they could avoid some pits and roots that way.
Stepping on someone’s footprints was a game played by kids in the tribe since their childhood. Children living up in the mountain liked to play it more, for their parents used that game as a pre-training for their kids. So moving forward on other’s footprints was not hard for them.
Now Mao was running after Shao Xuan, and most of the times he could step on Shao Xuan’s footprints precisely. When Shao Xuan jumped, he jumped, at the same angle and distance. When Shao Xuan took a left turn, he took the same left turn. He could estimate the terrain based on Shao Xuan’s footprints. It was a game he played since childhood, so of course he was quite familiar and skilled in that.
If observed in daylight, one would find that there were only a single person’s footprints and there were no trace of two people running.
Mao was filled with curiosity in his heart, for he did not understand why Shao Xuan had such a strong sense towards danger, and why Shao Xuan was able to tell where the pits were in such a dark environment. The mountain was rugged with a lot of pits; he could hear the noise made by that Thorn Black Wind when it fell into some hole. The sound appeared constantly, and now it became even more frequent than before. Mao even guessed perhaps Shao Xuan was running on terrible paths on purpose, just to trip the big guy up. However, he had not made a single mistake by following in Shao Xuan’s steps so far!
But, now it was not a good time to ponder.
When Shao Xuan was running up the mountain, there was not complete darkness in his sight. Instead, he could see a picture formed by the color of gray in different shades. He could see all the dents and convex rocks in his sight clearly, even when they were covered in snow.
At this time, Shao Xuan was truly glad that he had such an ability, or else they would’ve been caught up by the Thorn Black Wind in no time if they fell down constantly.
The snow layer beneath their feet was thicker and it almost reached their knees. It was colder as well and there were snowflakes in the air.
Shao Xuan felt that his face turned numb, and it became more and more difficult for them to run. If it weren’t for their totem power, they would’ve already had frozen limbs. However, the situation had to change, because it would be too late if they did not think about a solution before they got exhausted. One could not stay in that cold environment for too long.
Luckily, the Thorn Black Wind also slowed down on the chasing. Apparently, it was not used to ice and snow. The stalking silently that it was so famous for didn’t work anymore. If you paid attention, you could constantly hear the sound that it made when it stepped on the snow.
The distance between them grew and Shao Xuan gave up on running towards the mountaintop. Instead, he began to run around it. He had no other option. Running up might scare that Thorn Black Wind away, but there was a high chance that they might freeze to death.
Every time when they went up, they could clearly feel that the temperature dropped some more. Since the Thorn Black Wind obviously slowed down its speed and was frustrated with its movement, Shao Xuan certainly would not risk going higher even more.
Privately in his mind, Shao Xuan was a little relieved, for he assumed after running for a while, they could probably get rid of the monster behind.
However, Shao Xuan noticed there was something wrong after just a short breath. The big one suddenly speeded up and rushed towards them. The original distance decreased very quickly.
The Thorn Black Wind found the environment too nasty to adapt to, which made it want to retreat. It was not only cold here, the snow wouldn’t stop, and that made it sleepy. There was no grass, no tree, but there were lots of pits and holes! Sometimes when it stepped in a hole by mistake, it would fall into a pond of snow! All snow in the pond! It wanted to just run down the mountain because of that.
All the expanding thorns were now tightly attached to its body, to better isolate the coldness around. Its movement became far slower than before. It moved at half the speed and it dared not to pull out its tongue!
It did not expect the human kids were so cunning that they would run up the mountain. It was its first trip upwards, and it found the environment very nasty and annoying. No wonder others of its kind didn’t go up!
However, it felt reluctant to give up now. In here it was quite difficult for it to sense the smell. If he let those two kids go, it would probably lose them!
Can’t let them go!!
He didn’t know how to deal with those big ones, but it was determined to kill those two small ones, and then toss their bodies in front of those big ones!
Thinking about that, it increased its fury. Influenced by the excitement, the closed up thorns on its body were raising to start shaking again.
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