A herd of giant-antlered deers was wandering along a stream, while some predator’s movements nearby was making them anxious.
About a few hundred meters away from the herd, Shao Xuan hid himself behind some dense branches as he stood on a tall tree. He looked in the deers’ direction through the leaves.
It was the fifth day since they came out for hunting, and since they had hunted enough game already around their first location, Mai planned to take the hunting group to head to the second location.
The second location was located at the other side of the basin, so they had to go through the basin and then climb over yet another mountain to reach it. With Shao Xuan and Mao tagging along with the hunting group, Mai did not intend to move straight through the basin. Instead, Mai told the group to march along the basin’s edge. The distance was longer this way, but it was not as dangerous as walking straight through.
During their journey, the group encountered a large herd of giant-antlered deers, with a pack of wolves following them. Mai commanded the others to hide themselves first and then asked Shao Xuan to observe the wolves in the forest. Shao Xuan kept a wolf himself, and Mai was worried that he hadn’t seen a real wolf in the wild. In fact, Caesar was not considered a real wolf in most of warriors’ eyes, so he would hate it if Shao Xuan’s impression of wolves was based on Caesar’s tame behaviour.
However, Mai and the others actually worried for nothing. Of course Shao Xuan knew what wolves were like in the wild, or else he wouldn’t be treating Caesar as a dog.
But the wolves here were much stronger than the wolves that Shao Xuan had seen in his last life. They had stronger muscles and were very destructive. Judging from their head and jaws, one could tell that they had much more force in their bites. In fact, they would hunt for giant preys that were much bigger than themselves in sizes.
Now those wolves were just lurking around, for before any action, they had to assess the risk first.
“They prefer to avoid the deers with bigger antlers, like those ones.” Mai pointed some out for Shao Xuan.
Among the herd of the giant-antlered deer, there were a lot of male deer with big antlers, some of which had really unique antlers. Unlike other deer, their antlers were not like branches that stretched out, but forked out backwards several times covering their whole bodies. Those were extremely difficult to deal with.
Shao Xuan had seen similar antlers in the tribe, for some people were wearing those when attending the ritual ceremony.
“It’s going to happen!” Lang Ga said in a low voice as he squatted on the tree beside them. He was quite excited. In fact, Lang Ga became excited every time he saw a pack of wolves hunting together. He thought that he could learn a lot from their hunting skills and fighting.
“The best way to hunt down herd creatures like the giant-antlered deer is to make them run.” Mai whispered.
Shao Xuan looked at the wolves and noticed that at first the wolves were just like taking a stroll, but then they gradually split up and slowly approached the deer herd. Some of the wolves even tried to intimidate the deers on the edge.
Because of the approaching wolf pack, the deer herd began to panic, and quickly there was chaos in the herd from the wolves’ threat. The deers began to run, and some of them even headed in different directions.
The wolves separated as they chased after the giant-antlered deer herd, searching for suitable targets.
“Baby deers would be protected in the center of the herd, with strong and big individuals protecting them. Normally, the wolf pack would not try to hunt them down. But as for those who ran towards different directions, it was pretty easy for the wolves to pick out those wounded or old ones. Once those weak or the wounded ones were spotted, all wolves would give up chasing after the others, and focus on those less-abled ones.” Mai pointed at the running wolves and explained to Shao Xuan. After some hesitation, he added, “So even if you are wounded, you should never show your weakness in front of them. Also, never show the pack your back, which is too dangerous.”
Shao Xuan had not found out which of the deers were the less-abled ones, but one of the wolves suddenly sped up and chased after one particular deer. Soon, six or seven wolves joined the chase, as the time went by, more and more wolves joined the chase.
The biggest and strongest wolf among the pack should be the leader, and it was the one that started the attack.
However, it was a shame that because of the help from some other deers, their prey finally slipped away.
“They won’t give up without a prey.” Lang Ga was positive.
At that end, the wolves came back together soon after the failure. Perhaps they were in tumult because of the failure in hunting this time. However, the chaos soon calmed down by the leader. It howled at the sky and Shao Xuan felt that it must be increasing the morale.
Soon, the wolf pack started yet another attack towards the deer herd.
One wolf focused on an old deer, while the others quickly joined in.
With last time’s experience and the lesson that they learnt, this time they chased the deer to an empty ground and separated it from the herd. So it fell into a situation of isolation and helplessness.
Seeing such a crazy chase, and even though he was looking from quite a distance, and was already mentally prepared, Shao Xuan was still deeply shocked.
Perhaps the biggest fear for the prey was to encounter such well-organized predators with ferocious eyes, and being chased after by a group of them.
The leader was rushing in the front of the pack, and it suddenly pounced at the deer’s back when it got near. The sharp teeth pierced through the deer’s skin, and its big body, which was even larger than most normal wolves, directly slammed on the deer like a hammer.
Although the old giant-antlered deer was a few times bigger than the wolf’s leader, it staggered from the pounce and almost fell down to the ground. It was just a beginning. After the leader wolf, soon other wolves in the pack began to attack as well. Their teeth went through its skin and pierced its muscles.
The giant-antlered deer that was besieged almost became a “wolf-hanger”. Finally, it slowed down and fell, but its body did not stop struggling until its last breath.
Maybe a wolf alone was not lethal at all, but dozens of the terrifying predators combined were a real danger. Because of such hunting tactics, they were able to scare off most of the predators in this region.
“Sometimes I would rather confront ferocious beasts like the Thorn Black Wind, than face a pack of wolves.” Some warrior in the hunting group said.
“Luckily, Thorn Black Winds prefer to live alone. Even if they united temporarily, they wouldn’t be able to fight like that.”
They liked to live alone and despised teamwork. It was rare enough for those two Thorn Black Winds to cooperate to block their way, but they would never fight together desperately against the warriors.
“But then, I have not figured out where they keep their baby wolves by now.” Lang Ga looked around and said. It was totally a coincidence that they picked up Caesar when that little cub was alone.
Most of the social animals did a good job protecting their babies. For example, the giant-antlered deer or the wolf pack, which was about to start eating. However, for animals like the Thorn Black Winds, no matter how powerful and arrogant they were, their babies might get targeted by other ferocious beasts if they did not take good care of their babies. Even without Ah-Fei, there might have been other hunters like tigers, leopards and wolves.
“After all, the wounded, the old, and especially the babies are best hunting targets in the wilderness.” Said Mai.
Also, down in the bottom of the lake, where that Thorn Black Wind which lost its baby lived, there were numerous animals’ bones, regardless of the age or the size.
The world in the forest was just as brutal as that, filled with killing and being killed.
“So, grow up quickly!” Qiao smiled at Shao Xuan and Mao.
After collecting their equipment, the hunting group headed to the second location.
As they were running and jumping on the boughs, Shao Xuan looked back at the wolf pack that had started eating.
The strong leader howled and brutally bit the others that approached to the prey. It used that way to defend its dominant position in the pack. While the others that were not bitten by the leader yet, quickly nibbled on the giant-antlered deer, as if the prey would stand up and run away if they were to slow to eat.
Compared with that, what was Caesar doing now, as he was treated and kept like a dog since its childhood? Was he lazily gnawing on a bone while bathing in the sun?
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