The rain was pouring down hard.
The raindrops were falling from the sky and splashing on the ground, creating loud noises everywhere.
The tree leaves created scratching noises as they were hit by the rain, and it somehow struck people with a feeling that perhaps the leaves were being pierced through by the water.
Among the curtains of rain, a figure quickly went through the woods, while a toothpick-like stone needle pierced through the curtains of rain, and came out from the dense branches. At the ‘thud’ sound, it stabbed into an arm-thick short wooden bar that hung there.
At that time, there were already plenty of similar stone needles pinned on the bar in different angles, which made the hanging stake looked like a hedgehog.
Many bars like that were hanging nearby. Some of them were placed in the thick undergrowth, while some of them were hanging in the trees.
Shila~ (This is a sound, didn’t know what else to make of it)
There was the sound of a quick pull, and the wooden bars in different places immediately moved promptly together. As they moved, more stone needles flew towards them.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
There were wooden bars in the grass, in the bushes, and in the air…
No matter where they were, they had many stone needles stabbed on them.
The heavy rain that poured down from the sky did not affect the path of the flying stone needles at all!
The figure running in the woods and the rain curtains jumped, and landed safely after jumping over the branches that blocked him. The sound of landing could hardly be heard because of the rain in the surroundings.
Shao Xuan wiped his face, and then went to collect the wooden bars.
[He wiped his face in the heavy rain? How pointless!]
He had been doing such training for several days now. At first, he used spearhead darts, and then the stone shivs, which were thinner. Now, he was using stone needles, they were even thinner than the stone shivs.
The white hairs that they had encountered in the green forest while hunting were obviously very soft, yet they could pierce through thick wood bars, and appeared to have no resistance when they pierced into the bodies of intermediate totem warriors. One of the reasons behind that was the materials of the white hair, but the other more important reason was that the speed of the white hairs was too fast!
Shao Xuan was experimenting on that point. He wished that, perhaps someday in the future, he would be able to pierce a thick wood bar with a thin grass needle. However, for now, he had to take baby steps. If he couldn’t pierce the wood with stone, he shouldn’t even bother trying that with grass.
There was still a long way to go.
Since it had been raining recently, Shao Xuan did not ask Old Ke to come out of his house. It would be pure suffering if he came out in such weather.
Now, every time when Ge went to Old Ke’s place for some stoneware, he would mock Old Ke for becoming “tender”. In the past, Old Ke would always use his cane to help himself struggle up the mountain when he had to go up. Also, he would never ask for anyone else’s help. But now? Now Old Ke rides on Caesar’s back when he goes out, and Shao Xuan would carry him when he has to go up the mountain. When it rains, Old Ke would not even step out of his house! That was too fucking effeminate!
Old Ke did not get agitated, and he would keep doing whatever he was doing, totally ignoring Ge’s comments. In his mind, Ge was only being jealous and pretending to be the green-eyed monster!
Old Ke would not tell Ge that Shao Xuan asked for some herbs for him from the Shaman. Now Old Ke was in the phase of recuperating. In the past, he was living with a bad mindset, and he could not care less about his life. However, now he had a strong desire to live longer, for he wanted to watch Shao Xuan as he gradually grows up.
Caesar and Chacha were both left in Old Ke’s house. Sometimes, Shao Xuan would think that whether he should do some expansions on his cabin, so that Old Ke could come and live with him. After all, Shao Xuan was living alone, and Old Ke had no one else living with him right now. If they moved in together, it would save a lot of time, for Shao Xuan won’t have to travel between the two places.
As he thought about that, Shao Xuan was gathering those wood bars and tangled straw ropes.
Last year, the wet reason only began after another hunting trip, however, unfortunately, it came early this year. The Shaman told everybody to stay prepared for it, and the hunting team, that was about to set out, postponed their time for leaving.
Behind Shao Xuan’s back, a snake-like insect came out from a tree. Unlike a real snake, it had a lot of feet on its body.
It stared at Shao Xuan in silence, while spitting out its forked tongue like a snake. Its body quietly slid down along the trunk, but the thin feet allowed it to stay firmly on the tree.
When approaching Shao Xuan, its body twisted into the form of the letter “S” with its upper body away from the trunk. Aiming at Shao Xuan, it opened its mouth and struck to bite on Shao Xuan’s neck with the speed of an arrow.
Shao Xuan did not look back, but casually lifted his hand. He blocked the insect when its mouth was half a hand away from his neck, where he used his fingers to grab its neck tightly.
His fingers slightly pushed together.
The insect’s head got separated from its body.
Shao Xuan flicked his fingers, which made the head of the insect fall on the grass, while its headless body quickly got thrown away in the woods on other side, while Shao Xuan pulled back his hand.
In the whole process, Shao Xuan did not even look at the worm.
When he finished collecting all the stone needles, Shao Xuan got up and looked around.
He had encountered that kind of insect quite a few times in these few days. It’s said that every year when the rainy season came, they would drill out of the ground from below. Not only this kind, other kinds of creatures would also drill their way out from the ground. But aside from the rainy season, they were only seen in the training ground mountains.
Shao Xuan walked on the muddy road as he headed back to the tribe. Suddenly, he lifted one foot and kicked on a gravel. The gravel flew towards somewhere on the grass.
A two palms long scorpion-like insect just drilled out from the earth, but it was smashed down by the gravel immediately.
Old Ke had said that those insects that appeared in the rainy season would always attack people aggressively. Almost all of them were poisonous, so people should beware not to get bitten by them, and they should be killed whenever found by warriors.
It’s said that some of the insects would try to enter the tribe, so the kids who had not awakened their totem power yet would always get locked in their homes when rainy season came. Adults would sprinkle some kind of grass extract around the house, and it could keep the worms and bugs away.
There came a loud noise from the river.
All the warriors in the training ground felt a chill crawling on their spines. They all stopped what they were doing, and jumped up to look at the riverside.
Shao Xuan had almost reached the residential zone, so there was no hill blocking his sight. He climbed up a tree and looked in the direction of the river next to the tribe.
Behind all the curtains of rain, the leaping figure above the river was not clear due to the far distance. But even when the leaping figure was very far from the tribe, and was not completely revealed, people could still infer its huge size.
That was the decisive reason that kept people in the tribe from exploring the river.
It was the river beast called “Dread”, the creature that held the dominant position in this endless river. People’s fear towards it could be seen by the way they named it – Dread.
People did not know what exactly a Dread looked like, but only by its giant size and horrible voice, people already felt the unparalleled sense of oppression.
When they appeared, it meant that the rainy season had begun for real, and it was not some regular storm, just like the Shaman’s prediction.
The rainy season did come earlier.
When the Dreads leaped up high, their screaming was so loud that it was like a steam whistle ringing beside your ears, which could almost tear your eardrums. But when the giant Dreads fell into the water again, they would create a loud thunder-like roar. This time it was not that bad, it could have been more uncomfortable. People would feel as if they were being punched on the chest repeatedly. If you placed a cup of water in your room, you could see the water shaking violently.
Last year in the rainy season, Shao Xuan was hiding in the orphan cave with his hands covering his ears, like everyone else. Those sounds were pure torture for them, and many kids were trembling all the time.
Not only kids in the orphan cave, every year when it came to the rainy season, kids in the tribe would stay in their homes, with things blocking their ears. It helped a little, but still could not spare them from suffering from the noise. Some children would even bleed from the nose and ears.
Perhaps, the rainy season was joyful for those Dreads, for they constantly leaped out from the water, seeming to be happy. The tribe was not placed that close to the river, but the impact of the Dreads remained very apparent. For the tribe, rainy season was just a disaster. The only thing that people should feel lucky about was that the Dreads would not come close to the bank, let alone coming on the land, or the tribe probably would’ve been wiped out long ago.
When the giant Dreads arrived, an urgent meeting would be held within the tribe. The team leaders of both hunting teams would spare some warriors to be responsible for the defense of the tribe. That was also the annual rainy season guard battle.
During the rainy season, some other things might come out from the river, and that was also the reason why the hunting team postponed their hunting schedule. They had to defend the tribe from the creatures in the river.
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