On the third day the Rain tribe arrived, Shao Xuan followed the hunting team out to hunt.
The team that was supposed to go in advance hadn’t hunted yet. With the changes caused by the disasters, and also because they had been away for four years already, they wanted to refresh their memory and refamiliarise themselves with the hunting trails.
This time, Shao Xuan did not follow a familiar path. Instead, he followed the group that was opening up a sixth hunting trail.
Compared to the other five hunting trails, the sixth trail took the least time, and the route was much shorter too.
When they first opened up this trail, it was when Shao Xuan was about to leave the tribe, setting off for the other side of the river. Before the entire trail was complete, their whole tribe had migrated.
A hunting trail that brought satisfaction was not one that was done overnight. Even one to two years would not be enough. Shao Xuan, together with other warriors of the tribe, continued to open up this trail and advance.
Now that the tribe had more people, they split up into two groups and took turns opening up the trail. The number of people on every trail was a lot more compared to before, especially Duo Kang’s group of people who came from the other side of the sea. They were full of curiosity, ready to discover.
But this place was even trickier than Fearsome Beast Forest.
It was the sound of a spear piercing through the air. It brought forth a sharp whistling sound, and they could hear blood splatter out from the hunted prey that had just been shot.
The maddened beast roared, causing the leaves on the surrounding trees to tremble. However, people who were familiar with forest beasts could tell that even though this roar sounded strong and fierce, there was an underlying sense of fear.
They could not see the shadow of the giant figure that leapt in front of them. It disappeared as it passed by an ancient tree that reached high up into the sky. They could still hear the movements in the branches and from there pinpoint its location. The beast was frantically escaping. They could hear the rustling of the snapping branches as the creature tried to escape.
More than ten people followed tightly behind. They moved swiftly between the woods, slowly but surely catching up to their prey.
More spears were thrown towards the beast. They were like released cannons rushing to attack their target.
Even though the figure was massive, it was slow. Now, it was frightened and hopeless. But it was familiar with these grounds, so it ran again into the woods in front, full of thick bushes.
These bushes grew as tall as humans, and their branches were lush but thin. Every branch here carried thorns. If they looked down from atop, these woods would seem like a giant brush, its thorns capable of brushing off layers of human flesh.
However, to a beast with thick fur, and strong, sturdy legs, these thorny bushes were nothing. It continued to escape in the same direction. This time, the people could no longer follow it.
If any beasts escaped to this part of the forest, it would be too troublesome for the hunting team.
The people who followed tightly from behind were dodging the branches that had been snapped off. No matter how strong they were, they could not withstand the strength of the beast’s blow on the trees. As they saw the creature approach these bushes, these people all hurled their spears and arrows and tried to launch their final deadly attack. The beast was already severely injured. As it ran, it carried a bloody smell, and the ends of spears stuck out from its body.
Right when the beast was about to enter those bushes, two figures suddenly appeared from both sides.
A strong force driven by the strength of the totem power became even more powerful. The figures that had appeared grasped their weapons tightly and swiftly brought their weapons down. The weapons gave out a whoosh sound, and the trees that were closest to them looked as if they were blown over by a loud gush of wind.
Their sharp blades pierced through the thick fur of the beast and blood splashed out from its wound.
The massive beast gave out a cry of defeat, but it was already severely injured, so it fell hard on the ground.
The people who came after stabbed it once more, and when they were sure that the beast was dead, they slowly approached it.
Shao Xuan took out a water bottle from his side with his free hand. There was only a little water left in it.
As he stabbed his sword into the ground, he snatched a few palm-sized leaves and washed them with whatever’s left in his water bottle. Then he rolled up the leaves and made them into a funnel. He put the funnel close to where the beast was bleeding unceasingly.
The fresh blood flowed into the funnel and went straight into his water bottle.
The blood of this fearsome beast could be stored for a longer period compared to those from ordinary beasts. If they had other anticoagulant herbs, it could be stored for even longer. When they were hunting in the forests, sometimes it was not appropriate for them to roast their meat. At least the blood could help them replenish their energy for the time being.
As he took a sip of the blood, he felt the coppery and raw smell of the blood fill his nostrils. For those who did not like the smell of blood, they might have to spit it out right away, but Shao Xuan was already accustomed to this smell. Blood from different beasts tasted different, and Shao Xuan was used to the taste of beast blood. He could even smile and joke with the other warriors regarding which blood tasted better, like a bunch of wine collectors talking about their preferred taste.
As he wiped off the bloodstains from the side of his mouth, Shao Xuan looked up at the sky.
The sun was already setting. They should hurry and bring their prey back to their fortified grounds.
People who were following behind had slowly arrived, one after another. Seeing that Shao Xuan had already slaughtered the beast, they said no more and went to store the blood into their respective water bottles.
Shao Xuan took out a parchment made from animal skin and marked down the location where they hunted down the beast. He made a note of what he saw for the past two days. This was a simple map of the sixth hunting trail. Now that parts of this trail were slowly being opened up, the route would also have more markings over time.
Besides using this to hunt for beasts, Shao Xuan also had another purpose.
In the cave on their grounds, besides the sounds of the resting warriors, they could hear another sound. It was like the sound of wind blowing, but sometimes they could hear the clanging of metal.
Shao Xuan brought out a green-faced fanged beast. It was the one with the broken fang. The tribe no longer had enough food for them, but they still wanted them to continue growing and staying healthy to replenish their blood supply, so Shao Xuan took one of the beasts out to let it search for its own food.
The beast that had been enslaved was not completely obedient, but it was most of the time. Just in case, they were still tied up. Shao Xuan knew that regular ropes could not hold them back, so he forged a long chain with the new green bronze made from their blood.
Green faced fanged beast could easily break apart beast bones and rocks, but it couldn’t break away from the green bronze made from its own blood.
Now that they were tied up with these new chains, Shao Xuan had more free time to hunt, and when he was sure there were no dangerous beasts nearby, he would lead them out to find their own food.
Luckily Shao Xuan could catch up to the speed of the green-faced fanged beasts. If someone else was assigned to this job, they might not be able to handle it. Other people would be dragged along by the beast instead of holding on firmly to the chains.
It was already the eighth day since they entered the forest. Shao Xuan already found some plants that the green-faced fanged beasts were willing to eat. He made a record on his way and cut some plants to feed the rest of the beasts. If there were food for the green-faced fanged beasts in the forest, then they no longer had to feed them the white cabbage in the grounds. Next time, they could just tell the hunting team to bring some of these plants back from their hunt.
“Shao Xuan, do you reckon the winter this year would be hot or cold?” Duo Kang asked.
“I’m not sure. We have to wait a few more days and see," Shao Xuan looked outside the cave.
Time passed by fast. Almost in the blink of an eye, half a year had passed.
Although he could not be sure whether the winter this year would be the same as the previous two years, Shao Xuan was not too worried. He knew that even if there were abnormalities in the weather, it would not be too significant.
As he said those words, the people who were keeping guard outside rushed in and said, “Hunt Leaders! Elder! You must come out and see this! There are so many birds in the sky!”