Chapter 123: An Accidental Encounter
God would never allow for all to be well. The second rain in June also arrived very abruptly. On the next morning after Zhang Tie left the tree base, at 4-5 am, the rolling thunder in the sky awoke him. But before he could finish packing up his sleeping bag, the heavy storm started to pour down with a sound of ‘Huala Huala’.
In Wild Wolf Valley, one could not easily find a proper mountain cave or tree hole to take a rest in. Zhang Tie was now about 15 km away from Wild Wolf Castle itself. In order to seek for the two beasts, he had kept trekking through weeds, shrubs, and over stones.
Last night, he had slept on a pile of stones. Between two huge ones there was a slightly higher place where he could lie on. Zhang Tie used his long sword to cut off a pile of weeds and put them over the ground. After that, he cut off some lush shrubs to cover the space between the two stones at the top to shelter him from wind. Finally, he sprayed some powder around himself to drive away insects and snakes. Afterwards, he laid down his sleeping bag on the ground, got in, and went to sleep.
Although lying on the ground, Zhang Tie didn’t actually sleep well at night. Even if the powder could prevent the snakes and insects from approaching him, it could never hold back ferocious carnivores like wild wolves. And because he didn’t want to become food for wild beasts, he always remained alert.
This was his first time experiencing camping alone. When midnight came, it was not only cold, but also filled with weird sounds that always caused Zhang Tie to overreact by pulling out his long sword and jumping up from the ground as each time he would think it was a ferocious beast drawing near.
As a result, he was almost driven mad by the huge consumption of his spiritual energy and physical strength. When he was in Donder’s grocery store, Zhang Tie had learned from some pioneers that a mutated army ant’s feces could be used to shock most of ferocious beasts. However, it could only be gotten from a deserted anthill of army ants.
Therefore, sometimes, even if you knew what stuff could be used to hold back ferocious beasts, it would still be useless as God would not coincidentally provide you the right thing at the critical moment. In contrast, when you slept in the wild and needed help, God might even bring you more trouble by starting a pouring rain.
Last night, Zhang Tie, who regarded Castle of Black Iron as his top secret, would naturally not access it in the wild as his secret might be exposed. Therefore, the second ripe Iron-Body Fruit was still hanging on that small tree in Castle of Black Iron.
Before he was finished with packing up his sleeping bag, rain drops had already fallen onto Zhang Tie’s face. He had to hurry up. Soon after he packed up, the heavy rain poured down.
By the time he put on his raincoat, some of his clothes were already wet. He then hurriedly rushed towards the foot of a precipice farther away. But after several steps, he remembered that he had left his long sword on the ground where he had slept last night. He had put it beside himself before going to sleep last night so that he could more easily attack any ferocious beasts that might chance upon him.
Due to weariness and slight darkness, he had almost forgotten it. So he ran back to pick it up. Finally, he walked towards that place at the foot of the precipice where he could avoid being wet like an escaping mouse driven by raindrops.
That foot of the precipice was about 1 km away from where Zhang Tie had slept. The path was also rugged and muddy in the valley. Therefore, it took Zhang Tie about five minutes to arrive there. By then, half of his trousers and coat were soaked.
Staring at the dim sky from under the precipice, Zhang Tie pulled out of a bit of dried meat to supplement his physical strength. This time, he only took about five kilograms of dried meat. As to the other food, he gift it all to Pandora, Beverly, and Alice.
He did this to test whether he had the ability to complete the loners’ survival training. Although he could avoid being drenched by rain under the precipice, the scattered rain drops could still blow into his face. Itchy, it felt like how Beverly had niftily brushed his face using her eyelashes. He then thought back to Alice and Pandora, and the small golden fishes of the three girls in his mouth, and Pandora’s unexpected kiss that night. She was the one who moved him most that night.
Unknown when, that restless thing in his crotch had already become as hard as iron.
‘I really wonder how they are today’, Zhang Tie mumbled in the direction of Wild Wolf Castle behind a pitch-dark heavy rain curtain in front of him.
Zhang Tie didn’t know whether this was his desire or love for them since there was no essential difference between them. The alleged love and desire were fabricated by those bored literate men and noble Mrs.’ and girls.
Zhang Tie hoped his girls would live well and be happy; he didn’t want to see them suffer from any harm. He wanted to treat them well, but he was also impulsive and desired to do ‘terrifying and disgusting’ things to them. This was how he truly felt, whatever it was called.
It rained heavily and lasted for about four to five hours before easing off not long before dawn. Rainwater rushed into the river of the Wild Wolf Valley along with streams and water in the ravine, causing the river in the valley to rise greatly. Then, the murky river rushed downwards to the lower reach, picking up some dried twigs and leaves. The road in the valley became very muddy and rugged; some places were even slippery while puddles could be seen everywhere.
When the rain slightly eased off, seeing day had broken, Zhang Tie, who had been stomping for two hours and squatting for another two under the precipice immediately ran out of it with a raincoat on his body. The dense clouds in the sky didn’t seem like they would dissipate soon.
Not knowing when it would stop, in case of encountering another heavier rain, Zhang Tie became keen to find a dry place to sleep at night. It would be better if it was a mountain cave or a tree hole like that tree house near the Wild Wolf Castle. However, such places were hard to be found.
After walking for more than an hour in the rain, during which the drizzle gradually developed into a mizzle and then heavy rain again, Zhang Tie finally found a deserted mining hole at the foot of a mountain more than three kilometers away from where he had stayed. Someone seemed to have tried to open a mine here; however, after digging for less than 10 m, they could not find what they needed and stopped, leaving a shallow mining cave which could be easily seen from outside. But although it was not a hidden place, it was already a paradise for Zhang Tie, who was hurriedly looking for a base.
When he entered, he found someone had once lived in here as there were some scattered dried wood and grass, and traces of ashes on the ground. At the sight of dried wood, Zhang Tie immediately became spirited. He had never imagined that he could be that happy at the sight of dried wood.
After taking off the raincoat and spreading it over a stone to dry it, Zhang Tie put down his package and luggage on a dry place and put his lance container close to the entrance where he could easily reach in an emergency. After that, he pulled out a flint lighter and gathered a pile of dried grass and wood. Soon after, he set a fire in the cave. Due to its heat, water on his wet coat and trousers started to vaporize.
Seeing the heavy rain pouring down again outside the mountain cave, Zhang Tie suddenly felt happy. Sometimes, one could feel happy so easily. If it was heavily raining outside, and you were not drenched by the rain but could sit around a fire, you would feel happy.
Zhang Tie baked a dried meat slice above the fire. After a short while, the whole mountain cave started to be filled with the fragrance of meat.
‘If only Pandora, Beverly, and Alice were here.’ An ‘obscene’ idea flashed across his mind. ‘In such a bad weather and inside an uninhabited mountain cave, besides warming ourselves around a fire, we could also do something more meaningful, hehhehhehheh...’
While various weird ideas were flashing in Zhang Tie’s mind, a person in a kelly raincoat rushed into the cave along with wind and rainwater. When he rushed in, he had never expected that there would be someone else inside. So did Zhang Tie.
After exchanging glances, the two became slightly stunned. They then made the similar response - Zhang Tie grabbed his long sword while that man swung the raincoat out of his way and put an arrow on his longbow’s string.
Zhang Tie didn’t pull out his sword out of its sheath while that person didn’t pull back his long bow, either. With sword sheath’s tip and an arrowhead facing each other, they stared at one another with eyes wide open.
At the sight of that longbow and his age, Zhang Tie suddenly recalled a name. “You’re… Blues?”
That person became slightly stunned, but his face remained relaxed, although he hadn’t put away his bow. “You’re a student attending this survival training?”
“Of course, otherwise, how could I know your name. The Archer Blues, you are well known across the Wild Wolf Castle!” Zhang Tie laughed out loudly as he put his long sword to one side of his foot.
Seeing Zhang Tie’s response, Blues also let out a breath and put away his longbow.
“How could you be here?”
They asked the same question in unison. Realizing that, they glanced at each other and found that both of them were scratching their heads. They burst out laughing and the atmosphere in the cave immediately became relaxed.
“I- I’m chasing two wolves and trying to challenge the loner’s survival training!”
Seeing Blues being a bit introverted, Zhang Tie opened his mouth and poured out the true reason without any hesitation. He thought it was not necessary to hide the truth as he estimated that his deed must have already been spread everywhere across the Wild Wolf Castle. “What about you?”
“I prepared these dried grass and wood for myself...”
“Well, I owe you this time, then. Here you are, this is my rent...”
Zhang Tie passed that roasted dried meat slice to Blues.
Seeing Zhang Tie stretching out his hand towards him, Blues accepted the fragrant golden-roasted dried meat slice. “Thanks, but what will you eat if I take this...”
“Never mind, I have more...”
Saying this, Zhang Tie pulled out another slice from his package, and holding it with two wooden sticks, put it close to the fire. Seeing Zhang Tie pulling out another piece, Blues started to nibble on the slice in his hand...
After determining his personality, Zhang Tie mumbled inwardly, ‘Although this guy is a bit introverted, he doesn’t seem bad!’
“Could you tell me about the two wolves that you’re hunting for? Maybe I can help you!” Blues said sincerely after eating that dried meat slice given by Zhang Tie
So Zhang Tie poured out all the information about those wolves without any hesitation, including the event where he almost lost his life when he encountered them for the first time and the one where the wolves almost hurt Pandora, Beverly, and Alice a couple of days ago.
“Does one wolf among them have a circle of brownish red fur and a defected ear?” Blues asked after thinking for a while.
“You’ve seen the two wolves?”
“I saw them yesterday, when they passed by dozens of meters in front of me. I was on a tree, aiming to hunt huge wolves. As I was afraid of scaring away the huge wolves, I let them go in front of my eyes. They disappear behind a hillside not far away and never reappeared after, so I estimate that their den might be there...”
Hearing Blues’ words, Zhang Tie became highly spirited.