Castle of Black Iron

Chapter 72: Setting Traps

Chapter 72: Setting Traps

Translator: WQL Editor: Geoffrey

After a day of rest, Doug was already able to freely move in the next evening. At the sight of his sad and furious face, every member of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood could not help but laugh out loudly. On the first day of the survival training, Doug had been stung by a scorpion on his snow-white butt when he was squatting in the grass to relieve his bowels. Thankfully, that was only an ordinary blue-gray scorpion which had low toxicity, and he was able to freely move only one day after his brothers’ “beating treatment”. That incident caused everyone to be alert; they had started to realize what the farmer meant when he said, “Don’t expose your butt in the air.” What if it was a mutated scorpion with extremely high toxicity? What if it was a snake with extremely toxic venom or a fatally poisonous insect? If that was the case, Doug might have already become a corpse.

Nobody wanted to be bitten by something while they squatted on the ground or in the grass relaxedly like Doug had. After realizing the potential dangers, everyone, with the exception of Doug, had built a toilet that was not too far away from the tree hollows on the first evening of the survival training. Barley had even sprayed some medicinal powder used to repel poisonous animals on the ground around the toilet and as well as the area around the Dragon-Claw Tree.

During the daytime of the second day, with the exception of Doug, who was still lying in the hole to recover, everyone continued to expand the tree hollows using the axe, military shovel, dagger, and machete. They had basically completed the second step of the renovation of their tree hollow, successfully expanding the hollows into three spacious floors, which was sufficient for seven people to sleep inside.

After eating for two days, the total amount of food had dropped below 30 kg, which would only feed them for four days at most. They had started to feel pressure from the limited basic living necessities, thus on the third day of the survival training, everyone had decided to go and forage for food.

Due to his Qi, blood, and spiritual energy having recovered, Zhang Tie’s woke him up from his sweet dream at about 6:00 am; he was the one to wake up the earliest. Opening his eyes, he saw the traces of the top of the hole having been chopped. His crystal clear senses had been recovered, as he could easily identify which tools or which weapons had created those marks. Previously, Zhang Tie couldn’t do that at all. Could his growing spiritual energy be making him smarter and giving him sharper senses? After thinking about it for a while, Zhang Tie immediately got up. Knowing that the Leakless Fruit will continue to ripen again, he felt much better and felt as if his life was full of hope.

The one lying in the same upper hole with Zhang Tie was Hista. When Zhang Tie woke up, Hista was still snoring. Those from the hole under them seemed to have not woken up yet either, thus after putting on his clothes and shoes, Zhang Tie equipped his soft armor and fastened his waistband. After checking his personal equipment, he silently climbed out of the tree hollow. For adolescents like Zhang Tie, it was not difficult to climb up and down from the high and twisting, lump-covered Dragon-Claw Tree.

Since midnight, Leit had been on duty. Hugging the “Iron Gate T21”, he sat in a pit that was a meter deep under the lower tree hollow with widely opened eyes. Seeing Zhang Tie climbing down, he was pretty surprised. “So early?”

“Hoho, the early bird gets the worms!”

“The worms that get up early will be eaten by the bird. Do you really want to give it a try?”

Zhang Tie nodded. “Yes!”

“Good luck!” Leit stopped trying to persuade Zhang Tie. In his opinion, Zhang Tie would definitely come back after suffering from a couple of setbacks. Mining during the survival training was not that easy.

Waving his hands towards Leit, Zhang Tie climbed down the tree and quickly disappeared from their camp…

Morning in the valley was different from that in the cities, as there was a fresh fragrance lingering here. Leaving the tree, Zhang Tie greedily inhaled the fresh air that contained the aura of the wild plants. He then ran towards the small stream not far away. Arriving at the small, crystal-clear stream where the members of the brotherhood fetched water, he washed his face. He then broke a water-leaf willow twig and used it to clean his mouth. After drinking two mouths of the mountain spring water and eating a small piece of dried ration, Zhang Tie started to take action.

Before heading to the mines, another idea popped up in his mind, one which he had always dreamt of but failed in practice. If he was successful, he would not have to be worried about food anymore and would have a lot of time to do what he truly wanted to do. After all, mining was just his excuse to the public; he didn’t really plan to get food from others by mining.

While he was an assistant at the grocery store, Zhang Tie had learned various skills and knowledge that would help him survive in the wild from Donder and the pioneers who visited the store. The skills and knowledge learned were not things that could be learned in school; this one, in particular, was about setting traps to capture wild animals. After observing the environment of Wild Wolf Valley for the past two days, Zhang Tie realized he could try out some of the skills and use the methods to acquire food.

Zhang Tie cut off a piece of wild bamboo, dividing them into two parts with each being 1m in length. After bundling them together, he left the area. When he passed by a patch of chestnut trees, Zhang Tie found a chestnut tree which was as wide as a duck’s egg and had a height that was greater than 3m. He then used his multi-purpose military shovel to cut that chestnut tree. After cleaning off the extra twigs and leaves on it, Zhang Tie was left with a rod. He then took out the steel spearhead that hung on his waist and nailed it onto the rod, forming a complete spear with a length that was slightly longer than 2m. With that long spear in hand, Zhang Tie became even more dauntless. He then moved towards a place in his memory that was 500m away from the camp with his long spear and the two parts of bamboo in hand.

As most of the participants of the survival training chose to stay within 5km of the castle, most of the birds and animals were observed and chased away, while the unlucky ones had already been killed by the participants. Thus, it would be relatively safer within this area, as fewer dangerous beasts were here. Because of this, despite him acting alone, Zhang Tie had nothing to worry about.

Before he had arrived at his destination, he had already heard the sound of running water from behind the mountain slope. After detouring that mountain slope, a small river that was as wide as seven or eight meters appeared in front of Zhang Tie’s eyes. Patches of weeds, aquatic plants, and reeds could be found along the streamside. Zhang Tie’s arrival had caused several birds to fly away. Although the river was not crystal clear, it was still clean. Squatting down, Zhang Tie observed along the riverside for about five or six minutes, finding that there were always fish the length of chopsticks jumping out of the water and that there were no other fierce aquatic animals like crocodiles. After a while, Zhang Tie got an idea. Clearing the path using his long spear, he walked towards the upper reach of the stream. At that location, he found several small streams which would converge with the river at several different distances. Every time he saw another small stream, Zhang Tie would stop and carefully take a look; however, in the end, he would shake his head and continued to walk to the upper reaches with a disappointed look. After 700-800m later, Zhang Tie had already seen five small streams, yet none of them made him satisfied. However, as he was blocked by a ravine and a cliff, he could no longer continue. If he wanted to pass, he would have to swim across the river or take a detour around it. Fortunately for Zhang Tie, before he took a detour around the river, he heard the trickling sound of a stream.

“Woah!” Zhang Tie stopped. If the sensitivity of his senses were not increased by his spiritual energy which had sharply grown by seven-fold, then Zhang Tie would never have heard the sound that had led him to this extremely hidden place. Clearing the path with his long spear, Zhang Tie walked past the weeds and thorns beside the cliff, heading to the direction where he could hear the trickling sound more clearly. He then continued to search for the origin of that sound along the walls of the cliff and the ravine. After detouring several huge rocks, he saw a 1m wide stream filled with pebbles converging into the river by the cliff and the ravine. The stream could only immerse his feet.

At the sight of this stream, Zhang Tie’s eyes turned bright.

After verifying the location, the slope, the depth, and the quality of the small stream, Zhang Tie made some gestures with his hands before finally making a decision. Fortunately, he had found a suitable place…

Inserting the long spear into the ground, Zhang Tie took out his military shovel and removed his shoes as he begun to dig at a place that was not too far from where the small stream led into the river. As he dug, Zhang Tie threw the wet sand and the pebbles to one side of the stream. After digging for more than an hour, he finally built a small pond that was 2m above the point of conversion; it was more than 50 cm deep and was as large as a water vat.

After creating that small pond, Zhang Tie picked up the nearby pebbles and built a small dam above it. He then started to smoothen out the 2m long water channel from the small pond to the point of convergence. Removing all the stones and pebbles that were larger than the size of an egg from the water channel, Zhang Tie then paved the water channel with fine sand and pebbles which were smaller than the size of a thumb. He then further reduced the slope of the water channel and made it narrower and deeper…

After doing so, Zhang Tie then broke the two parts of bamboo using a dagger and turned them into fine bamboo strips. Using the strips of bamboo and strips of the nearby willow, he weaved them into a funnel-shaped object and placed it at the exit of that pond. By the time he finished doing all of this, it was almost noon…

Zhang Tie then took a rest under a tree beside that stream. Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Zhang Tie was satisfied with what he had achieved with this whole morning. The area within 20m from the point where the stream converged into the river to the upper reaches had been totally changed.

About 2m onwards from the mouth of the stream, Zhang Tie had slightly changed the slope of the stream, thus the speed of the flowing water was changed and became slower. Zhang Tie had also changed the depth of the stream. Previously, this section of the stream was only 5 to 10 cm in depth, and pebbles were even exposed to the air in some areas, meaning the depth was less than 3 cm. After Zhang Tie had moved the bigger stones and the wet sand away, the depth became more than 20 cm. Above the water channel was a deeper pond, the exit of which was blocked by an ugly, funnel-shaped object created by Zhang Tie; however, although it was rough, it was also the only “entrance” to the pond. The opening of that funnel-shaped object was facing the water channel, while its end was in the pond. The simple structure of the funnel-shaped object allowed fish to easily enter, but it would be difficult for it to leave due to the bamboo strips, which did not need to exert any force because of the water flowing against it. However, fish that were wider than 1 inch would not be able to pass through that funnel-shaped object and would be forced back into the pond again.

The funnel-shaped object was the key to this trap. In addition, Zhang Tie had built 8 dams with those larger pebbles at the area 20m from the pond, each of which was about 2-3m in height.

Naturally, the dams made of pebbles were not used to block water; they were used to form a natural waterfall to increase the amount of oxygen in the water. After such modification, the water flowing into the stream would definitely contain more oxygen after crashing down eight times. As fish needed oxygen, they would definitely swim upwards from the mouth of the stream and would ultimately fall into that pond. The pond plus that funnel-shaped bamboo formed a natural fish cage; any fish that entered could only stay inside and wait for his arrival.

This was a hunting skill that was imparted to him by Donder. Using this skill, with some modifications to the area and given the appropriate terrain and conditions, he would be able to force the fish to enter the trap on their own without having to use a fishing net or a fishing spear. Donder had once said that alcohol, sex, and money was to humans as oxygen was to fish. Those clever traps were based on the prey’s natural characteristics and preferences.

After taking a rest for a while under the tree and eating some dried rations for lunch, Zhang Tie found that the water had gradually become crystal clear. The flowing stream soon cleared the mud at the point of convergence, causing ripples. Before leaving, he cut off a verdant twig and used it to cover the pond. Afterwards, as he made his way to Wild Wolf Castle, taking advantage of the elasticity and weight of the twigs on the side of the road, Zhang Tie made another two traps which could be used on small animals. These were also traps that he had learnt about before.

He soon arrived at the Wild Wolf Castle, staring with wide open eyes at the sight of the boisterous scene in the castle square.

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