Chapter 40 – Entering
Translated by Sunyancai
After resting a while, the main leader entered the forest, together with forty warriors, while the remaining people waited outside.
The other warriors were divided into five smaller groups. Instead of entering the forest together, they would enter their own hunting areas according to the originally planned routes.
As Shao Xuan was listening to Lang Ga’s words, he looked up and saw that Mai was leading Mao in their direction.
“That kid was not in our group. Why is he here now? Wants to change a route?” Ang whispered to some of his pals in a low voice.
“Just a minute ago I saw Mao went to the leader, and right after that, Mai was called upon.” Kui, who was pretty close with Lang Ga and Ang, explained. Kui was not much older than Shao Xuan, however, he grew fast after his awakening, so now he was almost the same height as Lang Ga.
Lang Ga and Ang curled their mouths at the same time.
Shao Xuan knew it in his heart, that the leader of the hunting team was Mao’s old man. He learnt it from Lang Ga and his friends’ talks.
Mao had considerable ability of his own, which was one of the reasons that he could have the chance to tag along with the hunting team. He was indeed much better than most of his peers, and he behaved quite well during the previous hunting mission. The other reason that he could be part of the hunting team was because of his father. With these two factors combined, other warriors in the hunting team surely had no problem with Mao’s presence in the team.
Apparently it was Mao’s own idea to come to their group, and the leader had approved that.
“Ah-Xuan, come here and see. You and Mao awakened at the same time, and you are similar in ages. However, Mao has more hunting experience than you, so you guys should communicate more with each other when it’s time to hunting.” Said Mai.
“Sure.” Shao Xuan did not show any reluctant expression, for he had no reason, nor qualification to do that.
To Shao Xuan’s surprise, Mao did not reveal the “I am the world’s king” kind of attitude that he used to reveal, nor did he look at Shao Xuan provocatively. Instead, he was quite obedient and he paid extra attention when Mai was arranging the plans of their mission. Judging from that, he was indeed much smarter than Fei.
After a while, there were sounds of a wood-whistle from deep in forest. The whistle sounded like a bird or deer’s wail, so it didn’t feel out of place from the forest.
That was the signal sent from the advance party, meaning that there were no wild beasts ahead that were beyond the warriors’ ability, and there was nothing unusual from before. So the follow-up team could advance.
The advance party would send signals of safety or danger after some preliminary scouting, but they would not wait for the follow-up groups to hunt together. Since they were considered the best, their hunting area was not the same as the other groups. Tuo and Keke, that Shao Xuan knew, were both in the advance party.
“Okay, now it’s time for us to enter!” Mai called on the others in the group, “As usual, we have to arrive at the other side of the mountain before sunset!”
Shao Xuan looked at the mountain that Mai pointed out, which was a big, tall mountain. If Shao Xuan were in his last life, it would be totally impossible for him to even think about that. However, here, he had already gotten used to it.
The other groups had other hunting routes, and some of them would take detours in other directions, instead of climbing a mountain.
The thirty-warrior team entered the deep forest, while each and every one of them carried a lot of equipment. However, as they were travelling between the trees, not much sound was created.
Above, there were numerous ancient trees, whose stretching branches and wide leaves almost covered the sky. Beneath those trees there were many unidentified shrubs clustering together. Between the spaces of the shrubs, there were roots of giant ancient trees exposing themselves above the ground.
Warriors all jumped on the trunk from the ground, and then energetically leaped among the branches. About thirty people jumping over one by one, while the branches merely shook slightly. The sound of leaves in the forest did not attract any creature’s special attention.
Shao Xuan followed the man ahead of him and jumped from the ground to the trunk. And a short time later he jumped on a huge vine from the branch where he stood at.
The giant vine was a few meters wide as it wound around the ancient tree. There was a layer of moss covering its surface. Moist air made the moss as smooth as velvet, and one could easily slip and fall down when stepping on the moss. However, if one could keep his balance, it was a nice slide.
Sliding on the vine and moving fast, Shao Xuan could feel the fresh scent filling in his nose. That was the scent of the plants, with flowers’ fragrance mixed in. Aside from that, with the high temperature, moist air lifted up all the smells of the creatures living in the forest…
That was the breath of an untainted forest, full of life, danger and thrill. Smelling the air, people’s body hair seemed to tremble with excitement!
A millstone-sized oblate insect was lying on the vine ahead, with three rows of pattern-like eyes. As the insect crawled, the three rows of eyes blinked as it was scanning around the surroundings with its eyes.
The hunting group did not slow down because of the obstacle ahead. Without any irregular sound, Shao Xuan saw that insect be pushed away from the vine and thrown down.
A big bird flew below the vine so promptly that it could barely be seen. And the falling insect was picked up by the flying bird.
With the marching of the hunting group, the light was sometimes dim and sometimes bright. The vine arched high and then fell into the jungle again.
Above, coiled around a bulky branch, there was a bucket-width wide serpent, with colorful patterns on its body. However, that was nothing special in this forest.
Perhaps the serpent was full already, as it seemed lazy. As the hunting warriors were sliding down the branch on the vine, it looked down at them as it stuck its two-pronged snake tongue out, staring at the people passing by without emotion.
Shao Xuan felt the icy sight of the snake ahead, but kept following up with Lang Ga. Since the people ahead did not mind that snake above, of course he did not need to pay extra attention. Qua experience, Shao Xuan was merely a greenhorn. He still had to learn when to strike and when not, so he just followed.
Now Shao Xuan was in the middle part of the group, and there were other warriors behind him.
The warriors after him originally figured that since it was Shao Xuan’s first hunting mission, perhaps he wouldn’t adjust himself to it so easily. So they could lend a hand if Shao Xuan could not keep up the rhythm or slip by mistake. However, unexpectedly, Shao Xuan could follow the group closely, without making a single mistake!
Along the path, Shao Xuan had seen a lot of game. Some of them were giant bears, also some things that he could not name, while some of them were small beasts running among the bushes. However, the hunting group did not slow down or even look at those animals, but kept marching towards the mountain that Mai pointed at earlier.
As they got closer to the mountain, the species of the plants changed. There were less ancient trees and the hunting group did not go through the trees anymore.
Seeing that Lang Ga and the others ahead slowed down, Shao Xuan slowed down accordingly.
Mai gestured towards the warriors behind him, so seven or eight warriors immediately spread out in the near surroundings to see if there were any dangerous fierce animals around.
After the safety was confirmed, Mai told the hunting group to take a short rest.
The lined-up group changed its formation and became more relaxed. But no one was just standing and all were preparing and sorting their equipment.
“Pretty tired, huh?…”
When Lang Ga was sorting his ground bows, he turned his head to ask Shao Xuan if he was tired. When tired, one should drink and eat some food as a supplement for the physical strength consumption. Lang Ga planned to tell him that he should not put so much pressure on himself, for after all, they had marched from the edge of the forest to deep down its center, and one would need to stay focused to avoid making mistakes. With tense nerves, one could easily get exhausted both mentally and physically. For some newly-awakened warriors, it was indeed a real task. Even Mao, who was publicly-acknowledged as the best among his peer, was now a little short of breath.
However, Lang Ga’s caring words got stuck in his throat when he saw Shao Xuan. That lad acted as if nothing happened. Not only was he not short of breath, he had the energy to pay attention to that tree civet on that tree!