E/D: Fun P/R:Lark
To the north of Primal Wildfire Town, the terrain gradually became flat and a dense forest covered most of the area. There were no mountains in the vicinity, but one would occasionally encounter some mounds. Those mounds could be called small hills at best and could stretch up to seven or eight miles. They acted like roadblocks in Primal Wildfire created by God.
Shaar tramped over mountains and through ravines. The skills that he learned in the woods since childhood played a major role today. He ran through the jungle even faster than on flat roads. He bent down his body and shuttled in the woods like an agile lynx, so deft that he could easily dodge the branches that got in the way from both sides. He stepped on the ground full of fallen leaves, only creating a very slight rustling sound.
Truth to be told, Shaar knew he had to control his movement speed since he had to save energy. He knew very well that he did not carry much food. Even if he tried to conserve it well, the large rye dough was only enough for two days at most.
In the evening, he found the nest of a long beak beast in the forest by luck.
This long beak beast was one of the few normal beasts living in Primal Wildfire. It was about the same size as a dog and it liked digging in the soil. As a result of its behavior, it acquired slick fur and short limbs as well as slow movement. Despite that, it should not be underestimated since it had a razor sharp long beak. To acquire food, it would stick its beak into the soil and eat the eggs of the worms’ colony.
The encounter with Shaar was very unfortunate for this long beak beast. Shaar made a string knot, which he learned from his training as a hunter, captured the beast from its nest and made dinner out of it.
The meat of the long beak beast was not very tasty and it smelled strongly of soil.
Nevertheless, for a penniless guy like Shaar, it was a great feast already to taste some meat in this freezing cold weather.
He did play with the idea of hunting some other beasts, for example a deer. Such a beast would without a doubt taste more delicious, however, he was aware that he had to save energy at the moment and it was best to play it safe.
During the afternoon of the second day, he struck gold.
While walking in the forest, Shaar encountered a stupid deer. That dumb animal got its antlers entangled in a thorny undergrowth and had been struggling for a while.
With a loud cheer, Shaar rushed towards it, but showed no intention of killing it.
He took out a rope, tied two knots and carefully bound them to the antlers and the deer’s neck. Afterwards, he slowly pulled the antlers out of the undergrowth.
The second the deer got freed, it immediately panicked and tried to escape.
Shaar spotted an opportunity when the deer turned around and jumped on its back. His hands pulled the rope and he started riding the beast.
Looking at his experience, it was obviously not the first time he did such a thing. The deer struggled back and forth, but Shaar’s control of the deer was very skillful and at the end it finally submitted. To control the direction while running, Shaar carefully maneuvered the “reins” with his hand while hugging its neck for balance.
The deer carried Shaar the whole morning. At noon, Shaar finally decided to give this poor exhausted beast a break. While the deer was recovering its stamina, Shaar used his charred pitch fork and stabbed a small hole in its body to take some blood. After collecting the needed amount, he used some herbal paste made from forest plants and put it on the wound. After that, he released this tired fellow.
After having a few sips of the deer blood, a feeling of hot air started flowing inside his stomach. This heat quickly rushed through his body, keeping him warm even when the wind was whizzing around.
Deep inside the forest, Shaar stopped and tried to confirm the direction he was moving. He was quite sure that he was around two hundred miles away from the northeast part of Primal Wildfire Town. Maybe northwest would be more accurate, since he had to move a bit west during his journey.
He could not move further north anymore, considering it would be too close to the dwarves’ territory. Shaar certainly did not want to die yet.
At the same time, it was also a bad idea to head east. The wilderness to the east belonged to the Goblins and those creatures were even tougher to deal with than the dwarves.
According to the message given by the old profiteer, the Ferocious Lion should be residing around this part of the jungle. Perhaps it would be wiser to go a bit further to the west.
It was time to do some preparation!
Shaar walked towards a small swamp, bent his flexible body like a cat and found a few black mud frogs with fluid sacs on their backs currently croaking in the water.
These little creatures behaved like lazy morons. All they did was squat beside the swamp and croak all day long while not even bothering to move their asses. They would not even stretch their legs if you tried to catch them.
Shaar found a sharp branch and started to drain some fluid from the sacs of these mud frogs. The fluid was not toxic but it was enough to create a sense of paralysis.
Essentially speaking, a lot of hunters who were familiar with the jungle knew this practice and used it as a painkiller for injuries.
To finish his preparation, Shaar went to find a tall pine and picked up several dozens of dried sharp hard pine needles. He found a really thin branch, then took out the vessels in it without destroying the bark. He tendered it with his soft and caring hands of skillful dexterity.
Thanks to the axe skills taught by his old man, Shaar trained by using a 10 kg axe to carve a flower out of tofu. Now after a decade of practice, Shaar acquired a pair of extremely skilled hands.
He wrapped up the bark like a blowpipe and put the pine needles dipped with toxic fluid from the mud frog inside. A natural but effective blowgun had been made.
After finishing his task, Shaar coated some toxic fluid on his charred pitch fork and his firewood axe. Finally done with his preparations, he rolled up his trousers, fixed them with ropes and started searching the jungle for his prey.
In less than an hour after he had left the swamp, some rustling sounds came from the undergrowth in front of him. It immediately alerted Shaar.
His eyes lit up! Could it be that I struck gold?!
He immediately lifted his axe and sneaked closer to the undergrowth. Holding his charred pitch fork in the other hand and ready to blow out his darts at any time!
Everyone knew that the Ferocious Lion had a ruthless temper!
Ten steps away from the patch of bushes, Shaar suddenly smelled a faint odor of blood and became a bit puzzled. Slightly hesitating, he quickly grabbed a rock from the ground and threw it towards the noise.
The stone thrown into the grove was followed by a dull thumping sound and a sudden “ahem” noise. This sounded a bit strange but it had a painful tone to it.
Was it a person?!
Surprised for a moment, Shaar walked several steps towards it and used his charred pitch fork to open the patch in the bush.
On the ground behind the bush, was a person. This fellow was wearing a high quality fur lined robe, his body shrunk into a ball and his hands were holding his head which was bleeding badly. His dirty fingers were pressing against the wound and dried blood could be seen between his nails.
It was very obvious that this head wound was caused by his stone and was his undoing….
Seeing this pitiful scene, Shaar finally relaxed fighting posture. He took a deep breath, stared this fellow in the eyes and shouted: “Hey! Don’t you know that when you scare people, someone can die from it! Fortunately, I did not throw my pitch fork or you would have let go of your last fart today!”
That person was still holding his head while giving off a soft whining noise. It sounded like “so painful”.
Still venting off his anger, Shaar angrily approached him: “Idiot, of course it hurts when a stone hits your head. Is there something wrong with your brain or what? And why you are hiding in the bushes? I almost mistook you for a magical beast… you almost made me a murderer you know?!”
When he arrived in front of him, he finally saw this guy’s left leg!
A circular iron trap had caught his leg!
These kinds of animal traps ensnared their prey with countless sharp iron spikes. From the look of it, that person looked badly hurt. He was lucky that he wore thick leather boots and even with them his left calf got pierced and was covered in blood.
Additionally, a pool of blood could be seen on the ground.
It was clear that this trap was set by a hunter and this unlucky bastard probably did not notice it and actually stepped on it.
Seeing this scene Shaar was dumbfounded….
Uh… hitting someone with a stone was already a bad thing to do, let alone hit an already wounded pitiful creature?
Looking at it, even Shaar felt a little sorry for him and he immediately ran over to help the pitiful creature. While holding the animal trap, he tried to pry it open by force.
Finally realizing the pain, the pitiful creature gave off a loud cry. Shaar grabbed his body while moving it to a better position.
The moment this fellow got grabbed, he started to struggle violently and used his hands to desperately push Shaar away while randomly shouting: “Let me go, I’d rather die than go back with you guys!”
The moment Shaar opened the trap with all his power, the recoil threw him to the ground. That guy immediately jumped up, his body recovered its strength for some miraculous reason and started to escape.
After two steps, Shaar could not help but shout: “Hey, wait….”
“Leave me alone, I am never going back!”
“No, I mean….”
Just when Shaar wanted to finish his sentence, “Ah!!!” a sharp shrill scream mixed with a “popping” sound of an iron spring could be heard.
Unfortunately for the pitiful creature, his foot triggered another animal trap.
This time, the right leg….