Book 3 Chapter 25 - The More Pivotal, the More Patience is Needed

“Hungry, so hungry!”

Meng Bai crawled up from a pile of hay within some big black stones. He was forcibly woken up from hunger.

After two days of trekking, the students of various departments finally reached Half Snow Gray Plains together with the Self Defense Department students.

After arriving at Half Snow Gray Plains, Meng Bai also finally understood why Lin Xi said that normally, when the Self Defense Department students had this class, most of the time, no one ran into each other.

This Half Snow Gray Plains was just like a curved natural harbor. According to what the academy lecturers said, everything between the northwest Heaven Ascension Mountain Range to their current side of the mountain range belonged to Half Snow Gray Plains, all of them could move freely within. However, the distance between themselves and the northwestern side’s Heaven Ascension Mountain Range really was too far, to the extent where they could only make out a very faint black outline of that extremely imposing main mountain range vein.

Half of these enormous plains were above the snow line, covered with snow and all types of needle-leaved trees, the other half below the snow line where there were all types of frozen earth meadows, rugged valleys, and a jungle that stretched as far as the eye could see.

If he didn’t come together with Lin Xi this time, perhaps the second he arrived here, seeing this inhospitable natural environment, this completely uninhabited wasteland and tundra, he would have directly cried.

This campsite was something Lin Xi helped them choose. It was far from the snow line, to the northwest of it was an expanse of pine wood that blocked mountain winds from that side, and there was even a creek nearby. Even though they already investigated yesterday, finding that there were basically no small fish inside, at the very least, drinking water wouldn’t be an issue. The dry withered grass, together with some moss to cover it, could allow them to preserve their body temperatures better when they slept at night. Meanwhile, under Lin Xi’s guidance, before Meng Bai and the others laid down, they buried some charcoal and stones in the earth, ensuring that they would always have warmth beneath them for the first half of the night.

However, despite the already extremely experienced Lin Xi giving him a lot of help in these aspects, according to the academy’s regulations, all edible things had to be gathered or hunted by oneself. The rather timid Meng Bai naturally wouldn’t dare challenge the authority of the academy’s lecturers and cheat.

Meng Bai who was roused awake by hunger discovered that the sky had already brightened, while the areas where Lin Xi and the others were resting were also empty, they clearly already set out earlier to search for stuff.

It had already been ten hours since Meng Bai last ate anything. His returns last time weren’t that small, finding two palm-sized drought turtles in an underbrush, so he was still able to eat quite a decent meal. Despite this being the case, since he didn’t eat anything decent during the two day journey here, mostly eating various larva and grassroots to allay his hunger, together with cultivators needing a lot of food to begin with, those small turtles only a tenth of his normal food quantity, he felt an unprecedented kind of hunger. The moment he woke up from hunger, Meng Bai already sensed his body’s abnormalities. His body felt a bit cold, and it was shaking, a type of indescribable and strange flustered shaking.

Meng Bai understood extremely clearly, this situation was an indicator of his stamina already unable to keep up due to his extreme hunger state.

Hungry! He was just too hungry! The griping pain from his stomach roared like thunder, constantly reminding Meng Bai to eat something. It was to the extent where he wanted to pull up some nearby wild flowers and weeds and throw them into his mouth, but the remaining rationality in his brain told him that if he ate those things, he might just directly be half dead from diarrhea, leaving him with even greater suffering.

His eyes stopped on the two tortoiseshells that he had previously smashed apart by the bonfire.

The meat on these two tortoiseshells had long been completely licked clean, only some tougher skin left on the shells. However, despite this being the case, after forcefully swallowing his saliva, Meng Bai still placed this solid outer skin and two shells on the scorching hot charcoal… and then chewed with his teeth, used rocks to cut it. This hard skin that was completely burnt black, as tough as old leather, was completely swallowed down by Meng Bai.

Now that he finally had something in his stomach, the flustered feeling becoming a bit better, Meng Bai carried a spear made from hardwood, and then walked towards the lower breeches of the nearby stream. According to what Lin Xi said yesterday, that region might very well have some bird species tracks.

Gao Yanan quietly lowered her body, carefully examining the surrounding white kobresia that looked like it didn’t have much water content, but was actually alive.

Normally speaking, the plains and mountain forest below the snow line would have much more things that could be used. However, these Half Snow Gray Plains had clearly been specially chosen by the academy lecturers, most of the areas that were irrigated by rivers just happened to be rocky ground or a tundra belt. Moreover, because the other areas of Heaven Ascension Mountain range shouldn’t lack vegetation, water plants and areas with moderate temperatures, for cultivators who hunted for food, this region really was a bit too barren.

Among the several stalks of white kobresia, there was a black solid lump, Gao Yanan easily determined that this was the excrement of some type of large insect. After following some chewed tracks, Gao Yanan quickly found several fat white bugs that were two to three times the size of a thumb.

“Truly disgusting.”

While looking at these fat white bugs, Gao Yanan’s pretty brows furrowed deeply, pouting while thinking aloud. However, when she rubbed her sunken small stomach, this tall and slender young lady still strung these fat bugs up with a grass stem, preparing to bring them back to roast and eat.

Lin Xi sat within a grove, before him some short hills. There were all types of weeds growing within, between them even some small yellow wild chrysanthemums.

The last ‘great meal’ he ate was in the middle of the night yesterday. While borrowing the fiery light of a few pieces of firewood, he caught more than ten little fish that were even smaller than his pinkie from a puddle. These were far from compensating his loss in strength, which was why two hours ago, he already began to shake mysteriously just like Meng Bai, his four limbs feeling weak.

However, right now, he wasn’t looking all over for food, instead extremely patiently sharpening some pieces of wood that he had already straightened with heat.

At his side was a simple and crude longbow made from hardwood and some type of tough and slender vine.

After finely sharpening the end of a slender piece of berry wood, he then split a feather from who knew what kind of goose into two, inserting them into the grooves he carved into the slender piece of wood. With a string of plant fiber, he bound everything tightly in place, thus, a simple arrow already appeared.

Lin Xi picked up this arrow in an extremely familiar manner, drew his bow, and then fired towards the muddy earth not far away.

With a light sou noise, this arrow stabbed into the muddy earth, piercing roughly two finger lengths in.

Lin Xi’s face immediately revealed an expression of satisfaction. He retrieved the arrow, and then after wiping away the earth from the arrowtip, he placed it next to him, starting to make another arrow.

If everyone watched every one of his moves carefully, they would find that the heads of the arrows he made just happened to have a knot at the front. This way, when the arrowtips were sharpened, even without additional weights, they would still be a bit heavier than the other parts of the arrow, making its flight through the air more stable. In addition, the arrowheads’ materials would also be a bit denser, more difficult to break.

The academy’s wilderness survival training didn’t allow them to bring any weapons, but there were no restrictions on collecting materials and making weapons themselves. The reason why Lin Xi continued to do this even when his stamina was being overdrafted, still forcefully enduring the extreme hunger, patiently creating the arrows, was because he already discovered hare excrement in the outside region.

In this type of wasteland without large scale herbivores, hares, badgers, foxes, and dogs became the best source of food.

According to his experiences, some of the hares weighed more than fifteen or sixteen jin in weight. If he could hunt a hare, he could truly eat his fill, giving him even more stamina to gather or hunt other food.

Lin Xi prepared materials for six arrows in total. However, when he completed the fourth arrow, his body suddenly stopped.

On the slope, right before his eyes, appeared a moving lump of gray color.

It was a gray rabbit, extremely plump, at least sixteen or seventeen jin in weight. For Lin Xi, this was extremely perfect.

However, after suddenly stopping, his breathing instead became more calm and easy. He still didn’t produce a single noise, continuing to complete the assembly of this arrow.

The windstalker special training taught Lin Xi that the more pivotal the situation was, the more patient one had to be, the more one had to wait for a suitable opportunity.

Qin Xiyue slowly headed towards a low slope up ahead.

Her luck wasn’t bad, early this morning, she already discovered two chicken egg-sized fowl eggs, moreover dug up a piece of stem tuber she could use as food. However, this naturally still couldn’t completely free her from the feeling of hunger.

These two days of poor meals and sleeping outdoors filled her sparkling jade complexion with a haggardness, like dust that covered fine jade.

In the eyes of many of Yunqin’s nobles and true golden spoons, a beauty like her naturally shouldn’t be enduring this type of torment, she should be in a lady’s private room and carefully tended to. However, Qin Xiyue herself didn’t have this type of thinking. She didn’t want to be a useless flower vase, to the extent of being lowered to being the accessory or plaything of men.

That was why she would rather suffer, that was why she wanted to become strong, that was why she looked down on those people who weren’t willing to suffer, who were still muddle-headed, lacking ambition.

Suddenly, when she made her way around a low mound, preparing to examine the scenery ahead of her, Qin Xiyue’s body went rigid, even her breathing  momentarily pausing.

She saw a lump of moving gray color… a plump hare!

Almost the moment she saw this hare, the gray hare who was originally continuously nibbling on something straightened its body, noticing her.

Without any hesitation, the hare immediately ran crazily towards the woods on the side!

Qin Xuyue’s mind immediately became overwhelmed with disappointment. She felt the urge to crazily chase after it, but her rationality told her that because the hare was already extremely close to the woods, even if she used up all of her strength to chase it, this hare could still completely disappear in the forest within a dozen breaths of time.

However, right at this time, what made her body freeze up again, was that with a sou sound, a light wind noise sounded. An arrow shot out from the forest, striking this frantically fleeing hare with incomparable precision.

This simple and crude arrow clearly lacked power, unable to penetrate through the gray rabbit, but a second arrow flew out without any hesitation, landing on the body of this hare who already had an arrow sticking out from its body, speed visibly slowed.

The hare finally discovered that it couldn’t escape into the forest, but after only running out a few steps, it powerlessly collapsed.

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