Being dreamless, last night was Zhang Tie's best sleep during the past days. Especially since together with Blues he had set up that bear trap on the path people had to take if they wanted to enter where the two people were sleeping.
The whole night wolves' howls drifted into the mountain cave from the Prairie outside. Some howls seemed like they were coming from not that far off. If it was before, Zhang Tie would have definitely not been able to sleep well; he would have definitely checked outside again and again with lance in hand to reassure himself that there was nothing there. However, last night, Zhang Tie had slept unexpectedly well.
The never-ending wolf howls outside the mountain cave reminded him of dog barks and the sound of raindrops falling onto the roof of his own attic at home in Blackhot City. It seemed to be a rainy night as raindrops and dog barks drifted into his ears from outside. Everything combined into a sort of tranquility. Hearing those common noises, Zhang Tie felt reassured and easily fell asleep.
Zhang Tie knew that it was not raining outside the mountain cave. The wolf howls were still wolf howls; where he lay was a mountain cave on the border of the Crescent Prairie instead of his own attic. Nothing had changed except for his inner heart and his own feelings.
Like how he had felt being a flesh bag in the Iron Thorns Fighting Club. When he changed his attitude and emotions towards it, everything changed!
Last night, Zhang Tie had experienced a wholly new change inside himself.
Not knowing why. Perhaps because he came back late last night, his biological clock didn't wake him up a bit after 6 am the next morning as usual.
When Zhang Tie woke up, the sun had already risen high. He felt so comfortable that the moment reminded him of the feel of waking up late in the morning at home. His parents spoiled him like that sometimes. During the holidays, when he didn't need to go to school, his mom always liked to see him wake up late morning like a pig and get up when the sun was hanging so high in the sky, it shone on his face.
Before Zhang Tie was twelve, his mom would take away his quilt and pat his fat bottom to wake him up in the late morning. When Zhang Tie would open his dizzy eyes, he could always see the happy smile on his mom's face and that assumed solemnity after the smile.
That was his mom's most beautiful smile in Zhang Tie's memory!
When Zhang Tie woke up, Blues had already left, leaving Zhang Tie alone. Last night, after Zhang Tie had returned, Blues seemed to have been stimulated, feeling like he was seeing a weird monster with three heads and six arms when he looked at Zhang Tie.
Zhang Tie had felt it even in sleep. Blues got up very early this morning and left after picking up his bow and arrows...
After waking up, Zhang Tie didn't get up immediately; instead, he just stayed in his sleeping bag and listened to the various sounds drifting in from outside the mountain cave, including tweets of birds and insects and the sound of 'Bi bi' produced by tree leaves in the wind.
It really felt like sleeping in late at home! Zhang Tie stretched his body with satisfaction, then slowly got up.
Although it was his big day today, Zhang Tie felt very relaxed. Filled to the brim with the comfortable feeling, he really felt like living a weekend at home.
Donder said that whatever you did, you should learn to be relaxed after busy work. The law of being relaxed after busy work was the law of Yin and Yang in the east.
Since he was tense the whole day before, Zhang Tie decided to have a good rest today. After a good rest, he would then choose a place to eat fruits. That was Zhang Tie's full plan for today.
The clothes that he wore last night were put aside. If there was anything unsatisfactory last night, it would be the wolves' blood that covered his body from top to bottom. With the exception of his inner clothes, all that he had worn last night had to be changed and washed at once. Blues had said he was very cool and handsome last night. However, no matter how cool and handsome he was last night, his clothes would never get clean themselves.
After getting up, Zhang Tie changed to a clean set of clothes. He then slowly cleaned his face and mouth at a pond outside the mountain cave before swaggering back. After grabbing the pile of dirty clothes, he moved back onto a stone beside the pond and started to wash them carefully.
Zhang Tie's coat and trousers were both ordinary and jet black, made of Kalan cloth, which was a machine-woven cloth. The most evident features of Kalan cloth were low price and abrasion-resistance. Because it was made of cotton, despite not being water-proof and not having the greatest look, it could maintain warmth.
Most of the students at school wore this, which was also the most favorite cloth of civilians in Blackhot City. As for that costume of City Guard Army left by his elder brother, unless it was an evening party, Zhang Tie would never wear it daily during survival training.
As for the bloody places on his pitch black Kalan cloth, he could not see the red stains after a simple washing. Unless carefully looking for them, he could not even discover the delicate difference between the cleaned bloody places and their surroundings. However, the wolf blood on his white coarse linen shirt could not be cleaned no matter how hard he washed it, especially from the collar. So he couldn't wear the white shirt anymore as compensation for last night's crazy massacre.
Zhang Tie's vest was also sprayed with some wolf blood, one stain remaining even after being washed. Since the vest was worn close to his body, Zhang Tie didn't fear about the stain being noticed by others.
One thing though, he couldn't take the white shirt back home. If the beast blood was seen on the shirt, his mom would definitely flick his forehead fiercely, causing it to swell, when she thought of the danger at that time.
'Don't show off your talent in front of the public.' This was what his mom had confided to him for over several hundred times. Of course, Zhang Tie didn't want to let his mom worry about him.
The Wild Wolf Valley and the Crescent Prairie didn't lack water sources. The pond he was using was only 100 m away from his base. Previously, if Zhang Tie wanted to wash his clothes here, he would have taken a weapon to be reassured; however, this time he took nothing except his dirty clothes.
After washing his coat and trousers, when Zhang Tie was washing his socks, two wild wolves came to the pond. They drank by one side of the pond. After drinking, one of them raised its head and caught sight of Zhang Tie on the other side.
At this time, Zhang Tie also raised his head and peered at the two wild wolves, then he lowered his head and returned to washing his socks again. Strangely, when he saw common wild wolves in a group of 3-5 now, Zhang Tie felt nothing. Let alone fear, he didn't even feel his heart pound faster.
Glaring at Zhang Tie, the two wild wolves exposed their sharp canines, seeming a bit hesitant.
After washing a sock, Zhang Tie raised his head again and found the two wolves were still there. He then became impatient. Picking up a small cobble, Zhang Tie casually threw it at them like chasing away a cat slipping into his home to steal fish, "Piss off…"
After falling into the water, the cobble produced ripples. Seeming to be scared, the two wild wolves put their tails between their legs and disappeared into the grasses, never reappearing again.
Zhang Tie felt good today and didn't want to kill anymore.
It was just a small episode.
By the time he had finished washing the clothes and putting them to dry on a branch beside a bonfire in the mountain cave, it was noon. Missing Blues' yummy roasted hare, Zhang Tie took a lance and walked out.
Half an hour later, he returned and started to roast a hare over the bonfire in the mountain cave. Although the clothes beside the bonfire dried up very quickly, they didn't smell as good as those dried under the sun's light; he could smell a faint tinge of smoke on them. However, since he was a loner, nobody would care about it.
Soon, the aroma of the hare being cooked over the fire drifted through the air. Imitating Blues' method, Zhang Tie left some openings in the hare using his dagger and sprayed some salt and powder of wild pepper that he had collected in the Wild Wolf Valley when the hare was dropping off golden oil.
Perhaps, Blues had some special treatment method as Zhang Tie could not make it as yummy as that of Blues. But he was already very satisfied. After eating half of the hare, he burped, then went to find a huge tree beside the mountain cave. Climbing up, Zhang Tie found a place and sat there. He then enjoyed the breeze under the shadow of the tree's crown, watching the endless gorgeous scenery of the Crescent Prairie in the distance.
White clouds were slowly moving through the crystal blue sky. Several huge birds were hovering in the sky. The prairie seemed endless as the land was as straight as a blanket.
Some wild wolves were chasing after a pack of antelopes. As one was isolated from its pack, the wild wolves locked onto it. The antelope kept dashing forward like a long jump expert. It kept jumping forward in its escape. Each time it would jump very far. However, the wild wolves chased closely after it. Due to the wild wolves' terrifying endurance and speed, that antelope didn't pick itself up again after the last jump...
Zhang Tie then took a nap on the tree!
When he opened his eyes again, the sun had moved to the west, and the wind felt a bit chilly.
Feeling fully energy, Zhang Tie jumped off the tree and entered the mountain cave. After heating up the remaining half of the hare on the fire, Zhang Tie arranged his clothes and luggage and left with the lance container and his weapons.
The moment he left the mountain cave, Zhang Tie had sped up. He soon entered the "cruising condition" as a loner...
His condition now was unprecedented—good both physically and spiritually. Zhang Tie could feel that he had reached his peak condition ever since he was born 15 years ago.
It was the right moment for him to improve to LV 3 and experience the effect of the Wild Wolf Seven-Strength Fruit. Since Blues had already visited this place, Zhang Tie couldn't be certain that he would not come back. Additionally, the mountain cave was not very deep and hidden, so of course Zhang Tie would not choose to complete his most important improvement here.
The safest place that he could find was still that No.1 base: the mountain cave created by gold-eating boas.
'It's unknown when I'll be able to casually access the Castle of Black Iron, not afraid of being known by others,' Zhang Tie though while running.
However, he didn't know that when he left the mountain cave, Glaze had been close to him.
When Zhang Tie passed by the grass on the hillside, he was less than 400 m away from Glaze. Although Zhang Tie had not seen him, in the woods nearby, Glaze had caught sight of him.
Seeing Zhang Tie's back, Glaze revealed a shadow of a grin in the corner of his mouth...