"Wake up, Bighead. We're setting off…"
Due to his poor Qi and blood, Zhang Tie's biological clock had been delayed for the past couple of days. The next morning, Fatty Barley woke up Zhang Tie by shaking him. Opening his eyes, Zhang Tie realized it was almost dawn, as the last star was still hanging in the eastern parts of the sky. After spending an entire night sleeping on a sturdy stone, Zhang Tie felt a tinge of pain on the back of his head.
Seeing that both Fatty Barley and Doug had already awoken, Zhang Tie also hurriedly climbed out of his sleeping bag and started to pack his luggage. The day had not broken yet; however, the horny students in the square had already woken up one by one and were preparing for the upcoming survival training.
"I've noticed that more than ten groups have already left. It's our turn now!" Fatty Barley said as he arranged his luggage.
"Did you wake up early?" rolling up his sleeping bag, Zhang Tie asked Barley.
"Of course, I woke up early. Afterwards, I began to count the number of groups that had left. Those guys will find a path for us, and we will follow them. It won't be good if we're too early or too late."
"This fatty is truly cunning." Zhang Tie admired inwardly. "But it's really reassuring to have him as a brother."
Picking himself up from the ground, Zhang Tie glanced at where Glaze's group had stayed last night. As he predicted, the four people had already disappeared. It seemed that they had already climbed down the mountain a long time ago. As this survival training was the final chance for Glaze, he might be more anxious than anyone else to perform well.
The seven members of the Hit-Plane Brother arranged their luggage quickly and then followed the over ten groups that had departed earlier from the square outside Wild Wolf Castle. Leading to the valley below was a 200m long path paved with broken stones from the square. Walking along the path that twisted around the mountain, they entered the valley. Two other groups walked alongside the members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood before splitting up with them at the bottom of the mountain. From this point on, they had become opponents to the other groups, as there were limited inhabitable places and resources in the valley that could only be gained through luck and fighting.
On the first day of the survival training, everyone's first test was to search for a suitable place to stay.
In the wild, a proper place to stay had to meet the following three conditions: first, it had to be close to a clean water source; second, it had to be sufficiently safe; third, it had to be in a place that was convenient for them to gather enough food in the future.
Although they could feel safe and would be close to a clean water source if they stayed near the castle, it would be difficult to gather enough food. Based on the experiences of those from the previous years, most people chose to stay about 1-7 km away from the castle, though some arrogant people or groups with many members would choose a place a bit farther to stay.
With an axe in hand, Bagdad cleared the path before them as Doug, Barley, and Zhang Tie followed. Hista and Sharwin followed behind Zhang Tie, and Leit stayed at the end of the line. Everybody held their weapons and entered the valley cautiously. They couldn't be careless here because just as they walked down the path, Doug had stepped into a pile of feces from some unknown beast, who seemed to have left it here last night. When Doug cursed loudly, they all felt a chill in their hearts. They once again reminded themselves that this was Wild Wolf Valley and not Blackhot City.
After walking for 200m in the valley, Sharwin found a water-leaf willow. He then picked up several willow twigs and distributed them to the other members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood. They then chewed the willow twigs for the water inside the twigs, using it to wash their mouths. In the wild, they had to be frugal. As it was early in the morning, the temperature in the valley was still a bit low. The valley was still covered with a thin layer of fog, and dew was still on the leaves of the trees and in the grass. After walking for a while, a small portion of their clothes had gotten wet.
The "gugugu" sound from some unknown birds on the trees reverberated from far away. The valley then gradually became quiet.
After traveling less than 500m since they entered the valley, they encountered their first wolf. When Bagdad was waving the huge axe to clear the path, a wolf that had been resting in the grass 20m away suddenly stood up. After staring at them, it immediately turned back and disappeared into the woods before they could respond.
The sight of the wolf naturally made everybody tightly grip their weapons.
After walking another 1km, they found a crystal stream with a width of more than 5 meters. The river was so translucent that they could even clearly see the cobblestones and the water weeds at the bottom as well as a shoal of small fish that was swimming happily among the water weeds.
"I suggest we go deep into the valley along the river. It would be great if we could find an inhabitable place along the river!" Bagdad uttered.
"Fine!" Everybody agreed. Thus, they descended into the valley along the river. After another 1km, they passed by an abandoned mine. Surrounding that mine were several caves in the mountains nearby. The two groups that had arrived earlier had already occupied two of those caves. Seeing the huge and perfectly round caves in the precipices and the ridges, Doug asked curiously, "How could there be so many strange caves in the precipices?"
"I heard that there used to be Gold-Eating Boas who would twist over there in the past and would bore holes for themselves, but later on, they were exterminated by humans. As a result, those holes were left…"Sharwin said.
"Caves of Gold-Eating Boas?" Doug asked surprisingly. Seeing those round caves in the precipices and the ridges whose diameters varied from 1m to 3m, Zhang Tie forcefully swallowed his saliva. He tried to imagine how large those Gold-Eating Boas would be if those caves were the size of the Gold-Eating Boas. At this thought, Zhang Tie's legs felt weak, and he felt despair when he looked at those pitch black holes.
"Of course, you didn't know that?" Sharwin asked curiously.
"How did you know?" turning pale, Leit asked Sharwin.
"I read about it from the local chronicles of Blackhot City…" Sharwin said without any hesitation. "I remember that these Gold-Eating Boas from the Wild Wolf Valley were recorded in the local chronicles of Blackhot City more than 30 years ago. It was said that these Gold-Eating Boas were as old as 1000 years. At that time, in order to eliminate them, the whole Blackson Human Clan Corridor had to take action and numerous high-level fighters arrived from all directions. With the cooperation between the armies and the numerous high-level fighters, they were finally able to kill them all. After that, Blackhot City found an iron mine and a high-quality crystal mine. Tens of years later, nowadays, the crystal mine has almost been completely depleted and became useless. In contrast, the iron mine was completely deserted when the Glang Iron Mine was discovered. They had transferred the personnel over to the Glang Iron Mine due to this mine being more costly and producing lower quality iron ores, thus this iron mine was gradually abandoned. After the Gold-Eating Boas were killed, the population of the wild wolves sharply increased. Seeing so many wild wolves here, they named this place as the Wild Wolf Valley…"
Naturally, nobody in the Hit-Plane Brotherhood, with the exception of Sharwin, would be bored enough to read the local chronicles of Blackhot City. Although this event had happened more than 30 years ago, it was still terrifying to them even now.
"What if they didn't kill them all and had left a small one…" Doug muttered.
With the sound of "gulu", everybody forcefully swallowed their saliva. Looking at those mountain caves once again, they dared not to live inside them anymore.
"I think we're better off not going too deep into the valley. If we can't find a suitable place to stay after another 2 km, we should turn back…" Fatty Barley immediately suggested with a solemn look.
Everybody hurriedly nodded, and even Bagdad didn't object. Thinking of how this place used to be teething with huge snakes and monsters that were as long as 100m and could even eat the stones before them, everyone had an inexplicable feeling about Wild Wolf Valley.
After searching for about 4 hours, the seven members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood finally found a place that was about 5 km away from Wild Wolf Castle. There was a Dragon-Claw Tree with a diameter of more than 10m near the small woods. Unknown whether or not this was a mutated species, this Dragon-Claw Tree that was covered in lumps was the largest one they had ever seen. Its height was greater than 50m, and at the top of the tree was a cloud-like crown, which covered several mu of land. Previously, seeing the tree, they had wanted to take a rest over there, but they ended up finding a hollow cave on the tree that was 4m away from the ground. Climbing onto the tree, Bagdad took a peep inside and surprisingly found that the inside of the hollow cave was very spacious and could easily hold three people. What was more marvelous was that someone had once lived inside; this should have been the living place of someone who had previously attended the survival training. Everybody then became excited. Each of them climbed onto the tree to peep inside. Fortunately, they found another natural hollow cave, which was much smaller than the first one and could only hold one person, 7m above the ground on the same tree. Even with the two hollow caves, the Dragon-Claw Tree still looked very green; however, the wood inside the tree had already become completely rotten. It seemed as if it had been struck by lightning, as one could easily grab some wood scraps from the inside of the hollow cave.
"Why not renovate it into a place that could hold the seven of us?" Leit's words made everybody spirited. It could already hold four people and it did not seem difficult to further renovate it, thus everyone immediately started to work.
The renovation was composed of two steps. The first step was to expand the space of the two hollow caves as much as possible. The lower cave should be able to hold four people, their equipment, and food, while the upper cave should be expanded as much as possible. If it was expanded to be as large as the lower cave, then it would be able to hold another three people and they would all be able to live inside.
After expanding the inner space of the two tree caves, they would arrive at the second step of renovation: breaking through the two hollow caves by leaving an "N"-shaped path between them. At least two or three people could sleep in the "N"-shaped space, so they would not feel cramped inside the caves.
As they had learned some preliminary carpenter's skills at school and didn't need to make it nice-looking and delicate, they could easily do this kind of work.
Bagdad waved his axe together while Zhang Tie and Leit used their multi-purpose military shovels. With wood scraps flying everywhere, it only took them over two hours to finish the work on the lower hollow cave.
Seeing those wood scraps inside the hollow caves, Barley shouted, "Ah, don't throw them away. These dried wood scraps can be used as firewood. We will not have to worry about lacking firewood for the next couple of weeks…"
Everybody burst out into laughter…