Using his multipurpose military shovel, Zhang Tie dug in the upper hole in the tree. The military shovel could become a miniature hoe by folding the foldable shovel head vertically into each other. One edge of the head of the hoe was very sharp and could be used as a miniature axe, while the other edge was full of jagged teeth and could be used as a saw. While humming a tune, Zhang Tie flicked the shovel to clean off the rotten woods in the cave. As everyone found it refreshing and interesting to live in tree hollows, they worked really hard.
Barley and Sharwin were responsible for making a fire to cook supper that would be cooked in the huge black pot on the stone hearth, and Doug and Hista were responsible for sending out warnings for any danger within 50m, while Zhang Tie, Bagdad, and Leit were responsible for the renovation of the holes in the trees.
After renovating the lower hole, the three of them placed all their attention onto the upper hole. Compared to the lower hole, the upper hole required more work. As the upper hole had a limited amount of space and only had enough space to allow one person to enter for the first time, only when the first person had expanded the size inside could a second person enter. Thus, it was slower to renovate the upper hole. Zhang Tie was the first one to enter the upper hole. One hour later, Zhang Tie exited the hole and replacing him was Leit. After another hour, Leit exited and Bagdad entered. After two more hours, the space inside could already barely hold two people, thus as Bagdad left, Zhang Tie and Leit entered again. After another hour of work, Bagdad could push himself in as well. From then on, the renovation work for the upper hole started to accelerate.
At noon, several groups of students from the Second National Male Middle School and the Seventh National Male Middle School also noticed the renovated tree hollows. Two groups of guys from the Second National Male Middle School had even intended to chase away the Hit-Plane Brotherhood by relying on their superior numbers, but when Doug held the "Iron Gate T21" and aimed it at those malicious fellows, they could only reluctantly leave as the corners of their eyes twitched. They would never have imagined that the Hit-Plane Brotherhood would be so crazy to even bring along the "Iron Gate T21". The "Iron Gate T21" was a machine-driven crossbow with two strings, and the two strings could be pulled simultaneously, allowing one to shoot two arrows at the same time. The arrows shot from the "Iron Gate T21" could pierce through an armored human body as long as it was within a distance of 50m. Anyone who wanted the tree hollows would suffer a miserable loss once Doug pulled the trigger of the bow twice. Naturally, nobody dared to trespass in their territory. As it was merely a place to stay, casualties were not worth it.
Working through the entire afternoon, they finally finished renovating the upper hole just as dusk was about to fall. At the time of completion, the upper hole could barely allow two people to lay inside; however, having two people lay inside and having three people stand inside were completely different matters, as the three people standing would all feel a bit exhausted. Finally, Leit couldn't stand anymore and was replaced by Hista. Bagdad and the other members of the Hit-Plane Brother were really amazed that Zhang Tie could stand as long as Bagdad. They were even in awe at Zhang Tie, who looked as normal as before. For Zhang Tie, he had indirectly showed his strength as a LV 1 fighter and could even surpass Bagdad by a bit at that moment. After igniting his Shrine burning point, Zhang Tie's physique had already improved greatly, quickly narrowing the gap between the physique of a Chinese and that of another human race. Certainly, if Bagdad had also ignited his Shrine burning point and had gained the same benefits as him, then Zhang Tie knew that he would not be his match. But, how could Bagdad ignite his Shrine burning point as fast as him?
After thinking through this point, Zhang Tie became more confident of being able to successfully complete the survival training.
In the evening, the aroma drifting from the hot pot of soup made everyone feel hungry. Naturally, when Barley called them, everybody took their own food container and moved around that pot of hot soup. Compressed dry food plus a bowl of hot meat soup——it was simply perfect!
Inside the soup were the dried beef brought by Barley and the wild fiddlehead foraged by Sharwin. After boiling them in lightly salted water, they ended up with the delicious soup.
Everybody was satisfied with this supper. After supper, they cleaned their dinnerware in the small stream a few dozen meters away. When they all returned, they all sat by the bonfire under the tree as they discussed their next course of action.
"I think it will take us another day to finish the second stage of the renovation, after which we would be able to completely put the two holes to use. The food that we had brought with us will only last one week. For the remaining two months, we will have to gather food by ourselves. Considering how we all eat from the same big pot, in theory, we should all submit about a kilogram of food each day," Barley said solemnly as he glanced over every member of the brotherhood. "Since this survival training is dangerous, we might lose our lives when searching for food. We have to take this seriously. As we are brothers and will eat together, we have to consider our collective interests as well as our individual interests when it comes to obtaining food and its distribution. We will not force any member of the brotherhood to do something that is inconsistent with the principles of our brotherhood. I've already thought up a plan for food allocation. Let's discuss about that…"
Barley then poured out the details of his distribution plan. The food collected through a group effort will be evenly distributed and consumed by all the members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood. If an individual acquires food by themselves, then it will be dealt according to its weight. For amounts less than 1kg, since they all ate from the same big pot, it should be used to replenish the group's food supply, so that will belong to the group. For amounts that weighed between 1kg and 3kg, it will belong to the individual's emergency food supply, which should be safely stored somewhere and would only be used in times of emergency. As everyone has to eat, if someone in the group has an insufficient amount, someone else would have to bail you out. For amounts greater than 3kg, it will depend on the individual who found it. They could send it to others, use it seduce girls, or exchange it for other things at Wild Wolf Castle. That person could also contribute the food to the Hit-Plane Brotherhood in exchange for credits worth the same in the market of Blackhot City. The credits could then be exchanged for a ticket when it accumulated to a certain degree. Using Barley as an example, that fatty had two vote tickets because of his contributions to the Hit-Plane Brotherhood.
After Barley declared his plan, everybody agreed after a short discussion. It truly considered both their individual interests as well as the collective interests of the group.
"If I submit more than 1 kg of food every day, can I freely do my own thing for the rest of the time?" Zhang Tie asked Barley.
"You can be free to do your own thing. However, at our tree base, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm every day, we must have at least one person on duty that will cook. In addition, we will take turns being on duty; one will stay on duty from 6:00 pm to 0:00 am, and someone else will replace him from 0:00 am to 8:00 am. As long as you submit enough food and will not disturb the other members, you are free to do whatever you want during the rest of the time!" After explaining, Barley curiously looked at Zhang Tie and gave him a suggestion, "Bighead, it's dangerous to act alone. As we are brothers, we should work together for the sake of our safety!"
"The thing I want to do is probably something you guys don't want to do!" Zhang Tie smiled.
Bagdad raised his chest and replied, "There's nothing to fear. If you want to fight Glaze's group, we brothers will support you!"
"That's right!" the rest of the people said in unison.
"I want to dig in the mines. Do you still want to go with me?" Zhang Tie said as he stared at those guys. Hearing his words, everyone's eyes opened widely.
"Dig in the mines? You want to dig in the mines?" with his mouth gaping, Barley asked.
"I know how you guys see those who aren't able to find food and have to suffer bitter feelings because they couldn't find enough food to complete the survival training. But, I really do find mining to be fun!" Zhang Tie blinked as he naively looked at them. "I have always felt since I was young that mining was interesting. Since I have the opportunity, I must seize this chance!"
"Brother, you will regret it!" Hista sincerely suggested. "This survival training is our test and is also an opportunity arranged by Blackhot City for us to get acquainted with and perhaps even marry those girls. No girl would like a man who isn't even able to gather sufficient amounts of food through hunting and would rather just make himself dirty in the caves. The people who had dug in the mines there in the past years were just guys with bad luck. Most of them were even single."
"Since this has been one of my dreams since I was a kid, I would still like to give it a try. If it's not interesting, then I'll just come back!"
Hearing Zhang Tie's words, the corner of everybody's mouths began to twitch. They became speechless. Even Barley couldn't think it through. Since Zhang Tie was such a smart kid, why did he want to be a miner when he was a kid? Though, he wasn't one to speak since he had dreamed to become a prestigious concierge when he was a child.
Seeing the looks of amazements on their faces, Zhang Tie apologized inwardly, "Sorry, brothers! This survival training means different things for you and I. For you, you are here to gather sufficient food and perhaps even earn the favor of those girls, but I am here to gather enough energy for my Castle of Black Iron. I don't know where else I could replenish my Castle of Black Iron's basic energy storage. It would be difficult for me to find an opportunity in a short period of time once we return back to Blackhot City or some other destination."
Before the survival training had begun, Zhang Tie had already decided that his goal for the survival training was to make the Castle of Black Iron grow stronger. After learning of the effects of the first Leakless Fruit and surviving his first life and death encounter, Zhang Tie obtained a deep understanding of the changes and hopes that the Castle of Black Iron had brought. The Castle of Black Iron and that small tree were his two top-guarded secrets, ones which were closely related to his fate. Because of the Castle of Black Iron and that marvelous tree, Zhang Tie had already stepped onto a road that was completely different from the others. When compared to the Castle of Black Iron and the marvelous tree, a little bit of food, the looks of ridicules, and the mocking from others became nothing significant.
As Zhang Tie and the others were idly chatting under the tree, Doug, who had run towards the grass to relieve his bowels, suddenly shrieked, causing all the members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood to grab their weapons and rush towards him. Bagdad and Zhang Tie rushed forward shoulder in shoulder, causing Bagdad to cast a look of amazement at Zhang Tie. When they drew close to Doug, everybody gaped…
With his trousers off, Doug was crying as he jumped around in the grass while covering his bottom. "Ahh, my ass! These bastards… Can't they even let me take a sh*t?"
Seeing the members of the brotherhood running towards him, with dripping tears, Doug ran towards them with his bottom exposed as if he had just seen his saviors. "Help! Quick! Help me take a look. My ass was just bitten by something… I think it might be poisonous… I'm going to die… Help!"
Without even having pulled up his trousers, Doug ran towards the group, inevitably tripping on his trousers and falling onto the ground. When Doug fell, Zhang Tie clearly saw a bloody mark on his swollen left butt cheek.
Bagdad hurriedly helped Doug up as Zhang Tie rushed towards where Doug had just been. That guy had just left a landmine——there was a pile of sh*t over there. The moment Zhang Tie arrived there, the odor almost made him vomit; however, compared to the life of his brother, the smell was nothing serious. Zhang Tie wanted to figure out what had bitten Doug, so he could quickly cure him with the right medicine.
As he ran over there, Zhang Tie casually broke a twig. When he arrived, Zhang Tie held his breath and started to search for the thing that had bitten Doug at the place where he had squatted. Luckily, he soon found a blue-gray scorpion which had its tail raised in the patch of grass beside the "landmine"; it was currently preparing to attack Zhang Tie. The instant Zhang Tie saw it, he became relaxed; however, the smelly odor almost made Zhang Tie roll backwards. He hurried broke the twig into two halves and nipped the scorpion as if he was nipping vegetables with a pair of chopsticks.
"Ah! It's so painful! I'm going to die… Hurry, brothers! Someone help me suck out the poison. If not, I really will die soon. I already feel numb in half my body. Ah… I feel cold… Hurry up… Ah..." Doug cried miserably over there as he glanced at the other members of Hit-Plane Brotherhood, who showed weird expressions. Before Zhang Tie returned, every member of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood looked pale and had a solemn look on their faces; they looked as if they were making a choice of life or death as they stared at the swollen spot on Doug's butt. The atmosphere was very weird. They looked at each other and became speechless. Sucking out the poison wasn't a problem, but someone would have to put their mouth on Doug's butt. That… That...
As they were drawing lots, at the sight of Zhang Tie, who was walking towards them with the scorpion, everyone hurriedly rushed forward as if they had seen their savior.
"Don't worry, it's nothing serious. It's just an ordinary blue-gray scorpion, which isn't very poisonous. Those who had been bitten will recover after a day of rest..." As he said that, Zhang Tie showed the scorpion to the others. Whoop! Everybody became relaxed. At the same time, Doug, who was crying about how that poisonous fluid had flowed into his heart and how half his body had already felt numb, shut his mouth.
It was just an ordinary blue-gray scorpion which had a little toxicity. Those who were bitten would only feel a little bit of pain, and at most, it would slightly affect their actions temporarily; it was nothing serious. After becoming relaxed, they realized something and then shot Doug, who was still lying on his stomach, a furious glare. What a bastard! Thinking of how Doug said that half his body already felt numb and the poisonous fluid had flowed into his heart, they realized they were almost cheated by him. At this realization, when they had come to terms with what the consequences of being cheated by Doug would have been, everybody became furious inside…
Moving forward with an obscene smile, Barley said, "You said that you felt half your body being numb?"
"Kaka!" With a pinch of his fingers, Bagdad also gloomily walked over. "You also said you had started to feel cold…"
"Poisonous fluid had already arrived at your heart?" Leit asked solemnly with arms crossed.
"Were you planning to let us suck out the poison from your butt?" Hista smiled obscenely.
"You are a liar!" Sharwin pouted.
Feeling as if something was not right, Doug immediately pulled up his trousers and stood up. Seeing his movement, even Zhang Tie frowned and became speechless. "He seems to have not even cleaned his butt. He's… really… really… great!"
"I… just now… was too nervous. Right, I was too nervous, so my body had the wrong feelings!" Doug stammered.
"Felt the wrong feelings? We'll help you correct it. I remember a method. We don't need to suck out the poisonous fluid for you; there's a mystical oriental treatment where we just beat your wounds to help the poisonous fluid flow out" Saying that, Bagdad kicked Doug's wound, causing him to cry out miserably. The instant Doug intended to escape, he was caught by Bagdad. Afterwards, with the exception of Zhang Tie, everybody charged at him. In the next three minutes, Doug, who had just been stung by a scorpion, got to experience the "beating treatment" and its effects…