Mr. Zerom passed by the students and walked towards the other teachers of the Temporary Supervision Committee. As casualties would happen every year during the survival training, the Temporary Supervision Committee, despite being the ones to organize the survival training, were not responsible for any student casualties; however, they were expected to give a reasonable explanation to the student's school as well as to the student's parents. All seven teachers of the Temporary Supervision Committee were expected to report on that incident. Although the report was systematic, it was also very necessary. After all, it was a matter of life. Although the teachers and coaches didn't have to take responsibility for it, they should at the very least clearly explain to the parents how their child had died.
After receiving the news about Zhang Tie in Wild Wolf Castle, Captain Kerlin, Mr. Zerom, and the other five teachers and coaches soon arrived at where Zhang Tie had encountered the attack; they had come to to investigate what had happened.
Mr. Zerom was the best among them at drawing information from trivial clues. Walking along the path between where Zhang Tie had dropped his basket and the jet-black hole twice, he had even lowered his body by the patch of grass, the place where the wild wolves had set ambush, for a short while before returning to the other members of the Temporary Supervision Committee with a strange look on his face.
"How is it, Zerom?" Captain Kerlin's face was slightly dark. He remembered that Zhang Tie was one of the rare students among the undergraduates who were able to impress him. He would never have thought that it would have been Zhang Tie who was attacked by the wolves. This really made him depressed, as what happened to Zhang Tie reminded him of those days when his comrades-in-arms and friends left the mortal world during a battle.
"That is terrifying, really terrifying..." Mr. Zerom looked very solemn.
"Certainly. For someone to encounter such an incident, it is truly terrifying. These kinds of incidents have not occurred in more than a decade within the area 5 km from Wild Wolf Castle. As the guards from the castle always swept the areas near the castle, the wolves had become too afraid to appear at all. Nobody knows why a group of wolves would suddenly appear in an area so close to the castle." At the sight of the two corpses of wolves on the ground, a female teacher slightly shook her head and sighed. "What a pity! Judging from the wounds on the bodies of the wild wolves and what the students who saw the fight had said, this student called Zhang Tie should be quite formidable if he didn't die. From his braveness, his decisiveness, and his intelligence, Zhang Tie should already be among the best of those at his age..."
"I didn't mean this incident is terrifying. I meant that the student called Zhang Tie is terrifying..." Zerom shook his head. Hearing his comments, all the other teachers looked over at Zerom.
"What do you mean by that student is terrifying?" one teacher asked.
Zerom replied with a slight smile. Then, he turned around and talked to Captain Kerlin. "How did this student usually perform at school? Was he one of the recommended students from your school?"
"He was pretty normal at school and had no outstanding performance during the past three years. He was only a bit smart and had a good temperament..." Slightly frowning, although Captain Kerlin did not like the way Zerom spoke, he still answered truthfully and added, "Oh, I almost forgot. This guy was also good at escaping and bringing benefits to himself. As for the recommended students, everybody at school had a good impression of Glaze and Burwick. Currently, Zhang Tie hasn't yet been qualified to be recommended. Zerom, why are you asking this? What do you mean by Zhang Tie is terrifying?"
"He's not worth your recommendation?" Zerom looked in surprise at Captain Kerlin and smiled. "Such an excellent student, yet you don't have a favorable impression of him? After surveying the route from the patch of grass over there to this black hole, I have done some mental calculations. Do you guys know what I have discovered?"
"In order to save his own life, that student had already decided to jump into this black hole the moment he saw the seven wild wolves drilling out of the grass."
"Is that very special?" a teacher dubiously asked. "I didn't see anything out of place over there. If he knows he's weak, isn't it just a human's natural instinct to run away from wild wolves?"
"Of course it's strange..." Zerom solemnly replied. "It's true that it's human instinct to run when confronted with danger; however, what makes it terrifying is knowing how to escape in face of danger. This black hole is about 200 meters away from where he had encountered the wolves, and it is also the only place within the area where he would have a chance to escape from the wolves. In most cases, people would choose to run towards Wild Wolf Castle or to any other populated areas, but this guy escaped towards this black hole, which is the best path of survival for him. That's why I said he was terrifying. The moment he began to escape, he had already calculated the various possibilities of survival in every direction and had even calculated the time he had before he would be caught by the wolves and the distance he could run within that time..."
Seeing as how some of the members of the Temporary Supervision Committee were still confused about what he had said, Zerom drew a point on the ground using a twig. "Let's use this point as the place where Zhang Tie had encountered the wolves..." Surrounding that point, Zerom drew a circle. "This circle represents the farthest he can get before he would be caught by the wolves. It's about 200m..." After he finished drawing the circle, Zerom marked a spot on the edge of the circle. "And this is the position of the black hole, which is also where we currently are. The only place he could escape from those wolves is precisely this point. If it were any other point within the circle, that guy would have been torn apart by the wolves. That's why I said this student called Zhang Tie is terrifying. For him to be able to precisely choose his best route of survival among thousands of choices before the wolves began their chase—that is truly terrifying!"
This time, everybody understood. Looking at the two points on the ground, everybody became slightly shocked. Like Zerom had said, starting from the center point, there were many places where one could run to escape from the pursuing wolves. Thankfully, the route Zhang Tie had chosen was the only one with a little hope.
"What if… it was a coincidence?" a teacher asked in doubt after hesitating. To make such a precise judgement at such a critical moment, let alone students, even teachers couldn't do it.
"Don't forget, the students mentioned that the guy had brought a hoe with him when he was escaping..."
"Is that special? Isn't it just human instinct to pull out a weapon when chased by wolves?"
"His weapon was a dagger, not a hoe. Using a hoe would slow him down when he's escaping, so the only reason for the hoe was to look for an opportunity when he jumped into the dark hole. Since the hole was dug by a Gold-Eating Boa, they would not lead straight to the ground. Once he finds a slope that's not too sleep, he would be able to use the hoe to slow down his falling speed..."
"So you're saying, Zhang Tie might still be alive?" Captain Kerlin curiously opened his mouth and looked at the black hole before turning back to Zerom.
"In my memory, guys like him are hard to kill, and their resilience is usually greater than a cockroach's!"
"I want to go inside!" Captain Kerlin said.
"I will accompany you when the rope is sent here from the castle..." Rubbing his jaw with one hand, Zerom was filled with curiosity about the guy called Zhang Tie. It was rare to see a student be able to calmly make precise decisions in such dire moments.
Carried by more than twenty students and on-duty teachers, the ropes from Wild Wolf Castle soon arrived. The ropes were all standard reinforced ones purchased from Blackhot City's military. They were as broad as an adult's thumb, were resistant to wear and tear, and had a good grip. It was not a problem to use this rope to lift things that were heavier than 2 tons. After tying all the ropes together, it measured to be more than 400 m in length.
"These are the longest ropes that could be bought in Wild Wolf Castle. However, as no one knows how deep these Gold-Eating Boas' holes are, if we cannot find him even after using all the rope, then we will have to give up!" Zerom looked at Captain Kerlin.
Captain Kerlin nodded. "If it's as you say, then we can only blame that guy's bad luck. We will just have to try out best to find him. If we don't go inside to take a look, it won't be good for our conscience either."
After fastening one end of the rope onto a rock that was as tall as a person and more than 20 meters away from the mouth of the hole, Captain Kerlin and Zerom both tied the other end of the rope on themselves and took a green fluorite bar and jumped into the black hole one after the other...
Facing a bottomless hole dug by a Gold-Eating Boa, not even Captain Kerlin and Zerom dared to make a mistake.
Seeing them jumping into the hole one after the other, the onlooking students exclaimed...
By the time they were 20 meters deep, they could only rely on their fluorite bars. Holding onto the advanced fluorite bar, Zerom gazed at the walls on the interior. At the first turn, Zerom became spirited and pointed at the fresh marks on the wall. Marks created by a hoe could be easily seen among the swirl marks left by the Gold-Eating Boas.
"This is where the hoes have touched. Look here, these marks were made from falling over here. That guy called Zhang Tie really used a hoe to escape. He's really smart..." After approving of his own deduction, Zerom's eyes became spirited and he became more interested in Zhang Tie.
Captain Kerlin was also extremely excited. He could have never thought that Zhang Tie was not only good at talking, but also really good at escaping.
At the sight of the marks left by Zhang Tie using his hoes, the two continued to slide downwards along the rope. On the way, they had seen the marks left by Zhang Tie many times; some were deep, others were shallow, but they were all as fresh as new road marks. Although there were split paths in the hole, they could still find the right direction by using the fresh marks on the walls...
People at the mouth of the hole could not clearly see what was happening inside. They could only see the rope gradually disappearing like a strand of noodle in the huge black hole, section by section. 20m, 30m, 50m, 80m, 100m, 120m, 150m, 170m...
As the rope fell, the people who stood at the mouth of the hole became increasingly worried for Zhang Tie's life, as he had fallen to such a depth.
Thankfully, the rope finally stopped after falling 190m. After several minutes, as was agreed in advance, Captain Kerlin and Zerom forcefully tugged the rope three consecutive times. Feeling that, the people at the mouth of the hole started to pull the rope together. Compared to the slow descent of the rope, they were pulled up much faster than before, especially because high-level fighters like Captain Kerlin and Zerom were able to easily climb up by stepping on the protrusions on the walls...
Several minutes later, before the other end of the rope was pulled out, a long exclamation drifted from within the hollow, followed by Captain Kerlin and Zerom flying out of the hole like two huge birds. The moment Captain Kerlin reached the ground, everybody shot their eyes on the figure bound on Captain Kerlin's back.
"Zhang Tie is still alive. He's just passed out..."
Hearing Captain Kerlin's thrilled exclamation, the members of the Hit-Plane Brotherhood in the crowd almost jumped, and every onlooker cheered. For everyone present, this really was a miracle. If they hadn't witnessed it first hand, they would never believe that a person who fell into the jet-black hole would still be alive. That guy was truly more resilient than a cockroach...
"Pah!" Zerom tossed the corpse of the wild wolf and Zhang Tie's hoe onto the ground. At the sight of them, the onlookers were really shocked. Not only was that guy more resilient than a cockroach, he seemed to be very strong as well, as he was able to kill three wolves at once ...
At the sight of that dead wolf that was as soft as a kid's toy on the ground, Zerom rubbed his chin, realizing that Zhang Tie was even sharper than he had initially thought. Not only did he think of using the hoe to save himself as he fell down the hole, he also thought of using the dead wolf's body as a cushion to lessen the impact. If it were not for the corpse of the wolf, Zhang Tie would definitely have broken a few bones. Currently, with the exception of a few bruises and wounds on his legs and the other part of his body, there were no other injuries. That was definitely a miracle. It was rare to see such a student...
As everyone was cheering, the faces of two people who stood at the edge of the crowd turned pale as they stealthily left when they heard that Zhang Tie was fine.
As Zhang Tie had still suffered from some bruises and wounds and was unconscious, Captain Kerlin decided to take Zhang Tie back to Wild Wolf Castle.
Everything Captain Kerlin had seen in the hole had given him a favorable impression of Zhang Tie. He realized that if he were the one who jumped into the hole at Zhang Tie's age, then he would definitely have died. Thankfully, that guy even thought of bringing a hoe with him when he escaped. If it wasn't for the hoe, which helped him slow down his falling speed, then at the slope 100m deep, all of his bones would most likely have shattered, leaving no complete bone.
The moment they brought Zhang Tie out of the hole and declared that he was still alive, Zerom had silently observed the people at the edge of the encompassing crowd. Finally, as the other students cheered, he saw two people silently leave the crowd. Narrowing his eyes, Zerom burned the figures of the two individuals into his mind...
Half an hour later at a place far away from the location of the incident, Glaze's group were settled in their mountain cave. Upon hearing Zuhair and Garner's report, everybody became still like wooden chickens.
"You're saying that Zhang Tie is still alive? How could that be!? Even if those wild wolves didn't kill him, he definitely should have died after jumping into that pitch black hole that is several hundred meters in depth! Is he made of iron? How could he still be alive?" Sharon uttered.
"Everyone saw Captain Kerlin and Zerom bring Zhang Tie back and place him on the ground. They had tied a rope on themselves and lowered themselves about 200m before they were able to find Zhang Tie and pull him out of there..." As he said this, even Zuhair sighed. "That fellow's luck is really too good. How could he have survived from falling in such a deep hole?"
"F*ck!" Thinking of the vast amount of effort he had spent to set the trap and the fact that Zhang Tie was still alive, Glaze became infuriated. "Zuhair, please tell me, what should I do now? Is there any other way to kill him?"
Hearing Glaze's words, Zuhair's face slightly turned pale. "This incident has already gotten the attention of the Temporary Supervision Committee. If what we have done is known by the others, we will all be dealt a severe punishment. Not to mention that I feel like Zerom, the guy who was responsible for investigating the scene, has already noticed something amiss. If we were to continue to set up Zhang Tie again, I'm afraid it would too be too risky..."
"You're saying we should call it an end?" Glaze asked with wide opened eyes. Whenever Glaze thought about how he had been set up by Zhang Tie twice, he would always feel as if that was the greatest shame in his entire life.
"We will have to temporarily call it an end. Right now, there's too much attention on Zhang Tie, not to mention we did this to teach him a lesson. When you reach LV 3 and acquire the recommendation from the school, it still won't be too late. We will think of a way to deal with him when we return to Blackhot City. If we keep trying now, we will be putting ourselves in great danger!"
No matter how unwilling Glaze was, he had no choice but to agree with Zuhair's suggestion. "Okay, let him alive a few more days. When we return to Blackhot City, we will think of another way to deal with him..."
Realizing that Zhang Tie would not be as easily killed as he thought, Glaze began to feel a little fear towards him.
"Thankfully, Zhang Tie could never match my strength," Glaze comforted himself. "Dad is right. In the secular world, people are always respected by their strength and fist. If I have an overwhelming strength that can beat him to the point of despair, then I can deal with him with whatever means I want in the future."