Published at 15th of December 2020 03:10:33 PM
They spent the night in the cave . Early in the morning on the next day, Yu Xiaocao checked on the two most severely injured hunters . The one who was most injured had gotten his left arm neatly bitten off from the elbow down . If they didn’t use Xiaocao’s wound balm and medication to stop bleeding, she was pretty sure that this guy would have died at this point . The other hunter had a nasty-looking gouge in his shoulder, which was missing a large piece of flesh . It was quite bloody and frightening looking .
This time, twenty-six hunters from the nameless village had gone into the mountains . They had appointed the experienced hunter, Jin Tiankui, as their leader . The vast majority of the hunters were father and son or had very good relationships with each other . Because of that, when the white tiger appeared before them, none of the group tried to leave the hunter who had gotten his arm bitten off behind to feed the tiger .
The hunters had already been out for about a dozen days now . At first, their trip had gone rather smoothly and they didn't encounter any fierce beasts . However, staying on the outskirts of the mountains meant that they weren’t able to hunt many creatures that were worth a lot of money . For the sake of having more spending money in town during the winter, they had all participated in a vote, which was unanimous for going deeper into the forest .
In the previous few days, all of them felt gratified at their choices as they had encountered a lot more animals with valuable pelts . In fact, one sable fur pelt could be sold for a few dozen taels even to a middleman . If a person’s luck was even better and he encountered the servant of a rich man out buying furs, then they could make double of what they could sell it for to the middleman . Now, every family had a few valuable fur pelts on hand to sell .
After tasting the sweetness of success, the hunters wanted to push their luck and gradually headed deeper into the mountains . Jin Tiankui relied heavily on his over twenty years of experience and sensitive senses to guide the group of hunters around several territories that were claimed by fierce beasts . In the end, however, they were unable to avoid a white tiger who was protecting its young .
Prior to Zhu Junyang appearing, Jin Tiankui and the other hunters felt complete despair in their encounter with the fierce and vicious tiger . The two heavily injured hunters wanted to use their own lives to stop the tiger and give their friends and family time to run away . However, not a single person in the group wanted to abandon these two and live the rest of their lives in guilt and regret . The group summoned their courage and used every skill they had in an effort to possibly scare off the vicious beast or maybe kill it with a lucky blow .
However, how could they know that this was a female tiger who had just given birth to its young? The mother tiger believed that they would hurt its child, so it went all out against them, leaving them no room for error . Their hunting forks and knives were mere toys in front of the white tiger . After fighting for half a day, other than inciting the tiger into a blood-frenzied rage, they had been unable to accomplish anything else or injure the creature .
As the number of wounded increased, the smell of their blood caused the tiger to become more ferocious . At the moment they were all in despair, ready to face their deaths, Zhu Junyang appeared like a black-clad god from the skies . The fierce and vicious tiger was like a weak little cat in front of him . In the blink of an eye, he ended up subduing and neatly killing the animal, leaving only a corpse on the ground .
Jin Tianjin managed to calm down a bit and came forward to thank their savior . However, the black-clothed man had a cold expression on his face and only glanced at him apathetically before he bent down to pick up the dead tiger . The white tiger, which had to weigh more than a few hundred catties, seemed as light as a feather in the man’s arms and he easily carried the beast on his shoulders .
The man carried the dead tiger on his shoulders and walked around the vicinity quickly . When he got back, his right hand was in front of his abdomen in a protective manner . The hunters there didn't know just what valuable thing he came across . On the way back to the cave, Jin Tiankui had wanted to express his gratitude, but the black-clothed man had an aloof and cold expression the entire time, making it difficult for them to get closer .
It was only when they arrived at the mouth of the cave did the black-clothed man finally melt his icy exterior temporarily when he saw a young maiden dressed in a pink dress . His warm smile only blossomed for one person . The gentle and doting man in front of them was like a whole other person compared to the previous icy and cold iceberg of a man . Only then was Jin Tiankui able to fully express his thanks and gratitude to the whole group’s savior .
They were truly very fortunate today . Not only had they been able to get a good haul of game, but they also had someone save them in their moment of crisis . Furthermore, a sweetly smiling young girl, who looked as beautiful as a fairy, had even fervently taken out wound healing medicine made by Tongren Medicine Hall for them to treat their wounds .
Jin Tiankui had traveled to the prefectural city a few times and Tongren Medicine Hall’s business was quite booming there . He had heard other people mention that their wound balm and patent medicine very quickly sold out as soon as they got new stock . This caused people to wait in front of the store for the exact moment when the supplying carts arrived . Once resupplied, these people would quickly stand in line, waiting anxiously to buy the medicines produced by the Yu Family .
There was a reason why Tongren Medicine Hall’s wound balm and patent medicine sold so well . It was said that Tongren Medicine Hall's wound balm could staunch bleeding, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing of wounds! As for their patent medicine, you avoided losing potency as you didn't have to brew it over a stove and it worked faster . Furthermore, compared to drinking the bitter medicinal brew, taking a pill or drinking a sweetened syrup was much more palatable to most people .
When Jin Tiankui found out that the wound balm was that effective, he had once wanted to buy some to bring back home . As a hunter, it was hard to avoid getting injured all of the time, so wound balm was an essential item back home . However, when he got to the sales counter, he found out a bottle of wound balm cost fifty taels . They would need to sell a lot of game in order to make enough money to buy one bottle of wound balm! Jin Tiankui couldn’t bear to spend that much money and finally decided to buy some ordinary wound balm instead .
However, the young maiden in front of them was neither a relative nor a friend, yet she easily gave them a whole bottle of Tongren Medicine Hall’s wound balm . This was a great kindness to them ah! Furthermore, there was a reason why this wound balm was so expensive because it worked very well . His nephew, who had gotten his arm bitten off by the tiger, had his suffering decrease significantly after the balm was spread on his ravaged stump . This morning, when he went to check on the younger man, the bleeding had completely stopped and there were even scabs starting to form . As for the other hunter, who had gotten a big piece of flesh ripped off his shoulder, he could walk around like nothing had happened .
“Uncle Jin, you should all come down the mountain with us ah . That way, we’ll be able to keep each other safe and on the right track!” Yu Xiaocao had already come to an agreement with Zhu Junyang to escort this group of hunters safely down the mountain . After all, this area wasn’t safe . Who knew whether they would encounter another fierce beast later?
Jin Tiankui had long wanted to travel with these people but he felt embarrassed to propose the idea . After all, they had the wounded among them, so their speed would be compromised traveling with them . When he saw that the young maiden had taken the initiative to give them an invitation, he was overjoyed at the unexpected good news and gratefully thanked them repeatedly .
They had truly encountered a living Buddha today! From the way these people addressed each other, he could already guess that these three were absolutely extremely wealthy and powerful nobles, especially the man dressed entirely in black . He was, unexpectedly, a royal prince . However, none of these people had the arrogant and willful manner of most influential and noble people . In fact, they continuously helped them, mere commoners, without a hint of attitude . He had lived for over forty years and had never seen such esteemed nobles like them before .
Jin Tiankui didn’t dare to let these nobles wait for too long, so he hurriedly had the other hunters pack up their things, load up their strings of game, support the wounded, and follow the nobles from behind at a close distance . He was afraid that they’d become impatient and regard them as an eyesore on the way back .
After he had leisurely finished his simple breakfast . Zhu Junyang once again put that white tiger corpse on his shoulders and also picked up a bag of fur pelts that had been skinned off of their other game in his other hand . Because they had hunted so much game, he had to skin the pelts in the mountains and the meat was left for the carnivores in the mountains to enjoy .
However, even though he had a few dozen pelts on him, he only had two hands . There was still a pile of fur pelts on the ground! He glanced at Chunhua, who was behind Xiaocao, and saw that she was carrying a basket full of medicinal herbs on her back and her arms were also holding more baskets . It was clear that she couldn’t hold anything more . Xiaocao’s medicine box was perched on her shoulders . It held the truly valuable herbs . In her arms was the white tiger cub . Chief Steward Su Ran, on the other hand, was empty-handed, which made him resemble a spoiled noble son out for a stroll in the woods .
“Chief Steward Su, please help with bringing the remaining two bags of fur pelts down!” Zhu Junyang naturally wouldn’t let go of this opportunity to make the other man labor . He gestured with a pout towards the fur pelts on the ground .
Su Ran looked briefly at the pile of pelts that still stunk of blood and then looked down at his spotless white clothing . Then he raised an eyebrow at Zhu Junyang while revealing a helpless expression . He had mysophobia ah! Even if you beat him to death, he wouldn’t be willing to get close to those dirty things! In addition, the high and mighty Royal Prince Yang in front of him looked incredibly foolish carrying game and holding fur pelts . He needed to retain an image of pure elegance in front of that lass Xiaocao . Thus, getting him to help——an impossibility!
Only now did Jin Tiankui notice the large pile of fur pelts on the cave floor . There were sable furs, marten furs, ferret furs, red fox furs, silver fox furs, and black fox furs . . . ferret furs made up the majority of the furs there . Did these people catch all of the animals whose furs were worth a lot of money in these woods?
“Benefactor, if you don’t disdain our help, we are more than willing to help you bring these down the mountains!” Jin Tiankui and the other hunters had already hidden the ordinary game they caught earlier in a small cave further down the mountain . The cave had been securely sealed with a rock . Currently, each hunter didn’t have much game on them, so they were able to free up three to four people to help these nobles transport the furs .
Zhu Junyang angrily glared at Su Ran and then threw the furs on the ground again . He nodded his head towards Jin Tiankui and said, “Apologies for the inconvenience!”
His courteous words made Jin Tiankui feel immensely honored and he hurriedly replied, “Not an inconvenience, not an inconvenience at all! Compared to you saving all of our lives, this is nothing worth mentioning! Xiaoshan, Xiaomu, Xiaobao, Xiaodong, give the game in your hands to other people . Come here and help our benefactor bring their haul back!”
These four youngsters were all nephews from his paternal family . Thus, he had no qualms in ordering them around . The four youths had tall and strong bodies, and were in the prime of their lives . Each of them carried a giant bag of fur pelts and followed their benefactor from behind as they all headed down the mountain .
Jin Tiankui supported his injured maternal nephew as he held his red fox and sable fur that he hunted himself in his other hand . He also followed closely behind the four youngsters .
Since the group of hunters were all helping their wounded descend, Zhu Junyang and the others deliberately chose a speed that wasn’t too fast . They finally got off the mountain on the next day, at dusk . In the distance, they could faintly see the sparse houses in the nameless village in the distance .
Jin Tiankui gazed at the smoke rising from the roof of his own residence and almost had the desire to start crying . They were this close to never seeing the smoke rise above their homes again or seeing their family again . If the whole village was only left with the old, weak, women, and children, it was obvious what their fates would be .
“Uncle Jin, give Older Brother Zhuzi some water ah . He’s heavily injured so it’s important that he avoids getting dehydrated!” On the whole journey down, Yu Xiaocao would always send some of her own water to the more heavily injured hunters . Although they had walked for two whole days, all of them managed to endure the journey . When she saw that the color on Wang Dazhu’s face, the hunter who had gotten his arm snapped, wasn’t looking too good, Yu Xiaocao gave him another mouthful of diluted mystic-stone water .