Chapter 335 - Camp
TL: xDh20, LifeisaJourney
With the current situation, some standards had to be put aside. Liu Gan’s hydration status was close to black on his wrist watch. His health condition status was displaying bright red. If he didn’t drink some water, his body functions could collapse at any moment.
After resolving the dehydration problem, many members started gathering around the creek in an attempt to catch fish or shrimp. These small streams didn’t have many fish, but plenty of the small freshwater shrimp. Judging from the texture of the shrimp, they hadn't been contaminated yet and were quite healthy.
As the majority of the group gathered to catch the shrimp, Liu Gan was drilling the wood to start a fire. In the real world, trying to start a fire with this primitive method would take an hour or longer to create the tinder. With Liu Gan’s strengthened body, it wasn’t an obstacle. He used ten minutes or so to create a huge fire.
Since no one had been in the jungle or the area recently, the pillage was bountiful. The group members were able to gather a huge heap of shrimp by the fire.
Liu Gan used the tree bark as the base layer on top of the charcoal, then a layer of mud with the final two layers being tree leaves. The shrimp were laid on top of the leaves. Afterwards, another two layers of tree leaves were used to cover the shrimp, with a centimeter thick layer of mud on top of the leaves. Another bark layer was added on top to seal and thus the shrimp were sandwiched in the middle of this mud baking style cooking method. Then with the charcoal created from burnt wood acting like an earth oven, it was placed all around the outer tree bark to cook the shrimp thoroughly.
Other members copied the same method Liu Gan used, to cook their own food. First with the fire to create charcoal, then with the charcoal to create an oven to cook the shrimp.
After twenty minutes, the heated goods were removed from the fire. Cracking open the top mud layer revealed fresh red colored shrimp. The aroma erupted from the mud mount like a volcano and the juices of the shrimp flowed out of the shell. Inside the shell was juicy fresh shrimp meat. Every bite was filled with shrimp juice. It was enough to temporary relieve the terrible memories of this whole day. Everyone had a smile on their face as they ate their share of the meat.
Alongside delicious food and the campfire, unbeknownst to them, night had fallen upon them. This would be their first time experiencing a night in the jungle. From Liu Gan’s knowledge and prior experiences, the jungle predators usually napped during the day and hunt at night. If these variants become even more malicious after their mutation, then tonight would be a long night.
“Things like setting up the camp should’ve been done before it was night, but we took too long to get through the shrubbery. We can only do it now in the dark,” Liu Gan explained to them.
“Elder Liu, the members are very tired already. Can we just set up camp by the stream?” Han GuangMing said to Liu Gan. If they set up camp by the stream, it would be very convenient in the morning to clean and to gather resources.
“No, setting camp here is very dangerous. If there were any flash flood from the mountain, it would go downstream. Plus the ground by the stream is very damp, it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We need to find a drier place to set up camp,” Liu Gan shook his head.
Even though they were tired, under Liu Gan’s ushering they created torches from concentrated resin found in the trees. With torches in hand, they sought higher ground for an appropriate encampment location.
Not far from their location, there was a roar. Following the loud roar were echoing replies, which were just as loud. At this point, nearly every member felt as if there was a malicious beast nearby. The eerie feeling of darkness in the wood didn’t help their situation. A spine tingling sensation was what they had felt when they heard the roar.
If this was in a different environment, like a city, when encountering a wild beast, they could play hide and seek within the structures. However, in the jungle, there were no places to hide.
“Elder Liu, should we climb up the trees to camp out there?” Han GuangMing was frightened as he asked Liu Gan this.
“Many beasts are capable of climbing up trees, and these variant beasts are even better at climbing. If you are stuck at the top of the tree, it would be even harder to escape. As long as you don’t panic, don’t underestimate our current combat ability. If there are beasts or variant beasts that close in on us, we need to practice our battle formation. If we can’t win in a fight, we can reconsider the option of running away,” Liu Gan shouted as loud as he could.
In the jungle, there were colossal beasts, so it was a bad idea to set up camp near them. The correct solution would’ve been to escape from the area as fast as possible. In The Trembling World, there were beasts and Variant Beasts. They must have maintained the habit of hunting at night and resting during the day, which would explain why nothing could be heard when they were walking. At least they were safe until night came. Now the beasts of the whole mountain had woken up as it was tracking them.
The members were already exhausted, but the moment they heard roars of the beast, they moved at their fastest speed. By the time darkness had surrounded them, no one knows where to hide to feel safe in this situation.
“Then let’s set up camp here, gather as much firewood as you can. Let’s create a large bonfire. Jungle beasts are afraid of fire, but the Variant Beasts might not be as reserved,” Liu Gan said after he noticed the area was better suited for a camp. He also found it pointless to run any further.
If only Yin He and the dog, NaNa, were here, they could protect the group and go on patrol. This would immensely reduce the danger in the surrounding jungle. Liu Gan could only rely on himself and his current team’s strength to survive this horrific night.
No one else spoke, they knew what they had to do. They worked hard to gather firewood and cleared up an empty patch for the bonfire. Burning firewood could serve as a screen for annoying mosquitoes and illuminated the darkness. Once the area was lit up, Liu Gan ordered every member to focus on stacking up the firewood for the bonfire.
To create a safe campsite, there had to be extra precautions set up. It was necessary to clear up the ground surface free of piles of dried leaves and thorns, but not by using hands since there were potential dangers of hidden scorpions or poisonous creatures in their burrows. Cleaning had to be done with tree branches to sweep away the leaves and when they slept, it would feel safer and cleaner. The best solution would be to sleep on dry dirt.
Snakes and scorpions were the usual culprits that passed underneath the shades of the leaves. After cleaning, these critters wouldn’t accidentally wander into the camp. At the same time, the leaves could used as tinder and fuel for the bonfire. Once the fire started, the smoke drove the mosquitoes away. That was one problem solved.
At the same time, the smoke was annoying for some members, but compared to mosquito bites it was bearable.
Once the first wood was ignited in the bonfire, loud eerie sounds from the surrounding can be heard. Borrowing from the large bonfire, there were shadows moving at the edge of the trees.