Lao Sha let out a yelp before running after Bai Yunfei in retreat.
The tiger roared again in fury and chased after the two. How dare its prey try to run away after daring to fight it?
“Big brother Tang! Big brother Tang!”
It took two seconds of the three running before Stone let out a loud cry for Bai Yunfei.
The other villagers didn’t know where to look but at each other. They…they couldn’t even see where Bai Yunfei or the tiger was anymore!
They were moving far too quickly! Their speeds were simply unbelievable, and the landscape didn’t make things easier with the foliage and trees covering the three even when they were visible for even a single moment…
The forest rustled with wind as Bai Yunfei retreated to a far distance away from the tiger. He didn’t know he could run this fast!
“Why…why is that ‘power’ this tiny now!”
Bai Yunfei was grumbling to himself. He couldn’t understand why this was happening. “Lao Sha,” He stared at the dog running alongside him, “Why can’t you be as ‘powerful’ as you were that one time?”
As if knowing what Bai Yunfei was thinking of, the dog gave Bai Yunfei a withering glare as if to say ‘That one time was special. I nearly pissed myself to death after that, let alone have a second time!’
“We must’ve run really far away by now, haven’t we? I don’t hear anything, did we shake off the tiger?” Bai Yunfei thought to himself. He couldn’t hear anything but the rustling of the wind.
As if responding to him, the roaring of a tiger could be heard as if to say: ‘Did you really think you can lose me? How foolish!”
“Go f*ck yourself! How long are you going to chase us!?”
And so Bai Yunfei sped up even more…
He didn’t know how far he had been running for, but Bai Yunfei was tired. Coming to a wheezing stop near a brook, Bai Yunfei looked up to the skies…it was dark.
“Huff…huff…maybe I lost it now?”
Bai Yunfei was bent over at the waist in an attempt to regain his breath. He was listening for any movement as he rested, but it didn’t seem like there was anything. That tiger was probably long gone now….
He looked back down. Lao Sha was currently resting by the edge of the brook’s sandy beach to lap at the water. Clearly the dog was trying to relax and catch a breather.
Now that he was finally done running, Bai Yunfei finally felt a bit fatigued. He knelt down beside the water and cupped his hands. A pool of water gathered in it for him to splash onto his face. Repeating a few more times, he leaned back onto his butt and palms to regain his energy.
“I don’t even know how far we ran or where that tiger is. Did Stone and the others get away? I hope they won’t run into the tiger.” Bai Yunfei murmured. “But…I guess I should try to get back with the others…”
He nudged at the sleepy Lao Sha with his foot to wake it up. Together, the two stood up and looked at the way they came from.
Because they were both unwilling to come across the tiger, the human and dog took detours at random times but otherwise tried to follow the general direction back. The villagers would probably try to find them, so the two groups would probably be able to reconvene midway.
The only problem was…
Bai Yunfei didn’t know if he was going the right way or not…
“How are we back at the river? Didn’t we just come from there? No way! We’ve gone in a full circle!?”
The moon was hanging high in the sky now. The entire forest was basked in its lunar glow now that Bai Yunfei had taken an entire hour, and yet he was no closer to the villagers than he was an hour before.
He stared at the river in front of him and then to the surrounding scenery around him. He felt like crying.
One of the things he forgot about himself was the fact that he was a person with no sense of direction.
At least he found out about that fact now…
“How far did I even run then?!”
Bai Yunfei was laid back over a large stone to grouse to himself. Who he was asking for an answer was unknown to everyone.
“Maybe…I should wait for them to find me here?”
This seemed like a proper course of action. Rather than relying on himself and getting even more lost, it seemed like it was best to simply sit here and wait. Jumping onto a tree, Bai Yunfei leaned back against the trunk and sat there to catch his breath.
Lao Sha stared up lazily at Bai Yunfei. It wanted to follow him up the tree, but the dog hadn’t the energy for that. Instead, it laid angrily down next to the tree and closed its eyes to rest.
Bai Yunfei fell asleep. He didn’t know for how long, but he fell asleep. It felt like so many things happened as he fell asleep, but Bai Yunfei could hear many things while not making sense of anything. By the time he woke, Bai Yunfei wasn’t even clear what it was exactly that he ‘dreamed’ about…
“Are…are Stone and the others not here yet?”
Bai Yunfei was standing on top of the tree he was on. He couldn’t see anyone or traces of any person.
He looked down.
“Lao Sha?! Where are you?!”
Lao Sha was nowhere to be seen!
The dog wasn’t next to the tree trunk like it had been before he fell asleep. It also wasn’t by the creek for a drink.
Though he could see something climbing up the slope of a mountain far in the distance…
Bai Yunfei cried out. The dog seemed to have heard him, as it paused for a moment and turned its head back to Bai Yunfei and barked twice.
He blinked; did this mean the dog hadn’t any intentions of coming back to him? Where was it going then?
Lao Sha continued to climb up the mountain. It’d stop every once in a while to bark at him again.
Was…it trying to tell Bai Yunfei to come?
Bai Yunfei didn’t know what to think. Thinking hard about the situation, he decided to carefully but quickly make his way over to the dog.
Lao Sha wasn’t too far away, but it wasn’t too close either. It’d take Bai Yunfei a while before he finally arrived at the same mountain Lao Sha was scaling.
Looking up, he already saw that Lao Sha was many hundred meters away from him.
“What in the world is this dog doing…”
Curiosity didn’t even begin to describe Bai Yunfei’s emotions, but he knew the climb was inevitable. Climbing the mountain would mean having a good vantage spot to look around the forest, and that’d potentially mean being able to find the other villagers.
It was the final two hundred meters to the top of the mountain when Bai Yunfei finally caught up to Lao Sha. It was also then when he realized Lao Sha was in front of a…cave.
Its front legs were digging at the ground in front of it and pushing the dirt into a pile behind it. By the time Bai Yunfei was there, Lao Sha had already dug out a considerable amount of dirt.
“What…what are you doing, Lao Sha?”
Bai Yunfei couldn’t help but ask.
Lao Sha paused for a moment to wag its tail excitedly and bark at Bai Yunfei. It seemed to have found something.
Since Bai Yunfei was still confused, Lao Sha decided to best explain its actions by continuing what it was doing. Its forelegs continued to dig at the ground to try and show Bai Yunfei.
“...” Bai Yunfei said nothing, he still didn’t understand what was going on. Was Lao Sha trying to dig through the mountain?
Soon, not even Lao Sha’s butt could be seen from the hole it dug. Deciding to look away from the hole it dug, Bai Yunfei looked down at the base of the mountain.
The entire surrounding area was filled with trees. Even now Bai Yunfei still couldn’t find any traces of any other human in the area. A nearby mountain looked like the one he came across yesterday afternoon, but then again, that mountain on the left also seemed…
Bai Yunfei felt like crying, but what else could he really do? This situation felt almost ‘familiar’ to him, as if this was something that he was ‘used’ to experiencing…