The First Order - Chapter 74 - Pyro
Chapter 74: Pyro
Translator: Legge Editor: Legge
Of course, Xu Xianchu, Ren Xiaosu, and Yang Xiaojin were not willing to carry the tattered doll with them. And since the question of whether to take the doll along with them was brought up by Liu Bu, he was automatically tasked with the responsibility of carrying it.
In reality, Ren Xiaosu and company didn’t think the doll would be of any use to them. Although no one knew what usage it served before The Cataclysm, they were not dumb either.
But since they didn’t have to carry the doll themselves, it wouldn’t trouble them to bring it along.
As such, Liu Bu felt miserable the entire way. Even though he was exhausted, he still had to carry that tattered doll around with care.
The worst thing was that all of them had not eaten yet today.
Xu Xianchu suddenly stopped walking. Xu Xianchu could barely take it for much longer, let alone Liu BU, Luo XInyu, and Wang Lei. He turned around and said, “Everyone, let’s find some pine trees to pluck pine cones from. We’ll eat something first before we continue on our journey.”
Based on Xu Xianchu and the others’ wilderness survival lessons thus far, they had only learned the extent of plucking pine cones to fill their stomachs. In reality, these pine cones were incredibly difficult to peel and had very few nuts in them.
The pine nuts they could retrieve from a large pine tree wouldn’t even be enough to fill their stomachs, but what else could they have if they did not eat this? They could only look at Ren Xiaosu, who did not seem to care about them at all.
They saw him take his dagger and cut into an unidentified tree next to him. Then a white, milky sap started flowing out of the incision he made. Xu Xianchu’s eyes lit up. “Can you drink that?”
The others also looked over in surprise. However, Ren Xiaosu shook his head and said, “The majority of the milky saps that can be found in the forest are undrinkable because there’s a high chance of getting poisoned if you do.”
Xu Xianchu wondered, “Then why did you make an incision to get the sap?”
“I’m applying it onto my dagger,” Ren Xiaosu said, as though it were a matter of course.
The others immediately wondered what kind of person he was. He actually thought of applying poison onto his dagger? What a treacherous person!
But they did not dare to despise Ren Xiaosu’s treachery. After all, they had been depending on him too much for the entire journey. If any of them were to get injured, they could only rely on him to suture their wounds together and apply the black medicine for them.
Liu Bu, Luo Xinyu, and Wang Lei still had some money left on them in case of any emergencies that would require Ren Xiaosu to save them.
They had already realized that having money might mean keeping their lives with Ren Xiaosu around.
If they offended Ren Xiaosu at this time, he would probably still be willing to treat their wounds if they paid him money. But who knew if Ren Xiaosu might end up having an extra kidney in his hand after suturing up their wounds? If that happened, what could they do?
While Liu Bu was plucking pine cones, he accidentally fell out of the tree. But luckily for him, it did not hurt as the ground was covered with soft pine needles that cushioned his fall.
He got so emotional that he nearly broke down. “This is all the wolves’ fault. Didn’t they say in the stronghold that the wolves had run off to another mountain range? Why did they suddenly reappear here?! If not for those wolves, we might’ve already gotten back to the stronghold! It’s just as the proverb says, ‘ The Wolf and the Bei make mischief. 1 ‘ Wolves were never good to start off with!”
However, Ren Xiaosu disagreed this time. “I’ve also heard that proverb before, but have you seen an actual bei before?”
The others were stunned. “Isn’t the bei an animal that clings onto a wolf’s behind? This proverb says that the wolves and bei work together to catch livestock by using their forelegs and hind legs respectively. It means that they collude 1 with each other to do bad things.”
“Yes.” Ren Xiaosu nodded and said, “That’s what Mr. Zhang said in school, but my question remains, has anyone ever seen a bei before?”
Liu Bu was stunned. He muttered, “How could we see one if we live in the stronghold?”
“I’ve seen one before.” Ren Xiaosu said, “It was among the wolf pack that chased us into the canyon. When I encountered them last year, I saw a bei with them.”
“What does a bei look like?” someone asked with curiosity.
“The bei is actually a wolf as well.” Ren Xiaosu said calmly, “It’s just that its forelegs could no longer move after it got caught in a hunter’s trap. So the other wolves carried it around on their backs and helped it continue living.”
Xu Xianchu and the others were startled. They had learned the proverb “the Wolf and the Bei make mischief” during their school days in the stronghold. The teacher told them then that the wolves and bei were both evil. They were even taught which insects were beneficial and which were pests.
But Ren Xiaosu, who had ventured into the wilderness, did not think that way. He heard from Zhang Jinglin that the nomads of the grasslands used to worship wolves. Back then, he wasn’t allowed to attend lessons in the school, so he asked Yan Liuyuan to help him ask a question. “Aren’t wolves harmful to livestock? Why did the nomads worship wolves?”
Mr. Zhang replied with a question. “Are the wolves at fault?”
True, wolves eat sheep and sheep eat grass. Neither was in the wrong. This is the order of the food chain and this is what they were born to be.
Although wolves were harmful to humans, they would never abandon their disabled counterparts. Would a human do that? Just how many people had died due to the disregard shown by their companions during this expedition to the Jing Mountains?
It was not that they were in the wrong, but Ren Xiaosu sometimes envied the wolves. At least when something happened, they would not get left behind mercilessly.
Ren Xiaosu didn’t care what the rest of them thought. He started digging up the soil at the roots of the pine tree with his dagger and said, “Don’t clear the piles of leaves with your bare hands in the wilderness because there might be scorpions, centipedes, or poisonous snakes hidden in them. If you disturb them, it’ll lead to your death.”
When Ren Xiaosu did not find any scorpions or the like, he was a little disappointed. After all, roasted scorpions tasted rather good. Ren Xiaosu wondered if he should deliberately try to catch some scorpions and centipedes to eat for dinner.
As he was thinking about it, he dug out some of the pine tree’s roots. “If y’all feel that the pine cones are not filling enough, you can cook the pine roots to eat for dinner.”
The others looked at Ren Xiaosu in surprise. It seemed like everything was edible in Ren Xiaosu’s eyes. It still wasn’t too bad when they were told to eat the pine nuts. But now, he was even telling them they could eat the pine roots?
‘Is this even food? This is more like building materials, alright?!’
But Ren Xiaosu did not mind. He had eaten so many things in the wilderness over the years that other people thought were inedible.
Suddenly, Ren Xiaosu thought of a question. “Are there any similar places like the Jing Mountains near the other strongholds? I’m talking about those places that experienced a sudden mutation and evolution of their lifeforms.”
Xu Xianchu was silent for a moment before saying, “Yes, but it’s already under the control of the Pyro Company.”
“The Pyro Company?” Ren Xiaosu wondered, “Why haven’t I heard of it before? Which of the organizations does it fall under?”
“None, it’s an independent corporation with more than 20 strongholds under its control.” Xu Xianchu said, “But they’re quite far away from our Stronghold 113, so it’s normal that you haven’t heard of them before.”
“What’s the place controlled by the Pyro Company like?” Ren Xiaosu asked.
Xu Xianchu looked embarrassed. That seemed to be the extent of his knowledge. Instead, it was Yang Xiaojin who spoke up. “That place the Pyro Company controls are very mysterious. Someone mentioned that they’d seen huge prehistoric birds flying over the skies there, but the Pyro Company has such a powerful military that it managed to gain control of that place. Perhaps only the core personnel of the Pyro Company know what really happened there.”