Friday, April 26, 2019

Hunters of the Forbidden Region ch 10.1 - There's Something In the Water

Lin Shuo did not sleep that night.
Unlike the mercenary on guard duty, he had on him the roe deer skin and he sat away from the camp fire in the shadow in the corner of the camp ground.
The starling bird didn’t go looking for fun in the woods that night, but stayed on Lin Shuo’s shoulder like he was supposed to.
And a recurve bow leaned against a boulder next to the man and the bird.
When Anne saw them in the morning after she woke up, she thought she had seen a statue.
But she didn’t say anything. Quickly she got up and brought back a bucket of water from the river. She handed the water and a towel to Lin Shuo, “Mr. Lin, please.”
Lin Shou nodded and accepted the items from her before he turned around and walked into the woods.
“Shuo-ge, have you noticed,” came the voice of the starling bird from the woods, “This woman, she and you have synergy.”
“Shuo-ge, the Lin’s only have single child for three generations and now it’s just you. Speaking of, Shuo-ge, you are not young anymore.”
“Shuo-ge, the birds in this city seem to be easy to get. All you have to do is nod.”
“Xiao Ba, you still want to keep your bird underneath?”
“My bad, Shuo-ge.
Today was another sunny day. As the sun came up, the temperature began to rise.
The group had an early start and headed toward the metal chain bridge.
Lin Shuo did not take the lead today but let Wei Xingshan took three of his mercenaries to lead the way.
Lin Shuo, along with Xiao Ba, fell behind the troop and kept a distance of over 100 meters.
Nobody dare to have any disagreement against Lin Shuo’s arrangement, nor did anyone ask for the reasons behind it all.
After about 3 kilometers as they were approaching the metal chain bridge, Lin Shuo looked to have breathed a sign of relief and slowly caught up with the team.
The unknown strange lifeform that had been staring at the group through the entire night seemingly observing them had finally departed.
This was the narrowest part of the river, but even so, it was about 50 or so meters wide.
The metal chain bridge might have looked alright from a distance, but now that they were standing next to it, one could tell it had rusted a long time ago. And the wooden plank of it had rotted so badly that every step would cause it to break apart.
The bridge hung about 10 meters above the water, the torrent was rapid underneath and also have under current. The visible whirlpools on the surface of the river looked like scary mouths.
Perhaps a fish could survive the fall, but definitely not a human.
Lin Shou walked up to the bridge and saw Wei Xingshan shaking the metal chains of the bridge. He was a strong man, a couple shakes and the entire bridge was rattled and all the rotten wooden planks broken and fell off as the bridge shook from side to side.
Seeing that, Wei Xingshan went ahead and grabbed the chains with both hands and shook it vigorously. After a short while, all the wooden planks had fallen off, leaving only 4 empty metal chains – two on the bottom that used to have wooden planks on top of them; and two on the right and left sides that were the handles previously.
“Okay,” Wei Xingshan slapped his hands together, “These chains are still quite sturdy. All the wooden planks were rotted, better off this way.”
Having said that, Wei Xingshan looked back at He Zihong and said, “Professor He, let me take a few of my men and cross the bridge first. No need to rush. Let us take the lead and cross and bridge and checked out the situation on the other side, then we will hang a zip wire connecting both sides. You, Dr. Yang, and Miss Anne can cross using the zip wire. It will be safer that way.”
“That’s right, Professor He,” smiled the vice captain Liu Qing, “These kind of zip wire is equivalent to three safety ropes, and you slide over using a steel buckle. Don’t worry, we are very skilled in this. Even though you are hanging off the ground, but it’s actually very safe and comfortable.”
“Thank you so much, Captain Wei and Vice Captain Liu,” Professor He smiled and nodded.
Ever since the team had entered the forest, Wei Xingshan and Liu Qing’s performances had slowly earned the trust of the two scholars, He Zihong and Yang Ta. Especially Wei Xingshan, even though he looked like the roughneck leader of the mercenaries, but he was actually very meticulous in everything he did, and always put the team’s safety above everything else.
After saying that, Wei Xingshan put on his back a utility bag holding the zip wire and was about to take off before realizing Lin Shuo standing between him and the metal chain bridge.
Yesterday day time, Lin Shou’s two fingers in front of Wei Xingshan had left an lasting impression with the mercenaries. In Wei Xingshan’s mind, Lin Shou had gone from a pretentious phony to an enigmatic eccentric. Not to mention that he still owed him his life. Which was why he was very polite to him, “Mr. Lin, what seems to be the matter?”
Lin Shuo bent down and put his nose close to the metal chain and sniffed carefully. Slowly he looked up and said, “Something’s not right.”


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