Friday, April 26, 2019

Hunters of the Forbidden Region ch 7.1 - Invitation for Zhui-ye

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Chapter 7.1 - Invitation for Zhui-ye

An hour later, the team was ready to go.
The mercenaries were all armed and loaded. Even the researchers He Zihong and Yang Ta, who now possessed basic knowledge of gun-handling, were armed with hand guns after a crash curse from Liu Qing. Each of them was armed with a handgun on their waist
Ten or so people stood in the courtyard waiting for Lin Shuo to come down.
Just a few minutes ago, Lin Shuo confirmed the full names of each team member with Anne before he returned to his own room.
Wei Xingshan stared at the door leading inside the hotel and looking more and more impatient.
Just when he was about to explode, Lin Shuo slowly walked out of the hotel door with the ebony box lugged across his shoulder.
“Give me a minute,” said Lin Shuo to the beautiful Anne then, with a swift motion, placed the humongous ebony box behind himself.
He rested his forehead against the box and closed his eyes for a minute.
Then he fished in his shirt pocket and pulled out a wrinkled pack of cigarettes and lit up all three remaining ones. With the cigarette butt facing upward, he planted them in the soil in front of the ebony box.
Afterward, he took half a step back and said in a low voice, “I am asking Zhui-ye for help during this trip into the mountain. Your disciple Lin Shuo are offering you incense here.”
While saying that, Lin Shuo fished up a neatly folded letter from the pocket of his zhongshan suit and slowly unfolded it. The letter was written by hand.
Anne had sharp eyes and noticed that the letter contained all the names that she had just given to Lin Shuo.
“Zhui-ye, these are everyone going on this trip. Bless us with your power so we can have 19 in and 19 out, not one is missing. When it was all over, your disciple will repay your greatly.”
As he was muttering, he lit another match to light the letter on fire. He drew a few circles in front of his chest with the burning letter and finally let it go when it was almost fully consumed.
Yang Ta, the PhD in biology, had a slight look of contempt while watching Lin Shuo’s actions and was about to make a comment.
He Zihong quickly tugged at the corner of his student’s shirt before he closed his mouth in embarrassment. He turned his head away slightly.
“This is all for show,” said Wei Xingshan lightly.
Lin Shuo saw and heard everything that had taken place but didn’t bother being riled up by them. He merely took a step forward and placed the box down slowly.
“Pardon me, Zhui-ye!” Lin Shuo looked at the ebony box that was now being placed horizontally. He let out a light cry and with a smack of his hand, the cover of the box slid silently to one side, exposing the content inside.
“What is this?”
Everybody stretched their necks to look at the content inside the box, feeling surprised and bewildered.
The item was crescent moon shaped, it’s body was entirely black, approximately 2 meters in length, and difficult to tell what material it was made out of. From the middle of its body, both sides recurve beautifully. There were a nock on each end, stretched from them was a semi-transparent elastic string with thickness that of a finger.
“Judging from the shape, it’s a recurve bow?” asked one of the mercenaries, his voice filled with uncertainty.
“Are you crazy? When have you seen a recurve bow this size?” said another mercenary, “Forget that it’s 2 meters long, it’s body is the size of your calf. Who does one draw a bow like that?”
“What if he’s the one drawing it?”
Everybody fell silent from that comment. Everybody had barely came across his strength.
“Still impossible? We are not talking about one’s strength anymore. Look at the body of the bow, you will need to warp both hands around it. If you can’t even hold it in one hand, how do you draw it?”
“But there must be a reason why he solicited it’s help!”
“Who knows?”
Through all the discussions, Lin Shuo kneeled on one knee and took out the recurve bow with both hands. With the bow’s body facing the back he lugged the bow behind his back. He then took out a quiver the size of a backpack from the box. Inside was only 3 arrows size of an arm.
Seeing that Lin Shuo had finally invited Zhui-ye, Anne the beauty looked around at everyone discussion nearby and said, “Exactly, this is a recurve bow and it is one of the Lin’s family heirloom. Everybody in the hunter’s circle refer to it as ‘Zhui-ye’. Zhui-ye is ill-tempered, so I suggest you don’t gossip too much about it.”
Everybody piped down after Anne’s words, but Lin Shuo squinted at her, his look not too friendly.
Anne quickly covered her own mouth with her hand and apologize to Lin Shuo with her eyes, admitting that she has spoken too much.
Lin Shuo ignored Anne but placed his fingers in his mouth and made a loud whistle. The starling flew back with fluttering wings and landed on his shoulder.
The bird ate so much his stomach was rounded, but he didn’t look like his in good spirit. His head hanged slightly.
“Let’s go.” Said Lin Shou calmly and walked toward the forest.
Xing’an Mountains, is the largest primeval forest. It’s made up of Greater Khingan Range, Lesser Khingan Range, and Outer Khingan.  Among them, Greater and Lesser Khingan lie within the Chinese border, while Outer Khingan, also known as the Stanovoy Range (also known as Sukebayatur and Sukhbaatar) by the Russians lie north of Heilongjiang.
This area is scarcely population and is one of the areas barely touched by humans.
The destination of Lin Shuo and the team was small town located deep inside the Outer Khingan, approximately 20 km from their point of departure.
That town, was where 182 individuals disappeared. They would learn more details once they have arrived on site.
The Russian police department has very limited resources in the far east region. The only local police there was a 50-something drunkard, who expressed that he would not be providing any assistance. That was actually more beneficial for Lin Shuo and the group, allowing them more freedom to roam around.


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