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Lin Shuo and his small hunter team started trudging through the deep, old forest. At the beginning everybody still has very solemn look on them. But not long into the journey, the beautiful sceneries and their state-of-the-art weaponries made them relaxed and let down their guard gradually.
The sceneries at Outer Khingan in the summer are, indeed, very delightful. Especially in the day time, before the temperature rises.
Lin Shuo walked in the front; Wei Xingshan was okay with that.
In fact, he’d very much like to see him stumble.
Wei Xingshan carried with him the map provided by the Russians, along with a compass. It was quite obvious to him the path that they needed to take, but Lin Shuo didn’t have any of these with him.
Wei Xingshan was familiar with trudging through old forests. Surely the sceneries were refreshing at the beginning, but an hour or so in one’d notice that everything looks the same, with no landmarks of any sort.
Up above were canopies of trees, beneath one’s feet were a thick layer of leaf humus. Everywhere you look were just more trees that looked the same. One would grow numb in no time. Then all there was left was nonstop trekking uphill and downhill and endless command of more energy.
One would have to have lived here for a good eight to ten years before he’d be able to recognize the paths.
After about two hours, Wei Xingshan looked at Lin Shuo’s silhouette and was confused all over again. The path that Lin Shuo was leading them was exactly the same as the best path that he had analyzed using both the compass and the map! During their morning meeting, all Lin Shuo did was taken a quick glance at the map!
Wasn’t he living at Guangxi before? That was almost half a world away! How was he able to not get lost in this entire unfamiliar forest?
“Wait a minute!” shouted Yang Ta when Wei Xingshan was getting more and more confused by the minute.
“My professor is tired,” said Yang Ta nonchalantly while everyone was looking at him.
Everybody then turned and looked at He Zihong and, sure enough, he was turning pale and out of breathe.
“Oh, I have trained for a while prior to this. But still doesn’t measure up to you younglings,” smiled He Zihong bitterly with his alpenstock and slowly leaned against a tree while holding his back. “I’m sorry, I need to take a break.”
“I should be the one apologizing. This was oversight on my part,” apologized Anne then turned and said to Lin Shuo, “Mr. Lin, can we take a short break?”
Without looking back, Lin Shuo stopped in his track and said, “Not here.”
“Why not?” asked Yang Ta as he adjusted his spectacles, his voice displeased.
Lin Shuo turned around and gave him a look, then, pointing at a pine tree about five meters away and said, “You are an expert in this field, go look for yourself.”
Yang Ta looked toward the direction that Lin Shuo pointed at and his look turned solemn as he started walking toward the pine tree.
Wei Xingshan waived his hand immediately and two mercenaries flanked him on both side.
After some observation, Yang Ta returned and, casting a glance at Lin Shuo, said to He Zihong, “Professor, this is the habitat of Siberian tigers. I found two footprints under the tree, there were more than two of them.
“They are just tigers,” said Wei Xingshan full of contempt, “With us here, the tigers will just turn into extra meat for dinner!”
“Let’s go,” said Zihong who had changed his mind, “Let’s cover some more ground, I will be fine.”
Hearing that, everybody continued on another uphill path.
When they were crossing a mountain stream, Lin Shuo suddenly lifted his arm to stop everybody in their tracks.
Lin Shuo then reached out, broke off a tree branch, fished something out with it before throwing it on the ground for everyone to see.
Once they got a better look at the object, everybody backed away from fear.
The object was half a tiger’s head. The wound was uneven and has obviously been chewed on. It was fresh, there were still blood drifting from it.
In these deep and remote forest, what could possibly kill a tiger? Not to mentioned chewed it until only half a head was left?
A few of the mercenaries started turning pale.
If any monsters really appeared in front of this team of mercenaries, these men for certain wouldn’t even give it another thought and just start shooting.
But the unknown generates fear. Sometimes one can’t overthink things; the more you think about it, the scarier it gets.
Yang Ta, the fragile scholar, was the one who looked like it was just another day in the office. Instead of taking a few steps back, he took a few steps forward.
From his traveling bag he took out a pair of latex gloves and donned them before lifting up the half of a tiger’s head and examined it carefully.
“This is an yearling,” said Yang Ta. Then, seemingly concerned that others might not understand what that meant, he added, “This tiger might look huge, but from it’s teeth, you could tell it’s not an adult yet.”
“But even if it’s not an adult tiger, judging by it’s size, it must still be pretty powerful in a fight. It should still be unrivaled in this forest.” Said one of the mercenaries, “Could this… could this be done by it?”
“That impossible,” said Yang Ta as he shook his head, “According to our research….”
“That’s enough, Xiao Yang,” He Zihong chimed in, “No need to say more. They will think what they want to think. If one of these is already dead, let’s hurry up and get out of this area.”
“Yes, professor,” nodded Yang Ta as he placed the half of the tiger’s head into a plastic bad and placed it inside of his own backpack before he stood up.
Just as everybody was about to start marching again, Lin Shuo raised his arm one more time, “Everybody hold still!”
Lin Shuo sniffed a few times and looked at the northwestern direction.
“There’s something big, and it’s close by.”___
Herbivore tier: 2 advance chapter parts (1 complete chapter)
Sirenia tier: 4 advance chapter parts (2 complete chapter)
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