Of course, Ren Xiaosu had not dug up the termite nest because he wanted to eat them. He continued following the deer tracks and heard the sound of running water after just a few minutes.
The closer Ren Xiaosu got to the river, the warier he became. Although it was past the evening period when living creatures gathered to drink at the riverside, he still needed to be careful. If any of the wild animals arrived here late due to matters at home, Ren Xiaosu might just bump into them.
But to his relief, he was not that unlucky.
Ren Xiaosu unwrapped the leaf containing the piece of the termite nest and threw it into the river. As the current was not rapid at this time, he did not have to think of how to build a stone weir 1 in the river.
Right after, he used his bone knife to cut open the palm-sized termite queen and threw her into the river as well. Then he began to wait patiently while holding the sharpened branch.
The moonlight tonight was particularly bright. Otherwise, Ren Xiaosu would not have seen what was in the river.
As the termite queen and her nest drifted slowly downstream with the current, Ren Xiaosu followed it from the riverbank. All of a sudden, a silhouette appeared and swam under the floating termite nest. The surface of the water roiled, and a large fish appeared with its mouth wide open as it tried to swallow the termite queen and nest in one gulp.
But as it opened its mouth, Ren Xiaosu’s sharpened branch struck it!
Ren Xiaosu had previously used this method to catch fish as well. As his speed and strength were much worse at the time, it took him many tries before he succeeded in catching one.
However, that was the past. His movements used to be slower than a fish’s, but he had gotten much faster than them by now.
Ren Xiaosu retracted the branch with lightning speed, the large, black fish struggling nonstop on it to no avail. Ren Xiaosu cautiously moved away from the riverbank. It seemed that the blood of the black fish had attracted something bad. Below the river’s surface, a dense mass of silhouettes swarmed together.
Ren Xiaosu was a little puzzled. ‘Are these the silhouettes of fish?’ He immediately cut open the large, black fish on the shore and threw all of its internal organs back into the river. He could not bring the fish back to the campsite and slice it open there because that would leave a bloody scent around the campsite.
If cracker crumbs could attract a huge deer, who knew what the scent of blood could attract? Although there shouldn’t be any bears or the likes in the vicinity, there was no harm in being cautious. Moreover, the roasted fish meat and bones that were left over from a meal would have to be dumped as far away as possible.
A second later, a frenzy erupted in the river. Countless fish scrambled to feed on the bloody organs, and they were even biting one another.
Once a fish got bitten, it would immediately end up as food for the other fish.
What a brutal river. What would happen if a person had fallen in?
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu was stunned, because he noticed that all the fish had swam away in a hurry. Ren Xiaosu turned around and left without any hesitation. Anything that could frighten away such vicious fish was probably something that he should not mess with.
On the way back to the campsite, Ren Xiaosu kept thinking about what kinds of changes the current wilderness had gone through.
Why were the wild animals evolving, yet there didn’t seem to be any changes in humans?
No, there were some changes!
For example, there was Zhang Baogen, who had demonstrated his superpower to him. Or Yan Liuyuan and himself? Weren’t they all different from before?
When Ren Xiaosu returned to the campsite, the band and the soldiers were eating porridge and canned food.
When everyone saw the fish that Ren Xiaosu was holding, they were stunned. In the afternoon, they had thought they would see Ren Xiaosu make a fool of himself. This was because Ren Xiaosu was only wearing a loose jacket, and they knew at a glance that he had not brought along any dried food with him.
So when Liu Bu told Ren Xiaosu to handle his meals by himself, everyone gloated at him. They were all quite annoyed with Ren Xiaosu, this refugee kid who constantly gave them an inexplicable feeling of unease. However, they could not tell what it was that made them feel so.
But now, while they had to make do with canned luncheon meat in the wilderness, the smell of Ren Xiaosu’s roasted fish drifted over.
Ren Xiaosu had brought along a metal cup, a bone knife, and a box of matches with him for this journey. These necessities were part of his survival kit whenever he went into the wilderness. Of course, he could’ve left the matches behind since he knew other techniques for starting a fire. But if he could save some trouble by bringing matches along with him, why would he want to make it more difficult for himself? The matchbox didn’t take up a lot of space anyway.
Liu Bu wrinkled his nose when he smelled the roasted fish. “Hur hur, no big deal, it’s only a fish.”
All of a sudden, Ren Xiaosu heard the voice from the palace say, “Quest: Good things should be shared with others.”
Ren Xiaosu was stunned for some time. He picked up the branch that the fish was skewered on and walked to Liu Bu.
Liu Bu’s eyes lit up as he said in a reserved tone, “What, are you going to invite us to eat the fish? Well, I guess we can—”
“What are you thinking?” Ren Xiaosu said, “I was only showing it to you to share my happiness.”
Liu Bu was confused.
“Quest complete. Awarded 1.0 Dexterity.”
‘Alright!’ Ren Xiaosu was overjoyed. There were many ways of sharing after all!
Liu Bu flew into a rage from shame. “Ren Xiaosu, do you really think that I would have any of your fish?”
Ren Xiaosu looked at the fish that was about half a meter long and felt that a person would not be able to finish this on their own. So he looked at Liu Bu and said, “I’ll trade half of the fish for three bottles of water.”
Liu Bu said without hesitation, “Deal!”
Ren Xiaosu wanted to trade his food for some water because it was really troublesome for him to find water. Initially, he had planned to go to the river to get his water but gave up on the idea after being frightened by what he saw there. He could also look for pine needles as his water source, but it would be too slow to squeeze the water out of them bit by bit. So he might as well make it more convenient for himself by using something that he did not require in exchange for some water from the other party.
With three bottles of water, he could drink one bottle tonight and leave the other two bottles for the journey.
“Come, come, everyone, come and have some fish.” Liu Bu took out a pot they had brought along and laid half of the fish that Ren Xiaosu had given to them in it. But what Liu Bu had not expected was that the group of soldiers had already distributed the fish among themselves before Luo Xinyu, Yang Xiaojin, and he could even get to eat it!
“Um…” Liu Bu looked at Luo Xinyu in embarrassment. He could never have expected the soldiers to be such selfish people!
At this moment, Ren Xiaosu was sitting alone beside his personal fire pit while the others congregated around the larger campfire. Both sides drew a distinct line between themselves as though they were people from two different worlds.
Suddenly, Yang Xiaojin got up and went over to sit down across from Ren Xiaosu. She calmly said, “Fish.”
Ren Xiaosu was so surprised to find her tone unusually calm that he could not come up with a reason to reject her.
The light of the campfire was flickering against the figure of the girl. Ren Xiaosu started wondering if the girls from the stronghold were all as beautiful like her. ‘But, lady, can you move the gun away from me first? You have Perfect Firearms Proficiency and you’re pointing a gun at me, so I can’t help but feel a tad nervous!’
Ren Xiaosu had never robbed anyone before, but he hadn’t been robbed before either. This was the first time he’d experiencing something like this in his life!
“I’ll let you have two bites, just two bites!” Ren Xiaosu said firmly.