Chapter 21 - Hunting And Training
Lin Mu ate the roasted meat for his breakfast and became energised, ready to tackle the days tasks. Lin Mu then went to check the traps as routine, but once again nothing was caught in the traps, neither were they triggered.
Seems like the number of beasts in the outskirts has finally started to decrease, it means winter is close now. I got to hunt more beasts and save up some money. Thought Lin Mu.
The merchants would be arriving in the town the day after tomorrow, so Lin Mu wanted to accumulate as many pelts as he could till then. Lin Mu entered the deeper part of the forest after walking for an hour.
He searched for beasts while keeping an eye out for danger. The first prey that Lin Mu found was a two-tailed wood lizard, which was sunbathing on a rock. Lin Mu was able to kill it with ease as it was a low tiered beast and was slower than Lin Mu.
Two-tailed lizards were dark green in colour and had two tails. While they were slow, their defense was good because of their tough scales. But Lin Mu had no problem penetrating its defense due to his excellent short sword. Lin Mu stabbed it behind its neck and the beast was dead in seconds.
Lin Mu stored the corpse in the ring and continued his hunt. Soon after he found a thorn tailed rat which nearly scratched him with its tail. He killed it and stored it in the ring.
It took him another hour to find the next prey. This time it was a Red-crowned heron. There was a flock of Red-crowned herons at the edge of a pond. In order to not alert the entire flock, Lin Mu baited one of the Red-crowned herons with the flesh from the thorn tailed rat. He hid on the top of a tree while the beast came to eat the bait. Lin Mu jumped down with his sword drawn, and slashed at the neck of the beast, severing its head in one stroke.
Storing the corpse in the ring, Lin Mu waited to see if he could get another Red-Crowned heron with the same method, but alas the flock was scared away by a beasts roar that came from deeper in the forest. The roar even surprised Lin Mu, as he had not heard such a loud roar before. He wondered what beast could roar like that.
The roar had more impact on the beasts than he thought. He could not find any more beast after that as they all hid or retreated further away, after being scared by the roar. Seeing that he was not going to have luck hunting, Lin Mu went back to the hunting shack. On the way back he heard the roar once again, this time it was fainter, but it had the same effect none the less. He could see birds flying away overhead.
I hope the roar of that beast does not keep on scaring away the beasts or I would not be able to hunt. Thought Lin Mu.
Lin Mu went to the stream to skin and prepare the beasts. He stored the feathers of the Red-crowned heron and the skin of the Two-tailed wood lizard. It took a little effort for him to skin the Two-tailed wood lizard because of the hard scales, but he was successful in the end.
Done with this task, Lin Mu was prepared to train. He followed his previous routine of training and then sat down to chant the calming heart sutra. He felt the vital energy that was still stored in his body being assimilated. Lin Mu could feel his skin tingle as the energy waves spread through it.
After all the energy was assimilated, Lin Mu looked up at the sun and estimated that it was probably 2 pm. He removed the carcass of the Two-tailed wood lizard to cook on the bigger stove he had made outside the shack. He then cooked a pot of rice on the other stove.
While his lunch was cooking Lin Mu took the booklet out of the ring and continued memorising it. Lin Mu wanted to memorise the physical training method of boulder collapsing fist first so that he could practice it today. He was able to memorise the stances and the fist routines by the time lunch was cooked.
Lin Mu ate his lunch with gusto while going over the contents of the booklet in his mind. After he was done eating lunch, Lin Mu stood up to practice the physical training method of the boulder collapsing fist.
The training method comprised various stances in which the practitioner had to perform the fist routines. Lin Mu practiced it all way until it was dark. He was sweaty and tired, so he went to the stream to take a bath and also wash the robes he was currently wearing.
The water of the stream was chilly, but it soothed Lin Mus sore muscles. After taking a bath, he changed into a new set of clothes and went back to the hunting shack to cook dinner. He took out the carcass of the Red-snouted boar and cut a leg from it. He then spit-roasted it on the bigger stove outside.
Not to waste time, he continued reading and memorising the booklet. While he was engrossed in reading, Lin Mu heard a rustling sound coming from the bushes nearby. He turned to check and saw a small silhouette escaping into the forest as soon as he stood up. He could not find anything there, so just thought it could be a small animal.
Soon enough, the leg of the Red-snouted beast was completely cooked. He tore a piece of tender meat and dipped it in some soy sauce before eating. Lin Mu could not even imagine himself being able to eat an entire leg of a boar by himself, a few weeks ago; but now here he was with his ever-increasing appetite.
Lin Mu laid down on the bed and continued reading the booklet. By now he had memorised the physical training method and only needed to memorise the remaining half of the breathing technique.
By the time he fell asleep Lin Mu had memorised all the contents of the booklet. In the dark place in his sleep Lin Mu recalled the martial technique, improving his understanding of it. When Lin Mu woke up in the morning, he had memorised and understood the martial technique by heart.
"Now that Im done with the booklet, I can finally start to learn it." Thought Lin Mu out loud with excitement in his voice.
Lin Mu withdrew the carcass of the Red-crowned heron from his ring and cut it into small pieces to make stew from it. He put the pieces of meat into the pot and added spices and condiments to flavour it. By the time it cooked, Lin Mu would try out what he had learned from the booklet until now.
Lin Mu first started using the breathing technique until he got the rhythm for it, then took the proper stance mentioned in the booklet. Then he started performing the fist routine. He made multiple mistakes while practicing the martial technique. He always mismatched the breathing pattern and the fist technique while he changed stances.
He could feel the vital energy within his body being agitated, but it could not find the proper path to flow. It got stuck whenever he messed up the technique. Eventually with time he started to make fewer and fewer mistakes.
It had been two hours since Lin Mu had started practicing the martial technique. He had lost track of time as he immersed himself in training. He only stopped when he smelled the delicious aroma rising from the pot of stew. He then sat down to eat the stew. The meat was extremely tender and separated from bones with ease. Glistening drops of fat covered the meat as he ate it and drank the stew.
The warmth spreading from his stomach comforted Lin Mu. After eating he sat down cross-legged to chant the calming heart sutra and obtain the most benefits from the training he did. He felt the effects of the calming heart sutra spreading and by the time all the vital energy was assimilated, Lin Mu felt like he was already near another breakthrough.
Practicing with the boulder collapsing fist martial technique seemed to have a greater effect than the method he was using before. Lin Mu decided to use this technique for training from now on. The next task on his list was to go hunting.
Lin Mu had not heard any roar ever since yesterday, so he should be able to hunt today with no problem. He took a different path this time and headed more towards the north-western part of the forest. After two hours of walking, he reached a small clearing from where he could hear the cries of two different beasts.
He approached silently, making sure not to alert the beasts. He climbed a tree and hid at the top to spy on the beasts. Once he got to the top of the tree, he could finally get a clear view of the beasts.
They seem to be in a stare-down Thought Lin Mu upon seeing the behaviour of the two beasts.
The first beast was a black panther who had a small tuft of yellow fur on the top of its head, while the other beast was an ape who had light brown fur and arms which were abnormally long compared to its body.
Lin Mu did not know the names of these beasts, but they seemed to be very strong mid tiered beasts. He did not know why, but instead of escaping, Lin Mus curiosity made him observe the beasts with interest. He wanted to know why these beasts were in conflict as they did not seem to be competing for territory.
Only when the ape beast moved a little did Lin Mu see what was hidden behind him. Upon seeing the object behind the ape, Lin Mus eyes went wide.