Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

Kuhn waited and waited, his heart drumming nervously, but he didn’t see them collapse.

He felt like the palm of the hand he’d used to crush the horn fruit was on fire. It was very hot and uncomfortable. His thick calluses even had an unusual flush. The incessantly burning sensation made him wish he could peel his skin off.

He’d heard that some plants were so lethal that they didn’t need to be eaten, just touching them slightly was enough to harm a person. He felt such pain just from the poison coming into contact with the surface of his skin, so Xiao Anchun and the others should be in an even more miserable state, right? They’d finished eating a long time ago, the poison should have spread to their whole bodies.

Thinking like this, Kuhn quickly slid down the rope ladder and ran to the stone jar to wash his hands. He repeatedly scrubbed it, rubbing off a layer of calluses before stopping. The burning sensation hadn’t subsided, in fact, it felt even more intense, the poison seemed to be spreading quickly.

He clenched his teeth, and decisively pulled out a dagger, cutting off the flesh on his palm.

Blood splashed everywhere, dyeing the water in the jar red. In order to prevent wild beasts from seeking out the bloody smell, he immediately wrapped his palm in a leather bind, then dug a pit, burying the bloody water and loose flesh deep into the ground.

The digging and burying process continuously agitated Kuhn’s mutilated palm, making him cold sweat. He tightened the binding and collapsed against a tree trunk, gasping for breath, telling himself that he’ll be able to meet Addie again soon, making himself feel a little better. After sitting for a long time, long enough the see if the poison would spread to the rest of his body, Kuhn covered his face and laughed sporadically.

He hadn’t died! Except for his palm, he didn’t feel discomfort anywhere else, which was enough to prove that he’d stopped the spread of poison.

Kuhn was grateful for his own decisiveness. Once again, he tightened the binding around his palm, then climbed the rope ladder to the golden lion’s tree house and searched for the salt and red crystals.

Nothing, there was nothing. There was nothing in the house but a bed, a table and a chair. How can this be? He definitely saw the pretty female tossing around two red crystals in the sun once, how could it have disappeared? Could he have it on him? Thinking of this, Kuhn left the tree house, planning to search for the group’s bodies. But after walking a few meters, he froze, his eyes almost popping out.

“You, you…” didn’t die? He swallowed back the last two words just in time, visibly turning more and more pale.

Zhou Yun Sheng acted as if he hadn’t noticed his abnormality, asking, “Were you going for a walk too?”

“Y-yes, I ate too much, I was about to take a walk.” Kuhn immediately went along with it.

Xiao Anchun stared at his blood-stained palm and asked, “Are you injured?”

He was no longer concerned about Kuhn’s fate, but he still had to figure out what he was planning.

Kuhn quickly hid his hand behind his back and shook his head: “I didn’t hold the rope ladder properly when I came down, so I fell and the palm of my hand split open. It’s nothing serious.”

This excuse made Xiao Anchun even more suspicious. He grabbed Kuhn and forced him to sit down, then untied the tightly wrapped bindings to examine the wound. His eyebrows rose slightly, seemingly doubtful, but he didn’t ask any more questions. If this was the past, he would’ve been very worried, and would’ve ran into the forest to pick medicine for Kuhn. But now, it was like none of it mattered. He didn’t even warn him that his wound was dirty and misshapen, much less clean and dress it for him.

He simply re-tied the leather binding and said without much enthusiasm: “Only the surface layer of skin is damaged, no big deal.”

Kuhn didn’t know that there were certain people in this world, people that could judge how an injury happened, and whether it occurred before or after death, just by looking at the shape of the wound. Xiao Anchun happened to be one of them.

Kuhn sighed in relief, thinking that he’d fooled him, then rubbed his belly and headed into the forest, saying that he’ll be back later.

Xiao Anchun stared at his retreating back, his expression inscrutable.

When the other man disappeared, Zhou Yun Sheng softly asked, “What actually happened to his hand? The cut was smooth, not jagged, like if it was torn.”

“Male god, you really have good perception. He cut himself with his own dagger.” Speaking of this, Xiao Anchun was still confused. He couldn’t understand why Kuhn mutilated himself. These primitive people’s brain circuitry always baffled him.

Zhou Yun Sheng stared blankly, then his expression shifted subtlety. After a little while, he slowly covered his forehead and started twitching from holding back his laughter. When he could no longer contain it, he broke out into hysterical laughter, slapping the stupid lion’s furry head as he gasped for breath.

Xiao Anchun asked curiously: “Male god, what’s so funny? Please tell us, I want to laugh too!”

Zhou Yun Sheng waved his hand, still choking on laughter. After a while, he calmed down and explained: “Kuhn was afraid you’d notice the hot peppers, so he crushed them before he threw them into the pot. He crushed a lot of peppers….” As he said this, he closed his hand, making a kneading motion.

Xiao Anchun was still confused. He blindly imitated the kneading motion for a few seconds, then finally remembered just what kind of pepper he’d just eaten. It tasted a hundred times spicier than a chili pepper. It would be uncomfortable to cut with a kitchen knife, forget about crushing it by hand. When the pepper juices invaded the cell membrane, it would produce a terrible chemical reaction, which would make you wish you’d been born without hands.

Of course, if you endure it, the pain would eventually pass, but Kuhn thought the hot pepper was poisonous. In that case, how could he endure it? How dare he endure it? What if the poison spreads from his palm to the rest of his body? So, in order to stop the poison’s spread, he resolutely mutilated his entire palm. This reaction was swift, ruthless, and comical.

Thinking about this, Xiao Anchun also couldn’t help but burst into laughter. He hugged himself, laughing, and felt a slight chill in his bones. The primitive people were uncivilized, they didn’t have a complete world view or a system of values, and they certainly haven’t established a sense of morality. They had a natural set of rules, and their goal in life was to survive, and live well. In order to achieve that goal, they were willing to do anything, including deception, war, murder, and even cannibalism. They were sometimes naïve, but most of the time, they were ruthless, naïve and ruthless.

Xiao Anchun trembled uncontrollably, firmly saying: “Male god, we have to drive Kuhn away! He’s too terrible!”

Zhou Yun Sheng shrugged indifferently: “We indeed need to drive him away, but not yet. I won’t let him go back so easily. Just hand him over to me, don’t speak of it.” He pressed an index finger against his lips, making a ‘be quiet’ gesture.

Xiao Anchun nodded and no longer questioned it. He naturally had 100% trust in the male god.

Kuhn walked to an uninhabited corner, checked to make sure the others hadn’t followed him, then his face distorted, silently crying out.

Could someone explain to him why they weren’t dead?! The rabbit had obviously died right after eating the horn fruit. So why were they still alive? There must’ve been a mistake!

“Don’t tell me… that thing wasn’t poisonous?” He subconsciously touched his bag and found that there were no more horn fruits inside, so he had to head back to where he found the plant. He thought about the mad rabbit, then thought about his mutilated palm, he dared to swear on the beast god’s name, the red horn fruit must be poisonous, it was extremely poisonous!

“Maybe there just wasn’t enough. Next time, I need to add more.” He mumbled to himself all the way to the edge of the forest where he’d found the plant. However, the red horn fruits that were here before were now gone, leaving only a freshly dug pit. He couldn’t help but be alarmed. This was obviously a man-made hole. Did Xiao Anchun come here? Did they find out my secret?

He looked around, confirming that the red horn plant had been taken away. He braced himself and turned back, passing by the creek, suddenly feeling an overwhelming urge to ignore everything and directly return to the tribe. But his heart was anything but weak, in the end, he restrained himself, slowly walking back to the camp while thinking of an excuse.

The golden lion and the beautiful female were inside their tree house, and Snow was resting in the shade of some branches. Only Xiao Anchun was up and about, using a bamboo spade to dig a hole. There was a short plant beside him, which was covered with green horn fruits.

Kuhn froze, unable to move forward nor retreat.

Xiao Anchun had no plans to mention the poison incident. The male god banned him from speaking, so he simply acted like he knew nothing. Don’t ask, don’t think, just keep the hot pepper plant alive. He indifferently moved his hand, dug the hole, then cautiously planted the pepper tree and poured a ladle of water on it.

“What’s this?” Kuhn straightforwardly asked, pretending to be ignorant. He wouldn’t admit to any wrong doings anyway. If they asked, he’d suggest that a bird did it. In any case, the birds always randomly dropped the cores of the fruits they eat, it wasn’t impossible.

“It’s something delicious. We’ll have some tonight.” Xiao Anchun smiled coldly, but because his head was lowered, Kuhn couldn’t see it.

“This thing is edible?” Kuhn’s voice suddenly hitched up a few degrees.

“It’s not only edible, it tastes great. It has a particular flavor.” Xiao Anchun looked up, his eyes so bright it was scary.

Kuhn felt uneasy from his stare, and said in a hoarse voice: “But it looks so strange, like a poisonous fruit.” Although he said this, his hopeful heart had already sunk. After three months together, Kuhn already understood what kind of person Xiao Anchun was. He knew that once the other man confidently said a plant could be eaten, there would be no mistake. In other words, his ‘poisonous fruit’ was actually not poisonous at all.

But why did his palm burn so fiercely? Like he was holding it over a fire? Kuhn couldn’t figure it out. He stared at his wounded palm that was still oozing a little blood, finding it difficult to form words. That night, Xiao Anchun stir fried a dish with green horn fruits. When he tasted that burning hot flavor, he finally realized that he’d cut his palm in vain.

This feeling would eventually pass if you just endured a little, at most, you’d lose a few drops of tears. It was harmless to the body. Kuhn swallowed an entire horn fruit while the golden lion stared at him intensely, then he poured himself a large bowl of water. Afterwards, he hugged his belly and returned to the tree house. The next day, he got up, alive and well, obviously not poisoned.

How could this be? Why did he always fail at poisoning them? This time, he even lost a layer of flesh! He collapsed, repeatedly striking the floor with his forehead. At breakfast time, he sat at the stone table, his expression lifeless.

Zhou Yun Sheng pushed a plate of stir-fried peppers towards him, smiling faintly: “Eat up. Afterwards, follow Xuan and Snow for a training session, you’re too weak.” Then he looked at Xiao Anchun and added: “You go too, you’re even weaker.”

“Ah?” Xiao Anchun was confused.

” ‘Ah’ what? We’re now a tribe. In order for a tribe to grow and strengthen, each member has to get stronger, faster. You follow Snow, Kuhn will follow Xuan.” Zhou Yun Sheng tossed a heavy pouch at Kuhn while talking, his tone indifferent: “Take a look, there’s something you need inside.”

Kuhn opened the bag and looked inside, then his hand started shaking. Red crystals, the bag was full of red crystals, no less than a hundred. Forget about only one person using these red crystals, if he disturbed them to all the males in the tribe, everyone would be able to rise several levels.

“I-Is this all for me?” He felt like his throat was blocked, and he couldn’t help but gulp.

“All for you, anyway, you’re the only one here that can use these. Train hard with Xuan, don’t drag everyone down.” Zhou Yun Sheng looked down, obscuring the maliciousness in his amber colored eyes.

Snow and Xiao Anchun didn’t know the inside story, and they stared at him in confusion. But they remembered the previous instructions, so they didn’t ask anything, just silently leaving.

From that day, they followed the golden lion to train in the southern forest. They encountered many dangers on the way, and barely hung on to their lives several times. However, with the golden lion’s protection, they remained intact, and their strength increased rapidly.

The one who improved the quickest was Kuhn. At first, it took him half a month to absorb a red crystal. Afterward, it only took ten days, then seven days, four days, three days… and finally, one day. Then he could absorb two a day, one during the day, one at night. He even trained while he slept. Although he was cruel and had a greedy heart, Xiao Anchun had to admit that Kuhn was a very hardworking and resilient man, able to accomplish great things in one day.

Seeing Kuhn getting stronger and stronger, to the point where even Snow wasn’t his opponent, Xiao Anchun began to feel anxious. Kuhn was a viper. Once he woke up, he would surely kill the farmer who’d saved him. Xiao Anchun didn’t want to see the male god being devoured, so he secretly encouraged the golden lion to take them back, planning to sneakily dump Kuhn somewhere on the way.

He didn’t dare contemplate murder, he could only think of letting Kuhn depart alone. Kuhn was very powerful now, he could find his way to the Bayan tribe even without their help. He was already a 7th-level warrior, he was stronger than all the males in the Bayan tribe. Once he returned, he could replace the chief and become the new leader of the tribe. Addie would also be dead set on him, and maybe they’ll immediately perform the mating ceremony. Instead of mixing with them, it would be better for Kuhn to return to the tribe and have a future.

“… and the poor farmer died just like that. Do you think it was worth it?” Xiao Anchun took advantage of Kuhn’s temporary absence to tell the golden lion the story of “The Farmer and Snake” for the third time, feeling more and more frustrated.

Zhao Xuan rolled his eyes, snorting in exasperation.

Xiao Anchun wanted to grab his ear and roar into it: You blockhead! You’re the farmer, and Kuhn’s the viper! The more powerful you make him, the more you’ll suffer for it later. Don’t you understand?

But in the end, he didn’t dare take action. Seeing Kuhn returning, he couldn’t help but curl his lip in contempt.

Zhao Xuan stood up lazily and continued on their original path. It’s been three months since he left camp, it was really boring playing with these small cubs in the forest. His lover had left midway through the journey, saying he was going to investigate any big craters in the forest, since they could likely be the product of the black hole explosion. By examining the geological variations of the crater, he could deduce their current time coordinates.

Of course, in order to get the coordinates accurate to within minutes and seconds, the calculation process would have to be extremely complex and huge. Basically, even with his lover’s advanced mind, it would take no less than five years to complete. The original one-year honeymoon trip had been extended to five years, Zhao Xuan felt quite satisfied. He licked his lips, his feet moving more urgently.

Snow, carrying Xiao Anchun, blindly followed him, but gradually, it became somewhat difficult to keep up. Contrarily, Kuhn easily kept pace, not too close, not too far behind, his expression relaxed. A peak 7th-level warrior was very rare, in fact, even the Renault tribe that didn’t lack red crystals only had a handful. The current Kuhn could snub 90% of the male beastkin, and throwback beasts were naturally not his opponents.

He stared at the golden lion’s muscled back, his eyes bloodshot, a strong murderous aura burst forth from his heart and was quickly smothered.

No, I can’t do it now. I have to get back to the camp and confirm where they’re hiding the red crystals.

In the end, greed conquered the desire to kill, Kuhn closed his eyes and resumed his indifferent expression.

Zhao Xuan had naturally noticed the killing aura, and his golden pupils were also filled with killing intent. But because he was at the forefront, no one saw it.

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T/N:

The Farmer and Snake- farmer finds a frozen viper. Takes pity on it and defrosts it in his coat. The viper wakes up and bites the farmer, killing him. The end.

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That farmer, man. Snakes aren’t like humans, they aren’t social creatures, they don’t help each other, only mate. Why would they think they’re getting “saved” or feel gratitude. Greatly illustrates the point though, lol.