"Why do we need to do this?" a dumbfounded student muttered.
A row of 23 students squatted along the two sides of the brook. They placed their hands into the water for a short while, then hastily pulled them out and removed a fish from their finger. Even though these fish looked pretty small, their bite was actually pretty painful.
"Yagui said that we will be awarded additional marks on the final examination," another student said.
"You guys don't even have the mettle of an aboriginal warrior." Tong Lan despised those students as she sat on a rock not too far away from them.
"At least we're better than those doing the extra homework now!" Another student giggled.
Thinking about those 25 people at home writing at a tremendous speed, everyone started feeling better balanced.
"What do you think will happen if I put my d*ck in the water?" Du Laoliu whispered to the person beside him.
The young man beside him almost spat out blood.
"I want to find out as well. Why don't you try?" The young man instigated.
"Forget it, I was just saying it for fun." Du Laoliu forced a laugh.
"This type of fish will bite any piece of flesh the size of a finger, right? Why not use some meat strips?" a girl asked. "Du Laoliu, where's the cute animal that you caught?"
She felt sorry for her fingertips.
"Yagui confiscated it and said he was having it for dinner, but none for us," Du Laoliu expressed his helplessness.
"Tong Lan, is your nose still hurting?" Du Laoliu touched on a sore spot.
The next second, Tong Lan kicked him into the brook.
Even though it didn't seem deep, the water reached the height of his waist. Du Laoliu flopped around in the water for a while before standing up and bawling miserably. His voice resounded far and wide.
His fingertips had three finger biting fish latched onto them, but that wasn't the main concern. Most importantly, he reached down into his pants and pulled out a fish.
Du Laoliu's face turned pale.
An aboriginal man usually wore a kilt or short pants with nothing underneath due to the hot weather...
Presently, Ren Baqian was in the stronghold. It wasn't very big and had less than 100 wooden houses. They were all about a meter off the ground. This design was primarily to ward off insects.
There were about 200 people in the stronghold, but the youths and strong people had currently split into two groups and gone hunting, leaving behind the kids and the elderly. There were also a few guards to protect against beasts. The person who welcomed Ren Baqian initially was one of the guards.
At this moment, the elder of the stronghold had already left. Ren Baqian stayed in a wooden room which had just been vacated for him.
The rest of the guards had already left to chop wood in order to build a small house.
Ironware in the stronghold was very precious. They were reluctant to use them to chop wood and build houses, but those guards didn't really have to worry about that issue.
Ren Baqian sat on the floor first, then switched on the radio station. He heard someone talking as soon as he switched it on. It was Li Qianqiu discussing military affairs with a weakly stranger. Ren Baqian overheard them talking about the Great Xia army's tendencies.
That weak sounding voice probably belonged to Hong Wu and was coughing intermittently after every few sentences. That voice was a far cry from the high spirits that he had back then, and it seemed as though he was pretty badly injured.
Ren Baqian merely listened and didn't interrupt. He turned off the radio station after he had rested enough and switched to packing some stuff for the trip up the mountain.
For example, some glass bottles that were manufactured from the glass factory. These bottles could be used to store the brown water from both the Black Pool and the crevices of the other mountain.
He would then send the gathered samples back to Earth and let them do a laboratory test to see if the results were what he had expected.
As he was packing, Lin Qiaole lay sleeping and drooling at the side, tightly hugging onto an animal with big watery eyes that resembled a small deer.
That small little thing was so constricted by her that it seemed as if it was running out of breath.
When it was evening, over 30 strong, young men returned with their prey. They could see over 20 young boys and girls squatting by the river bank from afar as well as a refined girl who was dressed in white, sat on a rock, and was swinging her legs.
"Who are you people?" one man in his forties asked.
"We are from the Black Bamboo Academy, and we followed our teacher here. He is the husband chosen by Her Majesty!" Shi Gan stood up and cupped his fists.
"Ah! Ah! Ah! It's that person right?" A girl in the crowd with a head full of braids was astonished. She often went to Lan City with her brother and had heard a lot about the events happening in Lan City. She guessed that the husband that Her Majesty had chosen was the man that she saw some time ago who looked like a swindler. After all, he seemed to be the only official in Dayao who had a foreign origin, but that was all just a wild guess.
However, it had been such a long time since she saw Ren Baqian that the girl thought he had already forgotten her. She would only remember him whenever she heard his name while in Lan City.
"The guy that we saw previously should be him," Na Gu said as she held onto her brother.
"We're not sure about that yet," Na Gu's brother replied with a heavy voice.
After a short while, everyone saw Ren Baqian. He was taking a stroll in the courtyard. Ren Baqian could see from afar that a group of indigenous people was returning as they carried their prey. There was one animal which was exceptionally eye-catching. It had the build of a small hill and needed two people to carry it.
The people here called it the Black Faced Gentleman, but it was in fact just a wild boar.
"It's indeed you!" A lady with a head full of little braids jumped out of the crowd. She was holding two of the little animals that Du Laoliu had caught.
"Miss Na Gu!" Ren Baqian laughed as he greeted.
"I thought that you had forgotten me," Na Gu muttered. "Are you going to employ me? AS we have agreed previously, half a catty of salt for a day."
"How could I forget." Ren Baqian laughed.
The both of them chatted a little bit, then Ren Baqian watched as everyone in the stronghold started organizing their hunting spoils.
When night fell, another team of strong young hunters returned from the mountains, but their catch was rather disappointing compared to the previous group.
The meals of these indigenous people were based purely on luck. If they were lucky, one hunting trip would yield a few days' worth of meals. If they didn't have much luck, they would only bring back a little food even after a few days.
At night, the stronghold organized a rather grand bonfire party.
The indigenous people were simple and honest. When they had guests, they would bring out whatever food they had to host them.
At the sight of this, Ren Baqian took out some spices as well. He also whipped up a dish of stewed river fish, and it was delicious, but not many people enjoyed it besides himself.
He sat on a wooden pillar and slowly sipped on the fish soup that he was holding. The sound of drums resonated throughout the entire place. There was also an elder playing an instrument made out of animal bones that sounded a little like an ocarina. The music was humble, serene, and distant.
Surrounding the bonfire, the indigenous people were dancing very primitive and wild dance.
The girls in the stronghold were wearing short skirts and shirts made of animal skin, exposing their long legs and navels. At the same time, it revealed their toned and slender figures. Ren Baqian felt that it would be much better without those burly men jumping around and exposing their hairy legs in underwear made of animal skin.
Due to the influence of the lively atmosphere in the stronghold, many students went down and started dancing as well. Not to mention, there were a few of them who danced pretty well.
For instance, Du Laoliu and two other female students.
"Why aren't you going down to dance?" Ren Baqian asked without even turning his head to look.
Somewhere not far away sat the short-legged Tong Lan.
"Childish!" Tong Lan was full of disdain, but her eyes were glistening.
"You can't say that it's childish. Besides, if you don't do it now, there may not be another chance in the future!" Ren Baqian casually replied.
Given Tong Lan's status, there weren't many opportunities for her to participate in such indigenous dances. Furthermore, since she was already acting like an adult when she was still so young, she probably wouldn't even do such things in the future.
"Hmph!" Tong Lan snorted a couple of times and ignored Ren Baqian.
Ren Baqian felt a little regretful. He had originally wanted to take this opportunity to film it, but that little brat wouldn't budge.
A metal chain appeared above Ren Baqian's head all of a sudden, started swaying to the music, then tied itself into a knot.
The thing on Ren Baqian's head immediately attracted Tong Lan's attention.
"Hey, what's that thing on your head?" Tong Lan asked curiously.
"Arrogant young master." Ren Baqian knew that chap appeared without even thinking.
After a while, everyone started looking at that thing above Ren Baqian's head. The metal chain started tying knots over and over again, ending up with seven knots in total. It looked as if Ren Baqian had seven bottle gourds above his head that fluttered in the wind as he moved his head.