Lin Ying said, “But Brother, isn’t this a little too cruel? They are just bunnies.”
“Be they young or old bunnies, aren’t they captured by us when they grow up? It’s just a matter of time.” With that, Lin Zi said to his younger brother, Lin Lei, “Bro, I’m telling you. The outside world might be different from this forest, but the rules are the same. Survival of the fittest. There’s no such thing as gentleness or righteousness. To live well, to get what you want, you require strength! By being stronger than others, the resources you gain are greater. You have the authority to speak and can have everything. On the contrary, you are this mother hare. What looks like a harmonious family can die in the mouths of dogs the next day.”
“Brother! What are you talking about? How can you teach someone like that?” Lin Ying stamped her foot angrily.
Lin Zi chuckled. “Alright, alright. Our Ying’er has attended university and knows etiquette now. I won’t continue, alright?” Then he suppressed his voice and said to Lin Lei, “Brother, men cannot be too soft-hearted. You have a knife in your pocket. You shall do the honors of killing this hare today.”
Lin Lei was given a fright when he heard that. He was to do the killing? He had never even deliberately stepped on ants! He was now to kill such a huge hare? As he looked at the hare’s eyes which were filled with terror, Lin Lei said, “Brother Let Let Brother Xia Meng do it.”
Xia Meng said as well, “I’ll do it.”
Lin Zi berated him. “Look at you. What’s the matter with killing a hare? Back when we saw the large boar, I didn’t see you shrink away with fear. Weren’t you rather excited?”
Lin Lei lowered his head. “Brother, it’s different this time.”
“Fine. You trash. Old Meng, I’ll leave it to you.” Lin Zi handed the hare to Xia Meng.
Xia Meng nodded and received the hare before fastening it to his waist.
At that moment, Old Liang returned with his two dogs. Their mouths were covered in blood. The two animals that looked silly previously now looked ferocious. The sight left Lin Lei and Lin Ying somewhat afraid. They did not dare make casual banter again.
Old Liang ignored them as well. He said, “Alright, these two dogs have had their fill. They will now have the strength to do the hunting later. Let’s go. Let’s go to the waterfall in front to try our luck. We can also finish this hare. A hare that just gave birth to babies is still rather fat. Roasting it will be delicious.”
With that said, Old Liang led the group to set off once again.
He did not realize that two people in the group had already lost their appetites
It did not take long before Fangzheng appeared where they had just been. However the boar was no longer with him. Finding the spot where the boar was injured was already the limits of the boar’s memory. Trying to get the animal to identify the enemy’s smell and seek them out was completely impossible. Helpless, Fangzheng allowed the boar to leave.
At that moment, Fangzheng was surprised that Squirrel, who passed his days acting adorable, was actually quite a good tracker. Under his guidance, they quickly found the spot.
“Master, there’s the smell of blood,” Red Boy said as he looked into the distance.
Fangzheng said, “Let’s go take a look.”
As they followed the scent, Fangzheng soon saw a hole that had been dug open. By the side were tiny pieces of scattered meat and blood
“It should be a burrow of bunnies, but something dug it open, and all the bunnies were eaten. As the saying goes, a clever rabbit has three burrows. If the bunnies failed to escape, it’s likely because they were too young, unable to run or just too slow at running,” said Red Boy as he squatted down and studied the situation.
Fangzheng said, “The villagers have a habit. Even if they go up the mountain to hunt for some meat, they would not attack animals that are pregnant or suckling. From the looks of it, the person who entered the mountain this time isn’t someone good!”
“Master, why don’t you return me my Dharmic powers. I’ll help you capture him and teach him a lesson. How about that?” Red Boy immediately volunteered.
“If everything is left to you, what’s the point of your master being here?” But inwardly, he thought, “If everything is left to you, how do I accrue the merit? Without merit, how am I to renounce asceticism?” But thinking back to the poacher, Fangzheng’s mood turned nasty. A bunch of poachers who had no bottom line, to the point of not sparing suckling animals, were truly evil.
In fact, many people in the village knew of the existence of poachers. However, there were two kinds of poachers. The first kind was better. They came from a line of hunters, one generation after another. These people relied on the mountain for their survival, but they would never wipe the mountain clean. They treated the mountain as their own backyard. They also knew very well which animals were in abundance and which were scarce. They would only hunt those that were in abundance. They never caught or killed without regard. They abided by a set of rules. These people did not destroy the mountain’s ecological system.
Their existence made them become a part of the mountain, one of the elements in the food chain. Towards these people, the villagers never thought of them as criminals. They were only treated as hunters or harvesters of the mountain.
But the other batch of people were the ones they were facing now. They did not abide by any rules. They did not show any respect towards nature or the mountains. All they had was a mind bent on profit and pleasure. They plundered the mountain without any sense of propriety! They hunted anything they saw, especially if it was something rare!
These people were nothing but poachers in the eyes of the villagers! They were also the kind of people that irked most people.
Fangzheng guessed that he was facing the latter. Fangzheng abhorred such people!
At that moment, a gunshot sounded up ahead. Following that, there was the incessant barking of dogs.
Fangzheng and Red Boy exchanged looks before running in the direction of the sound. After passing through several shrubs and a plain, they jumped across a tiny ditch. There, Fangzheng happened to see a spotted deer run past him. The deer’s leg was injured. It was limping and from its stomach, one could see that it was pregnant!
The barking sounded as the two dogs surrounded them from different directions. Further off, a man carried a hunting rifle as he ran over. As he ran, he roared with laughter. “A pregnant deer! The treasures in her stomach are full of supplements! Dahei, Erhei, stop her! Lin Zi, didn’t you want to hunt? This fellow is pregnant, and her leg is injured. She won’t be able to run fast. Give it a try.”
One of the quartet that followed behind him said in excitement when he heard him, “Alright, I’ll do this!” Lin Zi turned to Xia Meng and said, “Old Meng, hand me the composite bow.”
Xia Meng hesitated for a moment before handing it to Lin Zi. After all, he was only in charge of safety. He had no right to retort to his employer.
Lin Zi took over the composite bow and stringed the arrow. By the side, Lin Ying covered her eyes, afraid to watch. Lin Lei felt a little excitement, but he also found it a little cruel.
Red Boy knitted his brows and cursed softly. “These guys are really bastards. Even I didn’t eat pregnant animals back then. They are more ruthless than demons!”
Squirrel shouted, “Master, Master! Save it!”
Fangzheng was infuriated as well. The poachers had just wiped out a burrow of bunnies, and now they were about to kill a pregnant deer. They even wanted to eat its placenta and the baby deer in its womb. Were these people devoid of all humanity? In his anxiousness, Fangzheng used his divine powers haphazardlyDivine State!