Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
But now that they had gone deep into the mountains, how was she to return alone? Wei Yaqin didn’t dare to do that either. Looking at her cell phone, there wasn’t any signal at all. Her only option was to follow closely behind these people so as not to encounter any danger from being separated from the team.
“Sis Wei, we are all laymen. We should just do as they say while following them.” Not far away on a rather flat rock sat a man and woman who were dressed in couple down jackets. The man carried a huge backpack, while the woman carried a token bag of much smaller size and a water bottle. She didn’t look like she was there for an adventure at all, but more like she was on holiday. They were college students, and the man’s name was He Haijiang while the woman’s name was Cheng Mujie. They didn’t attend the same college as Xunzi and Glasses, but they often interacted in an outdoor chat group, sharing quite a good relationship.
Apart from the two of them, there was also another middle-aged man who was easy to talk to. He was bald and was nicknamed Monk. His online nickname was the same as well. He was very healthy, and the huge backpack he was carrying clearly felt like nothing to him. He chatted jovially the entire time and although he didn’t vie for leadership with Xunzi, what he said was taken seriously by everyone.
The final person was a woman named Yao Zhen. She wasn’t a student, but an elite who had worked for quite some time. From her actions, she was likely a white-collared worker who did things very meticulously. However, when Wei Yaqin saw her carry such a huge backpack, she had a nagging feeling that she couldn’t count on her.
Indeed, when Xunzi told them to prepare to continue, Yao Zhen resisted. “Leader, let’s rest a little longer. We entered the mountain in the morning and haven’t had any rest. It’s too tiring.”
“Sister Yao, I told you to throw away the things that you wouldn’t need when mountain climbing, but you insisted otherwise. Are you regretting now?” Xunzi was a little pissed. The woman looked rather pretty, so when she first came, he found her quite a delight. However after they set off, he realized that she was a burden. He simply didn’t flare up on account of her being a lady.
Yao Zhen said, “I specially prepared all of this after reading up on a lot of information on outdoor survival. I believe that it will ultimately be of use.”
“Sister Yao, what you read was meant to deceive you. A real encyclopedia for outdoor survival is standing right before you. Have you ever seen anyone bring cosmetics when they were scaling mountains and crossing ridges?” Glasses said.
Yao Zhen blushed. “I… I didn’t expect the path to be so difficult either.”
“Enough, cut it out everyone. Glasses, help her look through her things. Choose some of the things that can stay and throw away the rest. Otherwise, there’s no way we can continue on,” Xunzi said.
Glasses nodded. He pulled his fur collar to his nose to gain some warmth before heading over to help.
Yao Zhen immediately turned guarded. “Don’t! There’s so many of you here. Can’t each person help me carry a little?”
“Sis, we are here to challenge the limits, not for a vacation. By bringing so many things along, you are seriously slowing us down. I’m telling you that the mountain isn’t like outside. Once the sky turns dark, if we haven’t set up camp yet, we might die.” Yao Zhen turned frightened the moment Xunzi said that. “Death is possible?”
“So many people die in the outdoors every year. There are definitely at least three instances a year,” at that moment, Monk said with a stern voice.
The moment he said that, Yao Zhen was really frightened. Without a choice, she began selecting and throwing away the useless cosmetics. It was fine if the rest hadn’t seen it, but now everyone could confirm with their own eyes that there were quite a number of beautiful clothes and accessories in her bag! Clearly, Yao Zhen had treated this challenge as a vacation. She had even planned on changing clothes to take nice photos!
Everyone was rendered speechless.
After finishing with Yao Zhen’s matter, everyone continued. The trail was originally flat, but it later turned to barren rock. If it were still summer, it wouldn’t have been too hard to traverse it. They would have just had to use every limb and be careful. But now that it was winter and the first snow had fallen, the rocks had ice on them. Together with snow covering them, the hikers’ grip would often slip, and it was hard to advance even just with normal footsteps. Everyone had no choice but to help each other to proceed. Little did they know that they had unknowingly broken many taboos of scaling mountains.
Thankfully, they were quite lucky and didn’t meet with any danger. They successfully climbed up to a small mountain ridge. Standing there, they could take in the surrounding forest and mountains. They were seeing nature’s first change of costumes in winter, and they yelled in excitement while taking pictures. They had a great time.
Only when they sat down to eat did they realize that their hands had turned numb from the cold. They hurriedly set up a fire to warm themselves up.
At this moment, the male student from the college couple, He Haijiang, asked, “Eh? Do you think Panzi and the rest came up the mountain? Would they also have taken this trail?”
“Hehe, who cares! We were the first to set off, and we took a shortcut. I didn’t tell them about this path actually. So even if they also entered the mountains, they are definitely behind us. Besides, didn’t they keep calling us amateurs? This time, I’ll be the first to reach Tianzhu Peak and let them see who the amateur is!” Glasses said in high spirits.
The moment everyone heard that, they turned eager, as though they would reach the top of Tianzhu Peak the next instant.
Wei Yaqin suggested. “I think we can give up on entering the mountain properly. After all, it’s snowing…”
“Impossible. Panzi claims to be a highly experienced backpacker who has walked the Sichuan–Tibet railway and climbed Mount Everest. If he were to give up on this bit of danger, everything he’d said prior to it would turn out to have been nothing but a brag! I’ll definitely give him a smackdown on the forums when we return,” said Xunzi.
Monk added. “Panzi has always made it sound like he’s the boss, an experienced backpacker, giving advice all the time. If we manage to be faster than him, heh heh…” With that said, Monk switched topics. “However, we have to be careful. After all, outdoor adventuring is nothing like being at home. If something really happens, we will be in true danger.”
“What’s there to be afraid of? Doesn’t the country have a rescue team? Those people have nothing better to do, so why not give them something to do? After all, we are taxpayers,” Yao Zhen suddenly said, her tone sounding like it was only right to expect that.
And the others actually agreed with Yao Zhen. Therefore they relaxed, ate their meal, and began to leave after warming themselves up.
Wei Yaqin asked, “Are we not going to care about the fire?”
“Why should we? There’s a blizzard today. Once we leave and no one adds any more timber, the fire will extinguish by itself. Let’s leave quickly. Let’s reach Tianzhu Peak as soon as possible and beat Panzi.” Cheng Mujie, the female of the college couple, pulled Wei Yaqin along. Wei Yaqin kept feeling that it wasn’t right. She released herself from Cheng Mujie’s elbow hold and ran over, kicking the fire pile twice and burying the fire with snow. Only then did she leave. However, her actions only received frowns from the others.
Clearly, Wei Yaqin was showing doubt about their skills. Xunzi and Glasses wore unhappy expressions as they whispered something to themselves. They had labeled Wei Yaqin as a disobedient and troublesome person.