Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Li Du was very distressed because he did not expect to meet such trouble so soon after he entered the mountain range.
Ah Bai was in good condition. The bullet didn’t hit straight, but only grazed some parts of his little body. Therefore, after some urgent treatment, the little monkey’s life was not in danger. However, someone else would have to carry him for some time.
However, the pellets had done him a great deal of damage, and Ah Bai was listless and sleepy and had lost much of his usual liveliness. He went straight to sleep as soon as they got back to camp.
Li Du touched Ah Meow’s head and handed him a piece of fresh fish.
The other side would not willingly give up after such humiliation. Judging from some things they said, the poaching gang included more than just the six people they had seen.
Li Du’s camp by the lake was too visible, open to attacks from the other side. It could cause a lot of trouble and was potentially very dangerous.
In addition, they had small-caliber automatic rifles, which were forbidden for civilians to carry.
After listening to Li Du’s concerns, Lu Guan said, “Would they dare to call the police? Those bastards are poachers. If they call the cops, they will be arrested first.”
Brother Wolf said, “Actually, I don’t know their identity. I said they were poachers to threaten them a little.”
“But they didn’t deny it,” said Lu Guan.
This didn’t prove anything, however. They were confused and, thanks to Ah Meow, in extreme pain. They might not have dared to contradict the scary people with the rifles.
What could a leisurely trip turn into such a mess?
Before it was completely dark, Li Du and the others had a quick meal, packed up their tents, and went on to the mountains.
Many trees grew in the Blue Ridge area, and the forest was so thick that they gave up their bikes and went up on foot instead.
On their way, Li Du saw more trees, such as maple, hawthorn, oak, birch, and so on.
These trees were green and blooming, creating a delightful atmosphere under the setting sun.
Besides, there were wildflowers such as heather, blueberries, holly, roses, and cuckoos, creating a gorgeous colorful carpet.
Brother Wolf found a relatively empty spot in the woods. By this time it was dark, and they could not go on.
Lu Guan asked, “Are there any wild animals here? Let’s make a bonfire.”
“What animals? Any large predators have been gone for a long time, probably went extinct a long time ago,” Li Du shook his head carelessly.
“There are still wolves in the mountains of northern Canada,” said Brother Wolf, “But there aren’t any here. The boss is right.”
Not long after their conversation ended, the bushes in the distance shook and a few large animals appeared.
Ah Meow and Ah Ow stared in their direction. Li Du quickly turned on his flashlight and several white-tailed deer appear in the light.
The white-tailed deer, startled by a sudden flash of light in the darkness, disappeared without a trace, leaving only shaking bushes behind them.
The Appalachian Mountains were once home to large beasts such as wolves and mountain lions, but they have disappeared from the area due to excessive hunting and destruction of their natural habitat.
This was not good for the balance of nature. The local food chain has been destroyed, as without large predators, white-tailed deer, reindeer, moose, elk, and other animals would reproduce with no limits.
Fortunately, the Appalachians were lush and able to withstand the increasing number of herbivores, including the North American hare and some rodents, which were also found throughout the mountain range.
After a good night’s sleep, Li Du came out from his tent at sunrise and saw several eastern grey squirrels, rabbits and weasels on the ground.
Ah Ow and Ah Meow proudly sat among their prey. Needless to say, this was their night’s work.
Ah Bai also woke up. His mental state was not good, and he was weak because of excessive blood loss.
Li Du fed him some fresh and dried fruit and gave him some honeyed water. Ah Bai was not in good spirits, but he still could eat. His belly soon bulged up.
After checking on the little ones, Li Du got up and stretched, and a brand new mountain appeared in front of him.
Early birds were looking for food, and the woods were full of twittering bird calls. Yesterday, they saw wild birds such as wild turkey, grouse, mourning dove, wood duck, oriole and so on fluttering in the woods.
Li Du looked to the east, where the red sunrise slowly rising. The light fell on the dew on the branches and leaves, emitting a jewel-like gorgeous light.
Many birds were flying toward the east, their shapes flitting before the morning sun, adding much action and movement to the mountain morning.
Brother Wolf set up a fire to prepare breakfast. He heated the fish and meat broth that were left over from the night before.
In addition to the soup and dry bread, they had pure wild fruit picked in the forest. Firecracker climbed trees to find some bird nests, and Li Du fried the eggs he found. Their breakfast was quite scrumptious.
Mountain climbing was exhausting. The meal tasted good when they ate it and everybody had excellent appetites. All of them chewed vigorously.
“There are some edible mushrooms in the woods. Let’s go and pick some later,” said Brother Wolf.
If one wanted to eat meat, there were deer and hares. If one wanted to eat vegetables, there were also wild vegetables and mushrooms. Rendered fat from venison could be good for frying food. There were many fruits in the woods in this season, and the mountains offered many delicacies to those who were prepared to look for them.
When they left the mountain path and began to climb, it was difficult.
Resting in Li Du’s backpack, Ah Bai could only look at the trees around him. Being injured, he had an excellent excuse to lie back and relax.
After climbing for half an hour, Brother Wolf, who was leading, stooped and raised his arm, making a sign for them to stop.
Li Du thought they were in trouble, but Brother Wolf turned his head and said, “Take a detour. There’s a big beehive ahead.”
Lu Guan did not want to take a detour and said, “Beehive? Just in time for some honey. I’ll go and see how big this hive is. Will it be big enough for us… Shit, let’s back off!”
There was a short beech tree in front, thickly wooded and not very tall, but very stout.
Starting from the middle of the trunk to the crown of the tree, there was an enormous beehive. At first glance, the tree and the hive looked like one massive structure.
Numerous bees were flying outside the beehive. A large black group flew over the woods like a cloud!