Chapter 31 Art of Hunting
“What about you?” Chang didn’t argue too much after he heard their conversation. He knew that kindly refusing wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone in this situation.
“You will get tired easily if you’re going to carry her on your back.”
“Don’t worry about me, I know how to save my strength. Plus, I’m not the main force of the battle like you; I probably won’t even get involved in the battle.” Qing shui said as he picked up his portion of hardtack that was in front of Pangzi and ate it along with a glass of tap water.
Chang didn’t add more to this conversation as he saw Qing shui’s determination, so he put the piece of hardtack in his mouth followed by some cold water.
When the dry and hard cracker encountered the water in his mouth, it immediately expanded. All of a sudden, the intense aroma filled his entire throat and nasal cavity; in three seconds, the mushed cracker had slid down to his stomach; the brief process was as splendid as firework set off in the sky. The satisfaction he gained from the moment that the cracker reached his stomach caused his mind to go blank for a few seconds.
“It was absolutely delicious!” Chang praised. A heartfelt admiration raised in his mind, “I’ve never had such delicious food in my life!”
Chang glanced at the smaller piece of hardtack in his hands and a spark of hesitation flared in him. He looked at Jing and then the cracker; he felt very conflicted at this moment – he knew the perseverance she had to exert to resist the temptation of having that piece of cracker after he had his piece of hardtack.
Because Chang knew that she wouldn’t take back her cracker for any reason, he cherished that she offered her food to him – Chang stared at the small piece of hardtack and Jing’s eyes for a few seconds before swallowing it.
“I promise you that our dinner will have meat!” Chang didn’t say anything sensational other than this simple line, and he lightly rubbed on Jing’s hair.
“I believe you.” Jing gave him the same answer as she did before – smiling and nodding.
“All right, lets go. If we don’t get anything today, there is no hope for us to go out tomorrow.” Qing shui had packed his backpack as Chang finished his food.
He carried his backpack in front of his chest and grabbed a handful of shriveled plants that they didn’t finish yesterday, then he crouched down in front of Jing and let her climb on his back.
“Let’s go.” Chang gave a warm smile to Jing; he could tell that she wasn’t very comfortable staying on Qing shui’s back. Chang lightly patted her shoulder a few times to show that he would accompany her. Then, the three left the room.
“We’ll come back before sunset if we are lucky.” The three left with one last sentence, but the second half of it sneaked through the door, “But we also might not be able to come back if today is just not our day.”
The trio merged into the red fog as they walked out from the base. The outside world was much more quiet and the plants were flourishing more than ever before. It was unlikely that someone would run into them and notice Chang’s strange weapon.
“Mr. Li, why are you holding those terrible plants?” Chang didn’t need to lower his voice when talking as they went outside already; he was comfortable speaking to Qing shui in the red fog.
“To cover up the smell of your body,” Qing shui said so as he let Jing get off of his back. He hunkered down and grounded the stems of the plants on the rough surface of a rock. What came out was a sticky and mushy liquid. He smeared some of the liquid paste on his arms, “I know you used perfume to cover the smell of yourself, but that isn’t a flawless camouflage at all.”
“So you want to use these plants instead?”
“Exactly, since the sense of smell of our targets are usually better than us. For example, do you know how many times better a dog’s sense of smell is compared to us?”
“I don’t know, probably more than a hundred times?” Chang guessed.
“It’s more than 1000 times; it actually falls anywhere between 1000 to 10000 times depending on the breed, so how far away do you think a dog can smell you?” Qing shui kept grounding the plant stem and rubbed the stinky paste on his body. He then gently applied the paste on Jing’s arms and face.
“I don’t know… but I can’t even notice a dog approaching me by smell.” It was the first time that Chang knew how sensitive a dog’s sense of smell was. Though he was astonished by the fact, he also smeared the paste on his body like how Qing shui did.
“Therefore, put more of this paste onto your body; it will be easier for you to approach a prey with better camouflage. These plants have an intense stench that comes from nature. This is a perfect disguise compared to those artificial perfume scents.”
“I see. But isn’t a dog’s sense of smell much better than other animals? Realistically speaking, how do other animals compare?” Chang picked up the spear again as he made sure the paste covered his exposed skin.
“Dogs are pretty average in terms of smell compared to other animals, like cats and rats. It’s just the fact that other animals aren’t as common as these domestic animals, so animals in nature are greatly understudied. But knowing less about them doesn’t mean they are incapable.” Qing shui reorganized the tools he brought with him in the backpack, and then let Jing stay on his back again. “We should keep walking, we’ll discuss more as we walk.”
“Good.” The trio headed to the downtown of the city.
“As we hunt, we should be careful of three things in order of importance – smell comes first, then hearing, and lastly vision. In terms of vision, you have the green paste on your body and the fog, and the grass is a perfect cover for you. Some animals are more sensitive to movement than to colors, so they usually won’t be able to notice you when you are lurking. Hence, just be more careful when you do move; if they become alerted, hold your breath and freeze your movements immediately until they let down their guard.”
“For hearing, you should breath as gently as you can and try to stabilize your heartbeat. Also, don’t forget about your footsteps. You need to be very calm to control your body to move in the exact way that you want it to.” As Qing shui spoke, he suddenly grinned, “This is probably the ‘killing intent’ that’s always described in novels. It seems like a good hunter would be a good killer too.”
“As for smell, although I did my best to make you a camouflage, you still need to pay extra attention in case they can still sense you. You have to test out the direction of the wind. Don’t forget to get around to the position against the wind, so that you have lower chance of being discovered. And…” Qing shui was about to lecture more, but Chang interrupted him.
“Mr. Li, as I have been listening to you, a strange thought popped in my head all of a sudden.”
“What are you thinking?”
“Compares to hunting, killing people is such a simple thing to do!”