Chronicles of Primordial Wars

Chapter 2 – Such A Plain Life

Chapter 2 – Such A Plain Life

Translated by Sunyancai

Shao Xuan’s destination was not at the top. He walked towards the back of the mountain along a road scattered with gravel, right after, he climbed a short distance.

Reaching the other side of the mountain, he raised his eyes and looked up. Endless mountains stretching into the distance covered with forests entered into his view, among which a few hills, relatively blank and bare, with few plants. These hills were training grounds for hunting warriors in their tribe as well as the main source of stone they used. Due to the stones, the place was not suitable for plants but was indeed a fine place for training.

Shao Xuan was standing on a gravel yard. The gravel was made out of smashed stones instead of naturally formed ones. All useful stones that could be produced into stoneware had already been picked up by others in the tribe and the rest were just worthless slag, and so no one would usually visit.

It was quiet, but still, clangs could be heard from hills nearby. Shao Xuan himself had never seen a totemic warrior’s training, it was said that the destructive force created by totemic warriors was so great that the vulnerable people, like Shao Xuan at this age were forbidden to come close. Many have tried to watch the training in silence but were eventually hurt by mistake.

Shao Xuan looked away and loosened the straw rope in his hand, “Now go and eat your ‘noodles’.”

Caesar was already tempted and instantly began to run around the gravel yard. Sniffing around as he ran, he promptly used his forelimbs to dig into the gravel upon smelling something. Before long, he pulled a large worm the length of a foot and the thickness of an adult’s thumb out from the digging spot; Caesar swallowed it immediately and went on looking for another one.

Those worms were called “stone worms” by the people of the tribe. They looked like earthworms, yet much larger in size. The one Caesar just ate was a relatively small one, for Shao Xuan had seen a stone worm as thick as a human’s arm. It is said that there were larger ones. However, the larger a stone worm grows, the deeper it buries itself underground, so there were only small ones left amongst the surface.

Stone worms tasted rather bad and many people would suffer from severe diarrhea after eating them, so no one from the tribe would keep stone worms on their menu. This was actually good news to Caesar since he had a strong appetite for stone worms.

Being a wolf, it’s rather sad that he had to stoop to eating worms.

Shao Xuan found a suitable place to air-dry the bundle of grass. He tied the grass down so that it would be more comfortable to sleep on when they got back to the cave at night.

After laying the grass down, Shao Xuan glanced around and made sure that he was the only one there. He came to a short tree at the edge of the gravel yard and began to clear the surface layer of the gravel, digging underground with the roughly built stone knife that was hanging from his waist. Soon, he uncovered an even more roughly built stone container, with a piece of meat jerky in it. Shao Xuan quickly took out the jerky and buried the container just as it was.

The meat jerky was dry and fishy, and only the size of half a hand. Shao Xuan in his last life would never have taken a second look at it, but now after starvation had settled in, rubber-tasting food became a delicacy.

You see, a plain life like that…such is our fate.

Shao Xuan felt vigorous again after eating and stood up to do a few stretches. After that, he practiced the fitness boxing he remembered from his last life. Every day, Shao Xuan would exercise, for the body he awoke in was quite weak.

Meanwhile, Caesar was still digging for worms with no lower vigilance. He would constantly look up and pay attention to the surroundings. This was the reason why Shao Xuan dared to take out food in the open, for if he was caught, the food would be taken to satisfy the hunger of others. Shao Xuan was alone, helpless, sallow and emaciated. He would neither have the spirit nor the courage to walk out of the cave if it weren’t for the experiences he had in his last life and the ruthless mind he developed in this one.

After practicing fitness boxing for a while, Shao Xuan stopped to catch his breath, only to notice Caesar suddenly turn his head with half a stone worm still in his mouth. The sudden turn of his head had torn the worm into two parts and the other half quickly burrowed back into the ground. A stone worm could still heal its wound and grow into a complete one after some period of time. The other half in Caesar’s mouth was twisting its body, lashing Caesar’s mouth.

Caesar did not swallow the worm or care about the worm’s thrashing. Instead, he stared in one direction growling, indicating that someone was there.

Shao Xuan figured that it should be someone he knew, for Caesar did not bare his teeth. Shao Xuan also stared in the same direction, and very soon, he heard a soft sound, like wind blowing leaves on the ground. Gradually, a figure appeared in Shao Xuan’s sight.

It was a very tall, big man, with fine but simple clothes of hide and fur. On his clothes was a layer of stone chips and on his face, a few scars, giving him a ferocious look. There were also scars visible on the parts of his body not shielded by his clothes. A ring of carefully selected stone tools made of fine stone was hanging on his waist.

The stones used to make these tools were different from the gravel under Shao Xuan’s feet, they were harder. These could be made into much more advanced tools for hunting and were of much higher quality than the rough stone knife in Shao Xuan’s hand. If traded for meat, even the smallest tool on that ring would fetch more meat than that which could feed Shao Xuan for days.

Perhaps it was a habit of his from hunting in the woods, the approaching

person walked in the same silent way, even when having no intention to hide. Caesar would not have been able to spot him at once and Shao Xuan would never have heard the slightest sound if he truly wanted to conceal himself.

Before Caesar ceased his growling, he immediately tightened his body

revealing four long fangs as the approaching man gazed at him for a

moment. Not even the remainder of the stone worm’s split body falling to the ground from his mouth distracted his attention.

To hunting warriors in the tribe, beasts were just prey, food. Naturally, Caesar fell into this category. Although the approaching person only gave him a glance without threat, he exuded a very dangerous aura that frightened Caesar at once because of his hunter’s instinct.

Given the situation, Shao Xuan knew he had to speak first.

“Good morning, Uncle Mai!”

The middle-aged strong man withdrew his gaze from Caesar and looked towards Shao Xuan. The dangerous atmosphere from earlier faded, Shao Xuan’s tension eased. In fact, most warriors in the tribe would not harm children unless provoked.

Mai looked at Shao Xuan and then looked down at the marks on the floor that Shao Xuan made with his earlier exercises. Glee filled his eyes, but his smile did not soften his face because of the scars.

Shao Xuan knew that Mai was kind and friendly, not as scary as he

seemed. Also, Mai and his current body’s father were in the same hunting team, so for old time’s sake, Mai would always help Shao Xuan.

“You came out so early Ah-Xuan? It’s good that you want to practice before it’s time,” said Mai.

People in the tribe did not have family names and most people were named with only one word. Perhaps it was more convenient for others to memorize and Shao Xuan’s body in this life was called “Xuan”. “When in Rome, do as Romans do”. Shao Xuan got used to this gradually. As for the “Ah”, it had an interesting origin, there once was a highly respected ancestor who tended to shout out the word “Ah” before he called someone’s name. This developed into a tradition, passed on through generations, and so people in the tribe today would all call out the word “Ah” before one’s name. Of course, the rule could not be applied to seniors and those who had special positions.

Only very few people who lived near the mountain, including children from the “orphan cave”, would come out to exercise during their youth.

Basically, their lives revolved around eating and sleeping, their luxurious entertainment would be playing for a short while. This was because exercising and playing both require the exertion of the body, and too much movement would cause hunger to develop quicker. For the poor, the less the consumption the better, so even adults were in favor of this. However, Mai obviously approved Shao Xuan’s action, for it would be more beneficial in the future if he started to practice now.

“Are you returning from the training ground, Uncle Mai?” asked Shao Xuan.

“Yes.” Mai nodded.

No fixed timelines were settled for warriors to train, they could arrange their training as they pleased as long as they did not miss the hunt.

“It seems that Uncle Mai had good fortune today! By the way, Uncle Mai, I heard from Lang Ga that tomorrow it will be your team’s turn to hunt? Good luck with that and I wish that you will return fully loaded!”

Lang Ga was in the same hunting team with Mai, and he was the one who brought Caesar to Shao Xuan. The name “Lang Ga” meant “ground bow” in the local language, Lang Ga was a person deserving of this name.

Mai smiled at Shao Xuan’s words. He did not say much and prepared to leave, for tomorrow he would go hunting and it might be days before he returned. He needed to rest so that he would be energetic in the morning.

Mai stopped after a few steps and turned around, “Ah-Xuan!”

Shao Xuan looked at Mai and saw him retrieve a piece of meat jerky from his animal-hide bag.

Warriors would bring their own food when they train because there were only stones and rocks on the training ground, so few plants and even fewer animals present there could be considered as food. In order to replenish their fatigued bodies, they would prepare some food ahead of time. The meat jerky Mai held in his hand was prepared early and he had planned to eat this small leftover piece on his way back. Upon unexpectedly meeting Shao Xuan, he gave it to him without a moment’s hesitation. Shao Xuan was not permitted to go out hunting as it was forbidden for children in the tribe to do so, for their own protection.

“Thank you, Uncle Mai!” Shao Xuan said.

Food was scarce in the tribe, especially in this season and not everyone would be so generous as to hand out meat like Mai did. Mai said after he gave Shao Xuan the meat, “At the hillside where I train myself, sunset can be observed…”

Mai left after he shared the location of his training ground in detail, and exhorted Shao Xuan to be extra careful. Caesar relaxed after Mai’s figure disappeared into the distance. Looking down, he was very angry to find that the half of the stone worm he had dropped already slipped away. Caesar dug down deep and tried carefully tracking its scent as if trying to recapture its prey. However, Shao Xuan was apathetic to this, as he had a chance to quench his appetite for witnessing Mai’s training grounds.

Shao Xuan buried the stone container with the meat jerky inside that he got from Mai and laid a layer of stone chips on the top to disguise it.

He called for Caesar looking in the direction that Mai pointed out.

“Come, Caesar! Let us do something bold!”

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