AR Chapter 93: Meeting up again.
A week have passed since everyone split up to hunt for materials. Ming and Brigid arrived first. Brigid was doing who-knows-what with the stuff she found. With a silly grin on her face, she toyed around with various gemstones. Ming didn’t pay attention to her since she was busy training her new pet. The little furry creature now accepts Ming as its provider. She has been taming it with food and it looks like after a few days, it finally started to warm up to her.
Shin and Kate came back next. They were covered in dried mud, dust, dirt, and looked like they just survived a dive through a tornado. On Shin’s ripped jacket were hints of dried monster blood. It seems they ran out of clean cloths and could only just wing it.
Ming caressed the furry critter and stared at the two.
Ming and Brigid looked clean even after an entire week of adventuring.
The two only sighed and collapsed next to the fire.[Shin]: Let’s just say we have been tracking an annoying beast for nearly half the week… [Kate]: God… I want a bath already.
Kate’s hair was disheveled and she kept blowing her hair out of the ways of her eyes.
Shin looked like a miner who had finally seen the light of day after nearly a week of mining in the dark. Circles under their eyes showed the lack of sleep they got the past few days and the distinct smell of cut plants emit from their bodies.
Brigid didn’t pay them any attention since she was still too busy tinkering with her new found toys but Ming had to hold her nose.[Ming]: You smell like you took a bath in a pile of fresh cut grass…*cough* wow that is strong. [Kate]: Don’t remind me…my nose had already gotten use to the smell but I just can’t help but remember how bad I smell right now. [Ming]: Well, there’s a river nearby. You two should go wash up a little. That smell is just far too strong… [Shin]: Good idea, let’s go honey.
Shin and Kate dropped their heavy backpacks and quickly ran toward the river while taking off their clothes caked in dust.
Ming could hear them screaming “Yahooo” followed by two splashed.[Ming]: Sometimes I wonder if they should act their age or not… [Brigid]: Hey, allow them to enjoy their inner childish tendencies while they can. [Ming]: Hmm… [Brigid]: You too. Considering you’re a fourteen year old girl right now, you should act your age. [Ming]: But it’s so tiring acting so immature. [Brigid]: Tiring huh? Guess there’s just some people…
They could hear the couple laughing and splashing in the river nearby.
Minutes later, Chun Qin returned from his hunt. He looked like a tired soldier who just went through a tour in Vietnam.[Chun Qin]: So how is everyone? [Ming]: I see from your satisfied expression that you got something special. [Chun Qin]: You know it. This week really reminded me of boot camp…god that month of field training…
Chun Qin shivered as he remembered his past.[Brigid]: Hey, don’t go all PTSD on us here, go wash up too.
Chun Qin looked at himself and realized he was covered in dirt and dead dried vegetation.[Chun Qin]: Hmm, you’re right. I’ll wait till those two are done. [Brigid]: Then sit away from me, you stink! [Chun Qin]: You don’t have to be so mean… [Ming]: She’s right, you do smell horrible. [Chun Qin]: *sigh* No one is on my side…
The two could only look at the dirty soldier with pity.
An hour later, Shin and Kate came back from their wash with a cheerful atmosphere. The two looked renewed, as if the entire week of struggle never happened. Chun Qin saw the two and left silently toward the river after giving a nod to Shin.[Shin]: So, shall we make dinner before the sun fully sets? [Kate]: By the way, did Crule come back when we were gone? [Ming]: Not yet. But we might as well welcome him with some hot food. Let’s make dinner.
Shin lifted his arms showing his bulging arm muscles.[Shin]: Leave it to me!
Kate only giggled, Ming and Brigid only rolled their eyes.
Ming nonchalantly rummaged through her backpack and pulled out with a loud thud, the corpses of a pig looking beast. It was huge, nearly seven meter in size. This was far more than enough food for the six of them, even with their elevated appetite.
Shin grinned while looking at the large pig thing. He reached into his backpack and pulled out two sharp looking butcher knives.
Kate hugged Shin and tied an apron on him. He was blushing but trying not to move. With the two knives in his hands, he approached the pig thing. Like a tappan-yaki chef, he skillfully dissected the pig beast into varying sizes of edible meat. The bone was stored away and the organs were tossed. Who knows what kind of poison the pig-beast’s organs have been bathed in by living on Mt. Tai?
Obviously the beast had been already drained of blood by Ming. She was ever expanding her supply of blood.
The remainder of the pig was seasoned with a dry rub then mounted on a long stick and slowly roasted over an open flame. The grease slowly dripped off the delicious meat as Shin further seasoned it with pepper and fennel seeds.
The smell filled the air and everyone’s stomach was rumbling.
Chun Qin returned from his wash looking renewed as well. He stared at the roasting pig with drool dripped from the corner of his mouth. He was never a good cook and the past week he had been eating nothing but berries he found and various dried rations.
Being able to eat food made by a professional chef was something he use to take for granted after living with Shin and Kate on the moon Wrath for such a long time. This week apart made him realize just how lucky he was.[Chun Qin]: Smells great! So is Crule back? [Ming]: Not yet. But soon I think.
Ming just had this intuition that Crule will soon be back. Her intuition was rarely wrong.
Brigid finally stopped tinkering with her toys after the suns set enough to the point where the lighting has gotten bad.
The suns was now dropping below the horizon. The purple dusk colored the sky with a certain peaceful magenta that made one feel calm.
The pig after several hours finally was ready to eat.
As if his stomach was guiding him, Crule returned nearly immediately as the pig was finished cooking.[Crule]: Smells great!
He was clean compared to Shin, Kate and Chun Qin since he spent such a long time in the underground pool.
Ming could sense something different about Crule. Suddenly she realized what changed. A wide grin revealed slowly on her face.[Ming]: I see you finally made that breakthrough. [Crule]: Mhm, finally I have passed the level I couldn’t get through back in the old world. [Ming]: I have to catch up too now!
They chatted around about their week of hunt as they enjoyed the roasted pig thing.
After a long week, everyone came back realizing how much they missed each other’s company. The close beta ended successfully and soon, the gates will be opened to the public. Soon the masses will storm the Wild, taking all they could with their own hands.