Volume I – Isolated island survival memoir
Chapter E Cauldron’s Reminder
Liu Zhenhan withdrew his hand at a lightning fast speed.
He turned his flushed face the other way. He resolutely began to chew the cooked meat of rabbit to break it down into small pieces, then proceeded to pour the soup, all set to feed the fox woman.
“You must know that this is going to save you.” Liu Zhenhan could affirm that she, in all likelihood, simply did not understand what he was saying but still ended up uttering these words to express his intention.
After all, not everyone would readily accept the food chewed by someone else.
The fox woman was partly leaning on his arm and ate a rabbit leg along with the soup. She was able to open her beautiful eyes, although the look in them still seemed quite bleak, but her eyes looked just the way he imagined; a pair of talking eyes with unimaginable depth.
When Liu Zhenhan was done feeding her, he turned around only to see a little devil waiting for him with its big bouncing belly. Liu Zhenhan served two rabbit legs to this naughty little devil. Afterward, he ate the remaining rabbit leg along with the residual soup. Then, he remembered something and took out the package he brought yesterday that contained 2-3 big split melons. He did not know the genus these melons belonged to but they looked somewhat similar to watermelons. However, instead of the usual black seeds embedded in red pulp, these melons had red seeds embedded in golden yellow pulp, making them seem more like pumpkins. Liu Zhenhan took a large bite and noticed that the taste was similar to melons, sweet and crisp.
Originally, he thought of leaving few slices for the fox woman and Fruit, but again thought that leaving these already split melons in this damp environment for a long time was not a good idea and ended up eating all himself.
Fruit ate the rabbit meat and drilled his way into the wolf skin mattress and went to sleep. Liu Zhenhan discovered that each time Fruit would shoot that strange cold-air mass from its mouth; it got tired and lazy and wanted to rest.
Liu Zhenhan had also planned to scout the entire island but temporarily gave up the idea because he could not leave behind a sick person alone in his house.
It took most of the morning and half of the afternoon time to dig a small pit with his machete. Whether the water would leak out or not, he was not sure.
If you do not give me water then I will use you as a latrine pit! While facing the pit, he wickedly made a vow.
He pushed himself a little too much while digging the pit and it brought bad consequences for him. The wound on his arm started bleeding again and this discovery made him cancel the plan of going to hunt fat rabbits in their grass nest. Even if the rabbit meat was so tasty that mere the thought of it made him drool.
At noon, when he came back home, more than half of the fat rabbit meat had disappeared into the belly of the little devil. Fruit could simply be described as a big eater and it seemed as if its small stomach was a gateway to another universe.
Fruit and the fox woman were both fast asleep and he had no intention of waking them up. He silently walked to the corner of the room and took his bow and arrows. He was all set to shoot a few birds to bring back for dinner after all he was a bit bored of eating eggs every day.
At this time, he had an ardent stomachache that made him frown.
Probably, he caught cold. His heart was beating like a drum, and in a place like this, if he fell ill, then that would be his doom for sure.
He ripped open the backpack, pulled out a white robe from inside and casually wore it on the body as he did not know the correct way of wearing it. He was also a bit anxious, but fortunately, after a while, his stomach did not hurt anymore. He took his bow and arrows and set out to hunt birds. The seabirds on this island were quite silly and had perhaps never encountered hunting. They just sat there on the tamarisk trees, combing their feather and as long as he stood far from them, they did not fly away. This made it easier for him to get used to the bow and arrow technology through trial and error.
After several trial and errors, he finally managed to shoot down seven-eight birds. He felt that he was getting a hang of archery. Shooting arrows was somewhat similar to firing guns, the difference was – no scope and there was no way to aim at the target. He had to rely purely on his feeling, instincts, and as soon as he found out the shooting range and the error margin, things got a lot easier for him. Anyway, these birds were silly and just sitting still on the branches as live targets.
Walking and shooting arrows all the way, he had unknowingly passed through the tamarisk forest and arrived at the beach where the shipwreck happened yesterday. The beach looked calm and there were no traces of the raging storm and chaos from last night.
Liu Zhenhan regretted watching the calm sea. He wanted to find at least one dead body floating in the water to take the attire or any useful items from it. Although the white robe’s texture was good, but was too spacious and long, the excess part was being dragged on the ground. He did not mind the robe being dirty, after all he did not have time to think about such luxuries on this island, but he did not want to accidentally trip and get unnecessary injuries. It was better to not wear such inconvenient attire; it was a pity that yesterday when he boarded the ship, he forgot to take a pair of shoes or any kind of footwear. His feet had been pierced by a few thorns and hurt a lot while walking.
Since he was already here, did not hurry back. He found a long stick and tore several strips from the white robe and linked them together to use as a string for his makeshift fishing rod.
He used the small piece of a bird’s feathery flesh as bait, jumped on a nearby reef and began the long fishing session.
The breeze gently and swiftly brushed through the tamarisk forest, producing rustling sound of dancing leaves, as if secretly mocking Liu Zhenhan for using a fishing rod that did not even have a hook then how would he catch a fish?
However, Liu Zhenhan was holding the fishing rod in one hand and had pulled the string of his bow with the other, with the arrow pointing towards the bait underwater. One of his foot was firmly stepped on the fishing rod while the other on his sharp machete. As soon as a fish would swallow the bait, he would immediately shoot it with an arrow then jump into the water with his machete and give it the finishing blow.
The water surrounding the reef was calm and clear. He could clearly see the plants gently wriggling under the water.
Liu Zhenhan appeared like a carved wooden statue, motionlessly gazing the water surface.
A big fish with thorns on its back sneaked out triumphantly from the layer of floating algae and before it could swallow the bait, an arrow shot at a short distance punctured its thorny back and pieced deep into its body. Its whole body began to tremble and spread a mixture of mud and blood in the clear water. Liu Zhenhan had already sharpened the other end of the rod just for this moment. He immediately raised the fishing rod high and stabbed right into the big fishes’ abdomen with great force, killing it almost instantly. Then, he held the other end of the fishing rod with both hands and used his entire strength to pull the heavy fish on to the reef. He had planned to use the machete to give the finishing blow but the fishing rod stab was enough.
“Now I can make fish soup for her.” He looked at the big fish and noticed that it weighed at least four or five pounds. He felt his heart blossoming with happiness.
It was already evening time. He rushed home and by the time he reached there, it was already pitch dark outside. He put down the game and hurried to set up a bonfire not far from the fox woman to keep her warm.
He touched her forehead and was relieved to find out that her body temperature was back to normal. It seemed her body was covered with a layer of dust, so he cheerfully rubbed it off her body.
He then went to the place where he dug out a small pit. Fortunately, a small amount of water was gathered in the pit. He inserted his hand into the water and grasped a handful of wet dark mud which was now firmly stuck to his fingers.
He selected three relatively fat seabirds, coated their bodies with a bit of salt, then wrapped with a layer of thatch and finally applied a thick coating of wet and sticky mud. Once the preparations were done, he tossed them into the fire. Afterward, he tidied up the sea fish and saw that there was a small quantity of rainwater in the mussel cauldron. So, he applied salt to half section of the fish and hung it in the gusty area. And he put the remaining half in the cauldron along with boiled eggs.
While he was busy being a soldier chef, the fox woman was watching him constantly and blinking incessantly. When he was done preparing the fish soup, he turned towards her and saw her sparkling eyes. This made him feel a little embarrassed.
“Take a bite.” Liu Zhenhan was holding the large mussel cauldron in one hand, and using two twigs as chopsticks; he picked up a fishbone and brought it near her delicate pink lips.
She looked at him and a stream of tears rolled down from her beautiful eyes. Liu Zhenhan felt bad for her and awkwardly wiped her tears. He blew the steam off the fishbone and gently put it into her mouth.
She said one long string of syllables but he did not understand anything.
“I’m sorry!” Liu Zhenhan scratched his head and said: “I do not understand what you are trying to say. Why don’t you eat first then we will figure out a way for communicating.”
He gestured a bit to express what he said and it seemed like she understood at least this much that he wanted her to first finish the food. She was chewing but tears did not stop falling from her eyes. He did not know how to comfort her and just continued to feed her slowly, one small bite at a time.
Perhaps she missed her family and he could relate to her because he was also in the same situation.
The little devil’s sharp nose picked up the aroma of fish soup and it immediately drilled its way out of the wolf skin and jumped on Liu Zhenhan’s head. It first affectionately snuggled in his hair then jumped down and helplessly watched the soup in cauldron.
“Go, go!” Liu Zhenhan lightly urged Fruit to stay away from the hot soup and it immediately drilled its way under the wolf skin, but in the process, it ended up casting aside the wolf skin directly off her chest area, exposing the two disastrous divine weapons in front of his eyes. Liu Zhenhan instantly became a victim of this and almost dropped the cauldron from his hand.
When this happened, Liu Zhenhan almost controlled himself from not spilling the fish soup over the fox woman while she suddenly closed her eyes. Her face instantly turned red and she looked extremely beautiful in the illumination of the bonfire. Liu Zhenhan saw this indescribably heavenly scene and felt that the Shaolin Temple down there was open for business.
“No wonder it is said that the beauty of a woman can cause the downfall of an entire nation!” Liu Zhenhan praised her beauty in his own way.
She looked too seductive irrespective of whether her eyes were closed or open. He had to invoke the highly trained psychological restraint of a soldier while feeding her but could not stop from staring at her sultry rosy lips. He sensed a strong fragrance arising from her body and it made him go crazy. Even in the afternoon, while hunting, he was constantly thinking about her.
He removed the mud and thatch coating from a bird, tore a thigh piece and tossed it toward Fruit. The aroma of food was also making him feel a little hungry.
While chewing the meat of a bird, he saw that the fox woman was looking at him. Perhaps she wanted to taste the bird meat so he leaned forward to feed the chewed bits to her but she shyly closed her eyes and shook her head gently.
Liu Zhenhan felt a bit ashamed and turned his face the other way and continued to chew.
After dinner, he removed the fish bones. Then, he split the fish intestine and decided to boil it in the cauldron to sterilize it. He wanted to make a lace out of it in order to use it for bandaging the wound on his arm. As he was sterilizing the fish intestine in the cauldron, the fox woman was constantly looking at him, however, there was a solemn look on his face.
In fact, at this time, he was also feeling pain but when he saw her watching him, he unknowingly pretended to look very heroic.
He tied the sterilized intestine lace over the wound on his arm, moved the arm once and smiled with satisfaction.
He carried the mussel cauldron, which was now filled with bloody red water, out of his house and right when he was ready to splash it on the ground, he was suddenly left stunned and speechless.
He saw his own reflection on the tranquil water surface. It was a horrible face with bushy eyebrows, dagger-like sharp eyes, vigorous manly stubble, but in place of his nose, there were two huge holes positioned on the central position of his face and were pointing upwards while strangely intertwining. There was a large visible piece of blood scab formed at the outlet of the holes.
“What the fuck happened to my handsome face? Is this really my face?” His whole body shivered and the mussel cauldron soon fell on the ground and broke into pieces.
And, at this time, Liu Zhenhan’s heart also broke into pieces.