Volume I – Isolated island survival memoir
Chapter B.2 Procurement for survival
“He he” Liu Zhenhan felt that his life just now became really long. His legs were trembling from overexertion and he sat down on the ground with a thud. After resting for a while, he stood up and looked at the corpse of the giant wolf. He touched the giant wolf to confirm its deaths but found out that its body was frozen hard as if just now taken out from a refrigerator.
Fortunately, the eggs kept in coconut helmet were untouched and survived through this battle. Liu Zhenhan quickly put several eggs into the bonfire because he really was in need of nutrition to supplement his body strength.
Hugging Fruit in his bosom, he was indulged in deep thinking and so many questions were revolving in his mind over and over again. Where exactly was this place and how did he get here? Why was there a wind blade spitting giant blue wolf on this island? Why was a cute little animal like Fruit able to shoot ice wind from its mouth? His mind was getting more and more chaotic as he could not find the reason behind all this. However, he suddenly gave up on churning his mind with all these questions when the delicious fragrance of eggs entered his nose.
He was waiting for the moon and stars to appear in the night sky. He wanted to locate his own position on the earth with the help of stars.
After eating the eggs, he gathered some leaves and soft grass and pitched down a bed next to the bonfire. There was no longer the danger of giant wolf but he was still cautious. Later, he felt extremely tired and decided to rest while he still could, anyway, he needed to rest in order to gain strength for protecting himself.
He rested till midnight when he suddenly woke up from extreme cold. He saw that the bonfire was now only a pile of ashes and there was no firewood left to keep the flames alive. The cold wind whistled and swept from above the mound. Although the bed was sandwiched between the bonfire and the mound to contain the heat and also to block the cold wind at least from one side, but his strategy did not work well. He saw Fruit sleeping all curled up in his arms and felt pity for this small creature. He gently patted its small head and its big ears moved abruptly. It rolled over exposing its big round belly.
Liu Zhenhan used the socks to cover its exposed belly and gently touched its head. The bloodstained socks on Fruit’s golden fur were making a sharp contrast and shining brightly.
He stood up quietly, went to the nearby bushes to gather some dry branches and thorny dry twigs for the bonfire.
Damn this place~~ It would be so nice if I had a cigarette! Liu Zhenhan was sitting in front of the fire and could not stop the burst of emotion in heart. He calmed down a moment later and decided that tomorrow he must engage in producing some salt. Salt was a necessary ingredient for cooking and since he had not consumed salt, he was feeling groggy.
The remote stars in the sky were innocently blinking at him. He narrowed his eyes to focus but was unable to find even a single familiar constellation, and not only that, he looked several times but was still unable to locate the North Star.
(TL: Also known as the Pole Star or Polaris)
A group of dark clouds dispersed, revealing the moon’s bright face. The cold moonlight was shining on Liu Zhenhan’s eyes.
Liu Zhenhan looked at the moon in disbelief then shook his head. This is the moon? But it seems so brighter and bigger than usual.
If before, the moon used to be of the size of a mooncake then now it was simply the size of a cauldron used in the army.
(TL: Mooncake is a round cake eaten during the Chinese Mooncake festival.)
Was this really the same world where he was born? Liu Zhenhan’s whole head was filled with numerous questions as he was struggling to find the truth, but soon, he fell asleep.
The first ray of sunlight shone on his face but the first one to wake up was Fruit. It snuggled in his arms then opened its sleepy eyes. It used small claws to throw off the socks from its belly and began to lick his earlobe. The licking sensation on his earlobe induced an erotic dream in his brain and something sprang up under the coconut shell worn over his crotch, and as if rang the bell.
“Fuck!” Liu Zhenhan sat up immediately and snorted.
Fruit screamed delightedly, then climbed up his arm and sat on his head as if sitting on its own personal throne. Liu Zhenhan stretched his waist lazily and indulged in warm up exercises. He felt that most of his strength had come back but the pain in his nose was more than yesterday. Fortunately, he touched his nose and noticed the scab formation which basically meant that he would not bleed to death.
He covered up the barely survived bonfire with mud and proceeded to begin military boxing practice in order to tone up his muscles and get back in shape. He noticed that along with his strength, his boxing skills were also back to normal. He nodded with satisfaction. When Fruit saw him punching and kicking with each of his kicks cutting through the air like a blade, it suddenly jumped down from his head and also began to punch and kick like Liu Zhenhan. Liu Zhenhan saw this and burst into laughter. He thought that this little creature was really very interesting.
“Let’s go, Fruit!” Liu Zhenhan said and called Fruit who was still practicing ‘Black tiger intention’, “We will go and procure some necessary items.”
At this time, the bone spear that was still plugged in the wolf’s corpse fell into his sight. He touched the wolf’s corpse which was still very cold even after a night but was not frozen hard like before. Liu Zhenhan pulled out the bone spear which was now completely covered in filth.
A soldier like him would certainly like a short weapon, and the bone spear was broken to the right size, very much to his liking. He smiled with satisfaction then looked for a thick wooden stick to carry his goods. At this time, he looked at himself and could not help but laugh, thinking that he looked just like an ape-man right now.
Liu Zhenhan went round the mound and saw a dense tamarisk forest. This forest was bigger than the tamarisk forest he saw yesterday, fluctuating high and low on the island, in addition to several large mounds here and there. Anyways, this tamarisk forest was very eye-catching.
Liu Zhenhan, before departure, especially climbed up the mound and looked all around. He saw a path going along the corner of the island, to the place which seemed like a good choice for pitching a camp. This place was right in front of the shrubs, with a mound on the back. Not to mention the fresh sea breeze coming through the tamarisk forest made it even more suitable for setting up a camp.
There was a sandy beach on the other side of the tamarisk forest, and even though it was partly not visible because of the forest, it seemed a lot bigger than the beach he woke up on, yesterday. Liu Zhenhan saw that a fairly tall rock formation was separating the two beaches and today’s goal was to go there.
He was walking across the tamarisk forest, but this time, he did not steal bird eggs. He was already carrying two coconuts and really did not want to give himself any more trouble, and in any case, he could always come to this forest for eggs if he needed. Liu Zhenhan happily blew a whistle which caused a commotion among the birds and they nervously began to chirp and rearrange on the trees.
In almost half an hour, he was out of the forest. In order to find his way back, he used his bone spear to carve a character ‘ten’ on the trees along the way. He spent a lot of valuable time doing so.
(TL: He drew ‘十’ on the trees and it means ‘ten’)
The beach was indeed bigger than yesterday’s beach and there were a lot more coconut trees here in comparison. He saw many orphaned coral reefs thrown out of the sea by the mighty waves. He, with his feet covered with filthy guano, was possibly the first human to set foot on this beach.
Liu Zhenhan threw the wooden stick on the sand then grabbed the big ears of Fruit and gently put it down as well. Clenching the bone spear in his mouth, he dived into the sea. He wouldn’t dare to swim far into the sea because he did not want to encounter any whirlpools or strange sea creatures like that blue wolf.
From the several coral reefs floating in the water, he found what he wanted, a huge mussel. Its black shell was entangled completely with algae and seaweed firmly attached to the coral reefs. The diameter of its shell was comparable to that of a typical straw hat.
Liu Zhenhan used the bone spear to detach this mussel from the coral reef then swam back holding it in one hand. Soon, he felt as if he was sinking because of it was too heavy, weighing about 23 pounds at least.
Fruit was running anxiously on the shore and calling ‘Fruit Fruit’ again and again. When Liu Zhenhan came out of sea water, Fruit jumped on his head screaming again and again and tightly clutched his hair.
“Ha-ha” Liu Zhenhan put the mussel on the sand and patted Fruit’s small head, “What happened little guy? Why are you so scared?”
Liu Zhenhan used the bone spear to pry the shell, and continued to do so for a long time but was unable to slide the spear inside the slit. He thought to fill sand through the slit and it actually worked. The mussel really started to open its mouth and spouted a stream of water. Liu Zhenhan took this opportunity and used both his hands to force it open. The mussel released gurgling sounds and the veins on Liu Zhenhan’s sturdy arms popped out indicating that he was using his full strength. In the end, the mussel was finally dismembered by his great strength.
Liu Zhenhan spent a good amount of time cleaning the mussel and removing unwanted material. He also pulled out several irregular shaped pearls. Once he was done washing it properly in the water, beautiful patterns emerged on its shells, making him feel somewhat happy.
He looked for few stones and built two stoves using the two shells, then, he went to the nearby tamarisk forest and picked up a dozen eggs. After that, he made fire boring a hole in the wood and used the mussel shells as cauldrons to boil eggs and cook poached egg in coconut milk.
Fruit’s cute little nose twitched as it caught the fragrance coming from the mussel cauldron. It was sitting obediently on the sidelines and waiting. This little thing was law-abiding only when the delicious foods were involved.
The evaporation of coconut milk left behind some salt on the edges of mussel cauldron that he took out carefully. After the poached eggs were ready, he hurried to extinguish the fire by urinating on it. Then, he used two twigs as chopsticks to take out the poached egg and gave some to Fruit. It ate poached eggs and happily ran around on the beach, looking very excited.
“My cooking is good, right?” Liu Zhenhan said proudly like a typical army person and tasted his own cooking. Besides the residual fishy smell of mussel, the flavor was indeed good.
“Chef Liu Zhenhan is at your service.” With a complacent look on his face, Liu Zhenhan showed thumbs up to Fruit.
When both of them were done having breakfast, Liu Zhenhan boiled a small amount of sea water carefully at controlled heat and produced some salt. He extinguished the fire, found a big leaf to wrap the salt securely and carried the two mussel cauldrons back home.
In order to build a house, he had to go through lots of trouble. He went to the previous beach to gather few whale ribs. He was using a sharp stone for the job and this time, he was careful because he did not want to get fatally wounded. He managed to detach few ribs, and one of them chipped giving a natural sharpness to the rib. He noticed that it look just like a sharp knife and decided to take it with him.
He used the bone knife to procure several long branches from the trees. He used red willow tree’s leaves and long branches to make a roof, walls and floor. Finally, after doing so much hard work, he finally made a house for himself.
Lying on the bed, he watched at the whale bone spear dazzling inside the room. Few coconut shells, full of eggs, were kept on one side with a pile of coconuts next to them. Liu Zhenhan’s heart was finally calm and his mind was peaceful. He decided to get rid of the giant wolf’s corpse. Originally, he was very afraid that there might be many giant wolves on this island and might come to take revenge, however, he didn’t see any until now. He estimated that there were few of such terrifying beasts on this island and perhaps had their own individual territories, not to forget this island was very big. He was in his house and his strength was largely restored, and at this time, Fruit was spraying cold air from its mouth, making him feel very relaxed.
The giant wolf’s meat did not have juice in it so Liu Zhenhan did not want to eat it. However, he very much wanted to keep its soft blue furry skin to use as a soft cushion in his bed. He also decided to keep its sharp long teeth and burned everything else to ashes. He certainly didn’t want to catch some kind of disease from its rotting corpse.
After the wolf’s corpse was almost burnt, he discovered something. He found a pigeon’s egg sized hexagonal-shaped translucent gem-like object in the ashes, and at this time, its surface was reflecting faint blue light in the fire.
“This wolf must have had a gallstone.” Liu Zhenhan took a closer look at the small piece of crystal-like gem and drew a conclusion. He tied a knot in the vines with that gallstone, forming a necklace and tied it across Fruit’s neck. It was very happy when it received a gift from Liu Zhenhan. It immediately jumped on his head and ‘Bajibaji’ kissed his face, drooling all over his face in the process.
He noticed that the wolf skin he stripped out earlier seemed a bit ragged. Then he roasted it on the fire, and although it shrank considerably, but the wolf fur was still very soft. With his bone knife, he cut out a section of its elastic skin to use as a string for the bow he planned to make out of whale’s rib. The natural curvature of whale’s rib made it a perfect object for making a bow. Afterward, he used the wolf’s teeth to make almost a dozen of arrowheads.
Now he only regretted not having a fresh water source nearby, although there were coconuts to satisfy his thirst but since he now had a fire pot then he certainly would also need water to cook the hunted animals. It was really very unfortunate, so he decided to dig a pit tomorrow to store water. Since the trees here were luxuriant so there was no reason not to have a source of water.
“Indeed, a big mooncake.” Liu Zhenhan’s eyes were filled with emotion as he was looking at the giant moon in the sky.
(TL: Phew, here is another giant chapter from BBB and this is just half of the original Chapter B. In fact, the combined size of Chapter A and Chapter B is equal to 7 normal sized chapters. So, for our team, this is quite an achievement! Thanks for reading our translations :D)