Chapter 14 - Making A Small Fortune
After waking up, the first thing Lin Mu sensed was that the air was much colder than normal in the shack. He opened the door of the shack and felt a gust of chilly air hit his face. Looking around, he took a breath of relief at the absence of any snow in the surroundings.
Its good that it did not snow in the night, though the temperature has fallen even more. I probably have at most a month till winter sets in.
Once winter came, it would be much more difficult for Lin Mu to catch beasts with traps. If he wanted to hunt beasts, he would have to go much deeper in the forest and that would be dangerous. Lin Mu had to get enough money within this one month to rent a place so he could stay in the town, and have enough left to tide over the winter. If he could not, it would be harrowing to stay in the hunting shack since there was no way it could provide adequate protection from the cold.
I should go check the traps and see if theres anything caught in them. I hope theres no stronger beast near the traps like before.
Lin Mu made his way towards the trails where he had set the snare traps, trying to make as little noise as possible. This time the heavens seemed to be happy with Lin Mu, as he found that the first snare had caught something.
He walked closer to take a look and thanked the heavens on spotting what was caught in the snare — it was a Snow veiled hare.
Snow veiled hares were quite a rare beast in the northern forests. Even though they were only low tiered beasts, having the strength equivalent to that of the 2nd stage body tempering realm, they were incredibly fast and could camouflage in snow; not to mention they would only come out once the snow was knee-deep.
Finding one this early before winter was very unusual, even veteran hunters would only be able to catch one every few years. The flawless white fur was prized by the women of affluent families in the city and would sell for a small fortune.
Lin Mu grasped the squirming Snow veiled hare firmly, finding it a little difficult because of the strength of the beast. Lin Mu wanted to keep the Snow veiled hare in the ring and not skin the pelt by himself. He did not think he had the skills good enough to avoid damaging such a precious pelt, and he did not have the right tools either. He would rather just sell the whole beast alive.
Lin Mu did not know whether he could actually keep the beast alive in the ring, as he had never tried that before. Not wanting to experiment it on the Snow veiled hare, he tied its limbs tightly with some vines he found nearby; coiling them multiple times around the limbs to make sure it does not snap them.
He slung the beast on his back and went ahead to check on the other snares. The second snare was triggered and the noose of the snare was ripped, most likely from a bigger or stronger beast. He examined the footprints and found them to be hoof prints.
Seems like a deer passed through here. Thats strange as well... they dont usually wander out here either.
First the Snow veiled hare, and now a deer. Is something scaring the low tiered beasts and animals here.
Wait, could it be the same beast that destroyed the surrounding area of my traps
Lin Mu did not want to go near that area, but his curiosity won in the end. Lin Mu silently approached the destroyed place, keeping his eyes wide open and legs ready to run at the first sight of danger. The area looked the same as before, with broken trees lying around and claw marks and paw prints everywhere.
He examined further and there were no new beast tracks there either. The other beasts were most likely avoiding the area because of the scent of the beast which destroyed the area. He saw the path on which the beast retreated; deep towards the forest.
Having satisfied his curiosity, Lin Mu checked upon the remaining four traps. Two of them were not triggered again, these were the same ones that were not triggered the last time he had checked. The last two traps were successful. There was a Black horned rabbit caught in one and in another a Thorn tailed rat.
Lin Mu wanted to experiment whether he could keep beasts alive in the ring, thus these two would become his subjects. He held the Black horned rabbit and stored it in the ring. Lin Mu then pulled it out from the ring after 10 seconds.
The Black horned rabbit was still alive and squirmed in his hands. He put the Rabbit back in the ring and waited for 5 minutes to see if it was still alive after that. 5 minutes passed and he withdrew the beast from his ring, this time it was dead.
Why did the rabbit die after 5 minutes and not before Could there not be any air in the ring for the rabbit to breathe
Lin Mu did not know if he could store air into the ring. He tried imagining it; storing air into the ring. After that, he put the thorn tailed rat into the ring and once again waited 5 minutes to see if it would work. He pulled the thorn tailed rat out after 5 minutes and found it to be dead as well.
Guess Ill just have to make a trip to the town today to sell the Snow veiled hare. I should hurry then.
Lin Mu ran to the stream to skin the beasts. Using the method he used before, Lin Mu swiftly skinned and cleaned the carcasses, storing the pelts in the ring. He reached the shack and set the Black horned rabbits meat on the stove. Now that he had spices with him, Lin Mu generously sprinkled them on the meat. A few minutes later, the aroma of the spices and the meat made his mouth water.
Picking up the well-roasted rabbit from the stove, Lin Mu put it aside to cool down enough for him to be able to eat it. Once it cooled down, Lin Mu ravenously ate it; unable to control his hunger. Picking the bones clean, Lin Mu licked his fingers, which were covered in the oil from the rabbit.
With his hunger sated, Lin Mu slung the Snow veiled rabbit on his back and ran towards the direction of Northern town. He ran in short bursts of speed, slowing down when he felt tired. Lin Mu did not feel as winded as he felt after yesterdays run. He reached the town in 40 minutes; much faster than before.
Lin Mu looked at the sun and estimated it to be around 11 am, leaving him with more than enough time to complete his tasks and return to train. He rushed on the path passing by the orchards, avoiding the looks of everyone. He entered the town and made his way towards the tannery, as that would probably be the place that will pay the most.
Covering his nose and mouth to avoid the disgusting stench coming from the tannery, Lin Mu entered through the gate and saw the same clerk as before standing there; writing in his register. He could feel the gazes of the people turn towards him as he got closer, and when they saw the beast that was slung on his back, some even gasped.
The clerk saw him and scrunched his face in annoyance.
"What do you want this time, kid I told you we dont buy pelts of low tiered beasts."
Before the clerk could continue talking, Lin Mu thrust the tied up Snow veiled hare forward.
"This, I wish to sell it."
The clerks eyes went wide once he saw the Snow veiled hare. The clerk had not seen a Snow veiled hare in two years now as fewer hunters went out to hunt during the winter. He knew that the beasts pelt could be sold for a fortune, and if they auctioned it in Wu Lim city they could make even more.
The clerks eyes darted around and saw that the hunters were having the same ideas as him.
"70 silver coins for the Snow veiled hare." The clerk loudly said, dousing any desire of the hunters to buy it from Lin Mu before he could.
He could have offered less but did not want to take any chance and miss out on the opportunity here. Its good that the boy did not kill and skin the beast himself, he definitely would have damaged it.
Lin Mus eyes lit up in joy upon hearing the price offered by the clerk.
"Ill take it, give me the money."
The clerk went inside the building for a minute and came back with a pouch. Passing it to Lin Mu, he asked him to count it as he took the Snow veiled hare from him. While Lin Mu counted the coins, the clerk checked the hare for any stains on its fur. Satisfied with the condition of the Snow veiled hare, he called for a servant to take it away to be skinned.
After counting, Lin Mu pretended to put the coins in his own pouch but instead transferred them to the ring and gave the clerks pouch back to him. Lin Mu turned around to leave the tannery, but as soon as he walked a few steps away from the gate he heard someone call him from the back.
"Stop right there, brat."