Chapter 37The Problem of Food
Translated by Oedon
Edited by Oedon
On the Wasteland, Lin Tuo, wearing an unlined garment, was leaning forward slightly while still maintaining a fighting posture.
Dense beads of sweat were oozing out from the pores of his body, which were then blown away into a frigid mist by the icy wind.
In front of him, the body of the Ferus Bear was still twitching, staining the ground with its blood while rapidly losing its body warmth.
After he had confirmed that the Ferus Bear had died, Lin Tuo’s highly tense nerves relaxed, and his rapidly beating heart slowly returned to normal.
The fight just now seemed very simple, with only one bout. But that simple action puts a lot of pressure on Lin Tuo’s body.
That was arguably the strongest attack that he can do at present.
Lin Tuo didn’t choose to fight head-on, not because he didn’t have confidence in his power, but it was because he felt that his defense was far inferior to the Ferus Bear. 
By comparison, using combat skills to kill it was far more effective.
Of course, this is also because of the opponent’s low intelligence, the outcome would be different if he had faced an opponent with rich combat experience.
“As expected, my body’s absorption of Ether is increasing during the combat.”
With a deep breath, Lin Tuo felt the remarkably vigorous state of the cells in his body, and the numbness of Ether seeping into his muscles and bones; Lin Tuo’s eyes were brighter.
It was not for pure fun, nor to prove his courage, that he stopped to fight the Ferus Bear.
There was another purpose.
During this period, although Lin Tuo still exercised every day and “tempered his body,” he found that his efficiency had plummeted.
Initially, he can digest 5 points by climbing the “high ladder” once, then it decreased to 4, then to 3… and finally, it decreased so much that he could only digest so little in two days. 
It was to be expected, the further you evolve, the harder it was.
Lin Tuo believed he had encountered a “bottleneck,” making him unable to make a breakthrough.
Just a while ago, when he fought Hua Xi, he faintly felt his Ether being slightly restless. Now, he had confirmed it after killing the Ferus Bear.
“Fighting between life and death can greatly accelerate the progress of body tempering!”
Prior to this, Lin Tuo was just simply tempering his body, unable to utilize his body to the fullest. However, the battle just now made his spirit highly focused and forced his cells to wake up.
A fight for a few seconds can “activate” the body far beyond compared to days of hard work.
Only by pushing oneself to the limit and tapping into one’s potential can one temper the body to the greatest extent.
Lin Tuo also realized that although his strength was not weak, he seriously lacked combat experience. By hunting these Wasteland creatures, he can also make up for this shortcoming.
“What an unexpected windfall. I can stay here for a few more days, it seems.”
Lin Tuo said to himself.
After resting for a while, Lin Tuo’s flow of Qi and Blood returned to normal. He suddenly felt cold, and so he rushed back to the mountain pass and put on his down jacket, gloves, and other clothes.
As for Hua Xi, she had just returned to her senses. The cold had made her face flushed and her expression was extremely complicated. In her eyes, there was fear and curiosity.
She blankly stared straight at Lin Tuo, saying nothing, as if there were flowers on his face.
“I wonder when will you stop staring at me.” Lin Tuo frowned after he changed his clothes.
“Ah, no… I… just…” Hua Xi was momentarily incoherent, her tone considerably weakening.
She had thought of finding an opportunity to escape after regaining her strength before. But now, that thought was long gone.
She knew keenly that with this mysterious person’s power, catching her was but a simple matter.
But apart from fear, there was an intense curiosity.
She even thought, perhaps, it was a good idea to follow him, at least he will guarantee her safety… Er, this is in the premise that he doesn’t have a nasty habit of abusing his captive.
“Where are we now? Roughly.” Lin Tuo looked at the girl quizzically. He always felt that there was something wrong with the girl’s head.
But he didn’t want to think too much, so he simply asked.
“Ah?” This question stunned Hua Xi. She turned around and carefully identified her surroundings, mainly the outline of the distant mountains. “I’m not sure where we are exactly. But I remember that this should be northwest of Mining Town,” she said hesitantly, “if I remember correctly, north of us should be the Black Rock City, a city controlled by the Burning Fire Company’s troops. However, with your strength… You should be fine as long as you’re careful.”
After a pause, seeing that Lin Tuo’s face was stern, and he was silent, she continued, “South of us should be the Central Mountain Range. You can’t drive there—only walk. Besides, it’s deserted.
“The east and west are similar. Though, the east side is safer since there are more gathering places for humans, whereas the west side had more Mutated Beasts.
“While it is more dangerous, one has a higher chance of encountering ruins of the old era there.”
After listening to Hua Xi’s narration, Lin Tuo didn’t immediately take a stand in the matter. Instead, he switched his consciousness back to his main body and used the “Full Field of View” to get a rough glimpse of the terrain.
Although he can’t see it in detail, the general terrain is close to what Hua Xi said.
He switched his consciousness back to his clone, which was sitting on the driver’s seat. He said, “Then let’s go to the west.”
“Ah? Why?” Hua Xi was confused.
“Pay attention to your identity.” Lin Tuo quickly restarted the car without explaining, heading to the west.
Hua Xi froze for two seconds before she hurriedly said, “Going there is also fine, but cut up the Ferus Bear and take it with you, ah! You can sell it for money…”
Yet, the only response to her was the unrelenting rumble of the car.
After confirming that fighting could speed up the progress of body tempering, Lin Tuo was reluctant to leave this place.
The so-called “city” is nothing more than an enlarged version of Mining Town.
In contrast, it’s more attractive to practice his marksmanship recklessly in the wild and occasionally getting out of the car to fight.
Although Hua Xi’s heart was filled with complaints, she couldn’t say it out loud as a captive; the only thing she could do was shrink in the car and doze off.
Unconsciously, morning had passed. Now was the brightest time of day. Though, the sky remained to be dark.
Lin Tuo stopped the car at the lee side of the mountain col, then touched his frozen red nose, feeling a little exhausted.
An entire morning of driving aimlessly in search of hunts was too exhausting.
In particular, his hunger had surged up, making it harder to endure.
“Um, why did you stop?” asked Hua Xi blankly. She was still sleepy since she had just opened her eyes after dozing off on the backseat of the car.
Lin Tuo opened the car door. He thought for a while, then just dumped Hua Xi out on the snow. He said, “Lunch break.”
“Ha?” Hua Xi was stunned for a moment before she reacted excitedly. “It’s time to eat, right?”
“Oh? I thought you had slept so much that you had forgotten it.” Lin Tuo leaned against the door and teased.
Hua Xi sat on the ground without caring about her image and wrinkled her nose. After all of this time, she was already familiar with Lin Tuo’s temperament—she was no longer nervous anymore. She said frankly, “I’ve been hungry for a long time, look, my stomach is already flat. Since you never talked about eating, can’t I just sleep to conserve my energy?”
“Tsk, you look quite experienced.”
“Humph, it is common for us Wasteland Hunters, who were always in the wild all year round, to not eat for a day or two if we had bad luck in hunts,” she continued proudly, “my highest record is nine consecutive days without food. When I’m hungry, I just eat snow. “
Lin Tuo was speechless. He looked at the little girl one more time and said indifferently, “All right, no need to show off your glorious deeds. I won’t starve a captive that I cannot afford to lose.”
This overjoyed Hua Xi. She said, “Then hurry and hunt some prey. Ahh… if only you bring some prey you hunted, even one is enough for a few meals.”
She still had some thoughts about the dried meat, and honey found in the room in Mining town. Unfortunately, the situation was urgent, and she didn’t have time to take it. What a pity.
“They’re filled with parasites. I’m not eating them.” Lin Tuo shook his head. He had never thought of eating the Mutated Beasts.
“Then what? Dig wild vegetables to eat? There doesn’t seem to be any nearby.” Hua Xi frowned and couldn’t help but analyze.
“I have my own way, just wait here for a while. Oh, of course, if you want to run, I won’t stop you,” Lin Tuo said indifferently.
After that, Lin Tuo sauntered into a nearby forest, bringing nothing.
The forest is not big, but it is very dense. For the trees here, they are the mutated variants, which were hard and extremely resistant to cold. In this icy winter, they had grown their branches and leaves, looking strange and terrifying.
Some edible wild vegetables had also thrived in some areas of the forest, but Lin Tuo had no thought of eating them.
After confirming that his surroundings are safe, Lin Tuo’s eyes became blurred—he switched his consciousness back to his main body.
Lishan Martial Hall, in the study.
Lin Tuo opened his eyes and looked at the clock. Outside the Sand Table, it was still late at night, about two or three o’clock in the morning.
Ordering a takeaway is not a good idea at this time. Though, there are still many restaurants open in Yangcheng.
Lin Tuo took back his clone right away, then switched the Sand Table to the “Observation Mode.” After that, he put his clone into a food street in a downtown area
He went into a restaurant and ordered rice with fried dishes. After thinking about it, he also ordered a large portion of barbecue, after all, it has a lot more meat… now, time for waiting.
His next destination was the 24-hour supermarket. There, he bought canned foods, beers, snacks, and a box of mineral water.
After buying these, both of his hands were full.
Finally, he went to find a quiet place, and then brought back his clone and the pile of foods out of the Sand Table.
He switched back to “Creative Mode” and put his clone and the supplies inside.
The objects were first shrunk, then enlarged. There was no such thing as a grain larger than a house after he put it down into the Wasteland—all were normal-sized.
This results from Lin Tuo’s fumbling and utilization of the Sand Table’s rules.
The entire process took only twenty minutes in total.
When Lin Tuo reappeared in the Wasteland’s forest with a lot of food, he couldn’t help but look in the car’s direction. He muttered, “I don’t know if you had run away. En, if you really did, you can only blame yourself for missing out on such a good fortune.”
Thinking of this, he rushed out of the woods and towards the mountain col.
Soon, he saw his car and Hua Xi, who was sitting on the snow.
The little girl was looking around in boredom. When she saw him coming back, it relieved her. She bounced up from the ground and suddenly sniffed; her eyes widened.
“You, these… these are?”
Lin Tuo explained indifferently. He pulled down the tarpaulin from the car and put it on the ground as a kind of picnic mat. Then he threw a bunch of things on it.
After thinking about it, he untied the rope on Hua Xi, then shoved a hot lunch box onto her hand. He urged, “Hurry and eat while it is still warm, there are kebabs there. it won’t taste as good when it gets cold.”
After that, he sat down and took the lead in moving his chopsticks.
Hua Xi, who was sitting opposite of him, looked at the rice with stir-fried vegetables and smelled the wondrous aroma it wafted out; her entire brain shut down.
1. Fight head-on (硬碰硬) translated literally as hard meet hard or force meet force.
2. High ladder (天梯), the words’ meaning are heaven/sky/high (天, Tiān) ladder/steps/stairway/staircase (梯, Tī). It might be some kind of metaphor? I don’t know… or maybe the author meant it literally (as in climbing some kind of tall ladder or long stairway?) not sure since I started translating at chapter 28.
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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog