Clark woke up feeling refreshed and revitalized. “Man, this is just like a VIP room, so comfortable,” he moaned with satisfaction.

He looked at the tree leaves makeshift bed with a satisfied look, “I’ll miss this experience.” 

           He stood up to observe his surroundings, the sun rays were shining as resplendently as ever. He suddenly started grinning, as he recalled that he was enjoying free vitamin D. “Oh what a free world,” he exclaimed feeling satisfied.

He washed his face with water from a nearby pit, and also filled his water bottle. He looked at his shadow and determined the time to be around after seven in the morning. “I should eat before leaving,” he thought.

           After eating, he stored the remaining meat in a make-shift bag, hand-made by him from the tree leaves. Improvisation is a must-learn skill for all cadets.

“Ok, I can’t stay in one place to hide my time away. If I do that, I can’t call it training again. Let me explore a little for the remaining four days,” he thought.

“Why am I wanting to be an adventurer now?” He wondered aloud, “maybe…, for the experience. Yes, for the experience,” he encouraged himself, to clear his mind of any misgivings. Decisiveness was an indispensable trait that any soldier should have.

“To be better equipped I need locally made weapons, I need to prove to my country that I can improvise”. His brain went to work, as he searched for ways to improvise to make his situation a little better.

           He scrutinized his surroundings a little, before continuing his aimless walk. No, better still survival. “Survival sounds more badass, yes. I’m a survivor on a survival journey”.

“I guess I’ll write a book on my experiences here after this. It should be named, Clark’s five days survival through hell”. His thoughts kept on imagining things, as he continued his survival walk. He has always been an avid thinker, and his brain was renowned for his unconventional imaginations.

“That’s it. Man, come on. This is the typical behavior of a clueless person,” he was already doubting his decision, but he conveniently tried to ignore this thought completely.

Loneliness is a disease, which already started proving itself. His brain kept on spilling random thoughts, as it was probably already bored to death. Maybe it was the youth syndrome, his hormones were just too hyperactive.

           As he walked, he started actively looking for things to empower himself with. His gaze suddenly sharpened, as he looked at a specific plant, “is that what I think it is?”

“Yes!! Wolfsbane right? That’s what it’s called. Man, it seems even nature is helping me, thank God.”

He directly chopped off the poisonous plant without hesitation, he settled down to mix it into a solution. After mixing, he added some of the solutions to the tip of his daggers and sword.

This just proves the power of knowledge; with just a plant, he already got himself resources to make his weapons more dangerous.

           After a long walk of unknown length, he noticed a tree that was oddly placed, oddly shaped, and it felt like something screaming “I want to be low profile, so don’t notice me”.

If he was not alert as a result of yesterday's encounter with the cat, he would have neglected or overlooked it.

“What is that? Another poisonous plant or something?” He decided to be more cautious, and try poking it with his dagger. He got the shock of his life, as the harmless odd tree swiftly lashed at him.

“What!! A snake,” he thought aloud. “A fairly big one at that”.

Even with that, he was still fast. He withdrew his gloved hands, quickly blocking the snake’s trajectory he allowed it to bite his hands.

The snake’s fangs failed to penetrate, as adrenaline flowed through him. He grabbed the snake’s tail and used its forward momentum against it hitting its head against a nearby tree twice.

           “Shit, another augmented animal”. To his surprise, the snake rebounded like a rubber band towards him, suddenly widening its mouth for a bite.

He quickly retreated, as he picked his dagger from the ground, taking cover behind a tree. He unsheathed his sword and did a wide sideways swing with it. His gamble paid off, he cut the snake into two and quickly followed with a cut to its neck removing its head.

Where he was now was slightly slanted, because of the momentum he used he stumbled backward, rolling back below where he previously stood.

He slowly stood up, feeling slightly proud and satisfied for the smooth kill. He suddenly felt a chill go down his spine, as he swiftly re-unsheathed his sword again turning back.

           He almost started crying immediately, as he saw a big lioness behind him. It was bigger than normal, clearly indicating its status as an augmented animal. It started growling while facing him.

“I can do this, yes I can. It’s just a big lioness”.

“I have two daggers and a sword with poison, why am I even afraid?” He questioned himself inwardly in a puzzled tone. He stared intently at the lioness, with the sword on his right hand ready to retaliate at any moment.

           “Hey man, all you have are some dirty fangs and dirty claws, but I have a full set of shiny gear. You’re screwed today,” he silently thought as the tension grew between them.

“What are you growling for? Attack fool, stop using tension to scare me.” As this thought crossed his head, he suddenly heard two other distinct nearby growls, as two other slightly smaller lionesses emerged.

He suddenly felt like coughing blood, “shit man, play by the rules. This was supposed to be one on one”.

He didn’t think too much. Turning, he bolted into the forest immediately searching for the path with the densest bush. The three lionesses followed behind while roaring at him.

           The three animals were faster than he was, as they quickly started gaining ground. He observed his surroundings as he ran, he saw a thick tree along his path.

He quickly made a decision, as he rushed there and jumped at the tree. Using the momentum from the jump, he kicked the tree, accurately performing a backflip. He threw his two daggers toward the two smallest lionesses.

They failed to dodge the daggers in time. They roared and were disoriented by the pain, but their leader, the biggest lioness turned to him abnormally fast with its fangs almost filling his face. He guarded reflexively with his sword.

Ding!!! Sharp noise reverberated, as the force pushed him back. Before the lioness could pick momentum again, he already recovered. He jumped over it, swiftly stabbing it on the neck with his sword as he landed on its back.

Using his spare left hand to support himself with its neck, he ruthlessly stabbed its neck repeatedly. The sound of metal meeting flesh sounded repeatedly, as it weakly fell.

           One of the other lionesses was already down to the poison from his dagger. Surprisingly, the other lioness still persevered to attack by biting down. He decisively leaped from the big lioness’s back, did a backward roll, and conveniently placed his sword into its brain.

It jerked a little before finally falling down.

           He slowly rose up, bloodied all over. “Indeed, this training is surely a baptism of blood,” he muttered with slight excitement and dread on his tone.

[Thank you for reading this chapter, I really appreciate.]

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