One of the bewildered young men in the group spoke, his eyes wide. Seeing Zayn’s outfit, they assumed he was an amateur with a death wish!
Zayn did not want to delay, so he nodded and said nonchalantly, “I’m different from the rest of you.”
He was not lying, but his remark sounded wildly arrogant and ignorant to the ears of the backpackers.
One of the men immediately said contemptuously, “Surely you don’t think you’re a skilled professional, do you? This is Pineforest, so renowned for its harsh environment that even the local huntsmen need to exercise caution when they hunt here.”
There was a woman among them who seemed to be more considerate than the rest.
She said, “Sir, perhaps this is your first time in Pineforest and you’re unaware of the dangers? The terrain is extremely harsh, and on our way here, we encountered a wild boar and a leopard that were especially ferocious.”
“Had it not been for our state-of-the-art equipment, we would have already been injured by now… Oh, and where are your other team members? Why haven’t we met them yet?”
The woman was rather beautiful and her clear eyes made her appear to be more kindhearted. Judging by how the rest of the men were sneaking glances at her, it was apparent they were all interested in her.
Zayn had always been one to reciprocate people’s goodwill. The woman cared about him sincerely, so he would not treat her coldly.
He said, “I came alone and there’s no need for you to worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
The group of seven to eight people were incredulous when they heard he had come alone in that outfit.
They suspected Zayn was having mental health issues. Otherwise, why would he be looking for trouble?!
Pineforest was inhabited by countless wild beasts, and the further one ventured inside, the more dangerous it was. There were many backpackers who were not brave enough to enter.
Moreover, they were already in the inner part of the forest where quite a number of fierce animals lurked. They did not have the courage to let their guard down even in a group of eight, yet this young man before them was so full of himself.
In truth, they would not call it arrogance, they would say he was rushing into it recklessly with no concern for his own life!
“You’re bluffing, aren’t you? How could you even think about coming to Pineforest all alone? Moreover, you don’t even have any equipment with you and you’re dressed in plain clothes. You’re going to die if you encounter any predators!” said the young man from earlier, his tone filled with contempt.
He was certain Zayn was talking big to impress them or was some kind of attention seeker.
However, asking for attention in Pineforest was like asking to get yourself killed.
The rest of the group did not speak, but their expressions showed that they all had similar thoughts. They assumed Zayn was either lying or had lost his mind.
They were rather experienced explorers, but even they would not talk as big as this man, leave alone come to the forest by themselves so casually dressed and Ill-equipped.
Zayn could not be bothered to respond to them. He said, “I still have some matters to attend to, so I’ll get going.”
Upon saying that, the beautiful woman bit her lower lip and shouted, “Wait!”
Next, she stepped forward and sincerely said to Zayn, “Pineforest is a really dangerous place. You won’t be able to survive more than two days when you’re all alone without any equipment. Why don’t you join our group and walk with us?”
Her eyes showed her kindness and her unwillingness to leave Zayn to fend for himself. It was like she could not bear to see Zayn waste his life in such a way.
Zayn shook his head and was about to decline when all of a sudden, he sensed something and furrowed his brows.
He looked toward it and saw more than ten large wolves. Their eyes were glistening with a green glow as they walked toward them.
“Oh no, it’s a pack of wolves!”
The explorers immediately shrieked and were scared stiff.