His planned had failed. The young master of White Stone City raged, destroying everything in the house. The man on the animal skin was kicked cruelly, Dao Yu was shouted at, spit flying at his face but this was already considered a good day as they were not hit.
The man on the animal skin and Dao Yu did not speak when the young master raged. One was getting his breath back, the other was deep in thought. No one knew what he was thinking about.
When the young master finally quietened, Dao Yu brought out a stone stool from a corner and placed it behind him. “Young master, we have failed this time but we can always attempt again. Do not hurt yourself worrying”.”
At least the young master had already vented all his anger. He grunted when he heard Dao Yu’s advise, flung a sleeve and took his seat. He glared at the man on the animal skin.
Dao Yu quickly gave the man a look, warning him not to do anything. Once the young master was comforted, Dao Yu asked the man, “What actually happened?”
“I don’t know the specifics either. All I know is all nine of the desert ants died. Not even one escaped.” Upon recalling how this felt, his face twitched grotesquely. It was heartbreaking.
“Could there have been a leak?” muttered Dao Yu, as if to himself.
The young master denied this. “No, only the three of us now of this, and the two slaves we put near Fallen Leaves. Those two would never betray me! A leak of information is impossible!”
If it wasn’t the slaves, and these three would never be stupid enough to spread the news, then it must’ve been an unexpected mishap.
“What did you ‘see’?’ Dao Yu asked the man.
“A ball of fire. There was something in the fire, I think it was a horn? I’m not sure. But I’m sure the ants did not meet an ordinary desert beast.”
“Maybe something enslaved by one of Fallen Leaves’ slave masters?” asked the young master.
“No, it doesn’t seem like something done by Fallen Leaves.” It didn’t even seem like something done by a slave master- though he did not say this out loud. The young master would only be more upset, and the consequences of that would be him getting beaten up. The young master did not like tribes folk, especially people of the Wanshi tribe. He treated them like slaves. This was obvious in how differently he treated him and Dao Yu- he was perhaps ranked lower than a slave!
Dao Yu’s eyes rolled beneath their lids when he heard ‘fire’ and ‘horn’, mulling over something.
On the other side, Su Gu was having a good day at the battle pits. He’d won in both the slave and beast fighting categories, his prize was two fighting beasts who had no owners. He sent his men to bring them back.
Once he returned to the base of the Fallen Leaves City, Su Gu first instructed his men to put the two animals in the stables so they would be tended to. Then, he returned to rest. He’d expended a lot of energy today and was exhausted. All else could wait till tomorrow.
Shao Xuan and the two other men arrived at their house too. Something felt off but when he looked around, everything still looked the same. His tables and chairs had not been moved, his box containing the medicine had not been touched either.
However, when his gaze fell on the corner, he noticed a dung ball as big as the mouth of the hole.
As the beetle grew larger, the mouth of the hole grew too- even dung balls pushed out of the hole were huge.
“Another dung ball, again?” Shao Xuan was puzzled. The beetle had been very obedient these past few days, why did it roll its toy in here again? At least it was just at the mouth of the hole and not rolled everywhere.
When it sensed Shao Xuan’s return, the giant beetle soon appeared at the hole. It lifted its hind legs high and rolled the giant dung ball to his feet, as if waiting for a reward.
Shao Xuan was still wondering if he should chase it and its dung ball out when he realised there was something odd with the ball.
Shao Xuan was very confused.
Since when did his beetle start to eat desert ants? Especially not ants that looked like that.
He’d never seen ants like this around here, where did the beetle get them from?
He did not feel like studying a dung ball in his own room so Shao Xuan poked the ball back to the hole in the corner with a branch. He said to the beetle, “You can have it.”
Shao Xuan still hadn’t figured out the meaning behind the sudden appearance of chopped-up desert ants. However, he was on guard. A little caution would be good as he could not confirm if this was an unusual occurrence.
If only the owner of these ants knew his precious pets were rolled up into a dung ball. He would be furious enough to puke blood. There wasn’t a choice though, the beetle did not know how to deal with dead insects, it only knew how to roll dung balls.
Unable to confirm the reason for the desert ants’ appearance, nor could he obtain any information from this beetle, Shao Xuan did not dwell further. He started thinking about the day he had.
Today, within Beast Battle City, he saw a person from Shaqi City enslave a fighting beast. Shao Xuan had some apprehension towards this. Su Gu had wanted to enslave both the beasts he’d won so Shao Xuan was there to watch. He realised there was a difference between enslaving humans and beasts. The process of enslaving a beast isn’t as complex, it felt more like a confirmation of a slave-master relationship.
The next day, Su Gu went to the pits again. The beasts he’d used within the city was brought by his team and not enslaved by him. Right now, he wanted these two to formally belong to him. At least he would be able to tell everyone during fights that these were his.
Shao Xuan followed him to where the two animals were kept. To other people, Su Gu must’ve been kind to let Shao Xuan watch. In reality, Su Gu wanted to borrow some of Shao Xuan’s abilities fo he knew his enslavement process would be smoother with Shao Xuan around.
There were two ferocious animals, one resembling a lizard, the other a scorpion. Even when they had all the limbs on the ground, they were two meters tall.
Su Gu planned to enslave the lizard beast first, this one should be easier.
Within the pit, both beasts were in a fighting stance when they sensed the humans approaching. The scorpion was very aggressive, its tail was erect and pointed at them as if ready to strike its venomous tail anytime. Two giant pincers waved in warning.
Su Gu entered under the protection of his slaves. These were slaves responsible for tending to fighting beasts, they were all quite capable to be able to maintain this position. Su Gu’s enslavement process would need their help.
He first had them control the lizard. Then, when he was sure, he approached with an outstretched hand and began the enslavement process.
Shao Xuan could feel the changes within. It was definitely simpler than enslaving a human. However, while the process was simple, it did not mean easy.
After a while, the enslavement process was completed. This beast did not require slaves to hold it down for the moment.
Gesturing for the slaves to back away, Su Gu approached the lizard to take a better look at it. He thought of using it to fight against humans in a few days.
All the slaves were around Su Gu so no one paid Shao Xuan any attention. All they had to do was protect their master. As for Shao Xuan, no one would bat an eye if he was stung by the scorpion.
Shao Xuan walked to the next pit, staring at the giant scorpion intently.
The scorpion still faced him menacingly, as if looking for an opportunity to attack.
He looked at the scorpion, recalling the rhythm of energy surges when Su Gu was enslaving the lizard. As he imagined himself imitating, small blue flames appeared on the palm covered by his sleeve.
At the exact moment the flames appeared, the scorpion, which looked like it was about to attack, immediately fell several steps back. Both pincers, initially in a threatening position, were now held up like a shield in front of its body.