Recently in Fallen Leaves City, the slaves in charge of tending to the battle beasts noticed the insects in the pit were acting oddly.
A square mile of soil will raise a square mile of insects*, the slaves had always thought of themselves as experienced keepers. They were even familiar with the beetles that came to clear the animal waste but this time, the actions of the insects left them scratching their heads.
[Note: wordplay on a Chinese saying that was originally a square mile of soil will raise a square mile of people that means the different geography, weather and way of living of people will cause them to have different cultures and characteristics.]
A few days ago all of them disappeared altogether but the slaves didn’t care much. After that, the amount of waste in the pit started to decrease while the number of insects increased. They could also frequently see small beetles that were active in the pits. The slaves were rather happy about this, they didn’t need to clean up as much waste as before so they were more relaxed. They would sometimes find a few large dung balls too. However, this phenomenon left as soon as it came.
The amount of waste in the pit increased again and the beetles that were active in the pit decreased a little. The changes didn't stop then and continued on.
Where did the beetles go? The slaves that were in charge of cleaning couldn’t think of an answer.
In one of the pits, two slaves were taking a rest after cleaning up the waste in the pit.
“Am I the only one who thinks the amount of waste has increased?” complained one of them.
“I think so too. Maybe it is because the battles are about to start again, they have been feeding the beasts more. The beasts probably poop more now,” replied the other slave.
They could only complain to each other in moments like this, where their masters weren’t paying attention.
“Would you say that these two days the number of insects decreased?” one asked. He saw a beetle crawled past near his leg. He stretched his leg to play with it.
“How would I know? They probably went underground for winter. Who cares? We just have to look after these beasts anyway.”
“That’s right …… AH!” the slave that was playing with the beetle cried.
“What happened?” the other asked, startled by his cry.
The slave curled up his leg and to look under his foot. His shoes made from cloth and grass had a big hole in the front, exposing his toes. He usually didn’t care much, he had always worn the shoes as such but today when he kicked the beetle, he felt an itch.
“I’m not sure whether I got bitten or scratched,” said the slave.
“You must have been scratched, these bugs eat waste, how could they bite you?” the other replied without much thought. They worked in the pits for years, they knew these bugs well and had never been bitten.
“Eh, I’m bleeding now.”
“Should be fine, it’s just a scratch.”
The two slaves didn’t notice the other slaves in the pit or the changes of the other beetles in the pit. Therefore, they wouldn’t know, the beetles that were acting weirder each moment, slowly abandoning waste for another type of food.
On the other side of things, Shao Xuan had asked someone to notify Su Gu and left for Fallen Leaves City.
Shao Xuan had a traveling pass for this city so he could freely go in and out of the city and other places but not Beast Battle City.
Even though there was a chance of meeting someone from White Stone City, he was willing to take the risk as he planned to visit the city once. The enemy was very calm, perhaps they already did a background check for the three of them but he didn’t know anything about them. Since they weren’t initiating anything, Shao Xuan decided to take matters into his hands and test their reaction to guess their intentions.
When Su Gu heard the news told by the slave, he stopped staring at the scorpion.
“He didn’t say where he was going?” Su Gu asked the slave.
“No … He… He d-didn’t, he only said-d he was g-going for a walk,” stuttered the slave.
“He must have gone to White Stone City!” Su Gu exclaimed. He didn’t expect Shao Xuan to run away so soon after Shao Xuan assured him yesterday.
After Shao Xuan left, he sat on Chacha’s back and flew a few rounds around Fallen Leaves City to familiarise himself. Chacha already knew the place well but Shao Xuan wanted to see it for himself.
After circling the city once, Shao Xuan let Chacha fly towards White Stone City. The closer they were, the more careful they got.
Once the city was in sight, Shao Xuan stopped Chacha from moving forward, letting it hover in place.
A shadow that appeared to be flying emerged from White Stone City.
It was a bird. It was smaller than Chacha and appeared to be weaker than it but it was fast. As soon as it took off, it flew in a fast speed towards Shao Xuan with someone on it’s back.
A chill ran down ShaoXuan’s spine, the alarm in his heart was blaring.
“Go!” Shao Xuan patted Chacha, indicating it to leave.
A few more shadows appeared around them.
They all appeared from the ground. There were small sand dunes around them, they probably dug a few hiding spots in the dunes around them.
One, two, three …… five……. Ten!
There were a total of 10 birds flying towards them, trying to surround them.
Luckily, Shao Xuan didn’t let Chacha near White Stone City and they left quick enough, the birds were unsuccessful in doing so.
Shao Xuan lowered himself, observing his pursuers. It seemed that they were purposely waiting for him, knowing that they caught Lei and Tuo, he was the only one left so they were waiting for him to appear.
The alarm in his heart was blaring again, this time with more intensity. He felt that he was being aimed at.
An arrow was flying towards him, it came from one of the pursuers.
A normal person would aim at Chacha but the pursuer didn’t do so, it’s target was ShaoXuan!
Shao Xuan signalled Chacha to dodge after sensing the threat. He retrieved his sword too, preparing to use it at any given moment.
The arrow brushed past his arm. When it did, it spurred the cold air with it, as if agitating a storm, the air pierced through him, even forming a hole in his sleeve.
Even though the arrow only pierced through his sleeve and didn’t directly touch him, if Shao Xuan did lift his arm to check, he would notice a spot on his arm that would start to bleed if he touched it lightly.
While he was dodging, Shao Xuan quickly turned around to look at the pursuer behind him.
With just one look, Shao Xuan had a feeling that the pursuer being him that shot the arrow was Dao Yu!
The anticipation of hitting its target and the decisiveness of its actions were evident. This was a shrewd hunter, a hunter that killed countless prey. The power that the arrow was shot with was stronger than usual, it was definitely not shot by a common nobody.
Except for Dao Yu, the rest of the pursuers also had a bow with them and they were all aiming at Chacha.
Chacha had to keep dodging the arrows that flew by. Luckily, the others were nowhere near Dao Yu’s skill, or else Chacha wouldn't be able to successfully dodge them.
Even if he had to face Dao Yu alone, Shao Xuan would already feel pressured. Not to mention there were nine other people chasing after him.
The second super strength arrow aimed at the back of ShaoXuan’s head was approaching.
Shao Xuan moved his wrist, slightly slanting his blade.
The arrow changed its direction after it’s contact with the blade.
Shao Xuan clearly felt the moment the arrow touched his blade, a few bits of it broke and fell off. He the vibration he felt from the handle was strong to the point he nearly let go of it. His arm was still numb from it.
Even without the longbow, Da You was probably at the level of an advanced totemic warrior.
How long had it been? From the time he betrayed Yan Zhi, it has only been 10 plus years. When Dao Yu was only a traveller. Now, he has improved so much! Even if he was a totemic warrior in a tribe, if he didn’t have the help of a fire crystal or if the flame hasn’t reignited itself, very few would have this speed of his in improving.
Dao Yu was still waiting to shoot the third arrow but looking at the figure in front of him getting further by the second, he gave up on it. Shooting another arrow would just be a waste as these arrows were all crafted from precious materials. He had no intention of wasting them.
When he withdrew his bow, Dao Yu raised his hand. The few eagles behind him stopped.
“Are we not chasing them anymore?” someone asked.
“It was only a scaredy cat. We don’t need to waste any more energy," said another
“Such a pity we didn’t catch him, it would be great to have the trio from Flaming Horn tribe together in the pit. That would be interesting to see.” The person that came forward was laughing, after a quick look at Dao Yu and noticing he was in a good mood, he asked, “What do you think?”
Even though they were all slaves, Dao Yu was on another level. If they were honest, they were also controlled by Dao Yu. Therefore, when Dao Yu made them hide here, even when they had to freeze outside for a day, they did not complain at all. They could only complain in their hearts. They knew very well that if they offended him, they would not live to see the next day.
Regarding ShaoXuan who had long fled from them, Dao Yu only said, “Is that it?” His tone was pleased and full of pride that he normally did not show. So what if he was a totemic warrior? He was nearly defeated by this traveller.
Actually Dao Yu didn’t know much about Shao Xuan. He only knew the two in captive seemed like they listened to his orders. Looking at ShaoXuan’s age, he guessed that ShaoXuan was probably the grandson of a tribe leader, just like the other tribesmen.
“Find someone to observe Fallen Leaves City, check on that fellow’s actions,” said Dao Yu.
“Yes sir!” the people beside him said.
“Sir, are you afraid that he would ask for help from other tribesmen?” someone asked.
Dao Yu let out a smile, “Other tribesmen? Except for those in captive, the others, are all busy, who would be bothered by their affairs? As for their tribe, it is too far away, they won’t be able to make it on time. The ones we have, are just waiting for death.”
“What if the one that ran away rushed into the pit?” someone asked.
“That would be even better,” Dao Yu’s smile got wider. In the pit, it was a battle of life and death, how many beasts in there were easy to deal with? Even when he went into the pit last year with all sorts of preparations and his powers were nearly equal as an advanced totemic warrior, he still paid a big price. How would these few that didn’t compare to mid-rank totemic warriors survive?