The old man might not say much about other things. There were limited things he cared about, and “Thousand Grain Gold” just happened to be one of them. It took up a great proportion in his heart, just look at how he struggled all the way here to search for it.
If Shao Xuan wanted more, the old man would just get in a fight with Shao Xuan, he would rather die than agree. One thousand grains were his biggest concession.
“I will use other things to make up for it, but I don’t have much on hand now. Well, if you have time after this, go to the Royal City and tell my name, I will give you whatever you want.” The old man handed over a small curved sickle-like copper knife to Shao Xuan and said, “This is for you. If you go to Royal City, you can take this out and ask someone to get you to me.”
Shao Xuan stunned, he took the knife from the old man and looked at him, “What’s your full name?”
Ji? It was a royal family’s last name. Many of the slave masters from the noble families in Royal City had Ji as their surnames, and they were the biggest landowners now. The royal family surnamed Ji was from the Ji tribe. After the Ji tribe had unified the other five large tribes, “Ji” was used as the tribe’s last name.
A long time ago, on this piece of land, the tribesmen discovered another way of using the flame, some of them became slave masters and established city, while others remained in the tribe as tribesmen.
“Did you enslave a lot of slaves?” Shao Xuan put the portion of grains handed over by Ji Ju into his animal skin bag and asked.
Since Ji Ju was the slave master that owned the largest land, there should be plenty of slaves working for him. But his answer was different from what Shao Xuan thought.
“I do have plenty of slaves, as I have a lot of land that needs to be taken care of. But I have only one enslaved slave.” Speaking of this, Ji Ju had a proud look on his face.
The difference between ordinary slaves and enslaved slaves was similar to that of beasts being raised in Flaming Horn tribe and the beasts engraved, there was a difference in terms of intimacy and closeness. Shao Xuan had heard about this along the way, so he wasn’t surprised at all, but he was somewhat surprised to know Ji Ju had only enslaved one slave.
“Then he must be a really great slave.” Shao Xuan said.
“Of course, ‘Yellow Earth’ is a great slave who had been taking good care of my farmland.” Speaking of this made Ji Ju somewhat miss his slave.
“Yellow Earth? Why did you give such a name to a person?” Shao Xuan asked.
“It’s a great name, I named it myself!” Ji Ju strongly disagreed with Shao Xuan’s question, “And, who told you ‘Yellow Earth’ was a person?”
“Then what is it?” Shao Xuan was curious. Such an old slave master who had only enslaved one slave, and his only slave was not even a human.
Ji Ju said smugly, “Moo---”.
“…Moo? A bull?” Shao Xuan asked.
“That’s right! Isn’t it great?! I enslaved it when it was still a little calf. And now, most of my farmlands are taken care of.” Ji Ju smiled brightly like a blossomed flower.
“I’d love to meet it if I have the chance.” Shao Xuan said.
Speaking of his beloved slave, the old man’s gloomy mood had largely gone. He found himself discerning enough to pick Yellow Earth as his only enslaved slave, and he couldn’t stop smiling. Ji Ju spoke a lot when he shifted his attention from the Thousand Grain Gold to his yellow bull.
“Let me tell you, if you want to enslave a slave in the future, you must be very careful in choosing the first slave, because the first slave you enslave is most likely to be the most loyal one and have the tightest connection with your consciousness. No matter how good the other slaves are, they will never be as good as the first one. This is the commonality of enslavement. Therefore, we slave masters are very careful when choosing the first slave. Some people may not even do it until they have reached middle age, because they can’t find a satisfactory one.” Seeing Shao Xuan had helped him a lot and even found the Thousand Grain Gold plant for him, Ji Ju was in a good mood, thus he told Shao Xuan a lot.
“Many of the slave masters know these, but you tribesmen might not. Of course, you people don’t have much interest in enslavement, but even if you do, there’s little chance of success. That’s because you failed to get the hang of it.” Ji Ju said.
Hearing Ji Ju’s words, Shao Xuan had a strange expression on his face, he asked, “The first slave to enslave is very important?”
“Crucially important!” Ji Ju answered affirmatively.
“I have to choose carefully?” Shao Xuan again asked.
“What if I enslaved something randomly?”
Ji Ju was worried, “How could you?! Our ancestors didn’t know that the first slave to enslave was the most special one, so they didn’t pay much attention. Betrayal was common after the first slave, the inattention caused dilution to the slaves’ strengths and specialties. These slaves are less than loyal, and their connections of consciousness are less tight. Therefore, enslaved slaves should be few and well-chosen, especially the first one.”
Knowing that the situation here was different from that in the desert, Shao Xuan didn't ask much, but his first slave ... He was embarrassed to tell Ji Ju that he actually had a slave, and the first slave he enslaved was a beetle that rolled dung balls. He enslaved it randomly as an experiment.
No wonder his blue beetle was so loyal. Shao Xuan could clearly sense its current state. Although he didn't know what it was doing right now, he could be sure that Sapphire the Beetle was living well and physically strong, and there was no need for Shao Xuan to worry about it.
After all, Ji Ju realized that the tribesmen might not be interested in enslaving slaves. Many tribesmen lived exclusive lives and were less willing to accept new people as their members, especially those from large communities. It was said that even finding an outsider as a companion required repeated reviews by the tribesmen, a traveller would not necessarily be accepted right away.
“You tribesmen are troublesome. By the way, which tribe are you from?” Ji Ju had always forgotten to ask Shao Xuan this question.
“Flaming Horn tribe.” Shao Xuan answered. On the journey along with Ji Ju, he heard Ji Ju talking something about the tribesmen, and had once mentioned Flaming Horn tribe, but not much. Ji Ju had limited knowledge about the Flaming Horn tribe- he bore no hostility to the tribe, but his impression was not so good. Anyway, Shao Xuan was still very happy when he heard Ji Ju mentioning the Flaming Horn tribe.
“Which one?!” Ji Ju could not believe his ears.
“Flaming Horn,” Shao Xuan said once again.
“… Give me back that one thousand grains!” Ji Ju reached out to grab, “Don’t you Flaming Horn people hunt? How could you possibly take good care of the thousand grains?!”
Although the people from the Flaming Horn tribe rarely visited the Royal City, they were memorable people from the one or two visits they paid. In Ji Ju’s impression, the Flaming Horn people had great strength. A single person could carry bears and play with them. They were rude and violent, each time the Flaming Horn people came, they could always fight and knock over a few nobles. Hence, they had been blacklisted by the six great noble families. However, the Flaming Horn people rarely made appearances in recent years. The last time Ji Ju saw the Flaming Horn people was when he was young, and the younger generation might not have seen them before.
“We can plant too!" Shao Xuan argued. There were many records about planting in the history of the Flaming Horn tribe, and it was impossible that they couldn’t plant.
Ji Ju greatly regretted his decision but he couldn’t take back what he had given out.
Ji Ju gave up as he couldn’t grab it back. But his focus was not on this. He had to hurry back and bring his people here to dig up the entire plants. The Royal City was quite far from here.
Soon, Ji Ju and Shao Xuan split up and headed in their respective directions.
“By the way, do you remember where the Flaming Horn tribe is?” Before leaving, Shao Xuan asked.
“Why, you’re lost?” Ji Ju laughed and gloated over Shao Xuan, though he did not know the exact location of the Flaming Horn tribe, “I only know that it is deep in the mountain forest and it should be quite far from here. Find it yourself.”