He’d been the only child for so many years, since when did he have a brother? Duo Li looked at his father, puzzled.
Tao Zheng and the rest were shocked but it didn’t seem right. Shao Xuan did not look anything like Duo Li.
“Dad, Shao Xuan’s my brother? My real brother?” Duo Li asked, pointing at a person faraway.
“Just an example!” Duo Kang also noticed that his son had misunderstood but unless the chief and the shamaness allowed it, he could not simply tell anyone where Shao Xuan came from.
There were many people here who knew the Flaming Horn Tribe did not originate from this place but somewhere far away, from the ocean. However, a thousand years had passed. It was just a story passed down from generation to generation. Most here just treated it as a bedtime story. If Duo Kang was not the head of the hunting party, he would not have the chance to know more. The younger ones did not usually overthink it either.
“I mean, you all should just treat Shao Xuan as if he were your real brother!” Not knowing how to explain, Duo Kang left them with this sentence. When he finished, he realised this wasn’t right either. Shao Xuan was an Elder. These kids should respect an Elder!
On the day of the welcoming ceremony, the atmosphere of the tribe was peculiar. Some were excited, some were curious. All conversations centred around Shao Xuan, a face that had appeared from nowhere. Ever since Duo Kang said that sentence, there were many people who became more curious. Every day, many people would climb up the hill to watch. If it weren’t for the chief and other older people there, they would’ve talked to Shao Xuan themselves.
Shao Xuan could feel the stares from everyone, as if he was some rare object, at the same time he could feel the warmth of the tribe.
When the house was ready, the bed, tables, chairs, pottery were all prepared inside. On the day he moved in, many people sent gifts. Some gave him meat, food, hide, etc. As hunters, every family had animal hides. In half a day, Shao Xuan had a pile of animal fur in his house.
Shao Xuan quietly remembered the people who gave him gifts. Although they were just simple gestures of welcome and they did not look like they were here to kiss ass, Shao Xuan remembered them.
The aunties living on the hill came to visit, each person with a string used as measuring tape. They fussed over Shao Xuan taking his measurements, and on the next day, he received many sets of clothing, some made of animal hide, fabric and leader.
Someone sent over ceremonial clothing too. This was extremely good quality leather given by the shamaness, it was a very robust material.
Since there was no fire seed, the rituals were a little different from what Shao Xuan was familiar with.
On the day of the ceremony, when the sun had just set, everyone slowly climbed the hill, all clad in neat, clean clothes.
Shao Xuan realised these people all wore animal hide to the ceremony, not regular fabric. The totemic warriors mostly wore sleeveless leather clothes, especially the advanced warriors. They would expose their shoulders and totemic tattoos every ceremony, for it was an opportunity to display their status.
The clothes prepared for Shao Xuan were sleeveless too. To Chief Zheng Luo and the rest, it was a good time for Shao Xuan to display his capabilities too. Not everyone had witnessed the time he fought with Zhui, most only heard rumours. People would have a stronger impression if they saw it themselves.
Since it was a joyous celebration, many people continued the tradition of their ancestors. They brought with them their hunting spoils, horns, bone ornaments etc.
Shao Xuan had not hunted ever since he arrived. On the way, for ease of travel, he did not keep any souvenirs with him. The only thing he wore was the Elder’s Bone.
Against the white bone, the fire red bead in the middle stood out. Even at night, with the help of a little light, the bead glowed like a fireball.
“All ready?” The shamaness looked at Shao Xuan, who was standing at the side.
“Ready.” Although this was not the tribe he was used to, it still felt very… Flaming Horn. He was comfortable.
The shamaness walked towards the fire pond while Shao Xuan walked in the opposite direction. A welcoming ceremony consisted of this ritual where someone walked up the hill while the other walked down the slope. Every newcomer had to do this.
There was no fire seed in the fire pond, just torches around it. Shao Xuan waited at the bottom of the hill. There were two groups of people guarding the area in case of an emergency.
Muffled singing came from the peak. The entire hill was solemn. It was a formal ceremony.
Red light glowed at the peak as the shamaness lighted a fire in the fire pond.
When he heard the sound of the horn, Shao Xuan walked back up.
There were many torches around, his path was well lit probably so he could see where he was going. However, he could see quite well in the dark.
After passing a quiet area, Shao Xuan saw the gathered crowds. There was a path cleared for him, everyone was looking at him curiously. This was the first time they could observe him in close range without worrying about the chief or the older members scolding them.
This was Shao Xuan?
The young man who beat Zhui?
They heard this was the guy who robbed Taihe tribe!
No matter what they felt, they did not say it aloud. It was not appropriate to speak during the ceremony
Using his extraordinary vision, Shao Xuan saw fine red lines extending from each person in the crowd forwards, towards the fire pond at the peak of the hill.
As he approached the fire pond, the red bead grew brighter, as if it had caught fire.
Many people squealed but stopped themselves. Their eyes were flued to the necklace, which was now on fire.
Shao Xuan’s totemic patterns appeared too, flowing down from his shoulders to his wrists, to his palms like lava.
An advanced totemic warrior!
He was an advanced totemic warrior!
Eyes widened around him.
The fire pond finally appeared before him. Although it wasn’t the roaring, tumbling flames he remembered, it was not small. The fire filled the pond.
The shamaness stood next to hid, a stone box in her hand. There were three bone ornaments identical to the one he was wearing. However, they were not glowing like his.
When Shao Xuan approached, the shamaness passed him the box.