Shao Xuan, as the newly-appointed young Elder, had given everyone an unforgettable experience during his welcoming ceremony. If anyone was still sceptical of him taking the role, after this, all grumbles and doubts would vanish.
No one objected to him taking a position that was just below the shamaness and the chief. Everyone had an added layer of respect, for every time they saw him, they would remember the Flame Giant forming from the flames extending from his body.
The welcoming ceremony also involved a formal introduction of Shao Xuan to everyone. His history was not important, everyone only needed to know that he was the new Elder. Since the shamaness and the chief did not elaborate about his past, they did not ask questions. This trait was similar to the people of the other Flaming horn.
“There will be a hunt seven days later, Shao Xuan, join everyone then,” said chief Zheng Luo to Shao Xuan.
Group activities were a way to quickly integrate him into their tribe. The hunt would help him adapt to their community. Especially with his capabilities, he was going to do well here. His hunting skills should not be too bad since he was an advanced totemic warrior.
“Alright,” said Shao Xuan.
Zheng Luo wanted to give him some bronzeware but he rejected them. After a few days, Shao Xuan had a general understanding of the tribe’s situation. Although many tribes used metalware, they were exchanged from slave masters.
The Core Seed was in the slave masters’ hands. The Core Seed on this side was a lot bigger than the one in the desert too. A thousand years ago, the slave masters banished into exile only had three small core seeds with them. The ones left in the base camp were the real deal. Metal was in abundance, that was why they were generous enough to share them with other tribes.
However, bronzeware was expensive too, there was a high price for barter. Before every child’s first hunt, they would receive their first bronze blade from their parents, or some other metalware. Sometimes, this gift would accompany them for the rest of their lives- it could be a sword, an axe or a dagger. If it chipped off during a hunt, there were blacksmiths here although they were not as skilful as the prodigies with the slave masters. They could do basic things like making a new blade out of the old damaged one.
Zheng Luo’s household had many metalwares because they were outstanding in hunting. It was not like Shao Xuan could not hunt without a bronze dagger- if he wanted one, he would earn one on his own.
That was why Zheng Luo and the rest were puzzled when Shao Xuan lifted boulders towards his house during the days leading up to the hunt.
Ever since the introduction of metal, more and more people realised its convenience. Stoneware became rarer, though it was still in use. But they were no longer essentials. When Shao Xuan carried the boulders, the shamaness, chief and everyone felt sorry because they realised that their brothers on the other side were still reliant on stoneware.
Once again rejecting offers from the shamaness and the other people, Shao Xuan focused on making the tools he needed.
One of the reasons why he rejected their offers was that he was used to making his own tools. He might not be used to tools made by other people, mistakes could happen during the hunt.
Most of the people here had lost the skill of identifying good quality stone but not Shao Xuan. The boulders were mined from a place outside the village, of middle to high quality. It was not amazing but it was enough. He might get something better after venturing out for hunts later.
Every time people passed his house, they would here cling and clangs of his sculpting process.
Ding ding, dang dang…
Duo Kang and Guang Yi entered his house to watch him make stone tools out of curiosity.
They admired how Shao Xuan could shave a huge boulder into small pieces, into a shape he wanted. They had both used metal tools for a long time. So this was how their ancestors did it!
Other than making tools of all sizes, he prepared tools, needles, nails, screws using wood and bones for the hunt. This time, he was prepared to hunt a lot. He had received a lot of gifts when he arrived so he must give them something in return. It was a good time to keep a stock for himself too, maybe he could exchange them for other goods later.
Seven days later, a portion of warriors about to leave for the hunt gathered at a piece of empty land at the foot of the hill.
Shao Xuan covered his face with some coloured mud, this was similar to the Flaming Horn practice he knew. Before a hunt, they would draw patterns on their faces- though instead of superstition, this was for camouflage.
This mud was specially made by the shamaness. When their ancestors arrived a thousand years ago, they had experimented on using this as camouflage. It did not dry as quickly as regular mud, nor would it crack due to movements in facial muscles. It could last up to ten days.
As usually, the hunting party was led by Duo Kang and Guang Yi. The people who hadn’t previously participated came too, if they were not on duty. The younger ones like Wu Zhan, Tao Zheng, Zhui etc were all enthusiastic due to Shao Xuan, who was seen as a competitor. Especially to Zhui, who was still dissatisfied from their last sparring session.
After a roll call, Duo Kang waved. “Let’s go!”
“Roar---” The party roared, then sang a hunting song according to their tradition.”
“The skies and earth opened, then came our ancestors. The tribe prospered, and we hunted! The seasons changed, the snows were gone. The animals rejoiced, the birds sang…”
It was a familiar feeling. Although both tribes had very different experiences, Shao Xuan felt like he was back to his first hunt. He felt pride for his tribe.
The people of Taihe tribe were planning to hunt too. They had walked a while when they heard singing from the Flaming Horn tribe. They started to panic. What the hell? This was getting annoying! Why did they have to do this even on a hunt?
At least they were all hunting in different territories, or the Taihe people might have puked their breakfasts.