There was a sound of debris falling to the ground.

The stone in Shao Xuan’s hand, still covered in mud, looked like it was being washed away by an invisible gush of water. Beginning at the top, the layer of outer “skin” was reduced to debris, with the silt falling altogether to reveal the smooth surface of the crystal.

Duo Li’s eyeballs looked like they were about to fall out of his head.

So the crystal was wrapped in stone? However, he knew best that cutting the stone would amount to nothing! The stone would only be broken into pieces!

“How is this possible?” Duo Li took the stone from Shao Xuan and peered closer. The crystal was still covered in some mud. He wiped it off with his hand, then covered it with an opaque animal skin pouch. There was indeed a glow, but it was not bright.

“You have to let it sit in the sun for some time.” Shao Xuan said.

“Oh…… Oh! All right, the sun!” Du Li went to stand in the sunniest area while holding the stone. He stood up straight, not daring to move.

When he saw this, Shao Xuan said, “Just putting it on the ground is fine.”

After placing the stone in a sunny place, Shao Xuan had everyone continue to fetch stones. The ones fished out of the riverbed were immediately kept away so that before night came, they could still rush back to the tribe.

Knowing that the dry river was full of treasure, the crowd became excited and quickened the movement of their hands.

Shao Xuan told them about the Drumming tribe and the Water Moon Stone. Everyone thought it was very strange, it was their first time hearing of such a thing. That was caused by the fire seed?

“If there is a tribe here that can produce heaps of Water Moon Stones, there’s only one thing that would happen,” said Duo Kang.

“That’s right. The slave owners would want them!” Guangyi added.

Therefore, they would only say to the outside world that they had dug it from the mountains, but would not that Shao Xuan transformed it. In this regard, the people who knew unanimously agreed on this decision.

Altogether, more than ten bags of stones were fished back to the tribe. There was no time to weave more mesh bags, they would come back to catch more later.

Back at the tribe, the stones were washed. Shao Xuan described how he did the transformation of the stone but not the complete picture. After all, the power to change the stone came from the outer shell of the totemic flame but not the flame itself.

The results also proved this to be true, as Shao Xuan expected. The others could not turn the stone. Even the shamaness could not. Both the totem power and the power of inheritance had no effect. 

The crowd gave up after trying, too. They realize that the fluctuations of Shao Xuan’s totemic power were not the same as theirs. It’s not new, but it’s not familiar. It felt weird, but it’s really something they couldn’t do.

They knew their limits, but it’s not to say that they were not disappointed.

“Since it’s like this, I’ll use my powers to make more. Even if I can’t trade these with the slave owners, it can also be kept for everyone to use.” Shao Xuan said.

The shamaness shook her head, looking at Shao Xuan’s tired complexion. “Just do what you can. No one can say that such a change has no harm to you. We have been living well even without these crystals, we will be fine.”

Once everyone else left, only Shao Xuan and the shamaness remained in the room. The shamaness then asked Shao Xuan how he was feeling. Aside from fatigue, he had no other problems. He’d even transformed two crystals a few moments ago.

“It’s fine, really. I’ll take a break, then I’ll be able to recover completely.” Shao Xuan affirmed.

“No matter what, you have to be more careful,” the shamaness said.

“I know.”

Back at his house, Shao Xuan looked at a large bag of stones placed on the ground, thinking about today’s events.

No one but him could turn the stone successfully. The power he possessed was not limited to the totem flame of the Flaming Horns tribe and could also be wielded by the Rain tribe and the Drumming tribe. Then there was also the power of enslavement. What kind of power was this? Shao Xuan had no idea, but he was certain that it must have something to do with the fire.

Over the next two days, Shao Xuan tried to transform a dozen crystals. When the shell in his mind dimmed, he knew it was the limit, stopping to rest. He slept all night, waking up refreshed the next day.

Compared to the beginning, his transforming of one stone didn’t make Shao Xuan too tired afterwards. While he didn’t have to sit down immediately after, he still couldn’t transform too many.

These crystals needed to absorb sunlight, but their glow would not stay as long as the Drumming tribe’s Water Moon Stone. These crystals that had absorbed sunlight could only shine for two days, then, they’d get darker and darker, needing to absorb sunlight again to continue glowing. The glow was bright but harmless to people, unlike lighting a fire. Shao Xuan had no idea how long such a situation would last, but certainly not as long as the water moon stone. It was still enough to use on a daily basis or to trade for other things.

Soon it was the day of the outing.

The list of who would go had already been announced, but there were still many who wanted to follow. The list had to be reviewed before it could be finalized. 

The tribe had two main requirements for those who wanted to head out: First, do not cause trouble, which was why Tao Zheng, who confronted Shao Xuan on his first day at the tribe, was excluded. He was too reckless, had an affinity to trouble. Hence, for several years in a row, they did not let him go out on these outings.

Second, these people must be capable enough. There was a certain danger during excursions, possibly with people from other tribes or with the slave owners. This was not just a hunt. A weak person would endanger the entire team.

The people in the tribe packed two days in advance. Pieces of animal hide were stacked up and tied together. The people went out to help with what they had been entrusted with for the trade and would bring the exchanged items back to be distributed once the team returned.

Shao Xuan, as a newcomer, was not expected to have a lot except for his things with him. It was only a bag filled with crystal stones. He also helped the team carry some of their things. Other than that, Shao Xuan just had to keep up with the team. Soon, the group of people led by Duo Kang left the tribe.

Heading out at the end of each year was not just the business of a single tribe. To avoid being robbed, there were often several tribes working together. This time, the Flaming Horn tribe partnered with Taihe. After all, their two neighbouring tribes did not have a hostile relationship. Although they often had petty grievances, occasionally, they would also cooperate and mutually benefit in win-win situations.

Duo Kang with his team of a hundred people arrived at the previously agreed location to find that the Taihe tribe had already arrived. They were a slightly larger group this time. Not every tribe was as strong as the Flaming Horn.

Usually,  whenever the two tribes met, they never saw eye to eye. Today was different though. The two sides were amiable but did not show friendship. There was not much conversation.

Shao Xuan was told by the shamaness that the reason why they could get along with the Taihe tribe so far, was because the Taihe people would not stab them in the back, unlike the other tribes. 

There was one year they partnered with someone else, who betrayed them. The Flaming Horn tribe retaliated, so the traitor tribe, who was living close by, was forced to move away. The only partner they had left was Taihe. In the past thousand years, there had even been intermarriages between the two sides.

Shao Xuan also saw a few familiar faces in the team in the Taihe tribe, like the few people he had fought when he was chasing the long-clawed monkey in the woods.

When they saw Shao Xuan, they glared hard but found that Shao Xuan just smiled at them. They gritted their teeth. What the hell are you smiling at?!