The carriage had several problems after the shower of rocks. Before Chaoqiu and Feng City arrived, they would repair it before setting off once again.
“I refuse to believe our people will lose to them!”
Although they had witnessed Shao Xuan’s power, due to Yi Zong and Ji Lu saying that it was impossible for Flaming Horn to maintain such strength, they believed the opportunity to attack would come. Plus the desert region was in front. After that was the ocean. Their army was large, Flaming Horn would be forced into a dead end.
When they thought about it, the army, initially sulking due to their defeat, finally perked up again.
Flaming Horn had entered the semi-desert region. They did not directly use the water they carried in their flasks. Instead, they drank from cactus sap.
After a harsh winter, although many cacti died, most survived. When the ice melted, all these cacti absorbed so much water they looked swollen now.
Flaming Horn tribesmen rarely encountered such dry weather. They’d always lived in the forest with abundant water. However, they had to bear with this. They must get used to this.
Shao Xuan and the buffer team followed a distance back. They had sent several people to catch up and report what happened. That was why the tribe was not too worried about them.
There were several depressions in the ground perhaps due to past stagnant water. The soil was swill moist with weeds. All the tribesmen living here avoided Flaming Horn as much as they could, staring both cautiously and curiously. They had never seen a situation like that before. Why would such a large tribe move here? WEre they going to settle here? They already had so little resources, competition would be intense!
Days passed. Along the way, Shao Xuan saw the bird in the sky too, knowing that it was watching the Flaming Horn tribe. King City’s army must still be behind them. They wouldn’t give up this easily. At most, they would be more cautious.
Shao Xuan saw Maka tribesmen too but did not know them. He didn’t see Wanfu. These people were very guarded too so Shao Xuan did not greet them.
The tribe’s path avoided the settlements within this semi-desert region to prevent unnecessary conflict.
Temperatures rose quickly. It was very dry. When Shao Xuan saw the familiar mist, he got his tribe to quickly collect dew. They were lucky.
After passing through the mist, Shao Xuan could smell the ocean and heard waves crashing upon the shore.
“The ocean’s right in front.” Xiang Chen had been there several times, he was familiar with the place. Now that they were at the end, they all could only wait for the shamaness’ instructions. The shamaness said this was where their ancestors came from. But how would they return? Would they swim? Make several ships? There weren't enough trees here to make ships. Nothing changed with the sea too. Not like how a tunnel formed for Shao Xuan to cross.
A group of people stared at the ocean in awe. It was their first time seeing the ocean. The ocean was huge, much larger than what they imagined. But they couldn’t see the other side of it so how would they cross?
It was also the shamaness’ first time here. She looked out at the ocean that extended to the horizon., then told everyone to rest. She went to look for SHao Xuan.
Now, Shao Xuan and the buffer team were already with them. When he saw her, he said, “I’ll go underwater to check.”
Putting his leather pouch down, Shao Xuan waded into the water and swam to the deeper parts.
Underwater, after swimming for a bit, there was a slope. The stone tunnel was down there.
Diving below, Shao Xuan saw the rock tunnel. Inside were all sorts of seaweeds and many small fish swam above it, eating tiny organisms.
He understood that this meant there hadn’t been an air pocket in this rock tunnel in a very long time.
There was a familiar sensation of gravity here. Holding his breath, Shao Xuan sank to the stone tunnel and stood on it.
A school of fish scattered in panic after Shao Xuan landed. Shao Xuan felt the slippery seaweed under his feet but it was not the time for such observations.
Not much light from the surface reached this depth.
However, very soon, Shao Xuan noticed a flickering light.
There was a red light coming from his body.
On the four bone ornaments, every round bead was glowing red, flickering and occasionally bursting into a small flame.
The flames were not extinguished by seawater, flickering like they would on land. Then, the flames grew suddenly as if a switch had been triggered. In the beginning, they extended around Shao Xuan but soon, the flames grew towards the rock tunnel beneath his feet, then forward.
Shao Xuan was holding a fire crystal in his fist. When he needed to borrow a lot of ancestral power, he would prepare one or two crystals. Just now, he had used up one crystal against King City. Now, although he wasn’t sure what the hint in his dream was, he brought the crystals along. He couldn’t control the flames extending from his bone ornaments, they grew as if they were sentient.
A long tube of flames extended within the depths of the ocean, like a fire dragon growing along the long tunnel, filled with seaweeds. It looked like the whole tunnel was on fire. Fish avoided this place, though they watched curiously from afar.
After it extended, the flames suddenly exploded upwards.
The Flaming Horns, waiting anxiously on the shore, saw the flames extending out of the ocean.
Flames coming from within water? How was that possible?!
But they saw it with their own eyes.
Flames came out of the ocean, evolving into tall columns. Like a knife, they cut the ocean open.
Flames pushed waves of water apart beneath the blue sky.
The ocean breeze grew stronger, blowing towards the shore and seemed to bring with it flickering embers.
White foam bubbles on the surface of the blue ocean, now separated and travelling in two separate directions. A stone tunnel was revealed.
The rock tunnel was covered on all sorts of seaweed. Animals hidden in the weeds wriggled away in panic, diving into the two walls of water.
Shao Xuan stood on the rock tunnel, staring at the water walls in shock. He knew his ancestors hinted at coming here but he didn’t know this would happen.
There wasn’t a tunnel, so they literally made one!
All the tribesmen standing on the coast watched the evolving ocean in shock. The narrow corridor within the ocean was more shocking than the flame giant.
The shamaness quickly knelt in prayer, thanking the ancestors for helping them, thanking the ancestors for creating such an opportunity!
Then, Chief Zheng Luo, leader of the hunting party- Duo Kang, and the rest all knelt.
The bird in the sky squawked in fear and turned around.
“We don’t have time, let’s go!” yelled Zheng Luo. “Everyone, follow me!”
Zheng Luo and the Shamaness walked in the front, into the ocean.
Over four thousand people followed. If someone else saw this from another angle, they’d think the entire tribe was on a major suicide mission.
When everyone entered the rock tunnel filled with seaweeds, as the last two people entered, flames shut off the tunnel behind them. The parted ocean merged once again.
They continued walking along the tunnel, unable to see the end. The wall of water on both sides grew taller and taller. Everyone was anxious. They could see fish swimming in the walls next to them, through the flames. These fish would turn around abruptly as they approached.
A large fish swam up from the depths. Everyone saw its faint shape in the water, the closest could see stripes on its body.
Children stared at the walls of water covered in a layer of flames, clutching to their father’s clothing because the ground was too slippery with seaweed.
Shao Xuan suppressed his shock and continued walking. Behind him, a long line of people followed. They were slowly moving away from the coast.
Near the coast, the seawater had returned to its original state, no evidence that it had just been parted.
King City’s army had arrived along with Chaoqiu and Feng City’s reinforcement troops.
The closer they got to the coast, the more confused they became.
Where was Flaming Horn?
Weren’t they travelling in this direction? How could they just disappear? Did they become fish?
“Where did they go? What’s going on in front? Why aren’t you moving?!” shouted Ji Lu out of the carriage, opening the curtain.
The messenger from the front was stuttering hard, he could barely form a word. Ji Lu waved in irritation, leaping off the carriage.
Yi Zong’s eyelid twitched. His bad feeling was growing stronger. He also got off and hurried forward.
They were standing on higher ground, staring out at the ocean. Far from the coast, there was a long walkway where the sea had parted, There were people walking inside, heading away from the coast.
The person sitting on a beast almost fell from his mount in shock.
“What… What the hell is that?! Someone tell me, WHAT IS THAT?!” roared Ji Lu, pointing at the ocean.
They’re.. Walking in the ocean? How was that possible? How?!
Yi Zong closed his eyes, his hand shaking. He regretted telling his men to catch up later. They should have killed the tribe as soon as possible, no matter the cost. However, it was too late now. Too late.
A thousand years ago, Muhan and the rest left after chaos within King City while Flaming Horn arrived from the other side. Now, Flaming Horn crossed the ocean once again. Would the people who left come back to this side too?
As Shao Xuan led Flaming Horn along the stone walkway, on the other side, within the Fearsome Beast Forest:
The shaman stood at the fire pit. Staring at the sudden burst of flames within, he sent out an order.
Half a day later, a troop of one thousand people with seven fearsome beasts walked out of the forest.