Fearsome Beast Forest.
Flaming Horn’s old haunt.
Changes were still occurring.
They were not interested in what the other tribes thought, nor did they have time to wonder. At this moment, everyone was staring intently at the fire seed. There was only one voice in their mind- the cry of the fire seed.
Both shamans controlled the power according to the ancestral records. Although there were two of them, after a while, they were already weak.
The later records after Ancestor Chi denoted the possible outcomes of merging the fire seed and solutions to any problems. However, both shamans were still hesitant now. Although they had their solutions, they were still worried because they did not expect merging the fire seed to take up so much energy. Their solutions would also take up too much energy.
That year, Ancestor Chi had used up almost all his energy merging the fire seed. He died soon after. Both shamans were already prepared for this outcome too, they had written their wills and last towards before this.
Just as both shamans made the decision to sacrifice their own lives in completing the last step, they suddenly felt a weight lifted off their shoulders. The gap in energy was suddenly filled.
Both looked over in surprise only to see Shao Xuan standing by the fire pit. Although he was about a step further from the fire pit, the power from his hands was stronger than both of them!
The bright blue flames also had a red glow around them, a flow of energy extending from Shao Xuan’s hands to the pit.
Shao Xuan hadn’t expected this either, his actions weren’t voluntary. Before he realised it, his hands were already extended.
Shao Xuan looked down at the six ornaments on his chest. The flames in the beads were still bright.
Within his mind, bright rays of white light burst out of the totemic flames. It had never been this bright before.
At the same time, the knife of flames above the fire pit, initially cutting between the earth and the heavens finally retracted. The thick layer of clouds maintained a layer of fiery red glow.
The ‘giant knife’ retracted until they were just flames floating in the air. If they had been in the pit, they would have overflowed. The pit was not large enough to contain the size of these flames.
Very soon, these flames contracted more, as if they were all concentrated into a small volume. The smaller it was, the brighter it became. In the end, the flames were a fireball as big as a football, yet extended sharp rays of bright light. Then, countless sparks shot out from within. One might think they were random but upon a closer look, they’d realise that each spark was aimed at each person.
Shao Xuan was the first to feel these changes. He felt the light merging into his being, into the totemic flames in his mind. The flames in his mind roared and expanded, brightening.
Power flooded across his body, swimming in his veins, screaming. It felt like firewood was tossed into his mind’s totemic flames. Like someone had just poured a bucket of oil.
His mind was in a state of excitement. If his totemic power previously felt like gushing floodwaters, it was now the vast ocean. It wasn’t a simple change, he felt changes in its volume and qualities!
Mighty power bubbled, every pore open as if to release steam. Air currents swirled around him, invisible blades extended from his body. On this windless night, his clothes flapped and shook. Everyone could hear sounds of fabric torn. That was why they weren’t asked to wear their ceremonial clothes. The shamans had expected certain changes in the air around them.
They all planted their feet into the ground. Air currents gushed like ocean waves, breaking the weeds on the ground. Dust and bits of rock flew in the air.
Shao Xuan could hear his blood flowing in his ears, he could hear his heartbeat. The power of the fire seed seeped under his skin, into his tendons and bones, flowing into his blood. When he focused on his totemic power, it was more solid, it felt thicker. The energy surges finally calmed gradually, until he could control its movements.
A friendly warmth hung in the air. Shao Xuan used his special vision to see countless little flames dancing around them. Like a hungry man seeing food, he felt like he wanted to absorb all these flames into himself.
The fire seed had already distributed a flame into every person. Every tribesman absorbed the fire seed’s powers through this flame. Fires burned within their beings. Shao Xuan could feel these changes, like how everyone absorbed the flames during the Flying Flame phase of the Three Flames.
However, the absorption of these flames was unrelated to how far they stood from the pit. Some people at the back absorbed more than the ones in front. These differences were probably due to their capabilities and bodies.
Everyone’s fire seed was the same but their future capabilities might not be the same. It depended on their efforts and talents to produce different outcomes.
It was up to the person to develop their skills so their fire seed would burn brighter within.
In the past, they thought the strength of the person depended on a powerful fire seed.
However, after the true merging of the fire seed, Shao Xuan realised this might not be true.
The person must be strong, then the fire seed would be stronger.
Changes would still occur in the future.
Where did the scattered powers of the fire seed go? If it was still in this world, then they could collect all of it back.
Perhaps this could result in the growth of the fire seed.
At the same time, Shao Xuan noticed an obvious change.
The totemic patterns on his body thickened and extended across a larger surface area. Its colour changed too.
The people of the old haunt had darker patterns while Zheng Luo and the rest with fire seed within initially had totemic patterns the colour of molten rock. Shao Xuan too, but brighter. However, everyone’s patterns were changing now.
The patterns were now brighter than the former, yet still darker than the latter’s. It was purple-black, yet didn’t seem to be made of one colour. Upon a closer look, these patterns looked as if they were flames covered with a layer of skin, dulling the light within.
After the merging of a complete fire seed, these people exuded power and danger. These patterns were more suited for the forest because when they appeared, they served as a camouflage!
Just like stripes on an animal, just like the adaptation of an animal to its habitat!
The fiery glow lighting up the forest gradually dimmed. The floating flames disappeared. Within the fire pit, there would never be the constant flame of a fire seed again.
Many people felt hopeless when they saw their fire pit like that but soon, they perked up as they felt the changes within. They were stronger and they would live longer.
Zheng Luo and his people felt a deep change, their eyes ablaze. No one would call them ‘diseased’ now, they wouldn’t be short-lived idiots again! They would fight longer in the forest, and they would fight for more!
The glow among the clouds faded. The lands returned to darkness once again.
The shaman knelt before the fire pit, no longer burning. Everyone else knelt in prayer too. It was the highest gesture of respect, a gesture of farewell to their fire seed.
From this moment onwards, they welcomed a brand new era.
It was an important day in Flaming Horns history. This day would forever become a memorial day for their fire seed. Every year, on this day, they would hold a prayer ceremony to remember the change in their fire seed. Other than the other ancestral prayer ceremony, this would be another important date for Flaming Horn.
“The Flaming Horns will be glorious once again!”
They must take back the glory that was once theirs!
As for the Flaming Horn wanderers who left, the moment they abandoned the Flaming Horn tribe was the moment they lost the chance to merge with the fire sed.
Naturally, every shaman from other tribes sensed changes within the Flaming Horn tribe too.
“How could this be?!” the Mang shaman was shaken, losing his composure instantly.
“What? What happened to Flaming Horn?” asked the Mang chief hurriedly. He sensed something but not like the shaman.
“The Flaming Horn’s fire seed, it’s gone!” the Mang shaman’s voice was shaking.
“Gone?! How is that possible?!” the Mang chief almost jumped in surprise.
Yeah, how is that possible?
Even if they were very weak, they still wouldn’t let anyone extinguish their fire seed, would they? Plus, what just happened didn’t feel like they were defeated by someone.
“No, it’s not gone. It’s still here, it just exists in a different state.” The Mang shamans’s voice trailed off as he fell into deep thought.
Not just this shaman, every shaman from other tribes were also alarmed.
A similar conversation occurred within the developing Rock Hill City in the desert.
“Did you feel that?”
“Something is happening to the fire seed!”
“Not bad. They’ve found it. They’d found the method to merge with the fire seed!”
If they were initially skeptical about reports, they were now very sure the rumours were true!
“The Flaming Horns are a peculiar bunch.” Shi Shu looked towards the direction of the Flaming Horn village, then turned to look towards the ocean.
“Change is the only constant. All there is to do is get the most we can out of this world,” said a voice.