To the visitors from the three tribes, the Flaming Horn’s answer could be shortened into one sentence: “Mind your own business.”
Flaming Horn’s fire seed’s having odd changes? That’s our problem, what’s that got to do with you?
Should we invade Wanshi? That’s also our problem, what’s that got to do with you?
The people from the three tribes were frustrated with the Flaming Horns’ attitude towards them. They felt helpless, not knowing what to do next. Metal wares? The tribesmen did not even take a second look at them. Fire seed? Their lips were sealed. Conflict with Wanshi? They did not intend to accept any help!
Huang Ye and the rest could only report this frustrating news to their own tribes, then examine other better ways to open Flaming Horn’s mouth.
While these people were thinking about how to get the stubborn tribesmen to spill their secrets, there was also a discussion within Flaming Horn.
“Everyone has adapted well,” said Ao. They were indeed more powerful after the fire seed merging. Everyone was more energetic, they were much calmer and used to it now. The warriors anticipated the day they could show off their new power.
When Zheng Luo and the rest arrived, they had seen the Wanshi tribesmen. They knew that if they were just half a day late, perhaps the results would have been different. Many would have died. They could not forget about this just because the battle did not happen.
Additionally, the Wanshi tribe had also destroyed their old haunt before they arrived. To this day, many warriors remembered the anger they felt when their homeland was vandalised, when they saw stone pillars in pieces, obvious that they had been tampered with very recently. Their fire pit was dug into a messy hole too. The fire pit was the most sacred spot of the entire village!
To the tribesmen, vandalising another tribe’s fire pit was the equivalent of forging blood enmity, it was the declaration of war. If the chief hadn’t stopped them, everyone would have invaded Wanshi a long time ago.
It had been a long time since then but everyone remembered. They hadn’t known much about this ‘new world’ when they first arrived, that was why the chief stopped them from acting on impulse. Now, the time was right. Flaming Horn was whole again, it was time to take revenge.
The warriors were adapted to life after merging with the fire seed. Weapons were prepared. Wares made of metal, bones and horns were all ready. It was time for war.
However, they still had to be prepared. The elderly, children and women whose totemic power had not awakened had to retreat into the forest, somewhere safe. This was to prevent outsiders from invading their village. There were also guards stationed at the wanderer’s settlement to prevent wanderers from conducting any suspicious business. They also had to stop false rumours from spreading.
As for how they should deal with the slave masters hiding within Wanshi…
“The giant clawed bear and the bone beast will be together. What will you do?” Shao Xuan asked Duo Kang.
“Kill them all together!” Duo Kang did not think much into it, making chopping motions with both his hands. He turned to see several people staring at him with blatant disapproval on their faces.
“If you only have a few people with you, don’t you think it’ll be difficult to fight two fearsome beasts at the same time?” asked Shao Xuan again.
A giant clawed bear didn’t just have an enormous body, it was muscular and had thick skin, aggressive and powerful. It was one of the most aggressive type of giant bear. Then the bone beast would be even more difficult to deal with than the bear.
Duo Kang’s mind raced. He slapped his thigh. “Wait! We should lead the bone beast away, then focus our efforts on dealing with the bear first. Then, we will chase after the bone beast. We need to set up traps beforehand so it will fall right into it!”
When Shao Xuan was on the other side of the ocean, he had used a trap to catch a bone beast. Many people’s jaws dropped at that feat. Duo Kang could clearly remember the shock he felt when he saw them dragging a whole bone beast.
Although Shao Xuan’s situation was different from the current one, Duo Kang and the rest had an idea of what to do.
When Zheng Luo’s people arrived with Shao Xuan, they encountered the Wanshi people with slave masters and their slaves outside the forest. From that day, they understood that the relationship between Wanshi and the slave masters weren’t great either, they often had conflicts.
Flaming Horn wasn’t afraid of these people but if there was a solution to keep the number of deaths low, why wouldn’t they take it? Why should they force anything? Not accepting help from other tribes did not mean they would force their way in.
On a cloudy day, at noon, just as a large layer of cloud blocked out the sun, a long spear dipped in blood flew out from the Fearsome Beast Forest. Like a bright flash of light, it flew high in the air, in a red arc towards the Wanshi tribe.
The long spear landed near the gates of the village walls, one-third of the spear was lodged deep in the ground.
The guards were startled by the sudden spear. There had been odd activities in the forest recently, all of them were nervous but the chief banned all chatter about this matter. He said they would fight the moment Flaming Horn came, if that happened. That was why while these tribesmen were very curious about what was happening within the forest, they kept it to themselves. However, stopping these tribesmen from talking about it only backfired. It caused the guards to be constantly distracted by their thoughts on duty.
To shift everyone’s attention, the chief planned to send a team to rob a small tribe. If he could bring a few women over, perhaps these people would stop thinking about the forest.
That was why when the spear landed, the guard was thinking about the women and the wares they would bring back, he did not see the spear flying in the air. When it approached, he suddenly felt his scalp freeze and his hair standing on its end. It was instinct. He finally heaved a sigh of relief when he heard something land on the ground a few steps away from him. He looked over to see a long spear.
He would have forgotten about it, if it was just an ordinary spear. But this spear was coated in a layer of beast blood, he could smell it. The blood wasn’t dry either, some of it stained his fingers.
An animal skin scroll was tied to the end of the spear’s handle. The guard walked cautiously over to take it off. When he opened it, he was hit with the coppery smell of blood. It was a note written with blood!
After reading it, the guard hurried to bring it to the chief.
Soon, Fei Ji, chief of Wanshi, walked out of the village in huge strides, his face so dark it looked like a storm was brewing.
The blood-coated spear was diagonally standing in the ground. Fei Ji grabbed the handle and pulled it out. It didn’t take much effort but he realised its stone spearhead was gone. When they dug it out, he saw that the spearhead had shattered into crumbs, hence separated from the body.
How powerful was the person who threw the spear, to shatter a stone spearhead like that?
Fei Ji suddenly felt the wooden spear handle in his hand grow heavy.
What did Flaming Horn mean by this? A protest? Declaration of war?
After reading the scroll, Fei Ji thought it was the latter. Flaming Horn had just declared war.
The slave masters soon received news about it too.
After noticing peculiar activities within the forest, Wanshi had already sent reinforcements to stand guard outside, preventing sudden attacks. The slave masters did not plan to completely rely on Wanshi’s messengers, they trusted their own more so they also sent their own guards. That was why they knew about the spear soon after it landed.
Before Fei Ji destroyed the scroll, several slave masters and their slaves came demanding to know about the scroll.
He knew that the more secrets he hid from them, the more suspicious they would become. That was why after several questions, he finally took out the scroll he had planned to destroy.
“The Flaming Horns wrote this. In human blood,” said Fei Ji, looking at the slave master who was reading the note with furrowed brows.
After so much experience with killing, they could differentiate between human and animal blood. The blood on the spear was animal blood but the note was written in human blood!
“Flaming Horn has declared war against us! We have to prepare,” said Fei Ji.
The person holding the note did not acknowledge Fei Ji’s words. He did not even return the note to Fei Ji, he turned around and left.
Fei Ji’s expression worsened when he saw them leave.
The slave master was secretly laughing to himself. The Flaming Horns wrote about the enmity between them and Wanshi, they were obviously targeting only Wanshi tribesmen. It was none of the slave masters’ business! However, if the Wanshi people lost, then where would they go? It was a good place to stay, giving all of this up would be a pity. However, the Wanshi people had also become more and more disobedient, they had forgotten who was the reason they were so successful. Perhaps they should help raise another tribe to glory? He wasn’t sure so he planned to talk to the rest.
At the border of the forest, Duo Kang swung his arms, looking at Ta and Gui He with glee. “What do you think? That throw was amazing, right?”
Ta ignored him, Gui He shrugged. “I can throw a spear too. We can only truly compare our capabilities when the war begins.”
These three were competing for the chief’s position. The battle would be the time to prove themselves.
Ta looked away from Wanshi and turned to Shao Xuan. “What do we do if the slave masters won’t leave?”
“Then we’ll fight them the same,” said Shao Xuan.