The rest of the faces paled when they heard Shao Xuan.
“Another one came?” asked Ao.
“Yes.” Shao Xuan nodded, “But they’re gone now.”
After some thought, Shao Xuan said, “It didn’t seem like the one from before.”
Shao Xuan was referring to the aura he felt at the wander’s district not long ago. It felt familiar to that one but was still different.
Zheng Luo and Ao couldn’t feel the presence of that aura but they weren’t going to doubt Shao Xuan.
“I did what you told me to do last time. I think there’s more than one that’s hiding here,” said Ao.
When Shao Xuan caught Robber Eleven and limited Robber twelve’s movements, Shao Xuan sent the guards back with a message to Zheng Luo and Ao.
As Shao Xuan released Robber Eleven and Robber Twelve, he spread something on their bodies.
The people of the Flaming Horn Tribe would smear a type of powder on beasts that had special medicinal properties or had valuable body parts during their first encounter while hunting. They did this too to beasts that had the tendency to run away.
Most of the powders had a strong smell to them like the one they used on the thieves at the beach. The scent made it impossible for the thieves to hide from them.
The powder used for tracking had a faint scent that only some beasts could smell. Most people wouldn’t smell a thing.
Shao Xuan had smeared the latter on the two robbers.
The message told the two chiefs were to use some beasts with a sensitive nose to patrol the area.
Shao Xuan hoped to use the two robbers as a medium to pass on the scent to people around them, especially Robber Seven that was harder to catch.
According to Ao, Robber Eleven and Robber Twelve had been back to the tribe after they were released but they only stayed in the outskirts.
Ao was sure that there were some others that were lurking around in the area. Within those was that better and strong robber that Shao Xuan mentioned.
“There should be other robbers other than eleven, twelve and seven but they may not be here as a team.” Zheng Luo found it to be troublesome for the tribe to be the target of anyone that good at staying hidden, especially if they were the famous robbers.
"I'm actually wondering how did they get here so quickly? As soon as the battle ended a few of robbers appeared." Shao Xuan said his thoughts aloud. News in his area travelled slow, the few tribes could gather this quickly because they were already spying on them but how did the robbers that were spread across the world and weren't spying on the tribe get here? These robbers were high ranking ones too.
What attracted them to Flaming Horn?
Their victory against Wanshi wouldn't attract so many masters over. The Robbers were here to rob not like the others that were here to check out the situation.
The shaman agreed, "Right, these robbers should be after something in our tribe."
"Are they after our fire seed? Or our core seed?!" said the old shamaness.
The few in discussion couldn't come to a conclusion but they all knew they should be vigilant. They weren't worried about the fire seed but they need to take extra care of the core seed.
Shao Xuan thought about the chase just now. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that the two weren’t just here to the longevity leaf. They had two years to retrieve it why did they wait until now to move?
Then if the intruder in the wanderer district really was Robber Seven as Robber Eleven said then the robbers arrived here much earlier than the other tribes.
They may have even arrived here before the Battle of Wanshi!
"Something must have happened without us knowing," said Shao Xuan with a sigh. Although he had some straw rope with him now, he had no way of finding out what happened but his gut was telling him that they weren’t here because of Wanshi!
“Do you think those visitors at the edge of our tribe is hiding something from us?” asked Shao Xuan.
“Possible. Wouldn’t be the first or second time they did that.” Ao’s tone was filled with resentment.
They were even spurring bullshit about cooperating and teamwork!
Ao had the impulse to hack at people while looking at his axe. He disliked everything about them! If he didn’t know it would be bad timing for them to pick a fight with the other tribes, he would have done it.
As they spoke, someone from the Hui tribe came to meet Shao Xuan.
Not the two chiefs or the shaman but just Shao Xuan.
“Who is calling for me?” Shao Xuan asked the messenger.
“Gu La from the Hui tribe.”
The shaman said to Shao Xuan, “Go and check out what he has to say.”
“Sure.” Shao Xuan got someone to bring Gu La to his house.
With the fire seed from Flaming Horn now gone, anyone that passed by the fire pond wouldn’t feel the intense pressure from the fire seed. Hence, when Gu La walked over he didn’t feel any external pressure.
That made him suspicious that something happened to the fire seed in Flaming Horn tribe but he had no idea what the changes might be. He knew it wasn’t his place to ask more about any tribe’s fire seed. He was here to talk about a different matter anyway.
In Shao Xuan’s house, Old Ke was polishing stone tools in another room with Caeser was standing guard outside so no one would be spying on them.
“Why did you want to meet me?” Shao Xuan passed a cup of tea to Gu La.
Gu La absent-mindedly sipped the tea but frowned at its bitterness. After he swallowed he placed the cup down and thought for a while before saying, “Did you notice suspicious people in your tribe?”
“Do you mean the two I chased the other day?” asked Shao Xuan, looking directly into Gu La’s eyes.
Gu La had a calm expression on his face but his eyes gave him away. His fingers were tapping nervously on his knee as if he was thinking about making a hard decision.
In a grave tone, “No, not them. There may be more.”
Shao Xuan’s heart skipped a beat. He has insider information?!
“What do you mean?”
Gu La didn’t answer directly but said, “You know, we few tribes focused on the desert for the past two years. We know everything that happens there.” With an awkward smile, he continued, “But we didn’t notice the Flaming Horn tribe.”
Gu La was referring to the time the Flaming Horn tribe brought so many people out from the desert. They never found an explanation for that.
After looking at Shao Xuan he noticed that the Grand Elder didn’t want to explain anything so he continued after a cough, “Actually after you left the desert, another group of people left soon after. The people from Rock Hill City. We thought the Desert King sent out people to hunt the slave masters that ran away because they were headed in this direction.”
“But, up until now, I haven’t seen anyone from Rock Hill City,” said Shao Xuan.
“Of course you haven’t. They went in from the other side of the Fearsome Beast Forest, not from your tribe.”
The Fearsome Beast Forest covered a large area. Flaming Horn tribe was only a small part of its border. It would be possible for people to enter the forest without the Flaming Horn tribespeople noticing. Ever since they returned to the out haunt, they had only been on one long-distance hunting expedition. They spent most of their time in nearby areas,
If they didn’t go into the forest, they naturally wouldn’t know what happened in the forest.
“You mean the Rock Hill people were aiming for the forest?” asked Shao Xuan. They weren’t after Wanshi or Flaming Horn but the forest?
“It seemed that they were looking for something, We don't know what that thing is. When you brought back a new discovery, some thought that you found one fo their secrets,” said Gu La with a bitter smile. In the end, they were disappointed by the news of the new vegetable.
Shao Xuan thought hard, what would make the Shi family send out people to this far away forest?
Gu La’s words hinted at many things but most importantly, these people’s targets may not be Flaming Horn but something in the forest.
At the same time, Gu La conveyed that Hui tribe was willing to work with Flaming Horn tribe.
Gu La left soon after he said what he needed to.
Shao Xuan passed on Gu La’s words to the chiefs and shamans for them to prepare for what’s coming.