Rumour had it that long ago, most tribes lived in the forest. But later, these tribes left the forest in search of a more peaceful place to settle. Although some did not migrate from the forest, they deforested the area around their living habitat. As hundreds and thousands of years passed, they grew to become separate from the forest, and where they lived no longer resembled what it originally was.
This time, the tribes who had decided to enter the forest with the Flaming Horns were descendants of both groups who lived thousands of years ago. Some, like the Longboat tribe, had ancestors who chose to leave the forest, and others like the Feather tribe, were descendants of those who deforested the area.
No matter whose descendants they were, all of them had been isolated from their original habitat for too long. It had been too long since they lived amongst ancient trees, wild grass, fierce beasts, and poisonous insects. It was like returning to the most primitive barbaric state.
They wore clothes made of finely woven sackcloth and silk, and walking there made them extremely uncomfortable. For tribesmen who had always wanted to break away from their original barbaric origin, this was indeed a very special experience.
As they observed the five Flaming Horns in front of them, they noticed that even though they looked the same as before, something had changed. Although some had clothes made of linen, most of them wore clothes made from animal skin. You wouldn’t think these clothes were any special, but as they entered the forest, it was clear that these outfits made them become one with the forest, blending in with the surroundings as if they naturally belonged there. These were skilled hunters who lived within the forest, though they resembled humanoid beasts more with their ease in movements.
Yes, the people from the other tribes had begun to sense the ferocious beast-like vibe radiating off the Flaming Horns. Especially after they saw Duo Kang tear apart a fierce beast that fell from a tree with his bare hands. The shock they had after seeing such a bloody sight left an even deeper impression on them.
It was the most primitive, ferocious, and untamed nature.
This was the true nature of the Flaming Horns.
A spear flew through a small gap between several people in their team. It passed right between them, but it was so close that it rubbed against their clothing, creating a swishing sound.
The spear travelled so fast that the temperature around them increased, making the fine hairs on their faces stand on end.
It was the sound of a weapon piercing through flesh, and almost simultaneously, they heard a muffled sound of an arrow being nailed into a tree.
The person who was almost shot thought he was going to be penetrated by a spear stiffened. He turned back slowly, and looked towards where the sound came from.
There, a weird-looking animal was swinging its bamboo-like limbs, twisting its body, as if trying to break free. But on its neck, a spear penetrated right through and nailed it directly onto the tree trunk.
A dark stream of blood flowed from its wound, and the grey-skinned animal that looked like a skinny leopard struggled. Eventually, its movements slowed down and stopped.
As they looked at the animal’s claws, it was as sharp as nails. The people in the group swallowed their saliva slowly in fear. How did it move with such sharp claws? They didn’t even hear a sound just now when it was approaching them. When they heard the sound and were ready to defend themselves, a spear had already pierced through it.
“What is this...creature?” asked a member of the Feather tribe.
“A typical beast in the forest,” Shao Xuan said as he walked over. He pulled out the spear that nailed the animal to the trunk, and said, “Don’t get scratched by them. They’re poisonous, and we usually don’t eat them.”
Nobody asked if they could eat them, but seeing Shao Xuan’s calm reaction, many of them felt teased. They already lost their appetite when they saw this beast. Why would they even think about eating it?
In fact, many of them had been to the desert, and there were also many beasts there. Since they experienced the desert, they should already be mentally prepared for this. But forests were not the same as deserts, and killing people was also different from killing beasts.
The desert where the slave masters lived had too many deaths. Sometimes they looked over and saw not even a single living creature. But as long as they were cautious, they could avoid most of the dangers.
But it was different here. There was a sign of life everywhere, and all these living creatures were ready to kill. It was hard to defend themselves against them, and if they really had to defend according to the different types of creatures, they would be exhausted.
This was the home of ferocious beasts.
Several hawks cried out from the sky above.
The faces of people from the Hui tribe changed suddenly. They could feel the anxiety from the hawk’s cry, and they wanted to climb a tree to see what had happened. The trees were lush and the branches were too leafy. It blocked out the entire sky from above, and only small beams of sunlight shone through the narrow gaps.
“You don’t need to look. Your hawks probably got lost and entered the territory of other beasts.” Shao Xuan guessed without looking.
“Don’t let them fly around. We need to follow our original plan and stay on it. Don’t try to fight those beasts. It won’t be good if more birds come our way.” Shao Xuan explained.
Gu La nodded, climbed onto a tree, and facing the sky, he blew a whistle. As the giant hawks descended, he gave them some instructions and then returned to the rest of the team.
“In the forest, there are many places where you need to pay attention to. Some places are territories marked by some beasts, and we shouldn’t barge in carelessly. We need to judge and see whether they are enemies we could handle. If you barge into the territory of a beast you can’t beat and hunt their prey, or you will be out of luck.” Shao Xuan explained to those who were unfamiliar with the forest as he led the way so that they could gain a deeper understanding and cause less trouble.
“But how do we know which area belongs to a beast, and which beasts we can beat?” someone in the team asked.
“Isn’t that why we’re here?” Shao Xuan said, “We haven’t entered the heart of the Fearsome Beast Forest yet, so we’re still pretty familiar with this area. As long as you follow our instructions, then we can avoid most troubles.”
Did this mean that they had to follow the Flaming Horn’s instructions and go wherever they were instructed to go?
The people who heard Shao Xuan’s words were a little unhappy, but after all, they had no experience living in the forest, so they could only follow the Flaming Horn’s instructions and do what they’re told.
“I just hope that you guys can do your best in leading the way,” said Huang Ye of the Mang tribe.
“We will. Don’t worry.”
As soon as Shao Xuan finished his sentence, a snapping sound came from not far away, the sound of branches and vines snapping, and it was inching closer towards them.
A huge head of a beast suddenly emerged between the interlocking vines and branches, the lines on its skin were like cracks in the bark of an ancient tree. Its nostrils were so huge that it could suck a person right in, and its low growling was like the sound of a thunderstorm.
Such a huge beast was so close to them and hid so well that they couldn’t even sense its breath.
Everyone in the team glared at Shao Xuan. Didn’t he just tell them not to worry? Now, what is this supposed to be?
How could you tell us to calm down?! Some of us were scared to the point that we almost peed our pants!
As if he knew what the people in the team were about to say, Shao Xuan raised his chin and tilted his head in the direction of the beast, “Don’t just watch, attack! This is our dinner tonight!”
The others were lost for words.
Disregarding the others’ reactions, the five people from the Flaming Horn tribe picked up their respective weapons and raced toward the beast.
"Urghhh--" The beast roared provocatively.
On their side, Shao Xuan’s team of five simultaneously released the most powerful totemic force, its energy and momentum oppressing the beast from a distance away.
Both human and beast did not give way, and the overbearing energy from both sides collided in the enclosed area.
On the intricately intertwined vines around them, leaves suddenly began to fall, as if someone forcefully pulled them off from the vines.
Lush bushes growing densely with branches and leaves swayed violently, rattling with the sound of trees under a thunderstorm.
Under the impact of the two energies colliding, the people around them felt the bones in their own bodies creaking. They felt like lonely boats, uncontrollably swayed by the force of strong ocean waves.
Once they entered the hunting state, the Flaming Horns could not be distracted. This was one of their favourite things to do and what they were best at.
When they faced people, they had to make too many considerations. Sometimes, being stronger than your enemy didn’t mean you would end up with the results you wanted.
The hearts of humans were too complicated and it wasn’t easy to understand. The Flaming Horns learned about this after they came into contact with the other tribes.
Because of this, many people in the Flaming Horn tribe preferred hunting in the forest. To them, hunting was a dangerous and thrilling exercise that stirred their blood.
Sometimes they might encounter beasts that were more cunning and would surprise them with their unique moves, but most beasts were not like that. Usually, beasts relied solely on their natural advantage in their battle for survival.
As a hunter, being stronger than the prey was more than enough. The weak became the food for the strong. It was as simple as that.
The beast roared. Sharp and blunt weapons clashed. The turbulent energy that filled the air frightened and scared away all the animals around them.
Meanwhile, the people from the other tribes watched from the side. They were stunned as they observed the five Flaming Horns hunt in the most direct, brutal style.
The Flaming Horns were ferocious indeed.