After Shao Xuan descended the mountain, he began to search.
He didn't know which mountain was the one he saw in the dream. From a high altitude, he had a wider field of vision. Shao Xuan even borrowed a great mountain eagle from the Hui tribe to try to get a higher view.
It was a pity that they couldn’t tell the difference between the mountains from above. As they looked down, all the mountains looked the same.
These great mountain eagles had always been vigilant and discriminating against people who didn’t belong to the Hui tribe. They never trusted others more than they trusted the Hui tribe. The eagle “Dao Shan” carried Shao Xuan on its back and flew in a circle around the forest. After one circle, it already grew impatient and urged Shao Xuan to hurry up so it could descend and rest.
Gu La tried petting “Dao Shan” a few times, but unfortunately, the mountain eagle had such a huge temper that this was the most it could tolerate after they came to a compromise. This place already made the eagles feel very uncomfortable, but with a person they didn’t trust riding on their backs, it just made them feel worse.
Shao Xuan marked down all the places that were similar to his dream on a parchment made from animal skin. Trees, streams, rock, and mountains. As long as they were similar, he marked them down.
When Shao Xuan almost finished marking on his map, he descended from the back of the eagles. Those mountain eagles from the Hui tribe had been complaining along the way, and Shao Xuan couldn’t make them cooperate. He also knew that the eagles didn’t feel very comfortable about flying here, and it wasn’t because they sensed danger. They just didn’t like it here.
After he had finished marking the locations, Shao Xuan did not force them to help anymore. He thanked Gu La and departed for the marked locations with the other four Flaming Horn comrades.
Unable to determine the exact location, they could only search the entire mountain.
Initially, a few others wanted to follow Shao Xuan’s team, but when they saw Shao Xuan and the others searching aimlessly, they lost patience and stopped following them.
The five men quickly shuttled through the forest. Shao Xuan ran in the front and scanned their surroundings. If they arrived at a marked location, they would stop and search around. If they didn’t find anything, they would move on to the next location.
After searching in three mountains, the team of five stopped for a rest.
The forest is quieter than other places they had been before. The place they rested was even quieter than before. All they could hear were the sounds of birds and insects, and sometimes the faint roar of a beast from far away. The most obvious sound in the forest was still the sound of the five people breathing heavily after they ran continuously.
For their physique, they usually wouldn’t get tired even after running on a hunt for several days, unless they got in a fight with a beast. But this time, they were very tired.
Along the way, they had not encountered many fierce beasts, not even any giant beasts. As long as they were cautious about dangerous plants and animals that were hiding in the dark, they were safe. They had already been accustomed to hunting in the forest, and these plants and animals weren’t a huge threat to them. But yet, they felt unusually tired.
“It’s so hot today!” Duo Kang sighed.
Last winter, they were almost buried in the snow, but this winter, when they came to other side of the sea, it was unbearably hot. These were two opposite extremes.
Shao Xuan stood up from the stone and scanned the surrounding forest. There were some hidden eyes watching them in the forest but those were just predators that were hiding. These were the smarter types. They were judging how strong these five people were and whether they should attack. If they felt that they could attack, they would make a move. But now, they were hesitating because the aura coming from these five people were too powerful. They didn’t dare make a wrong move.
They did not pay too much attention to the shadows hidden in the dark. They focused more on their surroundings.
“Are we really this tired because of the weather?” Shao Xuan asked.
When they first arrived at this part of the forest, they already noticed something different. Plants were more nourished and moist.
At first, the air seemed very fresh, and every breath felt refreshing. However, that was just in the beginning. As they moved around more in the forest, they felt more dispirited. Even when they breathed hard, they felt tired.
When they heard Shao Xuan say this, the other four also felt weird.
“I have a stronger feeling that the green-faced fanged beasts are really here,” Mai said with laughter. In his view, the more special a beast was, the stranger its living habitat.
“Come on, let’s keep looking,” Duo Kang moved his sore muscles as his interest started to grow. To him, finding the green-faced fanged beast was the most important matter at hand. He preferred bronze weapons over stone weapons because he liked how the bronze weapons sounded when they clanged, but after he started using bronze weapons forged by Gongjia Heng, he no longer felt like using other weapons of lower grade. He would rather use high-grade stone weapons than low-grade gold weapons now. He just wasn’t used to it anymore.
Soon! As long as they found the green-faced fanged beast, they could forge better weapons and make up for the gap in skills.
Duo Kang's passion was rising, so he didn't care about the fatigue. But it wasn’t just him. Everyone else felt the same way. So what if they knew something was weird with the forest? They still had to keep looking!
The five people continued to search in the next location. It was not until the eighth mountain when Shao Xuan suddenly felt a sense of familiarity. Why did it feel so familiar? There was only one reason---this was the place he saw in his dream!
The place he saw in the dream was very blurry. The woods here were not much different from the other places they had searched before. The types of species, the density of the woods, the height of the grass, etc. were all not much different. But now, Shao Xuan was standing in the middle of these woods and his sense of familiarity only grew stronger.
When Shao Xuan said those words, the other four were excited.
As he walked, Shao Xuan slowly compared everything he was seeing now with what he saw in the dream. The dimmed and darker memories in the dream grew brighter. The dark silhouettes and uneven shades of green in his dream and his current reality matched perfectly.
This was the place he heard the fast rustling.
As Shao Xuan moved forward, he suddenly stopped. He searched around, uncovered a patch of grass, and found the same grass that was left in the trap. It had the same light fragrance.
The grass was not completely grown, and if Shao Xuan did not search deliberately, he would not have noticed them. They were just emerging from the ground and seemed like they were recently bitten off.
“Is this… Was this bitten by the green-faced fanged beast?” Duo Kang shivered with excitement as he stared at Shao Xuan, waiting for an answer.
“It should be,” Shao Xuan couldn't be too sure, but he was already seventy-percent sure.
He didn’t give a definite answer, but it was enough to make Duo Kang and the others happy.
Sure enough, Shao Xuan's dream did not go to waste.
Although they wanted to find the target as quickly as they could, they couldn’t rush under such circumstances. Duo Kang followed on Shao Xuan's side and guarded him against the threats that emerged from the grass so he could feel at ease and focus on the search.
Walking out of the woods, Shao Xuan saw the shallow stream. In his ear, he could still hear the sound of flowing water he heard in his dreams.
As Shao Xuan stepped into the water, he felt something was wrong. The sound was not the same. In his dream, the sound of the splash was lighter. Could it be that he stepped on rocks in his dream?
No, it couldn’t be. There were no rocks exposed in the middle of the stream for him to step on, but Shao Xuan couldn't find a reasonable explanation, so he ignored this difference.
After crossing the stream, he saw the same crooked trees. He no longer had any doubts. From above, he couldn’t see the form of these trees. All he could see were the dense branches and leaves, so it was hard to notice this part of the forest. Observing the forest on ground level was different. From this angle, he could see the bends in the trees clearly.
This was the place, yes!
A rotten smell travelled through the air. They heard the sound of birds and fierce beasts threatening each other with their chirps and roars.
The five of them looked at each other and walked lightly towards that direction.
They were getting closer to the place Shao Xuan was attacked in the dream.
The rotten smell was getting stronger.
The scavengers were pecking at each other, fighting for the food. Some smaller beasts were roaring to scare away the birds. Their instinctive greed for food once again caused them to fight. Around them, larger flying insects were circling the air.
There was a beast carcass about two metres high lying there. In this part of the forest, this beast was already considered large. It was skinny and had a long body, and if it stood upright it would’ve been around seven to eight metres tall. Only a quarter of the beast’s body was left on the ground, and it was impossible for them to discern what it looked like when it was alive.
Birds, beasts and insects all surrounded the dead body and were fighting over the food. Shao Xuan did not walk over to take a closer look. He knew that it was certainly not wise to walk over while the scavengers were preying because he would be attacked. Beasts would go crazy trying to protect their food.
When they were almost done with their food, the birds slowly flew away, and beasts with their tummies filled also left one after another. The insects on the ground began to disperse. Around this time, Shao Xuan started to walk over for a closer look.
With the weapon in his hand, Shao Xuan waved away the flying insects and looked at the leftover bones of the beast.
This was where he was attacked. No, to be precise, perhaps it was not Shao Xuan who was attacked. In fact, it was this dead beast that was being attacked in his dream.
This beast had a bone plate in front of his chest, which played a protective role, but there was a round hole pierced right through it.
The protective bone plate was penetrated with such ease. They could tell that whatever made this hole must’ve been sharp, and the speed and force of the attack must’ve been deadly.
No wonder Shao Xuan felt the impact caused by the sharpness of the blade in his dream. This was probably it.
“There are only fresh bite marks on the bone, which were probably left by the scavengers that just left. I don’t see any other wounds besides that.” Mai analyzed the beast after looking.
“It doesn’t seem like a fight happened here before,” Tuo was doubtful as he scanned the woods that surrounded them.
“It was a fatal blow,” Shao Xuan pointed at the round hole. “If it was really the green-faced fanged beast that did this, we have to be more careful.”
Green-faced fanged beasts were not carnivorous, so they left right away after killing the beast. The carcass of the animal was left for the scavengers to finish.
“You know, large beasts are rare around here. Do you guys think it’s because they were all slaughtered?”
As they thought about this, they all shuddered in fear.