The tribesmen had always been aware of the slaves’ movements. Both sides were in a tacit acknowledgement. They knew the other side existed, yet they did not attack, and rarely trespassed into the other’s territory. But when something happened, both sides would know about it. They were secretly observing each other.
“Did the green-faced fanged beasts go there last night?”
“Probably, but we’re not sure if they caught one. Judging by their movements, they are setting up more traps.”
A few elders from the tribes were in a discussion.
In fact, after they studied the traps set by the slaves from Rock Hill City, the Longboat tribe and Thousand Masks tribe made a trap with more grass in it. When they heard that the green-faced fanged beast appeared on the other side, they excitedly rushed over to their own traps, but all the bait in the traps were missing, and the traps didn’t even get triggered. After all, this was just an imitation of the real trap. There was still some difference between their trap and the real trap.
Although they didn’t catch it, they were sure that the green-faced fanged beast had come by. When they knew about this, excitement flared in their hearts. No matter what the green-faced fanged beast could be used for, all they cared about now was catching it and bringing it back. Or their restless hearts wouldn’t calm down.
The people of Mang tribe and Eight Limbs tribe saw the situation over at the slaves’ territory and started setting up more traps of their own. However, the grass that was used as bait had almost been used up at the mountain they rested in, and there were too many traces left by humans, so if they set it up here it wouldn’t have a great effect. So they set up their traps in another mountain.
The people of the Feather tribe used three days to successfully train the birds that were living nearby. When they decided to set up traps with the Longboat Tribe, they were also training some birds to keep watch in the night and let these birds monitor the grounds because this was their innate skill.
The five people from the Flaming Horn tribe travelled together on their eagle to the place they found the bone plate the day before.
The leftover bones now no longer looked like they belonged to a beast. More than half of the bones disappeared like they had been eaten by some unknown creature.
No longer observing the beast bones, Shao Xuan scanned their surroundings and then took out a straw rope.
The people from the Hui tribe were flying in the sky so they couldn’t see the situation here. Only the five from the Flaming Horn tribe were in the forest. If they sensed any movements, they would notify those in the sky.
Telling the fortune through the rope was not a cure-all, and many times it was not able to tell unknown things. However, with the increased knowledge they gained from the clues they found, especially the movements at the traps over at Rock Hill City’s territory, all of these confirmed Shao Xuan’s guesses.
This time, they should be able to tell some things with the rope.
After Shao Xuan entered his ‘fortune-telling’ state, the rope started moving around his fingers.
After a while, he analyzed the knots formed on the rope and walked forward. He blew his wooden whistle to signal the people in the air to follow along.
If people stepped on grass, it would definitely leave some traces. The grass wouldn’t recover in a short period of time, and they could find out clues about the near past just by judging the traces. This was similar to what the robbers did.
However, the green-faced fangs left no traces where it walked, except for footprints near the bitten grass around the area. In other areas, it was hard to see any traces of past activity.
Shao Xuan walked in the direction suggested by the rope while he thought about why it was leading them there.
Besides the ancestors of the slave masters from Rock Hill City, none had seen the green-faced fanged beast before, and the deductions they could make based on the traps were very limited. The traps set by the people from Rock Hill City were not even perfect traps, or else how did the beast manage to escape?
Yes. Before they came here, Shao Xuan lurked around the slaves who were setting up the traps, and eavesdropped some of their conversations. Although they didn’t say it clearly in a direct manner, Shao Xuan could already guess the general situation.
What was so special about the green-faced fanged beast that made the Gongjia people so interested in them? Why was blood from other beasts not usable? Why only this beast?
As they thought about these questions, they descended the mountain, went around a few mountains through the valleys, and came to inspect another mountain that didn’t look at all special.
The trees, flowers, birds, grass, birds, and flying insects were not much different from those in other mountains. The only difference was right there in front of them!
Not long after Shao Xuan ascended the mountain, he saw a field of thick grass that grew up to their shoulders.
There were trees around, but not many ancient trees. The thickest trees were four to five shoulders wide in diameter, and this was not wide at all in Fearsome Beast Forest.
Although it was not thick or old, it grew very tall. There were many intersecting branches in the tree with thin branches and tightly grown leaves. Their crowns covered most of the sky above.
This was the same grass that preferred growing in the shade, but it seemed to be growing even denser than other places. It seemed like the grass had an advantage over the trees. When Shao Xuan and the others entered the grass under the shade of this tree, you could only see their heads above the grass.
There were no insects chirping around, and no other birds flying above except for the eagles from the Hui tribe. It seemed like they were all avoiding this area.
Duo Kang was about to ask a question, but Shao Xuan raised his hand and stopped him.
As they listened carefully, the mountain breeze swept across the field of grass, causing them to rub against each other and make a ‘shhh’ sound. Among these frictional sounds made by the grass and leaves, there was yet another sound. It sounded like a whining sound made by water vapour escaping the slits of a kettle. It was neither loud nor obvious, yet people with good ears could notice it if they listened carefully.
Shao Xuan pointed in a direction, and his eyes delivered a message to the other four. Without any verbal communication, the four others ran in two different directions, leaving Shao Xuan rushing in a single direction.
They did not run directly through the grass field because their movements inside the field would be too obvious. Plus, the grass grew too tall and blocked their sight completely. They couldn’t tell what they were running after if they ran in the field. Shao Xuan’s group of five chased after their prey from above, stepping on the branches and tree trunks.
Shao Xuan’s group of five wanted to quietly approach their prey who was hiding amidst the grass and slowly creep towards it in a siege-like manner. However, right when they started to move, a figure jumped out from the grass, turned away from the others, and dashed away like it was flying.
Shao Xuan once approximated the size of the green-faced fanged beast based on the size of the traps made by those from Rock Hill City. If it was indeed a green-faced fanged beast, it should’ve been completely buried by the grass. After all, the height of the beast approximated by Shao Xuan was not even up to their chest level, but even Shao Xuan and the other four could only manage to reveal their heads amidst the tall grass, so the beast must’ve been buried amidst the tall grass.
However, the figure that suddenly jumped out was actually much taller than the grass.
Was it not the green-faced fanged beast?
Did they get it wrong?
At the moment when they saw the figure, Duo Kang and the others hesitated for a moment, but Shao Xuan did not stop.
“That’s it! Hurry!” Shao Xuan shouted.
The figure in front that was so much taller than the grass?
No, it can’t be!
It wasn’t its height that made it taller than the grass. It was running above the grass!
It was literally flying!
The sunlight shining through the thick branches formed split beams of light, casting spots all over the forest.
A figure that was covered with green-blue stripes dashed through the field of grass at the speed of the breeze.