The drumming continued deep into the night.
Shao Xuan and the other tribesmen that were camping far away from where they were whacking the mountain could clearly hear it.
“It’s already so late. What are they up to?” said a tribesman from Yu tribe.
The members of the Feather tribe stayed atop the trees outside the cave. They had an impressive sense of hearing, any slight sound would make them stir from their sleep, not to mention the constant drumming.
Compared to the people outside the cave, the people sleeping in the cave were deep in slumber. They felt that the cave was extra quiet today. Even the bugs that made noises were gone. They couldn’t hear the noises from the outside world as clearly as the people from the Feather tribe.
Therefore, when people from the Feather tribe were complaining, snores were coming out from the cave. After a few days of searching, they found nothing and everyone had exhausted their bodies. A quiet night like this was hard to come by so many slept very quickly.
The green-faced fanged beast that Shao Xuan caught was quiet too after struggling for so long but Shao Xuan knew from its breathing patterns that it wasn’t really asleep. It was just lying there quietly, maybe deep in thought.
Lying on the cold stone floor of the cave, Shao Xuan was wide awake. The noise from outside wasn’t the reason preventing him from sleeping. He just felt uneasy.
Whenever the situation was tranquil, Shao Xuan would feel that something bad would happen.
He gave up on falling asleep and got up to walk out of the cave.
The wind was blowing outside the cave, leaves and grass swayed in it. This rustling sound was not a stranger to them but the wind today brought a cold bite with it. Even Shao Xuan had goosebumps on his arms when the wind blew in his direction.
Did the temperature drop these few days?
It couldn’t be. Compared to three days ago, the temperature was even higher. Once they stepped out of this lush forest and entered another region, it would be even hotter.
Even though the nights in the mountains were cooler, to the totemic warriors, it felt like a usual summer night. Nothing to the extent where goosebumps would form when the wind was blowing.
Another gush of wind came again.
The sounds of leaves rustling were heard again. Shao Xuan felt the goosebumps on his arms and looked around his surroundings. This was odd, why was this happening?
They had placed many traps at the bottom of the mountain. If an intruder came by, something would have gone off but they heard nothing.
Two Thousand Masks tribesmen that were standing guard looked at Shao Xuan in confusion. Why was this guy from Flaming Horn not sleeping at this ungodly hour?
“Were there any noises from the bottom of the mountain?” asked Shao Xuan to the guards.
The one that spoke was a warrior whose name was Fei You. Shao Xuan had met this person before in his expedition team. They interacted briefly then.
Fei You considered for a moment and asked, “Grand Elder Shao Xuan, did you sense anything?” He knew that Flaming Horn tribespeople were sensitive to the changes in the forest.
Fei You knew he wasn’t someone that could stand against the man speaking to him, though they were of the same age. They ignored the people of Flaming Horn during their desert trip but now, nobody could ignore this tribe.
“Currently, no. Be careful tonight and listen for sounds that come from the foot of the mountain,” said Shao Xuan.
The two guards felt a chill down their spine when they heard the sentence. They knew Flaming Horn tribesmen wouldn’t tell them this if they had no reason to.
The sounds of drums had not stopped.
Everyone could feel that the people from Rock Hill City seemed desperate from their actions. But why?
Rock Hill City was the king of the desert. Tribesmen were no big threat to them, they could still safely command the desert so why were they in such a hurry? To secure their place? Or were they just preparing? But preparing for what?
Maybe, it wasn’t just the tribesmen that felt this mysterious sense of doom, maybe the people of Rock Hill City felt it too.
What did this odd weather mean?
As Shao Xuan looked at his surroundings, his gaze stopped on a faraway hill.
Red spots of fire filled the hill with the clear white light from water moonstones peeking out in some places.
Shi Shi brought two-thirds of his people over. He let the slaves continuously beat the drums.
In the ancestral notes, it was stated that the green-faced fanged beast liked to sleep on grass but usually resided in caves. Most of the time, many green-faced gang beasts could be found in the same cave.
That was why they went to the captured beast’s hideout. He wanted to use the noise to scare the beasts out.
Traps were laid around the drums so no matter which direction the beast ran, they would surely fall into a trap or run into a guard.
As the drums beat on, a flying stone disk came shooting out of the cave.
“Master! There’s sound coming from that area!” a slave shouted.
Shi Shi was resting at that moment but as soon as he heard the news, a smile appeared on his originally gloomy face. Just as he expected! A beast hiding there was coming out!
Shi Shi ordered the slaves to stop drumming. They all listened carefully for any noises.
Then, a huff was heard coming from the covered cave entrance. The cave’s mouth was covered from the gravel that fell from the slaves' smashing.
If the beasts were the source of the sound, it meant that they couldn’t take it anymore and would come out. For this nocturnal animal, trapping them inside and surrounding them with deafening noises would definitely anger them!
Shi Shi had a stupid grin on his face as he signalled the slaves to prepare.
Within a blink of an eye, the huffing sound went from distant to very close. The slaves guarding at the cave’s mouth were already holding onto vines.
These tough vines had been treated before to be much stronger. The people from Rock Hill City used them to make webs for hunting. Most of the traps they laid out then were made from this kind of vine too. This vine making technique had stood up against the test of time, Shi Shi was confident that it could hold the beast.
With a loud boom, the gravel all flew in every direction, with a figure running out from the cave.
The figure was too fast for the slaves to see it but they could all feel it. It was as if its whole body was gushing out gas, bringing out noises of explosions in the surrounding air.
The beast was trapped by the vines. It used its sharp fangs to cut through them but some vines were placed too far from where its two fangs could reach.
The slaves were quick to tie the beast up with avoiding its fangs. They knew that the fangs were the most lethal part of the animal. Shi Shi knew this as well, even though it was his first time seeing the beast in person.
The heaviness in his heart lifted.
Just as he was about to say something, he heard an exclaim with such hatred directed at him. Without much thought, he jumped up and ran away.
A figure darted out from the surrounding forest. To be exact, it actually came from the ground. The grass in that area was so thick to the extent that it hid a cave there. The cave seemed to have been hit by something that made it collapse. Soil and gravel hid its entrance so well that the people of Rock Hill city didn’t find it.
This figure that seemingly appeared out of nowhere left Shi Shi flustered.
The figure vibrated as it ran, pushing the wind in a way that made sounds like a beast howling. The vibrations also brought up gushes of wind that made the grass move in waves towards a certain direction.
Shi Shi was lucky enough to dodge the attack but the slave standing next to him didn’t have the same luck. The slave brought up his own weapon, thinking to block this violent attack.
Blood came pouring out from each pore on the slave's sword-wielding arm. Under his muscles, his blood vessels were obvious, as if they were about to jump out from his skin. He felt numbness crawling up from his arm, spreading throughout his body. As the feeling spread, his muscles were all pulled to the back, exposing the only bone in the front.
“Ca- catch it!” Shi Shi didn’t care about the slave that was attacked. He only saw the other beast that came out from the cave and was elated that his slaves caught it.
A painful cry was heard.
It came from where Shi Shi had located a group of people not far from where he was then.
No way… There’s one there too?
Shi Shi was excited. That was good for him. The ancestors only brought back two or three from each hunt but that was not enough, far from enough!
“Amazing! Catch them all!”
How things progressed was way out of his expectations.
On the mountain, sounds from all four parts where his men were hiding could be heard, that meant that the beasts had shown up there. In addition to that, the people at the foot of the mountain were also blowing their whistles, even the people on the other mountain were blowing theirs too.
What was happening?
Did all of the beasts decide to appear at once?
Were they all hibernating before this? That’s crazy, it's too hot to hibernate now!