Soon after the Zhi tribe left, quite a few smaller tribes came by. Their presence wasn’t strong before this as they stayed far from other tribes. Many never even heard of them before. It was highly possible that Shao Xuan wouldn’t be able to find them even if he went around on his eagle.
Now, with the news of this trading point spreading across the world, many came here out of curiosity.
For example, a tribe Shao Xuan never heard of before sent a team of fifteen people over. They carried a few baskets of fruit over. They heard about this area from the Zhi tribe. Just like the Zhi tribe, they were a small tribe so they wouldn’t hold up against a fight with other tribes. They hid in the shadows for the whole year, thinking that that was the only way they can stay safe, which worked for them until now.
As the disaster had placed them in a bad situation, they gathered up courage to go to the trading point they heard about from the Zhi tribe, in hopes of bringing back food and animal skin to their tribe. Although they didn’t get a lot, they were still pleased with the trade they made. For one, they didn’t bring any of the crystals in their tribe and they hadn’t had that many fruits to trade so the amount of food they received was reasonable. The looks on the Flaming Horn tribespeople seem to show that they liked the things they brought. They no longer had to rely only on mere fruit this whole winter anymore and they had animal hide covers now! Most of the skin was fearsome beast hide too. This whole journey was worth it!
They were right. The Flaming Horn tribespeople really liked the fruits they brought over. The fruits were some high-quality food. They weren’t sure where that tribe got it from. They probably wouldn't tell them either. The Flaming Horn warriors had never seen anything like this before but it didn’t matter much. If they couldn’t find this species, they could always just find other fruits in the forest.
This trade was especially joyful because the children in Flaming Horn loved the fruits. Compared to the meat they usually had, the fruits provided them with a milder type of energy. Even the children that hadn’t activated their totemic powers could consume them.
As the Flaming River Trading Point became more well known, Shao Xuan’s initial goal was reached. Not only the Flaming Horn tribespeople received more exotic items, but the traders also left with satisfactory smiles on their faces too. When winter passes and the next year comes, they will be back again.
The people from the Drumming tribe had nothing to exchange, they could only look at items while the Rain tribe came here to trade everything they had for goods to survive the winter.
Excluding the Flaming Horn tribe, the Pu tribe was probably the ones that benefitted the most from the trading point.
The Drumming tribe didn’t have a lot of water moon stones but the Pu tribe had plenty of them. Their trade with the Drumming tribe went way back and in addition to them not going for long-distance travels, they accumulated quite a collection of the stones. Unlike the Drumming tribe, their stores weren’t damaged either.
The people from the Pu tribe, especially the expedition teams, traded off the items on them for animal skin and meat from the Flaming Horn tribespeople to be made into jerky. They planned to keep it for the winter and maybe sell it later on when they travel.
The traders from the Pu tribe were quite shrewd. They were able to see the huge business opportunities from one trip to the trading point.
The animal skin from the Flaming Horn tribe was better than any they had seen before. After they accumulated more, they planned to sell it for a high price when they were on their travels so that they could trade for more exotic items.
Although the traders were mostly satisfied, doubt was still on their minds. Why would the Flaming Horn tribe claim this land here? Why didn’t they put their fire seed here?
The tribespeople still thought that to claim land, a tribe had to place their fire seed there. However, they couldn’t feel the Flaming Horn fire seed at the Flaming River Trading Point.
Any traders that came to the area felt great as they didn’t feel the repelling force from the tribe’s fire seed. Before this, whenever they wanted to trade, they had to go to the Pu tribe. Forget about the Pu tribesmen’s pettiness- the repelling force was enough to make travellers feel unwelcomed there. Hence, many who visited the area once never returned again.
However, the Flaming River Trading Point didn’t even have a fire seed! That was the thing that amazed the other tribespeople. Some hypothesised that the Flaming Horn tribe didn’t plant their fire seed here on purpose to attract people to the trading point. Without the presence of the fire seed, the travellers would feel at ease, then only people would be willing to visit the trading point. At the same time, they were surprised at such boldness. They didn’t enclose their area, in addition to that, they even let outsiders in so easily! This wasn’t allowed in most of the other tribes.
There were some famous trading points in the central region. They were either built on the edges of a large tribe or they just didn’t belong to any tribe. This Flaming River Trading Point really was one of a kind. Not only did they allowed outsiders directly into their tribe, they didn’t even have their fire seed there. They didn’t seem worried about this either.
To be fair, when Shao Xuan proposed to build this trading point, many tribespeople did not agree to it. That old mindset of not allowing people into the tribe had been there for thousands of years, it wasn’t that easy to change their minds about it so quickly.
However, claiming an area outside of the tribe was different, it was still their land but it wasn’t exactly their home!
That day, temperatures showed an obvious drop. Winter was coming. The leaves on the trees were no longer green. When the wind blew, the leaves rustled and drifted down the mountain.
As winter approached, the trading point was closing soon.
The pitiful Drumming tribesmen had long left the area. The Rain tribe and Pu tribes had packed their things too and left the day before.
Shao Xuan was polishing something when he heard someone report that someone from the Zhi tribe was here again.
Shao Xuan raised his eyebrows. He wasn’t shocked, he knew that before winter came they would be back once. Abuli’s reactions told him this much.
He placed the nearly-completed piece of transparent, circular object into his animal skin bag and left.
This time, Abuli was here for Shao Xuan too. Since he already knew Shao Xuan, he didn’t want to change business partners, in case he’d get cheated again.
This time, he didn’t carry a rattan basket. He came with a few others, carrying something as thick as a human. They didn’t have the strength of the Flaming Horn tribespeople so they needed three people to lift the object to make sure they could arrive on time. Or else one person would have taken forever to get here.
When Shao Xuan entered the warehouse, Abuli was still catching his breath but his hands were tightly hugging onto the pillar as tall as a human.
As he saw Shao Xuan, Abuli immediately stood up without leaving the pillar and said, “You said, the larger the crystal, the more things we can trade!”
“That’s right,” Shao Xuan nodded.
Abuli took a deep breath and untied the knots and leaves wrapped around to unveil the large crystal pillar.
Duo Kang had put down whatever he was doing when he heard the news of their arrival. He’d run over to take a look. His jaw nearly dropped the ground when he saw it. “Come, come, just tell me what you want! I’ll bring you to it. A new batch of beasts just arrived, some have long fangs too, do you want them?”
Abuli looked tense, it was because he didn’t know Duo Kang so he had his guard up.
“Don’t worry, that is our hunt leader, Duo Kang. The meat and skin you got last time was mostly caught by his team,” explained Shao Xuan.
“Yes, yes, tell me what beasts you want, I know them all! Come, let me bring you there.” Duo Kang had a friendly smile on his face.
Abuli slightly let down his guard after hearing Shao Xuan’s explanation. Knowing that Duo Kang was the hunt leader and knew a lot about beasts, he was also excited now. He wanted to learn more about the beasts so that he could show off about his goods when he went back to his tribe.
Shao Xuan didn’t lie to them, they would be able to trade a lot more with this large column of crystal they brought over.
When Abuli left, Shao Xuan gave them a bird’s egg too. The Dumb Birds they were raising were all mature now and laying eggs.
Abuli quietly asked Shao Xuan again- if he brought a larger column, would he be able to trade even more goods? When he got his answer, his face could barely fit his beaming smile.
As the group left, Duo Kang admired the crystal pillar gleefully.
Over here, the crystal would be able to get quite a few things but in the eyes of many, this was just some rock made of special material. However, Duo Kang knew that those ‘weird’ slave masters on the other side of the ocean with ‘holes for brains’ and ‘odd taste’ loved these sparkling crystals.
The two shores were quite close now, who knew when they would be able to cross over. Maybe one day they would be able to go to the cities to trade with the slave masters.
But for now, the most important thing was about earning money off those slave masters. Other than giving some to Shao Xuan, who needed some bits of the crystal for personal use, the rest of it was sent to the cave with the core seed. Shao Xuan wanted to see what would happen to the crystal under the influence of the core seed.