After the sacrifice ritual and another thirty more days, Shao Xuan came back from his hunting trip in the forest.
The team headed back together and followed the usual rules of sorting out the game at the bottom of the mountain. When everything was done, Gui Ze told Shao Xuan that while they were out hunting, the shaman from the Drumming tribe had come by three times but it didn’t seem urgent. It wasn’t like anything very serious had happened.
“The shaman from the Drumming tribe?” Shao Xuan knew that if the shaman was so insistent, it would only be two things- the fire seed or the water moon stones.
“He didn’t look for anyone else?” asked Shao Xuan. If it was about the fire seed, the shaman would have looked for the two previous shamans.
“No, every time he came by he only looked for you then left.”
“I think I know why.” Shao Xuan passed the game he was holding to a warrior and pointed to the two fangs on the beast and said, “I want the fangs but sort out the rest of it with the others.”
The warrior in charge nervously nodded. They had way too much game this time and usually the experienced hunters would prepare them together then chill the meat or ferment the other items while the others went back to rest. However, everyone was worked to the bone this time because of the banquet.
They gathered quite a bit of game this time. Maybe it was because of the merged fire seeds in everyone with the help of the bronze tools and the thrill of preparing for the banquet, the warriors worked like machines to bring a pile home.
This time, a portion of the team went to the part of the forest that was mostly filled with plants.
It was much more dangerous there and Shao Xuan didn’t bring Caesar along with him. Although he was as active as before, despite losing one of his eyes, it was still much too dangerous to bring him to a place like that. Hence, Shao Xuan only brought Chacha.
Shao Xuan actually found Chacha in that area. Then, Chacha was only an egg that was stolen by some other birds. He had almost cooked the egg for food.
During this expedition, Chacha had fought with a few birds in the area but since they weren’t natives and they outnumbered him, Chacha lost to them. Chacha was very dejected long after they returned to the tribe.
After Shao Xuan went back, he planned to take a nap before going to meet people again.
Shao Xuan barely got any shut-eye before the shaman from the Drumming tribe came by.
It wasn’t shocking that the shaman knew they were back, the warriors were rather loud when they returned.
This was the first time the shaman saw the warriors coming back from a hunt. Now it made sense that the other tribespeople told him that he would notice them when they were back!
Shao Xuan yawned as he looked at a water moon stone as large as a chicken egg peeking out from the shaman’s leather bag.
However, compared to the previous water moon stones they used before, this one was much dimmer.
The previous stones were smooth like an eggshell and had a cooling feel to them but this stone didn’t have any of those. It was dim and rough.
“This is a water moon stone?” asked Shao Xuan.
“That’s right!” The shaman smiled, “This water moon stone was made entirely by me! It took me eight days to make it!”
During those eight days, other than taking breaks for food when he was too hungry, the shaman spent all his energy creating this water moon stone.
When Shao Xuan made his first water sunstone, he had already felt faint. It was even more painful for the shaman, he wasn’t able to finish it in one go so he had to take nearly ten attempts to complete it. That was one of the reasons why it wasn’t smooth. The surface had scars of when the shaman took a break.
In addition to that, the moon had just appeared so it wasn’t as bright. That made the process much harder and the stone did not glow as much.
However, this still proved that they were able to make the water moon stones without the fire seed! Now, each of them had a tiny version of the fire seed inside of them so this meant that each of the tribesmen would be able to do this!
“Take it easy, I think you’ll perfect it after a few more tries.” Shao Xuan passed the stone back to the shaman while thinking of ways to comfort the shaman but he actually didn’t look defeated at all.
“I think so too.”
The shaman had just wanted to share his experience in making the water moon stones with Shao Xuan since he was the only one in Flaming Horn that had this special ability.
After a short chat, the shaman rushed back to make the second water moon stone, he was already halfway through. It would take him another two days to complete it. It was an improvement from the first one since it would take him one less day to finish it. He wasn’t sure how much of a factor the brightness of the moon played in this process, he might even be able to speed up the process since the moons were getting brighter.
Now, the other tribespeople were working on this technique too. This would be a shortcut to their survival, it always had been.
They had all collected the original stones from the rivers but this year they didn’t need to wait for the full moon to start the process.
The Drumming tribe members’ anxieties were finally calmed down by the water moon stones. Just as they settled down, the Rain tribe who had just started their fusion grew more anxious.
Shao Xuan didn’t learn more about the situation there, he still had other tasks.
Although they said they would only invite the neighbouring tribes to the banquet, they still had to invite the other tribes that were closer to them. They would also inform the other larger tribes. Hence, Shao Xuan brought along invitations handwritten by the shaman and headed towards the fields on Chacha.
Some others headed out along with Shao Xuan but they were all going in different directions. Shao Xuan went to the grass fields, also visiting the Tianshan tribe along the way while others visited the large tribes. The Flaming Horn tribe members didn’t care much if the large tribes attended but they still had to tell them about the banquet to show off their abilities.
Shao Xuan followed the path he took when he first led the team to the fields.
Although the disaster impacted the mainlands, comparatively the grass fields didn’t have that big of a difference. It was still similar to Shao Xuan’s memory of it.
The Hui tribe had a map of the grass fields but Shao Xuan took the shortest route a few years back.
The fields were painted green with the grass waves adding texture to the painting.
On a hill far away, a group of patrolling warriors on horses passed by.
Not only did they need to beware of people trying to steal their livestock, they had to look out for beasts in the sky. When they said Chacha, they were on high alert.
“It’s an eagle!” shouted someone.
“Shoot when it gets lower!”
The patrolling officer, Yi Bei, signalled for the people to shoot at the eagle. Even if they couldn’t kill it, it would be enough to scare it away.
However, the eagle was too high up and whenever they looked up the sun shined directly into their eyes. They weren’t able to see anything clearly.
“It’s headed towards our tribe!” someone shouted.
They were patrolling the border of the Feng tribe. If they walked a bit more there would be herds of cows and sheep and the herdsmen. They might not make it in time to stop the predator in the sky.
“Send the signal!” Yi Bei ordered his people to warn the tribe about the intruder.
However, just as they took their whistle out, a sound came from the sky.
“Is that… a wooden whistle?” Yi Bei stopped the person about to send the signal. He looked up into the sky with his hand blocking the sun. The figure was landing itself. This wasn’t any eagle that lived in the forest, it belonged to a tribe.
After observing for a while, Yi Bei said, “Keep the bows.”
Although he wasn’t sure who was in the sky, the person didn’t seem to have any plans to attack or hide.
If that was the case, aiming arrows at them wouldn’t be too good. Yi Bei didn’t want to offend anyone he hadn’t met. The tribes in the grasslands frequently came in contact with expedition teams so they had better foreign policies than other tribes.
Of course, they were still on high alert, without the bows, the warriors were still holding on to their swords.
As the eagle descended, Yi Bei got even more shocked.
“That… big? It’s gigantic!”
They didn’t notice it when it was far but now they could clearly see the size of the eagle. This was much larger than the ones they saw before.
He knew that the Hui tribe and the Tianshan tribe at the edge of the fields had eagles but he didn’t know much about them so he wasn’t sure which tribe this one belonged to.
As the eagle zoomed past them, a figure jumped off its back and landed in front of them perfectly balanced.
Yi Bei looked over with the hands hovering over their swords, carefully eyeing the young man that carried a sack.
“Long time to see.” Shao Xuan greeted them with a smile.
“Huh?” Yi Bei felt that the man before him was quite familiar but he wasn’t sure who it was.
“Ah! It’s you, Shao Xuan!”
A few of the warriors jumped off their horses and ran towards Shao Xuan. Gua Er was the only that reached him first. When Old He was still a wanderer, he was the one that took care of the sheep at Gua Er’s house. Shao Xuan even saved Gua Er’s life before.
Gua Er was a child when it happened and now he was a young man. The children he met then were all grown too. They were all warriors now.
Yi Bei suddenly remembered who Shao Xuan was with Gua Er’s help, his defenses dropped into a friendly smile. The Flaming Horn tribe was much larger than their tribe- they were much friendlier to people more powerful than them, and they knew Shao Xuan. Yi Bei didn’t know they had such a large eagle, the eagle they saw last time was much smaller. Did they get another one?
“Are you here on business?” asked Yi Bei.
“I need to go to the Hui tribe.” Shao Xuan didn’t hide it.
“The Hui tribe?”
“To invite the tribesmen to the banquet my tribe is having at the Flaming River Trading Point.”
Non-powerful tribes were never able to hold a banquet, especially one that invited other tribes.
“Ah, right, this is for you.” Shao Xuan took out something from his sack and tossed two large fangs to them.
One was caught by Yi Bei but he started shaking as he grabbed the fang. He had never seen such a large fang before.