Other than being very good at finding crystals, the people of the Zhi tribe were really good at knowing which part of the animal the processed animal skin was from by smelling it.
Other people had to use other skills but they could just take a sniff and guess what was usually right seventy percent of the time.
Abuli didn’t use this method at the trading point because the skin was large enough to see where it was from.
Most tribespeople liked the skin from the back of the animal as it had more elasticity. The one near the animal rear was a bit tougher. Tribes that hunted a lot could differentiate the skin but tugging on it to check its elasticity.
“I’m not sure if the Flaming Horn people purposely picked this,” muttered Abuli.
If the Flaming Horn craftsmen knew about it, they would just say that they cut all the skin up into equally large pieces without much thought.
Although it was the skin of the animal's rear, Abuli still rolled the scroll carefully. This was the pass to head towards the Flaming Horn Trading Point for the big banquet. They wouldn’t be able to join without this.
Abuli swatted away the hands that reached for the scroll, yearning to take a better look. He knew that they were definitely not the only tribe that was invited. In this case, they would need to bring a gift, that was what he read in the ancestral records. When Abuli came back from the trading point, he had deliberately studied all of them.
What gift would he bring? He had made his decision. He thought of gifting the glowing crystal in the former chief’s cave.
Soon after, Abuli brought some men over to the cave to extract the glowing column of a crystal that was as tall as a human.
Of course, he kept the most beautiful things within his collection for themselves. He already felt the pain of giving away that crystal for free when it could have been traded for so many things.
Although it pained him, he knew this was for the best. Their tribe was small and they interacted with a limited set of people but they still knew how they needed to act in a public setting.
They could embarrass themselves but they shouldn’t embarrass the tribe.
With the invitation and gift ready to go, there was still one more thing left.
“Ok, so who wants to go with me?” Abuli looked to his surroundings.
The crowd erupted with volunteers.
“Me, me! Look at me chief!”
“My foot is the biggest! I’ll go!”
“Bullshit, the chief’s feet are the biggest! He’s trying to challenge you, beat him up chief!”
“When did I say that? I just said my feet are the biggest excluding the chiefs’!”
“Chief, he wants to challenge you!”
The Zhi tribe were much bigger than the other tribespeople. Their feet were highly dexterous as if they were their second pair of hands. Those with bigger feet were generally much faster in climbing than those with smaller feet so they liked to compare feet sizes since they were young.
They didn’t like to fight but they liked to compare foot sizes. They were now showing off their foot size to get the chief’s attention.
These people don't like interacting with strangers or leaving the mountain but now they were highly interested in going to the banquet as there was a lot of food to eat there! They could eat until their stomachs split open!
Why wouldn't they not want to go?!
Abuli was placed in a tough position now. He thought he should bring some people other than those he usually brought along on trading expeditions.
Abuli states on the half polished crystal and ruffles his hair, “What about this!”
Everyone suddenly quieted down to listen to him.
“You all, fight each other. The one who wins can come with me,” said Abuli as he circled them with his finger.
The warriors that were too weak would be embarrassing for the tribe so he had to bring the strongest ones that could eat a lot. That would be how they would make the trip worth it.
“What kind of selection method is that?!” Someone complained as he kicked the person next to him a moment later.
Abuli squatted beside the crystal and observed them solemnly.
As the Zhi tribe prepared to go to the banquet, the other tribes in the region received their invitations too.
All the tribes that visited the trading point before winter got an invitation. Rain tribe, Drumming tribe, Pu tribe had all long gotten their invites and some other tribes that hid too well needed some extra time to be found.
The days passed them as Shao Xuan went to further places to send out the invites. Back at the tribe, Shao Xuan had mentioned the desert monster to the other leaders of the tribe but they decided that the most important thing they had to focus on now was the banquet that they were going to organise.
The alcohol was already brewed but it wasn’t quite up to Shao Xuan’s standard. It couldn’t be helped since it was made in a large batch. It was not bad for what it was, quite many Flaming Horn tribespeople enjoyed it.
They had stockpiled on meat too. Since they couldn’t keep meat for long, they just hung them together as they did on the other side of the sea. They kept the smaller animals alive until it was time for them to cook.
“Are we ready?” Shao Xuan asked Zheng Luo.
When he was gone, the two retired chiefs, Zheng Luo and Ao, were in charge of managing the preparations. The four elders basically lived at the trading point now to save time from travelling back and forth.
They found the golden dishes they found after they destroyed the Wanshi tribe. They had planned to melt these “useless toys” before this but that plan was delayed after the banquet.
Even though it wasn’t very useful, it still had its use for showing off.
Gold was still very rare over here because there wasn’t a core seed here. Before the desert wars, most of the people on this side of the sea hadn’t seen a gold tool before. Their first exposure of it was from the slave masters that brought it along while they were fleeing the area.
For many tribes that liked to keep themselves, this would be their first time seeing these metal items.
Other than the rare, shiny fancy items, the whole banquet was filled with Flaming Horn’s character.
Shao Xuan that had made the mental preparation wasn’t shocked when he walked in the trading point.
The banquet would be held at the middle of the trading point. The trading point was shaped like a “u” so two tall stone buildings surrounded the square.
Two large fangs hung on the wall, bones from beasts were boiled clean and polished but most of the beasts were kept in their original state. The bloodstains were still on each of them. If the boiling process cleaned them of the blood they would paint back on. The blood painted on was so natural looking at one wouldn’t be able to tell that it was painted on. In one look, it looked as if beasts were trying to bite you in the middle of a battle.
Other hanging decorations included their recent game. They proceeded and their fur was kept but their eyeballs were replaced with one made of rubber that was made by the Rain tribe. The Rain tribe had recently picked up a lot of their ancestral skills out of necessity.
The fur on display here was sturdier than the usual kind because they were boiled by Ao beforehand. This was to preserve the fur so that the head of the beast would be used as a decoration.
After sorting out the beast's head, the warrior in charge mentioned that he accidentally pierced himself with a whisker he placed back onto the head. If the Flaming Horn skin wasn’t as thick, he would have bled.
Skeletons were also up for display on the walls. They were all personally arranged by Zheng Luo as the beasts were slain by him too.
The skeleton structures all gave off a chilling vibe that showed how great the hunters of the Flaming Horn tribe were.
The beast's aura was still in the bones so one could still feel the lingering aura from them.
If someone from the current era stepped into the square, they would be scared shitless.
Shao Xuan helped with the remaining decorating details. As the Flaming Horn tribe prepared, each tribe that was invited also got a team ready to head towards the Flaming Horn Trading Point using the simple yet useful map they were given.
“Chief, how capable are the Flaming Horns? They just experienced a disaster not too long ago but they started a trading point already? Why haven’t we heard of it?” asked Qu Ce has he held the invitation scroll.
The leader of the Mang tribe spared him a glance but didn’t say anything. He was curious as to how Flaming Horn settled down so quickly.
“It’s probably nothing? Definitely not as grand as our trading point,” said someone from the Eight Limbs tribe.
The Mang tribe and Eight Limbs tribe were travelling together after receiving the invitation.
Flaming River Trading Point? Flaming River? Where was that?