Other than the Mang and Eight Limbs tribe, the other tribes on the mainland had departed on their journey too.
The experienced tribes knew that banquets existed just to compare and show off with other tribes. No conversation without competition didn't exist. Physical strength wasn’t the only topic- their clothes, accessories and tools were all items of comparison.
Each tribe had its own distinguishing feature. So animal skins and soft silks weren't the only types of cloth there, for example, the Mang tribe preferred clothes made from plants that had a similar colour to bamboo. Their accessories were either made from bamboo or jade that distinguished their social status.
Seeing that the Mang warriors all had jade pendants at their waists meant that all of them here were high or mid-tier totemic warriors.
The Mang tribe was famous for producing a lot of jade. Outsiders liked to make accessories with intricate patterns on their jade but the Mang tribespeople kept it simple. The jade they wore had stripes like bamboo and were very clear. This kind of jade was called Mang Jade as it was something only owned by the people of the Mang tribe. Even if someone from another tribe got the jade somehow, they wouldn't dare wear it out as the Mang tribe would never allow it.
The Eight Limbs tribe wore their famous silk. For this occasion specifically, they took out the clothes they usually kept for special events so they looked extra dashing.
The Mang travelled on horses but they had some weirder beasts travelling with them that had fully brown, black or white coats of fur. If Shao Xuan had seen them, he would be shocked to see the few leaders of the Mang tribes travelling on something like a panda!
The Eight Limbs tribe mostly rode on spiders. They came in all shapes and sizes. Some had long fur, some short, some had thick legs some had thinner ones, even the number of eyes on each spider was different.
These two tribes were already eye-catching by themselves but as they travelled together they got the attention of everyone they passed by. Everyone was curious as to where they were headed. They don’t seem like they’re about to join a fight, so where are they going?
Some couldn't hold back their curiosity and tailed them to find some answers. They kept their distance as they were afraid of getting caught by the two tribes.
It was quite a journey from the central region to the Flaming River. More and more people got curious about the team so more people started to follow them.
The two tribes were well aware of that but they didn't want to waste their energy on them. They also wanted more people to go take a look at the Flaming Horn tribe as it would help them spread the word if the tribe really wasn't up to their expectations.
In most people's opinion, the central region was the most glamorous one. The trading points there were the busiest with the most goods. Many travelled thousands of kilometres to trade there.
If they could prove that the Flaming River Trading Point was nothing but a scrappy marketplace, no matter how hard they marketed it later on, nobody would want to go there.
The two tribes met the Longboat tribe on their way there. However, they were travelling on their boats so the two teams only travelled together for a short while.
"Can the Flaming Horn Trading Point be accessed by boat?" Someone from the Mang tribe asked.
"Isn't it called Flaming River Trading Point? It would be weird if they didn't allow boats," said Huang Ye with a raised eyebrow.
He didn't believe that the Flaming Horn tribespeople were able to pick themselves up so quickly. Even if they had a trading point, it would not be anywhere near the trading points they had in the central region.
“Could they have emptied their houses for this?” mocked someone.
“We don’t need to bother about that. That’s their problem, we just need to eat, drink and enjoy,” replied someone.
As they walked further from the central region, the fewer people they saw. The land here was infertile as they were far from the river so it wasn’t ideal to farm here. It was even hard to come by a tree that was thick and strong. That was probably why no tribes were located here.
This was the word echoing in everyone’s minds as they walked through the area.
At that moment, the Mang tribe and Eight Limbs tribe were so glad their ancestors were able to snatch up the best land in the region.
However, soon enough, the terrain didn’t have much difference but the landform did. The forest started to get denser. Even with some distance from the river, the trees here looked green and luscious.
There were some traces of human activities here that probably belong to some small tribe that hid in the mountains.
“This area actually doesn’t seem that bad?” Qu Ce plucked a leaf from the tree and saw that it was moist.
The soil here may not be fertile but it was much better than the soil they saw before. They could plant crops here.
The others didn’t agree. In their eyes, this was far from the farmlands in their tribes.
“Chief, there are people up the mountain. They’ve followed us for some time already, should I check them out?” Huang Ye asked the chief of the Mang tribe.
“No need for that.” The chief lazily lifted his arm. He didn’t care about the smaller tribes here, they posed no threat to them.
In the same forest, Abuli and his team were shocked to see the team crossing through the valley.
“Wh- who are THEY?” asked someone.
“How would I know?!” Abuli crankily tugged his animal skin shirt and wiped the sweat of this forehead.
Abuli had spent two days picking clothes to wear for the occasion. In the end, he picked the beast skin he had traded with the Flaming Horn tribespeople and asked his wife to make it into clothes for him. This was the best material they had in the Zhi tribe.
The sewing process was rather tough so his wife had asked some friends to help with the task. The group from the Zhi tribe consisted of Abuli and his wife, the shaman and three others who also wore beast skin clothes.
However, he was wearing beast fur, instead of just shiny or short-haired leather. This made it very hot in the current weather but Abuli thought this was the only attire appropriate for the occasion.
At first, Abuli wanted to wear beast skin to the banquet as he was sure many tribes had never seen fearsome beast hide before.
Who would have guessed that they would meet that expensive-looking team of warriors headed in the same direction? Their aura and equipment were in a different league compared to the Zhi tribe.
Were these the legendary people from powerful tribes within the central region?
The Zhi tribe really hadn’t seen much of the world.
After feeling somewhat defeated, Abuli took out some crystal necklaces and wore it all around his neck. He’d prepared these as gifts but right now, he needed to look like a rich man.
“Ah, this is much better.” Abuli felt a confidence boost with the necklaces.
The Mang tribe and Eight Limb tribe had their suspicions grow towards the people following them as time passed.
As night fell, the group found a place to rest.
Beside the fire, the chief of the Mang tribe drew out the map again and drew the shape of the two moons. He compared the two moons he drew to the two up in the sky.
It was nearly the same.
“We should make it on time.” That was the conclusion he made.
“Yes, we should arrive tomorrow,” said Huang Ye.
The place terrain they were at showed that they were very close to the trading point.
“What food do you think they prepared? Did they just prepare a bunch of meat? “ Qu Ce looked at the meat roasting on the fire and was feeling hungry.
“Who knows?” An Eight Limb warrior yawned. He was starting to regret coming here. The journey was long and who knows what kind of weird food those savages would serve.
“Don’t think so much, you'll find out tomorrow.”
Soon, the only sounds heard were the fire crackling and the snores of the beasts.
The next day, just as they predicted they reached a road with a sign that said “Flaming River Trading Point” on it by noon.
“Ah, we’re here,” said Qu Ce.
“Continue forward,” The chief pointed in a direction.
The people around the area were probably Flaming Horn tribespeople.
The road here was made well, it was stable even when the beasts walked on it.
Suddenly one of the warriors shouted.
“Look, what is that?!”
The group looked at where he was pointing. There stood a tall stone building that exceeded the height of the forest.
Soon they saw the large wall surrounding the area.
They saw a fair share of great walls but this one was filled with paintings which surprised the group.
It wasn’t because the paintings were horrific, the art style was just visually stimulating.
It was an explosion of colours in the middle of the green forest.
The wall here was smooth unlike the other walls in other parts of the world, making it the perfect canvas for paintings.
The painting depicted many people, preserving the values of the people living here. Most of the tribes had a similar characteristic, drawing humans in an abstract manner. This was very prominent here.
As people of larger tribes with larger world views, the Mang and Eight Limb tribes weren’t easily impressed by artwork yet this painting surprised them..
The people held all sorts of tools, many they could recognise but some they had never seen before.
The patterns added a certain flavour to the painting which made the flat painting come to life. The lines had obvious differences in their thickness which added character to every single detail. There were a lot of gold accessories in the painting and the plants were painted in gold and purple.
The roughness of the painting may not be up to the taste of some tribes but here it showcased the wild character of the people in the tribe. There was wildness and beauty in the dots, lines and colours.
There were quite a few paintings there. A few showed the fire seed undergoing some sort of transformation.
There were paintings of the beasts too. Many of which the two tribes didn’t recognise. This had a different art style as the Flaming Horn tribespeople used their ancient way of drawing for this painting.
These paintings were mostly done by Shao Xuan. Of course, Shao Xuan could have done more to each of the paintings but the deadline didn’t allow it. The people here liked the ancient way of drawing here so he mostly stuck to that way and added some of his flair to the paintings. Anything more would be too much of a difference for the people to appreciate.
Just as Shao Xuan expected, the Flaming Horn tribespeople were very pleased with his drawing.
The tribes that arrived these few days all stopped to look at the paintings when they passed by. This included the Mang and Eight Limbs tribe.
“What tree is that?”
“I don't know.”
“What about this one?”
“I’ve never seen it before.”
“That one… Wait, I know that one. They found that crop, what is it called?”
“Yes. That’s it, cabbage! We saw Flaming Horn planting them when we went into the forest last winter!”
The group pointed and discussed the painting.
As the group moved forward, they were greeted with the huge stone buildings which left them with mixed feelings.
This is the new land Flaming Horn found to live on?
This is the “Flaming River Trading Point”?
This was… way out of their expectations.
What was that saying again?
‘I’m most at ease when you’re struggling.’
By the same logic, they were bitter when Flaming Horn was doing well.
If they could build something like this, how bad could their life be?