The floating oil bubbles on the surface of the boiling soup drifted as air bubbles rose to the surface. The captivating aroma of the meat soup no longer caught the attention of all these people.
On purpose, Ao did not lower his voice when he said, “It’s time to serve the meat.” Who here wasn’t powerful? With their hearing ability, they could naturally hear every word Ao said just now.
As long as there’s meat, everything will be fine. Those people who were mad at the Flaming Horn tribe for serving the soup without meat immediately sat back down and waited while they excitedly rubbed their hands. Abuli even told the others to sit farther apart from him and his wife. There was so much space here! Why sit so close?
With more space around them, it was much more convenient for them to enjoy the meat in whatever posture they liked. When they were full, perhaps they could even try to stand up and eat more to ensure they had eaten to their full capacity!
An even more concentrated smell of meat spread across the arena as Ao and Ta returned.
The Flaming Horn warriors who walked in each were carrying a giant stone plate, and on each plate was an entire cooked beast. These fearsome beasts were taller than humans even if they laid flat on their bellies. Now that they were cooked and set on these plates, they still looked like a giant lump of meat.
To those tribespeople who were already used to eating cooked food, the smell of raw meat did not attract them at all. It only had a raw bloody smell and a slightly salty taste. As for those who were familiar with metal weapons, they would notice another smell. That was the smell of metal. Don’t ask how they knew. Who wouldn’t be overly curious when they first held a metal weapon?
Their keen sense of smell was now completely focused on the cooked meat. The meat that was now served really made people hungry. That was the meat of fearsome beasts! And they could eat however much they wanted!
But these plates of fearsome beast meat were not directly served to each tribe’s seating area, but instead followed behind Ao.
At this moment, Mao came in with a stone plate two metres wide in diameter on his head. On the clean plate was a spear with a green spearhead. Tonight Mao was only an errand runner. Even his father was merely a side character. The lead who was performing tonight was his grandfather, the previous chief, the current elder Ao.
Ao spun the spear in his hands and moved it around, and then he set the spearhead on top of the burning firewood located at the head of the Flaming Horn VIP seating area.
Tribespeople had commonly acknowledged fire to have the ability to dispel diseases. This knowledge could be traced to the ancient days when their ancestors first mastered the art of starting a fire. Since then, this knowledge was passed from one generation to the next.
Many times, unless they were using their bare hands to handle food, they would heat up the blade they used to cut their food on fire.
After he heated the blade, Ao gently held the shaft and swung it in a wide circle. The spear suddenly stopped and faced upwards.
Ao held the long spear and walked towards the left side of the Flaming Horn seating area. He stopped right in front of where the Longboat tribe sat, which was all the way in front.
The seating of these major tribes were actually randomly drawn by the leaders of each team. The chief of the Longboat tribe, Mu Fa, was lucky enough to pick a seat all the way in front.
At the time the Longboat tribe was also quite satisfied with their seat, and upon seeing that other tribes were sitting behind them, they even said proudly, “So what if you guys came earlier? All of you still had to squeeze behind us!”
And so, at the moment, the Longboat tribe was Ao’s first target.
When Ao was standing in front of the Loagboat tribe’s seating area, the chief of the Longboat tribe Mu Fa who sat in the frontmost row looked over at him. One was the ex-chief of the Flaming Horn tribe. The other was the current chief of the Longboat tribe. And the two tribes also had a little bad history to begin with. With just an instant look, the two finished exchanging glances of confrontation. It was like invisible lightning. Those who sat closer to them could even hear the terrifying sound of air splitting.
Mu Fa considered himself superior and would not act as barbaric and violent as the Flaming Horn tribe. So, on the surface, although he continued to smile indifferently, it was clear that he didn’t want to dispute with the rude Flaming Horn warriors at all.
But Ao also kept quiet. His hand waved, and the people who were carrying the plates all came over to him.
Whoosh! Ao’s hand that was holding the spear jerked. The spear in his hand was ready to attack.
His murderous energy flushed out and spread out around him like a cold winter frost. It was not aimed directly at anyone in the arena, but those who had keen senses could feel it clearly and immediately. Especially Mu Fa, who was sitting closest to Ao.
Trying to scare me?!
Mu Fa was shocked at that instant, but he quickly calmed down and was no longer in fright.
He was sitting as still as a mountain, and at that moment, it seemed as if everything in front of him were merely floating clouds.
The Flaming Horn tribe definitely did not intend to host this banquet to kill. So Mu Fa believed that Ao’s intention was merely to scare them. Ao probably wanted to see how much of a scaredy cat they could be under the eyes of so many tribes.
Actually, Mu Fa had seriously misunderstood Ao. Ao only intended to show off his might. He was not picking on the Longboat tribe. The murderous intent that flowed out from within him just now was merely habitual. He couldn’t possibly hold back his excitement at a time like that.
Ta knew that his father was already in the zone. He only held on to the stone plate on his head, tilting it from time to time to adjust its inclination, and this simple action synergised perfectly with his father’s performance.
As an ex-chief, Ao’s aura was undoubtedly far more powerful than most people.
His spear was like the sharp claws of a hunting beast. The sharpened spearhead carried a sharp whistling sound as if it was ready to break apart any other force that stood in its way. It attacked directly at the cooked beast on the stone plate!
The impact gave out a gentle sound, too gentle! It did not sound at all like a spear piercing through thick beast meat. Following this sound, Ao lifted his foot and took a big step forward. His hands held the shaft with much control and swept to the side!
A chunk of meat the size of a grinding disk flew out from the stone plate. The oily piece of meat gave out a glimmer of golden light as sunlight reflected off from it. It then landed on another plate that was placed earlier on the other side.
Poof! Poof! Poof!
The unresting spear continued to pierce in and out of the meat, and it continued to move faster than before. Ao’s figure had also become more subtle. He was there in one moment, but there was only a shadow left in the next.
As the spear continued to pierce into the meat, chunks of unevenly sized meat fell from the original plate and landed on the new stone plate. The meat chunks piled up neatly on the new plate.
Seeing this scene, the people who were present all took in a deep breath, wondering if they were hallucinating. They felt like he was not even cutting the meat at all. All they saw was a hunter attacking his prey with a spear.
It was merely cutting meat, was it even necessary to unleash such a strong murderous energy? The good thing was, this murderous energy was completely focused on the cooked meat on the stone plates.
And it was also lucky that the Flaming Horn tribe chose to cut up a cooked beast instead of killing one alive on the spot. Although some people enjoyed seeing the beast slaughtered on the spot, not all tribes preferred it.
In fact, when the Flaming Horn tribe was discussing this matter, they had also considered slaughtering the animal on the spot, but later they thought, “Why reveal our killing technique to everyone? We just need to show off our skills. It was unnecessary for us to reveal our secrets.”
Yes indeed. The Flaming Horn tribe were merely showing off their skills. This was not the technique they used to hunt. They would only reveal all their hunting techniques if they were out of their minds. There were many tribes present who were also skilled. If they end up learning all of their techniques, it would be too late even if they wanted to cry. All of those techniques were accumulated from generations of experience. They mastered their techniques through uncountable hunts and real battles with fierce beasts. Why show it to other people?
Tribespeople were extremely sensitive to protecting the secrets to their techniques.
If the beast in front of them was still alive, they would definitely not be able to kill it without using their usual techniques. But cooked meat was different. They didn’t need to show their true techniques. All they needed to do was show off fancy moves. These were merely games they had played before, and this time was just another round of the same game.
In front of the Longboat tribe seating area, Ao’s skillful performance continued to grow fancier, his movements swifter, and his momentum grew much stronger than before.
Even those who were farther away felt his murderous intent, not to mention the people of the Longboat tribe who were sitting that close.
The faces of the Longboat tribesmen couldn’t stop twitching. Even if Ao’s murderous energy was not targeted at them, the momentum coming from him could not prevent any murderous energy from spreading. They felt shivers go down their spine, and goosebumps began to spread across their skin.
Some people wanted to avert their attention and not be affected by Ao’s movements, but when they set their eyes on the other plate, they realised that the chunks of meat that were sliced out from the other plate were all complete chunks of muscle!
Broad and complete muscles of the animal were sliced out one after another. Even the tightest type of muscles and the circular types of muscles that were the hardest to cut out were sliced out clean off the bones. He ensured that each muscle was cut out as a complete piece.
Seeing this, the people’s faces twitched even more severely than before.
It was true that the Flaming Horn tribe were showing off their skills, but they were not just cutting meat. They were making sure not even a single piece of flesh stayed on the bones!
Cutting the exterior of the meat was a simple task, but making sure it was clean off the bones was not easy.
If he didn’t have any knowledge about the fierce beast, how could he perfectly cut it up?
When everyone’s attention was focused on the meat that was perfectly cut clean off the bones, a thought came into Mu Fa’s mind. The chief of the Longboat tribe was closest to Ao at the time.
There’s something strange about the spearhead!
Pieces of meat continued to fall incessantly on the stone plate, creating a sound similar to rainfall. It finally came to a halt.
At this moment, the dead beast that was on the plate before was now only a clean skeleton, and the chopped pieces of meat were piled onto the other stone plate. Every muscle of the beast was cut up perfectly.
Ta and others who were holding their plates set their plates on beside where the Longboat tribe sat. That space was purposely left unoccupied for the stone plates.
It was finally over.
They could hear the sound of the entire group’s exhale in relief.
Bro, you’re just cutting meat! Did you have to make it so scary? I’ve got freaking goosebumps now!
You think I don’t know you’re enjoying yourself underneath that poker face!
This group of Flaming Horn people are just trying to show off, right?! They’re just trying to brag about how familiar they were with each piece of meat right? Or were they just showing off their spearing skills?
Alright. While the guests were upset, they were still quite shocked. Especially the momentum they felt from Ao when he was piercing the meat. Some of them even held their breath. It was like an enactment of a hunt. The precision and mastery in cutting! If they didn’t eat beast meat often, how could they have done such a proficient job?
They even eat fearsome beast meat often?! Wish we had that too! Perhaps this was the right way to enjoy the meat of fearsome beasts?
Ao looked over at the people from the Longboat tribe whose facial expressions were changing by the second. He waved his hand behind him and said, “Next!”
Ao was quite proud that he could perform at a feast of this scale. His stern face began to relax and the sides of his mouth curved upwards irresistibly. To show off during the Flaming River Banquet was Ao’s idea.
Didn’t they need to provide meat on the banquet? Well, I’ll give you meat, and I’ll be generous too. This was a banquet to show off our wealth and social status. Stinginess could only make us lose face. We have to be generous! Though Ao could’ve been a little too violent with his performance.
And as to how Ao learned a skill like this…. Well who didn’t have a little story?
Back in the years when Ao was still a kid, the Flaming Horn tribe were still stuck on this side of the great river. They lived apart from the rest of the world and because there wasn’t much entertainment in the tribe, he would either practice basic hunting techniques, learn how to polish and create stone tools, or chit-chat with a group of younger boys.
Ao had no interest in these matters. Every day, the activity he looked forward to doing was cutting up the large pieces of cooked beast meat into smaller pieces after it was taken out of the meat soup. If the prey was a smaller one, they would just put the entire thing in and he would be in charge of dissecting the meat.
After Ao awakened his totemic power, he participated in more of these activities. This was because he became stronger after his awakening and this task became much easier than before. Whenever he felt tired, he would increase the difficulty of his task and he would start practicing different cutting styles. These ranged from cutting it into thin slices, small chunks, and later to complete pieces of muscles. Skills were trained in the most boring of times when people were looking for something fun to do.
Fearsome beasts that were active in the forest often didn’t have too much fat. Especially the ones that were fast and fierce. Their muscles were so tight that after their meat was cooked, their flesh could be pulled off one after another. Ao loved to carve pieces in their complete form, and the only tool he needed to make that was a normal spear.
This was Ao’s personal entertainment. He also liked to show off his skill in front of other people. In the Flaming Horn tribe, even if there were others with the same hobby, no one could win him in slicing up meat. This was why every time when many people had meat together, Ao would show off his skill. And it was no different today, on the Flaming River Grand Feast.
He loved it most when people really wanted him to stop but still had to watch him perform till the end with a forced expression. Ha! He could even show off twenty-three times! How exciting!
Those people from smaller tribes who were seated all the way in the back began to worry. Seeing Ao’s movements, they wondered what it would feel like when Ao came over to cut the meat in front of them. How would they feel? Would they be frightened?
When they thought about it, even their appetite was lost.
They knew that they had to pay a price to eat the Flaming Horn tribe’s meat.
But, compared to those medium-small tribes that had their eyes on Ao’s cutting technique, the chiefs of the few major tribes all focused their attention on the spear in Ao’s hands.
A green spearhead?
Was it metal?
Why were there metal weapons with such an unusual colour?
They had also taken a lot of different metal weapons from the hands of the slave masters who escaped from the desert. They found dark golden ones, light golden ones, white ones, red ones, but none were green!
Wasn’t gold the most typical colour out of all for metal weapons?
Because metal had always been regarded as a treasure, they took great care of it and ensured there were no rust, and they had never come across any metal weapons that were painted, so when they saw the green spearhead on Ao’s spear, many of them in the crowd began to have different thoughts.
Especially the one who was closest to Ao at the time, the chief of the Longboat tribe, Mu Fa. Even though Ao had already left with Ta, but in his ear he could still remember clearly the sound made by the spear when Ao swung it across the air. The spearhead cut through the air with a clear and crisp sound. It was shocking and brought fear to people’s hearts.
It was the sound of metal, yet it was different from the metal weapons they had.
Were the Flaming Horns really just showing off their strength in hunting fierce beasts?