The misunderstanding had already been cleared. The person who jumped out was thick-skinned enough to respond with an “Oh”, then calmly returned to his seat to continue eating.
He did not think his behaviour before was shameful. Although his actions were a little reckless and rude, he knew the importance of being alert more than anyone else.
To be a chief who led his tribe to survive up till now, could he really be that stupid?
The only reason he ate so much chili powder so thoughtlessly was merely because he was too focused on eating. It was rare for him to encounter a chance to eat as much as he wanted, so he didn’t stop eating. He did not at all hesitate and think whether the powder in the three bowls were poison. In his opinion, the Flaming Horn tribe didn’t need to do anything like that here.
But he never expected the chili powder to have such a strong taste. It was so pungent that he couldn’t help jumping around with tears in his eyes and a runny nose. It was like his mouth was on fire and even after downing a bowl of soup, he could not remove the spiciness in his mouth. But the truth was, he put way too much chili powder on his meat.
When he found out that the spice was not poisonous and relieved the burning sensation in his mouth with more soup, although there was still some spicy flavour left in his mouth, it no longer felt as bad as before. Instead, he felt… a sense of craving?
After trying out the chili powder, he went to try another condiment. This time he was careful not to put too much.
This one wasn’t spicy at all. It wasn’t clear whether he was excited by the chili powder or what, but the chief turned once again toward the chili powder. He hissed and gasped and irresistibly took deep breaths. His face was burning red with sweat. After he got used to the flavour, it was actually quite intense! He was already addicted to the taste. He was so deeply focused on the flavours that even if a bunch of hot girls came by, he wouldn’t notice them at all.
Someone even wanted to warn him from the side, “Chief, stop eating the chilli already. You’ve got to look after your reputation!”
“No no no! Don’t hold me back! I want more!”
In the hall, many people also tried the other condiments besides the salt. Some preferred the spicy one and others preferred the one that was not as spicy.
The served meat was not fully done and it was up to the individual to decide how cooked they preferred their meat done. They could cut out whatever piece they liked from the giant chunk, sprinkle some of the seasoning powder, and continue roasting it if they liked.
All the effort the Flaming Horn tribe put into the food, besides showing off, was also to promote their goods. They wanted to tell these people that if they had any interest in these condiments, they could come by often to trade in the Flaming River Trading Point in the future.
But the Flaming Horns didn’t need to tell them that. Those who were smart were already thinking ahead. For example, the Pu tribe, who was a lot more sensitive to these goods, had already caught on with excitement in their eyes. After they tasted it carefully, some of them had even gathered together to discuss their future trades.
They still needed some time to roast the rest of the meat that wasn’t done, so it would still take some time before they finished.
And during this time, another dish entered the hall.
It was no longer meat, but a cleanly washed giant white cabbage! The emerald green cabbage leaves were wrapped tightly around the core, and the leaves below the cabbage were lush and rich with hydration.
A single cabbage ball was set in front of each tribe, and even though it was just one, it was gigantic. Standing, it could be taller than a man. That was why everyone would be able to eat at least half a leaf, maybe even one whole leaf for himself.
These white cabbages could be eaten raw or cooked. If they preferred it cooked, they could set it inside the soup for a while.
“This is the new crop that you guys discovered from before?” the Hui chief asked the people of the Flaming Horn tribe.
“That’s right.” The group of Flaming Horns were quite proud about it.
The banquet was held to show off. This was a unique crop that their tribe had discovered and cultivated. No other tribes had this giant white cabbage, so of course it had to be served on a banquet like this. The giant white cabbage was also a huge asset and wealth that the Flaming Horn tribe could show off.
The refreshing taste of the cabbage cleared up the greasy aftertaste of the meat. After four rounds of meat, the cabbage came at the perfect time. Even those who didn’t like vegetables had to admit that it came right on time.
Some people admired the Flaming Horn tribe for having their own unique crop, but to the few tribes that sat in the front rows, this was nothing. Each of them had more than one unique crop that belonged to their tribe. Even if other tribes wanted to trade with them, they could only get the ripened and harvested ones that were either seedless or could not be planted again. This prevented them from losing their specialty product.
Therefore, they didn’t really care much about the Flaming Horn’s white cabbage.
‘Are these all they have to show us?’ some people wondered in their minds.
But the next item that was served once again surprised those who had just calmed down.
After the white cabbage was served, what came next were tall thin clay vases with small openings that were half the height of a normal human. Each tribe had one vase set in front of them.
As soon as the beast hide was taken off the top of the vase and the cork was removed, a sweet and rich smell spread throughout the room.
“This is….” some people suspected.
“This is some wine we made.” Gui He smiled as he poured the liquor from the vase into his golden cup.
The wine containers were all repackaged before they were served. They were not the original vessels the wine was made in.
The liquor did not seem clear enough, but the taste was perfect and the smell was thick and rich. The wine tasted sweet and mellow, and constantly stimulated the salivary glands in their mouths and their stomachs. With just one sip, they regained their appetite and felt like they could eat more meat again.
Although the wine still had many shortcomings, they were already very fortunate to have this wine here. Even though it could not be compared to the wine made by those tribes with thousands of years of experience in wine-making, it was enough to make a good impression.
The tribes that lived in the Flaming River region had never even tried alcohol before. To them, this was indeed an eye-opening and unforgettable experience. Even if they knew alcohol existed, it was too expensive and they did not have enough goods to trade for it. But now, the Flaming Horn tribe even served wine!
Drink it all!
They made the right decision by coming to the Flaming Horn’s grand feast. Some people had chosen not to come because they thought that the Flaming Horn tribe had other intentions, but if they knew what was happening now, they would have regretted so much that they would bang their heads on trees. What a nice chance it was to drink and eat for free! Why didn’t they come?
A bunch of fools! A bunch of losers who don’t even know when to take advantage!
The Flaming Horn tribe could even make their own wine? This shocked many people. The keen business-minded people of the Pu tribe had already begun to talk about their trades again.
The chief of the Pu tribe, Guang Hou, who looked like a bullfrog, had an unusual glimmer in his eyes today. His mouth was already big, but because he was feeling especially happy that day, the sides of his mouth curved upwards even more, so his mouth seemed even bigger than usual. He ate a piece of meat that had just been roasted and took a sip of wine. He laughed happily and exclaimed, “Nice!”
It wasn’t clear whether he was praising the dishes or the alcohol or if he was just too happy. Perhaps it was both.
The people were all immersed in their thoughts, but the next dish was already being served.
And this time, huge pots of porridge came one after the next.
Actually, not many tribes ate porridge because they didn’t have their own crops, so usually, they would just put all the wild vegetables and fruits in the same pot and cooked it until it was ready to eat. The Zhi tribe was like this.
As for those who grew their own crops, the porridge served in front of them was very different from what they usually would have. Often, their porridge would be made by one single crop, and occasionally they would mix up a few different types, but they never used too many types. However, the porridge that was served to them from the pots had many different colours and sizes. From that they could tell that there was a variety of different grains in the porridge.
“And this is….” the crowd looked in the direction where the Flaming Horn tribe sat and waited for them to introduce the dish.
“This is…” Gui He shifted his body and looked toward Shao Xuan. He already forgot what this thing was called.
“Eight Treasures Porridge,” Shao Xuan said.
“Yes! This is called the Eight Treasures Porridge. It is made from eight types of precious grains. Everyone should give it a try. You won’t be able to find it anywhere outside the Flaming River Trading Point,” Gui He said with a clear and loud voice.
Mu Fa, the chief of the Longboat tribe, picked at his eyebrows. His subordinate had already poured him a bowl. Slowly, he brought a spoonful of the porridge in his bowl up to his mouth and tasted it.
The porridge had the mixed aroma of the different grains, but although they were all different in texture and taste, they did not taste weird at all together. Rather, it had a unique flavour and gave people a sense of peace. Some of the grains were soft, some were sticky, and some were rather chewy. After every bite, there were still some left to chew even after they swallowed twice.
With just one sip, Mu Fa could determine many things.
Before, a few of the major tribes would exchange gifts, and occasionally some tribes would bring their unique crops as gifts. They had tasted the different types of unique grains from the other tribes more than a few times, but they had never tasted any of the ones in the “Eight Treasures Porridge” in front of them!
Not one, not two, but all eight!
Where did the Flaming Horns get these eight types of grains?
Tribespeople had always valued grains. Grains were wealth. But this surprise in front of them made them all confused.
The white cabbage, self-made wine, and now the Eight Treasures Porridge? How much are the Flaming Horns hiding?
Seeing the suspicious looks from all corners of the room, the Flaming Horns laughed without a word and continued to drink their porridge silently.
The eight types of grains in the porridge were all brought over from the other side of the sea. The people who were skilled in agriculture in the Flaming Horn tribe put in a lot of effort into cultivating these. Not only were these the ones they produced the most, these eight grains also had the highest adaptability. There was an ample supply of these grains so even after saving some for their tribe, they had enough to show off at the Flaming River Grand Feast. The other crops that were rarer were more precious, so of course they kept it for their own consumption.
If Ji Ju picked it, it was definitely better than normal grains. The Ji family had focused on agriculture for many generations and were specialised in this. Not to mention the newly discovered fine grains, even those that they had planted for thousands of years in their farms and underwent many modifications were still fine products. If it wasn’t for the special occasion, the Flaming Horns would never bring out these things, unless there were special guests.
“A showing-off feast” to let them brag about their wealth. This term can be understood as both derogatory or complementary, but different tribes understood it differently.
Some people didn’t even consider their own ability before they went to show off, so they amassed piles of debt. Showing off once cost them three years of debt. Many of them even faced big problems, so they actually had to pay the consequences for being pretentious.
But some others actually had the ability and wealth to show off. They were actually using all their extra wealth and surpluses to show off.
The reason the Flaming Horn tribe dared to bring out all these was that they were not afraid of other people’s envy. If they didn’t even have the courage to show off and stayed vigilant and careful all the time, how could they prepare a showing-off feast?
That was why the Flaming Horn tribe set up such a banquet. Their attitude was, “If we have the money to do this and the ability to host such a grand showing-off feast, we naturally should not be afraid of others coming to rob us. If we take thousands of steps back to look at our situation, even if we were to lose our territory, we would still be able to reconquer it.” The Flaming Horns had no fire seed. They were not afraid of people extinguishing them. If people dared to attack, they had to be ready for the Flaming Horn tribe’s wild revenge.