Everyone here knew that an event as important as a sacrifice was usually held beside the fire pond, but the thing that played a decisive role here was actually not the fire pond, but rather, the fire seed within it. Wherever the fire seed was, the tribespeople would gather around it. The size and location of the fire pond didn’t matter. The tribespeople only recognised the fire seed.
But it was at this time, after successfully holding a banquet, that the Flaming Horn tribe announced that they were going to hold a sacrifice? This was not even their headquarters.
It was really hard for them to understand.
Gui He’s sentence seemed like a warning…. In their opinion, the Flaming Horn tribe was trying to hide something from them. There were obviously secrets here, but they didn’t want other tribes to see it?
Some people felt that they were going to find out the secrets here and suddenly changed their minds. Their eyes lit up with curiosity.
Initially, they were already devising ways to find out more about the Flaming Horn’s secrets, especially those related to their fire seed. The Mang tribe and other well-known tribes of the central region already heard a thing or two about the Flaming Horn tribe, especially what they sensed from the Drumming tribe’s fire seed. They also heard about the Rain tribe that had recently migrated to the area after the end of last winter and their fire seed. All these made them extremely doubtful and they desperately wanted to find out the secrets hidden here.
It just happened that both the chiefs and shamans of the Rain tribe and Drum tribe were all going to be present this time at this Flaming River Grand Banquet. Many of them initially wanted to approach these two tribes and discuss with their leaders. Small tribes like them probably wouldn’t reject talking to them, the major tribes. But to know the core of these secrets, the best solution was to ask the Flaming Horns directly. After all, the Flaming Horn tribe never really had a good temper or a good relationship with their tribes, so besides not being able to get any secrets out of them, they might even arouse ridicule.
They never thought, they were suddenly given such an opportunity!
An event like a sacrifice was definitely related to the fire seed. This was their perfect chance! How could they bear to miss it?
They had to see it for themselves and get a direct answer from the Flaming Horn tribe! It was definitely the right thing to do!
Leave? Of course not! The Flaming Horns want them to leave, but instead of leaving, they chose to stay and watch them. They wanted to see what the people of the Flaming Horn tribe were about to do.
So, the people who were already walking towards the beast fang gate turned around and stopped. They stayed there and did not return to their original seating area.
Since they were standing near the gate, if something happened, it was also convenient for them to leave.
Scanning around, it was obvious everyone was thinking the same way and stood close to the beast fang gate.
The Zhi tribe and other tribes that were less superior had already walked out of the beast fang gate. They couldn’t find a place to stay and watch in the castle. They were timid but curious, so they watched from afar outside the gate.
The Drum tribe and Rain tribe looked at each other and left without a second thought. They definitely did not want to stay. But they were still slightly curious, so after they walked out the door, they kept a distance and stopped to find a place to sit. They ate too much so they felt tired from merely standing up.
When Gui He saw the reactions of the other tribes in the hall, he was not surprised at all. He had already expected this scenario. He took a few glances at them, and then looked toward the elders. The first person he asked was Shao Xuan.
“Should we start now?” Gui He asked.
“We may begin,” Shao Xuan said.
The other elders also nodded one after another.
The Flaming Horn tribespeople stood up. They moved the tables, chairs, and the dining utensils out of the way. On the empty land in front of the Flaming River Tower, they stood in two rows on each side of the building.
The elders stood in front, and following them were the major hunt leaders, then the minor hunt leaders. After these came warriors who were more skilled and made great contributions to the tribe, or other elderly men with prestige.
Besides these two rows of people, there were three people.
The current chief and shamaness did not stand in the same two rows as the others. Instead, they stood in front of the Flaming River Tower and faced the grey stone walls that had no carvings at all.
And in front of the current chief and shamaness, stood the Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe, Shao Xuan.
There was still some leftover food on the tables where the other twenty-four tribes sat. There was still spilt soup and chewed bones left on the ground, and the firewood that was still burning continued to make a crackling sound. The leftover soup continued to boil with bubbling sounds inside the stone pots and cauldrons.
The Flaming Horns had not even cleaned up all these. Actually, this was an acknowledged habit amongst the tribes, to not clean up the mess on the day of the Flaming River Grand Banquet. Let it be and show it off to everyone. This was a symbol of success, a “medal” after the success of the “showing-off” feast they wanted to show to everyone. They wanted to wait till the second day, when everything had already gone cold and all the steam had dispersed, to clean up this mess.
So, the only clean area was where the Flaming Horns were standing.
When everyone was ready, Gui He lifted his head and looked up at the highest building in the area.
On top of the tower, a person stood waiting beside a Flaming Horn totem flag. He was looking down in the same instant, as if he had been waiting all along. This was Mao, who acted in concert with Ao in his previous performance.
At this time, Mao was already standing on the highest point in the Flaming River Tower. Beside him were Tuo and Tao Zheng.
Mao, who looked down and received Gui He’s signal, brought out a giant horn around his own height that had clear striped lines circling around it. This horn came from a giant fierce beast in the forest. He didn’t go down but blew the horn where he stood. Blowing the horn was an honourable duty, one he had fought over from Lei Jing.
Mao moved his arms and did some chest stretches. He took a deep breath and breathed out slowly. Finally, he raised the horn and sucked in more breath.
The low-sounding resonance of the horn sounded like a low-roaring thunder from the sky. It carried a vigorous strength as if it was travelling across space and time, and the sound spread out to even farther places.
The earth was also vibrating as if an ancient giant beast took a heavy step.
Following this sound, the Flaming Horn tribespeople who were busy with their work sped up their pace and rushed to finish the job at hand. If they couldn’t finish their job in the shortest amount of time, they set it aside and arranged their clothing. They washed away the dirt on their faces and changed into new and clean outfits.
Meanwhile, the team that were delivering goods also heard the sound of this low-sounding horn and the leader quickly looked for a place to rest and prepare his team. The few beasts that were pulling the carts of goods also followed the leader’s orders obediently.
As for Chacha, as soon as he heard the sound of the horn, he dropped everything, turned around, flapped his wings, and left immediately. The Flaming Horn’s sacrifice was none of his business. The sound of the horn passed through the entire forest in the Flaming River region. Even the Drum tribe’s crocodiles lifted their heads and looked in the direction of the trading point. Their cold irises were lit with curiosity.
On the other side of the Flaming River, the sound of the horn was also clearly heard. Although the sound had already weakened due to the distance, they could still hear it clearly.
The person who was walking over to feed the ducks threw away the duck food in his hands and ran back to his home. The people who were busy working in the fields and farms also rushed back to their wooden houses beside the fields. After washing up, they changed into new and clean outfits.
The guards were already prepared and did not need to change their clothing. But their expressions grew sterner, and when they saw people who still didn’t know what they had to do, they supervised them and made sure they knew what to do.
After the first horn was sounded, the onlookers inside the Flaming River Castle thought that the Flaming Horns were gathering their people, but after they looked left and right, no one was walking towards the area!
What was happening?
Everyone in the crowd was confused.
Above the Flaming River Tower, after Mao sounded the first horn, he waited for about half an hour. Tao Zheng looked over at the hourglass that Shao Xuan had made from crystals. As he waited for the sand to fall through from the top to bottom, he did a few warm-up exercises and then flipped it over again. Now, he brought out another fierce beast horn.
Compared to the one Mao blew just now, this one was a lot thinner and longer. It was lighter in colour and the stripes were not circular on this one. These horns came from two different fierce beasts.
After he took out the horn, Tao Zheng inhaled deeply like Mao did before, and blew into the second horn.
The second horn did not sound as deep and vigorous as the first. This time, it sounded a bit calmer, like the sound of normal horns they heard every day. The sound was loud and travelled far.
The stretching sound wave was like an invisible giant hand, smoothing out all the messy vibrations in the area.
At this moment, it was like all the Flaming Horn tribespeople were ready and cleaned up all of their things. They waited for it to begin.
In the Flaming River Trading Point, the members of the other tribes who were still unsure what was happening when they heard the sound of the horn saw the Flaming Horn tribespeople leave their homes after they tidied up and stood still facing the direction of the Flaming River Castle.
All the patrolling warriors also stood where they were in lines after they heard the sound of the second horn. They were all facing the direction of the Flaming River Castle.
The team of warriors who were travelling from the headquarters to the trading point all stood up and held stern expressions. They stood up straight and faced the direction of the trading point. Even the beasts that were resting on the ground straightened up and held a firm stance.
Everyone in the Flaming Horn headquarters, no matter where they were, on the mountain or below the mountain, all of them came out from their houses and faced the direction the sound came from.
After Tao Zheng sounded the horn for a second time, the amount of time between the two horns were slightly shorter. Only half the amount of sand in the hourglass spilled to the bottom, but Tuo who was waiting on the side had already brought out a third horn.
This horn was also the thinnest and longest amongst all the three horns.
Taking a deep breath, Tuo blew into the third horn.
This time, the horn did not sound as low in pitch as the first, but it wasn’t as calm as the second horn either. This horn was rather sonorous and loud, and it was as if it had the ability to arouse their emotions and bring it to the extreme.
In the hall, all the dining utensils on the stone tables began to tremble and made loud scratchy sounds. The pots and vessels that originally had the Eight Treasures Porridge or the wine, and other pottery all cracked in that instant, under the force of a strong vibration. A small line started to appear up the bottle and the crack finally split the bottle into two.
The sound of the horn did not drag on. It was like a decisive sound of a whistle hinting that the sacrifice was officially starting!
Seeing the newly appointed shamaness of the Flaming Horn tribe take a step forward like she was ready to begin the sacrifice, the onlookers’ facial expressions were all astonished.
Were they really starting their sacrifice?
Wait, they’re not going to gather their people?
Not even everyone was present, but they’re holding a sacrifice?