They didn’t gather their tribespeople and there wasn’t a fire pond or a fire seed. How were they going to hold a sacrifice?
Everyone who was either still in the hall or watching from the fierce beast gate thought.
Are the Flaming Horns joking?
It doesn’t seem like it.
Judging from the mood and the Flaming Horn’s formation, it didn’t look like a joke. They were serious.
Gui Ze, the new shamaness of the tribe, took a step forward. She was singing the sacrificial mantras today.
Gui Ze’s voice was not loud, but the incomprehensible mantra was like an undying rhythm that spread from inside the Flaming River Castle to everywhere around it.
As Gui Ze sang the mantra, a flame suddenly grew from the wall in front of them that had no carvings.
It was like an invisible pen drawing on the wall, with flames as its ink.
The Flaming River Grand Feast started in the morning and continued to the afternoon. At that time the sun was already at an incline, but after the Flaming Horns prepared for the sacrificial ceremony, around another hour passed again. Now, in some parts of the sky, the clouds were tinted with a bright red colour, like burning flame, but in other parts, the cyan colour of twilight had already appeared.
The afterglow of the setting sun shone into the Flaming River Castle, passing over all the giant skeletons displayed on the surrounding walls, all the stone tables, the ground, the glimmering golden bronze tools, stone tools of different colours, as well as the broken pottery that couldn’t withstand the vibrations caused by the sounding horn.
The wall of the Flaming River Tower was receiving the last bit of sunlight of that day.
As the sun slowly set, the shadows began to stretch. The flames that appeared on the wall replaced the disappearing sunlight, and where the sunlight disappeared, the darkness began to spread.
The flames gradually formed into a shape. It became clearer, more complete. The flames were forming a shape with a connected bottom foundation curving upward. Two horns, one facing inward and one facing out. Flashing flames wrapped around the two horns.
The Flaming Horn totem sign!
The two ex-shamans, each on a cane, looked with teary eyes on the thousand year old ancient totem sign that was coming into shape on the stone wall.
Two horns, one facing inward, one outward, came from the same body. One was a symbol of a strong appearance, the other a strong heart. An unyielding life and an unchanging faith.
These two old men had accomplished yet another wish!
The Flaming Horns was a tribe with a long history.
The kept records and stories passed down by generations of Flaming Horn people couldn’t help them understand what the Flaming Horn tribe was like before. It had been too long since they existed and they could no longer see their previous glory. But they were recreating it in the present and the future.
An ancestor of the Flaming Horn tribe once wrote, “If a tribe could hold a public showing-off feast without any worries or reluctance, it is a symbol of the tribe’s advancement.”
Why was the Wanshi tribe always excluded from the bigger tribes? Even though they had the power to oppress other smaller tribes and often attacked and robbed the other tribes, besides showing others that they existed, why had they never gained the approval and recognition of the world? The fire seed and their history were not the main reasons.
People wouldn’t always look at a tribe the same way just because it had a glorious past. The way people look at things are always changing.
Strength had always been accompanied by the term “wealth”. Power and resources.
If a tribe only had the power to battle other tribes but didn’t have enough resources,
And depended on the food they obtained from every robbery to sustain their life, this tribe would always be despised by other tribes. Wanshi did not have the wealth to hold a grand feast, and they had never even thought about the idea.
The Flaming Horns destroyed the Wanshi tribe. This not only increased their fame, but also helped them gain the recognition of others. Their strange power especially left a deep impression on people who came into contact with them. But even so, people had never really compared them with the other major tribes.
It was just like the way people saw the Wanshi tribe before. They would think, “So what if you know how to fight? Are you rich? Do you have an ample supply of food?”
People are all realistic, and in their traditional way of thinking, an ample food supply was the standard for a powerful tribe. It didn’t matter if they obtained their food by other means or by hunting. These were all indicators used in determining whether a tribe could be considered “big”.
A powerful tribe did not necessarily have enough food, but to have enough food to even show off their wealth, they must be a big tribe. This was what most tribespeople thought on this continent. They had been thinking this way for tens of thousands of years.
The Zhi tribe wouldn’t come over and flatter them just because the Flaming Horns were so powerful. It was because they knew the Flaming Horn tribe had enough food to eat, so they came over even without any invitation.
There were still many more who were thinking the same way, and this was also the reason why the Flaming Horn tribe valued this “showing-off” grand feast so much.
This sacrifice was not merely held for giving their ancestors a satisfactory response, but was also an important commemoration for the Flaming Horn tribe.
The setting sun drifted down the mountains far away, but in their ears, they could still hear the sounds of the horns from before although it had long disappeared.
Inside the Flaming River Castle, the large arena was already covered in the shadows, and because of this, the totem fire seemed even brighter.
“I can feel it, it’s coming from the Flaming Horn fire seed!”
“How? How is this possible?”
The people who were determined to stay in the arena were shocked to see this. It was the first time they saw the Flaming Horn tribe perform such a strange sacrificial rite with their own eyes. There was no fire pond! A sacrifice with an invisible fire seed!
It was really hard to believe!
The Flaming Horn tribe actually started a sacrifice even without a fire pond and their fire seed was nowhere to be seen! And they even succeeded!
So this was the secret the Flaming Horns had kept all along?
But even if they saw it with their own eyes, they still could not comprehend how the change happened?
Right when all these people were troubled by their doubts, changes took place once again inside the arena.
Before, the energy of the fire seed was wavering and it wasn’t clear whether it was really there, but suddenly, it became clear and was burning even faster!
On the walls inside the arena, the fierce energy that used to linger on the beast bones was suppressed so much that it disappeared completely. Not even one bit was left behind. Even those violent energies inside the blood that Zheng Luo and the others purposely spilled to decorate the skeletons had disappeared completely!
This was the same arena from before, but in the blink of an eye, it was like an entirely new place.
To those who did not belong to the Flaming Horn tribe, the fire seed’s energy was making them feel extremely uncomfortable.
This sudden surge of energy from another tribe’s fire seed was not directed specifically at them, but it was flooding the entire place. No, it wasn’t just in this arena. Even beyond, outside the Flaming River Castle, in the trading area. This energy was everywhere!
This made their hairs stand on ends, and their hair seemed like they were blown up. It was like a cold electric current was spreading and touched them on their skin. It made many of them shiver.
When the Flaming Horn tribe’s fire seed’s energy suddenly surged, Abuli, who was hiding and looking from behind the beast fang gate, felt all the totem markings on his body surface, and his fingernails suddenly grew wildly from his fingers. On his feet, long toenails that were sharp as a knife grew out suddenly from his toes. The tightly-grown hairs on his face grew thicker, and Abuli’s entire figure hunched, his feet spread apart in a wild fashion, and one of his arms was in front, the other behind, creating an awkward and strange posture.
He had no control over this. It was all a natural reaction to the fire seed’s energy. This sudden change in posture was not readying him for battle. Instead, it was preparing him for a fast escape anytime.
It wasn’t just Abuli. Even the people from the other tribes behaved similarly. Under the suppression from another tribe’s fire seed energy, the totem power in their bodies could only mobilize to resist it.
At that instant, all sorts of totem markings and transformations took place, all types of changes in appearance caused by totem powers surfaced to their skin. All of them looked completely different from before.
But in contrast, the people of the Flaming Horn tribe were all feeling especially good.
Blood coursed through their veins, emotions ran high! Their hearts were suddenly filled with infinite emotions, ready to rush out of their chests, but no one spoke. Rather, following the appearance of the totem lines, small flames started to appear from inside their bodies.
The number of flames slowly increased and spread out wider, as if it was engulfing their entire body.
If the Flaming Horn’s success in making the totem sign appear through their sacrifice shocked the people around them, the situation now probably shattered their entire world view.
“Burn… They’re actually burning!” someone said with widened eyes.
There was no fire pond, no fire seed, not enough people. How did they perform the sacrifice?
But the Flaming Horns succeeded!
The beast hides, beast meat, seasoning powder, grains... All of these were nothing compared to this!
To them, the most meaningful action the Flaming Horns made that day was performing the sacrificial ceremony at the end of the Flaming River Grand Feast!
At this moment, all of these people who were present had doubts similar to those they had back when the Flaming Horn’s fire seed disappeared, but back then they never thought much about it. They even felt like they were watching a show, but now this doubt really made them feel uneasy.
What did the final form of the fire seed look like?
Maybe, the Flaming Horns had another purpose when they invited them here. It wasn’t just to publicise their trading area or to show off. Maybe they had another purpose!
“Blood and fire from the same source!”
The chief of the Mang tribe couldn’t help but think of this saying. Back when the shaman of the Mang tribe was analysing what actually happened to the Flaming Horn tribe’s fire seed, he made this hypothesis.
Beyond the beast fang gate, Abuli looked toward the Flaming Horn tribesmen in flames, and turned his head in another direction to look at the other Flaming Horns outside the castle.
They’re all burning!
“Wait, that! Look at that guy! He’s burning!” Abuli’s wife exclaimed.
“Nonsense! I know they’re burning, all the Flaming Horns are burning!” Abuli snapped back into reality. He closed his gaping mouth. His jaw was sore.
“Not them, look over here!” Abuli’s wife held his face with both hands and turned it towards the inside of the Flaming River Castle.
Abuli’s eyes almost fell out of place. His jaws suddenly dropped down again.
Abuli shifted his head slowly. He was looking forward from his eye level, and he slowly lifted his chin and looked upward. At last, he stretched his neck upward and looked into the sky. Only two words came out of his mouth, “Oh God!”