The Flaming Horns became more alert after hearing the Gu shaman’s words.
The people of the Gu tribe told them that the river was dangerous. There might be strange fish or other creatures. A few warriors from the Gu tribe had already disappeared during their patrolling shifts, and the number of beasts in the forest had also increased.
Sometimes Shao Xuan’s group would rest beside the banks at night, but they would also encounter some troubles, but these were just small problems. Compared to the forest full of murderous bandits, this place was a lot safer but this time, Shao Xuan didn’t want to take the risk. The people of the Gu tribe didn’t even find the reason behind their casualties. They did not want to die so meaninglessly.
“Guards who are keeping watch tonight, stay alert,” Shao Xuan told them after they returned to the ships.
In the Gu tribe, after Shao Xuan’s group left, they no longer added more firewood to the pile. They only waited for the fire to finish burning and slowly die out.
Breezes blew past the fire piles, causing the fire’s light to flicker and crackle.
Inside the Gu shaman’s house, besides the shaman, ten other people came. These were all people who had authority in making decisions, and they included Bo Gu and other elders of the Gu tribe. A water moon stone glowed inside the house. For tribes like them who lived in houses above ground, glowing gemstones were always their option for a light source and not fire piles. Fire and torches could easily burn their houses. Besides the water moon stone, they also had other gemstones, but they mostly used water moon stones. They obtained these stones from other people.
“Shaman, do you think the Flaming Horns sensed anything?” someone asked.
“It would be even better if they sensed it. Then perhaps they will leave even sooner.” The Gu shaman looked down. No one could see his expression.
“But what if they don’t leave and stay here for a few more days?” that person asked again.
“Then we have no other choice.”
“Didn’t you say that the Flaming Horns were strong and could hunt fearsome beasts? If we receive help from them……”
“How do you know they would help us? If they took this opportunity to rob us, what will we do?” an elder said distressfully.
“I don’t think so,” Bo Gu said, “When we went over to the Flaming River trading point, I saw many things that I never even dared to imagine before. I don’t think the Flaming Horn tribe will rob us.”
“That’s only what you think. Who knows if they would suddenly rob or secretly attack us? Even though they only have two hundred people, we should know that these people are not easy targets. Plus, even the Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe came.” The elder grew even more worried.
“The Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe is…….a little strange.” The Gu shaman thought they sounded a little weird when they mentioned the “Grand Elder”. Somehow he felt that this Grand Elder was different from the rest of them. No, all of them, all the people in the Flaming Horn tribe, and all the various tribesmen he had encountered before. The Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe was the only one who was different.
“Regardless of whether the Flaming Horns will leave, what we need to do first is to prevent more fearsome beasts from attacking our tribe!” As he said this, the shaman of the Gu tribe summoned a fierce murderous aura that surrounded him. This energy was like a net full of sharp blades, and his piercing eyes stared out into the night beyond the house, as if he wanted to see through the darkness and find the hidden figures within.
The night grew darker.
Even though the sliver of moon in the sky coated the night with a silver light, it was still darker inside the forest.
The forest was very dense, and many branches of the trees near the Gu tribe’s living headquarters extended above their houses. The branches blocked out the moonlight and covered the round roofs with its shade.
The people in the tribe gradually fell asleep. Some of them were already sound asleep, but some of them were still wide awake and listening to the movements outside.
In the forest, the guards concealed themselves and blended into the darkness. Even their breaths were in sync with the night breeze.
On the ships by the river, the people who were keeping guard observed the surface of the river while the others rested in the cabins on the ships.
The night wind blew across the surface of the Flaming River, causing waves to form and roll to the shores. Splashes could be heard as waves crashed into the rocks.
The ships rocked subtly on the river and creaked softly.
Shao Xuan was getting ready to close his eyes and sleep.
He suddenly opened his eyes, rolled down from his bed, and walked out of the cabin.
The people who were keeping guard tonight saw him come out suddenly, so they rushed over and asked, “Grand Elder, did you notice anything?”
“Did you guys notice anything?” Shao Xuan asked.
The people who were keeping guard looked at each other and thought, and then one of them said, “We just feel like something’s not right. We heard a sound from the forest. It might’ve come from the Gu tribe. Maybe a beast fell into one of their traps, and they had a small fight, but I’m guessing that the beast escaped, so we didn’t hear anything after that. As for the river…. Something is also strange, but we’re not sure exactly what.”
The people Shao Xuan brought out this time were all experienced hunters. They had keen senses, and even if they weren’t too accurate, they could be sure of what was going on generally.
“What’s wrong?” Tuo walked out from the cabin and looked around. “The river seems peaceful.”
Just now, the guard said that something was strange about the river, but Tuo said that it was peaceful. These two statements did not contradict. It was strange because it was so quiet.
Before, even if it were nighttime, fish would swim on the surface from time to time, and they could hear the tails of fish moving across the water. Some of the fish would even jump up and then drop down with a splash, and other fish that preyed on insects would also hide in the shallow areas and wait for the perfect moment to attack.
However, they did not hear any fish preying on insects by the shore, nor did they hear any fish swimming or jumping up. Besides the sound of the waves caused by the night wind, nothing else could be heard.
Something else remained hidden under the peaceful surface.
Shao Xuan scanned the river’s surface and looked at a specific location upstream. “You guys stay here. I’ll go take a look over there.”
As he said this, Shao Xuan jumped down from the ship and tiptoed after the sounds upstream in the forest.
“I’ll go too.” Tuo followed behind Shao Xuan, and sensing no objection from Shao Xuan, he continued to follow. It was too dangerous for Shao Xuan to go alone. If he followed, perhaps he could be of some help.
If it were completely dark, Tuo’s movements would be very limited, but the moon was becoming brighter, so Tuo’s eyesight was not as limited as time passed. This was also why Shao Xuan allowed him to follow.
There was still a distance from the Gu tribe’s living headquarters, so the energy of their fire seed was not that strong here.
Shao Xuan was passing through the forest beside the shore. He ran and stopped. As the wind blew across the forest and caused the leaves and trees to rattle, Shao Xuan slowly approached a specific area upstream. Seeing Shao Xuan suddenly stop, Tuo also stopped and asked Shao Xuan with his hand gestures, ‘Is there a problem?’
Shao Xuan gestured at him to calm down. ‘Wait for a while.’
Tuo controlled his breath and focused his full attention. He listened to everything around him closely. Suddenly, he felt an itch on his head as if the night wind was reaching freezing point. The sudden cold rushed up to his spine and continued to move upwards, causing him to shiver uncontrollably. The blood in his body screamed: Danger!
Not far away, they could hear movements in the water, as if something was coming out from the river!
However, when Tuo was thinking about how he should respond, the feeling suddenly disappeared.
The danger that made him break out in a cold sweat gradually diminished. Tuo carefully breathed once again.
When his sense of danger completely disappeared, he heard rustling sounds coming from the shore, like something was walking across the grassy fields.
Tuo wiped away his cold sweat and looked at Shao Xuan.Should we make a move?
He didn’t feel a strong sense of danger, so the sound he heard just now was probably made by some other nocturnal beast. Tuo did not need to worry about that.
But Shao Xuan waved his hand and gestured for Tuo to wait.
The rustling sounds moved farther away, and once again, the shore was peaceful.
Shao Xuan walked closer to the shore, and finding a suitable place, he hid on a tree and let the branches cover his figure. Breaking off some hollow branches, he looked through them at the location where he just heard something move in the water.