The pill made from the roots of the Veins of the sky was only as small as a segment of the little finger. Although the Veins of the Sky was the active ingredient in this pill, it only took up ten percent in the pill. The other ninety percent of the ingredients were all supplementary, acting as a buffer and reducing the side effects caused by the strong medicine. Some of these ingredients could also prevent people with poor physique from rejecting the strong medicine, while others served to extend the shelf life of the Veins of the Sky.
As for the bottle, it wasn’t bronze, pottery, or stone. Instead, it was jade. Gui Ze said that jade was the best for preserving its shelf life.
Although the Jing shaman had never seen jade before, he could tell that it was very valuable. He couldn’t give any reasons. He could tell just by looking at it.
Shao Xuan took the pill out of the bottle. “Let’s give him half of it first and see what happens.”
Miu couldn’t swallow the medicine, so they ground up half of the pill and dissolved it in water. Then they fed him slowly in small sips.
The Jing shaman and his wife were careful during the entire process. After all, Miu’s injuries were very serious. Besides water, he basically vomited anything else, so the Jing shaman and his wife could only try feeding him a little at a time. The small wooden spoon they used to feed him was even smaller than Shao Xuan’s pinky fingernail.
After a few spoons, the Jing shaman noticed that Miu didn’t spit out the medicine but swallowed it. He was elated. It’s a good sign!
After the Jing shaman finished feeding him the medicine, he took Shao Xuan out on a walk and showed him around his tribe while he told him how the True Eye was obtained.
“Normal Ground Eye stones and Universal Eyes can be found in the external quagmire, but the True Eye can only be found here!” the Jing shaman pointed under his feet.
“You’ve probably guessed,” the Jing shaman spoke more than before because he was feeling better. “The better the Eye, the closer it is to our fire pond.”
Although the Jing fire pond is in the centre point of the centre quagmire, Shao Xuan could see a speck of muddy yellow light from inside the house. It wasn’t bright, but it clearly visible. Even though the fire seed was just a speck of light, it could be sensed immediately.
In fact, the Jing fire seed wasn’t strong. It was unique merely because it could attract Ground Eyes. The Ground Eyes lived underground and no one knew how deep down they lived. Rarely did anyone manage to dig them out from the ground. Even the Ya tribe who lived underground all year long never managed to dig out any Ground Eyes.
But strangely, these strange creatures naturally existed under the Jing tribe. The quagmires were actually plotted there to let the Ground Eyes swim in them. Sometimes if they were seen swimming, the Jing people would catch them and eat their meat. The Ground Eye stones inside of them would then be extracted and preserved.
So it could be said that the Jing people often hunted, but they just didn’t hunt any fearsome beasts. Instead they hunted those Ground Eyes in the quagmire.
“So you actually hunt inside the quagmire.” Shao Xuan recalled seeing some Jing children kneeling beside the quagmire with a wooden stick. They seemed to be stirring the muddy water. Back then, he thought they were trying to look for earthworms, but now he learned that they were actually practicing hunting Ground Eyes.
That day, the Jing tribe served them bowls of Ground Eye soup.
Ground Eyes are spindle-shaped creatures with rings of hard shells. They usually moved underground by spinning. That was why there were obvious spiral patterns on their shells.
After their hard shells were broken, the meat inside the shell could be cooked after the Ground Eye stones were extracted and preserved. Ground Eye meat was a delicacy in the Jing tribe. If they weren’t any important guests, the Jing tribe would never bring these out.
By welcoming them with a feast of Ground Eye meat, the Jing shaman wanted to give them the warmest welcome and serve them with the grandest hospitality.
The Jing tribe mainly hunted for Ground Eyes in the external quagmire. They would scoop it up from the muddy waters. Although this process looked simple, it was rare for them to find any Ground Eyes. Out of ten tries throwing out the nets into the water, they could only find one Ground Eye. Those with good eyes probably had a higher success rate, but those with bad eyesight wouldn’t have any chances.
The water was so muddy that people couldn’t see what was underneath. Perhaps only people with enough experience could accurately aim the nets. The Jing shaman only brought Shao Xuan to the centre quagmire because the True Eye could only be found here.
To judge whether there were any True Eyes here, the Jing shaman only needed to “look”. He opened up the third eye between his eyebrows. This eye had a brown iris and wasn’t much different from his other two eyes, only its colour was slightly darker. The only thing different was that this eye was vertically oriented and at a ninety degree angle from his other eyes. When he blinked this third eye, it opened and closed from the sides.
That was a special eye that had the ability to unusually see through things. If you stand directly facing this eye, you would feel how it could see through things that normal eyes couldn’t see.
The Jing shaman opened that eye and looked around the centre quagmire. Then he shook his head disappointedly. “I don’t see any Ground Eyes with the true eye. I’ll come back to look again tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ll definitely find one for you!”
Afraid that Shao Xuan might stop providing him with more medicine, the Jing shaman tried his best to show how optimistic he was about searching for the true eye, but sometimes, there were things that the shaman had to say even if he hesitated at the beginning.
“I promise to help you search for the True Eye. If I can’t find it in one year, I’ll use two. If I can’t find it in two years, I’ll use ten, but I can’t guarantee that it can be successfully used on a fearsome beast. Even if the Jing people tried to help, the chances are very slim.” He was afraid that Shao Xuan was just using the fearsome beast as an excuse, so the Jing shaman emphasized once more, “I only know that it is impossible to use it on any humans from foreign tribes.”
“I know. I won’t use it on humans. I just want to give my fearsome beast a try. I don’t know if it will work, but I have to give it a try.”
The Jing shaman nodded and didn’t say any more. He already reminded Shao Xuan what he needed to know. It was up to him to choose if he wanted to listen. His only responsibility was to search for the True Eye.
After walking around the tribe, the Jing shaman suggested to Shao Xuan. “Searching for the True Eye is not something that can be done in a day or two. Elder Shao Xuan, if I find a True Eye, I’ll bring it over to the Flaming Horn tribe. Or would you like to stay a few more days? As you already know, the day of the full moon is in three days. That’s most likely when the true eyes will appear.”
“That’s good too.”
Hearing Shao Xuan’s answer, joy flashed across the Jing shaman’s face. The only reason he said this was he wanted Shao Xuan to stay here for a little longer, at least after his son recovered from his injury. As for when he can find the true eye, he wasn’t sure of it himself. He only said what was likely to happen. If they were out of luck, they could only wait, but if Shao Xuan wanted to leave then, the Jing shaman wouldn’t plead for him to stay.
Because Shao Xuan decided to stay here for a few more days, the Flaming Horn group started to hunt. There were many fierce beasts here that the Jing people didn’t dare provoke, so the Flaming Horns wanted to go solve these problems. The Jing people were also happy that they decided to do so. They didn’t feel at all like their prey had been stolen.
Most of these beasts they hunted were wild beasts. Although they were not satisfactory prey for the Flaming Horn tribe, they attracted the Jing people’s attention. Duo Li and others traded their hunted prey for some normal Ground Eye stones and Ground Eye meat from the Jing tribe. However, although the Jing people had universal eyes, they didn’t have a lot of it, so they had to ask the shaman before they could trade. If the Jing shaman forbade them to trade the Universal Eyes, they would not take it out to trade.
However, after the Jing shaman was informed, he waved his hand after thinking for a while. It’s approved!
Thus, some of them still preserved some universal eyes from their previous hunts, and those who were willing to trade went to confer with the Flaming Horns. Not only could they exchange for fearsome beast meat, they could also trade for goods such as beast hide and tools made from beast bones, horns, and fangs.
Initially, Duo Li and the others thought that the Jing people would enthusiastically come trade with them, but that was not the case. Only a handful of people were willing to trade their universal eyes.
Out of all the normal Ground Eye stones taken out to trade, there were rarely any of high quality. Duo Li and the others didn’t want any low quality stones. Thus, even after the Jing shaman agreed to trade, Duo Li and the others still didn’t gain much profits.
“I don’t understand! What’s the point in hiding these stones? Why keep it to themselves?” Duo Li looked at the two universal eyes in his hand. He was still confused. These were the only stones he received from two days of trading. Only two!
The wooden case on the side only had more than a hundred normal Ground Eye stones. These could already be considered high quality among the normal stones, but compared to the goods that were still in the Jing people’s hands, they weren’t even a twentieth of their stones!
“They can’t use their Universal Eyes since they don’t go on expedition trips, yet they’re not even willing to trade some of the slightly better stones. What’s the point in keeping it? It can’t even be eaten.” Tuo and the others were perplexed. They couldn’t understand what the Jing people were thinking.
Shao Xuan found the answer to this when he talked to the Jing shaman.
To the Jing people, Ground Eye stones were their wealth, food for their spirit. The more precious Ground Eye stones they had, the more satisfied they were. In the Jing tribe’s history, some people were even willing to starve to death with a case of Ground Eye stones in their arms than trade it for food with other tribes.
The Flaming Horn people would never act this way. They could not understand the Jing tribe’s values. They were just too different.
“No wonder we’ve never seen Ground Eye stones anywhere else,” Shao Xuan sighed.
Perhaps there were other tribes who once possessed Ground Eye stones, but since the Jing tribe migrated here a thousand years ago and never really traded or established any connections with any other tribes, the Ground Eye stones had all passed their expiration date and started to die. Gradually, Ground Eye stones stopped appearing in the outside world.
“But if you like it, Elder Shao Xuan, I can give you another case, but that would be my personal collection,” the Jing shaman said through a smile.
Seeing his son’s condition improve, the Jing shaman was a lot happier and behaved more comfortably. His smile was slowly growing wider.
That day, Shao Xuan gave the last bit of his medicine to the Jing shaman.
Now, Miu could already consume liquid diets. He looked a lot better, unlike the other day. That day, he looked like he was dying, and his eyes had also lost their luster, but now, his eyes were energetic and there was a clear focal length when he looked at people.
“How are you feeling?” the Jing shaman asked nervously,
“I can see things now.” Miu’s voice was not loud, but it was better than the other day when he could barely move his mouth.
“Really? That’s amazing!” The Jing shaman was elated. He thought to himself for a while and then introduced Shao Xuan to Miu. “This is the Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe. He was the one who provided the medicine that cured you.”
Hearing this, Miu looked at Shao Xuan. Actually, Miu was aware every time the Jing shaman brought Shao Xuan over, but because of the blindness caused by his long term illness, this was the first time he saw how Shao Xuan looked.
However, just when he was about to thank Shao Xuan, he saw the look in Shao Xuan’s eyes and the smile of his face suddenly tightened.
After a few blinks, Miu looked again at Shao Xuan. He tried his best to pull a tense smile, and said through stutters, “Thank You Elder Shao Xuan!”
Then Miu said again, “I just regained my ability to see. It still strains me to look at things and it’s not too clear either.”
This was the explanation he gave for his tightened expression.
Shao Xuan looked again at Miu, but Miu didn’t dare look at him.
Shao Xuan looked at the Jing shaman. The shaman only looked at him with an apologetic smile, and then turned to his wife, “Show Elder Shao Xuan to the “thank you” gift I prepared for him.” The gift was the case of Ground Eye stones that he mentioned before.
As Shao Xuan followed the woman out of the room, he turned around to look at the Jing shaman and his son once more before he left.
After Shao Xuan left, the Jing shaman shut the wooden door and walked to his son’s bedside.
Miu’s hands were tense with anxiety under the linen blanket. He only relaxed after Shao Xuan left. His hands were all sweaty.
“Dad, behind…...behind him……”
“Shhhh, just keep it to yourself. Don’t say it.”
After Shao Xuan followed the Jing shaman’s wife out to take out a box of Ground Eye stones, he didn’t stay there. Instead, he went to find the other Flaming Horns.
Duo Li and the others were watching how the Jing people were teaching their kids how to scoop Ground Eyes. Seeing Shao Xuan walking over, they wanted to tell him about what they saw, but before they even spoke, Shao Xuan asked, “Is there something strange on my body?”
“No,” Duo Li thought it was an odd question. He didn’t know why Shao Xuan suddenly asked him this.
“What about behind me?” Shao Xuan turned around and turned his head to look at Duo Li and the others. Seeing all of them shake their heads, it didn’t seem like they saw anything strange.
That’s weird then.
What did the Jing shaman and his son see?
Shao Xuan was sure that from the way Miu looked at him, he could see something. He wasn’t looking at him, but at what was behind him. His vision was not affixed on Shao Xuan, but around him.
His eyesight recovered? He couldn’t even see clearly yet. Who’s he trying to trick?!