There were three entrances to the Flaming River Point. With the current hot weather, it was not a good time for travelling. Even the major trading areas in the central plains were experiencing the lowest traffic this time of the year, excluding the coldest winter months. Most trading parties avoided the coldest winters and hottest winters. The weather had been warming up before the full moon and temperatures were still rising. However, the Flaming River Point was currently bustling with far-travelling trading parties here to purchase beast hides because it was the cheapest during this time. And they were from fearsome beasts.
The Flaming Horns increased the number of patrol guards and guards at the entrances. There were many people in the area and there were some who wanted to take advantage of this. However, the strengthening of the area’s defences made them give up their plans. A few days ago, there were people making forced trades in the trading area and were found out by the patrol team and kicked out. At least these people were smart enough not to pull out their knives. Pointing your knife within Flaming Horn turf was just a death wish.
In front of such immense power, any disgruntlement towards the rules was silenced. At least most of the travellers quite liked this place. After a few displays of rule enforcement, everyone felt safer there.
Flaming Horn had not provided an explanation for everyone’s misunderstanding either.
At the largest entrance of the trading area, Kun Tu was the guard on duty today. After returning from the trip down the Flaming River with Shao Xuan, he rose through the guard’s ranks. Anyone who was brought out by the Grand Elder would always be admired.
Kun Tu occasionally talked to his team about the expedition during their rest times, though he knew what not to say. If he said too much this time, he would never be able to follow anyone anywhere next time.
No matter how much fun they had during their breaks, they must pay full attention while on duty. Kun Tu was initially thinking about Caesar’s three-eye situation. Today, Caesar had followed Shao Xuan to the trading area but he did not see Caesar’s third eye. But this was not the time to think about that. He suppressed his curiosity and remained on guard.
A whistle came from deep in the forest. Kun Tu and the rest of the guards’ expressions changed as they heightened their alertness and looked in the direction of the whistle.
With the strengthening of the patrol team, the Flaming Horns had also increased their patrolling area. Anyone who wanted to rob traders outside the area had had no choice but to retreat further.
The whistle was a warning to the guards to heighten defences as someone dangerous was coming. If they had met ordinary thieves, they would not blow their whistles.
“What’s the matter?” Xiang Chen, who was guarding on the other side of the trading area, rushed over after hearing the whistle.
“Someone potentially dangerous.”
Kun Tu fixed his gaze on the path through the forest. There were no obstacles there so everyone on the path would be visible to them.
Soon, they heard the sounds of human activity.
Kun Tu and the rest speculated that the warning call must be about a gigantic trading party with many people. They did not expect only two strangers to walk down the path, along with the guards on patrol.
When they saw these two strangers, everyone including Xiang Chen and Kun Tu’s eye twitched. After coming into contact with all kinds of people, they could differentiate between people who had merged with their fire seed and those who hadn’t. At this point, other than the Rain and Drumming tribe, they did not know of anyone else who had merged with their fire seeds.
But these two strangers had merged with the fire seed! Especially one of them who looked quite dangerous. It was no wonder the patrol team blew the whistle. This person was more than three metres tall, muscular and fierce-looking. He radiated an aura more aggressive than a fearsome beast. Anyone who saw him would be vigilant.
Xiang Chen watched the two strangers brought over by the patrol team suspiciously. Other people might not know this but he had just attended a meeting with Zheng Luo a few days ago and knew something the rest did not.
Zheng Luo had told them that there were already people crossing over to the mainland here from the other side of the ocean. Were these two from the other side of the ocean?
Why would they come to Flaming Horn?
No matter what, before they knew these people well, they must remain vigilant. The people from the other side were cunning. And if they could survive their journey here, they must be powerful.
Xiang Chen’s gaze fell on the other person clad in fabric clothing who did not look threatening at all. Although this person’s clothes were tattered in places, he did not look dishevelled. He had a gentle smile on his face. This made Xiang Chen even more vigilant. That musclehead must be protecting this man. Xiang Chen was all too familiar with this dynamic, he had seen this in the cities on the other side of the ocean. A slave and a slave master!
The word slave master was enough to make the hair on his arms stand up. He was about to enter battle mode in the next second.
The patrol team’s expressions were cautious yet slightly puzzled. When the guard saw Xiang Chen, he explained, “They’re looking for Grand Elder.” After a pause, he lowered his voice, “His name is Yi Si.”
“As in the Yi family? One of the great six?!” Xiang Chen’s brows furrowed tightly as he looked at the man with the friendly smile.
Yi Si did not reply, merely stood in front.
Xiang Chen stared at him for a few seconds, then his gaze swept past the person next to Yi Si. “Coincidentally, Grand Elder is here today. Follow me.”
He led Yi Si and the musclehead into the town towards Flaming River Castle.
After they were far away, the guards at the entrance asked the patrol team, “What happened?”
“Let’s not talk about it. We heard many screams during patrol, then went over to see that musclehead...” The guard gesticulated with both arms, “...ripping a human in two with his bare hands. Those were probably thieves, don’t think they expected to encounter such a tough one today.”
Within the Flaming River Castle, Shao Xuan was reading the animal skin scrolls that had been delivered today. That was when he received a message that two peculiar visitors were here and they specifically wanted to meet him.
Shao Xuan had been wondering who these people could be. When he saw Yi Si, he was very shocked. “It’s you?!”
He could understand if the Yi family sent other people but wasn’t this guy in charge of the accounts at their small crop field?
When Yi Si saw Shao Xuan, he said, “Long time no see.”
Then, his next sentence was: “You got any food?”
Shao Xuan sent someone to bring food over.
“Bring more. Grasshopper has been starving for a long time. He might eat quite a lot,” added Yi Si.
How shameless can a guy be?
Zheng Luo sat on the side, observing them both. The musclehead was just a slave. Although he was strong, he was still a slave. He wondered why a Yi family member would come so far. Their tribe was not close with the Yi family, nor did they have a particularly good relationship either. The Yi family had been one of the forces contributing to the mob chasing down the Flaming Horns.
Shao Xuan looked at the musclehead standing quietly. After Yi Si spoke, his eyes brightened and gulped. He must be starving. This was obviously the ‘Grasshopper’ that Yi Si referred to.
“You’ve got a great slave.” He must be very strong to be able to send his master here in one piece, alive.
Yi Si sighed. Sensing the cautious stares from Zheng Luo and Xiang Chen, he did not beat around the bush. “We’re here to seek refuge.”
Zheng Luo and Xiang Chen did not believe this at all. This was the Yi family of the Great Six, one of the aristocratic families. Why would they come so far to seek refuge from the Flaming Horns?
Do you think I’m stupid?
After his initial shock, Shao Xuan asked, “Has there been changes in the powers over there?”
“The crop field under my name has been confiscated and I have no divination powers. I can’t live there anymore, all I can do is find another way out.”
So your ‘other way out’ was to come all the way here?
Zheng Luo and Xiang Chen still refused to believe him. The slave masters were too cunning, especially the ones from the Yi family.
At this moment, someone brought over roasted beast meat.
Grasshopper’s eyes shone as he drooled. He did not eat immediately, instead turning to Yi Si.
“You may eat,” said Yi Si.
Grasshopper grinned excitedly, grabbed a beast thigh and started gnawing it.
This grin was more terrifying than a Drumming tribesman’s grin- this was what everyone thought in unison. This grin bared four sharp canines, exactly like how a predator grinned before tearing their prey to pieces.
However, this person did not have any killing intent this moment, even quite gentle and happy. If one could not see Grasshopper and merely felt his aura, they would categorise him as harmless. More sensitive Flaming Horns could sense this.
“Grasshopper has fearsome beast blood in him,” said Yi Si as he slowly ate a small piece of meat. “The stories tell that Grasshopper’s ancestors were from some tribe. After they merged with the fire seed, the tribe eventually dispersed. I don’t know what tribe specifically since that was a long time ago but I know that most of the people from that tribe had fearsome beast blood in them. They are physically very strong and have shocking regenerative abilities Too bad they’re not smart.”
They were basically natural fighting machines, yet they were not intelligent. This was Yi Si’s commentary of Grasshopper and his kind.
“If you leave them alone in a forest, they’ll die very soon because they cannot tell direction and fall into traps easily. Even physical strength cannot cover for the lack of intelligence. However, they’re great as slaves,” said Yi Si.
Their aura was more similar to a wild fearsome beast than a cunning human.
So Grasshopper was basically a half-beast? No wonder he seemed like a fearsome beast they encountered in the forest.
His ancestors must have had quite strong tastes...