After Shao Xuan rested beside the king stoneworm’s nest for about an hour, he hunted a fearsome beast and shared the food with Cha Cha.
Most of the other fearsome beasts had departed because the king worm returned. For now, most of them wouldn’t stay close to the area, so Shao Xuan wouldn’t encounter any problems here.
Not long after the king worm returned to his cave, the worst had passed. Everything returned to its initial peaceful state. No one saw the king worm leave its cave again.
Shao Xuan could feel the king worm’s presence under the mountain. He could also tell that it was feeling quite well. Its emotions were still the same as before, free from unpredictable fluctuations, but Shao Xuan could guess that he was quite excited to be back.
Was he really lost?
A fool with no sense of direction. It couldn’t even tell the direction and didn’t know how to return to its cave, so it could only follow its gut feeling. Who would’ve thought that he would run so far away! How foolish! Even though this worm was so stupid, its mere strength was enough to scare away countless humans and beasts. If Shao Xuan didn’t lead it back to its cave, it would’ve caused quite a big trouble in the area. It didn’t care which area would suffer from its petrification. It only stayed wherever it felt like staying. With its IQ, it wouldn’t consider too many factors and it didn’t have many complicated thoughts.
It was purely because of this that people could not predict what this worm would do if it decided to act recklessly.
But the good thing was, everything was over.
The leader bat that was staying at the Flaming Horn headquarters probably also returned to his cave.
Shao Xuan suddenly felt a burning curiosity as he recalled the newly built bridge across the Flaming River.
A bridge! One that was over hundreds of metres long!
He wondered if the bridge met the standards of his expectations.
As he thought about this, he couldn’t wait any longer. His body recovered after he finished eating the fearsome beast meat. Watching the colourful clouds appear in the sky, Shao Xuan stood up and put out the pile of fire. He cleaned up his traces and prepared to return.
On his way back, he met Duo Kang and the others who followed him over.
After the bridge was built, Duo Kang brought a group of people and followed Shao Xuan’s tracks. They thought Shao Xuan needed help, so they went to help, but Shao Xuan was already finished with the business.
“The king stoneworm already returned?” Duo Kang asked.
“He returned to his cave. He probably won’t come out anymore unless there is another disaster,” Shao Xuan said.
“Good to hear! Good to hear!” Duo Kang expressed his feelings of approval. They didn’t want to face any king beasts. The king stoneworm seemed even stronger than the salt beast they had encountered before. It was so powerful that it could even turn water into stone. They wouldn’t even stand a chance if they had to battle it.
Everyone finally felt at ease when they found out that the king beast was no longer a threat to their tribe in the meantime.
Duo Kang told Shao Xuan about how they crossed the bridge.
“It actually works! We all walked across that, erm… bridge, yes. We walked across that bridge. It didn’t sink downward at all and was as sturdy as land!” Duo Kang spoke enthusiastically. The bridges he knew were all made from giant pieces of wood. Back when they were on the other side of the sea, there was also a bridge made from a giant tree trunk on the human-made river in the outer region of their tribe.
But now, seeing this bridge, he finally understood that a “bridge” could mean something even bigger!
So, a bridge could actually look like this!
It turns out a bridge could actually be built across such a long distance!
This was a breakthrough in their thinking. Back in the days of the disaster, when the tribes came over here on wooden rafts, Shao Xuan had also mentioned about building a bridge, but not everyone agreed to his idea. They thought that it was unnecessary and impossible, but now it actually became a reality. They just didn’t use any manpower to build it. Instead, they leveraged the strength of the king stoneworm.
Duo Kang couldn’t help feeling proud of their achievement. This bridge belonged to the Flaming Horn tribe!
Duo Kang thought the same way as the other foreign tribe members. The bridge belonged to the Flaming Horn tribe because Shao Xuan was the reason behind the formation of this bridge. So if anyone dared to take over their property, they would fight to protect it.
Does the central region have such a long bridge? Do the proud slave masters on the other side of the sea have such a long bridge?
No! None of them!
Only the Flaming Horns!
Up till now, this was the longest bridge that existed!
“Did you see those people’s reactions? Their eyes were so wide and they’re still surrounding the bridge. They don’t even want to leave. All of them want to walk across it,” Duo Kang spoke a smile that reached his ears.
Shao Xuan was also happy when he heard this. Indeed, many people would think of building ships when they saw a river. Rarely would they ever think of building a bridge across the river, not to mention how wide the Flaming River was?
But this time they succeeded!
However, they shouldn’t be excited so soon. They were still unsure how sturdy this bridge was and whether it could still stand strong against the strong currents of the Flaming River. They still needed time to make sure.
After Shao Xuan returned to the tribe, he also brought back news of the king stoneworm returning to his cave. This also marked the end of this crisis.
Everyone was excited at the Flaming River Trading Point. The people who were guarding the trading point were waiting for people to take over for the next shift. They couldn’t wait to see the “bridge” that the king beast created.
“Miracle! What a miracle!” Yi Si exclaimed as he observed the miraculous stone bridge in front of him.
Grasshopper was still feeling tense. The sharp spikes on his back were all still erect. Even though the king beast had left, some of the beast’s energy was still left on the bridge, so even if it didn’t affect most of the other people, it affected Grasshopper severely because fearsome beast blood flowed through his veins. Even the slightest bit of the king beast’s energy would make him nervous.
More and more people crowded around the stone bridge. They only stopped coming over to satisfy their curiosity after Gui He sent soldiers here to surround the area.
However, even if they couldn’t walk across the bridge, the people who were watching gained a general understanding of the bridge just by watching the Flaming Horns walk on it.
There were still many unsafe factors in the Flaming River. The expedition teams from other tribes had felt it themselves. There were still countless fierce beasts and violent fishes in the river, and that was why the Flaming Horns still crossed the river on their ships.
The Flaming Horns already put away the wooden rafts they used to return here. After the disaster, a lot more fearsome beasts and fishes became active in the area, so they could no longer travel by their rafts. They would be at a disadvantage if they fought standing on a raft against river beasts. Now, with a long and wide bridge like this, most of these problems were solved.
Very soon, the bridge was named the Giant Bridge of the Flaming River, and stone plates bearing its name were erected on both ends of the bridge. The Flaming Horn totem sign and the four characters bearing the bridge’s name were carved into the stone plates and were painted in red. They appeared extremely striking in contrast to the colour of the grey stone plate.
There were many people from foreign tribes who were observing the Flaming Horns as they put up the signs around the bridge. Even though these people were forced to stay away from the bridge, it didn’t at all stop them from being curious.
“The Giant Bridge of the Flaming River?” someone read out the words on the stone plate. “Giant bridge? Well, this name suits the bridge quite well. It is really big.”
This was a bridge that extended across the Flaming River, and it could even withstand the weight of a king beast as it moved across. It remained unmoved even as the Flaming Horns carried their giant stone plates across. If this was not giant, what was?
But someone else also thought, ‘Is giant merely referring to its size? Could it just be a name?’
“Don’t tell me there’s going to be a second bridge, a third bridge?” someone asked in a whisper.
No one gave him a direct answer, but many people thought about it too. The king beast was still here, so who could be so sure?
Shao Xuan also came by to look at the bridge. He also asked some people from the Drumming tribe to come help and check the situation underwater. The Drumming tribespeople could use their intuition to feel the situation underwater, so with their help, they could find out more about the situation underneath.
The part of the bridge that was underwater was triangular-shaped, and the longest part reached down over twenty metres.
This bridge had no piers and extended across from one shore to the other. If it didn’t connect to land on both sides of the river, it would literally be floating!
Was a bridge like this sturdy enough?
They could only wait and see.
After he checked the stone bridge, Shao Xuan also recalled parts of a smaller stream that the stone worm king worm petrified when it crossed it. Even though the river was not flowing fast in that area, it stopped flowing where it was turned into stone. Another part was also split when Shao Xuan led the stone worm back from the other side of the river, so there were two bridges here in the small stream stopping it from flowing.
Not many dangerous fishes lived in the small river. At most, there were some piranhas living near the parts around the Flaming River region, but because of the two bridges made by the king worm, there wouldn’t be many fishes living near that area in the meantime.
Shao Xuan instructed some people to pull a net across the river around the two bridges, so no fish swam here from downstream.
After they set up the nets, some Flaming Horn and Drumming warriors went underwater to drill holes in the bridges.
They were reluctant when it came to the giant bridge, but they were fine with drilling holes in the two smaller bridges.
A hammer on the stone bridge merely left a small dent on its surface.
“It’s so hard!”
“Really? Let me try!”
“Damn, this is probably better than upper-grade stones! Wasn’t this bridge made from water? How can it be so hard?”
“You don’t understand the strength of a king beast. Quick, let’s dig a giant hole here, and use the stone to make weapons!”
“Yes! Let’s finish this quickly!”
The people who were digging dug even faster because they were curious about the stone’s quality. The chisels they used were made from the new green bronze, so it wasn’t that hard to chisel.
If they merely wanted to let the river flow smoothly, they didn’t need to dig holes under it. They could just dig another waterway around the bridges. The reason they drilled holes under the bridge was that they wanted to study the quality of the stones.
It took some time to drill holes in the bridge. Some people even exclaimed when they dug out a stone the size of a watermelon, “Wow, this is so light!”
The expedition teams from other tribes who were observing them thought to themselves, ‘You think we can believe this?!’
One of the Flaming Horn’s lies: The stones are very light.
Shao Xuan didn’t stay there the whole time to watch them drill holes in the bridge. Duo Kang was there, so he didn’t need to be there. Shao Xuan was called away by Ao to keep watch that night over the thousand-grain gold.
Since the stone worm king worm had already left, they probably wouldn’t see the bat leader anymore, right?
However, as the night descended upon them, the bat still returned.
Shao Xuan was silent as he stared at the bat leader that had appeared once again.
Why are you still here?!
Your brothers are waiting for you on the mountain!