This time Shao Xuan and Duo Kang brought along two hundred people. They couldn’t bring along any more.
There was also a Drumming tribe member in their group, Qing Yi. Back then, he was just a totemic warrior of middle ranking, but now he was already an advanced totemic warrior. Qing Yi had been leading teams out to trade, and he was very experienced compared to everyone else in the Drumming tribe. Plus, Qing Yi’s eyes were brown in colour. In the Drumming tribe, people with brown eyes were comparatively calmer and wouldn’t get irritated or act reckless so easily.
This time, Qing Yi was the one who took the initiative to ask Shao Xuan if he could follow. He had led many teams to the Pu tribe to trade, but those couldn’t be considered expedition trips. That distance was a joke if compared to the distance required to travel to the other tribes. That was why Qing Yi requested to follow along on this trip with the Flaming Horns. He wanted to gain some experience.
If nothing unexpected happens, Qing Yi would become the next chief of the Drumming tribe. When Fan Mu steps down, Qing Yi would take on his position as chief. A to-be-chief had to gain enough experience to lead the tribe. The Drumming tribe rarely travelled to other places, and they only learned more after going to the Flaming River Trading Point. However, these were often just based on rumours. That was why Qing Yi wanted to take this opportunity to go take a look for himself and see what an expedition trip was really like.
Who would’ve thought, the Flaming Horn’s expedition trip was travelling a lot farther compared to other tribes’ expedition trips. Regardless, Qing Yi did not give up. Instead, he became more expectant. The Flaming Horn tribe had a type of stone known as the Water Sun Stone which they obtained from the other side of the sea. Qing Yi also wanted to see what other things were there if he had a chance.
Shao Xuan did not reject him because he knew that Qing Yi could control his temper and wouldn’t act recklessly. He wouldn’t spill on anything that should be kept secret.
When Shao Xuan’s group arrived at the Longboat tribe, a long segment of the river had been sealed. Expedition teams rarely travelled in that direction anyways. Shao Xuan didn’t see any ships there either.
When Mu Fa, the chief of the Longboat tribe, received news of the Flaming Horns arriving, he quickly walked out from his tribe.
“You guys finally arrived!” He received the Flaming Horn’s letter very early, and had already made the necessary preparations. He even sealed away the upstream segment to protect their ships.
They had promised the Flaming Horns before they merged their fire seed. Since the Flaming Horns wanted to go out by sea this time, the Longboat tribe were also happy to help.
They had been waiting for this day for a very long time.
All the preparations were done and they had already waited several days. Now, the Flaming Horn’s ships were finally here.
“You guys are too slow!” Mu Fa complained. “When are we departing? We can leave anytime!”
Shao Xuan looked at the river. Back then when he came to the Longboat tribe, there were still many ships on dock. Now, most of the ships had disappeared. Only fifteen remained.
Ten large ships and five smaller ships. Of course, the five smaller ships were the same size as the two ships the Longboat tribe gifted the Flaming Horns. They were probably made around the same time.
Shao Xuan already had doubts back then when the Longboat tribe gifted them these ships. He felt that the Longboat tribe probably had greater ambition. They were probably planning something even bigger that no one knew about. Now, he finally saw it.
These ten ships were at least twice as big as the ones they were on. Judging by the looks, they were built quite recently and had never been used.
After the Longboat tribe merged their fireseed, their ambition seemed to have grown too, like the flame within them.
If the Flaming Horn tribe didn’t mention going out to sea, the Longboat tribe probably wouldn’t have revealed these ten ships this early.
“What, are you shocked?” Mu Fa saw a row of Flaming Horn warriors look at the ships with impressed and shocked looks. He was overjoyed. “How many ships did you think we were planning to use?”
“What? You think we would bring small ships? You kidding? You sure we’re going on an expedition trip, not to adventure? You think we would only prepare ten ships? What? Are you looking down on the Longboat tribe? When have we ever traveled with just ten ships?!”
As Mu Fa chatted with Duo Kang and the others, Shao Xuan boarded the ship to take a look around. The inner structures of these ships were similar to the ones the Longboat tribe gifted them. All of these ships used watertight compartments and their mast and sails were also improved. These could endure the impact of the stronger winds and waves at sea.
No one would’ve thought a tribe that was so far inland had been planning to set out to sea.
They were all excited to set out into the sea, so this time, their chief, Mu Fa, was personally leading the team.
Without the ancient fire seed, they could leave their tribe for a longer time. They didn’t need to worry if their strength was weakened. This time, there were around three hundred Longboat tribespeople who were following on this trip. On an average, each ship only needed around twenty people. With a mere twenty, they could already control the ship well.
Were they using manpower to row the ships? If they needed more people, weren’t the Flaming Horns here too?
The cabins on the ships were already stocked with supplies enough to keep them alive on sea for a very long time. The Longboat tribe didn’t have as much fearsome beast meat jerky, but they had other alternatives like some special grains that they never traded with outsiders. They had kept these grains to themselves all this time and only brought some out on expedition trips. This time, because they didn’t have enough time to prepare, they also bought some other food with longer shelf lives from other tribes.
The Longboat tribe’s members couldn’t wait any longer, and the Flaming Horns also didn’t want to delay. So, after the Longboat tribe did some final touch-ups that night, their team set off very early the next morning.
The Longboat tribe’s ships travelled in front. They were more familiar with the route so they led the way.
Shao Xuan also noticed a few familiar faces in their team, like Mu You. Usually, the Longboat tribe would spend most of their time on their ships during their expedition trip. They would travel on the stream and go to different places, so they were equipped with all the necessary knowledge. Observing signs in the sky was a skill many crewmen needed to learn. If they could tell the weather early on and prepare for it, they would be able to reduce the losses. Mu You was an elder in the Longboat tribe and was very skilled in telling the weather, but he didn’t dare to look Shao Xuan straight in the eye due to a previous incident. It was back then when they were searching for the green-faced fanged beast in the Fearsome Beast Forest, when he was humiliated by Shao Xuan.
Now, since the two tribes are working together and shared the benefits from their partnership, Mu You wouldn’t lose his composure anymore. It was just slightly awkward, so he tried to avoid any contact with Shao Xuan. Mu You would think about the time he was humiliated whenever he saw Shao Xuan. Back then, he actually miscalculated and made a false interpretation of the weather! What’s worse was that most of the people there chose to believe Shao Xuan and not him! Luckily not many people knew about this.
Shao Xuan asked the Longboat tribe for another ship. Although they didn’t have enough large ships, they still had many smaller ships to offer.
Mu Fa didn’t hesitate to accept his request because he was also rushing to leave. He even dispatched two more used ships over that were still in perfect condition. The Longboat tribe still tried their best to keep their ships in good condition.
Here, ships were rarely seen. A fleet of twenty ships was not a small group, especially the ten ships leading the fleet. They were very eye-catching.
Many people stopped by to look when their ships passed by. They only looked away after the twenty ships were out of their sight. The Longboat tribe were indeed talented in building ships, or else their ships would’ve sunk long ago. There were many secrets related to their design, so even if people tried to make exact copies of their ships and made something that looked exactly the same, the quality wouldn’t be the same.
This time, the Longboat tribe even used green bronze to build these new ships. They bought it from the Flaming Horn tribe at a high price because they could not obtain it themselves and the Flaming Horn tribe wouldn’t easily reveal the secret of the new green bronze. The Flaming Horns also needed their ships anyways, so it was a fair trade.
The people of the Longboat tribe would rather use their own stones than cut down the cost on making the ships. Thus, Shao Xuan could trust the quality of these twenty ships. If there had to be a tribe who could make the most well constructed ships, it had to be the Longboat tribe.
Of course, no outsiders knew about this trade.
The people who were watching from the shores thought that it was only a major movement in the Longboat tribe, but the people who watched closer noticed that it wasn’t the case. There were Flaming Horn members in the group.
Why do they know the Flaming Horns? After the establishment of the trading point and the king beast’s case, the Flaming Horn tribe suddenly became famous. Now, many people were already familiar with the flaming totemic sign of the Flaming Horn tribe.
Following the Longboat tribe’s ships, the entire fleet arrived at the grassy plain. The grassy plain was massive. If it were not for their guidance, Shao Xuan would’ve never found a stream like this. This was a route they had never taken before.
As they moved forward, Shao Xuan made more markings on his map.
The more they advanced, the more doubtful Shao Xuan grew.
On both shores of this river lived some tribespeople who seemed accustomed to seeing the Longboat tribe. They were not at all shocked by their actions. At most they were just impressed by their craftsmanship. They only had rafts and canoes, but the Longboat tribe already had ships that were a lot larger than the biggest tent in their tribe.
Besides having to row harder sometimes against the current, they didn’t meet any major obstructions on the way. The first reason was probably that there were less giant beasts that could threaten them in the river. The second reason was that the tribes that were living here were already familiar with the Longboat tribe and they didn’t want to provoke them.
When they reached the end of the grassy plains, Shao Xuan saw the people of the Hui tribe.
When Shao Xuan departed from his tribe, he let Cha Cha deliver a letter to the Hui tribe. Now, Cha Cha was waiting there with the rest of the Hui tribe. A few members of the Longboat would follow them to prevent any troubles related to giant mountain eagles. With the people of the Hui tribe here, it was much safer. They could avoid being attacked by giant mountain eagles.
The river flowed and curved between the mountains. Shao Xuan asked Mu Fa, “This river flowed from the Longboat tribe to the grassy plains then through the mountains. Had this route been here this whole time?”
Mu Fa hesitated and looked at the river in front of him. It was as if he passed through space and time, “Of course it wasn’t here before. It could pass through these places because we are the ones who dug it!”
How else would the entire journey have been so smooth?
“What do you think we do every year when our fleet sets out?” Mu Fa asked, hinting a deeper meaning.
Many rivers had no connections. They connected solely because the Longboat tribe connected them.
They connected the most suitable streams and figured the best route of travel. The Longboat tribe had everything planned!
Manpower was what made this journey to the sea possible!