During the few days on the ship, Shao Xuan would take a look at the ice in the storage once every few days, as well as those creatures that had been frozen for who knows how long.
The one that Shao Xuan picked the other day was the most complete out of all the frozen creatures. Its bones were the most well preserved compared to the others.
Before they departed from their side of the sea, Shao Xuan had been studying the strange mummified monster the Hui tribe got from the desert. He also figured out some of the secrets behind that monster, but he didn’t have enough time to test it. That was why he wanted to bring these frozen ancient creatures back, to test whether his guess was true.
The main reason the people from Rock Hill City could transform dead people into those weird creatures was their bones! Those monsters were dead, but they could still move around. The only thing that was still supporting them was their bones!
Shao Xuan could see the bones within that piece of ice. The other ones had wild beasts inside, but they were either boneless or their bones weren’t as visible. That piece was the only one that shone in Shao Xuan’s special vision, which meant that either its bones weren’t as damaged as the others, or that its bones were comparatively more active than the others.
The more *active these bones were, the higher Shao Xuan’s success rate.
[TL Note: I think the author is referring to how biologically active (活性）the bones are, but I’m not sure]
He couldn’t tell what was in the ice from the appearance, but the creature was curled up into a ball, so Shao Xuan couldn’t tell what it was.
But it didn’t matter. Those ice that they scooped up could keep these pieces frozen until they reached the land. As long as they reached land, he could just get more ice from the mountaintop to replace the ones that had already melted.
“How much longer till we get there?” Duo Kang asked Shao Xuan.
Winter was ending and the moon had appeared in the sky. They definitely couldn’t make it in time for their tribe’s sacrificial rite.
Shao Xuan looked at the direction the Universal Eye was pointing at and calculated the local time at sea. He said, “Soon. Judging by our speed now, perhaps we’ll be able to see land in ten days.”
“Nice!” Life on sea was too boring, and Duo Kang’s bones were already itching to move. He needed exercise. He preferred the forest more than the sea. The Taihe people also couldn’t adapt to life at sea, so morale was low.
The Longboat tribesmen were the only ones who were still enthusiastic.
Ten days later.
Everyone was alarmed as they heard an eagle screech from the sky.
Duo Kang was sleeping, but hearing the noise, he immediately climbed up the mast and looked through his binoculars.
“Haha! We arrived! I can see land!” Duo Kang laughed as he looked down at them.
The dejected Taihe tribesmen also came out to look. They still couldn’t see land from where they were, but since Duo Kang said it, they were all excited. To them, this was the beginning of their new life.
“How’s everyone’s studies? Has everyone mastered the new language?”
“We’re doing fine. We can have basic day-to-day conversations now, but we’ll get better at it.”
It was rare to see Taihe tribesmen joking around with the Flaming Horn warriors.
Shao Xuan went to check on the frozen pieces that were stored in the wooden dividers. These were initially pieces of ice, but up to ninety percent had already melted. There was only some ice left floating on the water. Underneath the water were all sorts of different insects and wild beasts.
If they don’t reach land anytime soon, these would begin to rot and smell in two days. Some of them had already begun to smell.
There were no children or unawakened people on this ship. Only about three to five people were allowed onto this ship. They were all strong individuals with a strong immune system.
He had ordered people to cover the wooden dividers with lids. After they reach land, these wooden boxes would be carried up to mountaintops that still had snow.
They also heard cries from other eagles in the sky. They were also great mountain eagles, but these cries did not come from Cha Cha.
“The Hui tribesmen are here,” Shao Xuan said after he heard the cry.
He was familiar with this sound. One of the Hui tribesmen, Gu La, had a pet eagle called Dao Shan. This was that eagle.
The land was slowly becoming visible as they advanced. They could see the high mountains on land, and also the eagles that were flying in the sky.
Shao Xuan got on Cha Cha’s back and flew over first.
“You guys are finally back!” Gu La was on Dao Shan’s back. He shouted when he saw them flying over.
“When did you guys come here?” Shao Xuan asked.
“Our chief was worried that you guys couldn’t find anyone here after arriving, so ever since you guys left, people would come over everyday to check. People still came over despite the winter, sometimes with eagles, sometimes without. Now that winter passed, we also came, but we never thought we could actually meet you guys today!”
Gu La examined the fleet of ships on sea. “I see more ships.”
“Yup, we made five new ships. One of these ships had some problems on the way, so only twenty-four are left now,” Shao Xuan explained. On the way back, they encountered a sea beast that was hunting for food. It crashed into the ship, destroying almost half of it. It didn’t sink right away, but they could no longer use that ship.
After they transferred the people over to the other ships, the twenty-four ships continued to advance. These were the ships that Gu La saw.
“You guys got the people?” Gu La asked.
“Yup, we got them. They haven’t adapted to life at sea so they’re not doing very well now. We need to rest for a few days before we depart again.”
“We found a perfect resting spot nearby. It’s a cave. Not everyone can fit inside, but it can still hold around five hundred people.”
“Five hundred? That’s enough,” Shao Xuan said.
Those people who are feeling most unwell would rest in the cave while the others would continue staying on the ships or find a place to rest near the cave. The totemic warriors could withstand the cold.
Many of the Taihe tribesmen who were feeling sick finally recovered when they stepped on solid ground. Out of curiosity, many of them even had conversations with the people of the Hui tribe. They were still not familiar with the language here, so they spoke slower than the locals.
Since the people of the Taihe tribe were allies with the Flaming Horns and the Hui tribe were also allies with them, an ally’s ally was naturally a friend. That was why Gu La and the others from the Hui tribe embraced them with warmth and passion. They even went to hunt for fresh wild beast meat to serve them.
Shao Xuan let Cha Cha deliver the wooden boxes full of ice up to the snowy mountaintops. There were many high mountains nearby. He wasn’t sure whether it was because the temperature had not risen, but the distance halfway up the mountains was still snowy white.
Atop the cold mountaintops, the melted water froze into ice once again. The insects and wild beasts inside also froze with the ice.
Shao Xuan wore a beast hide glove and used his hands to wipe away the mud that covered the unknown creature within the ice.
It didn’t look like it but the creature was acutally covered in dense mud.
After wiping the mud away, he could finally see what the creature looked like.
Shao Xuan looked at what seemed like wings that were covering the creature. There were still short thin hairs on the wings.
He tried to pull the wings but he couldn’t move it at all. Shao Xuan didn’t plan on forcefully spreading them apart. He stopped once he noticed he couldn’t pull it anymore. Instead, he examined the sharp claws that were revealed.
It was similar to a bat’s wings. The claws were attached to the creature’s wings.
He recalled all the wounds on the frozen insects and wild beasts. He looked at these claws again. Perhaps these claws caused those injuries.
After Shao Xuan looked at them for a while, he put the creature back into the wooden box and closed the lid. Tomorrow, these would all become frozen again.