“A pterosaur?” Duo Kang was lost for words. It was clear this was the first time he ever heard this name.
“What’s a Pterosaur? A bird?” Duo Kang asked curiously after he looked at the skeleton that didn’t seem thin at all. His frown grew deeper as he examined the figure, “This doesn’t look like an ordinary bird. If this creature was larger, it could be very dangerous.”
This was just a rough model of the skeleton. The bones’s actual structures and the muscle lining of the creature would also affect their judgement of a fierce beast. Duo Kang could only roughly guess from analysing this model.
“They’re different from birds. They existed before most tribes were even formed,” Shao Xuan didn’t know when tribes were formed here, so he was just making a guess.
Shao Xuan thought about this before too. Before the tribes existed and humans became the main predator at the top of the food chain, did other creatures exist?
Shao Xuan didn’t search for deeper answers because there were no other records of this fact. After all, the present and the future were what was most important right now.
Now, what they found in the floating pieces of ice kept reminding Shao Xuan of how there were other things that humans didn’t know about that happened way before their existence. Perhaps the civilization back then wasn’t as developed so they couldn’t record these facts.
The frozen ice pieces they found at sea weren’t the only ones that existed. They didn’t just appear this year either. Maybe they appeared often, but no one ever scooped them up and studied them. People just let these ice pieces melt and get devoured by other fish and beasts in the sea.
These were just found by their fleet, who just happened to pass by them.
The other insects and beasts stuck in the ice all existed at the same time as this pterosaur.
Then, could it be that there were more ancient creatures preserved by ice at the coldest place on earth?
If Shao Xuan had the chance, he would really love to go take a look.
Of course, this was not the time to think too far about these matters.
Since he already guessed what was inside the ice by reconstructing its skeleton, Shao Xuan began to set future plans. He had to test it out on this beast once he returned.
“Is there anything you wanted to tell me?” Shao Xuan asked Duo Kang.
Duo Kang came back to his conscience as he looked away from the wooden skeletal structure. He said, “It’s the Taihe tribe. I showed them the topographical map of the Flaming River Trading Point and the Headquarters. I also asked them where they preferred to settle.”
“They intend to settle somewhere similar to us. They will find a place in the forest and set that as their main residential headquarters, and a group of them will enter the trading point. After all, they would have enough to trade all year long.”
The Taihe tribe were skilled in searching and cultivating medicinal herbs. Before, they would go on expedition trips twice or thrice every year because the market was too far away. They could only exchange for more resources in the city, so every year, they would accumulate and store their stock until it was enough, and then head out to the trading centres to sell all their goods.
Now they no longer needed to do such things. The Flaming Horns owned a trading point and the Taihe tribe had goods to trade with them all year long. They could bring their goods to the trading point any time to trade, so it was much more convenient for them.
“Hmm, that’s it?” Shao Xuan didn’t think these matters were important enough for Duo Kang to personally come look for him.
Back then when they were trying to convince the Taihe tribe to migrate, they had already predicted which part the Taihe tribe would choose to settle in. These were all aligned with what they had predicted.
“Heh! There’s something else.” Duo Kang giggled as he rubbed his hands excitedly. “You said that we’re going to expand our territory at the trading point?”
“That’s right,” Shao Xuan nodded.
“If the Taihe tribe joins us, can we start the construction soon?” Duo Kang’s eyes were full of hope.
“That will have to depend on whether the trading point could actually function stably. Expanding the territory is definitely something we’ll do, but we don’t need to rush it. We already put up signs to mark our territory where the King Stoneworm passed. Those markings were enough to establish the foundation of our territory. There’s no need to waste all that.”
Indeed, the King Stoneworm’s trail covered a large area, and if they built houses on the trail, they would definitely be stable enough. They could even make stone roads out of those trails.
Of course, plans were always beautiful, but they had to take a step at a time. They had to function well enough and ensure that everything was stable before they expanded, or else other people might take advantage of them if they weren’t careful.
Duo Kang understood why Shao Xuan was worried. He just wanted to confirm how long it would take for them to start working as planned.
After the fleet arrived at the Longboat tribe, they rested for a few days there. They still needed their ships, so these ships would continue to travel down the river.
Mu Fa’s fleet brought back a lot of different plants and wild beasts from the other continent for their people at home. Even though they didn’t really like the flavour of some fruits and the texture of the wild beasts’ meat, they treated these goods as treasures just because they came from the other continent.
There were some shocking differences between the Longboat tribesmen who went on the trip on sea and those who stayed behind. The ones who went appeared a lot prouder, fiercer, and more dangerous. When they made jokes, the look in their eyes was one of great ambition. The voyage changed them. Not long in the future, as more and more Longboats depart to the sea on expedition trips, every single one of them would experience the same changes. Soon, the Longboat tribe would no longer be the same people they knew before.
Mu Fa’s group no longer followed the fleet. Instead, another group of Longboats followed them back. Before the fleet set off again, Mu Fa even reminded the other Longboats to bring back more wood from the Flaming Horn’s place.
“Don’t worry chief! We’ll never forget about something this important!” the leader of this team said affirmatively. They also wanted to travel on sea. More ships had to be built in order for them to achieve this dream. That was why they wouldn’t forget about the wood they needed to build these ships.
After they left the Longboat tribe, the fleet continued to drift down the river in the direction of the Flaming River. During the time they left, there were a few middle-sized tribes that had successfully merged their fire seeds. However, one of these tribes failed. Failure only meant one thing: extermination.
Shao Xuan wasn’t sure why exactly they failed, but according to what the Longboats said, something bad happened during the merging process. The shaman of that tribe was killed at a crucial moment. They didn’t even have the chance to pick another successor for their shaman to continue the merging process.
“Our shaman said that it was probably the people from the desert who did it,” the Longboat warrior who was leading this team said.
Most people would probably guess that it was the people from the other side of the sea who did it, but if they thought carefully, the chances of it being the people from Rock Hill City wasn’t small either. After all, they needed slaves. A tribe without a fireseed would become wanderers, and wanderers would make the best slaves.
Shao Xuan couldn’t be sure who actually did it, but he guessed that it was probably one of the two. The Longboat shaman had his reason for guessing it was the people from the desert who did it, but the Longboat shaman didn’t know one thing. Totemic warriors could still be made into monsters after they died, so turning these people into wanderers wasn’t really necessary.
When they finally reached the Flaming Horn tribe, the weather was already a lot warmer.
As a welcoming gesture, the Flaming Horns hosted a feast at the trading point for their old friend. This time, they didn’t invite any of the other major tribes. The people who attended were mainly people from the Taihe and Flaming Horn tribe.
Wu He and his group of five were finally released from prison. Since the Taihe tribe was here, according to their promise, they would also achieve their freedom.
The five prisoners were overjoyed when they finally regained their freedom. Even though the Flaming Horns had improved their living conditions and gave them a better environment to live in, it was just comparatively better.
Even though they were cold during the winter, the beast hides the Flaming Horns gave them were quite decent, so they didn’t catch a cold. Even though these hides kept them warm, it couldn’t alleviate their boredom.
To any Chang Le’s, being stuck inside a narrow cave was the worst torture.