“Is that bird tamed by the Flaming Horns?” someone asked curiously.
“It probably is, but I’ve never seen a bird like this. Perhaps the Flaming Horns caught it in the forest?” suggested a girl with vibrantly coloured feathers in her hair.
“No, it’s not a tamed bird,” Hong Xi said affirmatively as he looked at the peculiar bird resting on the branches.
“Indeed,” a young man who looked slightly older than Hong Xi said from beside him. “That bird’s aura is too wild. It’s completely different from the other tamed birds.”
“That bird...looks dangerous,” Hong Xi’s eyebrows knitted as he studied the bird not far away from them.
The people from the Feather tribe could tell so much about a bird by just one glance. Even though they had never seen a bird like this, they could make an initial judgement based on the bird’s appearance, contour, and subtle movements.
“Should we go test it out?” a young man was eager to find out.
Their team came to the Flaming Horn tribe to catch more birds in the dangerous forest to replenish their bird stocks. The number of species in their tribe were too limited, and they hadn’t had any new species for a long time. They weren’t satisfied with some of the new bird species they produced, and since there hadn’t been a change for so long, the Feather tribesmen felt these weren’t good signs.
They had recently merged their fire seed, so the fire seed no longer restricted their movements. Under their chief’s command, they began to search for new bird species. To the Feather tribesmen, replenishment was essential. They had also replenished their bird source before but they only had one new species for the past few years. That was why the chief came personally this time. They were planning a large scale project and wanted to capture more new species for their tribe.
This time, they even brought along a group of young men who had high potential. They felt like this was a good chance for them to train. After all, their tribe’s future depended on these young men, so they had to be involved in these plans.
The chief of the Feather tribe had high expectations for these young men. These young men were also competent, or else they wouldn’t have been selected out of so many others in the tribe.
The young man who said he wanted to give it a test was more skilled in taming and training birds compared to the others present. He already knew how to tame birds even before his totemic power was awakened. Judging by the feathers in his hair, they could tell what bird species he tamed before.
The colourful feathers in his hair were enough to prove his strength. That was also why he was so confident. Even though this was the first time he saw a bird like this, he knew that he could tame it. No matter how reckless and wild a bird was, he believed that he could tame them. Besides, this wasn’t similar to the giant mountain eagles. Those eagles were special. This bird just looked a little peculiar. He was hopeful that he would succeed.
After he said this, the others were all excited and looked forward to the show.
Hong Xi glanced at the peculiar bird on the tree. He didn’t try to stop him. He also wanted to give it a try, but as a safeguard, he didn’t suggest the idea. Luckily someone else wanted to test it. Regardless, Hong Xi still felt that the bird was very unusual. Not just its looks. Everything about it was weird and unpredictable.
He was careful because he had experienced getting the short end of the stick before when he dealt with the Flaming Horns. Just in case, Hong Xi warned again as the young man walked towards the peculiar bird, “Be careful, Ming Lu.”
“Okay, I know,” Ming Lu, said. Even though this was his response, he didn’t care about the warning. He had tamed enough birds to be so self-assured. These birds were of all types of species, so he thought there was no way he couldn’t handle such a small creature. Plus, he wasn’t planning on taming it right away. He just wanted to approach it and have some fun with it.
This was the Flaming Horn’s territory after all, and this bird probably belonged to them too. They were just taming a bird, and they didn’t want to have a conflict with the Flaming Horns.
The young man took careful steps towards the tree. The Flaming Horns planted this tree after they migrated here. They planted it to reduce soil erosion and also to provide a resting shade for the Flaming Horn warriors. The sun could be scorching at times, and they didn’t have a resting place. Even though they had houses, they preferred to rest in the shades of trees. This allowed them to be more aware of their surroundings.
The pterosaur was resting on one of these trees. It had been appearing here for the past two days. Shao Xuan didn’t let it up the mountain so it could only come here and fly around beside the river. The warriors who were stationed beside the river already knew about this “strange bird”. Shao Xuan called it a pterosaur, so everyone also called it by that name. They thought it was just a name Shao Xuan gave it.
The guards who were stationed at the river noticed the Feather tribesmen approaching the pterosaur. They hurried over and asked them, “What are you guys planning to do?”
One of the Flaming Horn warriors wanted to stop the person who was approaching the tree, but Hong Xi held them back. “Don’t worry,” he said, “Our younger brother is just going there to say hi to that bird. As you all already know, the Feather tribe can communicate with birds.”
The Flaming Horn warrior didn’t get to finish his sentence, but the Feather tribesmen were already growing impatient. Wasn’t it just a bird? That bird didn’t even have any fancy feathers. In fact, it looked like it didn’t have any feathers. That seemed very weird too. If it weren’t for the fact that they had never seen this bird before, they wouldn’t have even bothered to look.
“Just let him be. Hong Xi already said that we are just going to say hi to the bird. Are you going to stop us from saying hi? Hmph! As long as it’s a bird, we are confident that we can communicate with it!” the young Feather tribe warrior demanded arrogantly. They weren’t as confident in any of their other skills, but on taming birds, they would feel disdained if anyone doubted their ability.
The Flaming Horn warriors who came looked helplessly at each other. They knew that the Feather tribe warriors wouldn’t dare do anything to offend them. After all, they needed their help to enter the forest to capture more birds. They weren’t afraid of them doing anything to the pterosaur. It was quite the contrary. They were worried about what the pterosaur might do to them.
“But…” the Flaming Horn warrior said again, but seeing the row of people with flashing anger in their eyes, he stopped speaking. Stopping them from communicating with the bird was like an insult to their tribe.
The Flaming Horn warrior beside the other warrior pulled at his sleeve and gestured for him not to warn them anymore.
That warrior sighed, “Fine, I won’t say anything then.” He just felt unhappy because he didn’t get to finish his sentence.
The Feather tribesmen were happy that the Flaming Horns finally shut up. They gestured at the young man who stopped midway, “Quick, Ming Lu! Don’t let it fly away. It’s already flapping its wings!”
“Don’t worry. I got this!” Ming Lu waved his hands at them in annoyance. He continued to approach the pterosaur. The closer he got, the slower he walked. The aura around his body also grew calmer as he approached it. His totemic energy also powered up at a steady pace. It wasn’t too sudden, and everything seemed to be happening very naturally.
The Feather tribesmen could give out an energy that birds liked if they wanted to. That was why the Flaming Horns didn’t notice any aggressiveness when totemic lines appeared on the young man’s body. It was like a silent communication was happening between them.
The fancy totemic lines on his body were also used for communicating with birds. It was just like how birds communicate through their body language instead of using sounds. They would use their behaviour or feathers for courtship and defence. Sometimes they would even use their body language for demonstrations or communication. These were all different ways birds communicate silently.
The Flaming Horns were all surprised when they saw this. This was the first time they saw the Feather tribesmen behave this way, and it was very different from how they behaved in battle. Their totemic power was already tuned up to this stage, but they weren’t using it for battle. ‘How peculiar,’ they thought.
The totemic lines on Ming Lu’s body were different from other tribes’ totemic lines. It was constantly moving in wavelike patterns. This was because Ming Lu was still too young. He didn’t have enough power, so after their tribe merged their fire seed, it hadn’t wholly merged within his body. That was why he couldn’t maximise the potential of the fire seed’s power. If Hong Xi could fully summon the fire seed’s energy, flames might even appear on his skin.
However, everyone else in the Feather tribe who was present felt that this was enough for this purpose. He had successfully attracted the bird’s attention. This was already a success. As long as he could attract the bird, he had higher hopes in taming it. If he couldn’t even attract it, he shouldn’t even be thinking about everything that would happen after.
Ten steps, eight steps, six,......
Ming Lu was getting closer and closer to the tree. At the same time, besides the changes that were happening on his body, his throat was also vibrating. The Flaming Horns could hear a muffled sound. They couldn’t understand what he was trying to do, but it seemed like he was trying to communicate with the bird.
The Flaming Horns looked at each other in surprise. Have they started talking? Could this be real? Could they communicate with the strange bird? But didn’t the Grand Elder say that it wasn’t a bird and wanted everyone to treat it like other fearsome beasts?
The Flaming Horns were all thinking hard. Ming Lu was only three steps away from the tree.
Now, every step he took was slow and steady. Even though he was arrogant and haughty, he had to be careful at a time like this. He didn’t want to make any mistakes. At least he should be prepared for anything that could possibly happen. He should take it slow and not rush things. There were also others from the Flaming Horn tribe who were watching him. He musn’t fail this time.
However, the closer he got to the bird, the nudging feeling grew stronger. Even though the strange bird was focused entirely on his body, it didn’t run away. Instead, he noticed that the bird wasn’t behaving the way he expected it to behave. It didn’t fly away, and it also didn’t show any signs of curiosity in him. It just remained in the same position and watched him carefully.
The vertical pupils watched him with the same gaze, and there was no change at all in its stare. It was as if everything he did before was useless.
How could this be?
This shouldn’t be happening!
Ming Lu was growing doubtful. Due to his arrogance, he didn’t suspect anything else. The only thing in his mind now was, ‘Is this bird a little stupid?’
If this was indeed a bird, it should be reacting to him after he did so much, right? Regardless of their mental connection...
‘Do I need to dance?’ Ming Lu wondered.
In the Feather tribe, it was not uncommon to dance along with birds. This was also a way to connect with the birds. Of course, in others’ eyes, it would just look like a dance, but it was a dance used to mimic a bird’s body language.
Just as Ming Lu wondered whether he should jump forward, Hong Xi, who was staring closely at the peculiar bird, suddenly shouted, “Ming Lu, watch out!”
A cry of terror came from the valley below the Flaming Horn’s residential area.
Many people on the mountain looked in the direction the sound came from. It didn’t sound like someone from their tribe.
However, the other Feather tribesmen inside the Flaming Horn tribe stood up immediately when they heard the cry. They initially thought the Flaming Horns made a move on their people. Even the chief of the Feather tribe who was chatting with Gui He before the cry stood up immediately from his wooden chair when he heard the scream. He could tell just from hearing that it came from the valley. Everyone in the Feather tribe could tell that Ming Lu had been injured, or else he wouldn’t have made such a loud cry.
The only people who could have possibly hurt any Feather tribe in the Flaming Horn’s territory could only be Flaming Horns.
Suddenly, all the Feather tribesmen's expressions changed as they headed down the mountain.
Gui He and the others didn’t know what happened. If it was indeed a Flaming Horn who hurt him, what would they do? they would protect their own people, of course!
So what if they were wrong in the first place? If they wanted to reprimand him, they would wait for a time when no other tribes were around. If it wasn’t a major case, they would take responsibility and protect their people in front of other tribes. This was just the way most tribes handled matters like these.
When Shao Xuan went back, he ran into a group of people who were running in that direction. He also heard the terrible cry from that direction, but he knew clearly what had happened there, so he wasn’t rushing.
At the base of the mountain, beside the Flaming River.
Many Feather tribesmen with colourful feathers in their hair had crowded there inquiring about what had happened. Judging by the looks of it, it was as if they were ready for a fight if they could prove that it was the Flaming Horns who made a move on them.
However, Hong Xi and the other Feather tribesmen were all blushing with embarrassment and guilt. They were awkwardly silent. Instead, it was the few Flaming Horn warriors who were stationed there who told Gui He and others about what had happened.
After hearing this explanation, Gui He acted as if he didn’t see the Feather tribesmen’s reactions. Instead, he asked the Flaming Horn warrior, “You guys didn’t warn them?”
“I warned them, but they didn’t listen. I didn’t even finish my sentence when they interrupted me,” the Flaming Horn warrior who tried to stop them explained, exasperated.
They felt wronged. He had been holding it in all this time. Did they think this was easy for him?
“The Feather tribesmen said that they were just going to say hi to the bird and didn’t let us intervene. But the Grand Elder clearly said that that peculiar bird wasn’t a bird!”
The Feather tribesmen were speechless.
Ming Lu, whose hand was bitten by the bird, was also speechless. Why didn’t you say it wasn’t a bird?!
Shao Xuan’s mouth twitched when he arrived at the scene.
If you want to spread your tail like a peacock, spread it in front of other peacocks. Why would you spread your tail feathers in front of a lizard? It would think you’re provoking it. Wouldn’t that be a death wish??