They had come from so far downstream, near the ocean. Travelling on such simple rafts, they had to pay a huge price. When they finally arrived at the Flaming Horn tribe, it seemed as if their initial destination had been the Flaming Horn tribe.
Even though Gui He couldn’t completely fathom what these people were trying to say, he could make some conclusions from what he understood.
Those people didn’t know who they had to look for. They were only following the Flaming River upstream. When they couldn’t travel anymore, the place they stopped would be their final destination.
And the reason they couldn’t travel anymore was that the stone bridge blocked the Flaming River. The only way for them to keep going upstream was if they carried their rafts and went around to the other side of the bridge, or else they would only be stuck here. The man-made waterway the Flaming Horns built had not opened, so these were the only methods they could use now.
However, these people thought they had arrived at their destination.
“I just can’t figure out why they came here.” Gui He couldn’t understand their intention at all.
Even though those people were still hesitant to tell them everything, they didn’t appear to have any bad intentions, and according to the warrior who brought them here, they were even cheering when they arrived. He could tell how happy they were when they reached. They could finally heave out a sigh of relief and fall asleep.
“They are very courteous and even bowed when they saw us,” Gui He was shocked back then too. Even though the Flaming Horn tribe became famous in this area, and some of the smaller tribes would try to get on their good side, Gui He could tell that these people had a different attitude. If he had to tell the truth, these people’s eyes carried an undeniable sincerity.
Since they did not express any intention to steal or attack, Gui He ordered some people to help them settle down. If they noticed anything strange about them later, Gui He would then feed these strangers to the fishes in the Flaming River.
“The reason probably lies within that giant shell,” Shao Xuan said.
“Yup, but we need to wait until those people wake up, or else they wouldn’t open the giant shell. The person inside the shell is definitely someone very important to them.”
“Make sure we know their intentions. They came from the seaside, so we can ask them about what it’s like downstream too. We still know nothing about what’s downstream in the sections close to the sea,” Shao Xuan said.
Gui He responded with a smile, “Indeed.”
The Flaming Horns could forcefully open up the giant shell to find out what was inside if they wanted to. They could even kill them and take away all of their treasures, but they just felt like there was no need to take such measures.
This amount of gems and shells wasn’t up to their standards.
The Flaming Horns were never too enthusiastic about gems and shells. At first, when Zheng Luo and the others came from the other side of the sea, they were a little attracted by these but now they were already used to it. They wouldn’t care too much about these small benefits that were in front of them. How could they live on in the future if they did?
Two days later.
The people who rested in the house finally woke up. Those who were initially unconscious stayed wide awake for two days in a row. After some of them woke up, those who were initially forcing themselves to stay awake finally lied down to rest. There were always at least ten people guarding beside the giant shell, not letting any others approach.
However, during these two days, the chief of these people finally came forward.
He was severely injured and fainted for a whole day. After he woke up, he immediately went to search for the local chief and shaman.
Now, that person was talking extremely fast. Perhaps he didn’t know how to express himself, or maybe he was in a rush, his words were incomprehensible.
However, compared to the person who spoke to them on the first day, this person’s words were much clearer. At least they could understand what he was trying to say.
His name was He Bian, and he was the chief of the Di Mountain tribe. Their tribe was facing some problem, and according to what their shaman said, he had to bring his people upstream in search of help.
“We were told to travel upstream until we can no longer go any further. Then we would arrive at our destination. This was what our shaman told us. Are you guys the only tribe in this area?” He Bian asked.
“We’re not the only tribes here, but we, the Flaming Horns, are the largest tribe in the area” Gui He said. “Our tribe built that stone bridge that you guys saw on your way here.”
Even though it was the King Stoneworm who made the bridge and the Flaming Horns weren’t the ones who directly built the bridge, it was better to say that they did. This wasn’t wholly false and Gui He didn’t feel at all pressured saying it.
When He Bian heard this, his eyes brightened in respect. Even though he was unconscious for a say, he could still remember what he saw before he fainted. He saw all the houses on the mountain. It was a completely different scenery compared to their tribe.
Especially that stone bridge. It was so reliable and extended across the river. He couldn’t imagine how they built it, that was why the respect he had for the Flaming Horns suddenly increased tenfold. To him, the stronger the Flaming Horns were, the more excited he was because it increased the possibility that his tribe could be saved by them.
“Please save our tribe! We will give you whatever we can, even if it means our lives! Please, save us!” Following his words, He Bian bowed down to Gui He.
Gui He was also shocked. This was the first time he encountered a chief who treated him with so much respect. Plus, this person only told them to save their tribe, but how? He Bian already said so much, but he still didn’t know what was troubling them. The only sure thing was that it wasn’t an enemy.
Gui He maintained a stern expression and looked at the person who continuously pleaded for his help. He turned his head to look at Shao Xuan and said, “I need your help.”
Shao Xuan looked at the person who was at the verge of tears and said, “Get up, we can have a chat about this.”
He Bian looked up and noticed that Gui He had already stepped aside. The person who was closer to him was another younger fellow. He couldn’t understand what the Flaming Horns meant by this.
“You are...?” He Bian asked.
“The Grand Elder of the Flaming Horn tribe, Shao Xuan.”
He Bian looked at Shao Xuan with a confused expression. “What’s a grand elder?”
“A Grand Elder is a person with the same ranking in our tribe as the chief and shaman. In the Flaming Horn tribe, the Grand Elder’s position is even more special,” Gui He explained. He never expected a tribe not to know what a “Grand Elder” was. It was just like back then when they were isolated from the rest of the world. However, the Di Mountain tribe was not isolated. They just didn’t want to communicate with the rest of the world.
He Bian quickly reacted and started bowing again. Seeing this, Shao Xuan immediately asked, “Can you draw the totem of the Di Mountain tribe for me?”
The first step to understanding a tribe was seeing their totemic sign. It was okay for a tribesman not to know how to draw other tribes’ totemic signs, but they must know what their totemic sign looked like. Plus, totems were not secrets. It was something public that could be made known to others. A tribe as large as the Flaming Horns would be pleased if more people knew about their totemic sign.
That was why He Bian didn’t appear unwilling when Shao Xuan requested for him to draw. Shao Xuan brought a brush, some colours and cloth for him and He Bian started drawing.
He Bian was not used to drawing with brushes and cloth, but he was very familiar with their totemic sign so it only took him a moment to draw out the totemic sign of the Di Mountain tribe. The lines drawn on the linen were rough and uneven because he wasn’t used to drawing with brushes, but it was clear enough for Shao Xuan to understand what their totemic sign looked like.
When He Bian started moving the brush, Shao Xuan thought he was drawing a weird, sad face with glasses on, but very soon, He Bian continued to draw some fish-like patterns and scales around the “face”. There was even a fishtail on the side.
It was apparent the tribes close to rivers or seas liked using totemic patterns in their art too.
It was something related to fish. He couldn’t discern anything else at the moment.
After he finished drawing the totemic sign, He Bian turned towards Shao Xuan and waited expectantly for Shao Xuan’s reply.
“The person you brought here inside the shell is probably sealed inside by your shaman. Can we see who’s inside?” Shao Xuan asked.
Shao Xuan had seen the giant shell. He wasn’t close, but he could feel the shaman’s energy on the giant shell. This was probably a matter of great importance since the shaman had to seal it personally.
He Bian didn’t nod right away. He frowned and thought for a moment, and after eyeing Shao Xuan up and down a few more times, he finally agreed.
There were people guarding the giant shell in the next room. Seeing He Bian arrive, the guards stepped aside, although they all seemed nervous and worried. Somehow, they also appeared a little sad and emotional.
Shao Xuan’s eyes quickly scanned the room and observed these people’s faces, and then turned toward the giant shell.
He Bian inhaled deeply and walked toward the giant shell that was tightly shut. He knocked gently and carefully on the shell, “Dian Dian, Dian Dian, are you awake?”
In the next moment, a dark blue totem appeared on the giant shell. This was the same totemic sign He Bian drew, but the only difference was while He Bian’s drawing was a little funny, whereas this one had an unusually cold and powerful energy.
This energy was not targeted at Shao Xuan, however. It merely radiated from the totem.
The Di Mountain tribe was not as weak as they seemed.