From what He Bian told him, Shao Xuan could tell that these were some of the main traditions in the Di tribe. He Bian was still vigilant and didn’t tell him any secrets but what he said was already enough for Shao Xuan to gain a simple understanding of their tribe.
In summary, the Di tribe was a tribe that would rather live with fish than get along with other tribes. Their food source was mainly wild fruits in the forest and the fish in the sea. They preferred the vast ocean more than land and rivers. They were more familiar with the fish and beasts in the sea than the creatures on land.
They rarely used nets or forged any complicated stone weapons. They preferred to use tridents made from horn stones or other bones and shells of marine creatures as their weapons. Hornstones were the ornaments worn by the Di tribesmen that resembled horns. These were marine creatures used by the Di tribe as weapons. Their shape and texture made them the perfect weapons, so the Di tribesmen would often look for these hornstones whenever they went out to sea to fish. Some of these hornstones were even longer than a human’s height.
One unique characteristic to note is that the Di tribesmen were skilled in diving. It was probably because of their physique and how they lived by the sea. They loved swimming and diving and could dive deeper into the ocean than most other tribesmen. Even the Drumming tribesmen couldn’t compare to them.
The sea was the main hunting ground for the Di people. When Shao Xuan heard He Bian describing the hunts they had at sea, he also felt that the sea was more suitable for their tribe.
Shao Xuan was curious about the Di Fish, so He Bian attempted to draw a picture for him. However, the drawing didn’t look like a fish at all. It wasn’t even close to the totem he drew before, so Shao Xuan gave up trying to find out what the Di Fish looked like from He Bian’s drawing. However, He Bian appeared confused the second time he mentioned the Di Fish, though he didn’t tell Shao Xuan why.
After He Bian left, Shao Xuan chatted with a few other injured tribesmen from the Di tribe. Some of them also mentioned the Di Fish, but these people were different from He Bian. Their feelings toward the Di Fish were not as complicated. They even saw Di Fish as their companion. This was a belief passed down to them from their ancestors, and they were brainwashed at a young age.
However, there was definitely another secret related to Di Fish.
Gui Ze finished speaking with the child in the shell. The child said that her symptoms alleviated if she was placed in water, so Gui Ze sent people out to prepare a giant stone fish tank. Since they started using pottery, they rarely used stone tools so Gui Ze asked some people to help look for a stone fish tank that they no longer used and fill it up with water. Then, He Bian and the others carried the child into the stone fish tank.
“Seawater and river water are different, but at least there’s some water. This should work better than the shell,” Shao Xuan said.
The child in the shell didn’t express any other opinions but it was evident that she was holding in her pain. There was no way she could ignore the festers on her body. He Bian and the others even said that back when they were in their tribe, all they did was dig a giant hole and set their sick children inside the hole.
Every day, they would refill the hole with fresh seawater. However, the shaman of their tribe suddenly thought about putting Dian Dian inside the seashell, so they filled the seashell up with seawater. The seawater only started disappearing on their way here.
The Di people were taking care of the situation here now, so the Flaming Horns didn’t need to be here. Even though some of them were frustrated, they were still well-behaved.
“How’s everything on your side?” Shao Xuan asked Gui Ze. He had obtained some new information from talking to He Bian, but he felt like Gui Ze would get more information out of the child.
“That child…” It was as if there was a problem Gui Ze couldn’t solve. “She’s the next shamaness of the Di tribe if she survives.”
The child didn’t hide this secret. Shao Xuan realised there were many things that He Bian didn’t know about, he probably noticed it too but there was no way for him to learn more. They came all the way here to search for a cure, so there was no way these people were kept completely in the dark. At least one person among them should know the truth.
He Bian was the chief and leader of this trip, but this person was not him. Who else had a higher rank than He Bian?
Now he knew.
No wonder He Bian and the others were all so worried about this child. She was the next shamaness after all. Gui Ze could relate to this.
“That child was very knowledgable about her situation and didn’t try to hide anything. She told me directly what happened. It’s just like we have guessed. The cause of her sickness is the conflict between the two totemic powers,” Gui Ze explained.
“What’s her attitude towards Di Fish?” Shao Xuan asked.
“This is the strange part. Ah Xuan, you said that He Bian’s attitude towards the Di Fish was confusing but the other Di people all seem very close to the Di Fish. However, when that child talked about Di Fish, she seemed cautious.” Gui Ze couldn’t understand why. The Flaming Horns were more familiar with the Drumming tribe, and at first, she thought that they were similar to them. The Drumming tribe couldn’t live without their crocodiles, and she thought they were the same too. However, there had never been any Drumming tribesmen who had another attitude towards their crocodiles.
“There are many things she still didn’t tell you,” Shao Xuan said.
“When I talked to her, she told everyone to leave the room. It’s clear that there are things she doesn’t want anyone else to know about, He Bian included.”
After some thought, Shao Xuan said, “She’s testing the waters and seeing whether we can actually solve this problem. If we don’t even intend to help her, she wouldn’t tell us any more.”
Gui Ze nodded. “She asked whether we can help her extract one of the totemic powers inside her body but I don’t have a solution for that at the moment. After all, we’ve never encountered anyone with two totemic powers within their bodies.”
“Extract one?” Shao Xuan also had no clue about this. His case was special too. Besides the power of the Flaming Horn’s fire seed and the totemic power, there was yet another force within him. However, the only difference between his case and theirs is that the two energies within his body are not at conflict with each other. In stark contrast, many times, the power from the Flaming Horn’s fire seed and the totemic power would become stronger and more active under the influence of this power.
“Next time, when you go visit the child, I’ll come along. I have some questions for her.” Shao Xuan could tell that the child opened up to Gui Ze probably because she was a shamaness too. She felt closer to Gui Ze. The child didn’t wish to speak with anyone else other than her. At first, Shao Xuan wanted Gui Ze to help him deliver a message, but after some thought, he felt that it was better if he went and asked himself.
They could ignore this problem the Di tribe was facing, but Shao Xuan was very curious about the cause of this illness. It wasn’t just him, though. Gui Ze and the other two retired shamans all felt the same way. They all wanted to know the cause and solution to this problem. Shamans were all interested in matters related to the fire seed.
On this day, Shao Xuan arrived at the house the Di tribesmen were living in.
The Di people were much friendlier to Gui Ze than Shao Xuan because, in the Di tribe, the shaman was their ultimate leader. A chief was just a secondary figure. This was common in many tribes, so Shao Xuan wasn’t surprised.
When he arrived, he heard laughter inside the house.
The stone fish tank was set in the middle of the room, and the giant shell was still unmoved. The shell was open, and the watermarks had already disappeared inside the shell. The stench in the room had dissipated. It wasn’t as strong as the first day, probably because the child was now soaked in fresh water.
The child was still wearing clothes made from the skin of a special type of fish in the sea. It was the same outfit she wore the other day. There were also other fishes inside the fish tank. The Di people caught these fishes in the Flaming River and said they were going to let the child play with them. However, what species was most abundant in the Flaming River?
Yes, exactly. The toy the Di people caught for the child to play with was the famous piranha of the Flaming River, those that were still active and full of sharp teeth.
The three fishes weren’t too big, just the size of an adult’s palm. If they were too big, they wouldn’t fit inside the stone fish tank due to the limited space.
If any other people were in the same fish tank as these three piranhas, they would be attacked by them. Regardless of their size, these fishes were known for their brutal and fierce nature. However, those piranhas that were proudly swimming in the Flaming River were now like small chicks being chased. They were swimming around wildly in the fish tank, jumping here and there trying to avoid the human child’s slaps, even though the child’s hands were smaller than them.
The laughter that Shao Xuan heard when he first entered the room came from the child who was slapping the piranhas. It seemed like she was having fun.
If the Drumming tribesmen went underwater without their crocodiles’ protection, this might not have happened. However, this young kid successfully scared these piranhas. The only thing Shao Xuan couldn’t figure out was whether the fish were afraid of the kid’s illness or if all Di people could do this.
Seeing Shao Xuan and Gui Ze enter the room, the kid who was called Dian Dian stopped slapping the fish. The water in the stone fish tank finally stopped rippling and splashing. The three piranhas appeared exhausted, swimming away from the child. They were literally sticking to the sides of the fish tank. If there were a crack in the fish tank, they would very possibly have tried to slip out from there.