DOGE Note: The finale chapter 844 + Epilogue 1&2 will be released on the 17th of May for the Mr Good Boi Universe patrons! Come support me and get these advanced chapters <3 can't wait for you all to read it.
After the fifth lock was unlocked, Sapphire dug into the depths of the desert ground and slipped into a deep slumber. Shao Xuan had no clue how long it’d take to get past this stage. If the process was successful, Sapphire would grow stronger and recover fully from its injuries. After emerging from each slumber following an unlock, Sapphire would experience changes like so. If it wasn’t successful, not only would the injuries not heal but it would also suffer from negative effects. The Flaming Horn Tribe headquarters were a considerable distance away from the desert. Even if a problem were to arise, Shao Xuan wouldn’t be able to make it back in time. Sapphire would have to fend for itself.
Not many Rock Hill City members were encountered during their journey home. Most were smaller groups, probably patrolling teams. They did not initiate attack even at the sight of the Flaming Horn convoy.
Those teams had consisted of regular slaves and not monsters. The current location was a long distance away from Rock Hill City territories, so the monsters had become a rare sight. Maybe they were all dispatched to the coastal battles.
Hence, after the whole ordeal with Su Le, Shao Xuan and his men were not met with too much trouble. They trekked in the cooler night and rested in the warmer day. Before unlocking its lock, Sapphire was the one transporting the golden armours that were stripped off Su Le’s slaves by the Flaming Horns. Now, the Flaming Horns had to carry it themselves. The weight of the armours was no big deal to them. They were even able to carry those armours along to hunt down desert beasts.
Though the armours were indeed useful, it had limited movements when donner. It was hard to get used to. Hence, the Flaming Horns had decided that the best solution was to melt the armours down to forge new weapons. Perhaps a few excellent weapons could be made.
“We’re finally out of this forsaken place!” Ta stared ahead and exclaimed.
Cha Cha was already one step ahead. It had flown out of the desert to search for the Flaming Horns that were waiting for their arrival nearby. They would be coming over to get them.
The wind stirred the sand and created a visual obstacle. Though their vision was blurry, they could still feel the presence of approaching Flaming Horns.
“Hunt Leader! Grand Elder!” Someone ran towards them.
“Were you successful? Oh? You raided someone’s party?” The welcoming party quickly helped them with the armours. From the looks of it, these did not look like it would be used by desert slaves.
“We met some trouble halfway. We looted these after we solved the issue.” Ta offered a simple explanation.
Noticing a few unfamiliar faces in the convoy, someone asked, “Are they from the Gongjia family?”
“Yes, that’s them.” After leaving the desert, Ta’s mood began to relax. He introduced the six Gongjia members to the other Flaming Horns. In consideration of the language barrier, Ta made an effort to use some coastal languages. Though he was far from fluent, Gongjia Ren and the others could understand him sufficiently.
The welcoming bunch looked at the coffin-like item on Shao Xuan’s back. They offered their assistance, only to be rejected by Shao Xuan.
Shao Xuan was still unsure if this item was harmless. It would be better if he was the one carrying it. If the person inside the coffin was reanimated all of sudden, at least Shao Xuan could detect the activity right away. There was no one else capable of this.
The other person did not press questions. After the desert group was received, they intended to leave the desert as soon as possible. The mission was completed and they needed to head back soon. This place really wasn’t suitable for an extended stay. They were merely waiting for them outside the desert and they had already felt uncomfortable. It went without saying that those who entered the desert were definitely suffering.
“Move, move! Let’s go home!” Ta and others did not wish to stay another second longer in this place. Though they were exhausted from the rushed journey, they were adamant on reaching home fast.
Soon, shrubs were seen among the sandy grounds and they were no longer surrounded by a vast sea of yellow sand. The greenery brought life to their surroundings. Gongjia Ren and the others felt like they were bestowed a new life, even the Flaming Horns shared the same feeling. Their time in the desert was like a prolonged nightmare and they had almost fallen into an inescapable hell. Thank goodness everything was over.
Entering a new place, everything was fresh to the six Gongjia members. Even the air felt different.
The tribal zones were very different from their home. At the coast, there was traffic everywhere. The coastal cities were very lively. One could find many paths that lead to the city. However, this place felt a little more desolate. Forests were plenty and places with barren soil were completely voided. Only wild birds could be found in those places.
There were not many caravans that passed through here. They occasionally sighted small-scale long-distance teams that held stone tools and horn tools in their hands. Their clothes were not as exquisite and there were no gemstones to be seen. They had different values, hence their accessories were naturally different.
At the sight of the Flaming Horns, some of the groups looked nervous. Noticing the golden armour over their shoulder, some people had even tried to snatch it over. However, they failed miserably and had sustained injuries inflicted by the Flaming Horns’ weapons.
Following that, the Flaming Horns weaved baskets with some vines and placed the golden armour inside to avoid unnecessary trouble. With that, the golden armour would be out of sight. Though they weren’t exactly afraid of potential robbers, they merely didn’t wish to waste more time on these matters.
The six Gongjia members continued forward with the team, their hearts more grounded by the minute. Looks like the tribal lifestyle here wasn’t too far off from what they’ve envisioned, this could be particularly seen in the more remote tribes. They were dressed in garments made of plant fibre and their hairs were unkempt. Soiled presumably during their forage in the forest, they stared at the passing Flaming Horns alertly. If the Flaming Horns hadn’t told Gongjia Ren that these were people from a smaller tribe, he would’ve thought these were slaves.
“Don’t underestimate the smaller tribes. If they could survive till this day, surely there is a good reason behind it.” Shao Xuan warned the six Gongjia members. Though the smaller tribes were materialistically far behind, they wouldn’t lose in terms of survival abilities. If these tribesmen were thrown into the desert with the Gongjia members, the former would definitely outlive the latter.
Truthfully, the Flaming Horn tribe wasn't much better from smaller tribes in the past. Since when has the tribe begun to change?
Ta entertained the thought carefully. Perhaps it had begun when Shao Xuan led them across the river. After that, the changes faced by the tribe were irreversible.
Taking in the scenery along their journey, Gongjia Ren and the others couldn’t help but wonder how the Flaming Horn tribe would look like? Were the descriptions told by the Flaming Horns untrue?
As the surrounding foliage grew denser, more traffic was encountered. The people were dressed well; their garments and tools were comparatively more complex than what the Gongjia members had seen earlier. When a cleared path appeared in the middle of the forest, the six Gongjia members were told that they were getting close to the Flaming River Trading Point.
Recognition clicked in Gongjia Ren’s heart. There were similar paths near city centres back home in the coastal region too.
Upon seeing the Flaming Horns, a travelling team quickly moved to the side and evacuated a path for the tribesmen. Though the road was quite wide and had enough room for two traffic flows, they were in an area under the Flaming Horn tribe’s influence. The strong were respected. Hence, the travelling team were willing to move aside to show submission.
Stepping onto the rock path, the six Gongjia members stared at the rocky floors in wonder.
There were no traces of splicing at all. The floor looked to be a uniform body and there were even petrified flowers and trees lining its sides. Even the thin thorns on the plants were visible.
“Is this… Is this the rock path created by the king beast?!” Gongjia Ren questioned.
“Yes, this is it. Other than the king beast, what else could be capable of creating this?” Came Ta’s answer.
Gongjia Ren was absolutely bewildered by the answer.
How did the Flaming Horns find the courage to continue living here?
If this had happened at the coast, many would’ve moved away once the appearance of a king beast was made known. They wouldn’t be as brave as the Flaming Horns to even think of staying here!
“That… What is that?!” Gongjia Heng, who was beside Gongjia Ren, was looking into a certain distance with his chin tilted. Through the branches, he saw the tall building on the other side. There was a flag banner at its very top that bore the Flaming Horn’s totem.
“That is the Flaming River Tower, the highest point of our trading point. Our trading point is right over there.” The Flaming Horns spoke of this with great pride.
“So it really is like a city?!” Gongjia Ren stared at the building with unmasked surprise.
As they continued to move forward, the trading point was finally presented to everyone.
“Everyone, welcome to the Flaming Horn tribe.”