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.
The six Gongjia members were shown around along the trading area’s streets to familiarize themselves with the atmosphere here.
Though the scale here could not be compared to the famous cities lining the coast, it was still much bigger than the newer cities. It was obvious that the Flaming Horn tribe had placed in a lot of effort in the trading point’s construction.
However, this was not all to the trading point’s size. According to the other Flaming Horns, the expansion would come in due time and the location had already been pinpointed. It would be difficult to tell how large the Flaming River Trading Point would grow to be when that happens.
Despite its similarities to the cities elsewhere, the feeling it gave off was very different from the coastal region. The shops here were simple and there wasn’t much variety in their items, drenched heavily in their tribal lifestyle. Aside from the rest inns, shops that sold fearsome beast flesh, horns, fangs and bones had received the most traffic. Places outside these establishments were filled with a very rustic breath of the wild.
“This is amazing. I can’t believe this place actually looks like this.” The eldest out of the six Gongjia members, Gongjia Kan, commented.
Though the Flaming Horns that came to receive them at the edge of the desert had already supplied them more information on the Flaming River Trading Point, seeing really was believing. Everything had come as a pleasant surprise to them.
It really was different from all the stories!
“Looks like we made the right choice,” uttered Gongjia Ren.
The other Gongjia members nodded in unison. This place was indeed much better than expected. They were all very willing to start anew in a wonderful place like this.
“I can’t believe they don’t have a uniform currency here. But I guess it does make sense. Metal wares are scarce here and the barter system would be a better fit for their lifestyle.” Gongjia Kan studied his surroundings carefully.
One of the Flaming Horn warriors who were showing them around couldn’t help but respond, “Actually, the Grand Elder did think of introducing a uniform currency. However, the idea couldn’t be realized due to certain reasons.”
“Oh?” Gongjia Ren’s interest was piqued. He pressed, “Did your Grand Elder mention what kind of material it’ll be? Will it shells? Or bones? Or maybe even fangs?”
The Flaming Horn warrior went silent. Before the Grand Elder’s official announcement, they wouldn’t provide too much insight.
Noticing that he had no way of prying more answers, Gongjia Ren could only give up on the thought. The Flaming Horn warrior was stubborn. If they didn’t wish to say more, it would be absolutely difficult to extract more answers. Gongjia Ren could only swallow his questions back down.
While the Gongjia members strolled around the trading point, Shao Xuan brought the coffin-like wooden box into the underground basement.
He refused to bring something with unknown danger to the headquarters. Hence, he could only store it here.
“This looks like the monsters we encountered in the desert,” said Zheng Luo after taking a good look into the opened box.
It was similar but it was still very much different. Zheng Luo could remember the monster that was brought back to the tribe’s headquarters back then. While the corpse had looked similar to those shrivelled monsters, there were many contrasts.
“Are they complete?” Zheng Luo asked.
While the body laid inside was shrivelled up, there was no scar on its body. Its stomach had sunken down deeply but it was not left with just a layer of skin over bones as seen in the monsters. There was clearly something left within, presumably dried organs. As shrivelled as its skin could be, its organs were probably in a similar fashion too.
“Has it not been reanimated? Could there be other reasons tied to this?” Zheng Luo was perplexed. “According to what you’ve said, there must be a good reason why the desert slave master had brought it along.”
“I think the corpse's reanimator might not be able to control this particular body.” Shao Xuan wouldn’t bring this body into the Flaming River Trading Point if he hadn’t conducted a few probes on the way over.
“This person was probably really strong when alive. He wouldn’t be any weaker than you and Ao. His bones are really strong. I’m sure you’re aware of this. Among totemic warriors, the stronger you are, the tougher your bones will become.”
Zheng Luo was of course well aware of that. If a beginner-level totemic warrior and a high-level totemic warrior were to hit a rock of same toughness respectively, the former could be injured. The latter, however, might be able to smash it directly. The advancement of capabilities was equivalent to an overall strengthening of the body. Bone enhancements were naturally involved.
This person’s bones were very tough. Even if he hadn’t been prominent in other aspects, the great integrity of his skeletal structure was very telling of his capabilities.
“This person has probably been dead for a very long time.” Shao Xuan held the decaying accessory around the corpse’s neck. With slight force, crackling could be heard from it.
“These accessories were probably very tough when they were first made. Just like the fearsome beast bones and fangs we used, it could’ve been decayed by time and other external factors. Even so, these are still stronger than regular beast bones,” explained Shao Xuan.
Zheng Luo could pick up Shao Xuan’s underlying message. These accessories were most probably made with fearsome beast bones. It used to be very tough and this indicated that this particular person was able to hunt them down. Fearsome beasts with skeletons this strong were most possibly difficult to handle. With that, how weak could this person be when alive?
Indeed, different fearsome beasts would possess bones of different integrity. While beasts that were not strong in combat could have tougher bones, Zheng Luo and Shoa Xuan were convinced that their assumptions were correct. The Flaming Horn tribe had much of its focus on hunting and they understood the perspective of a tribesman. They would be more inclined to take on exceptionally dangerous and aggressive fearsome beasts as a clear demonstration of strength and status.
“The Rock Hill City bunch favours using strong late totemic warriors or slaves as their reanimated corpses. This corpse here might’ve been one of their targets. However, this one was different from the others.” Shao Xuan pointed at the motionless body. “There is faint power left inside his bones, one that is similar to the ones the desert monsters possessed. However, its quantity was just too scarce. It’s insufficient to even control a single small bone, let alone a whole skeletal frame. The remnants of these powers were probably left by the Rock Hill City’s reanimation attempts. They found no success so they left it aside till now.”
Since leaving the desert till this moment, Shao Xuan hadn’t detected a single sign of life from within the wooden box. From the looks of it, the person was most definitely dead but how did a lifeless corpse remain in this state with no further decay without being frozen, processed by chemicals or even the help of external power?
The pterosaur had been preserved in ice.What about this? How did this obviously long-dead body remain undecayed? The corpse didn’t seem to be wearing the bone accessories typically found on the Flaming Horn ancestors.
“Shao Xuan, have you tried controlling it?” asked Zheng Luo. He knew Shao Xuan was able to imitate Rock Hill City’s approach to reanimate a corpse.
Shao Xuan shook his head. “I did try once on the way home but failed. But again, we were rushing to get back and time was limited. I couldn’t afford to pour in too much effort. I’ll try again soon after settling the few Gongjia members down.”
Zheng Luo too hoped that Shao Xuan could reanimate this shrivelled monster. If they were successful, they would earn a helping hand.
“Do we need to station someone here for the night?” Zheng Luo asked again.
Shao Xuan needed to bring the six Gongjia members to the headquarters. The man could not remain here for long. If he was going to leave, someone should be stationed here as a precaution.
“Shall I do it instead?” Zheng Luo offered.
“No, no need. I have a better candidate for this.”
Shao Xuan’s flat out rejection of his offer made Zheng Luo curious. Who could be more fitted for this job?
Shao Xuan exited the basement and waited for a moment. Not long after, someone approached him. It was the sentry guard stationed on the Flaming River Tower. Perched atop the man’s shoulder was the pterosaur.
“My, my. You’ve gained weight.” The pterosaur looked different from before Shao Xuan’s departure. It seems like the pterosaur had enjoyed itself when he was away.
Despite being here, Shao Xuan was able to control the pterosaur that was left in the headquarters. Though his control wasn’t as precise as in close proximity, it was sufficient to have it fly itself over obediently.
Regardless of how arrogant the pterosaur was in front of the rest of the Flaming Horns, it was very docile in the face of Shao Xuan. It lifted its head to spare him a glance before lowering his gaze, looking a little reluctant to go near.
In Shao Xuan’s absence, the lack of control had allowed it to run wild. It had influenced a bunch of waterhens astray. Every day, the pterosaur would march the waterhens around to steal food from the patrolling warriors. It had often thrown fish bones at passersby too. Despite this, everyone knew that it belonged to Shao Xuan and the two retired Shamans were very particular about it. Hence, even if they were greatly irritated, they did not dare to attack it. Everyone could only scold it verbally. It worked, in the beginning. But after that, the verbal reprimands no longer worked on the pterosaur, even the waterhens had largely ignored it.
These, Shao Xuan had learned through the words of the rotating population in the trading zone.
“So this is the better candidate?” Zheng Luo studied the pudgy pterosaur sceptically. What could this little guy do?
“It is much more suitable than anyone else.” Shao Xuan walked over and picked it up by its wings. It brought the reluctant pterosaur into the basement and pointed to the cage in the corner that hadn’t been used in ages. “You’ll be sleeping here tonight.”