The next day, Bai Xing went to look for Shao Xuan. The Lu tribesmen had not selected the reared beasts that they were giving the Flaming Horns from their animal pens.
“We decided to merge our fire seed and will head to the Flaming River region after that. Please help us on the way, Grand Elder.” Bai Xing had not slept the previous night. He looked unwell but his eyes still gleamed. He was rather relaxed as he spoke. They had finally made a decision after so long.
Shao Xuan studied this new Lu chief closely. He didn’t mind when they were getting their reared livestock. If the Lu tribe decided to migrate to the Flaming River region, there was no need to hurry. He wouldn’t mind even if they gave the reared beasts they promised to the Flaming Horn tribe after they migrated. It was better that way. However, Shao Xuan still had a doubt.
“Where will you guys go? The Flaming River region is quite large,” Shao Xuan asked.
“We’ve actually decided on the location a long time ago,” Bai Xing laughed. “Back then when we went to attend the Grand Feast at the trading point, our chief already brought us there.”
Bai Xing was talking about the previous chief who had passed away. That chief was not the strongest member in their tribe, but he was prudent and far-sighted. When he was invited to the Flaming River trading point, he brought a few warriors over with him to survey the grounds and even drew a map to mark out the area they wanted to migrate to.
The Lu tribe’s water source was drying up and there was no way for them to keep living here. Water insufficiency would affect their reared beasts greatly. The previous chief had such thoughts about settling in that area, but he also found a few other locations nearby so he had more than a few options. Now, Bai Xing decided to settle in the location near the Flaming River trading point.
Shao Xuan studied the map Bai Xing took out. There were a few simple strokes on the area near the trading point. On the map, the trading point was clearly marked as well as the estimated locations of the Rain tribe and the Drumming tribe. The Lu tribe had their eyes set on a location upstream from where the Rain tribe was. That location wasn’t too close to the Flaming River, but it wasn’t too far either. What’s most important to them was that there was a small stream in that area that flowed into the Flaming River.
Shao Xuan knew about that stream. He had been to that location upstream and he guessed that stream probably appeared after the disaster since it wasn’t there before. This stream was about ten meters wide and twenty meters long. The water there was more than enough for the Lu tribe. Plus, this stream flowed into the Flaming River, so it wouldn’t dry up easily. Even if it dried up one day, they could still walk down to the Flaming River to get water. Simply put, if something big happened again, they could immediately migrate to a better location because they didn’t have to worry about their fire seed anymore.
“When will the merge begin?” Shao Xuan asked.
“Tomorrow, but latest on the day after,” Bai Xing said.
The Lu shaman had already consulted Shao Xuan about the merging process .
Even though they acquired much experience from understanding the merging process of different tribes, they still had to be careful since they were changing their fire seed.
The Lu tribe decided to merge their fire seed the afternoon three days after the forest massacre. They didn’t dare to do it at night because their reared livestock would panic. These animals were bolder in the daytime so it was a better choice to do it in the day.
Dian Fa had already left with the other Thousand Masks the day before. No one knew what their next move was. Perhaps they would follow in the slave masters’ footsteps and take in more middle to small sized tribes and establish an empire of their own with their government system. Regardless of what they chose later on, bloodshed was inevitable because the situation here was different from the Flaming River region. These middle to small sized tribes were once powerful tribes in the central region. If the Thousand Masks were not careful, they might be backstabbed by these tribes.
There was bloodshed back in the days when the Ji family in King City fought for power too.
That was the Thousand Masks’ business, so Shao Xuan didn’t want to think about it. He stood with the other Flaming Horns along the boundaries of the Lu tribe as they began the merge. The energy from the Lu fire seed would greatly affect the Flaming Horns during the merging process, and they would feel a strong repulsive energy from it. This was the Lu tribe’s territory after all. The energy of the fire seed would be completely activated during the merging process. None of the Flaming Horns wished to risk their lives by staying near it.
As the Lu fire seed’s energy grew stronger, the people outside the fence all felt the repulsive energy from the foreign fire seed. Gan Qie also felt it too. He felt lucky as he kept a curious gaze at the Lu tribe.
“This is the fire seed’s merging process?”
“It’s just a part of the process. They have to fully activate the energy in the fire pond at first, but the energy will gradually increase,” Shao Xuan explained.
Gan Qie felt a sense of familiarity to the entire process. It wasn’t the Lu tribe’s fire seed, but rather what he was feeling from the Lu fire seed that was familiar. It was similar to a memory in his mind.
Back then, their tribe encountered a similar situation, but too bad only eleven of them were allowed to be there when the fire seed was activated. Those eleven had the entire Han tribe’s fire seed merged in their bodies. If it weren’t for the fact that their fire seed was already damaged in the previous battle, the eleven of them would’ve died during the merge.
The Han tribe’s shaman never expected anything like that to happen. When he finally noticed what he did was irreversible and out of his control, he had no way to fix the situation. He could only watch as their destiny unfolded. Even if anyone tried to reenact what happened to the Han tribe, they wouldn’t succeed because it was an accident back then. Even if the Han shaman was still alive now, there was no way for him to make it happen again.
As the muddy-yellow coloured flame burst upward into the sky, the fire seed’s energy reached its peak. The strong energy from the fire seed sent a repulsive force toward all the Flaming Horns in the area. It was like the Lu tribe suddenly became the origin of a storm, sending out destructive winds all around them.
Guang Yi was forced to take a step back and draw himself away from the Lu tribe. He looked up and saw Shao Xuan standing there calmly and not moving as if the repulsion didn’t affect him at all. After some thought, he immediately walked over and stood behind Shao Xuan. Suddenly, the repulsive pressure decreased greatly, as if Shao Xuan blocked away the repulsive energy of the Lu fire seed.
The others followed suit after they noticed what Guang Yi was doing. One, two, ten, a hundred...
When Shao Xuan turned around to look, the Flaming Horns who were initially spread out across the field now stood in a triangular arrangement behind him, and Shao Xuan himself was the edge of the triangle pointed at the Lu tribe.
Gan Qie did not hide behind Shao Xuan like the others. Even though he was also affected by the repulsive energy, he had a different mindset. The pressure from the fire seed was enough to take the breath out of most ordinary humans. Although he no longer had a need for breath, the pressure was still strong on him.
The Flaming Horns just wanted to have an easier time against the repulsive energy, but Gan Qie was feeling quite the opposite. He wanted to refresh his memory of the time this happened to his own tribe. Everything that he was feeling now matched with the scene in his memory.
“It was a merge indeed.” Gan Qie closed his eyes. Back then when it happened, the Han shaman let his injuries worsen and didn’t tend to them. It was no different from suicide. If their shaman knew this was a merge back then, perhaps he wouldn’t have blamed himself so harshly. No, there was no way he couldn’t free himself from the guilt since he was the one who did this to their fire seed. He was the one who decided to merge the fire seed within the eleven selected tribesmen, leaving the rest of the Han tribe no different from wanderers without a fire seed or totemic power.
Regardless, what happened already happened, and it was already so long ago, so there was no going back now. Nothing would change even if they regretted what they did.
When all had settled and the Lu tribe’s fire seed energy finally subsided, the Flaming Horns also felt the pressure on them slowly disappear.
The Lu tribe had successfully merged their fire seed. All tribes needed some time to adapt to their mixed emotions after a merge. Everyone felt differently about merging the fire seed after all. From this moment on, they were no longer the Lu tribe from before. If they encountered dangers, there was no longer a fire seed to shield or protect them.
But regardless of how they felt, the Flaming Horns couldn’t give them too much time to adapt. They could not wait for them to adapt to new changes. If the Lu tribe still wished to migrate and travel with the Flaming Horns, they had to get ready immediately.
The reared beasts that were promised to the Flaming Horns were selected and people were chosen to tend to these beasts on the way back, just in case they broke away from the herd and went astray.
The good thing was that these animals were tamed and their nature was not as wild as the fierce beasts in the forest. There were even beasts in the herd that could lead the others, so as long as these “leaders” were cared for, the others would naturally follow along obediently.
The Lu tribe’s reared beasts mostly stayed in their herds and went wherever most of their group was.
The Lu tribe spent the next three days gathering the supplies needed to build carts and packed all of their belongings. The Flaming Horns helped them build the carts for those who hadn’t awakened their totemic powers as well as the injured to sit in on their way to the Flaming River region.
As soon as everything was ready, the Lu tribesmen started a fire and burnt down all the houses they previously lived in. They couldn’t bring these houses and some tools away with them, and they didn’t want anyone else to use what they previously owned, so they’d rather destroy all of it before they departed.
After everything in the fires were destroyed, the Lu tribesmen began to herd the animals. Thus the migration began.
A person rode on the back of a dumb bird and led the herd. Sometimes injured Flaming Horn soldiers also rode on its back. These birds were too stupid. As long as there was food, they would easily be baited. If they wanted to make these birds move, they only had to use food as a bait to guide them forward.
That was why such a scene was common on their road to the Flaming River region: a person riding on the back of a dumb bird would hold a long stick attached to a fruit on one end and the fruit would be placed in front of the bird, enticing it to move forward.
The herd of cows and other animals were also segregated and watched over by some soldiers. The soldiers rode on horses and cattle and traveled back and forth, leading those that were astray back to the herd.
When other tribes migrated, they only brought people, but the Lu tribe was different. Many beasts travelled with them. As they walked on the trail, sand and dust swept up into the air. It was fine where the grounds were grassy, but when they walked across places that were less forested, so much dust would be kicked up that they wouldn’t even be able to see people through the dust.
The Lu tribe’s migration trail was different from the one the Flaming Horns went on when they came to the Lu tribe. Sometimes they would go around an area for safety reasons.
Shao Xuan sent a letter to the major tribes in the central region and told them to warn their subordinates not to attack the migrating Lu tribe. These letters gave them a headache.
Especially to those in the Thousand Masks tribe. As soon as Dian Fa saw the letter personally written by Shao Xuan, he cursed the Flaming Horn ancestors in his heart.
The Lu tribe decided to follow the Flaming Horns and the Thousand Masks tribe could not do anything about it. Now that the Lu tribe chose not to go with them, why should they still care about them? Even if some of the tribes there sided with the Thousand Masks, those people were responsible for their own behaviour. Why should they, the Thousand Masks, take action and stop them?
Dian Fa even wished initially for the Lu tribe to encounter more troubles on their migration so they would regret going with the Flaming Horns, but now, seeing what was written on the letter, he was furious! Shao Xuan mentioned that if any tribes under the Thousand Masks’ protection attacked the migrating tribe, they would regard it as the Thousand Masks’ doing.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that the Thousand Masks signed a contract of agreement with the Flaming Horns in the trading point before they merged their fire seed. Now that Shao Xuan mentioned this, the Thousand Masks had no choice but to accept it even if they didn’t like it.
The Thousand Masks chief stayed silent with his eyes closed for a while. Finally, after a deep inhale, he said in a deep voice, “Tell the other tribes, if they dare to make a move on the Lu tribe during their migration, we will kick them out of our territory!”
The Flaming Horns made the Thousand Masks mad, but they couldn’t fight back. They could only direct their anger on these other tribesmen.
Dian Fa’s mouth jerked as he cursed, but he still went and carried out his chief’s orders and sent the message to all the tribes under their protection.
The Thousand Masks tribe were not the only ones who received the letter. The others, such as the Mang tribe and the Eight Limbs tribe also warned those smaller tribes under their protection after they received the letter. That was why the Lu tribe travelled so safely during their migration. The journey was safe and there weren’t many troubles on the road, at least not as much as they had anticipated.
Yan Jiu was confused at first. They encountered some people who were watching them from afar and it was clear that they were hungry for their goods, but why didn’t they make a move? After he chatted with some Flaming Horn soldiers, he finally found out the fact that Shao Xuan wrote a letter to those major tribes.
Some of the elders who initially refused to go with the Flaming Horns were shocked when they heard about this. Those were all major tribes in the central region, but to their surprise, these tribes all did as they were told after receiving Shao Xuan’s letter.
Gan Qie had been sprinting at a high speed alongside the party. Some of the Lu tribesmen told him that he could ride on a dumb bird if he felt tired, but the other birds would stop moving once Gan Qie rode on one of them. They would all group together and stop where they were, unless Gan Qiee left. They were all afraid of him.
Gan Qie didn’t mind. He hardly felt tired anyways.
As he ran with his new cloak flying behind him, Gan Qie’s head turned and looked in one direction. His expressionless face suddenly changed.