Beyond the Flaming River Castle, the crowd of onlookers who had no clue what was happening inside began to conspire different theories after hearing the loud roars that came from within. Their minds were currently like unleashed fearsome beasts.
The Water Tiger tribesmen recognised their chief’s roar. From the three roars they could already tell what he was facing within the Castle. Either someone was trying to pick a fight with him or he was merely trying to show off his might by roaring. The long roar that came after was too terrifying for them. Their tribe liked to roar, so they clearly understood the meaning of this roar. Even if they couldn’t determine what happened inside, they knew for sure that their chief lost this fight.
However, after these roars, it suddenly became silent inside the Castle. They could only hear low muffled sounds. If someone was to roar or yell again, they would definitely be able to hear it, but they couldn’t hear anything else. As for onlookers who stayed farther away, it was even harder for them to hear anything unless they had keen ears.
Everyone outside the castle started chatting over what had happened in the Castle. Meanwhile, the people in the Castle began their first round of discussion.
The Flaming Horn tribe didn’t see these tribes as tribes that were hundred-percent willing to join the alliance. They only wanted to let these people understand more about the Great Alliance. Thus, Gui He started with a brief explanation of the alliance. If they really wanted to join the alliance, they had to abide by the rules and order had to be established. Those who broke the rules would be kicked out of the alliance. Also, every tribe that was going to join the alliance had to pay up, or else they wouldn’t be able to receive help from other tribes in the alliance. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and no one wants to have allies who are just going to reap the benefits and do nothing.
“Any tribe who cannot fulfill these requirements may leave now,” Gui He looked at the people from the thirty-two tribes.
When they first received news of the Flaming Horn’s announcement, some of them really couldn’t understand the requirements. They rushed over to join the Great Alliance purely because their tribe was threatened by foreigners. They had no choice but to seek help.
Now, after Gui He read out the rules and explained once more, some of them became doubtful. It was clear that there were some rules that they didn’t want to live by, and some of them didn’t want to take any risks.
“If you don’t leave now, it will be harder to leave the alliance later on. You’ll have to pay a huge price by then,” Shao Xuan said.
“I have a question,” the Zutong chief said, “After joining the Great Alliance, can you tell us how to merge our fire seed?”
“Most certainly, but if your tribe is going to leave the alliance as soon as you obtain this information, I urge you to leave earlier.
The Zutong chief shook his head, “I’m just checking if this was true. Our tribe has no intentions on leaving the alliance.”
The rules that Gui He mentioned were actually very beneficial to the people of the Zutong tribe.
Their tribe was skilled in digging wells.
In the future, if any tribes in the alliance needed a well dug in their tribe, they could go help them dig one, but of course, they had to be paid too. If anyone went back on their word and refused to pay or purposely paid them less than the amount they requested, then they would have no choice but to bring it up in the meeting of the Great Alliance. Tribes in the alliance that refused to live by such rules would be punished anyways.
Gui He looked at everyone who was present. No one desired to leave the alliance. Some of these people came from very far places and thought for a long time before they decided to join. They would certainly not leave at a moment like this.
“There’s something else I want to show everyone,” Shao Xuan let a warrior distribute the thirty-two beast hide scrolls. “All the benefits and disadvantages of joining the alliance have been listed for you on this scroll.”
This was just a general analysis that listed out the advantages and disadvantages of tribes that merged and didn’t merge their fire seed as well as those who decided to or not join the Great Alliance. Some proof and detailed analyses were also laid out on the scroll and arranged properly.
This task was assigned to Yi Si by Shao Xuan. He was told to consider all the details and provide a more complete picture for everyone. Even though Yi Si rarely walked out from his house, he knew a lot of information that many people didn’t know about. With his skills in analysing and calculating, this task was definitely something not many were able to do. His work was enough to convince everyone here.
Unlike others in his family, Yi Si didn’t know how to perform divination and he didn’t have the skills in telling the fortune, but he could analyse things very clearly. This was his strength. With this skill, it was enough to make up for the skills that he lacked. This was why Yi Si was able to predict many things that most weren’t able to. This was all due to his skill in analysis.
The analysis written on this beast hide scroll was of great value to the chief of every tribe present. After rubbing their hands, they dismissed the food on the table and immediately began to study the beast hide scroll. They also started chatting with the people around them about it.
Most of these chiefs could read. Even those who couldn’t brought along people who could.
They had to admit that these analyses were very convincing. Besides all the data on resources, supplies, strengths, and population, all the advantages listed on this scroll were so tempting that many tribes who were still doubtful about their decision became more convinced.
Some of the people here also felt hopeful about the future after reading about what was promised on the scroll.
“Since no one wants to leave, we’re going to have a discussion about this in a short while,” Gui He told Zheng Luo and Ao to stay here and keep watch while he brought the thirty-two leaders, Gui Ze, and Shao Xuan into a meeting room within the Castle.
It was hard to keep their information confidential if they discussed in this arena. Even though it wouldn’t matter much to them if people eavesdropped, it was best to keep the information about the Great Alliance as well as merging the fire seed as secretively as they could.
After reading the scroll and seeing all the benefits listed, none of the tribesmen felt worried when they heard that they were going to discuss inside a meeting room. They ordered their people to wait outside while they followed the Flaming Horns into the meeting room.
A huge meeting room had been arranged in the Flaming River Castle. This was the room the Flaming Horns used to have their meetings. It could hold around thirty to fifty people.
Shao Xuan took out a map of the Flaming River as well as the tributaries. The only difference between this map and the one he took out before was that this was much bigger so everyone in the meeting room could see it together.
Thirty-two dots were marked on the map. Each dot represented the location of each tribe that was here. Gan Qie had a special dot located within the trading point.
Shao Xuan told them about their idea of splitting up territories based on the tributaries. He even told them that if there were any problems in the future that they couldn’t solve, they could bring it to the Flaming River Castle and discuss it here.
When Shao Xuan told them about this, everyone in the meeting room went out of control.
Some people disagreed with this idea and some tribes that were located in the same tributary even began to quarrel.
“We’re in the same tributary as those violent uncivilized barbarians? What if we get crushed by them?!”
“You think I’m happy about that? I don’t even want to speak with you weak losers!”
One tribe was worried about the other tribe being too timid and weak while the other tribe disliked them for being so strong but unwise. Even though they quarreled about this, they were still placed on the same tributary. Since they had been living together for so many years and this was the only problem they had, the decision remained unchanged. They never really had big conflicts anyways. They could manage to coexist peacefully.
However, tribes on the same tributary began to fight over the naming of the tributary very soon. All of them were desperate to name it after their own name or their totem. The only people who remained quiet were the ones who lived on the main branch of the Flaming River.
The main branch of the Flaming River was headed by the Flaming Horn tribe, Taihe tribe, Drumming tribe, Rain tribe, Gan Qie of the Han tribe, as well as the Lu tribe who had only arrived here recently. All of them agreed to follow the Flaming Horn’s ideas.
After solving the problems related to the territory division, Shao Xuan elaborated on the merging process of the fire seed. He even prepared some important advice for them and handed these instructions out to those tribes whose fire seeds were still primitive.
“All of you can refer to what’s written on here, or you can ask those tribes who already have merged fire seeds if you are in doubt,” Shao Xuan said.
Those who understood what was written began to study the instructions closely. Those who couldn’t understand it rolled up the scroll and placed it close to them. They decided to bring it back and show it to their shaman. Everyone else might not know how to read, but the shaman definitely knew how.
Some tribes immediately began to ask people from the Drumming tribe and the Rain tribe about the merging process. Suddenly, Gui He rapped the table with his fingers.
The people who were discussing stopped talking and looked at him.
“Two more things. Everyone needs to start making preparations now,” Gui He said.
“What for?” someone asked.
Gui recalled his discussion with Shao Xuan and said, “Before winter, we will hold a hunt in our forest. If any tribe whose fire seeds are merged wants to follow us into the forest, you can come to the Flaming River Trading Point.”
What Gui He said made many people’s eyes sparkle.
Are we going to a forest with fearsome beasts?” Lu Zhai was so excited that even his breathing shortened. The mere idea made the blood boil within him. He couldn’t wait to go with them.
“We’re definitely coming!” the Water Tiger tribe said passionately. The negative emotions from his previous defeat in the roaring fight against Gan Qie suddenly vanished and he was elated again.
The Water Tiger tribe were slow at times, but they knew when to admit defeat. They wouldn’t say anything about it, but it was clear that they admitted they had lost. Shao Xuan was sure that these people wouldn’t do anything behind Gan Qie’s back to get back at him.
Of course, time would prove what kind of people these tribesmen were.
Following this announcement, some tribes even voiced out that if they succeeded in merging their fire seed, they would send people over to train under the Flaming Horns. Besides this, they also had to make preparations for the winter season, such as storing all the food properly.
According to the Flaming Horn tribe’s rule, the Flaming Horns would bring them into the forest to hunt, but in exchange, they had to give the Flaming Horns half of their game and only keep half for themselves. Then, they could either choose to bring the game back to their own tribe or trade it in the trading point for other goods.
After hearing that the trading point would be in business even during the winter, some tribes who had special skills in crafts started to think about goods they could bring to trade. They wouldn’t come out to trade in the winter, but they could come before winter. They had to utilize all the goods they had and make sure they exhausted all the potential from their goods.
“Besides the hunt, I have another announcement.” After some hesitation, Gui He continued, “The Flaming Horn tribe is going to expand the trading point. Those who wish to join us in this construction can approach Elder Zheng Luo after this meeting.”
“Expand? But the trading point is already so big! You guys still want to expand?” someone asked doubtfully.
“It’s not big enough. More people are coming to join the alliance, so we’re planning on expanding to the petrified lands and connecting it to the trading point,” Gui He said.
This meeting lasted two days, and most of the time, these tribes discussed matters related to merging the fire seed.
When it all ended, the Beast Fang Gate opened again and all the tribesmen walked out from within. The atmosphere was more peaceful now compared to when they entered. Even though some people still fought to get out first, they weren’t as rude as before. They wouldn’t start a fight as soon as they came to a disagreement.
After they understood the merging process, they immediately returned to their tribe. Some left on the day they exited the meeting ended while others left on the second or third day.
Many of these tribes already demonstrated teamwork and left with the tribes that lived by the same tributary. This was a good sign. It was safer for them to travel together back home.
The tribes that came to join the gathering left very quickly. As soon as they left, the trading point suddenly became quiet again. This was just the way it was before. It only appeared relatively quieter because the trading point was full of excitement when the tribes came to gather.
“Very soon, this place will be bustling again,” Shao Xuan said as he glanced far away from the roof of the Flaming River Tower.
For the next few days, Shao Xuan could feel the rippling energy of fire seeds in the air. Even if those fire seeds weren’t anywhere near the trading point and no one else had noticed it, Shao Xuan noticed it all. He could even tell which tribe had successfully merged their fire seed after sensing the energy change in the air.
At first this change in energy that came from fire seeds only came from a few different locations. As days passed, this energy change occurred more frequently in more locations. Sometimes it happened so often that Shao Xuan felt the energy change in more than three to four locations each day.
When all the tribes that were in the alliance finished merging their fire seeds, the weather became cool again. This was a sign that carried a clear message. Soon, the trading point would be filled with people again.
As the head of the Great Alliance, the Flaming Horns definitely wouldn’t reap all the benefits themselves and not care about the other tribes. That was why they hosted a hunt before winter for all of them. They wouldn’t bring these people to all the hunting trails though. They only selected a specific trail that was most suitable for their training.
These tribes either came to gain experience from the hunt or came to hunt for food to last the winter. The Flaming Horns were different. They wanted to use this chance to truly understand these tribesmen better.
Very quickly, teams from each tribe began to arrive at the trading point. Compared to their last gathering, there were many new faces. Overall, everyone who came looked strong and seemed to be the elite members of their tribe. The reason for this was obvious enough. They were going to hunt fearsome beasts in the forest. If they let the weaker members of their tribe come, it would mean sending them to their deaths.
Ta’s hunting team had already entered the forest. As soon as they come back, it would be time for the alliance to enter the forest. Since the Flaming Horn’s main reason for this trip was to bring these people on a hunt, Shao Xuan and the Flaming Horn warrior’s main job was to protect these people and make sure they don’t get their entire team killed by fearsome beasts. Their main goal was not to hunt, but to protect these people. That was why Ta brought a team into the forest before the hunt began. He went ahead to prepare what everyone had to eat for the next few days and also to make sure the trading point had enough goods to trade and stay in business.
When most of these tribes finally arrived, Ta’s team also returned.
“Tell all of them to get ready and prepare to cross the river. The hunt is about to begin.”