Xue Wei was hesitant. He considered explaining his plan to Hei Gou through voice compression, but he was worried that the tribesmen were capable of capturing their conversation in one way or another.
Although he had learned the voice compression trick to stealthily communicate with others, Lan had never told him how secure it was.
Since he was unsure of whether or not these other experts could hear what he said, he decided to stay quiet.
The group moved slowly past the prairie. The Fiery Horses trotted along slowly so Hei Gou and Xue Wei could follow them.
Hei Gou and Xue Wei observed everything around them. A few mortal beasts were in their sights, but they encountered no Fierce Beasts at all on their trip, something that did not puzzle either of them, but the other experts, the tribesmen, were all shocked and confused as to why there were no dangers lurking at every corner trying to kill them.
They ceased moving at a leisurely pace, going as fast as they could, and the four men that escorted the woman were constantly on the lookout for Fierce Beasts.
The prairie consisted of different grasses, herbs, and shrubs. A few trees stood proudly here and there. The sight was completely different from what Xue Wei and Hei Gou had seen growing up.
The duo was filled with curiosity towards this new world, and they observed everything with big wide open eyes and their faces displayed excitement.
Xue Wei was not too worried about entering the tribe. Had these people wanted to harm the two of them, then the fight would have happened already, but them being unscathed was a clear sign that they had something else planned for them.
Xue Wei could not help but wonder exactly what this something was. He also wanted to know about the different rumors, information, and other pieces of news that he could get from entering this tribe.
Back in the Heping Kingdom, he had to avoid the human settlements as much as possible due to the bounty on his head, but things were different here.
In this place, his bounty held no allure as no one knew about it. And at the same time, these tribesmen might have gotten wind of curious rumors, information, or something useful from the center of the continent.
They were moving swiftly through the prairie, but it took them four hours to reach the tribe despite their haste.
When they got close, people belonging to the tribe started appearing in their surroundings. Some adults were harvesting plants and herbs while the children were fighting and playing together, and there were youths sparring against one another.
Every single person who appeared stopped what they were doing and greeted the group. Many of them ended up staring with surprise at Hei Gou, and soon the group had a whole tail of experts following them.
"This tribe is bigger than I expected," Xue Wei muttered to himself as they saw the tents that rose in the distance.
These tents were all made from Fierce and Primordial Beast hide, leather, skin, and fur. The same materials they used for their clothes.
The tents were round, and it was clear that they were used to a nomadic lifestyle, traveling around the prairie to hunt down their targets time and time again.
Xue Wei had previously assessed the woman and the four men who had shown them the way. The woman was a Sky Warrior, of what rank he did not know, and the four men were all Earth Warriors.
When they walked further into the tribe, Xue Wei saw that although some of the smallest kids were all Ordinary Warriors, the tribe had a large quantity of Earth Warriors and Sky Warriors.
Contemplating for some time, Xue Wei felt better. Although the tribe was bigger than he expected, and likely had a couple Heavenly Warriors, maybe even an Ordinary Knight, he also understood that both he and Hei Gou were relatively safe.
This was the Flowing Blood Prairie. As long as they did not run into a Diviner, they should be able to keep up the illusion of Hei Gou being a human.
Diviners were incredibly rare within the entire continent, so to find one in the first tribe they went to in the Flowing Blood Prairie was very unlikely to happen.
Xue Wei had mainly accepted the invitation to visit the tribe to get his hands on information, but he had also done it for another reason.
Hei Gou and he had been on the run for a long time without any moment to actually wind off and just relax.
Now that they entered the tribe, they would be able to take it easy for a while, and during this time, Hei Gou should be able to adjust to the changes that had happened to his body and finish convalescing his blood essence.
Xue Wei was not dumb; he knew that if the tribesmen had found only him, he would have likely not made it out in one piece. It was because of Hei Gou’s resemble to the Little Lao these tribal people had mentioned that they were willing to invite them in.
If someone came after having tracked them down in the future and they were not too large of a threat, then the tribesmen would kill them. If they could not kill them, then they would ignore them. Outsiders would definitely not be invited into the tribe without a very good reason.
As Xue Wei was deep in thought, their group arrived at the first tent. From here, they saw a full city of tents, and although it was much smaller than the makeshift city that Xue Wei had seen back in the capital's recruitment camp, it was still a magnificent sight with around ten thousand tents.
Each tent was much larger than the tents at the recruitment camp. Back there, only one person lived in each tent. Here, however, every tent housed an entire family.
These families could count from two people up to ten. The tents had to have enough space for ten people to sleep within themit. Although it might get crowded, the tents were truly large, enough to accommodate every family.
Children of all ages were running around past the tents; some looked to have a purpose, while others were playing.
Women were walking, carrying baskets filled with roots, vegetables, and furs.
There was a bustling atmosphere within this tribe and everyone was busy doing their own thing, but when they saw the woman and her four guards arriving, all of them respectfully greeted her.
Even more of them were curiously looking at Xue Wei and Hei Gou, and some of them showed shocked expressions whenever they recognized the face of the latter.
The woman who was leading them did not hesitate and led them straight towards the middle of the tribe, where a tent ten times the size of the others had been erected. There were guards all around this tent, and all of them were equipped with spears and observed their surroundings with a very alert demeanor.
They looked at the woman and nodded to her as she led the group of seven into the tent.
Xue Wei expected an unbearable amount of heat inside the tent. The weather outside was fairly warm, scorching almost, and these tribal tents were made from beast hide, which made him believe that they would soak up and trap the heat inside.
He was pleasantly surprised when he felt a fresh breeze move past him when he steopped foot into the tent, causing it to be incredibly comfortable. He looked around only to realize that there were four massive seashells placed in a square formation inside the tent, one in each direction.
These seashells were all facing the same way, and he could sense that the breeze that circulated around in the tent came from them.
Xue Wei had never before heard of or seen anything like this before, so he was seriously curious about it, but he knew better than to start questioning the tribesmen about such a thing when they had just arrived as, bluntly said, captives.
Hei Gou had similarly seen the shells, and he too was curious about them, but he had no intention of asking about it just yet either. Where Xue Wei was incredibly casual and calm, Hei Gou had still not gotten used to the fact that they had entered a settlement of humans, which made him appear terribly stiff and uncomfortable. This was the most humans gathered in one place he had ever seen before, and it scared him silly.
If they found out about his origins, he knew he would be done for, and he was shocked to see that Xue Wei could behave so casually even in this situation.
As they entered the tent, the seashell was not the only thing that caught Xue Wei's attention. There were also seven men inside the tent, and all of them were either middle-aged or elderly.
These seven men were clearly in deep discussion, yet when they sensed someone entering the tent, their discussion died down and they looked to the entrance.
All of them were shocked, yet one of them started tearing up when they spotted Hei Gou's face. The man jumped to his feet and the stool he had been sitting on clattered as it was knocked over by his sudden movement.
"Little Lao?" he asked with a trembling voice and slowly started walking towards Xue Wei and Hei Gou.
Hei Gou's face turned unsightly and he took a few steps back before the woman that had brought him there stepped between the elderly man and Hei Gou.
"Uncle Zhang, I am afraid that it is not Little Lao," she said apologetically, "but when I went out to hunt today, we encountered this young man and his companion. He is completely similar to Little Lao in appearance, which was why I decided to bring him back for you and the others to see him."
"I do not know whether or not it will make you feel at least a little peace, but I genuinely hope so," she said with a heavy heart. The old man nodded his head. There was a mixture of slight disappointment but also relief and longing in his eyes.
"Come in, both of you, come in!" he exclaimed and spread open his arms to bid them welcome.
He whistled out loud and suddenly four men appeared in the tent opening, cupping their fists and bowing to the old man.
"Elder Zhang, you called?" one of them asked as he was bending forward in a deep bow.
"Find some stools for these youngsters to sit on! I wish to have a good conversation with them!"
The four men acknowledged their order and vanished. After but a moment, they returned with seven stools, one for each of the people in the group.
These seven stools were placed next to the ones of the middle-aged and elderly men, and the man they referred to as Elder Zhang gestured for them to sit down.
"I welcome you to the Chaos Vulture Tribe," the man said with a smile on his face. "Why don't you introduce yourselves a bit?" he then asked.
"I am Xue Wei, and this is my brother Hei Gou," Xue Wei did not bother to try and hide their real names. He had a feeling that if he tried to lie too much to this person in front of him, they would be in more trouble than they could handle.
"What brings two young men such as yourselves to our Flowing Blood Prairie? Looking at your skin, you have not been here for long, as it is simply not tanned enough. And your clothes, they bear a different kind of abrasion. Considering this, you ought to be from the Kingdom of Heping... and if that's the case, should you not have been in the military?" the old man did not let up and asked a lot of questions in one go, leaving Xue Wei smiling wryly, unsure of which question to answer first.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking