Time passed by fast in the Chaos Vulture Tribe. Soon, Xue Wei and Hei Gou had been in the tribe for a full week.
During this week, Hei Gou had accompanied the bereaved parents of Little Lao a few times., Each time he did, he would return with a face filled with wonder and amazement.
"Wei, did you know, I am actually able to ease someone's pain by simply staying by their side?" he asked with astonishment – and somewhat rhetorically – by the time he returned that day.
Xue Wei smiled at the sight of Hei Gou’s confusedly delighted face. "I know," he said. "Even people like us who live amidst bloodshed can cause someone to be happy with a single word."
"It is something we should be happy about, and strive to do whenever possible. Of course, for someone like us, it is not something we will be able to do often."
Hei Gou nodded his head and smiled. "Your cultivation has been improving rapidly these past few days," he said, changing the subject by praising Xue Wei.
"It hasn’t been long since you broke through to the fifth layer of the Earth Warrior rank, but you’ve already reached the sixth layer! At this pace, won't you break through in a month again? How can you be so fast?"
Xue Wei considered the question for some time and pondered on what exactly could be the cause, but then he reached a conclusion. "I guess it is because of the months I was unconscious, and the months I was chased," he said with uncertainty. “The pressure pushed me.”
"For a long time, I was stuck at the fourth layer of the Earth Warrior rank. I had no time to cultivate because of me being chased and later spending that much time unconscious, but my body might have still consumed energy passively. I believe this energy is now being refined and giving me a sudden breakthrough in cultivation."
"Don't you have to watch out for cultivation deviation then?" the black dog asked worriedly. He knew that it was good for Xue Wei to enhance his strength, but everything had to be done gradually. If one rushed to the higher ranks, it was likely that they would suffer greatly in the long-term. Especially if they ended up suffering from cultivation deviation. Then their cultivation would end up becoming useless, and persisting down this path would ultimately end up with them destroying their bodies and becoming a cripple.
"I should be fine for some time," Xue Wei said confidently. "My foundations are stable as a mountain after being stuck on the same level for as long as I have, if we are to speak relatively. Even if I were to advance a few levels, my strength should increase without any foundational consequences."
Xue Wei was quite certain. Nothing about his cultivation base hinted at a deviation. In fact, he felt it to be steadier than ever before.
He had previously advanced at an incredibly fast pace, but even back then he had not felt any signs of Qi deviation. And now that he had spent several months at the same rank, it was as if his cultivation base had been solidified completely.
Seeing that Xue Wei was so certain, Hei Gou nodded his head. He did not doubt his friend in the slightest and was instead thrilled to know that his friend's strength was growing.
"My cultivation base has also grown stronger and much more stable recently," Hei Gou said casually "The thing is, though, that despite growing stronger at a pace I could never even have dreamt about in the past, I still have not had a breakthrough."
Although Hei Gou appeared to be complaining, his face revealed a devilishly handsome smile and his eyes were laughing. He already knew that it was impossible for him to ask for more than what he already had gained, but he still wished to break through too. He wanted to hurry up and be strong enough to slaughter all the people that were chasing them.
"Wei and Gou, are you here?" a melodious and graceful voice sounded from outside the tent. Xue Wei and Hei Gou recognized it right away. "Little Tribe Chief," they called out in unison with a smile and went to receive her by pushing open the tent flap
The Little Tribe Chief had worked hard all this time, as evidenced by the things that decorated and filled out the previously empty space of Xue Wei and Hei Gou’s tent behind them. She had managed to get her hands on two beds for the two of them, the strange seashells that blew cold air, and other furniture that the pair might need.
For the entire week, she had come multiple times a day, each time bringing something smaller than the last to decorate their tent with.
Every time she visited, the Little Tribe Chief would look at Xue Wei with uncertainty in her eyes, and Xue Wei and Hei Gou treated her very amicably, almost like a sister. They were both fond of her because she had treated them so kindly from the get-go.
The Little Tribe Chief entered the tent again. This time her hands were filled with snacks.
Usually, all meals were had together in the middle of the tribe where big bonfires would be lit to roast Fierce Beasts every single day. Here, they could eat to their heart’s content.
Before the meals, someone would stand up and make an offering to the gods that these tribesmen believed in for the sake of safe passage for the lost warriors of that day and every day prior, and then everyone would be quiet and mourn. However, as soon as it was time to eat, they would once more return to their cheerfulness. The tribe members felt that this was what they ought to do for the ones who had sacrificed their lives to put food on their plates.
The snacks that the Little Tribe Chief had brought with her were a bag of small nuts, some berries, and other delicacies that were hard to come by in the middle of the prairie. She seemed to be looking forward to eating the snacks as she placed them on the table in the middle of the tent.
"I happened to come across a lot of berries and nuts when I was out hunting today," she explained shyly while avoiding eye contact. "When I picked them, I decided to share with my friends, so I hope you will enjoy it."
Xue Wei and Hei Gou were both surprised. They knew that their relationship with the Little Tribe Chief was good, but they had never before seen her act all shy and embarrassed. In fact, she had done everything she could for them so far, finding furniture and so on for them, but she had always been very straight forward. Seeing her act all shy caused them to be puzzled.
Neither Xue Wei nor Hei Gou had any experience with women. They noticed that the Little Tribe Chief was sending Xue Wei continuous glances, but whenever they tried to establish eye contact she would lower her eyes to the ground.
Both were confused. What did this mean? They had no idea. Why had she suddenly changed her behavior? They still did not know. In fact, the sudden change in her behavior had caused both of them to be extremely puzzled. They said nothing as they sat down and started eating the nuts and berries, both tactfully deciding to ignore it, hoping that it was just a strange phase the woman was going through.
The Little Tribe Chief shook her head with a self-mocking smile on her face as she once more glanced at Xue Wei. Although Hei Gou was the one who looked like her old sweetheart, it was Xue Wei who attracted her eyes.
All of this stemmed from a curiosity she had had when she found them in the prairie. This curiosity had been increased when she saw that Elder Zhang had taken an interest in this young man, and then it had moved on to emotions when he calmly stated that she was indeed good enough.
Since then, Xue Wei’s every single action had launched him deeper and deeper into the woman's heart, but she was also aware that Xue Wei was completely ignorant of her emotions. She did not know what she should do about them; they had arrived fast, and she felt like a boat in the middle of a storm when she thought about him, unable to think clearly.
In fact, ever since Xue Wei had praised her when he first entered the tribe, the Little Tribe Chief had constantly been reminded of him. His every move was something she now observed with great attention. She found that her eyes were always searching for him, her thoughts always revolving around him. As to why, she had only recently come to a conclusion, and this conclusion was what had caused her to suddenly become shy and embarrassed whenever she was close to him.
Unfortunately for her, he did not seem to have any intention of trying to figure out why she was suddenly so shy. He was only hoping that she soon returned to normal.
The Little Tribe Chief was in deep thought when she was arranging the snacks on the table. She mocked herself for having fallen in love with some stranger she had met only a week ago.
At the same time, determination appeared in her eyes. She was not going just to let this young man be – she would figure out her feelings for sure soon enough.
These thoughts made the Little Tribe Chief feel slightly embarrassed in her heart, but she had made a decision, and she stuck to it till the end.
After placing the snacks on the table, she was about to leave when Xue Wei, unknowingly, called out. "Why don't you stay and enjoy them with us? The more, the merrier, and you were the one who brought the snacks here after all," he said with a slight smile on his face. The young woman felt a blush creep up on her face. She gave a timid nod before sitting down from across them, intending to stay for a bit longer.
The conversation casually ended up being about the tribe and all rumors that entered the tribe from experts that returned from outside the tribe. Xue Wei and Hei Gou were unaware of most news as they had been cultivating, but the Little Tribe Chief gladly accepted the task of enlightening them.
There was news about how some tribes had gone to war, and there was also news about some Primordial Beasts that had caused beast hordes to appear in the southern area of the Flowing Blood Prairie.
Apparently, a new force had appeared in the prairie as well. It was a military force from the Kingdom of Heping, and it seemed as if this group was searching for something.
Xue Wei could not help but smile slightly. So there were still some stubborn experts willing to leave the Heping Kingdom to catch him? He had somewhat expected it, but hearing it now impressed even him. In many ways.
Hei Gou did not think too much about it as he snacked on the berries and nuts.
They talked for a long time. At some point, the Little Tribe Chief finally said what she had planned on saying from the start, "Elder Zhang said that, if you are willing, you can come to the training field tomorrow and try sparring with the youngsters of the Chaos Vulture Tribe."
"Although Wei's strength is a bit inferior, it is still beneficial to fight and move around instead of just cultivating in solitude all the time."
Xue Wei smiled but said nothing. Was he really that weak? He had only cultivated for around a year and a half. Despite this, he could rival experts with greater cultivation bases than himself in combat strength. He had Profound-level martial art techniques, and he even had the Mind Infestation that relied on his incredibly strong soul to attack and invade the mind of stronger opponents.
"Tomorrow?" Xue Wei was smiling slightly, showing absolutely no worry on his face, which surprised the Little Tribe Chief.
Although there was no one in the group of youngsters that had reason to kill or cripple Xue Wei and Hei Gou, they would not hold back and fight with all that they had, which was likely to cause these two outsiders to suffer some injuries.
At least this was what the Little Tribe Chief was completely sure about. She had no doubt in her mind about this actually, so she had hoped that Xue Wei would have declined the invitation. He was after all not very strong cultivation-wise.
She was sure that she was underestimating Xue Wei, but the thought of him sparring with her fellow tribesmen, powerful warriors in their own right, still made her feel hesitant. Still, she could do nothing since it was Elder Zhang's request, and at this point she could not help but wonder. Was there perhaps something about Xue Wei that the elder could see that she could not?
When the Little Tribe Chief left the tent, Xue Wei and Hei Gou looked at one another and smirked. Both of them had waited for a chance to display their ability and train against more suitable opponents, as their private spars did not satisfy either of them due to the difference in strength.
"Seems like we will have to thank Elder Zhang tomorrow," Xue Wei grinned. Hei Gou nodded his head. In their minds, the only thing that mattered as of now was getting stronger and becoming peerless experts.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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