Xue Wei's face turned ugly. He was not willing to be displayed as a creature in a cage, but he knew that not only did his life depend on his performance, Hei Gou's did too.
Stepping into the tent, Xue Wei decided not to display any form of weakness. He strode forward with steady steps, and his eyes were bright and tranquil.
Although he was very angered at the moment, he kept his emotions in check, revealing none of them on the surface.
His eyes quickly got used to the dim light within the tent. He spotted a full thirteen experts seated around a table in the middle of the tent, all of which were looking at Xue Wei, clearly evaluating him from top to bottom.
Xue Wei said nothing. He just stopped and stared back at these Elders, observing every one of them, immediately memorizing their appearances and taking note of their strength.
Elder Zhang was the first one he observed. The man playfully stroked his long white beard with his hand, and a self-satisfied smile was on his lips as he occasionally stole glances at Xue Wei.
When looking at the Elders, Elder Zhang was without a doubt the oldest of them all. The rest seemed to be between middle-aged to elderly, but none of them had completely white hair and beards like Elder Zhang. The majority of them had grey hair or black hair with grey stripes.
These Elders all looked at Xue Wei as if he was a treasure to claim.
Xue Wei shuddered when he saw these gazes. He felt like a beautiful virgin being tossed to a brothel, with all the patrons being eager to undress him with their eyes.
He could not help but wonder what exactly he had done to cause these old men to look at him with such greed.
"Xue Wei, we have summoned you here today because we have some things we need to talk to you about," Elder Zhang said with his old voice.
"Do not mind us keeping you captive for now... if you work with us, we will gladly have you freed soon," he continued. However, his words did not cause Xue Wei to be relieved. As a matter of fact, it made him more worried than before.
"This freedom, at what cost does it come?" Xue Wei asked with narrowed eyes. He understood that these men wanted something from him, but he was uncertain as to what exactly they could want from him.
He was an Earth Warrior. Although he had broken through to the seventh layer of the Earth Warrior rank, he could still not be considered an outstanding genius.
In fact, Hei Gou looked to be as old as Xue Wei, and he was already a Sky Warrior; in appearance alone, the former even seemed to be mighty among Sky Warriors.
So if these tribesmen were looking for someone reliable, they should have been calling for Hei Gou, but it was Xue Wei they had summoned, which completely confused him.
"Let us get straight to the point," Elder Zhang said after a bit of time. The aged man sighed.
"When I created the Chaos Vulture Tribe, I brought with me five friends. These five friends brought their families, and our six families together created the Chaos Vulture Tribe."
"In the Flowing Blood Prairie, it is tough for the tribes to have contact with one another as there is always blood feuds between us, and we try to kill each other as soon as we get a chance."
"This results in our tribes having an issue with not getting enough fresh blood into the tribe."
"Now you and your friend has arrived. We should have killed you both by now, but we are impressed by your abilities. We want both of you to become members of our tribe."
"For now, we obviously cannot trust you completely, but as time goes by you will be given complete freedom when you have proven your allegiance to our tribe."
"Although your friend is arrogant, he has the power to back up such arrogance. We want the both of you to assimilate into our Chaos Vulture Tribe. In fact, it is the best option for you. If you do not join our tribe, then you will stay captives until we convince you to join us."
Elder Zhang was not asking for Xue Wei's permission or opinion. He had already decided that Xue Wei and Hei Gou were to join their tribe, and they had no say in the matter.
Xue Wei's eyes glistened dangerously as he thought about it. He was not willing to be forcibly absorbed into their tribe, but he knew better than to state his honest opinion right now.
Xue Wei still had much to do.
But Xue Wei was not going to argue with these Elders from the Chaos Vulture Tribe, as he knew that arguing would change nothing. They were the tribe’s captives, and now they had no other option than to pretend to cooperate.
"Tell me, young man, what do you think about our Little Tribe Chief?" Elder Zhang asked as silence descended in the tent.
The question seemed to catch everyone's attention, and all of them looked at Xue Wei; even the Little Tribe Chief looked at him with a blushing face.
Xue Wei looked at her for some time and sighed. "She is a nice girl," he said casually, not being too friendly or hostile.
His tone of voice was polite, but it was also distant. It was clear that the friendliness that Xue Wei had felt towards the Little Tribe Chief before had taken a hit after their change in attitude towards Xue Wei and Hei Gou.
Her blushing face drained of color and turned white; she was quickly able to tell that Xue Wei was answering politely, and not being genuine.
Elder Zhang sighed when he saw this. He knew that their change in attitude had honestly hurt the trust between Xue Wei, and the tribe, but he also knew that there was no other option for them than to wait and see what would happen after some time.
"Take him back to the tent," Elder Zhang ordered. He had already told Xue Wei what he needed to know; the young man was now aware that he was being seen as young talented blood to the tribe.
Xue Wei's eyes were flashing with a cold light as he exited the tent. He did not display any emotions on his face, but it was clear that he was unhappy.
All the way back to the tent where Hei Gou was waiting for him, Xue Wei said absolutely nothing. He just walked quickly; the casual and carefree expression from earlier was gone, and instead a dark face was all the Little Tribe Chief saw.
As they reached the tent, Xue Wei did not even say his goodbye to the Little Tribe Chief. Although he had to be polite to the elders due to their strength and the fact that Hei Gou was bound to him through his actions, he had no interest in being friends with this woman – at least any longer.
The guards were all displeased by Xue Wei’s reaction, but the Little Tribe Chief shook her head.
"Don't mind him. He was not pleased with the Elders' decision," she explained, so that the guards would be less upset with him.
"What happened?" Hei Gou asked with a compressed voice. He noticed the dark expression on Xue Wei's face and could infer that he was genuinely pissed off.
"They want to force us into becoming a part of their tribe," Xue Wei answered, also with his voice compressed.
"They want us to marry into the tribe so that we can become their pawns; it is simply unacceptable!"
"What are we going to do?" Hei Gou asked in a slightly panicked way. He was a Primordial Beast, and although he had taken human shape, he was aware that it was impossible for him to conceive with a human.
"What can we do?" Xue Wei sighed and shrugged his shoulders. "For now... we can do nothing. We have to bide our time for an opportunity to escape, but for now, our most important mission is to raise our strength. The stronger we are, the more likely our escape attempts are to succeed!"
After Xue Wei left the Elders' tent, the Elders were looking at one another in dismay. The only one who looked somewhat pleased was Elder Zhang.
"Elder Zhang, it seems that he is not very interested in our Little Tribe Chief. She likes him, and his talent is acceptable too. His fighting ability is outstanding, but what can we do if he is not interested in her?"
"Elder Zhang, please don't forget that these two are forced to stay with us. We cannot trust them!"
"We don't need to trust them, all we need of them is to bring fresh blood to our tribe!"
Everyone was eager to discuss these two people that had appeared, initially as guests.
"That young man Xue Wei is going to harbor ill will against us," one of the Elders said with a sigh. "Although he seemed to be understanding, a grudge is definitely forming in his heart."
"Since he is forming a grudge against us, if we cannot control him, then we ought to slaughter him! We do need new blood in our tribe, but at the same time, we also need to make sure that we are not going to get injured!"
"Old Man Liu, you want your grandchild to be married to the Little Tribe Chief! We know you have always wanted those two children to be connected. Now that another child has appeared, it is natural that you are against him, but you have to admit that for the sake of the tribe, this youngster will be a much more suitable choice!"
"Even if this young child has a grudge against us, he is smart. He knows that both his and his brother's lives are in our hands. As long as they wish to survive, they have to do what we tell them to do."
The speaker was incredibly smug, and he snickered as he stroked his mustache. His words made some of the other experts nod their heads and agree.
"For the sake of our tribe, we will keep these two experts under control. As long as we have Elder Zhang, a Prairie Monarch, in our tribe, we are safe and sound. Even if they gain strength rapidly, they will need at least fifty years to become as strong as him!"
"During these fifty years, we will manage to have them produce a lot of offsprings. Even when they become as powerful as Elder Zhang, will they actually be willing to oppose our tribe? They might end up leaving, at worst, but they will still leave behind their descendants and enrichen our tribe’s legacy!"
All the elders present, apart from the man called Old Man Liu, were snickering and praising themselves. Old Man Liu, on the other hand, had a dark face and was apparently unhappy.
Elder Zhang was smiling like the others; he too felt incredibly proud of their achievements, and he found no mistakes in their plan. Strength was what mattered, and as long as he was strong, he could suppress the two young men and force them into marriage with women from their tribe.
Back in the tent, Xue Wei suddenly shuddered.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I owe you all a chapter, ill try to get it out as soon as possible :)
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking