Time went by slowly, Xue Wei and Hei Gou were still confined within the tent, unable to leave.
They spent their time cultivating, waiting patiently for the time for the tribe to start migration once more.
Xue Wei had been summoned a few times to the Elder's tent to be informed about their plans, but not once did they seek his input. It was clear that they would not permit him to disagree with their plans.
Last time Xue Wei had been summoned, he had been informed of the marital rites of their tribe and what he could expect. He was also informed that he was supposed to marry the Little Tribe Chief.
Xue Wei had not blamed the Little Tribe Chief too much previously. They were no longer on good terms after their freedom had been taken away from them, but he had initially felt that it was all because the Elders had forced it on her.
When he saw her red face after they told him of his arranged marriage, he felt annoyance. Was the reason they had forced him and Hei Gou to stay because their precious little girl had fallen for him?
"I've done nothing to warrant such emotions from her," he muttered to himself while sitting in the tent reminiscing about what had happened the last month.
The nuptial rites were explained to Xue Wei. In the Chaos Vulture Tribe, one would be engaged for a hundred days before the marriage ceremony took place.
This was something that caused Xue Wei a bit of relief. It seemed that it would take some time before the marriage was finalized.
He was also informed that the Chaos Vulture Tribe would be migrating soon. Their tribe had a cycle of relocating twice a year, depending on the seasons.
They would at random swap between seven different locations in their territory each time. When they had exhausted the population of Fierce Beasts in one place, they would move to the next, and so on.
It had now been three and a half years since they had last been at the location they were moving towards, and the Fierce Beasts were back in abundance.
Albeit always fighting against the beasts and losing good men and women to the cause, this very same fight for survival was also their livelihood. They got everything they needed to sustain their lives from these Fierce Beasts, from the leather required for their tents to the food they put on the tables.
Without the Fierce Beasts, these tribes would not be able to sustain themselves. The Flowing Blood Prairie was unsuited for the cultivation of crops, and thus all they could eat were a few herbs, nuts, roots, and berries that one could harvest in the wild.
Their engagement ceremony would be held as soon as they had migrated, and then the wedding would be held a hundred days later.
As to who Hei Gou was to marry, no one knew just yet, but it was certain that it would be a talented young woman from the tribe.
Xue Wei had broken through to become an eight layered Earth Warrior during the time they had been held captive. The recent boost in his cultivation speed was slowly dying out, the energy that had been stored in every cell of his body was slowly being depleted, eventually normalizing his pace of improvement.
Hei Gou, on the other hand, was still rapidly advancing. His body had now reached a level equivalent to a first layered Heavenly Warrior in raw strength; and his Qi was now incredibly pure and on the level of a fourth layered Sky Warrior.
The Elders and the Little Tribe Chief were the only ones aware of Hei Gou and Xue Wei’s rapid progress in strength. At first, they had felt relieved and excited to see their rapid improvement, but after a bit of time, they frowned. Were these two sacrificing their future prospects for the sake of rapid advancement so they could escape?
That had frightened the Elders, and Elder Zhang had immediately summoned Xue Wei and Hei Gou. After observing them, he realized that they were not sacrificing their future for short-term gains.
This made him feel even more puzzled. How could they advance so fast without suffering from Qi deviation?
"They must have eaten some precious herbs back in the Heping Kingdom," Elder Zhang concluded. "Their talent is above average, and then they consumed some sort of treasure that allowed them to promote their ranks so drastically."
The other Elders nodded their heads, accepting this reasoning, and waited for the cultivation to stabilize.
Another three weeks went by, and a lot of sounds entered the ears of the duo imprisoned in the tent. During these three weeks, neither of them had had any breakthrough, but they had managed to stabilize their cultivation bases, once more resulting in their foundations becoming as stable as mountains.
"There is much more activity outside the tent," Xue Wei said with a compressed voice to Hei Gou while sitting across from him, watching the shadows that were being cast upon the tent walls from the procession of people outside of the tent.
"It seems that they are getting ready for the migration," Hei Gou agreed with a nod of his head. The two were eager to see them migrate, as this was the best chance they had to escape from their wretched fate as the tribe’s pawns.
Suddenly, a strange sound of someone blowing a horn sounded. The sound seemed to come from far away, but it was enough to cause widespread panic outside.
The guards that had been guarding their tent day in and day out were suddenly gone, and the previously bustling area was devoid of life. It was as if every last person who had been in this area of the tribe had ran off towards the horned sound.
"This is our chance!" Xue Wei hissed. He jumped to his feet, and Hei Gou followed suit.
"We have to get very far. If that old geezer Zhang knows how to use Spiritual Energy and he uses his Knight-ranked spiritual energy to search for us, it is certain that we'll be found if we don’t get far, far away from this place."
"Well then, time to fly!" Hei Gou said with a snicker. Together, the two rushed out of the tent, only to see that there was absolutely no one in sight. They had all gathered at the other end of the tribe, armed with weapons in hand while staring straight at a billowing cloud of dust that was coming towards them from the opposite side.
"We will wait for them to clash," Xue Wei said with a low voice. "Right now, I am quite sure that Elder Zhang has everything under his gaze, including us. If we try to escape now, he might come running."
Hei Gou nodded his head. They had but one chance to escape this Chaos Vulture Tribe – they should not blow it by being impatient.
"Who do you think it is that's here?" Hei Gou asked curiously. Xue Wei shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know," he said honestly, "but I do hope it is someone who is here to fight the Chaos Vulture Tribe. The longer they fight, the more time we have to escape and the less likely it is that they will capture us."
Neither Xue Wei nor Hei Gou held any good feelings towards the Chaos Vulture Tribe any longer. They had enjoyed the time they could relax and cultivate, but to be forced into marriage had caused them to be upset and annoyed. Although it was not to a point where they would wipe out the tribe were they to have the option, neither felt bad about leaving them to their own devices and to face their trouble on their own.
Xue Wei and Hei Gou had snuck out of the tent and were observing the rest of the tribe in the distance, neither moving an inch.
The dust cloud was coming closer and closer, and soon one could see the outline of a vast army that was marching towards the tribe. This army was being led by a company of experts from the Heping Kingdom, and when Xue Wei saw them, he frowned.
Why was there a company from the army here? Was it the group that he had heard was said to be chasing him? But if it was, how did they know that Xue Wei was here?
Xue Wei frowned. "It seems like we need to use fake names in the future," he mumbled while his eyes flashed with a dangerous light.
"We need to leave now!" he exclaimed, and Hei Gou could hear the urgency in his voice. He instantly transformed his body to become that of a large black dog with a set of crow-like wings.
Xue Wei jumped up onto the back of the dog. Once Xue Wei grabbed on tightly, Hei Gou leapt up into the sky and beat his wings with every fiber of his being, shooting into the distance like a shooting star.
The first few moments filled Xue Wei and Hei Gou with utter terror. They had fled before the other group had arrived, meaning that if Elder Zhang had been observing them, he would have time to stop them, but fortunately for them, Elder Zhang had learned how to cultivate on his own and thus did not know about Spiritual Energy.
While Xue Wei and Hei Gou gambled on escaping, Elder Zhang's entire attention was on the group that was coming for their tribe. His eyes were filled with anger and were as if they could spit fire at any moment.
Not long after Xue Wei and Hei Gou had vanished into the distance, the group that was coming for the Chaos Vulture Tribe arrived, but they stopped a few hundred meters away from the perimeter of tribesmen, a couple officers from the Heping Kingdom stepping forward.
"Esteemed tribesmen of the Chaos Vulture Tribe, we have arrived today to request that you hand over the criminal Xue Wei and his companion Hei Gou."
"Criminal?" The tribesmen were surprised and looked at one another with confusion. They had guessed that he had escaped from the army, but even being a deserter was not enough reason for so many experts to chase him.
"Xue Wei, also known as the Crimson Devil, is suspected to be a Primordial Beast. If he is not a Primordial Beast, then he is a human colluding with them. He is known as the brother of the Ice Harpy, and he travels together with a Primordial Beast going by the name of Hei Gou. This beast is a big black dog with wings."
"Do not think you can keep them for your own purpose – we are here to take them away, and we do not mind using force!"
The entire Chaos Vulture Tribe was silent. They were all shocked when they heard this; their hearts were racing and their eyes were wide open. Xue Wei was a Primordial Beast? If he was, then this could explain his ability to fight experts above his own rank. But they had already decided that he was to be the son-in-law for the Chaos Vulture Tribe, so believing an outsider like this was not easy.
"Someone, go fetch Xue Wei and Hei Gou," Elder Zhang finally said with a frown on his brows. He needed to figure out what exactly had happened.
The guards who usually held Xue Wei and Hei Gou prisoners rushed back to the tent, only to find that it was completely empty. Their faces paled as they rushed back to Elder Zhang.
"They have escaped!" the bravest of the guards said with a trembling voice. "They must have used the chaos as a diversion. But they are only within the realms of Sky and Earth warriors; they should not have been able to get far!"
"Idiot!" Yuan Chao sneered at the tribe’s soldier that came with the news. "One of them is a strange black dog with wings. He can fly! Furthermore, he can even outrun Heavenly-Warrior level Fierce Beasts!"
"Although we might be able to run as fast as he can fly, don't forget that there are no obstacles in the air! We cannot catch up with them!"
The faces of the people on both sides turned severe, and the tribe that had followed the soldiers were apparently unhappy with the fact that they had traveled so far for nothing. Meanwhile, the Chaos Vulture Tribe was also filled with ugly expressions.
They had lost not only a son-in-law, but they had also lost two Primordial Beasts they could have tamed. It was indeed a significant loss for their tribe.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Guys there is no teaser today, but instead a message to you all.
I am aware that I am having a bit of a rough release schedule right now and not releasing every single day as promised. This is because I am doing a lot of 'behind-the-scenes' work right now, and it has eaten away the time I have for writing.
I am aware of currently owing you 2 chapters, and I promise that they will get out there as soon as I finish this other work. I am also so eager to explain to you what I am working with, but for now I have to keep silent! Look forward to quite a lot of amazing news in the future though :)
As always, thank you so much for reading my story! I am SO very grateful to every one of you!
And then the usual daily information:
ART PAGE! - There is new art of Xue Wei, Hei Gou, Lan, Chu Huiyin, Xiao Lei and Wang Xiaoyun!
Betareader: Soultorrent & Norwegian Viking