Past Ancientlock was the Thousand Bones Plain.
The Thousand Bones Plain, as its name implied, was a desolate and barren wasteland. Bleached skeletons dotted the landscape as far as the eye could see.
There were very few resources here, so the competition for whatever resources there were was particularly fierce. Strange creatures constantly fought over meager amounts of food.
And the rulers of this wasteland were the Barbarians.
Various Barbarian tribes were scattered throughout the Thousand Bones Plain, forming a network that was both scattered and unified at the same time.
Ancient Jiha was a leader of one of these Barbarian tribes.
His Qiang Tribe had once unified the entire Thousand Bones Plain, but as time passed, his tribe had steadily weakened. Currently, they had been entirely forced out of the Twelve-Tribe Alliance and were just a mid-sized tribe.
Today was the Qiang Tribe’s Heaven-Celebrating Festival.
The tribe’s youths all charged out of the tribe’s encampment, wielding bows and swords as they thundered across the plains on the backs of their beloved warbeasts.
A few strange creatures had been driven out of their normal hiding places and were currently being furiously pursued by countless Barbarian youths. At the same time, countless Qiang Tribe women were singing and dancing.
The singing and dancing of the woman spurred on the young warriors, strengthening their desire to put on a good performance and show off as much of their skills as they could.
This was the Qiang Tribe’s tradition. Their celebration and courtship rituals all revolved around their love for life. The warriors who put on the best performances would naturally become the tribe’s heroes.
Today, however, something seemed a bit off.
A Wasteland Rhinoceros charged through the wasteland madly.
This rhinoceros was around ten feet tall, and its skin was thick and scaly, which allowed it to withstand powerful attacks. But its most terrifying aspect was the horn on its head, which could shoot out bolts of lightning. It was probably the strongest beast out of all the local indigenous species.
The Barbarians chasing after it were the Qiang Tribe’s most outstanding youths.
Around twenty of them furiously pursued the rhinoceros on flying serpents. The youth at the very front was wearing a red hat and wielding a short spear. A large hunting banner was strapped to his back.
“This one’s mine!” the youth yelled.
“I don’t know about that, Soar. We won’t lose to you just yet,” another youth called out as he spurred his mount up to the side of Soar’s mount.
“That’s right! For the beautiful Elli!”
“For the Qiang Tribe!”
The youths began to howl frenziedly as they unleashed a barrage of attacks against the rhinoceros.
Blood spurted out from the rhinoceros’s body as it howled in pain.
Perhaps it had instinctively recognized that letting the situation continue on in this fashion would only lead to its own demise, because the creature suddenly went berserk.
It spun around and madly dashed at the Barbarian youths. The horn on its head began to glow brightly as crackles of lightning danced across its surface. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning shot forth, crashing into one of the Barbarian youths.
This youth was sent flying from his mount. The other Barbarians, however, did not seem intimidated in the slightest. Instead, they began to howl with excitement.
The true glory of the hunt could only be obtained through a bloody battle. If none of their own blood was spilt, then their victory would be cheapened.
As such, every year’s hunt targeted creatures that could fight back, and some of the youths would always be wounded or even killed in the process.
Only real heroes could obtain true glory.
The youth named Soar quickly closed in on the rhinoceros before jabbing out with his short spear as he flew past the rhinoceros.
His powerful and precise attack left a deep gash in the rhinoceros’s body. The rhinoceros howled and thrashed in pain as it sent out another bolt of lightning.
The large banner on the youth’s back, however, completely absorbed the lightning strike and easily dissipated its force. At the same time, however, Soar had already turned around and was standing in front of the rhinoceros, with his banner’s tip pointed straight at the rhinoceros like a lance.
This banner was his real weapon, as well as the source of his pride.
Just as he lined his banner up with the rhinoceros, however, the warbeast he was riding on suddenly collapsed. Soar was abruptly thrown off of the beast’s back and onto the ground.
The rhinoceros charged over at this moment, lowering its horn to gore Soar.
“Soar!” all of the Barbarians cried out anxiously.
While others could be sacrificed in the name of glory, Soar could not.
Just as the rhinoceros was about to reach him, however, a hand suddenly appeared in front of Soar’s face.
It actually grabbed the charging rhinoceros by the horn.
The rhinoceros felt as if it had suddenly slammed into an immovable mountain. Instead of charging through, its momentum was forcefully shifted up and over the hand.
Just as it was about to crash into Soar, the hand casually flipped over.
A shocking scene appeared.
The rhinoceros was left frozen in midair.
This brawny, powerful rhinoceros was completely paralyzed by the hand holding it by the horn. In fact, the owner of the hand was even swinging it through the air like it was a sword.
Its attack hadn’t been dissipated — it had been forcefully stopped.
This powerful braking force sent violent waves of recoil rippling through the rhinoceros’s body.
It hadn’t died yet, but it was still being held in the air.
At that moment, everyone realized that the owner of the hand was a youth who seemed to be a few years younger than them. Behind that youth stood a giant metal puppet.
“Who are you? Why are you trespassing on the Qiang Tribe’s territory?” Soar yelled.
“That’s not how you should address the person who just saved your life,” Frost replied calmly.
Soar froze for a moment before his expression grew ugly. “The Qiang Tribe refuses to be indebted to anyone!”
As he spoke, he unsheathed his blade and slashed at his own neck.
Frost was badly startled by Soar’s suddenly suicide attempt. He hurriedly reached out and grabbed the hand wielding the blade. From the power behind the strike, he could tell that Soar was really intending to cut his own neck.
These Barbarians were truly barbaric. Their bloodthirst far exceeded their brain capacity, which was why they treated their own lives so casually.
The lives of others didn’t matter, but neither did their own.
Frost shook his head. “There’s no need.”
The others all charged over, pointing their weapons at Frost.
Frost raised his hands. “I surrender.”
The rhinoceros was still in his hand. It could do nothing besides growl weakly, and its massive figure was extremely prominent among the vast wasteland.
Back at the Qiang Tribe’s encampment.
Within the tribe leader’s tent.
Ancient Gong gazed at Frost with a bemused expression, glancing back and forth between him and the giant puppet behind him. Frost steadily gazed back at Ancient Gong.
The tribe leader exuded the classic raw and bloodthirsty aura that all Barbarians exuded. The youth named Soar was most likely his son, and Soar was actually sitting cross-legged behind him.
To his left and right sat two people.
One of them was a man who was bald and only had a single eye. His face was covered in scars. Obviously, he was one of the tribe’s best warriors.
The other was an old man, who held a bone relic in his hand. His face was covered in wrinkles, and he was most likely a high priest of some kind.
The tribe leader, high priest, and strongest warrior were the three individuals in the tribe with the most influence.
Frost was quite happy that he had gotten the chance to meet all of them at once.
It was best to get straight to the point when dealing with the Barbarians, so Frost immediately said, “I came here to look for you.”
“What does a noble like you want with us?” Ancestor Gong harrumphed disdainfully.
The northern regions were a desolate wasteland, while the southern regions were fertile. As such, the Barbarians viewed those from the south as nobles.
It was only natural that the primal and bloodthirsty Barbarians would have no respect for those whom they considered nobles. Throughout history, the Barbarians had always been the aggressors.
Even though their efforts typically ended in failure, it was only natural that they would develop a sense of superiority over those soft nobles. The so-called “nobles,” on the other hand, rarely invaded the north because it just wasn’t worth it. Of course, the Barbarians conveniently ignored that fact.
“I would like to offer you an opportunity for riches and honor,” Frost replied steadily.
“Riches and honor?” Ancient Gong was taken aback by Frost’s proposal before he began to guffaw. “He said that he’s going to give me riches and honor?! Haha, riches and honor!”
“If you don’t believe me, then I can give you death instead,” Frost said without a change in tone.
“What?” Ancient Gong was startled.
The Titan-Class puppet behind Frost took a single step forward.
With this step, the space within the tent suddenly seemed to freeze, and Ancient Gong found himself unable to move a single finger.
His face drained of color as he roared, “Men, to me!”
Frost calmly shook his head. “It’s no use. This entire space has been locked down. Your voice will not reach those outside, and even if it does, they will not be able to come in.”
“Spatial imprisonment!?” Ancient Gong was stunned.
No matter how cut off from society the Barbarians were, he was at least able to recognize basic spatial techniques.
That was a power on the level of the gods!
“RAH!” The warrior with a single eye charged towards Frost as he punched out towards him.
Frost shook his head. “It’s no use.”
The warrior’s fist passed through Frost’s body without any resistance whatsoever. No matter how hard he swung his fists, he was unable to hit Frost. It was as if they were an ocean’s width apart from each other.
The Qiang Tribe’s high priest tossed the bone relic in his hand into the air. Like the warrior’s blows, however, the bone relic just spun aimlessly in the air, seemingly falling but refusing to ever touch the ground.
If the bone relic could not touch the ground, then its effect would never activate.
Soar hefted the short spear in his hand and rushed in front of Ancient Gong. “Father, quickly leave!”
Go? Go where?
Didn’t you hear him say that he had used spatial imprisonment?
Ancient Gong pushed Soar aside and said, “Your skill is truly impressive. What exactly do you want?”
Even the Barbarians knew to be civil when facing an opponent who they could not possibly beat.
Frost replied, “Didn’t I already tell you? I have an opportunity for you to get riches and honor. Do you want it or not?”
“What riches and honor?” Ancient Gong voice remained steady as he was untempted.
“What if I made you the ruler of the Barbarians?”
Ancient Gong was stunned. Was this some kind of perverse joke?
Ancient Gong harrumphed again. “Even if you are exceptionally powerful, can you really handle the Twelve-Tribe Alliance by yourself?”
If one wanted to become king, then they needed to defeat all of the other powerful foes in their way.
The Qiang Tribe had been thoroughly suppressed by the Twelve-Tribe Alliance. What right did they even have to dream about ruling all the Barbarians?
“That’s exactly why I specifically searched out your tribe. The Qiang Tribe has the potential to become the rulers of the Barbarians,” Frost replied.
“Yes. I can help you beat the war drums once more...... the Blood Drum, to be precise.”