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Chronicles of Primordial Wars

Chapter 110 - The Ritual Dance

Translated by Lesyt Team: Sunyancai
Edited by Ilesyt


Not everyone would have the chance to learn the ancient dance, also known as the ritual dance.

By the end of every winter, at the ritual ceremony during the Snow Festival, there would be fifty totem warriors selected to shoulder the responsibilities as ritual dancers next to the fire pit. All fifty of them were elites recognized by the entire tribe.

However, based on Shao Xuan’s knowledge, only outstanding young warriors with a few years worth of hunting experience, and those with outstanding contributions to the tribe, could be nominated to the list of ritual dancers. Over hundreds of years, very few would enter the list in their teens. Moreover, Shao Xuan had only awakened a year ago.

It sounded absurd at first.

When Old Ke heard the messenger’s words, his first reaction was denial as well. Anyone in the tribe with a normal brain wouldn’t believe it. However, the messenger double checked to confirm its authenticity, and said that it was indeed a decision made by the Shaman. The Shaman asked Shao Xuan to be prepared soon.

No wonder Old Ke became so excited.

The ritual ceremony being an important event in the tribe, the ritual dance wasn’t solely about selecting proper dancers. It had to be delivered exactly as instructed by the ancient teachings. Shao Xuan had never learned anything about this so-called ancient teachings in the past. It doesn’t seemed to be simple guideline teachings.

Since Shao Xuan knew no one that he could turn to for help with regards to the ritual dance, he could only go up to the mountaintop to ask the Shaman for help. Even Mai and Qiao weren’t familiar with the ritual dance, let alone the others that lived lower than them.

Early next morning, Shao Xuan carried the stone box and rushed to the Shaman’s place.

By the time he arrived, the Shaman was talking about the upcoming ritual ceremony with the Chief and the two team leaders from the tribe. There were a lot of things that needed to be prepared well in advance.

With the appearance of Shao Xuan, the two team leaders and the Chief looked at him at once, but in a very gentle way. It was out of their expectations that Shao Xuan would be part of the selected fifty. However, that day when the Shaman asked them to have a meeting, he directly indicated that Shao Xuan should be a part of the ritual dance.

They were aware of the one-year deal made by the younger generation, as well as the fact that Shao Xuan defeated Tai with a single move. With regards to ability, Shao Xuan was indeed the brightest one amongst the newly-awakened warriors in the past years. There was no denial of that. He also made a few significant contributions to the tribe during the last year. So, when the Shaman decided that Shao Xuan be one of the fifty, both the team leaders and the Chief did not raise any objections.

In the eyes of the people in the tribe, being one of the fifty was a great honor. However, the two team leaders had more thought in this, since they knew what it meant to be one of the fifty. Every year, they would try their best to recommend people from their own hunting teams, and the Shaman would finalize the name list.

Aside from these big shots, Shao Xuan also met Tuo inside the stone house as well.

“Ah-Xuan, I appointed Tuo to teach you all the moves of the ritual dance. As for the paintings…” The Shaman had an even deeper smile: “You can stop practicing it for now.”

Chief Ao looked at the Shaman, and then looked at Shao Xuan again. He sensed that there was something that he didn’t know about. But sometimes, the Shaman was just like that. No one could ever predict his actions and thoughts.

“Okay.” Answered Shao Xuan.

Instead of staying in the stone house, Shao Xuan left with Tuo.

Tuo lived near the mountain top, so it didn’t take them too long to reach his place. Also, Tuo was one of the fifty this year.

Warriors from Tuo’s family of his parents’ and grandparents’ generations had performed the ritual dance. So, the ancient dance had been passed along in his family. He did not need to learn the moves from others to be proficient in them. Or else, the Shaman wouldn’t let him teach Shao Xuan.

The truth was, Tuo was more than surprised when the Shaman assigned him to teach Shao Xuan the ritual dance. After all, Shao Xuan was too young, and had only been awakened as a totem warrior for only a year. He shouldn’t have been listed as one of the fifty! Perhaps, it was because that he found the ancestors, Tuo thought.

“I have learned how to perform the ritual dance since I was young. It’s not hard.” Said Tuo, “I’ll dance the full set of moves for you to watch. Here, watch me.”

At the end of his words, Tuo began to dance in the room. In Shao Xuan’s eyes, those moves were still very clownish, without any sense of beauty. They didn’t seem melodious at all, and there was even a move that looked as if the dancer was washing dishes. However, Tuo was very serious when performing the dance, as if he was doing something that was very grand and solemn. Even it was only a demonstration, he did it with respect and honor.

After a whole demonstration, Tuo taught Shao Xuan one move after another.

“You bend your body, like this…and here, pull back your hands…”

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Shao Xuan imitated Tuo’s moves as he swung his arms up and down, back and forth. Sometimes he had to shake his arms and thighs, or shake and stamp his feet, to make strong rhythmic sounds. Also, his feet had to move back and forth, sometimes to the left and sometimes to the right. Sometimes his body should lean forward, and then squat down a little, before he jumps up on one foot, and lands down with a horse stance. Then, he needed to wave his arms above his head as if holding a whip, and then constantly look back and forth.

If Shao Xuan saw similar dances during his previous life, he would totally have laughed at it aloud. However now, he had to force himself to learn it, and stay serious when doing all the moves.
Although there were no drums or whistles making the beats, all moves maintained certain rhythm.

It was not all about the moves. Tuo told Shao Xuan that he should use his totem power when performing the ritual dance, as well as to breathe in a certain way. That was all part of the “ancient teachings”.

In general, Shao Xuan came to a conclusion, that the ritual dance needed to be accompanied with meditation and specific breathing!

What was the use of this coordination? Tuo said nothing about the effect now, but Shao Xuan could guess that it should be related to the flames or totem.

Shao Xuan had heard from someone that the earliest form of humans showing their feelings was through body movements and dancing gestures. Dance and moves were also a certain language of people expressing their passions and desires.

Here, the ancient dance was a tool they used to communicate with the flame and the totem. So when dancing, people would perceive them.

Thinking about the fact that the ritual dance was used in ritual ceremonies, and how the two team leaders would fight over the fifty spots, perhaps the ritual dance was really for people’s cultivation.

Just like what Tuo had said, the moves were quite simple, and could be easily memorized. The most important thing in the whole process was how to do the meditation during the dance, and how to properly breathe in the process without messing up with one’s own moves.

When it was almost noon, Shao Xuan had learned and memorized all the moves.

“Not bad. You are learning fast. Just now you made zero mistakes.” Said Tuo.

Shao Xuan moved his arms, and nodded, “I will do more practice when I go back.”

“Yes, indeed. Practice makes perfect. Don’t make any mistake during the ritual ceremony.” Tuo stopped smiling and said seriously, “If you are confused about anything or have questions, you know where to find me.” Since the Shaman assigned him to teach Shao Xuan, he had the responsibility to teach him well.

There should be no mistakes during the ritual ceremony!

————

After the last snowflake had fallen down from the sky, and the clouds began to fade, finally, the moons revealed their faces in the sky. After a whole silent winter, the tribe resumed its vitality.

The Shaman had appointed someone to announce the time for this year’s ritual ceremony of the Snow Festival to the public.

On the day of the ritual ceremony, Shao Xuan took a good bath. That was something that everyone in the tribe was supposed to do before ritual ceremonies. As for the little whelps in orphan cave down the mountain… they had been properly brushed and washed already yesterday!

Caesar and Chacha stayed in the house today. Chacha was behaving quite well today, and he refused to go anywhere outside, as if he had already sensed something. Chacha went inside the roof since early in the morning. It seemed that beasts and animals always had an instinct that helped them to avoid danger.

“Now, hurry. You should do the ritual dance in this outfit!” Old Ke took out the outfit made from the Thorn Black Wind’s skin that he had already cleaned a few times. He wanted Shao Xuan to be used to this outfit first… He was even more nervous than Shao Xuan.

Shao Xuan’s face twitched once. He took the clothes from Old Ke, and put on the outfit with thorns on the back.

Before, when he heard talks about dancing, mostly it would be referring to those slim and gentle women. Shaking shoulders and butts, with light paces and moves. The dancers were good, and the audience was happy.

However now, Shao Xuan felt that he was baring fangs and brandishing claws in that outfit. He felt so barbaric, like some alien creature invading the Earth. The good thing was that all people in the tribe were dressed like that. They turned into animals today, and it was a grand feast.

Old Ke had painted colorful patterns on his face with plant pigment, but Shao Xuan hadn’t. He needed to go up to the mountaintop in advance, for the Shaman would draw patterns on the fifty people’s faces himself. The pigment would also be different from the normal kind.

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“I’ll be heading up first.” Shao Xuan walked out of the door with that Thorn Black Wind outfit.

“Sure, go quickly. I’ll go up with Ge and the others later.” Old Ke waved his hands, indicating that Shao Xuan should leave now, so as not to make the Shaman wait. Shao Xuan was the only one from down the mountain in the fifty. He couldn’t be late, he shouldn’t, or the others would assume people down the mountain had no sense of punctuality.

In front of the Shaman’s stone room, the others had already gathered. Many of them had learned from the team leaders that Shao Xuan was part of it this year. So, when they saw Shao Xuan in person, they were more surprised, but didn’t say anything. Today was a very serious and grand day for them. No one had extra energy to pay attention to other things.

It was already dark when the Shaman finally finished painting colorful patterns on fifty faces.

“Let’s go.” Some middle-aged man in the team said.

With the awakening of his totem power, Shao Xuan grew a lot in the past one year. However, when he found himself in in the midst of a bunch of grown adult warriors, he was still very obviously the shortest one in the crowd. Even in animal skin clothes, people knew that the little one was him.

“How is that possible? What’s he doing there?” Someone whispered as people were walking up to the mountaintop.

“Who’s that?”

“It’s Ah-Xuan! I recognize that outfit made from the skin of a Thorn Black Wind.”

Someone wearing an outfit made from Thorn Black Wind at that age, it could only be Shao Xuan.

“Is he really walking in the same crowd? How could he be one of the fifty? How old is he?”

“Can’t you just shut up?! That’s the Shaman’s decision!”

Some were astonished, and some were jealous. People shared different emotions in the crowd.

Lang Ga and the others had already learned the truth from Old Ke. But even now, they still found it unbelievable. Being one of the fifty had always been their dream since childhood. However, now their dreams came true for someone who was way younger than them.

In the circle of timber piles around the fire pit, stone basins contained with fresh fruits and ferocious beasts’ meat were already placed.

Shao Xuan followed the team and stopped by a timber pile. He had reached his spot.

The ritual ceremony was about to start, and there were already a lot of people standing on the mountaintop, while some others were climbing up the mountain. Many people in the crowd were talking about Shao Xuan. Naturally, the youngest person in the fifty, as well as the only one who had become one of the fifty after being awakened for only one year, gained the most attention from people, let alone that such a thing hadn’t happened in the last century!

There were more than eighty kids sent to the mountaintop for awakening, two more than last year. Tuo and Jie Ba from the cave, and the twins of Mai and Qiao were all in the crowd.

It grew completely dark.

Just like in Shao Xuan’s memory, one step after another, the ritual dance went smoothly. When the Shaman finally began to sing the chorus, Shao Xuan clearly felt the reaction of the totem in his mind.

At the same time, the little flame in the center of the fire pit began to grow quickly. One moment earlier, it didn’t seem to be able to light up a timber pile, but now, as if a full bucket of petroleum had been poured in, it grew big in the blink of an eye.

Being totem warriors, naturally they had a stronger perception of the totem. The totem in their minds began to expand its size together with the rising flame in the fire pit.

When the flame filled the whole fire pit, on the top of the flame, there appeared a totem of two horns wrapped in flames.

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