The two moons distanced from one another, the earth was covered with glimmering lights at night.
Just then, a silhouette ran out from among the woods. With half of his face stained with blood, it seems that he had suffered a blow.
He felt that his vision was getting blurrier every second the blood seeped into his eyes, but he didn’t wipe it off as his head felt way too painful to be bothered.
What was he doing here?
That’s right, they were here to kill, to kill the Drumming tribe, and then take the water moonstone from them!
To Invade, kill, steal the treasured stones…..
What else seems to be there?
His thoughts ran around as he walked.
Puddles of different depths filled the ground, and every step on the puddles could be heard clearly within the surrounding, accompanied with splashes of mud that reflected the moonlight.
Until he walked to a riverstream, the last bit of his consciousness stopped his feet before he dropped into the river.
Staring blankly at the river in front of him, gradually he started remembering some things, the things that were told before the invasion happened at the tribe.
“When the river rises, quickly retreat! Once the river is rising, you must not go near the bordering rivers and streams around the Drumming tribe, you must remember….”
The river in front of him was not over 10 meters wide. This wasn’t counted as any big river, it could even be said that this was a stream in another stream, however indeed, the river surface was rising.
Once the river rises, you must not go near the rivers….must not go near…..
Remembering this made him alert instantly, quickly stepping back.
But he only took a step back when suddenly a silhouette rushed out from the river.
A large snout burst open, trying to bite towards him. The snout was covered in hard scales. Huge jaws with a set of thick conical teeths that made people shudder. There were even meat pieces between its teeth, the smell of blood was still lingering in its mouth.
This was the last scene he saw, the next second he was bitten and was pulled into the waters. The conical teeth at that moment pierced through his internal organs instantly. He was killed even before he was dragged in.
The other crocodiles in the river headed towards the body, they bit into the ‘food’, rolled away, tearing the ‘food’ into eight clean pieces then swallowing them whole.
There were many similar situations around the Drumming tribe. The invaders who still remained in the Drumming tribe ran away immediately, hoping they could keep their lives. If they were any slower in running away, they would all be annihilated by the Drumming tribe’s warriors and even the adult crocodiles who returned. Becoming the crocodiles’ food in the end either way.
The bodies that were left behind during the massacre before were decreasing slowly. Only, the decreasing ones were only the bodies from the Martyr tribe. These invaders were to become the food for the homecoming crocodiles.
The baby crocodiles that had been calling out for the past few days had finally stopped. Some even went into the river to join the adult crocodiles to clear out the ‘trash’.
For the Drumming tribe, these crocodiles were ‘treasured fish’, but to others, they were a nightmare.
Shao Xuan stood rooted to the ground. Looking at one crocodile after another pass by from the side.
These crocodiles, that had returned from the main river, the biggest was also above 10 meters, the smallest not less than 3 meters. Some swam through the river, some just walked on the wetlands, although not very fast. However, each and every one of them emitted a murderous aura, those eyes were similar to the Drumming tribe’s, emanating a fierce glint.
When the departed crocodiles returned, the Drumming tribe was filled with excitement. Their arrival had meant that it was the end of this battle for this year. In the Drumming tribe’s territory, the best protectors were after all them.
These crocodiles would not hurt the Drumming tribe members. Even when they were not breathing anymore, they still will not bite them. As for the other tribes, they didn’t have the same fortune. They were all treated as food and dealt with, eaten with brutality.
Shao Xuan being an outsider of the tribe, he wouldn’t dare run around in the tribe now. He stood together with the Drumming tribe members, and a few steps away was even the tribe’s Shaman.
An over 15 meter long crocodile came out from Shao Xuan’s side, probably realising that Shao Xuan was different. Closing in, it opened its mouth facing towards Shao Xuan, and even let out a low growl from its throat. He was doubting Shao Xuan’s identity. Those cold eyes were filled with killing intent, like it could bite down mercilessly at any moment.
But after the Shaman said a few words that Shao Xuan could not understand to it, the crocodile left.
“Put this on.” The Shaman passed a bone token over to Shao Xuan. On it was the Drumming tribe’s totem pattern.
Shao Xuan took it over. With this, he could go anywhere and the crocodiles would not treat him as an enemy. Also, only the Shaman had these tokens. It was temporary, and unlike the chief’s token, this one couldn’t be fabricated anywhere.
When the moon light vanished and the sun came out, in the Drumming tribe’s territory, there was not a single invader alive.
Shao Xuan brought Chen Jia along, many large and small crocodiles could be seen in many of the rivers on the way. They were rolling around in the rivers, tearing apart the already disfigured bodies, staining the river blood red. Whether it was Chen Jia or other children from the Drumming tribe or even 2-3 year old kids, they did not feel that this scene was strange at all. There were even some cheering at the side. They were not naturally indifferent to this, but it was because they were used to it.
Chen Jia sped up when he was close to his home, not even bothering about his water moonstones. Shao Xuan helped him carry his rattan basket, he did not mind it either as he just wanted to see if his mum and dad were safely home.
“Mum!” Chen Jia shouted while speeding up.
Shao Xuan looked over and saw Ping standing inside the house, now looking out from the window.
“Are you guys okay?” Ping ran out and checked Chen Jia, then over to Shao Xuan. No matter if it was the blood stains on Chen JIa or Shao Xuan, it was fine because it wasn’t theirs.
After checking that they had no injuries, Ping happily said: Quick go inside, I’ve prepared food to eat!”
Seeing that Ping was that happy probably also meant that Fu Shi was fine too.
Fu Shi was resting in the house, he had quite a lot of injuries on him, but it was fine as long as he could keep his life.
Seeing Shao Xuan carrying the rattan basket in, both Fu Shi and his wife could not keep in their excitement. Their mouth smiled to the point of cracking open. Their wide mouths looked almost terrifying.
If it wasn’t that Shao Xuan had been interacting with them all this time and understood them, he would definitely have had the same idea like the other tribes: The Drumming tribe people are really scary.
Leaving the family to connect more, Shao Xuan went out to look around.
He heard that baby crocodile calling, but it wasn’t because of fear, its tone sounded different. In the river outside Chen Jia’s house, there was an 8 meter long crocodile at the side crawling into the river. Its eyes were yellow brown, when looking at people, it was always cold and emotionless, making people feel their hearts freeze.
Before it went into the river, it picked up that baby crocodile and swam into the river to the other side.
Those conical teeths could easily tear apart a human’s body, but when picking up the baby crocodile, it did not use any force, instead it was like protective cradle. Cradling that baby crocodile.
This was also an animal that had a motherly sense to protect their cubs.
The guy who had been trapped by Shao Xuan and had his neck broken off by Qing Yi previously, his body had already been taken away. It was not left to be fed to the crocodiles. Shao Xuan knew that this guy must have had a special identity, after all he wasn’t a Drumming tribe member.
In the Drumming tribe, the people and crocodile lived in harmony. The real situation was just like today, they were not very intimate with each other, but they would not harm each other. The invaders were just their common enemy.
When Shao Xuan was observing the surrounding crocodiles, he heard Ping yell with surprise from inside the house.
“What’s wrong?” Shao Xuan asked walking into the house.
“Uh, it was just that we heard someone had their water moonstones stolen.” Ping replied.
The tribe members, because they were fighting off against the Martyr tribe’s invasion, had no time to constantly look after them. Until now, when everything was finished, they once again cleared out their rattan baskets.
It was secured properly with beast skin, but when it was opened once again, it was found that it had lessened a lot. The beast skin was not torn open, the rattan basket was not damaged, so why had the water moonstones disappeared?
“It must be a ‘thief’! Only they have the skill to do this.” Fu Shi said hatefully.
After hearing about it, Ping immediately went to check on their house’s rattan basket. Their house’s harvest this year was quite bountiful. If they were stolen, it would definitely be a huge loss.
The rattan basket was carried by Chen Jia most of the time. When Chen Jia was not watching over it, then Shao Xuan was.
“Still good, it wasn’t stolen.” After clearing them out, Ping breathed a sigh of relief. These water moonstones might just be what they have to rely on for the coming year.
“Oh yeah.” Ping was originally planning to continue holding on to the water moonstones, but after seeing Shao Xuan at the side, she remembered. She took out some water moonstones from the rattan basket, put them into a hide bag, and handed them over to Shao Xuan, “This time it was thanks to you, Shao Xuan.”
Many from the Drumming tribe don’t speak much. Fu Shi looked like he wanted to say something too, however in the end, he just shook his head and swallowed his words. Not knowing how to thank him, reminiscing the times when the other tribes during the trade fair had given him some tips, he tried his best to show his most sincere smile. Therefore when facing Shao Xuan, his mouth was split to the max.
Shao Xuan: “……”
Taking back his sight from him, Shao Xuan then pushed back the hide bag , “There’s no need for so much.”
Shao Xuan realised that what Ping took out was almost a fifth of what was inside. Don’t underestimate the value of a fifth, this was ‘money’ that could probably trade for a lot of stuff.
“Take them!” Ping then pushed the hide bag back into Shao Xuan hands, saying: “When this matter is over, the trade fair will start soon. At that time, you will be going with Fu Shi. You will be able to use them. This is your first time out, so there will be many things you will not understand.”
Not being able to refuse, Shao Xuan then took over the hide bag. After all, when going to the trade fair, this was a necessity.
Where do you usually go for the trade fair? To the other tribes?” Shao Xuan questioned.
“If it’s a small trade fair, there are times when it’s held in the Drumming tribe, and some other times in the Pu tribe. However if it’s a big one, then we have to go to the trading grounds.” Ping explained.
Fu Shi understood more on this matter as he was the one in charge for trading for their house every time.
“The nearest to us would be the Pu tribe, this time we are also going there for the trade. The Pu tribe has quite a few good stuff in their hands. Stone materials, pottery, sometimes even medicinal herbs, all these are good stuff….”
Shao Xuan kept what Fu Shi had said in his heart. These are things that he is required to remember, because on the ancestor’s beast roll, there was not a ‘Pu’ tribe mentioned.
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