Do not get so worked up?
How’s that even possible!
Talk like adults?
How could they talk? They were totally speechless!
It is the ancestors, the ancestors of the tribe!!
The others had no doubt about Shao Xuan’s claim, for they all knew that for generations, only people from the Flaming Horn tribe lived in this area. So, whoever was lost in the mountain, should be their ancestors. It was highly likely they were their ancestors!
Thinking that Shao Xuan was carrying the ancestors on his back, the crowd had an intense emotion filling up their chests.
They believed in the totem, and worshiped their ancestors. For people in the tribe, the totem was sacred for sure, and the word “ancestor” had its own halo.
The others in the tribe were standing still with only their lips trembling. Now, finally they started to move.
At first it was only baby steps towards Shao Xuan. They could effortlessly leap and run during normal hunting missions, but right now, it seemed that just one baby step exhausted all their strength.
Gradually, the paces became quicker, but they still were baby steps, as if they would wake up their ancestors if they took a big step, and they had to be as careful as possible.
Looking at almost three dozen hunting warriors approaching him, Shao Xuan suddenly wanted to run away. He felt that their facial expressions were much too creepy than what he could bear.
When they were only about three steps away from Shao Xuan, Mai in the front of the crowd took the lead and kneeled down in front of Shao Xuan with one knee! The others all followed Mai and made a serious salute towards him. It was the salute they made to the ancestors.
Although unlike the highest salute on bended knees, they were kneeling down on only one knee, the sound of the knees hitting on the ground was loud and clear. Shao Xuan could almost feel the pain by listening to that sound. What’s more, except for Mao, all those warriors were either a lot older than him, or much higher in status than him in the tribe. They were all kneeling down in front of him!
Shao Xuan was speechless.
Fuck my life! Won’t this shorten my life? Shao Xuan felt a thousand Caesars howling in his heart.
Thinking about that, Shao Xuan couldn’t help but try to move aside for a little bit.
“Don’t move!” Mai and the others almost shouted out at the same time, to stop Shao Xuan’s attempt.
Shao Xuan was stunned and he stopped.
Seeing people like that, Shao Xuan really did not know what to do. He was rigid with shock for a while, with only one feeling, that the four ancestors were as heavy as steel. And the weight made him sweat a lot.
When the others had finished with the salute, Shao Xuan saw them carefully coming closer to him, trembling they untied those four ancestors from his back, with the highest respect on their faces.
Seeing Shao Xuan having tied those four ancestors like that, people felt that Shao Xuan was disrespectful towards the ancestors. With a closer look, they found that he used the antenna of that hateful insect in the mountain as the rope!
Shao Xuan sat aside, resting, but during which time he was glared at over and over by condemning eyes. However, he had thick skin, so he just sat there as if nothing happened. He wasn’t stupid enough to offer explanation to those fanatical people about anything. Apparently they were all soaked in extreme emotions, and no one could reason with them right now.
However, even when there was nothing to explain, Shao Xuan didn’t want to be glared at like that. So he diverted the others attention by telling them what happened in the cave briefly.
Earlier, all of them were curious about how Shao Xuan got out from the cave, but their attention was caught by the ancestors and no one had any interest in other things. Now since Shao Xuan was willing to speak, all the others paid attention to his tale of survival.
Of course Shao Xuan wouldn’t lay his cards open on the table, so he simply narrated the story of how he killed that insect, and encountered the king stone worm. He also made it clear that he hadn’t seen the king stone worm for real, but only experienced the change of environment. Then, he thought about the Shaman’s lecture. Then, under the guidance of the totem, he found those ancestors.
Although he didn’t mention the light cover, he shared his speculation with the others, in order to make it clear that those three mummies, no, three ancestors should better be placed together with the one who had the mysterious bone ornament.
“I think the bone ornament worn by this ancestor must have special power, that could protect the other ancestors.” Shao Xuan disclosed his ‘speculation’.
The others thought it over and all agreed. They felt comfortable when they came closer to that ancestor, no wonder they were ancestors!
Even if the mysterious bone ornament was a precious treasure, no one in the hunting group had thought about keeping it for himself. That was the advantage of being fanatical. No one would forget honor at the prospect of profits, and of course no one would forget about the ancestors, or the rules in the tribe.
So, after having separated those four ancestors at first, they “respectfully” gathered them back together.
When Shao Xuan was describing the scene when he found the four ancestors, all the others were shedding tears, feeling that they were the witnesses of that picture of desolation. The ancestors were still thinking about the tribe until their last breath. In order to establish a new hunting route for later generations, they died an honorable death and were trapped in that dark cave for a thousand years. All warriors felt sad for the ancestors and they were crying heavily. Lang Ga and the other young warriors were lamenting violently as they cried out loud.
Why didn’t he notice before that they were so emotional? The scene in front him almost made Shao Xuan collapse. He tried very hard to keep his expression straight, and prevented his face from twitching. In the past, he only knew that people in the tribe worshiped heroes and the Chief a lot. But now, he realized that the reverence earlier could never be compared with the reverence they held towards the ancestors.
The four ancestors had been dead for many years, and for all those years, they had been in the same position of kneeling down on both their knees in the direction of the tribe. So, the warriors in the hunting group were very careful when moving the ancestors. Also, they tried their best to let them kneel down facing the direction of the tribe.
There were only four bodies, and there were over thirty hunting warriors. Usually, they would fight fiercely against those ferocious beasts, and some of them could knock down a bear with only one single punch. But now, they were all sweating like hell for being very meticulous and reverent. Before every move, they had to think it over and over again. So dealing with the ancestors was physically and mentally straining. However, everyone behaved like they enjoyed it very much with honor.
As Shao Xuan predicted, in the heart of the others in this hunting group, those four bodies were very sacred. Although they were dried and hardened, without their original appearances, they were still the ancestors. To be honest, their horrible shapes even made Shao Xuan think twice before he carried them out. But those terrifying faces and bodies had their own special aura. All the warriors wanted to do another salute after they stood up.
Finally, before dusk, they managed to carry the ancestors to the cave of the second location. If in normal days, it would take far less time to march from the mountain foot to the second location. However, this time, with the four ancestors, they spent nearly two hours on the same distance!
When they arrived at the cave, and set those ancestors right in their places, all of the warriors did yet another salute. Some of them even talked about the ancestors in their sleep.
Now that this had happened, those hunting warriors had less interest in hunting. Their first wish was to bring the ancestors back to the tribe, so that they could finally return home after hundreds of years of desolation. Surely the ancestors were waiting for that day as well.
However, rules were rules. Nobody had set any rules for when one found an ancestor, for the hunting group to go back early. Hunting rules were passed along in generations by the ancestors, so they dared not to disrespect them. According to the hunting schedule, they had to keep hunting for about another ten days, before they could rejoin the other hunting groups, and then get back to the tribe together.
Even though the rules couldn’t be broken, people could still alter the minor details. Mai could decide what to do every day.
Originally, the hunting region was pretty large and warriors would go on expeditions after they arrived at the second location. Sometimes they would even spend a few nights outside the cave. However, now, Mai told all of them to hunt around the nearby areas, and for warriors to take turns to stay in the cave to guard it. With the Thorn Black Wind’s attack earlier, people were worried that some other ferocious beasts might break into the cave and hence damage the remains of the ancestors. Even though ferocious beasts were barely seen in this mountain, people had to stay alert about the smaller ones, and other unforeseen accidents that might happen.
All of them agreed on Mai’s suggestion and they took turns in guarding the cave.
The hunting life was adventurous, and Shao Xuan had hunted down some really nice preys, under the guidance of the senior hunting warriors. It should be enough for him to live on for almost a month.
When there were five days left before the reunion day, Mai decided to lead the group back. With the ancestors, they had to be more cautious than ever, so it would definitely take longer for them to go back. So in order to meet with the other groups in time, they had to start early.
This time, it was very smooth when going through those tunnels in the mountain. No one was left behind.
Warriors in the hunting group cut down fine timbers, and made a palanquin to carry the ancestors. In Shao Xuan’s eyes, it was simply-built, but was enough to use it to take the ancestors home.
They knew it at heart, that when they got back to the tribe from hunting this time, their game must be the least among all the groups. But they did not care at all!
They had three Thorn Black Winds stored in the first stronghold!
Not to mention that the most important thing was that they had found four ancestors, which was even beyond honorable! Guarding the ancestors and taking them back home probably would be the most glorious thing in their whole lives!
They felt that now they could die without regrets! Die without regrets!
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