In the next few days, the captive-escorting troop was all in peace, with nothing big happening at all.
On the straight road paved with flagstones, this large troop had been moving directly south. One couldn't see the head or tail of this troop, and could only hear rumbling footsteps that even made the ground shake constantly. From time to time, one could hear those non-humankind slaves' howls and yells, human warriors' excoriations, and the sounds of whip lashes.
During these couple of days, Mo Shan and Mo Shui had been extra attentive to Ji Hao. Every day, they would show up around Ji Hao for a few times, either bringing Ji Hao some wine and grilled meat or fresh fruits collected by Ink Ape Clan warriors from quite far away. Anyway, they were so complaisant to Ji Hao, as if Ji Hao was their true blood father.
However, no matter what they presented, Ji Hao would always accept it in front of them, then burn it all out with fire after they left.
Even Man Man, who had the simplest mind, and Taisi, who was a bit muddleheaded, had both realized that something was not right. They subconsciously raised their vigilance, and by now, they were rather cautious when doing anything. Besides, except for Feng Xing, who had been hiding God knew where, the rest of them had been trying their best to stick together, no matter what they were doing at the moment.
Another three days passed as fast as the blink of an eye. Abruptly, the moving speed of the frontal side of the troop slowed down.
Ji Hao wasn't counting on those Ink Ape Clan warriors for coming and reporting the problem. Instead, he leaped up into the air, feet trodding on a fire cloud while looking into the distance from a high place. Dense clouds of smoke had risen from the front, straight up into the sky. Large groups of animals were roaring loudly while crossing this straight road slowly.
Ji Hao's face darkened instantly. This straight flagstone road was built by Magi Palace's senior Magi by the use of their magical powers.
On regular days, this road would be hiding deeply underground, so that the sunshine, rain, and the wind wouldn't cause any damage to those flagstones paved on this road. Once war was started, Senior Magi of the Magi Palace would activate the spell and raise this road from underground. Starting from Pu Ban city, this road led directly to the northern side of Chi Ban Mountain. It was the most important arterial path for transiting warriors and other logistics services. This road even mattered to the outcome of war.
Therefore, regarding this straight road, the humankind had set an extremely strict rule:
During the war time, all unrelated people were forbidden to enter into the areas within five-hundred miles of both sides of this road; anyone who violated this rule would be seen as a spy of the non-humankind and would be executed.
Although the war had stopped by now, elite human army forces were still stationed in Chi Ban Mountain, watching out for the non-humankind armies in the north, in case they were only feigning defeat. They were ready to counter any sudden return and surprise waves of attacks on the human army.
Therefore, although a part of warriors from small clans, who were not so elite, had already begun leaving the Chi Ban Mountain area in succession, this great war wasn't completely over yet. It still required another couple of months only until those high-level core leaders of the human army such as Emperor Shun, Si Wen Ming, and Huaxu Lie began leaving in small batches this great war could then be counted as truly over.
"Which clan do these animals belong to? How dare they obstruct the marching on this straight road?" shouted Ji Hao in a harsh tone.
No one responded Ji Hao. Those Ink Ape Clan warriors stopped walking slowly as if they didn't even see Ji Hao. Some warriors had even leaped down from their mounts, sat down by the roadside and began resting while laughing and joking. Some other warriors wielded their long whips while shouting at those slaves and slave warriors, ordering them to stop and take a break.
"Shame! Go take a look!" Looking at these lazy Ink Ape Clan warriors, Ji Hao sneered then gave a shout.
The middle-aged slave warrior named Zhamu, who had nearly died in the hands of those Ink Ape Clan warriors a few days ago, whose daughter was almost raped by those warriors, gave a loud and clear shout in response to Ji Hao's order. He was armed to the teeth. He darted out with big steps and with a few rises and falls, he moved several miles forwards, reaching speedily where the large groups of animals were crossing over
Shame was one of the 'dark-kind.' The name of this race probably had something to do with the color of their skins.
The dark-kind was an appendage of Yu Clan. Dark-kind people were an essential part of those great-scale official Yu Clan armies. In every Yu Clan official army, more than ninety-five percent of warriors were dark-kind people.
In terms of fighting skills and capacities, the dark-kind warriors were far less talented than Jia Clan warriors. Nevertheless, the aptitudes possessed by the dark-kind warriors were not ordinary at all. On an average, one extraordinarily talented member would emerge from every hundred of them. With severe cultivation, these, especially talented dark-kind warriors could easily achieve the powers of senior Magi and even Magus Kings. There was even no lack of Divine-Magus-level beings in the dark-kind.
Zhamu was a dark-kind big warrior, and although the power system of his kind was different from the one of the humankind, it was obvious that he had peak-senior-level power, and was only a small step away from the level of Magus Kings.
Back in that family army of the Qian Family, Zhamu was a commander who had ten-thousand warriors under his lead. As the army he belonged to was a family army instead of an official army, he and the warriors under his command had been stationed in family territories of the Qian Family all these years, guarding the cities and towns belonging to the Qian Family, and had never fought a battle against the humankind.
To some extent, the hands of Zhamu and warriors under his lead were relatively clean! Those hands were never stained by the blood of human beings.
Therefore, that night after Mo Shan and Mo Shui and all Ink Ape Clan warriors left, Ji Hao deeply felt that he could actually use some trusted understrappers. So, he took out his saved money and bought Zhamu and all the warriors under his command, along with all of their families, as Ji Hao's private warriors and slaves. He bought them without further ado at the current market price of Pu Ban city.
Back in Chi Ban Mountain, Ji Hao had extorted a huge sum of money from the Dishi Family, and also had all those jade coins awarded by Si Wen Ming. Therefore, he easily bought Zhamu and those nearly ten-thousand warriors under his lead out. After he had taken control of the lives and deaths of Zhamu and his warriors, these dark-kind people had now become Ji Hao's most-trusted slaves.
As a commander of ten thousand warriors, Zhamu was experienced enough. Soon, he dashed back to Ji Hao.
He thudded his knees loudly against the ground, then heavily knocked the ground with this forehead and shouted with an extremely respectful and cautious manner, "My respectful, merciful master, those are a couple of migratory clans crossing over. They are eight clans and nearly forty-thousand clansmen in total. They have over a million big-scale livestock with them, which are for eating."
Gasping for air, Zhamu then lowered his voice and continued, "According to them, the grass of their old pasture was eaten up. Therefore, they are now in a rush to the next pasture, otherwise, their livestock would lose weights. However, I, Zhamu, your lowly slave thinks that there're some problems in this."
"Hm? What problem?" Ji Hao stood on the chariot, conveniently casting a forbidden magic to limit the voice from transmitting so that Zhamu's words wouldn't be heard by anyone else but Ji Hao and himself.
"Firstly, I know that this straight road is an important path for the humankind during wartimes, and migratory human clans are the lowest kind among all human clans. They don't have the right or the guts to cross this path during wartime."
"Secondly, if they are really migratory clans, why don't they have elderly people and women among those forty-thousand clansmen? Instead, all those clansmen were young and strong."
"Thirdly, I found heavy armors, large-scale crossbows, and longbows on their supply-transporting vehicles. They're migratory clans who are supposed to live on animal husbandry. Migratory clans don't need heavy armors or those long-range, highly lethal weapons. Something is not right about them."
Zhamu saw the limitary screen cast by Ji Hao emit a dim glow, but still, he cautiously lowered his voice while speaking.
Ji Hao looked at Zhamu and remained silent for a while. Then, he took out a handful of jade coins and threw them on the ground in front of Zhamu.
"Great Job, Zhamu. Your experience can help me a lot in the future. Just make a good effort. With these jade coins, you can get your daughter some pretty and brand new clothes."
"Go tell your warriors… Put on armors and get ready. Tonight, we're going to do some killing."
Speaking the word 'killing,' a fierce and cruel beam of light flashed across Ji Hao's eyeballs.