Bowing to Sand Sun from a distance, Sand Girl caught a fleeting glimpse of Shi Mu sitting beside her father. She stood on her tiptoes, then sprang into the center of the square with a single step, moving lightly and gracefully, like a swallow. The people watching clapped and shouted out encouragements for her to continue.
The musicians on both sides began to play stringed instruments and drums. Loud and melodious music resounded over the land.
As Sand Girl was dancing, the clear sounds of silver rings flowed with her pace as her slim figure kept moving with the music. Her skirt floated in the air, and the scene of her dancing in her red dress resembled an blooming flower, especially when her smiles blossomed as she tilted her head and concealed her large bright eyes under her beautiful eyebrows.
As the drum boomed, the red skirt was expanding and contracting according to her fluent movements. Her body looked just like an opening azalea flower, so bright and attractive that it was beyond description.
When the music finally stopped, the train of the skirt, which she was holding, suddenly fanned apart, like a rising sun, outshining the stars in the sky and casting shadows onto all where were there.
The barbarians burst out in applause, especially the young men, whose eyes were shining greedily as they gazed at Sang Girl as if they were drunk.
“Brave Warrior Mu, how do you like my daughter’s dance?” Sand Sun stroked his short beard, full of pride for his daughter.
“Sand Girl was did very well, and I have never seen such a beautiful dance.” Shi Mu praised sincerely.
Sand Sun laughed loudly, raising his bowl of wine and drinking it all in one gulp.
It was the the ceremony for the Raven God, but it also belonged to the tribesmen, who had worked hard for another year.
All the tribesmen were wishing happiness to each other, and drinking happily. There were young men and women walking into the square, singing and dancing, while accompanied by musics of the barbarian style. Many people were already drunk, their faces red...
The revelry ended late at night. In the big tent, Sand Star was drunk and unconscious, but Sand Girl was still sober, just a little red-faced, apparently having drank alot as well. She was tirelessly taking care of her drunk brother.
After she had taken Sand Star into the inner room and wrapped him in a fur blanket, she headed to the other room, where the lamps were still glowing. Sand Sun and Shi Mu were having a jovial conversation.
Sand Girl stared at the light blankly, sinking into some thoughts. Then she suddenly blushed and turned to another room.
At the same time, in the lit room, Sand Sun sat, knee by knee, with Shi Mu.
Though they had both drank a lot of strong wine, yet they were only slightly red-faced and did not seem to be drunk.
“Shaman Sand, I want to thank you and your people for your cordial treatment. I felt the warmth of the Flying Raven tribe, but I still have important personal affairs to deal with, so I will leave here tomorrow. I simply wanted to bid farewell to you first.” Shi Mu finally clarified his intention for coming after chatting for a bit.
“Brave warrior Mu, I can guess that you are not an ordinary man and that you must have very important things to do, so I will not urge you to stay. You must intend to go to the Poisonous Snake Tribe, right?” Sand Sun did not show any surprise, but only sighed lightly and asked him.
Shi Mu nodded solemnly.
“From here to there is more than five thousand kilometers, and you will have to cross the black desert, which starts a mere fifteen kilometers away from our village. This desert is very large, taking even the strongest man more than three days to get across. Besides, there are many poisonous sand scorpions. They can bite you before you know it. ” Sand Sun warned him, “But the sand scorpions are afraid of Fragrant Roebucks. They will avoid approaching you once they smell a Roebucks, because there is a fragrant ball in each of the male Roebucks, which sends out a certain kind of fragrance. Take the fragrant ball with you to keep the scorpions away. I will ask my daughter to be your guide tomorrow and the two of you can find and kill a Roebuck.” Sand Sun added after some thought.
“Thank you, Shaman Sand.” Shi Mu replied gratefully, feeling the warmth in Sand Sun’s words.
At the same time, the tent’s door rustled softly.
“Is that Sand Girl? Come in.” Sand Sun looked at the door and frowned.
The door curtain was opened, and Sand Girl stepped in, her face a little pale. She had a serving tray in her hands.
There were two cups and a teapot on the tray. But somehow water had been spilt on it. Sand Girl’s hand was scalded red.
“Father, brother Mu, this is tea of the sand chestnut, which can neutralize the effects of the alcohol.” Sand Girl placed the tray on the table, glanced at Shi Mu, and quickly left the tent.
Sand Sun remained silent, a slight frown on his face.
Shi Mu also sighed in his mind, and then bid Sand Sun goodbye and left without drinking any tea.
chapter from: http://www.xianxiaworld.net/The-Portal-of-Wonderland/
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