Shao Xuan applied some medicine to Old He, a medicine he mixed himself using the medicinal herbs that he gathered when the traveling group stopped for rest during the trip.
Old He's grandson looked to be only around six years old. However, he was actually eight already. He had become skinnier due to catching a serious cold. Now, after taking some medicine, he was sleeping.
Shao Xuan still had some herbs that strengthened the body, which he had brought from the tribe when he left. He decided to share some with Old He, "These can be used by totem warriors directly. But you guys have to mix a small amount with water, then drink it.
People whose totems had not awakened yet were just like the children in the Flaming Horns tribe, their bodies weaker. Therefore, drinking just a little of this medicine could make them feel much better, and even strengthen their immunity.
"Actually, I also have some herbs here, take them with you. Even though you are a totem warrior, you can still get injured. Use them in case such an unfortunate event happens." Old He let his old partner grab some herb packs for Shao Xuan.
There were only the two old people and one youngling in Old He's household. Shao Xuan took a look around, helped them chop up some firewood after cutting down a few trees in the mountain, moved some stones, and helped them fix their house a little. The sky had already become dark after he finished everything up..
He then took the lamb's leg he had traded from the Feng Tribe and roasted it, then cooked some soup with wild veggies. Only after he, Old He, and his family had finished eating, did he get up to leave.
Old He had wanted to keep Shao Xuan in his house in order to learn more about the Flaming Horns tribe. He still had many questions for him, but when he saw the colour of the sky, he decided against it.
"Rest well guys, I will come back tomorrow." Shao Xuan said before he left.
Hearing Shao Xuan say that, Old He felt much more relieved.
Shao Xuan returned to the place where the travel team was staying. Everybody was discussing the goods they had traded today. Yu had gotten his hands on some decent fur, but of course, the most important thing was that he had managed to get some herbs he had never before seen. These were what he was the most excited about.
"Shao Xuan, did you know that in this grassland there are a lot of poisonous plants?" Yu questioned him.
"Yes, I've heard of them." When he was chatting with Old He today, he had heard him mention it.
For a person like Yu, these were all treasures. But generally, for the people in the grasslands, these herbs were even worse than the birds stealing their cattle.
Not all green symbolized life, some even brought death. Many animals in their herds had died by eating poisonous plant which seemed just like the ones that were a part of their everyday diet.
Those kind of plants fatally poisoned the livestock, causing huge damage to the people of the tribes. What pained them the most was that the vitality and the reproduction ability of the the poisonous plants were very strong; even if just their roots remained, it would soon start sprouting again. Even if all the poisonous plants in the grassland were cleared, they would grow right back up in a year. That was because many of their seeds were transferred via wind. In some cases, their growth was delayed by a few years before sprouting. It was extremely difficult to get rid of them.
One of the reasons wanderers were needed in the grasslands was because of these plants. There were too many of them and the people from the tribes were not willing to waste their time. Having the wanderers was really convenient, as they were willing to work for almost nothing in return and the protection of a tribe.
The poisonous plants in some tribes grew very fast, yet there weren't enough people to exterminate them. Their livestock then died, and the healthy pasture shrunk dramatically. Thus, they would go to war with another tribe with the intention of snatching away their fields. Not too long ago, the attack on the Feng Tribe was precisely due to this reason.
Shao Xuan looked over the poisonous plants Yu had brought out. Today, when he was walking around the grasslands, he had already seen quite a few. However, there was no livestock strolling around. They probably brought a herd to an area after it had been cleared it up.
Yu was still examining the poisonous plants which greatly interested him, while Shao Xuan leaned on the wooden pillar, thinking.
Compared to Yan Shuo, Old He's situation was much better. Although their days were difficult, and battles between tribes happened occasionally, it was still pretty peaceful. There was no need to face the threats of strangers or deal with extreme danger. For many wanderers of the Flaming Horns tribe on the grassland, the totem tattoos like those on Yan Shuo didn't show up on them, and light patterns were seen on few of them. This was what Shao Xuan learned from Old He.
Shao Xuan originally planned to take these people he found back to the Flaming Horns tribe at the other side of the river, but now it seemed very difficult to achieve. There were quite a few young adults, but after all, they were not totem warriors and had limited ability, not to mention that there were also many elderly, weak, sick or disabled. Shao Xuan didn't intend to abandon them. But now he had to think of a solution to take care of this in a better way.
When the Shaman asked Shao Xuan to come here and look for other members of the Flaming Horns tribe, he probably didn't expect this situation at all. People like Old He, who were old and hadn't awakened their totem power, were unable to travel safely.
How about telling the tribes on the grasslands to be kind to the wanderers of the Flaming Horns tribe? Useless, it didn't work on the grassland.
If it were a large tribe like the Thousand Faces tribe, when the name of the tribe was mentioned, people would change their attitude, becoming gentler, even if they were reluctant.
But if you now told them that you were from the Flaming Horns tribe, they would at most just squint at you: What the hell is the Flaming Horns tribe?!
Power, fame, and the benefits coming along with them made everyone of a tribe expect their own tribe to grow more and more prosperous.
Here, there was no peaceful diplomacy in the real sense. Most of the strong tribes were mighty and compelling. Take the Thousand Faces tribe for example. Only a tribe that was strong and mighty enough could be dreadful to others.
After thinking it over, Shao Xuan made a decision that he would take some people back to the tribe, and when the tribe moved over here in future, he would call back the other tribe members dispersed over the various places at that time.
The next day, Shao Xuan visited Old He again.
Old He's injured ankle was much better. Although he didn't awaken the totem power or even was no match to Yan Shuo, he was a member of the Flaming Horns tribe, with the same blood flowing in the body as people of the Flaming Horns tribe.
Old He's grandson felt much better. Having had a good dinner yesterday, he was in good spirits today and helped his grandmother with weeding the meadow.
Shao Xuan also went over to help. Old He limped over slowly and sat next to him, talking to Shao Xuan while digging the grass.
"Actually, back then, the totem tattoos also showed up on my father, but they were very few and light. I remember, at that time I was young and about to go to bed when the sound of warning horns came from the Feng tribe. My father said that was the attacks from the wolves. That night, my father joined in the fight for defense with the Feng tribe, killing several wolves. The moment he came back, I saw the patterns on his face. He said that they were the totem tattoos of totem warriors of the Flaming Horns tribe…"
When speaking of his father, Old He had pride on his face. Every time he communicated with wanderers of other tribes, he would tell the same story.
While listening to Old He, Shao Xuan was weeding those poisonous plants out. Yesterday he learned from Yu about these poisonous plants and knew which were poisonous and which were not.
The tribe appointed the wanderers to dig out those poisonous plants. If little lambs or calves died in the areas where the wanderers were in charge of weeding, they would not get rewards from the tribe, but would be beaten or even be dispelled out of the territory of the tribe. Outside the tribe, there were many dangers from other human or beasts. If they couldn't find safe places to live for a long time, those who were dispelled would die soon.
Nevertheless, on this meadow there would always be other medicinal herbs apart from the poisonous plants. When digging the poisonous plants, Shao Xuan also found several kinds of medicinal herbs. Many of the herbs were the ones Old He reminded him of, which were often seen only on this meadow, but were rare in other places.
While they were digging, not far away, a kid about the age of Old He's grandson was coming, dragging along a piece of thick wood larger than his size with a straw rope and pulling it over with puffs. That kid was stronger than Old He's grandson, but he was almost completely out of breath, with his face flushed from dragging this wood.
At the sight of the kid, Old He asked: "Gua Er, what are you doing with the wood?"
Gua Er's family had built a long-time relationship with Old He's family. This meadow where Old He was weeding was the place where Gua Er's family often grazed, and sometimes, Old He would help Gua Er's family to watch over the sheep.
"Hey, Old He, come here and help me out!" Gua Er shouted when seeing Old He.
Shao Xuan stopped Old He, who was about to go forward, and then went over to pull the wood that Gua Er was dragging over here.
This plank was not so light as it looked and was quite heavy indeed. But this weight was not a big deal for Shao Xuan. In the mountains of the hunting areas, Shao Xuan saw thicker and heavier wood.
The wood Gua Er brought was very thick, but not long, looking like only half a meter in length. People of the Feng tribe didn't like to use wood as weapons, and it would most of the time be chopped as firewood or used to build houses, tents and fences, etc.
After coming over, Gua Er sat down on the ground immediately, breathing deeply. He didn't answer Old He's question, but looked over at Shao Xuan, who helped him pull the wood.
Although Old He's grandson was of a similar age as Gua Er, kids of the tribe seldom played with those from the wanderers' families. Wanderers were not slaves, but would still be considered as inferior to others. After all, wanderers needed to rely on these tribes for survival.
Therefore, Old He was always at his beck and call when Gua Er came over during day time. Once, he fought against Old He's grandson, but it didn't get worse as both families had known each other for quite long, and both needed each other.
After watching Shao Xuan for a while, Gua Er asked: "Are you a member of the traveling group? I've never seen you in the tribe."
"Yes, I'm from the traveling group." Shao Xuan picked the wood up effortlessly and placed it in front of Gua Er.
Gua Er moved closer and asked again: "Did you carve several beasts on animal bone? Of this size. One looks like this……"
Gua Er was talking with gestures.
Shao Xuan nodded, "I did carve them." Those carved toys were also exchanged for some stuff.
After knowing that it was Shao Xuan who carved the beasts, with a gleam in his eyes, Gua Er came close in front of Shao Xuan, wearing a smile with expectations, "Can you carve one more? Use this wood I brought!"
Shao Xuan looked at Gua Er silently, adopting an air of serenity: "What can you use for exchange?"