Wu He was most afraid of Shao Xuan. After Shao Xuan, was not Chief Su Li, but Gan Qie.
His teeth chattered as he stared at Gan Qie blocking the door. When he was on the other side of the ocean, after he was released by the Flaming Horns, there was a long time he did not act recklessly on their land. He had been observing them to get to know the tribe better.
The more he observed, the more strange things he noticed, for example the three-eyed wolf. He heard that this wolf was once not even a fearsome beast. Then there was the giant mountain eagle, he heard it was raised in the tribe and other than the Hui tribe’s eagles, this was the only human-raised eagle. Wu He knew how difficult the giant mountain eagles could be as a race. Then there was this thing that looked like a bird but wasn’t a bird. And many other strange occurrences in the tribe, though these were not enough to make Wu He this afraid.
When he saw the silent Gan Qie standing just five steps away from him, he had the urge to sprint off immediately, at the same time he felt the need to explain that he was not involved in this.
Wu He was about to speak when Gan Qie lifted a hand slowly. There was a ground eye stone in his palm, one that the Changle people had dropped when they were swiping random things. They did not pick it up since they were in a hurry.
The stone turned to powder in his fist.
The air in the room froze, another man who was also holding a stone in his palm was stunned. Although it was not a very hard rock, it should not be this easy to pulverise it in a fist! How did he do it with his fingers, without any tools? And Gan Qie’s fingers remained completely fine!
Su Li’s expression worsened, eyeing Gan Qie warily. Gan Qie looked dangerous and the pair of red eyes made Su Li’s hairs stand.
Meanwhile, on the street by the betting house.
Fights broke out throughout most of the street. When Ji Shou arrived with his men, none of the shops on both sides of the road were undamaged. Stones and clay tiles scattered across the messy street, and it was especially infuriating to hear those short, fat bearded men scream ‘people from King City are stealing our stuff’! These people need a beating!
“Stop it right now!”
A roar filled with explosive anger rang down the entire street.
At the same time, a group of Golden Armours appeared and surrounded the street. Archers emerged on roofs near the core of the battle, their cold glares and sharp arrows pointed right at the people. The cold light reflecting off their armour made everyone who planned to steal stuff shudder.
A wooden whistle sounded rhythmically and Flaming Horns from various spots gathered in an instant. Ji Shou squinted. These Flaming Horns were all trained after all, though their chemistry was trained from hunting together, unlike the trained city guards. That was why those people who fought the Flaming Horns seemed to be losing, most of the ones lying on the ground were from King City. Very few Flaming Horns were on the ground, the few injured ones were already carried away from the fights. There must be more tribesmen nearby caring for the injured.
Wei had blown his whistle, issuing the command to stop the fight and gather when Ji Shou arrived with his army. He knew that the city guards would definitely fire their arrows at them if they did not stop. There was nothing to gain from fighting the city guards on their turf.
The rest of the Flaming River tribesmen saw Flaming Horn as their leader. They stopped fighting too. Even the Ya tribesmen stopped shouting and quickly hid behind the Flaming Horns, doing their best to hide their bodies. They preferred dark places, being out in the sun made them feel too vulnerable.
Not just the Flaming Horns. When the King City folk saw Ji Shou, they quickly tried to run but the guards had already surrounded the area. If they did, they would be shot and turned into a porcupine.
When he saw the battle stop, Ji Shou’s anger dissipated slightly. At least he still had an influence on this city, people still feared him and the soldiers.
Then came a deafening boom, shaking the ground. The boom came from somewhere else not on this street. It felt like a challenge to his authority since he had already yelled at them to stop.
The entire street saw a storm brewing on Ji Shou’s face, the green vein popping on his forehead as he looked like a beast ready to eat a man. The nervous citizens, especially the gamblers, become more and more uncomfortable as they avoided his eyes, only observing him through the corners of theirs.
Ji Shou turned slightly. He did not need to speak. A small team behind quickly left and headed towards the sound of the boom.
The happiest people right now were probably the betting house staff. They had suffered huge losses, both in terms of finances and their staff members.
“General!” One of the betting house’s managers ran up to Ji Shou like he could be their saviour.
General? The Flaming River tribesmen did not know what a ‘general’ meant but he should be someone powerful, right?
“General, help us…” before the manager could finish, he felt a strong gust of wind approaching, then a sharp pain in his gut. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he was thrown back in the air.
Everyone on the street shuddered as if they were the ones who had been kicked.
Bo Yi’s face twitched, quickly suppressing the welling anger when Ji Shou looked in his direction. He held himself back from rushing forward.
Ji Shou did not even look at the person who was kicked, as if he had just kicked a piece of trash to the curb. His eyes flashed coldly, murderous intent radiating off his being.
The Flaming Horns tensed up, watching Ji Shou cautiously.
Wei and Mai were especially aware that this person was way more powerful than the betting house staff members, his killing intent had a bloody scent like a hunter’s aura. But hunters were only that way because they hunted animals. Terrifyingly, this person’s aura was as such because he killed men. There were many masters in King City and he was one of them.
Ji Shou’s kick had been pure killing intent, his victim did not even have a chance to make a sound. Yet somehow the kick echoed in everyone’s ears.
Ji Shou did not unsheathe the sword at his hip but he was still intimidating. He scanned the crowd, then lifted a foot and started walking slowly. This might not seem like much but anyone who knew him would never underestimate this. Even the Black Bears were nervous.
He walked down the chaotic street casually, wooden planks cracking beneath his feet. The crowd stumbled back with every step he took forwards, their eyes filled with fear.
Wei and the rest did not back away. When he saw Ji Shou approaching, he said, “You aren’t going to touch us either, are you? The people of your city were the ones who robbed us, they stole from us when they lost…”
Ji Shou smiled before Wei could finish, he spoke in contempt, “You should be grateful that your Flaming Horn Tribe has a person called Shao Xuan.” If they did not, it did not matter who was in the right. Anyone who wreaked havoc in King City would be massacred. If it was not for the extraordinary incident, blood would have been spilled.
He was also insulting the Flaming Horns. Without Shao Xuan, the Flaming Horns and Flaming River tribes would be nothing. Forget about wreaking havoc, they would not be walking on their streets so freely.
If other tribesmen heard him, they would be furious because it was an insult!
But the ones standing before him were Flaming Horns.
When they heard Ji Shou, the Flaming Horns made an expression that said ‘Ah, yes, we are proud of him’.
Ji Shou: “...”
He felt as if he had eaten a mouthful of mouldy grains. He can’t talk to these tribesmen!
The Flaming Horns did not think anything was wrong. Shouldn’t they be proud of such an impressive fellow tribesman?
Ji Shou took a deep breath, deciding not to waste his time on them, then his eyes swept across the street again. “Put down anything you weren’t supposed to take. Or DIE!”
Those who planned to run suddenly dropped the stolen goods as if they were burning rocks. Their lives were more important than money.
Some people thought they could get away with it but their mates nudged them, warning them with a look that they should never die just for such little money. Ji Shou did not usually interfere with minor street scuffles but when he did, the outcome was brutal. There would even be collateral damage and they did not want to be dragged into it.
Ji Shou stood silently, as if unaware of their internal dilemmas. A group of soldiers quickly walked down the street to gather all the dropped items together.
“Check if anything is missing,” said Ji Shou.
The tribesmen looked at Wei and Mai. With their permission, they started to look for their belongings. They did not take the other King City gamblers’ things - because there was no need to- all they wanted was their own stuff.
“Where is my crystal?!” yelled Abuli, very upset. Ever since Shao Xuan called it a ‘crystal’, he did too.
Many people had seen Abuli’s crystal too so they knew that it was truly missing. The crowd turned to the betting house staff in unison.
“We didn’t take it!” Bo Yi explained, breathing heavily. He was innocent here!
“Here.” An emotionless voice came. At the same time, a crystal as thick as an arm was tossed at Abuli.
Catching it hurriedly, Abuli looked at Gan Qie in delight. “Gan Qie, you found it for me? Thank you so much!”
Gan Qie approached them, his clothing torn in many parts. The most obvious tear was from an arrow and a knife pierced through his body.
The Flaming Horns were not very surprised by this. When they fought, they prioritised their own lives but Gan Qie did not. These injuries were very common to him.
“Ah! Gan Qie, you were stabbed!” Abuli shouted, “QUICK QUICK QUICK!”
The King City folk thought the bigfoot rich man was calling for a doctor but Abuli merely tossed the crystal towards a person next to him, then grabbed the handle sticking out of Gan Qie, and pulled it out.
He pulled it out…
The street was pin-drop silent.
“Eh, there’s another arrow!” He pulled again!
No blood flowed, no bloody flesh came from the wound. It was a life-threatening injury but they did not even hear a pained cry. No, the main character here, Gan Qie, did not make a single sound. His face did not change as if he did not feel any of the wounds on his body.
“Sigh, there’s too much stuff on you! But they’re so small, it’s too difficult to get them out.” Abuli felt like he should help Gan Qie to repay him for bringing the crystal back.
But Gan Qie was getting impatient so he shoved Abuli aside. All the hidden weapons lodged in his flesh were suddenly pushed out. They fell to the ground with multiple clinks and clanks.
Ji Shou: “...”
The guards: “...”
Thank goodness they were trained soldiers. If their hands trembled now, they might have fired an arrow already. Misfiring an arrow now would mean a death sentence for themselves.
The crowd gulped, staring at Gan Qie like he was a terrifying monster.
He now had a new name in King City--- Gan Qie the Undead.
Ji Shou watched in horror as Gan Qie ‘excreted’ all the hidden weapons in him, not bleeding even a drop of blood. A soldier quickly rushed over and whispered in Ji Shou’s ear. He was part of the troops who went to check on the loud boom.
When he heard the report, Ji Shou’s pupils constricted and his eyes changed.
The boom came from one of Changle’s gathering points. It had been attacked.
Su Li was severely injured, carried away by other Changle people who had hurried to King City. The number of casualties was unknown, the entire gathering point had been flattened. All that was left was just a patch of sandy ground, its original structure completely gone. There were no traces of its past.
The person who did all of this was the person who just arrived.
Ji Shou had only one comment to make of all this --- they deserved it!
But the Flaming Horn people were definitely quite dangerous.
Other than Shao Xuan of Flaming Horn, Ji Shou memorised the name of the second threat.
Gasps came from other areas of the city but this time, it was not because of another attack. The purple smoke cast above King City was starting to change. It was dissipating like mist.
The signing ceremony at the palace was coming to an end.