Lubi’s strong and wide frame began to shake. The shock, fear and panic in his eyes could not be mistaken. His fantasies of expressing his combat abilities to its fullest potential were immediately destroyed. Lubi wanted to avoid Shao Xuan’s gaze but his legs failed to comply. He couldn’t move at all. Lubi even felt like his knees might give away if he exerted too much force on trying to move an inch. It didn’t require much thought to know what would happen if he were to buckle and fall in front of a travelling horde of tribesmen.
For the sake of his pride, Lubi chose to clench his jaw and remained at his spot.
Noticing Lubi’s odd behaviour, the other Lu family members felt the need to check him out. As soon as they took a step, Shao Xuan’s gaze was placed on them unexpectedly.
As if splashed with a bucket of iced water, Shao Xuan’s gaze froze the fine hairs on the Lu family’s back straight. They felt like they would start trembling at the slightest of movements.
Though many of them were not far from Shao Xuan, everyone could feel the odd hostile chill spreading from within their marrow. In other words, something weird was happening to the power source within their bodies.
What was going on?!
The people on the tower observed the commotion beneath. They too noticed that something was amiss at this moment. Without intervention, the Lu family was bound to embarrass themselves soon. Though the armoured man could never get used to the Lu family’s pompous ways, their family members were involved in guarding the city gates. If they embarrass themselves, they would risk embarrassing King City too. He couldn’t afford that in front of these tribesmen.
He thought that the Lu family members would be able to hold out longer… What a pity.
Sighing internally, the armoured man leapt off the tower and landed behind Lubi.
Shao Xuan averted his gaze over, not surprised at the new presence.
“You’re from the Ji family?” Shao Xuan could sense the Ji family fire seed aura off him.
The armoured man slightly resembled Ji Fang. But comparatively, Ji Fang was calmer while this person was largely feral. Despite that, the man had watered down his wildness in front of Shao Xuan, gaze cautious.
“I’m Ji Shou of the Ji family. My brother has sent me here to welcome your party,” replied Ji Shou. His brother was Ji Fang, this indicated that Ji Shou was royalty. He was the head of the King City guards, one of the few surviving royal heirs. Ji Shou was spared as he had shared the same father and same mother as Ji Fang. Plus, he had made great effort to aid Ji Fang’s ascend to the throne.
As Ji Shou spoke, he couldn’t help but avert his gaze away from meeting Shao Xuan’s eyes. He finally understood why the Lu family members were behaving that way. It really was too much pressure.
Unbeknownst to Ji Shou, Shao Xuan had toned down his intensity after Ji Shou’s appearance.
Due to Ji Shou’s sudden appearance, Shao Xuan’s eyes switched target. The Lu family members, including Lubi, suddenly felt lighter. It felt almost as if the huge mountain sitting on them were moved away. Some of them wiped away the cold sweat dotting their foreheads, hearts celebrating Ji Shou’s well-timed appearance. If the man hadn’t shown up, they really wouldn’t be able to hang on much longer.
There really was something extremely unsettling about this Flaming Horn tribesman!
After all, Ji Shou was inherently different from the Lu family members. The fire seed power within him was relatively stronger, allowing him to recover from the momentary daze. Back in the ancient fire seed era, the Ji family’s fire seed would be way more powerful than the Lu family’s fire seed. Hence, Ji Shou was able to withstand Shao Xuan’s immense aura better.
They had been stuck at the city gates for a little too long. Ji Shou quickly snapped out of it and raised a palm to motion for Shao Xuan to move past the gates.
“Open up!” Ji Shou said, “Everyone, this way please!”
Shao Xuan took the lead and entered the city. Behind him, Gui He led the rest of them in.
Ji Shou studied the passing tribesmen, eyes narrowed to slits as he tried to mask the hostile glint. These tribesmen were indeed very different from his expectations. The outcome from the Lu family’s pitiful attempt of a confrontation had shown that it was best to treat these tribesmen carefully. Rarely was he this courteous in speech, he never said ‘please’.
After he had shown the Flaming Horn’s group into the city, Ji Shou cast a scathing glance at the dumbfounded Lu family members. Then, he looked at the hiding Fox tribe members and smirked. Without any concern for their responses, he paced into the city.
After the entry of the tribesmen, the city gates went back to its usual state. It remained open, resuming smooth entry and exit for its traffic. The Lu family members didn’t feel good at all. Thinking back to the earlier situation, fear seized their hearts as chills began travelling up their spines again.
Lubi stared at the leaving group in a daze. His grip loosened and the hammer fell to the ground with a muted thud. As if going through a mental breakdown, Lubi could barely support his body. Luming, who was nearby Lubi, dropped his knees to the ground.
The meaning behind the look and smirk Ji Shou directed towards them was received.
They were done for.
On the other end, the group following behind Shao Xuan into the city were walking along the spacious King City avenue that led directly to the palace. They watched the King City soldiers who were maintaining the order on both sides curiously. At the same time, they studied the curious onlookers and the surrounding architecture and shop furnishings.
King City’s avenue was comparatively broader than those in Chao Qiu City and the rest. Caesar could walk alongside the tribesmen with adequate space. Huge beasts were typically used to transport cargo in the city. So it was a frequent sight to see large beasts walking along the streets. However, this avenue wasn’t open for public access. The normal travellers and caravans would take another path after entering the city. To be able to step onto this road was special treatment.
“Did you notice?” Gui He asked Tuo, who was walking beside him.
“What?” Tuo was studying the surroundings inside King City. Gui He’s sudden question certainly had caught him off guard.
“The people of King City are reacting differently compared to the other city folks we’ve encountered,” said Gui He.
Tuo entertained the thought. Indeed, the people of King City looked more like they were entertained by their presence. They were watching the tribesmen as if they were monkeys in the middle of a crowd. They looked excited at the Flaming Horn’s presence, which was wildly different from the heavy defensive looks received in Chao Qiu City.
Back then, only a mere hundred of them had entered Chao Qiu City. This time, each and every one of them was entering King City.
Though the people of King City were startled by their sheer number, the shock had only lasted momentarily before it dissolved into mirth.
This was the unwavering confidence of the people of King City!
The city folks were sophisticated and prideful!
Those who could remain in King City were more or less competent. When the Fox tribe members had still resided in the depths of the mountains back then, they were truly arrogant. Even when their salt mines were severely damaged by the king beast, members still remained with the tribe. With unity, they formed a considerable force. However, they weren’t able to make waves in King City. All they could do was merely suppressing smaller organisations and free people. The only reason they could survive in the city till this day was because of their dependency on the Yi family. With the collapse of the Yi family, everyone who the Fox tribe had trampled on sought revenge.
With all the free people and organisations in King City united, there was no need for inferiority complexes. The people of King City were frankly not afraid of the Flaming Horns at all. Plus, even if the Yi family could no longer do anything, there were still five other larger noble clans. What was there to be afraid of?
Just as the Flaming River Alliance marched towards the palace, an uninvited guest had appeared at the Gongjia house.
“Bring out Gongjia Heng!” A dark-clothed figure seethed in the lobby.
The current head of the Gongjia family was Gongjia RHengen. Ever since Ji Fang had succeeded the throne, Gongjia Heng’s status among the family members was sharply elevated. Added with his true competence that was obtained from his learnings at Gongjia Mountain, the elder generation of the Gongjia family had testified Gongjia Heng’s status after comparing his creation to the other craftsmen. At the same time, this was the most favourable decision for the Gongjia family.
Recently, Gongjia Heng had holed himself up in his workshop. No one would bother himself unless an emergency arose. Not only was this Gongjia Heng’s principle, but this was also the habit of all craftsmen of the Gongjia family. No one desired to be disturbed by measly things when casting. An inadvertent interruption might chase away all inspirations they had while working. Their life-changing ideas would be gone for life!
However, this unexpected guest was someone who the Gongjia family was reluctant to meet but yet couldn’t afford to offend.
“Where is Gongjia Heng?! Bring him out! Now! Immediately!” His emotional outburst rang through the house, causing the family members to jolt in shock. Though they were afraid, they couldn’t help but study the guest’s weapon out of occupational habit.
Those who could recognize the weapon felt their heart sink.
How did the cross-shaped long-handled weapon end up in this state? Speechless, they stared at the weapon with confusion. Without closer inspections, they wouldn’t be able to formulate relevant deductions. They were curious, yes. But they didn’t wish to go near and land themself in trouble.
The person currently standing in the middle of the Gongjia’s lobby was none other than Si, who Shao Xuan had been hunting down. Thankfully, Si had a change of clothes so he didn’t look as flustered anymore.
There were only a handful of people who dared to be rude to the Gongjia family. Unfortunately for them, Si was one of them. The mutual exchange between the Gongjia family and the Bis had begun during their ancestral generation.
Every year, the Gongjia family would require some rare materials. A good portion of it was sourced from the Bis. After all, the Bis had more slaves than anything. They had enough manpower to work the mines.
Si’s cross-shaped Xi blade was crafted by the Gongjia family craftsmen. However, the actual blacksmith behind the weapon had passed away long ago. There was no way for the younger craftsmen to replicate his exact techniques completely. The repair work was bound to be difficult.
The more skilled the craftsmen were, the more severe their perfectionist streak was. If they couldn’t achieve the perfect repair, they’d rather reject the job. Aside from reputational damage, the Gongjia members might suffer from prolonged frustration over a lacklustre outcome.
Si had plenty of exchanges with the Gongjia family. He was fully aware of their odd behaviour. This was why he was directly looking for Gongjia Heng, he was here for an explanation from the family head.
He knew that some of the Gongjia members had left after Ji Fang’s ascension to the throne. He was here to see if a complete repair of his cross-shaped Xi weapon was possible. If it remained in this state, it would be damaging to his reputation. Si had even snuck into King City to avoid attention. The man had come over to visit the Gongjia house directly after visiting Ji Fang’s place.
Si too had another goal. He wanted to find out which Gongjia member had welded such a threatening weapon for the Flaming Horns!
“Where is Gongjia Heng?! I demand to see him now!” Si roared again, already impatient.
“Is there a need to scream?!” Gongjia Heng dashed out of his workshop in response. He was absolutely irritated that his work had been interrupted.
But as soon as he stepped into sight, Gongjia Heng immediately noticed the pitiful Xi weapon in Si’s grip. His attention was glued intensely on the straight pole.
“Bring your weapon over! Let me take a look at it!”