Chapter 23 – Changes
Translated by Sunyancai
Shao Xuan’s joining in the middle was merely a small episode of this year’s ceremony, even though it was obviously different from other ceremonies. However, even if people in the tribe had their own guesses at heart, their most concerning thing now was still about the awakening kids around the fire pit.
Sai was extremely thrilled as he carefully experienced the obvious changes in his body, and the totemic patterns which appeared on his arms. But naturally, he also noticed that someone suddenly joined them out of the blue. Sai slightly turned his head to take a look, only to find out that it was Shao Xuan, covered in a ball of fire.
It was a small world where enemies often crossed each other’s path.
Isn’t that fellow still too young? He is only supposed to be ten years old after today’s Snow Festival. Why is he here?
Seeing Shao Xuan standing right next to himself, who was two years younger, Sai’s heart rate raced up apprehensively. Every time when Sai thought about having been beaten up by Shao Xuan and the others in the cave before winter, he would get quite angry. In fact, he was quite excited when he was chosen by the Shaman this year. He planned to bring back some ferocious beast when he went on a mission with his new hunting team after awakening his totemic power, and then take its body to the entrance of orphan cave, so those little bastards would be able to see his game closely, especially Shao Xuan. But now, what was happening?
Shao Xuan also noticed that he was standing right next to Sai, the minute he was tossed here. However, now he had no interest in dealing with him.
Before, he could only observe the fire pit from afar, and now Shao Xuan finally was able to feel the tribal fire pit closely. He felt like he was surrounded by a sea of fire, but with no feeling of burning. All that he felt was warmth, and the warmth had driven away all the coldness left in his body by the winter.
The totemic pattern on the kids standing around the fire pit appeared to be fiery red. It became like that after the flames had entered their bodies, they awakened the strength that was hidden within their flesh. And the process was clearly more restrained.
However, Shao Xuan’s changes were much fiercer.
The fire which originally gathered on his head now had spread down to his body. Shao Xuan’s eyesight was filled with fire, the only thing he was not sure of, was whether it was the fire on his head, or the fire flown over from the fire pit.
Shao Xuan felt some pain in his brain, and also his body temperature rose up, with heat gathering at his glabella, and then spreading to his forehead, face, neck, torso, and limbs…
With no mirror, Shao Xuan could not see the changes on his face, but seeing that fire red totemic patterns existed on the other kids’ faces, he assumed that the same must have happened on his face. Feeling the heat stretching from his shoulder down to his limbs, Shao Xuan turned his sight to his arms.
Earlier, he took off his animal skin coat in order to put out the fire, and then left it there without putting it back on. So now, Shao Xuan was only wearing a sleeveless sweater made from animal skin. The totemic patterns appeared on his arms together with the spreading heat, they could be seen quite clearly.
The flames and sparks flowing from the fire pit became denser as time went by, and the flame inside the fire pit had a trend of spreading out. Everyone in the tribe was busy praying, so Shao Xuan covered in fire stood out less.
The dancing flames in the fire pit grew more and more violent. The fire pit now was no longer that large crater with a small fire that Shao Xuan saw at first. Now the whole fire pit was like a big volcano, waiting to erupt. However, it was not dreadful like before, but people felt the urge to worship when seeing the fire pit like that.
The Shaman’s singing had reached the third stage, and at the final syllable, the Shaman raised up his arms and suddenly moved away his hand. The gray and white animal skin cloak instantly got flooded by the spreading-out flames.
Third Flame of the fire pit – Spreading Flame!
The flames in the fire pit had just a gentle change, but now the flames no longer flew out, instead the fire poured out like lava and instantly flooded everyone at the ceremony, and then without stopping, it went towards the mountain foot area.
Near the mountain foot area, Caesar, who was left in the cave because of the ritual ceremony, stared at the entrance of the cave with growling sounds coming from his throat.
Outside the cave, it was covered by fire.
The quickly spreading flames covered the whole mountain, but didn’t burn any straw or tree. It seemed that the flame was not lethal at all, but Caesar hiding in the cave feared it a lot. If possible, he would literally dig down under the ground and hide there.
And, the night swallows which had already retreated to the edge of residential area, reluctantly flew up and went further away seeing that approaching fire.
The Shaman was standing beside the fire pit, with a serious-look all the time. However, now, he finally showed a joyful smile. There was no need to look down the mountain, yet he could already feel where the flames had reached.
The expansion scope was a lot larger than the last few years. In fact, ever since he took place as the Shaman in the tribe, he had never seen any third flame of the fire pit reach such a large scope!
It was a good omen…
“Luck!” The Shaman shouted.
“Luck!” everyone in the tribe followed the shout with cheer.
“The flame of the Scorching Horns may never die!” Chief Ao also joyfully shouted out.
“The flame of the Scorching Horns may never die!” People in the tribe echoed loudly. Every single one of them was more than excited. Since the Shaman claimed that the coming year would be a lucky one, it surely will be! How could they not to get thrilled and excited?
The spreading flame lasted for about half an hour, and then it began to fade away from the mountain. In the end, only the flames inside the fire pit kept burning and dancing, and the totem above that flame existed all the time.
After that, the atmosphere became lighter and less serious. The scene was filled with joy and people were quite relaxed. Since people in the tribe needed to vent out their excitement, they all went down the mountain in small groups, laughing, chatting, and planning to have a barbecue party with their close friends and families after they got home. They would have some fruit wine and after that they would have a good sleep, and wait for the promising new year to come.
Ge also led the kids down the mountain to the orphan cave. They did not worry about getting attacked by night swallows that evening. Because besides for Caesar, no wild birds or animals would be able to enter their residential area.
Unlike most of the people in the tribe, Shao Xuan and the other kids who had awakened their totemic powers had to stay, and they will have to stay up in the mountain for some time, because they had to listen to the Shaman’s second lecture.
Nearly eighty kids were standing beside the fire pit, and most of them awakened their totemic powers successfully, except for four of them. Those four kids left with disappointment, but thinking about the fact that they would definitely awaken their totemic powers next year, they were less depressed already.
Shao Xuan and the others stayed beside the fire pit. And affter everyone else in the tribe had gone, they were brought into a stone house by a few warriors,
That stone house was much more firm and solid than the wooden houses that Shao Xuan had seen down the mountain. Also it was quite large, for it had enough room for over seventy kids.
After their totemic powers awakened, their breath seemed to become easier than before. Every piece of muscle and every single bone in their body seemed to be reformed, and they were filled with endless strength. Even if they looked the same as before, the inner part of themselves had changed essentially.
However, Shao Xuan was still a little upset and gloomy.
The other kids were either discussing about their feeling of awakened totemic powers, or trying to gesture with each other because of excitement. If it weren’t for the situation that someone was watching, they would’ve started competing with each other instantly.
After he had carefully looked at the others around him for a few times, Shao Xuan stepped forward a few steps and poked on the one who was bragging to the other kids, “Hey, you!”
“What…” Sai got interrupted and he turned around, but instantly he took a step back vigilantly, after seeing that it was Shao Xuan. Perhaps he felt ashamed by his own action, so he stepped forward again.
“What?” asked Sai, and in his eyes there were still traces of precaution. Before he awakened his totemic power, he was already much taller and stronger than Shao Xuan, yet he got beaten up by him several times, so now with awakened totemic power, he still dared not underestimate him.
“After you awakened, did you notice any changes in your vision? Vision is how you see things… Do you feel any changes, from before?” asked Shao Xuan.
Seeing Shao Xuan was only asking such questions, Sai kept his jaw up high and said with pride, “Sure I do!”
Other kids that Shao Xuan did not know before also joined the discussion, since they overheard Shao Xuan’s question. They kept talking about how far they could see in dark situations, and compared with earlier, their hearing, smelling and vision had greatly improved with their totemic powers awakened.
Shao Xuan was the only one who remained silent.
He had to remain silent, or else could he tell the others that all the people he set his eyes on were skeletons?