Chapter 2 – Barbarian Enlightenment
Translated by Seaweed
Edited by Hydramon
This was an ordinary piece of stone, the size of a baby’s palm. But it looked rather irregular: Besides some naturally formed lines and grooves on it, there was also a small hole which looked like it could be used for hanging.
Overall, there seemed to be nothing special about this stone.
The only somewhat peculiar characteristic was that when Su Ming held the stone, it felt warm. It was as if a surge of warmth had flowed into his body – an extremely comfortable feeling.
“Eh?” Su Ming examined it carefully, but he was unable to discover anything, even after a long time.
“Grandpa had mentioned before that this place used to belong to the Fire Barbarian people long ago. As such, this object probably possessed some Fire Barbarian power, which resulted in that warm sensation I felt. This should be a rather accurate guess.” Su Ming unclasped the Crescent Bone Necklace around his neck and placed the stone piece inside before once again putting it on. The stone piece felt somewhat warmer as it lay against his chest.
“Time to return home!” The youngster widened his stride as he quickly ran toward a lighted area in the distance. He did not notice the feeble flash that the stone piece against his chest let out.
As he approached, the originally dim lights gradually grew brighter, revealing the numerous huge wooden logs which made up the wall that surrounded the tribe’s dwelling.
It was not a huge area, only enough for about a few hundred to live in, yet in Su Ming’s eyes, this place gave him a sense of comfort. Currently, faint sounds of excited cheers could be heard from within. Peeking through the cracks in the wooden wall, Su Ming could see a humongous bonfire at the heart of the dwelling. Around the bonfire, a multitude of tribesmen and women were dancing.
The tribe’s main entrance was likewise built with huge wooden logs. When open, it needed to be secured by a few ropes. Currently, the entrance was tightly shut and there were even several tall and sturdy men atop the walls. They wore animal skin clothing over their exceedingly coarse skin, with bone necklaces strung around their necks and bone hoops hanging from their ears, making them look rather valiant. Their bright eyes glared at their surroundings, and when they saw Su Ming run over from afar, these few men grinned and laughed.
“Su Ming, Grandfather has been looking for you all day. Why did you only return now?”
“It just rained, did you go to snatch the Black Dragon’s saliva again?”
“Grandfather is looking for me?” Su Ming sprinted the last few steps and arrived at the entrance. Happily patting the woven basket on his back, he shouted out, “Throw the rope down, I got a rather good haul this time.”
A woven rope fell downward. Su Ming grabbed onto it and agilely climbed up. He climbed to the top of the entrance and smiled at the night watch before swiftly descending down a nearby ladder.
“This little one is rather nimble and courageous. For years he has dared to gather herbs at the Black Dragon Mountain. Looks like he will definitely become the tribe’s future doctor.”
“It’s a pity that he does not possess the Barbarian Body, else he would probably become a Barbarian Doctor like Grandfather.” The few big-sized men looked at the far away Su Ming as they softly sighed.
Su Ming continued to run after entering the tribe dwelling. Many frequently called out ‘Su Ming’ to him in a friendly manner as they saw him pass by their straw-wood houses.
The name Su Ming was not necessarily specific to him. Instead, it was what all of the children who had not undergone the 2nd Barbarian Enlightenment were called.
Su Ming ran rather swiftly. A short while later, he arrived at the center of the dwelling and saw the huge number of tribesmen revolving around the bonfire as they cheered and laughed.
The bonfire was fenced up by fire-resistant logs. Atop these logs were many large slabs of meat which had been roasted till oil oozed out, causing a deliciously fragrant aroma to be emitted.
A few girls from the tribe merely glanced at Su Ming when they saw him run over and then paid no further attention to him.
Su Ming had delicate features, and overall – in this tribe – almost every other tribesperson was much taller and sturdier than him.
It was not easy for him to make his way through the crowd to the meat roasts. But when he finally got there, he grabbed a fragrant piece of roast meat and bit on it while quickly walking forward.
At the head of the crowd sat an elderly man who did not wear animal hides but a coarse set of clothing. This old man’s hair was braided into many smaller braids, and he looked rather ancient, yet his eyes held a charm that made others feel as if they would be sucked into its depths.
He was an exceedingly respected figure in the tribe. Currently, he was speaking in a low voice and the few tribesmen, who accompanied him, listened and nodded, their faces filled with reverence.
When the elderly man saw Su Ming running over, a small smile appeared on his face as he nodded, indicating for Su Ming to sit to one side, before continuing his chat with those few tribesmen.
Likewise, when those few tribesmen saw Su Ming, smiles lit up their faces.
“Though my Wushan Tribe is a small tribe, it is after all the true inheritor of the Wu Mountain. I used to have some relations with the Fengzhen Tribe in the past, and thus, we must not be lacking in manners during the upcoming Fengzhen Tribe’s Barbarian Elder Great Birthday.” the elderly man slowly said.
“It’s a pity that my Wushan Tribe split up a few hundred years ago. Today, only three divisions are left. If more had remained, my Wushan Tribe would be a medium sized tribe that led all the surrounding tribes. Then the Fengzhen Tribe would merely be one of our subordinates. Yet now……sigh.” The speaker of these words was a man in his forties. He was the Wushan Tribe’s chief who had a tall and sturdy body, which contained an astonishingly explosive power. Nine teeth hung from the bone necklace around his neck, each as thick as a finger.
In particular, a faint mark could be seen on his face. That mark looked extremely sinister, like markings of a ghost or demon. However, it was quite ethereal, as if it was unable to fully materialize.
Su Ming looked at that mark, and envy lit up in his eyes. Through that animal skin book, Su Ming knew that it was a character of Barbarian Script that had yet to fully form. In the entire tribe, no one possessed the power to draw Barbarian Script and have it materialize.
Even Grandfather was only at the 9th Layer of Condensing Barbarian Blood.
Yet, even if this were so, it still allowed Grandfather to be the strongest amongst many of the tribes in the vicinity of Wu Mountain. The only ones comparable to him were the other two divisions which had split off in the past: the Black Mountain Tribe and the Wu Dragon Tribe.
“What is the point in bringing up matters of the past? Without the protection of an Open Earth Stage practitioner, it is not possible to form a medium-sized tribe. The true reason why the Wushan Tribe finally split up was because two of our Open Earth Stage ancestors died.”
“This old man has trained till today, but in the end is still unable to break through the 9th Layer of Condensing Blood and reach the 10th Layer, let alone the final 11th Layer. Thus, I am unable to draw fully formed Barbarian Script and in turn making it hard to Open the Earth…” the elderly man in coarse clothings said, softly sighing.
“Alright, all of you go down and prepare the gifts. Tomorrow……Shen Hen, as the Wushan Hunting Squad Chief, you will lead the group.” That elderly man stood up and glanced at one of the middle-aged men beside the Wushan Tribe Chief before turning to leave, walking off into the distance.
That middle-aged man’s expression was calm. He immediately bowed and acknowledged the elderly man’s words.
Su Ming quickly followed behind Grandfather and left the bustling bonfire.
Along the way, the elderly man did not say anything and walked in silence. Only when the cheerful noises behind him gradually became distant did he arrive at a house made of straw and wood before walking in.
This house was not big and the interior was rather simple. After entering the house, the elderly man sat to one side and glanced at Su Ming who had followed in.
“Went to gather Black Dragon saliva again?”
Alone with the elderly man, Su Ming was very respectful to this Grandfather who had watched him grow up. He removed the woven basket from his back and presented the small clay bottle to the elderly man.
“Given your agility, those few Wu Dragons are unable to hurt you. Yet it would be better if you went there less…… After all, that area also belongs to the Black Mountain Tribe and the Wu Dragon Tribe.
This Black Dragon saliva is useless to me, it is better for you to use it to nourish your own body.” The elderly man looked at Su Ming, a kind expression on his face.
Su Ming nodded his head and kept the small bottle. Over the last few years, he had drank quite a lot of this which was why he had come to possess such a limber body.
Even more so, Grandfather had constantly brewed some medicinal soups for him these past few years such that even though he did not possess the Barbarian Body for Barbarian Cultivation, he was still much stronger than the ordinary tribe members.
“There are still three days before the time comes for your generation’s Lasu Barbarian Ritual. I remember that since you are already 16 years old……you need to pay homage to the Barbarian Statue.” The elderly man said slowly as he gazed at Su Ming.
“My Wushan Tribe’s Barbarian Statue was passed down from the true Wushan Tribe in the past. Though it is not the main statue, and still incomparable to the medium-sized tribe’s Barbarian Statue, it is still considered extremely powerful in the nearby areas.”
Su Ming was silent for a moment before he nodded his head.
“Don’t go out these few days, take a good rest. Three days later, go together with the rest to the Barbarian Enlightenment.” the elderly man said as he slowly shut his eyes.
Su Ming stood there for a long time before he lifted his woven basket and silently left toward his own straw-wood house nearby.
He will never forget the scene from when he was seven. He had gone to circle around the Barbarian Statue with the rest of the children and undergo their first Barbarian Enlightenment.
As a member of the Barbarian Tribe, one needed to go through two ceremonies that were akin to enlightenment for the young. This was the Barbarian Enlightenment – once when you were seven and another when you were sixteen.
At the same time, the Grandfather of the tribe will also borrow the power of the Barbarian Statue to select a possessor of the Barbarian Body.
Bitterness surfaced in Su Ming’s heart as he softly sighed. He had longed to become a Barbaric Cultivating Barbarian Warrior. The descriptions within the animal skin book had fueled his obsession since his youth. But reality was cruel. The first time he went to pay homage to the Barbarian Statue when he was 7, it was clearly revealed that he did not possess the Barbarian Body, and thus did not have the qualification for Barbarian Cultivation.
Barbarianism is the roots of the world. Only by becoming a Barbarian Warrior can one arrogantly ascend beyond the nine heavens and become truly strong.
From the animal skin book, Su Ming had known since youth that there were many tribes in this world which came in all sizes. Each tribe had their own unique Barbarian Statue. This was a tribe’s roots and also an integral item which allowed the future generations to become Barbarians.
If one was able to comprehend the Barbarian Statue, there would be a response, and from this, one would obtain the inheritance of Barbarian Cultivation. It need not be learnt from other men, but instead, one had to depend on oneself to cultivate.
Yet if both the 7th and 16th years had failed, it would indicate that everything would be fixed and unchanging. Su Ming had always hesitated in his heart. When he had yet to see the answer, he had looked forward to it. But now that there was only 3 days before the final chance of Enlightenment, he grew afraid.
“This time……will I succeed……” Su Ming silently returned to his own house and sat to one side, a dazed expression on his face.