Chapter 239 – Bull-Headed Ruling Flag
Zhao Hai’s eyes were glued to the blood hawk in the sky as it kept circling. Laura and the others were also watching the blood hawk, curious about what sort of information it would bring.
However, Zhao Hai had understood. Blood hawks had great recon ability at high altitudes due to their great eyesight. Adding to how they could understand him, there was nothing better than blood hawks when it came to aerial reconnaissance.
The information which the blood hawk brought back was very important to him, because the blood hawk had discovered that 2 beastmen tribes were fighting each other. One side was a bull-headed race, while the other was jackals.
Zhao Hai frowned, as he didn’t know whether or not he should act under these circumstances. If a human interfered with a conflict between tribes arbitrarily, it wouldn’t go too well.
Laura and the others were also disturbed by the information which the blood hawk had brought back. Beastmen saw fighting as something honorable. Interfering might be offensive to them, and the people that he helped might not be grateful.
At a loss for ideas, Laura asked Zhao Hai, “What do you think we should do, Hai-bro?”
Zhao Hai thought for a moment then said, “Let’s have a look and pretend we’re passing by. Don’t act first.” Laura nodded, and Zhao Hai let the wagon and convoys move towards the battlefield.
The distance between them and the battlefield wasn’t short. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have taken the blood hawk until late morning to bring back the information. In order to rush to the battlefield, Zhao Hai stored all the other wagons into the space, and let Laura’s wagon take the lead. This way, their travelling speed would be much faster.
After rushing for more than 2 hours, they finally arrived at where the blood hawk caught the sight of the battlefield. Sounds of murderous cries could clearly be heard from there.
Zhao Hai hadn’t expected that the fight between the 2 groups would last for such a long time. It was noon right now, yet the blood hawk had seen them fighting this morning. In other words, both sides had been fighting for at least 3 hours, which wasn’t a short time.
Zhao Hai slowed down and let the wagons out again, then moved towards the battlefield slowly and leisurely. He didn’t hurry, since he now knew that both sides were still fighting.
Very soon, Zhao Hai and the others neared the battlefield. From a distance, there was a campsite whose scale wasn’t large. It was about the same size that the Goat Head Hammer Tribe’s campsite had been. A large tent could be seen at the center of the campsite, with a large bull-headed flag installed at its top. Laura’s expression changed as she saw the flag, “Bull-headed ruling flag? How can it be?”
Zhao Hai asked with a shock, “Bull-headed ruling flag? That’s the flag?” The reason why Zhao Hai was so shocked was because the flag in question was not something that just anyone could use. It could only be used by the herculean bulls: the ruling race of the bull-headed races.
Although the number of races on Beastmen Prairie was something that not even beastmen themselves knew, every collective of races had a ruling race. For example, there were bull-headed races, like bisons and oxen, but they all belonged to a single category: cows.
The ruling race of the bull-headed race was the herculean bulls, and every herculean bull male was born a warrior. Every part of their body had no hair, and their skin was golden. Such golden skin was very firm, and they were born with the blessing of power. It could be said that their fighting power wasn’t worse than the famous battle races among beastmen in the slightest.
If it weren’t for the fact that a lot of the other bull-headed races had low fighting power, cows would’ve been one of the battle races. On the prairie, what determined whether a race was a battle race was not the fighting power of 1 or 2 branch races, but the overall fighting power of other races, and among the cows, a lot of the branch races’ fighting power was very low, which dragged at the heels of the more powerful races. In the end, they could only be a civilian race instead of a battle race.
But whether or not a collective was a battle race, it also had ratings, like the lion and tiger races among battle races. Those races were at the top among the battle races due to their sheer fighting power, while the cows’ position among civilian races was more or less the same as that of the lions and tigers among the battle races; at the top among the civilian races. Even low level battle races wouldn’t dare to show disrespect towards the bull-headed races. Especially the herculean bulls.
The fighting power of herculean bulls was very high, and their beast soul possession skill was powerful as well, a fact that made no race underestimate or offend them.
Beastmen were different from humans. While humans trained in battle auras and magics, beastmen trained in beast soul skills. The so-called beast soul skills were in fact a training method exclusive to beastmen. Every beastman child at the age of 10 would hunt a magic beast alone, and use a secret beastman technique to absorb its soul. In every fight thereafter, that soul could help the beastman fight.
However, there was a limitation. It was a bloodline limitation, which meant the beastmen’s skills were limited by the gap between species.
For example, the slave races of beastmen could also practice beast soul skills, but they couldn’t absorb souls that were too powerful. If they forced it, there would be a backlash. The most they would get away with was a separation of the beast soul and the resulting physical injuries. The most severe outcome would be being controlled by the beast soul and turning into a completely feral beast.
The power of the absorbed soul determined the strength of a beastman’s fighting power, and whether or not a magic beast was feral would also be a determining factor in whoever could absorb its soul.
For example, a home-grown level 5 magic beast would never be able to win against a wild level 5 magic beast. The wild ones would have always been fighting against beasts, people and nature since they had been born. Their fighting skills would be stronger than those of home-grown ones by who-knew-how-many measures.
When beastmen absorbed beast souls, they would obtain a part of the beasts’ experiences. This was of great importance to the beastmen.
Weaker beastmen didn’t fundamentally have the ability to hunt magic beasts on their own, so they could only use home-grown magic beasts to make up for it, and their fighting power would naturally become weaker as a result.
The greatest difference between common battle races and civilian races was that battle races’ beast souls usually belonged to carnivorous animals, like predators, while some of civilian races’ beast souls belonged to herbivores, like prey.
Beast soul absorption was not a careless affair. For example, if you were a cow, and you wanted to absorb a lion-type beast soul, your chances of success would be very low. Even if it were successfully absorbed, the increase in your own strength wouldn’t be too much. Instead, there would be negative influences due to the lack of affinity.
The best kinds of beast souls which cows could absorb were those of bovine magic beasts. If there were none, the next best thing would be to go for other herbivores instead of carnivores. This was the experience obtained after many years of beastmen’s trial and error.
And the herculean bulls’ beast souls could be said to be almost universally a level 6 earth type magic beast: stoneskin bulls.
One could understand from the name that it was a kind of magic beast that had a very strong defensive power and strength. Among magic beasts, there seriously weren’t many that could excel beyond stoneskin bulls in terms of raw strength.
After many years of experimentation, the herculean bulls eventually singled the stoneskin bulls out to be their choice of beast soul absorption, due to how the attributes between both of them were almost the same, and the affinity between them was the highest. Hence, the herculean bulls used their own power to shepherd the stoneskin bulls.
Of course, it wasn’t a literal shepherding. Instead, the stoneskin bulls were herded to a field without letting them run away afterwards. In the field, they lived freely, and whenever there was danger, the herculean bulls wouldn’t help them, so the stoneskin bulls were still wild.
This was also a common method of powerful battle races among beastmen. They would find the magic beasts most suitable for them after long periods of experimentation, and then raise the magic beasts in a semi-hands-free approach. When someone needed to absorb a soul, they could just go to their own hunting grounds and hunt one down.
Doing this ensured their race’s fighting power. Right now, after so many years of development, some of the more famous battle races had their own complete cultivation systems. The overall fighting power of their races had become a lot stronger than before.
Some of the smaller tribes and weaker races had no way to herd magic beasts like the battle races, so their fighting power hadn’t increased by a lot. This had also caused the strong to become stronger, while the weak became weaker.
The fact that herculean bulls as a civilian race had been able to herd magic beasts was enough to demonstrate their strength.
It was exactly because of this that Laura was so shocked upon seeing the bull-headed ruling flag. Jackals had always preyed on the weak, so they shouldn’t be picking fights with a powerful race such as the herculean bulls. Why was it that they had assaulted the herculean bulls today? Also, why had the herculean bulls come to this place? This location wasn’t far from Ironwall Fortress; it could count as a fringe area of Beastmen Prairie. This shouldn’t be where powerful races belonged.
Zhao Hai and Laura were speechless at the sight of the flag. The presence of the flag meant that things wouldn’t be as simple as they seemed. It would be hard to foretell any outcome if they pressed on. If the herculean bulls had come here for important matters, then if Zhao Hai and the others moved ahead inadvertently, the herculean bulls might turn their blades against them to silence them after fighting off the jackals.