Chapter 268 – Mastiffs
Compared to Zhao Hai, Wales was currently in a bigger dilemma. What he and his people had to face was a crisis. It was something he didn’t want to see, but one that he had to face no matter what.
Wales sat in his tent as a large cup of milk wine had been put in front of him. He had actually drunk 5 cups, and this was the 6th.
Mendez wasn’t any better. In fact, he had already started to drink the 8th cup. Only Yale was normal, but he was sitting there without a single word.
The news which Bogue had brought back was too shocking. They hadn’t expected that the main camp of herculean bulls, which had been inhabited for generations, had been lost. How could they face this?
Fortunately, Wales had self-restraint, so he didn’t drink any further. After downing the 6th cup, he stopped, but he still said nothing. None of the 3 who had entered the tent had spoken anything.
Wales raised his head to look at Yale after a while and said, “Teacher, what do you think Gasol is doing right now?”
Yale wouldn’t think that Wales was caring about Gasol, of course. Right now, Wales wanted Gasol to die right in front of him badly. There was no way he would care about him.
Yale sighed and said, “It’s really hard to say. If my guess is correct, then I fear that the reason why the Fighting Bull Tribe had loaned troops to Gasol, was because of having the intention to eliminate him after what is done. Kill us with Gasol’s hands, and then kill Gasol with the loaned troops, while taking over the main camp. By then, the Herculean Bull Tribe will not have the spine to threaten the Fighting Bull Tribe. The act of eliminating the fighting bull cavalry happened to help Gasol for a time.”
Mendez smashed the small table in front of him into pieces, and the silver cup was also flattened. He looked at Yale with blood red eyes and said, “I better not know where he is. If I do, I will gouge him with my own hands!”
Wales took a deep breath and asked, “Teacher, where do you think the tribesmen would go?”
Yale thought for a bit and replied, “Right now, there are 2 places which they could’ve gone. One is West Wonder King’s place, but I think they wouldn’t go there. He’s a fighting bull after all, and right now, the fighting bulls are in a momentum, so they would have no guarantees there. Which leaves only one more place to go: the Mastiff Tribe.”
Wales agreed to Yale’s perspective. The Herculean Bull Tribe had always had a good relationship with the Mastiff Tribe. The Mastiff Tribe had helped the Herculean Bull Tribe for many times in the past. Now that something had happened, the herculean bulls would naturally head over to the mastiffs for refuge.
The mastiffs were a very unique race. They were the ruling race of dog-headed races, which were between battle races and civil races. The fighting power of the entire race was slightly worse than wolf race, but stronger than civil races. Relatively speaking, their position was a little higher than bull-headed races.
The Herculean Bull Tribe and the Mastiff Tribe had always maintained a good relationship. The Mastiff Tribe had helped Herculean Bull Tribe for a lot of times in the past, so now that the Herculean Bull Tribe had gotten into trouble, they would surely head over to the Mastiff Tribe.
Wales took in a deep breath and said, “Well then, our next move is to go around the horse races’ turf and go to the Mastiff Tribe.”
Yale nodded to that. The turf of bull-headed races was adjacent to the turfs of horse races, pig races, dog races and cat races. The relationship between Herculean Bull Tribe, pig tribes and horse tribes was normal; neither good nor bad. Because of being good with mastiffs, it ended up spelling a negative with cats, due to how cat and dog races had never gotten along.
And now, Wales and his men were at the point where the borders of the pig-headed races and the bull-headed races met. There were only 2 ways they could go to the Mastiff Tribe: one was to go through the bull-headed races’ turf, while the other was to circle it via the horse races’ turf. They wouldn’t go to the cat races’ turf as it was too dangerous, and the same was now true for the bull-headed races’ territory. The only choice left was to move into the turf of horses.
Wales glanced at Yale and said, “We have to trouble you to draw a map for little Hai, teacher. Our time is limited, but please be as detailed as possible. Just letting him know how to get to West Wonder King’s place is enough.”
Yale nodded, “No problems there. We still have to thank little Hai for this. If it weren’t for him, we would’ve been in a more difficult spot by now.”
Wales nodded at that and sighed, “I never thought at the beginning that just a single trial of travelling would be followed by all these events. But luckily, I met little Hai. Something gained, something lost, I guess.”
Yale gave Wales a look and said, “Wales, I don’t think now’s the time to speak of this. We can only keep little Hai’s help inside our hearts. We still have to think about how to proceed after reaching the Mastiff Tribe’s turf right now. Even though our tribes’ relationship is great, do not forget that our tribe has fallen from the spot of the ruling race. It’s hard to say for sure how the mastiffs will treat us now.”
Wales ceased his thoughts for the moment. He knew that their gratitude towards Zhao Hai was not something that could be paid in words. In his heart, Zhao Hai was like his birth sibling. It would be acting like strangers if he kept speaking of it as something they owed him for. Just as Yale said, he should be thinking about what to do when meeting the mastiffs.
Beastmen were simplistic, yet even they would have politics among them. It was a fact. Wales had made contact with the mastiffs for several times in the past, but during those times, they were as equals. Both sides were rulers. Even though the herculean bulls felt grateful, they wouldn’t feel as if they were inferior.
It was like how either of the 2 good friends were living a little better and offered a little help. The other friend would be grateful, but there wouldn’t be a sense of inferiority.
But that had changed now. The herculean bulls were now refugees who had lost their homes. They had no right to speak with the mastiffs as equals. How the mastiffs would treat them was something that needed his proper consideration.
Wales thought about this silently with closed eyes. To be honest, he didn’t have enough capital to operate on. He didn’t know how many herculean bulls escaped, and what the situation was in the tribe. The amount of supplies left, the quantity of argali remaining, were unknown to him.
His only capital right now was the grains which Zhao Hai had given him. Endless supply of food was the final thing he could depend on.
Wales looked at Yale and said, “I think that right now, the only thing we can offer is the grains that little Hai gave us. But we cannot let him be in too much of a disadvantage from this. I’m saying, once we reach the mastiffs, let’s see how they treat our people first. If they’re treating them well, we can introduce little Hai to them and have him trade with them. I think they’ll be very happy to. since his grains are very cheap. If they’re not treating our people well, then we’ll give them some grains and leave, before settling down in a horse race or pig race’s turf. What do you think, teacher?”
Yale nodded, “Only in the worst of disasters can we peer into the true nature of people. If the mastiffs are truly friends, then we’ll just introduce little Hai to them. His existence is something every beastman can only dream of. If they are friends, then we have to treat our friends well.”
Wales nodded, “We have absolutely no idea about the situation in the tribe. I just hope it’s not too dire.”
Both of them sighed at the same time. They knew that Wales was consoling himself. The situation of a race that had been chased out of their hometown was easily imaginable. It was not unlike being bankrupt. It was possible that other than their own selves, weapons and mounts, there were nothing else.
Out of things to discuss, Yale returned to his own tent and started drafting a map for Zhao Hai. However, because he had too little time, he couldn’t afford to be too detailed. He could only mark the location of West Wonder King’s campsite and some obvious geographical landmarks along the way.
The next morning, Yale gave the map which he had drawn overnight to Zhao Hai. Zhao Hai found the map to be decent. There was no indication of range, but at least it pointed a general direction and some famous landmarks were marked on it. Even tribes that could possibly be encountered were written on it.
Zhao Hai kept the map and looked at Yale who had bloodshot eyes, “Thank you Mr. Yale. Take care of yourselves, big brother. If there’s anything, contact me with the blood hawks right away. Just attach a letter to them. They can find me.”
Wales gave Zhao Hai a strong hug, “Brother, I’m not going to say thankful words now. You must take care. If the bull-headed races really want to make a move against you, don’t hold back and unleash the undead creatures. This is Beastmen Prairie, and the Fighting Bull Tribe is now the ruling tribe. They might use this authority to act against you.”
Zhao Hai laughed, “Relax. If they really dare, it would be like gifting me new subordinates, and my underlings will grow more and more. It’s nothing to be afraid of. Alright, have a safe trip, big brother.”
Wales nodded before leading his people on the trip. Watching his back, Zhao Hai sighed, “Big brother has to deal with a lot of things this time.”
Laura nodded, “I hope he can make it through. Only then, can he be the best ruler of the herculean bulls.”
Zhao Hai smiled, “I believe that under his leadership, the herculean bulls will get better and better. We can help him no matter what difficulty he faces, hehe. With a powerful collaborator, Beastman Prairie will be ours in the future.”
Laura was also happy. She understood that Zhao Hai was definitely not helping Wales out of brotherly relationship. On Beastmen Prairie, in order to do business properly, it would be impossible to lack a powerful collaborator. Although Zhao Hai was paying out right now, once Wales got into position and the Herculean Bull Tribe developed, the gains he would get would not just end at dozens of times the cost or more than that.
Zhao Hai smiled after looking at the sky, “We should leave too. Whew. To be frank, I’m really lifted from a burden today. Following Wales and his people everyday makes it really inconvenient to return to the space or Iron Mountain Castle.
Laura, Meg and Nier laughed at that. They too had felt inconvenienced. Even though they rested inside the space every night, it couldn’t be compared to moving around freely.
The convoy slowly travelled forward, and Zhao Hai once again put the large-bellied pigs’ friendship flag on top of his wagon. He didn’t get a flag from Wales, as right now, it was best not to raise the friendship flag of herculean bulls.
Wales had also been aware of this, so in order to avoid giving Zhao Hai trouble, he himself didn’t give him the friendship flag. Zhao Hai wanted to find West Wonder King’s campsite as quickly as possible, so he proceeded according to the map directly.
Although the map had no ratios, the amount of days needed to move from one landmark to the next was noted, so Zhao Hai wasn’t worried about going the wrong way.
It was in order to help Wales obtain information, but Zhao Hai wasn’t in a hurry. He knew it very clearly that the cow races were in a sensitive period. If he asked around carelessly, he would surely attract suspicion. At worst, he might come into conflict with them.
As beastmen were extremely cautious towards humans from the start, Zhao Hai believed that everything should be done with maintaining the cover as top priority in such a sensitive period of time.
After a day, Zhao Hai and the others hadn’t found a single tribe, but the map looked legit. They needed at least 3 days of travelling until they could come across a tribe. Of course, it was just speculation. A tribe might’ve been active at the surroundings, but beastmen were often moving around, so Yale also wasn’t sure if a tribe would really be there.
Now, it was the busiest time of the year on Beastmen Prairie, because they were about to enter winter. They had to prepare the grass feeds and the food needed to live past winter, so a lot of beastmen tribes would migrate around to prepare those things. Yale was a prophet, but even he couldn’t know all of the tribes like the back of his hand. If he could, he wouldn’t be a prophet, but a god instead.
Zhao Hai and his company returned to Iron Mountain Castle that night, and discussed the changes of the Herculean Bull Tribe to Greene and the others. Greene and the others believed that what Zhao Hai had done was not mistaken. Now that the Herculean Bull Tribe was in trouble, it was the best time to offer a helping hand. They would be grateful for life.