Chapter 25: Friend of Life and Death

The Giant Mountain Elder was surprised. He didn’t expect Hua Yi to be so difficult to deal with, much less that young sub-beast boy, who only ate and slept foolishly and wouldn’t even talk to others, to be even more difficult.

The attack range of the horse-chopping saber was extremely wide. If it weren’t for Chang An having to guard the back of the already red-eyed Hua Yi, then it’s destructive power in the crowd might’ve been even more astonishing. Could it be that Silver Fang had met all the sub-beast freaks in the world?

The Great Elder was completely on edge. At the sound of the pressing footsteps and the tramp of the horses’ hooves, his whole person jolted. A boom went through his head, and he knew that another problem had come up.

But in a moment, all the people in this chaos could clearly see from afar where the men and the horses were from. Those people carried flags made of human bones, and they were all big, strong men. The Great Elder was shocked at first, but then suddenly turned happy. The ghost tribe has come!

Ghost tribe men were idle all day long. They didn’t like to work, so they just roamed around to burn, kill, and loot. They were nothing good, of course,  but since the Great Elder of Giant Mountain tribe had lowered himself to collude with them, he would now naturally condescend to treat them as allies.

Beastman warriors who killed and hunted all day long were incomparable. In the eyes of the Great Elder, they came just in time. With these dozens of fierce bandits, then even in a wheel combat1车轮战 – the tactic of several persons taking turns in fighting one opponent to wear him down, those two people inside could be dealt with.

But before the Great Elder could even finish rejoicing, a pike2长矛 – like a spear, but longer was somehow launched from behind those men, and it pierced right into the thigh of a behemoth among the ghost tribe bandits. That behemoth had been running down the hill and he couldn’t stop. Caught off guard, his whole body rolled down, knocking over several of his companions like a giant ball of killing power.

Only then did the Great Elder notice that the length of the human bone flag was not quite right. It was broken in half.

He pushed aside the guards around him, transformed into his human form, then jumped onto the back of one of his subordinates who was in beast form. He anxiously looked over from afar, and it was as if a basin of cold water was poured on his head—The Great Elder realized then that such a momentum couldn’t have been made by those dozens of people. The fierce bandits of the once mighty ghost tribe were clearly being chased away. In the rear, cries of war were shaking the sky, and pikes and arrows were falling down like rain.

This pitiful Great Elder was already of age, but in the blink of an eye, his heart had risen and fallen several times, and he could hardly tell which way was north.

The Great Elder’s eagerness to look over the situation from a high place made his entire person a live target. Hua Yi certainly wouldn’t let go of such an opportunity. All of a sudden, he grabbed the neck of a panicked and fleeing sub-beast in the crowd. The sub-beast fell to his knees, and Hua Yi stepped on top of his back, leaped up into the air, and threw out the nine-inch saber in his hand at an extremely tricky angle.

It went right through the Great Elder’s throat without the least bit of suspense. However, this also left Hua Yi unarmed when he landed back on the ground.

Swords and beast claws came one after another, pressing down on him from above his head. In Hua Yi’s point of view, it was simply all black and no daylight. If he didn’t move, he’d be chopped into mush. Even if he were to transform into a beast, he’d still be crushed to the ground.

However, the horse-chopping saber, which had been closely following him, was able to catch a momentary gap between the weapons with perfect precision, and it passed straight through the cartilage of a beast claw. Chang An pressed on the hilt to the extreme. Adding his own weight, he raised the blade so high that he had to support it.

But this was only a brief moment. Chang An had always been using the “weight” of the horse-chopping saber to suppress his opponents, but this time, he had no choice but to bear the saber’s weight himself. His hand had already been trembling when he pressed on the hilt, so when such a crushing force came upon his blade, he almost immediately lost strength, the joint on his right wrist instantly misaligning.

Chang An was forced to let go, and the saber’s edge was pressed down again.

But he didn’t panic. The hilt that had touched the ground sprang up. With his eyes not leaving Hua Yi, Chang An leaned back sideways and bumped the hilt of the saber into one direction with his shoulder. The blade nearly grazed Hua Yi’s hair as it swept past, stabbing straight into a beastman’s body just as its handle happened to fall right towards Hua Yi’s hand.

Hua Yi immediately reached out and grabbed it. Bending over, he swept the saber above his own back, slashing off the necks of several men and knocking away the scimitar behind him with a clatter.

He wasn’t eager to keep fighting, so he opened a path with the saber, then turned around, picked up Chang An, and instantly transformed into his beast form. He threw both the person and the saber on his back, and in a few steps, he was sticking out of the encirclement.

At the same time, the ghost tribe running down the hillside had finally reached the valley in such a terrified manner. They ran into the Giant Mountain tribe rebels as expected, and for a moment, everything was in disarray. All sorts of things were going on, and it was utter chaos.

Old Blind’s eyes couldn’t see anything. Although he was a beastman, his combat power was basically zero. He was sitting astride the back of a beastman when he was somehow thrown off, falling flat on the ground on his face. At that moment, he heard the familiar sound of a bugle horn coming from the opposite direction.

It was the cow horn used by the Giant Mountain tribe during times of war in order to summon warriors to charge.

He was blind. He couldn’t see the Giant Mountain tribe’s flag fluttering in the wind on the opposite hill. He couldn’t see the leader, Luo Tong, looking coldly at this side with a cadre of Giant Mountain warriors who should’ve been caught up in something else. Nor could he see Luo Tong suddenly brandishing a scimitar, and to which hundreds of sword-bearing half-beast warriors and snarling behemoths came over roaring, while those in human forms chased after the ghost tribe to form a pincer attack3The pincer movement, or double envelopment, is a military maneuver in which forces simultaneously attack both flanks (sides) of an enemy formation. (Wikipedia).

In Old Blind’s mind, there was only one thought—they had been pitted.

The battle ended like autumn wind sweeping away the fallen leaves4秋风扫落叶 – to wipe out the corrupt and evil in an easy way

Chang An had never seen such a battle formation before. He had been dazedly holding his saber with one hand, and before he could even think of putting his wrist back in place, the battle was settled.

The fierce bandits of the ghost tribe and the rebels of the Giant Mountain tribe were all killed, sparing not a single one alive.

Those people chasing after the ghost tribe were carrying several different flags. They seemed to be an alliance between different tribes. Luo Tong, the Chief of Giant Mountain, stepped forward and bowed solemnly to those pursuers with a salute5行礼 – Something like this:
chinese salute
, saying, “The traitors from my tribe are like greedy jackals. I don’t know what to say.”

Some of the allied tribes looked at each other, and from the middle, a man with a sorrowful look came forward. After being silent for a moment, he saluted back and said, “We came late.”

Then he lowered his head, as if he was barely restraining something. The corners of his mouth tensed up, and only after a long time did he speak again, “The enemy is dead.”

Everyone then understood that this man meant that “Injustice had a head, and debt had a master.6冤有头,债有主 – For every grievance ,someone is responsible; for every debt, there is a debtor. When settling disputes one should not involve third parties” He would not take out his anger on others.

Then the man walked to Hua Yi.

Chang An jumped down from Hua Yi’s back and silently stepped aside. He raised his hand, and with a crack, sharply realigned his wrist.

When Hua Yi turned into his human form, the man suddenly bowed deeply and said, “You saved A’Ye. From now on, I, Ka Zuo, will be your friend, and our Black Eagle tribe will also be your friends. If something happens to you, tell us, or get someone to send us a message. We are ready to die for you.”

Hua Yi looked up, and on the hillside far away, he saw a young lady sitting on the back of a behemoth. It was the one he had saved.

After Ka Zuo spoke, he patted Hua Yi on the shoulder, and turned around to leave.

Just then, a person behind Luo Tong suddenly spoke up. It was a male voice as gentle and pleasant as a cool breeze, completely out of place in this cruel battlefield. The man said,  “Ka Zuo-xiongdi, don’t be in a hurry to leave.”

Chang An was idly watching over the scene. Upon hearing the voice, he followed the sound, and was nearly scared to a jolt.

Who knew what was wrong with that man’s face. He looked like a big, mix-feathered parrot with all the bright colors on it. Chang An didn’t know what to think. With a hat two feet high on his head, the man looked as if he had a tower on. The bottom was wrapped with animal skins, while the top was completely soft and shaky. When he moved, it would sway left and right, like a big walking lantern.

Hua Yi sighed softly, as if feeling he had extremely lost face7丢人 – to feel ashamed or humiliated. His voice was practically so small as he said embarrassedly, “Suo Laimu.”

“Big Lantern” stepped forward and went straight to a position beside Luo Tong. He said, “The Black Eagle tribe has suffered greatly. You now have only less than twenty beastmen left to go hunting, and one girl who’s not even an adult yet. How can you go on?”

Ka Zuo stopped in his tracks, and looked at him without saying anything.

“Big Lantern” Suo Laimu bent down and sincerely spoke in his breezy voice: “Come and join us. You guys can move to the fertile soil beyond the river and take over the property of the traitors who killed your loved ones. Giant Mountain will treat you as fairly and warmly as it is to its own family.”

Ka Zuo was stupefied for a moment, and then said that he would first discuss it with his people.

So that night, several tribes that lived not far away dispersed one after another. Meanwhile, Ka Zuo, Luo Tong, and the others stayed in the valley to rest for the night.

After finally turning over the task to Luo Tong, Hua Yi stretched his body widely, feeling his bones becoming somewhat lighter by a few points.

However, he wasn’t in a hurry to take over the tribe. He looked up at Chang An and saw the teenager still not joining in the crowd, looking quite unsociable. It was unknown where he got himself a fruit, but he was munching on it very happily.

Hua Yi suddenly smiled and walked over to him. 

Chang An was sitting beside a small bonfire when Hua Yi stood tall and strong in front of him, blocking most of his light. He looked up and heard Hua Yi say, “Like Ka Zuo, I’ll also give it to you.”

Chang An was far from elegant when he was eating. He bit off half of the fruit in one mouthful and was propping up a cheek that was full and bulging when he looked at Hua Yi blankly.

“I’ll keep to heart what happened today. From now on, I, Hua Yi, will be your friend. If something happens to you, tell me, or get someone to send me a message. I am ready to die for you.”

**✿❀ translated by Lizonka ❀✿**
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