Why Don’t You Fly Anymore?
The disaster had brought massive destruction to all the tribes. Some were exterminated entirely, though many others continued to live on the shores beside the river. So, when the Flaming Horn tribe set up signs marking the river as “Flaming River,” many people saw it.
When they first saw this happening, there had been cases where other tribes had started naming their parts of the river.
Perhaps some were unhappy about the Flaming Horn’s impulsive decision, but the Flaming Horn tribe was not afraid. If they found out about anyone who tried to change the name of the river again, they would undoubtedly have a friendly little discussion with them.
Explanations? No. They did not even need to provide any explanations. At this point, whoever with more power had the authority to speak. If they were weak, they shouldn’t even bother voicing out their opinion. Besides, in this area, no one wanted to risk starting a war with the Flaming Horn tribe.
When the shamans found out that the name of the Flaming River was starting to spread like across both shorelines, they smiled cheerfully, deep wrinkles visible on their faces. They even became addicted to giving names to different things, like the man-made lake, the mountains, the boats. Because of their disagreements, the two shamans often had arguments about naming different things.
But the others did not care too much about these names. The group that came from the other side of the ocean still kept the same habit as in previous years, piling up stocks at the end of the year for trading at the markets. After they had settled in this place, their piled share of animal fur was more than what they needed, so they also wanted to let the trading team bring it to the markets.
Although there were no cities nearby, many tribes had their unique skill and craft, and most were too hard to learn or copy. They required unique talents to master.
The making of boats was coming to a completion. With the aid of new green-bronze weapons, tasks that couldn’t be done before with stone or horn weapons were now effortlessly completed. It was easy for them to get the materials they needed from the forest nearby, and with their prior experience in building boats back in Fearsome Beast Forest, this was a rather easy task for them. Plus, back in Fearsome Beast Forest, the Longboat tribe had given them some boats as gifts, but all of them were destroyed in the disaster. Regardless, the workers had learned enough boat-making skills to make their boats.
Even if their technique did not allow them to make boats better than the Longboat tribe, their material was better. They had high-quality wood and green-bronze weapons. Sometimes, they had Shao Xuan’s creative ideas, so the boat they made were even better than the ones they used to depart from this place years ago.
They had already finished digging the canal connecting the man-made lake and the Flaming River. All that was left to do was to open the sluice gates once the boats were all built.
At the human-made lake, the green ducks continued to swim peacefully with their ducklings, and even though the noise from the boat construction was loud, they were never afraid. Some of them were even curious and came over to look.
In just a few days, the green ducks had already grown much fatter compared to when they first migrated here. They had almost reached the fatness Shao Xuan had first seen in their species. It was not just the first generation of ducks, but the ducklings as well. They became much more active and friendly towards the Flaming Horn tribe. Sometimes when they saw the worker who fed them approaching, the ducks would even hop cheerfully on their fat legs over to beg for food.
Yes, beg for food!
The second generation of ducks had the same mischievous and shameless behaviour as their parents. The living conditions here were perfect for them. Someone was protecting them, feeding them, they had a place to live, they did not have to starve or fly in the rain, there were no natural predators nearby, so it was perfect. They decided to stay here with their parents and no longer had any inclination to leave. Three days ago, when another flock of birds flew by, the ducks only looked up for a while but showed no intention to follow.
Shao Xuan carried a giant tree trunk over to the place beside the lake. This tree trunk was cut down by the team that was specifically assigned to the task. He was just there to help them move the tree trunks.
“So how’s everything going? How many days do we still need?” Shao Xuan looked at the finished boats and asked the craftsmen nearby.
“We can finish in two days. We’ll set the finished ones afloat in the river tomorrow,” one of the craftsmen replied.
After he asked about their progress, he asked no more. He set down the tree trunk and walked towards the river. As he passed, he saw the worker who was taking care of the duck shed. Those ducks that were curious about the boat construction stood in a line watching the workers, but when they saw the worker arrive with the food, all of them dashed toward him, fighting to get to the worker first. Some even began to fight.
Since they began feeding these ducks, the ducks had become lazier and lazier. Besides fighting for food, it was rare to see them fly. They wondered whether they could still fly once they became fatter.
Shao Xuan went over to the worker and asked about the ducks.
“They’re doing quite decently! They are behaving even better than the last time we bred them. Now, all I need to do is take care of the leading duck. All the other ducks follow and regard him as their leader,” the worker who was feeding the ducks said happily, “But we haven’t seen any eggs yet.”
“It’s still too early for them to lay eggs.”
Shao Xuan went to the grounds and took a look at the ducks who had finished their food. The fat duck walked in circles, waddling from side to side. It seemed very relaxed and lazy.
When it saw Shao Xuan walk over, the fat duck glanced over at him and then went to look for a place to sit. Shao Xuan looked in the food tank. There was still some food left, and according to the worker who fed them, those leftovers were herb scraps from crushed herbs that he knew were beneficial for the ducks. When the ducks were sick, they would instinctively eat those herbs, so the worker knew it was good for them. Since then, he had been adding it to their food tank.
In the first few days after they arrived, they were not picky at all. They ate everything they were given. As days slowly passed by, the ducks became pickier and started finishing the food they liked first and left the food they didn’t like much for later when they became hungry again.
Shao Xuan looked at the duck that was dawdling sleepily, looking for a place to rest, “Tsk! Enjoying yourself, aren’t you? Why don’t you fly anymore?”
But after Shao Xuan spoke, the fat duck started flying.
It wasn’t just that one fat duck, the other ducklings also followed. Not only the ones that were swimming in the lake but all the ducks beside the lake and amidst the grass began to flap their wings and fly.
… So did the ducks really decide to fly that instant?
Or had they decided to leave?
But very soon, Shao Xuan realised that they did not intend to leave. As soon as they ascended, they stopped and rested on a tree and looked up at the sky.
What was there?
Shao Xuan also looked over, and as soon as he did that, he heard whistles coming from the watchtowers.
“Something strange is flying in the sky!”
Shao Xuan scanned his surroundings and jumped up onto a branch of a tall tree.
Far away, there was a group of black figures approaching.
“It’s a flock of birds!”
It was already a familiar sight for them. Seeing these flocks of birds, everyone was no longer afraid.
But this time was different. When the flock of birds passed by the tribe’s lands, the green ducks and their ducklings all flew up to the tree. Right when Shao Xuan thought they wanted to leave, the ducks called out wildly to the flock from below.
Then, besides the calls from the approaching flock, they also heard a different call made by the green ducks.
Shao Xuan opened his eyes wide and looked closely at the flock. Some birds departed from the flock and started flying towards them.
They’re wild ducks!
“Oh my goodness!”
These green ducks were quite skilled in seduction. They could even attract wild ducks!