Zhou Yun Sheng and Zhao Xuan didn’t head directly to the coast, but detoured to the Renault tribe.
Along the way, they met many groups also heading to the Renault tribe, some carrying a mountain of prey, some with bundles of hides, and others escorting a group of females, apparently goods to be used in exchange for red crystals.
Zhou Yun Sheng and Zhao Xuan avoided these people and slinked through the forest, quietly entering the Renault tribe’s territory and running towards the back mountain guarded by countless warriors.
They were planning to rob some red crystals to buy salt.
“My love, don’t you think this tribe is odd?” Zhou Yun Sheng suddenly asked on the way.
Zhao Xuan nodded in agreement.
After entering the forest ruled by the Renault tribe, the number and concentration of throwback beasts was far greater than in other places. They’d been on this planet for quite a long time, and have gradually learned to judge the difference between throwback beast and regular beasts. The eyes of throwback beasts were far more intelligent, and they conveyed all kinds of emotions, but beasts only had fierce eyes.
The eastern forest where they lived had dozens of tribes, large and small. Each tribe expelled the throwback beasts that couldn’t transform, but the amount of throwback beasts was still only about two hundred. However, the forest they were currently in covered a vast area, and only the Renault tribe lived here. Yet, the number of throwback beasts was far greater than two hundred.
Zhou Yun Sheng hadn’t specifically counted, but along the way, he estimated that he saw at least 80 throwback beasts who’d nodded respectfully towards the stupid lion from a distance, apparently wishing to make friends with him.
According to this density, the number of throwback beasts in the Renault tribe’s forest should be more than a thousand.
Why were so many throwback beasts gathered here? Was there a special purpose? This guess was quickly dispelled when Zhou Yun Sheng heard a distant sound of weeping. It was a couple of females who were, under male surveillance, throwing away little cubs that couldn’t have been more than two months old. The females were always born in human form. The males also changed shape after a month, unless they were throwback beasts, who remained in beast form even after the month passed.
The cubs they were holding in their arms were undoubtedly their own children, otherwise they wouldn’t be crying so desperately. Seeing the females’ reluctance, the male grabbed the cubs and threw them into the underbrush before dragging the females away. After a short time, several adult throwbacks followed the scent and found the crying cubs, taking them away.
Although abandoned by their biological parents, their peers would take care of them.
Seeing this, Zhou Yun Sheng understood that the throwback beasts in this forest should all be tribesmen abandoned by the Renault tribe, and were not being gathered here for a specific purpose.
“My love, this Renault tribe seems to being facing a setback. Other tribes can go years without a throwback beast being born, but this Renault tribe gives birth to multiple at a time. The chance of mutation is way too high. Where do you think this Renault tribe differs from the other tribes the most? This kind of wide-scale disparity is always traceable.” Zhou Yun Sheng muttered to himself, already coming up with the answer.
Zhao Xuan growled, his fore paw pointing to the red crystal mine on the mountain peak.
The only difference between the Renault tribe and the other tribes was naturally the red crystals. Red crystals were energy formations, and certainly contained radioactive substances. Some of it was beneficial to the human body, but some of it affected their genetics, leading to the large-scale devolution of their offspring.
Although the constant supply of females sent to the Renault tribe stabilized their population, in a few years, the influence of the radiation would deepen. Perhaps the average litter of young would only have one or two females, while the rest were throwbacks.
On the one hand, red crystals improve the strength of male beastkin, but on the other hand, it destroys their fertility. If things continued this way, the once famous Renault tribe would eventually die out. Not only were the red crystals not a treasure, the were a poison. If you wanted to increase your strength, it was obviously not advisable to just absorb red crystals indiscriminately.
However, these things had nothing to do with him, he was not a selfless hero. As long as the red crystals could be used to buy salt, he would get some. Besides, exposing the drawbacks of red crystals would be behavior that affected the course of the native people’s history, a serious violation of interstellar law. He didn’t want to be imprisoned right after his honeymoon.
Zhou Yun Sheng laughed disdainfully and jumped onto the big lion’s back, prompting him to head up the mountain.
The king of this forest was a throwback saber-toothed tiger. He wanted to question the two suspicious characters, but was swatted away by a claw as soon as he got close. While he struggled to get back up, Zhao Xuan circled around him two times, growling and snarling. Who knew what kind of agreement the two beasts reached, but the saber-toothed tiger simply nodded and fearfully trotted away.
After half an hour, Zhou Yun Sheng finally understood what the stupid lion had plotted.
He’d ordered a group of throwback beasts to distract away the warriors guarding the mines, taking the opportunity to sneak in to loot.
Although the beastman planet was in an uncivilized era and its productive ability was extremely backward, the beastkin had sharp claws and abundant strength. It was not difficult to dig out a mine. The tunnel was very dark and long, and there seemed to be no end in sight. It took more than ten minutes of walking before they saw a faint red light.
The couple ran over and saw that the walls of the cave were covered with diamond-shaped crystals, crowded together in clusters, like petals of a magnificent flower. A strong beastman needed to spend more than a month to chip out a large, palm sized red crystal, but to Zhou Yun Sheng it was like pinching off tofu.
He leaned in closer to study the crystal, and felt a violent energy hidden in the red light that it emitted. This was probably the chief culprit of the Renault tribe’s frequent birth defects.
“The source of the problem really was the red crystals. Do you want to take a look?” He handed the crystal to the lion.
Zhao Xuan shook his head, saying that he wasn’t interested. He raised his front paw and swatted his lover’s butt, urging him to hurry up. Zhou Yun Sheng’s loincloth was almost pulled off by him, he quickly grabbed the loosened belt, casually pouring the red crystals into his space ring as he adjusted his cloth. Their space rings could hold an aircraft, it was more than enough to hold a few crystals.
The couple took away all the red crystals on the cave wall, on their way out, they met a few warriors who had hurried back and were preparing to examine the cave. Zhou Yun Sheng picked up a few stones and shot at them, stunning each one, then they leisurely walked away. In the east continent, red crystals were equivalent to gold coins. With these red crystals, they didn’t have to worry about buying anything they wanted.
The couple didn’t immediately leave the Renault tribe’s territory, instead turning towards a nearby lake. The beastman planet was rich in species, even great white sharks, devil fish and other such creatures seen in the ocean could be found in a freshwater lake. The lake in the Renault tribe’s territory was different from other places. It was home to several nothosauruses. They failed to follow the community when the planet’s crust shifted hundreds of millions of years ago, and later when they wanted to follow, they could no long leave, the newly risen continent blocking the strait.
They were the rulers of this lake, no other beasts dared come here to drink water, fearing that a nothosaurus would suddenly jump out of the water and drag them to the bottom of the lake. The saber-toothed tiger had made a very strange request. He’d hoped that Zhao Xuan could hunt a nothosaurus and let him taste dragon meat. The nothosaurus had eaten many of his friends, so he naturally hated them, but the deeper reason was that eating nothosaurus meat could let a throwback beast become stronger.
The throwbacks couldn’t absorb red crystals, but they could gain strength by eating powerful beasts. Because of its beast instincts, the saber-toothed tiger knew that the golden lion was very strong. He only needed to release his aura to immediately awe all the beasts in the forest. He definitely felt more dangerous than a nothosaurus.
The most important thing was that this golden lion had a beautiful female with him. The female was 1000 times more beautiful than any female in the Renault tribe, but he was willing to commit himself to a throwback beast. If the lion wasn’t ridiculously strong, who would do this? Therefore, the Saber-toothed tiger firmly believed that the golden lion had something extraordinary.
It turned out that his guess was correct. The golden lion walked to the lake, gently placed the beautiful female on the soft grass by the lakeside, then dived underwater. Soon, the calm lake broke out into large waves, bright red liquid mixed in with the white waves, the scene was very frightening.
The saber-toothed tiger was worried that the female would faint in fear, and wanted to jump down from the treetops where he was hidden, but then he saw the female raise his hand and cover his mouth, yawning. His face only held boredom, where was he about to faint in fright? The tiger stopped in his tracks, but at that moment, a huge wave dashed against the shore and almost swallowed up the female. The other side dodged it with a speed that was difficult to see with the naked eye. In the blink of an eye, he leapt to the top of a giant ten-meter-high tree.
This insane reaction speed and jumping ability was beyond the limit of ordinary people, making the saber-toothed tiger stare sluggishly. With this female’s ability, he would have no problem living alone in the forest. Why would he need to rely on a throwback beast? Was he truly in love with the golden lion? Thinking of this, the saber-toothed tiger was both sad and hopeful. He felt sad that he had no partner, but he felt hopeful that in the future, he would also be able to capture a female with his charm.
The throwbacks were always male, no females. If they wanted to breed the next generation, they could only look for female beasts. But female beasts were still beasts after all, they had no intelligence, and the feeling of mating with them was too complex to describe. The saber-toothed tiger was so depressed that he let out a long sigh.
Meanwhile, Zhao Xuan dragged a 10-ton nothosaurus ashore. Several more nothosaurus popped their heads out of the water and roared, seemingly aggressive, but their eyes were full of fear. They were swiped by the golden lion’s claws, and were bruised and battered. Their blood dyed half of the lake, but their enemy was completely unharmed.
The nothosaurus was an amphibious animal. Although it was inseparable from the water, it could move freely within a hundred li of the lake. In order to avoid becoming food for the nothosaurus, the surrounding area of the lake was a restricted area, no beasts or beastkin were willing to set foot in there. Therefore, even though Zhao Xuan made such big movements, the Renault tribe didn’t send warriors to check it out. They thought it was just two nothosauruses fighting.
Zhao Xuan bit out the most tender pieces of nothosaurus meat and placed it aside, before calling the saber-toothed tiger over. The saber-toothed tiger jumped out of the tree and slowly approached the golden-haired lion. He leaned over and placed his head on his front paws, making a gesture of submission. The beasts who’d heard the lion’s roar rushed over and bowed to the ground one by one, the shocking scene was like watching servants bowing to the emperor. The nothosauruses lingering in the lake didn’t dare make another sound, silently diving underwater and fleeing.
Zhao Xuan rolled up his lover, who was inwardly shaking with laughter, with his tail and unhurriedly left. After making sure that there were no beastkin or throwback beasts nearby, he threw the nothosaurus meat into his space ring.
“Killing a man in ten steps, thousands of miles without a trace. Kept his words, he straightens his clothes and leaves, deeds and fame deeply buried within. My love, you’ve been so awesome lately.” Zhou Yun Sheng could no longer hold it in, grinning from ear to ear.
What was the stupid lion planning to do, become king of the mountain? Look, he started spraying again. This was basically declaring the Renault tribe his territory. The throwback beasts in the territory suddenly gained a new boss!
Zhao Xuan looked up and roared with vigor. The majesty just made Zhou Yun Sheng laugh louder and louder, holding his head, the lack or air giving him a headache. The couple no longer detoured, heading straight to the sea.
The Renault tribe fell into a terrible panic that night, when they discovered that the red crystals in the mine had disappeared. Who had the ability to steal 10 tons of crystals in one shot? They originally suspected the throwbacks, but the amount of crystals stolen was huge, and they also emitted red light. It wasn’t visible during the day, but it couldn’t be hidden away at night, the whole forest would light up.
The tribe leader wasn’t anxious at first. He knew that no matter who stole the red crystals, they certainly wouldn’t be able to run too far before nightfall, and he would just have to follow the light. However, when night fell, the forest was as dark as ever, and there was no sign of the expected red-light beacon. In other words, the red crystals in the mine hadn’t been stolen, they’d just disappeared without a trace.
The tribe leader was both angry and frightened, because the shaman told him that this was probably the beast god’s doing. The Renault tribe was becoming more and more powerful, treating other tribes as slaves, and when food was scarce during winter, slaughtering them for food. Even the throwback beasts they’d abandoned were their main targets for hunting.
Eating so many of their tribesmen would naturally anger the beast god, and the red crystals’ disappearance was a punishment from the beast god. The shaman was terrified, and kneeled to pray before the beast god effigy. No matter how hard they pondered, they would never be able to think of something like a space ring. They could only blame all incomprehensible phenomena on miracles.
The tribe leader had no choice but to release a group of slaves in appeasement, only keeping the able-bodied males. He needed these slaves to help the Renault tribe build a new mine. Obviously, not even a punishment from the beast god could dispel his greed. While he was busy scheduling the mining project, he didn’t notice that the throwback beasts in the territory were migrating to the eastern forest, re-tracing the golden lion’s scent.
As soon as they left, a large group of beasts also left. When the leader finally re-focused on regular affairs, the tribe’s warriors had already been unable to find prey for several days. However, this wasn’t a world ending matter. In order to exchange for red crystals, the other tribes naturally brought them food as tribute. But while they unconcernedly enjoyed the convenience brought by the red crystals, they didn’t expect that the comfortable life would deprive their warriors of their braveness and survivability.
They would have high levels but no actual combat experience. Once they fought against other tribes, they would be utterly defeated. To make matters worse, the red crystals destroyed their fertility and prevented them from having superior offspring. As time progressed, they would one day taste the bitter fruit of their constant abuse of red crystals.
Of course, the other tribes also wouldn’t escape unscathed.
Zhou Yun Sheng had already foreseen the future of these tribes, but not only could he not warn them, he didn’t want to warn them.
After traveling for half a month, the couple safely arrived at the coast. After tracking down the largest merman tribe, they exchanged red crystals for five hundred catties of salt, sending it into a space ring when no one was around. This eliminated the need to run over for more every few months, saving them a lot of trouble.
The merman tribe was very occluded, as long as you gave them red crystals, they wouldn’t ask anything, but they would still urge you to quickly go back to where you came from.
Zhou Yun Sheng and the stupid lion had no choice but to give up on their plans to sunbath, buying a few salted fish and slowly walking back.
Nothosauruses- Wikipedia: “Nothosaurus (“false lizard”) is an extinct genus of sauropterygian reptile from the Triassic period, approximately 240-210 million years ago.”
Killing a man in ten steps… – Lines from poem called “Ode to the Gallantry” by Tang dynasty poet Li Bai. Translation stolen from some random reddit post. Reminder that I don’t even know Chinese, yet I’m somehow managing to find all this crap.