Chapter 81 - Mountain Barbarian (Part 2)
Since the leader of the mountain barbarians wanted him to personally visit the mountain stronghold, Ouyang Shuo obviously wouldn"t refuse. That courage and confidence was something that he had. But obviously he would not walk alone ahead stupidly either.
The next day, Ouyang Shuo led the infantry squadron and under the directions from the spy, they made their way to the mountain stronghold. From the barracks, across the plains, they made it into the forest in less than half an hour.
After entering, the speed of the soldiers had a drastic decrease, there were broken twigs and dead leaves everywhere, vines covered their vision and it was very difficult to move forward. Ouyang Shuo had to get down his horse and walk. Luckily the guide had good experience and left markings on the way so that they wouldn"t get lost.
After walking for two hours, the front scout reported that the mountain stronghold was two miles away. Ouyang Shuo ordered his troops to rest up and replenish and to patiently wait.
In 20 minutes, Leng Qian"s team reached their location. As for San Gouzi"s group, they were monitored by the mountain barbarians and it wasn"t convenient to meet.
Leng Qian reported what they had found out about the barbarians, "The whole mountain stronghold had about 3 thousand of them, mostly young and strong. As they live in the deep mountains, they don"t have a very long lifespans and many don"t live past 40, the chances of children surviving are also very little thus their average lifespan is 25 years old. They rely on hunting to survive and occasionally pick fruits to eat. Their leader is usually the hunting captain and is usually their strongest hunter. The mountain stronghold also has shamans who are well versed in medicinal arts and are the old and wise ones, holding a lot of power too."
"The whole region is covered by at least 100 tribes. Between tribes are hunting grounds that are divided. The tribe we are meeting is called Xuanniao Tribe and their tribe animal is the Xuan bird, it can only be considered a medium-sized tribe. I heard that deep in the mountains there are large tribes with tens of thousands of barbarians. The leader is called Shi Xiong and got famous because he hunted a black bear. The shaman doesn"t have a name and is called the great shaman."
Ouyang Shuo listened intently, Leng Qian"s intelligence report did not let him down. In just one day, he had managed to find out so many things.
"Let"s go, let"s meet this Xuanniao tribe."
In less than half an hour, they were able to reach near the mountain stronghold. Seeing the group of men, the sentries shouted, "Who are you, report your name."
"I"m the lord of Shanhai Town and was invited by your leader." Ouyang Shuo replied loudly.
The sentry had a small commotion, only to see one of the sentries who had a small black bird which stopped on his shoulder. He said a few words to the bird and it flew away, deep into the mountain stronghold.
Seeing the situation, Ouyang Shuo helplessly shook his head. No wonder Zhang Daniu was ambushed. The tribe had such a scouting device, they were bound to lose. That little black bird not only recognised the way but it also understood human speech. He guessed that the bird was a descendant of the Xuan bird.
After 15 minutes, the bird flew back, chirping away to the sentry. Apart from that one sentry, the rest of them probably didn"t understand anything.
"The leader says that the Shanhai town lord can only bring two men to follow him. As for the rest, they have to wait outside the mountain stronghold."
"How can we do that? We need to protect sire"s safety." Zhao Sihu couldn"t resist and shouted.
"This is what the leader said, you have to follow it." The sentry said.
Zhao Sihu wanted to argue but Ouyang Shuo stopped him, smiling, "Since that"s the case, captain Zhao and Wang Feng will follow me!"
Wang Feng was the eldest disciple of Lin Yue and was the sergeant of the first squad.
"Sire, this is too dangerous. Why don’t we just break into the stronghold." Zhao Sihu obviously didn"t trust them.
"That"s right sire, this is really too dangerous." Leng Qian tried to persuade him.
"There"s no need to persuade me. I believe that their leader isn"t a reckless person. The barbarians are often prideful and if they wanted to attack us they already did."
Seeing that they couldn"t persuade him, everyone just had to accept it. Leng Qian turned around and shouted to the sentry, "You guys listen up, if anything happens to our sire, the Shanhai Town will trample all over you."
The sentry snorted coldly upon hearing his threats and didn"t reply.
Ouyang Shuo didn"t bother and brought Zhao Sihu and Wang Feng, following the sentry into the mountain stronghold. When they entered, the sentry went back to his post and another barbarian took over.
Along the way, Ouyang Shuo managed to see the beauty of the mountain stronghold, chatting with the two about it. The stronghold had its unique points, it was simple, sturdy and roughly built. The passerby barbarians, upon seeing these few visitors still laughing and talking at such a time, showed respect to them, no wonder they were able to receive the leader"s invitation.
Shi Xiong brought the important members of the tribe to welcome them at the meeting room.
"Guests from afar, welcome to Xuanniao Tribe!" Shi Xiong announced loudly.
Ouyang Shuo smiled and exclaimed, "Many thanks to leader for your invitation, allowing me to view the barbarian tribes’ sights."
Shi Xiong"s face relaxed and warmly said, "Please enter!"
"Please enter!" Ouyang Shuo followed behind him and into the meeting room.
After the two of them sat down, Shi Xiong cut to the chase and said, "Shanhai town lord, yesterday your men said that they wanted to work together with our tribe, what are the details?"
"Respected leader, I came to make friends. It does not matter whether if the cooperation is successful, Shanhai Town will give you 100 thousand units of grain for free." Ouyang Shuo dangled a carrot in front of them.
When he said those words, Shi Xiong was obviously ruffled. 100 thousand units of grain could feed them for 3 months. Such generosity immediately made them see him in a positive light and their animosity towards them dropped.
Shi Xiong was shocked but as the leader he didn"t lose his demeanour. "Thank you for your gift, our tribe is thankful."
"The cooperation has 3 conditions. First, your tribe goes down hill and live in Qiushui village. Second, your tribe can choose your warriors to work in Shanhai Town army and we will pay them salary. Lastly, your tribe will help us mine minerals and stone and we will pay you salary." Ouyang Shuo tossed out 3 methods.
"Our tribe has been staying here for so long, to go down the mountain to live there is hard to do." Shi Xiong declined the first method.
Ouyang Shuo nodded his head as this was totally what he expected. If there wasn"t a suitable opportunity, it was impossible to get them out of the forest and into the plains.
"How much is their salary for serving in the army?" Shi Xiong asked.
Ouyang Shuo relaxed as the big fish had bit the bait, "Normal soldiers will be given salary based on their rank. Converting it to grains, 10 units at the least and 90 units at most. Based on the standards of your units, I"ll say 50 units of grain."
Shi Xiong nodded his head and didn"t show any expression, following on by asking, "As for the third method, can the lord please elaborate."
"Naturally. Based on my knowledge, this area has silver and gold deposits and many rare ores. If your tribe can find these ores then Shanhai Town will pay you grain as compensation. Ouyang Shuo knew that in his past life Ba Dao had found a gold mine through the mountain barbarians.
"Please sit for a while, we need to discuss this." After saying that, Shi Xiong arranged for the members of the tribe to stay in the room with them and he himself went to the backyard.
The great shaman was at the backyard, such a big decision couldn"t be made only by Shi Xiong and he had to ask the great shaman.
After listening to Shi Xiong"s message, she remained silent. After a long while she said, "This lord is a smart person. 3 months ago the Xuan Bird told me that not long ago, people will come from outside with daggers and mine the wilderness. These men are either our chance at prosperity or what causes us to die."
"Since that"s the case, let"s chase them out!" Shi Xiong said.
"We can"t be so reckless. This lord came with sincerity and he might be able to help us out of our bad situation. We can send people to join their army. As for the ores, we must search for them quickly to solve our food problem."
"Yes! Great shaman, how many soldiers should be arranged?"
"The first batch of soldiers can"t be too many but we must choose our best. Let"s just choose 200. Shi Hu is fast thinking and courageous, let"s send him for some training."
Ouyang Shuo had purposely mentioned that their salary had to do with their skill level so as to not let the tribe send some lousy warriors to make up the number, it obviously worked.
"I"ll follow your orders!" Shi Xiong said excitedly. Shi Hu’s ability was at the top of the hunting team and was also the one with the biggest threat to him. Now that the great shaman had sent him away, he was naturally happy.