Testing The Waters
Shao Xuan never expected to see anything like this.
“Is this what happens when a Di person activates their totemic energy?” Shao Xuan asked.
“No! Definitely not!!” He Bian was shaking his head wildly.
This had never happened in the history of the Di tribe. It had never been recorded in any of their ancestors’ handbooks. At least it wasn’t in the ones that were passed down to them, or they wouldn’t have been so shocked by this sight.
They were used to living with fish, but they never thought they would actually become a fish one day!
After Shao Xuan calmed down, he walked over to the stone fish tank to look closer.
Dian Dian was already in a mental breakdown and didn’t know what to say. She could only helplessly flick the tail that she believed shouldn’t have appeared and tried to convince herself that this was just a dream.
Shao Xuan heard the clanging sounds before he walked in and it was exactly the sound Dian Dian was making now with her tail. It was the sound of her tail moving. The water in the stone fish tank was also displaced when she flicked her tail. The water splashed everywhere, and the floor was all wet with water stains. Everyone on guard was also soaked.
However, no one cared to wipe away the water during this time. They could only stand there idly and think about what they could do.
“Let me check your totem,” Shao Xuan said.
Dian Dian didn’t object. She looked at Shao Xuan with expectant eyes, hoping he could find an answer.
Shao Xuan placed his hand close to the space between Dian Dian’s eyebrows and the white flame once again entered her sea of consciousness.
The Di tribe’s totem was already stable. There were no sudden changes and looked exactly like the way Shao Xuan saw it when he left. The human face took up most of the space, and there were no fish mouths. Even the fish scales had shrunk. When Shao Xuan looked at it, he noticed the most apparent features were the human face and the body of a fish.
Most of the lines on the human face had already disappeared, and the “eyes” were slightly open. The fishtail shook as the totemic flames in her body activated.
Judging by her totem, he could tell that the totemic energy inside Dian Dian’s body was powerful.
“Can you stop this using your totemic energy?” Shao Xuan asked.
“I can’t control it.” Dian Dian was also frustrated. Since she swallowed the Di fish’s fire seed yesterday, the totemic power had been very active inside of her, so she hadn’t been able to gain control over this energy.
Now Shao Xuan was confused too.
The Di tribe’s situation was unique so he couldn’t compare it to other situations.
If he purely judged the situation by the totem and flames in Dian Dian’s consciousness, it was clear that this was beneficial for Dian Dian. At least her condition was stable now.
After noticing that nothing was wrong, he drew his finger away and asked again, “How do you feel now?”
“Not too well,” Dian Dian wagged her fishtail against the wall of the stone fish tank, causing loud clanging sounds.
No one would be able to cope with a tail if they had been human for all their life, and they wouldn’t feel good too.
“I’m not asking about that. What I mean is, are you still ill? Do you still feel weak?”
Her fishtail gradually stopped slamming against the stone fish tank. Due to the shock she had early this morning, Dian Dian never tried to calm down and investigate. She just knew that she succeeded in swallowing the Di fish’s energy. However, after hearing Shao Xuan’s question, she checked her body to see any changes. There was no one else who understood her situation more than herself.
The illness caused by the conflicting energies had disappeared. Now, Dian Dian only had the Di tribe’s totemic energy, and the swallowed fire seed had not wholly merged, and it wouldn’t merge anytime soon, but at least they solved the problem at its core.
The illness was cured, but now they had a new problem.
She felt energetic, just like she was when she woke up. She felt like if she jumped into the sea and dove deep right now, she could return entirely unharmed.
If she ignored the changes in her physical appearance, she would be excited.
“I feel great, and I want to swim in the ocean,” Dian Dian said.
Hearing this, He Bian and the others could finally be at ease. No matter how frightening she looked now, at least she wasn’t ill like before and wasn’t dying anymore.
“You can give it a try,” Shao Xuan said, “You can only know if this change is good or bad if you try to move around in this new form. We don’t have an ocean here, but we have a man-made lake in our tribe. You can swim there.” No matter how big the stone fish tank was, it wasn’t spacious enough for her to move around comfortably.
Dian Dian agreed with this idea. As long as she could move around freely, she could find out what changed about her body.
“I want to swim, but not in the lake. I want to swim in that big river!” Dian Dian’s eyes shone with excitement as she spoke. She was a little confused and shocked so she hadn’t noticed how lucky she was, but, as long as she could stay alive, it was already the greatest blessing that could ever have happened to her. So what if she looked scary? As long as this didn’t hinder her movements and could solve the Di tribe’s problems, who cares if she looked like this?
“The river? You mean you want to swim in the Flaming River?” Shao Xuan asked.
“Yes!” Dian Dian was determined.
“But the Flaming River is dangerous! There are many piranhas there! Giant piranhas!” Gui He thought this child was being reckless. Being able to play with small piranhas didn’t mean she shouldn’t worry about the larger ones. Plus, there weren’t just piranhas in the river. There were other threats.
“The Flaming River it is!” Dian Dian said affirmatively. “He Bian, carry me there.”
He Bian wanted to advise against it but seeing Dian Dian’s determination, he didn’t try. He also wanted to see how Dian Dian would swim underwater in her current form. At most, they could arrange for more guards by the bank.
He Bian called three others and planned to carry that stone fish tank out to the river.
I’ll do it,” Shao Xuan said as he walked over.
Shao Xuan saw how challenging it was for them to carry the heavy stone fish tank so he decided to help. It would be okay if they were moving it across flat ground, but it would be hard for them to carry it down the hill. If anyone was careless and tripped, the stone fish tank might flip, so it was better if Shao Xuan carried it.
At first, He Bian wanted to object. He thought they didn’t need the Flaming Horn’s help for these simple matters, but after he saw how effortlessly Shao Xuan put the giant stone fish tank on his shoulders and walked out, he shut his mouth and followed silently behind.
Gui Ze and the others followed behind. They also wanted to see what happened to her. Could the Di people still swim with a tail? The Di people were great swimmers to begin with.
When Shao Xuan carried the giant stone fish tank down the hill, he attracted many Flaming Horns’ attention. Many of them wondered why the Grand Elder had such a giant fish tank and where he was going. Many people followed behind too, including the chief and shaman. Even the elders and others from the Di tribe went with.
What were they planning to do?
Some of them wanted to follow to watch the show, but Gui He glared at them, and they walked away.
The sun was dazzling bright, and the rippling surface on the Flaming River was giving out waves of reflected sunlight.
The people stationed beside the Flaming River had just finished roasting their meat and were ready to eat when they saw the Grand Elder arrive with a giant fish tank on his shoulders. Then, it was as if he was pouring something, water maybe, out of the fish tank. Was that a human? He threw a human!
Following Shao Xuan’s motion, a figure flew out to the air and dived into the Flaming River.
The Flaming Horn soldier who was chewing on the roasted meat suddenly dropped his meat. He didn’t even bother to pick it up. Instead, he continued to stare at the river.
Were they mistaken?